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 Post subject: General BB invades Addo
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:57 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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The forces are ready to strike.
The final briefing has taken place.
The troops have their rations issued and their equipment has been cleaned and inspected.
The invasion force will hit Addo on.......do you really think that generals tell the enemy when they are abou.... get outa here.
War correspondent Jay will be sent official communiques from time to time giving a biased ...er... true updates on progress.

Watches have been synchronised and from now on, radio silence.......

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:26 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Warning sent to Megan! :lol:

Have a great time!

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Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:37 pm 
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Megan got wind of it earlier - a security leak, and has already abandoned ship!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:51 pm 
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in from BB this arvie:

"just seen red haretbeest give birth."

well his day was one WHOLE lot more intersting than mine :wink:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:51 pm 
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Went to Addo this morning and ended up having Coffee with BB and part of the pack. He is having a great time and as Jay said this man is so excited at having seen a Hartebeest birth and so he should be as it is something most of us have not seen in the wild. I bumped into him at 7 am as he was heading to Hapoor and I was heading towards Carol's Rest. BB had heard the lions were on the hill overlooking Hapoor and as I hadnt been to Addo for a month I had no idea where they were and was just taking my chances in the aweful bright light of a spring Addo morning. 3 were on the plains apparently above Carol's Rest but "Ek Was te Laat" as I was told by a delightful old chap in a combi that puffed along erratically!!
While waiting for BB back in the camp for our arranged coffee appointment I spoke to the Senior Manager who told me the exciting news that Addo will soon be getting a couple of new lions from Kalagadi (including a lioness for the two young males recently transferred to Kasouka section. They will also be capturing one of the big 4 Males (still to be decided which one) and sending him across the road as well. Hopefully it is not Nossob as he is such a poser in front of the camera. BB sends his best wishes to all the forum and says he is behaving himself!!!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:38 pm 
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in from BB this arvie:

"saw kudu stuck in mud at domkrag dam but was later freed then 125 ellies at hapoor dam"


125 ellies :shock:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:40 pm 
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and in today:

" Had coffee with peter betts and a great braai with Hippopat. Just missed lions at herd of 90 buffs."


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:41 pm 
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today's report:

"Hapoor dam is the best place for ellies: 200 of them frolicking, suckling, fighting, wallowing and just hanging around from 10 to midday and longer. New bird for me, Karoo thrush."


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:40 pm 
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Hi HP,

It was great to have you & SO at the braai. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Neil & the gang will be encouraged with the news but will continue.

To everyone, I will do a trip report shortly. I only have about 5 stills of the red hartebeest birth :( and will try to get them as good as I can. The birth took place at least 300 metres away and we watched for about 45 minutes. What a privilege. :dance:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:43 pm 
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Monday 24 Sept - Day 1
As my reservation at Addo was from Monday night, some of my party invited me to conquer Baviaanskloof on the way. Bkloof is administered by Eastern Cape Nature, and it is great to see that wild places are also taken seriously by provinces as well as the national body.

SO elected to stay at home after a particularly tough school term, and with me out of the way, she could have the kitchen, and en suite bathroom floors tiled. I invited Cape Robin, a friend who needed a break and who appreciates animals and birds.

We entered at the Matyholweni gate after passing signs saying 'Welcome to the Sunshine Coast' in driving rain :wall: :tongue:

The bush is really thick in the south of this section, but the further north we drove, the more it cleared, as did the rain. The only sightings we had until we hit the game area fence were a warthog and a secretary bird. The entry procedure at both gates was quick and efficient.

We drove through the park to reception, only to find that lions had been spotted earlier in the area we had driven through. My complimacated reservation was all under control, and CR and I unloaded into Safari tent no 1.

An afternoon ride down to Hapoor dam, where other lions had been spotted, produced 15 eles, 4 red hartebeest, 2 black backed jackals, 28 kudu, 19 warthog and a yellow mongoose. Birding highlights were blue crane, brown hooded kingfisher, malachite sunbird, karoo thrush, which incidentally was pointed out to one of my party by neighbour Naas ? a SANP retiree, as we all thougth it was an olive thrush, but more careful inspection thereafter confirmed the karoo variety. A lesson to me was, don't assume when you see what looks like a common species, see if there is a local speciality.

After checking that all the troops were well dug in, we braaied and retired for an early assault tomorrow.

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Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".


Last edited by Bush Baptist on Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:15 pm 
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Firstly, for all greater Capetonians, arks, the forum's legendary emerging tusker prizewinner will be in CT and we have an opportunity to have a meal with her on Friday 12 October. Keep up to date here

Tuesday 25 Sept - Day 2

I have witnessed many amazing wildlife spectacularities over the 51 years since my first Kruger visit. But the quiet scene that played out on the plain near Domkrag dam on this day has to top them all. Yes Stephen, even the lion/buffalo/hyena standoff outside Biyamiti in 2001, which was unbelievable Kruger at her best. Yes family, even the lion kill we witnessed in 1992, and the wild dog and cheetah kills we saw happen on consecutive days in 1995. Yes Dad, even the wild dog kill that exploded on our 50th anniversary trip that were your first wild dogs ever, and even the leopard that walked next to the car.......enough! get on with it.

There was no adrenalin rush like the others. This played out over an hour or so. Towards the end of the morning drive Cape Robin and I decided to loop back to camp via Domkrag dam.

