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Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by 123 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:49 pm

Imagine this
Late 80`s and only two vehicles enjoying a sighting of a group of black rhino in BnD area.
Next vehicle to join is a Corolla with 2 twenty something year old guys irritating everybody else by not switching off the car, even the rhinos are irritated and shows it by frequently staring in the direction of the cars with twitching ears :evil:
With blackies drifting nearer and nearer to the cars and amidst questioning stares from other motorists. :hmz: the guys in the Corolla eventually switches of the car and everybody enjoys a peaceful moment of game viewing.
Next thing one rhino suddenly becomes aware of the vehicles and gives a few quick steps towards the cars.
First two vehicles start the engines and prepare to leave in a hurry if necessary, but to everybody`s surprise, the guys in the Corolla jumps out, rocks the car forward and backward before jumping back in, start the car and drive of! :big_eyes:

That Corolla was mine and sometimes would not start. :redface: You then had to put it in fourth or fifth and rock it forwards and backwards.This apparently turned the ring gear just enough to allow the bendix gear of the starter to kick in and turn the engine over to start the car.I am technically challenged and accepted this explanation as the truth as long as the proposed solution worked.
I can not think back to this wonderful and care free times without a chuckle, and always wonder what the occupants of the other vehicles thought of these two idiots jumping out of the car at the most inappropriate time! :lol:

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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by JenB » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:01 pm

:lol: :lol:
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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:24 pm

Reminds me of a story I heard circa 1995.

I sat in the cab next to the guide on the night ride from Skuk.
In those days night rides were conducted by final year students doing their practical.
We chatted about a number of things and he told me about a colleague of his stationed at BnD.
The previous week she had done a night ride that had been a bit unproductive so she had been 'encouraged' to go a bit farther afield to find something.
She then got lost and drove around hopefully to see familiar territory, and eventually saw the lights of the camp.
Unfortunately when she got there it was Croc Bridge.
She eventually got back to BnD after midnight and had to face the music, although none of the guests complained.
Talk about going the extra mile!
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Re: Worst experience in the Kruger??

Unread post by hanliemarais » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:51 pm

I've got 2 - one very embarrassing moment & one VERY annoying moment....

1. Biyamiti - Christmas day - table all decorated and stunning. Planned a last minute sunset drive. We ate quickly and ran to get ourselves ready. We left the table as it was, all the dishes in the kitchen. But table cloth, salt, pepper & citronella lamp outside. We left the lamp burning, because we didn't want to put on the light (due to all the bugs in Dec) Not even a breeze moving a single leave. Hot as hell!! The lamp was very safe & secure. During the drive a gulf of wind came up - but that was it. As quick as it came, it was all over again... Once arriving home, the place was pitch black. Not sure what was going on, we switched on the stoep light, only to find that that 10sec gulf of wind lifted up the tablecloth - it completely burned (we found the ashes), the salt & pepper all burned out a.w.a. the lamp. The table was damaged as well...
Yes, yes... I can hear you all say that this was a very stupid and dangerous move!! At the moment it didn't though... Just shows you how quick things can change!! :redface:

2. Skukuza bungalow - saw a paper on our stoep table. Didn't bother much about reading it. We just threw our stuff on the beds, food in the fridge - ran down to the shop before heading out again. Only to come back to find the monkeys had enjoyed our salmon & cream cheese role we bought at Milly's. Some yogurt, cheese, salami etc... To say I was slightly annoyed is an understatement!! :sniper: We were suppose to move the table in front of the fridge...

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Re: Worst experience in the Kruger??

