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 Post subject: Elsa - Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:33 am 
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Thought I had better make a start on our trip report as our departure time is fast approaching! 8)

This is the first of our bi-annual trips to our beloved Kruger and will be slightly different this year in that due to various circumstances no family members will be accompanying us.
but instead we will be meeting up with dear friends and forumites Crested Val & Dungie and spending time with them.

So tomorrow morning bright and early we will be heading on out of here and heading north.
First stop Croc Bridge for the night
then off on a very long drive up through the park to Phalaborwa gate and meeting up with Val where we will be spending 3 nights.
Sunday night will find us all at Mopani in a lovely perimeter cottage overlooking the dam.
Plus we have to find them some of our lovely Cheetahs that we have seen so often in the area! 8)

Then we say good bye to them for a little while as Klystron and I head to Olifants for 2 nights in another perimeter bungalow and the on to Satara for the next 2 nights, before heading to our time share just outside Kruger Gate for 7 nights from where we will be making daily trips into the park.
Val and Dungie will also be joining us there for some of the time so lots of good quality time to catch up on the news and explore the park together.

That in a nutshell is the trip and I will do up to the minute reports where and when I can. :thumbs_up:

I do hope you will all be able to join us as take in the magic and wonders and also hopefully see some other yellow ribbons along the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:00 pm 
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Hi everyone from Croc Bridge, its wonderful to be back again, all settled into our bungalow, just getting ready to go and sit at the dam till gate closing. Thanks so much for all the good wishes, have made plenty of space for all on board and the adventure is just about to begin!

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:26 am 
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A quick little update on the adventures so far. Plenty of room on board, so hop on Sheenagh-lee! As Val had her cleaning lady in yesterday we only went into the park in the afternoon. We decided to go and have a look at what Sable dam looked like first up and WOW plenty of water, in fact the most I have ever seen. other than a tree full of Bee-eaters all was quiet. Carried on around the loop and did the low maintenance road which Val enjoyed as she had never been able to do those in their little Atos. Carried to see if Dessie was in his spot but sadly no sign of him! We then did the S132 and 131. found a lovely big tusker and several other ellies plus some Sand Grouse which was a new tick for Val. and as we had a little time left did another of the low maintence tracks. Then it was full steam for the gate with minutes to spare. Sundowners and a delicious chicken curry supper followed.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:02 pm 
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Hi there everyone, so glad to have you all on board with us.
After a lovely night at Mopani with Val and Dungie.
We drove the tropic of Capricorn loop yesterday late afternoon and did find a lovely Tsessebe and a few other odds and ends but the Cheetah seemed to allude us unfortunately this far! Suddenly as we arrived at the waterhole we saw that time had caught up with us and we had to leave back for camp immediately in order not to be late.
Drove down to Letaba today where we had a nice lunch and a meet with EJ.
Then it was time to say good bye to Val and Dungie for a little while till we meet them again for the next stage of our trip.
Now we are at OLifants camp for the next 2 night's.
Hopefully the sightings will pick up a bit in the next few days.
We are continually amazed at the changed rivers and damaged roads and bridges, but Sanparks are doing a incredible job of repairing and patching them up so we are not too inconvenienced.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Hi Wendy, very sad that you were not able to join us bit glad you will still get that quick trip in and a meet with Val and Dungie.
OLIFANTS was great in terms of the stunning views but again sightings were to put it mildly "scarce" but there was generally enough to keep us happy and we had some nice ones down the S39 as far as Timbavati picnic site.
I am not going to go into too much detail or post pics until I do my report proper.
Dprove the S90 down to Satara yesterday and we had a few good sightings but nothing spectacular.
Grass was extremely long.
Was allocated bungalow 174 here in Satara, not as close to the fence as I would have liked but as I hadn't done a request can't complain.
Did see a large herd of Wildebeest galloping past the fence last night and heard Lions roaring albeit quite a distance away.
The bird life in camp is quite amazing and we have enjoyed watching them and hearing their constant chattering since we returned from our early drive this morning.
Did the famous S100 and got to see our first in a week Lion sighting!! And even that was only a brief look before he collapsed down into the long grass.
We will be going out again in a little while to see what else we can find.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Sounds wonderful Wendy and hopefully by April things will have dried out somewhat.
It was very hot here today and when we left for our drive at 4pm it was very 34C and had only dropped to 32 by 5.30!
As the S 12 is still closed we could only drive as far as Girivana and had to retrace our steps.
Then drove as far as the detour on the H7 and on the way back had to stop and wait for a huge herd of Buffalo to cross, must have been 300 plus.
A bit further on had a fantastic sighting of a Martial Eagle down in the grass with a kill, think it could have been a large Lizard of sorts.
Back at camp while eating supper we were visited by an African wild cat and her kitten, a first for us so a big thrill.
Tomorrow we move on south to our time share at Kruger Gate.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:49 pm 
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And what a handsome Martial he is too! but then I'm biased! :wink:

