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 Post subject: Bushbaby30-Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:08 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
It was a trip that if you blinked too long, the person in the car next to you would have either disappeared totally or changed! :tongue:
My sister did the booking (as she always did for our sisterly bonding Decembers in the KNP) but she forgot one important thing… Her SO! :shock: She made all the bookings for 2 people. She at least remembered that her SO wouldn’t last our usual 2 and a half weeks in the park so she only booked for 9 days. :naughty: When I pointed out the fact that we would be 3 this year, she could change all but the first 2 days. :wall: I decided that seeing that I will already be missing 2 days I was not going to give up the rest of my usual holiday and even if it meant doing it alone I would be staying behind… :rtm: My dad decided he would bring my mom down so that she could keep me company. :dance: I really wanted to visit Punda Maria again as I have last been there as a child so that was the obvious first choice. I should actually say thank you to Reservation house Jhb for putting up with my phone calls every day for about 3 weeks until I had my 2 days camping in Punda WITH electricity, one half way stop and 4 other nights camping in the south… :redface: My trip would start in Letaba (meet up with sister and SO) go down to Skukuza up to Letaba again, down to Balule (S and SO goes home) up to Punda (for some sanity) down to Letaba (meet up with mom and dad (after they had a night in Skukuza) and then remember to pack mom) :whistle: , down to Skukuza again and then further down to Berg-en-Dal… :big_eyes: And if you are a bit confused now, don’t worry: the SanParks staff was even more confused! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:49 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:51 am
Posts: 18312
Location: Germany, busy planning next trip
Another Bushbaby TR :dance: :dance: A bit confused, but I think I've got it. :lol: I think it will looked like this:

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I'm getting the :popcorn: ready :thumbs_up:

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Katja

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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. Einstein

Kamadejo returns to KNP after 7 years
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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:45 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:01 pm
Posts: 783
Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
17 December
My sister and her SO came to pick up the stuff they would need in the 2 days before I arrive… My stuff was going to Kruger before I did! It felt wrong… REALLY wrong! :wall: :wall:
18 December
The first sms’s started coming through: They’re at Phabeni, Impala, Nyala bull, buffalo, ellies and then they were booked into Pretoriuskop. I could still handle that… :whistle:
19 December
The sms’s started rolling in thick and fast… Ellies, rhino, more buffalo, leopard, another leopard and then just before gate closing lion. I was a bit jealous but I could still handle it. :mrgreen: Even the fact that they were staying in Satara I could handle! :whistle: After all I was leaving the next morning! :dance: They took my old camera (with 18xzoom) and after VARIOUS warnings about digital zoom SO just wouldn’t listen. :huh:
I finished packing early that evening. My car was in total and utter shock! It has never been so empty for a 2 week holiday in Kruger. :big_eyes:
20 December
I left early morning and headed for Orpen gate (ok it was an hour later than planned but an hour more sleep I could definitely handle :redface: :redface:). The road was terribly quiet (its not often that you only see 4 cars between White river and Hazyview) I got a call from my sister saying that there has been a lot of wild dog sightings on the H7. So they will meet me at Orpen camp and then we can make our way to Letaba together… Oh and they’ve seen more lion… Still, I could handle that too as I was almost in the park! :whistle:
I was greeted at Orpen gate reception with welcoming smile and I heard my first Woodland kingfisher… I was HOME… again :dance: :dance:
I was really happy to see my sister and could see that it was a different start to the trip for her too. Her SO was very quick to tell me that I would not believe what they just saw and he showed me these photos…
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Needless to say THAT was just too much for me to handle!!!!! :evil: :wall: :doh: :shock: :sniper: :rtm:

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:52 pm 
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
20 Dec continued Orpen-Satara

