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 Post subject: Mads & VVV's 2 trips in 6 months ... KNP Dec '12/May '13
Unread postPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 3:34 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Dear mites,

I have just returned from a trip to Kruger and we ( Vlakvarkvrou and I) did a trip in December 2012. We will tell you more about the 2 holidays! Both started up North. In December we entered at Pafuri and now (due to the floods) I entered at Punda. I exited in December at Croc Bridge and now at Phabeni (though I drove up to Croc bridge gate..

Enjoy the ride, for we had the most amazing sightings in these 2 trips!! ... and I thought it is too good not too share with you!! We will also compare areas before and after the floods...

See you soon! :thumbs_up:

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:39 pm 
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Hi to all the readers :gflower:
Here we go again! And I said no trip reports anymore. This afternoon I went to a friend to have a look at the photos of her recent visit to the KNP. The next moment she told me she started a trip report and it is my turn to post!!!

Well here I am and sorting photos of our trip from Pafuri to Crocodile Bridge. On 21 December 2012 we left Pretoria at 1.00 and arrived at Pafuri quite early. The Gate Guards opened the gates for us and after book-inn and a coffee, we entered the Park on our way to Croc Bridge just after 7.00 am.

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Mads and official at the Pafuri Gate
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Then we make way for these 2 cuties
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And we stop for this (this is just a glimpse – Mads will post the real pics)
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tbc

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KNP
15-24/08/2014
7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Thank you Barryels, MarkusF, Sparrow, Phillip1, Timbits, Trrp-trrrrrrrr, Papa Smurf, Hilda, Magriet, and Grantmissy for joining us on the bus!! You will definitely not be sorry about this one!! :wink: :D

Well, the veld on the December trip was definitely still very dry in the north! On my visit last weekend I decided to enter at Punda (Pafuri gate is not open yet after the floods) though I spent my first night at Tambotie. Quite a drive I know… but I wanted to see how the area looked after the floods…

During this TR we will compare the areas before and after the floods. I will also comment on how the roads look now. The areas now were lush and green especially for this time of the year, and with lots of water in the veld… Certain areas now have water that I was not aware that it even can contain water… We will write these 2 trip reports concurrently to each other. So will we handle area by area.

Now let us get back to December 2013…

The leopard got up and walked deeper into the bush and the other 3 cars left… We waited.. and it paid off. He came back to the road and crossed right in front of us, while we were the only car left.
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To be continued…

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:31 pm 
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We also saw these birds and animals up to the Levhuvhu bridge!

A Dark chanting Goshawk:
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A Lizard Buzzard:
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Voilet-backed starlings, they are sooo pretty!
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A Warthie for Vlakvarkvrou (VVV)
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2 Steenbokkies and we watched while she covered her dung:
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Nyala at the Levhuvhu bridge:
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To be continued...

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:37 am 
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Thanks Trrp -Trrrrrrr, Pumbaa, Barryels, Leeukos, Sparrow, Pawps, Cape of Storms, Billyf, John n Poppy

It is great to see new and old faces on board! You will not be sorry!

Ha ha!! :wall: :lol: Thanks John n Poppy, it was the slip of the finger and the mind.. Of course it must be 2012... Maybe I want to be in the future!! :thumbs_up:

Please turn the page for the next episode... :pray:

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:20 am 
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Hallo ' Mites,

Vlakvarkvrou is trying to post, but the internet does not play the game!! :wall: :wall: :rtm:

Please be Patient! :pray:

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:39 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks to everybody who are still with us – those who comment and those who just page through :k

I will start with another 2 beautiful birds and then move on a bit faster. :D

Ashy Flycatcher (Blougrysvlieëvangertjie)
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White-fronted Bee-eeter (Rooikeelbyvanger)
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We then turn into Nyala Drive. (As you can see, this area is very dry).
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Sightings along this road included a Woodlands Kingfisher (Bosveldvisvanger)
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And of course a very handsome Nyala Bull
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We went back and cross the H1-9 to the Pafuri road and to Crooks Corner .One of our most special sightings were waiting or us – Broad-billed Roller (Geelbektroupant)
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The rest of the way we saw quite a few animals such as –
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Crooks Corner
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And back to the tar road (still on the dirt road)
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Up until Klopperfontein we were again lucky with nice sightings
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Ammocharis Coranica (Tumbleweed or Seeroogblom)
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Klopperfontein
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Sharpe’s Grysbok
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Mahogany Tree on the Mahonie Loop
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Undertakers
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Another big surprise – although she was quite near the road (and not far from the Punda Camp Gate) this Leopard mum and cub was extremely difficult to photograph.
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Later the evening whilst we were relaxing on the Stoep of our tent we had more interesting and special visitors – a family of three Genets.
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This concludes our first day in the Park.