Unread post by Canis Lupus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:50 pm

Nwanedzi picknickspot where my Nissan Sani refused to start. I went up to the hide again, took pictures of a striped skaapsteker, came back and it started fine again.
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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by Bevi » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:24 pm

One of my scariest moments was last year at Mopani...... about 2 in the morning I woke up having felt something on me... turned on the light which didn't make hubby happy.... but couldn't see anything, turned the light off and must have gone back to sleep,
I then woke up a second time having brushed something off my arm.... light on again and there it was a BAT.... Well that was me up and getting dressed, I was going to sleep in the car.
Hubby managed to cover it with a box until the morning and we could get someone to remove it.
That I am afraid was the first and last time i will stay at that camp..... to overgrown for me. :D

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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by Delene D » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:56 pm

Since this happened in 1986 (my first visit to KNP) I have huge respect for elephants, especially lone bulls! We were six very green families on a caravan tour from the Eastern Cape which took in a few nights at Kruger.
On the morning we left on the road to Phalaborwa Gate from Letaba the car in front stops and over CB radio tells us all that there is a huge ellie eating on a bush right on the edge of the road so he is stopping because the ellie is standing on the tar half blocking the road.
5 other rigs stop behind him.
The chap in front had had his daughter and her boyfriend staying with them in Letaba and they brought up the rear.
Now they were puzzled as to why we had all stopped and having no CB radio on their car hadn't heard why. So they wizz past the rest of us up to their dad in front and he tells them about the big ellie ahead.
No trouble to the youngster he goes right up close to the ellie to take photos.
The big bull becomes aware of this little car right close to him and turns around, flapping his ears he makes a mock charge (they told me it was a mock charge, but it looked very much like the real thing) and the youngster in the little car reverses at breakneck speed right past us all, who with caravans in tow and parked so close together could not reverse nor could we U turn, the road being too narrow and having a bank down each side.
Someone said turn off your engines and sit quiet and pray, the ellie was coming full speed towards us.
Our prayers were heard.
About 4 or 5 yards in front of the lead car the ellie stopped and then with a flap of his ears, a wave of his trunk and a toss of his head he moved off the road and started chomping on a tree well off the road.
Our friend in car no 2, put his car in 1st gear and pulled out of line and we didn't see him again until we got to the gate and Phala.
It has been a topic of conversation with quite a few nervous laughs ever since and I have the greatest respect for elephants ever since.

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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by Pawps » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:16 am

The mamba story reminded me of another snake story, going way back to 1985 when I took my mum, dad and sister on the Wolhuter Trail.
We were picked up at BnD by our ranger, and on the slow drive to our camp, he regaled us with many heroic tales of his earlier life when he had been a Big Game Hunter and shot lion, elephant etc.
We weren't that impressed because anybody can shoot an animal, but we made good listeners, since we were a captive audience.
Anyway our BGH also mentions that there is a Mozambique spitting cobra holed up in the mess tent, which didn't really fuss us too much because we were used to having (mostly) cape cobras and herald snakes in our yard in PE, because we lived just above Baakens River valley.
So no drama to us, but BGH felt that he should rid the mess tent of our slippery reptile for everybody's well being.
No argument there, but how to extract our little friend who had ensconced himself in the back coils of the paraffin fridge where it is nice and warm!
So our resident cook, who was a very large and jovial man, packing probably no less than 300lbs and BGH decide to pour boiling water onto the snake to encourage it on its way.
So of course, said snake exits the mess tent like a scalded cat (sorry, snake).
Our BGH was standing by, ready with his knobkerrie to close our the action and make us all safe.
We were naturally standing back, wondering why he had such a silly implement to attack an angry snake, but since this was BGH's affair, we didn't want to interfere or provide gratuitous advice.
So our angry mfezi comes zipping out from behind the fridge, straight at BGH, who takes a wild swing, and misses by the proverbial, but manages to get sprayed with venom all across his face as the cobra lets rip! Fortunately he was wearing glasses and so nothing went into his eyes, but his glasses were literally dripping with venom.
So anyway, our snake backtracks towards our mess tent captain, who had quickly armed himself with something much more useful than a knob kerrie.
He had his kitchen shovel, which had a blade about two feet across.
And as nimble as an Irish dancer, he let's fly a mighty swing, and bliksems (I can use that word, can't I?) the poor unsuspecting and very angry snake.
And that, as they say in the classics, was that.
Game over.
Oh, except our BGH was shaking like a leaf!! We laughed like drains.

