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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:27 am 
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Sometimes I think I took the wrong career path - I became a nurse and went into Neonatal Intensive Care...... a career in the bush was not even a vague thought! It was only after (being forced into) early retirement and returning to SA that I became bush-orientated......did courses to learn more.....became a guide and then an HR.....and ended up here in Kruger as a full-time volunteer. An incredible impossible undreamt of dream!

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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:17 pm 
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Back at the caravan now, and almost sorted out ready for tomorrow, so I can take it easy this afternoon now. Even have a chop left over from Friday's braai, so will heat that up and some veges and have that for an early supper (after some ice cream!).

It is hot, but windy with a lot of clouds about.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:56 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Monday morning I left Malelane gate at about 0830 - a bit later than I had wanted to - and headed for the N4. A bit of shopping, and a visit to the post office, and 2 hours later I was back in Kruger.......

A busman's holiday I guess!!!!! Drove in at Croc Bridge (was stopped by the head guide wanting me to help with activities next week as City will be away.....!) and headed for Maroela camp. I have 6 nights here, in a peaceful, shady camp where I can just chill out if I want and look out over the dry river bed (although there is a little water visible from my camp site) or go out for a drive.

I hoped I would be incognito.......but the manager saw the HR stickers on my car when I stopped at reception to check in and asked if I was here to help! And the man who checked me in was one of the guides who has attended the Orientation course I help with...... I did say I was here for a HOLIDAY! My first proper week off in all of the 3 years I have been here!

On my way up to Maroela I saw Elsa and co on their way out of the park, another yellow ribbon flew past me later on.

Sightings wise......ellies, zebs, wildebeest, impala, rhinos, buffalo herd, lions on a kill near Lower Sabie, leopard in a tree just past that, warthog, more lions, waterbuck, chameleons, leopard tortoise, slender mongoose, dwarf mongoose, banded mongoose, bushbuck, nyala......and lots of birds too. It was a good trip - but my camera batteries gave in, the spares did not work.....and then after I quickly stopped to buy some more, the memory card was full and the spare would not work...... All sorted out now though, but too late for the trip up.

It took me a couple of hours to get set up - but that was mainly because I did it leisurely rather than rush and get too hot. Had the honey badger snuffling around the tent a lot during the night!

Yesterday I went to Moholoholo to visit friends there, so it was not a 'park' sightings day (very cute 9 week old rhino calf....).

Today I stayed in camp. Did laundry from the Cricket weekend, and cooked a big lunch. Watched vervet monkeys have a squabble - 2 males maybe fighting over leadership of the troupe.... and 2 squirrels chasing about and mating every time they stopped running! An ellie visited the river bed late afternoon, and a bushbuck was also there in the morning.

Tomorrow, if I still feel like it in the morning, I may go for a drive.....but may also just stay put again. It is nice not to have to do anything!!!!

Stephen Nel called me yesterday afternoon to ask where I was......a storm went through Malelane and the shade net over my caravan has been blown almost completely off. He said the caravan was still standing.....and looks as if all is OK. He had a lot of problems to deal with because of the storm, but said he would try to remove the shade net for me. So when I get back on Sunday guess what I need to do.......

We had some strong wind, and a storm last night here, but no problems.....the tent and car are cleaner too!

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:36 am 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
I ended up coming home a day early!!!! Somehow I don't seem to be cut out for sitting around doing nothing.....and could not afford the fuel to do too much driving around. Also the camp began to fill up, and the 'human hyenas and lions' made me angry!!! They even tried a couple of hyenas whoops in the night - but always the same call and same volume from the same place..... I just decided that rather than get too upset about it all I would pack up and come home.

It meant that yesterday which was a bit cooler was a good day to sort out the shade cloth - and although it is not as I would like, it is at least over the caravan and tent again providing protection.

This will be a very busy week - I am going up to Skukuza this afternoon to help with shooting practice and assessment the next 3 days, and then on to a Parks Heritage course through to Sunday. After that an easier week although there is still marking to do from the last Orientation course, and there will be stats and a report to do from the shooting assessment.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:02 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Had to go where I could afford to go.......! But maybe will try to go somewhere different sometime.....

Got to Skuks about an hour before gate closing time eventually. Found myself in comparitive luxury in one of the biggest huts in the Research camp - and for the rest of the week!

Next 3 days were spent going out to the shooting range at 0600 and returning mid-afternoon. 2 days of practice, one of assessment. Saw lions, elephants, hippos, hyenas, kudus, impalas, bushbuck, warthogs, mongooses (dwarf, slender, banded). A herd of impala entertained us on the range at one point bounding about in apparent play. Have to watch for hyenas if walking about in the camp.....

Yesterday 4pm the Parks Heritage course started - mostly guides attending which is great as they can pass on so much information to guests in the future. My role is really just to keep things running smoothly and trouble-shoot.

