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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:52 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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@Dreamer and @anne-marie it takes time to write stories :roll: :tongue: :lol: :tongue: :roll: :thumbs_up:


DAY 5: 13 JULY 2009

Loaded up, filled up with petrol and whilst waiting for the card payment to go through I was told about a couple of great cheetah sightings the previous day...and then the lion kill when they got to Nossob. :evil:

Where?

A 100 meters from the gate, south side!

And we came back via the north gate and no one said a thing :evil: :evil:

No wonder the interest in the jackals to the south, in the hide!!

As BasDutch has said there is no signage to Bitterpan, but last year I overheard directions, and checked with the fuel pump attendant.

Laundry was loaded from reception and our neighbor was also requested to take some. They were our neighbors again in Bitterpan.

A little anxiously we approached the first dune. :hmz:

Although my SO has had 'The Beast' for 2 and a half years, we had not used the 4X4 functionality yet. She took over my Honda CRV when it was paid up. It was unfortunately rear ended and written off! So she was looking around for a replacement and this beauty (although a year older and less kms on the clock) had just been put on the floor, she paid a small deposit waiting for me to see it and that was that :D

The manual, as most are, is not clear on when and what selection should be used.

The little lever has HH, HL and LL.

I reckoned we would just proceed as is and if there is a problem I would try one of the other positions.

Well, the first dune appeared and we just purred over it.....and the next.... and so on. The trail was steep in places.......loose sand now and then......steps up the dune (left wheels down then right wheels down) and still 'The Beast' kept going.

Needless to say I was extremely impressed :D

While we were stopped to look at an eagle I shifted the lever to HL and a light came on, on the dash, which the manual said was central diff lock engaged. ok :roll:

Not once did we come close to a stall, nor did a wheel spin....in fact it was like a Sunday afternoon drive.....except the bouncing from side to side on occasion and sudden disappeareing track in front of us. You didn't even have to steer as the front wheels followed the tracks, like a train on rails :lol: :lol:

It was fun :lol: :lol:.....although SO had jarred her back a week before we came, and she was in agony again from the jolting etc

I thoroughly enjoyed the drive! It made this leg of our trip absolutely worth while. :shock:

When SO drove the next day, I found some info in the manual that said:
HH for high speed flat surfaces
HL for high speed slippery/icy conditions
LL for thick sand, steep inclines etc

Well, 'The Beast' managed the worst in HH!!!
Probably the engine power, large tyres and good ground clearance....or just my driving :roll:

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And now KTP, March 13, in living colour


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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Some pics of the trail

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with a sandgrouse

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with another

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:44 pm 
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After the road turns south you go parallel to the dunes and so the trail flattens.

En route an eagle (martial eagle , thanks @anne-marie)

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The sandgrouse

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The only animal on route to Bitterpan

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White-quilled Korhaan

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They were highly amusing to watch. The noise as they run along...and take off.... and then when they try to land.......they don't want to....legs out....like a helicopter... hovering and performing :lol: :lol:

The water holes en route were disappointing, as they were in disrepair, windmills lying on the ground dams broken etc...
We were hoping to see activity there seeing as this is the only water source in the dunes. :( :(


The sandgrouse

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Close to the camp another vulture on a nest

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And finally site of Bitterpan

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We arrived at the camp at 13h00, but Willem was still cleaning up as the previous guests had left late.

He suggested we take the loop road. Which we did, but not much to see but another korhaan

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And sunset from inside

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and from outside

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And now KTP, March 13, in living colour


Last edited by RichardJ on Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:23 am 
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An ice cold wind started blowing so we stayed in the tent reading and took a snooze. A couple of ostriches wandered around on the pan, otherwise no activity.

SO does not like getting cold and with her back in pain she stayed put under the covers.

The layout was quite different from the other bush camps.
The rooms are tiny, two beds, space to walk between them and 2 suitcases.

Each tent has its own bathroom behind it.

A communal kitchen with a central braai.

A camp suitable for a group booking or where you don't mind sharing the kitchen, fridge etc, this communal section is the biggest 'space' in the camp.

Our neighbors B... and C..., arrived and a while later another vehicle, parents P... and C... and two sons.
They had been travelling together via Botswana, B and C via Grootkolk and Nossob and the family via Gharagab.

Time to braai so I started a fire which we shared. The youngsters soon took over the chef duties, which was welcome.

We got chatting, and small world, I knew people from their firm, and worked with P's brother 15 years ago....and his uncle was my district commissioner in boys scouts many, many years ago.

They had been in the park for 12 days and had not yet seen 'The King'.
This was the boys first visit to KTP and were anxious the see a legendary Black Maned Kalahari Lion.

Willem had related that a pride of lions move between the pan and Nossob river......and a leopard frequents and as noted in the visitor book comes to drink at Willem's little water hole next to his tent.

They had found signs of an elephant in Botswana...an area not normally/usually visited by ellies :shock:

It was freezing...beeny on, hood over that ...gloves on ...and the youngsters....wind breaker, shorts and slops...... :wall:

I used the opportunity to sell the forum as P visits KNP often and B had viewed 4X4 trail info....lets see... :?

And with that to bed.....learnt a new trick.. made a sleeping bag out of our fleecy blankets and insert between the sheets....

Some eyes came to the water hole but could not id.

A distant lion provided some 'music' during the night...

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:35 pm 
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@anne-marie :thumbs_up:

Here is a video clip of the trail to Bitterpan.......SO rejarred her back :cry: :cry:



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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:30 pm 
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DAY 6: 14 JULY 2009

Up early morning, freezing as per normal. :lol:

A panoramic view from the gate at the kitchen

Image

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:40 pm 
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And so we packed up again.....we were getting quite good at it...lots of practice.

P and family were going for a drive....hoping to find The King.

SO told the boys 'you will see something when you least expect too' :big_eyes:

They promised that if they found a lion they would tie it to the nearest tree for us. We had not yet seen a male lion this trip. :cry:

They left a while before we were ready.

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:00 pm 
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Finally we were off.

SO's turn to drive. Her first 4X4 trail.

The road to Morevet WH was relatively smooth and easy going.

As we approached the T junction onto the upper dune road at Morevet, P was parked, and on the dune..... :big_eyes: .....

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:18 pm 
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They found The King, fast asleep on the dune next to the road :dance: :dance: :dance:


Image

His mane was blowing in the wind
Eyes opened...

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and closed..

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He checked out the spectators

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And....

Image

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:27 pm 
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He woke up and as per normal, a good cat needs needs to be clean before getting going......look at that tongue.....

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Contemplating the day ahead.....should he get up? move west or east or go into the dunes???

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and up it was, finally

Image

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:46 pm 
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This series my SO took, 35mm, totally manual with no electronic aid.
The printed photos are stunning!!!
These are scanned and came out a little grainy.

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An almighty stretch..

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Image

Image

Image

Image

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And now KTP, March 13, in living colour


Last edited by RichardJ on Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:17 pm 
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He got up and came down the dune towards us.

The wind blowing his mane...

Time to reverse and change direction..cause he was going for a walk...

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:20 pm 
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Image

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:21 pm 
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He then did what male cats do smell and mark his territory :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: "We will be Back" to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Image

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Image

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