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 Post subject: Leeukos's Walking With Jock. KNP, May '13
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:45 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Impala Grace

There is no more beautiful and fascinating sight than that of a troop of impala on the move and jumping in earnest. Every hunter has seen a whole troop, old and young, following the example of the leader, clear a road or donga twenty feet wide, apparently in an effortless stride. It is a fine sight, and the steady stream of buck makes an arch of red and white bodies over the road looking like a curve of a great wave.

You stand and watch in speechless admiration; and the first gasp at a glorious leap is followed by a steady silent wonder at the regularity of numbers. Then suddenly you see one animal – for no apparent reason; it may be fright or frolic – take off away behind the others, shoot up, and sail high above the arch of all the rest, and with head erect and feet comfortably gathered, land far beyond them – the difference between ease and effort, and oh! The perfect grace of both!

Something is wrung from you – a word, a gasp – and you stand breathless with wonder and admiration until the last one is gone. You have forgotten to shoot; but they have left something better than a trophy, something which time will only glorify – a picture that daylight or in dark will fill your mind whenever you hear the name impala.

Sir Percy Fitzpatrick
19 March 1883

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"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


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 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:33 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Earlier this year, my wife (Patatjie) and I decided at the last minute to cancel our reservation at a well-known Game Reserve and rather go to the Kruger. The problem however was I first cancelled our existing reservation and then tried to make a new reservation for the Kruger.

I checked the online bookings on SANParks’ website every few minutes and prayed for an open booking. I even phoned all the camps south off Pafuri and all of them were booked two days before the public holiday (1st May). It was madness to think there will be accommodation available during May, as it is truly a wonderful time in the Kruger. After several failed attempts, and some stares that will melt the polar icecaps quicker than global warming, I realised it is time for me to raise my game. (Mental Note: Listen to wife and don’t know better…)

I decided to phone some of the private camps and lodges to hear if they have accommodation available for me and Patatjie. I had my doubts about these lodges as I believed they do not understand the essence of the Kruger. Also the private lodges in general always made me think of the ad on radio where the guide takes the tourists to the top of Table Mountain. Once they reached the top, it was cloudy and nobody could see the view of Cape Town. After a long awkward silence the guide said: “… look everybody, a Dassie.”

However, this time around they were my last hope and I had no choice but to phone them.

I searched the internet and found a wonderful new part of the Kruger that I have never seen before. There were pictures of tented camps overlooking dry river beds with the soft light of lanterns dancing on the grass. The bedrooms looked as if it was in a five star hotel and I could not help but wonder how they keep the white linen so clean in the dusty bush. So I took the plunge and phoned one of the lodges…

“… I don’t want to buy the place, I just want to sleep over for four nights !!!” I thought out loud. The click noise on the other side of the phone indicated that the person did not appreciate my sense of humour and it was the end of our conversation.

Eventually I came across a beautiful gem hidden in plain sight close to Afsaal. I have seen their Safari Cruisers driving around in the Southern parts of the park and I know the story of the famous dog with the same name. I decided to take a chance and phoned them. The friendly reception lady made a booking for us and we would arrive the very next day.

Was it pure luck or destiny for Patatjie and I to get a booking a day before at one of the most famous lodges in the Kruger. I was still very doubtful the next morning as we left for the Kruger. “If I go all the way to the Kruger and the guide on safari showed me a Dassie … … it will be really amazing!! I am going on Safari !!!”

Patatjie and I were excited but little did we know that we would take a Walk with Jock.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


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 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:40 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Patatjie and I always stop at Alzu on the N4 after Middelburg. Here we have our Coffee and Padkos which always consists of Travelling Eggs (Boiled Eggs) and biltong.

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Did You Know? :hmz:
ALZU Petroport N4 situated exactly halfway between Middelburg and Belfast, 35km from both.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


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 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:43 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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On the N4 via Schoemanskloof on our way to Malelane Gate.

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_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
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 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:48 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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We arrived at Malelane Gate and there were a number of people in the queue.

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Did You Know? :hmz:
Malelane has been a river crossing for hundreds of years and takes its name from the Malelane Regiment of King Mswati II of Swaziland which was stationed here in the 1850s when the area was under Swazi control.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:51 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
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Location: Under African Sky !!!
I understand now why there was no accommodation in the Kruger. It is going to be a busy weekend.

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Did You Know? :hmz:
Many of the names in southern Kruger are Swazi in origin, while Shangaan names dominate further to the north.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:00 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
Patatjie and I came across this beautiful White Rhino grazing. Two Red-billed Oxpeckers were sitting on his back hitching a ride. The rhino gave us one look and slowly moved into the bush at the back. We decided to stop at every Rhino sighting and spend some time taking photos and just looking at this majestic animal. They might not be with us in a few years at the rate they are being killed.

Image

Did You Know? :hmz:
A White Rhino Bull weighs between 2000 - 2300 kilograms.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:02 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Under African Sky !!!
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Did You Know? :hmz:
An adult White Rhino eats between 50 and 65 kilograms of food everyday.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:06 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
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Location: Under African Sky !!!
While driving we came across a Rhino Midden. It will only be later that Patatjie and I will learn about Rhino Middens by one of the legends of Jock...

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Did You Know?
‘Midden’ is the name given to a dung heap or an area of communal defecation.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:08 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
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Did You Know? :hmz:
A white rhino midden can be over an incredible three metres wide and you can often see them on the road side in National Parks.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:23 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
While driving on our way the the lodge, my eye caught a silhouette in a tree that did not fit. I saw this Pearl-
spotted Owlet in the tree next to the road.

Image

Did You Know? :hmz:
The Pearl-spotted Owlet mainly eats insects and small animals like mice, bats, frogs and birds smaller than doves.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:27 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
I always stop for a photo of an Impala. They make the most beautiful portrait photos and the best of all is, you will be the only car stopping for a photo... :dance:

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Did You know? :hmz:
The record length of the horns of an impala is 80.97 cm.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:29 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
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Did You know? :hmz:
The average length of the horns of an impala is 50 cm.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:37 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
This side of the elephant is not his best side, but I thought it would make a great ad for Camphor Cream...

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Did You Know? :hmz:
The biggest elephant was recorded in Angola in 1974. The shoulder height was 3.96 meter heigh and the circumference of his front leg was 1.8 meter.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Walking With Jock
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:38 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
The elephant was grazing and did not seem to care about us behind him taking photos of him. (That is how I prefer elephants.)

Image

Did you Know? :hmz:
The heaviest elephant weighed a record 6 569 kg.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
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