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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:45 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Probably not coming back to Africa soon :-)
One one occasion, I was similarly caught short and had to make use of a tree in the parking area of a bird hide (no LIT that I could see but, of course, I'm a Mouseketeer ).

Since then I've always carried an empty water bottle in the car for such emergencies (not a lot of help to Angels, but they claim to be more sensible anyway)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:27 am 
Until the kids were old enough to hold it in without whinging, we used to carry a potty. My SO is disabled and there is no way she would use the bush. She got very desperate once right up north towards Pafuri, so we pulled over and the kids and I looked intently towards a tree whilst she made use of the potty. We hadn't seen another car for miles but S*d's Law, a Combi pulls right alongside to see what we are looking at.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:45 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA (but I miss Mozambique!!)
Reading all your comments reminds me of a friend we had visiting from England...she was kind of nervous about being in Africa I think. Anyway, towards the end of her visit we took her to Kruger. I think it was a psychological thing (perhaps the idea that there was no bathroom for miles around), but she needed to use the rest room every 15-30 minutes or so! My parents would make me get out of the car, "secure the area" and then she would dart out to a bush real quick. It made for a very different visit to Kruger, I must say!


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Unread postPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 12:55 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: From East London S.A., but living in Surrey, UK
We were doing a morning walk in Satara. The Ranger told us to not speak under any circumstances i.e. tap our clothes or shoulder etc, as we could scare the animals away. Anyway, we had just seen a tree full of vultures, so we thought there was a kill around and possible some lions etc. It was April (only a couple of weeks ago) and the grass was very high, so we were all a little bit on edge after we had passed the vultures (there was no kill). I saw some Zebra and proceeded to shout 'Zebra' to the Ranger, who had obviously seen then earlier, the Zebra looked up and walked away. Everyone looked at me (luckily it was just my fiance and a french couple + rangers). I kept very quite after that


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Unread postPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:52 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain
I decided not to recharge my videocam battery one night as I thought I had not taken much that day. The next morning, we left Tamboti and went to Satara. There were lion pins on the S100 about a third of the way. We went there and found at about 9h30 3 lionesses and 3 cubs walking in the road. We drove slowly next to the rear old lady and and as I started to film, my camera went on strike. BB Junior had to zoom out fully to get some of her in the still shots. She was so close we could have touched her with our biceps still in the car.

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 9:07 pm 
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Location: Gauties .
Reminds me of a bad video day also .
We spotted a pack of hyenas heading into the bush on the road near croc bridge , there was apparently a kill further in as the vultures where waiting in the trees .
I was filming the hyenas when out of the bush burst 3 male lions , chasing the hyenas around in circles and eventually across the road and into the bush on the other side , before strutting proudly back in the direction of the kill .

Had just started watching the footage while braaing , and a few black labels to the wind , when I was called excitedly to the fence by my boet , as there was a hyena patrolling the fence .
Without thinking twice I went and recorded over the whole event from the morning by filming the mangy fence hyena

To this day I do not look at pre recorded footage , until I am out the park and have clicked on the safety tab on the tape .


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:35 pm 
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Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
I have several stupid video mistakes, as I was still learing to use the video camera during my recent visit. On reviewing the videos, which I usually didn't do until I was back home, weeks later (I still haven't looked at all of it), I discovered that at several of my most exciting sightings, I was so excited that on occassion I pushed the "pause" button twice, but didn't realise it, so I have some extended passages of the car seat , and then when I thought that I was picking up the camera and pushing the button again to record, I was in fact pausing it, but didn't notice that the display said 'pause' in green, rather than 'rec' in red. Thus, for example, I have only @ 5 minutes of video of my wild dog sighting, rather than the 10-15 minutes I'd thought I was taping.

Second dumb thing was, my first full day in the park this trip, set off with my carefully packed camera bag — spare batteries, extra CF cards, even the car chargers (no electricity outlets in the Shimuwini chalets). As I'm shooting video of a potential emerging tusker near Mopani, I realise I'm getting to the end of that tape and reach into the bag for the spare — only to discover that I'd forgotten to pack it Fortunately, they had mini DV tapes at the Mopani shop, and for the rest of my trip I never left camp without 2 spares. But I know how lucky I was, as later in my trip, when I realised that I was running low and would need (at least) one additional tape, all of the camp shops I tried were out of stock and I had to make a desperation run to Phalaborwa

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:00 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Chasing down the rarities
I never do stupid things... I once thought I did, but it was stupid of me to think so...

But Bostokkelos once did a stupid thing...

I was photographing the famous baobab in Mopani rest camp with my safety belt on(Damn, I miss that place now!). So as I was taking the picture, the nuttface poked me in the short rib with an extended nuckle of the middle finger... and he twisted it to get maximum intended gesturing of appreciation from my side.

