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Your most comical encounter in SANParks

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Unread post by KNP Spokesman » Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:46 am

Hi Nikon12

Thanks for the great story - just what the doctor ordered (for me anyway)!

I heard a story once how baboons clear electric fences. One of them grabs onto the fence and "takes the punch" while the others use his body to somersault over him until the entire troop is across the wire. The guy who told me this swears that he hadn't had any wine or beer before he saw it, so we can take it that it is probably true.

I once saw a group of vervet monkeys outside the Skukuza Restaurant that were going about their normal business when a whole colony of banded mongooses happened along. There was a huge showdown and the monkeys actually retreated - right into the electric fence! There were a few screams of "shock" (if you'll pardon the expression) but the monkeys moved off and the mongooses carried on their scrounging.

There are also quite a few stories of where predators like lion use fences of all descriptions to catch their prey by chasing them into the fence.

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Unread post by jonty1 » Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:30 pm

wow funny experiences!!!! i can definately think of a few, but one especially comes to mind.

i think it was in 2002, we were travelling all morning. i honestly can't remember where this happened, all i know is were were down south. anyway, we were travelling 8 of us in the caravelle. i was about 16 at the time. anyway, we went down a dirt road towards a water hole. after a while of sitting and taking in the senary we decided to turn around. little did we know, the river sand availible to turn around in was very very soft

well, you guessed it . we got stuck good and proper so, there my dad and his friend were trying to push the caravelle out while the rest of us were looking around our backs in all directions, and my mom behind the wheel
(i must add, there was a very strong smell of elephant at the time)

since we were on a dirt road, hardly any traffic came by, so we sat trying to get ourselves out for approx 20min, before a landrover came along. it took him 5 min to get us out. well, we sure had a great laugh about it and now have a landrover ourselves
no more getting stuck and stranded
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Unread post by Spotted Cat » Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:30 pm

What follows is funny only when it doesn't happen to you!

We stayed at B&D in June and then moved to Croc Bridge, taking the S25 dirt road. Must say SO is always watching the road so little creatures won't be accidentally squished.

That's how he spotted the snake that eventually caused a lot of (not to be mentioned) running comments and instructions. Case of angel turning bad
At first I was almost on his lap trying to have a better look because we could immediately identify it as a vine snake (have them in our area as well)

There it was- front reared, imitating a twig swaying
in the breeze. Just to suddenly change tactics and disappeared under the car! What to do? We waited a while and eventually decided it must have slithered across to the other side of the road. Me? I wasn't so sure!

Not interested in finding leopard, lion or anything on four legs, I was watching my feet - maybe the stories about snakes getting into cars were not just 'made up' to entertain the uninformed. Not nice - really not nice.

About 10km down the road, "snake!" (This now coming from SO) Sure enough, there it was! "STOP!!!" I shrieked like a piglet - now I was giving instructions like a sergeant major!

"Reverse!" (thought it would lose it's grip on the grill of the car
from where it was glaring at us across the hood - red tongue flicking in and out)

Staring match!!! Now you see him, now you don't!
Well, it was obviously not impressed to be relocated without permission. Certainly not intended on our part!

Good ending though, no damage done to either party. Eventually no head appeared for a while and we got going again. Flagged down the first car we saw and asked them if there was a snake hanging by it's tail from the grill.

Reassured all was safe, Eden was peaceful again.


Back to topic

Unread post by Richprins » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:38 pm

We were sitting looking at the Western trough of Hillside Windmill north of Lower Sabie around 2000.

(By the way, where have those troughs gone?)

Game was pumping, but a resident lioness was chasing all comers away, a tactic they sometimes use to frustrate the zebra and antelope into making a mistake such as slipping as they run away.

This had been going on for about a hectic hour, with much dust and noise.

During a lull, as the zebra were regrouping for another attempt at drinking and the scene was tranquil and idyllic, a lone male baboon appeared from the stream's direction.

The lioness was hidden under a nearby bush, so "kees" had no idea why the busy waterhole was deserted, but kept making his way slowly toward the water.

At this point it must be said that it was a Sunday morning and the baboon looked incredibly similar to someone who had had too much of a party the night before and had just awoken and was staggering desperately towards the nearest tap to slake his searing thirst!

He slowly and groggily approached the trough, obviously almost but not quite being able to work out why there was nobody there. (A bit like someone with a hangover driving into Menlyn while it's closed for renovations.) (Menlyn is our biggest Mall in SA)

After drinking a long, long drink of water, he sat there, dreamily playing with his fingers in the water.

