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 Post subject: Cheetah2111's ♪♫ ♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫ Nov. '12
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Day 1 of 8 - Welcoming



"where the heck did you stash those little pay slips that you call wildcards???" Boomed my father in a voice that gave away the smirk on his face.
"In the pouch behind the drivers seat – along with the matching ID's" I replied whilst hoisting the last bags out of the trailer and shuffling them into our cottage at Kruger Park Lodge. This would be the place we call home for 7 nights Image
Franticness was thrown into your face the moment you laid a foot into the house of arrangements! To have my Ma ordering the crew around was enough, now to have my ouma (my mom's mom) joining in with commentary and instruction;made for a concoction of stress!Image
A simultaneous sigh of relief could be heard the moment my father and I got in the car and were safe from the arrangements zone!
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The time had come to move away from work mode, and welcome holiday mode! To shift mindset from Joburgers, to Krugarians. We knew the forecast weather for nearly our entire stay was rain, some more rain, and then a bit more rain for variation! Image We knew not to expect much by the way of sightings on this trip, and the cloudy conditions provided only poor light for photos. The area had received heavy rain on this day, as visible puddles accumulated every so often.

Yet as we hit the home stretch of road towards Phabeni Gate, the sun streamed through the sky behind us, affording the glimpse of the most spectacular light show on Planet Earth. Etched up high: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet stretched across an arch and pointed towards Kruger.
With smiles spread broadly across our faces, we popped in for a few minutes into the land somewhere over the rainbow. Just enough time for our nostrils to absorb the fragrance of the bush after rain, to see the green grass, and to hear the sounds of the birds singing their evening song to those who care to listen.

Although it was a rain downpour week, nobody could dampen the spirits of those who come to see the treasures which lay in wait somewhere over the rainbow :D


Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.


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Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:20 pm 
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Day 2 Morning!

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Kwaak, kwaak, kwaak, kwaak!
What's going on? Image
Oh ... that was the morning alarm going off! Time to get going! Image

I draw the curtain at Kruger Park Lodge only to discover what I feared Image Image Image
Seriously? Its been rain the whole night Image I can't deal.

I launch over to my parents bedroom to usher them out of bed. I scarcely enter the room before getting the question I dreaded:
"Is it still raining?"
"Yes, why?"
"Wake us up when it stops raining then we will go"
Eish Image

I pack everything we need for the drive and sit by our front step gazing into the dark skies

Rain, rain, go away
Come again another day
All the world is waiting for the sun.


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About half an hour later, it stopped pouring down!Image
Jislaaik, I headed off to my parents and my ouma at Greece Lighting Speed!! And announced to the oldies that the time had come to galvanise!!!
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Wake up little Suzie, wake up!

I just about drag everyone to their positions in the car and put coffee in their hands! Its not easy being on a trip with me :lol:

I lead the charge to Phabeni Gate! We got there not too long after gate opening time
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What would be the first animal?? Image
Anything could happen somewhere over the rainbow right? Well as the car rolled up to the first Phabeni Bridge, there was a shape in the reeds which did not seem to conform with its surroundings . I stared at this shape as the car drifted forwards. All the while trying to decipher this odd mass amongst the reeds. As the angle of the car provided an opening in the reeds, the anomaly was identified:
A Reedbuck
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What else would one find in the reeds? :redface: The male was too far away and light was poor. But as luck had it that day, Rachael and Rebecca Reedbuck came to say hello on the left!!
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Aren't they just lovely?! Rachael and Rebecca Reedbuck are dainty ladies by nature. Elegance can be seen by every movement of theirs. Thank you for the welcome ladies Image

