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South Africa, - the area - Kruger NP and West Coast
Posted By: traveler57, 07-19-2019, 06:10 AM

East and West side - SA 2019
"Do you really only know this one country as a holiday destination", - the tenor in our family and friends, when we told of our travel intentions.

Three years in a row and now for the fifth time to South Africa.
This also happened to us in our planning phase in the months of April and May of this year(2018) - is not that much of a good thing.
After returning from this year's tour, was there a big one? in the room, as far as planning for 2019 was concerned.
Started by some nice talks with South Africans, who had recommended us so much to Botswana, we looked around there.
First looked at the climate chart and already it was clear, for our travel time, late January - late Feb. really not ideal.
Next country on our travel list,-
a few years ago, our daughter / son-in-law were in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro, Serengeti ect.
A private tour.
An offer received by the same agency for 14 days .... of which 10 nights in the Serengeti with the Ngorongoro Crater in the comfort class, without trekking on the mountain.
It came out around $ 1000 a day, - for 2 pers. (Accommodation / entrance / driver / car and airport transfer)
We do not want to make any concessions on the stay days, otherwise the journey is not worthwhile.
We love nature and travel, but that's too expensive for us.
Because there would be additional costs for the second 14 days .....

For Namibia and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / SA we were already too late, as some accommodations,
which we had favored, were booked.
A trip to Asian countries? - very fast was clear, not at the moment.

So again South Africa?
Yeah, after careful consideration, it will be a journey, that covers our natural preferences with 16 days and the other time, it will be on the West Coast, above Cape Town (New Land) - back to Somerset West and the last days we will spend in Cape Town.

The region has the advantage that we will meet our Cape Town friends (who visited us in September in Germany), the wine country is quite close and Cape Town, is always worth seeing.

The pictorial representation of the journey, together with the accommodations:

Part 1:

Part 2 :

Procedure and accommodation in chronological order: - Arrival Johannesburg O'Trambo, continue .....
- Kruger View Chalet 1 N
- Biyamiti Bushveld Camp 3 N
- Lower Sabie Restcamp 3 N
- Satara Restcamp 2 N
- Pungwe Bush Camp / Manyleti 3 N
- Letaba 1 N
- Mopani Restcamp 3 N
- Johannesburg Sunrock / Kempton Park
- Flight to Cape Town - Continue to St. Helena Bay - Mussel Crack B & B 3 N
- Somerset West - 42 on sandstone guest house 4 N
- Cape Town - Beluga of Constatin Guest House 3 N

- return flight


Traveling on "beaten" paths in South Africa .....

Therefore, there are not many new findings in this travel report, at least as far as the first part is concerned.
The route is card-technically deposited above and was respected until the way back to Joburg, so too.
It is and was just the Kruger, or the Greater Kruger, which we visited in the first days and so it can go ...

The "Suid-Afrikaners" is terug.Full one-eyed indrukke,
boomy, oppressive, ravaging en knus,
what vanjaar se rice.
How wil inkom en ry ......

Afrikaans we can not "yet", as helped a Translater, but some chunks we understand every now and then.

The "South Africans" are back.
Full of endless impressions, fascinating, exciting, surprising and cozy,
was this year's trip.
Who wants to get in and drive ......

Four weeks do not pass by one / us without a trace.
The multitude of encounters with all his topics still has to be sorted, but with the first half, you can start.

So whoever is in the mood for bushland, animals and encounters, jumps up or makes himself comfortable in a chair and experiences a fascinating world, in the eastern part of South Africa.

Itinerary: Map s.o .... Johannesburg - Malelane (Kruger View Charlets 1 N) - Kruger (Biyameti Bush Camp 3 N - Lower Sabi Rest Camp 3 N - Satara Rest Camp 2 N) -
Greater Kruger / Manyeleti (Pungwe Bush Camp 3 N) - Kruger (Letaba Rest Camp 1 N - Mopani Rest Camp 3 N) - Joburg

So get into the first part of our trip in 2019.
Flight from Hamburg to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Johannesburg with extra booked more seat distance, was as always unspectacular.
The better legroom was a clear plus and the extra cost of 75.00 p.P. per section have paid off.
So we arrived quite well rested in Joburg, got our rental car (a Rav 4), stowed the luggage and off we went.
It was still about 480 km to get to the first accommodation.
For a Friday afternoon it went briskly and at temperatures around 35 degrees and humidity, it was not always relaxed.
Also the numerous measuring teams of the police, who had put their radar equipment into position, did the rest, which one had to drive very concentrated.

In short, we reached save the Kruger View Charlets and moved into a room, in the very sparsely visited area.
The dinner, we took in the deck restaurant, - a kudu steak, water, wine and dessert, brought us in the right South African mood.

After a quiet night and still very muggy weather, we went to a mall in Malelan after breakfast.

There we bought our food for the next few days.
In the Bushcamp, selfcatering was announced.
Then we picked up our luggage and drove over the Malelane Gate into the Kruger.
Using the early time, we went to Berg-en-Dal, where an elephant bull blocked our way and forced us to
roll back a few meters to finally release the road.


From Berg en Dal, we continued on Gravelroads, we discovered elephants, giraffes and three white rhinos, which was a very good start.

2. loudly crashing, these young bulls "worked" with their tusks

3. you do not know what you get in front of the lens and even if they were so far away, at least we had seen them before (there were 3 animals)

On the southern gravel road we went east to get to the "private road" to Biyamiti Bush Camp.

4. Giraffes will accompany the report over and over again, because we have met them very often this year, - very often in groups of 5 - 6 animals ...

5. first to see in the sky, then the Marabus settled on trees ....

6. Leopard turtle crossing - since the modern windscreens are coated differently and the angle is flatter, one has more and more difficulty from this perspective to get usable pictures

- Hard to get, not manual .....

7. Duo ...

8. Home for 3 nights ....

After 4 km we arrived at the camp gate and could at the door of the office, take our key for our house from the hook.
Service staff would be back the next day.
We settled in and enjoyed the rest of the sun, then lit the charcoal.
Just in time we were finished with our braai evening, as some rain began ......
All in all, it was early to sleep.