Back home again on Sunday......and then more marking etc next week.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:04 am 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Not sure where time goes these days!!!

Couple of trips last week - one where the vehicle would not start after stopping to watch rhinos! Flat battery! Fortunately near enough to BnD to have cell phone signal, and Stephen Nel came out to help. The guests thought the whole adventure was a bonus!!!!!

Last night I did a night drive - and had a family of 4 who have had good sightings while here, and said wistfully they needed to see lions. I gave them 6 walking with us on the road and playing together! Also called Peter and Patrick so they were able to share them with their guests too.

Also had ellies, rhinos, and a buffalo on the road shortly before getting back to camp, so only needed a leopard to make it full house. No spotted eagle owls for the first time for ages......several nightjars and scrub hares, fewer impalas than usual, duikers, good sighting of a civet, bushbabies, and a few unidentified 'eyes'.

Just as I got back Raymond sent an sms asking me to do a morning walk - I was tempted to ignore the message but he was waiting for me and twisted my arm into agreeing.......so up early this morning ready to be picked up to go on the walk with Peter.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:09 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
The walk was good - stalked some giraffes but they saw us coming and disappeared. Ellies in the distance while we had our snack.

Was booked for a night drive tonight, but Raymond called and changed it to a sunset drive. Had full vehicle, and rather noisy group, but pleasant. Took tar road to Timfenene and then back on tar roads, and took it real slow after dark.

Ended up with big 5 night plus hyenas twice and impalas, scrub hares, nightjars, and side-striped jackal, plus lots of giraffes.

As I got to the tar after Timfenene we heard hyenas, and as I turned we saw them (already had 2 on the loop itself) and immediately saw a leopard in the road a little further on! It allowed a good sighting, but not good photos as it walked ahead of us and then into the grass next to us. A lone buffalo was further down the road.

Saw Peter on the night drive just after that and he asked for the lions (well I did call him to see them last night!) and I said they were gone. Got to the S114 junction and turned to the open area to check for hippos and found one male lion in the road asleep with his friend lying a bit further on in the grass! Alerted Peter who came and saw them too (he now owes me big time!).

Back at the s-bend before camp there were more lions in the road - this time 8 of them!!!!! They headed off into the grass almost immediately hunting, and Solly was just in time behind me to see them disappear. The jackal was just after that!!!!

Oh - and a special and unique sighting........a road-block with army folk, protection services, 2 helicopters, and sniffer dog checking cars!!! :clap: :clap:

Did get a clap when we got back to camp!

Now need to get some sleep before another walk in the morning.

_________________
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:22 am 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Inconsiderate campers near me kept banging car doors last night until very late......and I was tucked up in bed and it was too much of an upheaval to get dressed and go and tell them off, especially as each time might have meant they were settling down at last!

Then got to BnD this morning to find that Raymond had made other arrangements and I was not needed anyway :wall: :wall: But I did find the 2 male lions from last night walking towards BnD, and then the pride of 8 lions near the old bush braai turning also walking towards BnD. When I drove home again the pride had disappeared, and the males were just leaving the tar with Patrick watching them (with 2 guests from the gate going to join Raymond and BnD guests for the walk).

So now going to get back into bed and try to catch up on zzzzzzzzzzzzzz's. Busy weekend ahead.....

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:06 am 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Had some sleep. See noisy folk will be here tonight as their little tent is still here. They will be told that not even a squeak must come from them after 2130 tonight! And also be reminded that they were given a permit which clearly stated 'conditions of entry' when they came in, and they are expected to read it and obey.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
The noisy folk arrived back in camp about lunch time and then packed up and left!!!! Last night camp was not actually full - I suspect some of 'our' campers had decided to go elsewhere after checking in. Unfortunately not easy to police unless I am able to do a check, and then the missing folk are tracked down. It will happen one night and then some folk will get a nasty and expensive surprise when they reach next camp or gate or get home.......

A late sms last night from Raymond told me not to worry about the bush braai tonight, so I have been let off the hook - not too sorry as it will be an early start at the gate again tomorrow anyway. Today was busy to start with, then quietened down, but got busy again late morning.

Tomorrow I will have a sunset drive as well as morning gate duty - Isaac asked me on Wednesday if I would do the drive as they already had extra bookings.

Tonight had to call BnD maintenance folk over as someone alerted me to the fact that the bath hot water tap in the ladies' ablution block was not working. It had been leaking a bit, and was now jammed off. That left only one shower for the ladies, and a full camp - not a good idea!!!! It has been temporarily repaired, and will be replaced tomorrow when there is more time.

After that had a chat with some campers about the animal night life around camp as we watched the bushbabies tight-rope walking on the telephone wires and beginning to chase insects at the light at the camp gate.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Oh dear.....posted briefly in the GGG thread about the drive, but now cannot remember much about it! Sorry....

