All, thanks for your patience, support and comments. As said yesterday here is another chapter of my TR and to make it more interesting, you will not only get one day, but two days.....Hope you enjoy it and have enough
to watch the whole story.
Day 3 & 4 – Kalahari Tented Camp
Today was the day we were hoping to find cheetahs. We had read many stories on this forum on the cheetah with cubs that is often seen between MM and KTC and we were staying two nights there, so surely we must be able to find her there.
At 7am we were among the first cars to drive off, but again the early hours of the day were too cold for the animals to be active. We arrived quickly at Auchterlonie, where we stopped for a warm tea and coffee. We continued the route northwards and were impressed by the condition of the road. Many people seem to complain about the corrugation, but today the road was in a good shape, maybe the graders had just passed?
At Montrose waterhole we stopped for a while to look around for activity. In the distance we saw a few jackals playing, but I didn’t pay much attention – you see jackals everywhere and they were too far away for a good picture anyway. But my SO is always more curious, so she got her binoculars and saw that it was an African wild cat protecting her area against two jackals
We stayed and watched the jackals trying to get to her, but eventually they gave-up and walked away. To our surprise the African wild cat then turned her attention to us and causally walked up to our car to investigate who those strange people were watching her. She literally walked straight to our car, gave us one firm look and then disappeared in the banks of the river. Woow – an absolute amazing sight. This is one of the reasons why we fell in love with KTP and will keep coming back to this beautiful place.
We continued our journey and had a late breakfast at Kamqua. The good thing about late breakfast is that the temperature is much better and you don’t eat your breakfast in the freezing cold. We decided that we would maximize our chances and take all the loops running at 13e & 14e boorgat and Dalkeith. What a great decision this turned to be, as when we were on the loop at 13e boorgat we saw a group of 4 cars standing, with all camera’s and binoculars looking in one direction – surely a sign of a big cat sighting. And indeed, when we arrived we saw two young female lions playing with each other in the shade of a large tree.
The guy in the car next to us, told us that for the past few days people had seen 3 lionesses here, so a good spot to return to. Unfortunately the lionesses stayed far away, so after 20 minutes or so, we decided to continue and return back the next day. At around 1 o’clock we arrived in the Kalahari Tented Camp and I was pleasantly surprised. Very friendly staff, great tents, spacious, nicely decorated and great view on the river. What a difference from staying in TR. We stayed in one of the last three tents on the right (nr 11 or 12 I think) and I must say they looked remarkably the same as the pictures on this forum elsewhere of the honeymoon suite.
In the afternoon we drove two times up and down to MM, but no luck here, we couldn’t find the cheetah with the cubs. When we asked the guard at the camp, he also told us that he hadn’t heard or seen her for a few days, but we should keep trying……
Luckily there were many other animals to enjoy and we loved looking at bat eared foxes, who seem to be very active in this area and we enjoyed the many raptors like the kites and falcons
Black Shouldered Kite
Lennar Falcon?? Not sure
In the evening we had fun playing with the spotlight. On the other end of the river there was a group of blue eyes, size of foxes or jackals or maybe hyena. However we could not recognize the howling sound they were making, as clearly it was not a hyena sound. We think it must have been a group of jackals, but not sure yet.
We had a terrible night, as it was so cold at night that even with the double blankets we had difficulties falling asleep. In the morning we doubted if we would get-up, but the thought of possibly cheetah’s or again lionesses at 13e boorgat was stronger and we managed to get up and in the car. But again a similar pattern as the other mornings, very little active wildlife. Don’t know if it is the cold, or the fact that it was close to full moon, but the animals seem to be very elusive in early mornings. A flying wild cat and many doves at the otherwise very empty 13e boorgat.
The good thing about the KTC is that you can sit at your terrace and watch the animals walk by, so most of the rest of the day we just sat and watched the gemsbok, wildebeest and ostriches walk by.
In the afternoon we tried again our “ hunt” for the cheetah, but even with driving up and down a couple of times to MM, we had no luck. Luckily there is always plenty of birds to see, so we gave-up on the cheetah and enjoyed the birds instead. Especially the very active ostriches close by were wonderful.
Lilac brested roller
Secretary bird crossing the road
Ostriches chasing each other
The next day we would leave this area as we were booked at Nossob. Slightly disappointed by the fact that we had not found the cheetah with cub, but grateful with all the other great sightings we had in this area we fell asleep that night, knowing that we would come back to this camp again later this trip, so there was hope……. To be continued