- We arrived now correctly.

Here also something for the travel equipment and the conditions on site.
Significantly slimmed down it went on this journey.
A body and two lenses and small items, weight with the backpack to the 4.5 kg, - last year to the 9.5 kg
That was a tremendous relief and I did not miss the second body either.
Everything very compact to handle.
The length range I covered was 12-100mm / Oly Pro Lens and 100-400mm Lumix Lens (x Cropfaktor 2).
The purchase, the used Lumix / Panasonic lens just before departure, was certainly a good choice!
So I got along very well, - sources of error in the pictures are clearly in the man behind the camera to search .....
As in the last year, the lighting conditions were very extreme almost every day, - many bright shades of gray from the sky dominated the days,
nice soft light in the morning or evening was rather rare, or if it was there, you could not because of the gate times far away in the bush be on the move.
Most beautiful sunshine was mainly after 10 o'clock - 15,00-16,00 o'clock found.
Our highlights of animal sightings were either very hidden or at times when the day came to an end and the gathering evening clouds,
the most beautiful light took us away again.
The conditions can not be changed and we have seen so much that we left very satisfied from the Kruger area after 15 nights.
But there is still a long way to go ......
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11-08-2019, 05:47 AM   #16
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......up to the North

On the way north , to the Satara Rest Camp :

95. finally .... sometimes a scarlet spotted discovered, although very far away, but at least.

96. Look out - Nkumbe Lookout -

97. Stop at the Tshokwarne car park, with the possibility of bird pictures ..... Southern red bishop - Oryxweber

Even a small kingfisher was there, but it did not catch that well ....
We left the tarred road and drove a very long gravel road, where we were alone 36 km.
No car from the front and no car approaching from behind, at the numerous stops.
On the large open areas we saw many grass-eaters, which were also correspondingly far away.

Here they were, the larger herds.

98. a Kori bustard , who hid behind the bush shortly thereafter ...

99. the jackal stayed nice and quiet ....

100. giraffes .... who unfortunately felt disturbed by us and did not continue drinking

100 b. A short time later we discovered "white-throated rhinos", which despite the great distance to the car, immediately hid.

The Camptage: Still listed, as the "cat area ", but this was not confirmed for us.

In a conversation with a South African house neighbor, who was already over 20x in Satara,
he said, that this time was long gone.
There are some cats in this region every now and then, but the number and frequency,
would not be comparable to the bygone years ...
By the way, during the conversation, a bunch of Velvet Monkeys at our neighbor's side cleared a few things from the secure refrigerator,
who stood in a wire cage.
Whether they had opened the sliding lock or it was not properly closed?
The spoils were chip bags, which were deposited on the refrigerator.
Again and again amazing, how the boys and girls observe our behavior and strike mercilessly on occasion .....
Our affected South African neighbors (father and son) should have known that, but the frustration was limited in those.
Here in Satara, there were also many little things to discover right in front of the house, not bad either ....
Practical way directly in front of or near the house.

101. / 101 b. Blue waxbill

102. Violet-backed starling -

103. African Hoopoe - that was a "hard fight", until I had usable pictures ....., two afternoons it was really annoying, because he was almost always in the high grass .....

During our stay there, (Saturday and Sunday) was u.a. a larger group in the camp.
The, as it turned out had booked a weekend tour. to be on the road as "birder".
They drove out with their big trucks (up to 25 people) to their safaris and managed to get back in the evening.
Quite cheap is not synonymous, - so to the 350- 400 euros p.P. for 2 days.
But enough of the "birdings" with the little ones .....

Around Satara:


105. Jackals at a "kill" and the waiting cleaning crew ...

106. Altogether four of the five species of vultures were to be found here: the white-backed vulture (right front), the eared vulture, the cape vulture (picture 105 right back) and the woolly vulture (left picture 107)


108. As the only species of vulture, the Lappet- faced vulture is capable of breaking a dead animal itself, due to its very sharp and curved beak.
All other species depend on the other predators to open the carcass!

109. another observer, who was waiting for his chance to steal something .... - a Wahlberg eagle -

In Satara, we also booked a Nightdrive, which was unfortunately only run with the trucks (is in the whole Kruger so).
We were about 16 people on the car when it started at 8.00 pm.

Sadly we did not see too much of the nocturnal animals (2 hyenas, 1 jackal, 1 owl and a very nice genet, which last longer ....
But that is not the reason we would renounce such journeys in the future, rather the impersonal nature on such a car would in the future deter us from
to book such a tour again.
If, then only in 9 / 10 seater, such. Last year at Mountain Zebra NP.

110. Waterbuck

111. and found another griffin .... Short-toed snake eagle

and last but not least .... we thread a small group of camine bee-eater , of which one photogenic placed ....

So it developed into a "birder"? - at least, that's what it looks like - and yes, yes, I've caught a lot of birds this year.
After two nights in Satara, we left the Kruger National Park slowly over the Orpen Gate in the morning.
To turn left after the last gate at the exit, turn left again to enter the Greater Kruger.

As it happened to us and what we experienced there, in the sequel ......

11-08-2019, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #17
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beautiful series, congratulations
11-13-2019, 04:43 AM   #18
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Pungwe Bush Camp at Manyeleti Game Reserve

So far, we had moved on more or less familiar paths, so we entered an area that was completely new to us.
After registering at the gate and paying the area fee, we were allowed to pass and should follow the signs.
The drive to the camp should take about 40-45 minutes.

Dense bushland lined the way, every now and then we crossed a few smaller bridges or drove through the water fords.
The road was partly in a bit worse condition, washed out and a lot of washboard structure.
But everything is possible.
We reached without problems the parking lot at the camp and had previously seen a few elephants and antelopes.
Here we were received and our luggage was brought to the community square.
Here was once a drink and the modalities were taught us.
Likewise the special rules of conduct in the non-fenced camp.
Four large safari tents under a thatched roof were distributed a little further.

