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#248403 - 06/12/17 03:34 AM Cheetah three mail  
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Ralph W. Offline
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So. Cal. and NZ
Thought it best to post under new thread. June and I have started on our journey to join the Cheetah three group. In AKL airport on way to SYD and then on Tuesday on to JNB.

#248404 - 06/12/17 06:25 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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S&K Online
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S&K  Online
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Noosa Heads, Qld Australia
Ken and I are Rydges Hotel SYD meeting June and Ralph when they arrive from AKL. Such a treat to have friends to share the long flight to JNB.


Sheila and Ken
#248405 - 06/12/17 08:36 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
Ngaire  Online


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Dallas, Texas
Happy to know you are on your way.


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#248409 - 06/13/17 07:39 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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pammy Offline
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asheville NC
In JNB. Awaiting the Simpsons and Websters(how nice to say that). Ocean basket last night and our first king Klip. Off to the Cradle of Humanity this morning. Can't wait for our first game drive tomorrow . Saw some families this morning leaving for safari and it brought back memories of the wonderful time we had last year with our family.

#248411 - 06/13/17 11:45 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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petlover Offline
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Glad you made it safe Pam & Jim. We're excited to do a family safari in July 2018. I may be asking you questions and getting pointers ! Enjoy your safaris, hopefully Jim will see lots of his warthogs. Happy sightings to all.


Marcie

#248413 - 06/13/17 01:42 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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pammy Offline
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asheville NC
Happy to share any info I have.

#248414 - 06/13/17 04:34 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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S&K Online
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Noosa Heads, Qld Australia
We're all here in the hotel JNB. Helen and Chris were on our flight too from Sydney. Lovely to see the Turners briefly before we all headed up to our rooms. Safari here we come!!


Sheila and Ken
#248439 - 06/16/17 08:37 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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I heard from June they saw wild dogs yesterday. They are denning in the hills so will come down to hunt every morning and evening. Bodes well those going to Madikwe. Mary Ellen this could be your year to see the wild dogs.





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#248447 - 06/16/17 07:13 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ngaire]  
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m'ellen Offline
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Boston
Oh, I hope so! In Doha now, off to JNB early tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.

#248462 - 06/18/17 08:02 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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We are at JAMALA. This is a lovely lodge. When we arrived there were elephants, Impala and waterbuck at the waterhole. Jim, Mary Ellen and Ken went out, the rest of us took our game drive watching the waterhole. A herd of buffalo came in and were happily drinking away and suddenly ran kicking up dust. Reminded me of the same situation we had at Narina. They were all looking in the same direction. Something spooked them but we did not see anything.

Great dinner and tomorrow we go looking for DOGS.

UPDATE TO JAMALA.
Game drives we saw lots of elephant, and general game. We waited for the wild dogs near their den and saw them through binoculars and heard them but they did not come down from the hill. Too thick for our vehicle to access the den site.

The second night lions were roaring, it sounded like right outside our rooms. So in the morning we went hunting for them. We found the female lion and followed her as she came down to our waterhole to drink, it was great seeing the lodge from the waterhole like the animals do. We never saw the male just his tracks. We also saw four rhino, elephant, zebra, giraffe and other game.

The highlight of JAMALA is the waterhole. Animals, particularly elephant, giraffe, zebra, kudu are frequent visitors. One day at lunch time a whole herd of elephant came and stayed for about 30 minutes. The little ones were totally emersed in the water. Two adolescents were pushing each other over in the water. Ken got a video. Remarkable activity. Never seen that much action from a vehicle. So very special. I stayed in twice to watch the waterhole activity.



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#248491 - 06/22/17 09:50 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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Well major problen with Cheetah 3.

The day we were leaving JAMALA in Madikwe we got a phone call at 7.00 am. Our next destination LION SANDS RIVER LODGE had burnt down the night before. Sad news for the owner, Rob More who we know well. The rooms were okay but the main lodge was totally gone.

Fortunately they found a lodge at SABI SABI that could take us for two nights (Earth Lodge). and Selati Lodge for one night. We were really fortunate that we had somewhere to go. The group were great as Sheila said "well we are embarking on a great adventure".

Twelve of us were flying two charter planes to SZK airport for Lion Sands. At the airport the pilot of our plane telephoned in to see if we could fly directly into SABI SABI strip. That would save us a 90 minute transfer by road. The other plane was in the air heading for SZK. About 30 minutes into the flight we got approval to land at Sabi Sabi. Of course the group in the other plane had no idea and were confused on landing as they knew it was not SZK.

We had four newbies arriving at SZK from CPT. Sabi Sabi picked them up and they had no idea anything had changed until they got to the Sabi Sabi lodge and we explained this was not where we were supposed to be.

On the 10 minute drive to the lodge in our vehicle saw a black stork catch a fish. So we started with a kill right away.

