Thanks once again for your amazing and overwhelming comments and compliments which made us speechless. This day was one of the best days ever spent in a Sanpark (although nearly each day in one is amazing!) and whenever thinking back of this day the big smiles on our faces came back immediately especially these sightings will help us to overcome the time until we will be back
Thanks especially to p@m, Spotted Cat, anne-marie, wanderw, Johan N, anne catherine, droopy, Dreamer, vlekkie, caracal, GavinW, Micetta, annalie, Ingrid, Wannabe Nerd, Meandering Mouse, Sharifa and Duke, lorrainepring, billyf, icurrie, AjayB, Toddelelfe, Mike1916, katy and Mielie you are all more than great
@Johan N – For the caracal sighting Timon had a Canon EF 300 1:2,8L IS USM plus a 2x converter on. I am not a fan of this lens as I even cannot carry it
@caracal – I am quite sure it was the same caracal you saw and I am holding thumbs for another meeting with him shortly. Unfortunately the whole trip report will not be finished before you leave but after your return I will hopefully help you to overcome your withdrawal symptoms.
Sorry for not posting earlier but were a bit busy also on the weekends but meanwhile I found some time to continue - just to let you a bit more space for the desert which will be a spotted one with more spots on top.
Once more thanks again and I am proud to be part on this amazing forum Friday, 20. February 2009 – Nossob - Kieliekrankie
Today we had to finally say bye bye to Nossob and furthermore it was also unmistakably clear that our holidays will also be over more to soon
, however, we still had three whole days in the park.
Again it must have been rained last as the ground was wet and muddy and some very small puddles could be found in camp. Luckily our beloved black backed jackal strolled around the camp fence and waived us also good bye. We hit the road in the Southern direction and although the sun just began to shine there were plenty of dark clouds still around.
We took for a very last time the loop around Marie se Draai and much to our delight although far in the distance we could spot again a handsome Kudu male.
Now the sun came up more and more and it got brighter and brighter whilst we came across a couple of black backed jackals obviously one had already crossed the street and waited for the other in plenty of beautiful Devil’s thorn flowers.
The other jackal had just caught a delicacy at least for it – a giant millipede – and must have had already a bite but obviously same tasted a bit
according to the impression on its face.
However, the millipede was not that bad as the jackal grabbed same, crossed the street and joined the other jackal and ate the rest of its kill.
Another pale chanting goshawk with dark blue sky in the background could be spotted as the further we drove South the more the grey clouds disappeared.
Suddenly from out of nowhere another fast monster puff adder was crossing the street and Timon had to hurry to take a picture of same before it disappeared in the high grass
and a beautiful ostrich lady posed so nicely for us so that we once more could not resist
Finally we reached Dikbaardskolk and had a nice break before we headed forward again. Another advantage due to the camp change was that we now we could also drove the road from this picnic spot to Kij Kij as otherwise due to the road closure from Samevloeiing to Kij Kij this road would have slipped us through our fingers. Gladly we drove this road as for us this part of the park was the most beautiful one at least at this part of the year and we enjoyed every meter we drove. On one side of the road the whole ground was covered by oceans of Devil Thorn’s and on the other side nearly no vegetation could be found but only rocks and sand. The contrast between both sides whilst the road meandered through the dunes was just breathtaking. Furthermore a strong wind was blowing which carried the smell of the flowers everywhere.
Another strange sighting was also the many mushrooms which could be spotted from time to time on the road.
Again plenty of kori bustards and gemsboks were running around and we could not resist in taking a picture of some gemsboks in a meadow of Devil’s thorn.
Between Jan se Draai and Kransbrak Timon stopped again, scanned the area and finally took the binoculars, checked again and said “Gotcha Pussycat!” I looked into the same direction and must confess that I saw nothing besides some bushes. After checking the bush which Timon showed me via binoculars I could at least spot one lioness but in total it were three of them squeezed altogether under a very small bush in the remaining shade.
All in all the small pride consisted of one huge male and his two lionesses lying in another field of Devil’s thorn. As the shade under the bush was getting less and less and it was already getting boiling hot in the sun one of the lionesses left the others and walked away under another bush.
As there was no tree under which we could have parked the car we had no other choice than to wait in the hotter and hotter getting sun gladly the strong wind was still blowing and with all windows down it was quite bearable otherwise we would have been boiled in our car.
The mane of the lion was blowing in the wind and whilst the two lionesses were nearly the whole time sleeping we stayed with them he was very active at least for a lion!
He did some scratching, fur care, pedicure and after he had finished the whole procedures he started again in doing the same – obviously he was a very vain lion but quite understandable as he had to please two ladies
In total we were two cars and watched them for around one hour and finally a third car joined us too but obviously the people were no so interested in watching some sleepy lions and drove off quickly.
The shade under the bush melted away more and more and finally only for one of the lioness it was enough shade left and he finally decided to join his other lady under her bush not that she may fell a bit unfairly treated.
As we had still a long way to drive we left them and enjoyed again the drive through this awesome landscape more and more. Suddenly Timon asked me whether I saw the ostriches on a rocky field and I replied: “Yes, I did”. He again: “Did you see them?”. I was already about to go a bit angry as I already replied him until I saw all those plenty well camouflaged small chicks following their parents.
The usual suspect such as wildebeests, red hartebeests, ostriches, gemsboks as well as more and more springboks crossed our way too out of which this one was looking a bit more like “El Toro” than as a wildebeest
Another ostrich family with a bit more older but not less cute chicks could as well be spotted
and finally we saw a springbok high on a stone hill until we reached the Melkvlei picnic spot where we did another break. The landscape was as if we were in the middle of nowhere, dusty, rocky and dry but just beautiful. to be continued......