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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:46 am 
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Berg-en-dal Day 2: Morning drive :D

Oh dear. Something wrong with my tummy so off to the toilet at 2am in the morning :slap:
Tried to go back to sleep but was still awake when the alarm went off at 4am :?
Poor Dad also woke with a funny tummy so we tried to get dressed and ready in-between tag-team toilet stops.
Dad reckoned it was those cheese Russians we had at the braai last night.
What terrible timing – just before a 3 hour drive!

Dad and I just crossed our fingers and hoped we could keep things under control until we got back to camp :pray:

So we put on our best cheery faces to meet Karin at the car before driving to reception.
Karin was hoping we'd go in the small truck, but slowly more and more people turned up so we took off in the big one, with Raymond at the wheel :thumbs_up:

First up was a hyena walking alongside the road in near darkness 8)
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Next up a white rhino :clap: :clap: :clap:
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And then OMW what is that in the bushes over there? :shock: :shock:
Karin and I were shouting for Raymond to stop!! Reverse!!
Unfortunately by the time we got back down the road the blackie had gone further into the bushes :doh:
But here’s a pic showing at least some of this special animal :thumbs_up:
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WOW we all felt so excited! :dance: :dance: :dance:
And incredibly privileged :mrgreen:

That's Dad sitting behind Karin. I think Karin got a better photo on her camera with all of us in it :thumbs_up:
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A pair of grey louries matched the early morning light perfectly :D
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And a vulture waited patiently for the sun to warm his wings :thumbs_up:
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Raymond stopped the truck as we drove over a low water bridge.
Almost straight away the local terrapins came out to say hello :D
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We were held up for a few moments by a giraffe roadblock :wink:
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And next up was an ellie having breakfast. Mmmmm breakfast – we were getting pretty hungry by then!
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On the final stretch back to camp another safari truck pulled alongside to have a chat with Raymond.
We couldn’t hear the whole conversation but it was something about “madach one click from the next turn-off”.
Madach? :hmz: Then Karin told me madach was “wild dogs”. WILD DOGS!!!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
Oh Raymond please take us to see the wild dogs :pray:

Unfortunately they weren’t there when we arrived at the spot :(

BUT just a few kilometres before camp a car was pulled over and a lady was pointing out the window to something in the bushes.
OMW – a leopard!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:
Unfortunately it disappeared before we could get any photos, but at least we saw it :D :D :D

WOW, what a way to finish off the drive with 3 of the Big 5 sighted! :clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:21 am 
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hi all melphs dad again

mel has just reminded me of something that i had forgotten about those darn cheese russians!!
i swear that they will never ever again be purchased by mel or myself.
several things came to mind firstly the tummy pains then the weight loss then the uncertainty of breaking wind and putting up with the consequences :lol:
however we survived thank goodness :thumbs_up:
some advise to others dont eat the cheese russians :eviltreath:

looking forward to the next episode mel :D


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:28 am 
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Goodbye Berg-en-Dal and our Bavarian friends :(

Back at camp and again Stef and Maxi had prepared some coffee for our arrival :D
Thanks guys!! :gflower: :gflower:

But breakfast supplies were low so we decided to pack up and head to Asfaal for brekky :thumbs_up:

As we were taking our belongings out to the Terios I heard a birdcall that was new to me :hmz:
Yes, something in the tree outside our bungalow.
Oh WOW, is it the purple turaco I have read so much about in other TRs??
Of course it wouldn’t pose for a nice photo so this is the best I got :thumbs_up:
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The Aussies and Bavarians left camp in convoy and on the way to Afsaal we came across some baboons on the bridge :D
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This guy looked so relaxed sunning himself on the railing :thumbs_up:
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When we got to Afsaal, Maxi was so excited about having pancakes for brekky! :dance: :dance:
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Hey how come the pancakes are taking so long?? :wink:
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While Maxi ate up his pancakes, we enjoyed our toasted sarnies – mmmmmm :D :D
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And then, all too soon it was time to say goodbye to our lovely Bavarian friends :( :(

At the carpark, we set up a camera on the bonnet of each car, set to go off with the timer.
Funny how we were all looking at Karin’s camera when mine went off :lol:
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Hopefully Karin and Stef have some better photos :thumbs_up:

Little Maxi and Dad had become great mates, so all of us were a bit worried there might be tears when we said goodbye.
Actually, it was all the adults whose eyes were starting to water…. :cry:

