Skip to Content

What made your hair stand on end?

Use this forum for general postings not related to any specific park or special interest, but RELATED to Conservation in South(ern) Africa

Moderator: Crested Val

User avatar
Meandering Mouse
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 16211
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: meandering between senility and menopause

Re: Amazing stories: close encounters of the legal kind

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:21 am

I do love my coffee in the morning, but traveling slowly from waterhole to waterhole.. camp to camp.. my bladder sometimes wants to weep tears.

I have heard too many stories of Leopards to feel completely safe about "protruding", so my policy is to find a place where there is a peaceful group of impies. If there is a Leopard, I will not be the prefered lunch.

One morning I was on my way from Tambotie to Satara. I was very keen to meet some French forumites before they left the Park. please let me bump into them
All went well on the drive, a couple of leisurely stops... until about 20kms from Satara.. then MM realises, there is no way she is going to make it.. the coffee is talking.

About 13kms to go a dirt road.. MM drives in and looks for impies... she finds impies.. feels that wonderful sense of relief.. only a car drives up.... pulls over... eager to see what she is looking at.


MM is mortified...

They smile knowlingly.. and discretely drive off.

It is only then, as she sees the yellow ribbon flapping in the breeze that she realizes....

her prayers had been answered
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

User avatar
Crested Val
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
Posts: 8214
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:49 am
Location: Brecon Beacons National Park

Re: Amazing stories: close encounters of the legal kind

Unread postby Crested Val » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:40 am

Lovely stories guys.....ours is simple and short!!

Leaving Sunset dam one morning in the diresction of Skukuza, we saw this oke charging towards us!!

Image

I still had my camera on and ready from the Sunset Dam pics, so while Dungie was putting the car into reverse I managed a photo!!
Thinking of my beloved South Africa every day.

Virtual Potjie Competition for VHR Far School's Project

User avatar
Dupacc
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:46 am
Location: Weltevredenpark, RSA

Re: Amazing stories: close encounters of the legal kind

Unread postby Dupacc » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:44 am

I just love the stories

The second close encounter we had that I want to share, happened in 2000, shortly after the floods washed away the fence between Kruger and Marloth Park.

Me and my son, than aged 10, were taking a nice, relaxed walk in Marloth Park next to the river that serves as border between Marloth Park and KNP, when we came across lions. The pride was in KNP across the river. The river is approx 100m wide at that point. The male and six lionesses were laying on rocks and the light was perfect for that "Kodak moment" .

Well, eventually the lions got up and started moving all along the riverbank. We followed on this side, all the time feeling save with the river between us when suddenly my son said "Pa, waar is die ander wyfie??" (Dad, where is the other female??) We immediately turned around and tried to get as much distance as possible, suddenly feeling VERY unsafe!. Then it happened!! Bushes bursting open in a blur of white and black and tan and dust. And a blood=chilling death scream ...
The missing lioness came through the river and took down a zebra NO MORE THAN 80m from where we stopped and turned around..

For many years we did NOT go for a "nice, relaxed walk" again in Marloth Park...
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

User avatar
onewithnature
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 22282
Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2013)
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!

Re: Amazing stories: close encounters of the legal kind

Unread postby onewithnature » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:42 am

To Stop Or Not To Stop.


I'm sure most of the SANPark forumites' legal transgressions in Kruger stem from the excretion processes. Coffee, tea, Coke, hot chocolate, and any alcoholic drinks take their toll on the storage capacity of the human body. Unlike animals, we are bound by rules, and indeed consciences.

I remember - and very clearly too - one day driving the Mphongolo loop north of Shingwedzi. I had had a curry and rice from the take-away section in camp for lunch before doing the beautiful drive, seeking leopard, elephant, or whatever might leap out from the bushes.

About seven kilometres into the loop, I suddenly realised that the meat-quality of the meal was dubious and, being the efficient eliminator of foreign bodies my own body is, it began to speak urgently to me in guttural tones reminiscent of our caveman days.

I was alone and had not seen another car on the loop, so considered stopping for a quickie. However, the Mphongolo loop is dense in summer and there could be anything lurking unseen. I decided to rather be safe and hold out until Babalala picnic spot, but that was still a daunting distance ahead. Also, the Mphongolo loop cannot be rushed because it is sinuous and thick with overgrowth.

Another two kilometres on and my mind had switched from game viewing to serious consideration of elimination possibilities. As I've heard about babies about to be birthed, when they choose to come, they come! This feeling seemed equally intense. I considered rushing back to camp, but that was also too far. Babalala was too far. The next turnoff was too far, and that wouldn't have helped in any case. What to do?

