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 Post subject: Re: In Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:48 am 
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Super Mongoose wrote:
Nice BBJ for today's kiekie!


Thanks SM!!!

Here is today's kiekie!!! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: In Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:22 pm 
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Hi Crested Val, nice pic!

But it reminds me when as a child we went to Kruger twice a year and a lioness caught porcupine, the coils went into her lungs and heart and the rangers had to put her down - she did kill the piny.

But I remember other better things about our childhood in Kruger too.

At Maroela there was a very tidy caretaker and did not like the little roads and towns we made in the clean clean sand, he would stump it flat with his bear feet and sweep again. So us "cousins" (all between 4 and 6 years) decide to teach him a lesson and plant a huge white thorn (about 10cm long) in one of our little heaps we made for houses. We played on and forgot about the thorn. The next morning we went to play again and someone drove over the thorn. So we followed the spoor and would you believe it, my Dad drove over the thorn. Needless to say he had a flat tire. We did not say a word and only came clean 20 years later!!

At Singwetzi we would take - not steal, other peoples empty coke bottles (the small ones) and trade them in a the shop for Wilson toffees, we would get a whole bag full and the parents would brag how the "cousins" would keep them selfs busy all day long!

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 Post subject: Re: In Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Thinking back, that dead piny was also my first one. I can still remember after the ranger put the leo down, the people could get out of there vehicles, touch the leo and take pictures, some people even took some of the coils. I was so sad that day!

I think leppies are smarter than leos, they are so skillfull and do it all by them selfs. I refer to the python leopard video, the leppie never got bitten, and that python was quick.

:redface: Forgive me, :redface: I love telling stories: :redface:
The lady at our neighbourhood petshop got bitten by one of there albino pythons (smaller than the one in the video) a while back on her forearm and she said she didn't see it happen, next second the sanke was stuck on her arm. The whole side of her body turned blue from the force of the bite. After a few days and then she went to see the doc, her arm was broken! - lucky it did not coil around her and her husband got the snake to release with a cloth soaked in surgical alcohol, she doesn't feed the big snakes any more.

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 Post subject: Re: In Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:09 pm 
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This was our first ever Sharpies, so we were thrilled...............though it was actually Bushmom and her Baby30, who spotted it, when we spent a very pleasant drive with them on the H14 last year. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:22 pm 
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A few more friends from last year.


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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:07 pm 
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Hoping to say "Hi" to this Sunset Dam regular during our 2 day stay in the south, before heading up to Phala. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:56 pm 
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Day 13..............and counting down!! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:39 am 
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Meandering Mouse wrote:
Val, I do love all your pictures. Your shrike is just too beautiful. I have probably asked before, but what kind of camera were you using?

:popcorn:


Hi MM........it's a Fuji Finepix H100.
It is not a DSLR, it is a "bridge camera"..........better than a "mik en druk" but not as good as a DSLR.
It has a 30xzoom fixed lens.

I am ashamed to say that I only ever use it on automatic, as this old tannie, is new to photography, and doesn't understand all the knobs and whistles!!! I keep promising myself, that I will go on a basic photography course, but somehow I haven't as yet!!! :redface:

Glad you like my shrikes!! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:36 pm 
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Super Mongoose wrote:
Hi Val

Today and yesterday the CB's were at the nest the whole day and he calls and feeds her, so I'm hoping there is eggs!!

When are you leaving, I've lost count from 15 or 13 days to go.....

I checked the Kruger bookings online today and found that the whole of Kruger is booked from the 16th of December. Is it possible, not one camping spot, maybe it was wish full thinking.......


Oh I do hope there are eggs.......keep me posted!! :clap:

We leave next Wednesday Oct 31st. for an overnight flight.
We then stay overnight with a friend in Northriding, then it's off down the N1/N4 the next day!! :thumbs_up:

Lots to do here before we go though. :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Day 6 and counting down. :dance:

A bit stressed with our non existant house sale, and all that entails. :wall:

Oh well, what will be will be!! :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Well after many adventures (see GGGG thread) we have a rrived in Komatipoort, and will be at the gate at 5.30am!!

Will start from tomorrow doing this TR properly!! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Well thank you all so much for your patience, and indulging me in the run up to our adventures in paradise.
No more waiting..........here we go!!


Day 1 (Oct 31st)
Well I had counted down hundreds of days, and eventually here we were, the taxi had picked us up, and we were on our way to London Heathrow Airport……T5!!

Our flight took off on time, and was very smooth, with no hassles, other than it was very hot, and therefore little me with a dodgy body thermostat, was proper poorly!

Day 2 (Nov 1st)
We arrived in Joburg to a cold cloudy morning…………..”Is this really November?” Dungy asked. Weird or what!!

