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 Post subject: Jo-100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:29 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Ok.....so at the end of the week my father and I are off to KTP :dance: :dance: :dance: ......and our excuse for this trip.......a couple of birthdays!!

Yip, this Thurs Dad turns the big 70.....but still carries on like he is 40..... :roll: .....and then 3 days later I turn 30....so all in all we will be celebrating 100 years!!!
And we both agreed there was no better way to celebrate this combined milestone, than a trip to KTP :dance:

So Sunday night, we will be toasting the sunset at Nossob and the roll over of another year.....

We have the luck of getting a last minute cancellation at Grootkolk - unfortunately just 1 night - but we are thrilled anyway! Our booking looks something like this:

- 1st night: Twee Rivieren
- 2nd and 3rd: Nossob
- 4th: Grootkolk
- 5th: Urikaruus
- 6th : Twee Rivieren


Looks like we may have the opportunity to meet a couple yellow ribbons during our time there :dance:

Wide open roads, thunderstorms and a green Kalahari..........


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:57 pm 
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Hi all!

We are back from KTP :( :( :( :( .....what a great trip :dance: :dance: :dance:
Still a bit bleary eyed and culture shocked from being back in Gauteng from the piece and quiet of KTP. Got more than a couple of pics to sort out, then will start with the TR......will prob be early next week......coz......well.....we are off to Kruger tomorrow for 3 days!!!

Chat soon!


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:23 pm 
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Before I get going with this TR, I just want to thank everyone for their wishes etc for our birthdays.....so many great people out there on the forums!!! :clap: :clap:

Our origional schedule evolved a bit over the weeks leading up to our trip, as accomodation became available - so in the end our trip looked like this:
-12 Feb: TR
-13 & 14 Feb: Nossob
-15 Feb: Grootkolk
-16 Feb: Urikaruus
-17 Feb: Kielikrankie

We only met 1 other yellow ribbon while we were there......RichardJ :thumbs_up: .....great to meet you and your SO on the dune road......looking forward to your TR :popcorn:


So, to start..................



Friday 12th Feb 2010

So the morning of 12 Feb found us up bright and early, furiously throwing bits and pieces into the back of the car....every minute counted!!! We hit the road out of JHB at about 04h30....MMMmmmmm.....could smell the Kalahari calling us!
The road there was relatively quiet. We stopped for petrol in Kuruman, and after that, the Kalahari stretched out before us
We stopped in Upington to drop off some books for the Arid Parks Honary Rangers Library Project for the Wilderness Camp Assistants – hope they enjoy the reads! From there the road north seemed to go on forever....so near yet so far! About 15km from Twee Rivieren Gate we hit one of those freek Kalahari Thunderstorms...but a real mean one. Suddenly the wind was howling, sand blowing across the road....then the rain started. The wind was blowing so hard the drops were being blow horizontally across the road and I was holding the steering wheel at about a ten degree angle to keep the car going straight......as soon as it had started it had stopped, about 500m short of KTP gates! Wet and bedraggled, we entered reception, for the guy at the front desk to beam us a smile......”Welcome to the Kgalagadi”........welcome indeed......it felt like we were coming home!


We were assigned hut number 1, right up in the corner. We unpacked, walked into the bedroom....and found a TV?????!!!!!! A small flat screen TV was fixed onto the wall, with a DSTV unit next top it. Do all the units at Twee Rivieren now come with TV and satellite?
After unpacking the necessaries, we headed out for a short drive. The first animal....no prizes.....Springbok!!!! We also saw jackal, wildebeest, gemsbok etc.......but the GREENESS....wow I have never seen KTP looking like this. The grass was, in patches, quite long....

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A feather in the grass at Monroe....

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Kori Bustard at Houmoed

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In the back ground, the iconic PCG on his pertch on the water-tank.....typical KTP

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We headed back home with our taste buds wet for the next 6 nights!
That night the thunder and lightening buzzed all around us.....eventually I decided to try my hand at taking photos of the lightening......Well I tell you.....I now have great respect for those great lightening pics we see on TV!!!!! Not easy....

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Early the next morning found us throwing stuff into the back of the car again in preparation for the ride up to Nossob.

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We first of all greeted the sunrise....the evening electrical storm had left a few clouds hanging around, but nothing too serious....

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About 300m out of the gates...... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 577
Location: Benoni, RSA
Hi

-Anne Marie: :thumbs_up:
-Kamadejo: Mmmm.....300m
-KTFHooked: I love the light in KTP, makes things so much easier......and yes, some of your own med :D
-Micetta: :wink:
-Shi: :D :D :D

Maybe I can fit a couple more pics on this page.....

