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 Post subject: DB & Hawk's Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in. KNP, Apr '13
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Bushveld greetings from one of the most marvellous places on earth, the Kruger National Park!

I am sitting in the shade of a Jackalberry tree, 3 metres away from the southern fence of Skukuza camp where Hawk and I are spending four nights.

This is strictly speaking ‘part two’ of our trip to Kruger. ‘Part one’ was a precious family time of four days spent at Lower Sabie, Satara and Skukuza with our younger son and his wife before they returned home to the US. We took absolute delight in sharing the park with them as it is 15 years since they were last in Kruger, and watching their excitement and fascination in every single sighting – from warthog to lions. I desperately wanted them to see the Big 5 – but leopard evaded us despite much searching on our part. The last evening of their visit was the highlight with a wonderful sighting of a pride of 15 lion which came right down a river bed and then past the front of our vehicle parked on the causeway! They loved the entire Kruger experience, the camps, and atmosphere, everything the park has to offer.

So after heart wrenching goodbyes at KMIA on Thursday, we returned to the park for ‘Part Two’ and invite you to join us now as we spend the next six weeks in the Kruger National Park.

Every arrival at the park has to be recorded, so here are some pics to share our ‘re-entry’. We popped in at Pretoriouskop for lunch and then made our way back to Skukuza. Seems the kids were our lucky charms, (that or the animals are sulking in sympathy with us at their return to USA) as sightings the past two days have been slow. It is cooler and cloudy at the moment. But we are not complaining – we realise just how blessed we are to be here and are savouring every single second.

We did see some 'interesting' sightings ;) A huge animal gobbling up the long grass alongside the road from Numbi and someone's underwear near the causeway over the Sabie :hmz:

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A reminder of some of the rules

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Gate times

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The pool at Pretoriouskop which I visited yonks ago at the tender age of 8 months

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Lake Panic yesterday

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From the high water bridge over the Sabie

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Thanks guys :D

It is pitch dark already, and cool. The camp is festive, in a quiet way ;)

The hyena is patrolling up and down the fence here. The bushbabies are yelling away. Hope they come by as they did last night. One sat right above us enjoying the gum off a branch on a thorn tree.

Time to supervise our supper being cooked. Veggie wors braai.

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:17 am 
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A quick pop in via my phone.

We started the day with coffee at renosterkoppies, and it was a magical early morn in the park with mist in the distance amongst the trees, not a breath of wind and the air so fresh and filled with anticipation of a new day. We had a super hyena sighting along the S114, with a clan of about 10. Spent a while there watching them, and then enjoyed a lovely cheetah sighting at kwaggapan.

We are now packed up, and leaving Skukuza for our next camp. It is cloudless and hot.

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Dalene

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Goooood evening mites, from Lower Sabie :dance:

Most of the pics I am posting are of very low quality to save bandwidth this side, and also taken with my cellphone to make for easy posting on the forum and to send to family etc. When we get home I will share the pics off my 'proper' camera.

Proof of the cheetah sighting and our early morning coffee view, the other way from the misty side :wink:

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Since I posted this morning, we have made our way down here to LS. The camp is fairly full, so we did not have the greatest selection of camping sites to choose from. SO and I dallied about trying to make up our minds which one would be best to set up home for the next 7 nights. Finally we chose one tucked away in the 'bush' with good shade.

Setting up camp on a hot day is .... well a good excuse for something cold to drink while busy with the task. We have been in somewhat of a muddle up to now with having had the kids' belongings with us until they flew out. These included a queen size bed duvet, a full set of golf clubs, plus their rather substantial luggage. (The kids did not camp though, I still need to train my DILs in the joys of camping .... but we shared a vehicle. ) So, it was good to be able to sort and set up camp as 'per normal' today. Here is a pic, carefully composed as I also needed to do some washing, and do not want my unmentionables hanging out to dry on the forums :roll:
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Nothing like choccie for energy to set up camp .... melted or not!
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Lower Sabie is all about Sunset Dam for us. We just love to sit there and take pics and just watch. This evening the full cast was out. An huge ellie, impies, giraffe, wildebeest, the baboons wending their way home, the crocs and of course, the noisy hippos, and not to forget all the water birds.

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And a very special sighting to end off the day, a fellow YR at Sunset Dam - Ilovemeerkats!!! And my pressie, thanks SO much ILM, we are proud to display it on our vehicle!
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Dalene

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:39 am 
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Good morning from Sunset Dam!! It is a magnificent Kruger morn. The sun has kissed the bush hello, there is a low mist over the dam, the hippos are back from their night's foraging and the birds are singing with joy.