Meantime, the zebra were approaching again, and Mr Baboon, glanced at them, as if to say: "So where have you been! The water's lovely!"

At that moment the lioness charged again from point-blank range, actually leaping OVER the trough and Mr Baboon, who promptly fell on his back!

The zebra scattered once more, and the lioness returned to its spot.

Ironically, Mr Baboon leaped into the nearby fever tree (After leaving copious amounts of evidence of his fright next to the trough), and THEN started screaming warnings for the next hour!

It's a bit of a "you had to be there" story, but the human similarity was amazing. We laughed non-stop for a long time!

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Unread post by Zippy Zebra » Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:41 pm

Yip BGS I agree - we love all the animals but there are some we prefer not to spend our personal space with.

After getting this house ready for the tenants - this was a hum dinger of a job - we are all dog tired (SC and myself). I phoned LL to come and have a look at our hany work. Golly me SC decides to check the garage once again and lo and behold there in the doorway is a scorpion spider.

Now big mouth over here has a certain quizz where a pic of this creature would be very handy so out comes the camera, but before my flash goes of there is a little light that comes on.
Now LL and SC is already creeped out and big mouth over here is cam ready. As soon as that spider senced the light he/she ran towards me and I did a pretty magnificent raindance right there and then. I screamed, SC screamed and LL screamed . We had the full attention of 3 children and the photo ..... well that was a magnificent action shot of something that resembles the floor,wall and roof in one....

After gathering all my courage I did manage to get a pic but we moved away from that door ....
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Unread post by acekam » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:18 pm

Not so much a funny experience as a heart-warming one.

July 2006, Lake Panic. A lady with her two grandchildren pointing out different birds from the hide and reading about them from her bird book. The kids were totally captivated.

Feb 2007, Lake Panic. Same lady, on her own this time and I'm the only other person in the hide. She beckons me over, starts pointing out different birds from the hide and reading about them from her bird book. I was totally captivated.

And that, folks, is what Kruger is about.
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Unread post by JenB » Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:42 pm

O.k here goes! I'm now referring to our first visit to Kruger, many, many years ago!

We were watching game at Nshawu and there were plenty of game around. At the time we did not quite know what we were watching but tried to identify the animals best we could.

A huge bird came walking past the car. Completely intrigued with the bird my hubby turned to the guy in the rented car beside us asking him if he knew what it was. (Hubby is a short tempered boertjie, takes no nonsense from garden gnomes and sorts his problems on the spot, if you get what I mean!)

"Kori bustard" came the German reply. Before the brain could kick in to motion the body went into reaction. "What did you call me?!" was his reply. By that time his door was open and he was promptly making his way around the car. The poor German visitor leaped onto his wife's lap to avoid the oncoming interaction through his window holding the Sasol bird guide in front of his face with only one finger pointing towards a similar looking bird on the page.

The next stop was the shop a Lataba where I bought my own Sasol bird guide.

(Does anyone know a good divorce attorney - I think I'm going to need it!)
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Unread post by rayb » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:49 am

The first time I took my kids to the KNP we had not long entered the gate when I said "I can see a pachyderm!"

"That's not fair!" said my 7 year old son. "We don't know what a pachyderm is."

"An elephant" replied my wife.

The kids immediately sat bolt upright.

"Where?" they both asked.

As they said it, a big old boy emerged from the bush onto the road, gave us a look of disgust and then lumbered along the road for a 100 yards whilst we slowly followed at a safe distance.

I knew then, from their jaws hitting the floor, that the trip was going to be a great success.
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Unread post by Richprins » Thu May 29, 2008 7:34 pm

This experience was funny for everyone but me!

I did my one and only trail at Olifants as a schoolboy in 1993.

If one wanted to cross the river to the Northern side, the ranger put a silly wooden plank across a space between two huge rocks about 3m above the swirling stream below, where there WERE crocodiles, and one took a few steps to cross and carry on.

(I hope this system isn't still being used! )

I was carrying the back pack that morning, and as I started crossing the plank shifted and I lost balance.

Fortunately my school friend's dad grabbed me by the strap, and pulled me over!

The trails ranger also pretended that we had gotten lost on the evening walk, and asked us if anyone knew the way back to base Camp!

(We were just behind the hill separating us from camp, but still got there long after dark! )

To crown it all, the ranger put a Parabuthus scorpion into my empty coffee cup around the campfire the next evening, much to the delight of all present!

Trails were rough in those days, I guess!

(Surely I couldn't already have been so offensive!?)

