The gathering of the clan: A journey of discovering by BGS:

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

The gathering of the clan: A journey of discovering by BGS:

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Good evening to my fellow forumites!

My journey begins in nine days....a journey that i've started planning just over eleven months ago...and now after all the time that has gone by, i can't wait for this last days to pass by. Everything that is needed for this is been bought and the most been packed. All that still must be done is to clean all the equipment, make sure that everything that is been thought of is there! 23 days in Kruger is dream come true for me, BUT as time slowly pass by it seems too short.

Many thanks to everyone that have helped me plan and for their advice in the past...i hope to bring back some great memories to all aswell as details of a journey that everyone has undertaken in the past!!

I very much like to thank DinkyBird for taken the resposibility to update you on me (and moms) progress via sms updates and quarantee a report back to you in this thread....

My journey starts on the 8th June with our first stop at Satara for the night moving to Shingwedzi on the 9th where it really begins....

Take care and keep an eye on our progress.....

User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

G'afternoon all..

only five more days to wait, boy.......

Went this morning for last minute shopping.....and eventually found my yellow ribbon at last :dance: .....

Must add, looking at all my STUFF that must go in my Ford Fiesta :shock: , i don't know if theres going to be place for a mouse and with mom arriving on wednesday with more..... :roll: .

ALSO to look forward to is our mini-meet with oumie at satara on the 17th June, our last night at satara before moving on to orpen.

Thanks to all the good wishes...

Greetings from Bloemfontein
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

G'evening to all,

Eventually the day arrive, i'll be leaving for the journey in one day!! This is the last time i'll spend some time on the forum the next time will be after 23 days :wink: . you'll be updated by DinkBird via sms's LIVE from Kruger each day for the next 23 days. (leaving tommorrow at 14H00 from Bloemfontein for Vereeninging) So, if you want to follow me on my journey, keep an eye on this thread :wink:

Bye for now....

NEXT update from Vereeniging :D
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

G'evening all! I'm back home in Bloemies :cry: .
Wow, the time does relly flies in Kruger, it just feel like yesterday when i entered the park. We had a terrific time, a better script for our trip i couldn't write better. Many thanks DB for posting my sms reports every day (i hadn't yet had the time to read all the replies, but thanks in advance to all that have read and experiece the days with us). Now i must start with my full detailed report :wink: . I will try not to take another 21 days :lol: . Tomorrow i'll post the first day!
I'm quite sick and then cold aswell, can't believe how cold it is here in bloemies after the nice warm weather in kruger. Well, hope everyone is still well - guess i have lots of catching up to do reading the forum but it will somehow ease the pain!
Warm regards to all!!
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Gathering of the clan: A journey of discovering
by Boorgatspook


After my third visit to Kruger in 2006, i've already started with planning on a fourth visit in 2007.
Since my previous visits were not longer than nine days, this time i decided to extend the period to 23 days.
My mother would accompany me on her second visit.
And since my previous visits took place in summer time, i also decided to change to a winter visit.
Planning went well aswell as the booking of the itinerary, and as always some changes to the itinerary were done in the last two months before departure.
The last change were done about three days prior to departure due to the fact that my mother is in the process of relocating from Winburg to Bloemfontein.
And certain formalities have to be done when we return from Kruger.
The effect was that 23 days were reduced to 21 days.

The script of our journey of 21 days through Kruger couldn't had been written any better and should you have told us beforehand what we will see, discover and experience, i would not believe a single word!

Take the time as i will now take you back in time to re-live every single moment with me...... :wink:

Day 1: Friday 08 June 2007 (Part 1)
Malelane Gate to Satara Camp

We woke up at 01:15 the morning after only a few hours sleep.
Knowing that we will regret the late chat with my brother and his wife the previous night, we got our things together, and with a flask of coffee, we were ready to leave at 01:50:
With good wishes of save travelling we were on our way as planned at 02:00.
A drive from Vereeniging to Malelane Gate via Witbank, Schoemans Kloof and Nelspruit.
The first part of the journey didn't held any problems and with a few stops in between ( one at Delmas and the usual refuelling at Milly's) there wasn't time to get any tired at all.
It was just before Nelspruit and with the sun beginning to bring new light after the darkness of the night that the tiredness hit me real hard.
And with my mother that can't keep her eyes open, i really started to find it difficult to concentrate on the road.
But eventually reaching the turnoff to Malelane Gate the tiredness started to vanish and the excitement of reaching our destination brought new life to a tired body and eyes.

