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 Post subject: NetEk's Flatdogs, Longnecks and Bigones, July '13
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:14 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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This will become my travel report. Just having trouble with my internet (must be die bush blues that have crept in). Please stay tuned for the first instalment that will hopefully (cross finger and pray) follow within the next. few days.

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 Post subject: Re: Flatdogs, Longnecks and Bigones
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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What you first need to understand about our visit to Mapungubwe is that we are part of the park and also not part of the park. If you look at the map of the park displayed at the tree top walk we are included as well as some of the maps available on the internet . But (there is always a but) we are still negotiating with SANParks and the land is private land not owned but SANPark and once the negotiations are concluded we will be in the park but still own the land. The fences between us and the park were removed years ago and game can move freely between us and the Park. We are all but in Black and White part of Mapungubwe.
If this part is a bit unclear PM me I’ll try and explain it without boring the other readers with the detail that just want to get to the goodstuff of our visit.

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This is us. (I do use the royal plural, because the farm is part of a Trust for the children of Michel Moerdyk and we think of it as our castle)

So what my dear reader must please take into consideration when viewing some of the photos are that we have some more privileges that the normal visitor doesn’t have. Example you ask, well we can while on our farm get out of the vehicle and walk without a ranger accompanying us. So please don’t put all my pictures on the rule breaker thread. Please note when in the park itself we have to abide by all the rules you have to it’s just when we are on our side on the line on the map (in most cases a road that you the visitor won’t even know is a border) that we can “play” by a different set of rules.

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The border next to the Elephant free zone. Left is the park, Right is us.

Okay now that that is off my 38DD chest I can start or bore you with the adventure that I call Flatdogs, Longnecks and Bigones.

I’m not going to follow the diary fashion so please bear with me this is more of a “Blog” type tale.
So where do we start….
Well home is always a good place to start. We have our own “camp” on Samaria1 (the farms name) and that is where we stay. It’s everything but 5 star but most of it we build ourself and it’s our home away from home when at Mapungubwe.
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We did some improvements while we were there I will see how this pans out if I’m going to include that in here. Just wanted to throw this one in of my son “supervising” the tiling of the table. Every site needs a chief in charge and he thinks he’s the man for the job.
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 Post subject: Re: Flatdogs, Longnecks and Bigones
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:40 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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This might be a good time to introduce myself.
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Yours truly. NetEk or JustMe as some of our English speaking readers would say. (you know who you are don’t look at the screen funny)
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This is the man that is willing to take all my “stuff”. Here he is doing his best impersonation of a tour guide.

Okay back to my story. (Please excuse me. Hubby says I can be side-tracked between the toilet and the basin)

A lot of people have asked me how Mapungubwe is looking after the flood and I have posted some pics on the flood thread with before and after etcetera comparisons. I’m not going to bore you with that again I just want to show some of the after effects of the flood and the overall condition (sound like a illness doesn’t it) of the land.

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You can see clearly were the flood line was in this wetland by the debris still hanging in the tree. This is one of the pics mentioned before that you will see us out of our vehicles

(you can’t call the Landy a car she will feel insulted, she’s older than I am and if my husband could he would bring her to bed with him). He currently has his eyes on an even older model, probably the only man that likes “older woman”, don’t ask, I got him that way and like him than way.

The Limpopo has water in it and quite a lot for this time of year normally there are just pools but as you can see it’s still flowing. The subject of the river will be continued at a later stage let’s just say I know were a lot of those escaped Crocs are.

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I found this gem in the park of a Baobab still with its summer dress on. She is protected by hills on both sides.

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Compared to her “wild” cousins.

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The Tree top walk is open only the last part and the hide is closed so you can still sit peacefull on the little chair (or try to while your daughter wants to bungee off the side)

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The Shashe River is dry again and the tell-tale “snake” can be seen from the Confluence decks.

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The river forest is greener than I have seen it in years. This is the section in front of our camp.

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 Post subject: Re: Flatdogs, Longnecks and Bigones
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:41 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Road blocks
As we all know the traffic situation in our country is getting extreme and this is no different on Mapungubwe. I found Traffic officials in the parks are using more and more creative methods of ensuring that we abide by the rules of the road. You find the standard stop and go method.

STOP
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GO
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The school crossing with masses of kids crossing normally accompanied by some form of adult supervision.

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The well know “heavy vehicles” ahead sign we all know too well.

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(yes I did forget to flip it back after editing for those observant mites that noticed)

And then the most hated “spitkop in die pad” also known as the Metro Police wave down. This road block is usually accompanied by an officer handing out some form of fine or in this case beating to a perpetrator.

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The last type I found in use in Mapungubwe was the Road race roadblock that you find as a big surprise and normally goes with the uttering of some form of limerick on the subject of religious excrement.

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I was watching the rest of the herd next to the road then these came around the corner and immediately realised they just want to join up with their friends

My personal favourite Small, Medium and Large.
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 Post subject: Re: Flatdogs, Longnecks and Bigones
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:47 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thanks every body for your kind words here's somemore:

I want to put some landscape photos in so here they are. (if you wanted them or not)
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Especially for those Kgalagadi blue Sky and red dunes fans we might not have the dunes but we have the Baobabs.

