Just a few animals

Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
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Trip End Nov 30, 2012


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Flag of South Africa  ,
Monday, October 22, 2012

We got safely up into Kruger - pick up was late of course but we arrived in time for the evening game drive; this was actually in Balule NP and we were met by a giraffe & Hippo straight away followed by the usual Impala, Zebra, & Water Buck but did also see a very large Elephant, some bushbabies, & guinea fowl. This is on the edge of the original Kruger but the fences are down now. We actually stayed at Tremisana Game Lodge the first night as planned which was fine & dinner was the first of I suspect many BBQ's.
We went on the 5am bush walk in the morning which of course left at 5.45; this was interesting enough but we were hardly liable to see many animals - just circling vultures out of our range along the Oliphant River. On the drive back we saw more Giraffes, wart hogs, Impala, Water Bok and Black Back Jackall and then breakfast at ten and back to bed for 2 hours.
The afternoon game drive was similar but the highlight was a large white rhino up real close. Photos to follow. This was a real treat.
We transferred to Marcs Treehouse which was a wooden 'tree house style' on stilts but really quaint. There are more animals around the camp here (Nyalla & Monkeys) and another BBQ style dinner.
On Wednesday we spent all day in Kruger NP although the weather was a little windy & cloudy which probably reduced what we saw (no lions!) but we still have a very long list of the usual suspects. The highlight was a fish eagle taking a lizard from the bank above a lake. The park has lots of paved roads & self-drive visitors so it was quite different to anything we have seen before - Liz even got pie & chips for lunch (as due to a strike the cafe menu was limited). Another tip - an open sided vehicle gets cold when it's windy & cloudy. There were also lots of birds for Liz inc the pretty rare Ground Hornbill & a 'German' Stork. A very nice day ending up with another BBQ.

The next morning we go to Moloholo Rehab Centre where a passionate guy takes in orphaned/injured & poisoned animals - mainly as a result of poachers or farmers - so we got to stroke a cheetah, feed a vulture (with a big leather glove on) & see baby rhinos as well as young orphaned lions, rhino & leopard. They also had lots of eagles so a nice morning. Filled the gap before the 5pm drive at what passed for the local shopplng centre but did have a nice pizza & ice cream. We got over to the camp to find a giraffe by the entrance. On the drive we saw our first lion - the local boss known as Big Boy, what we know call the usual suspects ( impala, warthog, zebra etc) and a family of giraffes.
On Friday I took another trip into Kruger all day while the girls went off to a boat trip on the lake at the Bylde Valley Dam. Don't ask who got it right but in one of those 'timed it right' moments saw a cheetah with 4 cubs drag an impala it had just killed into a bush only for the vultures to attract a lion who chased away the cheetah and her cubs; meanwhile a leopard took over the kill until the lion returned (the cheetahs got away) and chased off the leopard who posed up a nearby tree. No I did not make that up. Not sure how to follow that but the good stuff I saw included ground hornbills, buffaloes, lots of elephants with babies, crocodiles, eagles, baboons etc.
Liz & Jacqueline enjoyed their day but I think I made the right call.
On our final day we had a nice morning bush walk getting up close with Nyala before the drive back to Joburg via a rather cloudy Bylde Canyon (apparently the 3rd deepest in the world).
So a successful trip and back to the compounded hotel in a thundery Joburg before the Botswana trip starts the next day

 
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Comments

Serena on

sounds as though you're having a great time, wrap up warm! LOl Suki,

very nice snorkelling in Egypt, did orientation dive and off diving again tomorrow. Can see Israel, Jordan and either saudi or Iraq - sorry my geogs BAD from our hotel. LOL S

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