Early the next morning we returned to the Mahonie Loop. Mads will start with our second day (22 Dec 2013). Before she starts, I would like to show you this little guy. Mads was busy taking photos of a very special sighting and this Squirrel tried his utmost best to get attention next to the car.
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Enjoy the day. Mads will start with a beautiful sunrise in her next post. :D

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KNP
15-24/08/2014
7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 1:28 pm 
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Dear all,

You will have to wait for the next post to see what we saw on the Mohoni Loop..

Now the first installment of my Trip 8 – 12 May 2013. My Cousin (Wishing for lions) went with me on this trip… VVV could unfortunately not join us.

We left Pretoria just after 1’o clock in the morning! We took the route from Pretoria via Pholokwane (Pietersburg) via Giyani to Punda Gate. Unfortunately we could not enter at Punda (for it closed after the floods). The gates only opened at 6 o clock. There were no traffic and the route were much earlier than anticipated. Thus 5:15 we were in front of the gate. We made coffee, watched how day was breaking with the moon in the background. We could hear the Ground hornbills calling. And Richard (the gate guard) came to call us to show us the elephant in the road… What a beautiful start to the morning!!

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Okay I know you’re MAD(S) if you enter at Punda if our booking show that we are sleeping at Tamboti! So time would not be on our side today… But I wanted to see how the northern part of the Park looks after the floods..

As the gates opened we were the only mad(s) people at the gate. We entered after we were helped by very friendly people.

Just as I wanted to drive off, I saw a very familiar face. Frank (usually at Pafuri) came to greet me! He was stationed at Punda after the floods and should be back by now at Pafuri… I asked him about the floods. He said he did lose some stuff in the floods, but his binocs, camera and bird books were the first to be packed! I wish I could see the area now… but unfortunately it will have to wait for another trip…

We visit Thula Mila Waterhole close to the gate and found a big herd of Buffalo on the loop! Unfortunately we never took pics of this waterhole in Dec… It was very dry in Dec as you will see in our trip report. In December there were no water… Now there was water all over, and lush. It was green and in some places the grasses were so high that we could not see over it… The sun was just rising!

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There were water all over! Dams where I have never seen dams before! We decided we need to see how Klopperfontein looks, after no water last year… now…!!!

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Other sightings we had was…
Red billed wood hoopoe
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Burchell’s Coucals
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Yellow – billed oxpecker
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More buffalo – who was busy with breakfast
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Giant Eagle Owl
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_________________
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


Last edited by Mads on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:41 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Okay now we are back at December 2012 Trip report. We were in Kruger 21 – 28 December 2012. I hope you are keeping up in the time travel!

We woke up and saw the sun rising from our tent’s veranda. The thick tailed bushbabies woke us up in the night. They were cleaning the plates in the kitchen on the veranda… Sorry no pics..

So now it is still before Christmas.. but I got my Christmas present from Kruger a bit earlier… For some people it will look like a normal sighting… but for me it was an amazing sighting… We decided to drive the Mahonie loop Clockwise… It was a quiet morning, animal wise, but birding wise it was very good.

I entered one of the small loops that leads to a small stream.. and suddenly I heard a funny bird call.. I started searching the tree. And we saw this Broad billed roller circling… and then I saw it a baby broadbilled roller!! There are not a lot of times people can say they have seen a baby in Kruger… They breed actually in Zimbabwe… and not very often you will find a nest of these guys in Kruger. It was high up and my poor arm muscles, trying to photograph these guys and then to try and time the feeding!! This is when poor VVV had to take pics of the squirrel… Eventually I got a few… This was better than any cat sighting to me… So please forgive me for all the pics.

There was another baby still in the nest (A hole in a dead tree). We could hear the baby inside, and food disappeared into the nest. But no sign of the other baby…

Meet baby Broad billed Roller:
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Baby watching mom circling before she comes and feed baby…
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Mom feeding:
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After feeding:
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Breakfast arriving:
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My trip was made!! We probably spend about an hour with them!
Other interesting sightings we had on the loop was:

Crowned Hornbills.. (watch where I saw them later in the May 2013 TR)
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Buffalo with a red billed oxpecker on him (we saw the scarce yellow billed oxpecker on the trip this year)
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A nice big kudu bull:
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Nyala:
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And Lebombo ironwood (Androstachys Johnsonii) trees on the Mahonie loop
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We left the Mohonie loop and continued to Shingwedzi, where we will stay for 2 nights. VVV to continue..

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:27 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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:sori: I am so sorry, we have been so quiet, but between a stomach bug and work, I did not touch ground!! :wall:

Thank you for every one on board for the comments!! We really appreciate it! :thanx:

Vlakvarkvrou will continue soon... :thumbs_up:

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:35 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Award: Best/Funniest Forumite Name of the Year (2012)
Dear all,

Sightings in and around Shingwedsi! We had a wonderful time it was very dry! The animals were eating the mineral rights of Kruger, seeing that there were no grass at all...

