Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 2
 [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: steamtrainfan 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in KNP Aug 11
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:09 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
Ahhhh, the excitement is mounting. Joan and I are taking our newly wed daughter and our newly accquired son in law to KNP, who has never been to Kruger, in 3 weeks time. Managed to get a 2 bedroomed river view hut for 3 nights at Skukuza and then 2 huts at Berg en Dal for 2 nights. We are hoping that the river view hut at Skukuza is as beautiful as it sounds. Any guesses as to where we will spend out first late afternoon viewing place????? We are trying to persuade our daughter to share a suitcase with her hubby as we do not wish to have to take a trailer with. I am not the best driver when it comes to reversing with a trailer. Roll on 25 August.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:52 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
Yeeeehaaaa :dance: only 8 more sleepies before we hit the N4 to KNP. Went out today and bought sosaties, deboned ribs (wet and sticky flavour), chops and steak and pap.

We have arranged to meet carolv and her hubbie at Skukuza on 28 August at the lapa near the take aways between 11:30 and 12:30. This of course depends largely on what we saw on the road up from Berg en Dal. Anyone else near Skukuza on this day is more than welcome to join us.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:57 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
The title of this thread is now officially:

2 DAYS AND 3 NIGHTS BEFORE A FAMILY OF 4 SPEND 5 NIGHTS AND 6 DAYS IN KNP.

My , but the time has flown. Good news is that I received an e-mail today stating that barring anything unforseen happening 222 has been reserved for us. SusieB says that they were in 222 last week and they could see the river from their bedroom. Can't wait to get there. If only we can see some of the sightings that other mites have seen in their travel tales. We saw the photo in the gallery of the leopard cub running along with a civet in its mouth. I always say "Kruger never fails to surprise".

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:40 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
Sorry mites but with only 2 days to go I just had to share with you a song, with a few word changes, that I have been singing all day - with apologies to Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren.

Her: Oh doctor, I'm in trouble.
Him: Well, goodness gracious me.
Her: For every time I think of my trip to KNP
Him: Mmm?
Her: A flush comes to my face
And my pulse begins to race,
It goes boom boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom
Boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom-boom-boom,
Him: Oh!
Her: Boom boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom
Him: Well, goodness gracious me.

Him: How often does this happen?
When did the trouble start?
You see, my stethoscope is bobbing
To the throbbing of your heart.
Her: What kind of place is this KNP
To create this allergy?
It goes boom boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom
Boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom-boom-boom,
Him: Oh!
Her: Boom boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom
Him: Well, goodness gracious me.

Him: From Durban to Darjeeling
I have done my share of healing,
And I've never yet been beaten or outfoxed,
I remember that with one jab
Of my needle in the Punjab
How I cleared up beriberi
And the dreaded dysentery,
But your complaint has got me really foxed.
Her: Oh.

Her: Oh doctor, I go weak at the knees.
Him: Well, goodness gracious me.
Her: You may be very clever
But however, can't you see,
My heart beats much too fast
As time goes whizzing past,
It goes boom boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom
Boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom-boom-boom,
Him: I like it!
Her: Boom boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom
Him: Well, goodness gracious me.

Him: Can I see your tongue?
Her: Aaah.
Him: Nothing the matter with it, put it away please.
Her: Maybe it's my back.
Him: Maybe it is.
Her: Shall I lie down?
Him: Yes.
Her: Ahhh...

Him: My initial diagnosis
Rules out measles and thrombosis,
Sleeping sickness and, as far as I can tell,
Influenza, inflammation,
Whooping cough and night starvation,
And you'll be so glad to hear
That both your eyeballs are so clear
That I can positively say you will see leopards and lions very well,
Ja-ja, ja-ja-ja-ja.

Her: Put two and two together,
Him: Four,
Her: If you have eyes to see,
The place that makes my pulses race
Is where it is almost time to be.
Him: Oh, there is nothing I can do
For my heart is jumping too.
Both: Oh, we go boom boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom
Boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom-boom-boom,
Her: Goodness gracious,
Him: How audacious!
Her: Goodness gracious,
Him: How flirtatious!
Her: Goodness gracious,
Him: It is me.
Her: It is you?
Him: Ah, I'm pleased to say it is KNP
Both: Ahhh!