A few meters down the road it was an odd 'popping' sound that caused me to reverse Image The sound had come from this Black Bellied Korhaan!
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He was looking so pretty in the Saturday drizzle! It was only later in the trip that I managed to capture the vocalisation on camera. The Korhaan is so proud of his call that he makes!! He gathers up looooots of air to make that unique sound! It was mightily cute and unique :D We waited for a good number of minutes for the next vocalisation!I think everyone in the car gained a new appreciation for this bird on the trip. I went from a drive past animal, to a stop and listen animal :D He was more unique than we ever gave him credit for.
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This is the wonder of having your window open! The sounds and smell of the bush! The sharp fresh fragrance over the rainbow is something remarkable! The pristine, clean, crisp, cleansing air does something for the soul! I was sommer loving this Kruger morning air when my ouma squeeked:
“niks is so onaangenaam soos 'n koue windjie nie” (nothing is as unpleasant as a cold breeze) :roll:

So I had to close my window :roll: I complained bitterly about the lack of vision through my window which now had zillions of raindrops blocking my once perfect view Image
Fortunately, the next Kruger gift was large enough to spot through the droplet fortress!
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A Nellypant!!!!! Image I didn't hesitate to open my window and unleash Antarctica upon the car! :twisted: Because here stood the big grey. The oil fountain!
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This is Nellypant with a bit more context!
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The next sighting was a slightly sad one … this impi warrior had a growth on his throat :(
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Could it be caused by Bovine TB?

Soon afterwards we made a miraculous turn onto the N17 to Potch where we found Rhonnies!!!!
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You see they even had a smallyceros with them!!
Too cute!!!
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And at klipsringer koppies we found the residents
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These are mos the pets of parra Image
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The sightings of the 'ordinary' animals were just too lekker

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Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top that's where you'll find me

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Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Day 2 Morning Continued

Now as we were sitting at the rockjumpertjies, my ouma started up a conversation about the 'senior burgers' (senior citizens) old age home trips to the Kruger. Apparently my ouma has come to Skukuza twice in recent times with the senior burgers and has not seen a single lion Image “But the senior burgers must learn to keep their eyes open on a game drive” my dad remarks while fiddling with camera settings. My ouma has long since accepted my dad's sense of humour and just continues to explain that it was only the men who saw Lions. Apparently the men go out on morning drives and leave the woman at home Image Now that was sommer upsetting! My ouma also wants to see Lions but they won't let her on the drive!!! I thought it was high tide that my ouma gets to see these Lions now! And almost on demand we round the corner to find the three Kings sleeping near the road!!!
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The photos may not be much to marvel at, but I promise you my ouma was very, very happy!!

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My dad was loving the grass at this point. Wonderful for focus ;)
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So my dad picked on my mom as an object of photography instead! Image
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Do you see my mom's glasses? Those are her long distance glasses ;) Not that they were needed much at this sighting, but very helpful usually. Otherwise known as 'The Game Park Glasses'. There has been a noticeable decrease in us stopping for logs :P We said goodbye to sleeping King Samuel
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And said hello to RhinoceMonstrous!!!!!!
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I don't know if the photo does his size justice, but he was a BIG Triceratops!!!! Don't get on the wrong side of me!!
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It seemed the Kruger was dealing in big 5 now all of a sardine! I was hoping this tuskless Timothy was going to tell me how he lost his Tusks ...
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However the angryphant had charging in mind instead!!!!
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We headed in the direction of Paul's gate and of coarse had to stop in for a visit at Lake tranquillity. That wooden structure built upon the still waters. Dragonflies treat floating lilies as helipads and the Goliath skyscraper towers silently above the still surface.
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Goliath fixes his glassy gaze towards the bottom of the lake.
Graciously waiting for a glint of gills to gorge on.
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Tilt your neck backwards and observe Gandalf the Grey.
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He muses up high in his towering tree,
Surveying the landscape and hobbits he sees
None more beautiful, or gifted in might
None of coarse besides: Sage Gandalf the White

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Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!


Last edited by cheetah2111 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Day 2 Ending

Kruger Park Lodge. A place where Golf is taken rather seriously! One of the greatest challenges in golf is selecting the correct club. Something which this las has down to the tee! Of coarse a run up comes standard

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Note the direction of the ball! Image
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This lady was less than impressed when she discovered I'm taking photos of her golfing. I couldn't imagine why Image We left her to her own devices and chillaxed for a bit before heading out for an afternoon drive. The clouds were looking ominous as went through the routine of showing our wild cards and ID's at Phabeni gate.