Still it suited me, as I was still not a hundred percent fit, and glad to be not too hot!!

Shi was there to pick us up, and we can’t thank her enough for all her kindness and patience with 2 oldies!! She is an amazing young woman!!

After a welcome shower and a coffee, and enough food to feed an army, we settled to have a relaxing day while Shi had to return to work, and imagine our delight when mid afternoon, we heard “Val”, and there waiting to be let in were Bushmom, Bushbaby 75 and her precious little angel.

We had seen Facebook photos, but it was so good to meet her properly, and she is such a little sweetie pie!!!

Sadly I was still feeling “frot”, so I wasn’t the best of company, but it was so good to catch up with such dear friends.

Then not long afterwards, Bushbaby 30 arrived, so there was more catching up to do.
Shi arrived home and cooked a delicious pasta meal (which I actually passed on, but Dungy ate my share and more!! )

Then it was a relatively early night for the oldies……………….as the next day, I wanted to be well enough to travel to my beloved park!!

To be continued……………………

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Last edited by Crested Val on Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:19 am 
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Day 2 (Nov 1st)
We arrived in Joburg to a cold cloudy morning…………..”Is this really November?” Dungy asked. Weird or what!!

Still it suited me, as I was still not a hundred percent fit, and glad to be not too hot!!

Shi was there to pick us up, and we can’t thank her enough for all her kindness and patience with 2 oldies!! She is an amazing young woman!!

After a welcome shower and a coffee, and enough food to feed an army, we settled to have a relaxing day while Shi had to return to work, and imagine our delight when mid afternoon, we heard “Val”, and there waiting to be let in were Bushmom, Bushbaby 75 and her precious little angel.

We had seen Facebook photos, but it was so good to meet her properly, and she is such a little sweetie pie!!!

Sadly I was still feeling “frot”, so I wasn’t the best of company, but it was so good to catch up with such dear friends.

Then not long afterwards, Bushbaby 30 arrived, so there was more catching up to do.
Shi arrived home and cooked a delicious pasta meal (which I actually passed on, but Dungy ate my share and more!! )

Then it was a relatively early night for the oldies……………….as the next day, I wanted to be well enough to travel to my beloved park!!

Day 3 (Nov 2nd).
We had decided that we must avoid the Joburg rush hour, and therefore must either leave for the Lowveld before it or after!!!

Because I had not been very well the previous day, we decided on the latter, so after a leisurely shower and breakfast, we finally set off around 10am.

We took the N1, then N4, stopping at Milly's for a snack, and as we descended te escarpment, our excirement grew!!

We bypassed Nelspruit, and in no time we were crossing the bridge at Malelane. We stopped to see what we could, and there were a few hippos, and a huge croc, as well as two egyptian geese.

The reason for calling at Malelane was to check my newly renewed Wildcard was valid.
Luckily we did, because it needed the renewal number and the card number linking up, which was soon done, and our card was good to go!!

At this point I had intended to look for EJ, and then drive the S25 to Croc Bridge, but Vodacom had conspired against us!! They had deleted both my cell sim and my USB modem sim, while I was overseas, and so we needed a trip to Vodacom Komati, to check my options!!!

After Vodacom, we needed to shop for food and booze, in Spar, and finally we arrived at our self catering unit.

We braaied T-Bones and wors with a baked potato and baked butternut, which was lekker, and as we watched the stars and heard the insect chorus, we had a coffee and an Amarula...................yes we were home!!!


Day 4 (Nov 3rd)
We slept a bit later than intended, but by 7.30 we were at Croc Bridge, and we were dealt with pleasantly and quickly.

The cheese and tomato toastie was as ever delish, and came in no time, and after filling up the car (very pleased to be able to use our credit card, though the garage attendant thinks that only a few camps are doing this at the moment) we set off up the road.

The first thing we saw was two of Dungy's long lost family, struggling to push their dungball.


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Then it was off up the S28, and two sub adult lions, having a sleep, and further on our first impalas.


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Some ellies were in the distance, and so we took a quick photo, and left them to it.


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We called in at Sunset Dam, and were surprised to find it decidedly empty!!! There were a few hippos, and these crocs..............but no birds to be seen. Where was my grey heron, or my yellow billed stork, or my crowned lapwing?


Image



We decided to go up as far as the high bridge that leads to Tshokwane, and just after it we turned down the Salitjie Road.

We have heard great things about this road, but sadly we have never been very lucky, and today was no exception!!!

We saw a few warthogs, but nothing else!!!

As we joined the main road, and approached the LS causeway, we saw a car parked, and joy oh joy, there, not far from the road were 10 lions - one huge male and and his entourage!!