The amazing cure to this strange illness is to enter the Phabeni Gate and "Hey Presto" all symptoms dissappear. Magic hey???????

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Last edited by steamtrainfan on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:58 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
Thanks very much Micetta and Xankanka.

We have just got back today from a truly A M A Z I N G six days in Kruger. This will be the subject of a seperate T.R. once I can get my problem with downloading the photos onto My Pictures sorted out. I have asked the Photography thread for advice.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:58 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
Bushcraft - Thanks very much for the welcome back and we did have an awesome trip with special thanks to you we saw those two big male lion on the Lower Sabie road near Skukuza except they had a lady with them and the victorius male had claimed his prize and taken his bride for a honeymoon quite close to the road. The other male was lying about a hundred metres away looking very sorry for himself. I better stop now or I will give my T.R. away.

The good news is that I have sorted out my photo problem and am now busy downloading some 120 pics out of a total of 556 so a warning that I will be having a fairly lengthy report for having only been in the KNP for 6 days, hopefully with more pics than words. I will also be using some of Normans (our new son-in-law) photos as he got pics that Joan did not.

A tip on our T.R. - We saw the Big 7 - anyone want to guess what the other two are.

Hopefully I will be able to start the T.R. on Monday.

Until then, stay safe.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:11 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
At last, after a few gurgles, coughs, splutters and hiccups with downloading photos, I have managed to get the bus started and on the road. So, as they say in the classics, let’s make like elephant dung and hit the road.

THURSDAY 25 AUGUST - DAY 1 PART 1/3 – PRETORIA TO SKUKUZA.

At 03:45, as instructed, our trusty alarm clock tuned in Jacaranda F.M. and woke us from a deep slumber. Arising out of the depths of this deep sleep I suddenly realised that “THE DAY” had arrived and suddenly sat bolt upright. The excitement as the adrenalin rush of knowing where we were going but not knowing what we were to see this day had me bright eyed and bushy tailed. I had such a positive feeling that this was going to be one fantastic trip that my skin tingled at the thought. The rest of the family, Joan – my wife, Melanie – our daughter and Norman – our son in law staggered around and eventually got dressed and packed the car. Getting the boot closed was kind of like putting a small t-shirt onto an extra large body but close it we did. By 05:00 we were on our way. A quick stop at Millys for breakfast. How sad to see this once proud building now just a skeleton. Their mini restaurant which forms part of the garage was open and served a lovely breakfast. Arrival at Phabeni Gate at about 10:15. After a quick and very pleasant check in it was radio off, seat belts undone and R E E E L A X. We decided against taking the main road to Skukuza and branched off onto the S3. After a short while we came across a small herd of buffalo.

This guy giving us the beady eye.

Image
DCS007JPG_024_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

This little one was very curious as to what we were.

Image
DCS007JPG_025_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

This one just merely carried on chewing away.

Image
DCS007JPG_026_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

After spending a very pleasant 10 minutes or so watching this herd we moved on.

Joan could not resist taking this shot of a not so shy impala.

Image
DCS007JPG_021_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Norman got this lovely pic of a gobbledy gook or yellow billed hornbill. To me these guys are the clowns of the bird world. I must mention at this stage that all photos are by Joan unless stated as Norman or Melanie.

Image
DPP_0007 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Arrived at Paul Kruger Gate for a comfort break and bite to eat. We had no fruit cake so Joan decided to call this photo “Three nuts in a fruit juice”.

Image
DCS007JPG_036_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Feeling refreshed and satisfied we headed off for Skukuza. Not far from the gate we came across this guy peacefully eating away at the side of the road. He was brought to our attention by Melanie suddenly spluttering a word that I cannot mention on this thread. Wonder how he got that chomp out of his ear? Photo Norman.

Image
DPP_0047 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

While tottling along Joan got these two pics.

Kudu with one and half horns.

Image
DCS007JPG_029_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Woodland Kingfisher.

Image
DSC_0022 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

As it was still a bit early to check in we carried on to the low level bridge across the Sabie River, did a u-turn and then took a little sand road that bypasses the turn off to Skukuza. It was from this road that we saw our first lion across the river. Not much of a photo I am afraid but then one is never sure if one will see lion again.

