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Makuleke Mission

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Johan van Rensburg
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Makuleke Mission

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:07 am

In the 2015 Balule Bash report-back I have referred to my Kruger birding activities undergoing a bit of a change this year. Over the last eight years I have arranged and participated in nine Balule Bashes. That is enough for now... (got THAT T-shirt!) My Kruger Park birding plan for 2016 is a Bash-like stint in the Makuleke Consession (the far northern part of the Kruger National Park between the Limpopo and Levuhu Rivers) from 28 to 31 October with super-guide Brenden Pienaar. We have dubbed this outing the Manic Makuleke Mission. Like with the Balule Bashes places for only 8 people are available per Mission.

The weekend we reserved for the first Mission is at the beginning of “peak season” for birding in the northern parts of Kruger NP. The species that serve as drawcards: the pennant-winged nightjar would just have arrived and I hope to find a spot where we can see the male’s spectacular display flight; some cuckoos and many raptors should enrich our chase of the specials resident in this area. The targeted attractions are: Senegal Coucal, Grey-headed and Meyers Parrots, Lemon-breasted Canary, three-banded Courser, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Racket-tailed Roller, Arnot’s Chat, Dickenson’s Kestrel, Bohm’s Spinetail, African Yellow White-eye and Black-throated Wattle-eye. I’m sure it is not too much of a stretch for some of the more exotic non-migratory birds like Narina trogon, Miombo blue-eared starling, plain-backed sunbird, orange-winged pytilia, the twinspots, black-faced and orange-breasted waxbills and maybe even African broadbill to make it onto the Manic Makuleke Mission list of sightings…

Accommodation would be in the unfenced but comfortable Makuleke Trails tented camp neatly situated near the banks of the Luvuvhu River. The bush camps move around to lessen the long-term impact on any particular area, but great scenic sites are always chosen. Accommodation at these spots comprises spacious two-person tents, comfortable beds with bedding supplied, en suite chemical toilet and separate hot water shower facilities.

Catering is undertaken by the 5-star Pafuri Lodge and I can assure you of a culinary treat in the bush! Most days will revolve around a solid morning walk in search of specials and an afternoon birding drive with scenic sundowners. We will also visit some of the places in the Concession that have a reputation for its spectacular vistas. The incredibly stunning panoramas of the fever tree dominated floodplains between the Limpopo and Levuhu Rivers will often serve as the habitat for many of the bird species we will be looking for.

We will also make a trip to Lanner Gorge, cut by the Levuhu River to a depth of 150m over a distance of 11km in granite formed by an ancient desert that existed in the middle of the super-continent Pangea. The geology of the Gorge is extraordinary. The upper parts of the Gorge is relatively young (less that 2M years) and contains the raw material for Stone Age implements that was used extensively, especially for the manufacture of hand axes of which there are many examples laying about.

In my experience Brenden’s skill/reputation as a KNP bird guide is unequalled. He will once again deliver the goods on this ground-breaking birding event where we will have access to all areas in the Concession, “off limits” to people not staying at the Concession Lodges.

Anyone interested to participate in one of the Makuleke Missions just requires sending me your email address per PM and we can take it from there…
685 2016 lifers: Spotted crake, Lesser jacana, Burchell's courser, Double-banded courser, Rufous-tailed scrub robin, House crow, Manx shearwater, Antarctic prion, Northern giant petrel, Northern royal albatross

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hilda
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Re: Makuleke Mission

Unread post by hilda » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:07 pm

This sounds absolutely wonderful Johan! All the best with the Manic Makuleke Mission, which I think will be fully booked for 2016 in no time! :dance: :dance:
"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right." - Nelson Mandela

chirinda
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Re: Makuleke Mission

Unread post by chirinda » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:11 pm

Oooooooooh ........... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Tessa G
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Re: Makuleke Mission

Unread post by Tessa G » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:24 pm

VERY :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Dec 16 - Letaba, Shingwedzi, Olifants, Tamboti, Biyamiti, Berg n Dal
Current: The Different Faces of Cape Point
CURRENT TR: 23 DAYS WITH TESSA & DAVE - FROM HEAD TO TAIL DEC 2015

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Makuleke Mission

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:22 am

:D :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Makuleke Mission

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:00 am

The first Manic Makuleke Mission sold out in the blink of an eye... Looks like we will have to look at another opportunity for the many 'mites that sent me PMs but didn't make it onto the inaugural Mission... If something materialises, I'll post the news here.
685 2016 lifers: Spotted crake, Lesser jacana, Burchell's courser, Double-banded courser, Rufous-tailed scrub robin, House crow, Manx shearwater, Antarctic prion, Northern giant petrel, Northern royal albatross

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hilda
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Re: Makuleke Mission

Unread post by hilda » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:39 pm

I want to say something, and I'm going to say it Johan .... I've told you so! :dance: :dance:
"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right." - Nelson Mandela


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