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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:54 am 
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So with the sun setting it was time to visit Sunset Dam!! :thumbs_up:

Unfortunately it had been a rather cloudy day so none of the spectacular sunset shots today.
Still we saw some awesome sights. The dam was teeming with life :clap: :clap: :clap:

A yellow-billed stork looked pretty in pink :D
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And my first picture of pied kingfishers :cam:
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The close proximity of the crocs and hippos never ceased to amaze me :shock:
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Some kind of truce must exist between these species? :hmz:

We returned to camp at 5.45 to get to the shop before the 6.05pm crush began. Found some mince, eggs and a tin of mixed vegies. Dad was going to cook up some rissoles. We had no wood left for the braai so we decided to cook on the stove top. Doh!! When we turned on the large hotplate we shorted out the entire tent. Found the fuse box, and turned everything back on. So then it was a VERY slow process to cook the rissoles on the small hotplate….nonetheless, they were delicious :thumbs_up:

We sat and ate and listened to the sounds of our last night at Lower Sabie :(

I was VERY excited about the next day though.
We were driving to Berg-en-Dal to meet up with Magic Guarri and family!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

I prayed for some sleep so I could be bright and full of energy to meet the Bavarians :pray:

Goodnight gecko…..
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March 2012
Kruger, Karoo, Addo


Last edited by melph68 on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:19 am 
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Lower Sabie to Berg-en-Dal: Dad’s Big 5 morning!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

I hardly slept a wink thanks to terrible cramping during the night so when it came time to get up I just couldn’t :?
Dad, as always, woke up fresh as a daisy so I suggested he go out for a drive and I would be ready when he returned.

Staying in bed that morning was one of the worst decisions I made during our 2 weeks in Kruger :slap:

First up, I didn’t get any more sleep, and second, Dad saw 4 of the Big 5 while he was out!! :shock: :shock: :shock:
He returned to camp positively glowing with excitement and couldn't wait to tell me about all his sightings.

Just outside of the gates he came across 3 big healthy male lions snoozing on the road, before they moved off into the bush :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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A little bit further down the road a leopard ran out in front of him!!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
Unfortunately it all happened too quick for Dad to get a photo.

Next he came across an angry ellie, charging at cars.
The video is on Dad’s camera back in Canberra, but I hope to add a link here to the footage at a later date :thumbs_up:

Then he saw some rhinos at a distant waterhole...4 of the Big 5 in an hour!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

And to top it all off he found a hyena clan playing and splashing about in a waterhole on the way back to camp :D
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As Dad recounted all his sightings I just wanted to cry.
Of course I was really happy for Dad, but I just wanted to cry with frustration at myself and what sleep deprivation was doing to me…. :wall: :wall: :wall:

I was a physical and emotional wreck from lack of sleep but I vowed NEVER to sleep in again for the rest of the trip!! :lol:

So we packed up and bade farewell to Lower Sabie.
Not far out of the gate we came across this big boy :thumbs_up:
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Then Dad suggested we go and check the waterhole where he'd seen the hyenas, in case they were still there.
They weren’t, but I spotted something that to me was equally as exciting as a hyena clan.

It was a family group of giant plated lizards! 8) 8) 8)
All ages out basking together on a rock :D
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By this stage both of us were getting hungry so we headed off in the direction of Croc Bridge along the H4-2.