Check in went quickly and without any problems and just before 08:00 the gates opened to let us through and at last
we were HOME again. :dance:

With a quick sms to DinkyBird to tell her that we've arrived safe, and with good wishes from her we set off for Satara. Our route would be H3, H1-1, H1-2 and H1-3.
The first animal that welcome us in the park was the ever present impi's!
But i did not complain, it was great to see them again after one year and a few months.
Soon we came across our first ellies and then some white ***'s, a common duiker and more impi's.

This all before reaching Afsaal and it felt good!
After Afsaal everything gone a bit quiet and we only saw some zebra's and kudu's.

To be continued.....
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Day 1: Friday 08 June 2007 (Part 2)
Malelane Gate to Satara Camp

We stopped at Skukuza for a bathroom break, to get something to drink and to strech our legs.
Soon were we again on the road heading for Tshokwane and then onto to Satara.
Between Skukuza and Tshokwane we saw more ellies,
our first hippo's and fish eagle some buffs and finally our first lions.
Two lionesses, but unfortunately to far off the road for a desent pic but i did got them on my video recorder.
So after entering we saw 4 out of the BIG FIVE.
Not to bad i thought and mom concurred on that!

At Tshokwane we had a lengthy break to recover from all the driving, and can i just point out at this stage that i did all the driving while mom relaxed and oh so often had taken a nap with her head turned away that i mustn't notice it! :lol:
(Something that happened throughout the next few day's :wink: )
After Tshokwane there is also a fair amount of "veld" that burnt down to the left of the H1-3.
At Mazithi dam we saw waterbucks.

By reaching Satara at 02:30 in the afternoon, check in at reception went quick as well and we were told that bungalow A1 was awarded to us for the single night.
We added to our list ground hornbills, kudu's, steenbok, some warthogs, giraffe, ellies and a spotted eagle owl when we decided to take a sunset drive of our own towards Nsemani dam and back.

And later with a "braai" fire going and the first amarula sundowner in hand i sms'ed Dinkybird just to tell her that this is what i'm doing right now!
We were in heaven! :D
Last edited by Boorgatspook on Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Day 2: Saterday 09 June 2007 (Part 1)
Satara Camp to Shingwedzi Camp

Today we were leaving for Shingwedzi.
We was really looking forward to that for one it's the real start to our journey
BUT most importantly it's my favourite place to be.
We only woke up at 06:00 and after everything was packed as well as our breakfast consisting of last night braai we set off at 07:00.

Mammals weren't plenty at the beginning but the kori bustards
and secretarybird made up for it that was absent. Yet again can i point out that the secretarybird was my very first sighting thereof since coming to Kruger for the first time.
Can you believe that! T
he secretarybird was quite a distance in field and could i not take a pic thereof.
By the time we reached Olifants river bridge we have added merely to our list some zebra's and impi's.
I also made a shock discovery: every single far away bush or tree or rock looks every time like a lion, leopard, *** or even an ellie! :shock:
Time again mom will say STOP! STOP!
Look at the ...... oh no, its only a rock! :roll:
Myself got also in this habit, then its first stop, reverse gear, go back a few meters and then continue forward and glad that no car was behind you to see the idiot you were! :redface:

Back to the report...... At Olifants river bridge it looked like rush hour traffic in Jo'burg where everyone is looking for a parking lot! Eventually i got a space and we climbed out.
Everyone knows the feeling that one's getting that there's something going on at a certain spot, but it feels like its just you that don't get the picture?
Well, i also stood there with a BIG ? and then i mom saw them.
A lioness and her cub on the river bank in the distance.
It took me a while to see the cub, it was only when his/her mother stood up and walked to the water that some movement catch my eye.

