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You can always rely on the NT News for spicy stories!

Family and Friends. That just about sums up the past week. Oh, and a bit of work and the AFL Grand Final which reduced us all to our knees as we contemplated another week of ‘will they, won’t they’. The South African media kept us amused with the tales of Julius Malema and President Zuma’s spats and the ongoing debates/discussions about press freedom.

On to friends. Another session at Live Bait in the Kalk Bay Harbour – it’s becoming a habit.

Charles and Janet joined us for a lost afternoon of Pierre Jourdan Tranquille (closest to a Luberon rose you will find) and the quintessential Fish ‘n Chips. As usual, the locals kept us amused as well as some unusual visitors.

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[The Kalk Bay harbour trio – the basket is for a ‘few bob,boss’]

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[An unusual sight – the New Zealand Grand Masters Hockey team watching the seals off the breakwater. Never knew the Kiwis played with a little white ball and a stick, did you?]

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[Charles has been known to get quite affectionate after a few roses – and not very discerning either it would appear]

 

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[Preparing a local delicacy – snoek roe which is cleaned up and then fried]

The family caravan moved to Rondebosch and the Botha’s house in particular. Luke’s Christening festival started on the Friday evening with a large pork belly, moved into Saturday morning with the actual Christening and after a procession of friends had moved through the house, a hard core celebrated long into the afternoon and evening.

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[Preparations underway for the big moment. Luke is all eyes and ears]

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[Father Terry intones the prayers while Luke prepares the Holy Water]

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[A bevy of Godparents, parents and children with Father Terry in front of the Bishops Brooke Chapel]

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[Humble family portrait for our own album]

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[Proud parents Sue and Mark with Great-Granny]

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[David and ‘Wessie’ – Godparents wear ties (sometimes)]

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[Great Granny takes the star of the show for a little walk – probably telling him how she swam to Robben Island in her day]

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[The Christening Cake – a fruit cake, complete with freshly-picked Camps Bay nasturtiums]

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Totsiens – Lovonne and Simon xx

 

 

 

 

The history of today’s Sabi Sand Reserve as a formal association dates back to 1948 when the landowners formed the private nature reserve. Credit for the association, however, should go to the original pioneers of the reserve in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.

Of these pioneers, no less than six of their families are now third and fourth generation owners of the land – a credit to the foresight of their forefathers who loved and respected Africa’s flora and fauna.

The Sabie Reserve was proclaimed in 1898 and incorporated what is today both the Sabi Sand and the Kruger National Park. However, in 1926 the National Parks Act of South Africa was passed and many private landowners were excised from the Sabie Reserve. They in turn formed the Sabi Private Game Reserve.

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[the Ululapa lodge]

The Sabi Sand is the oldest and most successful private reserve in South Africa. It is home to a number of endangered species, including:

Wild Dog: The most endangered species in Southern Africa. The Kruger National Park contains the only viable South African population of Wild Dogs.
Bats: They are the only flying mammals that are blind; 10 of the species are on the endangered list.
Honey Badgers: Badgers can be useful in reducing the population of rats, scorpions, and dangerous snakes.
Oxpeckers: With scissor-like movements, the Red-billed Oxpecker combs their host’s hair in search of ticks.
Ground Hornbill: There are less than 1500 Ground Hornbills left in South Africa.
In 1993, the fences between the Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sand came down and animals soon migrated between the park and the private reserves to the west. The Sabi Sand now forms part of the greater Kruger National Park wildlife enclave and its immense wildlife gene.
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Nowhere in South Africa will one find a wildlife experience quite like the one experienced within the Sabi Sand Reserve. Sharing a 50km (31.25 miles) unfenced border with the Kruger National Park (which is 2 million hectares in size!) ,this immense (65 000 hectare/ 153 000 acre) and diverse tract of land is home to The Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant), and much much more.

This area is also in the process of being further enlarged within the Peace Park concept with an expected integration and amalgamation with protected areas in Mozambique, and eventually Zimbabwe.

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[The pic that says it all]

[news source: 7Sport]

As the sun rose over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday morning, we sat glued to ESPN and heard the tones of Dennis Cometti and our ‘Bruce’ talking us through one of the most exciting Grand Finals ever.

George’s txt in the third quarter said it all: “I’m calling an ambulance”.

It’s a reply on Saturday. Pies, pick yourself up and hit them hard, twice. You can do it! For those of ‘youse‘ who would like to join the Magpie army at this late stage – here’s the application form to put more money into Eddie’s back sky:

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[thanks, Nick]

YOH! I love your makarapa and vuvuzela – eish, it’s sharp sharp!”