On the way we spotted a lone buffalo which completed Dad's Big 5 for the day :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
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And all before 11am!!! Way to go Dad :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:31 am 
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Hi to all - Melph68's Dad here -
Just to make some comments on my Big 5 day! On rising about 5am started getting ready to go hunting big game sitings. Melph68 did not want to get out of bed. I decided - no problem - I would go out alone and what a good decision that was.
Firstly, not nore than 1km from the gate - there they were. 3 fantastic lions, lying on the road and not another car in sight. What a delight. Eventually, after about 20-30 mins, they got up and moved into the bush, I was just thrilled!
On continuing down the bitumen road for about another 5-6km when suddenly, out of the bush, appeared a leopard about 100m in front of me. He/she was not moving fast, but by the time I got there its tail was disappearing into the bush. I thought "this is my lucky day!" No pictures, but the scene will remain in my mind for a long time.
I continued on down the tarred road for about another 4-5km and turned on to the dirt road towards the dam where we had seen the hyenas andd rhinos previously. Alas, nothing at the first dam, so continued to the second dam, and again nothing. So doing a U-turn and returning to the first dam, my heart skipped a beat - there were two rhinos just wandering off on the other side of the dam. Again - no pics.
WHilst sitting there for 15-20mins, thinking how lucky I was, out of the bush came one, then two, then three hyenas. Very slowly at first then they decided it was safe to play around - much to my delight. They danced in the water, chased each other and at times just lay in their backs in the water. This went on for about 30 mins and again, no other cars. This time I was able to get pics which Melph68 has posted.
I was just leaving as another car arrived and we talked and watched for a bit longer whilst the playful trio carried on.
Time to go so I backed out from the dam and headed back to the camp. Had gone approx 2-3kms on the tar road when I noticed something moving across the road about 50m in front of me, It was a long black snake and was halfway across the road and just as I got to that spot, its tail was all I could see. I THINK it was a black mamba -- YIPEE!!
I continued on back to camp. On arrival proceeded to report my journey to a disappointed girl, and I thought that she would not believe me (or at least not talk to me) but she did, Thank God. My good luck had sparked her enthusiasm and not long after, we both set off to find more animals. ......and we did! Ended up a great day.
Melph, Dad still loves you and has permission to return to Africa with you in 2015.
PS: Forgot about the big bull ellie chasing cars along the tar road in front of me that morning.....Just great!!
Melphs Dad


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:17 pm 
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hi all melphs dad again
i just wanted to say a big thanks to all my new friend at the forum and shareing my fantastic experiencs
:D melphs dad


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:25 am 
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Hello everyone! :D :D

Meandering Mouse, hilda, Lionspoon, lion queen, Meerkitty, Heksie, Magic Guarri, chirinda, vinkie, Pumbaa, saraf, Sharifa, Crested Val, VicRob, RonnieL, Bushbuddies, PJL and Melrockson

Thank you all so much for your support and kind words :gflower: :gflower: :gflower: :gflower:

And hello again my Dad :yaya:
I completely forgot that you saw a black mamba that morning as well!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :lol:
Hopefully I will get the insomnia sorted out for our next trip :pray:
And even if I don't, I'm NEVER sleeping in again!! :lol: :lol:

Now on with the drive :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:29 am 
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Lower Sabie to Berg-en-Dal continued…. :D

On the way to Croc Bridge for brekkie we saw some lovely birds :thumbs_up:

A wood hoopoe having a scratch (oops, I mean African hoopoe - thanks chirinda! :gflower: )
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And a pin-tailed whydah, forgaging about on the ground
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On our arrival at Croc Bridge, Dad went to get petrol while I went in to order breakfast. When I found Dad again he told me he had bumped into some forumites. He pointed out their car so I went over to say g’day. And I was delighted to meet Mellory and Holligan!!! :D :D :D

They too had seen a leopard that morning and had been at the same waterhole as Dad watching the hyenas.

“It was so fantastic” they kept saying… “What a sighting!"
"Where were you Mel? Sleeping in? It never pays to sleep in while at Kruger"
I know, I know….. :wall: :redface:
It seemed that everyone we met that morning had seen lion, leopard and hyenas, except me :lol: :lol: :lol:

Unfortunately there was only time for a short chat, but before we left we bought some anti-rhino poaching caps to help support the efforts of the Honorary Rangers :thumbs_up: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Mellory and Holligan also told us that the road we'd intended to take to Berg-en-Dal (S25) was washed away. So then we went back up the H4-2 and onto the H5 where we encountered some lovely animals.

One of my favourite road blocks :D
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Our second leopard tortoise of the day :thumbs_up:
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Followed by a cute little ellie in the road 8)
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Next we came upon a Kruger jam. We drove up slowly and asked a fellow what was there. Doh again!! :doh:
We had arrived just too late to see a whole pride of lion, with cubs, wandering along the road :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

The pride were now far into the bush sleeping. We strained with our binoculars and could just make out lion shapes in the shadows. Then all of a sudden a lioness walked out from some bushes closer to us. I didn't have time to pick up the camera and turn it on so I just watched her through the binocs. She was only visible in a small clearing for a few seconds before she too disappeared.

