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 Post subject: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:43 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Two years ago i went on a trip to Kruger during december for the first time and instantly fell in love with the summer season in KNP. So December mark my third trip in a long series of anual december trips to come.

There is just something magical about the summer season, the waiting in the dark at 4:00am for the gates to open, the chorous of the summer birds waking up in the sun, the call of a woodie round the corner, the "piet my vrou" of the red chested cuckoo, the gentle circling of the yellow billed kites above your head, the abundance of life around every corner be it buzzing grass hoppers or slow slithering shongololos across the tar, the tireless work of the ever industrious dung beetles, the affection of the Impala lamb nurserys, the lighting sighting of a snake crossing the road and the over whelming feeling that around every corner the bush is ready to burst into life.

That is the forward to my upcoming TR from this december trip. Hope to share a pictures and a story or two with you. :popcorn:

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Bro & Sis Road Trip V2 in September


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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:29 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Departure Day
So eventually the first day of leave had arrived which meant it was departure day :dance: :dance: This was going to be the Bro & Sis roadtrip v2 but my dad had to go to Germany for business so us Kids decided we were going to drag mom along with us, like it or not :rtm:

So we set off in the Morning anticipationfilling the car, the trip started off easily but after witbank we ran into some heavy fog, I took it quite easy making sure all relevant ligths were on as I didnt want out holiday to end on the first day. Luckilly the fog cleared rather quickly and we could all slightly relax in the car. :)

We arrived at Malelane and checked in seamlessly and started the Journey to Lower Sabie. As we left the gate we heard the Cry of a fish eagle welcoming us to our personal slice of heaven. Our first sighting happened to be a sign of the time in the park.
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a little bit further along we came accross a group of teenagers sizing each other up
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We decided we didnt need to stop at Afsaal and pushed on towards on towards Skukuza, enjoying the sights,sounds and smells of the bush as the sun started to gently kiss our elbows resting on the open windows.
We pulled into a much quieter than expeced Skukuza which was quite nice, the last time I saw it this quiet was at the cricket week end, after grabbing a snack at the shop we enjoyed a walk alomg the river.

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Looking the other way round the bend, reminding me of a CCR song
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After enjoying the shady river bank of Skukuza we headed off towards Lower Sabie. SO we had seen babies and teenagers and now we found some children of the simian kind playing in the road, sadly it was in the shade and I couldnt get my focus correct. :slap: As we were planning to get to LS at check in it was the heat of the day and I think all the animals were rightly hiding in the shade. Just before Sunset dame there were a few cars looking at something in the river bed, we scanned the sand and lying under bush we found a golden kitty :dance:
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We watched her for quite a while hoping that perhaps she would move, or perhaps she was hiding some precious cubs in the bush :hmz: eventually she moved deeper into the bush so we decided to move on towards LS as it was after 2pm and we really needed to cool down in the pool. Check in was smooth and we moved into our hut quickly which conviently was rather close to the pool, now it was time to cool off.....

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Bro & Sis Road Trip V2 in September


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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:13 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Arrival Day cont
After cooling down slightly in the extremely warm pool, it was time to head out on our first afternoon drive. A couple soft drink popped into the smaller cooler box, I couldnt help but think what sighting we might be lucky enough to enjoy while having a colddrink :hmz:

Out the gates we headed windows open enjoying an ever so slight afternoon drive. We came accross Gerry Girraffe tucking into his late afternoon snack.
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We then came accross the Most regal of Birds surveying his beautiful kingdom over the Sabie
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Next up was this Bachelor enjoying a quick bite to eat, perhaps his mind was a couple female suitors that he was undoubtabley trailing :hmz:
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Sure enough further along the way we came accross a breeding herd of Ellies, now it was time to enjoy our first Kruger sundowner while watching these beautiful giants.
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This little one was making sure he wasnt left behindImage

After finishing off with our cold drink we bid the beautiful Grey Giants farewell and headed back to camp, enjoying the cooler evening air, taking in all of the smells of the bush and listening to the first evening sounds. Total relaxed in the place that Our hearts crave for day after day.....That night we enjoyed a wonderful braai and then it was early to bed, all of us eager to see what we would see on our Morning Drive.....

