Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!! *

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lowveldboy
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Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!! *

Post by lowveldboy » Sun May 27, 2012 11:14 am

Posted by Lowveldboy on Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:12 pm

Seeing at it is becoming norm to start the TR before the trip starts, I guess I need to get with the times and start mine.

This trip will start at Tomorrow morning at 04h00. My camping will start at Maroela for 3 Days, before moving to Tsendze for 4 days. That will be a 1st for me and due to the advice from this forum I booked site number 26. Thank You guys!!! Really looking forward to that. From there I will move all the way up to Punda Maria for 4 days. Since my 1st time there a year ago I just can't seem to stay away. :lol: My last three days will be spend in Letaba, but could still change my booking to Balule. My mood will determine that later on. I have never camped at Letaba and a lot at Balule. Lets wait and see!!

I do not have a specific wishlist except for 1 thing - RELAXATION!!!! Easily accomplished!

This moring everything was packed and arranged

Salads, Breakfast, Coffee, and utensils
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Then the main meals
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The 1st survival tip is always - REHYDRATE
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Cheetah please look and learn!

Game viewing equipment - Camera lens(I needed the camera to take the pic :wink: ), Binos, Books (trees, mammals, birds)
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Everything ready to go into the car
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This trip I am looking forward to, and hope when I get back a have plenty of pics and sightings to share. See everybody in 2 weeks time!!!

\O \O
I would feel more optimistic of a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority - EB White

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lowveldboy
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Re: Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!!

Post by lowveldboy » Sun May 27, 2012 11:16 am

Posted by Lowveldboy on Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:50 pm

Hey all!!!!

-O you all really think that was all liquid refreshments for the trip!!!! You don't know me very well do you???? DO YOU?!?!?! O/ :P

Maroela Camp is half full, surprising for out of season, but mostly old people that go to bed at 7 - the time I start to get ready to start my fire!

Had an awesome 2 days so far - check ossendryvers update thread - all S36 and half the Skukuza sightings I reported :twisted: Only missing rhino and leopard from my sightings!!! Not too shabby hey? Lots of plains game - LOTS!!!! Very dry, Nsemani almost bare!!!

Having such a great time even composed a poem - which I will post in the relevant thread!! All about my day today.

Well I am out of here, thank you for all the well wishes and comments about my cooldrinks!!! Much appreciated. Will update again later this week!!!
I would feel more optimistic of a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority - EB White

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lowveldboy
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Re: Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!!

Post by lowveldboy » Sun May 27, 2012 11:17 am

Posted by Lowveldboy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:19 pm

Thank you all for the comments about my dietary habits!!!

Quick update, Tues and Wed huge storms in Maroela 2 tents did not survive, mine did just fine, something to do with pressure inside equal or greater than outside or something like that.

Sighting update - still missing leopard and doggies, had some more awesome lion sighting by myself!! Thiyongeni ROCKS!!!! 1st european bee-eater today so all is well.

Had a great brunch with ValandRich, great meeting up with you again, maybe we "bump" into each other again before the end of my trip!!!

Time to start the fire, enjoy guys!!!

Beans out!!!
I would feel more optimistic of a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority - EB White

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Sprocky
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Re: Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!!

Post by Sprocky » Sun May 27, 2012 11:19 am

I think that beans is still suffering Theuns, it was a hard hot weekend. 8)

I will now sneak a few pics into LVB's TR. \O

The spot at Tsendze

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And here is LVB very busy preparing something....

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Now we all know why he took so many green beers with on the trip, most of them end up being used in the food. Great bread by the way buddy. \O

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And just to show that it was quite warm...this shot was taken between Letaba and Phala yesterday at 14h00... O/

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Thanks for the invite Andre, it was really a great short trip with you! \O
Look after what we have, for tomorrow, if they get their way, it WILL be gone!
We can choose to destroy or to cherish, the choice is OURS!

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lowveldboy
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Re: Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!!

Post by lowveldboy » Sun May 27, 2012 11:21 am

Posted by Lowveldboy on Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:52 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for the update bud!!!! Glad you enjoyed the bread, will try again sometime.

The temp again turned at 47 today, VICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

Sightings still awesome!!! Having some buff right in front of my "home" here in Punda, as I am typing this.

Will keep all updated, depends on if I survive tomorrow, forecast shows hottest day of the week!!!! YIKES, I should have saved some of those green tins!!!

Oh, and btw, I have some inteesting stories to tell about our mod (sprocky), some real shocking truths was revealed!!!

Cheers all!!
I would feel more optimistic of a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority - EB White

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lowveldboy
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Re: Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!!

Post by lowveldboy » Sun May 27, 2012 11:27 am

Posted by Lowveldboy on Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:58 pm

Hi All

Finally back in civilization :( , but now at least I can look forward to something - my next trip (sometime in Dec).

The trip was AWESOME!!!!! Could not have asked for anything better, or more. Had great sightings - made some new friends, met up with old ones, and bumped into some yellow ribbons (ILoveMeerkats, RayK, ShirleyMargate, Weltenman, Bomsevrou :roll: ) More about them later. Did tell them about the green place, but not to keen.

