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 Post subject: Re: Katydownunder and Francolin in KTP 2008 - The Full Story
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:54 pm 
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23.11.08

After a wonderful restful night (interrupted by the occasional fear that a bat might fall on our heads) I got up quickly in the morning.
I wanted to drive to the Cape Fox Den first thing in the morning.
So I was at the gate 10 minutes prior to opening time and got rewarded.
I was the second one to drive out right at 5.30 am….

I stopped at Samevloiing ,what a wonderful sunrise.
My heart aches looking at the pics……

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But now off to the direction of Rooiputs.
The road is still very dusty and you could see the dust whirling around in the rear mirror although I am not driving fast at all.

Just for the fun ;-)

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At Leuwdrill there was nothing, but a lot of tracks on the road.
I would just love to know what went on during the night.

I reached the Cape Fox Den just a few hundred metres before Rooiputs, and…
The Cape Fox Mum was out in the open and with her all three pups.
I was a pure pleasure to observe them.

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Then the action started…
Unfortunately due to the still pretty bad light it was hard to capture it.

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Time to clean the kids in between.

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Waiting for the others to come.

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By now it was already time again to return to the camp.
Grab something to eat, a cup of coffee and then to be on the road again.

On the way out towards Melkvlei we, of course, checked Samevloiing waterhole .
To our surprise we found a Hyena having a bath right in the waterhole.
She really seemed to enjoy this refreshment.

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Unfortunately the light was a bit against me.
But we loved the sighting.

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Well at least until a herd of Oryx arrived at the waterhole.

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The Hyena left the waterhole and went towards the parking space above the waterhole.

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Hyena

Hyena

All along the way we did not have another sighting at all.
So we decided after another cup of coffee at Melkvlei to return back to TR.
I have to admit that after all this moving between the camps we were fed up with packing and unpacking the car.
So we decided to change our Mata Mata booking to TR.
And it worked.

At the petrol station we discovered that now the left front wheel was pretty flat.
It needed pretty much air, but we thought to observe the wheel…..

We used the time in the camp to have a look around.

Right beside our bungalow door we saw this Armoured Ground Cricket.

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It was again pretty hot and the Squirrels tried to cool down a bit in the dust.

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After the rain the bushes started to bloom.
Little white blossoms everywhere.

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In the afternoon we drove towards Rooiputs once again.
We stopped at the turnoff to the campsite to observe the waterhole.
We discovered a small pride of Lions on the dunes near the waterhole.
No sign of any movement.

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Of course we checked the Cape Foxe Den….
Mum was outside.

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Later one of the cubs was out as well.

Cape Foxes

We were sad that we had to leave them, but it was time to go.

We arrived at TR a couple of minutes before gate closing.
I stayed in the car while Francolin went up to reception to return the permit.
Soon she came out again, waved and indicated that I should come up as well.
“ You will not guess who I met!!”

And right behind her a familiar face appeared.
Jannie! 8)

That was indeed a huge and very pleasant surprise.
What a small world.
We chatted away like we have met only a few weeks ago for the last time.
I think I do not have to mention that we started to prepare dinner quite late…

As soon as we were back at the bungalow we discovered that more bats were flying around than yesterday.
Again one dropped right in front of our feet.
We picked her up and put her on the beams outside.
The Bats came and tried to pick the little one up, but we realized that they had some problems. :shock:

So what to do!? :hmz:
We knew that someone on the forum might be able to help, so I send Dinky Bird a sms, asking for help.
She told me that she was going to ask that question n the forum.

Only a couple of minutes later she answered.
“Forum too slow tonight, so I googled…”
“Put the Bat on something flat like a garage roof, they are sending distress calls and the mums will come and pick them up”

Well, only thing was, we are in the Kalahari, so there is not a single garage roof in sight….. :?
We thought for a second, and......put her on the car roof.
Only minutes later she was gone.
A Happy ending. 8)

Thanx DB once again for that. :thumbs_up:
We had to carry 3 more Bats out later during that evening. :roll:

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Katydownunder and Francolin in KTP 2008 - The Full Story
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:51 pm 
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24.11.08

Today we did not start too early.
After driving the Nossob road the last couple of days it was once again time to drive the Mata Mata direction.
Just as we had crossed the dunes we were delighted to meet “our” Meerkats yet again .
They were as usual busy searching for food.