We also added to our list some croc's and this little guy!

At N'wanazi lookout point we saw some hippo's

but other than them nothing else to point out.
(At this stage again i like to point out that this spot will in the near future play a role in a meeting yet to take place, but more thereof a bit later in my report.)
We were soon making our way to Letaba where we planned to make our next stop.
Along the road to Letaba we found no sightings to report on.
Except for a rather lonely marabou stork!

to be continued.....
Last edited by Boorgatspook on Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Day 2: Saterday 09 June 2007 (Part 2)
Satara Camp to Shingwedzi Camp

By entering Letaba i felt a bit sad not to able to stay there during our journey for the reason that the time i have made our reservations no bungalows were available. :cry:
It's such a lovely camp.
Job done that should be done we grab some colddrinks for mom and for me something more suitable, it was already past 11:00 and thought it was ok for a beer OR two! :wink:

If i told you beforehand that you won't see any animals from Letaba to Shingwedzi, would you have believed me!?
Well, that was the case during that part of our trip.
Except for the impi's and an ellie at Middelvlei and again ellie at Bowerskop it would have been a souring time.

We arrived at Shingwedzi just before 03:00 in the afternoon and was very glad to be there.

Two days of lot of driving was busy to takes it's effect on me and on mom.
We checked in and we were awarded bungalow B54.
To our suprise it was one of the newly renovated one's and we were quite impressed with it.
Spacious and very clean. :clap:
There was only one problem, we had a visitor in the form of a bat.
Mother wasn't to keen to share a room with him but we had to endure him for our three nights.
There was also another visitor but i will tell you all about him/her in the next day's events!

We unpacked the car in no time and had a little siesta.
About 04:30 we left camp for our own sunset drive via the eastern (back) gate.
I first turned off to the left to investigate the lower causeway.
Everything was quiet there except for two saddlebilled storks.
There is also not much water except for a tiny puddle.
Along the road towards Kanniedood dam we saw again ellies but with babies this time and also the first sighting of nyala's.

Although i thought that i regonised oumie at the nyala sighting in their BMW X3 with a Capetown number plate I'm not quite sure because i didn't saw any yellow ribbon.
With the sun in our eyes and dust everywhere of cars on that stretch of road it was quite difficult to spot anything if there was anything to be spotted.
I took the S134 back to camp and had our first magical sunset in the north.

And later on after lighting our fire, others theirs, we were sitting there with our sundowners and experience the most tranquillity and peace than never before. *sigh*
That night i fell asleep feeling very blessed indeed!!
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Day 3: Sunday 10 June 2007 (Part 1)
Shingwedzi Camp

After a peaceful nights rest (and much needed rest), we woke up just after 05:00 and was ready for the gate to open at 06:00.
I've decided last night to explore Mashagadzi waterhole, so we went again through the 'back' gate.
The bush was very quiet and still with animal activity during the drive to Mashagadzi.
At Mashagadzi there was no activity and also didn't it seemed to be any in the near future due to the fact that there was no water. By returning i took again the S134 which will lead to the tarr road that leads to main gate.
As we turned onto the S134 we saw our first ostriches and some impi's as well.
And by arriving at the tar road, a stunning sunrise!

We drove on to the H1-7 adding to our list white-backed vulture and then across the main bridge of the Shingwedzi river.
The river is quite dry and has only a few puddles of water in it.
The Kanniedood dam though has a great deal of water in it.
I decided to took the 3 km Lamont loop.
On this road we only saw buffs.
Thats isn't the whole truth!, we did saw also Swainson's francolin, yellowbilled- and redbilled hornbills and helmeted guineafowl. Then back to the H1-7, and continue up north to take the first part of the S56.
In the 12 km drive as well as the 3 km drive back to the H1-7 we came across some buffs, the ever present impi's and nyala's. What can i say about the nyala's?
Just stunning and i must admit one of my favourite antelopes!
My mother rather has a difficult time to remember their name...... so later on she will say: "Kyk, die bokkie met sokkies!" ("Look, the buck with socks").
We also saw alot of tree squirrels, i love to sit and look at them, running around!