My Update on the park -
Maroela - Fuller than expected, yet everybody behaved and kept quiet, saw the attendant once or twice - that is new, camp was kept vlean and neat, check in in at Orpen and the shop was what one would expect - nothing special, but quick and friendly.

Tsendze - VERY VERY NICE!!!!, Although I might tend to lean towards site 3 rather than 26, but a c lose call. Rodger was on leave but met Elinah - she was very proudly showing off their award they won!! Good on them. Camp was clean and well kept, had it all to myslef the last night and that was as close to heaven a living person can get!!!! Mopani - the shop and the reception need to learn to smile, but otherwise I will say up to standard.

Punda Maria - Has definitly become my Favorite camp. The camp is a lot better kept and cleaner than last year in October, but it has a long way to go - I found a Ice Cream wrapper at my campsite in the open, so I tested them - I put a rock on it and checked if they would pick it up, never happened I did it, and it is only about 2m from the dustbin :roll: . The staff was friendly. Had some Sanparks staff and honorary rangers having a meeting there one night, at 9 that night - BOOOOM!!! comes the music, it had hardly started when I was giving my discust to the duty manager, 2 minutes later a bakkie drives up from the staff village, and no more music for the rest of the night - Sanparks cant allways prevent people from misbehaving, but they can do something when reported, and that is what happened here!! Well Done.

Balule - Titus is a gem, and the camp is kept spot less. The reception staff recognised me immediatly from The Balule clean up and was very friendly.

The further south you go the more idiots on the road - like the yellow ribbon doing 60 past me :roll: , people out their cars, and in general more rude. The people in the North is just more friendly overall and more understanding than south. The speeding I got was in the south and from delivery and staff vehicles.

That is my rant, I hope I can share all the great memories over the next few weeks and that you all will enjoy!!!

\O
I would feel more optimistic of a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority - EB White

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lowveldboy
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Re: Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!!

Post by lowveldboy » Sun May 27, 2012 11:29 am

Posted by Lowveldboy on Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:19 pm

DAY 1 - Nelspruit - Maroela
By my 1st post you could see I was pretty well stocked for the 1st part of my trip. The car was packed the night before and Monday Morning at 04h30 I hit the road. Please explain to me how when the alarm goes off at 4 to go to the park you are awake immediatly, but when it goes off at 6 for work - no chance!!!! :roll:

I entered at Phabeni and immediatly felt relaxed. I ad a herd of buffs and a lot of general game up to Skukuza.

Just 2 of the more memorable pics for me

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Went past the day visitors area, important stop that turned out to be. Left across the low water bridge and had some brown hooded kingfishers entertained me. Not long after that I came upon a serious traffic jam, car parking 3 next to each other and no way past. The jeep jockeys pretended the sighting belonged to them. That was until one reversed into another cars nose, and did a fair bit of damage. He did not laugh when I asked him to do that to my cars nudge bar. The reason for the jam - 5 lions feeding on a hippo carcass, judging by the smell they did not kill the hippo.

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The jam kept me for about 90 minutes and I did not even get next to the sighting. I went on and the plains game was everywhere!!! Turned up the S36, a road I love. Started off slowly, till in the distance I saw just some backs -

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Was I chuffed!!!! I got to Mazimhlope at the same time as these guys

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It was starting to drip ever so gently at this stage, I decided just to chill for a bit - what a desicion, because -

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They just came wandering out of the bush, 12 all together, most likely the same one I found about 15 minutes earlier.

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and there were little ones

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They left and so did the rest of the crowd

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That made me decide to leave as well...
I would feel more optimistic of a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority - EB White

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lowveldboy
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Re: Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!!

Post by lowveldboy » Sun May 27, 2012 11:32 am

Posted by Lowveldboy on Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:49 pm

Day 1 - continued
one last pic of the Sable and Zebra

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I left Mazimhlope very happy, and then got even happier as I had this boy and his 2 brothers and 2 sisters to myself -

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10 lions and not even 10 yet, together with sable, not too bad. A pic of some "general" game -

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My day got better with a member of the big 6 birds -

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I made a stop at Nahlanguleni and met up with some Sanparks forums members - ILoveMeerkats!. Lovely couple from America. Sightings dried up as the day became slightly hot. I did however have 2 good memories

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Then at the turn-off to the S145 -

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There was very recent burning and I did not expect many sightings. I did however got the a herd busy eating

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and this young mother did not appreciate me at all

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I booked in at Orpen and went to set up camp at Maroela. the camp was full and I found myself the last and only secluded spot in the camp. Setting up the tent was hard and thirsty work, and I was helped by an orange breasted bush-shrike - but the little so and so flew off as soon as I touched the camera.

