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 Post subject: Goronta's On my way to Pafuri - KNP July '13
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
:think: Dear 'mites
At least ,after reading your trip reports for some years,I will finally dare sharing my last travel in our beloved Kruger park last july 2013.
I know it will take time and I have to make my english understandable to everybody ( a challenge for a french speaking guy ! :redface: )

Please be patient and indulgent for this new trip report :pray:

For the first instalment today :hmz: ...let's tease the potential readers with some images

Image


Image


Image


Image



TBC soon

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:52 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
Thanks a lot to all of you for this warm welcome :D


MATTHYS :D ,Bushbuddies :D ,Pumbaa :D ,Kaapsedraai :D ,gatita :D ,Tobieo :D ,Trrp-trrrrrrrr :D ,Carol g :D ,hilda :D ,Grantmissy :D ,JeanniR :D

Welcome on board for this travel to Pafuri

Let's go back to the 24th of july 2013 ...



After a long countdown, D DAY was finally reached

A short business trip in the morning,back home early afternoon for a last glimpse and a last post on the forum and at the airport we were !
As soon as the airport is nearby,the flavour of holidays is in the air.
I love airports (and ports),I love planes and the bustle of all those travelers departing for all worldwide destinations.
The world is waiting ! South Africa is so close now,just on the other side of the door when this huge white plane will land tomorrow morning.
"Homeward bound" , that song keeps running through my head


Image


Even if this year will mark our 11th trip to Southern hemisphere in the last 13 years,we always feel as if it was the first time,children on a Christmas morning
The A 380 is full and what a nice start :We are kindly asked when boarding if we would not mind having a change on our seat number for an upgrade to the Premium seats.
"Oh no Sir, we do not really mind and if it can help you,we would certainly accept your offer..."
Not so bad to start with !


Image

11h30 hours later on Thursday morning July 25th after a comfortable and quiet flight,a lot of movies and a few drinks (with moderation...),we landed at O.R Tambo airport
Not so chilly compare to previous years

Image


Back soon

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:08 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
Thank you mosij, Grantmissy,JeanniR, Philip1, Franconel, hilda, Trrp-trrrrrrrr,MM,Cape of storms

Here we are :


July 25th morning
Queue to get an entry stamp on passport but lanes well organized and quite soon we were collecting our luggage, luckily everything was on the carousel :thumbs_up: , then we crossed the hall to the Car rental floor.
Rapidly we got all documents and the key, a little bit disappointed by the 4x4 allocated (going to Botswana after Kruger and Mapugunbwe) :sniper: ; we would have preferred the other Japanese car maker and not this one but after some discussion :pray: , we realized there was no other car available at the airport and that we had no more time to waste. :tongue:
A quick run to the ATM to get some rands, thanks to Frizzle information on the forum ,we could get more rands in one shot from ABSA ATM in the arrivals hall than from any other ATM at the airport.
Found the car in the parking, carefully checked everything was OK, I recommend to everybody to check in detail and not to trust the pre-check document that will be given to you :rtm: . I ask the guy in charge (a very nice fellow) to add a long list of scratches, small holes on the canopy, windscreen, I check spare tyre, jack was in and all needed tools (hope I would not need to use it but …)

And finally on the road ...
Even if we tried to hurry up, it took us some time before we left the airport .
The flight from Paris arriving later than before (10h30 am instead of 7 am in the past) we shouldn’t wander around if we wanted to reach the gate before curfew. :naughty:

Kruger, here we come! :D
This is still the best moment of the trip, you feel you are in a kind of no man’s land between the place you left and the place you are trying to reach. :dance:
You started your holidays but at the same time you didn’t totally.

The first 3 nights are booked in Pretoriuskop

Image

and we will enter the park through Numbi gate
We like this small gate and each time we used it, it was easy and quick formalities and …very nice sightings at once.
This time also, the tradition will be ….but it’s another story we’ll see later.
A quick stop at a strange place on the toll road for fuel for car and food for us and we started the last part of this drive. Nelspruit, some “stop and go” on the way, White river, ,missed the sign towards Numbi gate,not so clear in fact,back and finally too late at the gate ...