Being in two cars it is sometimes difficult to always see what the car in front sees so we always make use of two-way radios (on a very low volume and switched off at sightings as disturb anybody)…
My first sighting (apart from all the shades of green) :lol: :clap: were these wildebeest
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I drove behind them and they stopped and got the call look some big birds for you… My sister knows me all to well! I love birds but can’t even be classified as a duckling yet (so what does that make me? An egg??) :tongue: I turned out to be these beauties…
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This marriage is still in the starting phases…I didn’t burst her bubble about what’s waiting for her so I left them to enjoy the honeymoon. :tongue:
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And my first babies!! :clap:
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And more babies :dance:
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And mommy looking on
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This BBJ was fooling around some impala :naughty:
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A Groundscraper thrush with lunch
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Then I came across my first traffic jam that turned out to be more special than the culprits of normal traffic jams…
A python caught an impala something that I have never seen! :shock: :shock:
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And my first “mommy-bird”We call it that as it is BM's favourite bird… Better known as a Lilac breasted roller
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And this Carmine bee-eater By this time I just got asked: What are you seeing? Another bird? :wall:
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I know what one of the choices of the “Your Favourite Sightings” was for that day… :lol: :lol:
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Satara came just in time!! :redface: The Scops owl was not in a photographic mood and was sitting with his back to me so no photos of him today… :(

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Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished- Lao Tzu


Last edited by Bushbaby30 on Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:51 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
We left Satara and made our way north… So the yo-yo is finally on it’s way up for the first time! :dance:

I was still in awe by the green around me! :big_eyes: This Kudu gave me a nice pose before continuing to feast on the lush vegetation
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The ele did exactly the same thing
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Something spooked these baby warthog but mom looked quite relaxed :hmz:
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Maybe they heard the stomping of these big guys coming towards them! :tongue:
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The giraffe with food for every craving! :lol:
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The wind was just right for some “kite flying” :lol:
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At the Olifants lookout these people left their windows open and the monkey saw her opportunity to help herself to lunch. Not a great example for her LO though! :naughty: :rtm:
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I have never seen the Olifants River so full… :shock: (I silently hoped Balule didn’t wash away) :redface:
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At one of the inlets I came across these white fronted bee-eaters
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And the hole wasn’t in the bucket but in the tree :tongue:
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This caterpillar was on his way to a fancy dress (or maybe just had a bad hair day) :hmz:
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We were checked in by really friendly staff at Letaba. :thumbs_up: They were very efficient in helping me get a new Wildcard. Now I was legal again :dance: We made our way to our bungalow and were greeted by the Letaba regulars.
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On the menu was: Steak, 2types of bread (bread with a touch of garlic and cheese spread mix :thumbs_up: or garlic with a touch of bread and cheese spread mix :doh: ) and salad… THANK GOODNESS I was in my own car the next day!! :clap: :dance: As it was going to be a long drive down for my sister!
:whistle: :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:44 pm 
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
We left Letaba to yo-yo down to Skukuza… We decided to take the dirt road to Olifants as it is always such a nice road. Clearly the animals had some previous arrangements that we were not aware of. :huh: :huh:
Our first sighting for the day was this Dungbeetle doing some affirmative shopping from another dungbeetle’s ball :naughty:
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My sister spotted this Brown hooded kingfisher with the now usual reply: Here’s a bird for you I think it’s a kingfisher thingy… I could only smile! :lol:
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There wasn’t even an impala in sight but just before Olifants camp we found these Nyala. :dance: Somehow I always get so excited when seeing them…
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A drive down to the bridge to Balule was not good news for coming times as it turned a 7km drive into a 30km drive when going from Balule to Olifants :wall: :wall:
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This little impala was still very new to the world! So small and cute!! :lol:
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At Ngotso north I just had to take a pic of the ram in between all the flowers :lol:
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Some Ostriches along the way :dance:
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And while I photographed this Martial I met my first mite for the trip… :dance: :dance: Norms and his family came in for the day via Orpen. He didn’t have a yellow ribbon but at least he stopped to introduce himself! I hope you guys had lots of great sightings the rest of your day in the park! :thumbs_up:
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This baboon was giving me the death stare :shock:
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We were back at Satara for a quick pit stop before carrying on making our way further down…


