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PetraJ's 4 Weeks in Satara. KNP, December 2013

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PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:09 am

3 January
I stayed in camp this morning while my SO took a leisurely drive.
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Couldn’t believe it when SO spotted this leopard in the tree… after the leopard draught, suddenly they appeared everywhere…
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He got tired of the tree, got down and walked away

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More of this day to follow on the next page...

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PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:59 am

3 January continues…
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It was my last working day in camp, and when finished I decided to go on a late afternoon drive with Scipio. Our time is coming to an end in Satara, and I wanted to make the most of the time we had left.
We drove past the Nsimane dam and took the Timbavati road. Suddenly it looked like a leopard in the road… no… 4 leopards?… wait, it was only a mom and a very active cub. He jumped and ran and enjoyed himself, it looked like there were more than one cub present. He was so active we could not get a decent pic of him alone… just too fast and playful.
They walked off in the bush and all we got of him was a bit of him behind mom.
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So, we were now on 5 leopards in two days. Unbelievable after all the time we searched for a leopard in this past 4 weeks.

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PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:59 am

4 January
Hazel left today and we helped her to take down her campsite and said our goodbyes. We are also leaving early tomorrow morning and all I still had to do in camp was to take my timesheet to be signed by Management. We took a drive North for the last time.
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PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:00 am

5 January
We left the camp around 06h00 on our way down to Pretoriuskop for our last evening in Kruger. It is always sad to leave, as everybody is well aware of. Saying goodbye last night to all the staff, but the promise of we will be back, makes it better. We did not see much on the drive South, but I must admit also, we didn’t really search for anything, we just drove and talked about the month that has past, and all the sightings we saw, and the experiences we had.
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User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:04 am

6 January.
We woke this morning with the dreaded feeling of leaving the park. Decided that we will drive the tar road and then the S65, before turning into the Phabeni road for the final stretch. We had to exit there as we had to pick up my boys at Hazyview before taking the road back home to Krugersdorp.
At Transport dam we were making some coffee when we realised the car in front of us are indeed Dave and Jan. We were looking for them in Satara, but we kept on missing each other. At least we saw them now and they showed us their picture of a beautiful Black Rhino. It really was something special. We left them there after a while and continued on our way. Just as we turned into the tar road, a leopard was walking next to the road with some cars following him. We had a look at him, but due to the density we couldn’t get the camera to focus on him, so we left after a while.
We turned onto the S65 when someone stopped us and told us about a cheetah mom and cubs a few km down the road. Next moment, a leopard crossed the road in front of us. I almost choked as this was getting unreal now. This was our 7th leopard sighting. Again, by the time we reached the point where he crossed, it was gone and we couldn’t find it.

We reached the cheetahs and oh boy, were we in for a treat!
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It got late and we had to go as it was still a long way home. We left them to continue playing in peace and drove away. We saw some general game and then as we stopped next to a stationary car about 4km from the gate, we enquired what they saw. "Oh, it is a wild dog resting there in the shade, they killed an Impala earlier on." We saw it, I took a picture, again as they were lying down it is not a good pic, and we left. From the Wild dog to the Phabeni gate, we saw nothing. Not an Impala, nothing. It was amazing… our very first animal in KNP 4 weeks ago had been Wild dogs, and now, the very last animal we saw was again Wild dog. I remembered as we saw our very first Wild dog, I told Scipio that this is going to be a month to remember…. and oh boy, was I correct this time!

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PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:55 am

It is actually sad that this TR has come to an end. :cry: I enjoyed it so much in writing it, and I am sure all the memories will stay with us for a very, very long time.

We saw 7 Honey badgers, about 200 Lions, 8 leopard, 5 Wild dog sightings, 5 cheetahs, an elephant suddenly got totally crazy and charged us, about 30 rhinos, a lot of general game, saw new life, and the end of life in front of our campsite.

Got out of the car in heavy rain to close dirt roads, slipped and fell in the mud and had to change my uniform 3 times that day ...

Had a flat tyre on the S41 with 2 jacks and no wheel spanner... and then had to explain why the golf clubs were out of the car...

We met some awesome people who will hopefully stay friends for a very long time to come.


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