A large open plan lounge area with seating, a bar and a large dining table,
formed the core area of ​​the camp. In front of it a fire pit with tree trunks around, as a resting place.
Everything very quaint and beautiful.
No power, except for one battery station, which made it possible to use solar energy, batteries for cameras or cell phones.
And as already mentioned - very important, - NO FENCING! around the camp, which meant that all kinds of animals could and could freely move through the camp.
No problem during the day, but for dinner and then back, it always went back to the tent accompanied by one of the guides.



115. the boiler was always under steam all day ....

116. dining and relaxation area with an open - bar and charging station for photo batteries or mobile phone .... - but went later in the day, because the solar panels had to produce only power



119. Our residence - tent Tamboti


121. rutikal, with a lot of flair - all illuminated in the evening with Paraffin lamps - rooms and paths ....


123. 2x a day was heated by this oven and provided enough hot water!

This construction has a specific name ....... donkey......

To anticipate it here, next to a pair of antelopes and one evening three hyenas, which were about 30m away from us, everything was apparently quiet,
there during our three nights.
It rustled here and there in the vicinity of our tent during the night, but as other guests had experienced, no elephant came by.
Just to have the experience of being able to move there "unprotected" was a special feature.

But you do not drive in a PGR, - the drives are the salt in the soup, in such places.
And in the afternoon it started ....
Before that, there was still freshly baked cake and who wanted, even a warm rich snack. Coffee, tea.
So strengthened it started ... where the combination of passengers, not be different.
1 pair of honneymooners, 3 absolute rookies and we .....


What we experienced this way ..... next.
11-14-2019, 04:43 AM   #19
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Why did we choose this area?
Anyone who has followed my South African travel reports of recent years, knows that I am a big fan of "safarilive".
These operate from Djuma, an area just south of Manyeleti.
Since there is a very high density of leopards there and I knew, that also some animals migrate from there to the northern area,
It was my hope to benefit from it as well.
Being able to experience leopard sightings is such a thing in itself.
And we were already extremely spoiled, on our first visit to Balule West / Greater Kruger in 2013.
The new tempted, - next to the camp, just the location.
As usual, an afternoon drive is scheduled on the day of arrival.
So we enjoyed this, open car, sun, the smell of the bush, ......
International went on the car.
- a couple from India, three Dutchmen and we ...
Where the interests could not have been more different.
The honeymooners from India loose and good at it,
our Dutch friends, sitting as first-time offenders behind us, completely beside the track, despite the explanations at the beginning of the ride ..
Entertaining, busy with everything else, as with nature ....
From a color-appropriate clothes for such a drive times to speak, of bright yellow and bright red everything was there .....
Despite all this, it was a good drive ..... and a good start.

125. Excitement

126. wake up look ...

127. Giraffe bull with some scars ....

128. other corner, a same situation - not pleased .......

Coming from the trees middle / right - you could not see the two lions, - only when we were much denser, we recognized them ....
Almost all the time they lay flat in the grass, except for a few moments.
- We drove back to the trees and took our sundowner, as the two rose,- looked at us....

Attentively observed by our guides - but they walked in the other direction.
These two lion-men belong to a trio called Avoca males, who occasionally wander into the area of ​​Djuma.
They were so "known" to me and our guide looked at me a bit puzzled, as I could told him a lot about these big cats .




After a good 3 -3,5 hours we were back in the camp.
- Dinnertime and that was really delicious .... 3 courses in a leisurely round, with the owner, - great conversation and
around 9 pm it was called "retreat" into the tent - bedtime ..... because at 5.00 am the wake-up call would take place ......

11-18-2019, 07:09 AM   #20
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The Morning Drive:

Hard to imagine, it should get worse.

The next morning, we dressed in long pants and with a summer down and our neighbors in t-shirt or blouse.
No questions ... about our clothes, so go ....
Barely 10 minutes on the road, she lay flat behind us on the seats and sought protection from the cool wind ....
The two men (husband and friend / brother) bravely endured the freshness.
Suddenly our guide in the outside mirror discovered the head of the Dutch woman who looked sideways out of the car and brakes sharply.
The big eyes of him looked at us ... - "Everything ok ???? Health problems?"
No, I said, which is just cold .. - slightly twisted eyes looked back.
He then gave them blankets that were on board .....

They would have liked to stop at each animal and take pictures with their small camera, whether for an impala or a warthog, which was about 20-30 m away.
But over the radio we were called to another job and were looking for something specific.
The lion I would have been there, but they were looking for something else
We turned around, our tracker dismounted and searched behind the bushes ...
Then the sign that we should follow him ... nor the insistent hint from the guide to keep calm when we come to the animals!
So we reached the White Rhinos, a cop, a cow with the offspring and what happened, ..... of course, the Dutch woman, who had discovered a zebra a few meters before,
and there was already mocking, we did not stop, babbled now off blithely ...

What a hell, what was wrong with the woman, - the rebuke from the guide and me followed immediately, but quietly but coarse.
So we only had a short time and the animals disappeared.
After that, there was a herd of elephants, which we came very close and passed us quietly, - the men behind it was not doing well.
At least the husband's fear was written on his face - so calmed down ....
Finally, a lion group, - flat lions in the grass ....

133. a Nyala calf





138. Mud - bath


The Afternoon Drive:

You think that can not be more bizarre?
Not even close!
The afternoon drive, - the said person did not have a sun hat, he lent himself to the camp ... so far so good.
But when she suddenly conjured an umbrella out of a bag and tethered it as a sunscreen while driving, my jaw dropped too!
Never, our guide got this and now completely rolled his eyes and thought his part!
With the screen and her small camera, she was now completely overwhelmed, - and let the cam fall out of the car.
Good that we were so patient.
The good woman could not relax at all during the time
was always under power and asked what else they do could.
Driving fast in Kruger again, between the drives was only an idea of ​​her - then she would have ticked off the point as well.
Anyway, their journey was more like a picking off places, fast back and forth.
4 weeks criss-crossing through SA + Swaziland.
What they could see and do there, they did not know.