But then some more movement caught my eye. Oh my word!!! 1….2….3….4 little cubs went scampering after mum.
I was ecstatic :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

Even though I only saw them for a few seconds, I had so wanted to see lion cubs 8)
It was a dream come true and really helped lift my mood :roll: :whistle: :redface: :lol:

After that we had a lovely run of sightings. This rhino was my 4th Big 5 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Next up our Impala Pic of the Day :D
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Followed by a very handsome young kudu lad :thumbs_up:
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And I’m not sure if this is a dark or pale chanting goshawk, but Dad and I were thrilled either way :D
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March 2012
Kruger, Karoo, Addo


Last edited by melph68 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:12 am 
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Lower Sabie to Berg-en-Dal: the final stretch :thumbs_up:

On the way we were thrilled to see a steenbok, despite not being able to get a clear pic :doh:
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This little squirrel posed quite nicely for us though :D
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Then a big waterbuck surprised us when he walked out onto the road 8)
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And a family of warthogs gave us some great bum shots :cam:
Mum, Dad and the 2 kids :lol:
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Just before BnD we saw some maribous enjoying the last of the afternoon sun :thumbs_up:
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And then there they were - the Berg-en-Dal gates!! :dance: :dance:
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We checked into Bungalow #32 and went to the shop to get something for dinner.
Oh no, they were out of meat :shock:
What were we going to take to the braai with Magic Guarri's family tonight? :?
We bought some bacon and eggs…

Had a quick shower and then went over to #31 to finally meet Karin in person, after knowing her on the forum for years 8)

We all had such a wonderful evening together, chatting and laughing away like old friends :D :D :D
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Karin, Stef and Maxi had stocked up on food outside Kruger so Dad and I were thoroughly spoiled by their generosity :gflower: :gflower: :gflower:
Dad and I hadn't had such a good feed for weeks!! :dance:
Oh, and we hadn't had so much beer for weeks either :whistle:
Plus somehow we got talked into schnapps before bed :lol: :lol:

Oh dear, we had to get up early for the 5.30am morning walk.... :popcorn:

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March 2012
Kruger, Karoo, Addo


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:19 am 
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melphs dad again

a big hello to magicguarri your message to melph brought back the wonderful couple of knights
we had together it is a frendship that will not be forgotten the food the beer and little maxie
look forward to seeing you again

big hello to maxie &steph

melphs dad (david) :D :D :D :D :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:02 am 
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:gflower: :gflower:
hello again to magic guarri

how lovely of maxie to rember the (vegemite) if you send me your address i will send you a couple of tubes

once again lots of love to you all

melphs dad


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:28 am 
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Berg-en-Dal Day 1: Morning Walk 8)

Alarm went off at 4.30am :tongue:

It took a little while to wake up and get dressed after the night before :whistle:
But we were ready to meet Karin at 5.15am and then drove to reception.

Despite my bleary eyes I really was very excited to be on the truck with our guides Raymond and Raster 8) 8) 8)
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When we stopped, Raymond and Raster had to get all their equipment prepared :thumbs_up:
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We all listened carefully as Raster gave us the safety briefing :thumbs_up:
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And then off we went! :D :D :D

I can't say I felt scared walking out there in the African bush, but I certainly felt wide awake by then! :lol:
At one point we stopped to look at a termite mound when we heard a kind of growling sawing noise and then OMW, the guides went all alert, rifles at the ready!!
Raster told us it was a leopard, about 100m away :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
Boy was my heart beating fast. It was scary exhilaration all in one 8)

Soon after that Raymond the lead guide saw something and motioned us all to get behind a bush - quickly!!
What had he seen?? :shock:

Oh WOW a couple of rhinos only 50m away!!
Their eyesight is bad, but they could smell us and stamped their feet and snorted a bit.
Next Raymond told us to go and stand on those rocks over there - quickly!! Goodness :shock: :shock:
Rhinos won't charge over rocks so we would be safe :thumbs_up:

We also saw zebra, impala and ground hornbills before we arrived at our rest point - a gorgeous rock cliff with fabulous views :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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We had a drink and a snack, enjoyed the scenery and posed for some photos :cam:
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Lastly, we saw a croc on the way back to the car 8)
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Apart from all the excitement of hearing a leopard and seeing rhinos close-up, we also learned a lot :thumbs_up:
Our guides were very knowledgeable about everything we saw.
It was an amazing experience :clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank you Raymond and Raster :gflower: :gflower:
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March 2012
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:09 am 
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Berg-en-Dal Day 1 continued.... :D :D