I have visited Earth Lodge before but it was a high price point and had more rooms than I need. It has turned out to be great. Rooms are big, food terrific, wonderful staff and Rangers. Lodge adjusted all the procedures to meet our groups preferred schedule. Everyone is happy.

First two game drives, two huge bull elephants, rhino, the Southern Pride with Cubs, a huge herd of buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and two different leopards.

So crisis adverted and resolution outstanding.


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#248493 - 06/22/17 11:41 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
Ken  Offline


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Dallas, Texas
Jamala Lodge:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Impala grooming each other.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Red-crested Korhaan or also called the Suicide Bird.
[Linked Image]
Kudu.
[Linked Image]
Warthog.

#248494 - 06/22/17 11:44 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
Ken  Offline


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Dallas, Texas
[Linked Image]
Young Female Lion going for a drink of water.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Eagle Owl.

#248498 - 06/22/17 07:07 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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AMAZING SUNDOWNERS complete with animals.

After the afternoon drive we gathered for a joint sundowners with a popcorn tree. Bags of popcorn tied to a tree. Close by were elephants who wandered pretty near under our Rangers watchful eyes but then lumbered off to the side.

Next came a herd of wildebeest. Then the grand finale, a female, young male and six month old rhino. They walked up really close and the Rangers said be quiet. Then the female rhino turned and ran back a bit. Then the fun began.

The male and female were sparring and the little rhino was going crazy. Running around and making a high pitched squeaking noise. Never heard that before. It was amazing to watch standing about 50 yards away on foot. They were not concerned about us at all. No one was sure whether the baby was happy or worried about the sparring but the baby sure put on a good show.

Then another male rhino arrived on the scene and the two rhinos stopped sparring, little baby went close to mom and the Rangers asked us to get in the vehicles. The show was over.

Tomorrow we switch lodges.


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#248506 - 06/23/17 10:51 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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petlover Offline
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What an exciting show !! I bet everyone was loving it. Where to next ? Ken, thanks for so many great photos...magnificent.


Marcie

#248509 - 06/24/17 10:41 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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So we have had a great stay at Sabi Sabi. Game has been excellent. Food good and gracious hospitality taking us in at the last minute. Yesterday we saw a cheetah, they have not seen Cheetah for months and we all got to see him. Seen the Southern Pride twice, leopard, lots of elephants and plains game. One night coming back we had to slam on the breaks as we turned a corner and a rhino was sleeping on the road. He jumped up startled and lumbered off the road.

This morning I decided to stay in, wash my hair and catch up with some work. I was up having tea with those going out and was struggling - go out or stay in. Up to the last minute I was trying to make up my mind, but I stayed in. The group came back, they saw the Southern Pride, big male, females and cubs on a Buffalo kill. I seldom miss drives teach me to be lazy.

Just arrived at Mala Mala feels like coming home. We absolutely love Mala Mala. Management of Alex and Nerine is perfect, Rangers always good, Trevor the bar man incredible. Serving staff so sweet and attentive. Then you have the best room I have ever had in a safari lodge and outstanding game. What's not love.

They saw wild dogs this morning so I am praying today is Mary Ellen's magical day that she sees the wild dogs. Be back soon.


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#248510 - 06/24/17 12:28 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ms Understood Online
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So Cal
I am so sorry to hear about lion sands! What a tragedy for the owner and the employees and rangers . Glad things worked out well for Cheetah 3 though. What snags and snafus have beset you this trip, Ngaire! Fingers crossed that all goes as expected fir the remainder of your time in So Africa.
-----------------------
Helen

#248511 - 06/24/17 07:09 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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Fortunately no one was hurt at Lion Sands. It is very sad though. Fire at lodges is a big problem because there is no local fire station in the bush. Lodges are so far apart by the time they got there the damage would be done. Lodges around do send staff to help fight the fire. They band together in times of trauma. Our ranger at Sabi Sabi went to the fire.

Yes some unexpected events but in the end things worked out well for both group two and group three.

First game drive we went with Joe our new ranger replaced Theo. He was fantastic. Best friend to Jacque and very like Jacque. Good drive, fantastic elephant, two male lions, leopard and a lot of searching for the wild dogs. Unfortunately they were not found. Hopefully tomorrow.


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#248516 - 06/25/17 09:07 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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Started with the Treehouse male leopard. He had an Impala kill stashed in a tree. We found him laying down in the grass about 100 feet fripom his kill. Kept hoping he would go back into the tree but that did not happen.

After a joint coffee stop on the way back we saw some great things. Four male giraffe and two of them "necking". We were really close and could hear the hits. They wrap their necks around and hit their opponents with their heads. We will try and send a video to Julie to put on our webpage.