Image
DSC_0034 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Arrival at camp was about 14:30 and checked in and then made our way to number 222. What a lovely 2 bedroomed guest house. Here is the view from our front door.

Image
DCS007JPG_005_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

After unpacking and having been up since 03:45 I felt that a nap was justified while Joan and the kids went to explore. Joan woke me up saying that we had left the windows of the car open and the monkeys had had a party and totally messed the inside of the car. I immediately pictured monkey pooh all over, torn seats and dashboard etc etc.. In order to prevent me from having a heart attack then and there Joan quickly added that they had not messed up the inside of the car but they had got hold of the water bottles, ripped the tops off and quenched their thirst. We had failed to obey the cardinal rule in Kruger – Keep all doors and windows closed. It could have been far worse – they could have got hold of the beers.

The sightings map had very bad news for us. There had been 3 sightings of leopard on the tar road. Aaah well, you cannot win them all.

Coming up next – we go sit at Lake Panic.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:54 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
THURSDAY 25 AUGUST - DAY 1 PART 2/3 – THE MAGIC OF LAKE PANIC IN THE AFTERNOON.

After the shock of the monkey fiasco I needed to lie down again. Lying on my bed I opened the curtains and there before me was sheer bliss. A wonderful view across the Sabie River. This was great. Who wants to go to Lake Panic when you have this view whilst lying down? When I started to get those stoney glares from the rest of the family waiting to go to Lake Panic I decided that, as there were no animals to be seen in the river, I had better get a move on. Arrived at Lake Panic at about 16:00.

The peace and tranquility of Lake Panic. Photo by Norman.
Image
DPP_0065 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Is this a Grey Heron coming in for a landing? Photo by Norman.
Image
DPP_0081 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

This guy was busy beating the fish against the log. It took him quite a while to eventually swallow it. Photo by Norman.
Image
DPP_0105 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Grey Heron in nest with youngster. “Hey Dad/Mom , what are you seeing that I cannot see?”
Image
DCS007JPG_022_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Grey Heron feeding time – there were three youngsters in the nest.
Image
DCS007JPG_018_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

This hippo was resting his head on the back of another one when the one underneath decided to move.
Image
DCS007JPG_031_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

First there was one singing his song.
Image
DCS007JPG_023_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Then his mate joined him and we listened to the wonderful music of two Fish Eagles serenading one another.
Image
DCS007JPG_032_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


This fellow was enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.
Image
DCS007JPG_033_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


I am not at all good with identifying birds so please correct me if I am wrong.



Next – A very pleasant surprise on the way back to camp.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:06 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
THURSDAY 25 AUGUST - DAY 1 PART 3/3 – DOGGIE DAY AFTERNOON.

What made us leave Lake Panic after only an hour of being there?????

Just after having turned left onto the main road we saw a troop of baboons. We watched them for a while and this fellow was so busy studying whatever he held in his hand Joan thought it would make quite a nice photo.
Image
DCS007JPG_037_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


What made us turn right onto the H1-1 instead of going straight across the intersection and spending the last hour on the Lower Sabie Road????

About 3 kilos after turning onto the H1-1 we came across 8 adult wild dog and 13 puppies coming down the middle of the road straight towards us. Panic stations. Where do I stop the car in order not to chase the dogs into the veld and also so that both photographers and one videographer could get a good view? I moved across to the left hand side of the road to let the dogs pass on our right. Unfortunately some of the photos were taken through the front window so may seem a bit out of focus but better that than losing the shot. Also the car was bouncing around as every one in the car tried to get a better view. There might have been more dogs in the veld to our left as the adults kept looking into the veld on their right. Not wanting to miss all the action on our right we would only take quick peeks to our left to see if we could see more. I hope that I have not confused the story with all the lefts and rights. Also, every now and again an adult female would come charging along out of nowhere and knock one of the pups head over heels. What this was for we do not know.

After shooting off a few photos and few minutes of video the whole pack suddenly ran off into the veld and were gone. We just sat for a few minutes jabbering away to each other of what each of us had seen until we ran out of steam. The trip back to Skukuza was in total silence as each one of us was in a total trance of what we had just seen. The problem with a scene like this is, do you carry on taking photos and video and miss half the action or stop every now and again to watch and maybe miss the best photo of all. This is what makes Kruger so great.

