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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:54 pm 
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That night we were fast asleep when we were woken by a crashing and banging from the kitchen area.

“Monkeys”shouted the SO.

“Honeybadger”I yelled in return. Grabbing a torch we stood on the beds and using a flashlight we peeked through the window.

Outside a honey badger was snuffling and rooting through the bin that he had just knocked over. I ran to the door but as I opened it he had already gone. Shining the torch around the grounds I looked around the corner and found the beggar crouched under the car licking out a large yoghurt pot with great relish. Alas no photo of the miscreant in action but this is what the pot looked like the next morning…

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As if there wasn’t enough naughty wildlife around already we fought a running battle with these little devils who took great delight in picking the rubber off the wipers at any chance they got…

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On our early morning run we pulled into the first waterhole on the H6, traditionally we haven’t been very lucky at waterholes and we bumped along not hoping for much. We were however, rewarded on this occasion with this lovely lady lying all by herself..

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Deciding to take the S37 down to Tshokawane we passed by one of my favourite hides

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This old boy looks as if he had drowned but was only cooling down from the sapping heat.

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:56 pm 
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Thanks Hilda :gflower:

During our stay in the park we found that despite the current situation that perversely we never saw so many rhino as this time!

Due to obvious reasons I won’t include them specifically in my TR but will throw in a few random photos of our encounters with these magnificent animals.

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:12 pm 
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A new first for us was a night drive at Satara, we had a great guide by the name of Madwell whose knowledge and acerbic wit made for a very enjoyable drive.
Not long after we started, he suddenly sped up and as I looked in front I saw a yellow, spotty one sprinting across the road in front of us. The leppy continued to run into the bush so it was virtually impossible to get a decent photo. Continuing on we were shown how to tell the difference between male and female tortoises and then enjoyed the sight of the tortoise peeing all over Madwell. :D

During the drive we came across this beautiful boy but he was quite far away and it was getting dark so not the greatest photo:

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One of my favourite sightings on the drive was a group of hyaenas and this female nursing her babies in the road:

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A little further on we came across even more hyaena babies patiently waiting for their supper .

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All around us lightning was flickering and flashing across the sky whilst thunder rumbled all around so we were glad to make it back to camp just before the rain came pouring down once again.

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:27 pm 
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Next morning we headed north again and spotted these ladies looking for some brekkie along the H1-4.

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Not having a particular plan in place we followed our noses and ended up on the Roodewaal Road. It was pretty quiet and we had our hands fairly full with managing to drive through the very sticky mud when we met an enormous ellie coming over a rise. He took one look at us and started running so we quickly reversed but he just kept coming. Erring on the side of caution we drove back about 200m and after a few minutes carefully crept forward again. I spotted the ellie on our left but luckily there was a small waterhole between us so feeling it was safe we slowly drove forward again. At this point he raised his trunk and sniffed to see where we were, before coming around the water and starting a full on charge again. At this
point it seemed wise to take our leave ….

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Later in the day we were driving down the S30 when we noticed a bakkie come screaming up behind us , I could see a heavily armed guy standing in the back so we pulled over and let them past as they obviously seemed to be part of the anti-poaching units.

About 10 minutes later they came hurtling back past in the opposite direction again and as we continued we suddenly saw this beauty walk across the road in front of us.

He seemed very agitated and moved from side to side on the road, disappearing into the bush and then back again

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He was obviously desperately searching for something and I figured that such agitation could only be caused by a female. As he disappeared deeper into the bush again, we drove slowly around the corner searching for a possible love interest.

We didn’t have to drive too far before we saw the lovely lady in question striding down the middle of the road.

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She was a beautiful, healthy, looking girly and she lifted her head continually also sniffing for her boyfriend.

After a few minutes she decided to seek the shade and moving a couple of meters into the bush she sank under a leafy bush into the grass and literally disappeared from sight….

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:11 pm 
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Thanks for the tip about the Tusker thread Dinkybird and Hilda :gflower:

Rose has given a tentative identification but has sent it off to be verified, if correct if would be an emerging tusker by the name of Masthulele :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Next morning we packed up and set off for our next destination Biyamiti! As it is a fair old drive from Satara we decided to mainly stick to the tar roads and stop off at Tshokwane, my very favourite picnic spot.

Trundling down the road my eye was caught by an oncoming car swerving and I saw a beeeeeg emerald green snake winding its way across the tarmac at an incredible speed!
It must have been about a meter long, slim and bright, bright, green. I could only think of boomslang as I hear there are no green mamba in Kruger….. :whistle:

Just then we saw a car parked up on the side of the road and as we slowed down behind it we were astonished to see a spotty one arise out of the long grass adjacent to the tarmac and stalk off in a huff at being disturbed….. For those desperately seeking spotty ones, let me tell you there is no rhyme nor reason as to where you can find one… :doh:

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It is such a beautiful drive down towards LS and what a view from the top of the hill!!