140. Let's go .... from whatever perspective ...

141. other rhinos ....





The usual suspicious animal species, which we got to see in the course of the ride, I leave here.
In addition to various other birds, we also saw antelopes, zebras, buffaloes, waterbucks ect.
Basically, the rides were geared more to finding the Big 5.
Since the area is quite large, longer journeys were sometimes necessary.
Therefore, we were also mostly 3.5 hours on the road.
Stop at the dam, with 2 lioness on the other shore .....

Evening mood - great sky, but at the same time were already the harbingers of a thunderstorm front in the distance to see us then in the night grazing.

Weather lights endless. Rain, sometimes more ...

Life in the camp was very relaxed for everyone else.
Early, a first breakfast, then the drive (or walks), then a brunch.
Before the afternoon drive cake, small warm snacks, tea coffee ....
In the evening around 8.00 o'clock the dinner, 3 courses and every day super delicious ....
Everyone sat at the big table and there were very entertaining and interesting conversations ...
Around 9.00 or a little later the Safari Night started.
There was something special in this camp, because in the morning and evening for each house extra hot water for the showers
via an outdoor fireplace / donkey - heated up at the tents.

Besides the two guides, Never and Isaac, the owner was present either in the morning or in the afternoon / evening.
With him developed very exciting and interesting conversations, a primal type, who already has a good 30 years in the bush.
As it turned out, a personality in this region and beyond, in terms of housing, nature conservation and planning.
To enumerate everything would go beyond this framework.
From the initial smalltalk, - how many times, we were already in SA, what we have already visited and how our interests are stored,
we came to speak safarilive somehow, the schooldrives, the presenters of safarilive ....
After a while and exchanging views on these transmissions, Michel let the cat out of the bag ....
He asked me if I could do anything with his person - I said no, and even his full name did not bother me because I had always communicated with the co-owners.
As I said, he is an institution in the region and has a lot of - very many contacts.
Among other things, these also exist after Djuma and the TV team.
Therefore, for me completely surprising came from his side the question of whether he / it could make me / us with a visit there a favor and pleasure.
I was so perplexed at the moment and asked if I had understood correctly that we should go to those ???
"Yes, you understood that correctly, I still have to clarify that, but you have something there and that should work.
I sort of rule that. "-
In short, it was agreed and not half an hour as first thought, but as Michel put it, "We want to enjoy a little longer".

Two nights I had time to settle my questions and get my excitement under control.
11-18-2019, 07:59 AM   #21
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Very nice travel report with lots and lots of great images - thanks for sharing!

We're just back from a too-short trip to South Africa, a journey from the very northern end of Kruger NP down the length of the park, on through Swaziland down to St. Lucia. The park was hugely more varied than I had anticipated and it climbed considerably on my list of favourite parks (having visited there only once before, and then only to the area around Skukuza - a nice area, but too crowded).
11-19-2019, 03:44 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote

We're just back from a too-short trip to South Africa, a journey from the very northern end of Kruger NP down the length of the park, on through Swaziland down to St. Lucia. The park was hugely more varied than I had anticipated and it climbed considerably on my list of favourite parks (having visited there only once before, and then only to the area around Skukuza - a nice area, but too crowded).
Hello savoche,

yes, the Kruger NP is something special and so different, especially if you drive from north to south or vice versa.
By now we have sailed nearly 90% of the roads in the visits and are still thrilled.
That does not mean, that the other national parks would not be worthwhile, they are all different and everyone has something to offer.
I'm looking forward to your pictures and reports ..... ;-))
11-20-2019, 05:00 AM - 1 Like   #23
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The day of the days .... at least for me.

And he did not start that tingling.
After the wake-up call and the short first breakfast, we made ready for the morning exit.
After the rain in the night, the clouds still hung very low.
"Our" three from the neighboring state, renounced as they wanted to leave early.
The new couple, who had reached the camp much too late the day before and had missed a drive before,
were now our new companions on the car.
The guides had packed completely in oilskins, we had at least rain jackets on.
No sooner had we set off, put in a light rain, which was then very quickly intensified.
So we pulled over the ponchos lying in the car.
But we quickly realized, that they let the water through ......
We cruised around, met a sullen elephant bull, who wanted to pursue his skin care in peace.
Otherwise it was very quiet, or nothing going on in the bush, - but not surprised, after the night with the many rain.
After about 1.5 hours I turned around to our companions, and asked them if they would like to continue on the road ....
"Not really, we are already completely wet, - better back."
I talked to Never and he just nodded .....
Within 15 minutes we were back in the camp.
After an almost hot shower (we were back too early ...) there was a copious breakfast.
The air got higher and the cloud cover opened.

I looked around the camp area a little, watched a few birds in the trees, at the tent and we rested. - time passed ....

Never looked over and said that we should get ready for 2.30 - 2.45 pm.
He or Michel would then pick us up and bring us to Djuma.

The Meet and Greet:

In the right time Michel was then there.
"Can you start?" He asks. "And whether" !!!!

So we sat down in his "noble safari car" and drove off.
First he showed us corners where new projects should be realized in the near future.
Et al it should be built in the bush, a platform where guests can stay overnight for one night, completely alone.
The starry sky for free.
Then we approached the boundary of the area, where we now with Michel directly over the strictly camera-guarded border from the Manyeleti area,
crossed over to the Djuma side.
Normally this way is forbidden, even Michel may take this only under certain conditions and with previous registration and approval.
Real tough laws here, with high penalties for disregard!
At the cameras, he said, now we all wave friendly, as a thank you, we are allowed to pass.
Crazy !
So now we were on the "sanctified land" of Sabi Sands / Djuma, - the land of Tingana, Thandi, Thalamba and Hukumuri, the leopard,
which inspire me / us and the many other viewers worldwide.
The branch to Djuma was reached and a short time later we were at the camp of the TV crew.

