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 Post subject: gerharddb Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:52 pm 
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:yaya:

I'm writing this from a very humid but cloudy Satara, sitting on my chair with a cola in the hand, and looking over the lush and VERY dense bush on the other side of the fence..life can not get better!

Want to hear about the sightings?

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:50 pm 
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Greetings from a rainy although the sun is shining Satara :yaya:

Well let me start, and that is from the beginning. This trip came to life within a few hours and that's all I really needed! I had to deliver some stuff for a my SO's father at a company in Watervall-Boven and saw the gap to make it a weekend in KNP. So I quickly phoned central res and booked 2 nights @ Satara, reason being that I knew the grass was taller than my bakkie(car) and hoped the area around Satara might be less dense. What a stupid thought that was because from CB all the way up to Satara the grass is one height, bloody tall.

So this morning after I slept on the farm close to Hectorspruit I found myself in front of the CB gate with 5 minutes to opening time. Now this few minutes usually gets me in the mood...you know that on the other side of the gate the place I call home lies. But opening time came and gone and 10+ minutes later the gate was finally swung open only to wait 10 more minutes at the boom gates to enter as no staff were there to let us in. Yes its bad but what the heck, I will be going in today I motivated myself. And then finally I drove through and all worries and anger flew out the window. Now I must add that it was raining which later became a hard drizzle but boy does the rain here smell so much sweeter than any other place in the world?!?! As per usual the first friends to welcome me home were Impala and a lone Zebra. I stopped at the bridge before the turn-off to the S 28 and a rhino bull laid there staring at me and I'm at him. After he decided that I've got more testosterone in me than him, he stood and walked away. So next up came the S28, a road that has always delivered some special sightings....

But first let me eat my braaivleis(BBQ) and rest my fingers. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:34 pm 
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:shock:

Why am I still awake this time of the night you might wonder? Well currently I'm trying to figure out who can boost the lowest tone- we have Nick the neighbour(spelling) in the right corner snoring VS The King of The Bush, Mr Li-on(lion). But Mr is putting in some BIG hits and will be winning!

Now back to the TR.

As I turned onto the S28 it was clear that a lot of water fell in the area. The road is slippery, sunlight liquid will feel like sandpaper, and there's water running or did run everywhere. The impalas were all soaking wet and the lambs look like teddybears! The first part were very quiet although I found some nice birds, which I can't ID because I don't know birds. But I'm getting there! Past Duke's waterhole I saw 3 elephants standing way of into the bush! Very far! And as I looked through my binos my eyes got sucked into them because I was looking at the man himself! 2 askari standing not far from him. I didn't even take the binos away when I explained to people what I was looking at! Rude aint it? I can't care!!! I'm looking at Duke! Leave me alone was what I wanted to shout. After a while they disappeared and I drove on. Giraffe and more ellies were plenty from there and I even got chased by an angry elephant cow which I have no idea where she came from!

I made my way to LS but not without a stop at Sunsetdam. The dam is full and I saw a nice looking bird there that I will post a photo of. It was raining more heavily now and I only stopped @ LS for 2 minutes. On the bridge crossing the river I couldn't believe my eyes as the river were flowing high, strong and wide! The H10 I only like because of 2 things, the view from nkumbe and I always find lion there. Some1 told me about some lions on the mundze(spelling) loop and as I turned on there I saw the tracks of the lions everywhere. Around the first corner I went and then all went wrong! Because of all the up and down and U-turning of the cars prior to my arrival the road was a sloppy muddy bath. Now my bakkie aint the highest and just then my front wheels got stuck into the mud completely. Now I grew up on a farm and 4X4 occasionally but this I knew were trouble. No matter how hard I tried to get out, I failed. And then mr lion came out a few yards in front of me and was walking away. So what now. How I got out is not worth sharing but out I got and by then mr lion were gone. Back to the H10.