Jacobin Cuckoo
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A floppy ear ellie at Babalala:
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A spotted bush snake at Babalala:
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Our first Ground Hornbill:
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2 lappet faced vultures and white backed vultures:
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A Great white egret:
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A male saddlebilled Stork:
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A fish eagle watching over the river:
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Monkey – nastics at the Kannidood dam. They were too cute! Image


.Image

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Impala babies:
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A wood sandpiper at the low level bridge at Shingwedsi:
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A Pied wagtail on its own elephant dung ball…
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A European roller:
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Ostriches:
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And to top it all… 5 Eland!
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_________________
KNP
15-24/08/2014
7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


Last edited by Vlakvarkvrou on Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:56 am 
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Hallo Forumites,

We are making the time switch again and we are back in May 2013 . We are on our way down south. Although I did not took pics of everything, we met Wildkyker at Shingwedzi on the night drivein December 2013. He has pics that is relevant and will quote him to show the difference. I will do the time switch in red from now on… so that you do not get confused… for I am already confused.

North of Babalala in December 2012:
Wildkyker wrote:
Quote:
I thought that it was dry at Shingwedzi but look how it looks here.

Image


Boyela in December 2012: The only place in the north that had rain, was the Boyela area. This puddle was next to the road at Boyela:
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Boyela in May 2013:
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Mphongolo loop in December 2012:
Image[/URL]

Mphongolo loop in May 2013.
I cannot comprehend how much water must have come down in this normally dry river.
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See how high the water was over the road. Eish!!
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Wildkyker wrote in his TR:
Quote:
I stopped on the bridge over the Shingwedzi River. It is hard to believe that this dry river bed could have a flood running down it destroying the beautiful Shingwedzi camp. My heart goes out.

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Shingwedzi River and bridge in May 2013:
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Road from river. No tar on the road for 1 km.
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Baby ellie:
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Shingwedzi area (south) in December 2012:
Wildkyker wrote:
Quote:
The further I headed North you could see that it was dry. There were no grass and even the Mopani trees were pale.

Image


Shingwedzi area after rain:
Image

To be continued...

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Dear all,

thank you Pumbaa, Hilda, Trrp-trrrrrrrrr, Barryels, Phillip1, Timbits and Sparrow for your comments. I really appreciate the time you take to read our TR.

Sunrise from the Shingwedzi bridge:
Image

This chapter will focus on the trips around Shingwedzi and down to Thongonyeni.
The area between Babalala and Shingwedzi had rain.. So ALL the elephant breeding herds were gathered in this area. We also found this buff alo bull.

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This puddle was at Boyela waterhole:

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Dwarf Mongoose:
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A HUGE Spiderweb!
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This Giraffe decided the new grass was more tasty than the tree’s leaves. .. He still looks funny!
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Thongonyeni was absolute paradis in Desember! Boyela area had rain, then Shingwedsi had NO rain, while Thongonyeni had rain and were lush and green What a site!! 300 Zebras, 200 buffalo, 100 elephant bulls, tsessebe, a kori bustard that acted “funny”. Until a Martial eagle swooped down on it! It puffed itself up! Andrew Desmet told me that apparently the martial eagle do catch them! Unfortunately we got no pic of the Martial eagle. He was just too quick.

Puffed Kori bustard:
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Greeting each other:
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More zebra:
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Sleepy time:
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_________________
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:49 pm 
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This chapter include a few more pics of Thongonyeni… It was 24 December the day before Christmas and we were on our way to Letaba. We saw about a 100 ellie bulls together at Thongonyeni and only 1 known tusker we saw between them.! We also saw Mune (a STE collared ellie), but he was a bit shy and I did not get good pics of him..

Circus Ellie:
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White stork:
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One dead zebra:
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Ostriches in the area.
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Tsessebe:
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Ellie drinking from cement dam:
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Marhumbini, a known tusker!!
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Tsessebe:
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Baboons at Kanniedood, waking up… or is tit sleeping late?
Needed a pillow?
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Helmeted Guineafowl:
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Natal spurfowl:
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Bushbuck female:
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Bushbuck Male:
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Sharpe’s Grysbok
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A breeding pair Fish Eagles at their nest:
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Baby Zebra:
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Namaqua dove:
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Juvenile Barn Swallow:
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Hippo out of the water:
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Wildebeest babies with umbilical cord, already play fighting…

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_________________
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: 2 trips in 6 months from top to bottom
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:52 pm 
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And so I turned the page!!!! :dance: :dance:

MAY 2013

Thongonyeni looked the same, but also different. The zebras were still around. 2 Secretary birds were around but no Kori bustards. We did see ostriches , but no Tsessebe and a lot fewer elephant bulls. Of course we did not really have time to hang around.!! One day from Punda to Tamboti is a bit much!! .. but hey I needed to see the north. So I did not take alot of phtographs either... :wall: :wall: ...

Thongonyeni:
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Big elephant bulls & Ostriches:
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Giraffe:
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Ground hornbill:
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Letaba River (after the floods):

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Now for my friend Vlakvarkvrou to continue with travel back in time to December 2012.. Letaba and the Christmas service...

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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