As we got to the first Phabeni Bridge we saw ou Gerald Green Back holding fort at his fishing spot!
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Who knows how long Gerald has held up his fishing business on the structure of rocks and wire. Image

He is kept company by his companions – hammer and head! Image
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Beyond the usual suspects of Phabeni bridge, an Impi Warrior saluted in our direction! Image His afternoon salad was made up of the fresh, lush grass which has so recently sprung up Image Image

Cutting down Southwards on the Albasini road towards Pkop, a buff-fellow rated he rather fancied having a war with his food rather than eating it! Image
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Horns hooked tightly to the tiny bush, the brute slashed and thrashed around until the bush was sufficiently in second place! Buff-fellow had proved his dominance over the little green bush. Taking a stroll into the bush was the most enticing activity on my mind! Image
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That being all we saw on that road, our last sighting was a drenched Kudu!
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With the hand reaching out of the window, soft rain drops landed on my palm. Seconds later, I retracted my hand back inside the car as it was getting heavier! In hardly any time at all, the skies opened up and poured a heavy load of rain down on Kruger! Last nights rain had already formed puddles everywhere! Now more rain on top of that cause a situation of flooding!


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Our last 'sighting' of the day involved an orange car parked on a hill contemplating going through a deep puddle of sorts in the road.
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With our Nissan Xtrail we made it through the obstacle, although we doubted the little car would manage! Based on this knowledge, my father pulled up and said: 'You'll make it easily, just build up some good speed” Image My mom clicked her tongue and opted for the truth instead! The friendly Dutch couple decided on turning around and heading for Pkop. Conservatives Image

We made the crucial call to Ouma back in Kruger Park Lodge to put 4 beers in the deep freeze, as we were coming to watch the Western Province beat the Sharks and take the cup! I'll drink to that
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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:36 pm 
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Day 3 Morning! Solo Trip Over the Rainbow

Gooooood Morning Kruger!!! I squeeze up onto my tippy-toes, crying out as I stretch on the tar outside Paul Kruger Gate. I pour the boiling hot coffee from my flask into my camping mug and skip over to the gate guards to have a chat. On this morning drive my parents and ouma decided to stay at home. So I get to speak to the aMiNals instead!!Before long, the time arrives to enter Paul's Plek!
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Numero uno on the sightings list, is Forlorn Frederick!!! Image Image Image

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Cheer up old chap!!! All is not doom and gloom Freddy! Since nobody else was willing to keep him company, I poured another mug of coffee and switched off the car to the right of the road across from Frederick. Occassionally a staff car would zoom past us! We would both wear bemused expressions at the vrooming vehicles
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What is with these people old Fredster? Speeding past you like you not worth looking at ... is this why you sad my lad? Or is it because your friends are gone?
And in case you were wondering ... I do indeed speak to my animal friends
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And now I was sitting with my friend, Fred! We had a lekker one sided chat (although I did most of the speaking). Farewell Fred my boy! Check you again Image

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It is quite a task trying to spot aMiNals in the thick shrubbery around Skuks! Driving alone, the only option is to drive a few meters then stop and Cook around Image Cook left, Cook right move forward. Sometimes it will actually be your ears that give away the aminalle! The faint sound of a stick cracking prompted me to turn off my car. I couldn't yet know what was hidden in the thick bush, but that would soon be revealed! A car pulled up to me and asked me the inevitable question: "What do you see?" Image
Now I have read on TR's on Bushcraft using this line, and have been waiting for the opportunity to use it. So I turned to the man I said plainly:
"I see bush" :twisted:
This left them with a purplexed expression on their faces. So I added:
"lovely bushes around here"
The mans face was torn between a smile, and confusion Image
They took off and left me with my unidentified bush sound! As all died down, a dainty beautiful creature stepped into plain view! Nyalalala!!! Image
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And the longer I sat there, the more oaks came out!! Welcome lads!! Image
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One minute ago, there was nothing to see. Now all of a sardine there clear view of a bachelor herd of Nyala! Gotta love Paul's farm!! Image

