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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Day 1 Sunset drive

16:30 we arrived at the vehicle for our first sunset drive. We took some extra blankets, because weather services said it would be only 5 degrees that night. Our guide was Sipho and very friendly and informative.
We left camp and our immediately saw a breading Elephant herd.

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The kids enjoyed riding on the open truck. Eric posing for a picture

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We had the most amazing sunset. The driver took us to the Manungu Mountain where we watch the sun setting.

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We came across a hyena den just before it got dark. There were lots of very tiny babies. They were still dark colored. Sorry for the bad quality pics, looks like my camera were struggling with the light.

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This mother Hyena apparently had a snare around her neck. Rangers most probably removed it, but you could still see the damaged it caused.

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A little video clip of the hyenas



This is my last before it got dark.

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We saw lots of game after sunset. Kudus, a genet, steenbok, duiker, hippos, buffalos, an amazing sable antelope, we saw rhinos 3 times and some vultures. Unfortunately they were all too far away for good photos. The only one I got is of these rhinos we found in the road.

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We returned to camp and the kids and I went for a bath. I saw a tick on Eric’s back and removed it. Hopefully it’s not one who will give him tick fever. I’m keeping a close eye on him. We went to bed very satisfied and all of us being very happy to be in Kruger again.


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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:10 pm 
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Hi Image

I also took photo's. a sunset 1 and a hyena 1. My mom helped me to make it black and white. the hyena were cute and small. :D here is my photo's

bye Roan Image

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Image

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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:17 pm 
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Day 2 Pretoriuskop

We decided to sleep in this morning and left camp around 9:00. We took the H2-2 (voortrekker road) toward Afsaal for a nice brunch. It's true what they say. If you leave early morning you see lots of animals. Leave to late, and you will not always be so lucky.
That’s so true. Image We only saw a few elephants in a distance, a little steenbok and duiker, giraffes in a distance and a one warthog. And that for a 35km gravel road. :slap:

So we arrived and made some bacon and eggs on the skottelbraai. We loved spending time at Afsaal and it seems to be a very popular spot.

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After spending some time there, enjoying the sounds and activity of Afsaal, we decided to take the H3 and H1-1 tar road back to Pretoriuskop. We were a bit luckier this time. Just a few km from camp we saw this southern pale chanting goshawk ( I think?) with his kill. Some sort of green snake. He was very far, but I succeeded to get a few pics.

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A bit further we saw a troop of baboons. This baby was just so pretty with his little pink ears, clinging to his mom for all his worth.

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We also saw this beautiful Rhino. Just grazing and minding his own business. Lots of cars gathered to watch him, but he didn't mind.

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For the first time my kids saw a brushfire so close by. Only about 20km from Pretoriuskop, we came across a fire. We stopped for a bit and the kids were amazed to feel the heat and hear the sound of the burning grasses.

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We enjoyed watching all kinds of birds, sitting and waiting for insects to jump on the road. They had a feast. Hundreds of grasshopper tried to escape the flames, just to be eaten by a starling or Roller. And for the first time, my we saw a stick insect. It's only when we saw him walking that we realized what it was.

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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:18 am 
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1 more photo of the vultures

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:42 am 
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Day 2 Pretoriuskop, part 2

We returned to camp and SO and Kids decided to take the afternoon off. They all relaxed in the hut, so I decided to go and do a bit of work. Walk around camp and take lots of Accommodation pictures. I enjoyed walking around and seeing all the different kinds of accommodations. I will have quite a job to add them all to the thread these next few weeks, but I love it.

In camp the birds were just as active as usual. I saw this little one. The most beautiful yellow colors I have ever seen.

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Also quite a few wildlife on the other side of the fence.

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Around 16:00 I returned to the hut and Roan and I decided to go out for a drive. We went on the same route that Sipho did on the sunset drive. We saw this pretty roller just outside camp

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We returned to the hyena den. As we approached, a little hyena ran into the den, but at least we saw him. We didn't see much, except for some impala's, kudu's and a few buffalo's. Just before sunset we saw this beautiful eagle. The sun was still shining perfectly on the mountain. We took our last sunset picture from Pretoriuskop region and went back to camp.