The grumbling became louder and the peristalsis approximated heaving waves at Jeffrey's Bay on a dreary, gale-force day.

The choices were limited to two: outside or inside. I do not carry a portable potty, so the latter option was not an option. I looked for a more open area to stop, but none proffered its assistance. The grumbling had become a cacophony of wheezing, whining, and whistling, and the urgency had reached a critical point. The curry had had enough of colonic constrictions and wanted out.

I jammed the brakes and halted in a cloud of dust. The bush was particularly thick at this point and, for a brief moment, I paused to listen. Nothing but the usual symphony of birds and insects - besides the other, far-less melodious sounds. I rushed to the rear and opened the boot, where I always carried a spare toilet roll for emergencies, which I had never had the need for until now. But "always" and "never" seldom appliy to humans.

It hit me - both ways: I had forgotten to pack the essential roll of paper, and the peristaltic processes showed no sympathy for my plight.

As per Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, when the most basic declare their intentions, the higher functions fail. Thoughts of embarrassment, conscience, or legalities no longer played a role.

I rushed into the middle of the nearest clump of shoulder-high grass. It didn't take long, but the Universal Joker - that entertaining arranger of embarrassing and inopportune situations - chose this very moment to complicate the matter even more. I heard a car winding its way towards me; and it was closer than I had hoped. Suddenly I was embarrassed; even more so because I had been (I'm far more mellow about emergency stops NOW) a forumite who judged others for getting out of their cars. Hypocritically, I felt the need to hide.

The car was almost upon me. All I could do was drop down below the grass level, like a skulking rabbit. The car slowed - please don't stop, I pleaded - and almost came to a halt, but then thankfully chose to drive onwards. My empty car must have seemed baffling to those people (I never saw their faces as my own was almost at grass-roots level), but they were not in the mood for answers that day.

As the other vehicle moved onwards, I realised I needed something to complete the process so that I could continue the Mphongolo loop in more comfort. Desperately I looked around - there might only have been thorn trees or the sharp-edged grass around me - and I shudder to think what then I might have had to do - but my saviour was there, close at hand: a large, smooth, dark-green, elephant-ear plant. I apologised aloud to a leaf as I tore it from its base, wondering at how effective it was at a use it had not even contemplated when it was created.

A few minutes later I was on my way again, loudly singing melodies of joy and relief (the writers of those songs undoubtedly having no idea of the nuances they created when they composed the words), caring not that my singing voice needs a huge amount of training before sounding anything harmonious.

An experience, though hilarious in hindsight, I would never choose to relive!
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)

User avatar
Imberbe
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14486
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Location: Pretoria, RSA

Re: Amazing stories: close encounters of the legal kind

Unread postby Imberbe » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:24 am

One of mine: Facing death
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparksvolunteers.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.

User avatar
Bushmad
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 7:40 pm
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Amazing stories: close encounters of the legal kind

Unread postby Bushmad » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:37 pm

Enjoying this thread!

Here's one of mine:

At Talamati about ten years ago we stood around the braai one winter's evening turning the meat.

The torch batteries were dying and the light began to fade but was sufficient for its purpose.

I heard rustling in the dry grass, whatever was there was coming closer, I pointed the torch at the ground in front of me....

The dim light revealed a Honey Badger less than a metre away! He had stopped and was looking directly up at me with the absolute self assured fearlessness that Badgers are known for...his mouth was open and teeth were visible as he looked at me as if to say "you're in my way!"....I registered this in about a second and flew through the air onto the patio and into the chalet....calling out "Honey Badger!!" to warn my Dad who was left in the darkness as the Badger marched on...

The story doesn't end there.....after dinner we heard a loud noise outside and realised that something had turned the big black bin over. I went outside and there he was, in the light that washed out of the chalet window.....Sgt. Badger, tearing open a tea bag.....the single item of waste that I had deposited in there earlier that day.....he looked at me again with all the chutzpah in the world and trotted off in search of richer pickings.
"Saving face is easy. Just keep the lower half of it tightly closed." Bob Hope.

User avatar
picnic
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4112
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:08 am
Location: In a park or on the forum.

Re: Articles and Experiences of Animal Attacks

Unread postby picnic » Fri May 04, 2012 10:43 pm

:shock: :big_eyes:

Any more stories?

