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 Post subject: Sand Lover Diary-Kgalagadi -Aug/Sep 2009
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:02 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Germany
Hi,

from end of August until late September we had our this years holiday
in Southern Africa. Nearly at the beginning we spent eight days in South Africa.
This time we had a 4x4 car to be better prepared for the Kgalagadi roads.
We started in Mata Mata, followed by Urikaruus and Twee Rivieren.
This time I didn't see another yellow ribbon. I hope next time. :wink:

Now that we recovered from a very adventures time in Namibia at the end of our holiday,
it is time to let you know about our great time at Mata Mata, Urikaruus and Twee Rivieren.

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Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: 30th August 2009, Mata Mata
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:44 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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30th August 2009, Mata Mata

Our this years Southern Africa holiday started in Windhoek.
This time we followed the Auob river bed.
After two relaxing days at a lodge we arrived at the border post at Mata Mata.
We filled out the departure form,in no time got the exit stamp
and finished custom with our rented Namibian car.

A busy digging squirrel said goodbye.

Image
larger view

This is the view back to Namibian border building.

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larger view

No digging friends at the other side of the border :wink:

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larger view
We read this big information board.

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larger view

This was ok for us, we were going to stay one night at Mata Mata and one night at Urikaruus
until we arrive in Twee Rivieren to get the South Arican entry stamp.

We continued with the check-in for Mata Mata at the SANParks office
and got chalet #3.

Image
larger view

I was busy walking here and there in the chalet having a look at kitchen,
bath and bedroom when I heard "Stop!".
The kitchen floor was freshly "repaired" and Sable's shoes got red soles.
:shock:

When our car was unloaded we headed for the shop. Here is a picture of the shop building.

Image
larger view
Walking towards the shop I heared SO having doubts if we really would have the chance to stock up.

Indeed the selection was not that rich ...crackers and chips...

_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Re: Sand Lover Diary
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:49 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:44 pm
Posts: 533
Location: Germany
Now it was time to see how the Auob river bed continues.
This was our first time in the Mata Mata area.
There was a lot of common game. When we entered the Park the first
animal we saw was an ostrich.

Image

At Craig Lockart a jackal was drinking. It soon disappeared in the dunes.
No chance for a picture.
On our way south there were many springboks. This one with youngster was close to the road.

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Those youngsters already live with very long legs.
We were about to see many little springboks this time.
There seemed to be uncountable numbers.

In the afternoon the animals already enjoyed the shade.
These were our first gemsboks we saw in the park.

Image

Only these guys don't care about the heat in the afternoon. :wink:

Image


At Dalkeith these remains of a giraffe lay in the valley.

Image

There was nothing else to see. As there was not much left of the giraffe,
it seems there was only this skin and some few bones there were no predators around.
What happened to this poor giraffe?

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Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Re: Sand Lover Diary
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:13 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Benoni, RSA
Sable

Lovely pics...wow some brand new Springbok!!

The giraffe carcass at Dalkeith...we were there in January this year and the local pride had brought it down, 6 lions in the pride - I stand to be corrected but if I remember right one fully grown male, one fully grown female and 4 sub adults...
Image

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Looking foward to the rest of your TR... :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Sand Lover Diary
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:22 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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We continued our drive until Dertiende Boorgat, but the area was very quiet.
There were only some of the frequent secretary birds.
I never saw so many of them before.

Image

As always when the ground is not that busy I start watching the trees.
There were raptors on very thorny places, like this black shouldered kite.

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On our way back to Mata Mata we stopped at Craig Lockart and watched the birds at the waterhole.
They frequently flew all together to a tree close to the water and then
suddenly returned to the water.

Image

On our way back to Mata Mata we saw some more
ostrichs and a lonely springbok right at the entrance of the camp.

Back to the camp I watched the many many squirells and mongooses next to our chalet. The area towards the fence was a series of holes.

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I spoke to a lady from Pretoria with a cam that really made me very :mrgreen:
... such a large zoom lens....
In the tree next to us was a spotted eagle owl. :D

Image

Image

We spent quite some time watching the beauty in the camel-thorn tree only moving it's head.