Have a lovely day everyone!

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:22 pm 
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Okie, the broom is tied to the back of the van - for quick and easy access :twisted: Pic will follow soon!

Today was quiet with regard to animal sightings .... quieter, I should say, we still had some nice sightings. We drove the S28 and down to Croc Bridge, a camp I just love. I love how green and lush the vegetation in the camp always is, I love the atmosphere in the camp. I love the drive out of the camp and up the tar road ....

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Both Hawk and I needed to do some admin, so we spent a while in our 'office' .... here under the shade of a tree at our campsite. I must say, I could get pretty used to always 'working' from here :hmz:

And this evening we had a highlight!!! A mini meet with Ilovemeerkats and her SO and WendyA and friend Gill on the deck here at Lower Sabie. A perfect evening as the sun set over the river, with lovely people and we had such a good laugh together. YR RULE and forumites just ROCK!!!!

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:08 pm 
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Greetings from LS! Quick pop in from SO phone as battling with my notebook internet this evening.

Delene D, those pics are CB. Such a lovely camp.

Will update tomorrow hopefully with a better connection available. Needless to say we are still having the best time.

Night from Kruger.

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:59 pm 
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Hi everyone!! I am giving up trying to access via my notebook internet. There is such a slow and weak connection here in the camp, it takes ages to open a page.

Today was another perfect day in Kruger. We decided to do a long drive down to Croc Bridge, via the Hippo Pools and along the river road, and back to camp via Byamiti weir. 180km.

We loved every minute; had a lovely cheetah sighting, a glimpse at lions on a kill and many other very special 'small' things.

A highlight was chatting to Daniel at the Hippo Pools. He has worked there for 23 years. He has such wonderful stories, and of course this includes the one of the little lion cub he found at the lion den there all those years ago, that became the hero Leo in Kobie Kruger's book.

The camp is so peaceful and quiet and the frogs and bats are singing. One can smell braai all around. The moon is half full, the stars bright and so from Lower Sabie, it is a good night until the internet signal gains strength!

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Dalene

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:38 pm 
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Thanks so much for taking time to comment guys :gflower: We really appreciate them all!

Hooray! We have internet! Lol, here we come to the bush to get away from it all, except our internet connection ;) But do note, it is not a stable, nor fast connection. I have had to reconnect about 19875839 times to get the pics to load to flickr. But what the heck, that is the point of being in the park - to relax and take one's time :lol:

Today dawned cloudy, and it is much cooler than the past few days. Even a few drops of rain. We took an early drive after our usual stop off at Sunset Dam for coffee. Saw zebs, gnus, piggies and of course impies. And had another YR sighting today!! Pardus **** (forget his numbers) along the main road back to LS. It was so great to see him again.

We then decided to make the most of the cool and clean up camp, and now we are enjoying coffee and fruit cake (thanks Woolies!) and going through our photos. Some of which I will share with you all.

The camp is just about full – it has been all week, and now weekenders are moving in.

The fire north east of us seems to have died down. It started about Tuesday .... Wednesday the air was filled with smoke during the morning, but a very gentle breeze carried the smoke off by lunch time.

We have observed some interesting animal 'experiences'. One was an almighty bellowing (sounds like some giant snoring) by two hippo on the opposite bank of the river here at camp. This went on for about an hour. We also observed just how ‘respectful’ rhino are of elephant. A rhino obviously sensed that an ellie bull did not want him near, and hightailed it out of the area, and we only put two and two together when the ellie took a few steps after the rhino to ensure he was well on his way.

SO has a special birthday tomorrow, and his gift, (which he wrangled out of me before we left for the trip) is a new camera ... so here are some pics from him, and me .... going a little back to our arrival on 7th with the kids.

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Arriving at Croc Bridge gate

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The 'US kids'

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The Watergat road river bed lion sighting .... look closely to see the lion lying dotted along the river bed

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Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Re-connection # 4987596700 now ....

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This little guy entertained us so the way he peeked out of a hole in a dead tree along the S28

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I cannot resist snapping these stunning birds ;)

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This little guy visited us at Skukuza the night EJ visited - he was right above our table

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One of the hyena clan we saw on the road just south of Renosterkoppies

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Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:20 pm 
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And from Sunset Dam ...

