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 Post subject: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recovered)
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:18 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year & Sighting of the Year - Small Creatures and Insects (2013)
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Location: Bellville, Cape Town
Welcome all to our belated Dec'13 trip report of 18 days in Kruger starting at Skukuza, then off to Biyamiti, Lower Sabie, Tamboti (first timers), Mopani, Satara, Berg n Dal ending off at Pretoriuskop.

Did I mention 'belated Dec'13' TR'? Well, my approach was after filling up the camera's memory card to download the pics onto external harddrive via my laptop, which worked brilliantly, but then after arriving back home and organised all the photos trying to make a back-up copy, every thing just came to standstill. :wall: To cut a long story short, after sending my external harddrive to number of companies for data recovery and all reported back to be unsuccessful, SO told me that I must go back alone to do some recovery and was so fortunate to be able to it as per my TR Kruger NP – Jan/Feb 2014: Lone Ranger on a recovery trip.

While busy with my Lone Ranger TR, I got wonderful news that the one company managed to recover about 95% of my data. Obviously, these exercises, if successful, is not cheap, but for me it was extremely valuable as we enjoyed a wonderful time with memorable moments I would like to treasure and share. Lets see if you agree... :D ...and get the show on the road. :thumbs_up:

It is 14 Dec'13 flying in from Cape Town to Lanseria airport just outside Pretoria, I hopped into the Car rental company to collect my car I had booked about 6 months ahead of time to ensure I get Nissan X-Trail. The previous year I did the same, but got a KIA Sportage which was ok for the 3 of us, but it was uncomfortable for my in-laws at the back having had to sit very low. Guess what, no X-Trail :wall: , but we got something even better and was over the moon :dance: - Honda CRV. I am a Honda fan and both our cars are Honda, SO was smiling and so a great start to our trip with a comfy car...and wow did we enjoy the ride. :D

Stopped at Crossings Spar at Nelspruit for some food supplies and then we headed to Phabeni gate (our favourite) arriving just after 17h00. Armed with 4 cameras - my girl got a Canon point-and-shooter, SO the one Canon with 500mm Sigma lens and me with two Canons one 18-55mm and 100-400mm lenses, respectively. We were armed to the teeth and ready for action... :dance:

But first, a photo of the unique huts at Phabeni gate.
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Crossing the river a few meters from the gate, the welcoming committee: the colourful Saddle-billed stork, acrobatic Pied kingfisher and the posing White-breasted cormorant.
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Our first stop was at the historical site - Albasini Ruins. Having read up on the history of Kruger, I was intrigued by these historical characters and had to take a photo of the ruins.
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Our first sighting - giraffe in late afternoon light with cloud cover around.
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The drive along the S1 was quiet with occasional impala and an elephant on the horizon, but we headed for one place only....Lake Panic, just to greet and say 'we are home' :dance:
Some grey herons around and it being just past 18h00 already, we could not stay long as gate closing at Skukuza was 18h30. One interesting bird got us excited...Broad-billed roller - a bit far, but still a great one.
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Arriving at Skukuza just before gate closing we booked into Cottage GC4V near the Selati restaurant - check out the Yellow Ribbon :D
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Our friends from Nelspruit, also staying at Skukuza, had already prepared a welcome meal for us Capies...a nice lamb potjie (lamb stew on the fire in black pot). It was magnificent and good to see them again. Later the evening, we received some welcomed visitors...They were on my wish list to capture on camera.
High up in the trees above our friends bungalow, they were congregating and making their presence felt with their lovely sounds - bushbabies. (Isinkwe....this for you :dance: )
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WOW, we were really happy to have sighted these beautiful creatures and managed to get some nice pics. It was time to get to bed after a very long day of travelling and the hyenas already started with their whoooooop calls....we are in Kruger! :dance: :dance: :dance:

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:18 am 
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Location: Comberton near Cambridge UK ... Booked Next trip to SanParks
I've rushed across to the next bus stop to climb aboard the new bus..........got my breath back. Whew! Am most definitely looking forward to enjoying this armchair ride :clap:

Brill to read that you have been able to recover most of your photos :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

As with all your TRs your pics are superb :clap: love the feathered friends.

Great bush babies -just for Isinkwe! They have such long claws and those prehensile tails that act like another leg. Such biiig eyes :thumbs_up:

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umtali1

View our 2013 trip report at http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75574.
Next trip "Cape Town to Namibia border" - Ebb and Flow, Karoo NP, Mokala, Augrabies & KTP.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:56 am 
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Great start to this TR and I'm very happy for you that you got some of your photos to keep the memory alive!

Love love your bush babies - great photo! - amazing that the one has an old injury to one eye but looks in good condition in spite of it! Depth perception must be interesting for that baby as he jumps through the trees!

