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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:13 pm 
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Location: Germany (Bühl) - but dreaming of Africa!
At my EcoTraining course one night a student said he had seen something in camp - just the reflecting eyes but he had a bad torch and couldn`t see more

We all assumed it would be Hyena as they were around camp the previous night as well so walked there and a had (careful) look around, shining our torches
But couldn`t find anything

On the next morning walk we came across some footprints near the path were we looked for the "hyena" - and it was the prints of a huge leopard!!

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Jochen

KNP-trip No. 8: 2014!
30 November: Pretoriuskop
1-2 December: Lower Sabie
3-4 December: Satara
5-6 December: Balule
7-8 December: Letaba
9-10 December: Tamboti

1993, 1995, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2013. Next trip coming up!


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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:18 pm 
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A hair raising experience of a different kind in one of our tamer parks today.

My brother and sister-in-law are in Golden Gate NP at the mo. They did the longer hiking trail today and my SIL narrowly missed being bitten by a snake. They managed a photograph which they showed to SANParks staff back at camp. Puffadder.

She must still be shaking - she's terrified of snakes.

Hoping they'll give me the photo to post here.


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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:36 pm 
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Great stories you guys ... but you have heard nothing yet!

It happened in Kruger one night. We were camping in Crocodile bridge. Had a nice place right next to the fence, looking in to the bush, with all the accompanying animals moving past from time to time.

Well, it was dark moon, so at night little was visible, but you could hear that the bush was alive. Heard some lovely lion roaring nearby one night, magic sounds of Africa, especially on the other side of the fence. That particular night, we had the usual (at that time) power failure. So even the camp was dark from just past 7pm.

Everyone in the camp seemed to decide to turn in early, since there was no power. By nine it was silent and deserted. But as usual, I was out enjoying the beautiful stars and sounds of the night.

Now I know, one should not do it. Have read all about animals in camps, but ... hey ... I am an African.

So I took myself a little walk down to the river fence. Because it was dark, and I had no torch, I could just manage to find my way, and spent a wonderful twenty minutes or so on the bench, watching the white of the river flowing past. The sound drowned out the animal sounds, creating that eerie feeling at the back of your neck that something is there ... creeping closer.

Then I decided to go back ... it was getting chilly after all!

With every sense in my body on high alert I walked back. Moving past the last row of bungalows, I rounded a corner to turn towards the tent.

Suddenly I froze ... less than ten meters in front of me ... there she was ...

My mother in law!

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Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:05 pm 
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I had the priviledge of camping in an unfenced place towards the north with a friend who was at that stage a wilderness trails ranger .
I stayed up after he had gone to bed and dozed off around the fire for a short while , and then crept into my tent .
The following morning I noticed we had been visited by a leopard , his tracks were on top of mine left when I visited the toilet .

Sometimes we become a bit blase and careless ....

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:29 am 
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Camping at Punda about six months ago, my entrance flap about 2 metres from, and facing onto, the fence. Could hear buffalo ripping the grass stalks for a goodly time, until, although I wished I could stay awake all night merging with the magnificence of nature, my happy, weary body visited never never land.
Around midnight, I thought I was being attacked as all my muscles contracted involuntarily, and I could taste that awful flavour of fear. I bolted upright and, heart pumping, I unzipped my tent gingerly.
Then it became clear that a pride of lion were hanging back in bush cover - perhaps 200 m from the fence, and a young elephant, who had ventured closer to the fence, and a little away from his herd, had picked up their scent. And the noise that startled me was the loud, loud trumpeting in his alarm. He went charging across the turf towards his elders (you know how cute an elephant calf looks when sprinting) and, after much giggling in the camp and sharing of war stories, a half hour later all was still again save the unperturbed buffalo lawnmowing the grass.
My heart didn't settle down for an hour thereafter, my ears straining for every sound I could make out. The lions melted into the bush and did not return.