Ok think this bus has stood still for so long now, it has cobwebs on the seats and windows, so lets dust them off, get loaded and get this trip on the road!

Thanks so much to everyone who has commented thus far, I do appreciate the support and hope you all enjoy our Feb trip of Fun and friendship in our beloved Kruger.
I think all those following Val's report will have a good idea of what we saw when with them so some of that part might be a little de-ja vu but often 2 pics and interpretations can be very different from different angles, so lets see!

Feb 6th Wednesday - Day 1

After the long drive all the way up from Ballito and after stopping off in Komatipoort for something for supper we finally arrived at the Croc Bridge gates at 3pm, truly a wonderful sight for sore yes and tired travellers!
but as we drive through the tiredness seems to vanish and we are checked in quickly and efficiently and given Bungalow # 4 which had been nicely refurbished and even had a little microwave. :D
The view over the river was soothing with the water flowing strongly over the weir and also gave us our first inkling of what had transpired a few weeks before in the form of the floods that ravaged the park.

We poured ourselves something cool to drink and sat on one of the benches next to the fence and just drank it all in as we felt the tranquility soaking through ones body.
The camp was very quiet as is normal in February and only a handful of bungalows seemed to be occupied.

By 4.30 we decided we couldn't possibly not go for a little drive into the park so set off just a little way up the H4-2 and parked off at the Gazantfombi Dam a very full one I might add and even overflowing down into the little stream below the wall.

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Plenty of Hippos down at one end making their presence felt by plenty of grunting and blowing off of steam.

On the way back we spied this Lappet-faced Vulture sitting atop a tree.

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Plenty of beautiful flowers abounded as well as is the case in Summer.

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Arrived back just before the gates slammed shut at 6.30pm promptly and settled down for our first night in the park.

Klystron made his first fire of the trip and it was a simple supper of boerie rolls which tasted so good.

Martial & Tawny gave us a bottle of Amarula in a lantern tin as a gift last year, so we decided to make good use of it this trip.

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and a not very good pic of it as a light with a little candle inside (without the flash.)
but I can assure you its most beautiful. :D

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Then it was off to bed as we had a long drive the next day all the way up through the park to Phalaborwa gate for our stay with Val and Dungie. :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:55 pm 
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Right here we go again!

2nd Day - Thursday - Feb 7th

which also happened to be my birthday and how special it was to wake up in the park! :dance:

Up early and after a quick brekkie, packed up the car and hit the road northwards.

As we had a long drive ahead to Phalaborwa gate, 260 kms to be precise, we knew it would have to be a case of driving with minimal stops unless it was for something really exciting...
so off we went,
we decided we would keep the speed around 30kph for down south and then once we passed Tshokwane and into more open grasslands, pick it up to 40.

I must also add here that I have decided I am not a good note taker, in fact I am a terrible note taker and apart from the first afternoon's pitiful attempt gave it up as a bad job! :slap:
Jock on the other hand is a incredible note taker so she would be shaking her head right now! :whistle:

Anyway, I will try and remember where we saw what and the circumstances around it but otherwise just wing it! :tongue:

Our route to get to our destination was pretty straight forward due to the time constraints, so it was
H4-2- H10, H1-2, H1-3, H1-4, H1-5, & the H9

Somewhere along the route we cam across a Kori Bustard who at first appeared calm and relaxed.