User avatar
Grantmissy
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 7625
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:21 am
Location: SA

Close encounters of the real kind

Unread postby Grantmissy » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:21 pm

Sometimes, or I think more often than what we realize, a person may encounter animals of various kinds in the camp, sometimes close to your living space. (After all Kruger is 100% their home and we should know and understand that, I believe.) I guess a person has to re-act differently when you step out of your rondavel at night and there is a hyena or honey badger staring at you than when you encounter a troop of baboons monkeying around at a look-out point or when you go for a stroll around camp during the day and you encounter a leopard, although the possibility is very slight I think. I once had a close encounter on Orpen stoep in the middle of the night with a honey badger but I swiftly slammed the door in its face. But I guess some other encounters that may happen would call for a different type of approach and running away might not be one of them either. What have you done or what will you do when your encounter is real?
“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.”

User avatar
lion queen
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
Posts: 12856
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:03 pm
Location: Upington RSA

Re: Close encounters of the real kind

Unread postby lion queen » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:28 pm

January we were staying in Satara during our trip. As usual the HB made his round and were at a stage in the middle of the circle with loads of people following it. Then it started making his way straight for our chalet, picking up the pace he was moving quite nicely........ :tongue:

I can't remember when was the last time I saw someone move so fast to the safety on the inside of a chalet!!!
SANParks Online Fans..........Where passion is pride!

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West

User avatar
Grantmissy
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 7625
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:21 am
Location: SA

Re: Close encounters of the real kind

Unread postby Grantmissy » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:27 am

Lion Queen I think sometimes we think that an animal in camp is tame but they are not. I once saw a family getting very close to Warthog, perhaps they are used to humans. Perhaps we would be surprised at the variety of animals in camp during the night
“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.”

User avatar
Grantmissy
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 7625
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:21 am
Location: SA

Re: Scaredy Cats own up !

Unread postby Grantmissy » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:05 pm

Rabelais Hut is such a place for me. There is just too much activity in the Orpen area and I am … well a bit cautious there and sometimes or most of the times do not get out :roll: :) . :wink:
“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.”

User avatar
Meandering Mouse
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 16211
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: meandering between senility and menopause

Re: Scaredy Cats own up !

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:33 am

On my last trip I needed to prove that I was not a scaredy cat.

Hamilton Memorial is a special place for me, so I decided to get photographic proof that I can get out of my car alone.

Image

There was another car when I arrived and lots of consernation, panic and excitement.

Anyone who knows the memorail will appreciate the uniqueness, no the madness of this sighting.

Two elephants had climbed up the back of the hill and were giving us the performance of their lives.

Image

Image

Image

MM's car, just to prove that she did stay until the excitement had died down and she was alone.

Image
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

User avatar
ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4958
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Re: Scaredy Cats own up !

Unread postby ndloti » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:02 pm

Elephants don't mind polite people .
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.

User avatar
Philip1
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2014)
Posts: 6764
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:58 am
Location: Far South in South Africa.

Re: Scaredy Cats own up !

Unread postby Philip1 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:36 pm

Many years ago :redface: , when I was first introduced to KNP :) by my now SO and her parents (Bless their Soul), the following happened:

While we were driving, SO’s father explained to me the rules and regulations of KNP. We had a lovely breakfast at Tshokwane and left for Eileen Orpen dam. I remember going up this hill and got to a place where you could alight from your vehicle at own risk. We did just that. :big_eyes:

In those days, the dam was not as overgrown like it is now. :(

We were watching all sorts of game at the dam. :cam:. There was a bit of everything. Out of the blue, somebody said, (cannot remember who), “What if Lions comes over the rise now” :?: . Not long after that, we decided to leave the dam.

We just turned the car, and could not believe our eyes :sup: . Fifteen Lions strolling down the road towards us. All of us were very quiet at that stage. We drove slowly and watched them for a short while, till they disappeared in the bush. Driving along where you keep left down the hill towards the H10, :wink: we saw five more Lions.

That was and still is, one memory of Kruger National Park I,ll never forget. :)
"Lose yourself in Nature and find Peace!" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
UNITE AGAINST POACHING...What we protect,
do not let poachers take it away!

Extinction is forever and survival is up to---every last one of us!

User avatar
Elsa
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13582
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa

Re: Scaredy Cats own up !

Unread postby Elsa » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:27 am

Goodness Philip,
don't think I will ever be relaxed at Orpen dam again after that tale! :shock:
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Please add your vote in the Website Community Choice Award


Return to “Chit-Chat”