Time to go to the Gamerezoo again!
  • Day3

    Kokanje to Punda Maria

    May 12, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Finally! We left Kokanje about 8:30. Considered the R101 vs N1 and decided on the highway. Lots of traffic coming south, but not much going north. Polokwane was awful - road construction and trucks slowed us down. We had lunch at 11 at the Capricorn toll gate Steers - toasted sandwich! Next stretch not too bad. Thohoyandou was very slow - 60 all through Venda. Finally got to Punda after 3. Time for a cool drink. Granite rock north of Polokwane, weaver nests at Steers, Juanita at Steers, Venda village, PundaMaria gate, Having a drink!Read more

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  • Day3

    Punda hide at camp

    May 12, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Once unpacked and rested we walked down to the hide - about 5 pm.
    Nothing there except a few three-banded plovers, turtle doves, blacksmith lapwing and far away on a dead tree two marabou storks. After that all the stuff in the pictures! The ellies were fascinating - they all came with trunks in the air, sniffing the camp and all the people...

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  • Day4

    The Mahonie Loop

    May 13, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    We were earlier than usual - for us...
    Left camp before 8 and drove the Mahonie Loop widershins. Lots of wildlife both fauna and avian. Specials: a young elephant on his/her own right next to the road. We asked where Mom was, whereupon he trumpeted like a full-grown male. Mom responded - on the other side of the road. We nearly jumped out of the car, and were out of there lickety-split. Then there was a bateleur perched in a baobab right next to the road, but he/she flew off before we could get a picture 🤔Read more

  • Day5

    Pafuri

    May 14, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Paguri is probably our favourite place on earth. We were on our way about 06h30 and looking forward to a good brunch. The trip did not disappoint - snake eagle, more than 1 bateleur, steenbok, hippo and crocodile were all there. Didn't manage the lemon-breasted canary but got 3 different spurfowls!
    Pics are into the Limpopo valley, Pafuri, the Luvuvhu river, fever tree forest, Crooks' Corner, and Klopperfontein dam.
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  • Day6

    Punda Maria to Shingwedzi

    May 15, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    A looong day in Juanita. But lots of animals and birds. Saw waterbuck for the first time this trip, otherwise ellies, buffalo, nyala and of course impala. Lots of new birds: 3 tawny eagles, white-backed vultures, yellow-billed storks, fish eagle, and best of all 3 ground hornbill from the Shingwedzi river bridge! POps got pictures of most, but I only managed a few animals we had to wait for. (My new phone has quite a cool editing program so all is done on the Huawei.)
    We had to wait for ellies and buffaloes to cross the road several times. And you can see that we are having a tough time! Can Margaux, Kirsten or Natie figure out who the bones belong to?
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  • Day7

    Shingwedzi Day 2

    May 16, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Today we mostly chilled. Drove to the Bridge and down to the confluece of the Mphongolo and Shingwedzi rivers. From the bridge it looks very dry (looking west) but there is quite a lot of water really. Didn't need to go further - saw elephant, buffalo (grumpy old man), waterbuck, baboon, zebra, wildebees and lots of birds including an odprey!
    There's a big mean baboon which terrorizes the camp at dawn and dusk - he's quite scary!
    It was also washing day, so that's how we spent the afternoon...
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  • Day8

    Shingwedzi Day 3

    May 17, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    We seem to naturally wake up about 06h00, so had a quick cereal breakfast and set off to Kanniedood dam. The river bed had patches of water, but on the whole is a very dry river bed. Kanniedood dam itself is very 'dood' - the wall is smashed and the dam is no more.
    However there seems to be quite a lot of water - again in patches - downstream.
    We collected some new waterbirds: Goliath heron, great egret, more hamerkops and Egyptian goose and spoonbills. Also heard the golden-tailed woodpecker at one spot, and a couple of grey hornbills flew over our hut when we got home.
    Chilled this afternoon - POps wrote his diary and I wrote this footprint...
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  • Day9

    Shingwedzi Day 4

    May 18, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Today was Red Rocks day. We would do brunch when we got back to camp. We started with Jill as driver, turning right off the H1 on to the dirt road. It seemed a long way to Red Rocks but POps was navigating with Birdlasser on my old Samsung (couple of apps didn't make it to my new phone yet), and got us there safely. Our first animal was a young giraffe - neither of us won. We had seen no ellies yesterday and saw only one in the distance at Red Rocks. But we got lots of birds, mostly at RR where there were a couple of nice shallow pools for the little birds - cinnamon-breasted bunting, grey-headed sparrow and out-of-breeding weavers (spectacled?). Also white-fronted bee-eaters doing aerobatics and every kind of dove, including more Namaqua doves than we've ever seen in one place before.
    Brunch and a middag slapie were very welcome back in camp.
    We went for a night walk to the fence and heard a Dad explaining the difference between the 2 thick-knees to his kids. We then heard a spotted dikkop at fence - else we wouldn't have known the call! On the way back to the hut we heard the pearl-spotted owlet shrieking...
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  • Day10

    Shingwedzi Day 5

    May 19, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Decided we'd enough of driving long distances as we were stiff and sore, so we decided to do the Lamont loop just across the bridge. When we turned into the Confluence loop a guy coming out said there were lion at the bridge. By the time we got to the bridge there were lots of cars and not everyone knowing where to look. Eventually found a male and 2 females way downstream on the bank.
    There was a sharp hoot and who should arrive from the north but Dries and Rhona, closely followed by Theuns and Lerouxna - so there was a Kokanje re-union on the bridge. Also a massive traffic jam as both couples were pulling huge caravans. Lots of fun and games!
    Thought we might have lunch at the restaurant, but after checking prices decided it was much cheaper to braai at the hut. So we did.
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  • Day11

    Shingwedzi to Letaba.

    May 20, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    The plan was to drive on the H1 as being fastest and easiest driving; cereal breakfast and brunch at Mooiplaas. The plan worked fine until we got to Mooiplaas (about 11h30) and found that it was closed.
    POps had a bad tummy overnight so the brunch plan was now no go. We drove back to Mopani and went to look at the Day Visitors' area. It is not a very exciting place, so after a comfort stop we went to the big baobab tree to spot some buffalo weavers. The last time we were there the tree was full of nests, but today it was starkly empty - no leaves, only a few fruit and not a single nest. So we dipped on the little black bird with a red bill.
    We pressed on south and were amply rewarded: down one river loop we found ourselves in the middle of a herd of buffalo (we didn't tune them 'moo'), and on the next loop likewise in elephants (so we moved on smartly). Special was more than one sighting of tsessebe. Got several new birds too: magpie shrike, toppie, double-banded sandgrouse.
    And at last a decent signal so I could upload footprints!
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