13th Feb 2010

About 300m out of the gates......

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Now this caused a debate that would rage for the next few days......Lion/Leopard/Cheetah. In favour of Lion was that it was a wildebeest, largish, but they would normally still be around after such a kill, but no sign of them. Leopard – big prey for leopard, but they do sometimes leave their prey for periods, but there was a tree nearby, so wouldn’t they have stashed it in the tree? Cheetah – also big prey for a cheetah, but maybe a coalition? Possibly been disturbed? My money was on Lion or Leopard – was this Maja’s kill? I meant to ask on our way out if the staff at Twee Rivieren knew who had made the kill.....but I forgot!!! Maybe Arks can tell us....they were arriving the day we left.

Opposite the kill, we noticed this little blob in a tree.....Pearl Spotted Owlet....

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And so we carried on down towards the waterhole.....keeping an eye out for the Twee Rivieren leopard.......


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:27 pm 
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Location: Benoni, RSA
Saturday 13 Feb conti.....

A little further along.....Juv Pale Chanting Goshawk

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At Samevloeing waterhole.....a jackal with a real OLD piece of skin or something.....

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Unfortunately, the road up to Nossob via Leeuwdril/Kij Kij is still closed. The only info they could give me at reception was that the road was being “upgraded” until Dec 2010......so no Leeuwdril sightings til next year.
We continued along the dune road, with some Gemsbok making their way up the side of the dune....

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And the KTP feathered icon.....

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And then.....a sighting I just have to see on every KTP trip....or it feels like I haven’t BEEN to KTP.....

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Yay....whistling rat!!
We thought there was possible a baby sitting behind her, but no matter how we manuvered the car, we just could not see....otherwise she was just a very long rat!
They were in a field of Devil’s Thorns....

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We continued on our way through the dunes.....

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And hit the Auob river valley....encountering a traffic jam.....this was a good way to start!!! Ok, Lions??? Cheetah???? All we could see was Springbok??!! And then to the right of the heard some movement caught our eye.....2 Springbok fighting.....but this didn’t look like a normal fight....why didn’t they fight and then rest, then fight again???......then we saw why......their horns were interlocked......
They were both going to be loosers in this fight....

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We sat there transfixed by the drama.....willing the horns to become loose....


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:14 pm 
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Saturday 13th Feb conti.....

It was heart breaking to see how desperate they were to be free of one another...

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The one ram, the bigger of the 2, was tiring quickly....

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Until he could hardly stand....
We sat there for about an hour, but eventually we moved on....it was too heartbreaking to see, and we also had to get up to Nossob. We later heard via the grapevine, that the one (we are guessing the bigger one) died due to a broken neck – but we didn’t hear if they got untangled or if the other one died too or became someone elses supper while he was hooked up to the dead one.....not something I would have like to have seen, but its tough out there....
A little further along, something to put a smile on our faces....a family of squirrels....

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They were too cute....bravely coming closer then charging back to the den when some imaginary predator startled them....

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We continued on to Auchterlonie for a cup of coffee.....

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To be cont....


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:37 pm 
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Sat 13th Feb conti....

And made our way across the dune road, finding some Gemsbok Cucumbers on the way....a first for us! Tsamma melons... yes, seen those before, but not these.

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Just after Kij Kij, we found our first lions of the trip.....2 females trying to find some shade.....

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And boy was it quite hot....sitting there in the sun.....could feel the sweat trickling down my nose as I gazed through the view finder of my camera.....later at Nossob they told us the Temp was 45degrees....ouch!!

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While we were there, the only other car to arrive was a red hilux.....”Hi – I see you are on the forums, I am ShakyJakes”....nice to meet you ShakyJakes and family! Wow did those guys have an awesome trip – I hope he does a TR!!
We continued on towards Dikbaardskolk. Having read about lions in the loos there, we were approaching the picnic site with anticipation!! We gingerly made our way out of the car and tip-toed over to the loos..........they were empty!!! Which was disappointing but also a bit of a relief - don’t want them to become problem animals there and then the rangers have to do something drastic. We did notice that the loo door had been "lion proofed".....

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You had to "latch" it after you came in or went out.......don't know if this would have stood up to the attentions of those cubs!
We did find some other life in the picnic spot....

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We had some lunch and were joined by a German chap who was in the KTP for his first time and was already addicted!!
We continued on our way north, arriving at Cheleka......pulled round to the front of the loop near the waterhole....something was making a weird noise....checked the waterhole nothing there......”Wooooow, Dad.....lion”......”where” says Dad, scanning the horizon......”Uuuuuuummmm about 5m from the car, on the other side!!!!”....