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Re: Worst experience in the Kruger??

Unread post by Yoda » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:14 am

Rooies wrote:I have 'the worst experience' on every trip and that is when I check the bookings form and it says "Last day, go directly to gate (jail), don't collect more pictures, don't stop at picnic spots. Then we travel to the gate in a somber mood and what makes it worse is to see the incoming visitors. They are all smiles, laughing and chatting and generally in a festive mood.

That bugs me too.
When you stop at the gate for a final "pit stop" before travelling back to civilization.
And you see all the smiley faces of the visitors coming in. :twisted:

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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by AndreaB » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:31 pm

Scariest moment a couple days ago on the Biyamiti loop, river side. We were driving along when the SO slammed on the brakes and started cursing big time, I thought he had hit something and was looking all around when he started closing all the windows in a hurry. I looked to my left through the open window and my blood froze when I found myself looking into the gaping mouth of a black mamba swaying 2-3m away from me :shock:

Even though it was in a dip it still stood about 4 feet off the ground. The SO had braked hard when he saw about 1m of a tail sticking out into the road and I guess we gave the mamba quite a fright too... we drove the rest of the day with closed windows....

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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by Stranger Ranger » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:11 pm

Whilst most of my scary moments relate to being mock charged by elephants, my scariest moment was driving to Sirheni and disturbing a mating pair of Lions.
The male lion chased my car, at which time I realised my fully open sun roof would not close.
I had thoughts of the Lion pulling me and my girlfriend out of the sun roof.
Fortunately he gave up the chase but my uncontrollable shakes lasted a lot longer.

Seeing a Hyena on the unfenced perimeter of Afsaal picnic site.
It was close to people so I decided to shoo it away which worked.
I had been told a Hyena was scared of anything taller than it,
A ranger later that day told me that this was just a fallacy.

Walking the perimeter of Berg n dal at night in front of my girlfriend and daughter who were petrified of snakes.
I had advised them that I was like a camel man and feared nothing.
Eventually I came across a snake and in my efforts to jump back as far as possible I inadvertently during this process pushed them closer to the danger.
The snake turned out to be a piece of red and white caution tape left behind by people fixing the path.
I was tremendously shaken and embarrassed, I also received the nickname from them which is mouse man rather than camel man.
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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by t-bal » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:54 pm

Even though we have been trapped by elephants twice on roads where there was simply no escape route available (S120 and S50)our number one most scariest happened last year.

We were at a lion sighting when it started to get crowded.
A safari operator pulled up and told us that there were a couple of white rhinos a few km further up.
We decided to check them out and leave the male lion alone.
About a km further up we were delighted to see a male, a female and a young black rhino.
It was our first sighting ever of this magnificent beast and we decided to sit around for a while.
The male was behind a bush out of view but the mother and calf where in plain view.
After taken plenty of pictures we decided to move forward a bit and take some pictures of the male considering that the calf was getting very nervous.
As soon as the male saw us he didn’t hesitate and came for us :shock: .
My dad hit the acceleration as hard as he could leaving the rhino family quickly behind us.

The most funniest thing must of happened about a minute later when a bright yellow Nissan micra came from the other direction.
We waved him down and warned him that there were three black rhinos but that the male was extremely protective and had already charged us off.
The young American said it was his first visit to the park and was really up for this encounter :? .
Wishing him luck we drove off again laughing because we don’t think he realized what for trouble he was driving towards, considering a white Nissan x-trail already angered the rhino let alone a bright little yellow Nissan micra :twisted: .
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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:20 pm

In 22 visit to Kruger there have been quite a few of both, but the first of each that comes to mind......

