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Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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francoisd
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Unread post by francoisd » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:22 am

I made mention in my January/February 2006 trip report that when we visited Tshokwane on that trip that there was only one dove and none of the usual flocks of birds present at the picnic spot. Something one immediately notice.

I suspect that maybe the numbers of birds at the larger picnic spots fluctuate according to available food outside of them. Where I work we normally do not see Red-winged Starlings during the summer but during winter they come in to town to feed on trees with berries.

Will be interesting to get an indication of the number of birds at Tshokwane in the different months as it might show that when food is low the come for easy pickings.

Lower Sabie restaurant area always have a lot of birds.
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DavidM
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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by DavidM » Sun May 24, 2009 3:07 pm

Hi forumites

Just a quick word on the monkeys and starlings. The starling in fact disappear during the summer months with just two or three pair nesting in the hollow tree trunks on site. Where the rest go I have no idea. They probably have enough food elsewhere then. They are back "en masse" since the beginning of May. The problem is dingbats that feed them. This in turn attracts the monkeys. The monkeys we sort of manage. The catapults seem effective if applied all the time. About the starling we can do nothing I`m afraid. Touch wood so far we do not have the same bee problem as last year.
I would like to use this thread to do a bit of publicity. It is all in the general interest of the visitor so I cannot see why anybody might object to this. But then you get funny ppl.
Anyway, since October last year we have as a menu option for our visiting groups something interesting and different. A Picnic basket for two packed with mouth-watering goodies.
It comes in a wicker basket with cutlery and crockery. We have now decided to make this available for other visitors as well. The only thing is we need need 24 hr advance reservation or booking and we take a R100 refundable deposit when you receive your basket and you reclaim your deposit once you return your empty basket.
The price is R120 per basket (2 person basket)
The basket contains
French Salad with Parmesan shavings and wholegrain mustard dressing
Tri-color spicy pasta salad
Quiche Provencal and/or Quiche Lorraine
Duo of Kudu carpachio and Hoedspruit Pastrami
Fruity Bushveld Bobotie
Chicken Liver Pate
Olive Ciabatta Bread
Traditional Milk Tartlet or Lavender and Honey Ice Cream
Coffee or Tea.

I "launch" this here cos I think there might be some mites that would love the idea.

Et Voila...come try!

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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by wacktazz » Sun May 24, 2009 7:46 pm

o-dog wrote:Although its not correct to feed the birds (and I dont anymore) I cant see why people are so against it in the National Parks.

The problem comes in where, especially at the picnic sites, 1)people do not stop by feeding only monkeys and 2) the monkeys/baboons also wants in on this free meal
I see this on a daily basis. monkeys litterally attack people, because they do not want to part with their fruit or whatever.
The more birds that gets fed, the more other animals are attracted.
We as concesionares, understand this problem, because if you are bitten by a monkey at one of our places, chances are that you will never, ever come back.
Both me and David are trying our utmost best to stop people from feeding anything. Our staff will pick up any dirty plates as soon as humanly possible.
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onewithnature
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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by onewithnature » Mon May 25, 2009 6:32 am

o-dog wrote:Although its not correct to feed the birds (and I dont anymore) I cant see why people are so against it in the National Parks. I remember feeding birds was a highlight growing up as a kid on holidays at places like Shingwedzi and Olifants in particular. It certainly was a main reason to get me to appreciate birds with a passion. I think those people who feed birds are not as big offenders as everyone makes them out to be. If it helps people love the Kruger and love birds surely its only going to do better for nature on this earth. To me the costs of people feeding birds to the birds and the other people who just get irritated by them, are negligable compared to the good that people get out of it and In think birds and nature get more allies by such experiences.
It makes the trips for me having all the birds at the various picnic spots and camps. If the birds are such a problem to people then I think they should just go to the Park in summer when as is mentioned the birds disperse and wont be a nuissance.
With food around animals are always going to be attracted - people shouldnt feed I guess but people always will continue or will at leave crumbs behind etc thereby attracting wild animals. Should we just convert all the stop over spots to large chicken wire fenced enclosures so that no birds or animals can get in and so that no one gets disturbed??


The problem with the ignorant visitors is that they only see the fun of feeding the animals and oohh and aahh and imp[ress everyone. But, once they feed birds, they won't stop there: it will progress to monkeys, and baboons, and whatever else comes their way. That's why it is best to nip it in the bud at source.
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DavidM
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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by DavidM » Mon May 25, 2009 6:49 am

o-dog
I can see point, but please do not entertain this thought too long. Feeding the birds at picnic sites create further problems. Period.
If in any doubt you can work here for two days during a long weekend or school holidays.

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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Mon May 25, 2009 6:58 am

Some of the Tshowkane bandits.

Image

Image

Image

Despite their nuisance factor, I enjoy watching these little devils.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by DavidM » Mon May 25, 2009 7:16 am

To get off the topic of birds and monkeys.
2 Saturdays ago we had a LIT at Tshok behind the kitchen. A few fortunate visitors could enjoy the sight for 20 minutes or so before it jumped down and disappeared.
This past Saturday we saw a lioness with her two cups down the road about 50 yards from Tshok turnoff towards Satara.
Our resident ellie bull paid us a visit last Thursday and this morning it was the first time I saw buffalo at the tearoom.
Took this pic about 10 minutes ago across the road from the parking area.
Now we need that rhino we saw next to the bridge while cycling I while ago to come and show face.

