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Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

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Cherries
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Cherries » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:36 pm

Oh the avid followers are so pleased to have the first taste of this experience!! :thumbs_up:

Thank you Dianne. :clap: :clap:

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Waterbuck
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:42 pm

dianne wrote:We got back yesterday and I was completely blown away. It ranks as my all-time favourite KNP experience.


Thanks Dianne - I'm the poor soul that pulled out a week before you guys went. I have been crying myself to sleep every night for missing the trip.........now hearing your experiences makes me......well sad.......and happy.........wish I could have been there. :( Thanks for the first update - look forward to the rest.
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dianne
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby dianne » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:26 pm

JvR is such a fantastic writer and photographer I'm already looking forward to re-living the trail through his words and pictures. In the meantime, here he is in action :twisted:

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Elsa
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Elsa » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:09 pm

Already looking forward to reading all about it, after the last one I can't wait! :popcorn:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby dianne » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:41 pm

One of many lasting side effects has been that JoelR and Leonie2 now ONLY want to dig for their own water :roll: (although if you've seen the water in Hoedspruit since the floods, that's not actually a bad idea).

Also our wildlife estate seems way too urban, our beds are too soft, our cellphones actually work - which means we have to - and the stars aren't quite bright enough...
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby JenB » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:49 pm

:lol: :lol: As the woman in the house I trust you'll direct him towards... ehem... the more digable parts of your garden? :twisted:
This promises to be good!! :popcorn:
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:52 pm

Hi, there, 'mites! As you can see from the introductory remarks posted by Di, the Mpongolo atlassers are back... St Anderton is a chilly contrast to the balmy Mpongolo wilderness. I am sitting at my workstation dressed in four layers of clothing... :lol: …including long johns! :shock:

Fortunately the affectionately recalled memories from the bush carry me back effortlessly to more temperate times, undertakings and accomplishments that eases the highveld autumn chill from my bones.

I started my sojourn to Mpongolo a day or so before the rest of the atlassing gang. I had a stop-over at Leeupan in mind. I managed to get away from the grindstone at around lunchtime and, in spite of doing some stretches of the trip in helicopter mode, I ran late into Kruger Gate. Getting hung up in a long funeral procession at Hazyview tested my respect for the Dead to the white-knuckle stage!

Whenever I stay over at Skukuza, I take the opportunity to see what they serve up at the Selati restaurant. I chose a delightful chili chicken liver dish shored up by garlic naan bread. The ice cold beer served in a freezer-frosted glass was a balanced, invigorating compliment to the spicy dish.

It was still dark the next morning when I set out for Leeupan. The damage caused by Irina earlier in the month was very evident and blocked roads, barricaded bridges and long detours told a grim story of flood devastation.

The real reason why I do not just kick off with telling the story of the Mpongolo trail is… well, I can’t really say “the find of the trip” as there where so many highlights before, during AND after, but this was a highlight I just have to share! So I’m “forcing” it into the Mpongolo report. I’m sure my atlassing team mates will suffer the detour gladly…

During the summer months, Leeupan has held Allen’s gallinule and African pygmy geese for a number of seasons and they were the reason for me entering KNP from the south. Both found means two easy ticks for my yearlist! The gallinules were again easily spotted amongst the vegetation around the tall dead tree in the left part of the pan, but at an unexciting distance.

As I arrived on the right hand side of the pan as far as the track bordering the pan allows, I spotted a pair of pygmy geese in the shallows. Park. Shoot. Inch closer. Park. Shoot. Inch closer… until I got these shots:

Image

Image

That was not the end of my good fortune… When eventually I had my fill of pygmy geese, I noticed some movement in the vegetation close to the front of my car. Through my binoculars I found myself staring at my second ever sighting of a dwarf bittern! Inch closer. Park. Shoot. Inch closer. Park. Shoot… until I got these shots:

Image

Image

:dance: How about that for starters! :dance:
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:02 pm

The operative here is starters... like in aperitif! :lol:

I have very little time left before I'm off on another birding trip to the southern end of the KZN Drakensberg. So, I do not expect to be posting anything again until April 10. However, in the meantime the rest of the gang will get going with the story, I am sure!
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:51 pm

Ahhhhhhhhh - JOHAN :wall: Been waiting and waiting for the report......only to be told to wait some more.

Neither Wilbur Smith nor Sydney Sheldon (Danielle Steel for the ladies) have the same effect as this awaited trip report. :rtm:
The aperitif, although it was GREAT......has touched sides and only made me more curious and anxious for the rest. Thanks so far........ :clap: :lotsocoffee:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Tilandi » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:04 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:The operative here is starters... like in aperitif! :lol:


Thanks for the aperitif Johan. Great photo's as always. :clap: :clap: Enjoy the rest of your birding excursion in KZN. :thumbs_up:
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hilda
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby hilda » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:51 pm

Also enjoyed the aperitif Johan! Enjoy the rest of your trip. The actual report sounds very promising! :D We will just have to wait. :doh:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Cherries » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:41 pm

Thanks Johan - Beautiful photos.

Now that wait was worth it! :clap:

When we didn't hear from you, I thought you had fitted in a quick trip to Cape Town for the Little Crake!! :roll:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Brenden » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:54 am

Johan, those are great shots.

I cant wait to read more about the trip. Even though I was there, guides rarely get detailed feedback and it is great to hear what events/moments left an impression.

I will catch up once we are back from trail on Saturday. Here I go again.
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby JoelR » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:02 pm

Just like Brenden I was there and I am also looking forward to JvR's write-up! Just to throw in some cliffhangers for those waiting for Johan's prose:

- How to dig for survival?
- What to make of kanniedood wood, elephant dung and a blue waxbill nest?
- Why Brenden calls the Tree Wisteria (Vanwykshout) "a sign of hope"?
- Why the nightsky just under the Southern Cross is dark and starless?
- How close did the cheeky hyena and the young elephant bull exactly come? :big_eyes:
- What JvR means by "positive disappointment"?

Let see what 'oom' JvR cooks up for us.

:think:

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby hilda » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:26 am

Can't wait JoelR! Looking forward to JvR's TR and all his awesome pictures! :popcorn:
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