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But but as we felt we could be delayed we had phoned from Nelspruit to inform Pretoriuskop of a possible late arrival :dance: :dance: (It costs you 200 rands to get an escort from the gate to the camp)

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While waiting for our “bodyguards” on a very silent road without any car in the twilight,we had our first sighting in the distance

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All of a sudden it was night and we followed the escort car to Pretoriuskop camp gate
Strange to drive at night in Kruger
No animals or at least we could not see them except a few eyes shining, certainly impies.
And suddenly on the right side of the road , lurked behind a bush a young leopard !
The time we realized, we flashed the lights to our escort car and tried to find the camera,this beauty was gone. :wall:
No photo for this first one. :mrgreen:
We did not know at this stage that during this trip we will have the chance to see “only 6 leopards “, some with photos as we will see later…

And finally after a long flight,a long drive and this beautiful leopard, we felt asleep dreaming of all sightings Kruger will offer in the coming days....

At 5h30 we got up ,coffee and some bread from the plane as we could not shop before entering the park and ready we were for our first drive.
We decided to take the loop round the camp before going out of the park for some shopping.

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A new day was born and we enjoyed this first sunrise in a misty morning, happy to be at least in the bush after all those months, preparation, dreams and hope.
Enjoy your day as if it was the last one, I like and try to apply this motto.

Image

As often especially during the first days we stopped for everything: birds,animals,trees,plants,landscapes,insects,flowers,clouds etc…


BACK SOON ...

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
Thanks Philip1,you're right after this brief introduction :redface: let's share some sightings

It started with birds
One of the first was this African Hoopoe showing his best profile in the morning light

Image


Image

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:53 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
Thanks a lot for your comments.
I really appreciate Kaapsedrai you're on board with me as I 'm always learning a lot from your own Travel tales. :D
Bushbuddies, I agree with you either you come easily to Kruger or after a longer travel,that feeling when you go through the gate is difficult to describe but so rich. :great:
Thanks isinkwe stay with us still a lot to come :thumbs_up:
Thanks Cape of Storms, the way is still long to Pafuri :cam:
Stampajane,thank you for your support : each post takes me quite a long time to write and is a very good exercise.
Ports and airports are always for me also an open window to the world ,creating dreams and stimulating my imagination :think:




After the African Hoopoe,still on the Fayi loop it was a" birds morning " with this dewy juvenile Chanting Goshawk (?)chanting a lot and posing

Image


Image

No mammals ?

A few meters later ,my first Black-Crowned Tchagra shot ,
(I like this picture)

Image


Enjoy your week-end , fellow mites
BACK SOON

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:06 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
:gflower: Thanks for your comments and I hope you will stay on board for this long trip towards Pafuri,
hoyle,Pumbaa,cheetahlady,Cape of Storms,tent dweller,MM,gatita,Bushbuddies,hilda,barryels :thumbs_up:


There was no car this morning on the loop but a young chap tried to block the road in a very peaceful manner

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While waiting for the GO sign from this guy,we watched our first giraffe in 2013

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Later came our beloved impalas
I read recently that 10 years ago they were more than 150.000 in Kruger but for us each one is different,so elegant with a rich shade of colours and a unique mimic.


Image

Image


Image


After this first drive,we had to go out of the park for some shopping as the eve it was too late when we reached Kruger.We decided to go to Hazyview through Phabeni gate


Image


Image

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:36 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
After some Pick&Pay tour, a light lunch in a nice inn we stayed at last year (for those who could be interested,send me a PM for address),back to Kruger through Numbi gate :D

Image

Then a short stop at the chalet to leave the food in the fridge and back on the road..
It was our first day,remember, but we had a kind of frenzy,even if we were a little bit tired after this long flight and drive,to be in the bush and stimulate our senses after one full year in big cities. :tongue:

We took the H1-1 towards Shitlhave Dam.
Very quiet place.Only 2 cars were by the small lake.
Not a real surprise but guess who could be by the water ? :hmz:

Image


A nice chewing waterbuck

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Just behind,trying to hide in the grass this cute young one


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And the father was around resting

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And before we went back to the camp for a well deserved rest after this first day in the park
A bird close as we opened this "birdies day"

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A nice bee-eater

Image


BACK SOON

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:04 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
The journey is still long to Pafuri as I will stop soon in my TR for the Napi trail chapter :)

I really appreciate your comments and your inputs on my first travel tale. :clap:
It's a real challenge to keep the story going on a regular basis,takes time editing photos and preparing some comments :doh: but we will keep the momentum as long as we have readers... :thumbs_up:
A big thank you to barryels,tent dweller,MM,hilda,wachinda,Bushbuddies,Kaapsedraai,anne-marie,gatita,kyknetta,Pumbaa
Welcome on board for the newcomers and thanks again for those who are still patient since we started this travel together ...
I have to answer a question from Bushbuddies
Bushbuddies wrote:
Finally we've got food on board! :dance: Now we can rest and enjoy the rest of the ride... :D

Did you braai that evening?