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We returned to camp and had a lovely braai under amazing stars. It was pitch dark, so before bed we went for a walk around camp. Just a perfect way to end the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Day 3 Pretoriuskop - Skukuza

Roan and I wanted to leave camp when the gate opens at 6:00. So we set the alarm for 5:30, quickly got dressed in silence, grabbed the coffee mugs and rusks and headed to the gate. At the communal kitchen we got some hot water, and first in line at the gate, we waited while eating our rusks. ImagePURE BLISS. The guard opened the gates at 5:50 and
off we went.Image

We decided to head to Numbi gate. Apparently theres a wild dog den at the Manungu mountains so we wanted to see if we can spot them. I saw Wild dogs for the first time in March, but Roan never seen them. We took the circle road and just as the sun started to rise, we reached the mountain.
We circled around the Rocks when suddenly Roan said ''STOP... WILD DOG''. Image
He saw a silhouette of something on the rocks. And YES, it was a wild dog. We were thrilled. Every now and then one popped up on a rock, looking around and disappeared again. We were all alone for about a half hour before the first cars appeared. Roan was so proud to show the wild dogs to everyone.

I made some photo collages today. To limit the amount of photos per page.

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When it got to crowded, we moved on towards Shitlhavadam to see if anything interesting is there. We saw a few waterbucks and a very beautiful rhino there. He come for a drink and with the early morning sun he was just the most beautiful rhino.

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We also saw this brown snake eagle (I think?) Looking for some breakfast.

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We headed back to camp to pick up the rest. We were heading to Skukuza for 2 nights. We saw Elephants, kudu's, waterbucks, impalas and lots of Rhino's and hippo's.

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Checking it at Skukuza went smoothly. We got bungalow number 191. Close to the restaurant/shop, close to the fence. We love this bungalow. :clap:

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After unpacking our luggage, we drove to Lake panic for a late afternoon view. It was beautiful as usual. Lots of birdies and lots of nesting going on. Here is a collage of our sightings.

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The rest of the afternoon was quiet. We had an early braai en enjoyed the camp. Although it's one of the busiest camps, we didn't really noticed it. We just enjoyed it.



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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Hi :tongue:

this is my best picture of the wild dog .

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and this photo is mine. my mom says she thinks it is a very good photo. the water bucks was at the dam drinking water.
Image

buy for now 8)
Roan

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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Day 4 Skukuza

Once again we tried to sleep late. But we woke up early and decided we might as well go for a drive. So we took the H4-1 towards Nkulu for some breakfast.

Our first sighting was this bird. He was spotted by Roan. (Brilliant spotting eyes by the way) The eagle was very far away. I zoomed in with my 24x zoom lens, and this is the best pic I got.
I think it's a crowned eagle but maybe it's something else? :hmz:

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A little bit further down the road, 3 cars were parked. There were 3 lions on the riverbed apparently, but we just saw one. At least we saw our first lion this trip.

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We've seen so many kudu‘s this year, It's unbelievable. We've seen them almost as many times as we've seen impala's. This young male stood very close to the road and posed as if he was a photo model.

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At Nkulu it was as busy as always. Lots of European visitors. One couple just sat down on a bench with their food between them. A monkey sneaked up from behind them and grabbed a whole packet of treats. Image

The guy ran after him, but to no avail. He fled into a tree and enjoyed his treats. Monkeys are still a problem at Nkulu. Luckily for us, they left us alone this time. I had my very own 2 guards. Roan and Eric marched around our table with sticks in their hands. That must have done the trick.Image

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This big hippo passes Nkulu.

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After breakfast we returned to camp and saw lots of general game like impalas, kudku's, warthogs and a few ground hornbills. We also came across this beautiful fish eagle.

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We arrived in camp and decided to do the 'tour' thing. Walk around camp, visiting the Selati steam train and the Stephenson Hamilton library. Eric is a sucker for museums so he loved it. Here are a few pics of our afternoon.

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We ended our tour at the old museum hut. It's interesting to see the restaurant and accommodation prices of those days. While we were there, we saw this little one playing hide and seek and a beautiful elephant heard walking pass the fence.

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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Day 4 Skukuza - Sunset drive

The 4 of us were supposed to go on another sunset drive this afternoon. But Philip wasn't feeling so well and said he wanted to stay. :( Eric then decided he wanted to stay in camp as well.

