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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:36 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:18 am
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Location: Marloth Park
Can somebody please tell me what the spider situation is in Sable Dam Overnight hide in December, especially after rain?
Last December at Tsendze we had a huge amount of Red Romans and their enlargement, Sunspiders. I was thinking of wearing a space suit to Sable this year if the situation is similar. At one point, fleeing from them, I ran for the caravan and slapbang into the tent, which threw me back like a trampoline.
Nearly went berserk!
How can a person love the bush so much, look at snakes, lions, ellies and all with no fear, but have a 100% arachnaphobia like that? And I was not the only one in the camp being so afraid, believe me. SO is as calm as anything on all these things.
So, how is Sable's spider situation?


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 Post subject: Sable Dam Hide Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:34 pm
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Hallo everybody...

I've been to Sable Dam sooo many times during daytime but never slept there before, so I was just wondering, what is the general animal activity around the dam like at night, and are there any good experiences somebody can share with us...

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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Marloth Park
Sable Dam Overnight was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life, and that with scarce an animal coming around.
Never slept a wink, was tiptoeing around all night waiting, looking, and in the early morning hours a herd af elephants came splashing on the far side and disappeared softly and silently into the night.
Impalas were everywhere and did their sparring stuff throughout the night.
There were no spiders. The four of us had the hide looking absolutely homely and wonderful, bedding set up, citronella candles burning, flickering softly, cushions on the benches and coffee table set up - that over and beyond our feastly set-up outside at the braai...
The atmosphere, OH, for the atmosphere. We felt like kings and queens, with this piece of the world our kingdom for the night.
In the early hours of the morning lions roared afar-off, and hyenas were calling.
Sunset and sunrise were most beautiful.
Creatures were splashing in the dam, geese and ducks were quacking.
The mine lights were so far and minimal it never detracted any magic from this glorious place.
Will certainly do it again!


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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:55 pm
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Location: Jakarandastad
Here are a few photos taken on our overnight stay at the Sable dam bird hide. Thanks Wild Dreamer and SO for letting us share this awesome experience with you guys.

Please note, images are not very good as we still need to get a bigger flash for our new Pentax and sort the camera out. Although Sprocky was only a few kilometers away he was probably having a great new year's bash and could not assist us on the camera dillema... :wink:

There was not as much different animal activities around the dam as we had hoped for but it was still great fun and we will definitely do it again!!

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An ellie and a few impalas on the right as we were busy unpacking our stuff. The ellie loomed around for more than an hour.

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The sun setting in the east.

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The full moon rising over the horizon.

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An impala in front of the hide.

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The moon in full glory against the dark sky.

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Our sleeping quarters.

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Forumites wandering around....

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Beautiful sunrise on 1 January 2010 as seen from Sable dam bird hide.


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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:09 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Awesome pics. LOVE that rising moon and sunrise pics.... :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:34 am 
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Location: Johannesburg
Thanks for the fabulous pics EO and WD :clap: :clap:
What a great place to be on the last day of 2009 and the first day of 2010 - the sun and the moon surely made up for the lack of animal activities :D

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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:39 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Eagle Owl, those are brilliant :clap: :clap: . I was there a few days ago and it is most definately on my "to-do" list. Unfortunately I could not stay long but I did take a couple of pictures to remind me of how special it was.

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam Hide Sightings
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:10 am 
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We stayed overnight at Sable dam in May 2008.
It was an awesome experience.
The solitude and silence was overwhelming.
We could actually hear the impala eating the grass next to the hide all night long.
We had a scrub hare keep watch over us all night and with a good torch we were able to see a civet with her baby running around on the other side of the dam.
It was a great experience and one that I would certainly do again.
The accommodation is very rustic but certainly adequate. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Lovely pics, Eagle Owl! They make the memories come flooding back. I miss a pic of our festive braai area...
Let's do it again!


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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:30 am 
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Location: WHITE RIVER
Thanx Eagle Owl and Wild Dreamer, those pics are really awesome, I can only imagine the night life you must have had. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I like the sleeping quarters as well, looks cosy :D

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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:52 pm 
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Here is a shot I took today of the hide from the other side.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:52 am 
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We have just got back home from a night at Sable.
We chose the wrong night to be there.
It was a scorcher, the temperature only dropped below 30 just after 01h00, when a bit of a breeze started blowing.
We were still wetting our shirts and putting them on wet at 21h00 last night.
I bought two bags of ice for the cooler, which normally last until late the next morning, well these two bags had melted before we even went to bed.
We took our mattresses out on the walk way and slept there, it was just too hot in the hide.


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 Post subject: Sable Dam
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:31 pm 
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I stayed at Sable dam in late November 2009. In a word WONDERFUL!! Regret no pics...

So great to experience the park in a no frills style and seclusion (ok 10kms or so from Phalabarowa Spar!). I would recommend it to any true bush junkie. Yes it was hot and during setup U get to FEEL it, but WOW! Maybe SANPARKS needs to setup more basic units like that and allow a max of 3 nights per stay.

On the down side, the time between the 'day-trippers' needing to leave and sunset (in November was so short that there was hardly time to setup and get braaiing, never mind recover from the heat). We didnt want to be inconsiderate and smoke them out with an 'early' braai!

Another thing would be to supply bigger mozzie nets, as those single bed one just cover the bed but dont dare turn, as they they re-adjust and then don't cover the bed!

We had lions roaring at 3am - wonderful sound - never saw them and then nature's alarm, the Gypos started being active from soon after that!

Other suggestion would be a "friendly yellow or orange" flood light for the waterhole (like Addo). Not everyone carries 10million candlelight flood and that DOES cause light pollution and interference with the animals.

Maybe also a public loo some way off, say otherside of the car park, as we had to 'accommodate' a lady in distress (altho' the Phalaborwa Gate is just down the drag). She had a dog (Yorkie) in the car - does the gate guard not do a once over?

Lastly, just some maintenance on the locks and hinges (what do some people do to bend clasps and hinges ???)

Otherwise would not change a thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Overnight Hides
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:06 pm
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Location: England
I have stayed at Sable Dam hide twice, once in Feb and once in Aug.
The heat and humidity during the night in Feb was surprisingly high.
Everything changes when the sun goes down.
You become more aware of bush sounds and of your own isolation (and vulnerability ?)
But it's a unique experience and I hope to live it again.
I've never stayed overnight at Shipandani but have visited the hide during the day.
From what I read on the forum, it's just as good if not better.
Don't forget to take a powerful torch and/or spotlight.

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 Post subject: Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:56 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: SA
Stayed in the hide for the second time during December '09. It's a great place to be, makes one feel very alone in nature. I went in a group of 3 girls: my mother, sister and I. It is very safe. We cooked early and stayed in the hide from sunset to the early morning. I would definitely recommend waking up in the middle of the night and using a spotlight to look around or to just enjoy the sounds of nature. In the hustle and big-ness of the camps, you cant ever experience what you can in a hide at night.

Our luck hit the jackpot when we were alone with a pride of lions early in the morning for an hour.

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