Yes I did braai this evening: the menu was in french Pintade rôtie ("Roasted Guineafowl")
See below :

Image


:dance: :dance: :dance: :D


BACK SOON

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:12 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
Thanks for joining the braai :lol:

The following morning we wanted to try the Madlabantu 4x4 Adventure Trail .But we've been told at Pretoriuskop rest camp reception when we tried to book that the trail was still closed following the flood in january this year and due to the work still on going on the main roads and bridges in Kruger, this 4x4 track was not on the priority list.It should reopened in the coming months.
It's a pity but at the same time a good reason to come back !
Then we decided to go south and after all the discussion I read on Afsaal picnic spot on the forum, we drove to Afsaal for a breakfast after our morning drive.
As usual we left at the gate opening and took the H2-2.

Birth of a new beautiful day in Kruger
What this new day has to offer ,that's what I'm wandering each time I go through the gate of any camp !


Image

The first sighting was my old friend in the morning light trying to catch some comfort from the first ray of sun

Image

Then we crossed the path of a group of six hyenas going back home.
I love hyenas.They are beautiful animals even if their reputation is usually so negative.
When we look at the problems they could create in the different Sanparks,most of the time we are responsible for this situation.

Image


Image



Image



A young chap was playing the chameleon among the trees

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And this proud raptor was staring at all the tourists staring at him !
As I'm not at home tonight and no birds book around me ,could some 'mite help me in ID
Image

Then we reached Aafsal

Image

The first lady we met was this resident beauty

Image

BACK SOON

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
Faithful readers,thanks again for your support and nice words :clap: :clap: :clap:

Trrp-trrrrrrrr,MM,barryels,Stampajane,isinkwe,kyknetta,Pumbaa,Cape of Storms,anne-marie,Bushbuddies,hilda,Carol g,Kaapsedraai,,gatita

And thanks Pumbaa for the ID :thumbs_up:

Thanks to you I'm trying not to disappear between the different chapters. :redface:
As you can see, the journey will take some time till the final destination up north. :)
I have a lot to say and share with you and when in Kruger I take my time strolling smoothly from one place to another one. :cam:
Isn'it the purpose of any journey in Kruger ? :hmz:


The picnic spot in Afsaal was rather quiet.We did not see any baboons or monkeys and as cheetahlady mentioned in a post at the end of july the picnic tables were clean and with bug repellant candles we had no insects or flies.
Only starlings and hornbills were around ,staring at the food

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The shop was quite empty and I don’t think they will restock the place as I heard somebody saying it was not a curios shop as in a restcamp.
I think they should do something as it’s quite a strange feeling to see those empty racks.
I asked if the resident owls were still around but it seems they left a few months ago.
I can’t compare with Asaal in the past as I don’t remember exactly how it was but the breakfast we had was not really a memorable one.

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It’s why I suppose animals and birds instead of stealing food were more preoccupied by the survival of their species…
What I can admit seeing this poor breakfast served :tongue:

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Image

I should have tried one of these

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Or pap and sheba as proposed by kyknetta or any other one from the list

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After this long break we were wondering where we should go and decided we should try to see Berg en Dal as it was one of the camps we've never been
Then on H3 and S120 by the Matjulu loop we were.

BACK SOON

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:15 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
It seems we all agree "Strolling through Kruger is the only way" :thumbs_up:

Thank you hilda,Kaapsedraai,barryels,isinkwe,tent dweller,MM

The drive to Berg en Dal was interesting and we had some stunning sightings.
For the sake of those endangered species,I propose to open later on a dedicated chapter to the 44 rhinos we encountered during our trip through Kruger from Pretoriuskop to Pafuri in order to avoid giving any information to ill-intentioned and contemptible persons.
We left the H3 and took Matjulu loop,a very scenic untarred road .Not a lot of animals but beautiful landscapes in this southern part of the park.

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The usual roadblock

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And we reached B&D

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Some nice Impala lily to welcome you

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Instructions to be know by everybody

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And literally respected :rtm:


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As we wanted to stretch our legs a bit we went to the Rhino Perimeter Trail camp walk .
A nice footpath through the camp along the dam
This big boy was busy dreaming...