Turning on to the H1-2 a chiefdom of Impi Warriors (coz a herd is an outdated collective noun) welcomed me to their land! Image

At the H1-2 Bridge it is the coo-girl with big ears and her maatjies who took turns to stand in the open for me!
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At the H12 bridge the usual H12 Bobjin Bandits (coz troop is an old school collective noun) were up to mischief! With the exception of the bandits who were already tuckered out after a long morning of pirating on the bridge Image
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The Burchell's coucals and the Francolin made for an unusual threesome on this branch! Things are getting liberal up in the H12 region!!
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Maaaaan I was loving this drive!!!

There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.



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Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:36 pm 
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Day 3 - Part 2
If you were planning to flip through and just look at the pictures, tune in another time!!


As I passed Lower Sabi I found a white Fiat with a yellow ribbon in the distance. This could only be one forumite – Heksie! Image Now this meet up between old friends was a bit like a dramatic slo-motion scene … for our style in the Park is to creep along. There were still about 10 look left-look right routines before the cars would meet! Eventually, the two snails parked next to each other Image Fortunately, we speak with more haste than we drive, otherwise it would be like a gathering of Ents of Lord of the Rings! It did not take Heksie long to tell me of her 3 or 4 lion sightings she had just had over the last 20kms or so
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Of coarse this monologue of the prides of Croc Bridge had to be followed by me returning an equally cool story of sightings, so I went for the old faithful:
“up this way … bush”
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It was a more or less typical exchange in our friendship as she headed North to see bush and put on Kruger's Latest Sightings Updates, and I headed towards what resembled Jan Smuts on my way to work! I managed to get a bum-shot of the cause of the hold up! Image
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Soon after this, King Jan Smuts headed off into the bush with Sannie Smuts. This was my cue to snake through the paparazzi and say: So long and thanks for all the fish Image Image Image
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I took the first dirt road to the left – Gomondwane Image
I surveyed the Great Garden which is Kruger, and was taken aback by the unrivalled splendour of the colours of the bush!! For the first time in my life, I reversed to take a photo of a flower!
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A morning Glory … and how appropriate a name! This life-form which stood so pretty and purple was indeed a glorious sight! Notice how the droplets of the recent rain decorate the flower in natural beauty! In my lofty mindset the morning glory seemed to lift its grateful head up to the giver of life.
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Perhaps I sound stoned or high, but I had a reflective moment on Gomondwane about the wonder of rain. Minutes ago, rain was that annoying element which interrupted good game viewing conditions! Just now, I was thinking how annoyed I am that the dirt roads around Skukuza are closed due to excessive rain! I suspected cheetahs and leopards were sommer lying in the road laughing at the fact that no cars will discover them on this day! Now I found myself leaning over my window staring at the ground below me. Image

Something else caught my eye … a rigid, yet flexible stem was bouncing under the weight of droplets falling from the sky. This blue bella provided a new colour to marvel at!
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All one needs to do is turn your head and see all the different coloured wild flowers that blanket the ground!
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I thought back to the world of human toil; the rat race. I was reminded of the words of King Solomon:

“I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.
I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.
...
I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.
I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.
I became greater by far than anyone before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labour,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.”

As humans we get caught in these mindsets that we need more of this, and more of that to be ultimately happy. What a stark contrast to the flowers of the field … they have earth, and rain, and they are content! Somehow, this consideration made me content Image Image

Just Cooking at the October spring of life was grrrrrrrrreat Image Image Image
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I had come down this way hoping to see Heksie's lions on the H4-2, or WendyA's leopard at Duke Waterhole, or even those S28 cheetahs of Spargish!! All fantastic sightings! But today was a time for me to appreciate the rain and October flowers! Image

All the animals were a bonus!!
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16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:36 pm 
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Day 3 part 4!

The last stretch of the S28 towards the tar road had plenty of aMiNals to show!!

