You're killing me with these photos, Tod -- they are just too incredibly wonderful, and you are making waver in my love of Southeast Asia, even though we got a great "industry" offer today from Vietnam Airlines for a round trip from Paris for 280€ to Saigon or Hanoi. Then again, I can fly to Johannesburg round trip for about 60€ since my own airline goes there.
Oh well, I guess I'll go eat mussels with my mother after her dye job tomorrow instead.
Hi Guys! Today was a killer....I have never had so much perspiration dripping from my brow at dinner! Hey Kerouac - we had to move our dining table away from the wall to avoid bat droppings!! Little buggers Our bungalow is tiny - has three beds, a brilliant shower which spurts till it hurts - BUT, the patio is mi-nute! No cooker, but a fridge & sink. I cooked a spicey rice in the main cooking facility across the road from us. Very old two plate top which eventually cooked the rice, and then we barbecued Boerewors and big black mushrooms. Well, we didn't do so many photos today of animals.......where are you??? But I will try and post photos of today a.s.a.p.
I know this is our first night but unless I was assured of premium perimeter accommodation - give this place a miss. Too much traffic past our and other bungalows ( cars ride up and down trying to find their spot!) We have never stayed here before but because of the very close proximity to Lake Panic Hide we decided to give it a try.
I am going to write a small essay on the merits of Kruger when I get back home.
Kerouac - you mentioned driving through Swaziland or Lesotho. NO Lesotho!(leave it to Harry) You need a four wheel drive to negotiate the mountain pass down into Kwazulu-Natal and I recommend Swaziland as the very best route. Tomorrow we drive far north of the park taking breakfast and lunch with us.
Thank you all so much for your kind comments! Very much appreciated. Bixa - I am so glad you are enjoying this - makes it all worthwhile.
Hi from sweltering Kruger! I have a lot of catching up to do as I still have photos from Friday and Saturday, then tomorrow after another sorting, I should be able to post today's photos.
I am so glad I actually have photos from our daily excursions as sometimes the poor old tourist goes home with only elephants and buck! We are interested in ALL things Kruger so photograph anything that moves and if it doesn't we snap it anyway ;D
Here are Friday's sightings:
Speed camera near Skukuza.
Entrance to Sukuza Camp.
School children arriving back at camp for the weekend - we don't wear shoes to school in this part of the world (I never did when living in White River and attending junior school).
Our rondawel. The communal kitchen. The inside. Vulture. Dragon Flys at Lake Panic. Terrapin - Lake Panic.
Hi from a cool breezy Skukuza! Today was another hot 30.5C but tonight a breeze came up and eating dinner out on the patio was very pleasant. We had baked potatoes in the coals, grilled lamb chops and a simple salad of tomato, red onion, and baby gem lettuce. I made a dressing with vinegar from the pickled onions, mustard, & olive oil with a sprinkle of herb seasoning. This afternoon I thought I had lost my photos you have just viewed and was ready to barbecue the laptop Grrrrrrrrrr!! Fortunately when I switched on now I see they are all there bar a few which I will add when I get home.
Yesterday we drove hundreds of miles to a picnic spot near the Mozambique border. When we got there is was closed!! So, we drove back as far as the bridge over the Letaba river and stopped in the demarcated yellow lines where you can get out of the vehicle, and had a picnic lunch from the boot of the car! So much fun!
Now, here is what y'all want to see - not only a lion kill but a double lion kill! Two buffalo on either side of the road - one eaten and one left rotting (went back today and yesterday to check on the progress of the buffet).
Photos for Saturday:
Elephant evidence. Anthill - seem to be always around a tree which is still living. No Entry to tourists. Animal tracks. Seed pods on a tree called the Purple-Pod Cluster Leaf. Elephant,Giraffe,Kudu and Impala love it. Buck grazing in river bed. Border Post Mozambique. Menu at picnic spot. Giant Kingfisher. LION KILL Female Water buck. Leopard tortoise on the road. Hippo. Marabou storks at waterhole. Ostrich and chicks. Kori Bustard in veld. LION KILL
This looks like such an incredible adventure to me. Does it seem the same to you? After all, this is your country and these are the typical local animals. One might think that there is no reason for you to be impressed, except for finding this excursion to be a pleasant holiday break. Or are even South Africans struck with awe when they see such ferocious beasts?
Stunning report Tod! Your photos are superb and I especially love the animals!!!…the lions and cheetah….the lion in profile with his beautiful amber eyes and the whimsical closeup of his paws…the second shot of the cheetah! What camera are you using? It certainly has a great zoom lens, unless you are an exceptionally brave woman. Thank you.
Tod's days are too tiring, and I think she spends too much time eating and sleeping when she could be posting more photos for us. And her husband's presence is probably disruptive as well, so why on earth did she bring him?
Hey! Here I am..... The days are indeed looooooong - Very early 6.00am starts (the gates all open at 5.30) then it's out for the day. Some days I am dying to post photos but they have to be sorted......then there is dinner to prepare as we are doing self-catering this trip.
You all know were are TWO photographers on this trip - two cameras and an assortment of very powerful lenses. Not all close-ups are on max zoom - like the lion kill for instance. We could almost reach out and grab a piece of buffalo ourselves as it was on either side of the road, almost on the tar. We have been back to that kill 4 times - a distance of 40km from Skukuza camp and can report there are only bones left on the one buffalo and a hollow carcass on the other. Vultures must have been as there was a dead vulture next to the kill - ?? Never seen that before.
Yes, this and every trip to Kruger is very exciting as it is never the same. This trip has been very good animal and bird spotting but the leopard is still evading us!
