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 Post subject: spargish F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela Aug '12
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:22 am 
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I booked this trip last year in November and it was the one trip I was most looking forward to this year because the whole family was coming. My mom is a teacher and teaches on saturdays aswell so her time is sometimes limited. :mrgreen:

Departure/Day1
So we planned to set off at 4 but true to form it was closer to half past 4 :wall: I drove the first part of the journey to belfast and then my Dad would take over as he knows the road well since he is in Phala every 2 weeks. It really was cold I think the warmest tempreture we recorded before we swaped over in belfast was 1 degree :big_eyes:
I really was happy I wasnt drive because there are some really big potholes just after Orighstad, but after that the journey was pretty smooth. We arrived at the gate just before 10, obtained our permit and it was off to Maroela to hopefully find a river view site.
The first animal we saw was this Ostrich, who was trying to hide.
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Maroela was already quite full but there were 3 very nice River view sites available and there was no one else looking for a site so we took our pick, the only issue was the length of our extension but we have learnt to have a very long one and even take a spare just in case :roll:
So after getting our set up just right we sat down to a late breakfast of yougurt and cerael. Even though we were in Kruger because of the recent snow in Natal the tempreture was only 20 degrees :whistle: After a quick shoer and rest it was off to Satara....and time to take some more :cam:

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 Post subject: Re: F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:15 am 
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Thank You for climbing aboard every one :thumbs_up:

Day 1 Continued
After watching a bunch of animals take advantage of a butternut that was stolen by monkeys from our neighbours we pilled into the car, for a drive to Satara and back.
Just before we reached the tar of the H7, we spotted this guy enjoying the shade.
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We trundled on at a slow pace, the car filled with anticipation on what we could see on our 1st afternoon.
Mr Zebra decided he wanted to cross the road.
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We saw alot of Wild Wildebeasts along the way but they always seemed to be just out of range for a good photo :cam:
Strangely enough there was not to mutch hapening at Nsemani, but I did spot this croc on the otherside of the dam wall.Image
We had a nice stop at Satara and enjoyed our 1st Kruger Ice cream :tongue: , we also stocked up on some water and some ice for the ice box.
We took a slow drive back to Maroela, and enjoyed a lot of general game, and that feeling of relief now that you are back in your favourite place on earth.
My dad wanted to listen to the news so we turned the radio on for him, and after the news came the weather, after the cold I was looking forward to some heat, and hear Skukuza 29 degree's but my hapiness was short lived when i heard it would be 0 degrees over night :big_eyes:

We stopped of at the waterhole at the s106 turn off and enjoyed watching this eliie feed and give us a good sniffing.

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We enjoyed our 1st kruger sunset
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Sadly after the sun disapeared the tempreture also plumeted. I was determined to stay in shorts and T-shirt for as long as possible, I was in Kruger after all. Having a nie Jack and coke didnt help as I didnt feel the cold. After enjoying chicken & bacon sosaties, Eland wors and Potato salad the cold started to hit me. I put on a jersey, went and washed up the dishes quickly and the put on all my warm clothes and snuggled into the sleeping bag, to see how much sleep i could get in the cold......

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 Post subject: Re: F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:06 am 
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Welcome aboard to the new passengers :gflower:

The sleep wasnt to bad, I am a light sleeper so I wake up quite frequently. There was definitely a lot of Snoring going on, the man next to us sounded like a hippo.

My feet were the only part of my body to feel the cold, i never ever sleep with socks on, and I decided to stick to that rule, even though my feet were cold I decided it wasnt worth getting out of bed just to put socks on :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:16 am 
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Day 2

Besides the cold I slept quite well, and nothing can beat the Kruger night sounds. The Hyaena's were very noisy last night, that has always been my memory of nights at Maroela and Orpen. I woke up at around 4am, gates only open at 6am so I tried falling asleep again, but I couldnt and at 4:30am I decided to get up.

