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 Post subject: Michel367-Short excursion down to the "zoo"-Feb 2011
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Ok.
Decided to take a short excursion down south for some much needed R&R and to do some business. :lol:

Tomorrow morning early I will set off towards Hazyview.
Enter at Numbi or Phabeni (still have to decide) and then move slowly towards Lower Sabie.

Pitch the 5- man tent (yep. Moved on to a bigger accommodation) and stay there untill Sunday before driving back.

Kruger. HERE I COME!!!!!
:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:31 pm 
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So. Everything is packed and stuffed into the little Atos and ready to go. :thumbs_up:
Will meet up with mum and dad, after 2 years, in Lower Sabie tomorrow. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:36 am 
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Friday very early I got up and took the car for a "little" spin to Phabeni gate.
The first animal to greet me was a very friendly Natal Francolin having a nice warm-up in the sun.

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A slow drive to Skukuza took me along a great winding Diospane Road.
It was great to be back and see all the friendly animals greeting me as a long lost friend.

A beautiful Red Crested Korhaan decided he was not going to move and came head- on to the car.

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The birds were there in full force singing their greetings for the world to hear and even the Golden Orb Web Spiders were everywhere to see.

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The Giraffe were busy feeding and very curious as usual.

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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:22 pm 
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After a short pitstop in a sweltering Skukuza it was time to head off towards my campingspot at Lower Sabie.
Just as I entered the vehicle an OSV drove past with a very loud passenger in it.
"Stop, stop, stop!"he yelled.
Then at me.
"Who are you?"
"Why?" I replied.
"The yellow ribbon. The forum."
It was Tiny. :thumbs_up:

Great guy and after a few minutes he sped of again as his guide started to look a bit funny at us. :lol: :lol:

A Grey- Go- and- Away- Bird just watched at the whole show and shook it's head.

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Down at Nkuhlu I stopped to get me a really well done pie, that experience I will withhold you all off, and saw this little ellie in the long grass.

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The rest of the herd was still crossing the river.

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My party joined me there.

At a small waterhole, towards Lower Sabie, we saw this beautiful female Saddle- Billed Stork

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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:30 am 
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Thanks you all for the great comments. :clap: :clap:

Now to carry on.

The road from Nkhulu to Lower sabie had it's usual "culprits".
Zebra, Impala, an Ellie now and again, but the bird sightings were tremendous.

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A Purple- Crested Turaco flew over, a first for me, but it was a bit too fast to photograph.

Then a Bateleur making a beautiful display

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A Crimson Bee- Eater basking in the sun

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And a European Bee- Eater singing it's heart out

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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:33 am 
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Eish Katja. They are beautiful birds. :dance: :dance:

After pitching the tent at LS we all decided to take an afternoon drive.

Now we have already encountered 2 of the big 5 that day. Imagine what a great day it will be if we will see the other 3 members? :dance: :dance:

A slow drive in the setting sun took us past numerous wonderful sightings and settings.

A lone, fuzzy looking, Buff Pastie was staring in the distance, but we could not see at what.

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Then we met up with an agitated Ellie

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Great 3 of the Big 5.
Just the cats were missing.

And then this sighting came up on us. Right next to the road.
As I had forgotten to turn my flash of the front bull got a bit angry with my first shot which made a great looking second shot.

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A little further we encountered 2 other adults, right next to the road again, with a little gem between them.

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Now we were, nearly, satisfied. Where are the cats? :hmz: :hmz:

We turned onto the tar road and there we saw it.
2 Impala males eyeballing something.

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We scouted around and suddely it walked across the road.
Leopard!!!
My first one in 2 years. :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

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That is what the Impi's were so alert at.

A little later we took a small detour across the causeway and as you all can see the water is still really flowing.

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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:39 am 
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After that beautiful drive we decided that we will have a braai over at the tent.

While everyone went their way, doing the things they had to do, I started the fire while enjoying my Klippies and Coke.

Slowly the camp-site came alive and the soft voices mingled with the smell of burning braaiwood and Charcoal. The sun set in a beautiful glow and the nocturnal animals came alive.

The food and the company was great and the Lions and Hyena's Slowveld Choir sang their soft songs in the background.

The next morning we all got into our cars for an early morning drive.

First to Sunset dam. As it was a bit overcast the lighting for good photo's was bad, but we still had a few good sightings.

The Crocs were catching fish and the Hippo's were lazily yawning.