After the walk Dad, Karin and I headed straight to reception as we had all decided we wanted to do a morning drive the next day :dance:
Once we were booked in we headed back to the bungalows to find that Stef had prepared coffee and breakfast.
What a guy! :clap: :clap: :clap: Thank you Stef :gflower: :gflower: :gflower:

It was so yum after our 3 hour walk, plus I hadn't had real coffee for nearly 3 weeks! :tongue:

Over breakfast we all talked about what to have for the braai that night.
Meat was needed so the basic plan of the day was to head to Skukuza and get supplies at the shop there :thumbs_up:

Dad and I packed up the Terios and headed out to see what we could find on the way to Skukuza :pray:

First up we came upon some impala rams having a stand-off...
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which soon turned into a full-on duelling match!!
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Dad and I always stopped to photograph a leopard tortoise :cam:
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Unlike others we had met along the way though, this tortoise didn't "speed off" and disappear in the grass.
He continued to amble along the roadside, eating the little bits of greenery on offer :thumbs_up:
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We turned onto the H2-2 and paused for a moment to think about Jock the dog 8)
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By then our tummies were growling and we were delighted to meet up with Karin, Stef and Maxi at Afsaal where we all enjoyed lunch together :D
Karin showed me the scops owl there :cam:
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After lunch we all left Afsaal in a convoy.
It was great fun to drive along with friends, sharing the sightings :D 8)
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Unfortunately, this was the first animal we saw after Afsaal :shock:

Freshly run-over and still writhing :(
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Such a beautiful snake...I think it could be a Natal Green snake (Philothamnus sp.) :hmz:

Next up we saw this fine fellow :D
It always felt such a privilege to see elephants :thumbs_up:
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Then we came across a herd of giraffe bulls :D
A small group crossed the road right in front of Karin, Stef and Maxi.
I can just imagine how big little Maxi's eyes would have been! :shock: :lol:
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Dad and I got caught behind this roadblock and lost sight of the Bavarians in their gold Nissan... :doh:
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But on the plus side, we stayed and watched some giraffe bulls sparring with each other 8)
I got a little video of the action :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:35 am 
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Hello again! :D :D

And a huge thank you Meandering Mouse, Melrockson, lion queen, hilda, Rookie2009, haileyidaho, Sharifa, RonnieL, Pumbaa, RichardJ, Radman, chirinda, koedoe, VicRob and Crested Val for following our adventures and providing such supportive and insightful comments :gflower: :gflower: :gflower:

Radman wrote:
Not to be selfish or heart less did you leave the snake like that ?
Poor bugger must have suffered till he became someones lunch :big_eyes: :hmz:


Hi Radman :D

I really laboured over whether or not to post that photo of the snake as I didn't want to upset any readers.
In the end I decided that it was a part of our overall Kruger experience, albeit a very sad one :(

Back home in Oz I am a reptile biologist, so whenever I see a snake or lizard on the road I always park and jump out of the car to have a look. If the reptile is dead I will move it far off the side of the road, as often raptors that fly down to get the free meal are also then struck by cars.

On this particular day in Kruger, several factors influenced my course of action when we came upon the wounded snake. First I was not confident about the species of snake it was, and second, I could not get out of the car. Finally we decided to take a photo and drive off. I still don't know if that was the right decision for the snake or not :( But we just had to press on....

So without further ado, on we go with the drive to Skukuza in our quest for braai supplies :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:39 am 
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Berg-en-Dal Day 1 continued again..... :D :D

Next up Dad and I decided to take the H1-1 to the famous Transport Dam :thumbs_up:

We were impressed by the horns on this fellow but he simply refused to lift his head out of the grass for a good photo :doh:
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When we arrived at Transport Dam there was not an animal in sight.
Still, it was a nice place to stop and rest a while, so we pulled into a little patch of shade at the edge of the parking area.

With our windows down we could hear all the sounds around us, including some kind of rustling coming from behind the bushes where we had parked?
More rustling and then a kind of grunting growling noise!!
OMW, was there some kind of cat in there? :shock:

No, it was waterbuck. A very pretty female wandered out of the bushes.
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But still the grunting noises continued from behind the bushes near our car :hmz:

Then we saw this fellow over the other side of the dam, staring intently at the female.
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Almost immediately the owner of the grunting noises walked out of the bushes in front of us.
He in return was staring intently at the male across the dam.
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And then all hell broke loose. The male near us charged out of the bushes towards the male on the other side of the dam. He even leapt into the air and kicked out his hooves right in front of our car.