We have moved to Crocodile Bridge Camp (yesterday) and it is lovely. Lawns in front right up to the fence between us and the animals. The roar of the river going over the weir sounds like a waterfall and is constant in the background. Yesterday it started drizzling and we woke up this morning to a light rain........that's why I'm doing this ;D Animals in the rain later.......
Thanks one and all for your encouraging remarks and I will go back when I get home and see what questions I need to answer.
Here are the next sightings of the day:
Thatch ceilingg of our Skukuza rondawel. Selati restaurant at Skukuza. Museum and old petrol bowser. Skukuza Golf Club. Palm tree at Skukuza nursery. Nursery. For Mickthecactus - tried to locate Huernia so photo'd page in Nursery book. Picnic table at nursery. Entrance to Nursery. Wetland and walk. Lake Panic. Entrance to Lake Panic Hide. Elephants crossing in front of us with small baby. Raining in Kruger. Weaver nests over waterhole. Rocks. Windmill for waterhole. No Entry. Boulders. Tar & Sand. Kruger scenery. Sand bank in river. Bird Perch. Pink thorns.
I think Fumobici just summed up how everyone who sees this thread feels!
Tod, your intro to this latest bunch of photos was wonderful to read. You really convey the feeling and excitement of being there. And speaking of excitement, I am glad you two controlled your desire to snatch rotting buffalo meat from big cats. Just incredible that you were that close!
Your words and the rain-drenched beauty in this group of pictures are such a treat. I thought we were so lucky to see your other elephant pics, but this latest three -- whew!
I keep discovering new things every time I scroll through the whole thread. It's as though tod2 is secretly replacing some of the pictures evey day and putting even more amazing ones in their place.
I am particularly impressed at how you can switch back and forth between animals, buildings, birds, vegetation, bugs and landscapes and not only are the photos all exceptional in quality, but they are also exceptionally interesting, colourful, surprising and informative.
I am running out of admirative adjectives, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one.
Greetings once again from KRUGER! A really lazy start to the day with hot marmalade toast and tea at around 9.30am. It was drizzling heavily and there was no rush. Eventually we drove across the width of Kruger from our camp at Crocodile Bridge to Berg-en-Dal Camp and spent the rest of the day on the lookout for leopards...no luck but we nearly drove over a one metre python!
Tonight as I was sitting on our little patio, glass of red one side and some big green olives on the other - laptop in between - I heard a rustling sound and looked up to see an elephant right next to the fence only 10 metres away! My DH rushed to snap him but he got really angry so DH backed off and decided using flash might really make him mad! Oh to sit an find an elly on your doorstep every day.... ;D
Tomorrow is our last day so I will post a few photos left from yesterday and if we have packed up and are ready may find time tomorrow evening, otherwise will complete our 11 day adventure from home. So glad I was able to do this for the Anyporters!!
Our new and last camp - Crocodile Bridge and our little hut. Malachite Kingfisher at Lake Panic Look at my BIG ears! The three stooges. Big Daddy.. Horn bill. Water buck. White chested shrike.
Hopefully time will be on my side for one last photo sendout live from Kruger......I have a special elephant treat with a group of babies to show you!
I know I keep using the same superlatives, Tod, but DANG!
The malachite kingfisher is really a jewel. It's quite a small bird, isn't it?
Noble waterbuck, and fascinating "stooges". I've never seen a picture of those birds before.
The big-eared bambi is adorable and that's a fabulous sequence of pics. Still, I think you need to start a caption competition for the last one in the sequence. That's the one with the vacillating stance and the tire tracks. ;D
My pick of this litter is the baboon. That is a monumental photograph!
Not gone yet! It's a splendid sunny afternoon with a super breeze to keep things cool. Started off as usual with sun to wake us up, then clouds and drizzle, ending with a blue sky and fluffy white clouds. Temp. went up to 30.5C but is a coolish 26C now. We have come home early to pack the car so we can make a 5.30am start through Swaziland. That way we can get home by about 4pm if we only stop off for a quick lunch at a roadside cafe`.
Thanks Bixa! Mich64 - So glad you liked the pics! Kerouac, those are Ground Hornbills and are so trusting that they have had to become a protected species. Easy to catch by man or beast I guess. I have got some good close-up shots to post here when I get home.
To end the LIVE report I am not going APE - but Elelphant! We were so lucky to be travelling north when this troup of elephants were walking nearby. We noticed quite a lot of babies and kinda junior elephants sticking together and DH was taking some shots when all of a sudden I noticed a little one stumble. 'Keep clicking'!! I said. This was what we saw......Who would have thought elephants had such a tremendous sense of 'family' and caring?? You read about it but actually seeing it brings it so much more meaning. Take the last shot when the other two have helped him to his feet - the little leader with a mouthful of grass has his trunk around the other one as if to say 'C'mon we need to catch up with mom!"
I have read about elephants 'shouldering' each other to give assistance, but it is great to actually see it in action. Elephants look so strong, but I'm sure there are plenty of times when they are weak and exhausted -- we just don't always understand what is happening.
Elephants are amazing to watch, especially when in a mixed group. Out of all the animals I could watch them every time. I don't think there is an animal that when in a herd display the same characteristics of family, protection and companionship.
This is almost unbelievable. I hadn't the slightest idea one could view SO much wildlife in this time frame. I also didn't realize it was so affordable - I somehow had it in my peabrain that it was all expensive luxury resorts with highly organized tours. For these reasons I've never had much interest in a trip to Africa - now I'm DYING to go!