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Though many South Africans will understand this sentence, for those who do not, help is at hand.

The new Oxford South African Concise Dictionary defines these words in its latest edition, compiled by the dictionary’s unit for South African English at Rhodes University.

•yoh (also yho or yo): informal; expressing surprise, disbelief, shock or admiration.
•makarapa (noun) (also makaraba): 1. an elaborately decorated hard hat or miner’s helmet, worn as a headdress by supporters of a soccer or other sports team. 2 historical; a mineworker or migrant labourer. ORIGIN from Sesotho sa leboa, “men who work in the cities”.
•vuvuzela (noun) a long straight plastic horn, chiefly used by spectators at soccer matches.
•eish (also aish or heish), used to express a range of emotions, including surprise, annoyance and pain. ORIGIN: 1990s, from tsotsitaal.
•sharp sharp (also sharp): informal. 1 expressing approval, acceptance or agreement. 2 used as a greeting at meeting or parting.
Phillip Louw, of Oxford University Press Southern Africa, is the managing editor of the dictionary, which hit the shelves last month and took more than three years to compile.

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[A Makarapa]

[News Source – www.timeslive.co.za]

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European news sources are chokka with the news that Monaco’s Prince Albert II will marry his South African fiancée, Charlene Wittstock, in the open air in the public square in front of his palace, in order to host as many guests as possible, he said.

“The religious ceremony won’t be in the cathedral on the Saturday, but on the Place du Palais,” he told reporters Wednesday, predicting that there would be around a thousand guests at the event on July 2 and 3 next year.

In June, the 52-year-old prince announced plans to marry 32-year-old South African swimming champion Charlene Wittstock, in what royal watchers expect to be the most glamorous social event of the 2011 season.

Charlene and Albert — the son of the late Hollywood star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III — will legally tie the knot at a civil ceremony on Friday July 2 before hosting a Catholic religious ceremony the next day.

Rainier’s 1967 “Wedding of the Century” to Kelly also saw a marriage between the glamour of the European aristocracy and the showbiz pizzazz of Hollywood – that was dubbed the Wedding of the Century (1900-2000), now we have the ‘new’ one!

Anything the Germans can do, the Northern Territorians can do better. Paul the octopus was used to predict World Cup results. In the NT, they have a croc (what else).

He’s predicted THE PIES for the AFL Grand Final to-morrow.

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Go the MIGHTY PIES!!

               We hear so much about ‘The Big 5’. During our recent trip to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and staying at Ululapa we discovered the presence of The Magnificent 7.

I’m sure that Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner would not have minded Themba our ranger pinching the name from their iconic movie.

What makes up The Magnificent 7?

We start with The Big 5:

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Up close and personal with the Elephant

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A very chilled Leopard

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The King himself – the Lion

 

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Rhino mom and daughter

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Billy the Buffalo

Now, the two which make up The Magnificent 7 –

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The Wild Dog – fast, merciless and fearless

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The Cheetah – a sad animal, highly stressed but 0-96kph in 3 seconds

             A rapid-fire unpack after our arrival at Ululapa in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve allowed us time to move off on to our first game drive of the 2010 Ululapa visit.

We passed a vehicle from neighbouring Ulusaba who told our ranger, Themba, “hope you’ve got your driving gloves on!”

We passed a herd of impala who were moving around nervously and barking continuously in warning to their mates. Around the corner and about 200 metres away, we found a rare sight – a pack of Wild Dogs : six in all along with two puppies.

They moved purposefully and Themba remarked that they were preparing for a kill.

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[Look at the Wild Dog up at the top of the pic – he’s plotting the tactics and ensuring everyone gets into position.]

Classic military tactics ensued. Two flanking dogs, a small stopper group holding back at the back, and the main raiders up through the middle. They started to move about 50 metres from the buck. As was to be expected, the Impala ‘bomb-shelled’ – they scattered in all directions. The Dogs peeled off and followed two.

We were in hot pursuit – crashing through the bush as the Land Rover was taken to the limit by some very skilful Themba driving and Solly tracking from the bonnet.

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Whack! Down one goes in front of us – pandemonium ensued as the stomach was ripped open and the heart wrenched free. Split seconds, that’s all it took.

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Meal time. The unopened and unharmed stomach was placed aside and the feast began. While this was happening in front of us, a mirro image was happening about 30 metres from us with the other members of the pack and the second Impala.

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The Impala vanishes in front of our eyes.

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Not much left now.

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The remains are hauled off for safe-keeping. The hyenas are nearby!

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