But hopefully we can all meet again in 2015 :pray: :pray: :pray:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:24 am 
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Afsaal to Orpen :D

While Karin, Stef and Maxi headed east to Pretoriuskop, Dad and I headed north on the H3 to our final camp – Orpen :dance:

On the way I made Dad stop to get a photo of a rhino midden 8)
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I think they are a fascinating means of rhino communication. The dominant male rhino in the area does his ablutions there, and then walks through it to get the scent on his feet. Then wherever he walks, other rhinos know that it is his territory. Sub-ordinate males must do their ablutions a certain distance away from the main midden, to show the dominant male that they are in his area, but they respect that he is the boss. Animals may not be able to “talk” as humans do, but boy they have some very clever means of getting their message across :thumbs_up:

We had a pitstop at Skukuza and then not far out of camp I saw a large raptor in a tree :hmz:
Could it possibly be one of the birds I most wanted to see in Kruger??
Yes, it was a martial eagle!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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We were admiring this majestic bird when out of the blue came a fork-tailed drongo, dive-bombing the martial :shock: :lol:
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The martial just sat there and seemed quite nonplussed about the drongo’s noisy antics :lol:
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As we drove past I was able to get a photo of the martial from a different angle :D
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After that we got onto the H4-1 where we saw some buffalo :thumbs_up:
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That made 4 of the Big 5. Could I possibly be so lucky as to have a Big 5 day!!!??

All we needed now was a lion :pray: :pray:

Then up ahead there was a Kruger jam.
As we inched forward a man in another car told us that a lion just went behind that bush over there.
Well, Dad and I looked and strained, but we couldn’t see the lion :wall:

We were just about to drive off when a fellow in a car coming the other way motioned for us to stop.
He told us there were 5 lions asleep in the grass right next to the Kruger Tablets. Oh boy, lions!!! :shock: :shock:

We looked on the map to find where the Tablets were :hmz:
They were a bit out of our way and we still had a long drive ahead to Orpen.
But we were on the cusp of a Big 5 day, so we took the chance and off we went :pray: :pray: :pray:

When we arrived there was only one other car there :thumbs_up:
We waited behind them and after some time they moved forward so we could get in to have a look.
And yes, there they were. Mostly obscured by the long grass, but lions nonetheless – hooray!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:
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We sat and watched the sleeping lions for a few moments before noticing that by now many other cars were arriving to have a look :doh: I didn't want to leave. I hadn't had enough time with these majestic beasts.

Just as we were about to drive away a lioness sat up allowing me a blurry shot on the move :cam:
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After 11 days in Kruger I had seen the Big 5 in one day!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Of course Dad was a Big 5 veteran now after his amazing morning at Lower Sabie, although he was still pretty excited :wink: :D

And me?? I was floating on clouds of happiness, excitement and overall a huge sense of appreciation at being so lucky and privileged to have such a magical experience in the best national park in the world!! 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:28 am 
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Afternoon drive to Orpen :D

I’m glad Dad was driving because I was in a bit of a Big 5 daze :tongue: :lol:
However it was my job to read the map :thumbs_up:
Rather than take the tar road I thought the S36 seemed a better route to Orpen.

After all the excitement earlier in the day, the final stretch was relatively quiet.
It was very hot and the grass was very long.
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All we saw on the S36 were these baboons, who gave us their best synchronised bum shots :wink:
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Finally we reached the H7 and decided to take our time on the last stretch to Orpen.
Then we took the S106 in the hope of seeing some more lions before camp :pray:

In the distance we could see 2 blobs in the middle of the road. What on earth could they be? :hmz:
As we got closer we discovered it was 2 raptors lying on the road having a dust bath!
One flew away as we approached, but the other stayed put for a photo :cam:
I think it is a tawny eagle?
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This sighting made me wonder if that is where the word “spread-eagled” came from?? :lol:

A bit further on we came across a lovely African scene :D
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The giraffe were heading to the water tank for a drink 8)
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We passed a little herd of impala all resting in the shade :D
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Except for this inquisitive individual who provided our Impala Pic of the Day!!
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Next up we saw a little group of what I believe to be Swainson’s francolin?
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And then a lone ellie munching on some of the lovely green grass :thumbs_up:
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Just before camp we had a close encounter with some wildebeest grazing next to the road 8)
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:48 am 
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Then there they were, the Orpen gates! :dance: :dance: :dance:

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After watching the Orpen webcam for so many years, finally I was here!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
It was an incredible feeling and all I wanted to do was go and watch the waterhole :lol: :lol:

But first we had to check-in. This was smooth and friendly :thumbs_up:
When I met Dad back out at the car he motioned to something over on a tree.
Oh WOW, my first agama!!! 8) 8) 8)
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His camouflage was superb! :thumbs_up:
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We drove up to Bungalow #12 and I was thrilled to find that we had a view of my beloved waterhole :dance: :dance: :dance:
I quickly unpacked and made a bee-line for the fence.
For me this was a view that made me feel warm and fuzzy all over.
Fancy seeing the Orpen cam and waterhole for real!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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But no animals were drinking so Dad and I headed to the shop for “essential” supplies
(= Black Labels and potato chips) :lol:

After that we checked the sightings board.
Oh WOW, lions had been seen close to the camp :shock:
I wondered if my dream to hear lions roaring might be fulfilled this night? :pray:

Saw this little chap in the tree next to our bungalow :D
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Our accommodation was lovely :D
I really appreciated how they had left the big tree there and simply built around it :thumbs_up:
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As the light began to fade Dad and I sat on the verandah sipping our cold beers and grazing on chippies, cheese and some green beans we had leftover.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to see the floodlight come on for the nightshift :clap: :clap: :clap:
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What would we see?? :hmz:

Dad and I went and sat on the seat at the fence with our torches and camera and waited.
And waited and waited….after an hour Dad went back to the bungalow to get ready for bed.

I sat there in the dark on my own for another hour or so. Even though I knew that I was safe behind the fence, it was still rather exhilarating. Just a mesh fence between me and the animals of the night 8) 8)

I saw a lone kudu go past, but couldn’t get a photo. I also saw a pair of ears moving through the grass, but couldn’t identify the owner.

Finally I decided that I had better try and get some sleep :?
Tomorrow was our last full day in Kruger and I wanted to make the most of it :thumbs_up:

I could barely sleep that night :?
I kept getting up and looking out the window at the waterhole :whistle: :lol:
I also hoped for a glimpse of the Orpen honey badger prowling the camp under the cover of darkness.
At some wee hour of the night I finally fell asleep…. :sleep:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:45 am 
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Orpen and surrounds 8) 8) 8)

After peeking out at the waterhole all night, I can barely describe how tired I felt when I woke up :whistle: :lol:

BUT, this was our last full day in Kruger so we had to make the most of every minute we had left.
We were up and out the gates by 6.30am :thumbs_up:

I have heard people on the forums mention how Kruger can often save the best until last.
We still hadn't seen a honey badger, serval, python, cobra, mamba, cheetah, wild dogs or a lion kill.
I knew it was greedy to ask Kruger for all that in one day so I crossed my fingers for cheetah, wild dogs or lions on a kill :pray: :pray:

First up out the gate I was delighted to see some black-backed jackals warming themselves in the sun :thumbs_up:
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Followed shortly thereafter by a cute dwarf mongoose keeping an eye out for danger :D
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Then up ahead we saw some cars and dark shapes in the road :hmz:
I couldn't make out what they were but as we got closer a feeling of intense elation started coursing through my body. Could it possibly be???

OMW yes!!! WILD DOGS!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
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After nearly 2 weeks in Kruger, finally we set eyes on these incredible animals 8) 8) 8)
Forgive all the photos. As you can imagine I was clicking away like mad! :lol:
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At first they seemed quite relaxed…
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Until, after some imperceptible signal from the boss the atmosphere of the pack changed in an instant.
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Then all of a sudden they were running TOWARDS us!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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I didn't notice until I went through the photos that I caught some of the dogs in mid air!! 8)
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And just look at those teeth!! :shock:
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Just before our car they veered off the road and disappeared into the bush, leaving 2 Aussies sitting there like stunned mullets :lol:

Funnily enough, all traces of sleepiness had disappeared and I almost wept with the gratitude I felt to have experienced this amazing sight :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

What a wonderful start to the day!! :D :D :D :D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:21 am 
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Orpen and surrounds continued.... :D :D

Once Dad and I had regained our composure (and the ability to drive again) we continued on down the tar road.

Not far past our wild dog sighting we saw a lone hyena 8)
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Followed by a duiker that actually stayed still long enough for a photo!! :cam:
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Next up was a baboon roadblock :D
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The sleepy baby baboons clinging to their mums were very cute :D
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The stream of different animals just kept coming :clap: :clap: :clap:
And it was still only 7.30 in the morning!!

