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 Post subject: spargish Brother & Sister Road Trip May 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:32 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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So in March around the braai one friday evening my sister and I got the Idea to go on a quick roadtrip to Kruger. I think mys sister was kind of jealous because she had missed my last 2 trips to Kruger and as much as she wouldnt admit it Im sure the bug was bitting.

Unfortunately my sister is a school teacher so her time is limitted to the busier times of the year, we had 2 options the easter week end or the Looooong week end at the end of April. The choice was made for us because of a family wedding over the easter weekend, which is the week end we would have preffered because the other week end looked really busy.

We Finally managed to find accomadation for 3 nights, Satart, Orpen and Letaba. So at 4:30 on the 28th of April we departed :dance:

Day 1 Arrival
We had a good trip, the road was quiet and there was no mist :pray: We arrived at Malelane gate at 8:30 the plan was to drive to Afsaal for breakfast and then a slow drive up to Satara. We were greeted by Eco junkie at the gate, where she noticed the 2012 cricket shirt my sister was wearing.The gate was still very busy and we only got through at 9.
The first animal we spotted was a big Daga boy, who had a broken Horn
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Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr
We spotted this fellow, The location escape my memory :hmz: :wink:
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Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr
After a slow drive we arrived at Afsaal, which was crazy busy, we decided to give it a skip as we had enough padkos in the car and rather stop at Skuks
After a slow un winding drive with some general game we arrived at skukuza, after sitting in a jam of about 8 cars at the gate, which was a bad sign. The Canteen was madness so we decided to get something from the shop after picking up a pie and a coke, we decided to escape the craziness and head off to Satara......

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 Post subject: Re: Brother & Sister Road Trip
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Day 1 Continued
After escaping Skukuza with our sanity intact we headed of for Satara. Sadly the Sand River low level bridge wasnt open yet so we had to drive along the Highway until we reached the High level Sabie bridge. My word was it busy we drove in a 10 plus car convoy almost all the way to the bridge. :doh:

At one point we stopped to let somne playful vervets cross the road, the gentlemen in front of me threw his stompie out the window :evil: :evil: :naughty: :naughty: This filled me with RAGE and I opened my door a tad picked up the stompie and then drove next to the litter bug and hand it back to him with a piece of my mind :evil: :evil:

Magically, almost as soon as we crossed the Sabie the traffic disaapeared and my sanity levels normalized.
We stopped at the beautiful Leeupan.
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr

We then carried on towards Satara and stopped at Mazithi dam where there were lots of Grazers
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr
We Bumped into these 2 girls enjoying a feed, the little one had a temper trumpetting and moc charging the car :tongue:
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr
Next stop was Kumana Dam weher we found a lone Hipster hippo
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr

We carried on towards Satara, and Checked in with out a problem and settled down for a quick nap before an afternoon drive. We also saw this guy some where along the way :cam:
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr

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 Post subject: Re: Brother & Sister Road Trip
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:57 am 
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Thanks for the comments every one :thumbs_up:

With regards to the Litter Bug, luckilly he was so taken aback and embarressed he didnt respond, just hastilly took the stompie back and apologized :naughty:

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 Post subject: Re: Brother & Sister Road Trip
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:11 am 
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Day 1 evening

So after cooling down during nap time, it was back in the car for our afternoon drive. :D We decided we would head out to Nsemani and Girivana.

We came accross a beautiful herd of Zebra, with quite a few young ones, who were really enjoying thmselves sprinting up and down.
Image
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We reached Nsemani and watched the Hippos splash about
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr

We Headed up towards Girivana and came accross a 500 strong buff herd. The stand out being this cow with curly horns
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr
And this tiny calf right next to the road
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr

Girivana was quiet but oh so beautiful, and we just sat there unwinding from the journey and getting firmly into Kruger mode. Suddenly the silence was broken by the gruff sound of a lions ROAR, everybody was looking around hoping to see the elusive cat, but time was against us and every one had to leave with put spotting the king of the Jungle.
A sunset shot heading back to camp.
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr

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 Post subject: Re: Brother & Sister Road Trip
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:02 am 
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Location: Johannesburg
Day 2

We enjoyed an awesome Braai of Rump Estpada's from the best Butchery in the of JHB, if you are from the east you have to check out Eland Butchery :wink: I might of had a little to much of the Amber liquid that night and went to bed rather early. So I woke up bright and early and sat on the stoep enjoying the beautifl silence. Gate opening time was getting closer and I went off and made the coffee and then woke up my sister. We were at the gate bright and early 2nd in line. The rising sun made the anticipation build up.
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr
We decided we would try the S100. I could see there was some mist on the Horizon and as the sun rose it came closer and closer, as we turned onto the S100 we turned into a wall of white
Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr
Visibility wasnt more than 15-20m in my opinion, we saw a Hyeana but he dashed into this mist never to be seen again. We realised that if it wasnt in or right next to the road we wouldnt see it. We took it really slow, we didnt wasnt to surprise an elephant in the road :big_eyes:
We Eventually came accross a Honey moon couple
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Eventually he showed us his mate, but then decided to do the dirty right infront of us :whistle:
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Satisfied with his work :tongue:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Brother & Sister Road Trip
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:02 am 
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Day 2 continued
We enjoyed the lions for a very long time with not much traffic, before it got to busy and to afford others an oppurtunity to see the Lions we moved on and found a nice quiet spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and a couple Oumas.
We made our way back to camp to collect breakfast supplies and pack the car.
Somewhere we encountered this guy enjoying his breakfast grass.
Image
After packing up we headed off for brunch at Nwantesi. We decided to take the s100 again, to see if any more cats popped up.
This guy was trying to hide, but his horns gave him away
Image
A girrafe tollgate be for we could go round the corner
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We came accross a breeding herd of ellies, this little guy was acting like a macho man.Image
We enjoyed a nice fry up a nwanetsi and after enjoying the view we headed off to Orpen.
On the H6 we came accross this feathery friend.
Image
It was the hottest time of the day and it was getting up to 36 degree's. I was struggling to stay awak so we decided to stop in the shade at nsemani and have a quick 15 minute power nap. The power nap did wonders and we pushed on. Sadly it seemed like all the animals were also enjoying a nap :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Brother & Sister Road Trip
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:40 am 
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Day 2 Cont
We arrived at Orpen just before 2 and checked in quickly, also booking for the Sunset drive :mrgreen: I have to say Orpen is an awesome camp the Bungalows are awesome and in such good condition, there were lots of birds and squirels playing in front of the camp and it was so relaxed. We un packed and then headed straight for the pool for an awesome swim.