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there was a lioness under the tree in the middle of the loop that goes near the waterhole......we hadn’t even seen her on the way in....too busy checking the waterhole!!

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But boy was she a hot cat......huffing-and-puffing!!! Shame – I tried to encourage her to go sit in the waterhole....

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To be cont....


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:59 pm 
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We made it to Nossob and checked in – hut number 5A. On the front row – first time we have stayed there, before we have always been behind the reception area or camped. It was very toasty while we were unpacking.....lets turn the fan on in the hut......no movement.....fan broken.....oh dear. Let the guys know at reception. Unfortunately they couldn’t fix it that afternoon, but the next day we had a whole new fan that blew up a storm in our room – thanks guys!

We decided to head north for an afternoon drive....and the clouds started to close in.....

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Over Kwang it was looking quite menacing....

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And then I was back to Lightening photography!!

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We headed back to camp after a sundowner.....arrived at Cubitjie Quap to find 4 cars....

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Mr and Mrs CQ had come down to the waterhole.....perhaps on honeymoon?....

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Keeping an eye on the local jackal.....

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Unfortunately we couldn’t stay long – it was nearly gate closing time. So we headed back to our first braai in KTP!!!!!


Last edited by Jo on Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Later in the evening, we wandered down to the hide, pulled up a seat, set up video cam......some thing dark and shaggy approached from the back of the waterhole....torch on......no light!!!!!! Batteries flat! Little torch struggled to make out detail in the gloom......BROWN HYAENA!!!!



The next morning I crawled out of bed and staggered down to the waterhole. Being the day of my birthday, I found it quite odd that I was out of bed at 05h15!!! What was also odd was that I was alone in the hide. So I got set up for my usual sunrise shots....which have become a ritual in KTP!

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While taking a couple of snaps, I noticed something moving in the murkiness.......closer.......WOW!!!!! Male lion!!!!



He came to drink and was joined by another.....
They drank there for about 15min....not another person in the hide! Unfort the light was not great so the only pic that was vaguely in focus...is still not great....but evidence none the less!!!!

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They then walked off to the South, and collapsed in the river bed.



What a great birthday present! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


Back at the hut we gathered our stuff together and headed out the gates to see if we could see them from the road.....sure enough......

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To be cont.....


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:32 pm 
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We sat there for a bit then decided to head north to see if Mr and Mrs CQ were still at the waterhole.....unfortunately they were not. But on the way....

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We went up to Polentswa, along the way we came across.....

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...a hiding whistling rat.....

.....some lions at Kwang....but they were not feeling at all photogenic....

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And a BBJ at Bedinkt.......

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Later.....our first bat-eared fox!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

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but otherwise, the road was quite quiet.

We went back to camp, the lions were still around, but had moved into shade at the back of the river bed.

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The secretary birds were having a congress at the waterhole.

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Later we went around Marie’s draai.....but much to our concern, Marie’s Se Gat is dry, not many animals around. We enquired at reception – pump is broken and they are waiting for a part to arrive. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long.

Back at Cubitjie, the lions were not there.....but someone else was.....

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This made my blood boil....Cubitjie is one of my favourite waterholes and here was someone driving in what is def an offlimits area... :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: ...Wall of Shame here comes a photo.

At Kwang, the jackals had taken up residence in the car park....hope people haven’t been feeding them, coz they came up to the cars, looking at you quite expectantly.

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The weather around Kwang was not quite so menacing this evening!

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Lots of Vlei Lillies around....

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On the way back there was just a lone jackal slaking his thirst at Cubitjie.

We couldn’t see the lions back at camp so we thought they had moved off.
The weather started to close in again, but we started the fire anyway......

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then the lions started roaring from infront of camp.....what a serenade!!! Of course, the whole camp made a dash for the hide!!! But we couldn’t see them. While heading back down the walk way, there was a”thunk” from above me on the wooden beams....I nearly died of fright!!! Shone the torch up, and there was a genet staring back at me!!! Unfortunately he didn’t hang around quick enough to get a pic.....but a very cute little guy!


Back at the hut, tried to get some star trail pics, but only managed to get a pic of Dad relaxing on the verandah!!

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Birthday supper included roosterkoek....a "must have" at Nossob!!!!

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It started drizzling during the night, which was a blessing as it was a real stinker that night – the air was just so heavy.
The next morning, we packed up shop as we were off to Grootkolk!!!

To be cont......


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:30 pm 
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Just a couple of videos I forgot about.....

Sitting around the fire at Nossob.....and then on the way down to the hide.......



