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Jose's Kruger Trip November 2006

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Loams
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Jose's Kruger Trip November 2006

Unread postby Loams » Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:30 pm

First sms

jose's SMS wrote:Honey....I'm Home!!!!! Home as in Kruger. Punda Camp to be precise. Saw Sable outside KNP on the way up here 8)


Something tells me she's gona be lucky with sightings. Seeing Sable outside Kruger already...
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Unread postby Loams » Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:40 pm

Jose reported lots and lots of rain. Waiting for her to send me sightings report later on.
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Unread postby Loams » Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:38 pm

And finally, some word from Jose...

5 sms'es in a row..

Heloooooo!!!
Just had the most amazing encounter with Mashagadzi!! 6 Meters from the car


No coverage at Sirheni hence the silence. Did northern plains 4x4 trail yesterday. Pure Magic!!!! Saw lots. Only hoofed and winged so far 2bcont


Tuesday list and note this is NP trail only. Eland, Ground hornbill, tsessebe!, Nyala, Elephant (teasing Freda), buffalo etc, etc, and... Are you ready??


I mean ready for a good cry? :tongue: well, have the Kleenex ready (and hand some to WTM as well).. We saw Crested Guinea fowl! Twice!! Dozens! and.... Drumroll...


Drumroll continued

We also saw... ROAN!!!! 8)


And that's where she left me hanging again :evil:
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Unread postby acekam » Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:48 pm

Can't find the census numbers, but someone told me there are only 40 roan in the park, so that's pretty special. And of course, there's only one Mashagadzi. 8)
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Unread postby Loams » Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:45 pm

Well, it sounds like she is having a terrible time. She might ask for her money back.:twisted: There is mention of a Green Mamba, but I don't have full details yet. Will post when I have them.

Latest sms
No Lions (or hippo) in Kanniedood Dam. Tsesebe, ellies, zebs, wildies, giraffe along Capricorn Loop. Dead Kudu in Grysbok wh, Lots of Vultures. More in a bit


Now I think the more in a bit was just to get my goat, because this sms came in this morning, and I am still waiting.. Will bug her about it quick ;-)
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Unread postby Loams » Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:10 pm

Ok, so I got the rest of the "more to follow" eventually
The more in a bit was about me having a beer overlooking pioneer dam, then my battery died. Very dry in Shing. Water in Letaba river.
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Unread postby Loams » Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:39 am

Finally some more :wink:

Spent two days at Shimuwini. No signal so no way to send updates. Lots of special sightings but still no cats or canines


Going out early today. Meeting katydownunder at Timbavati PS for brunch. Then to Olifants for last two nights in KNP. Damn time flies :x
Olifants has cell reception, so will try and be in touch more
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Unread postby Loams » Sat Nov 12, 2005 7:15 pm

Update from Jose:


At Olifants now (2 nights). Babies so far vervets and bababies, some ellies. Except 2 Tsessebe calves no antelope babies yet. Impies soon, very pregnant


Oh and good news, the Olifants river is flowing again
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Unread postby Loams » Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:58 am

Just in..

Just another horrible day in Africa...
Sitting outside Letabe restaurant enjoying the view and a castle. Hope you having a good Sunday too :tongue:


cow :x
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Unread postby Loams » Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:19 pm

Some news!!

Jose@15:30 wrote:3 Lionesses and one youngster hunting! H1-5 approx 3km before Olifants turn off


Another of todays sightings. That thing Raptors do? Locking talons and then sorta cartwheel in the sky? Saw Fish Eagles at it!!
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Unread postby Loams » Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:41 pm

Sorry I got this yesterday already, but have been very busy, and also I forgot I had it :redface:

See Laine?? After 30, it's all downhill

Drive from Olifants to Orpen was sorta quiet. Lots of general game. Lots of Ground Hornbill in flight and honeybadger!!! :P


From there she went to Umlani.... So no more updates for you people!!! :twisted:
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Unread postby DuQues » Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:58 pm

José is on her way to Jo'burg at the moment. She has made around 1000 photo's, and may join us this afternoon for a while.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

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 postby arks » Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:41 pm

Just found Jose's pix on the public sightings gallery 8) Great pix, Jose! I'm especially :mrgreen: for such a clear sighting of a ratel, tho Mashagadzi and the Roan are impressive and exciting too :lol: . Still, I'm longing for a clear ratel sighting one day.
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Unread postby Jose » Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:37 pm

Ok, thanks for being so patient. Here's the first part of the trip report.