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until something startled him!

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A quick pit stop in Lower Sabie and I was not even allowed a little detour to have a look at Sunset Dam! :evil:

Over the Lower Sabie causeway where the river was flowing extremely fast and very full.

Driving past Tshokwane which at that stage was still closed but those who wanted to do their own thing could and there was a few doing so.

We came across a few zebs and couldn't resist stopping for a quick pic.

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and her foal

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A stop off at Satara for a bite to eat and a stretch of the legs.

Just outside the reception area sitting on a pole was this lovely Crested Barbet

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After that I promise you we hardly saw a thing, had an ellie tootle at us on the H9, but that was the most excitement of the day. :doh:
so we actually arrived at the gate quite a bit earlier than we anticipated and made our way to Val and Dungie's house where they were waiting with open arms and smiling faces.
How nice to see our dear friends again.
Val had even organised a birthday cake as well. how nice is that? 8)

Then as you can imagine, lots of catching up to do, so over a few clinks, and a lekker braai we did just that before falling into bed that night.

The next day we decided to take a drive into the park for a few hours.

First up was a trip to Sable Dam which as can be imagined was full to the very brim, but nothing much moving other than a tree with various Bee-eaters in a tree far off, which required a long lens.

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Then as Val and Dungie had never been on one of the Low maintenance roads we decided on the one leading off from right next to the dam, nice scenery, but lots of washaways testament to the heavy rains.
Back onto the H9 and onwards to see if Val's Dessie was there but nope, he was not home!

Along the S96 and onto the S131 where we came across our "tusker" Ngonyama. Is that right Val?

He was so peaceful and allowed us to park off right next to him while he grazed and browsed and we snapped away.

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A not very good pic of the ever present European Bee-eater

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Just around the Shivulani area we decided to drive down our second low maintenance road of the day, a short 7 km one linking up with the H9.

As I recall we saw a big herd of Buffalo and a few other odds and ends.

Back home to Val's and another evening filled with lots of laughter and camaraderie, plus a wonderful dinner of Chicken curry! :thumbs_up:

9th Feb - Saturday

Back in the Phalaborwa gate and along the H9 towards Letaba,
but where have all the animals gone? :hmz:
Val reported a distinct drop in numbers seen since the floods! :?

We had a quick look at the Letaba bridge that had been closed a short while before, (pics to follow a bit later in the report.)
Then decided to drive the S47 Letaba River Loop but again hardly anything moved!

I did find this bird which I am still not 100% sure what it is, having a guess at possibly Steppe Buzzard but I will get some confirmation and confirm.
Edit* Steppe Buzzard confirmed! :thumbs_up:

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and also one I do know!
A far off Dark Chanting Goshawk

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We focus on this Brown Snake Eagle and it immediately flies off but Klystron keeps shooting and gets a few action shots!

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The Mingerhout Dam looking fully than I remember it before.

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After an unplanned visit to Letaba camp to get the nearly empty car filled we were once again back on the H9 heading for the gate.

To make up for the lack of animals we even had to resort to taking pics of the beautiful clouds formations.

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And then the gate loomed large and we headed on back home for a lovely meal of Val's Lasagna and the usual Clinks!

Don't go too far, tomorrow we are off to Mopani!

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:20 pm 
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Right, were were we at the last bus stop!

Sunday - Feb. 10th
About to depart Phalaborwa with Val & Dungie en route for Mopani Camp for 1 night.
This was a last minute decision that I only booked a few weeks before so excitement all round.

Klystron and I were up quite early as we had to go and do some grocery shopping for our next 5 nights in the park, so we left Val & Dungie to get packed and ready and shot off to the shops.
Back in double quick time, re-sort the car and pack everything in, Val & Dungie are ready and waiting and rearing to get going!

but before we left I just had to get a pic of the young Baobab in Val's garden. :D

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Then it was off in convoy and a wave goodbye to Phalaborwa for us, (but little did we know at that stage!!) :tongue:

Quickly in through the gate and off along the H9

We hadn't gone very far when I spied this magnificent Tawny Eagle posing in the tree quite close to the road.

