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 Post subject: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013#18a
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:41 pm 
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Following disaster pt.1

Like many of you, we watched with horror as the story of the January 2013 floods unfolded, revealing the damage and devastation caused to property and the bush. Then we realised that our reservation at Shingwedzi would have to be transferred to another camp, not that we minded too much as we booked nights in Shimuwini and Bateleur camps instead. Both camps are admirable substitutes for Shingwedzi but anyway had to be close by, due to our pre-planned route.

We read during 2013 on the forum of the gradual opening up of Shingwedzi and the surrounding area and, as the dates of our visit were in October, we were hopeful of getting back into Shingwedzi. We did.
:dance: :dance:

So with trepidation as we approached Shingwedzi we passed over the road where most of the tarmac had been peeled away like an orange skin.

We were greeted by the smell of fresh paint everywhere. What an amazing task the staff had accomplished in getting the camp up and running, with a new shop (fully stocked with the latest and greatest) and a refurbished reception area and all the huts ready for visitors. Only the restaurant remained closed.

On a previous visit in 2011 we stayed at Rentmeister where we all enjoyed the view from the seat overlooking the river and causeway.

Here we have included a photo from 2011 of this view

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and then in 2013 showing the seat we used gone ……

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We drove down the S50 to the Kanniedood dam to see the damage done there. The power of the water had washed away the dam wall and deposited anything in its way further downstream.

Image

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Much of the habitat along the Shingwedzi river had disappeared. We noticed that there were fewer animals and birds than in 2011 and that the sand banks in the rivers had been realigned and the pools were deeper.

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This was some of the damage to the bridge at Shingwedzi.

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To be continued………

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:21 pm 
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umtali1

:big_eyes: The devastation is still so evident. :(

Notice many footprints all over the river bed..animals at least have returned to the area. 8)

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:24 am 
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What devastation. :big_eyes:

Good to know that you could change your bookings to suit you though.

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:11 pm 
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First of all like your long nexks from the previous episode especially the open billed stork and having seen the devastation at Shingwedzi in February this year by myself - It looked horrible :big_eyes: :big_eyes: but great to hear that everything has been renewed at least inside the camp :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013#18b
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:15 pm 
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Following disaster pt.2

When we were in the south of the park we saw evidence of repair work and some still in progress like on the S140 towards Orpen we had to take a detour.

When we stopped off at Tshokwane we could see where the water level had risen to. Evidence of trees and bushes just dumped by the force of water was everywhere. Big thumbs up to everyone who worked so hard to be up and running so soon.

The bridge on the S34 close to Tshokwane had only just been opened.

Image

As we approached the S43 and the S63 near Luvuvhu we could see how the vegetation had been flattened all over the area.

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This kori bustard was picking his way through the scrub.

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A baboon and nyala amongst the shrubs.

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We could see how trees had been upturned by the force of the water.

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Crooks Corner had not long been open. It seems a wooden fence replaced the wall.

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When we look at what devastation can occur as at the Kanniedood dam we wonder how nature can recover..



On a brighter note, it was very noticeable actually how quickly some of the vegetation was recovering. Where trees have fallen and thickets have appeared, a new habitat is being created which will benefit different creatures. If you look carefully you can see that plants are establishing themselves again. Hopefully more animals, birds and insects will soon be back to complete the regeneration.

Image

We cannot leave this nugget without saying a BIG THANK YOU to all the staff throughout the park who worked tirelessly to repair the damage so that the likes of us from a far off land can still visit the Kruger and enjoy its uniqueness. :thanx: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Last edited by umtali1 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:22 pm 
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Thank you Trrp-trrrrrrr, Meandering Mouse and Pumbaa for your comments. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

We were really pleased that Shingwedzi has not lost its atmosphere. A lot of repair work was going on during our stay, and we were pleased to read that the causeway shown in our photos is now open. :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:24 am 
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umtali1,

Thank you for sharing this episode with us . :thumbs_up: .great video as well ..the bridge barriers just prooves once again what force the water had. :shock:

Lovely :cam: of the Baboon and Nyala . :dance: :dance:

:popcorn: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:05 am 
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That was a very interesting video Umtali :thumbs_up:

thank you very much.

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:22 am 
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Thanks for the pictures on how Kruger is recovering! Even from our trip in July when the evidence of the floods was everywhere up north is is amazing to see how SANParks is working hard at getting Kruger back in shape!

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:18 pm 
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Umtali.....WHAT A TR!!!!!! :big_eyes:
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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:24 am 
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Trrp-trrrrrrr, Meandering Mouse, Cape of Storms and Philip1, - pleased you enjoyed the video and are enjoying the trip. :D :D

We were just astonished at the amount of work Sanparks staff had accomplished up to October to make all the roads passable and the camps ready for visitors. :clap: :clap: :clap:
Almost exactly a year on we would think that some of the vegetation has recovered further even though much of the debris will still be there, making new habitats for all creatures, great and small. :pray:

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 Post subject: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013#19
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:28 am 
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Eagles

Here in the UK we only have one eagle, the golden eagle, and that’s mainly up in the mountains of Scotland. So when we visit Sanparks we are always thrilled to see eagles as you have so many and such a variety. Eagle sightings are always among the highlights of any trip. We hope you will enjoy the pictures too.

Enough of our waffle! All the birds are from the Kruger.

A Bateleur

Image

then taking off

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And another in flight

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A fish eagle (just for Hilda) with the remains of its dinner

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How often do you see a pair of these wonderful birds in trees watching their patch?

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Or in this familiar pose?

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We think this is a snake eagle

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A young Bateleur

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We are also including this black shouldered kite as it was a very special sighting for us. We were disappointed not to see one in Mokala, so a sighting in the Kruger was the icing on the cake

Image

We did see martial eagles on lots of occasions. They were the stars for us because they have huge territories and, consequently, are less common. They featured in earlier nuggets.

It is wonderful to see so many birds of prey in the Kruger. There are raptors in Mokala, but they weren’t letting us find them!!! (Shall just have to go back there…….)

Let’s hope that these glorious creatures have a certain future, unlike the animals that will be featuring in the next nugget…….

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:52 am 
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Imageumtali1
some really great Image there. We are certainly lucky to have such a variety of raptors in South AfricaImage, I have aImage that your next Image might be about Image, hope I am correct, then I can have myself a Image as reward and if I am wrong I will have 2 Image as punishment Image

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:37 am 
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Hi Umtali1
Thanks again for sharing. A flood can really mess up things badly :wall: :wall:

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:16 pm 
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Sky wrote:
Hi Umtali1
Thanks again for sharing. A flood can really mess up things badly :wall: :wall:


Yes. Naively we expected to see all the little birds and small antelope, like sharpe's greysbok, in abundance until we realised that their dense habitat had been destroyed. :( Hopefully they have started to return. :pray:

Isinkwe..... :hmz: Can't possibly say! Either way you'll still have your cold lager.......

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