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 Post subject: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Satara sunset - How I wish I could remove that fence

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Once again we had the privilege to spend some time in the park in what has become one of our favorite destinations. A good friend of mine always say that we must remember that whatever we read on the internet is just one persons opinion. It may be well founded and thought out, but at the end of the day it is only one persons opinion. What we read will also be dependent upon the writers command of the language; as well as their ability to convey experiences accurately and their writing style. Keep that in mind when reading my attempt at describing some of the special moments and sharing some thoughts of that we have experienced.

I guess we all just try to share the magic of Kruger in our own way - Welcome aboard.

The Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill's Revenge

During the floods of 2012 we had to move camp from Maroela to Satara,
(see TR over here):-http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=59188

and that was when I first met Duncan (yes, I do recognize the same animal/bird from previous visits and yes I do tend to give them names). At the time I spend a few hours getting to know Duncan and we sorta started to tolerate one another. He had one habit that some humans already knew about. He likes to attack his own image in the reflection of a vehicles mirror and/or windscreen. Cute? maybe, but because I do not like photographs that include man-made objects in the same frame as an animal, I never thought about photographing him in action being that silly, ever, I promise.

Hornbill

Image

So what did I do in 2014? I got this shot of Duncan where it appears as if the "prawn" is jumping straight at him. You see, he got sick and tired of me chasing him away from my vehicle whenever I saw him fighting his imaginary rival and started what comes naturally - providing for his family. I really thought Duncan would be fine with such a stunning photograph of him at his best. One afternoon when we took a nap he took his chance and managed to somehow get a hold of the silicone strip of the wiper blade. He tore off the whole length and flew away proudly with his sixteen inch prize to show his lady friend. When we returned home I had the audacity to post his phodie all over the Internet, and somehow Duncan must have heard about it (probably on the Sightings Site) :wink: .

Wiperblade temporary fix

Image

Fast forward to 2014 - You guessed it, he did it again and cost me another set of wiper blades. Can you imagine driving all the way home in the rain with your head protruding out the side of the vehicle - you know - like you should not be doing in the park. This time he almost got away with it again, I found him out in the nick of time and managed to "fix" the wiper blade with believe it or not, a Band-Aid strip. For two weeks I diligently wrapped the wiper blades in plastic bags each and every time we arrived back at the campsite from a drive. Methinks Duncan finally met his match, but be careful out there, Duncan's cronies :wink: :wink: are already onto this TR.

Satara Sunset DSCN1903 - my wife's Coolpix phodie

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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:24 pm 
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be careful out there, Duncan's cronies :wink: :wink: are already onto this TR.

And so am I :D , Avon !

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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:52 pm 
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I like Duncan's style, so I watching this TR carefully :wink:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:10 am 
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Avon, With Duncan in attendance and that awesome sunset!!!! the scene is set for a magic trip. :thumbs_up:

:popcorn:

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Kruger May/June 2014
Mokala June 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:50 am 
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I had a good chuckle about the wiper blade. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

A lovely start and as ever, superb images. :thumbs_up:

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:16 am 
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Great start to your trip avon vosloo :clap: :clap: .

Love the interaction with Duncan :dance: :dance: .

Stunning sunset :clap: .

We were also in Kruger from 7-15 Jan 2014 :hmz: . Sad that we have missed to meet :roll: .

Waiting for more :popcorn: .

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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:18 am 
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Great start! (I name animals too!! The Orpen honey badger is Chester to our family :lol: )

Satara is so amazing, can't wait to hear about your adventures there.

:popcorn:

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Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:05 pm 
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If you want to remove that fence, I will help you out 8)

3 weeks in Satara! :popcorn:

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Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:51 pm 
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I am on board as well. Love the sunset photos :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:26 pm 
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Buffalo

What do I know about buffalo other than what I have read elsewhere. Well, I have seen how temperamental a really old guy can be - he made the so-called king of the beasts run away like a whimpering kitten with his tail between his legs. I have also listened to some campsite stories about people that ran into the wrath of an old bull, usually with very bad endings. I once met someone that somehow survived such an attack - he barely remembers what really happened, only the fact that he opened his eyes in hospital. So, stories about these old guys I usually take with a pinch of salt, well OK, unless I have known the person telling the story for quite some time.

So I went looking for such an old guy from the relative comfort and safety of my vehicle.