We already booked and paid for the sunset drive already, so I went to the reception and asked if it was possible to change our sunset drive to a sunset drive for 1 adult and 1 child, and add a morning drive for 1 adult and 1 child. Luckily they were able to help us. :clap:

There was only 6 people booked on the drive, so when Roan and I arrived, we heard that we will take a small vehicle instead of the truck. We sat in front and both had a grand view. :wink:

Our driver took us to the Sabie river road. We saw lots of antelopes, elephants, baboons and hippo's. This policemen was also doing a great job

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When it got dark, Roan was handed a spotlight. I wondered if he would be able to use it :hmz: But my oh my. He was a trooper. He's eyes were the best on the truck. He spotted bush babies, some elephants and giraffes and he even picked up a Genet's eyes. Just in time for us all to see him. Our guard gave him a compliment for being a very good spotter.
(He was VERY PROUD) Image

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We didn't see much else that night. Just a big heard of buffalos and a few hyenas. But it was a great drive.

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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:59 pm 
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Day 5 Skukuza - Morning drive

Our clock went of at 4:45. Roan and I got up, sneaked out quietly and made ourselves a cup of coffee at the communal kitchen. We went to the pick up point and waited till everyone arrived. There were so many people that 2 trucks were fulled. And they didn't have enough blankets for both trucks. (luckily 'this mom' carries blankets around everywhere and ran to the car to get us both one :wink: ) And Am I glad about that. It was FREEZING on the truck.

We left the gate at 5:30. We saw lots of elephants, a civet (sorry no photo) and the first animal we saw in daylight was a rhino. We hoped to see lions on this morning drive. And LUCK was on our side. We saw 4 male lions just as the sun came up. They were extremely lazy after apparently a busy night.

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A little video clip.


We stayed with them for about 30 minutes. Only 10km further we came across these 2 ladies. Lying in the road and watching us all. We were so lucky.

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We thought it couldn't get any better.... well it did. Just a few kilometers further, these young males came walking towards us. We were over the moon with excitement. We just loved a morning drive. We will definitely do one again next year. :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Day 5 Skukuza - Satara


We got back to camp about 8:30 and packed up to leave for Satara. When we arrived at the bridge, a whole troop of baboons were entertaining us. My kids were histerical. They were so funny and did all kinds of tricks.

Here is a little video clip of the playful baboons



I absolutely loved this mom and baby. I wonder how old this little one is. I gues not more than a few weeks old.

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We also saw lots of crocodiles this year. These once we found when we crossed one of the smaller rivers towards Satara

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And this one wasn't bothered by the baboon at the Mantimahle dam

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At the dam there was plenty of wildlife. We passed there just before lunchtime.

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We arrived at Tshokwane just after noon and got some lunch. We packed boerewors to make our own lunch, but it was so windy that we decided to try the famous kudu rolls. It was delicious.

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As usual, we had to keep guard. The monkeys were up to their tricks again and already stole some apples from some visitors. This one is lurking at our kudu worsrolls :naughty:

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We arrived at Satara and got the key to bungalow number B50. We loved this bungalow, nice and spacious. We just arrived in time. While unpacking the car, I started to feel sick. Hubby had some stomach discomfort sins the previous day, and now I started to get stomach pains.Image

That was NOT fun. Sitting in one of the nicest camps in Kruger and feeling too sick to do anything. So I got into my bed at 16:00 and hoped it will pass quickly and that Roan and Eric will skip the tummy bug. By dinner time, Philip felt much better and prepared food for him and the kids. Well, that night was terrible for me, but at least it passed by morning :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:18 am 
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Hi Image

My photos of the lions and sun rise. the lion photos is my favourite :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Day 6 Satara

I woke up at 5 this morning, feeling much better. So I stayed awake and woke Roan up at 5:30. Staying over in Satara, and not doing an early morning drive is just silly. So we were up and on our way to the S100 at 6:00.

We were on the S100, with one car in front of us. Both of us driving only 20 or 30km per hour. The sun was just up and Roan was still sleepy, when my eye caught something on the left hand side. It was a leopard, and as soon as I realized it, I hit the brakes, and flashed my head light at the person driving in front of me. He reversed quickly and was grateful that we signaled and that they were able to get a glimpse of the leopard. Image

The only clear picture I got was this one. He was walking so fast, before we knew it, he was gone.

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Well, the excitement woke Roan up completely and off we went, looking for more. And we had some luck. On the last few kilometers before we reached the S41 we found this lion king.

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We spend about 30 minutes with him, but he was to tired too stand up and give us a show. So we continued on the H6 back to Satara. We saw this crocodile and with his tail and the reflection of the water, I thought it will be a great pic. Just a pity the light was not that good.