A warm shower later, coffee for me and coffee in the flasks and I was ready for they day, only it was only 5am. I sat outside taking in the last night sounds just before waking the rest of the family. While listening I heard the Loudest Hyaena call I have ever heard, what made it really special was the echo it made in the river bed 8)

After getting every one up and bribing them with coffee and rusks we were off :clap: Still nice and dark, hoping, waiting to see eye's in the road. We reached the tar and carried on slowly as it was still quite dark. Suddenly my sister says there is something and it has an Impala in its mouth :big_eyes:
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It was a Hyaena, that explains why they were so loud earlier that morning, it was basically still a full carcass, I wondered if they had stolen it or taken it down themselves.
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If they did steal it perhaps they were weary of an attack
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The smaller guys gettting a turn
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 Post subject: Re: F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:11 am 
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Hyenas part 2
So as the Sun started rising, we got better light, the bigger more battle hardened Hyena's had eaten their fill, and the smaller guys were enjoying what was left. The Jackals also decided this was the time to become a little bolder. 8)
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The Stare down
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Taking turns watching the Jackals
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Eventualy the remaining two Hyenas got into a fight with each other and one of the Jackals stole a whole hind leg, but it was to big for him and he had to drop i, I also didnt get any pics :wall:
The Jackals were becoming bolder and bolder they had decided it was their turn to eat lol
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But their bigger cousins were having none of it
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Eventually after about 1,5 hours the Hyena's decided they were going to take the carcass to their den and you couldnt see anything anymore. But what a wonderful sighting early in the morning :dance:
But the poor Jackals were left with nothing
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Our Original plan was to travel to Timbivati for breakfast but after spending that long so close to camp we decided to return to camp and eat breakfast and head out towards timbivati a bit later...

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 Post subject: Re: F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:40 am 
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Day 2 cont

So after an enjoyable breakfast on the bank of the Timbivati at our tent, we headed of towards the timbivati picnic spot on one of my favourite roads in KNP, the s39. Before we reached the s39 on the H7 i see this huge truck heading towards us, and recently seeing the pictures of Scipio's truck I knew it could only be him and petra 8)

We stopped and had a quick chat, its always nice to meet mites in KNP :clap:
First we came accross this beatiful girraffe
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This litle guy was strugling to get up the steep sand bank after a nice play in the water but mom was pushing him up
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Eventually he got up :thumbs_up:
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This regal gentlemen was enjoying the shade on the river bankImage

I just love the s39, it goes through so many different eco systems and there is always a lot of game about, I have never seen as many Impalas as I did on this trip. We reached timbivati and enjoyed a quick chese sandwich and then relaxed in the shade with a coke.
Once back in the car it was back to Nsemani to see what was happening there
Ellie's were coming to enjoying a drink
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They came down marching in rank and file
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There was also a martial Eagle watching the action unfold
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After that it was back to Maroela....

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 Post subject: Re: F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:27 am 
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Sorry For the Delay guys, these technical demons lasted longer than expected :evil:

Day 2 Cont
So we headed back down the H7 towards Maroela, it was really nice and warm but it was predicted to be cold in the evening again. A few kilometers past Nsemani we cam accross a few cars stopped in the Road, and in the road we found our 2nd kill of the day......
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Feet and all
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Down the Hatch
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I Stopped taking photos and just watched the sighting but as fate would have it I missed the chance to capture this bully swoopping down

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The Bataleur tried to get his Francolin dinner back but he just couldntImage
Eventually he flew off and let the Tawny Eagle finnish up the scraps
We didnt see to much more on the way back to camp, we arrived at around 4:30 and due to our long drive we decided to just enjoy a sundowner at camp will watching the sunset over the timbivati. As the sun dissapeared the Tempreture started to drop, but this time we espected it 8) After a lovely Braai and a visit from Mr Civet right infront of our camp site, it was time to head for the Ablutions before bed. Just as I passed the Kitchen area, something ran in front of me and stopped in my patch :big_eyes: It was the Honey badger after a brief stare down he ran off into the darkness, it was a brief but very cool first sighting of an animal I have been dying to see :dance: I settled down for bed this time even wearing socks.....

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 Post subject: Re: F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:19 am 
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Day 3

I slept much better so I did wake up quite so early to make coffee, but I was up warly once again to brew the coffee that manages to get every one out of bed and into the car. I had packed most of the Breakfast stuff the night before as we had decided to go to Nwanetsi for breakfast. While I was busy in the trailer getting the coffee ingredients together I got the feeling that something was sneaking up behind me.... I turned around :big_eyes: and Mr Honey Nadger was about 5m away from me. I quietely asked him to leave which he did but he obviously decided to head over to our neighbours tent because there was quite a bit of commotion going on :whistle:

Eventually every one was in the car and we were off. Mr Jackal was waiting for us at the H7 T Junction
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The rest of the H7 was quite un eventful and then it was onto the s100, these baboons were enjoying the sun and intently watching something, perhaps it was the elusive spottie I was searching for.
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Further Along we spotted a few cars and we found 2 male lions being rather lazyImage

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They were being rather lazy and the traffic jam was building so we didnt spend to much time there
Further along we found this pretty couple looking for breakfastImage

We arrived at Nwanetsi nice and early and it was still rather quiet, we got a skottel and enjoyed the piace and quiet while we fried up a delicious breakfast.....

