Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The day St Kilda lost the AFL Grand Final

Saturday 26th September

We needed to postpone the start of our morning drive, to listen to the lead up and bounce of the AFL grand final between St Kilda and Geelong.

First quarter underway and we head out for a short while.

We found all the usual….ellies, buffalo, rhino, waterbuck, kudu, giraffe, impala and a variety of birds.


Time to head back to camp for a footy score.

The game was nearly finished when we arrived, and sadly the result was not the one we anticipated.

St Kilda played brilliant football for the entire season and left their worst game for this crucial match.

However it is only a game and the 2010 season is just around the corner.

Another quick drive.

Ellie taking a mud bath.




The temperature was now well into the 30’s and I think everything wanted to find shade.

We set off again around 4pm and found these 3 lions high on a rock looking down on the surroundings.

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On our way back to camp we had 2 sightings of Sable.

5 at Shitlhave Dam and 4 on the road back to camp.

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The second group were not close and the light was fading so photos are not the best

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There were 2 highlights today and neither were captured on film.

Vervets sitting on the back of a chair at the next bungalow trying to open the door.

One was really determined…..bum on chair back ….legs on the door to steady himself and hand jiggling the lock.

Four vervets opened the screen window of the bungalow on the other side and were flying in and coming out with fruit.

David raced over and they made a hurried exit with the last banana. He pulled the screen down and as he was closing the window the smallest vervet crept up behind him and was about to swipe him on the leg. David turned to walk to the next window and the little bugger had second thoughts and scampered off.

As David was closing the second window he heard another commotion and thought he must have locked one in………no the occupant had been resting in the other room and missed the fun

Monday, September 28, 2009

The traffic is worse than the Hume Highway

Friday 25th September.

We checked the area where the wild dog were sighted.

No fresh tracks so they have moved on.

We drove to the hippo pools and then started the journey to Skukuza

Nine rhino before Lower Sabie with all the extras….but no cats.

The drive from Lower Sabie to Skukuza was a nightmare.

This little treasure was so far our we could see her legs, but stepped down before we could get a pic. The brain as well as the body must be on holidays.

At this same spot we noticed children maybe 7 or 8 sitting with most of their body out of the car. What must the parents be thinking………this was a lion sighting with drivers jockeying for the best possie to see the lions who were on the other side of the river(luckily).


Lunched at Skukuza with the tourists swarming from coaches and game drive vehicles.

Pretoriuskop next camp for us.



We had just started taking pics of this hawk eating when a tourist coach came screaming down on us , on its way to the Numbi exit gate.

We (ever so politely) signalled the driver to slow down so the bird wouldn’t take flight.

His load of passengers took an interest and he had to inch the coach forward for them to see and take photos.

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Our last for the day was another magnificent sable.

He wasn’t close, but a great sighting.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

On the “Edge of Paradise”

Thursday 24th September.

Finally we make the gate before opening time.

We are rewarded with 3 lions at a recent kill site.

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We left the lions hoping we would find the wild dog.

Down the road we could see a lone spotted form walking.

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We followed for several ks …on the road and in the bush and back on the road.

Now we had 2 cars behind us.

We waved the car behind us to come forward for a better view.

Instead of sitting a few lengths behind the cheetah they drove straight up to him and sent him running into the bush.

They drove off and luckily he came back onto  the road.

He decided not long after that incident to head into the bush.

Most of our photos are bum shots but a cheetah pic is a cheetah pic whether it is the elegant pose or the rear end.

His paw prints

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Lets park off road at a kill site. Not only do some traumatise the animals, they trample the vulnerable bush as well.

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We spent the afternoon at Marloth Park with Freda and Malcolm

This estate overlooks the Crocodile River and Kruger National park.

Animals including zebra, giraffe, warthog, kudu and impala roam freely through the estate.

Kruger Park across the river and exotic animals in your garden……paradise.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Surviving SAPS.

Wednesday 23rd September.

I forgot to mention in the last post that I did see the bum and tail of a leopard on the other side of the riverbed.It wasn’t until the tail disappeared that I realised what I had seen.

Also spotted a large hyaena and two rhino as well in the fading light.

First sighting across the river bed as we were preparing to leave was six hyaenas.

We had planned to take S25 to Crocodile Bridge, but bureaucracy or Murphy's law “threw another spanner in the works” and we had to travel via SAPS at Skukuza.

This is another story best left untouched.

Brown hooded kingfisher I hope.


Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl

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Pied kingfisher with last of fish in his mouth

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I’m outta here.


Business with SAPS completed we start down the H4-1 for Nkuhlu.

We encounter a mega traffic jam 6 ks from Skukuza.

There are in excess of 50 vehicles all lobbying for a prime spot.

Not a thought for the lions that they are traumatising with the revving engines .One lion is sitting on the edge of the tar road and cars are driving either side of him. One person is completely out of his car.

We eventually weave our way past and catch a fleeting glimpse of some of the pride striding along to the river.

Closer to Lower Sabie we spy this little group on the other side of the river


Love the guy with his legs in the air.


Bags unloaded at Crocodile Bridge camp we take a short drive

Ellies, warthog and rhino and another two of my favourite spotties, doing what cheetahs do best.


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What a welcome to Crocodile Bridge

Tomorrow its off to search for the wild dogs that were sighted the past few days.