Isn’t it a cute bum-shot ?! :lol:

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Some were grooming themselves.

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Or simply relaxing.

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Meerkats

We had just left the beautiful Meerkat sighting when I could see a to us well knows car approaching from behind.
I simply could not believe my eyes.
I slowed down and looked into a grinning face.
Peter Piper!
It was unbelievable that we met him for the third year in a row.
He told us that he knew we were in the park and already asked several people if they had seen a car with two ladies and a Yellow Ribbon. :lol:
As he was staying at Twee Rivieren as well. We exchanged our bungalow numbers and said goodbye.

You could see the effects of the rain nearly everywhere.

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But not only the flowers and blossoms appeared after the rain.
We could see more and more young Springboks.

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Springbok

We had once again breakfast at Auchterlonie.
It was already hot and quite late so we headed back to Twee Rivieren.

We had just passed Kamfersboom when we discovered a very young Springbok underneath a bush close to the road.
Aren’t they just too cute ?! :wink:

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A little south of Monro watehole we saw the second group of Meerkats again.
But we only had time for one photo…

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……and they were gone :lol:

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As we stood there I was finally able to take a nice photo of a Kalahari Robin.
Usually they are far too active and don’t sit still, so I was really lucky.

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At Houmed we saw an Ostrich and a Jackal at the waterhole. The Jackal was however a bit suspicious and obviously doubted that it was such a brilliant idea to be so close to such a big bird. :roll:

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When we were on the road again in the afternoon, we saw this little tornado near Samevloiing.

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Last year we saw much more Tortoises.
This was one of this years rare sightings.

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And as always we were pleased to see the Agamas.

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We drove towards the Nossob direction, but no animals around.

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But then we turned around to drive back to Samevloiing.
We wanted to stop at the waterhole and wait for a while.

The first visitor was a Springbok.

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Then we were surprised to see a Kittlitz’s Plover.

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But then it was time to leave.

It was already past 7 pm and we had still a few kilometres to drive.
Not too far from the t-junction we saw a movement up on the ridge.
We could not believe our eyes it was the Leopard cub. :dance: 8)

By now it was nearly 7.15 pm and the light pretty bad , but nevertheless it was an awesome sighting even though I was not able to take some nice photos.

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Leopard Cub

We had the sighting nearly to ourselves.
There was only one other car approaching, and we showed the Leopard Cub to the Belgian couple. They were delighted, it was their first Leopard sighting.

Still chuffed we arrived back at Twee Rivieren.
Peter was pretty green when he heard about our sighting. He had been back to the camp a little before us.
It was so nice chatting to him,he is so full of love for KTP.
And as always time was flying on that evening. :D

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Katydownunder and Francolin in KTP 2008 - The Full Story
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:16 am 
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25.11.08

Although we left the camp again very early, we had no luck.
Nothing at Samevloiing, nothing at Leeuwdril, nothing at Rooiputs. Even the Cape Foxes were still asleep.
So we returned back to the Camp for a little breakfast and the usual coffee.

Then we were driving the Mata Mata direction.
Quiet as well, just until shortly after Houmoed Waterhole.
Here we discovered a Meerkat. What surprised us a bit was the fact that, as hard we as we searched the area, there was no other Meerkat around. We was on his own foraging for something to eat…..

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Just as we were coming closer to Kamfersboom we sighted a bunch of lazy Lions underneath a tree.
A male Lion with a couple of youngsters. We had a look for mum, but she was nowhere to be found.

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Then dad had enough, the youngsters did not want to sleep any longer and so he stood up and walked a bit further down the hill towards the road to find a quieter place to have a nap.

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But as soon as he lied down the youngster got and followed him one by one…. :slap: :lol:

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Lions

On the way back to Twee Rivieren we discovered more and more young Springboks .
They are simply so adorable….

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Springboks

Namaqua Doves are so pretty.

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Back at Twee Rivieren, we observed the wildlife at the camp.
Two Common Scimitarbills were looking for food.

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And this time one of the Mongooses was roaming the ground.

