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 Post subject: CoS So few years to give you wings to fly Aug 11
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cape Town
Kruger August 2011
“So few years to give you wings to fly, Show you the stars to guide your ship by”

It's a Cruel Crazy Beautiful World - J. Clegg

“When I feel your small body close to mine
I feel weak and strong at the same time
So few years to give you wings to fly
Show you the stars to guide your ship by”

The words above make so much sense when you have children. Nothing can prepare you for it. And part of “giving them wings to fly” is bringing them nearer to nature and all that we as South African love. What better place than the Kruger Park? My husband had been traveling so much for work and as a family we needed some time to reconnect and relax. For us there is no better place to do this than in our beautiful Kruger park. So in a last minute dash we decided to head to Kruger for a week in Kruger. Getting into some of the camps that we have never been before proved to be the best part of our trip. Spending a glorious 10 days alone with our girls was in one word inspiring. We might have seen better animals on previous trips but this is a trip I will never forget...

It started on the 5th of August when we flew up to JNB after school and work. Landing at Lanseria we hired a car and headed to Middleburg for the night. The next morning we were up early to hit Nelspruit and the shops before lunch time. After buying(what seemed like a life time supply) of food we hit the road to Kruger. The smell of the bush hit our nostrils at Malelane gate and we were finally here.

Of course the first animal we see as we enter is a a lovely little impala having a nibble to eat.
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Num Num!

Driving up the H3 produced a few interesting sights. A first for me was seeing a giraffe nibbling on a bone!
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A beautiful Ellie
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Rhinos were also watching us
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And these little guys were enjoying a feast!
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We arrived at Biyamiti Camp just in time and unpacked while the girls played under the trees. Trees for a 5 year old and 7 year old are the best toys! I love this camp and was pretty devastated that we could only be here for 1 night but that is better than none. The girls helped Ray braai and we enjoyed our first meal under the stars.

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: “So few years to give you wings to fly"...
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:39 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
7 August
The early morning pack up gets us all excited for what lies ahead. As we leave camp we spot a Grey duiker. I am not sure how often they are seen but for me this is a first
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We see it’s bigger cousin!
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and the biggest mammal of them all!
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As we head on to the main roads it starts to get so busy.
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A favourite spot for us is always the H12 bridge section. Somehow you always see a Kingfishers here.
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Tragically Nkulu seemed like Adderly street in peak hour :slap: , just to much for us. It is a long weekend and our favourite spots are completely overrun with 2 legged animals :hmz: . With a sheer feet of magical driving Ray manages to get through the traffic to get a brief sighting of a leopard! :cam:
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Thankful that we are heading north tomorrow we decide to chill out at camp and check in early. Perimeter at Lower Sabie is always rewarding. We sit and relax while girls play around us. Within minutes they are running around with 5 newly made friends having a great time. My Monkey’s in a tree!
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At about 16h00 we decide to go for a sunset drive to Sunset Dam :) But first we head up the H10 for a bit. My youngest loved this little guy. She just wanted to take him home! :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
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But she agreed that it was best to leave the lioness out of the car!!! :pray:

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One of the best sunset shots you can take is looking back over the river towards Lower Sabie as the sun dips below the river. It is the true Africa.
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As we are watching over the sunset dam we spot a bird using a hippo as a “surf board” ! Cool Dude!
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We only had a few minutes till the gate closed but I had to fire off one of my favourite pictures of our trip. Instead of “Deer in the Headlights” it was” Elephants in the Headlights” :lol:
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Lower Sabie at night is the one of the best camps to hear all the sounds of the bush. The girls were running around well after dark with their little headlights showing me where they were. Our fire was crackling, and my mouth was watering with the prospect of ribs on the fire....
What more could you ask for? Oh yes the nightly visit of the hyena. The kids couldn't wait to see her before we tucked them into bed and enjoyed a glass of wine while the fire died down. Can life get any better? :thumbs_up:

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: “So few years to give you wings to fly"...
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:13 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
8 August
What a way to wake up. Hippos making a racket and a beautiful sunrise. Coffee and Ouma Rusks packed we head up to Mlondozi.
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On the H10 we spot this Juvenile Bataleur.

Near Mlondozi we see the symbol of Sanparks
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Coffee and risks at Mlondozi is beautiful as ever and after our little top up we head for a pretty (if uneventful) drive to Nkumbe. The sheer vastness takes your breath away!
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At Orpen Dam we could sit and listen to Fish Eagles while we stared down at the Hippos and Crocodiles!
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I tried to get the magnitude of this view with a panorama shot but it seems so small to the real thing. :cam:

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Still heading up towards Olifants near Trichart we see a Leopard under a tree. He is very far away but I managed a bit of a blurry shot :naughty:
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Some Secretary Birds running along the road.
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and three little Pumba’s in a row! :lol:
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Too Cute for words.