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and more.
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and the blue skies

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And clouds

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and rocks.

You know all those big beautiful Rock Figs; well they need to start somewhere. This little one looks like its more roots that tree….
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The next photo I saw the first morning and run back to the camp to fetch the camera “before I lost the light”. I just though it’s beautiful.

I called the Tree of life.
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For those that don’t get it turn your head sideways. (No the other way)

What the heck. Let me do it for you.
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My son playing the clown again….
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He just wants to make sure you don’t miss the Baobab.

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 Post subject: Re: Flatdogs, Longnecks and Bigones
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:02 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Now for the animals.
(no, not the party animals just the normal ones)

Flatdogs, aka Crocodiles, aka Self-propelled man-of-war with an armour plated upper deck.

As some of you know there was a farm in Africa just on the banks of the Great Grey Green Greasy Limpopo all set about by Fever Trees. This farm ran into some bad luck during the flood in January and some of their “inmates” escaped now I’m not saying the crocs I saw are from this farm I’m just saying this is the most crocs I have seen in the river ever. At one stage we counted 14 varying from a small 2 footer to a big boy over 7 feet in a stretch of about 400 m.
Some of the pics are unclear; I humble apologise it’s just to show how many they are.

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There's 9 in the above photo (may be 10 not sure)
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Long necks, aka giraffes, aka kameelperde.

Well I don’t know about them escaping from any farm but they must have had a great breeding season. We saw 2 herds often in the 2 weeks numbering 30 together. (No we didn’t see the same herd twice this was 2 herds of 16 and 14 each. Yes I know how to tell the difference between herds…….)
And they love to pose for photos….. as you can see.

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I love these two we took the photo on our way out going home. What a way to say goodbye by giving us a “show”.

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Last but not least the Bigones, aka ellies, aka elephants.
What you need to know about “our” elephants are that they are very docile and you really have to go out of your way to “irritate” them off.
They do a lot of damage to the vegetation especially in the dry seasons, but we didn’t have those big herds this year that we had last year with over 200 elephants crossing the river in one day.
I have already put my favourite pic of ellies for the holiday with the roadblocks earlier but here are some more just to make you wish you be there.

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Some more mixed bunch of creatures we saw on the trip.

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Just one more very funny animal I saw:


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 Post subject: Re: Flatdogs, Longnecks and Bigones
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Now for the Birdies.
I’m not the biggest bird watcher and my camera doesn’t really have the “fancy” lenses that you need to take the best bird pic’s but at least I got some so here they are:
Hornbills:
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Saddle Bill Storks:
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Rollers:
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Some francolins & little ones:
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Bee-eaters:
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Cormorants:
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Duckies & Dabchick:
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That is a Chat on the rock but she was Mocking me:
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And just for Trrp yes I know it’s not the one you want but the cousin says Hi:
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This is a secret place we found it’s just below the one “pump station” and we saw a lot of birds coming down to the water, was like a little spot of birding paradise. We were sitting there watching all these little finches and black caps bathing ect. when a car pasted by us looking at us very weirdly….”but that’s not anything interesting”. It’s worth slowing down and looking at the little things sometimes…………. You know what I mean (ok that was my “deep” thought for the day)
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We saw a lot of other birds that I didn’t get photos off. Fire Finches, plovers, doves, some birds of prey, and many more
One special was “oom” Chris has the “party trick” of being able to call the pearl spotted owls that they come and sit right above you, my kids thought he was the best ever because he can “talk” to the animals.
We heard the Pel’s one night but don’t tell anybody…….. It’s our secret.

Note to myself I really need to take more and better photos of the birds next time.

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 Post subject: Re: Flatdogs, Longnecks and Bigones
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:47 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Now all good things must come to an end and so it is with a holiday as well. (sorry)
I’ve been thinking what I want to put in this last episode and it’s not easy. Is it better to burn out than to fade away (yes I am giving my age away)

Of cause it also depends on what you have left in that big Photo folder…….

Well let’s just start and get it done.

I’m a little sad that this is the only Yellow ribbon I saw on my trip. Please mites you are missing one of our jewels, if you haven’t been to Mapungubwe you are missing out.

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I enjoy every visit to this wonderful park and hope to see the Limpopo many times more.
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I hate to see you go
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I’m leaving you with some more pics of this amazing place.
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Hope you enjoyed it.
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See you on the flip side.

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 Post subject: Re: Flatdogs, Longnecks and Bigones
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:13 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: JHB
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Thanks for all your comments. Hopefully (cross fingers, eyes and toes, maybe even a little religious conversation) we will be back in December for another week. Now that is a whole different ball game.......

42 degree's on chrismas day last year and if we get rain before that.......(again more conversations with the BIG Man).....birds everywhere........ and flowers like the Namaqualand....... just a blast from the past (Dec 2011) to make you want "more".......

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