Kirsten, Head of Production welcomed us and we went to the control room with all its technical equipment.
A lot of monitors hung on the wall, tens of keyboards in front of it. The director's desk, ect.
and yet only one branch office, because the main broadcasting center was relocated to Johannesburg at the beginning of January.
Since also from Kenya (Mara Triangle) is sent and probably also soon from Botswana, the situation is central.
I remind you again, the whole thing is running on a livestream via the WWW.
When switching between Kenya and Djuma 10 seconds off-time should be scheduled.
Everything was very exciting and very informative told.
At once we also met a very familiar face in the TV room.
Tristan Dicks, got the last info, because he would be live in about 60 Minutzen.
Nevertheless, he took the time and talked with us for a while, and it was .....
My nervousness before this meeting was blown away, the talk went completely relaxed and as so often in SA.
If one encounters strangers there and there is a conversation, the mutual attention is very noticeable.
Here it was a bit different, because I "knew" all of them.
They are either on the TV or on the laptop, almost "roommate" in our living room.
You yourself speak into the lens of the camera and yet they teach you to be on the car.
I told him that and he was very happy that I / we feel that way, - "That would be a very nice thank you for his and her work here in the team."
"See you soon again" and he left us.
At the door, the next surprise, Jamie Paterson, also a "homemember" and for years, today without live times.
Again, smalltalk at it's best.

- Besides the usual questions from her side and mine, she told us about her project, the hyenas of Djuma and also those in the Mara,
to capture and examine the structures of the clans.
Originally from Jamie, - "If I had known what to expect, ........"
By the way, how this super dainty woman can handle the car in the field? - she has my greatest respect!

The fleet we had already looked at the beginning, Wendy, Rusty and Co. with all technical refinements and improvisations.
Since the TV cameras with their focal lengths really fascinated me, it was time to talk to one of the cameramen.
The Sony Cams, have a focal length of up to 1200mm and form up to 800-900mm super sharp.
If you look at how they are fixed to the car with their tripod, you're already surprised
how they manage to send such great pictures to our home.
Cable ties, fixed band ect, were all present.
Steve (s) Falconbridge, was now my next interlocutor, Him and James Hendry, I had written last year,
- It was about zebras, whether they would really roll from one side, a sand bath, to the other side or just up to the back.
Since we had witnessed the complete rolling process in the Karoo NP, I was able to provide information at that time.
Steve was a bit tense, checked his audio connections to Johannesburg and was somehow already in the tunnel.
Like a racehorse before the start, pawing the hooves ....
He wanted to get out ... Tristan, in the second car, was completely relaxed and we talked for a while about the Kruger,
the accommodations there and about the area to Mopani, where we wanted to go.

149. with Jamie

150. Steve and Jeandre still "cloaked"

151. naked technique ....

151 b.

151 c. Conversation with jeandre ....


152. Steve explains some things to us ....

153. Tristan checks his audio phones

154. Kirsten, Manuel (camera), Tristan, Steve and us .....

155. "Good father" of safarilive - James Hendry

We said goodbye, because now he had to "go to work": what happened after that, and what Mr. Leopard (Tristan) saw, here:

Michel, who had sat down on the side, came to Kirsten was still there, as now the veteran James Hendry joined us.
"With Him you have to be careful" if we meet him, I had said in advance, because he is not "completely without".
Always a "mischief on the neck" and always good for a fun, - but here everything went smoothly.
He had just before some information about us, brought to Michel and remembered the zebra story.
Among other things, the conversation about our trip, the impressions of it, got my opinion about their work.
All too short for me, - the good hour went by quickly.

The whole team: scrolls down .......

safariLIVE WildEarth

Not to mention unmentioned, we also spoke briefly to Lauren and saw Trishala joining us with James and others on one
Had gone on training trip (video at 1.37.40)
As I said for me too short and on the other hand, such a possibility offered, I would never expect ....
The highest I could have imagined in the days on Pungwe would be a chance encounter with a drive on the border between the two
Been areas.
The privilege of being able to experience such a thing, and having one person who made this possible, fills me with special gratitude.
But the day or the afternoon was not over yet, for the meeting I would have renounced the drive.
But Michel had said it would be a shame to let the drive go, "I came up with something."

It looked like this:
Never, who was traveling by car, was instructed to be near the border. A short phone call and after a few ways still in the Djuma area, - "maybe we are lucky and meet Tingana," said Michel,
Then it went back to the southernmost part of Manyeleti.
There, Never and Isacc were waiting for us with the two from Germany.
We changed the car and thanked Michel again for all his efforts, time and attention.

I was still so flashed by the meeting, that I could concentrate heavily on the following meetings.
But good, we could still join the drive .......

Of which in the next part ......

11-20-2019, 06:00 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by traveler57 Quote
yes, the Kruger NP is something special and so different, especially if you drive from north to south or vice versa.
By now we have sailed nearly 90% of the roads in the visits and are still thrilled.
Despite having travelled the length of the park there is so much we haven't seen. We didn't have nearly enough time. I'm sure we will be back

QuoteOriginally posted by traveler57 Quote
That does not mean, that the other national parks would not be worthwhile, they are all different and everyone has something to offer.
Definitely! There are so many wonderful national parks out there well worth visiting. But even the same park will be different every time, and even more so if one goes in different seasons.

QuoteOriginally posted by traveler57 Quote
I'm looking forward to your pictures and reports ..... ;-))
I see what you did there

But yes, if I can only find the time...
11-27-2019, 04:58 AM - 1 Like   #25
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So now in the normal program and it had in itself.
Jackal, lion and crowning glory, a leopard lady on a thick branch in a tree, hiding in the grass with a kill.
What a day ..... in the morning the drive stopped after 1.5 hours, because we were all soaking wet to the skin,
as there had been a heavy storm in the area during the night and we got the rest of the rain. (Sabie Sands and Southern Kruger 120-180mm liter).

