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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Kruger : July 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:36 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cape Town
Thanks Crested Val and Heksie!


After emptying the bladders we are ready to hit the road once again. It is absolutely unbelievable but our next sighting is more CHEETAH !!! Never have we had such luck with the speedy ones. S41 BABY!!
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_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Kruger : July 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:03 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Strand, South Africa
COS, the cheetah sightings are amazing!!! Beautiful :cam:
The AWC is probably the same one we saw at Satara.
You will just have to go back!!!
Lovely hyena sighting and :cam: The "eye"photo is so special!!!
Well done!!


Here is a photo or our AWC in Satara
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_________________
Kruger: 19 August - 20 September 2013
Skukuza, Satara, Lower-Sabie.
To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice.


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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Kruger : July 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:52 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cape Town
Near Gudzani we spent some time with a bloat of hippos playing and blowing water. It was really great to watch them and the dynamics in the group.

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At the drinking hole we see a lonely Jackal sniffing around. Wonder what he will find?
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A lovely herd of Waterbuck. One male in his prime and one who had lost his horn.
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I could only get a “bum” shot of him. That’s what happens when you sit on the toilet seat too long!

We head back towards Satara where we see what thirsty work being a baby Zebra can be!
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_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Kruger : July 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
@ cheetah2111 Steal away!! I must say we often see the "bloated ones" there :tongue:
Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:41 am

@ spargish and @Grantmissy :thanx:

@MM
Quote:
such graceful, regal animals.. then they turn around


:funny:


We decide not to head into camp but take one last detour to Girivana just to see what is happening.... GREAT DECISION

Lonely Lioness lying in wait on some impi impalas!
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As we arrived we saw her in the distance under a tree. Check how the Impi’s stretch their necks to see her. They suddenly look Giraffe like HEHE

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She kept sauntering until she found herself a nice shady spot right near us!
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I think she is absolutely beautiful and I am so happy we came here before lunch!
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Sometimes like this Ellie life is just a pile of mud that we can wallow in! He sure was having fun at Nsenami!
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Better watch that weight for sinking sand Mr ELEPHANT!!!

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Kruger : July 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
@Pumbaa Thanks so much. The water was very low!

@Sparrow It does seem weird that their eyes are so dark all around

@cheetah2111 Stalking will get your everywhere!


Back at Satara we spend the afternoon hanging around camp. The girls playing in the various circles and later going for a swim with dad while mom catches up on some washing! All part of the trip. After having a little kip and packing a bag with some snacks we head out for a sunset drive. Still feels weird not taking a dop! But the rules are the rules.

Not much was happening on the H7 but we did see this Ellie and a couple more along the way.
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We also managed to see a Honey Badger darting into the bushes.
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With the sun slipping behind the dam at Nsenami I am just so happy to be in my “spiritual” place. The Pilgrimage is definitely at it’s peak. Why would you want to go anywhere else in this world for peace and reflection?

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Kruger : July 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:24 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
Cheetah2111, chirinda, MM, Crested Val :thanx:



12 July 2012
Today is a day of driving and location change. Sadly we are leaving Satara behind and heading South.Now at the back end of our trip we are starting to feel the sadness of an ending trip. 2 days left :( A literal change of scenery. We decide to take the old Trichardt Road down as we haven't been on it in years. That means we head out on the H6 once more towards Sweni. A brief stop with our Hyena friends as they are playing early in the morning at their usual digs! This time an adult was with so they didn’t venture as close to us but they sure were having fun in their wrestling competition!

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Sweni Hide:
What are you looking at my darling? First off some bulling hippos in the distance!
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Also perched for action was a Gorgeous Goliath Herring.
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What is coming in for landing.........
Yellow-billed Stork! He was on a bit of a fishing expedition.
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The drive down proved to be very uneventful except for a few birds of prey.
Bataleur and a Brown Snake-Eagle (I think?) both in poor light conditions.

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Not long after we get back on the tar road of the H1-3 we see the usual traffic jam that occur in school holidays. Must be something big..... Unbelievably it is once again and this is surprising even to me......... CHEETAH!!!

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Not so close this time but a sighting is a sighting! Our luck was continuing with the spotted ones!!! There they were picture perfect on a mound. Just like the books tell you.

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Kruger : July 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:38 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
As we near the Kruger Tables we have a beautiful sighting of Bateleur. Bateleur, Hyena and Cheetah seem to be abundant on our menu this time around.
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The Stones (and they were not of the “Rolling” variety)
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followed by a baby Ellie and an older friend in the herd.
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What’s on the menu???? Bushes yum yum yum.

Our next family moment came with some very entertaining Baboons crossing the sabie river at the H12. One at a time (except for mom’s carrying babies” )they took the leap across!