In 1992, long before I became a birder and when NOBODY drove between camps when the gates were closed, we were the first car down 'Eloff Street' from Skuk and came across 3 lions sleeping on the road. After waking & doing their ablutions, they walked down the road past our car into the following hordes.
We drove off as the rest stayed to see what the lions would do.
About 15 minutes later we rounded a bend and saw a lioness jogging away from us and I killed the engine as we saw another and a lion chasing an impala in our direction.
Seeing the 'first' lioness, the impala veered off the road right into the jaws of another lioness and the other 3 each grabbed a piece and the hapless impala was rent asunder.
After we had gathered our composure, the lions were lying around and vultures started to arrive.
We decided to backtrack and we came across a car stopped.
We told them about the lions, and they were quite disinterested until we said they would recognise the spot by the vultures present. "VULTURES!" the American driver yelled and they were off like shot from a cannon!

Scariest (also very funny)
Circa 1956 when there were no tar roads and not as many picnic spots, after driving around a bit, my mother needed the loo.
We were not near any and she made my dad stop.
I was told to open my door and she opened hers and as she squatted my brother and I were told to look for animals in the opposite direction.
After a few seconds my dad yelled "Get back in and shut the *&$&*^$&*$ doors".
I obeyed instantly and my mum was back inside in a flash.
My dad had seen, blending into the dry winter grass, a lioness a few metres behind my mum, and when she got back inside, another 2!
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Re: Scariest and funniest moments in KNP

Unread post by Albert » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:58 am

As in BB's case, I can say that in all the trips since about 1961 (which is the first I can remember) there have been quite a few memorable moments; many of the scary ones were also quite funny.

Ones that stand out:
This was about 25 years ago, one of the first times my wife and I went to the park after we got married.
I had a VW Kombi (about 1978 model) which had the disturbing habit of not wanting to start again if the engine was stopped after running for a while (so when it was hot).
The problem was that the starter motor did not want to engage and the only way of getting it to start was to whack the solenoid with a spanner while someone turned the ignition on (and held it on).
The solution to this problem was, of course, to not switch off the engine.
One day, near Shingwedzi, on a loop near the river, we stopped and I switched off the engine without thinking.
After about an hour it became clear that the only alternative was going to be getting out (illegally) and whacking the solenoid (this was way before cellphones and we had not seen another car).
This meant getting out of the car and sliding in underneath the car near the rear wheel on the driver's side (the rear sliding door was on the other side of the Kombi, so the closest door was the driver's door).
My wife was in the driver's seat and I was out through the rear door like a flash, round the car and underneath.
Yelling to my wife to start the car I started banging the solenoid, nothing happened.
I eventually got up (now much calmer), walked to the drivers door; window wound firmly up.
Turns out my wife could not hear me yelling from underneath the car.
Anyhow, communication now re-established, I was back underneath the car, and the banging the solenoid routine got the car started.
Quite blase by this point, I strolled around the Kombi to the passenger door; dusting myself off as I I reached the door I looked to my left and there, in the shade of a Mopani bush was lioness looking at me curiously.
This was about 30 meters from the car.
I remember going absolutely cold.
This was the first and the last time I have ever gotten out of my car in the KNP.. :redface:

Funny: There have been some moments, but one that stands out happened in Skukuza.
My youngest son was about 4 years old, and he was throwing around a tennis ball outside the hut.
We suddenly heard this ear-piercing scream and rushed outside...there he was confronting a warthog that was sniffing at his tennis ball... :shock:

Many of the other amusing moments have been supplied by conversations around the campfire of neighbouring huts, getting progressively louder around the evening wore on.
I remember one rather portly gent in a Bulls rugby shirt asserting quite loudly that he did "not rate Bryan Habana at all" and that he "could have scored any of the tries Habana scored at the 2007 world cup" himself... :D
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Re: Worst experience in the Kruger??

Unread post by Bigs » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:26 am

Arriving at Satara on 7 March wanting to shower after 40 degree heat just to find out no water! :evil: Apparenty the camp had no water for quite some time. Luckily it rained in the evening, used rubish bins to catch water for loo, but still no shower. Luckily water back the next afternoon, had lonnnng shower! :dance:

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