The head scout. Photo by Norman.
Image
DPP_0126 (Medium) by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people Photo by Norman.[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/httpwwwflickrcomphotosrichard/6116166992/]Image[/url]
DPP_0132 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

A close up shot of the head scout. Photo by Norman.
Image
DPP_0127 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

All thirteen puppies with little black socks on. Photo by Norman.
Image
DPP_0132 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Whats going on back there. Photo by Norman.
Image
DPP_0146 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Just after this pic was taken an adult came and bowled him right over. Photo by Norman.
Image
DPP_0141 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


A tender moment between mother and child.
Image
DCS007JPG_035_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

For some unknown reason the above is why we left Lake Panic an hour earlier.


Next – A honeymoon morning.

WARNING - SENSITIVE READERS MAY FIND SOME OF THE PHOTOS OFFENSIVE.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Last edited by steamtrainfan on Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:39 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
FRIDAY 26 AUGUST - DAY 2 PART 1/3 – MORNING MAGIC AT LAKE PANIC AND A MORNING HONEYMOON.

WARNING: This report contains photos that may offend certain readers.

A really beautiful morning as we set off to go look for the two male lion that Bushcraft had mentioned that had been hanging around on the Lower Sabie road not far from Skukuza. However, the first stop was to be at Lake Panic. Not much going on so Melanie clicked off a couple of shots of the early morning sun reflecting off the water and then we were off lion hunting.

Image
IMG_0012 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Image
IMG_0013 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Can you believe our luck As we were cruising slowly down the Lower Sabie road in a southerly direction these two guys come out of the bush right in front of us. Although we were looking directly into the sun Melanie and Joan still got some great shots.

Image
IMG_0019 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0022 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Sticking his tonque out at us.
Image
DCS007JPG_039_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_038_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_040_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


After posing on the road for a while they walked off into the bush on our right. I knew that that there was a sand road with two loops not far in and they were heading in that direction. So we headed off down the road and turned right onto the sand road which had has now heading north. Sure enough we came across one of the two brothers with his bride and doing what all bridal couples do. I will let the pictures tell the story. To me, this is such a special moment and we were indeed priviliged to have seen it. I hope that no one will be offended.

Image
DCS007JPG_043_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_067_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_068_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_045_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0038 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

The brother lying about 100 metres away.
Image
DCS007JPG_042_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

NEXT: On down to Lower Sabie for lunch.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:40 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
FRIDAY 26 AUGUST - DAY 2 PART 2/3 – ON DOWN TO LOWER SABIE FOR LUNCH.

After having had this couple to ourselves for about 30 minutes the traffic started to build up and the jostling around for the best position started. It must be mentioned that these two lion were behind a whole lot of dead thorn bush trees and space was limited. We decided to move on and leave the crowd to do their thing.

Not much to report on until just before Nkhulu where we came across two Ground Hornbills and two baboons.

Image
DCS007JPG_046_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_047_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

What are you laughing at? This is very serious business.
Image
DCS007JPG_048_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

A safari truck pulled up next to us and he pointed at a tree on the river side of the road and this is what we saw. A first for us.

Image
DCS007JPG_049_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Another first – Brown Headed Parrott. Photo by Norman.
Image
IMG_0051.CR2.1 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Joan took this peaceful scene at a waterhole next to the road.
Image
DCS007JPG_050_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Moving on down to Lower Sabie, Norman was driving and I was dozing in the back seat. Through the haze of sleepy eyes I saw two Fish Eagle above us. Norman must have seen them at the same time as he braked, whipped up his camera and fired off a couple shots in a matter of seconds. These are the best two.
Image
IMG_0068.CR2.1 (Medium) (Large) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0071.CR2.1 (Medium) (Large) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

A group of monkeys kept us entertained for a while.
Image
DCS007JPG_051_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Our second sighting of Brown Headed Parrott in a matter of one hour.
Image
DCS007JPG_053_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

This Kudu was wishing he was a giraffe trying to get at the tastiest leaves.
Image
DCS007JPG_052_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

An elephant and a buffalo in the reeds.
Image
DCS007JPG_055_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Finally arrival and Sunset Dam where there is always something happening.
Image
DCS007JPG_057_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


After watching the action for about 30 minutes we drove to Lower Sabie for lunch.


