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Showing posts with label Kruger National Park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kruger National Park. Show all posts

Friday, December 14, 2007

SOUTH AFRICA

WALKING THE BUSHMAN'S WILDERNESS TRAIL

We met Marius, our trail leader, and Bento the African tracker, at 'Berg-en-Dal' in the Kruger Park and then drove about 30km off the public road into the hills to the 'Bushman's Camp' enclosure for the three day stay. Here there were simple facilities, round thatches rondavel huts and a central eating Boma.  The huts were raised about 2ft off the ground on stilts - that makes it harder for snakes and other dangerous creatures to get into them.The enclosure, about 100yds diameter was protected by a wonky fence with two strands of barbed wire to keep out lions elephants, rhino and other indigenous animals .
We were woken and rose at 4.30 in the morning, as day broke, and after a quick wash, rusk biscuit and coffee, were ready to walk just after 5.00am. About 2 yards from the camp gate, on the first day Marius pointed out great skid marks where a rhino had made it's 'Midden', it's territorial marks with it's feet. That made me extremely wary as we walked out into the open bush.

We got close to a lot of Rhino A tense minute as this one below sensed our presence and moved towards us.The click of a camera had alerted it. After 500,000,000yrs of being 'Rhino', camera clicks and other metallic/modern type sounds stand out immediately as something out of the ordinary.


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LAST EVENING - we spied two Lioness with several cubs.
This lioness kept guard whilst her other female companion fed their little cubs.
  She had suddenly charged, then stopped when the warden shouted, about 25ft away (two or three leaps away) and crouched . We were in a canvas covered truck with open sides , but she was looking us straight in the eyes - so much for saying  the animals are unaware of people in vehicles!!
After sitting motionless for half a minute, looking as calm as a sphinx, she began exercising and unsheathing her claws as we see kittens do when playing and about to pounce, her tail twitching in readiness for the next charge. Mario said "I think we must go!" starting the engine - too right, she chased us for at  least 50 yards along the road, just to show who was in charge.
 These are captured off my video - the battery failed as she ran along the road behind us!!

Earlier the warden had spotted a leopard in the afternoon, only 3 of us in the party of 10 saw it as it slid away so silently into nowhere in a moment. Sorry not time to even raise the camera.