Vultures waiting to get warm in the sun 8)
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And then a slender mongoose! :dance: :dance:
We had seen one before but never managed to get a photo :thumbs_up:
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Next a shy steenbok hiding in the bush :D
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The kudu look so lovely in the morning light :thumbs_up:
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Then we had a guinea fowl roadblock
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Followed by a buff block :lol:
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This buff was enjoying brekky :D
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Dad and I still hadn't made it to Satara for our breakfast so this sight made us even hungrier :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:23 am 
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Orpen to Satara - nearly there!! :wink:

Even though Dad and I were starving we just had to stop at Nsemani Dam.
And WOW, there were so many different animals to see 8) 8) 8)

A woolly-necked stork and maribou were in attendance :thumbs_up:
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And way over the other side of the dam a herd of zebra were enjoying the water :D
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A lone impala ram wandered up for a drink :D
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Then I got some Egyptian geese in flight :cam:
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Next we spotted some hippos playing in the water :D
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We were about to leave when we saw movement over the other side of the dam.
Oh how lovely - a baby waterbuck with it's mum!! :dance:
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It was absolutely enchanting so we stayed quite a while, watching in delight :D :D
I got a video of mum and her little one :thumbs_up:



And on the final stretch to Satara I just managed to get a pic of this speedy little chameleon before he disappeared off the road :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:19 am 
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Satara and surrounds :D :D

Finally Dad and I arrived at Satara for our much-needed breakfast, just after 9.30am :thumbs_up:
Because it was our last day we had been trying to use up all our foodstuffs, which is why we had no padkos left.
So the bacon and egg toasted sandwiches we had were absolute heaven to our growling tummies!! :lol:

By 10.30am we were back in the car to see what else this amazing day had in store for us :popcorn:

Not far along the road we saw a handsome giraffe :D
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He obviously wasn’t as happy to see us as we were to see him, poking his tongue out as we drove by :lol:
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Next up we saw a 2 big bull ellies. One was walking alongside the road 8)
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The other ellie decided to hold up traffic :tongue:
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While we were waiting to move again Dad pointed over to what looked like some grey lumps in the distance :hmz:
Looking through the binoculars we discovered the lumps were actually about half a dozen rhinos 8) 8) 8)
What a day we were having!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

They were crowded under a tiny tree which didn’t seem to offer them much shade at all :?
Then we noticed some warties were close-by and we could just see a waterhole there.
Unfortunately they were a long way off so the pics aren’t brilliant.
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Eventually the big bull moved off the road and we could see that the 2 ellies were now heading in the direction of the waterhole.
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The rhinos must have sensed the ellies coming so in an instant they were up and on the alert 8)
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Dad and I stayed and watched for a while, but it seemed that neither the rhinos or ellies were going to budge!
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By this stage of the day it was also extremely hot.
Our Terios was baking in the sun so we continued on our way, to get some air flowing through the car :thumbs_up:

As we were driving a flock of queleas flew along next to us. Amazing how fast they fly and change direction so quickly.
The picture doesn’t really do them justice.
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Dad and I were enthralled by the queleas when suddenly up ahead we saw a Kruger jam :shock:

We thought it just had to be a big cat sighting!! :pray: :pray: :pray: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:10 am 
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A lion with his kill :shock: 8)

As Dad and I pulled up to join the line of cars we saw the lion straight away :dance: :dance: :dance:
A lone male was trying to defend his buffalo kill from seemingly every vulture in Africa!!
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Dad and I were so very excited 8) 8)
However, this was one of those sightings where you are happy and a bit sad at the same time :?

Even though he had a full tummy, this male looked to be in pretty poor condition :(
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He also had bleeding wounds on both his shoulders. From the buffalo horns maybe?
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In fact this sighting left me with a lot of questions :hmz:
I‘d done some research on lions and knew that males mature at around 2-3 years of age, when they start to get their mane.
This lion didn’t have much of a mane showing yet so I guess he was still quite young.
So how did he manage to bring down a buff on his own?
Dad and I scanned the area far and wide for any other members of the pride, but couldn’t see any other lions.