Day 1 - 6 Nov
Left Letsitele (some 30 km East of Tzaneen) at around 13:30, which was much later than expected. The reason for the delay was a good one: heavy rains during the night and early morning! Example: one end of the property where I was staying prior to my week in Kruger got 120 mm that night and their other station, at about 6 km distance, measured 80 mm. Add the time frame in which it all came down, between 03:00 and 10:30, and it will give you an idea of what the roads (mainly dirt roads) looked like. Even at full 4x4 some stretches were a real struggle. But I made it and arrived at Punda Maria gate at 15:15 where a YR vehicle and Freda + SO were waiting for me. After allowing me my personal "Kruger ritual" (open a Castle and shout "Honey… I'm hohome!") we drove straight to Punda camp. Saw kudu and impala on the way, and from the deck of my safari tent a black-collared barbet up close and personal. Too bad I hadn't unpacked my camera yet. After that it was sundowners, a great braai meal, lots of laughs, and the wonderful company of good friends! 8)
Oh, and on the way up to Kruger I saw a magnificent Sable bull as well!
Image
The new safari tents at Punda Maria are simply briljant. When we were there it was still very dry but imagine what this will look like when it’s lush and green!
Some have a ramp instead of stairs, so DB, there’s your wheelchair access… just be careful or else the descent will be fast and furious! :twisted:


Day 2 - 7 Nov
It had rained during the night, not the type of downpour I had experienced the night before, but a nice and steady, soaking rain lasting from 22:00 until about 04:00.
We drove the Mahonie loop (S99) counter clockwise. Returned to PM camp for a quick toilet stop and a peek from the hide, and we were on our way again.
After a stretch of H13-1 we turned onto the S58 (Dzundzwini loop and Dzundzwini Hill) and then followed the H1-7 to Babalala picnic spot. From there we took the S56 (plus every single little riverloop) to Sirheni, our basecamp for the next 2 nights.
Sightings (among others): bateleurs, plenty bee-eaters (white-fronted, little and European), martial eagle, the usual masses of blue waxbills and arrow-marked babblers at Babalala, buffalo, nyala, steenbok, duiker, plum-coloured starling, egrets (sizes S - XL), yellow-billed stork, kudu, spoonbill, grey heron, goliath heron, saddle-billed stork, dabchick, hippo, brown-headed parrot.
Image
buffalo near fence at Sirheni (approx. distance 4 meters).

Day 3 - 8 Nov
Punda Maria staff had told us that the Northern Plains 4x4 trail could also be booked from Sirheni, but unfortunately that was not the case. We left Sirheni early to take a quick return trip down to Shingwedzi to get our permit before we were on our way for real. But it was still a fantastic experience!! As far as I know we were the only vehicle on the (50 odd km) trail, and the sightings were awesome. Completed the trail at around 15:00 and drove back to Sirheni via H1-7, Babalala PS and the S56.
Sightings (a.o.): more saddle-billed storks, ground hornbill, eland, tsessebe, roan, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, elephant (one of them showing a special interest in Freda! :lol: ), crested guinea fowl, red-crested korhaan (+ display stunt dive), ostrich, buffalo, pearl-spotted owlet.
Image
Freda’s ellie friend.
Image
CGF. Not a great pic, but it still good enough as proof for WTM.

Day 4 - 9 Nov
Moving on to Shingwedzi today. Took the S56 (one of my favourite roads!) - H1-7 - Lamont loop - H1-7 - S135 and then we had the most stunning encounter!! The first thing we saw as we drove onto the low-water bridge to the backgate of Shingwedzi, was this huge grey bum blocking our view. Mashagadzi! 8) I have been so lucky… this was the 3rd time I've seen him and of course I had been bragging about previous sightings, keeping all available fingers and toes crossed hoping he would be there. And there he was! At what? 4 meters from the car, or maybe even less? I meant to introduce him properly to Freda + SO but I'm afraid all I managed was a gasp and something like "OMG… it's Him!"
I just hope he'll still be around next time I visit the area.
Sightings (a.o.): buffalo, elephant, waterbuck, green pigeon, green-spotted wooddove, baboons and bababies, vervets, various raptors incl. nice sighting of tawny eagle, buffalo kill (unfortunately an old one, so no cats or scavengers), broad-billed roller.
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scenic view with elephant (along S56)
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Aren't they cute?
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green pigeon
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Mashagadzi

(to be continued)

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Unread postby Jose » Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:54 pm

Well folks, the deed is done. I proudly announce the fact that I have finished the second part of my trip report! 8) I just need to downsize some photos and will hopefully post the first bits and pieces (maybe even all of them) later this evening.

Don't get your hopes up... because everything will be well within the limits set by the poor dial-up users rules! :twisted: :wink:


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