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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:05 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Image If I`m ever in KNP or KTP again, don`t think I`ll feel like getting out at any of the picnic stops!


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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:12 pm 
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Dabchick,

I love your story of the coffee and Ground Hornbills. I had a similar experience with birds, coffee and lions at Melkvlei Picnic area in KTP

We stopped for a coffee break in the morning, but SO quickly noted a beaut of a Bateleur on the opposite side of the picnic area about 100 m away. I got out at the table and started making coffee. Just as I was sitting down I heard a lion roaring behind the dune and was not sure if they on their way for a picnic. An Eland carcass was lying in the picnic area next to a table and I thought they might be returning although there was not much to eat.

I started shouting but SO just kept on taking pics luckily they looked in my direction and calmy return to the car while I was running around frantic getting everything into the car. Just around the corner not more than 500 m away we found the lioness with 4 teenager cubs. :big_eyes: The roar sounded more like a male, but daddy was no where to be seen.

It just shows you that picnic areas are not that safe and the best is to stay close to your car.

BB, I just hope those teenagers, that's now big cats, do not bother us in Nov on the 4x4 trail. They've smelled me before and maybe still remember the coffee with meat they've missed. :roll: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:33 pm 
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They've got your number Sg :naughty:

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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:09 pm 
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BB,

I better get hold of that pepperspray then and pray they don't like their food with a chilli flavour. :pray:

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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:55 pm 
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I have a pepperspray in my camping trommel - fat lot of good it will do there.
Will have to put it in my pocket at night.....

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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:28 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
At Tshanga I do listen rather carefully. It is very overgrown now, many people probably don't even know it's a get out point and that you are allowed to walk up.
That area is leopard country, so my ears will probably warn me way too late...

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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Pepperspray could be disastrous if held the wrong way in a panic situation. :hmz:
Probably better to walk with my wife :think: as she is half my size, and would be seen as the easiest prey option.

I have been at Stevenson Hamilton rock lookout, when a kudu jumped nearby to the side of me, it woke me up a little :lol:
Have had a leopard lying next to the walkway at Lake Panic, but first walked past it without noticing it :big_eyes:

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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Hi FG :D Nice thread you have started here :thumbs_up:

Loving the stories :lol: :lol: Soon none of us are going to be getting out anywhere :lol: :lol: :lol:

Son godin :big_eyes: yikes!!!!!

Always get a scary feeling at Mooiplaas PS - especially arriving early in the morning from Mopani and being the first people there.

Once at Bobbejaankrans, stunning spot, got out the car and about 30 seconds later, SO, in a very commanding voice said, "Get back in the car now" We were all back in the car in a flash. No one asked questions or said a word. Drove of with SO saying "Scary feeling, unexplained but scary"!!! :lol: :lol:

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Travel Slowly *Stop Often *Learn as much as you can *Relax and Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:39 am 
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I have never felt at ease getting out of the car at picnic spots anyway, although one has to, since we are always driving around the whole day long. But after I have read this thread, :big_eyes: I will definitely think twice, especially with this "moon boot" that I have to wear until 8 October. I will never reach the car in time! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:43 am 
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Location: Dubai, UAE
Absolutely loving the stories... and would like to add a few of my own personal experiences.

Firstly on the eerie feeling... I get that at Crookes corner although it never stops me from getting out. One year (before the barriers were put up) I was attempting to take a photo of my friends as they stepped out of the car, and walking backwards, tripped over the hump around the parking area and tumbled down towards the river... stopping only a few metres from the crocodile infested waters... very wobbly legs got me scrambling up the bank.

Another time we stopped at Nkulu between Lower Sabie and Skukuza to enjoy a morning cup of tea, and a huge pride of lions ran through... they were between the cars so we could not run back that way, so everyone ran into the shop and the doors were firmly closed! Fortunately the lions were not interested in us and ran right past!

This year Jan 2011 we were staying at Talamati and I adore stopping at Bobbejanskrans for an early cuppa... the anticipation of getting out and having a well deserved drink whilst watching the view was building and building... and as we arrived we were met with a female leopard who was pouncing around at the tufts of grass on the edge of the road... possibly trying to catch doves or francolin... the disappointment of not getting out was certainly overcome by the superior sighting... even long after she had left (last saw her scrambling down the cliff) we decided not to get out for that cup of tea.

I will be visiting beloved Kruger in November! Bring it on!

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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:18 pm 
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My most scary experience was INSIDE Letaba.