I have yet to cross the Olifants River and not see Olifant!! :hmz:
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After a quick check we grab a few drinks (non-alcoholic as per the new rules :) :twisted: ) and head to the Olifants lookout for a sundowner. As we were enjoying a drink and the kids an ice-cream Mr Leo the Lop (our code for leopard) came down for a drink. Although it was far away we could hear him lapping up the water from where we were! :big_eyes:

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Kruger Park 2011-08-08 by Nicole Meiring, on Flickr

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Ice cream time!
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_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


Last edited by Cape of Storms on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: “So few years to give you wings to fly"...
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
9 August
When you sleep at Olifants one of the best “treats” you can give yourself is to wake up and watch the sunrise. This morning it looked like a flowing river of gold. Yip this is Kruger, Gold.
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_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: “So few years to give you wings to fly"...
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
We head out towards Timbavati Picnic spot. Our first interesting sight are two knecking giraffe.
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Sharing the waterhole with them were a few buck and the ever interesting baboons grooming each other and then moving off for a buck :)

View My Video

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_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: “So few years to give you wings to fly"...
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:59 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Further down the Timbavati Road we saw the “back-end” of a Zebra from an unusual angle! The girls loved this one!
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Time for a nibble Kruger Park Timbavati Road from a Klipspringer - what a cutie. And we think we are great in a pair of stilettos! Check the skill on this baby!! :shock:
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And then in the distance just before the lookout we spot MR LEO!! When he flopped down you couldn’t see him at all so we were pretty lucky to get a few minutes of “up time”!
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Croc Near Ratelpan Hide
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Say ah!
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and a hippo too!
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After battling the bees at Timbavati picnic sight (kids ended up having their breakfast in the car!) we head upwards and spot a beautiful eagle on the S133
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Then near Letaba we manage to see 2 eagles in flight with a snake!

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We are on our way to Shimuwini for the very first time and we are pretty excited to see what this camp is all about. The roads are interesting and the area looks promising.
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WOW how stunning is Shimuwini?!!!This is the view from our bungalow!

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Shimuwini Rest Camp, Kruger National Park by Nicole Meiring, on Flickr

What a stunning little camp. Your are right on the water with a tiny fence and lots of grass. Peacefulness personified!

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_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: The Little Gems that make Kruger Special
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
The Little Gems that make Kruger Special

Exploring the North - First Timers August 2011

Reading some fellow For-mites TR this past week I have been encouraged to complete the report I started last year but sadly never finished. Now with my heart aching for Kruger I feel the need to complete the report and relive the adventure!

My Husband and I decided to surprise our two girls with a visit to Kruger for the long weekend week in August. I ended my last post with our arrival at Shimuwini Camp. We had never been higher than Letaba before and wanted to explore Kruger a bit more. We were not disappointed with the beauty or scenery beyond our wildest dreams!

So let me begin with the first Gem that is Shimuwini!

When we arrive at the camp we realize how special it is. The staff are so helpful and amazing. The kids get told about “Shine” the delightful little duiker that wanders around camp. That night the headlamps were on in the hunt for Shine! Just sitting out on our stoep watching the girls playing with Ellies in the background reminds me why Kruger can never be beaten.

This is a rare picture of me (since I am usually taking them!) and my girls at Shimuwini.
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The next morning we head out for an early morning drive along the river. Not sure what bird this is but we were quite fascinated by it.

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While having our Ouma rusks and coffee under a Baobab a little squirrel kept us company.
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Not the greatest picture but there was a very vocal Fish Eagle on the river bank. And for all of us Bush lovers there is nothing like the call of a Fish Eagle to remind you that you are in paradise.

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One of our tall friends gracefully walked by near our car on our meander along the river.
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We decided to take a pretty short drive and come back for lunch and a swim with the kids. Yes a swim in AUGUST!! the things you do for your kids. But it is a very cute pool area and I highly recommend it to anyone venturing up North.

A lovely long siesta to remind us we are here on holiday to recharge our batteries before a sundowner drive. (Strictly juice and GINGER beer!)Same Spot - same Eagle!

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Arriving back at camp we start the fire and enjoy an incredible sunset.
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That evening after our dinner we initiate the girls in to the tradition of marsh mellow roasting.
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They loved it! And yes we spotted little Shine!!

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Gems that make Kruger Special
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:55 pm 
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11 August - The small Trek to Shingwedzi and back

The decision is made that since we are so far North we might was well take the drive up to Shingwedzi to check it out. Plus I have read some great trip reports about Ellies being bigger and tougher on the roads around Shingwedzi. :shock: :shock:

Into the car we go and head on up. Our first sighting is a small croc pearing up at us from a river under the road.

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We spot al herd of Buffalo on our way particularly at Grysbok Waterhole.
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Watching them always makes me think of a tight family unit where the young are protected by the old. Their unity keeps them safe. If you stick with the herd you stand a better chance than wandering off on your own. A bit like children in the family unit too.....