In the blink of an eye the males had made up ground between them and were having a tussle, over the girl!!
I thought I had taken a video of the action, but I must have pressed the wrong button in all the excitement :slap: :lol:

On our way again and we came across some warthogs grazing on the side of the road :thumbs_up:
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Followed by a DCG roadblock 8) 8)
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It was so hot that the road was shimmering with heat, but still this bird wandered about for some time in the open before another car came along and scared him up into a tree.
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On the last stretch to Skukuza I finally found the famous klipspringers that I have seen in so many TRs over the years :mrgreen:
I was absolutely thrilled :dance: :dance: :dance:
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:29 am 
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Berg-en-Dal Day 1: afternoon drive :thumbs_up:

Finally made it to Skukuza and saw Karin and Stef's gold Nissan in the parking lot.
We hoped we might find them and have some afternoon tea together :pray:

First though, we went to the shop to buy meat for the braai.
We found some cheese Russians and a boer wors, plus tomatoes, cucumber and fetta for a yummy salad :D

Unfortunately we didn't find Karin, Stef and Maxi at Skukuza, so Dad and I decided to head back in the direction of BnD via the S114.

We had only just got out of Skukuza camp when Dad slammed on the brakes :shock:
Oh no, another dead snake!! I think it is a stripe-bellied sand snake (Psammophis sp.).
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As well as the big cats I really really really wanted to see lots of snakes while I was in Africa.
Unfortunately I was only seeing dead ones :(

Thankfully the next animals we saw were alive and well :thumbs_up:
We got our Impala Pic of the Day :D
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Next up was a lovely bunch of kudu crossing the S114 :D
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Then we spotted some baboons in the bushes 8)
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Even a kudu was curious as to what the dark shapes in the shadows were :lol:
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And finally I got a photo of a baby baboon!! :dance: :dance:
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I also got my best pic of a steenbok that afternoon :mrgreen:
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Saw some lovely zebra :thumbs_up:
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I tried to get this bee-eater in flight :whistle:
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And can anyone help with the ID of this raptor :hmz:
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Driving along in a bit of a dream and somehow we ended up on the H-5!! :doh:
By the time we realised this we knew that we would be pushing it to make the BnD gates by closing time :?

Couldn’t stop for any photos so I tried for this one through the dusty windscreen as we were nearing camp :wink:
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We arrived just as the gate man was swinging the first half of the gate shut.
5.59pm and we were safely back in camp with the gates closing behind us. Phew!!!! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:30 am 
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Award: Cammer of the Year (2013)
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Posts: 14037
Location: Sydney, Australia
Award: Cammer of the Year (2012)
That evening....

Back at the bungalow Dad and I had quick showers and raced over to meet Karin, Stef and Maxi for our braai :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Again it was a fabulous evening with our wonderful new friends :clap: :clap: :clap:
The Black Labels flowed freely as we all chatted about our day :whistle: :lol:

At one point Dad and I were sitting at the table talking to Stef while Karin was inside tending to Maxi.
All of a sudden Stef's eyes went big at something he had seen behind us :hmz:
It was a civet, so close I could have reached out and touched it!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

My camera was charging next door, so I grabbed Karin's camera and tried to get some pics.
Meanwhile Stef was yelling to Karin to come quickly. She grabbed a torch and together we followed the civet between several bungalows.
How thrilling :dance: :dance: :dance:

I haven't seen any of the pics yet, but I'm hoping Karin will post them on her TR :thumbs_up:

After all that excitement, we sat down to enjoy another delicious braai 8)
Thank you so much for doing all the cooking Stef :gflower: :gflower: :gflower:

But again, the time went way too fast :slap:
It was nearly 11pm and we had to get up for our morning drive at 4.30am!! :shock: :shock:

Somehow we were talked into some schnapps before we left :tongue:
After the previous evening you think we would have learned our lesson :lol: :lol:

We could have sat there all night enjoying the Bavarian hospitality, but reluctantly we headed nextdoor to get some sleep......

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March 2012
Kruger, Karoo, Addo


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