A Travellerspoint blog

South Africa

We have to leave Africa

18 November 2012

sunny 80 °F

Last look at the house

Last look at the house


Sadly today we have to start the long haul from Marloth Park, South Africa to Leesville, Louisiana. Before we left Curt and I took one more look at our house and it seemed all the wildlife came out to wish us farewell.
Dung beatle

Dung beatle


This dung beatle was out to remind me what it will be like when I go back to work!

We saw about 12 kudu bulls and all the giraffes out to say goo

Posted by ErinDriver 17:15 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Kruger Park Final Day

17 November 2012

sunny 75 °F

Our last day before traveling back was with Dylan again on his safari vehicle in Kruger. We invited Genie along and Dylan also had bookings with German woman and three guys from Australia.
The vehicle was full and it was a very hot day. We spent about 13 hours out. In our last four kilometers of the day we saw this male lion laying on these “stairs”.
they can look awfully tiny

they can look awfully tiny

]
Before him today there were lots of rhino, fish eagle, martial eagle, tawny eagle, rhino, hippos and elephants. One water hole had crocodiles, elephants, hippos, baboons, warthog, impala and a vast array of birds. I can never get tired of Kruger but after today I was tired!
what do you mean I dont get any of your breakfast

what do you mean I dont get any of your breakfast


taking a rest

taking a rest


lonely ellie

lonely ellie


Kori Bustard

Kori Bustard


How do you resist that face

How do you resist that face


hot crocodile

hot crocodile


hippo getting in water

hippo getting in water


getting wet

getting wet


friendly ellies

friendly ellies


Ellies at watering hole

Ellies at watering hole


Egyptian Geese with chicks

Egyptian Geese with chicks


eating reeds

eating reeds


brown snake eagle

brown snake eagle


bird bath

bird bath


baby zebra

baby zebra

Posted by ErinDriver 16:30 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Second Rest Day

16 November 2012

sunny 95 °F

Another rest day was in order. We tried to sleep in but when a lady walking down the road told my parents who were sitting outside that there were 12 lions visible over in Kruger we took off in our pajamas. When we got to the lookout the lions were gone :)
Our luck held up when we went to shop for some groceries and so mom could see the baby bush baby . The lady who had the baby was on vacation for two weeks.
roof almost done

roof almost done


We did visit our house and see that the roof is almost completed.
mom and baby monkey

mom and baby monkey


cute little monkey

cute little monkey


On the way out we had to stop and watch these monkeys, especially the one with the baby.
We collected everything on our list and some things not on the list like a beautifully hand painted pillow made by a woman in Marloth park.
Lunch was chicken cheese burgers on the grill and more rest time.
After a short nap the grill was fired up again and Genie was over for dinner. Curt made us a nice dinner of steak, baked potato and corn on the cob with ice cream for dessert.

Posted by ErinDriver 15:36 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Leaving our overnight in Kruger

14 November 2012

overcast 80 °F

bungalow in Skukuza

bungalow in Skukuza

Keys clink in the return box as we head out of the park in our rental. What are the chances we will have another day like yesterday…..none!
We do see the baby hyena again with her mom this time.
no kids like a bath

no kids like a bath

Leave me alone

Leave me alone

baby hyenas

baby hyenas

curious baby hyena

curious baby hyena

]
At the Traders Rest stop we wait for the place to open for breakfast so I got time to take photos of the weavers working on their nest.
working on the weaver nest

working on the weaver nest


weaver diving from nest

weaver diving from nest


Is she going to come check this

Is she going to come check this


Later in the afternoon we got a distance leopard in a tree but there is a photo for proof of life.
distant leopard

distant leopard


The rest is a photo blog of today.
zebra file

zebra file


white rhino

white rhino


Toyota Avanza

Toyota Avanza


Reed Cormorant

Reed Cormorant


lilac brested roller

lilac brested roller


crocodile

crocodile

dwarf mongoose

dwarf mongoose


Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese


honey badger

honey badger


impala heads

impala heads

Posted by ErinDriver 17:28 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Lucky number 13

13 November 2012

overcast 80 °F

THREE CATS IN ONE DAY!!
Not to minimize any other animals we saw today but on the first road out of camp I saw a spotted baboon on the road! I realized a second later that was the elusive leopard! He got behind the bush quickly but even if I don’t have a great photo I have proof of its existence.
Our First Leopard