Zap in a Zebe was looking a bit moeg! The Lion sleeps tonight, the Zebbie sleeps today!! Image
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I'm sexy and I know it! Image
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And then the oakies that were super rare on this trip! Now you peeps know I mark down all my sightings while I'm on the drive? We only saw the Willies three times on this trip! Image Can these Willies please just have a mating spree now! Get on it lads! Nympho time! A Wally of Wilderbeest!
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Next up was the dam of sunsets!! There was less action than usual at the hotspot. But geese of the Egyptian persuation were checking out the water! Image
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Then my old friend (which is not darkness btw … not emo like Simon and Garfunkle) the cold blooded fork tongue came back to the water after his walkabout! Image
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It seemed I was getting a greeting from all the reptiles, as slow poke Rodriques moved himself, and his house along! All the Mites that rate they move houses often, have got nothing on Slow Poke Rodriques!
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Coming back up the Autobahn (H4-1) I checked the vibe was peaceful in the riverbed! Goliath the Heronious was just standing there, and the Hippsters were catching a Sleepy Beeps!
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Then who would have thought?? Another sighting of Nyalalala!!! Image
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Accompanied by Marius the Minkey making sure all is well! Image
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You check he has mini minkeys to Cook after!!!
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Baas van die plaas
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My last sighting before exiting was an impressive specimen of an oil fountain! Largephant this one was!!
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Next up: the afternoon drive with my ouma Image

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16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:01 pm 
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Day 3 Afternoon with Ouma


Have you had your pills? Image
Tea? Image
Have you got your back pillow? Image
Glasses? Image
Warm top? Image

Yes? Then my ouma is rough and ready!
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My ouma and I were excited to get in Phabeni gate for a short afternoon drive! Now my ouma prefers short drives on account of her back,so the plan was to just go down the S1, then H11 out Paul Kruger gate. We only had to average like 15km/hour to make it in time Image From the sniff of fresh air as the boom opened at Phabeni I gathered the sense that this was going to be a good drive!

So I said to my ouma:
"Ouma, ek kan aanvoel dat ons lekker dierie gaan sien"
(Gran, I can sense that we are going to see nice animals)

"Ag dit sal lekker wees my kind, maar ons het al gister mooi diere gesien"
(That will be nice my child, but we have already seen nice animals yesterday)

"Ja maar dit was gister Oums. Vandag soek ons vir 'n luiperd!"
(That was yesterday Gran. Today we seek a lazy horse!)

"Jinne dit sal te lekker wees. Maar hulle is maar baie skaars in die wildtuin ... Ek het nog nooit een gesien nie"
(Geez but that will be so nice. But they are very rare in the game park ... I have never seen one)

I was just about to make a promise based on nothing but a feeling, when we encountered a couple of regular fisherman at Phabeni Bridge!
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Old hammer was watching on with interest!
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And the part time business of this egret also being done there! His feet look diseased! Image
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We rolled along with my ever so controversial open window! I came to learn in great intricacy the intentions of my ouma to bring a beanie to cover her ears from the cold. I can even tell you exactly who should have done what, and why the didn't, but to cut a long story short – there was a distinct lack of beanie of my ouma's head! This meant I got to open my window at opportune moments … like when I spotted this Buff Fellow! I couldn't help but imagine he was alone because of his acne … shallow cows! Image
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It is not a long walk to Frederick from here! I could just see the kiddies cartoon of the two unlikely friends in my head! A buffalo and a hyena hanging out for starters. Like the Kruger version of Whinnie the Pooh! Image
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From lonely hearts, to best friends (or perhaps more than friendsImage )
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Then there is always that third party who comes to break up the public affection!
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Then these Zebcelebs started posing like girls on a night out! Image Image
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The resemblance was astounding!
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Just like giggly posing girls!
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The girls were enjoying the camera too much! So I went to the young stripes! Image
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And nothing wrong with this strong specimen of a Zebaleb!
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From a striped horse, to a camel horse!
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Time was moving on as we chilled with this Oil Fountain!
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As we approached the last kms of the trip in the fading light, my ouma and I were chatting about what a lekker drive we had in Paul's Plaas. My ouma's thoughts were elsewhere … asking me about what I'm going to braai and debating with herself what she is going to put in the salad when I pulled up behind a car and pointed to the left.
“what do you say about the Lazy Horse over there?”
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My ouma was soooo happy with her first leopard!!
“haai kan jy dit glo? Daar le 'n luiperd in die boom!”
It was a magical moment!
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Do you remember your first leopard? What an experience to relive that excitement through my ouma next to me!