Just down the road we found three male elephants about 20 years old were also pushing and shoving. They really kept at it for a long time. We were on the road and they were just yards away. At one point I thought they might knock the vehicle accidentally. I saw the ranger ready to crank the car. A great sighting.

Enjoyed that more than the leopard. We will go back to the leopard today and see if he is in his tree or if the hyenas have arrived.


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#248517 - 06/25/17 11:11 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
Ken  Offline


Joined: Aug 2005
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Dallas, Texas
Sabi Sabi:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
The Southern Pride.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

#248518 - 06/25/17 11:18 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
Ken  Offline


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Dallas, Texas
[Linked Image]
Male Water Bucks.
[Linked Image]
Black Stork.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
The water hole is way too crowded for me.
[Linked Image]
One of the two Charleston male lions.

#248519 - 06/25/17 11:51 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
Ken  Offline


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Mala Mala:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

#248522 - 06/25/17 06:53 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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Unbelievable afternoon.

Biggest news MARY ELLEN saw wild dogs after an 11 year wait. We are all so happy for her.

Within about a ninety minute time span we were CHARGED AND TRUMPETED by two different adolescent elephants ALMOST STUCK in a river bed, saw WILD DOGS RUNNNG, MATING LEOPARDS, and a HUGE MALE LION. It was a Ferrari safari going at top speed to see the dogs then at top speed to see the lion then top speed to the mating leopards. The lion and leopards were far apart.

Everyone's stories of the afternoon were different and all amazing. One vehicle did get stuck in a gully and he had to jack up the car to get out. The leopards were found by an alarm call during sundowners, and I was trying to mark my territory when we got the wild dog call. Crazy afternoon.

The excitement was HIGH in the bar tonight. Dinner included lamb and I am off to bed a very happy camper.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.


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#248523 - 06/25/17 07:46 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
Ken  Offline


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Dallas, Texas
Wild Dogs:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

#248532 - 06/28/17 10:31 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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Getting way behind. So much happens it is hard to remember even big sightings.

Mala Mala Highlights. The Treehouse male leopard made a kill and put the kill in a tree. Some of the vehicles got to see him in the tree with the leopard. He stayed by the tree and kill for two days. So we had fabulous opportunities for pictures.

You are told not to stand up as it breaks the shape of the vehicle and a reaction from the animals. Our ranger was taking a picture and his camera strap dangled down past the door of the vehicle. It broke the shape of the vehicle and the reaction from this leopard was amazing he snarled and growled. Changing in a split second from a cat you would like to pat to a very dangerous animal. Once the straps was not dangling he calmed right down again.

The last morning was fantastic for all the vehicles. Two male lions and three female lions. A true off road experience following these cats. We were with the two males and at times they would start running then go back to walking. They were sniffing the ground and the air we think looking for the females. We lost them in thick bush then followed the females. Just so much fun I love this part of a safari when we follow animals off road.

ROYAL MALEWANE
Our first game drive we found the Giraffe Male lion. Big boy about five years old. He went mobile and we followed him through the bush some great shots. In front of us was a herd of Impala. He walked directly toward them. We got shots of the lion approaching the Impalas. The Impala were going crazy. Snorting and running around. He was not interested he was FULL he had a big belly. He was heading to water. The other vehicles got shots of him drinking.

Second game drive highlight. A cheetah killed a small Nyla and a leopard came and chased the cheetah off the kill. We did not see that action. We searched for the cheetah to no avail but we did go to the kill and the leopard. He was walking around and we followed him knocking down tons of trees. Then he went back to the kill and picked it up in its mouth and moved it. We hoped he would go into the tree but no such luck.

Happy to be here, lovely lodge.





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#248533 - 06/28/17 11:05 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
Ken  Offline


Joined: Aug 2005
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Dallas, Texas
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Male Warthog on the run.
[Linked Image]
Mary Ellen & Barb.
[Linked Image]
Tree House Leopard snarling at the camera strap

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Mala Mala was farmland.
[Linked Image]
Our Rangers: Joe, Bruce, Jacques & Fritz.
[Linked Image]

#248536 - 06/28/17 07:31 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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Dallas, Texas
Oh happy day!!!!!!!!

Not only wild dogs but a wild dog den with two week old puppies. All three vehicles saw them and we all saw the adult dogs regurgitate and feed the puppies. Really close to the cars, a perfect sighting. We were on a real high today.

There is a leopard that lives around the lodge. Mary Ellen saw it in a tree with a kill and run down a tree from her room.

Had a seafood buffet for lunch I really indulged with three bowls of mussels plus shrimp and calamari. So yummy. Really wanted no dinner tonight.

Hopefully ken will get up some pictures soon. Tomorrow in our free time we are going to see another lodge so could be a delay.