Asking him why he would do such a stoopid thing. He replied that he did it out of love cause I had my safety belt on.

To return the favour as we drove back to Letaba we came across a fresh elephant crossing of a herd that must have numbered up to a 100 if you took the amount of crap into consideration that laid in the road(Why do elephants always do this? Crapping and urinating on roads? Huh?).

Not one drving thru dung for the fear of killing a dung beetle or something I had no choice... there was just no ways I was not gonna drive over a "landmine". I thought it would be sweet revenge to get some ele produced aroma on the underside of his bakkie.

And pardon the pun on landmine as I hit the 2nd and last one... It exploded and splat up, hitting me under the elbow which was resting thru the open window on the door like a typical Kameeldriffontein farmer in his V6 ford bakkie with a bottle of klippies under his seat and a sun damaged tape of Kurt Darren's "Meisie meisie" croaking thru the long gone front speakers.

I can honestly tell you okes and okettes that having your arm out of the window for 20kms to keep the green bottle flies out of the car is a bit tiresome and I could think of a few things I'd much rather want to do to get the hours by travelling thru mopani country. Especially if you have someone like bostokkelos sitting next to you wiping tears away from laughter for 30 mins and then for the rest ot the trip poking me in the rib again... because I again had my safety belt on!!

We did see Mabarule on our way to Mopani that day though. So it was quite a memorible day!

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 Post subject: Silly situations
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:35 pm 
A lot of forumites may wonder what the chances are of stopping by the roadside for some "quick bladder relief" and spotting a lion while you are busy.

Obviously one scans the area before taking such a drastic step. However, we humans might as well scan our noses, I think, if we assume we will see a hidden predator.

We stopped at Hlambamaduba waterhole on the Mbyamiti loop once and thought it nice and private for a quick release. Lo and behold a big male Lion strolled out of the bush about 30 metres away while we were busy.

Once chaos had descended and our mission remained damply incompleted, we noticed he had simply strolled off, probably chuckling into his beard.

So it can happen.

Richprins


Last edited by Richprins on Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:12 pm 
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Location: Washington DC
We were fortunate to see leopards mating during our trip in 2003. DH was filming on videotape and thought he had pressed "record" but hadn't. He did, however, press "record" when the brief event was over, and all that remains on video of the event is the ensuing several minutes of our seat cushion in the dark and the sound of my husband saying, "I totally got that on the video, I can't wait to watch it later!" To this day it makes me laugh but my husband still has yet to see the humor in it.

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 Post subject: Windgat
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:44 pm 
We had a huge end of year staff get together in Lower Sabie in the mid 90's, and I was heading off solo from Nelspruit to join them.

I was in a FINE mood by the time I reached the final tar stretch where the road joins the Sabie River coming from Croc Bridge, having seen a leopard on the S25, and having had a couple of canned lions. (They were still around in those days)

The sun was setting, the heat was lessening, and life was good.

I stopped to look at a secretary bird right next to the road - a rare sighting for me - and enjoyed a very good view.
Suddenly I noticed a minibus taxi parked slightly ahead of me, and decided to do a bit of ad hoc educational work. I frantically waved for them to come closer, but they politely smiled and stayed put.

Seemingly not having made myself clear regarding the beautiful sighting they were missing, I continued demanding that they approach, which they eventually did.

After politely listening to my long lecture on the merits of the secretary bird, and seeming suitably impressed, they left in order to be in time for the gate.

I started up and when I reached the spot where THEY had been parked originally, found a pride of 13 lion lying right next to the road - eventually moving onto the tar as it cooled!

I took the best lion photos of my life, with frontal flash and the setting sun behind, and wondered why I was such a patronising moron.

On the other hand, they could have beckoned me closer!?

Funny country
Richprins


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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:34 pm 
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Location: Sunshine Coast
Great story Rich !!! I pitched up at Ngirivane Dam on a very hot day and there was a Condor with a young family parked in the full sun when they could have been parking under a lovely shady tree diagonally in front of them. I saw the fish eagle sitting on a dead tree near the water with the Saddle Billed Stork pacing the shoreline. I motioned that I would like to go to the shade and asked if they wouldnt mind they said "No Problem" so I parked at 2 o clock from where they were facing (I was right under the tree and still wondered why the hell they didnt go there as they were first there and had the pick of all spots ...unusual for the Satara area.) Then the stork caught a fish looked like a small Barbel and sauntered off only to be dive bombed by the fish eagle who snatched the dropped fish and flew 100 metres away to a log with the stork slowly walking up to it to say "Hey give me back my lunch" this went on for half an hour or so when a baby in the Condor started to cry and the parents started up out of consideration I thought to leave and not to disturb us. He edged up to my window and asked me what stork we were looking at and then said "nice Leopard Kill" I asked him where and what he meant. He said, "he is right above you and he is trying to get down but you are too close to the tree. " We both reversed just intime to see Mr Spots jump gracefully to the ground and bound into the grass and gone leaving a young uneaten impala ram hanging in deep cover high up right over where our car had been. They told us they arrived at the dam 20 minutes before us and he was at the base of the tree with his prey and they watched him climb up. They thought we had seen him as I had my then HR Decal on the door and of course HR's dont miss anything!!!!
They soon realised I hadnt seen him as we were so intent on the waterfront bird action and decided to tell us only when baby got scared and cried at the sight of an agitated leopard trying to get down. I wonder how many other leopards and Pels fishing owls I have missed over the years in exactly the same way. That night at Lower Sabie I found 2 large blood spots on the roof of my car from the fresh kill that was right above us!!