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TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:21 am 
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A bad eighties musicians hairstyle made my hair stand on end.
Image
LOL

Actually mine was camping in Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington state, USA as a teenager. We were sleeping under a tarp at about 3050m elevation and I woke in the middle of the night to find a brown bear about a foot from my head. I screamed, my father quickly grabbed a camp shovel and poked the bear in the nose, which caused it to stand up on it's hind legs, then trip and fall on top of us. It ran into the woods screaming bloody murder. Made it a long sleepless night in the wilderness.

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Counting the days until we come home to Kruger


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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:05 pm 
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Location: Durban South Africa
Nossob, KTP Jan 08

It was my first visit to KTP but won't be my last!

For some reason, I woke suddenly at 4:45am with a desire to visit to the floodlit hide. The camp was still in pitch darkness with nobody about as me and my trusty maglite made our way towards the fence. As I walked along the fence I realised that an enormous lion was walking along beside me on the other side, almost close enough to touch. I stopped in my tracks and we looked at each other. He was so close that I could smell him and see the scratch marks on his face. The fence suddenly looked a lot less secure than it had before. After what seemed like an eternity, he turned and moved away from me towards the waterhole, took a few steps and then turned back and let out a roar that had me paralysed with fear. Then he just walked away and melted into the darkness. The roar had woken people in the camp who came down to the fence to ask me if I'd seen the lion but it was a while before I could speak. I don't go wandering before daylight anymore!


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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:51 am 
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I've always wondered what I would do if unexpectedly coming face-to-face with a dangerous predator. I don't think anyone really knows what they would do - adrenaline would determine the next move! I have read all kinds of advice, like backing off slowly with lowered eyes, or banging something hard to make a huge racket, but I doubt I'd be able to do that in that situation! Which is why reading what some of the rangers have done in dangerous predicaments makes me revere them even more!!

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TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:12 pm 
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Location: Graskop South Africa
We're just loving all these "hair raising" stories!!! Had a few ourselves...

We were watching a pride of 14 lions on a buff they killed early the morning on the Nwanetsi road, after the lions had their fill and moved off to dose under the thorn trees, the vultures started to do their bit, one of the young males chased them away a few times, but his full belly got the better of him and he later retired his attemts at keeping the scavengers at bay. After about 15 minutes of wathing the vultures sqauble over the remains of the buff carcass, without any disturbance from the lions, we thought that the big cats won't get up in that heat to try and chase them away again. Because it was so hot, we had all the windows open and were all watching the vultures on the left-hand side of the road, next moment my fiance grabs my arm and told me to turn slowly, as I turned I noticed a very big black mane filling my dad's window, with my dad sitting with his back towards the window, I told him to turn around very slowly while moving away from the window, for a few brief moments my father and the big male lion had a face to face staredown through a open car window!!!!!!! It was quite nerve wrecking!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:18 pm 
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In Feb, 09 we were charged by a white rhino bull on the Talamati road. He had a cow with a calf with him, but wat made him so aggro was the fact that there was another big bull walking about 300m from them, he came without warning, blowing like a steam train, head lowered, he chased us down the road, me in reverse gear, for a good 200 to 300m
I've worked with rhino in the past and have been mock charged quite a few times, but this one left me rattled for a while afterwards!

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Kgalagadi 01 - 08 May 2010!!!!
Twee Rivieren 01/08 May
Mata Mata 02-04 May
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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:29 pm 
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Just two more

Last year in Botswana, we camed in one of the parks up north. Had a resident hyaena, known for making trouble in this particular camp, sniff me from behind while I was braaing meat, I only noticed her right behind me when I heard a small twig snap behind me, I immediatly frose, she stood there for a few seconds then turned around and walked off.