We met Caro and her mother Merril, 2 of the 'invasion force', gazing out into the distance and stopped to see what they saw. Caro said her mum thinks that a red hartebeest we saw lying down was pregnant and about to give birth. We stopped and although it was about 300 metres away, we could see quite well through binos.

The RH squirmed a bit on the ground and then stood up and rotated with its posterior towards us. A sac-like thing emerged and dangled half way down towards the ground. (forgive the rudimentary descriptions - I am neither vet nor farmer!). Caro said that the baby would die if left like that.

I peered through my binos and picked up some slight movement on the ground and was the first to see, unclearly, a small object. It flicked an ear! It was Jimmy (my name for him) the seconds old baby RH!!! :dance: What Caro has seen was the placenta. I told everyone and a great cheer went up. :dance: :clap: :thumbs_up:

Mum turned and started to lick for the first time since we arrived. The squirming must have been the actual birth moments. As the minutes ticked away, more cars arrived, some astonishingly not very interested, and moved on. :shock:

Mum continued to lick Jimmy and encouraged him to stand, by nudging him with her snout. After a few minutes, he managed to get his hind legs up but the forelegs wouldn't co-operate, and down in a heap he went. :doh: :pray:

Fortunately the two of them were totally alone on the plain. Eventually he got up onto all 4 feet but collapsed again. There were quite a few who would have dashed out there to hold him steady if mum had just called. At last the collapsing legs gave way to rock n roll, and he started to walk a few steps. :dance:

That was when human bladder tolerance was almost at breaking point and we left as mum and Jimmy were able to make their way out of the birthing site that would attract predators later in the day.

We made it back to camp without soiling ourselves, and marvelled at the miracle of new life. It is either a fool or a person of exceptional faith to believe this all happens by accident or some big bang!

Thanks to Caro, and especially to Merril's matronly intuition. At 80 something, it was on her first trip with the 'force', and judging by how she enjoyed it, there will be more :P :D

Photo sequence and the rest of the day to follow......

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Last edited by Bush Baptist on Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:39 pm 
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@ aboon: Thanks, I have amended the date.

@michele nel: You can talk. It took you ages to finish the Kalahari Girls stories. :twisted: This birth was a bit early in the season, you could well be lucky.

@Sharifa: Here it comes.

@restio: You betcha. I was always hoping to witness a birth in the wild. The beginning of life as I have seen so much sudden end of life. What can I wish for next?

The hartebeest turns around and there is something on the ground.
Image

It's the baby!!! She starts to lick.
Image

There he is, he's alive!!!
Image

He's moving on the ground
Image

Come on Jimmy, up you get!
Image

Follow me - there's a whole wide world waiting to be discovered.
Image

I am just a tad disappointed that it was not closer and my zoom was not stronger, but I will never forget it.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:31 am 
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After that excitement that most of the party had seen, in whole or part, the lunch time braai was buzzing.

The rest of the day was quiet except for a stream of small ele herds visiting Marion Baree waterhile, where a lone dagga boy took up brief residence to their annoyance.
Image
MB was also a southern boubou hotspot.
Image
We saw 2 large herds of buffs, one south of MB, the other at Carol's end, where we saw our first eland.

The day's totals. bufffalo 191, eland 3, elephant 52, red hartebeest 42, BBJ 3, kudu 87, mongose 3, vervet monkey 1, steenbok 1, warthog 63, zebra 13 tortoise 3, terrapin 2.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:06 pm 
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No one had better mess wiz my baby hartebeest, or I'll send him an offer he can't refuse :twisted:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:18 pm 
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Wednesday 26th Sept - Day 3

Up early, out at 6. I never thought I would be looking for lions :redface: but I was, as well as our little RH. A quick stop at Domkrag dam and OOPS!

Image

We left the dam and went on to Carol's rest, where the lions had been seen. Just the buffs again

Image

Now off to the Spekboom hide and Marion Baree. More eles. There were rumours of lions near Hapoor dam, so we went there. It was spectacular, but no lions. Eles came from all directions, as if summoned by the great chief. They just kept coming and each subgroup was greeted by those already there. Some moved a distance away, after mudding themselves, to flick dust on their bodies.

Image

What a sight! We counted 150, but it was difficult to be accurate.

It was difficult to tear ourselves away, but we were now running late for an appointment. We had a very pleasant time over coffee with Peter Betts, who was in Addo, taking photos. He told us that the stuck kudu had been rescued because, as there are no crocs in Addo, it would have died and polluted the waterhole.

A quick lunch and as it had become quite hot, I decided to test drive the swimming pool. The water was quite fresh, but I am glad I did as I was cool for the afternoon.

On the way back to the tent, I stopped in at the bird hide and saw a few waterbirds, and the photos came out very poorly.
For the afternoon, two more of the party joined us on our drive and with 4 birders in the fire engine, we stopped often, but the birds were all quite skittish, so we just enjoyed seeing them except for this one.

Image
Pale chanting goshawk

When we returned, we met hippopat and SO, who had arrived from PE. They joined in our communal braai and I think had a good time. While the children entertained us I heard a funny noise in the game area, and later saw a beige thing at the waterhole. My contacts told me that 2 black rhinos had been there and had an altercation, and later a hyena paid a visit.

Thanks for joining us, hippopat & SO, we enjoyed your company and sharing.

Counts for the day. Buffalo 64, duiker 2, elephant 266!!!, scrub hare 1, red hartebeest 9, spotted hyena 4, BBJ 2, kudu 26, mongoose 2, warthog 79, zebra 9, tortoise 4.

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Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".


Last edited by Bush Baptist on Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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