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Bro & Sis Road Trip V2 in September


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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:17 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Day 2

The unnerving ring of the alarm clock goes off at 3:20, but instead of being met with anger as it normally would be, it is greated with enthusiam as I am out of bed in a flash. Off to the Bathroom and then off to make coffee one for me and the rest in the flasks, its still early so I enjoy the fist cup on the stoop while listening to the night sounds and gazing at the stars. Once the car is packed its time to wake the girls which is always the most challenging part of the morning. :roll:

Right we were at the gate just before 4am but we were 2nd :slap: I am a little OCD about being first at the gate. eventually at 4:25am the gates open the car infront also turns left as do we and suddenly not even 15meters from teh camp 3 shapes cross the road :big_eyes: LIONS they quickly cross the raod in the darkness and slip away into the bush, as it was still pitch black there were no pictures but only the overwhelming feeling of fulfillment "that is why you get up at 3:20am". :clap:

We turned onto the H10 and crossed the sabie looking beautiful in the last light provided from the moon, further up the H10 we come accross a bull ellie who was adiment he was going to show every one who is the boss. He kept us and the car there for atleast half an hour :lol: which wasnt a problem as we managed to witness a beautiful sunrise.
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After we passed the bull, now satisfied with his macho display, I found the quintessential kruger Bird the colourful lilac brested roller enjoying some morning sun.
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His friend then joined him, he was clearly the early bird as he had the worm :mrgreen:
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When then looped backed towards camp and found these cute guinie fowl chicks
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Once at camp we picked up the breakfast supplies and then it was time to head of some where for a good KNP brunch.........

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Bro & Sis Road Trip V2 in September


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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:37 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Johannesburg
Thanks for all the Comments :mrgreen: but with such a beautiful bird and perfect light its hard to go wrong

Every trip I pick out my favourite picture and the first LBR is my favourite of this trip :thumbs_up:

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Bro & Sis Road Trip V2 in September


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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:33 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:48 am
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Location: Johannesburg
Day 2 cont

On the Road again towards Mlondozi for a much anticipated skottel breakfast :tongue:

As we turned onto the Mlondozi loop we came across the attentive teacher carefully taking her little students accross the road
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The area north of Lower Sabie is definintely the stomping ground for Big Bull elephants and it didnt take long to find one of the guys who runs the block
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Mlondozi was quite busy but it is still one of the quieter, rougher picnic spots in the south but with a view none can match. While the smell of the frying bacon and sausages was teasing my tastebuds, the resident plated lizard was moving about on the rocks, the mocking cliff chats were fltting about and a few white storks were looking for a bite to eat in the dam.
I cant think of a better place to enjoy brunch than thisImage

After Lunch/Brunch we sat and enjoyed the view for a while and then decided to head back to camp via the Munthse loop, possibly my favourite road in the Park. Nothing like the wide open plains, and its one of the few roads in the south where you can feel alone. It was the heat of the day so it was quiet but true to form we found one of the big boys patroling his stomping ground.
Image
On the H10 we spotted a small group of Hyeanes but they were escaping the heat under a bush and all we could see was tail being flicked every now and then

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Bro & Sis Road Trip V2 in September


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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:08 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:48 am
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Location: Johannesburg
Day 2 cont

We arrived back at camp and enjoyed a refreshing swim, we were booked for the Sunset drive that evening so my mom and sis decided that they were going to take it easy in the afternoon, one was going to have a sleep and the other would read her book on a bench over looking ther river.....

I was still itching to be out on the road, so I decided I would go for a short drive before the sunset drive. It would be a quick one down the H4-1, the s79 and then back along the H4-1. At a pool of surface water that had gathered from the summer rains, this heron was ready to dart after his dinner, poised and ready...
Image

A group of Ellies was enjoying the green reeds and cooling waters of the Sabie river
Image

On the Causeway road I found 2 dagha boys tring to hid out in the riverImage

Back on the H4-1 the breeding herd had now crossed the river and were starting to leave the riverImage

I eventually found one of the woodies that spread their beautiful songs accross the Lowveld during the summer months.
Image

On the drive I had noticed some rain clouds to the south, it seemed they might miss us, but just before I got back to camp it started to rain, fingers crossed it would stop before the sunset drive......