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 Post subject: Re: F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:47 am 
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Thanks for the Comments guys :thumbs_up:

The Honey Bager I saw in the morning was definitely a different one to the one I saw in the evening the night before, it was a bit smaller, but a little bit less weary of humans.

@cheetah If it had done that it would have been in for the fight of its life..... 8)

Just a question about Maroela, every one is aware there is a badger problem and you even get told about it when you check in. Why then is there an old schoold dustbin in the middle of the camp and the kitchen area? Also if every one knows there is a badger problem why do they still put their rubbish in there instead of in the new bins. :hmz:

I though about it a bit, perhaps the old bin is there because The badger know they can get food there and it stops them from trying to break into tents? :hmz:

Any way when we were at Maroela they were in the proccess of creating a concrete verge around the fence to stop the badger digging underneath

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 Post subject: Re: F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:35 am 
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Day 3 cont

As we finnished breakfast it started to get really busy, there was a caravan club there that seemed to have monopolised almost all the tables and chairs....after handing our table over to a couple that had asked if they could have it when we were done we headed up to the look out to escape the chaos. It was nice to see some water at the bottom, i had forgotten my camera in the car so no pics of one of my favourite views in KNP.

We started the journey back to Maroela along the H6 and then the H7, I never seem to have much luck on the H6, it always seems to be really quiet when I drive it :hmz: We reached the Nsemani on the H7 and there was a bit of a traffic jam. this was the reason
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There were 2 males walking along next to the dam wall, there were also 2 lionesses in the bush round the side, they seemed to be stalking some impala that were drinking but by the time the Lionesses were close enough in the bushes the impala had moved off, eventually the one male found some shade.
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Eventually they moved off into some really thick bush and we could no longer see them so we carried on towards Maroela. We arrived back at about 12:30. My sister decided that we were going to go out again after dropping the parentals off as it was our last day.
We headed back down the H7 but as it was quite hot that day so there wasnt to much game about, we checked for the Lions at Nsemani but they had moved off it seemed. We stopped at satara for some refreshments, and then we were going to head back to Maroela via the s126 and the s36. On the s126 we found a bit of a traffic jam with quite a few vultures in the tree, some one at the sighting said there was a lion kill that was a day or two old, try as we might we couldnt find the lions and we moved on.
Besides the super corrugation on the s126 we didnt see to much but we were taking in our last after of paradise. We reached maroela at about 16:00 and picked up the parentals for our last afternoon drive. The drive was also quiet but we enjoyed our last Kruger sunset.
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We returned to camp to enjoy our last night in Kruger...

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 Post subject: Re: F F F F F F F F F Freezing Maroela
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Lat night and Morning Drive

So thankfully it was a lot warmer on the last night and no jersey needed :mrgreen: We enjoyed a nice braai on our lasy night and just took in the night air, we heard the Honey badger raid the dustbin again, and watched it run off into the distance. A bit later on my dad thought he saw a honey badger in the bush on the other side of the fence. He was not content in shining his torch through the fence, he tried to put it above, my Mom uttered these now famous words "dont get shocked" and not 5 seconds later we heard a loud crack and my dad had touched the electric fence :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
After a good laugh, we then had to try and get the torch back through the fence with the braai tongs :mrgreen:
After all that laughter we enjoyed a good nights sleep ready for our last drive.
We were out at gate opening time again and wanted to head up the H7, on th way to one of the look outs we spotted this Nyala Bull
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We enjoyed a nice cup of coffee and an ouma while taking in the view over the timbivati, we headed back towards camp to pack up and then head on home.
In true Kruger style when you are packing there are always one or two little creatues in camp that grab our attention
Mr Squirel enjoying some breakfast Image
The last picture of the trip was A gold tail woodpecker tap tap tapping

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And that was our short Maroela stay, it was a great break from the city and Maroela was a really beautiful camp and I will definitely stay there again :tongue: I would like to thank all of you for joining in on one of my short TR's again :thumbs_up:

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