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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:41 am 
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Day 4 of 7 - Morning!

The sun'll come out
Tomorrow

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Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!


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Gooooood morning Krugerians! Image Image Image

The first sunrise of this Kruger trip!!!! The whole family was there to see it Image Over the last two days Wild Dogs have been sighted and reported here on the Paul Kruger road to Skuks! So we drove the long way around to Paul Kruger gate from Kruger Park Lodge to look for them! Instead of finding dogs, we were treated to a sunrise! Image

And some sleepy Image
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Although it was not much as far as lion sightings go, it was nice to know they around! And I assure you my ouma was well pleased with seeing them! "n' leeu is a leeu, is a leeu." (a lion is a lion, is a lion).
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We headed down the length of the H11 and took a turn on to Monkey Town (the H4-1) and saw the minks up the trees! Image
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Minki van der westhuizen was running her Monday morning beauty parlour! Image
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The impi warriors didn't have time for such unnecessary activities and were checking out who's the strongest impi on the block!!
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Yussss boet! Image
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As we got to the H12 Bandit Bridge, the marauders were hosting kinder garden! An absolute hit with my mom Image

Over the bridge and far away, the bandit babies come to play!
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My eyes!
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mommy!
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I'm totally independent!
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I'll fight you!!
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Best friends :)
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Mondays …
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Some bobby bandits like to sit on their stump faaaaar away from the nursery school! Image
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This thick shrubbery is ideal terrain for those with the long eyelashes! Searching for some grub in the shrubs! My dad loves these guys!
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The dense area is also great for bushbuck! Just difficult to get photos of them!
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As the grass became open again we spotted the stoned buck Image
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Followed by just checking up on Image Rockjumpertjies on the H1-1!
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All seems to be in order Image

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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Hello 'Mites!!!

Sorry I have taken so long to type my next episode, but I had to pop in to Kruger for some days :P Now if I am ever going to get to that trip report, I must get on with this one!! So stay tuned as I plan on bringing some scenes to you from Somewhere Over the Rainbow :)

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Day 4 Afternoon Part 1

For the afternoon drive, my ouma decided she would rest her back and stay home. I did not feel too sorry for her staying behind, as I knew she would tuck in to some old Brown Sherry and watch Noot vir Noot and 7de Laan . Image I went and bought that bottle for ouma to slurp up whilst enjoying boeremusiek with Johan Stemmet and the folks from 7de Laan. There were jokes flying around the car about why I only show my ouma lazy horses and don't love my parents enough to do the same for them Image

This was my attempt of a dragonfly before we left! Image
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So it was me driving my parents on the Lazy Horse tour from Paul Kruger to Phabeni! As we were looking for spots, this Bruinslangarend was also scoping out the horizons over the rainbow!
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The blommetjies were still looking soooo pretty! I shmaak them!
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Then as we reach the S1 intersection, I decide to roll up to the bridge to see if anything is camping out there. After giving a good look, I turn around when the jackpot strolls out from under the drainage pipe! My dad snapped some pictures because I was driving!

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They were a honeymoon couple and did not appreciate being disturbed!! What a sighting!!!!!
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It was all over so quickly! Right place … right time!

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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Day 4 ending


I found myself driving onto the S1 Phabeni road chuffed with events! Honeymoon spotties heading off to honeymoon it out! Image I suspect they were in a hurry to go see the marriage counsellor the other side of the spruit!