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Then up the H14
where we find this bird, not a great pic as it was quite far off.
not sure what it could be but guessing possibly a juv Dark Chanting Goshawk.

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Next up was this muddy looking ellie

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and as we reach the Letaba causeway we are again reminded of the force of mother nature and what had occurred here recently.

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Arriving at Mopani Camp we are checked into # 43 which I had requested and also which we had stayed in last year on our trip with DebM

The view from the veranda!

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By now it was scorching hot and after a light lunch and a little rest to cool off a bit we decided to go for a drive on the famous S143 Capricorn Loop a loop we just love to do time and again whenever we are in the area.
plus I had been more or less tasked with finding Val her Cheetah which we had seen religiously the last 2 years.
Talk about pressure! :whistle:

So altho it was hard to drag ourselves away from the stunning view, it was back into the car, eyes peeled and off we went with hope in our hearts!

The Carmine Bee-eaters were out in full force and how can one resist them.

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and even a web full of Golden Orb spiders

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Suddenly I saw something on the left, the sun was in a ridiculous place but Yes, there it was, not the Cheetah but also something on Val's wish list!

Tsessebe through the heat haze, not a very good pic I'm afraid! but just proof we did see one!

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as we took the pic it sank down in the grass and all we could see was the tips of its horns and a flick of an ear!
so that one was all we got.

a few ellies later

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and with a long way still to go, we checked our watches and realised we had been creeping along so slowly and scanning so intently, time had sneaked up on us and we barely had time to make camp before gate closing.
we felt we had things under control but by this time Val was panicking and thought we would be in for a :rtm: at the camp gate! 8)

Anyway, we picked up the pace a bit and made it back with a few minutes to spare!
Ironically as we turned up the tar road leading to the camp, we saw a car stopped just passed the turn off and as I glanced back I saw something cross the road in front of the car and it looked a LOT like a Cheetah to me. :wall:
We stopped and debated whether to turn back and go have a look but whatever it was, had gone off into the grass and by the length of the grass I doubted whether we would have found it.
How frustrating is that! :slap:
but not meant to be.

So it was back to camp, a clink on the veranda, admiring the view and watching the sun going down.
Doesn't get much better than that.

Then it was braai time.

Later as we sat out watching the fireflies flitting in an out of the trees in front of us and the sky an absolute myriad of stars, we heard the distant roaring of Lions. 8)

Oh my goodness, now I just want to go back! :(

The next morning after sitting out on the veranda again sipping our coffee and when we could no longer delay it, packing up time had arrived, why had the time flown passed so fast! :doh:

Klystron and I were going onto Olifants Camp for the next 2 nights and Val & Dungie were to accompany us to Letaba where we would have lunch together before parting ways for the next few nights.

So just on 10 am we left Mopani camp and headed on down the H1-6 towards Letaba.

Again sightings were very quiet and before we knew it we had arrived at the Letaba High level bridge.
which had been closed a short few weeks before.

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Then it was on into camp and at the restaurant we had a nice lunch and a nice meet up and chat with EJ who was on a course there at that time. :D

View from in front of the restaurant.

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Then hugs all round and we each went our separate ways till we would meet up again in exactly a week!

More soon!

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Lets get the bus on the road again.

Letaba - to Olifants - S44 - S93 - 11th Feb

After saying our Good byes to Val and Dungie and parting ways for a week until we met up again at the time share, we decided to take the gravel roads down to Olifants camps seeing as we had done the tar roads on the way up.

We always like to do the little river loops leading down to the south side of the river and as we meandered along it was staggering to think and see that a few weeks before, this we have been metres under water but also amazing to see how they had managed to get the roads and even little loops opened and drivable in such a relatively short space of time.

just one example was this pic of a yellow jerry can that had been washed down and lodged in among the debris in the trees.