My afternoon drive delivered some plains game and ellies as well as a Flying Jackal

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and after something to snack on he looked very content

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Weather was closing in, but that did not deter me from making a proper fire. By 07h30 all the other people was putting their fires out as the wind picked up - and me, well I put on more wood. The wind died down at around 9. I really enjoyed the peace and tranquility - I was home at last.
I would feel more optimistic of a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority - EB White

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lowveldboy
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Re: Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!!

Post by lowveldboy » Sun May 27, 2012 11:35 am

Posted by Lowveldboy on Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:40 pm

Day 2 - October 18

I left as the gate opened, having slept like a baby. It was overcast and there was a real soft rain falling. My 1st sighting was the jackals of the previous day - but the light was horrible. I had some plains game - zebra and wildebeest, before I just caught these guys as they dissapeared into the bush -

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I was working my way slowly up to Satara to fill up the car.

My 1st Nyala of the trip

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Then just past bobbejaanskrans in a clearing I found some gentle giants -

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Just outside of Satara I caused a minor traffic jam when I stopped to take a picture of this Purple Roller

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Filled up the car and the ice at Satara and found the resident celebrity

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My next step was to head down the (in)famous S100, a road I have never really enjoyed or had a lot of luck on. This day was going to be different, I told myself. It did not start off too bad, well except for another minor traffic jam. Cant people look for themselves.

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then I had this fella, man he was up to some serious mischief, just look at his face and you decide - naughty or not?

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This bull stood out between the rest, very impressive

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Then on the low water bridge as the S41 crosses the N'wanetsi river

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My stop at the picnic stop was very quick as two tourgroups arrived - not my scene at all. I decided to to head via the H6 and S126 to Muzandzeni rather. I had some buffs and more ellies on this part of my trip, but sightings was few and far between - especially since the sun had broken through the clouds and it was now really hot and humid. Headed up the S36 and then back to camp via Rabelais.

This stretch of road offered up a very inquisitive family

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My 3rd member of the big 6

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and a Red crested korhaan - lovely birds and worth spending some time to admire them

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Then as I turned off to the campsite - the colours really caught my attention

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I reached camp very happy and Inspired. My head was filled with some words and that lead to my 1st ever poem. The fire was started after a quick shower, a cold one was opened and I just soaked in the nightsounds. Sleep came easy again later that night!!!
I would feel more optimistic of a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority - EB White

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lowveldboy
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Re: Kruger - 2 Weeks of Camping Joy!!!

Post by lowveldboy » Sun May 27, 2012 11:38 am

Posted by Lowveldboy on Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:17 pm

October 19
This morning the weather was not great but i could not care less - I was having fun. I could not say the same about the 1 couple whose tent collapsed on top of them, and the old couple whose tent poles also succumbed to the wind. I had no such problems, and then my comment of - "Aint camping fun", got a few (or a lot) of moans and groans from the younger lady. She was especially unhappy as I said it with a sincere tone, plus she booked Tamboti but hubby changed it to camping. OOPS!!!! Glad I was not in the car that day :twisted:

I set out down the H7 and my 1st sighting was the back of a Rhino dissapearing very fast. My 1st for the trip and I was happy already. Right before the S106 turn-off is a road to a discontinued waterhole (right opposite the turn-off to the ranger's house), sorry I do not know the name . I went down the road the previous afternoon and the bush was thick and the road bad, so I decided I was not going down there again. I was right next to the turn-off when I noticed a tree about 50m down that road with 3 eagles in. Okay, I will go and photograph eagles and then turn around and continue on my merry way. I stopped next to the tree got ready to snap away, when I noticed something moving in the road in front of me. :shock: WOW!!!! Three stunning cheetahs just gently ambling along the road ....

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They were unfortunately moving away from me. I continued on the Rabelais loop and could not resist this photo ...

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:lol: I have 1 or 2 more photos of them, so I might post some more pics. My next sighting was a lonely ellie ...

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"General" game was aplenty and I did not travel for 10 minutes without seeing some mammal. AWESOME!!!!

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An old Dagha Boy ...

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Would love to hear some of the stories he could tell. I turned down the S36, deciding to brunch at Muzandzeni (a very underrated picnic spot IMO). As i left I had another lifer. What a stunning bird. Coqui Francolin.

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Not an award winning pic, but proof nonetheless. I turned down the S145, which as mentioned previously, was recently burned. The greenery was just starting to come through and I was hoping for some game to be feeding on the new green sprouts. I did find a Swainson's Spurfowl

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and a Burchell's Starling

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Not far down the road I saw some big birds feeding on something on the ground. The 1st of these birds was a Young Bateleur

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the second a less common sighting. White headed vulture ...

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and lastly, with the food in front of it, a Tawny eagle ...

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Look closely and you will see they we having a snack of python. Probably could not get away from the flames. Sad!

I turned down a little loop with a lookout over the (dry) Timbavati river. I parked under a huge Natal Mahogany, pulled out some rusks and sat there with for good on 90 minutes with not another human in sight and only some Lilac Breasted rollers, Green Wood-hoephoe's, and Swainsons Spurfowl for company. One word - BLISS!!!!
I would feel more optimistic of a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority - EB White

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