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 Post subject: spargish Shrek and is that a bushbuck... Dec 2010
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:14 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Johannesburg
So After being down that I was home from Kruger, I have cheered up and decided that I should start my TR :mrgreen:

If you would like to know about the name of the TR it will be explained in due time. :hmz:

I really enjoyed this trip I noticed many different things that I have never noticed or seen in Kruger before.

Day 1

We set off from a JHB on the Thursday of the rains that caused localized flooding. Thankfully we stay on the east rand and didnt have have to drive through to much rain, by the time we reached witbank it was done. We enjoyed breakfast at Millies and then stopped off in Nelspruit for some last minute shopping. My dad had decided that he wanted to enter through crocodile,we werent sure how wise this was because of the heavy rain. We got to the gate and to our Horror alot of cars were turning round and the gates were closed but thankfully it was because the quote was full.

After entering we decided to head up to Lower Sabie for lunch and then down to Biyamiti. We saw alot of impala while heading towards the S28, at the dam just before the S28 we spotted a nice group of hippo's.
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We then came across to very hard working Beatles.
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I love baby impalas and thought this group chilling in the shade was just to cute.
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We also saw quite a few wildebeest and Zebra's on the S28 and a heard of elephants in the distance plus a mean ostrich that wouldnt lift his head for a picture. We also stopped off at Nhlanganzwani Hide but the place was literally covered in baboon poo. :redface:

When I got to LS I was appalled by the amount of day visitors drinking and loitering around there vehicles.On the deck we saw 2 saddle bill storks and a really big croc. The fish eagle was kind enough to fly right over head.
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Day 1 part 2 coming soon

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Bro & Sis Road Trip V2 in September


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 Post subject: Re: Shrek and is that a bushbuck...
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:51 pm 
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Thanks for the Christmas, and I hope you all had an awesome day :thumbs_up:

Day 1 cont.

So after retreating from the crowds of Lower Sabie, we headed down to Biyamiti. We took the S82 South where we spotted one of my favourite photographic subjects. A white backed Vulture

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We also spotted our 1st of many Rhino's

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We then re-joined the H4-2 and travelled a short bit south, with lots of impalas watching us as we slowly passed by :) We then joined the H-5 dirt road , to get onto the S108 which joins up to the S25.

On the H5 we ran into one of the little 7, a leopard tortoise
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As we crossed the biyamiti river on the S25 we spotted a pair of saddle bill stork settling down for the night and on the other side a lone daga boy was settling down.
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We then spotted a pair of white rhino's on at the Biyamiti road unfortunately the light was dark and they were behind some bush so I couldn't get any good pics :wall:

We checked into the beautiful Biyamiti, but I was saddened to see the beautiful lawn had not been cut for quite a while :( But that didnt stop me from enjoying a braai and a whisky or 2 to fight the humidity.

PS I for got to mention all the pictures are clickable thumbnails

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 Post subject: Re: Shrek and is that a bushbuck...
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:49 pm 
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Thanx every one :thumbs_up:

@rookie unfortunately because i booked kinda late, we had 2 nights at biyamiti but in different bungalows. We had number 9 and then 13. Unfortunately the bush on the private road was so thick we struggled for sightings, even the rangers commented on the strange lack of game on the road

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 Post subject: Re: Shrek and is that a bushbuck...
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:30 pm 
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Day 2

So after a good nights sleep I woke up at 4:00 and enjoyed an Ice cold glass of water, hoped into the car and waited at the gate for 4:30, after the gates were opened I drove out of the camp and turned headed south on the Biyamiti road, then took the S25 towards Berg en dal.

I didn't see much game, but the francolins and Guinea fowls were every where and I really love watching and listening to the bush wake up. After about 10km's west on the S25, I turned around and headed back to biyamiti to pick up the parents.

After picking them up we headed north on the Biyamiti road towards the weir, there were numerous pools of water on either side of the road and after a short while we came across this little guy crossing the road.
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perhaps he was trying to get to his friend on the other side

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We then headed to the weir where there wasnt to much happening, but we enjoyed a cup of coffee and an ouma in the lovely setting, before heading back to camp. We unfortunately were staying in a different bungalow at Biyamiti so we had to move our stuff. We were then going to head to afsaal for lunch. But before we left this friendly Hornbill decided to pose for me

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We headed South on the Biyamiti road and then took the S25 towards Crocodile and then took the S26 towards the H3. We came accross this rather Brazen guy sunning himself in the road.

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Before joining the S113 to get to the H3 we came across this small heard with youngsters, heading down to the roadside river

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We then headed south and enjoyed a cooling ice cream and drink at afsaal.

