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Berg-en-Dal March 2005

17th March 05

After a month of trying, I managed to get accommodation for Berg-en-Dal on the 16th March for arrival 17th March. The one-day I battled with was the 20th. But someone was watching over us and we could now have our 4 nights at Kruger. 

We left home at 14:00, passed Benoni high school on the way to pick up my daughter and headed down the N12 to Witbank and Kruger thereafter. Towing the Caravan was a breeze. The tow was stable and relaxing. No stress. 

We arrived at the gate at 18:20 and with a pre-arranged escort from Berg-en-Dal, we proceeded to the camp. The guys at Berg-en-Dal were fantastic. I sent them a fax earlier in the day telling them of my late arrival. On our way down, they phoned twice to see how we were doing and to let us know all was O.K. Brilliant service. 

Due to our minimalist camping theory, the caravan was set up in no time and we were soon sitting in front or the fence with a braai going for dinner. 

Here are the images of the holiday: - 


18th March 05


We were out of the gate at 05:30 on the dot. We came out of Berg-en-Dal, and turned right onto the S110. Only things we saw were impala. It was very dark and we were using a spot light to find animals. There were no animals at Majula, so we returned down the road and continued down the S110 towards the H3. We came round a crest of a hill and saw some Kudu Dow's eating on the left hand side.

About 100 meters further on, we came across what looked like a Baboon on the road. Seconds later we realised it was a Leopard. It was 06:05 and still very dark for a good digital picture. The Leopard walked right past the car and into the bushes behind us. He heard the Kudu's, however, by the time he got there, they were long gone.

He was definitely on the hunt, but at this point he headed deep into the bush and out of sight. We stayed around a while, but no go.

We continued on and turned left onto the H3. 2 km's down the road heading towards Skukuza, we came across these two male Lions lazing away. Time was 07:24 and they were going nowhere. The one lying down on the right had quite a serious cut on his back. It was fairly old and was healing, however, it would have been lovely to know what happened.

We were heading back to camp on the S114 between the S119 and S25 intersections when we came across this guy. He was having a sand bath on our right. A short while later, he strolled across in front of us.

On arriving back at the camp, we went to the veranda that overlooks the dam and came across 6 Elephants having a drink and bath. I have more photos on film and will have to wait till they are developed before putting them on here.

P.S. Middle two photo's added 12-09-05

Also, here are some Waterbuck that headed up over the hill down to the dam.

19th March 05


The next day we followed much the same route but went via the Steilberg Loop (S120). At the top of the hill, we bumped into this crowd. As such, we were first up the hill and ended up sitting there for nearly 45 minutes as the Rhino would simply not move.

We reversed as they looked like they wanted to come down our way. Here, some other brave people passed us and gently herded them off the road.


This is the traffic jam that was created though.An example of how big these brutes are!

Heading East along the S118, we came across this duiker near "Ampie se-Boorgat. The time was 07:41




On the same road closer to the S114, there is a side road that lets you almost go onto the river bed. When we went down there, we came across this beautiful Kudu bull. Time: - 08:00

On this day we went to Afsaal. A place I always like to go to for breakfast. Just before we got there, as always in this area, we found these Wildebeest. Here we are with the old pork bangers on the skottle.
We stopped in at Renosterpan and came across this lovely sight. There is nothing quite like watching an Elephant, and at a waterhole at that. Life stands still.
After getting back on the H3 towards Berg-en-Dal, we came across this Chameleon which was half way across the road. We nearly did not see it and in order to ensure no one else ran it over by accident, we stayed parked on the road and watched it cross. We sat there a good 10 minutes as he made his way across!

A short way down the road again, this baby Kudu following it's mother.

Basically another lovely day in Africa.


20th March 05

On this day we headed North East along the S114. Between the S121 and S119, we came across a dead teenage elephant lying in the bush on the right hand side of the road. Believe it or not, it was quite a sad site and as such no one even thought of taking a photo at that time. Later that day on our evening drive, we came across members of the parks board working on cutting out the tusks. When we asked what had happened, they said another elephant had killed it in a fight.

Where the S114 and S119 meet, there is a waterhole. There was a pride of 5 lions counted. Next day (refer below) we would find out really how wrong we were.

Heading home that evening, we came across this white rhino and her baby at Ampie-se-Boorgat.
Back near Berg-en-Dal on the S110, the multitude of Impala were out grazing.
Back at camp that night, the good old Hyena was patrolling the fence as he did every night we were there. On Monday 21st while we were packing up at 10:00 he was also waiting patently by the fence. This is the first time we have seen him by the fence during broad daylight!

21st March 05

On our last day, 21st March at 05:52, we came across these two Rhino lying on the side of the S110 shortly after the turning to the S120. As you can see, it was still fairly dark.

Yes, at 06:03, 11 minutes later, this Rhino and her baby were a little further down the road. Although another "Stand Off" we did not have to wait too long for them to move.

Here is another African sunrise. Time, 06:04 am

At the S118 / S114 intersection, down in the river bed, we came across the Lion pride again and found out they were actual 8 strong. The photos on the Left are as such next to each other. The Picture on the bottom is basically to the right of the top photograph. Time: - 06:53

On our way back to camp to pack up and head home, we passed the Dead Elephant. Top photo is the resultant traffic jamb.




The two bottom photos are the expectant Vultures.It was not possible to get a photo of the carcase, however, it was covered in Vultures and at least two Hyenas were in attendance

After packing up our caravan and heading back to Malelane, we passed these Elephants just outside Berg-en_Dal.

To end, on the first day we saw the big five. Berg-en-Dal has always rewarded us with many sightings of Lion, Leopard and other animals. Also, one of our loves of the area is the number of birds, both in volume and variety. We already have our next looking for the first weekend of August. May be we will see you there...


Until next time, keep well and happy holidays.

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