Blogs from Mpumalanga , South Africa, Africa

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Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park November 5th 2020

Here we are, it has been 5 full weeks we are back in South Africa and it feels so good to be back! Yes, there is home, the diving, the golf, but also amazing wine and food! This is my own little paradise found! The country has now opened, or is in the process to open to anybody with a negative covid test. So at least we know it will be easier to go in and out in the near future. The second wave of Covid hasn't hit yet here. Not sure if and when it will happen, but we are ready to stay home if we need to! December being the school holidays month here, I also plan that we stay mainly home for most of the month. So after spending few weeks at home, ... read more
Jacaranda time in South Africa....gorgeous...
Fun moment...
Wild dogs, pretty rare to spot...

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park November 28th 2019

Today is our last full day on safari as we head to the airport at 8:30am tomorrow morning. Kevin plans to go out tomorrow for a short time but I’d rather rest up a bit and pack for our 36 hour six flight trip back to San Diego. Today we were one of the last vehicles to leave the lodge and all of the others before us headed in one direction. Gary didn’t want to follow the crowds, if you want to really call them crowds as only about 30 people have access to the reserve we explore every day. The public have to stay on the paved roads and cannot get out of their windshielded cars. We, on the other hand, go down dirt roads, go off road and sometimes get out of our open ... read more
owl
Two owls
Snail on the road

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park November 27th 2019

We said a sad goodbye to our friends at Ebony Lodge at noon and took off on the 12-seater plane to head east to our final lodge, Lebombo. This lodge is located within its own private concession which lies within the Kruger National Park. This lodge has a very modern design and our suite is beautiful but that’s no surprise since it’s a Singita property. We did have several stops on the flight here and we enjoyed listening to the pilots perform their duties as we sat right behind them. Upon arrival at Lebombo, we were greeted by our new guide, Gary, and his tracker, Sully. We were also teamed up with a young couple from Brooklyn. We unpacked, freshened up and headed out on our first game drive. The terrain here is more rocky that ... read more
the four cheetah brothers climbing the ridge.
Looking for snackalopes.
Posing for the camera

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park November 27th 2019

Today started out at 5:30am which is quite normal for us now. We had a quick coffee and headed out for the morning game drive. Gary stopped the cruiser just down the road and Sully got out to give us a lesson in tracking animal prints. We learned the difference between and cat and a dog print, and I don’t mean a kitty cat and a poodle either. I mean the difference between jackal or African wild dog and a leopard, lion or cheetah. Dogs have two lobes at the back of their paw and cats have three (cheetahs will also leave claw marks). This print was from a female leopard because of the size and no claw mark. We then proceeded down the road and came to a river crossing. Again, Sully and Gary had ... read more
The White Lion
Sully and Gary spot the rhinos.
bite your fingernails and leave our horns alone!

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Sabi Sands November 25th 2019

We started our morning game drive at 5:30am but not before having some coffee and a few healthy snacks. Jonty, who is strong and stands 6’7” tall, immediately headed us to the Sands River which our suite overlooks. Due to rains that had fallen the previous day, Jonty and Lewis consulted another guide and determined the river was safe for us to cross so the Land Rover headed into the water and we crossed at a quick pace. Another group was not as brave as Kevin and me and refused to let their guide do the crossing. Within 5 minutes of crossing, we came upon a beautiful leopard lounging on a tree branch. It completely ignored us as we sat and watched it for at least a half hour. Jonty was then informed via radio that ... read more
the leopard
one of the two younger lions
our crew

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Sabi Sands November 25th 2019

We delayed our start time a bit this morning because it was rainping heavily, a nice treat for a San Diego girl who doesn’t get to enjoy much precipitation. With the rain still falling, a little bit lighter perhaps, we set out in the rover equipped with oiled canvas ponchos. But only Hazel and I partook of them because Jonty, Lewis and Kevin are all tough outdoorsmen who don’t mind inclement weather. We were in search for the wild dogs again and were heading down that same road again, when Jonty was informed via radio that two leopards had been spotted near a watering hole. With the sun now out, the ponchos off and feeling the fresh breeze in our faces, we headed toward the spot where we came upon a father and son lion basking ... read more
looking for any food opportunity.
Dad is on the termite mound.
I don’t know how much longer my patience will hold out.

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Thornybush Game Reserve September 23rd 2019

When you come to Africa and go on safari, everyone is supposed to want to see the Big Five, this is the elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. Not always easy apparently, but we did it today! Another early start, and very cold, and again we set out to look for the rhino! Headed to the north east of the park where rumour had it there were rhino to be found. Up till this point, the game drives appeared to be randomly driving the tracks that criss cross the park, accidentally coming upon animals, or going where others had sighted something. Today we saw the tracking skills of our ranger/driver and our tracker. They first saw rhino tracks headed to an area we were not allowed to enter. (Thornybush is a private game reserve, one of ... read more
Herd of wildebeest
Jacques & July off to track the rhino
Found them!

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Thornybush Game Reserve September 22nd 2019

We had a rude awakening this morning with a 5am wake up call. Game drive started at 5.30am after coffee and biscuits on the main deck. Game drives are early morning and late afternoon because that is when the animals are most active. Back into the jeep, just daylight and pretty cold. We didn't have to go too far before we saw hyenas, and the two lions we had seen yesterday (don't know how, but the driver seems to be able to identify the animals individually). And an amazing African sunrise. Then a couple more elephants, but then we drove around for quite some time, hoping to spot a rhino. No luck, seemed a bit like driving aimlessly around waiting for animals to appear (and sometimes they did), but the driver had a plan, and took ... read more
Hyena
Some sort of birds?
African Wild Dog and pups

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Thornybush Game Reserve September 21st 2019

Apparently "Cape Town is crying, because we are leaving"! This just means that it was raining and cold as we headed to Cape Town Airport for our flight to Eastgate Airport near Hoedspruit, the closest to Thornybush Game Reserve, our home for the next three nights. (It does have it's own airstrip, but only for tiny planes.) We appeared to land in the middle of nowhere in the African bush, and 36° was a little warmer than Cape Town. Three mini buses ferried our group (of 26) to the Thornybush Game Lodge, with a giraffe and elephants spotted on the way. Wow, and we hadn't even been on a game drive yet. We were met in the outdoor reception area with cold towels, and cold drinks. Very nice! Then lunch, and a briefing of what to ... read more
Inside our room
The bathroom!
Fancy jeep

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park September 13th 2019

Zuid-Afrika===Botswana===Zimbabwe (een dagje)===Botswana===Zuid-Afri Vrijdag 13-09-2019 1e Vakantiedag Vandaag is het dan zover. We gaan op reis. We staan op tijd op, ontbijtje, de laatste spullen in de backpack, laatste dingetjes opruimen en dan staat onze wegbrenger Willem al voor de deur. Gisteren hebben we al via internet ingecheckt, eenmaal op Schiphol kunnen we de bagage afgeven en dan op naar alle “security checks”. Controle handbagage, paspoort controle…..het gaat allemaal snel en dan mogen we ons een beetje zien te vermaken. Eerst wat euro’s omzetten naar Afrikaanse randen en wat US dollars, dan wat wandelen langs de winkeltjes en op tijd richting gate F3. Het vliegtuig “de Iguaçu” staat al te wachten en er wordt snel begonnen met instappen. We vertrekken aardig op tijd en hebben een vluc... read more
Onweersbui boven Afrika.
De tuin met volle maan bij Airport Game Lodge.
Koppeltje muisvogels




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