I was just as perplexed as to why he was still trying to defend the kill, when he had obviously had a good feed?
He stood panting in the searing heat staring down the vultures.
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Every now and again he headed towards the shade of a little tree.
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But then the vultures swamped the kill so he turned back to fight them off
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This happened time and time again and I just wished he would go and rest :doh:



This white-hooded vulture was the bravest of the lot, sneaking in to have a nibble while the lion's back was turned
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Dad and I stayed with him for about an hour :thumbs_up:
I could have stayed there all day, but nature was calling....

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:36 am 
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Back to Orpen camp :D

Dad and I left our lion with heavy hearts :(
I hoped for his wounds to heal and his health to improve so that he could mature into a strong fit king of the African bush :pray: :pray:

As Dad and I were both rather in need of a pitstop, we headed for the Timbavati Picnic site.
On the way we got our Impala Pic of the Day :D :D
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As we drove we came to a low water bridge.
I was amazed that even in the smallest amount of water there was generally always a croc lurking 8)
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This was our second steenbok for the day :thumbs_up:
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Followed by some more of the “general game” :D
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They may be “general game” to some, but as our time in Kruger was drawing to an end, I knew just how much I would miss seeing all the kudu, longlegs, zebbies, impies, wildies and warties when we had to leave… :(

For days I had been trying to get a roller in flight. Dad was so patient :whistle:
This was the best I could do on our last day :cam:
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And then our wildebeest friends formed a guard of honour on the last stretch of road before Orpen :D
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We arrived back at camp around 2pm and while Dad had a snooze I downloaded and recharged cameras and the computer.
I also tried to pack a little bit so we didn’t have so much to do in the morning and could spend a few more hours in Kruger before heading back to Joburg :?

But still, this day had many hours left in it :dance: :dance:
We were booked on a sunset drive departing at 4.30pm :mrgreen:

On the walk to reception to meet our guide we saw some dust-bathing wood hoopoes :thumbs_up:
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And a squirrel tucking into a very big nut! :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:00 am 
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Hi to all
Melphs Dad again. Firstly, my heartiest congratulations to Melph68 for her award for the best cammer. I am very proud of her but the main reason for my message is to let her and all of you know just how wonderful her trip report of Africa has been. Every episode superbly illustrated with pictures amd then the written words. It makes me feel that I am in Africa again. I am sure you would all agree that it is a great trip report to date. Melph and I are returning to Africa in 2015 to try and better the first trip. We will keep you all informed of the date for the trip and who knows, we could just run into some of you there. Let's hope - that would be great! Best Wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year. Once again, to my beautiful daughter - Congratulations and keep up the good work!
Melphs Dad


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:34 am 
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Award: Cammer of the Year (2012)
Orpen Sunset Drive 8) 8)

Dad and I were so excited about this evening's drive and eagerly greeted the 4 other guests and our guide at the safari truck :D

Our guide asked each of us in turn what we'd really like to see.
Dad and I said leopard :pray:
The German couple wanted to see hyenas and the American couple wanted a pride of lions :pray: :pray:

It was a beautiful afternoon and there were many animals out soaking up the last of the sun :thumbs_up:
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Soon the shadows were getting longer (that's us in the truck :thumbs_up: )
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as the sun disappeared....
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Our excitement was growing :shock: What would we see in the dark of the African night?

In the fading light we came upon a breeding herd of ellies, with a very little one! :D
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Next up a warthog family that were preparing to bunker down for the night 8)
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For a while after the warties it was very quiet. Then up ahead we saw headlights coming towards us.
It was a German couple running VERY late for gate-closing. It was around 7.30pm by this stage :rtm:
I heard the guide say something about having to pay a fine, and the German fellow said something like "It was worth it."

What was worth it?? What had they seen that made them so late for the gate?? :hmz:

Only a short while down that road and we saw the reason they were late.

Wild dogs!!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Again!! Our second sighting for the day!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

As you can imagine, it was difficult to take pics of the dogs in the dark, with people moving the spotlight here, there and everywhere.
Nevertheless I clicked away and was pleased that some of the 100-odd photos worked out OK :lol:

About half of the pack were lounging around on the side of the road and the other half were jostling and playing with each other on the tar 8) 8) 8)

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:D :D

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March 2012
Kruger, Karoo, Addo


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:40 am 
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Award: Cammer of the Year (2012)
I also got a little video clip of the pack :thumbs_up:
Because I was sitting right behind the guide, my camera microphone was able to pick up her interesting commentary.
You can also hear me moan when she said it was time to go…. :?


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March 2012
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