Image

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saraf
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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by saraf » Mon May 25, 2009 6:32 pm

o-dog wrote:Although its not correct to feed the birds (and I dont anymore) I cant see why people are so against it in the National Parks. I remember feeding birds was a highlight growing up as a kid on holidays at places like Shingwedzi and Olifants in particular. It certainly was a main reason to get me to appreciate birds with a passion. I think those people who feed birds are not as big offenders as everyone makes them out to be. If it helps people love the Kruger and love birds surely its only going to do better for nature on this earth. To me the costs of people feeding birds to the birds and the other people who just get irritated by them, are negligable compared to the good that people get out of it and In think birds and nature get more allies by such experiences.
It makes the trips for me having all the birds at the various picnic spots and camps. If the birds are such a problem to people then I think they should just go to the Park in summer when as is mentioned the birds disperse and wont be a nuissance.
With food around animals are always going to be attracted - people shouldnt feed I guess but people always will continue or will at leave crumbs behind etc thereby attracting wild animals. Should we just convert all the stop over spots to large chicken wire fenced enclosures so that no birds or animals can get in and so that no one gets disturbed??

While at Satara once I was watching a small boy playing, well I had to as his parents and grandparents were too busy chatting. He managed to put his hand in some rather yucky bird mess. Because he was doing something that he obviously knew he shouldn't have been doing, he didn't tell his parents. Instead he managed to wipe the said yucky mess on the seat, the table and anything else he could reach, thus managing to spread it everywhere else. He then ate a burger and chips. I just wonder how ill he was that evening.

Birds = bird mess = health risk.

Sorry to bring the topic back up but irresponsible feeding of birds and monkeys needs to be discouraged.

The picnic basket sounds great but my SO's a veggie :roll: I will be trying your venison pie though.
Last edited by saraf on Mon May 25, 2009 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by big5spotter » Mon May 25, 2009 9:44 pm

I spoke to a staff member at tshokwane in my last visit he said one day when they got there a lion was lying at the one bathroom! :hmz:
'When someone shares something of value with you, and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others'


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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by o-dog » Mon May 25, 2009 10:35 pm

Too end off the topic if you want then....

These guys say "Please dont keep us out!"

Image

I say 'what a pleasure to admire you beauty from 1 metre away'...once youve had ur big 5 and kills or not (more than likely from the confines of a vehicle)...its moments like these that get you to appreciate what the park is really about!! ...

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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Tue May 26, 2009 6:09 am

Lovely pictures o-dog :thumbs_up:

Many of us who go frequently get very blaise about the variety of birds there. One year I arrived and there was a man from France in a state of such excitement over the beautiful Glossy Starlings. He spent ages trying to get as much as he could on video. It was great for me to experience the birds through his eyes.

One year when I was there in October with my daughter, she had her meal interrupted by a Crested Barbet that did not want to wait for her to finish her meal first. It kept jumping from the back of her chair onto the table, as if to say, "hurry up, hurry up".

Tshokwane has a special place in my heart.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by DavidM » Tue May 26, 2009 6:26 am

o-dog
I agree with most of what you say...even the monkeys and the birds would not bother me if the monkeys did not attack ppl while seated.(only 3 times in past year fortunately)
The birds eating all the crumbs and lefteovers I can also handle.(although they leave the table in a state) They are beautiful after all and part and parcel of Tshokwane.
There is a difference between feeding them and them being around to profit from our activities though.
Now if you argue that it is harmless to feed the birds I suppose then it is also harmless to feed other animals :hmz:
I do not wish the last word like sum ppl on the forum :wall: , as your heart is obviously in the right place about issues :thumbs_up:
To your question: The monkeys is not a "problem", they raid the bar area now and then when our guard is down and they operate mostly on the perimeter of the site as we are constantly chasing them with catapults.
To be honest humans are my problem here! Some are very quick to complain and arrive here with their day already sour and you have to handle them with care.
Since my tact is legendary as my SO always reminds me :redface: , I prefer handling the monkey problem.

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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by saraf » Tue May 26, 2009 9:29 am

Micetta wrote:Catapults for monkeys :huh:


Not quite as bad as it sounds Micetta - they usually see the catapult and flee. If not a well aimed shot to the ground near them usually does the trick. If they are allowed to get too aggressive and start to attack people, then they have to be shot for real. A catapult is a better option all round.

I dropped my guard at a picnic site once and a monkey tried to grab my brown bag with rusks in it. I got a real fright, it wasn't pleasant. They do become a real nuisance.
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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by wacktazz » Tue May 26, 2009 5:38 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:Also old Eric used to do it at Nkuhlu a few years ago.
Anyone know what happened to him? I think he retired.

He actually got bit by a moz cobra. He is still alive, but He is not the same anymore. The poor fellows' brain got affected by it and he had to retire early
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Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot

Unread post by RobertT » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:07 am

Wildtom wrote:In May 2009 while my SO rinsed the tea cups at Tshokwane, 4 wild dogs came within about 5 meters of her, turned around and ran off into the river bed. A rare treat for the one who washes the dishes. :mrgreen:


Wildtom, thank you for bringing this to my attention. Next time am going to make sure I go with to supervise SO washing dishes just in case I miss out. :lol:


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