(Seems SO needs to take over the pic taking for the trip, mine are looking a bit dismal next to his.)

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I love the impies coming down to drink

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These Egyptian Geese parents have seven goslings ... and I kid you not take them across the road from the dam to the river side when the traffic is at its peak!!! My nerves!

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The baboon troop that keeps us all so entertained

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Sunset ... so glorious

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One of the 'little things' from yesterday's drive

And now we are off to walk and explore around the camp!

'til later mighty mites!

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Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:00 pm 
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It is pouring here in LS :-) has been for a good while.

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:47 pm 
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Balule greetings!!!

As I sit here under the thatch in the kitchen/boma area (trying to get an internet connection and also some cool) I can read the plaque on the wall and the words 'be worthy of your sojourn here' ....

Thank you for the birthday wishes for Hawk - he will thank you all himself, but in the meantime, from him via me, thanks to you all for thinking of him. He did have a lovely day. It ended up pouring down on Saturday, just as we arrived back in camp from our long drive of the day. We had supper at the restaurant, where they had prepared a specially decorated table for us for the occasion of Hawk's birthday. It was cold outside and very wet, and the restaurant full. Food was basic, but good.

We had a nice sighting on Saturday of a small ellie herd fast sleep. They stood close together and sort of leaned on each other, eyes closed and swaying slightly. We spent about half an hour with them, and then decided to quietly drive off and let them sleep in peace.

Yesterday was a rather wet pack up, although the skies did soon clear and the day ended up lovely and hot. We made our way here, checking in at Satara. It looked like good rains has fallen all the way the night before.

I will post a pic of the low water bridge which has a huge section totally washed away from the previous floods. Its a bit of a pity as we love to sit on the bridge and try and get pics of the kingfishers. But there are many other special drives and things to do in the area.

All the little rivers are running and there is water everywhere. The veld is green and lush.

This morning produced our first leopard sighting of the trip. We seem to have missed all the other leopards everyone else gets to see. Even yesterday early on the bridge over the Sabie at Lower Sabie, a SANParks staff bus stopped and told us about a leopard sighting, directing us carefully where to go .... the leopard had moved on by the time we got there.

This morning's leopard had an impie kill in a shambok tree next to the road, this from yesterday someone in camp told us, and we were lucky enough to see him lying in the shade, and very drowsy, close to the kill.

Tomorrow morning is a morning walk for us .... cannot wait :dance:

Depending on connection (and battery life, as there is no electricity here in camp) we will try report again soon and also post some pics.

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:05 pm 
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The nearly full moon is lighting up the veld and camp tonight. We can manage well with just moon light, and only switch on our headlights now and again. Of course full moon makes me think of the poaching crisis in the park. And while this trip report is really one to escape and record happy memories, one cannot deny that poaching is something on every one's mind here. We have yet to drive a road and not pass military vehicles. And in the short while we have been here, we have seen many, every day, on every drive; as well as guys of the SANParks CP teams - all kitted out for battle. We do need to spare a thought for them, out there in the bush, other side of the fence tonight, amongst the predators who own the night - and also amongst the human vultures poaching our precious rhino.

The camp is full but yet very quiet. The hyena is patrolling up and down the fence. The air cool ... and by dawn tomorrow will be very damp. We can hear the water rushing past in the river just metres from the camp. Impala are rutting ....

Our morning walk was so special. I was thrilled that we ended up walking a favourite area of Kruger for both Hawk and me - along the Olifants. It was the same walk we first did many years ago and then again a few years later, and also the same walk I did when some of the forum angels went in search of a Pels owl.

The flood of January 2012 saw to it that much has changed along the river. Most of the lovely huge old trees, that have stood there for decades and centuries (some 400 years), are now gone. The river bank is very different ... and a new cycle of life starts for the vegetation ... new saplings are rooting, and who knows in how many years, or decades and centuries, before they will tower over the river.

I know we will sleep well tonight. I will open the window right next to my bed completely, so nothing is between me and the wild bush just metres away. I just have to lie on my side to see right out over the veld, and look up at the stars.

Night dear mites.

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger live! DB & Hawk report'in
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:10 pm 
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A quick pop in to whet your appetites for when we share our lion sighting of yesterday. Tried in vain to load some pics, but will have to wait for our next camp to do that. In all our visits to the park, this sighting was one of the more special ones .

It is a lovely day here, still and the sky dotted with fluffy white clouds.

PJ, we are here another 3 nights. :-D

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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