A 10 for perfect toe pointing style!
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Bomb drop!!
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Some babies like to get a lift on the back
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Others prefer the hanging on route!
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Big daddy had to put in a great deal of effort to make it! Looking a bit like a wrestler competing off the high board!
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They surely are funny animals ;)

Surprisingly the H4-1 was very quiet on the people and animal front but we did spot this Eagle just before Lower Sabie
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We check in to our perimeter unit and crack open a cider(for me) and beer for Ray. The kids get to play on the grass while we enjoy the shade and coolness that is so glorious at Lower Sabie! The girls love playing in this part of the park and inevitably they make friends and spend hours playing games together.
At about 16h30 we decide to take a short drive out to see if we can spot any lions and of course to watch the sun go down over the Sabie River. We follow the advice on the sightings board to find some lion on the S82. About 4km along we see a cub licking himself in the bushes. The females were lying further in and with the tall grass I couldn’t get a decent picture :(
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With a couple minutes to gate closing time we manage a surreal sunset dipping behind the restaurant at Lower Sabie.
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That evening the air was filled with the sounds of hippos and Hyenas while our fire blazed away. The kids were running around until well after dark with their headlamps lighting their way. How privileged we are to live in a country where our children still get to feel the earth and sun around them not to mention the adventure of an african night!

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Kruger : July 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:36 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
@barryels I can't wait to read all about your trip!!

@ Meandering Mouse, Crested Val, Pumbaa :gflower: Thanks

13 August
Early to rise and pack the car. We opt to give the very busy H4-1 a miss and rather get on to Saaltjie Road and head towards Skukuza. As far as I can tell many Doggies have been spotted in the Skukuza area so we need to make our way there today!

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Saaltjie Road Sunrise!

As we drove along the quiet road we come across a family of hot dogs who are determined to keep running ahead of our car for about 1km.
Arrrre you achin'... Pumbaa: Yup, yup, yup.
Timon: Forrrr some bacon?
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Also some peaceful impala checking us out!
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Is there another way to start your day! Coffee and an Ouma rusk! Yes Please!
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Some Sabie River Swimmers along the way.
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We run in at Skukuza to check the board and get a cold cool drink. I manage a few bars of reception on the cel phone (an yes I know that they are off limits in the park but my need of Wild Dogs is now a crisis. I remember that there is a Twitter account for sightings in Kruger and I check it to see if the Doggies are on there in this area..... Sure enough there was a sighting near Maroela Loop. So off we head chasing the dream..... I wish I could say we had success but alas it was a dead end in the doggie department . Will I ever get to see them? Only two more nights in the park, time is running out.

Heading back to Lower Sabie along the H4-1 was beautiful as ever and our only major traffic jam were a herd of crossing Buffs.
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The herd was scattered all over the Lower Sabie area and beautiful to watch.

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Our last animal before we headed in was an ellie doing what they do best MUNCHING!

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We enjoy another fire at sundown in Lower Sabie. The girls braai some marsh mellows for dessert before crashing into bed. It is very sad that tomorrow is our last full day in the park but that is why we plan trips a year in advance. That night we start thinking of our trip in 2013!

At least I have one more night at one of my favorite camps tomorrow!

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Kruger : July 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:06 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
Sparrow
Quote:
Oh dear maybe tomorrow brings the doggies
:thumbs_up:

barryels Nope they wanted to stay with us the whole time!

Pumbaa Your "name" shows me why!

cheetah2111 Nothing like and Ouma Rusk!

hilda
Quote:
At last I managed to catch up with one of my most favourite trip reports Cape of Storms!

I fell so privileged! Thanks for staying with me

normana53
Quote:
I think the planning is part of the fun of it all. We are getting very anxious for our return, now 38 days away.
That is so true ! So :mrgreen: that you are nearly on your way. Take me with !!!

Heksie Thanks for persevering with me!

14 July 2012
Early to rise and catch the sun coming up! I could just stand here for hours....
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but I have Wild Dogs to find and I am determined as ever to find them. We head towards the popular S28 and Nthandanyathi Viewing area. This must be what they call “grasslands!”
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Along the way we see some prehistoric beasts.... lets hope they don’t become extinct. (Note this animal was spotted sometime during our day but I will not provide any location details.....)
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Feeling the need to feed we head to Mlondozi Dam and spot a spotter!

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What a view from a favorite picnic spot of many! Emily enjoying the view and playing while we get the gas fired up for a fry up that legends are made of!

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Somebody else was watching...
waiting......
ready to grab and run....
but I was prepared to do battle for my sarmie!
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Tummies filled we leave Mlondozi and take a trip down to Biyamiti. We take it slow because I am feeling spotty lucky....
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Would the Wild Dog gods smile upon me just this once??????