156. Although blind in the right eye, the Lady has been a good hunter for over 10 years ....

157. the missing third lion - the Avoca males -


159. hidden water hole

160. a huge flock of birds. who, when they were in flight, made a loud noise with their wing beats ....

161. Lilac breastet scooter - Forklift - always nice .....

162. not Tingana, but a lady without a name ....


164. This is what it really looked like ..... - not exactly optimal conditions




168. Isaac / Never

There was a lot to talk about for dinner and our table neighbors were a little curious, what we had previously driven so with the boss.
Never did pressure ...... Safarinight !!


The last morning and now also a walk should take place, of which Never and Isacc were not so enthusiastic.
But Michel had given a clear instruction.
Never pointed again to the wet grass and we would rather go on the solid paths.
But ok and off we went.
Something completely different, - walking in a line in a row
At the tracks on the bottom we were asked what it might be ....
We were also made aware of many other things.
In addition to various plants that can also be used medically, we saw various birds, two bull elephants on the trail.
Hear what it sounds like when a large group of impalas run wild behind other bushes and much more.
It got hot very quickly, not to say hot, so I could well understand that this time of year,
the walk is not one of the most enjoyable tasks of the guides.

171. straight on ...

172. Centipede ...

173. Bateleur - Juggler, badly cropped, since I only had one lens (12-100)

174. Elephants (No. 2 completely left and a little cut off) on their way

After the brunch it was time for us to say goodbye to a great camp, great people and a lot of new experiences.
It was impressive and the Manyeleti area is still a rough diamond that you should visit!

For all those who like to breathe in the Djumaluft and want to meet the team of safarilive, here is an offer from wildearth: - (but sit down beforehand .... is not a "snapper")
Our travel plan now provided that we go for a night in the Letaba Camp.
11-27-2019, 07:22 AM - 1 Like   #26
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Wow seems like a lot of fun. We went to the Kenyan safari for 4 days and it was not enough. I wish I could do a longer one.
11-28-2019, 04:38 AM   #27
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Stopover Letaba Rest Camp:

About the Orpen Gate, it went back into the Kruger and a gravel road, northeastward.
And again we were lucky, we discovered a large pack of wild dogs on the road.
For the 12 animals - despite the rush, here we stayed for a while.

176. Finding wild dogs and then being able to see them for a longer time is always an event.
Especially if, like here, they were right on the road.




The Letaba Rest Camp we had not visited before in the years, so new territory.
Somehow we always had few sightings here when we were in this area.
The camp is very attractive, as well as an elephant museum is set up here.
What very vividly describes the animals.
Incidentally, the big Tuskers are listed, these old warhorses with their long tusks.
Illustrated and displayed in which area they normally reside.
Had I taken some pictures of the information boards, .... but more on that later.

Our cabin was great and the view from the restaurant on the river, which was plenty of water, very nice.
The dinner out there in the evening, unfortunately, was so torpedoed by thousands of flying black bugs,
that all guests retreated into the restaurant in a corner. (even the dimmed lamps, the beetles still magically attracted ...)
The staff tried everything to get it, in vain ....
The poor employees, bugs in the hair, on and under the clothes, on the counter, floor ect.
It's just nature and when they all swarm out at the same time, the human pulls the shorter one and feels uncomfortable ...
For the crew there was a big Saubermachaktion necessary, as soon as we were out of the restaurant area, there were only a few
Beetle in the air.

The terraces in front of the house have been made with fixed flying wire,
because during breakfast the next morning, a large troop of bamboos moved through the camp and also examined everything.
Even the special garbage cans with the heavy lids provided no hurdle for the alpha male.
Briefly set from below and lifted the lid, held with one hand and examined with the other the contents.

We left the camp in light rain and set out to explore the roads around the camp.
On the first way after a few kilometers for us then finish, the mud passage,
was a bit too daring then. - Turned around and turned on another street.

180. so cute -
Hyenas are completely wrongly misjudged, - if you can deal with them longer, then these are very interesting animals!

Great, seems to have been freshly edited.
Which turned out to be correct, when we passed the big road construction machine a few kilometers further on.
Waving and greeting, we passed them.
We then turned and drove a loop.
Something little traffic here, - a few fresh tracks were visible, but no vehicles.
The track was very nice and varied, but poor in animals.
Due to the rain, the side strips were washed out and it was sometimes really steep downhill to the river.
"You see, here are a lot of new stone borders so that the water can run better and not so much destroyed," said my wife.
Then, large barriers suddenly secured part of the road to the demolition edges, and a little later, we arrived at construction crews,
who did backup work there.
My wife said when we had this happened: "They looked at us a little bit confused....."
At the end of the loop, on the main road, we realized why.
There the entrance was blocked by a prohibition sign, - we had driven on a closed road,
- unknowingly, since it was open on our side.
We assume that the construction machine driver had forgotten to lock the road again,
when he started his work with his heavy machine.
Gone stupid.
We continued north to our last stop on this year's Kruger Tour.

The Mopani Rest Camp was now our destination.

On the way there we met many groups of elephants and near the Mooiplass, then this "giant".
We approached him with all caution, as he went feedingly before us, waiting for a long time to see if he would give us the way and
watching his mood.
From this perspective, it was clear that this was a Tusker, one of the ancient giants described in Letaba ....
A tusk, the right, which almost touched the ground - that gave us a respectful portion of respect!


But what to do now? - Turning around, as he showed no signs of leaving the road and did not turn to the bush side.
"Let's wait and see, maybe there's a way to get past him," I said to my wife.
I had already had a good feeling that this "gray" was very relaxed and would not cause us any problems.
And right, after another few minutes, it was time, he turned slightly to the left and turned his backside to the street.
So I drove past him as far to the right as possible.
But then stopped immediately and we waited ..... to finally get a picture from the front, or at least from the side.
As it turned out, the guy was so relaxed and absorbed in his food intake that he ignored us.
If you always knew that before ......




I have not yet found out which animal it was, but that will be clarified.