They had full bellies, and were just enjoying the afternoon sunshine from the shade of a big tree.

Eventually a few more cars arrived, so that was our signal to leave.


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As we went over the causeway, and turned back towards Croc Bridge, we heard a rustle in the bushes!!! We stopped the car, and I don't know who was more scared............. me or the owner of this huge face, which was suddenly peering at me!!


Image


Then it was back to Komati, via Croc Bridge, and as we left this little guy came to say goodbye.


Image

Our braai that night was Texan pork steaks, chicken thighs, and wors, with corn on the cob, and a surprise parcel (sliced mushrooms, tomatoes, potato, and onion, cooked in foil!!)

Then after reminiscing about our very successful first day back in paradise, and our usual coffee and Amarula, we hit the sack.

To be continued............

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Last edited by Crested Val on Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:21 pm 
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Sparrow, SM, Kallis, Sharifa, Grantmissy, Dupacc, Hilda, Trrp, Philip, Pumbaa, cheetah, Glen and Heksie

Many thanks for your lovely comments.

I'm getting a bit behind, as I would like to post the day as it happens, so will try to catch up to the present ASAP.


Day 5 (Nov 4th).
Today we were to drive through the park, from Croc Bridge to Phala Gate, so we made an early start, and as we made a quick stop at the gate to get our day visitor's permit, I made a terrible discovery!!!

We had a carton of red wine, a carton of white wine and a large bottle of Amarula with us, and we were day visitors. Catastrophe!!!

I confessed to the gate guard that we were in transit through the park, but were inadvertently in the possession of alcohol, and he said not to worry, and that we could probably get special permission from reception, under these circumstances.

He therefore went and spoke to his colleagues, and they said that it was all ok!! What a relief.............as today was Sunday!!

As we had a lot of miles to cover, we stuck to the main roads, and stopped off at Tshokwane for a Boerewors Roll, and Satara for a bathroom break. We drove at the permitted 45-50kph, so needless to say, we didn't see a huge amount of fantastic sightings. As we would be in Phala for 4 months, this did not seem to us to be too much of a problem!!

Here are a few of the animals we did meet, the poor lioness has a poorly eye, so hope she recovers ok!! I'm also glad to say that we had a brief meet on the H9 with Scips and Petra. It was great to catch up with them again, and we will definitely see more of them before we leave!!

We arrived in Phala early evening, and had already decided to have a meal at the pub, which was as ever, lekker. It was while there however, that we discovered that there had been an electric power cut from 6am, and they were not sure when it would be back on!!

Then came the news that the power station had blown up, and 2 workers were seriously injured, and had been airlifted to hospital, so there would probably be no power for a day or two.

The nice part of me immediately thought how awful for them and their families, and hoped that they would be ok, but then the selfish part of me also thought "It's 35c and there will be no aircon or fans in the cottage we are renting, if there is no power"!!!! Eish!!

Well long story short, we left all the unpacking, had a good drink, and then we soaked and wrung out 2 bath towels, which we draped over ourselves, and tried our best to sleep!!!

To be continued


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Last edited by Crested Val on Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:27 pm 
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Thanks Elsa, Philip, Kallis, Trrrp, SM, Pumbaa.

Anne-Marie...........lovely to have you on board............glad you're home safe and sound, though I expect you would rather be here!!! :thumbs_up:

Day 6 (Nov 5th)

Our original plan today was to have a quiet time unpacking, and familiarising ourselves again with the cottage. However with the power still off, and the temp rising to the mid 30s, we decided to head for the park, and give ourselves a quick blast of aircon every so often!!

We called in at Sable Dam, which was surprisingly quiet, and then headed for Letaba.

We stopped at Erfplaas, and were delighted to see our old friend the dassie in his crevice, soaking up some sunshine.............what a little sweetie he is!!

Then between there and Letaba, we saw very little (we found during our stay here last year that some days were like this, and others we saw so much!!)

We arrived at Letaba, and headed straight for the restaurant.
Two toasted chicken mayo sarnies and two bottles of orange juice..............yummy!!

Then we drove back to Phala, and we were relieved to fnd that the power had just come on!!!

Now I could charge my phone and laptop............we could put a load of washing in the machine, and catch up with Sky News!!

I love the bush, but a few mod cons helps..............when you're here for 4 months!!

Chicken hotpot and a baked potato was our evening meal...........all washed down by a few glasses of wine.

Then it was an early night, after a large glass each of Amarula!!!

Day 7 (Nov 6th)
Today was what yesterday would have been, a day at home to get ourselves finally straight in our new home for the next four months.

To be continued...............


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