The first 15 km's there were nothing! Nada, zilch, niks, vo_ol,( saffies and afrikaans speaking people). About 5 km's from Nkumbe I got lions. Doing what they do best. Will give a full discription about the sighting when I post the photos. At Nkume I saw ellies, white rhino and giraffe. What amazed me the most was how green the veldt(bush) is as far as the eye can see! Was amazing! Not even 500m from there I found a black rhino with a calf that was in a very playful mode! It was to cute for words!! I quickly made a stop at Orpen dam and were disgusted at the sight of the place!
Another lioness came walking doen the road at the H1-3 H10 crossing. And then I had to stop @ Tswokwane for brunch, for I was starving! Kudu pie was on the menu... But more later!

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:14 am 
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At tswokwane I ate a kudu pie in the hopes of it being similar to the buff pies, it wasn't even close to that! I left very quickly and headed for camp. As I neared the H6 turn off a bloke flagged me down and told me that a leopard was up in a tree 400m from the turn off. When I came there he was busy get out of there and I only saw his tail once.

At the camp gate another "memory for life" sighting happened. A bateleur eagle and a Martial eagle were fighting in the air, grabbing each other and going crazy up there. The next moment the two of them, still claws locked into one another came falling from the air and onto the tar road. Right in front of me. Here they laid in each others "arms" and the love between them will clearly be seen in the photos. After a while a park staff came and as he got out to undo these to lovebirds the bateleur let go and flew off. The martial how ever looked worse. Leg broken, wings hurt and a very emotional blow to the ego he stumbled in the grass. I soon left and do not know the final outcome. At camp I went to the bar and watched the cricket for some time before I went for a swim. And that was it basically.

This morning I left as the gates opened after rain drenched me last night! Saw lots of buffs and ellies and some very nice birds, including 13 kori- bustard and a secretary bird. The bush is looking so lovely with loads of flowers everywhere.
Will go out for another drive a bit later. Hopefully the sun will come out!

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:39 pm 
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:yaya:

Thank you for all the comments! Photos will be uploaded when I'm back home.

The rest of the day were very quiet! My dad phoned and said they are coming in for the day and that I must meet them at Olifants for lunch. So up to Olifants I went. Sightings included ground hornbill, a few ellies and a nice tusker among them. Now the photos of the river will tell the story! It was a sight I haven't seen in many years!

On my way back I got the same ellies and a herd of buffalo. Now today started cloudy and rainy but it wa soon to be over! The temp I recorded @ Olifants was 42! I thought I was dying! It really was hot!

I came back to camp and spent more than an hour in the swimming pool!

I started the fire and as I opened the meat I bought here but was just as green as the smell of the meat! It was rotten! Although the pack date and sell by date is only next week! Then I heard a lion roar very close and decided to go and sit at the restuarant and maby see the lion. And as I sat there I heard him close again and walked to the gate. And there he stood! Only for a few seconds though as he clearly were in a hurry to get to a date or something!

Now I'm going to bed... My last night in the park for now...

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:04 pm 
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Evening everyone :yaya:

And so a very nice and pleasant trip came to an end today. So let me share the last few sightings with you. Tomorrow ill go through the photos and sort them out and post them as soon as possible.

Last night didn't end where I went to bed! Boy o boy what a night. As I laid in my bed my neighbor came a histerical yelp! Now he told me earlier that it was his first time in KnP and he is almost 50, and he and his wife(26) came for a weekend to see what it was like. He asked me questions about the safety of himself and his wife inside the camp and if the lions come in every night into the camp!! I, being full of laughter replied " no Oom, only every second night. I could see his wife looking around!

Now with the yelp from this guy I thought there might be snake or something in his tent and flew out of mine to go and help. Only to find 2 big dagga boys right next to the fence grazing. And he was screaming about this?!?! I went to the bathroom quikcly and on my return saw that the bulls were now lying down in the long grass, 3m away from the fence. So I decided to sit next to the fire for a while, while my phone battery was being charged. I stood to collect it after a while and then the buffs flew up as well and gave a snort and looking to the right. As I shone the torch there a lioness standing not 12m away gave one more look at the buffs and turned tail! Now the chance of me going to sleep were slim and I spent spend some more time around the fire and then retreating to my tent. Now the buff were lying down again and soon the contest between my neighbor, who knew nothing of this untill he got woken by lion roars close by, and the buffalo snoring. I never knew a buffalo can snor like that! It was unbelievable!