(Clarified: it was the Tusker Ndlovane -

- the big bull elephant, right at the beginning of my travelogue, near the Biyamiti Bushveld Camp, is probably Ngwenya, with the
Noticeable incision on the left ear - !but that has not been confirmed yet) it was Ngwenya....! ... No. 3 north of Lower Sabie is not yet identified ...)

In any case, this encounter and with the wild dogs before had been a great continuation of our sightings of the last few days.

Good 30 minutes later we reached the camp, got our key and moved into our house.
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The Mopani days ......

At the camp, we moved into our house and noticed to our delight, that we had a lot of clear space in front of the terrace.
What was more, the air here was very different, than in the southern part.
It was still very warm (which we already knew from previous years), but not so oppressively wet.
Much more pleasant.
That remained the same on the other days.
We "spooled" our program and enjoyed the drives, but also the times in the camp.
Again with very different sighting successes.

Pictures from the drives around Mopani up to the Shingwedzi Rest Camp and from the Mopani Camp.

185. before leaving north ...


187. Eland antelope, about 100m away - we could not get closer to the group ...

188. Frog scrub placed over the water ..... so that the juveniles (tadpoles) can fall directly into the water ...

189. Southern Ground Hornbil -


191. fly by.......

192. Schnapper .... a very interesting place, where I would love to have stood still longer to see further.
Unfortunately, a driver from the other side of the river did not see it and rolled quickly towards us.
Thus the scenery was destroyed ....:: cursing: - - there bird away ....

192. southern tropic ..... / Tropic of Capricorn /

193. Baobab tree

194. on the doorstep in the camp ....
Representing some other little contemporaries I found there.
There will be more of that later, in an extra thread.
Significantly, as I was wallowing around on the ground there, a South African family came by in the car.
They sat back and asked me, "What was so exciting there."
Dragonflies, grasshoppers, small butterflies and much more. "
"Oh- ...." and they drove on.
What have probably thought about my dislocations on the ground ......


195. discovered here on the trip, - another ran right past the house terrace ....

196. with heat haze, because far away ...... overall we saw very few ostriches in the Kruger this year.

197. Lapp Star - Wattled Starling

198. Lunchtime ...

199. Crested Barbet - Hooded Bearded Bird
In the morning at breakfast, - of course, no camera at hand, - sat a beautiful colored male close to a branch.
But only for a few seconds.
Then I did not discover the days again, but this always flew past the house in a dense shrubbery.
So I went to search to catch him.
After four attempts, each time coming closer to his territory, I had seen him then.
But seeing and photographing are two very different things.
Because I did not want to scare him off ....

With a lot of effort I got some shots.
Still not really good, but better than at the beginning of the journey.

200. last but not least, - an interpretation task, - what kind of animal face do you recognize?

After three nights, it was time to say goodbye, to the landscape and the animals.
We left early in the morning - via the Phalaborwa Gate.

We went out into the hectic, normal everyday world.

Again, on the good 75 km, which we had to drive to the gate, there was a complete peace, no animals far and wide .....
This confirmed once again for us, that we have no luck with the exits in the early morning ....
For whatever reason ?
This time it was not about Hoedspruit, but the R71 to Tzaneen - Polokwane - N1.
Approximately 680 km to Johannesburg. for a night in a B & B and the next day by plane to Cape Town.
To drive this way had been a recommendation of the restaurant manager, - the streets were good and
quite empty, on Sunday morning.

We made good progress and the speed controls in the cities, did not earn any money from us.

In the second part, it's about the days spent on the west coast.

Conclusion of the bush days: What was different, than in recent years?

Once the weather, for the first time very oppressive and humid over the days and very cloudy.
We have seen and discovered a great many different animal species, despite the lengths between them.
Daily kilometers of about 100 km +, were normal, around 5-7 hours we were therefore daily on the road.
Where we never before 7, more often after 8:00 clock were on the move and saw so much.
That was very positive - and that we were almost alone on many routes, was also a new experience for the Kruger.
All camps were good, the bush camp at the beginning something special. - the PGR, with all the happenings, the highlight!

What we also noticed, that we have now searched after three years in a row in the animal world, more the special event.
The more action the animals offered us, each species, the more captivating it was for us.
But that also means for us, that a South African break would do us quite good, as far as the Kruger is concerned.
Because the park roads we have now run well over 90%, with three longer visits.
We connect many places and sections with features we have experienced there before.
Sure, that can not be repeated - but we noticed the unknown corners, our attention
much more than familiar places and streets.

It would be exciting to drive to the park at a completely different time of the year.
Everything today, because we had said that with the destination South Africa, because of a break, when we got back.
The result is, that we have flown there again and again in the last three years.
How was that still the same, - with the virus .....

It continues from Johannesburg and my personal start - in my/ a Black Monday morning ......
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So we had arrived in Johannesburg.
The B & B was very close to the airport, so we did not have that far to the terminal the next morning.
The afternoon we spent in the local garden and recovered from the drive.
In the evening a dinner in the house and after a quiet night with thunderstorms, strengthened after breakfast,
we went to the airport.
This brings us to my personal "Black Monday Morning".
The airport we reached easily, but where was only this gas station?
No indication for us when we were just in front of the parking garage, where we should deliver the car.
What now ? - I remembered the trip from 2013 that the gas station was on a first floor ....
Here, however, all streets either left into the parking garage or right to a hotel or out ...
So I drove to the rental station to inquire there.
The Europcar parking spaces reached, once again turn, there is a car on the red parking prohibited area.
I was still busy with this stupid gas station ....
Ok, I'll just roll back and ask someone.
Reverse gear engaged and rolled back .....
Then everything happened almost at the same time - the warning sound and the impact on a car coming in behind me were then one!
Oh man, such a crap ....

Out of the car and the "messing" viewed and amply annoyed at my stupidity.
With us two 6-8 cm long scratches on the left corner of the bumper from the license plate of the X-trail.
In which, a few more scratched, as I had a trailer hitch at the rear of the car ....
Nothing happened to anyone, which was important.
The injured party was also angry, but also in a hurry, because of an appointment ....
Luckily, there was also an employee of Europcar quickly and calmed us all.
Although he had not seen the accident, but the situation with the wrong parker ...
The reports were completed and after a while everything was done ...
We could go.

