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 Post subject: AndreaB's Severe Case of Bush Fever.... KNP, Jan. '14
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:08 pm
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Location: Amsterdam, NL
Symptoms: Image

- Swollen eyelids & heavy heart when passing the boundaries of the area known as Kruger Park.
- Bouts of severly debilitating jealousy reading other mites trip reports
- No cure other than repeated visits to above mentioned Kruger Park.

I have been suffering a terrible bout of this awful disease since the end of February,2013. It has been a long and painful illness but luckily I have been given hope in the form of an antidote. In precisely 20 days from today today the end will be in sight. The cure involves extensive and dangerous travel from Amsterdam to Frankfurt and then Johannesburg but I am willing to go to any lengths to find a cure!

So although it may first require a ride to the airport in a Image I am hoping we can upgrade to a Image

and you can all join me on my longest journey yet through KNP, a whole 15 nights and who knows what adventures we will encounter this time!

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:55 pm 
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Location: Amsterdam, NL
So, in honor of the 14 day down countdown and because I can already feel the healing rays beginning to course through my poor old body I am going to allow myself the indulgence of posting a few of my all time favourite photos from the Pleasure-Dome starting with these....

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and my all time favourite!

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:52 pm 
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Location: Amsterdam, NL
and some of my favourite kitty cats....

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and especially for MM :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:50 pm 
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Welcome on board Kaapsedraai, Carol G & Trrp-trrrrrrrr Image

With 7 days left to go the Dr is reporting that although the temperature has dropped the heart rate is beginning to rise rapidly...

In an attempt to calm myself down I have raided the archives for a few more photos....

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And my favourite place to just sit and watch...

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It's the final countdown!!

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:26 pm 
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Location: Amsterdam, NL
Oh Lordy, should not have tempted fate with this kind of post... After 4 days of horrendous toothache I finally succumbed to a root canal treatment this morning but at least that it is done and out of the way, now I can concentrate on the final arrangements :dance:

To Pumbaa, Kaapsedraai, Hilda, Hugh, Wild About Cats - Welcome!! :gflower:

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:05 pm 
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Location: Amsterdam, NL
Tick tock, tick tock. Bags packed - to the airport driver.......

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:00 pm 
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Location: Amsterdam, NL
those good wishes definitely helped us get here safe and sound. we travelled to Satara this morning and Kruger welcomed us with torrential rain and some unbelievable. sightings. can't wait to tell u all about it :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:35 pm 
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Yay, met my first live mites yesterday! So nice to meet Danie and Felicia who are also staying here at LS, they really are the lion kings! We kept missing the cats today but had a really good sighting of a young python.All around me I can can hear baboons squabbling, hippos grunting and lions roaring. it doesn't get much better :D

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:14 pm 
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Me again!

As my friends and family all keep telling me how „well“ I look (code name for fat...) I think we can safely assume that the treatment was successful and I will live to tell my Kruger tales…

After a non-eventful flight with no signs of hijacking or mysterious lights in the sky we landed in Jnb and once we had cleared the ever friendly immigration officials (have seen happier faces at a funeral…) we headed off to visit our lovely friends, always a pleasure!

Next day we headed off towards Nelspruit, I so love it when you begin to see the rolling hills of Mpumulanga, gets me straight into Kruger mode. Having spent the night there we then went shopping for the essentials (love Woolies :D ) and then made a beeline for Malelane. The traffic in Croc Gorge wasn’t too bad and we made good time.

We had a warm and friendly greeting from the guys at the gate, in fact every time we passed through a check and they spotted that we were visiting for a relatively long time the guards seemed to be really happy on an almost personal level that visitors would travel so far to visit “their” park.

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It had been drizzling when we entered the park but as we proceeded it began to pour down, at some points we were forced to stop and just wait until the worst had passed. Hmmmm this was not the welcome I had expected.
Luckily it began to clear up a bit and we headed ever North towards our destination Satara. We consoled our hungry tummies by promising them a lekker lunch at Tshokwane but as luck would have it they were closed as we got there!

However….. everything happens for a reason so they say, so maybe the reason was the following sighting

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Far away, but deffo a leppy and on our first day, I was thrilled!!
We continued our journey still bubbling with excitement when I suddenly saw something that made me look twice and three times.

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Top of my bucket list was a LIT and now it appeared that I had my first one….

TBC…

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:11 pm 
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Hilda - it got better :D

Tedredrum - a very warm welcome, hope you enjoy the ride!

I always figured leopards would choose to lie on a great big, thick, comfy branch but this girlie seemed to be lying on a twig.....

We sat patiently waiting to see if she would move when another movement on the other side of the tree suddenly caught my eye….. a tiny set of legs hanging down and then the sweetest little face peeping through the leaves!

Our 3rd leopard of the day, only counted as a half as it was only a baby....

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Mom checking her baby was behaving :lol:

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But after a while it all got a bit boring for such a small leppie and he decided to go and explore the bush….