We didn't spot much on the Phabeni road, but were on a high from the Spotted love brigade, so just enjoyed being in the Park Image We actually kept coming in Paul Kruger Gate because we have heard of wild dog sightings on the H11 over the last few days! Now on the S1 the grass was so lovely and green dotted by tall Marula trees. We were just admiring the scenery of the lush Phabeni when I noticed a flash of white through the branches to my left. Perhaps it was merely a figment of my imagination? Still, I slow down to stare through the twigs and inspect the scene of the white flash. When out walks the culprit. A brute of a bachelor flicking his tail in the air!

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The mighty Brutus walks out into the open!!

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The impala stood as still as sticks when Brutus stared them down!
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But Brutus was not interested in munching any impies right now. He just walked off West in to the sunset!
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And so did we
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What a perfect afternoon over the rainbow!!!!!
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Lazy Horses galore!!
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When we got home we had discovered my ouma was well into the bottle of sherry! And having a great time Image.

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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Day 5 of 7

Day Tuesday the 22nd of October.

As the alarm wakes me from my rather short sleep, I draw back the curtains to see the unpleasant sight of drops dripping down. This had become an all too familiar sight on this trip! This did not dampen my efforts of waking up the old fogies though! My father was slow out of the blocks this morning on account of last night's Rummikub! My ouma insisted on round after round of her favourite game being played! Every round of the rummikub tiles being handed out revealed more 'ouma rules' as my father and I call them ;) There is no telling what will and won't be allowed next with the rules of the 'senior burgers'. This meant that my dad could focus more on his beers and less on strategy. In light of these events, it was more of a mission today dragging the fossils out of bed!

We were taking the long way around (about 45km) to Paul Kruger Gate! The theory was still to give the best time of day to this area as the Wild Dogs have been seen here lately! Although this tactic had not paid off in seven drives, you just never know. We were a bit later than usual to the gate this morning, so we had to sit behind this long queue!
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I had all wild cards and ID's ready to head up to the office to get an entry into the Park, yet this efficiency did not save us any time, on account of the people behind me moving up to a jog to overtake me to get to reception first! This gave my ouma more than enough time for her first toilet stop of the morning! Finally driving into the Park I was quite convinced that the long procession of cars in front of ours would ensure any great sightings in the road would be driven into the dense Skukuza bush.

Yet when we came to our famous intersection with the S1, there was a clear traffic hold up. I immediately thought – Leopard!! The honeymooners must be there in the ditch again!! Image Now the problem was the cars in the way of a clear view of the romancers! Image However when I pulled up as the back car in the procession, it turned out that I was in the ideal spot!!!! For on my right hand side, four black broad muzzles accompanied by large rounded ears appeared above the high rise! Their attentive gaze was fixed firmly to the West from whence we came, so I slotted into the reverse gear as the multicoloured coats of the Lycaon pictus began their pacey trot along the ridge!
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Translated: “those are wild dogs! Those are wild dogs there!!” my ouma informed us with great excitement!! “can you believe there are wild dogs next to the road!!”. With a jumping jack of an ouma in the back seat, I swung the car around so the dogs would be on my dad's side and he could snap away. Also pointing my car in the direction the canines were heading! There hung a manic excitement in the car waiting to see what would unfold! There was movement to my left and my mom announced: “Here come the young ones!” Yet the smallies just sat there looking confused. Perhaps they had lost sight of their parents in between the sea of cars

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We sat with the stranded smallies until one of the adults came over with purpose. The mom selected out one pup to reprimand!

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This pup was clearly to blame for the separation, and mom gave puppy a shouting and hiding to match the crime of putting the brothers and sisters in danger!!
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my mom spontaneously let out a cry of “hey!!” when the pup let out a squeal! An instinctive reprimand my mom let out as if our domestic cats at home were brawling! I found it hilarious that my mom had put her foot down and told a wild dog enough is enough!

The fullness of this spectacular sighting was now sinking in as I saw painted wolves all over the show!
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The full pack in motion now, they took a turn onto the S1!
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They looked like they were heading into hunting mode now! Built for the chase with light body and long legs, they looked like greyhounds on a mission! They become to spread out and flank to the left and right!
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We could not keep track of their movements, and eventually lost them. Although I suspect the smart hunters probably found themselves some breakfast that morning! What a memorable sighting!!!!!