NEXT: An afternoon drive back to Skukuza via Salitje Road.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:17 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
FRIDAY 26 AUGUST - DAY 2 PART 3/3 – BACK TO SKUKUZA VIA SALITJE ROAD.

After a welcome meal and comfort break we left Lower Sabie and headed down the Crocodile Bridge road and turned onto the bridge which would take us to the S128 and S30. On the other side of the river we saw this lovely bushbuck We stopped to watch him for a while and take a few photos.Image
DCS007JPG_058_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Very quiet all the way along the S128 and S30 until it meets the river. Here Joan got this photo of my favourite bird.
Image
DCS007JPG_059_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Just after taking this photo the cars steering started making a funny noise each time you turned the steering wheel. It sounded like rubber on metal or rubber on rubber. Also when we hit bumps, which on this road is permanently, it also made the same noise as the steering. Not a loud noise but just enough for one to hear. We accepted that there was nothing we could do except soldier on back to camp. On our way Joan got this photo of a Little Brown Job – please can someone tell us what it is.
Image
DCS007JPG_060_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

A little further along we came across 4 eagles sitting in one tree. It looked like two juvenile bataleurs and two brown snake eagles. I may be wrong as I am no expert at bird identification.
Image
DSC_0251 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

He the turned around to show us his wingspan.
Image
DCS007JPG_061_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

One of the other two eagles in the tree.
Image
DCS007JPG_062_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

At last we arrived at the tar road and hoped that the noise would stop. No such luck. We stopped on the high level bridge to watch some elephant enjoying themselves. This mother with her baby kept us entertained for a while.
Image
DCS007JPG_063_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Turning right onto the Lower Sabie road we headed back to camp but not before Joan managed to get this photo of a steenbok who posed so nicely for her.
Image
DCS007JPG_064_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Arrival back at camp and Norman immediately took off the right front wheel to see if he could see anything wrong. Pushing down on the suspension and turning the steering wheel still made that noise. Not seeing anything actually broken or untoward Norman thought that it could be one the ball joints giving up the ghost and suggested that we try to get to a garage as soon as possible. As it was too late to phone Toyota Malelane on a Friday evening we decided to phone them the next morning and see if they could have a look at it for us. If they could it was going to be long ride down but would be worth it as I had visions of the front wheel careering off into the bush as it separated itself from the axle on some lonely and dusty road. Really, that is the kind of noise it was. We also decided to stick to the tar roads from now on so as to try and not cause anymore damage to whatever was wrong.

As there was nothing more we could do about the situation we decided to relax and settle down in number 222. Some elephant came and browsed in front of our hut. This immediately sent Joan into a total trance as she just loves elephant, especially when there is a big electrified fence between her and them. Joan sat down on the lawn to watch them. Was it my imagination or was she actually talking to them?????
Image
DCS007JPG_065_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


I must say that it is very nice to have your kids along as Norman did all the braaing every night while the ladies prepared the meal and the old man could catch forty winks. That night I, and I am sure Joan joined me, prayed very hard for the car to stop its noise and fell into a deep peaceful sleep.

NEXT: Prayers answered and the day of the leopard.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:18 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9583
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
A lovely day was had it seemed apart from the worry of the car problem, we had car trouble a couple of years ago so know the feeling of unrest.
Do hope it was all sorted out in the end.

Your little brown job is a Southern White-crowned Shrike
and the Eagles look all like Imm or Juv Baleleurs.

Super pic of the 2 Fish Eagles in flight and the LBR, well done to Norman & Joan. :clap:

Joan the Elephant Whisperer! :wink:

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:57 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
SATURDAY 27 AUGUST - DAY 3 PART 1/2 – PRAYERS ANSWERED AND THE DAY OF THE LEOPARD.