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We found some vultures in the trees and knew something was going on. While making some pictures of them, I saw something lying in the road. We drove forward and saw signs of a big fight and carcass peaces lying around. I will ask Roan to post his pictures and write what we saw there. His pictures are way better than mine. :wink:

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We went back to camp and by this time Philip and Eric was wide awake and eating breakfast. We decided to head to Olifants camp, and on our way there have lunch at Timbavati picnic spot. So after breakfast we took the H1-4 and saw this yellow billed stork.

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On the s127 road we came across this zebra. Her tummy was so big, I think she was due to giving birth any day. We even saw the baby moving. :dance:

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While admiring the Zebra, a staff vehicle came from the front and stopped next to us. He told us to turn on the S40 and only 3km from Timbavati we will find a leopard in a tree. So we immediately went to look for him. And exactly 3km from the junction, we found him, in a tree, with his kill.
We were SOOOOO excited. Image

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After spending some time with the LIT, Roan complained about stomach pains so we headed towards Timbavati. We quickly braaied a boerewors on the skottelbraai, and hoped Roan's tummy ache will pass after he ate, but it got worse. :( So instead of heading to Olifants, we decided to head back to Satara.

At the junction we saw a car coming from the S40, flashing his lights at us. We though he was going to tell us about the leopard, and he did, but he also told us to drive another 10km on that road and we will find WHITE LIONS. :big_eyes: I never heard of white lions in Kruger. I thought it will probably not be true, but we wanted to check it out anyway, as it was anyway in the direction of Satara.

We arrived and saw these 4 lions resting very peacefully. They were not white lions off course, but they were very light colored, and with the sun shining on them, I can see the why people thought they were white lions. We took a few quick pictures and headed back to camp.

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At camp we relaxed the afternoon. Roan laid in bad, watching movies to keep him occupied and luckily by the next morning he felt much better. (Eric luckily didn't get sick. I was grateful for that :pray: )


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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:48 pm 
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:hello:

My mom and I saw bones in the road. There was blood, and we think lions killed the baffalo in the road. :cry:

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We saw this bone. Mom says it is a rib.
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We saw this and it looks like teeth.
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We looked for the rest, and then we saw a vulture landing in the grasses at the bones.
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and there was also a jackel eating.
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Image

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 Post subject: Re: Counting the days
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:19 am 
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Day 7 Satara

The previews night PetraJ called me and ask if we could meet at Tshokwane. She, Scipio and the kids were coming into Kruger for the day. So we slept in and left Satara at 9:15. Everyone was feeling better and we were hoping to see some cats. It's our last full day in Kruger and we wanted to make the most of it.

We saw this poor guy on our way. I think he had something for dinner that was not good for him. Maybe a scorpion? His tongue looked painful. I hope he recovered from that. :(

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The road towards Tshokwane was uneventful. We arrived and PetraJ and Scipio were not there yet. We decided to quickly drive to Orpen dam and have a look there. GREAT DECISION. :dance: Just 100m on the Orpen dam gravel Road we saw a beautiful cheetah. Just chilling under a tree. We were so exited. :dance: :dance: :dance:

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We didn't spend too much time with him. It got very busy so we continued and had a look at the Orpen dam. It was as beautiful as always. A fish eagle called, there was some hippo's and crocodiles.
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We returned to the picnic spot and PetraJ/Scipio were there. We had a nice lunch together and they showed us their 'new' truck/camper. :dance: They took us for a spin and we headed towards the cheetah again. It was great fun, and PetraJ took lots of pics

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We returned to Tshokwane and said our goodbyes. Here is a last picture of the 2 of them.
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We got back at Satara at 15:00. SO and Eric wanted to relax, but Roan and I wanted to have one last drive. So we headed to the Nsemani dam and what do you know. Lots and lots of cars parked next to the dam. :dance: We thought they were looking at elephants bathing at first, and then I saw people pointing at the other side of the dam. It was a whole pride of lions. We counted at least 8 lions, lionesses and youngsters, but it was so far, you had to use your binoculars. I managed to take this one pic, but it's not the best.

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An hour before gate closing time we drove a bit on the S100. We saw lots of antelopes and elephants and a beautiful sunset.

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We stayed till our time ran out and headed back to camp. We packed all our stuff and enjoyed our last evening together by the fire.


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