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 Post subject: mposthumus More Adventures and Memories....... January 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:08 am
Posts: 164
Location: P-town
I was by no means going to do a TR on our recent trip to Kruger, but was rather going to try my hand at a TR after completing the Metsi Metsi Wilderness Trail in March. The more time goes by and as the longing for the bush and it's inhabitants slowly stalk me day by day, I decided to take up the proverbial pen and paper and write a short TR. Besides they say "nearest the heart, nearest the mouth.”

Initially I would have taken my grandson (Dehann) with me to introduce him to Kruger, but due to unforeseen events one day prior to our departure, he could no longer accompany me. I was very disappointed but determined not to let anything spoil my fun. When I told my mother about the developments, I could tell that she was all fired up to take Dehann's place, but that she would not utter a word. Being a Kruger addict herself it took no persuasion on my part to get her ready to go, boots and all, so to speak.

Summary of our sightings

Game in general were scarce especially Buffalo, Blue Wilde Beest, Zebra and Baboon. :?
We saw 5 Hyenas, 1 Leopard, 1 Black Backed Jackal, 14 Wild dogs and 20 Lions

Birdlife in abundance, but due to the density of the bush, not easily spotted. :shock:

Lots of smaller creatures like tortoises, chameleons, snails, millipedes, goggas :) and sadly quite a few road kills. :(

Introduction

Mom and me
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Saturday, January 1st

With my dogs safely in the care of my good friend Reinette, the fuel tank filled and everything packed, we departed at 5:15 – what a great way to kick off the New Year! :thumbs_up:

I was feasting my eyes on the green mountains and generosity of the landscape as we drove along. 8)

Crossing the Crocodile River, and it looked promising :thumbs_up:
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When I saw this sigh I knew, that is it ……… we have arrived. :dance:
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10:00 - and without any problems regarding the temporary wildcard, we drove through the boom. . . . . . and into Kruger. 8)

Hardly a kilometer from the gate, Rhinos
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I stopped and turned the engine off, closed my eyes and let the shrill sound of cicadas, the welcoming call of a Woodland Kingfisher and the chatter of numerous other birds flow over me, breathing deeply as to fill my nose and lungs with the smells of the Bushveld. Home sweet home! :dance: :dance:

The Veld was green and dense and although we were well aware of the impact it might have on animal sightings, the splendor of everything will all be worth the while, and we both agreed that even if we see "nothing" we would have experienced "everything."
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At Berg and Dal, I made the necessary calls to let everybody know we arrived safely, and of course draped the YR. :)

There were flowers all over the show
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Some White Backed Vultures in presumably a dead Leadwood Tree
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And lots of smaller creatures on the road :roll:
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A Tortoise
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Besides all other uses, this tree also serves as a scratch pole
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Mr. Pig crossed the wet road
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Arrived at Pretoriuskop 16:00, again not problems with the wild card. :thumbs_up:
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Sightings for the day

Rhino
Impala
Giraffe
Warthog
Tortoise
Chameleon
White-Backed Vulture
Black Kite
Woodlands Kingfisher
Variety of Rollers

_________________
Mel@nie

[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
04.01 - 08.01 (Pretoriuskop)


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 Post subject: Re: More Adventures and Memories....... January 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:08 am
Posts: 164
Location: P-town
Sunday, January 2nd

At 4:30 we were heading for the Shabeni road. On some rocks we found this family of Rhinos. :tongue:
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I was so focused on the scene before me that I did not notice the car next to me, and completely forgot about the YR. After about the 4th time :redface: of repeating himself I register that the person in the car is actually talking to me! "I am Raptor142". After a nice chat with Raptor142, SO and daughter, :) they informed us of a male Lion quite high up on the rocks, so we drove on. Scanning the surroundings with our "lion eyes" but seeing nothing, we drove slowly towards the nearby Shabeni road and turning left we saw three cars, and walking in front this lovely mane. :big_eyes:
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As we drove closer a car stopped next to us, and a guy with a broad smile :D asked "and who might you be". This time I was not caught off-guard. :wink: It was nice meeting you Noel! I suppose you have much better pictures of this lovely creature – please share if you don’t mind? 8)

We all followed his lead :thumbs_up:
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As more cars started to join the queue :doh: we took one last look as he walked onto the Napi Road, and happily drove off. :dance:
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A snail crossed the road in no other manner than "at a Snails Pace" :whistle:
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Baby Impala attending the crèche, while the adults quietly grazed on the green sprouts :)
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A frisky looking Helmeted Guineafowl
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and a potential meal :oops:
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More flowers :D
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On the Doispane Road and quite deep in the bushes, a pride seven lazy Lions :big_eyes:
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Close to Lake Panic a Nyala ram feeding on the dense bushes
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Lake Panic 8)
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A Black Crake
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Bushbuck
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At Sabie bridge a pair of Egyptian Geese
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and a Leguan
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On our way to Tshokwane we came across another Lion sighting but due to the traffic jam, we opted not to stop. :doh:

On our way back driving the Napi Road, movement next to the road made me stop. At first we thought it was a Francolin chick but on closer inspection saw a Quail with a little chick not even as big is a thumb. Of course they did not stand still long enough for a picture, but we were more than thrilled with this sighting. :thumbs_up:

Fruit in abundance
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A mother Hornbill feeding a very demanding youngster :huh:
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Sightings for the day

Rhino
Lion
Nyala
Bushbuck
Impala
Giraffe
Baboon
Hippo
Leguan
Mongoose
Steen buck
Three Banded Plover
White Stork
Guineafowl
African Ground Hornbill
Egyptian Geese
Brownhooded Kingfisher
African Pigmy Kingfisher
Goliath Heron
Black Crake

_________________
Mel@nie

[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
04.01 - 08.01 (Pretoriuskop)


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 Post subject: Re: More Adventures and Memories....... January 2011
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:08 am
Posts: 164
Location: P-town
Monday, January 3rd

5:15 on the Voortrekker Road opposite Ship Mountain
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A pair of mating Lions :roll:
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(Poor fellow, look at all the ticks on his back) :big_eyes:

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Evidence of good rains were visible on all the gravel roads :thumbs_up:
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More flowers :)
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We had a good laugh at this fellow eye-balling us :lol:
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A welcome cup of coffee at Afsaal whilst personnel were getting ready for another busy day. No sign of "Skopsie", and another meet with Raptor142 and family. :thumbs_up:
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On the H3 approximately one kilometer from Afsaal, some cars in tow. Two of the three brothers :dance: :dance:
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casually strolling towards us :D
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Passed my car his size evident, and not smelling too good even through the closed window :big_eyes:
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The 3rd brother some distance behind :dance:
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On the Biyatami bridge some giraffe
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This Dung beetle hastily crossed the road
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And this guy tried his best to keep up :wink:
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A very inquisitive Bushbuck lamb :whistle:
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Since today was very hot, we went back to camp for a siesta between 13:00 and 15:00 and then on the road again for an afternoon drive :|

At Shitlhave dam some Waterbuck. The topic of conversation was the lack of common game. :huh:
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Young Kudu bull :thumbs_up:
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On the Fayi loop we came across a Lioness, a sub-adult and three cubs 8)
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A breather :roll:
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and off again
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for some serious walking :)
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As it was nearly time for the gate to close we turned around as it was the shortest route back to camp. A very hasty leopard sped across the road and unfortunately too quick for a picture. :oops:

Sightings for the day

Lion
Giraffe
Bushbuck
Rhino
Leopard
Elephant
Kuku
Impala
Waterbuck
Chameleon
Tortoise
Blacksmith Plover
Woodlands Kingfisher
Green-spotter Dove
Black-breasted Korhaan
White-Backed Vulture

_________________
Mel@nie

[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
04.01 - 08.01 (Pretoriuskop)


Last edited by saraf on Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: More Adventures and Memories....... January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:08 am
Posts: 164
Location: P-town
Tuesday, January 4th

Today we had strange weather. With intervals the rain would come pouring down, and next the sun would burn down on us. :?
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At Mestell dam some hippo and the distant call of a fish eagle :whistle:
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At Nyamundwa dam a Grey Heron :)
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On the Doispane road we came across a herd of elephant with some babies. 8)
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Hoep-hoe :|
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Warthog :wink:
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No matter how many Impala you see, they are always kind to one’s eyes :clap:
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and in contrast the ugliest creature I have ever laid eyes on :shock: yet he was sooo amazingly pretty :thumbs_up:
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Another huge "lion jam" so we took the short left :big_eyes:

A Kudu Bull 8)
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More flowers :lol:
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A rather sad looking bachelor who presumably lost both horns in a fight :?
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A creepy :shock:
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and a crawly :shock:
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This Black Bellied Korhaan totally fell in love with his reflection in my car. He kept us amused for quite a while :huh:
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The scenery was . . . . well . . . . it left me speechless :clap: :dance:
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Sightings for the day

Hippo
Elephant
Kudu
Giraffe
Impala
Fish Eagle
Warthog
Hippo
Grey Heron
Black Bellied Korhaan
Martial Eagle
Hoep-hoe
Batteleur
Steppe Buzzard

_________________
Mel@nie

[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
04.01 - 08.01 (Pretoriuskop)


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 Post subject: Re: More Adventures and Memories....... January 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:08 am
Posts: 164
Location: P-town
Wednesday, January 5th

Where the H1-1 connects to the H2-2, a bright eyed Fiery-necked Nightjar in the middle of the road. This was a first for me, and my most favorite bird. :dance: :clap: :dance: I immediately switched of the headlights and engine. I sat in total wonder and watched him for about 15 minutes before he flew off. :( I was so flabbergasted I totally forgot about my camera. :x

Still ooooing and aaaaaaing about the Nightjar, a Black-backed Jackal made a u-turn in front of the car, and disappeared into the thicket. :?

