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Golden Gate: Vulture restuarant

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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mad4wildlife
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Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide

Unread postby mad4wildlife » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:34 pm

Thanks Imberbe

Looking forward to visiting there some day.

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JDW
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Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide

Unread postby JDW » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:57 pm

Imberbe
We are visiting Golden Gate in October.
What is the advantage of using the photography area over the public area.
Is food for the vultures placed daily or other specific times.
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JDW
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Imberbe
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Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide

Unread postby Imberbe » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:16 am

The two sections are part of the same building. When booking the photography area you will have exclusive use of this section. It is separated by a door from the rest of the hide. Both the public area and the photography area have one direction windows shielding you from view.

The photography area has sections cut in to the window through which you can place your camera lenses to eliminate shooting through a window. If I remember correctly there are three (?) such openings. These have canvas coverings which can be lifted.

Food is not placed daily and I don't know the exact schedule.

Remember that the one major attraction at this hide is the possibility of seeing the bearded vulture. Their main diet is the bones and the marrow it contains. So a fresh carcass is not needed.

It is the hide with the best possible scenery. It gives a magnificent backdrop to any photo and is worth a photo by itself.
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JDW
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Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide

Unread postby JDW » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:23 am

Imberbe
Thanks for the information.
As always very informative.
Will make sure that we visit at least once during our two days at Golden Gate
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JDW
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kite
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Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide

Unread postby kite » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:41 am

Well, the 50% discount on accommodation must be resulting in more visitors to Golden Gate.
Who could we contact with a request to put out more bones / carcasses at the hide on a weekly basis?
Many thanks!

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Jen
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Re: Golden Gate: Vulture restuarant

Unread postby Jen » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:52 pm

When last was a carcass placed in this area? I have heard that Golden Gate no longer gets carcasses for the area.
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PNF
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Re: Golden Gate: Vulture restuarant

Unread postby PNF » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:14 pm

Don't know when last a carcass was placed there but we were told in June by Reception at Golden Gate that feeding is totally dependant on donations of carcasses by the local farmers and that this is irregular - maybe once or twice a month. No carcass was placed during our one week stay in that area.
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vanderw
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Re: Golden Gate: Vulture restuarant

Unread postby vanderw » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:41 am

Hi All,

We were there last weekend and a carcass was placed at the hide on the 5th. It was very bare already when we saw it on Friday. We only saw crows unfortunately.

Will take a carcass with the next tome I go. :evil:

Chris

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Bwana_Kidogo
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Re: Golden Gate: Vulture restuarant

Unread postby Bwana_Kidogo » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:33 pm

I went to the hide this time last year (August 2013) and found it to be a wonderful addition to GGHNP. Sadly no recent carcasses being present and that which was there having been picked pretty clean. Parks staff could not tell me when carcasses would be delivered as it seems to be on an irregular donation basis by local farmers.
Anyway I sat for quite some time in the hide and made use of the photographic area with my wife and son and 2 friends. The door to the photo section was unlocked and we entered it without a problem.
I returned to the hide today (Aug 19 2014), a year later and was pleasantly surprised to see they had added a toilet facility and that two 3/4 day old zebra carcasses had been placed there, neither of which had been eaten much at all. A blacked back Jackal was feasting, however no raptors.
Sadly the photographic area door was locked, I couldn't get in! I could only use the general viewing which is not ideal for photography as this is a sealed windowed area.
I've trolled everywhere online to find out if there is now suddenly a booking procedure and with whom as the local staff at Glen Reenen GGNP know less than anything about it. I will stop past the GGHNP Hotel tomorrow at 8am and see if I can get any info there.

Has anyone a contact URL or link or a number I can call to find out how to book/unlock the area? I am at the park till Friday.

I'd be most grateful if anyone could reply ASAP as I am only here till Friday morning.

Many thanks.
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lion queen
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Re: Golden Gate: Vulture restuarant

Unread postby lion queen » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:32 am

Hi Bwana Kidogo,

Have a look at Bushbuddies Trip report..........here

This was one of his postings in there

Bushbuddies wrote:It is a really nice hide. I know they've got a seperate section in the hide (behind a locked door) for photographers - where you have space in the windows through which to put your lens. But they ask you R150 per person. Now over the 4 days we were there - we never got any vultures. My plan was to wait untill we see the vultures then race down to Glen Reenen to quickly go pay for the key and return for some good shots! :tongue: All my shots were actually taken through the window on the "commoners" side... :tongue:
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Bwana_Kidogo
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Re: Golden Gate: Vulture restuarant

Unread postby Bwana_Kidogo » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:21 pm

Hi Lion Queen,
Thanks for the reply!
On Wednesday afternoon I managed to speak with a SANParks receptionist/manageress Bhulani at the Glen Reenen Camp reception who was very helpful. She had solid info about the hide, feeding times, access and hire and very pleasant and helpful.

Suffices to say if you want access to the photographic side of the hide (where your lens is not behind a sheet of smokey glass as in the main viewing area) go to the Glen Reenen Camp reception (on the R712 just beyond the GGHNP Hotel heading toward the Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp / Harrismith) and pay a R150-00 fee per person (max 4 @ R150-00 each or R600-00). You will then be given the key to access the photo area of the hide. As I understand it you can make use of the facility the entire day and return the key in the evening.

No electricity, no cell signal at the hide :D but there is signal at the parking lot (+/- 250m from hide) in case of emergencies. There is a decent clean toilet (long drop) with TP. No running water so make sure you bring your own water or wet wipes. A spare roll of TP if you are spending the entire day at the hide would make sense :shock:

If there are physically challenged/wheelchair bound people in your party then there is another key that unlocks a boom to allow one past the railings at the parking lot for wheelchair access. The interior of the hide will cater for a wheelchair although perhaps a bit tight through the multi-door area...

I am still on the road and will update as soon as I get my pictures offloaded.
Regards
BK

(ETA: Glen Reenen Camp details and contact numbers on this page.)
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shortcourse
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Re: Golden Gate: Vulture restuarant

Unread postby shortcourse » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:34 am

Have just returned from a quick weekend trip to Golden Gate. Stopped by the vulture hide - the first thing we noted when we tried to open the door to the building were the flies!!! The wall was covered in flies so much so that we did not even manage to sneak in. Apparently this was also an issue at the recent trail run which was held there. I did have a look round the side to see whether there was any action - no birds / jackal unfortunately although there was an old carcass - the flies really need to be attended to somehow. Surely other vulture hides have similar issues which have been addressed already?

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HermanPienaar
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Re: Golden Gate: Vulture restuarant

Unread postby HermanPienaar » Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:02 pm

I was one of the lucky ones to spot the Bearded Vulture ans Southern Bold Ibis at Golden Gate vulture hide in Sept 2014. Didn't use the photo portholes - shoot straight through the glass.
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Bushbuddies
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Re: Golden Gate: Vulture restuarant

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:47 pm

Wow - lucky you HermanPienaar! :shock: :thumbs_up: :clap:

We'll be back in a Golden Gate in 2 weeks. Hope we can get such good sightings! :pray:
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