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Sightings wise it was pretty quite all the way along but we did see some Kudu which we hadn't really seen many of up to now and also these Giraffe looking a bit like crossed swords.

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One road I wanted to take but which was still closed was the S44, which is always so scenic but not today!

Arriving at Olifants Camp full of anticipation as I had managed to book a perimeter view bungalow, something I have been wanting to do for ages.
I hadn't put in a request for any particular #, thought I would just see which one we were allocated and figured they should all be pretty spectacular in any case.

While Klystron was busy checking in at reception, I spied this tree right in front full of flower.
Think its the Lowveld Clusterleaf.

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Once checked in we drove to our allocated bungalow # 13, hopefully it was a lucky number for us!
Its a nice one to get as you park virtually right outside the unit, no steps up or down or anything like that.

and this was the view!

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I have put more pics of the actual bungalow Here
so will not post them again.

After unpacking we just sat and relaxed, looked and enjoyed the view.

As the sun was going down.

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12th Feb.

After a good sleep we were up early and had our coffee sitting out on the veranda gazing at the river as it wound its way below.

For today's drive we decided to do the S91, S89, S39, S147, then back up the tar road to Olifants.

It was actually quite overcast, much cooler and shortly after leaving camps actually started drizzling lightly.

Even the Vultures were reluctant or unable to take to the skies so each trees in the area had a good few.

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White-backed Vulture

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Streeeetching the wing! :wink:

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Had a road block in the form of a little family of Warthogs

They seemed quite relaxed to walk towards us but once alongside shot past and then strolled off again.

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The weir across the Olifants river.

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with part of it missing!

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Where the power lines cross the river.

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you can also see how the far bank is quite washed away.

We did have a look at the Balule causeway, still a lot of repair work needed to complete it. :(

A look at the Olifants river still flowing strongly from the high level bridge.

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Sorry, I seem to have a "thing" for these yellow flowers but they were everywhere and looking so beautiful at this time of year.

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Some Juv Carmine Bee-eaters I thought quite unusual to see the blue band across the chest.

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A not great pic of a European Roller :roll:

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We meandered slowly down the Timbavati Road, seeing general game and several herds of Ellies.

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These ellies had been having a wonderful swim but as we arrived the call was to leave the water.

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A little Bush Buck pair.

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Three-banded Plover

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After a lovely half hour spent in the Ratel Pan Hide where Red Bishops buzzed busily about and a Thick Billed Weaver was building its nest we carried on down and stopped at a completely deserted
Timbavati Picnic Site first time I have seen it so.

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As we had already had something to drink at the hide we just stopped briefly to use the loo.

The attendant came out hoping for some customers and said it had been very quiet the past few days.

If I remember correctly this pic is of Ngotso south and just shows how much water was in it.

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And then it was back to Olifants and our lovely view.

Enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:06 pm 
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Thanks so much for all the kind comments Barry, Pumbaa, Val, Hilda, Pikkie, Sheenaugh-lee, I do appreciate them all.

Today we leave Olifants and head on down to Satara for the next 2 nights.

As we had plenty of time, we decided to travel down on the S90 which is a road we very seldom use and in fact can't remember when last we were on it.

but the grass was extremely high and thick, even higher than our car in places so it was no wonder that we didn't have too many good sightings, but it was nice to meander slowly down the road and it was in good condition, guess because of not having much traffic!

Seeing as we reached the junction with the S41 very early we decided to do that road as well.

Thankfully here we at least started seeing some form of life! 8)

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We decided to have a drinks break at Gudzani Dam which as were all the other dams etc full to the brink.

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Lots of Hippos in evidence and making their presence known by the splashing and grunting.

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Refreshed we carried on down the S41 and at one of the little stream crossing found a couple of
Grey Herons hoping to catch some lunch.

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Trying to hide!

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Another large herd of Waterbuck on the move!

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At another of the little river crossings a pair of Water Thick-knees

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Just before the junction with the H6 we found a pair of Tawny Eagles in this tree.