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We were in a bit of a hurry to check in to Biyamiti as we still wanted to nip out to the Spar in Komatipoort to stock up on some goodies but all went smoothly and we were allocated no.8, what a beautiful place!

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We headed straight out again to head for CB but again got waylaid when I spotted this stunner lunching on a poor little tortoise, I wonder if it had maybe been run over??

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:43 am 
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So exciting, we have an update on the beeeeeeg ellie, Turns out it was Masthulele, one of the biggest Tuskers in Kruger: :dance:


"Rosemary, you are 100% correct.
The Roodewal Road would have thrown you off and rightly so as he does predominate in the Letaba, Mooiplaas area where most of our visitors see him, but his full range is large and does include the Klaserie adjacent to Orpen Gate and he has been seen in the Orpen are. We know he was in the Klaserie in early January through confirmed sightings from the warden of the area and from a submission that was received from a guide in the area and he was still there in mid-Jan. From previous historical sightings of him we usually expect him to head towards the Klaserie via Phalaborwa, as he has also been sighted in the Cleveland area adjacent to Phalaborwa prior to arriving in the Klaserie. However Roodewal although a new sighting area for him it is very feasible as it is also towards to the western boundry, and given the direction in which we know he was heading to or may be returning from given this was late Jan, makes the ID possible. It is interesting to hear he chased the guests as he is usually very placid, but he was confirmed to be in musth in Klaserie so that could account for his grumpy demeanor. "

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:55 pm 
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Thanks Heksie, indeed we have been very blessed with good sightings, the further we drove the more we were blessed… :D

I really don’t like weekends in the park, much too many racers for me and as it was a Sunday we got up when we woke up and in a leisurely fashion made our way north on the Biyamiti road. We hadn’t gone far before we came across these adorable ellie youngsters having a tussle in the mud bath. They were both trying to get the best place and continued to push and shove one another onto the side, too funny to watch :D Eventually the baby plonked himself right smack in the middle and refused to budge, making his big bro trumpet with annoyance!!

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:14 pm 
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Thanks very much to Hilda, Barry, Isinkwe and Lesley for your nice comments, always great to get feedback!

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Heading up North towards Skukuza via the Biyamiti loop, river side we saw an ominous line of cars bunched up like somebody was handing out free pizza (lions) so we pretty much forced our way through taking no prisoners…one JJ thought about making something of it but I raised my camera and they moved…. Did I mention I really don’t like weekends in the park ...

At Skuks we grabbed something to eat and had a mosy around the shop buying a few gifts and then headed out on the tar road towards LS. This is a bit of a hit or miss road for me but we hadn’t got far when we saw a few cars parked up again but this time I had to stop, something we hadn’t seen for a couple of years…

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Rolling in something very stinky…

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TBC….

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Thanks – Lesley, Isinkwe, Pumbaa and Trrp-trrrrrrrr,

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You know, it is nice to see the cats and dogs but sometimes the more “ordinary” animals such as those naughty ellies can provide a much more exciting experience….

Having said that…. Onwards we moved as things were starting to hot up at the doggy sighting and when we saw the bridge on the H12 I wanted to cross it just to see if there was anything in the river bed and then instinct made us decide to drive down the S30 as opposed to the tar road.

We hadn’t got very far when again vehicles standing… not that many so we figured it wasn’t anything terribly exciting but got the cameras ready. The first thing I saw was a vulture pecking on a fresh skull, interesting, take photo…

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The next moment a figure erupted out of the long grass and chased the vultures away…

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Now I was not aware that the painted ones are like buses and don’t come at all before coming in two’s or maybe even more….

They had obviously eaten their fill but were unwilling to let the vultures pick over their kill and so it became a battle of wills with the vultures waiting until the dogs lay down again and then the dogs chasing them away again…

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:20 pm 
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Kaapsedraai – we were very fortunate with our “moments” and we’re not done yet :D

MM – I KNOW – my beagle loves stinky stuff, the stinkier the better, its like doggy perfume.. :redface:

Barry & Hilda – wait and see what happened next…. :dance:


For reasons that will become clear I am going to crack on here.

As the JJ’s began to pour into the doggy sighting from all sides we decided to make a quick escape and headed off down the S30.

Being niceish people we stopped an oncoming car to tell him about the dogs and to be quick before it got too crowded. The driver was grinning from ear to ear and then told us that going our direction we would find mating lions and a lone male at the waterhole. You see, a good deed does pay off! :)

Unfortunately we didn’t find the mating lions but we did find this beauty doing what lions do best in the shade. (we will meet him again somewhat later in a more active role…)

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We had him pretty much to ourselves but as there wasn’t much going on we soon headed off thinking of gate times and made our way to LS and then set off down towards the S25 on the tar road leading to CB.

Turning off onto the dirt road we were bubbling with all the amazing things we had seen that day when we spotted a car pulled over on the left. We pulled in and look what was lurking in the undergrowth....