Reaching the H1-7 it was time to head back to camp.
The dirt roads which we just had driven was in a quite good condition and not to corrugated.
On our way back we came across ellies.
On the 2 km dirt road turning out to the left from the H1-7 from the direction of Babalala we saw steenbok.
This little one didn't mind our presence and stood quite awhile in the road, before moving on.

We turned onto the S135 to enter the camp at the 'back' gate.
We saw two more nyala's
and at the lower causeway 2 saddlebilled storks
and an fish eagle. (I just love to hear an fish eagle far-carrying call)
We were back at about 10:00 and made us a late breakfast consisting of bacon, eggs and toast.
Later we decided to take on the redrocks loop (S52), but after we have done about 6 km of this road we decided to turn back due to the fact that the road was very bad corrugated. :roll:
We only saw one lonely ellie.

After been a bit shaken by the road we opt to stay at camp and just to relax and take a little siesta before going for a afternoon drive. :wink:

To be continued......
Last edited by Boorgatspook on Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Day 3: Sunday 10 June 2007 (Part 2)
Shingwedzi Camp

After our little siesta

our afternoon drive took us yet again along the Kanniedood dam road.
Just before the intersection with the S50 we got a mommy ellie and her baby.
She was quite relaxed and didn't mind us passing her.
Soon afterwards we came upon some nyala.
Maybe the same as yesterday?
The resident baboons entertained us with their usual antics.
We continue our drive but soon there was an hold up.
There were about 3 cars in front of us and in front of them an ellie blocking the road.
He took his time before eventually crossing the the road towards the river.
We all wait but no other ellies followed.
Meanwhile a few cars also stop behind us.
The cars in front of us moved forward and we decided it was safe to proceed as well.
But very soon we saw ellies to the right in the bushes and to the left towards the river.
And amongst them some babies.
I was getting a bit nervous and hoped silently that they all stay calm because there was no way of stopping or even to reverse because of all the cars.
And if one ellie decided that he don't like us it could get very nasty!
My heart beat shot up and i was quite sure that the ellies could hear my heat beating! :roll:
Those few seconds to get passed them felt like an eternity.
The luck was however on our side and they all remind calm.
If i would guess i would say that there were at least 50+ ellies.
After this nervous times we continue our drive to the dam.
We sat there to recover, relax and have a sundowner while listening to the snorting of hippo's and a croc on his own mission.

And to give the ellies enough time to cross the road.

With our return to camp the ellies had moved on and we could only hear branches breaking as they moved through the bushes.
We drove to the lower causeway and saw this Great White Egret

as well as a grey heron in a tree.
There were no sighn of the Fish Eagle or the two resident saddle-billed storks.

While attending to the braai that evening mom came out the bungalow and told me that we have another visitor.
After inspection i got the chance to see it.
A frightened little mouse.
I thought it might be meandering mouse that after all did hitch a ride with us to Kruger! :lol:
Careful not to hurt the little guy/girl i eventually helped him/her out of the room and with a speed of lighting it disappeared into the darkness.

Later on we could hear the far-carring call of a fish eagle, so i supposed he had returned, and i fell asleep very happy.....
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Day 4: Monday 11 June 2007 (Part 1)
Shingwedzi Camp

Today was our last day at Shingwedzi Camp and we decided last night that we will took a drive along the S56 to Babalala and have a late brunch there.
So we woke up just after 06:00 and was ready to leave just before 07:00.
It was fairly overcast this morning and there were no prospect of a sunrise like we had yesterday morning.
En route to the S56, one of my favourite roads, we did not see any animals, not even the ever present impi's.
But things did however hot up a bit when we turned onto the S56.