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Wishing I was back at KNP…..
next best thing - a trip report! A New Species each day! KNP Nov 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:38 am 
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What a start!!!! Got goosebumps when seeing Phabeni gate again...felt like I was back there. :dance:

Gorgeous pic of the Giraffe in amazing afternoon light. :clap: :clap:

Stunning birdies to start off with ....then the wonderful Bushbabies. :thumbs_up: ...They are really so cute and you captured them beautifully. :clap: :clap:

:popcorn: :popcorn:

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“Nature is a volume of which God is the author.” ~ William Harvey
TR "Born to be Wild"..37 Days of sights, sounds and smells!!
TR There and back on a Sunday drive


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:15 am 
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I am so pleased that you have 'recovered' you pictures, I get a whole new TR to read.

And what a good move - getting two trips to KNP within a few months ! Good one !

Loosing pictures is one of the greatests fears of the electronic photographer. Remember all the film distasters we used to have.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:18 am 
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YAY

:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

You must have been thrilled, Kaapsedraai, and I know that we are also in for a treat.

Love the bushbabies, always such a pleasure to watch.

My dear departed Trusted Beauty was also a Honda CR-V and we spent many happy meandering moments together. 8)

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:10 am 
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Great start Kaapsedraai :clap: :clap: .

Awesome to see so many bush babies together :dance: :dance: .

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:17 am 
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:dance: What a start to a TR....what i can see so far, will be something Good again. :D

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do not let poachers take it away!

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:24 am 
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Are these Bushbabies not too beautiful for words? What a stunning sighting of these cuties with brilliant pictures of them Kaapsedraai! :clap: :clap:

Am I glad that you were able to recover so many of your photos! :dance: :dance:

Looking forward to the rest please! :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:40 pm 
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:big_eyes: Oh these cute bushbabies 8)

Kaapsedraai, i am :mrgreen:

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2014 TR from KNP


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:44 pm 
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Kaapsedraai,

I am so happy for you that the recorvery of your pictures was successful :dance: :dance: :dance:

I guess it was worth each Rand :P

Love the bushbabies - What gorgeous creatures and I am still dreaming of capturing my very first one :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Love the cormorant and what a privilege to spot a broad bill roller that South already :mrgreen:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: Ready for more


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:02 pm
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Location: Bellville, Cape Town
Thank you everyone for the encouraging words and positive feedback. :dance:
I was truly happy to get my pics back as I really had an enjoyable trip.

umtali1, hope you got a nice window seat... :D Those bushbabies were adorable and one of my highlights as I struggled to get some pics of them on all the previous visits, but this time they were playing along. :dance:

jaytea, thank you. :thumbs_up: Yes, the one seemed to have an eye problem and you got it spot on with your observation about depth of vision - esp at night. :hmz: :D

Trrp-trrrrrrrr, Phabeni remains my favourite - quickest to get into Kruger from Nelspruit and the gate is so unusual and never struggled at reception always quick and friendly. :thumbs_up: The stream near the gate proved to be very kind to us bird wise, but will share some nice Malachite pics with you later in the TR. :thumbs_up:

Dijo, I was really fortunate to have two trips totalling 30 days (18 + 12) in 3 months period. :dance: 8) Film disasters... :wall: :D

Meandering Mouse, the bushbabies were setting us up for a brilliant start to our trip. :dance: Honda CRV..., but I got the FRV with 3 seats in the middle and so convenient when in Kruger as I put all my camera equipment on the middle front seat. :D

barryels, yes - and all of them content and posing for us - just a lovely moment we enjoyed that will stay with me for a long time. :thumbs_up:

Philip1, yes - we were offon a delightful start...nice car, Lamb potjie organised by our friends and then bushbabies. It continued, so I hope you will enjoy the rest of the trip. :thumbs_up:

hilda, so true regarding your comment bout the bushbabies. I am just glad that the pics came out great. :dance:

Toddelelfe, I know how you feel when seeing other TR's with lovely bushbabies pics and I struggled for a few years, but guess perseverance and one never knows what Kruger will present one with...which makes Kruger so great. :dance:

Pumbaa, the quick stop at Lake Panic paid off with the Broad-biller roller and then the evening the welcome visit from the bushbabies...just an amazing feeling. :thumbs_up:

Thank you once again for all the kind comments. :thumbs_up:

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:35 pm 
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Some times we need luck and I am so happy you could recover your images and share your wonderful sightings and brilliant images with us :thumbs_up:

I am on board again all the way....

Superb start and a great rare sighting of the Broad-billed roller..super sighting in image!!

Love those bushbabies......just stunning.... :clap: :clap:

Keep them coming!!!......another 50 pages of joy!!

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:58 pm 
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Hi Kaapsedraai.
Love the photos of the Bush babies. We are :mrgreen: :mrgreen: of your Broad-billed Roller. We still need this one for our list.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger NP - Dec'13: the 'Original' 18 days trip (recover
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:29 pm 
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Location: Comberton near Cambridge UK ... Booked Next trip to SanParks
Oh yes! I have a superb window seat and refreshments to keep me going for the entire trip. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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umtali1

View our 2013 trip report at http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75574.
Next trip "Cape Town to Namibia border" - Ebb and Flow, Karoo NP, Mokala, Augrabies & KTP.


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