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I wished to spot the Scarlet-chested Sunbird but no sighting this time.Another reason to go back !
I saw those 2 nices birds instead
Clever nice drongo


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And this beautiful Golden-Breasted Bunting

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On the way on this Rhino trail this memory stele to remember us we are not in a zoo but in the middle of wild nature and human being like Charles gave even their life to protect this treasure !
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I don't know if some of you knows more on this tragic event

On the way back to the car,I noticed those nests,and later on in some other camps.
I suppose it's a way to manage bats and avoid nuisance in the camp ?

Image

It was time to go back slowly to Pretoriuskop by the S110,H3 again,Afsaal again and H1-1 with a stop at Transport dam :thumbs_up: and Napi rocks

But that will be another story ...

Image

BACK SOON

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
Thanks for your comments and information on Charles.I think it's nice to mention his name among us :clap:

To my faithful readers,the slow bus is leaving B&Dal...
Thanks a lot
Kaapsedraai,Tobieo,gatita,tent dweller,MM,Trrp-trrrrrrrr,barryels,,Bushbuddies,hilda,Pumbaa,isinkwe and anne-marie who run a little bit after the bus even it's a very slow one

It was time to drive back,slowly as usual, to our home in Pretoriuskop.
The landscape was nice and no so many fellows visitors on the road

Image

A big rock was ready to fall (since thousand and thousand years I suppose)

Image

Round the corner, a big young and quiet friend was eating ,not very interested by our car

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I thought he was half asleep but in fact as a "sportselephant" :redface: ,he was concentrating on the next branch

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And he got it :thumbs_up:

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This sighting will stay as one of this beautiful moments we had this year in Kruger (and we had a lot ...)


Finally we arrived at Transport Dam
Usual welcome by the Water lovers

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A look at the tree but nobody on it on in the nests for :cam:

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And looking around we spotted what we took for a big snake :big_eyes:

Image

BACK SOON

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:30 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: France for a while
Thanks for your comments on this stretching ellie :thumbs_up:
Carol g,tent dweller,Stampajane,Kaapsedraai,anne-marie,Pumbaa,Chip (welcome on board),barryels,Bushbuddies,ishinkwe,Cape of Storms

Our snake,as you would have guessed ,was in fact, a huge Nile monitor exploring the rocks

Image

He was quite active prepared for a shooting

My left side

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My right side

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Look at my tongue :tongue:

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And now, good bye

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We were not the only one watching this Nile monitor playing to the gallery

Image

And in fact they were two by the dam

Image

And the birdies too were part of this Transport dam show

Image

BACK SOON

_________________
Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th , Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:04 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:58 am
Posts: 3572
Location: Far South in South Africa.
:mrgreen: Lovely TR, Pics and Adventure Goronta. :whistle:

Quote:
"Goronta"Image

I don't know if some of you knows more on this tragic event.


Found this from:
Quote:
"SAHO": Date: 21 August, 1998

A 25 year-old tour guide and student from Mangosuthu Technical College in Durban, Charles Swart,was attacked by a hungry leopard on the bridge crossing the Matjulu River near Malelane Camp, in Kruger National Park. The young Swart was guiding 12 visitors when the incident occurred. The animal mauled Swart despite the tourists' attempt to chase it off by shining lights and shouting at it. After failing to scare the leopard off, the tourists went to the nearby camp to ask for help. Armed rangers trailed and shot the animal while it was still feeding on Swart's body.The attacks by bigs cats on humans were largely blamed on Mozambicans who try to cross the park to find a better life in South Africa as they make easy targets.


Sorry to post this on your TR, but i thought i'll try and help. :)

_________________
"Lose yourself in Nature and find Peace!" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
UNITE AGAINST POACHING...What we protect,
do not let poachers take it away!

Extinction is forever and survival is up to---every last one of us!


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 Post subject: Re: On my way to Pafuri
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:27 pm 
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Posts: 41880
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
I also do not want to mar your lovely trip report, but the info that I know about the incident was that they stopped on the bridge during a sunset drive from the camp, and alighted from the vehicle. This was the practice on the drives at the time. The guide went onto his haunches to light a smoke, and the leopard attacked him. It was an old and sick leopard, and animals in this state go for sort targets.

It was an extremely tragic incident.

_________________
Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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