In the meantime the spell of bad luck of earlier with the food just continued. It seems like the chicken I got from the restaurant were off as well for it made me sick like I've never been before. Long story short, between the short but funny sprints to the bathrooms and back and the buffalo and my friend next door's snoring I had not 1 minute of sleep. As the gate opened I left camp, packed up by 4 am, and found the male lion again in the crossing right by the gate. He stood and I followed him till Nsemani dam where I left him and headed for Orpen. I left the park in a state of tiredness and a few kg's lost. Mu initial plans was to head straight for pta via Lydenburg but now decided to go and get medicine from my dad in Tzaneen. And this I did and can now say although I got sick this trip was and will be one to remember! Camping on my own and spending alone time in the park were fantastic and I will do it again shortly! Can't think of a better way to do a KnP trip!

Thank you all who were/are reading. Look out for the photos now! Seeing is believing!

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:32 pm 
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:dance:

FInally I get to log in again from a pc!! Here come the photos you all been waiting for!

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The Crocodile Bridge bridge.

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My new friend I made just as I entered the park.

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And another friend. I was glad I didnt need to find my food where he got his from!! :lol:

Will put on more as they upload onto photobucket....

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:10 pm 
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Im Back and finally all the photos are loaded up. :dance: And it seems like my log in probs are finally over. :clap: Thanks DuQues and the people working on it.

So here come the next few photos...

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This just caused my eye..


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This one I got 4km's from CB.


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DB?

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The 3 Musketeers in Sunset Dam.

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Mine is bigger than yours...

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Also at Sunset Dam- Yellow billed stork If im not mistaken? My bird knowledge is VERY limited!!

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No Idea!! :redface:

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This Girl I got close to Lower Sabie...isnt she just a princess??

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:18 pm 
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European Bee- Eater?

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Thank you everybody for the comments!

Here are the next ones..

As I said in the written part, the H10 were very quiet untill a few km's from Nkumbe Lookout point.

These Lions were lying in the grass right next to the road and how the people in front of me saw them I have no idea! But the people only stopped for a second and drove on. I sat there and a few moments passed before I was rewarded with the following photos. They came out onto the road and laid there for a few moments untill they returned into the bush and out of sight.


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Then at the crossing to Tswokwane I got this lady. He was very thin and struggeled to walk. She would walk a few meters and then would lie down for some time and then continue her walk.

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I got this fellow
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And between Tsokwane I found a troop of baboon and got this photo,
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The photos of the eagles fighting is comming up next.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:46 pm 
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And the next ones....

This was at Nsemani Dam.
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And these are the photos of the Bateleur and Martial Eagles that had a small misunderstanding....if you want to call it that?! :big_eyes:
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And the loser!
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I know its not the best photos but the sighting was unbelievable!!

Back in camp I saw this bird. Some kind of bee-eater I know. :redface:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:05 pm 
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Wonderful sightings you have had --

Your Bee Eater is a Southern Carmine Bee Eater!

More please --- :popcorn: !!!

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:07 pm 
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Good day everyone :yaya:

Its been a while but when life throws you a grenade....dont catch it!! :wall: :slap:

Here are the last few photos of my rather uneventfull trip! :lol:

This guy I got not far from Satara, rather nice looking tusks I thought?
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A photo of the veldt. In the photo you cant see it very nicely but all the flowers and colours was amazing to see!
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This is a photo of the buffalo that was right next to the fence moments before the lions tried to get them for a late night snack. Couldnt get a photo of the lions as things tend to happen very quickly in this situations.
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The lion I followed from the camp to Nsemani dam where I left him..
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This was a really special trip, one I wont forget anytime soon. Cant wait for the next one..... which is not so long into the future!

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 Post subject: Re: Seeing is believing- Live TR from Satara..
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:54 am 
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Great trip Gerhard.. It is always a lekker thing to spend some time alone in the KNP.. did a similar trip last year in May!!

On your Cuckoo, I would say Klaas's Cuckoo..


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