Just a few metres in and we came across buffalo's

and not too long some ellies with babies yet again.
But like the previous day they was all calm and relaxed and could we just sit a moment enjoy watching them.
Around 07:50 the overcast skies started to clear a bit and the sun was starting to break through the cloud cover and it seemed to be yet again a lovely bright sunny day.
We also got to see (my first time) the banded mongoose (no pic though)and then later dwarf mongoose.

They are very shy and when they see you they disappear.
If you switch off your car engine at wait a bit, they reappear just to disappear again if they notice some movement on your side.

Kudu's were also plenty to be seen aswell as nyala's. For the first time also for me the shape's Grysbok

(please let me know if i had ID it incorrectly) and i was very pleasantly happy but could have made a mistake in id it.
Later an Lilac-breasted Roller poised very nicely for us,

more often they don't sit still and you have to keep following them to take a desent pic.
The last 8 km of the road was however very quiet.
By reaching Babalala just after 10:30 we first visit the bathrooms.
I also got the chance to take a photo of this yellowbilled hornbill
who allowed me to get very close to it.
We unpacked our picnic basket and made our way to the braai area.
But then we were told that there are no gas available which meant no brunch. :cry:
Very disapointed we left and returned to camp on the H1-7.
Turning onto the H1-7 i almost expected to see the python there again which i saw last year, but off course no such luck this time. :wink:
Again not much activity on the H1-7 with the only sighting an ellie walking through the veld.
We spend the rest of the morning and afternoon relaxing in camp.

To be continued......
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Day 4: Monday 11 June 2007 (Part 2)
Shingwedzi Camp

Not like the previous sunset drives (Mother enquire before we would left in which direction i intend to go :wink: - could the reason be because of the ellies we encountered the previous day :lol: ) we opt to drive the 3 km Lamont loop road again (turning out of H1-7) and then back to camp via the S135 and the lower causeway.
On the way through the 'back' gate we saw 2 Serrated Hinged Terrapin at the lower causeway.

It was a relaxing slow drive with much time at hand.
We approach the Lamont loop road from the waterhole side.
And immediately saw our first giraffe since we left Satara 3 days ago.

It was great! It was at the waterhole drinking and soon some buffalo appeared.
The impi's was also present.
Later on the road 2 ellies showed themselves to us before disapearing behind the bushes.
And as well as this Natal Spurfowl.

Then it was on to the S135 and with the sun at our back starting to set, i felt a really good and peace within me like never before. Reaching the causeway i switch off the car's engine, and we just sat there and took every moment, minute and second in.
In the meantime some waterbucks, the 2 saddlebilled storks and an pied kingfisher kept us company.

Egyptian Goose was also present.

And later after our braai we were sitting outside, listening to the whispering of the night and said goodbye to Shingwedzi, but hopefully for not to long before returning to this magical place in the north.
Last edited by Boorgatspook on Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Day 5: Tuesday 12 June 2007
Shingwedzi Camp to Olifants Camp

It was time to pack everything back in the car and to leave Shingwedzi for Olifants Camp.
It was with some mixed feelings that i gone to bed last night but also did look forward to stay at Olifants.
For my mother it was also a new camp where she never had stayed before.
With everything packed and coffee for the road we left at 06:30.
The plan was to stick to the main tarr road.
After looking at the sightings board yesterday evening it looks like we can maybe spot our first leopard today as pins were in place between the first turnoff onto the S52 and it's end back to the H1-6 after Joao waterhole.
But we had no luck. :cry:
Then i decided to change plans and upon nearing the turnoff to the S144 decided that i will take the old main road, which is a dirt road.
The first 14 km was a bit difficult due to the fact that the upcoming sun was directly into our eyes, but the road was in good condition.
Some zebra's made the 14 km shorter and then the road made a turn and the sun wasn't anymore a problem and everything seemed better.
At Dzombo waterhole we met more zebra's
and the impi's.
We continue on and soon there was something big in the road that at first i couldn't make out what it was until we got nearer.
A carcass of an ellie.
one can see thats it's head with the tusks were removed, whether it's been done by SANPARKS or by poachers it's uncertain.