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Finally arrived at Satara and was checked into Bungalow # 174 which is a perimeter one but not that close to the fence.
I hadn't done a request, again just left it up to fate, so could not complain! :wink:
Nice enough position but I think I would have preferred to have been closer to the fence so will definitely put in a request in future for one of the others.

After unpacking and defending our groceries from the monkeys who were very much in evidence and watching us closely for any opportunity. :naughty:

we decided to relax on the veranda and watch the birds flitting about in front.

Anyway, I think that is all for today, more on tomorrow's sightings. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Ok, where were we when the "bus" hit a serious speed bump in the forum of 2 very energetic but the sweetest little guests who came and spent a week with us and kept us well occupied!! :D
but now I think its high time we got going again.

Satara Feb 14th

Today we decided to get going early and see what we could find, so it was up and out soon after gate opening.

This was the cloudy sunrise that morning.

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We decided to give the S100 a good go and see what it would show us today, we have had mixed luck on this road, but I do still enjoy it and feel if nothing else it has nice atmosphere and scenery.

So we trundled along very slowly so as not to miss anything.

A little breeding herd.

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and a Squirrel in the middle of the road.

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Then a lovely little Steenbok caught our attention.

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Doing some scent marking!

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We came across a car parked at the side of the road, looked around but couldn't see anything, so I asked and the reply, there are some Lions in the grass who have just been lying in the road and now moved! :slap:
So we peer into the grass with the binocs where they were reported to be and suddenly a big male stands up, walks a few paces, but before we could click the camera, flops back down again! :hmz:
We waited around for a while and then decided they weren't going anywhere so moved along.

We took the S41 up and sat at Gudzani again for something cool to drink, most of the same occupants still there.
Continued on up to the junction and drove the S90 back down to the tar road and back to camp without seeing anything much except for another 5 or 6 Steenboks along the way, definitely steenbok alley!

Once back at camp we just relaxed and enjoyed the bird life.

Green Woodhoopoe's & Redbilled Hornbills foraging around on the ground

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and then in the tree

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Foraged around and came out with quite a big mean looking spider and flew off somewhere else with its prize.

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Then it was the turn of the Hornbill's and a Squirrel to entertain us.

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Later in the afternoon we decided to go for a drive so it was out and onto the H7

I like to do the S40 up to Girivana and S12 back to the H7 so that is the route we took arriving at Girivana as a herd of ellies crossed the still closed S12 road! :roll:
and bypassed the dam completely, heading off in a northerly direction!
Talk about too much water!
So it was a U turn and back to the S40 and H7.

We then thought we may as well take a drive towards Orpen and see what the breach in the road was all about and sure enough at the Rabelais Loop, the road was firmly closed.
Could have sworn I took a pic but we don't seem to have it! :wall:

So as time was moving along we turned back towards Satara and a little way along, found such an interesting sighting in a Martial Eagle with prey in the long grass alongside the road.
I am not completely sure what it was but did think at one point that I saw the head of a Monitor Lizard.

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Eventually we had to move along as we still had a way to go and a little further on, a Buffalo roadblock as a huge herd which I estimated to be in the region of conservatively a good few hundred animals, crossed the road in a never ending stream.
We parked off and watched them all the time keeping an eye on the time! :wink:
(Val think you might have been a bit stressed here!) 8)

Finally we could get a gap and we took it!

A quick pic of Nsemani Dam in the late evening! :wink:

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Then it was in the gate with 30 seconds to spare! :whistle:

As we sat on our veranda having a nightcap there was a movement and our very first African Wild cat appeared and lay down in the sand in front almost like a domestic cat would do!
As you can imagine almost chaos erupted as we grabbed cameras and tried to get a pic.

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and then a second movement to the side caught our eyes, to our amazement a much smaller version appeared but this one was much more nervous and cautious, when we realised it was the kitten of the one lying in front! :dance:

We tried to get a pic but could see it was going to flee with the slightest movement from us so unfortunately this is the best we could do and even that was the one and only chance as it fled as soon as the camera clicked and mother followed.
Sorry not the best pic but we were worried about the flash.