A while before we visited, a leopard was shot near the ele hall.

I watched late night Champions League TV and walked back to the hut at almost 23h00, and was the only awake human in camp!

The sounds of the night were scary, and I avoided the dark grassy shortcuts. I made it, but I will never know what was watching me.

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 Post subject: Re: Scaredy Cats own up !
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:13 pm 
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In the early '80s I worked at a small game lodge in Sabi Sand GR - an upmarket small 12 bed unfenced camp on the Sand River .
The property was not often utilised as it was more of a "private getaway" for the owner , and I was often alone for days on end . At night I would walk the short distance from the lodge to my accomodation , allways alone , initially it was quite hair raising as all types of dangerous animals were present .

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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: Amazing stories: close encounters of the legal kind
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:49 pm 
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My Uncle Hendrik must rate as one of the best story tellers I have ever met. And given the fact that my cousin is a Ranger, we have some shared many close encounters!

Now all these were perfectly legal: for example - one late afternoon while traveling back to Letaba, doing approx 20km/h, two fighting male impala burst out of the bushes and missed our car by no more than 30 cm! Had we been traveling faster, we would not have been able to stop in time.

But there are three encounters I would like to share

Also near Letaba late one afternoon, we stopped on the bridge where one is allowed to get out of your vehicle. There were quite a lot of cars already parked with excited people all over the bridge. the reason? A pack of African Wild Dogs down in the riverbed! But then it happened: a herd of elephant crossed the road, and all of us moved more towards the one side of the bridge, further away from the elephants. Still wanting to see more of the doggies. What we did not know at that stage, was that there was also a kudu closely following the ellies.

The AWD suddenly decided to give chase, and came storming up towards the road AND SOME OF THEM TURNED ONTO THE BRIDGE!! And there we were: legally outside our vehicles, but with AWD surrounding our cars

Fortunately they decided to join the rest of the pack going after the kudu after a couple of minutes and we could safely get back to our cars.

Are there any forumites who have similar or more exciting stories? Please share!!

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TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
TR: Dupacc and Darrlin saw birdies and kitties


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 Post subject: Re: Amazing stories: close encounters of the legal kind
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:54 pm 
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i dont know if this qualifies as close encounter. and im not admitting anything but it might give u a giggle..picture scene..

our intrepid english gentleman out in the wild african bush with the mensaib hard at work in the kitchen making ham and tom sarnies....out hero sipping on an ice cold bottle of something golden and fizzie sat comfortably on a log watching the the beautiful blue african skys and bush..at peace with his world.....the sarnies arive and are placed at his feet within easy reach..perfection....
when out of the grass not yeards from a hero the beast erupts towards him at full gallop the speed incredible the grace sublime inpact in seconds...our hero reacts with equal speed but unfortunatly not grace...our perfect bottle of amber liquid falls from his hands in an upward movement cartwheels and decends landing on the beautifully prepaired sarnies spilling them into the dust and breaking the plate...the amber liquid quickly soaks int ot the pristine dust..our hero stunmbles backwards upends the log and plants his bum on said pristine earth...thankfully the scream crash and then thump unnerves the beast which halts turns and flees back to the bush.....the memsaib rushes to rescue her hero and the plate and responds with

"***** it was only a spider you *******"
our hero shall remain nameless

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 Post subject: Re: Amazing stories: close encounters of the legal kind
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
How could I miss this thread?!
Great stories, Dupacc and Simon!

My close encounter, I'm happy to say, did not happen to me but to my brother and a friend of his.

They are both Kruger fanatics and always travel together in search of photo opportunities. The friend, being an artist, felt a bit restricted by only having to take pics from the car so they do the 4x4 routes where they can legally "protrude".

One day around lunch time they were feeling intense hunger pangs. No problem, they looked for a nice shade tree and unpacked the braai, camping chairs and famous cooler box. Apparently the conversation was very good and they made up good time because there were few photo opportunities all day and began the slouch lower and lower in the chairs. My brother described keeping his lookout from under the brim of his hat, pretty much like Oom Schalk Lourens was looking for his cattle on Abjaterskop.

He can't quite remember how long he was "looking out" before he was disturbed with some sounds which sounded to close for comfort. He cautiously opened his eyes and peered out from under his hat to see a huge elephant standing straddled over his friends chair who was still snoring away loudly! Fortunately his friend was lost in dreamland and he had enough sense not to move so they both made it unscathed.

Till today they are still teased for missing the shots of a lifetime.
True story, so I'm told!

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