(id been made by Jose as remains of Massunguine)

After mentioning this to friends back in Bloemfontein they told me there were an article in the local newspaper regarding a third ellie that was found dead in Kruger.
Whether this carcass is one of the three i can't comment on, but i will look into the article.
Maybe someone reading this have more news?
Not far away from the carcass was an ellie in the veld looking at us and then turned his back on us and start moving away.
We added later on a martial eagle.

By reaching the S143 road we turned onto it and not very soon we were again spoiled with zebra's in the road, warthogs running across the road and some more zebra's later.
Just before Tihongonyeni Waterhole i saw my so ever first Tsessebe and 5 "nogal"! :dance:
They were on their way to the waterhole.

At the waterhole there were a whole herd of zebra's, bluewildebeest, more Tsessebe, kudu's and some ostriches.

After sitting at the waterhole, and having some coffee, we drove off and eventually turned right onto the S50.
At Nshawu, can't remember now which one, we saw an ellie drinking.
The rest of the road were very quiet, as in cars as well as in animal activity and soon we reached the H1-6 tar road and turned left towards Letaba.

The absence of animals continued except again at middelvlei where we this time saw zebra's , bluewildebeest and warthogs.
It seemed a day for zebra, blue wildebeest and warthogs!
At the Letaba river we saw for a change waterbucks, singel giraffe, and two ellies.
Where were the impi's?
We stopped at Letaba to use the bathrooms and to take a well deserve break after the driving.
And off course to look at the bushbucks in the camp. :wink:

We continue to Olifants Camp and decided to take the S46, but after travelling about 6 km on this road six ellies block the road, and after waiting about 20 min it didn't seemed that they are going to allow us to pass.
So, all that we could do is turn around, drove back to the S94 and continue on it to link up to the S93, hoping to gave the ellies the slip!
We reach the S93 with no sign of the ellies.
Our trip from Letaba to Olifants didn't deliver any sightings, but boy, is the S93 road badly corrugated!
We sigh a relieve when we eventually reach the tar road (H8) and turn towards Olifants.
Arriving at Olifants just after 2:00 the afternoon.

We checked in and was awarded with bungalow number 99.
It has a perimeter view of the bush and a decent view of the river.
We were very pleased, the only led-down was the renovations going on at number 106 and 107 which was also in our view.

Arriving so late we opt to stay in camp for the rest of the day.
George visit me to found out if he could wash the car, and because it looked at this stage quite dirty with all the dust, i took the car to his "wash area" around 03:30 and promised me to be finished at 04:30.
Eventually i got the car back at 05:15 but didn't complain due to the fact that he did a thorough job.
Later we lit the fire and relaxed with sundowners in hand.
Last edited by Boorgatspook on Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Day 6: Wednesday 13 June 2007
Olifants Camp

We woke up this morning to an overcast and misty sky.

We left camp just before seven and our route would took us along the S92, S90, S89 and then back to camp on the H1-4 and H8. Animal activity was slow and the only sighting on the S92 was the impala's.
We turned onto the S90 when the sun was starting to break through the cloud cover.
All was also quiet at the lower causeway over the olifants river and it was only when we turned onto the S89, that we started to get activity.
The first was a steenbok.
Then baboons, zebra's, one giraffe, some bluewildebeest and 2 ellies.
We turned onto the H1-4 and was slowly making our way back to camp.
We stopped on the main bridge over the Olifantsriver, but the lack of activity and a stomach that was starting to ask some questions, we made our way back to camp arriving just after nine.
Mom made us a delicious breakfast and life seemed quite good again. :wink:
We visit the park shop and i brought me the book of Kobie Kruger: All Things Wild and Wonderful, on recommendation of DinkyBird.
Many thanks DB, and after I've started reading it, it was quite difficult to put it down again!

Around 11:00 we decided to drive to Goedgegun on the Timbavati road (S39) via the tarr road.
We stopped again on the Olifantsriver bridge and got out of the car.
There were some croc's on the sand banks.
Then out of nowhere a lioness appeared from under the bridge and walks of into the bush!
Wow, it happened so quickly, and i left my camera in the car, that there were no time to collect it and to take a pic!
I did manage however to photograph this Giant Kingfisher.