No but the Cheetah gods are definitely determined to rain them down on me.....
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YES PEOPLE ANOTHER CHEETAH SIGHTING!!!!! This time a loner on the S130!

I guess if I keep looking for the Dog I will find this cat!!! Long live the Cheetah spotting!

We leave the Kitty and take the H4-2 down to Croc Bridge for a Pee Pee stop before finding our way through the maize of closed roads to Biyamiti....

Biyamiti......

How do I love thee let me count the ways.....
To many to mention but it is an amazing little camp that is a true testament to Kruger and what it means to me. We make a huge fire to last the entire evening because it is our last. Every last bit of food gets prepared and if possible braaied. (padkos for tomorrow!) Long after the kids are asleep Ray and I sit under the stars with our fading fire and clinking whiskey glasses listening to the sounds of the bush. Here we make plans for our next pilgrimage and wonder if we have a sickness that keeps bringing us back.

After the fire dies we make our way into the house and fall asleep for the last time in the holy land. I dream of the painted dogs that elude me and know I only have a couple hours left in the morrow to see them. Could it be that yet again I am left without a sighting and that in itself will bring me back here next year....

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Kruger : July 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 979
Location: Cape Town
saraf
Quote:
You really did have some great sightings

.
We were very lucky indeed!

Pumbaa Thanks for all the complements I really appreciate it

Heksie That Whiskey would sure go down a treat right about now - "Met ys ja... met ys "

Sigh doubling up as I miss my Kruger so much today. Now for my final installment. It feel like I am leaving the park all over again.....

15 July 2012

I had no idea how heavy my heart could feel with the thought that these were my last few hours in Kruger. We pack up all of our goodies and head out at about 8 as we need to make it to the airport on time. We find a Pearl-Spotted owlet (I could be wrong with my identification) not to far from camp.
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We get out and look down at the river at the viewing point while quite a stiff breeze is blowing.
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For the sake of the following animal marking it’s territory and midden I have left out the road name.
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Maybe this was Kruger’s way of getting us to stay - road blocks alla naturaaaaaal!
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We also see a tall creature and a fat one!

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Yes I too wanted to cry like this Elephant!!!
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A decision had to be made what would be our final road out of Kruger. Since we had to take the detour above Biyamiti we head on the S139 and down the S114. What should we do to get to the H3 The H2-2 or the S118? This was it our last roll of the dice for something wonderful to send us off on our way back to Cape Town.

Some unknown force sent us down the H2-2. Dying for another cup of coffee I tell Ray at our next stop (even if it is an impi we need to stop and enjoy a last Kruger coffee) As the road dips we see a 2 cars stopped. Excitement builds for my coffee as we edge forward. The first car’s driver says that he was told that there was a pride of lions in the distance. COOLIO I think Whoop. Now to wait and enjoy. As I get the flask out the guy drives off leaving us and one other vehicle.

I see the lady in the car motioning me forward and we move closer and wind down the window. These are the magical words she speaks:” In those bushes, in the little dip are ................. WILD DOGS!!!!!” I can’t believe it. I think she is joking but she promises me. She says they were up a little while ago but have lain down and will get up again I must be patient. BET YOUR BUTT I AM HERE FOR THE LONG HALL!!!

Well all I can tell you is more cars came and went . All waiting for the dogs that no one except magical lady saw to rise.... I made and drank 2 cups of coffee. The girls were getting restless and we needed to move for the airport. Would I get this close to my first ever sighting only to be disappointed with a sleeping dog who didn’t want to show itself!!! 30 minutes go by - nothing.....Ray eventually says that he can only wait until 9:45 then we must go. 2 safari vehicles with guests have come and gone. Then in a magical, joyful moment that lasted way to short.....
SHE GOT UP!!!!!

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I am not ashamed to tell you that the tears were pouring down my face as I barely managed to snap a few pictures. I have waited for what seems like my whole life to see this creature. She was far but I saw her. She was beautiful and it was amazing. The girls jumped up and down in the car and we were now running on pure adrenalin. What is more we were the only car left!!! No one else was there since they all gave up.

How amazing that on our last hour , on our final day in the park we get to see the painted one! Well I am still on that high and now having seen one I am more determined than ever to return next year to find more of these illusive creatures and all the other animals that make our journey special!

Will we ever have the Cheetah luck we had in 2012 ? I doubt it. But the annual pilgrimage will continue as we come home to our own Mecca in 2013!

Thanks to all of you that joined me on our Pilgrimage and I hope to follow you on Travel Tales as I keep my appetite for Africa satisfied with stories of our wonderful national parks!

_________________
Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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