_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: 30th August 2009, Mata Mata
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:44 pm
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When the friendly women from Pretoria left I decided I need more zoom. :wink:
I went to our chalet which was fortunately right next to the tree and fetched SO's video cam.
I definitely wanted to see this nice owl a bit closer.
Back near the tree I was glad the owl was still there,
but I had to do some gymnastics, or better stretching to have a good view with the cam.
I could hardly believe my eyes ... :shock:

Spotted eagle owl video

_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


Last edited by sable on Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: 30th August 2009, Mata Mata
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:38 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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By the way, the background sound of the video is the sound of the generator
which runs until 11 o'clock in the evening. It is only switched off from
11 p.m. until 5 a.m. During the day there is always the same sound in the entire Mata Mata camp.

It is so strange to sit in front of your chalet in the evening and you watch one of these wonderful african sunsets, but there is not the expected bush sound.
Only the sound of the generator.


Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: 30th August 2009, Mata Mata
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:22 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:44 pm
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Thank you all. We enjoyed this beautiful sunset very much.

We had an early bed time and fell asleep very soon.
No notice when the generator was switched off.

At three o'clock in the morning I woke up. ... a lion's roar! :shock:
I had a short look at my watch and then I listened with very big ears ... :wink:
There it was again! It was my stomach. :redface:
...not enough crackers in the evening.

Half an hour later I heard a warning followed by a "hu-hoo".
The owl was back to it's tree. Another hunting success?

_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: 31rst August 2009, Urikaruus wilderness camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:52 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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31rst August 2009, Urikaruus Wilderness Camp

We started at Mata Mata at 7 a.m. On our way south we saw many springboks and ostrichs.
At Craig Lockhart two jackals already satisfied their thirst and walked towards the dunes.

As we arrived at Dalkeith we saw our first lions during this Kgalagadi trip.
There was already one car with them.
One lioness enjoyed the early morning sun at the road, a second lioness
was behind the sign of the waterhole.
I took some pictures and SO started recording his video as a third lioness jumped down from a tree right next to us and joined the sunbather at the road.

Image

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The two at the road seemed to enjoy the warm sunlight.
Suddenly the lioness in the shade behind the sign got up and walked towards the others.
There was a little push with the head for the two on the road
and the lioness continued towards the dunes.
It looked like "Oh no not now!" at the others faces, but no chance they had to follow.

Image

Image

Image

What is the lioness carrying along? It looks like something artificial.
Is it a spectacle case?

_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


Last edited by sable on Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: 31rst August 2009, Urikaruus Wilderness Camp
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:42 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Not far away south from Dalkeith another car stood at the road.
In the high grass it was not easy to spot what they were watching.
A lioness with two cubs. :D

Image

This was when SO closed the electric window at my side.
I forgot that the lioness was really that close, I did not zoom. :redface:

Image

The lioness and the two cubs walked along the road behind our car and then
disappeared into the high grass towards the dunes.

Image

Image

There is always someone late. This little cub seems to look for the other one.
When they walked into the high grass there was nothing to see of the little ones.

Image

_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: 31rst August 2009, Urikaruus Wilderness Camp
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:25 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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At Veertiende Boorgat we saw some bat eared foxes playing in the morning sun.
It seems two youngsters were close together and mum was in a distance.

Image

Image

Not far away there were more cats waiting for us. :wink: Wild Cats!
This morning everybody enjoyed the early morning sun.

Image

Soon one of the wild cats walked up the dune for a better view.

Image

On our way to Urikaruus Wilderness Camp we saw some more far away jackals
and again a bird on a very thorny branch. The Urikaruus area was very quiet.

Image

_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: 31rst August 2009, Urikaruus Wilderness Camp
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:00 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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At Kamqua waterhole a herd of wildebeests and some springboks rested in the morning sun.

Image

We decided to stop at the Kamqua Picnic Spot for a lemonade, some crackers and chocolate.
The picnic spot was very busy.

Image

We parked in the shade and sat down watching more wildebeests heading to Kamqua waterhole.
The resident crows arrived checking for food and soon discovered that the neighbours were a better party in this regard. :wink:
The neighbours started to braai. The birds really came very close.
This dove checked if there was something left of the crackers on the ground.

Image

After this nice break we spent some time at the view point close to the Urikaruus waterhole and watched some gemsboks
climbing the dunes and walking on top for quite a while.
On our way to the Urikaruus Wilderness Camp we watched this springbok close to the road.

Image

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We had a warm welcome by Jack at the Urikaruus Camp, who showed us our new accomodation #3.
There was a kitchen with table and chairs at the first floor. A great patio with wonderful view to the waterhole.
Bedroom with another little patio and bathroom were on the second floor.
#3, view from the parking

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Table and chairs in the kitchen (first floor).