After the excitement and disappointment, we continued to the Timbavati road.
En route we saw zebra's and impala's.
On the few kilometres to Goedgegun and back to the H1-4 we saw kudu's and two white-backed vultures.
There were no activity at the waterhole.
We returned back to camp and arrived about 13:30.
While mom was taking a nap i continue reading the fascinating stories of Kobie Kruger.

For our late afternoon drive we opt for the same route as the late morning drive.
En route to Goedgegun we saw the usual game, and this giraffe at Goedgegun
and some croc's and a stunning sunset taken from the Olifantsriver bridge.

It was starting to get late and we proceed to the camp.
I did however stopp again, just after the turnoff of the S93, three car's were parked on the right side of the road.
There wasn't much time left but we also decided to have a look.
It was already quite dark but after some time we managed to see 2 lionesses behind trees.
Unfortunately no pic again because of the bad light :cry: ,
but nevertheless a great sighting!
A sighting that caused that we and others were almost 15 minutes late for gate closing time!
The gate attendant was however friendly and considered and didn't fined us! :clap:

And that night we fell asleep for the first time with lions roaring far off, or maybe not so far....... :D
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

Day 7: Thursday 14 June 2007
Olifants Camp

As yesterday, the sky was overcast, and after i have made some coffee and snacks for the road, we were on our way at 07:30.
I was eager to reach the Olifants river bridge, just to see if we could again spot the lioness and cub!
En route to the bridge via the tar road we saw some impala's.
We stopped at the bridge and got out.
After some time i spotted them through the binoculars! :dance:
They were further down river but it was really cool to see them again!
The Giant Kingfisher was also present, after some time we proceeded to the Timbavati turnoff.
The plan was to drove along this road today towards Timbavati picnic spot.
On this road before Roodewal waterhole we saw giraffe, blue wildebeest and water bucks.
General game were plenty and there were no dull moment.
At Roodewal waterhole there were a big herd of impala's, zebra's and some giraffe present.
As we continued i became a bit worried that we don't see any leopard for the reason that:
one: i really wanted mom to see one for the first time and
two: DinkyBird ask that i must hug one for her! :wink:

After Roodewal game got slow and at Piet Grobler Dam we only saw croc's and an hippo.
We dropped in at Timbavati picnic spot to make use of their bathrooms and to get something cold to drink.
After spending some relaxing time at Timbavati we made our way back to the H1-4 via the S127.
On the S127 were no activity to mention.
Reaching Ngotsodam we saw again impala's, giraffe's and kudu's.
After Ngotso North we saw except for the usual game, six Ground hornbills
and three Kori bustards.
Notably were the absent of ellies!

We reached Olifants river bridge just after 12:00 and as this morning, i spotted the lioness again.
This time she was quite far down river and i could not see the cub.
There were also some impala's present which was quite nervous.
We relaxed the afternoon at camp.

About 03:30 the afternoon we decided to explore again, with in mind, the tar road towards the bridge, then back to the S91 and back to camp on the S92.
At first i stopped at N'wamanzi Lookout point.
Do you remember a while back i mentioned that this spot will play a role in a meeting?
Well, stopping the car, there were two other car's parked.
Shortly after we stopped a gentlemen were approaching us and looking at me, he said: "Boorgatspook?".
A bit confused i said: "Yes?"
It was Ludwig Endres!
I must confess now :redface: , i don't remember from where he is, but he e-mailed me some time back and i remembered that he will also be in the park at the same time.
It was really great to talk to him!
It was just sad that we didn't had more time to get to know each other better.
It seemed that he really enjoyed his time in the park although his girlfriend couldn't made it.

At the lookout onto the river we saw an ellie crossing the river.
So, after the time spend there we drove to the bridge, looked at some croc's and hippo's and then decided to drove back to camp. It was our last night at Olifants and tomorrow it's to Satara Camp.

We had a magical night with the sounds of lions roaring and hippo's in the backround...... truely a night never to forget!