Our First Leopard


leopard tale

leopard tale


IN the later afternoon heading towards camp we stopped to see a cheetah lazy about 10 meters from the road. He kept hearing something that would make it sit up, then lay down, then sit up, etc.
sleepy cheetah

sleepy cheetah


ready to roll

ready to roll


Im watching you cheetah

Im watching you cheetah


first glimpse of cheetah

first glimpse of cheetah


beautiful eyes

beautiful eyes


alert cheetah

alert cheetah


On the road out from that sighting a car stopped us to say about 2.5 km down the road there was a lioness! Can you believe it? The photo is just for proof that this actually did happen. She was laying against the tree with her back to us, not doing much.
proof of lion

proof of lion


Other great finds for the day were two baby hyenas left sleeping by the road.
hyena baby

hyena baby


hyena babies

hyena babies


A huge herd of elephant crossed the road in front of us.
baby ele crossing

baby ele crossing


cutest ele

cutest ele


I see you

I see you


We saw two male kudu bulls together.
Two Kudu Bulls

Two Kudu Bulls


Curt made us breakfast at Afsaa Traders rest which was also a fun break.
Curt making breakfast

Curt making breakfast


We hit Pretoriuskop which was a new rest stop for us and very quiet.
The night drive was cancelled for us since I think our luck was already maxed out for the day.
rhino crossing

rhino crossing


Leopard Tourtoise drinking

Leopard Tourtoise drinking


giraffe

giraffe


fish eagle

fish eagle

Posted by ErinDriver 16:59 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Kruger on the way to Skukuza Camp

12 November 2012

sunny 85 °F

View from Berg en Dal

View from Berg en Dal

An early start brought us to the Malelane Gate just after opening time.

We didn’t see much on the way to Berg-en-Dal Rest stop where we spent quite a bit of time on the walking path and watching the hippos who were always watching us.
hippos are always watching

hippos are always watching


They even seemed to keep pace with us in the water while we were on the trail. Thinking the next rest stop was too far away we decided to have breakfast and happened to be sitting next to the same guide that took us to Mozambique a few years ago.
pair of rhino

pair of rhino

taking the babies across

taking the babies across

hiding baby ele

hiding baby ele

dragging the trunk

dragging the trunk

]
On the way up the H3 toward Skukuza we saw rhino that crossed the road in front of us and a bunch of elephants that must have just come from getting water since they looked awfully muddy.
Southern Ground Hornbill

Southern Ground Hornbill


We also saw the Southern Ground Hornbill which we found out later is endangered. At the next rest stop we saw a sign asking people to report sightings!
We arrived in Skukuza late in the afternoon to find that I had booked us three bungalows instead of two. That was almost like rocket science for the receptionist to figure out. We got booked for the night drive and went for a rest and braai of chicken and potato salad.
hyenas on the prowl

hyenas on the prowl


The night drive had an interesting guide but atleast he seemed to enjoy his job. Just out the gate we saw hyena and I soon realized any other photos would be pointless. We saw several hippos, cape buffalo, bush hares and a bush baby.
banded mongoose

banded mongoose


lilac breasted roller

lilac breasted roller

lizard at Berg en Dal rest stop

lizard at Berg en Dal rest stop

steenbok

steenbok

wet baby ele

wet baby ele

zebra

zebra

]

Posted by ErinDriver 16:24 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Rest day with Bush Babies

11 November 2012

sunny 80 °F

I think we were all In need of a rest day so we slept in, had a nice breakfast and spent some time on the observation deck watching the baboons on the roof of our neighbors. Sometime around lunch Curt and I went to the store to get some food for lunch and dinner. This sounds like a normal outing but Curt got talking to the woman at the meat counter. When we were leaving she said she wanted to show us something. Next thing we knew she was pulling her shirt out and retrieving a bush baby from in there. The baby bush baby was only 6-7 weeks old. It had fallen from a tree and was abandoned. She was feeding it milk and honey from a syringe and keeping it next to her for body heat during the day. She let me hold it and showed us how it liked to have its legs scratched. It doesn’t get any cuter than that!
caught stealing

caught stealing


For dinner we had our first braai and fed our own bush babies bananas. From the meat counter we got sosaties that had a delicious “BBQ” sauce on them.
Frist Braai

Frist Braai


Ready to take the plunge

Ready to take the plunge

Posted by ErinDriver 16:05 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Elephant Sanctuary

10 November 2012

sunny 75 °F

Breakfast at Gecko again was a nice surprise, bacon, egg, sausage made to order. The food gave us strength for our next endeavor – the Elephant Sanctuary. Curt and I had done an elephant encounter before but this one pretty much blew that away. The sanctuary is actually in a very beautiful area surrounded by trees and foliage. The tour starts in their night time living area which is better than a lot of people in South Africa have.
Then he gave us a little lesson about their six sets of molars. The elephants can’t eat after they lose the last set and then no matter what you do they will die because they can’t eat enough.
Handlers with ele

Handlers with ele


At long last we got to meet the two elephants, Quito and Casper. By groups of two we were taken up to the elephant to touch his toes, tusk, stomach, feet, tongue, trunk…..
Mom and Dad with Casper