Last edited by Bushbaby30 on Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
Just before Satara tragedy struck… My cameras battery was flat! :doh: :doh: As it turned out it would be my trip for all kinds of dead batteries but that’s a story for another day. At Satara I went to charge the battery at one of the communal kitchens. Desperate times calls for desperate measures. :whistle: While my sister got us something to drink I babysat my battery… 15 minutes of charging was better than nothing.
There was no way that I would pass Nkaya pan after I read Lowveldboy’s TR. :huh: Even though I didn’t see lion there was another part of the big 5…
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Boys will be boys
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Just after the Baobab we found these Kudu cows that were looking very alert and stayed in a group… I guess safety in numbers does help! :tongue:
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Even the birds were sticking together…
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We had a small detour to make just before Tshokwane… My granddad’s ashes was scattered on N’wamuriwa (when you could still go up there) in l988 and when my gran passed away in 2005 we scattered her ashes at the foot of the mountain under a tree (as the service road that went up to the mountain was inaccessible for my car). So now every time we pass that way we quickly go and say hello… Seeing that tomorrow would have been my gran’s 90th birthday this is especially for her… Happy birthday Oumie
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On our way back to Tshokwane saw a journey of giraffe. (Shi - please note)
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These ele’s were having a ball in the river
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And that was my last photo of the day as the battery had had enough. :doh: :wall: I secretly hoped that I didn’t miss a good photo opportunity… And as luck would have it when I passed the Kruger tablets guess what was in the shade of the one big boulder? A family having a picnic… mom and dad and their 2 young kids. :big_eyes: I know you were always able to get out there but the signs were removed a few years back already probably because of all the predator sightings in the area! :shock: :shock:


Booking in at Skukuza was a dream! :thumbs_up: More friendly SANParks staff!
:clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:35 pm 
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I really hope the page is turned now! Still 7 sleeps before I even arrive in the Kruger and then another one befor I see her! At this rate it will be time for the cricket before she finishes playing yo-yo!

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December '12????
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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:20 pm 
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
My sister and I decided that we wanted to leave camp at stupid o’clock (Thanks Val, this one is a keeper in my KNP dictionary :tongue: ) the next morning but her SO (from now on known as SSO just in case of confusion it stand for: sisters significant other not any other combination… :whistle: ) said that there was no way. So we left him to sleep.

We were greeted by a lovely sunrise! :P
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The hyenas were home… Some sleepy
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And some not
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Lake Panic was so peaceful and quiet…
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The reflection of the clouds caught my attention
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The birdies were still fast asleep all except 2 African Jacanas and this Grey heron
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On our way back to the tar road this Duiker ran across the road and just stopped to quickly watch his back… :tongue:
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And baby holding on for dear life :tongue:
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We slowly made our way back to camp to fetch SSO and had a quick stop at reception. In the pond were a mom and her babies
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I just love dragonflies
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Back at the hut I heard a strange sound and while my sister tried to get SSO out of bed :wall: :doh: I went bird hunting… First I saw it fly and could not believe the colours on this bird! Getting them to stay in one place is almost as impossible to get my monsters in class to sit still! :shock: I came to the conclusion that they are definitely the ADHD sufferers of the bird world… :huh: Well after a few attempts I finally got one. My first Purple-crested turaco! :dance:
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Eventually we could be on our way again and headed towards Lower Sabie…

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:33 pm 
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
We made our way to Lower Sabie and decided on the Salitje road to get there. We saw some warthog, impala and then came across this Knob-billed duck having a bath…
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The rest of the road was a bit quiet until we saw this wildebeest
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Then followed some ellies and on the bridge by Lower Sabie a goliath heron. At Sunset dam this Yellow-billed stork was playing chicken with a crocodile
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The Barn owls by the restaurant was there (sorry for the cobwebs Val, but the arachnids weren’t home…. Promise!)
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After a quick break we headed for Crocodile bridge. I was a little pre-occupied with my own thoughts and was quickly brought back to earth with the word LION… A lioness made her way towards us on the road we had to drive backwards for quite a way before she made her way into the bush…
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A few metres from where we saw her first another car was parked by this male… He got up and started walking towards us and started roaring. Clearly wanting to know where his girlfriend went to.
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We quickly stopped at Crocodile bridge and my sister and SSO got something to eat as I wasn’t really in the mood for food… I phoned BM to tell her that my cat account was opened and just to let off some steam as tension in the car was sky rocketing as fast as the temperature outside. Mom being the peacemaker she is calmed me down (for a while) All finished and we were ready to head back to Skukuza. Just before the first gravel turn-off to your left we saw another lion. But as she turned around I could see she was sick. It was so sad seeing what was once such a majestic animal so skinny and full of lesions. It was quite upsetting and we carried on…
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We came across a herd of ellies and as I didn’t have a clear view from the back I got creative… You could always not discern between the ellie’s skin and the tree stump
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At Lower Sabie I saw another YR car a goldish Land Rover FreeLander I quickly went to the bathroom and when I came out it was gone… :wall: :doh:

Seeing that Christmas was still coming we met one of Santa’s KNP reindeer… Just look at her heart shaped nose!
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This baby baboon was a real handful
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The morning after the night before
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Some brotherly love
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I can sit and watch baboons for hours (SSO not) so we were on our way again. As we came around one corner there were 2 cars standing. SSO saw a leopard, my sister saw its spots and I saw something that look like a small piece of its leg… They ticked it off as a leopard but I just couldn’t as I don’t see a thirtieth of a leopard as a counting leopard… At least I got to see lion today. So that made it 4,033 of the big 5 today…


Last edited by Bushbaby30 on Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:18 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
I was up early after a very restless night and told my sister that I’m going for a drive and will see them later… maybe it was the full moons fault… :shock:
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A flower to get me in a better mood… :pray:
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I had these elephant all to myself for more than half an hour. As I took a photo one of them was quite rude and I had to sensor the pic. :big_eyes: It was quite a cool action shot though... :tongue:
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These Impala rams already fighting about the girls… :doh:
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At the Sabie river this croc had his eye on me… :shock:
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I went back to camp and my sister and SSO was just about ready. She REALLY wanted to see wild dog and we drove all the roads where everybody else saw them but with no luck… It was turning into a scorcher!

First we found eles in the shade
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Then a bushbuck in the shade
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Then some warthog in the shade
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It was so hot even this anthill took up a space in the shade :tongue:
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At the Biyamiti weir we found this little egret and Hamerkop fishing. They waited for their catch to come to them… Very clever indeed :thumbs_up:
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This three banded plover took to the more conventional way of fishing
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Just before the tar road back to Skukuza my sister spotted this Bateleur… That was it she was the official bird spotter and I was the official bird looker upper… :tongue: Although I didn’t need my book for this and quite a few other by now.
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SSO was complaining about the heat and we made our way back to camp. :wall: It was quite hot as the mercury lifted to above 40 but it was Dec in the Lowveld after all. :whistle: I was also a bit tired so while the rest went to swim I made up some lost sleep.

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:11 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
This was just proof that Mother nature has a way of healing herself...
I went back to the places BM and I saw things in Sept after the fire and took some pics of what it looked like in Dec...

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Absolutely amazing... :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:22 pm 
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
One thing SSO clearly haven’t learnt yet was DO NOT WAKE UP BB30 WHILE SHE’S TAKING A NAP… :big_eyes: If you do it is totally at your own risk and I will not be held responsible for my actions… :whistle: Rather than do some serious bodily harm and end up giving the Skukuza police some work I headed for Lake Panic :redface:

It was quite busy but as I got closer to the hide I already felt much better… I got myself a seat and started surveying the area. The Goliath Heron was clearly in a posing mood.
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I even had a chance to do a self-portrait!
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And by chance I met my next 2 forumites… Vgstephens and Dungbeetle2! :dance: We didn’t have a chance to really chat because of the silence rule but could at least introduce ourselves. I knew the chance of meeting them again and catching up properly was quite good seeing that we’d be staying in Skukuza, Letaba and again Skukuza (later on) on the same dates. Now my “mite count” stood on 3.