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#248537 - 06/29/17 09:34 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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A fun morning. The HUNT for female lion. Guys went in on foot figured out the direction. Back in the cars. Guys back in the bush. They came back and said the lions saw them one seemed to charge but the kill was between the Rangers and the lions and he was running to the kill. He got the kill in his mouth and ran towards the river bed. So we went around to the river bed and found the lioness. All three vehicles saw the lion. The hunt was as much fun as seeing the lioness.

One last game drive here this afternoon and then for 12 of us off to Tswalu.


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#248541 - 06/29/17 07:38 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
Ken  Offline


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Dallas, Texas
More Photos from Mala Mala:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
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[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
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[Linked Image]
Young Female Nyala.
[Linked Image]
Impala Lilly.
[Linked Image]
Saddle Bill Stork.

#248542 - 06/29/17 08:07 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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Final drive at Royal Malewane. A SUPER WOW DAY.

Starting with a big bull elephant at a watering hole. He was getting fresh water from the pipe bringing in the water. He messed up somehow and got dirty water. He blew that brown water out of trunk with great force. Just like we would spit something out we did not like.

Next stop a cheetah on a kill we saw her eating and dragging the carcass. Fabulous sighting really close. This is the same cheetah that had its kill stolen by a leopard.

Next stop vultures and hyenas on a kill hyenas were biting and fighting over the kill. The noises they make are terrific. The Rangers think the same cheetah had this kill also and left the carcass. The vultures and then hyena came in to finish off the carcass.

All of that excitement on the last day was celebrated with a lovely fancy sundowners with all the trimmings.


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#248543 - 06/30/17 01:50 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ms Understood Online
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Wow, Ngaire! What a great day! This is what keeps jerry and I wanting to keep coming back, every trip and indeed every day is different. Safe travels to Tsawlu
------------------------
Helen

#248544 - 06/30/17 05:55 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
Ken  Offline


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Royal Malewane:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
https://ngaire.smugmug.com/Other/POSTING/i-cjmwKNw/A
Video of Wild Dog pups from Ralph.

#248545 - 06/30/17 05:57 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
Ken  Offline


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[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

#248546 - 07/01/17 12:12 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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I've loved reading all the Group 3 adventures and seeing the amazing photos ! I will miss reading these great postings. Safe travels home !


Marcie

#248547 - 07/01/17 12:41 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: petlover]  
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Marc Online
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Looking forward to reports from Tsawlu; it looks to be totally different territory.

Marc


"Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero"

Horace

#248548 - 07/01/17 12:01 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ngaire Online
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Meerkats were fantastic playing around one right at my feet. Two wild dogs for an hour. The wild dogs killed a hare and we saw the chase and the two dogs ate that hate in about 10 minutes. Then they chased a springbok and ostrich but not really that serious. But the antelope pronged so high could not believe it. Ostrich ran fast with wings out. Super to watch.

Other vehicle followed a male cheetah we opted to try and find the female cheetah with two month old Cubs instead. Have a pangolin spotted in its hole and a tracker will sit there and call us when he comes out. On the property are lions with three month old Cubs and some big males.

Tons of Oryx, springbok and other plains game. Saw about seven Giraffe today but we were chasing the wild dogs.

Such different terrain. Off roading a breeze and the land is stunning, roads smooth super areas of red sand mini dunes.


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#248551 - 07/01/17 09:25 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Wow, lots of exciting posts and pics. I would have loved to have seen those wild dog puppies.

#248553 - 07/02/17 11:08 AM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Foiled by the pangolin and no luck yet with the cheetah with cubs. Highlights of the last game drives.

We found an ostrich egg that was abandoned. It was very heavy and if you stood on it the egg would not break.

First time ever we found an aardwolf. These animals are about the size of a large domestic cat and very furry. Usually very skittish and hard to see. We got really close and Ken got a rear end shot of him that he will post.

Two big male lions with unusual behavior. One was "mating" with the other lion. Seen this before as matter of dominance of one male over the other. However in this case they took turns "mating" very strange behavior.

We tracked two small Cubs with tracks no bigger than a thumb. The tracking was fascinating. You can go off road and there is enough dirt between the grass to continue to track just like regular road. Initially the mother was with them but she hid the cubs and left. The tracks clearly showed where the cubs went into a rocky area and just the mother came down. We are hoping the mother will return tonight and then they will come out and play and we see them.

Two more game drives to go. This afternoon and tomorrow morning. Cars are still on the hunt for the cheetah and Cubs, watching the wild dog den to see if the puppies come out and the additional lion prides we have not seen yet.


See pictures of our adventures here or follow me on
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#248554 - 07/02/17 12:54 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Oryx and Sable.
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Meercats.
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#248555 - 07/02/17 12:55 PM Re: Cheetah three mail [Re: Ralph W.]  
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Ken Offline
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Posts: 745
Dallas, Texas

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