(Check out the fat baby belly :D )

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Last edited by AndreaB on Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:19 pm 
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Carrying on towards Satara, we came across a beat up old car standing by the side of the road and a gentleman casually pouring water into a steaming radiator. I asked if we could help but he told me he had to stop to do this every few kilometres…. I presume he was a member of staff and he was only one of several people we saw illegally outside of their vehicles during our visit…. :shock:

Just outside of Satara we saw a tired looking jackal loping along the main road, just before he gate he turned off into the veld and lay down for a rest.

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Once checked in we were so happy that we got the requested unit (161) right at the end and right next to the fence! :dance:

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As we unpacked another first, on a log about 5 m past the fence we saw a Wild African Cat stretching and cleaning itself, unfortunately no pic but I was so happy to have finally seen my firs WAC!

On our last visit we had got a little complacent about getting up early and had promised ourselves that we would make more of an effort this time. Accordingly we got up at 4 and made it to the gate for just after 4.30 am!! It was the last week of Jan just before they started opening the gates an hour later and it was really pitch dark when we drove out, very eerie!

As most folks headed for the S100 we decided to head on to the H6. A few hundred meters after the turn off I was horrified to see several bodies lying in the road, I had visions of a horrific accident until the SO told me that we were literally waking sleeping lions….
A big male lay in the middle of the road and his 3 girlfriends a little further on.
He was most displeased at being woken so rudely and made his displeasure known by letting out a roar that reverberated through my chest and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!!

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:25 pm 
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The lion continued to roar and in the near vicinity we heard another lion answer but it was too dark to see into the bush so we followed the lions in front of us for a few minutes until they melted away into the side of the road and were swallowed by the dark.

As the sun began to rise we saw a movement in the road ahead and spotted a hyaena padding along the tarmac. Suddenly he switched to the other side and disappeared behind a bush only to reappear with company….

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Carrying on to the junction we decided to save Sweni for another time as we were getting peckish, we had considered doing a big loop around the S41 but then our plans were foiled by a dastardly roadblock..

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We debated on whether to push our way through, we even asked one of the locals for advice but he wasn’t much use either…

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So back to camp for brekkie and a snooze it was!

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:08 pm 
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Thanks for the comments guys :gflower: Makes it a whole lot more fun to write when you get feedback :)

Later that day we headed out again and made for the S100. Going down the S100 is like taking my favourite chocolate out of the tin, something to be savoured, and it was with a great sense of expectation that we set off.

Lots of the usual suspects grazed contentedly on the long, succulent grass. There were plenty of puddles by the side of the road and the waterholes were all brimming so there was more than enough food and drink for all the animals. I think I have never been down this particular road and not seen ground hornbill, I always find it so funny how they first carry their food around with them for a while before gulping it down.

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Not quite sure what this was left over from??

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Plenty of these chappies crawling around…

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Time was once again pressing and we had to start making our way back in time for gate closing, there were also a couple of very nice 28 day aged rump steaks waiting to be gobbled up…

We got the fire going and were having a glass or two when we heard an odd screeching noise. Not being able to identify it I used the flashlight to see if I could see anything beyond the fence but couldn’t find anything. As I sat down again I noticed something move next to the braai. At first I thought it might be the resident honeybadger but not this time… a little pussy cat was calmly sitting by the fire as if to say, when’s it ready then? I rushed inside to grab the camera but as I came out it started to move away. Not the greatest photos but my first ones of a WAC ever and I was so happy to get any kind of pictures!

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:00 pm 
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We awoke to torrential rain again the next morning and the temperature was noticeably cooler and we made our way up the H1-4 destination Letaba which is still one of my favourite camps, it has such a relaxed atmosphere!

Passing by a tree I spotted a pair of giant eagle owls, the smaller one was clearly visible and I presume it was the baby as the other one which was hiding was much larger.

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A little further on we came across these 3 little cuties lying right next to the road waiting for mom and dad to bring back breakfast…

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And these two seemed to be old friends

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:10 pm 
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Location: Amsterdam, NL
Annalie – thanks so much, I love that you are enjoying our travels virtually!

Hilda – Thanks for the identification, I have a vague idea what most of the birds are but am really not great at identifying – yet… Will certainly need your help with all the different kind of eagles, they really all look alike to me apart from the martial..

Kaapsedraai- yes, I know a few females who could take make up lessons from that birdy …

Trrp-trrrrrrrr – we had a great time at Letaba, just very peaceful sitting on the bank there …


As mentioned there was lots of water about and some of the grass was enormously high making it quite difficult to spot, even ellies sometimes!

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One of my favourite encounters of our journey was a very entertaining mini saga played out on the causeway on the road from the S100 down to Sweni.

As we stood in the middle of the crossing a hammerkop was staring intently into the water and diving forward he plucked a fish out of the water and tossed it onto the causeway. For about 5 minutes he tried everything he could to swallow it but it was just too darn big….

At this point a nearby heron became interested and started toying with the fish. It flapped up and down in its beak but eventually he also lost interest and dropped it.

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Enter competitor no. 3 who also gave it a go but just found it all a bit too slippery…

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And then Mr Water Monitor also thought it might be an idea but eventually he too decided against it…..

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Undeterred the little fish continued to flap its way to the side of the concrete where with one last, almighty effort it managed to flip itself back into the water and swam away unscathed. Now that is the definition of never give up!

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