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What a great view to the waterhole! :)

Image

Bedroom with small patio (second floor)

Image

A lovely accomodation close to a river bed.

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Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: 31rst August 2009, Urikaruus Wilderness Camp
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:26 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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As we unpacked our car we saw an ostrich walking along the river bed.
Soon we decided to stay at the camp for the rest of the day.
We sat down at the patio in the shade and enjoyed the wonderful view.
Two secretary birds arrived at the waterhole.

Image

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This noon it was very hot and the squirells every now and then had to satisfy their thirst.
They carefully checked the sky before they ran quickly to the water.

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The resident mongoose had a nap under a little bush next to us.

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This is a frequent visitor to our patio. It seems to be his viewpoint. :wink:

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We could watch springboks chasing each other and Mr. Ostrich chasing Mrs. Ostrich.
There was always something to spot.
We only had to wait until someone wanted to satisfy the thirst.

Image

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In the evening the mongooses were very busy. You could see them in pairs. Springtime ...

Image

_________________
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Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: 31rst August 2009, Urikaruus Wilderness Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:39 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Now it was time for Mrs. Ostrich to get some water at the waterhole.

Image

Image

After sunset we could see the clouds gleam in the last sunlight.

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A lonely wildebeest arrived at the waterhole.

Image

During our dinner, again with crackers, we watched a lonely gemsbok
which followed the wildebeest to drink.
Jack told me the hyenas often come to the camp in the evening.
I was waiting for them, but nothing happend.

More and more the area showed itself in the light of the nearly full moon.
There it was! The resident black backed jackal arrived.
Very alert he was checking his territory and then got to his knees to drink
at the right side of the waterhole.
After leaving the waterhole you could see it running up and down the riverbed checking everything again.
We heared the jackal giving alarm, a gemsbok was arriving at the waterhole and started to drink at the left side.
Due to the moonlight everything could be seen very clearly with our binos.

It was a bit windy and getting cold at the patio and we decided to go upstairs to the bedroom.
From upstairs I could still watch the gemsbok and some more springboks.
The little patio upstairs was very nice as well,
but even with a fleece jacket over my pyjama it was too cold to stay outside any longer.
I now discovered that I can see the waterhole very good directly out of my bed and
I had my binos good reachable at my pillow.
SO soon fell asleep, but beeing so close to a waterhole was too exciting for me.
I listened carfully to the bush sound at night.
There was a big crow at the back of the chair on the patio.
The crow appeared very spooky in the moonlight.

Again a warning from the jackal, I fetched my binos from the pillow and had a closer look.
A wildebeest was walking along the riverbed. It just walked along, didn't need to drink.
Looking back at the chair, the crow was gone.

It was getting much colder and I was glad to wear the warm fleece jacket even under the blanket.
Another warning from the jackal, but there was nothing to see.
I nearly laid down my binos to the pillow as I saw it, the hyena.
It was carefully checking the area as though going to do something forbidden.
I saw it walking along the waterhole and then stop at the right side where the
jackal had been drinking earlier this evening. Typically hyena,
it jumped into the water and was having a bath.
It seemed to have a lot of fun and took a very long bath,
but it always was carefully watching the area.
After the bath it drank still standing in the water and then quickly
left the jackals territory.

At two o'clock in the night it got very stormy and even SO fetched his fleece jacket.
There was no new alarm during this night. I guess it now was to cold for everybody.

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: 1rst September 2009, Twee Rivieren
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:00 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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1rst September 2009, Twee Rivieren

At half past six in the morning I saw another gemsbok at the waterhole.
When I fetched the permit I could tell Jack that I finally saw the hyena.
It was 7 o'clock on a very chilly morning, the thermometer in the car only showed 7 degrees Celsius.
There were many springboks, ostrichs, wildebeests and gemsboks in the Auob river bed.
I never saw so many little springboks before, uncountable numbers.

These little ones were stretching their legs next to the road.

Image

Oh dear was it cold! The jackal needs his tail to get a warm nose.

Image

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The cold morning doesn't prevent these springboks to fight.

Image

The little springboks were all over the river bed.
It seems they kept a certain distance between each other.

Image

Image

There were more rivals.

Image

You could hear the horns slam together.
Finally we reached Houmoed and watched a herd of wildebeests pass by.

Image

_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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