Tropic of Capricorn - Kids found it very interesting because in 2009 we passed the Tropic of Capricorn in Namibia too!
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_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Cape of Storms So few years to give you wings to fly Aug
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:59 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Report Continued at

The Little Gems that make Kruger Special

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: The Little Gems that make Kruger Special
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:26 pm 
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Closer to Shingwedzi we spot an Ellie drinking, and by the size of the tusks I think the rumors are true!

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After arriving at camp the kids were craving some chips and toasted sarmies so we head to the restaurant for a bite to eat. The setting is very beautiful and we admire the dense vegetation in and around camp. It has a real "old feel" to it.

Look Mom my sarmie is on a stick!
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We still need to get back down to Mopani so after a short pitstop we are back on the road. The planned route is the road to Kanniedood (S50) and we are ready to find some Ellies!

The drive is so beautiful I don't even know how to explain how stunning it is. We stop at the hide and watch a Saddle-bill Stork chase a fish in the river!
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I thought the reflection was pretty cool in this one.
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So much bird life in this area it is just beautiful.
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Pied Kingfisher

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: The Little Gems that make Kruger Special
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:28 am 
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Ok the journey down the S50 continues....


It was quite an adventure for the girls to get into the hide and they really loved “being in the wild” as my youngest called it. :big_eyes:
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Back in the car and heading down a little loop we have a little heart fluttering Ellie moment! Everything was cute and cuddly to begin with. :gflower:
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I even got a lovely photo of bambino taking a drink but then another female in the herd didn’t like us being with them in this cul de sac.
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So now we have Ellies in front of us....

And the rest of the herd behind who are also starting to get agitated. The reason why the S50 is famous seems to be the fact that you can get stuck in a loop with an Ellie with no way out (wish I knew this before :doh: ) I can see in Ray’s face that he feels we are in a bit of a precarious position :big_eyes: but we can’t let the girls know because screaming and crying cannot add to this mix. So we decided to just stop moving and be very quiet. It was eery. We could hear some of the herd munching, they were so close. But this one female really didn’t like us. When her ears started flapping ..... I started paaping!!! :pray: :pray: :pray: Fortunately as that moment the ellies blocking our exit moved and we took the gap with a steady retreat!!!

Man it was the only time I missed my dop in the car :lol:

The troop of Baboons calmed the nerves with their antics down the next little loop. (which we made sure was Ellie free. Dead-ends and Ellies are not a great combo! :slap:

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_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: The Little Gems that make Kruger Special
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:12 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cape Town
Thanks for all the encouragement and complements! I think I am enjoying writing this report more because it is 6 months later and it brings back so many memories.

OK after our little Ellie meander we take the S106 down from Kanniedood and head to Mopani. What a diverse and interesting road.

We came across a carcass with loads of birds of prey.

Lappet-faced Vulture.
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Grootvlei didn’t look much like a “vlei” to us but in summer it is probably very green and lush.
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The road does a big loop with a windmill and drinking dam in the distance. We sat there for a long time just admiring this different side of Kruger. I am not very good at panaramics but I hope this gives you an idea.This is called the Nshawu River Road.

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I see why the Ellies are so big here - so they can reach the water ;)
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After drinking these big boys passed near us. Very relaxed and chilled - not like our previous encounter.... The two sides to the gentle giant!

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As you can see they were pretty close so I tried a few different kind of photos of their faces.

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


Last edited by Cape of Storms on Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Gems that make Kruger Special
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:17 am 
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We visited Grootvlei dam during Feb 2012 and ellies were simming in the dam :sup: . This is what we saw:

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Just shows you how differnt Kruger can be. Great ellie pic's :clap: .

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Gems that make Kruger Special
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:40 am 
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Location: Cape Town
I am blown away!! WOW!!! :lol:

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: The Little Gems that make Kruger Special
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:40 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
Thanks for all the complements! It means so much.

We arrive at Mopani camp for check in. I have stayed here once years ago but not in a unit with a river view. Well guys let me tell you it literally takes your breath away. No one tells you how special this place is. In fact it is a completely underrated camp. SUNSET SUNSET SUNSET. This is all I can say. Imagine the sun going down over water accompanied by all the little sounds of the bush and then add a fire to the mix = HEAVEN!! I love this place.
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Coming out over the dam is some kind of built structure. I think it is a pump of sort but you can sit on it and see the most awesome sunset. Ok this mom was VERY nervous with the kids because there is no railing so they had to stick close to me all the time. Here they are getting up to antics while I try and take a picture of them!

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The Fire was a great source of fun as we allowed a bit of supervised fire patterns for the girls.

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The braai is bellow your unit. The unit is built to optimize the view so on stilts and all around you are trees with the river below. Although there isn’t really space for the kids to play like at Lower Sabie, the do find ways to explore their “wild side”. OK and so do the parents!
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We are also treated to a visit from a Small spottet Gennet.
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I hope you can see this short little video too!

View My Video[Small Spotted Genet]

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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