Mom and Dad with Casper


Curt and I touching Casper

Curt and I touching Casper


In the end you got a kiss from the ele which we thought would be just a touch of the trunk but he actually blows on you! We all left with quite dirty necks.
Ele kissing me

Ele kissing me


Ele kissing mom

Ele kissing mom


Next section was walking the ele. You were to put four fingers each in his nose! We walked him around in a circle and then fed him snacks for good behavior.
walking ele

walking ele


Mom and I then rode the elephant for a good 15 minutes each. The handlers took us up a hill and then we barreled back down. The downward part was quite bouncy!
elephant walk

elephant walk


on ele

on ele


When the elephant tour was over the bodies needed fuel again so we went to the shops in Hazyview. After lunch Curt and I got a duvet so we won’t sweat to death at night anymore. It is made of silk and incredible soft.
eles holding hands

eles holding hands

elephant enclosure

elephant enclosure

Ele tongue

Ele tongue

Ele lashes

Ele lashes

black cat at ele sanctuary

black cat at ele sanctuary

]
We drove back through the pothole city and hit the Pick n Pay for 950 rand worth of groceries before rushing home to feed the bush babies. They got their bananas but were not as friendly tonight.

Posted by ErinDriver 15:02 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Our house and Graskop

9 November 2012

sunny 70 °F

Our house

Our house


First order of business today is to check out the progress on the retirement center and to our surprise the roof was actually being put on! Guys were there in their bare feet laying the thatch. We suspect they might live there while working because one room had a sofa, part of bicycle and they had fashioned a barbell out of cement.
putting on the roof

putting on the roof


our roof

our roof


Next was the close to three hour drive to Graskop for shopping and pancakes. I took the leap and drove today and actually found it easier than I thought. The only problem was the town we went through with potholes you could lose the whole car in. Harrie’s is our first stop on arrival for pancakes. Curt and I shared a chicken and mushroom pancake and then the grand finale of cinnamon and sugar with ice cream and caramel sauce. Ahh, worth the drive. We were nearly forced to buy macadamia nuts by the guys standing outside the restaurant nearly assaulting anyone who came out.
motorcycle bar

motorcycle bar


Beer and Food

Beer and Food

]
We actually saw a biker bar and an add for a harley ride!
Gecko Lodge

Gecko Lodge


We did some shopping and then heading to Gecko lodge back at Hazyview. It has become a tradition but it is now under new management. As far as I could tell it is only for the better. The new owners were super nice and attentive. They didn’t have the bar anymore unless for a big group but we still sat outside and had our Windhoek before dinner.
Gecko pool

Gecko pool


At Gecko Lodge

At Gecko Lodge


It was the best food we have had in Gecko lodge and included an appetizer of lasagna, main course of either steak or trout and then apple crumble. Yummy!

Posted by ErinDriver 12:40 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Kruger Park

8 November 2012

rain 60 °F

giraffe

giraffe


There was no time for ambien the night before so I think I finally fell asleep at 0300. We missed our alarm at Dad got us up 15 minutes before we were to wake up for our day in Kruger Park. Luckily for us our guide, Dylan was late too. The day was still dreary and chilly but he promised this made wildlife viewing even better.
Kruger Lions

Kruger Lions


Kruger lion 3

Kruger lion 3


Kruger Lion 1

Kruger Lion 1


hyena

hyena


distant cheetah

distant cheetah


Pretty much he was right because within a few hours of arrival my parents had seen lions, hyena, rhino and CHEETAH! It was our first wild cheetah sighting and it was actually a bit in the distance but I did get proof it happened :)
Around lunchtime we were at a lookout for bacon and eggs which was badly needed since we had not eaten dinner the night before. While Dylan made us breakfast we got to watch waterbuck and the vervet monkeys.
amazed vervet

amazed vervet


vervet monkey

vervet monkey


waterbuck boys

waterbuck boys


Shortly after lunch we saw a jackal and lots of close up elephants.
jackal

jackal


broken tusk

broken tusk


Old Bones Ele

Old Bones Ele


Before long the rain was pouring down and getting too hectic to drive around in. Finally after we were thoroughly soaked Dylan threw in the towel and drove us home. It was the coldest I have ever been in Kruger.
wildebeest

wildebeest


Our next idea after getting dry was to go to the shops and get some snacks and pizza. However, because it was raining the pizza oven didn’t work! ?? You read that right. After two shops we settled on bouwers and chips. Because it was raining we cooked them in a pan….shame!
There was more good news for the day when the bush babies appeared. Once actually came and sat right next to me at the picnic table to see what we were having for dinner. Curt remembered some grapes in our bag. They were no banana but it seemed to satisfy them alright.

Posted by ErinDriver 16:42 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 10 of 49) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 » Next