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Eagle's Playground

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks

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sable
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Eagle's Playground

Unread postby sable » Wed May 14, 2008 10:44 pm

28.02.2008 Camdeboo National Park, The Valley of Desolation

Imagelarger view

We started in Graaff Reinet not very early this morning, the famous Valley of Desolation was waiting for us. A friendly gate guard handed out an excellent brochure providing a lot of information about Wildlife, Paleontology, Vegetation, Geological Processes and a map which shows the available trails of the park.

We soon were on our way to the „Toposcope“, a viewpoint providing wonderful views over Graaff Reinet,
Imagelarger view

Spandaukop
Imagelarger view

and Nqweba Dam.
Imagelarger view

Breathtaking landscape under a deep blue Karoo sky. As we enjoyed the view we heard the eagles. Two beautiful eagles flying circles close to the mountain's top.

Imagelarger view Imagelarger view

On our way back to the parking we saw a wonderful example for camouflage. This tiny lizard can only be detected when it is moving.

Imagelarger view

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

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tigger83
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Unread postby tigger83 » Thu May 15, 2008 7:47 am

wow those are spectacular photos of the black eagle your pictures are stunning and i feel as if i have to make a stop there soon. cant wait for more :clap:

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sable
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Unread postby sable » Fri May 16, 2008 10:27 pm

@tigger83 Thank you for your nice comment.
It was quite a great experience to be so close to the black eagles and I spent quite a while to watch them fly their circles.

@Elsa Thank you, yes it is indeed a stunning scenery.
I read in the brochure that this is the take-off point for paragliding. :shock:
Must be a great adventure to start there. :wink: Pity that this is not my sport.

@Pumbaa Thank you for your nice comment.
Yes there are so many wonderful places in South Africa, this year the Karoo impressed us most.

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

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sable
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Unread postby sable » Fri May 16, 2008 11:18 pm

We left the Toposcope view point and were the only ones at the parking for the Nature Walk of the Valley of Desolation.

Imagelarger view Imagelarger view

The Valley of Desolation at it's best. :D

Imagelarger view Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view Imagelarger view

I was watching this outstanding scene as I realized a family arriving at the view point. Mother and daughter with flip-flops weren't lucky with the walk in the rocks and soon we had this breathtaking landscape solely for us again. :wink:

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

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sable
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Unread postby sable » Sat May 17, 2008 4:11 pm

Thank you annalie, it was not easy to get the pictures of the black eagles, I needed SO to help.
The wonderful landscape made me think I am in a fairyland. You could see me very impressed :wink:

Image


Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

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sable
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Unread postby sable » Sun May 18, 2008 6:29 pm

Thank you p@m, anne-marie and Toddelelfe. Camdeboo was definitely a great place to stay, overwhelming landscape and lovely birds to watch.
There must have been a lot of rain before our visit. Every now and then there were little puddles and birds drinking.
But the feathered friend were very shy and immediatly flew away as soon as they discovered any movement. So there was no chance of a picture.

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

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sable
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Unread postby sable » Sun May 25, 2008 5:59 pm

The sign of the lizard guided us through this brilliant Karoo landscape.

Imagelarger view

On top of the mountain it was really very rocky. I wonder how all these nice plants manage to survive in this harsh environment. :hmz:

Imagelarger view

As restio already mentioned, we could see them in a nice fresh green.
More and more viewpoints provided outstanding views.

Imagelarger view Imagelarger view

And finally I got my bird picture :wink:

Imagelarger view

I tried to get a picture of a big crevice at one of the viewpoints,

Imagelarger view

but I was afraid to go closer and took this picture with the cam on my stretched arm. At the tourist information at Graaff Reinet they had adviced us „Don't fall of the rocks!“

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

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sable
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Unread postby sable » Tue May 27, 2008 9:40 pm

We spent the entire morning at the top of the mountain. Maybe you can do the trail in 45 minutes, but we spent a lot of time at each view point. We were lucky to have this nice sunny morning with such good landscape views and watched birds flying to their nests at unreachable places.
Another view on a hidden Spandaukop ...

Imagelarger view

... and again a cactus at a very rocky place.

Imagelarger view

A grasshopper attracted our interest. It is much bigger as the ones we know and it doesn't have any camouflage in the nice green bushes.

Imagelarger view

On our way back to the gate these little fellows were close to the road.

Imagelarger view Imagelarger view

The Camdeboo vervet monkeys are very timid ones, not like the photo models in Kruger. They keep a good distance to the car. :wink:

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

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sable
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Unread postby sable » Thu May 29, 2008 10:29 pm

As we arrived at the game viewing area it was closed due to maintenance works.
So we had no more sightings of the mountain zebras this time. :(

But we had ostrichs cross the road

Imagelarger view

and very close red hartebeests arrived with a lonely oryx.
I didn't expect to see an oryx during my this year's visit!

Imagelarger view

There was a lot of maintenance work at the lake area as well. I guess when it is ready you will find a beautiful visitors center there.
So again there is something left for my next time visit. :wink:

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

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HoepHoep
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Unread postby HoepHoep » Fri May 30, 2008 10:30 am

Thanx Sable for your report and photo's. It is indeed a special place where one can enjoy the greatness of nature. The scale is just different and the "desolation" tangible. I have not been there for years, but it is time to visit it again.

The cactus in your picture is a prickly pear (turksvy in Afrikaans). The fruit, which can be clearly seen on your photo, is a delicatessen and is also used to make a jam. It is covered in hundreds of tiny thorns, hence the name, and if one end up in your hand, or worse your lip, it will feel like a bee sting. The fruit is peeled before you eat it and is best if you leave it to cool overnight in a refrigerator.
The Creator is bigger than His creation!

My latest trip report to Addo during June 2009:
http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=34300

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sable
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Unread postby sable » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:16 pm

Thank you Freda. Yes I know the prickly pear from Southern Europe. I didn't expect that it is one of the alien invader plants here. It seems to fit so very well into this magnificent scene.

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

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sable
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Unread postby sable » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:20 pm

Last edited by sable on Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sable
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Unread postby sable » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:40 am

Thank you Dotty.

Leaving Graaff Reinet meant our Karoo time has come to an end. :cry:
I never spent so much time in the Karoo as during our this year's SA holiday. It was worth every minute and definitely much too short. I hope to be back soon.

On our way to Kimberley we came along the junction towards Mokala which is another National Park high on my wish list for a visit. Unfortunately there was a lot of broken glass on the gravel road so we decided to spare our tyres and took the direct route to Kimberley. There was still a long trip to Kruger planned for the next Sunday, a long route which only could be done without tyre problems.

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park
Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


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