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I like the Afrikaans name, Witkwasmuishond.
And indeed isn’t he lying there like a dog?! :hmz:

We had just passed the camp gate when a small tornado “passed” our way. Tearing the Weavers nests from the trees and sending the up into the sky like balloons.

Wind

We did choose the Nossob road again.
And yet again, no luck.
Only a couple of Oryx on the dunes. And even for them it seems to be too hot to move.

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So we stopped at Samevloiing.
The Plover was still there circling the waterhole.

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Then I tried to capture those special Kalahari colours.

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But then we decided to return back to the camp.
At least we wanted to check the area thoroughly, of course we hoped to see the Leopard cub again…

We were only a couple of hundred metres away from the camp waterhole, when we saw something n the road.
A Brown Hyena! 8)

Sorry had to take the first shot through the windscreen.

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Moreover it was already nearly 7.20pm.

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Brown Hyena

Well then we thought she must be on her way straight to the waterhole, so we stopped there and awaited her arrival.
And indeed it had been the right decision. By now it was far too dark for the camera, but not for the camcorder…

Brown Hyena

Aren’t they kind of mysterious creatures?!

Unfortunately it was time to leave, we could already see the lights of the gate guards car, who was coming down to close the gate.

A great ending to another wonderful day a KTP. :D

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Katydownunder and Francolin in KTP 2008 - The Full Story
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:06 pm 
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26.11.08

Third car in the row at the gate this morning.
We are out right on time 5.30 am.
Of course checking the waterhole right at the camp gate, you never know….
But this time nothing.
I drove on for a couple of hundred metres and the cars that had left before me had stopped.
They indicated that something was crouching in the ditch right beside the road.
I had a closer look, and…..
A Leopard! Image

He was hiding, but everybody waited patiently and suddenly he was brave enough to step onto the road.

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He crossed the road and slowly made his way to the waterhole.
A beautiful male.

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By the time he reached the waterhole the sun was coming up over the dunes and I was not able to take a single decent pic facing the sun.
But still it was a fantastic sighting.

After that I drove on towards the Nossob direction.
On the way to Leeuwdril there was sill some fog in the river bed.

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Oryx were on the way during the cooler time of the day.

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At Leuuwdril the next surprise.
Another Hyena having a bath in the waterhole.

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A Jackal was circling the waterhole and left before the Hyena was too annoyed. :roll:

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The Hyena then left the waterhole and searched for a shady place to rest.

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She did choose this tree (we checked the tree again later and she was still lying there).

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If I have a look at this pic and compare it with pics that forumites had taken during their trip in the beginning of the year and only couple of days ago, I can not believe how high the grass is now.

Back at the camp our morning coffee was “disturbed” by an unusual sighting.
An AWC right in the bushes close to bungalow #1.

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This was pretty cool. 8)
At first she was very suspicious, but later she was a bit more relaxed.
What a beautiful animal.

Then we left for a late morning coffee to Melkvlei.
As I said before the Hyena was still underneath the same tree, but now having a nap and lying flat on the side.

Although everything still looked so very dry, the flowers were popping up more and more each day.

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Near Kij KIj we saw this wonderful Martial Eagle.

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Three lazy Lions between Kij Kij and Melkvlei.

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And a bird at Melkvlei were the sightings for the rest of the morning.

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As usual we returned back to the camp for the hot hours around noon, before leaving again later in the afternoon.
This time we were driving the Mata Mata direction again.

First sighting close to Houmoed was yet another Scrub Hare.
They are really beautiful, so fluffy.

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Just a coupe of metres further on a Pair of Thick-Knees with chiks.
Look at those eyes…

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Thick-Knees

And of course we had a look for “ our ” Owls at Monro again.
And unbelievable they were still there.

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The Chick was hiding behind the tree trunk.

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Giant Eagle Owls

A couple of kilometres behind Monro on the way to Kamfersboom we met daddy with the youngsters again.
They seemed to be very well fed. Mum had indeed “prepared” a splendid breakfast.
The bellies were full and the manes of the youngsters still showed traces of the blood of the recent meal. :wink:

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We left them to drive on to Kamfersboom.
He we found…..
Even more Lions.

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We returned to the previous spot and Daddy had changed his postion and was now lying very majestic close to the road.