Image

As luck would have it, he had his mud-bath in a rain-pool where I could not get any photographic evidence. Slowly, he emerged from behind the trees into the tall grass - at this stage of his life there is nothing that hurries him. Then good fortune stumbled upon him, in the form of a herd of his own kind of around a hundred crossing the road about a hundred meters ahead of him. He stood and watched in silence as the young guns lead the way up front. The cows and calves slowly followed and still he stood there motionless.

Then a few young heifers came into view and I swear I could see a change in his stance and I almost felt the same longing that he must have had. Feelings about the good old days when we both were still in our prime when young females of our own kind walked by - (that's when I took his picture). The back markers and current caretakers of the herd came into view. He shook his head almost in disgust, turned the other way and stumbled along on his way - alone once more.

Then there is the Dagha Boys.

Image

Slow and almost methodical, always watching each others back. I have watched them for hours, know quite a few of their habits, where and when they like to take a rest to lie down and ruminate. I can honestly say that I do recognize some of them - watching them slowly wandering past the fence to one of their favourite sleeping grounds. They pick this particular spot with some regularity, but by the time you think you have figured it out, they disappear for days, only to return unexpectedly with sometimes another new member, or sometimes one member less. Then you start to theorize about what happened to that guy, only to see him together with his mates a few days later at an unexpected place miles away from their regular campsite.

Image


Slower than usual, but methodical and bush wise - not to be messed with. They love their mud baths after the rain, turning their heads either away from or towards the falling rain and then just trying to catch up on some sleep whilst lying in the shallow mud-pools. I have never experienced any aggression from them, even when I accidentally drove past where they where sleeping within a meter of one of them. He jumped up so quickly and noisily that at first I thought I must have driven over his tail. He then just stared at me in disgust. Or, as someone once said:- "They always look at you as if you owe them a lot of money"

The drinking herd

Nsemani dam, H7 towards Orpen, No Entry road on the left, a shortish side road also on the left that runs down to the outlet of the dam. We saw them coming down the No Entry road - the biggest herd in the park. We watched them make their way towards the H7 and I decided if I want to have any chance of getting a picture of them drinking at the dam I had better go through the herd. At that point in time they were all over the man made junctions and people in other vehicles must have watched in awe or disgust of my "stupidity" to slowly herd my way right through the middle to be able to pick a spot for this shot.

Image

As you can see, by the time I got there, most have had their fill and most have left already.

My experience with driving through a herd of buffalo started way back, when I at first sat there waiting patiently for them to cross the road. Then one day I had to get moving or risk gate closing time. Myself and people in another vehicle waited as long as we could before starting to make our way through. IMHO and hindsight we must have waited a wee bit too long, the last back marker (maybe on the verge of becoming a Dagha Boy) walked up to the other vehicle, gave it a good shove with his horn and then walked off slowly. To this day I either go through the middle of the herd or I wait till I'm sure all of them have crossed.

Well, that's my buffalo story and I'm sticking to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:40 pm 
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Hi avon vosloo

Great start to your TR :thumbs_up:

Only trouble with taking out that fence would mean Satara would become a wilderness camp and you wouldn't be able to walk around so leisurely :roll: :roll:

Please can we board :popcorn: :popcorn:

DD & PF

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---------------------------------------
SEPTEMBER 2014
4/5 - Berg-en-Dal
6 - Skukuza
7/8 - Tamboti
9/10/11 - Shimuwini
12/13/14- Shingwedzi
15-19 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:48 am 
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Stunning sightings accompanied by great narration :clap: :clap: .

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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:24 am 
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Excellent story telling Avon Vosloo! :clap: :clap:

Awesome sunset at Satara! Fortunately we never had a problem with Hornbills damaging wiper blades. They only checked out their own images in the reflection of our vehicle's mirror or windscreen as you have experienced. It must have been his revenge because you chased him away from the vehicle to take a picture? :lol: :lol:

Awesome picture of the Buffalo herd drinking water! I can tell you, I would not like to drive through a herd like that! Not even a small herd! I'll never mess with a Buffalo .... too scared! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:47 am 
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Like your buffalo stories :clap: :clap: :thumbs_up:

Never mess with the old bulls - I lost one of my best friends to one some years ago, :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks in Satara - January 2014
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:51 am 
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Avon, I am loving your narration. 8)

I have noticed when on walks that rangers are very cautious about buffalo. They can be curious, but there is always that factor of unpredictability. It is easier to deal with Lions. The lone, unseen dagga boy seems to be the nightmare.

I am enjoying your pictures, but I always do.

:popcorn:

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