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but we were very happy at having seen that and quite satisfied with our days sightings.

Tomorrow we move on down the park to our time share outside Kruger Gate.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:24 pm 
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My sincere thanks for your continued support and comments to Barry, Val, MM, Trrrp, Carol, Aat, Pumbaa, I do so appreciate it.

And yes Val, it is high time I did another episode, this bus seems to have hit a serious speed wobble!
Sorry about that! :slap:

Anyway, lets get right on with it.

Feb 15th Feb.
Today we leave Satara and move on down towards Kruger Gate and our time share for the next 7 nights.

First up, a bad pic of a bird that hung around the chalet a lot of the time.

Southern Grey-headed Sparrow

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We took a slow drive down as time was not of an essence.

Spied one of the Female Amur Falcons so abundant at this time of year.

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As we drove we couldn't help but be amazed at how full the various waterholes and dams were.

Firstly Kumana which just seemed to stretch on forever!

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Then Mazithi where a pair of Grey Herons watched hopefully for breakfast.

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also a Foam Frog nest underneath the branch.

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A pretty Wild Hibiscus

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The S33 is a road that seems to have been closed for such a long time and still firmly barred.
The road itself seems to have become quite overgrown as well.

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Another full dam!

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on which we saw one of the "Hippo surfing Grey Herons" and it was quite amusing to watch, as this particular Hippo was fairly active and making life for the surfing Heron quite difficult! 8)

So it was a series of ups and downs, then deeper down, then suddenly up again .......

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Down deep! :shock:

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until it becomes too much!

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and up up........

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and away!

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Carrying on down, we stopped off for a pit stop at Tshokwane which seemed to be in business except for the shop which was still closed.

As we crossed the bridge below the picnic area a little Wire-tailed Swallow was perched on the railing.

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A little lower on some rocks around the Kruger Tablets area we always stop and look for our little Klipspringers and today we could hardly believe our luck when we spied one of the pair standing right on the tippity top of this pointed rock, definitely earning them their name.
but how he got right up there, just shows their incredible strength.

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This pic shows how the normally dry river bed had been flowing just previously.

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A new addition to the speed limit boards in the south of the park.

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Crossing the Sabie river a pair of Blacksmith Plovers were bathing in the little rock pools and in fact the one was lying completely down in the pool but as soon as I lifted the camera, he stood up, talk about camera shy!

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and also a Common Sandpiper

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Then not far from the gate was this shy Kudu

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So nice to exit the gate and not feel despondent as we knew we still had another 7 days and some special visitors arriving in a day or 2.

More soon, I promise!

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:27 pm 
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I saw I missed out a pic and I couldn't get it to accept the edit even my though the pic was the correct size! :doh:

So I will post it separately!

Three-banded Plover at Leeupan

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 Post subject: Re: Fun, Friendship and Kruger - Feb 2013.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:57 pm 
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Thanks very much everyone for kind comments! :gflower:

Feb 16th & 17th.

Today we had to go and replenish the grocery supplies in Hazyview ready for our last week so after a quite relaxed start we decided to take a detour through the park and exit at Phabeni Gate.

While SO was getting us all signed in I took a few pics of the Kruger Gate area.

The very familiar "Oom Paul"

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and a new sign board that has appeared since our last visit!

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Just wish everyone would take heed of it! Sigh!! :roll:

Along the S1 a lovely Kruger scene of mixed animals.

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Kudu with fairly impressive horns!

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Some of the pretty Bauhinia galpinii -Pride-of-de-Kaap that flowers so profusely at this time of year.

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Green-backed Heron

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After some shopping and a nice breakfast we headed on back to restock the cupboards.

The next day we took a little drive along the S3 River road, S4, S65 to Transport Dam

and according to my pic source saw very very little! :whistle:

Another Heron!

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Waterbuck at Transport Dam

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and a tree full of European or Barn Swallows

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Will get the next few days us and running asap where I do believe we have a few more offerings! :tongue:

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