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The Owl chick left his hiding behind the trunk.
Doesn’t it look as if he/she was wearing a cape.

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And even the Hare wasn’t that shy anymore….

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Back at camp we prepared the braai.
And while we started to eat we had a power failure.
So we dined with just the candles, a glass of wine Image and this wonderful silence around us.

Ahhh, indeed heaven on earth….. 8)

( I think I don’t have to mention, that we met more Bats during the night… :lol: )

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Katydownunder and Francolin in KTP 2008 - The Full Story
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:19 pm 
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27.11.08

It had rained all through the night.
But now it was dry again.

The day started with a quite unusual sighting.
A Donkey still in the camp area, but only a couple of metres away from the camp gate.


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We checked all the waterholes before heading towards the Aoub river bed through the dunes.
Along the way we stopped to guard a little Tortoise safely over the road.
She was still so small.

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At Houmoed an Oryx came for a drink with a youngster.

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And right at the turnoff to the viewing point, we sighted another Thick-knee Family.

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The chick looked a bit grumpy… :lol:

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Today seemd to be a good day for the birds.
A Juvenile Fiscal Shrike in one of the bushes along the road.

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Luckily we had another wonderful sighting of Meerkats.
They are always such a nice sight and you could forget about the time, just standing there and watching them roaming the area.

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You could now clearly see, that all the recent rain made the bushes go green soon.

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We heard, that a pride of Lions had killed a Wildebeest on top of the ridge on the turnoff from the main road to KK.
As we wanted to have our breakfast again at Auchterlonie, this were good news.

Along the way we saw this little Lizard.

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And at the t-junction towards Auchterlonie a Cape Cobra.

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We stopped and she started to move very quickly into the safety of some bushes.

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Although they are having a quite striking colour, they are masters of camouflage.
At Auchterlonie we had a breakfast and toilet stop.
The Lions won’t run away and are still there even a little later. So no need to rush.

It seems that this little guy would tell the visitors, ”Do not litter”….

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Then we commenced our way.
And indeed the Lions were still there, we discovered a part of the pride in the riverbed.
You could clearly tell that they had a kill.

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One female was together with three cubs still on the ridge and feeding on the carcass.

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Lions with kill

Lions with kill

We stayed for a while and than decided to return to the Lions in the riverbed.

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Here we discovered that the Lioness had a very distinctive mark on her shoulder, so this was the pride we had seen in November 2007 at Houmoed waterhole.
Pikasso I think you remember her as well.

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Only a couple of metres away a very excited Wildebeest was in the riverbed, snorting and stumping with his feet. And while doing so observing the Lions that were lazily lying under the tree.

Excited Wildebeest

Today the weather was a bit overcast. Still it was hot and after tonight’s rain it started to get pretty humid.
So we decided that it was time to return back to camp.

This year Gabar Goshawks were a quite common sighting.
We could not remember that we saw so many of them during our previous trips.

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Mum or Dad joined the little Thick-knee Family again, but the were still in the very same place were we saw them this morning.

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The aircon at the bungalow was quite a relief.
The humidity made the heat even worse.
Maybe there was more rain or even a thunderstorm waiting for the evening.
So far it was still dry.

At Samevloiing we saw the Shelducks again.
Still quite a strang sighting although we already know them from the beginning of the trip.

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This clever Duck preferred the fresh water right from the pipe. :lol:

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Our choice for the afternoon, was once again the Nossob direction.
It was a quiet afternoon.
No sighting at the waterholes, the Cape Foxes weren’t out either and turned around and headed back again.
We stopped at the huge Weavers nest and observed the loud and very busy birds.

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The bushes around were alive with Mice.

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On the way back to the camp we sighted another Cape Cobra.
They are beautiful, but we are always very cautious and observe them from a safe distance.
Even more as this one wasn’t at all amused that we stopped for some photos.

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Tonight we visited the restaurant again.
By the time we returned back t our bungalow it was time to rescue some more Bats. :roll:
I opened the door to the toilet and found three lying on the ground.

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We did what we had done all the other evenings before as well.
Putting them on the roof of our car.
After the three had been picked up successfully we had to safe one more.
So I put her on the roof and later checked the roof using a torch.
And I was shocked :big_eyes:
A huge Owl was sitting there and with her the Bat was gone.
So fare we had always been successful, but now there was one casualty…. :|

Tonight we were really sad. :cry:
This was definitely our last night, not only at Twee Rivieren, but as well in KTP.