Although it was quite quiet bird wise I decided to stay a little longer…

First came giant kingfisher, then a pied kingfisher and a little later a brownhooded kingfisher… 3 kinds of kingfishers in one sitting. That was till the gentleman next to me said: Look a malachite! Make that 4!
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Once again my favourite…
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The goliath heron flew to the opposite bank
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And started strutting his stuff
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Pretty soon his lady friend came along and the real show started…
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I really had to get going as gate closing was getting way to close for comfort… Just my luck the hyena and the littlies were out but I couldn’t stay for too long. :wall: She even stuck out her tongue to as if to say na-na-na-na-na you have to go now!Here you go LvB
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And a camera shy hynie…
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Even though there was just a few minutes left there is always time for a quick sunset pic…
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Last edited by Bushbaby30 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:14 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
It was time for the yo-yo to go up again… And what a day it turned out to be! :shock:
We left Skukuza earlyish and decided on going up via the low-water bridge (just in case the doggies wanted to show themselves… but no such luck! :wall: ) For some or other reason my sister and SSO got held up somewhere but that gave me good enough reason to take in the sunrise.
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And then to have a one on one chat with this duiker
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At oone of the inlets I saw some buffalo lying in the riverbed but as it turns out the other two didn’t.

They caught up to me while I was looking at this gigantic snail
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I told them that I want to go in at Matimahle waterhole (maybe just maybe I could find the sable that was frequenting there :pray: ) Just before the turn off This big boy caught our eye… It turned out to be 2 males. The one had a bad limp but looked quite healthy.
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I only have Afrikaans maps and as far as I can remember Leeupan stays Leeupan but I don’t know if Olifantdrinkgat becomes Elephant drinking hole? :tongue: :hmz: But anyway… guess what I found there? Jip… Ellies
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Between the Orpen rocks and the Kruger tablets I spotted these 2…
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SSO and sister moved on and I waited for a bit until I saw their brake lights and I got a frantic call (over the radio) to come quickly. They might not have been at Matimahle but boy oh boy they were close to the Kruger tablets!! :dance: The biggest herd I’ve ever seen… I couldn’t get them all in one shot but I think you get the picture.
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An absolute WOW moment… An oldish gentleman stopped next to me and commented on how special this sighting is and what can top this. I joked and said well a LIT just ahead. :lol: He left shortly after. I wanted to take it in as long as possible and once again I stayed as my sister and SSO moved on. About 5 minutes later I just heard crackle on the radio and something that sounded like my sister and all I could make out was quickly… And one thing I know is if she says quickly she means as in yesterday! :twisted:

I still joked about the LIT just up the road earlier and little did I know!!
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The gentleman from earlier asked me jokingly so what next? And I just laughed but silently made my prediction… :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Yo-Yoing through the KNP Dec '10
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:42 pm 
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
After the leopard jumped off we carried on to Tshokwane had a quick stretch and off we were again… We made our usual detour to go and say hello. The journey of giraffe was there again. So it looked as though they must be our grandparents’ new neighbours…
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Going through a dip my prediction came true… Not 1 but a family of 3! They were a bit skittish and were clearly not comfortable around cars.
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My big 5 for the day was complete! :dance: And that just before breakfast!! :dance:

Still driving on cloud 9 a car passed me and it turned out to be PNM ad his SO… They were also on their way to Letaba and it was really nice to have a quick chat with them. Hope you had a successful rest of the way up, Pete!
I went in at Nkaya pan (still looking for LvB awesome lions) but once again I got to see an ellie … A very muddy ellie!
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Then another YR coming from the front… It was Tshukudu. There were a lot of cars so we just exchanged a quick word or two. Once again another friendly forumite!

Just before Satara we found these buffalo wallowing in the mud… Which made the big 5 complete for my sister and SSO :clap:
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And then our first zebra for the day…
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This one was a definite miss print… I wonder if she demanded a refund? :hmz:
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The Scops owl at Satara was wide awake… That will teach him to have some of my coffee! :tongue:
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Outside Satara there was pools and pools of water… The animals didn’t have to go far for a drink
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Between Nyamarhi and Ngotso north these two were just minding their own business…
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The rest of the way was quiet compared to the awesome start…

Booking in at Letaba was fast becoming a habit… And once again we were greeted by friendly Sanparks staff… :thumbs_up:

Later the afternoon I went for a walk through camp and came across this cutie
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And this dragonfly
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Last but not least this one is especially for you Val… :lol: One of the Crested barbets in front of hut nr 59…
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Later on we went to the Carols by candlelight and really got into the Christmas spirit… As I looked up a Bushbaby sat on the branch above us. What a lovely end to an exceptional day…

_________________
Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished- Lao Tzu


Last edited by Bushbaby30 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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