A few days later in that same camp I was mock charged by an ellephant bull while I was walking back from the bathroom towards our camp, he stopped a few metres away and kicked a bow of sand in my direction, standing a few meters away, facing me with trunk tretched out, head raised, ears held out wide and rumbling, I just stood there in awe, It was one of the most beautifull things I have ever had the privelidge of experiencing

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Kgalagadi 01 - 08 May 2010!!!!
Twee Rivieren 01/08 May
Mata Mata 02-04 May
Nossob 05-07 May


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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:33 pm 
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I've had my share of hair raising experiences in the past, starting from when i was a little kid. All of them in the Kruger though I just keep going back. Though 3 stand out, I'll only mention 1.(don't wanna scare people of)
I was about 7years old and we were had stopped to see 2male elephants in the middle of the road, knowing how dangerous they could be we stopped a good distance away from them. we were watching them quite happily when all of a sudden the both just turned to face us and started charging towards us. I've never seen my dad shift gears so fast in my life. We literally sped in reverse for a good distance when they just veered of into the bush. Needless to say I was too busy crying and covering my eyes to appreciate the "beauty" of it.
We've been mock charged by elephants in musth 3 times after that, I'm beginning to feel that elephants don't like me very much.
They always seem to be staring right at me.


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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:07 pm 
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This is a wonderful tread. Thanks for sharing your stories.

When we visited Biyamiti a month ago I had a fright of my live. I desperately needed to go to the bathroom, so when we got to camp,
I immediately walked to the toilet, already unzipping my pants.
But then ....….

There was a ‘rat’ in the toilet, and being terrified of rats, I yelled and ran outside to get some help. The neighbour was the closest by and ran inside to see what the fuss is all about.

It turned out to be a squirrel. The poor thing. It looked dead, not moving at all.

Long story short, we saved the squirrel and all ended well, but I had a lot of trouble going to the toilet the rest of our stay. And the nightmares that night of human eating rats kept me awake for a few hours

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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:45 am 
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I must say that, to-date, I haven't had too many major frights in the bush. Maybe if I went on more bush walks? :hmz:

Once, a long time ago, my friend and I stopped to admire a young elephant calf on the right hand side of the road. Not another elephant was in sight and we were too green to figure that mom must be somewhere! Suddenly, we heard a loud trumpet and, turning to the sound of the noise, we noticed that we had parked smack bang between mom and baby! My friend, who is usually very calm, was so surprised that the shock knocked his hand from the gear lever as he was trying to get the car into gear. The result was that the car revs climbed dramatically. Now, to an elephant, this probably sounded like a return challenge, and so mom headed rapidly in our direction. I still doubt that you can always know whether it is a mock charge or not, and so it is best to err on the side of caution; viz. get the blazes out of there! I was on the side of the charging mom and my blood ran cold for a moment; then the car kicked into gear, the back oscillated from side to side on the dirt road, and we just managed to extricate ourselves from the danger. Shaken, but not stirred.

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EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


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 Post subject: Re: What made your hair stand on end?
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:08 am 
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I've always been wary of ele's (wary, not scared) since I started driving myself.

Took my Aunt from the UK (reasonably bush aware having spent a lot of time in Kenya and Tanzania) to KNP back in early '82 for a week at Satara. We were cruising the back roads in my little red golf and came around a bend and down into a donga at about 15k's/hr when out of the bush came a (in comparison to the little red golf) VERY large young bull who proceeded to chase me back up the donga at a helluva tilt in reverse - he followed for about 50 or 60m before ducking off to the side. It took my heart a few minutes to calm down and proceed down the road. Ever since then I've been wary because things can change so quickly with ele's.

Happened again this year - we were on the S56 just crawling along enjoying the view into the river (one of my favourite roads) when we saw a herd of ele's in the river bed. We were watching a young one fall into and climb out of one of their waterholes when I glanced over to the right and saw a youngish bull coming through the trees on the other side heading for the river. We sat at watched him from about 30m away and as he seemed fairly calm we were'nt too worried - all of a sudden he veered and headed straight towards us - car was in reverse and we were going backwards in microseconds - he followed for maybe 20m and then turned off for the river - cheeky sod was probably having a good chuckle.

One of the guides on a night drive earlier had said not to reverse as the ele see's this as a win for himself but it's damn difficult not to do - I know theoretically that it's a mock charge but .............

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