See our new blog for May and June 2011

Day 83 (10 of 12) July 2

Woke to a wet morning with a light drizzle, we decided to stay in camp, paint a bit and do some admin, pay accounts etc., what follows is some interesting shots taken at different times. I spy with my big eye

Interesting pose and grandkids see the ring on his bum where he sat on the toilet before the paint had dried.

Nyala seen near Orpen, they are common from Letaba north but a mega tick in the south.

The biggest bird

And a small chick

Interesting photo of the Rhino taken at the end of April and one taken in the same area at the end of May. Note how the grass has dried out in a month.

Have a look at spot the animal page, it has a new post.

Day 82 (Maroela 9 of 12) July 01

Lions roaring very close by woke us at 04h 00. The moon was bright and we got up to see if we could see them. We stood there in the chill and listened as they roared, what a thrill, it made me wonder how prehistoric man must have felt when the King roared. It is the most spine chilling sound, the faintest roar will wake me from the deepest sleep.
Up early waiting for the gate to open so that we could see if we could find them. Traveled along the tar and found them about a Km from the turn off to camp, 5 of them crossed the road walking in a southerly direction, they were walking with a mission. It was still to dark for any decent photo and out of sight within 5 min.

Turned onto the Rabelais road and spotted a Serval cat crossing the road. This is a new addition to our mammal list, which takes our number to 44 total and 28 for Kruger. (see mammals page)
Continued on to Rabelais dam for coffee (we have run out of rusks, not bad planning as we have only 5 days to go)
Returned to Orpen so that we could be within Cell phone range, to make our bookings with Sanparks for next year June, which opened today at 07h30. Booked Satara for the whole month of June 2011, done!
Went to the Rabelais turn off and back again, at exactly the same spot where we saw the Lion we saw a Rhino on the way out and a herd of Buffalo on the way back.
Wild dog were spotted again this morning, but they are being seen outside the KNP between Orpen Gate and the far gate (Timbavati control gate).
81 days and seen the backside of a one Cheetah, where are the Sable? This is the first trip that we have not seen Sable.
We had breakfast in camp this morning. Brekkies was French toast, Anchoviette Toast and coffee.

Weather turned nasty…overcast with slight drizzle and windy.
Did some cleaning, cleaned the inside of the caravan, washed floor and dusted.
Out of camp by 4:30pm, drove at a snails pace on tar road. At about 3km from camp we saw cars had stopped. Got to the spot and saw a leopard with a warthog in its mouth dragging it back towards where we came from. We must have missed the chase by seconds as the Warthog was still kicking.

We turned around and followed it for a while. Lost sight of it so we drove slowly on, hoping we will see it again when we saw an elephant a few paces away right next to the road in a small dip. Stopped to take a photo of it while it was eating grass.

After a few minutes we saw the leopard walking towards the elephant with the warthog in its mouth, the elephant got a fright and chased the leopard up a small tree. The leopard was balancing on a thin branch when suddenly it lost grip of the warthog, the warthog and leopard fell to the ground. It was funny.
He/she then sat under the tree licking the warthog getting ready to have a feast.
We had to leave after a while as it was now getting dark and the gates were closing at 5:30pm.

We saw the big 5 in one day, only the second time while we are here, and that was on the 3Km stretch from Orpen gate to the Rabelais turn off
Supper was chicken lasagna, and homemade bread. Watched the Tennis on DSTV, a change from the soccer.
This is what happens when a cat is spotted.
Reg no.
HGP 832 NW

Day 81 (Maroela 8 of 12) June 30

We decided to stay out all day.
Took the tar road to Satara, Coffee and what is left of the rusks at Bobbejaankrans.

Mom with chicklets feeding near us while we were having our morning coffee.
Turned south onto the S36 hoping to spot Sable.
At Rockvale waterhole, we found a small pride of Lion, to far for decent photo’s and to lazy and inactive to keep us interested for long.
Quick pit stop at Muzandzeni before taking on the Sweni again, as reported earlier this road, once our favorite, is dead. We have now tried it early, mid morning and late with little to report.
Headed on the tar towards N”wanetsi, Lions at Shishangani, again to far and inactive.

Immature Bateleur
After breakfast we did the S100 which had been so good to us while we were at Satara.
The biggest herd of Elephant I have seen on this trip crossed the road in front of us heading for the river. No excitement of an Elephant charging us on this trip, yet.

Returned via Girivana to Maroela. A long day in the saddle.

Braai with pap and train smash for din dins.

Day 80 Maroela (7 of 12) June 29

Hippo yawning trying to intimidate the elephants

Water in s h 1 t out

Are these perhaps twins?

Has anybody any idea why Zebras are being collard, saw this one on the Orpen-Satara tar rd.
We decided to lay-in an extra half an hour this morning and what happens, their is a Leopard at the gate preventing the staff from opening the gate on time.
We travelled down the tar and completed the Rabelais loop returning to Maroela for breakfast and to do some maintenance, fixed the table and replaced a rivet in a chair. Must be the weight increase due to good food and atmosphere and a lack of exercise.
Lettie went to Orpen to do a load of washing.
In the afternoon we did the same loop but in a different direction.Had fish and rice with a fruit salad and custard as dessert (Capetonians can't go long without fish)

Day 79 (Maroela 6 of 12) June 28

I heard the dustbins being pushed over early this morning. I decided to go outside and see if I could take a photo of the Honey Badger. Grabbed Andrew’s camera and waited near the exit hole in the fence. The young boys next door then told me he/she is coming with a packet in its mouth towards the escape hole. I took a photo but the flash did not work. Now the Badger was out and I had no photo! I asked the young boy to light the path to our car so I could get my camera out. The youngest of the boys had not seen the badger before and told me he was excited but also scared when he saw it for the fist time.
Got the camera, boys went back to their caravan and I decided to wait for the Badger to come back. Looked at my cell and saw that it was 1am in the morning!Luckily the moon was up and shining bright so I was not totally in the dark waiting for the badger to return. After about 10min I heard the dustbin next to our caravan being raided…walked slowly towards our screen wall, took a photo, then he/she saw me and charged me! Well this “Oumie” turned tail and ran to our caravan a few steps away…jeez! That was close. Andrew woke up and wanted to know what is going on with all the noise I was making getting back into the van. Told him about the Badger chasing me, both of us had a good giggle. Back in bed, we could hear it was still going about pushing dustbins over, looking for scraps. If there are any cartoonists out there, this scene would make a great cartoon, picture the scene, bright moonlit night, Oumie in her pajamas, hightailing it for the caravan with the badger in hot pursuit

Day 77 and 78 (Maroela 4&5 of 12) June 26/27

Day 77 (Maroela 4 of 12) June 26

Did not go out today…stayed in camp. Watched the Rugby, Cricket and Soccer.

Day 78 (Maroela 5 of 12) June 27

Left at 7am said goodbye to Paul & Isabel as they are leaving for Skukuza.
We took a slow drive down the tar road towards the Timbavati sand road. Weather has turned foul and the wind is blowing strong forcing us to have breakfast in our car. Returned via Girivane, saw a herd of Buffalo still lying down. Went past Rabelais to see if we could spot Cheetah and Wild dog, maybe tomorrow.
Potjiekos and dumplings for supper tonight.
Photo opportunities have dried up a bit after Satara, but we still have a week to go.