Sunday, October 11, 2009

I need a few days before I post again.

Hi everyone.

I do have more stories and photos to post, but have been having a battle with my laptop and jetlag and the cold I caught in Singapore.

Need to let you know that Katie has been to our GP and leg is definitely not broken and we will be looking for a physio next week.

I am posting two photos taken by RaymondK at Berg en Dal. I am disappointed that we missed the caracals. He had a sighting before we arrived in August and this one last Friday.

The Nomadic Males Around Berg En dal 178

The Nomadic Males Around Berg En dal 169


Monday, October 5, 2009

Final Exit

Thursday 1st October

Our farewell pics. Lion and lioness who were rather shy this morning and moved behind the bushes to mate.

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We had our documents stamped at the gate and our 36 nights were behind us.

Now for the long drive to Pretoria.

There were a few areas of patchy rain but trip was uneventful.

We arrived at our accommodation in Moreleta Park and unpacked for the last time in South Africa.

We stayed Here for our four nights in Pretoria

Last Full Day.

Wednesday 30th September.

A quick trip to Malelane for David to get a haircut and a beer stop at Pick n Pay and we were on our way for the day.

We had a quick stop with the dogs who were still on the S114 and headed up to Afsaal picnic spot.

We did a bit more last minute shopping and had a quick chat with Jappie the manager(rugby and cricket) before heading off on the H2-2.

We again had all the usual sightings.

Our first special for the afternoon was a rhino emerging from his mud bath at James pan.

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He was followed by a herd of more than 40 ellies

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The dogs again doing what dogs do best.

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Lion and lioness on the Berg en Dal road



The King opposite side of road to bush braai

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The King had been on our wish list and it was great to get some photos of him. He wasn’t close to the road and my camera with the bigger lens died after a few shots. Quite happy with what we got though.

Time was moving and we needed to get back to camp.

We had invited Martie to the restaurant to share our last meal in the Park, and we still had the task of packing our bags for the trip to Pretoria.

We enjoyed a special sighting at the restaurant. A large spotted genet strolling past the back window.

Also noticed an accident waiting to happen at a nearby bungalow.

Sunroof left open in a new Volvo.

Could have been an interesting story here if the vervets and squirrels had been more observant.

Our OWN Leopard.

Tuesday 29th September.

A lazy and late start today.

Decided to drive to Crocodile Bridge along S114 and S25

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We had lunch at Crocodile Bridge and purchased a few gifts to take home.

1.50pm we retraced our steps to Berg en Dal.

Lots of sightings, but this was one of our highlights.Pics are poor quality but proof of our sighting. He crossed the road in front of us and into the bush on the side, walked along a few metres, looked back at us and vanished.

We drove the section of road again but could see no sign of him.

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These banded mongoose were a circus in the making

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The dogs at the end of the S114 capped off a great day of sightings

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After a hard day on the road we enjoyed a “home cooked meal” with Martie Goddard.

She is a wiz at whipping up a delicious meal and cooking on campfire.

Thank you for your hospitality Martie.

Sadness is starting to descend when we return to our bungalow…..only two nights and one day remaining for us in the park.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Squirrel Tales

Monday 28th September cont.

Today was a no camera day for me and my pics from the walk were taken with Katie’s camera that slipped easily into my pocket.

Back in camp after the walk we met Stephen Nel as we were driving to our bungalow (26). He is a great guy and explained that there was a slight problem with some of the bungalows in our area and the matter was being attended too. This didn’t bother us because we were going to drive to Malelane after a quick coffee.

Katie & I were in the kitchen and lounge area laughing at the thundering sounds made by the squirrels as they chased one another over the roof, down the walls and up into the trees. Next minute a small clump of thatch landed in front of Katie while she was standing at the sink and as she looked up a bushy tail flicked and bright eyes surveyed the scene. He then ran along the main beam, did a quick turn and scurried back and out the hole.

We rang reception and within minutes a worker was assessing the situation. Ladders and wire appeared and the squirrel entrance was closed.

We made our trip to Malelane and had lunch at the cafe near the Spar(a regular stop for us when we were in town) and then collected chicken to have for supper after our drive.

Raymond had asked us to be at the drive collection point at 4.30.

We arrived at the same time as Martie.

She had made the trip from Pretoriuskop and had spent the afternoon getting battered and bruised setting up her van.

Raymond had arranged that he take only us and Martie and our group in the small vehicle.

We enjoyed hearing first hand from Martie the stories from her first 150 days in Kruger

We were hopeful of great sightings but I think the wind, cold and mist were against us.

We managed to find elephant, rhino, Wahlbergs eagle, breeding herd of elephants with the young ones shaking their heads at our vehicle, kudu, impala, 2 white tail mongoose, 2 hippo a long way from water, buffalo with both horns broken off, giraffe and 1 small and 2 large spotted genets

Another great day comes to an end and our rhino tally was again 16.

We also managed to stay on step ahead of the squirrels.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A walk to remember.

Monday 28th September.

Away from camp by 5.30 and a short drive to the area past the bush braai turn off.

The day was overcast and windy.

Raymond decided to walk up the hill.

Now I don’t mind a walk even a brisk walk because my beagle Callie takes me on a 3k brisk walk every day at home and sometimes twice a day and we also walk a hill or two.

Up the hill…..mmmmm rhino have just passed this way, we will try and follow.

Down the hill, round the hill,up, down and around.

Doesn’t Raymond realise he has two oldies on this walk?

Around 7am we had reached a high rocky outcrop and stopped for our break.

What an incredible view of the area and also the camp itself.

Time to move and game to be found.

Success… we find two rhino not too far away but they know we are near and run away.

After the rhino ran off there was a herd of impala.

Down the hill we go and Raymond sights another 2 rhino camouflaged in the bushes.They moved off and we tried to move downwind of them to get closer.

A kudu calf and then its mother are next.

We were now on our way to rocks overlooking the bush braai area.

One of the guests on the walk then broke a few rules…..fell out of line and then picked up an empty snail shell that was well off the track we were walking on. Obby explained what the shell was and Raymond moved to the rocks.

He quietly beckoned us to come to the top of the rocks. Three rhino in the clearing….mum dad and the calf.

We observed quietly for ten minutes and then spent fifteen minutes walking down to the vehicle.

I must admit that David and I were, to use an Aussie term, “bloody knackered” but what an experience to be so close to the last group of rhino.

Raymond and tortoise shell


Impala horn


Raymond and Obby


Raymond and rhino…calf is hidden


More to come later including sunset drive with Martie Goddard.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rhino’s galore

Sunday 27th September.

Time to leave Pretoriuskop.

I am not sorry to be leaving, and the only positive apart from the sightings was the reasonably fast internet connection.

First sighting was 2 rhino.

A little further on 7 rhino but hard to capture in one pic.

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Transport Dam

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Hyaenas at Kwaggaspan


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Taken at our bungalow at Berg en Dal


Outside the fence


Rhino sighting


Teaching them early

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A great rhino day. Our first and last sightings of the day were these amazing animals.

16 in all for the day.

We didn't get the cats and in spite of the heat our sightings were plentiful.

We were hoping for a cooler start tomorrow for our bushwalk with Raymond and Obby.