Sunday morning at the gate was initially busy but then quietened and I was able to get to church (nice as we had a brunch afterwards!). Then home for a short snooze, and packed to go to one of our concessions to help out for the night. It was luxurious.....! Mating lions, side-striped jackal, ellies, zebs, wildebeest........etc on the drives.

Back on Monday, then Tuesday and Wednesday in the office again. Thursday I went to Nelspruit to collect my 'new' car, and a brief bit of office work again on Friday. Yesterday was a catch-up day, and today too (did not sleep well last night) but did bush braai security tonight.

Couple of nights ago there were ellies around the camp, and as I was typing now I heard ellies again..... At least there were none about when I drove in a while ago!!!

Tomorrow I need to go to Nelspruit to get a few things sorted on the car (insurance want an immobiliser fitted, and I want the dealership to find my 5th gear which is AWOL, and persuade the speedometer that I can travel at speeds other than 60km/hr!).

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Long day in the city yesterday......at least the car now has an immobiliser, and a leak in the gear box was fixed. Still have problems with 5th gear, but at least sometimes it can be found now. That and the speedometer will be fixed next Monday. Time ran away yesterday. The dealership are being very good and have even offered to pay for the extra fuel I am using to go back to Nelspruit for repairs, and told me I can use one of their offices if I like while waiting for the car! And they will run me around if necessary too. Fortunately the service garage they use is across the road so it is all fairly handy.

Office work today.....and more tomorrow, then shooting assessment on Thursday (not me!).

Ellie herds are visiting camp at the moment - well the bush around camp anyway! Lots of branches breaking and munching and rumbling last night. But no trees pushed over fortunately.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Yes - I was concerned, but they have been very good. So different from the folk I had to deal with over my last car, who could not care less.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Last few days not quite as planned!

Wednesday was busy in the office....but ended up being different work than expected, and I was asked to go to Sand River Bush Camp next day (Thursday) to help with the Earth Sciences course. I hasten to add not teaching!!!! or cooking!!!!! but as rifle-bearer for safety while out in the bush on the practical days, and helping sort out any hitches along the way.

So Wednesday evening I was trying to pack for 4 days away without really knowing what I would need, as I had not seen the programme or instructions to those attending. Thursday morning I had to leave very early to be on the shooting range ready to start assessment by 8am, and of course had to drive via the high level bridge too as the Sand River causeway is still out of action. Got there just in time!

We finished with just time to get back to Skukuza to have a quick bite to eat (boerie roll!), collect the 2nd vehicle we needed from Vuswa, and then meet the folk coming for the course and head out to the Bush Camp. I left my car at Skukuza and drove the 2nd 10-seater - with my passengers all SANparks guides!!!! You can imagine the teasing.......

A short introduction on Thursday evening, and then a long day in the lecture room at Vet Capture offices on Friday (we had thought to stay at Bush Camp but for some reason the generator was missing so we had to move to use the data projector and laptop). We intended to do some astronomy that night but were too late.

Saturday we went out for practical work, and then did the astronomy that evening lying on the high level bridge! With 2 vehicles as the safety barriers, and me walking up and down with the rifle.....

This morning more practical work, and then home again, totally exhausted!

Sightings for the days in the bush???? Granite, gabbro, gneiss, basalt, dolorite, etc.......faults, inclusions, intrusions, dykes, etc.......vegetation changes, catenas, etc.........Southern Cross, Jewel Box, Virgo, Jupiter, etc.......and a few impalas, giraffes, steenbok, bushbuck, waterbuck, ellies, rhinos, zebras, wildebeest, etc thrown in at times!

Tomorrow morning back to Nelspruit for more car repair work - not sure how long it will take, but I have resigned myself to waiting the whole day.

Wonder what the rest of the week will bring....

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:39 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Monday was a busy day in the urban jungle - got the gears fixed on the car, but found out they need to upgrade the immobiliser as they did not fit the correct model, so have to go back there tomorrow. While wandering around waiting I stumbled into one of the shoe shops near Riverside mall and found a sale on - and ended up with top of the range Hi-tech hiking boots for under R400!!!!!!!

Tuesday and today have been busy office days.

But you have been cheated out of 2 game drive reports today...... Last night I was asked to do a morning drive today - but the group of 7 guests did not turn up. Then this evening I was asked to do a bush braai drive for BnD......and it was the same group of 7, and they did not turn up! They are staying outside the park, and apparently had cancelled the bookings, but only with 'head office' and nobody let the gate (for this morning) or the camp (for tonight) know.

Weather has been much cooler, even some rain. Saw a jackal on the way to the office this morning.

Wild dogs are back in the area too. Heard that yesterday morning about 6km from the gate they chased an impala into the road, it jumped straight into a passing car and smashed the windscreen. The dogs got the impala as it bounced off the car and gave good photo opportunities to folk on the road. Late this afternoon they were seen on the open area near the gate again.

_________________
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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