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My ouma turned to my dad and asked: “does that mean we can have coffee now?”
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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Day 5 Part 2

The answer from my father to my ouma, was the most predictable: "we need to find an animal to look at, so we can stop and pour the coffee" This did not impress my ouma at all! She had decided her neck was sore from looking to the right, and had resolved to looking out of the windscreen and having monologues about people the rest of the car did not know! It meant the pressure was double for me to watch where I am driving, and look right with great concentration so as not to miss anything! My oumas monologue was joyously interrupted when my father spotted a steenbokkie! We were now about 3km down the S65 and it was the first animal we had seen since the wild dogs.
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Unfortunately, the steenbokkie was off into the bush too quickly to be a coffee companion, and I moved on hoping we could see some lazy lions to share our coffee with. Meanwhile, in the back seat, the monologue regarding tannie Lettie poking her nose in the business of Tannie Bettie was finally reaching its climax, and it was that time of the story where the listener gives a surprised gasp, or at least a grunt to indicate interest! I gave my compulsory grunt then quickly ceased the opportunity to mention how beautiful the terrain was with this green forest approaching.

There were no follow on comments forthcoming, and my ouma swiftly brought back the complaint that we had not stopped for coffee! The response from my father was most predictably to say that ouma didn't want to find us an animal to stop for coffee with. Image Deep down I knew this would not motivate my ouma to look out of the window! A new wave of complaints came from my ouma and my mom obviously backed her up, but there was no way my dad would waver from our Kruger Rule! It was getting a bit much for me so I stopped at the scenic waterhole on the S65 and parked the car so we could have coffee. This decision did not fare well with my father at all, and he insisted we drive onwards to find a coffee stop animal!!! Image

Well the Kruger seemed to find this situation rather amusing as it proceeded to hide all it's animals from us!! Image The whole of the S65 did not produce another animal after that Steenbokkie! I hedged my bets that Heksies ruckjumpers at klipspringerkoppies would save the car, but alas … they too were hiding!! Image

Turning right on to the H3, and left onto the S112 had no change of fortune. 29Kms and not an animal to share coffee with!! Then, a sign of life seemed to be on the road!!! The most welcome tortoise in the Kruger National Park history!!!!!
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The magical mugs of coffee were consumed! Oh joy!
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All feeling a lot better, we could carry onto the S21! We encountered a lonely bull Elephant who told me I am too close to him!
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I got many comments from my ouma and mom as to exactly what I must do! I decided that an increase of 5meters distance would chill out the Nelly, and so it did :)
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I turned off the car and we enjoyed YET ANOTHER cup of coffee! Two cups in such quick succession! Image

The rather unusual sight of a Gerry lying down graced us next!!
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And a squint, and very cute Lucy Mongoosy next to the road!!!
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The rest of the S21 was rather quiet, and this was a stroke of good luck as my ouma's bladder was struggling to hold out to Nkuhlu after all this coffee!! We even loaded my mom out of the car and we all had a nice coffee overlooking the Sabi River! Image

Getting back into the car, we noticed this car did not respect the size of this buffalo enough!
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Look at the ratio of flimsy car to tank-like Buff!!
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Refreshed after our pit spot, the Kruger decided to smile upon us as Skinny malinks came walking down the road towards us!!!
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Skinny malinks resembled my fathers lanky brother – uncle Peter!!
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The impi warriors were as chilled as Eskimos with skinny around! Not a threat at all! Image
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Then the icing on the cake, lying in the Sabi River bed, was a beauty that nobody seemed to see! I wonder how many people had driven past old Sandy today? :think:


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with my fathers telleconvertor on, you could see she was saying 'You can't see me”
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 Post subject: Re: ♪♫ ♪♫♪♫ Somewhere Over The Rainbow♪♫ ♪♫♪♫
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:08 am 
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:redface: :redface: :redface: :redface:
hello everybody!!
I will continue and finish off this TR ASAP 8)

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