Woke up with a quiet confidence that the car would be ok. Outside the weather had changed quite dramatically overnight as it was now overcast and windy. This could make photography a bit tricky. Our original plan for today was to go up to Tshokwane for breakfast and then do the tar road down to Lower Sabie and back up to Skukuza fairly early as we had booked a night drive. However, if the car was still making a noise we would have to head down to Malelane to try and get the garage to have a look at the problem and maybe try to repair it.
The first thing I did after getting up was to go to the car and push the front right hand side down. No noise. Did it again, still no noise. Got in the car and turned the steering wheel. No noise. Had our prayers been answered? Driving from the hut to the gate, turning the steering wheel as much as possible and going over all the bumps, we were relieved as there was no noise at all. The other folk waiting in their cars for the gates to open must have thought we were drunk. We had to now make a decision – start heading to Malelane or Tshokwane. In faith we decided to stick to our original plan as it was mostly tar road. Ok, enough of the problems. Lets get on the road.

First off was this magpie shrike in very dull weather but a lovely pose.
Image
DCS007JPG_066_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Then a couple of elephant with this being the best shot of one of them.
Image
DCS007JPG_070_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

A lovely kudu.
Image
DCS007JPG_071_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Stopping at Tshokwane we saw on the sightings map that a leopard had been seen at the S34 turnoff. We decided to head up north a bit to see if we could see a traffic jam of cars that would tell us where he was. After going about two kilometres up the road and not seeing anything our tummies told us it was time to turn around and go for breakfast. After doing a u-turn we trundled slowly back towards Tshokwane when Norman shouted “Lion”. Slammed on brakes and reversed a bit and there he was lying on some rocks on the other side of the dry river bed and between some bushes. No other cars around so we found the best spot and for now breakfast was forgotten. We settled down to watch. It was amazing how many cars whizzed past us without even slowing down. After a while we did have some cars around us asking what we had seen and we duly pointed him out to them. After about 45 minutes it looked as if he had no intention of going anywhere and as our tummies were now beginning to scream we made our way back to Tshokwane.

A few photos. The best we could do without any sun.
Image
DCS007JPG_072_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_074_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_073_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_075_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


On our return to Tshokwane we measured the distance as we wanted to return after breakfast. It was 1.8 kilometres. Having had a lovely kudu boerewors roll and fruit juice it was time to return to see the leopard. When we arrived there the rock was bare. We scoured all the bushes and trees in the hope of seeing him again but to no avail. We did a u-turn and headed south turning left onto the H10. The usual zebra, kudu and a huge herd of buffalo way back in the bush. We stopped at the lovely view sight at the top of the hill. Just love that magical view over the plains. A little further on we came across this klipspringer balancing on tippy toe.
Image
DCS007JPG_076_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Down the long hill to where the road meets up with a river where we saw this fish eagle.
Image
DCS007JPG_077_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Continuing on down to Lower Sabie Norman again shouted “Lion”. Braked hard and reversed slowly. Norman saw him but with my multifocal glasses still trying to focus he said that it was a leopard rolling in the sand quite far in. At last my glasses focussed on him just as he dashed in a thicket. In this area there are scattered bushes with very little grass or shrubs. Our second leopard in as many hours. Our eyes were all fixed on that thicket, camera lenses out the window and not daring to blink. Cars whizzed by without even slowing down. After what seemed an eternity we slowly relaxed and started to breathe normally again. Suddenly he charged out of the thicket, belly almost touching the ground and literally dived into the next thicket, with everyone shouting “there he is” and grabbing for cameras. Too late.
Up ahead we could see a couple of impala and a waterbuck staring in the direction of that thicket. Again he shot across from one thicket to another as quick as lightning. Norman did try a get shot but all he got was a bush. With this the buck shot off in the opposite direction. The leopard appeared once more on a mound next to some bushes but by now he was too far away for a good shot. Norman’s nickname was now “The Spotted Spotter”. This name was very well chosen as it was to prove later in the journey.

As there was still no noise emanating from the car we gave thanks for answered prayers.

NEXT: On down to Lower Sabie and up to Skukuza.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks until a family of 4 spend 5 nights and 6 days in
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:36 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
SATURDAY 27 AUGUST - DAY 3 PART 2/2 – ON DOWN TO LOWER SABIE AND BACK UP TO SKUKUZA.