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 Post subject: Re: Shrek and is that a bushbuck...
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:43 pm 
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Day 2 cont

So after cooling down at a rather quiet Afsaal, which was nice compared to the over crowed Lower Sabie the previous day, We headed south on the H3. I really enjoyed the rejuvenated veld, I think the fires, although controversial, were very successful. You could see deep into the bush and we saw quite a few Zebra in the distance.

we came across this regal old man

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a little further on we came across some more old men this time they were daga boys

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Then just after the renosterpan we came across a minor traffic jam, and we were lucky enough to spy on this beautiful couple

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we spent quite some time there butit was the heat of the day and these 2 werent budging

We then took the S118 along the mlambane river, the opposite was teaming with giraffes and Zebras
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We made a quick stop off at the gardenia hide but sadly there was no action there. We rejoined the S25 and headed towards the Biyamiti pvt road, but 1st we met another Rhino :cam:

Image

We got to camp anded enjoyed a late lunch/early braai because we were going on a sunset drive later.

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 Post subject: Re: Shrek and is that a bushbuck...
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg
Day 2 - Sunset Drive

So after enjoying a lovely early braai, we took a slow walk up to the biyamiti reception, it was a very slow walk as temperatures had reached 40 degrees at afsaal at midday :shock: it was a almost a full drive, 9 of the 10 seats were full, we were all welting in the heat waiting for the guide :doh:

When he saw there were only 9 people booked he asked if he could bring his son along in the remaining sit, which I thought was quite nice, some early training for the young lad perhaps :clap:

He said we would not be going up the long strech of the PVT road because sightings had been very very scarce lately, instead we were going to go towards crocodile, we would do a short stint east on the S25 then take the S108 towards the H5 and then down towards crocodile on the H4-2 and return to camp on the S25. I was rather happy with that route as the sightings around the crocodile had been excellent lately.

We had quite a few nice sightings of giraffes, impalas, a brown snake eagle and a tiny croc so far. I was busy fidling with my camera settings now as it was getting dark and I wanted to change the ISO, as we rounded a corner I looked up and said rhino, to our delight it was a BLACK RHINO :big_eyes: He was unfortunately very skittish and ran off quickly, sadly I didnt get any good pictures as my camera set up wasnt good :slap: , but still we saw him.
Image
The ranger then told us they call that rhino Shrek as he doesn't have any ear lobes, he also said they have got very close to him on some morning walks and it looks like he was born that way. Even though the picture is terrible you can make out the black rhino shape :)

After that it started getting dark and I know my picture opportunities were fading, luckily my dad had his HD camera with him which doesn't require a flash most of the time :D

But before that time we spotted a regal kudu crossing the road, he stopped anded possed for us 8)
Image

As we turned onto the H4-2 we spotted a group of White rhino, but they were to far off for pictures. We also came across a spotted Hyaena, it looked like he might have been in a fight but when we got closer we noticed it was actually a snare :cry: It ran off into the bush and all the ranger could do was notify the crocodile camp when he got back to biyamiti.

We carried on towards crocodile on the H4-2, we spotted a juvenile marshall in a tree
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After we left that the guide, said leopard up in front, he sped up and the leopard crossed the road, we waited for it to perhaps show itself again, which it did :D She was a rather small one, and she just sat watching us for quite some time :lol:
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We spent as much time as we could there having a stare down lol, we had to eventually leave and then turned onto the S25, it was around 10 to 8 now and the ranger stopped the vehicle, and a car drove up next to us, :huh: A man opened his window and in a thick american accent asked if the ranger could direct him to Jock Safari lodge as he took a wrong turn and got lost :big_eyes: The ranger directed him and also told him he would be taking his vehicle registration and inform the offences guys he was late and he would get a fine. The guy then drove off, but in the space of 4km's he had hit 4 scrub hares :cry: :big_eyes:

We didnt see much more except tons and tons of impala, we turned back onto the pvt road and spotted a couple hippo's grazing.

So it was an eventful drive, we completed the big 5 and saw a black rhino, but also an idiot who should have been thrown out of the park.

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Slumming it at Balule TR now on.....

Bro & Sis Road Trip V2 in September


Last edited by saraf on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Shrek and is that a bushbuck...
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:52 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg
Day 3

After our Sunset drive We were all a little tired, so we didnt leave camp at 4:30 but rather at 5:30, we left Biyamiti and decided to mpondo dam, we were all a quite relieved it was a little overcast and not as hot as it was the day before :roll:

We decided to head towards the S25 and then head east towards the S108 to join the H5.

Will crossing the Biyamiti river we saw the buffalo again :)

Image

There wasnt to much other action besides a couple of impala and some giraffes But It doesnt really matter to me as I just love driving around the park :thumbs_up: We eventually reached the S102 and turned towards mpondo dam, there wasnt to much happening but I love mpondo dam just for its shear size. We enjoyed a cup of coffee and an ouma or 2, we then headed back towards Biyamiti to have a late breakfast.

As we were leaving the dam we spotted a small group of waterbuck lying down at the edge of the dam, unfortunately the light wasnt good and they were a tad to far for a pic.