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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:52 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Johannesburg
Sunset Drive

So we were all ready for the sunset drive except the weather was not playing along as the rain had started to come down even more, never fear drimacs on and off to the truck. Our Guide Lunga arrived and asked us if we were still keen to go on the drive and it was a resounding yes from every one :dance:

Lunga did his best to try and dry the seats and get the water off the canvas roof, we got onto the truck and set off as we turned the first corner all the water off the roof went splashing off and every one sitting on the right got a good soaking :lol: :lol:

First animals we came accross was this lovely family group, it was on n11 near Hedrina :cam:

Image

Further along we came accross this big boy marking his teritory also on the n11
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Suddenly the rain stopped and everybody was relieved by that 8) by now it had become dark and photography had become difficult, we saw a huge heard of breading Ellies, the little ones were really enjoying all the fresh mud. We came accross one of the biggest Zebra heards I have ever seen in the South and we sat in the miffle of the herd just watching all the interaction.
As Night fell we saw quite a few gennet, a couple duikers, a few other elephant bulls enjoying a night feeding.
On the return route to camp we got an African wild cat :mrgreen: , 2 porcupines in the road :clap: , we also got a single lioness who seemed to be on the hunt, we followed her for a while but she eventually headed off into the bush.
When we were almost at camp we came accross +/- 7 lions crossing the road :dance: , they seemed to be rather annoyed we disturbed them and headed into the bush

Lunga was an awesome guide and we had an awesome drive, nobody even cared about the rain :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:48 am
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Location: Johannesburg
Day 3

Once again My alarm clock is greeted with enthusiasim, I wish I could get up so easily all the time. Coffee has been prepared and my cuppa has been enjoyed on the little stoop outside the Hut. I got everyone up and heeded them into the car, so we could get to the gate........ 2nd again...... :evil:

This time however we went down the H4-2 and the car infront went over the Sabie, it was quite quiet I was hoping to find the lions we saw around the S82 but alas the were not there :| As we reached the Gomondwane area we spotted a shape roundin the corner eyes reflecting the Headlights.....
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A LION :dance: We were busy enjoying this lioness all by ourselves, I looked up and saw :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
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The Whole pride coming down the road and we were all alone :dance: :dance: I turned the car off and just let them walk past us
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There were 12 or 13, that included the one in the front and a sub adult male that was quite far behind them.I am going to let the pics do the talking here.
Image

Image
After the passed us I quietley turnareound and follwed them......

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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks for all the Kind posts :mrgreen:

Sightings like this is why I will always be at the gate before opening time specially in Summer :dance:

Hopefully the page will turn soon :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:05 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:48 am
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Location: Johannesburg
Day 3 cont

In the thick Delgoa thorn thickets of the Gomodwane area, it was just us and the Lions......The only other sound was the call of a woodie or the early morning call of a francolin. It was paradise.....
After the passed us a few of them decided it was time to take a little break.
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It wasnt a quick break and they started to move on again, so we started to follow them, this one just keeping tabs on the strange object that was following them
Image
This young male also started to check us out
Image

Further on a lone male Impala walked into the road, boy did he get the shock of his life :big_eyes: In an instant he bolted off, the Lions paid little attention as a pride this side would just waist energy catching an impala.
This young man, still wanted to know why we were following himImage
It was now this strong and powerful Lioness to check us out Image

Eventually more cars arrived and after about 3 other arrived in front of the lions, they decided that was enough and headed into the bush, in an instant they were gone, and all they left us with was a few roars....

What an awesome Lion sighting to start the day off, after they went into the bush we turned around again and continued on our Journey back up to camp full of adrenaline, we had breakfast at camp and packed the car as it was moving day...

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 Post subject: Re: Fun in the Summer Sun
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:56 am 
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hilda wrote:
Gorgeous Lions Spargish, and your pictures are superb! :clap: :clap:

I can just imagine the Impala's shock when he realises he is amongst so many Lions! :whistle:


Thanks :thumbs_up: Yip when I saw the impala dart off a quote from a movie I saw in my teenage days(Dude Where's my Car) came to mind "This isn't where I parked my car"

anne-marie wrote:
wow, what a lot of Lions (I count eleven :hmz: ) :dance: :clap:


There were actually a total of 13, if you look at the first pcture where the one juvenile make is lying down, there is actually another lying next to him you can only see his leg under the lioness standing in front of them.Also later we noticed that there was a male trailing them 500m back or so :thumbs_up:

Philip1 wrote:
:clap: :clap: Spargish, this is now "a Awesome Lion experience" .......STUNNING :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Thanks Definitely one of my best sightings ever

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