For a long while we carried on down the H10 without seeing much. A guy coming in the opposite direction pointed backwards as we got next to him. I slowed down to find out what it was he was trying to tell us but he carried on up the road. The next moment a safari truck came speeding past us with all the passengers hanging on for dear life. It was not long before we came across a traffic jam ahead of us. There must have about 12 cars with our safari truck in the middle of all of them. We searched the around but saw nothing. We asked a guy in the car next to us what they had seen as he was starting to drive off. He pointed at a tree and said “Leopard”. No need to guess who saw him first. Sure enough there he was lying in on a branch in the shade, very well camouflaged and quite high up.

Norman photo.
Image
IMG_0044 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Normans photo.
Image
IMG_0045.CR2.1 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_078_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_079_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We must have watched him for about 15 minutes when he got up, looked around, turned around and moved to a lower fork in the tree and out of sight. We spent another 15 minutes waiting to see if we could see any movement but nothing was to be seen. This was just too good to be true. Three leopards in a morning. The cars started to move off and so did we

The resident giant kingfisher on the low level bridge.

Image
DCS007JPG_080_004.NEF by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


On the Lower Sabie road this nyala crossed the road after we had passed by. Norman managed to twist his neck around to get this shot.

Image
IMG_0056 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We popped in to see how the honeymoon couple were doing on that sand road loop near the camp. Sure enough, they were still there but no sign of the brother. Too many cars and trucks jostling for a good position so we moved on past them all, with people giving us very quizzical stares as to why were driving past.

We arrived back at Skukuza at about 14:00. Time for a quick bite and 40 winks before our sunset drive.

While waiting for the trucks to arrive at reception Joan could not resist this magnificent impala lily.

Image
DCS007JPG_081_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

When the lady arrived to allocate us to our trucks we had a party of 10 foreign tourists getting on before us. Each one of them claimed a “window” seat so that when the four of us got on we would have had to sit next to one of them. However, Joan gave them such a look and a clearing of the throat that they immediately sorted themselves into pairs per seat. We managed to get the seats behind the cab on the passengers side and Norman and Melanie behind the driver.
For the sunset drive we first went to see the honeymoon couple and sat with them for a good 30 minutes. Nice vantage point from the truck. We then doubled back and turned right to cross the low level bridge. In our headlights we saw a lioness coming out of the bush, straight in front of the truck and around the side. She crossed the road we had just come along. The driver told us that she looked like she had cubs hidden somewhere and that she was out hunting. She did not stand still long enough for Joan or Norman to get a photo. We carried on up the H1-2 and a workers truck coming in the opposite direction told our driver that there was a leopard on the Sand River bridge. On arriving at the bridge we stopped, the driver told us all what he had been told and then carried on slowly onto the bridge. Being in the first seats behind the cab we had the best view straight ahead in front of the truck. Our headlights then picked him up walking along in front of us. Before we could get the camera focussed on him he jumped onto a sandbank. He stood there for a while and then walked off into the reeds. Unfortunately Joan did not manage get a photo. Wow – four leopard, and all pretty good sightings, in one day. After crossing the bridge we turned onto the Maroela loop. Here we briefly, very briefly spotted a civet. Unfortunately it was now dark and photo did not come out. Back on the tar road and a military vehicle coming in the opposite direction stopped our drive and told him something in their local dialect which we could not understand. On getting to a “No Entry” road our driver stopped and told us that there were some lion lying on the road and that as this was a private road we should remain quiet and keep the spotlights switched on and not to switch them on and off. After a short while the pride appeared in the headlights. As we got closer they moved to the side of the road. We managed to get right next to them and they seemed to settle down and Joan got some nice pics.

Image
DCS007JPG_083_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_082_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_085_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DCS007JPG_084_004.NEF (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

After spending a very pleasant 20 minutes with them we turned around and slowly headed back to camp. On the way we spotted a genet that had a small snake in its mouth but as soon as the truck had reversed and stopped it moved off further into the bush. We all agreed that this was one of the best sunset drives we had ever done.

To top it all off nicely the car was no longer making that weird noise.

NEXT: The spotted spotter does it again.

_________________
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Mellory at 17:45:51 Submitted by Aristocat at 21:34:19 Submitted by Michelle_K at 22:50:55 Submitted by ritad at 23:12:45