After the baggage check for the Cape Town flight, I felt better after about 2 hours.
My first accident after 44 years .....
The Kulua flight was great and almost on time ..... in Cape Town.
(We have now flown 3 times with this line and have always been well served.)
After the baggage it went over to the car rental, this time at Avis.
After some back and forth, then a car in the booked category was there,
that we could continue our journey.
After we had loaded everything, our navigation system was set up, we drove off to the west coast.
St. Helena Bay was our destination, still 170 km away.

When we were out of the city, it ran and so we made headway.
The Nissan Almeria was running well and the roads were in excellent condition.
As we did on the way to Johannesburg, we were able to enjoy it here, too.
the section speed measurement.
What causes the introduction of such speed monitoring in our theater,
is practiced there in a simple way.
A much simpler constructions on - and over the streets, which is certainly also much cheaper,
as our huge collection boxes and bridge construction for it.

We reached without problems the Estate and my sat nav led us directly to the front door.
From the outside, the house was rather "unimpressive", but what awaited us inside was a dream.
Large open spaces, a wooden terrace in front, a jetty to the beach and then wide .....

Mussel Cracker B & B




The Westcoast days .....

Karen, our host, was unique, made an exquisite breakfast, with lots of fresh produce,
home-baked bread and fresh croissants were also included.
A place to feel good, go for a walk or just relax.
Especially after more than two weeks, sitting more or less in the car, that was incredibly good.
So we reduced our exploratory trips to the surrounding area and painted, already at the start
passed and very dry West Coast NP, from our program.
All that was left were the short visits to Paternoster and Velddrif.
Paternoster, we reached a bad Gravelroad and on the way back we got into a sandstorm, when we drove back another, longer Gravelroad,
since we were still in Vredenburg.
Visibility by the whirled-up sand, sometimes only 5 -10m, by the very strong wind and a feeling
During the three days, we had dinner in the Cattle Baron, which had opened a few days before.
The first was very convenient and the quality of the food-top!

In these 3 1/2 days, we also experienced the current problems, which currently prevail in South Africa.
Powercut daily 2x for about 2.5 hours and then nothing went ....
This also affected the restaurant on two evenings.
The power generator jumped on one evening after about 10 minutes ...
On the following not at all, ..... there was forgotten the day before to load the battery of the generator with .....
So there was candlelight and the food was cooked anyway on gas stoves.
We liked the area very well, the B & B was outstanding, which we can well imagine
again and for longer in the region to drive, but if necessary to another season ("spring", September).

Weather change in half an hour - Sun - Sea Fog - Sun.

204. at breakfast most beautiful sunshine, then the fog moved in and a short time later it was clear again ....


206. of course there was a wildlife here - Cape Scar ...

207. Holy Ibis -

207. Black Oystercatcher -


209. a small group of dolphins at breakfast ..... - they drove the fish in the bay, circled this and "beat" to ....

210. Flamingos in Velddrift - a small nature reserve right in town, with a boardwalk over the meadows .... which came a little closer.

211. there were even pelicans here ....



Time passed quickly, three nights (two full days) are not that long.
It was a completely different holiday experience, that we did here.

So it was called again, leave and on to the next station, to Somerset West.
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After three nights, we left again to drive without much detours to Somerset West, where we stayed 4 nights.
Before we visited the big mall in Somerset, - so a little shopping was announced ...

We then reached the Boskloof Eco Estate, reported to us, drove for about 1 km along the slope and reached the house.
Quite different, as on the coast but also wow .... here you could endure it just as well.
Nothing wrong with the bookings last year


It was quite warm and so we took advantage of the pool and enjoyed the view of False Bay.
Towards evening, the anticipation of a restaurant visit, we have already booked the day before.

Oceans 8 Seafood & Sushi:
And that had been so good gold, because when we got there, it was so full that there was hardly any parking.
All tables were occupied, what was going on here ....
Oh yes, Valentine's Day, - because of the fact that this is so important, we noticed now only really.

We were led to our table and rummaged in the menu.
Some sushi as an appetizer and then fish, with water and wine, we chose.
It took something, no wonder in the number of guests and the orders, which also went out of the house.
Despite all this, the service was super friendly and attentive.
The food was once again 1 a! - the dessert was delicious, but almost too much.
Satisfied and satisfied, we drove back and soon slept ....

214. morning

After breakfast on the terrace, we crossed Sir Lowry's Pass to Franschhoek.
Past large orchards and the now better filled dams.



There was a lot of activity in the small tourist town, a tangle of languages ​​along the main street,
with all its little shops. It was hot, - about 38 degrees, nothing compared to the day before, it had been 43 degrees.


We left the village and drove to the winery Leopard's Leap for wine tasting.
The wines are certainly not among the top products of the area.
These are modern, light wines that you can drink well.
At the wine tasting, we switched from the simpler wines to the classic wines that hit us right away
much more to say.
So we ordered some more bottles, which will be delivered to us in the next days.
In addition to a Classic Chardonnay, we chose this time, also a wine,
which was blended from a Chardonnay and a Pinot noir.
A very tasty combination that is probably not allowed in D with our winegrowers.
Although I had just sipped at the wines or had drunk of three only a small sip,
I did not feel so good .... (together they were at most 0.1-0.15 liters)
So I said to my wife, here we stay, eat something and drink a lot of water .....
So we set our meal together at the lunch buffet, had it weighed and paid.
Relaxed, we enjoyed the time and then left the winery to drive to Stellenbosch.

Even after our second visit there, we will not get really warm with this city.
So we left this very soon again wanted to Eikendal for dinner.
But it was still too early, so we would have had to wait another good hour, that was too long for us ...
So we continued our journey and arrived at a known Italian restaurant.

218. Evening activity

So saturated we drove to our B & B and enjoyed the sunset with a glass of wine.






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