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Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:05 am

I apologise for the wait. I have log on troubles.
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dianne
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby dianne » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:30 pm

I had a sneak peak of some of Johan's images - he is such a talented photographer. They are stunning and put me right back in the bush...

@Johan - hope those login troubles are sorted soon :popcorn:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Multiflorum » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:21 am

I have beem coming to the forum every day now for about two weeks, waiting to read about the last trial.

Johan, still having problems in logging in?

Now now, its time we read your trip report.

This waiting is not good for my blood pressure.

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Multiflorum » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:58 pm

As indicated previously, the waiting is not healthy for me. Johan needs to post his trip report soon for the sake of my overall wellbeing and sanity

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:11 am

My workstation at home seems to have been hit by lightning, that is the technician's verdict... I am not too sure how long this is going to take to repair. Unfortunately, that is the only spot from where I can post the trip report and pix. I am a bit worried about those photographs. I'm holding thumbs like crazy hoping the data on the PC is still intact!

Very frustrating!
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby hilda » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:31 am

I'll hold thumbs for those pictures Johan! It happened to my computer too about 3 years ago, and the technician put the hard drive in the deep freezer for a while to try and save as much information as possible. I'm not sure whether it was overnight or for how long, but it seemed to work. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby shadowdog » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:12 am

oh wow...hope it works out for you, Johan! Love the pictures and report.... :pray:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby saraf » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:56 am

Found this report on a night when I couldn't sleep and I was hooked. I really hope you sort out your PC troubles and we get the report from the second trip soon.

JvR thank you for the renewed hope. I too suffer from hearing loss (albeit slight) and have difficulty in hearing some bird calls. I am a keen birder but very much a beginner and with the inability to hear some calls thought I would never get better. You have proved me wrong, thank you.
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby shrew » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:05 pm

To JvR This is for sure the very best trip report I have read (very special), I will certainly be booking this hiking trail next year as part of my yearly trip to Kruger. I can't thank you enough for this wonderful experience , thank you for sharing

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sun May 06, 2012 11:09 am

Back on track... like the signature says! :lol:

The lightning strike that put my workstation at home out of order also caused a huge hole in my webz time, but I am going to be able to play catch-up after getting a new box-and-goodies installed yesterday.
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Cherries » Sun May 06, 2012 6:47 pm

Great Johan. We look forward to our second helpings!

Thanks for persevering and we hope that you didn't lose any photos or important docs on your computer.

:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sun May 06, 2012 11:34 pm

I drove up from Letaba on Sunday morning and did not stop much for birding. I encountered intermittent rain along the way, but the weather seemed to clear up the further north I traveled.

Brenden was already in the parking lot at Shingwedzi, checking and packing his gear when I arrived to book in for the trail. I eyed his neatly packed backpack with a bit of envy… after countless bush walks, his kit would obviously have evolved into the elegant parcel it presented. In contrast my bulky mess looked like something inside had exploded, turning the backpack inside out!

It was then that a localized cloudburst hit the camp. We eyed the rain storm knowing that it would probably not reach the area where we were headed. Mpongolo urgently needed rain, said Brenden…

I felt a bit better when the other atlassers started to arrive and started stacking an ensemble of backpacks similar to my bag of chaos next to the truck that was there to take us into the wilderness. After introductions and the Brenden laying down the basic dos and don’ts I sketched a cursory strategy that we would follow during the next four days in the Mooigesigt Dam pentad (2300_3100) to enable the submission of seven atlas cards for this virgin pentad to the SABAP2 project.

We left Shingwedzi shortly before noon and rumbled into the dusty Mpongolo cauldron. Brenden was right in expecting the rain to have missed this part of Kruger. The veld was already getting straw-coloured and the mopani veld showed blotches of autumn red, orange, ochre, yellow, tan and auburn.

We arrived at the drop-off point where we shouldered our backpacks and trundled single-file into the afternoon heat haze. Leonie2 and I started off with recording birds for the SABAP2 project. Leonie2’s card was to continue until the next morning when JoelR would take over from him, starting our third card. Brenden, Asanja, Toby and Cecelia would each also complete a card, eventually enabling us to subject a total of seven cards.

After just over an hour’s hard slog, Brenden called halt an we started looking for a suitable camping site. The best camping spots would be somewhat away from water, but the area’s vegetation was too thick, not providing that one crucial element of a good camping spot: it must have a good vista on at least one quadrant, preferably more like 180 degrees unimpeded view for 100m or so… The riverbed was best next best option: we could pitch the tents tight along one bank.

Image

No rest for the group: we had to find water! We were going to dig for it in the riverbed about 600m from the camp. Here the river course contained a bend with good bedrock that would act as a natural collector of subterranean water. After finding suitable spots, Brenden and Asanja each started digging a well. When one gets down to about a metre deep, water starts to filter in from the sides. The trick is to then stabilize the sides of the well, “tiling” it with some flat stones. The first water is foul with debris and gets discarded. As this process continues, the quality of water improves to crystal-clear.

Image

With JoelR her audience, Asanja does a quick overview of the product she calls River Runs Deep 2012 Warthog Blanc: "Aaaah... This evening’s tasting is a crystal clear collection, yet its aroma is way over the top, so profoundly afflicted that it will remind one of hog wallow with every sip. It promises to age beautifully, its fragrance will flourish and by the end of the day, the rampant musth will be irresistible."

"Just don’t breathe when you drink it!"
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Cherries » Mon May 07, 2012 12:20 pm

:clap: :clap: Oh this is going to be good!! :dance: :dance:

Now we wait..... :think:

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby ndloti » Mon May 07, 2012 12:37 pm

:thumbs_up:
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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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon May 07, 2012 12:38 pm

The water collection process reminded me of something I observed with ellies: they tend to dig for water in riverbeds quite frequently. They also know about the water quality improving over time, for you will see them blow the first few trunkfuls of water out over their backs...

JoelR wrote:Just to throw in some cliffhangers for those waiting for Johan:

- How to dig for survival?


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Well, that is the first cliffhanger answered in a nutshell...

Waterbuck wrote: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:


The wait is over, Waterbuck. Installments will flow now... until we have to start reporting on the next atlassing trip I'm planning for October! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Cherries wrote:
Now we wait..... :think:


See promise above...
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