Carrying on down the S102 we spotted a pair of my favourite birds crossing the road, ground hornbills :mrgreen:

Image

One was even kind enough to jump onto a branch right above my window, what a spotlight hog :dance:

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We reached the S26 and headed back down to the S25, we spotted this slow tiny guy crossing the road, it must be quite a nerve racking experience crossing a road when you are that small and slow.

Image

We got back to camp and enjoyed a lovely breakfast of bacon and eggs, I love the streaky bacon from halls :D

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 Post subject: Re: Shrek and is that a bushbuck...
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:20 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg
Day 3 cont

So after a good breakfast, we packed up and said a sad good bye to biyamiti and headed off towards Malelane via the biyamiti weir and Afsaal.

We left camp and headed up the Biyamiti pvt road up towards the weir, after the cool morning it was a boiling hot day again. Unfortunately just as the sanparks staff had said the road was really really quiet but its such a beautiful road cant wait to drive it again.

We got to one of my favourite places in the park the weir, we sat their for quiet a while just taking in the beautiful scenery. We decided to take the biyamiti loop up towards the S113 towards the H3, it was now during the heat of the day and all the animals were "hiding" lol, we did see a couple of elephants in the river bed and some daga boys sleeping on the opposite bank.

We reached Afsaal and and enjoyed an Ice cold Windhoek Draft which went down so well on the hot day, the resident bush buck decided(not the one im talking about in the title) to pose on the Giant anthill
Image

We then embarked on the journey down to the Malelane gate to check in at the camp,via the timfeni loop. We saw a lot of impalas and a few little warthog families. Once checked in we enjoyed an hour or so break at camp. We decided to head to Berg en dal and have an ice cream while sitting at the dam. After we were finished we headed to my favourite waterhole the matjulu waterhole, I spent many a childhood afternoon in the park there.

There were quiet a lot of zebra and impala at the waterhole, but they soon moved off. I looked to my left and saw a mother and baby rhino coming down to drink, we watched them drink and they were soon joined by another 2 rhino joined them. We watched the Rhino's drink and wallow in the mud for at least 45minutes.

baby
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Mommy
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Baby and mother
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The other 2 that joined them
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With it getting late we set off back towards Camp via the Matjulu loop which was quiet besides for some Giraffe on the opposite bank.

We got back to camp and just took in our last night by the fire enjoying a beautiful braai.

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Bro & Sis Road Trip V2 in September


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 Post subject: Re: Shrek and is that a bushbuck...
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:27 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg
The Final Drive

So we reached that day we all dread the exit drive :cry:

So my parents didnt feel like going for a drive at 4:30 but rather at around 5:30, So I said im going to go on a drive at 4:30 and then pick them up at 5:30. My alarm goes off at 4:00 and I put it on snooze :wall: I fall asleep and only hear it again at 4:45 :doh: :doh:

I throw some clothes on and run to the car, I orginally wanted to take the H3 all the way to Afsaal and then back down, now that I was late I had to cut it a bit short and take the timfene loop back down to Malelane.

So I got out, it was overcast with a slight drizzle, I went up the H3 and like me I think the animals also put their alarm clocks on snooze, I saw a few small groups of impala and thats it, but nothing beats the sun rising in the lowveld.

Got back to Malelane and picked up the folks, we decided to the tar road toward berg en dal and then back to the Matjulu waterhole and then take the matjulu loop towards steilberg, although steilberg is not the best route for game viewing,I love the view it gives you over the Malelane koppies.

As we turned out of the Malelane we were stopped by a car and he said 8km's down the road there was a male lion in the road, so naturally we were excited and hastened our drive but sadly the lion must have moved off :cry:

We headed off to the Matjulu water hole, but there was absolutely no action there, we then headed off to steilberg were we saw quite a few zebra, but the light was terrible. We found a little turn off and enjoyed our coffee with a rusk while enjoying the view :cam:

We came to the end of the steilberg road and decided to head up to renosterpan and then head back to camp, the H3 was also pretty pedestrian but we did see quite a few impala, we reached the renosterpan turn off and carried on towards the pan, my mom saw 2 "bushbuck" on the left I had a closer look and said stop as I could see they weren't bushbuck. They were Reedbuck, but darker than any reedbuck I had seen, I looked in my species guide and they looked as dark as the picture of a Mountain reedbuck. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

They were rather skittish, and started to move off so I hurried to get the camera, I sadly only got a couple shots.
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There is some conjecture as to if they were common reedbuck or mountain reedbuck, but I dont really mind as they are a type of reedbuck :dance: :dance:

We moved off towards the pan but nothing was happening there, we headed back towards the H3 and I was hoping to see the elusive antelopes again but they had truelly moved off. We turned back down towards camp on the H3, we came accross a Hyeane in the road, but he quickly moved into his storm water drain when the traffic arrived.

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We enjoyed a quick breakfast at camp packed the car and then started the short journey to the gate :cry: We were left with this cute group as our last sighting.

Image

And that was our trip, thank you for sharing this TR with me :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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