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3 doggy sightings in one day, now that is most deffo a record for me…

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Last edited by AndreaB on Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:09 am 
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Always a good thing to make MM smile :D

That evening we had the privllege of going on the Biyamiti evening drive with Simon. He was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable but also added a whole new dimension to the drive by telling tales of African culture and how certain trees such as the buffalo thorn play an important role in bringing back restless spirits of loved ones who to their home. It was so interesting and made the experience even more enjoyable.

I didnt know for instance that a rhino midden is used as a calling card by all the rhino in the vicinity but that only the owner is allowed to use the centre of it... or that if a female is “shopping”for a husband for her baby she urinates on his midden to let him know he is in luck.

This lot were very curious as to what we were up to

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Then we bumped into this cutie

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The light was starting to dim when we came aross one of the big wishes on my bucket list!

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Some of the people on the drive were a bit snake phobic by the looks and sounds of it but I was absolutely thrilled !
A few minutes later we passed some ground hornbill and Simon explained that they would have attacked and eaten the python if they had seen it in the open. I had no idea they were capable of eating something so large and he then added that they are quite often known to have taken out black mamba!!

Driving around we were treated to various sightings of ellies, rhinos, eagle owls and this character looking very guilty …..

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It was a fabulous game drive and I can only recommend you take a drive with Simon if you are lucky enough to meet him!

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:21 pm 
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Big thanks to Nightjar, Hilda, normana53, Kaapsedraai, MM, Grantmissy and Isinkwe for your kind words of encouragement

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For those of you who know Biyamiti you know how narrow the track is and being first out in the morning we found the road to be full of spider webs spanning the full width of the track. Some of them were quite low and we were forced to drive through them which was not a problem until the SO started scratching the back of his neck and an enormous Golden Orb spider dropped down and started moving towards my leg… I am not particularly arachnaphobic but this was one big spider and caused a certain amount of gymnastics and cursing in several languages. Luckily we managed to fish it out using my cap and returned it to the wild…

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And the real thing…

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Some of my all time favourite drives are over the Biyamiti weir - yes the one that just got washed away AGAIN…and the bridge. You will always find something to look at

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:33 am 
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MM: I find this was a particularly elegant monitor, so nicely posed :)

Hilda: I did not know it is possible to get your knees around your ears that quickly!! Image

Cape of Storms: Python was right near the top of my wish list so I was so chuffed to see it, it was such a beautiful snake and fascinating to watch how it moved its body!

Kaapsedraai – There are so many spiders this year, seemed to be a real explosion of them this year!

Trrp-trrrrrrrr - Amazing Orb – hmmmm…… wasn’t really thinking that as it advanced on my bare leggies!!
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Lesley - thank you for your lovely comments! Am very pleased you are enjoying our tales from the
bush.

Phillip1 You are most welcome, thanks for reading!!

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I wanted to take a photo of the entrance to Biyamiti and got the SO to pull over quickly, what we hadn’t seen was a mommy ellie with her babies (I am fairly certain it was the naughty ellies from the mudbath!) and she had a little mock charge and then when we didn’t move off quickly enough she had a little run at us finally stopping with 2 feet inside the camp but then deciding that was far enough and returning to her lunch.

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When we got to the bungalow we had a visit from the resident bushbuck

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We had a nest of swallows somewhere in our thatch and they would swoop in out regularly but we managed to catch this nicely posed photo of them

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We soon had a favorite morning drive, Biyamiti Road – North and then up to Afsaal via the Biyamiti Loop riverside and had many entertaining sightings on our travels:

This little one was chirping away, giving us a piece of his mind

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Whilst these two were not speaking to anybody!

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No klips around but not a problem this rock will do!

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This big boy showed us him feminine side by posing nicely in the flowers….

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This sneaky one was trying to hide in the grass…

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But we had a lookout planted to help spot him!

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Case of Bush Fever....
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:41 pm 
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Thanks Hilda & Pumbaa, yes, Biyamiti is quite a special place and I think it has a lot to do with it being private, you can really take your time and not worry about people disturbing a sighting, big or small… :)

Our time was up at Biyamiti, we were however off to one of my very favourite places on this earth, a river view tent at Lower Sabie, could there be any better way to spend the day than sitting on the deck watching the wildlife walk by literally meters from you….

That evening we took a later afternoon drive over the bridge and on the small dirt road to the right. It was very quiet but the grass was also extremely high so difficult to see much. We found this birdy scouting for his next meal

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Suddenly the SO swerved and braked hard, imagining a squished tortoise or similar my heart sank but on reversing I saw what we had just managed to avoid and what a beautiful creature it was....

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The silly thing was just lying in the road and in imminent danger of being run over by any passing vehicle! We even tried to dangle a charger cable over its body to scare it into the bush but it just stayed put. We knew there was a vehicle behind us that would have to pass that way so we stayed as long as we could but eventually we had to leave to make the gate, so here’s hoping that the little one made it safely back into the grass… :pray:

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