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Re: Funny Experiences

Unread post by onewithnature » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:46 am

One trip many moons ago, I had stopped to look at the busy goings-on of three termite mounds that had just started up on the Confluence loop near Shingwedzi, neatly positioned on the shoulder of that road. Already the tunnel had been excavated, and the conical walls were being formed in a spiral fashion.

A vehicle filled with rambunctious teenagers screamed up and began to look in all directions to see what amazing animal I was viewing. They laughed and giggled, uttering German expletives, until, quite flabbergasted, they frowned questioningly at me. I pointed to the infant termite mounds, but they seemed not to see their significance. They couldn't understand any English either.

They continued to look around the veld, up in the trees, and even under my car! After about a minute, the driver whipped out his instamatic camera and, pointing it at a dark green bush next to my car, set off his flash in broad daylight, frowned again at me, and drove off in a cloud of dust.

I giggled to think how he would explain the significance of his green bush - without any flowers, birds or animals to enhance it - to his family and friends back home!

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Re: Funny Experiences

Unread post by Richprins » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:59 pm

Good one, onewithnature!

Regarding insults levelled at Castle Lite Beer on another thread...

This is a common problem with the uninitiated:

Was at Shingwedzi a few years ago, and watched the others preparing the cooler for an evening drive to Kanniedood.

I warned them, (Including another forumite) that they were "understocking", and they would not get any of my beer should they run short.

I was met with gross insults and invitations to combine sex with travel, as Rayb would say!

Lo and behold, the inevitable happened, as the moment was just too good while relaxing under the trees on one of the loops - their beer ran out.

The irony is, as they consumed my beer, they STILL insulted it and thereby me!

(I was outnumbered... )

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Re: Funny Experiences

Unread post by Hugh » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:30 pm

In 2008 we stayed in the safaritents at Lower Sabie. On arriving home there was quite a rumpass going on in the tent next to ours So we settled down on our Patio and watched. The gent had decided to take a shower and wondered why the shower head kept moving until he realised it was a snake also taking his shower. So He rushed out the tent and the necessary rangers etc etc were called but if only I had a movie camera as all the rangers were terrified of the snake and no one wanted to actually catch it. After about three quartes of an hour the snake had disappeared in to the roof and they gave up.. the gent was moved to another tent BUT the next day new people took up residence in the tent But we did not say a word .
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Re: Funny Experiences

Unread post by Scot » Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:58 am

On my first trip into KP, many moons ago, I was with daughter and husband who were very keen birders. Consequently, I got used to the fact that if the vehicle stopped it was as likely to be for a bird as an animal. I should tell you that before the trip, I had been quite apprehensive about encountering elephants. The car stopped, I got the bins to the eyes and started peering closely into the bushes - then a voice from the front seat said "Can`t you see the b.... thing?" There was a huge elephant (my first) only a few feet from the side of the road!

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Funny Experiences visiting KNP

Unread post by weesy » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:42 am

We had an hilarious experience in Feb this year just outside Lower Sabie 05.30 am. We noticed a very large hippo grazing on the side of the road so slowed down just to watch and take some pics. He was totally undaunted by our flashes going off around him. Probably 10 mins into watching him i think he decided it was pay back time for disturbing him with bright light. He proceded to do the biggest messiest poop we have ever got ourselves into...literally...., For those who dont know hippos, they flick their tales rapidly from side to side when defacating. The mess..... well it was on the car, in the car, on our arms and cameras, and it was days later that we were still finding little clumps of dried poop in the car. Our good luck charm some poop on the door and roof remained for the duration of our stay and it sure worked. We had a wonderfull time with fab sightings.


The offending hippo


Note poop 5 days later still on the door


Sally my friend still finding dry poo in the car days later.

That day i learnt the folklore tale as to why hippos remain in the water.

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Re: Funny Experiences visiting KNP

Unread post by Tony Park » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:54 pm

Elephants do tend to hate our old Series III diesel land rover. I've heard some different theories about this, including noise, smoke, and a hypothesis that elephants associate old landies with the days of culling.

One day we slowed to watch an old bull elephant near shingwedzi. We parked a respectful distance away from him and, amazingly, he didn;t seem too bothered by our land rover.

He was slurping up mud and water from a puddle and squirting it over his back.

Then, he must have taken a second look and worked out that we were, in fact, in an old land rover. He sucked up another great gob of mud, aimed at us and, I swear, fired it 30 metres at us, and hit the side of our vehicle with a great splat of mud and snot!

(Or maybe it was aussies he didn't like)

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