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:42 pm 
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Location: I'm the patty in Jam Street
Not something I did myself, but I was a close spectator - so I guess that would qualify the story for this thread.

It must have been about 45 years ago – my dad had just retired from a good amateur wrestling “career” as a cruiser weight and was still in pretty good nick physically, although by then already a fully-fledged heavy. We owned a nearly brand new Yankee-tank that my father used to chamois-shine every day after the trip in KNP. Don’t ask the exact detail – it was too long ago, and I must have been only 8 years old – but somewhere along one of our routes baboons used to hitch a ride on the cars and beg for food which in those days the tourists supplied plenty of.

I remember us slowing down to watch this baboon-spoiling party when the troop leader sauntered up to our car and casually bounded onto the hood. My dad had a short fuse and this baboon had just pushed his testosterone button! All the way in! We stopped. The old man quietly opened his door and slowly sneaked around the front of the car to get into reach so that he could knock the baboon off the bonnet. This was gonna be spectacular: my dad cocked his arm all the way back and still the baboon sat – non the wiser of impending danger… And then the shot to top all fesh-air shots. Before the follow-through was completed the baboon sat on the bonnet of another car going in the opposite direction! In the process of missing the old man had done himself a shoulder injury!

That evening I had to do the chamois-shine and the next day we drove to Skukuza where the camp doctor made the torn ligament diagnosis that spelled the end of our holiday!

My dad turned 82 in December. Winter aches still remind him of that miss!

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:18 pm 
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Not really a stupid thing which I did myself, but more a stupid thing which was done to me

In May last year my wife and I were driving down the tar road from Skukuza to Lower Sabie. Halfway down the road we found some elephants that were drinking from the river. We had a nice view of them, and my SO loves elephants, so we stopped and sat with them for a while. I usually get bored of elephants a lot quicker than my SO so I started looking around me after a couple of minutes and.....there was a lioness walking on the road towards us. Needless to say my SO forgot all about the ellies after I said 'LION' (sorry Bert) very loudly.

Image

We let the lioness pass us, turned the car around and started to follow her. As this is a pretty busy road we soon had a fair number of cars behind us, but we were in front so we weren't really worried. The lioness walked on the road for around one kilometer and then spotted some impalas that hadn't noticed her. She ran into the bush after them, killed one and walked onto the tar road again while dragging this very relaxed impala along.

Image

We kept following her for a while decided to pass her and wait for her about 200m down the road. This is when everything went horribly wrong
When we passed her the next car in line didn't follow the lion at a discrete distance like we'd done but continued to drive parallel to the lioness. She didn't like this a bit and when she reached us she decided to take a right into the bush. By now there must have been around 40 cars there, it was the biggest traffic jam I've ever seen in Kruger. The reaction of all these cars was to try to find the best spot to still see this lion (I think you'll all know these scenes). I this process a hideous little blue nissan driven by two old tannies decided to reverse....and didn't see our Toyota (which was at least double the size of this flippin Nissan)....and drove straight into us.

Needless to say I was not impressed at all. I kindly asked these tannies to move their car the way they came from and then was left with a problem. I couldn't see if our car was damaged and there was a lioness about 15m away so i couldn't get out of the car. These tannies meanwhile didn't even look at us anymore but continued to try to get a good view of this lioness. My mood wasn't getting any better and I asked them to follow us down the road to check our car for damage. They probably didn't like my tone of voice because they suddenly lost their ability to speak English and could only speak Afrikaans. Bad luck for them....I also speak Afrikaans and 'kindly' requested them to follow me which they then did. During the inspection of our car they regained their knowledge of English

In the end our car wasn't damaged badly enough to make a big fuss so we thanked these old tannies for their cooperation and told them to go back to the lioness which was now on the road again and walking towards us....


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:47 pm 
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Had to be locking the car keys in the trunk of the car the morning that we were packing up to change camps from Berg-en-dal to Lower Sabie.


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