At least we will have the time for a last drive in the morning, as we only wanted to leave at 11 am.
So we still could pretend that tomorrow was going to be another wonderful day in KTP. :hmz: :whistle:

Although we had been privileged to spend 25 days here, we didn’t want to leave.....Image

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Katydownunder and Francolin in KTP 2008 - The Full Story
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:59 am 
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28.11.08

We got up early, trying to ignore that these are, without a doubt, the last few hours in KTP on this trip.

Once again we were amongst the first cars at the gate as we wanted to make the most of the morning drive.
It started to rain again just as we were leaving the camp, but that did not bother us.

At first we were driving the Nossob direction.
It seemed to us, as if everybody else had taken the Mata Mata direction so there was no one at Samevloiing. Well there was no sighting either….
So we commenced towards Leuuwdril.
Just as we were about to approach the waterhole we saw a movement to the left of the road.
At first I thought Leopard, but then we could clearly see that it was a Cheetah. :dance:

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She was heading straight towards the waterhole. Closely followed by a Jackal, I was wondering if this was the same Jackal that was circling the Hyena the other day. :hmz:

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Then she stood up , crossed the road an vanished into the dunes.

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Cheetah

Cheetah

What a sighting and we had it once again all to ourselves….. 8)

Still chuffed we payed the Cape Fox Den a last visit.
And again we were lucky, they were out in the open and playing.

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Cape Foxes

Cape Foxes

On the way back we saw another puffed up Kori Bustard.
I think they look pretty crazy doing this… :roll:

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Back at the camp we packed everything in the car for the last time.
We checked out and started for a drive towards the Mata Mata direction,there were still a couple of hours left before leaving.
There was no need to rush, as we were spending the last night in Upington before finally heading home.

This morning was full of last moments.
Again that certain feeling when you were driving the last few hundred metres and than seeing the Auob Riverbed. It would be another year since we see this again….

We checked Houmoed and the lookout. But sighted nothing.
On the way to Monro we saw another Cape Cobra. I am always impressed how fast these Snakes are. This year we really had loads of Cobra sightings.

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Of course we were checking the bushes and trees for Owls, one of our favourite feathered sighting.
And we spotted Spotted Eagle Owls. Not one, or two, but four of them. :shock:
They were just sitting there staring at us.

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Shortly after passing Monro waterhole we saw " our " Lion pride again.

Little Mister grumpy…

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Mum was with them this time.

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This youngster seemed to have some kind of trouble with the thorns.
I think when he lied his head down the thorns got stuck to his nose.

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But then everything was sorted out and he was able to get back to sleep again.

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Well now that they were all sleeping, we decided that this was our turning point. :|
So heavy hearted we (very slowly) made our way back towards Twee Rivieren.

Another Cape Cobra was lying close to a log. And wasn’t at all amused that we stopped and clearly showed it to us.

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Near Houmoed we discovered a Pygmy Falcon on a lower branch in one of the trees.
So I grabbed my camera, when suddenly a second appeared with a Lizard in his beak.
We thought " oh how sweet, a youngster being fed". As the second one gave the Lizard to the Falcon that was waiting.

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The Falcon hastily gulped the Lizard down.

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While the other was watching closely.
When suddenly…..

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How could we have been so stupid?! :slap: :redface:
A youngster being fed….
We had a very good laugh, especially remembering our pretty stupid faces when it happened. :lol:

KTP never stopps surprising us. :tongue:

Along the way we saw more newborn Springboks.

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But this beautiful Lanner Falcon was definitely our last sighting in KTP on this trip.

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The closer we got to the camp the more melancholic we got.
I am pretty sure you all know the feeling only too well, the last few couple of kilometres before the gate finally comes in sight….

We were sad, very sad. :cry:

As I said before even after 25 days in KTP and the next KTP tip already in the planning, we did not really want to return to the " outer world ".

--The End--

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by steffi at 17:07:37 Submitted by sarafl at 21:46:00 Submitted by Kokkewiet at 17:19:31 Submitted by kcilliers at 04:49:32