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An African Fisheagle couple were cruising over the dam and catch a fish or two with a magnificant swoop to the water.
As I was about to take a good photo of it, this birdie decided to fly off.

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Moving off into the bush we came up on a couple of Mongeese that were darteling around on the road and a little further on a Swainsons Spurfowl Female in a tree.

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Moving through the thick bush to Duke's waterhole we saw this pair of Geese in a tree.

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We decided to take a rest at Nhlambanyati bird hide and what a beautiful hide that is.
Filled with Hippo's and various bird life.

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A Blue- Eared Starling

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And, a first for me, a Dwarf- Bittern (if I ID'd it correctly)

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We slowly drove back to LS to have a breakfast on the deck and the waiters were friendly and had a good sense of humour too. :clap: :clap: :clap:
maybe the sun coming through had also something to do with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:47 am 
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Flutterby wrote:
I also identified a bird like that as a Dwarf Bittern but was assured by the fundis that it is a Greenbacked Heron!! :hmz:



I wonder then who is right and who is wrong? :hmz:

It does not at all look like an adult Green backed and it also not has the streaked brown and buff and it does not have the dull orange legs of the Green backed juvenile.


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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:49 am 
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Thanks all for the nice and some "not" so nice comments. :lol: :lol:

After "brekkies" and some needed internetwork, we decided on a slow drive towards Croc Bridge.

Just past the T- junction to the causeway we suddenly saw a strange "fruit" bearing tree.

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Upon some further investigation we found that an elephant had died the night before between the road and the Sabie river. That might just have been the cause of the high activity of Lions and Hyena the night before.

The sun came out in full force now and it was really getting hot. Even with the aircon on we were sweating. The ice cold frosties were passed from car to car and that made life a bit more bearable.

All the animals were sheltering from the sun and we saw plenty

Zebra

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Leopard Tortoise

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European Bee Eater

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Lesser Grey Shrike

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Impala

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Elephants, Warthog, Rhino, but the most illusive we have not seen yet. Lion. I do not know where they hid, but they were nowhere to be found.

After a good cop of coffee at the restaurant in Croc Bridge we drove back and saw this strange sighting

A Secretary Bird in a tree. :big_eyes: (Sorry for the bad quality, but it was a long shot and I had to crop it quite a bit)

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And this beautiful Lizard glowing in the setting sun.

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This Ellie with the strange tusks bathing at a waterhole

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And in the strange colour of the sun this White Backed Vulture

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Eish. Another day in paradise done and dusted and now it is time for a sundowner of Klippies and Coke at the braai fire. :thumbs_up:

RP. Eat your heart out bud. :twisted: :twisted:


Last edited by michel367 on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Early rise as we still had to break down the tent, clean everything and get some brekkies and say ur goodbye's. That was a sad goodbye as my parents will never visit South Africa again.

After all was said and done and we had some breakfast together, we parted and went our own way.
The sun came up with a vengeance and soon it was hot again and I decided too take the S21 and then the H1-1 to Pretoriuskop and Numbi as I had to pick up Sprocky in Hazyview.

Due to the hot weather the sightings were really slow and I took my time, as usual, getting to the gate.

The first good sighting was a couple of Thicknee's and some White Faced Ducks at a small waterhole

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Then the drive took me past Renosterkoppies and up too Transportdam.
Just before we reached the dam a cheeky little fellow crossed the road with his older brother right behind him.

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After a short pitstop at Pretoriuskop I had too hussle as I had an appointment and I hate too be late.

I arrived just in time to pick up my lifter and off we went back too the concrete jungle which we both find so very scary.
But we shall be back. Very soon.

Away away my good and dear friends
The pleasure of seeing you was all mine
Soon I shall be back again
To embrace you all, once more, in my arms


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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:16 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:04 am 
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@ Cheetah2111

Thanks. :lol: :lol:
Correct. A Golden Orb Spider. :thumbs_up:

@ Sharifa and Duke

Why do everyone like that pic so much. :hmz: :lol:
Just kidding. :twisted:
Yep. the cricket weekend. :thumbs_up:

@ Theuns

Thanks Theuns. Just trying to catch some nice images with a lot of blue in it. :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:19 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:13 pm 
Nice baboon pics!! :thumbs_up:

Yes, Secretary birds nest in the tops of low trees, and the nest is difficult to see, according to Roberts'! :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Short excursion down to the "zoo"
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:19 am 
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