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Berg-en-Dal August 2005

Well, yet another weekend I could not wait for, came and went. Well, again, what a brilliant weekend.

I managed to get leave on Friday the 5th and Monday the 8th of August to give us a long weekend at Berg-en-Dal. The more I go to this place the more I like it. We left home on Friday morning at 02:00 am in order to get to the park as early as possible. The drive during the night was excellent. The road is in a good condition for night driving and there was fortunately very little traffic. Towing was fantastic. Again, the car went like a dream and the fuel consumption was excellent. Our first refill was at the Shell garage this side of Nelspruit. Km's was 314 and litres = 32,75. Consumption = 10,41 l/100 km's. This tank lasted us till we needed to return. The garage for this tank was the Sasol in Malelane. Km's covered was 535,8 and litres used was 43,8. Consumption here was 8,17 l / 100 ml's. From the Sasol home, the km's were 389,5 and the litres used was 49,711. Consumption peaked at 12,76 l / 100 km's. The return home was with 5 adults in the car, towing our Romany caravan, and up hill most of the way.

We arrived at the Malelane gate at 06:20 and were through by 06:30. The weekend had started and boy, what a start. Not 5 km's down the road to Berg-en-Dal, we came across a pride of 5 lions lying under a tree. This was a good omen...

We pitched camp next to the fence overlooking the bush at the bottom camp site area. The site we chose was perfect. On either side was a tree and the life around these two tree's was awe inspiring. Read more about this below.

Sightings were better then normal. Over the hill in front of the Camp, the area has been burnt, but fortunately the grass was beginning to push through. It was however because of the burning that enabled us to look right out over the valley and literally spot animal after animal out over the park. There was Giraffe eating over here, impala over there. A group of Zebra wandering along the river bed. Waterbuck heading to the camp. I can only relate it to videos I have seen of the Serengeti where you see animals for Africa. However, in this picture, there are trees and bushes.

The big 5 was spotted on two of the 5 days we were there. The "crem del la crem" was a parting shot on Monday evening when we spotted a Leopard while heading back to Camp. Read about it later down the bottom.

Something that really struck me this time was the dryness of the park and what a lovely sight it was. It was real African bushveld. Some of the photos below show how great it was.

Anyway, have a look at the photo's and enjoy. As always, for a bigger photo, click on the thumbnail. It does take some time to load due to the size of the photo.

A slight mod is the map to the right. Click on one of the "RED" dots and it will take you to the relevant photos and write-up.

Till next time...

Here we are set up next to the fence. In the top photo is myself and in the lower photo, my daughter is sweeping up the leaves and dirt on the ground sheet.
As mentioned above, Life around the camp was also brilliant. With there being trees on either side of us, there were horn bills, glossy starlings, Bul-Bull's and other birds.
On entry to the park on Friday morning, we came across a pride of 4 lions. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a good photo. The Top and middle pictures to the left are the better of the photos that we did manage to get.
A little bit later, heading down the S 114 my daughter and wife simultaneously spotted this leopard in a tree in the distance. It was still very early and he was some way off in the distance. I hopefully have some better photos on my film camera and if good, will post them as well.

He was scanning the area for food and after about 5 minutes, jumped out of the tree and headed down to our right towards some Impala. Eventually we lost him in the brush. Although we stayed around for some time afterwards, he had done a good Houdini and disappeared for the rest of the day.

P.S. 2 photos posted just below on 12-09-05

Returning to camp on Saturday evening, we came across 5 Rhino on our right hand side. Two of them skittishly made it across the road and headed down into a riverine down on our left hand side.
Sunday morning it was off to one of my favourite haunts: - Afsaal.
On our way back from Afsaal, we stopped in at Renosterpan. It was nearing mid day and found this Giraffe drinking water at the water hole. All I can say is thank heaven I do not have to drink like this.
On Sunday morning, we took a drive out along the S114 and then cut across to the H3 via the S118.
This Elephant was seen close to camp while heading back one evening. He was very close and we loved just sitting there with the engine off and listening to him eat and rummage in the bushes. The lower photo is of him out in the open.
Just before the Matjula bridge on the H3 heading towards Skukuza, a lion pride had killed a Buffalo during the night. Unfortunately the kill was a way in the distance and no photograph would have done it justice.

My brother and Sister in Law needed to go to Malelane on the Saturday morning. They told us about stopping on the bridge and looking out below onto the Crocodile river. They said it was wonderful and that we must give it a try.

was our last drive on Monday evening. We were coming back from the Malelane gate bridge. We were about 1 to 2 km's on the Berg-en-Dal side of the road that leads to the Malelane camp. I noticed some Impala running on the right of me and heading in my direction. I thought something must be up!



P.S. 2 bottom photos added to left 12-09-05. As thought, it was very dark and also blurry, but here they are...

On the S110 looking over towards Beg-en-Dal camp, the bush had been burnt and the game that could be seen was brilliant. Here are a couple of those photos.
Finally, a few more general photos'

Until next time, keep well and happy holidays.

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