Next were these playful Hyenas, sniffing around for something to eat and then made a hasty departure down the road. 8)
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This lone elephant bull "prevented" us from passing for more than an hour, strolling along and feeding on some leaves next to the road. :oops:
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But we did not mind as there were ample wondrous things to feast our eyes upon
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Close to Afsaal a hyena and her three cubs. 8)
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This one was having a nap in front of the den (with some leftovers from the previous night) scratching and shaking his little body to try and get rid of some flees. :wink:
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In search of Wild Dog on the S114 we accidentally took the wrong turn-off and ended up on the S118. Instead of doggies we came upon a sighting of a different kind. Imberbe (although under cover) and SO. :thumbs_up: After a nice chat and exchange of sightings we once again focused on finding doggies.

The only Zebras we saw on our trip :)
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Some kind of Cormorant :?:
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More flowers :)
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As we exit Berg and Dal, two Rhinos posed on the road. 8)
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and made a duck for safer grounds :lol:
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As we drove along we saw a SANParks helicopter hovering in the air. Speculating on the reason for its presence, I put my head out the window, and waved at the occupants, and they waved back at us. :yaya:

Next thing a green SANParks bakkie was driving next to me. "Good morning madam and how are you this morning?" My first thought, what the frikkadel did I do wrong? :huh: Did I put my head and arm to far out the window when doing the waving thing? :big_eyes: I put up my nicest smile and replied “I'm very well thank you sir, and yourself?” Instead of hearing “Sorry madam, but unfortunately I have to give you a fine because ......... " :slap: he uttered these kind words “I'm Raymond Khosa, pleased to meet you, and why did you not ask for me at Berg and Dal?" :D :dance:

Later that evening Mom and I had a good laugh about this rather awkward meeting with Raymond. Instead of stopping to have a decent chat with him, I just kept on driving and Raymond had to keep up with me for quite a distance, chatting all the way. :doh:

Back on the once misplaced S114, we continued our search for doggies, but unfortunately today was not the day. :( Instead, we came across a herd of elephant with lots of little ones.
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Giraffe
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We sat at Transport Dam for two hours just looking and listening. Just before we left, some Waterbuck came down for a drink. 8)
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Another rather strange creature. On closer inspection it turned out to be a caterpillar of some sort that apparently used grass as protection or camouflage. :?
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On the Fiya lLoop we saw two lionesses on top of the rocks, and speculated if this might be the female, sub-adult and three cubs that we saw on this road on Monday.

At first we saw only one :thumbs_up:
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and then another head popped-up :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
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More fruit :)
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and more flowers :) :)
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Sightings for the day

Grey Duiker
Black Backed Jackal
Hyena
Rhino
Elephant
Water buck
Zebra
Giraffe
Tortoise
Chameleon
Lions
Ferry-necked Nightjar
Brown Snake-eagle
White Backed Vulture
Hamerkop
African Fish Eagle
Cormorant

_________________
Mel@nie

[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
04.01 - 08.01 (Pretoriuskop)


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 Post subject: Re: More Adventures and Memories....... January 2011
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:08 am
Posts: 164
Location: P-town
Thursday, January 6th

Today we are heading for home. I smiled as I waved Pretoriuskop goodbye as I know I will be back early March (Deo volente) :pray:

It rained all night and the air was just that bit extra crisp and clear. :thumbs_up:

I paused at the H2-2 junction, but unfortunately, no Fiery-necked Nightjar this morning. :(

On the Napi Road our first Buffalo sighting for this trip :D
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They disappeared into the dense bush very quickly
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Some wet and miserable looking Guineafowl :?
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A huge snail 8)
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Then . . . . another herd of Buffalo :D
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This buffalo cow was very protective of her new born calf. She would not cross the road, and as we knew she was exposed to predators being the only one left on that side of the road, we drove on.
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Our only Wilde Beest Sighting 8)
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And then . . . . . for the first time in seven years . . . . . at 6:30 . . . . . on the H1-1 just before Transport Dam, these doggies came trotting down the road. :D I was shaking like a leaf and could hardy steady my hands to take pictures. The pack consisted of 11 adults and 3 pups, which I am sure, were on their first hunting expedition as they looked very proud running down the road. :thumbs_up:
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And away they go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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And so ends another memorable and adventurous trip to our beloved Kruger. :yaya:

Sightings for the day

Buffalo
Blue Wilde Beest
Wild dog
Guineafowl
Goshawk
Steppe Buzzard
Tawny Eagle

_________________
Mel@nie

[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
04.01 - 08.01 (Pretoriuskop)


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