We readied for the Sunset drive and met our guide Crazy, we had to fetch a few other guest from Tamboti and Maroela. Even though portions of tamboti were closed, the camp still had its rustic feel. I have a booking for Maroela in just under 2 months time so I was happy to get a preview of it when we picked up other guests, and it looks awesome i cannot wait :clap:

So we set off and as we all know drives can be a hit and miss affair but I love them regardless, I just love the feeling of being out in the bush. We didnt have much action on the drive bu Crazy was a great guide and tried his hardest to find us game. here are a few pics.
Image
Image

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This silly white faced owl did want his face in the picture.Image

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 Post subject: Re: Brother & Sister Road Trip
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg
Day 3

So we woke up bright and early again to be the 1st one out the gate at orpen. We were the 1st ones out again and I think the gate was even opened earlier than it was supposed to.... we spotted the zebbies first again
Image
Once again it was a cool misty morning, and it was a very quiet drive, we drove to one of the lookouts and turnd around. we spotted a group of hyeans trying to keep warm.
Image

We enjoyed a good breakfast at orpen and then set off for letaba, we left with a bit of a heavy heart as Orpen was really awesome and I could have spent much more time there. any way it was off to Letaba via timbivati. As much as my heart longed to take the s39, it made th route quite a bit longer and we didnt want to take to long to getr to letaba. At girvana we got a giraffe having a drink
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We found these big boys on the h1-4
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We were happy to stretch our legs on the olifants bridge, i was amazed at how the flood waters changed the landscapeImage
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr
there are always elephants in the olifants :mrgreen:

Image
Untitled by Spargish87, on Flickr
We took the detour to Olifants and decided to have lunch in the restuarant, the less I say about that experience the better. We ended up having cheese wedges on salty cracks on route to letaba...

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 Post subject: Re: Brother & Sister Road Trip
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Lets just say the shop/take away/restuarant situation at olifants is quite diabolical. we waited 15 minutes in the restuarant with out even getting a menu. We decided to go the the take away, which had no pies or quick on the go items, all you could do was order the same items off the restuarant menu and wait for it to come out of the same kitchen, whats the point of that.

The shop then doesnt sell any food items like sandwiches or Pies ETC, so we had a pack of cheese wedges in the cooler bag and picked up a pack of crackers from the shop and pushed on

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 Post subject: Re: Brother & Sister Road Trip
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:52 pm 
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Day 3 continued
We Arrived at Letaba, and checked in with a very friendly reception. My sister really wanted a to see a leopard so we decided we would try the night drive that evening. We decided we would rather go for a walk around the campsite instead of an afternoon drive as we were a bit fatigued from the journey.
We saw this heron from the stoep of our bugalow
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This guy was enjoying a drink infront of the restuarant
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I just love Impala lilys
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The "tame" Bushback of letaba have added another generation
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We enjoyed a wonderful dinner of rare rib eye and garlic bread, and headed over to the night drive.
We were really entertained at the Hyeana den just outside Letaba. look near the bottom left corner to see the little ones head sticking out of the den
Image
Having some fun
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Brother & Sister Road Trip
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:32 am 
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Thanks for the comments guys :)

Unfortunately all we saw besides then den was a few spring haas, impala and a Zebra, I understand that its luck of the draw. How ever our guide liked the sound of his own voice and we covered probably 10km's in 2 hours, we had to listen to a speach about a Dikkop for 15minutes, not my favourite drive.

Any way we enjoyed our last peaceful sleep in Kruger. We woke up bright and early to visit the south side of Engelhart dam, but sightings were slow. Not that it mattered we were taking in our last bits of Kruger. We went back to camp and decided we werent going to have breakfast there but rather stop at steers in Phala for breakfast.

There was alot of traffic exiting the Park and Im sure the animals heard our 11 car convoy coming. This was our last sighting in the park.
Image

Anyway the trip home didnt start off to badly, we had traffic going through the Abel Erasmus pass but nothing to hectic, everything was going smoothly uintil we reached middleburg, a mere 110km's from home. The N4 was closed in middleburg and traffic was being diverted through middleburg. It took me 5 hours to get through middleburg and back onto th n12 the other side of witbank a mere 40kms. If i wasnt coming home from a relaxing week end of Kruger I think I might have exploded :wall:

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