The lions at Nossob waterhole when we got back to camp.....



Some visitors to Nossob waterhole......jackals and owl.....



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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:54 pm 
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Ok.....third time lucky with this episode.....keep on loosing it in cyber-space :? :? :?

Monday 15th Feb

Early start to see if the lions were back at the hide....no lions but a great sunrise...

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We decided to do a loop around Marie’s before hitting the road north. The lions were no where to be seen infront of the hide, so we set off on our merry way. We soon came upon their prints in the damp sand....

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We tracked them past Rooikop, past the road to Maries, over the hill, and then at the exit to Marie’s, they disappeared into the grass.....”Oh well....thats the end of that I supposed” remarked Dad.......then.....

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We spotted the one chap catching some sun in the drizzle


The rest of the drive around Marie’s was quiet....still no water at the watering hole.

Back through Nossob, and onto the road North, we came across this chap...I think he is an immature Snake Eagle.....rather wet and bedraggled!!

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There was not much happening at Cubitjie or Kwang, but between Kwang and Bedinkt.......3 cars stopped....

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2 Magnificent males, just chilling next to the road....wander if they are Freek and Jan, Ousus’ offspring? Right area...



While we were there, the weather started to close in again.....

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After a great cup of coffee, in the company of lions, we continued on our journey north.

Just before Leijersdraai, all the electronics in the car goes off and there is a “ping” from the cigarette lighter where the GPS is plugged in?????!!!!!!The cigarette lighter charger connector of the GPS had come apart inside the lighter and shorted – blown a fuse. So come Lijersdraai picnic site, Dad had his head buried in the fuse box and under the hood.....

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So while dad was busy, i took some pics of the Leijersdraai wheatfields....

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Once everything was back on line again, we continued on our way to Grootkolk....

We turned onto the road to Grootkolk, eager to see the camp we had heard so much about.

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We arrived and were greeted by Franco, who is new to the job, he had started the previous week. We believe Eric, who is the normal guy at Grootkolk, has now become a ranger and is based at Twee Rivieren! We were assigned Hut 4, right on the end, which looked great. Franco showed us in, with the words “hou daai doek in die deur, daar is a slang wat onder die deur in kruip!” !!!!!! (keep that towel in the door, there is a snake that gets in under the door).....eish! So we settled in and had a look around.....

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The birds came down to drink....

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And the clouds rolled in....

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............ :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:59 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Benoni, RSA
After a cold one, we decided to head up to Union’s End. The drive was quiet, but great to see a different part of the KTP, with so much grass!

Wrote in the Yellow Ribbon Book at Union’s End – the entry above ours......Pikasso and Vahine!!

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We turned around and headed back to camp....with the clouds looking quite dark over the Grootkolk area....



Between Union’s End picnic site and Geinab, we spotted some different looking antelope......grabbed the binos......Wow, stop Dad......

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We hadn’t seen Eland since the drought in 2007 – which was also our first trip to KTP. There were Eland all over then so we kind of thought they were a common sighting! Anyway, these 3 were very jumpy, running one way then the other.

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A little further down the road, we hit the first evidence that it had indeed had a bit of a shower in the area while we were out...

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And after that, the puddles became more numerous, and the sky closed in....Eventually we hit the rain....

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And came across something else we had not seen yet....

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Leopard tortoise transformed into turtle

We arrived back at camp to find things had changed slightly....neighbours tent had a moat....

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We decided to drive down to Kannagauss to see the rest of the storm. There were shallow lakes in the Nossob river bed all the way down to Kannagauss...

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We turned around at the waterhole, after searching in vain for the Kannagauss leopard, and headed back to camp. On the way we noticed some movement in the river bed....

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A hyaena carrying what looked to be a bat-eared fox.....another of my favourite animals in KTP.....spotted hyaenas had just been removed from my Christmas list! The hyaena walked with a purpose across the river bed and up the embankment on the other side – looked like she could have been heading for a den or something.

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We got back to camp and settled in for the evening, watched the sun set and tried to get the fire going....

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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:40 pm 
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Thanks for all the great comments!

Everytime we took the chairs out to put around the braai....it started to rain!!! We would head back inside.......stop raining....bring chairs out again.....rain would start again!!!

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We were very eager to see the leopard that visits the waterhole.....but at the same time we also knew that with the rain, our chances of seeing him/her were slim

We eventually finished our braai....mmmm....and Dad headed off to bed....I kept watch over the waterhole and tried some star photography again....

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Eventually I gave up on the waterhole-watch and crawled into bed....but was up early....looking for any signs of life around the waterhole.....nothing. :hmz: But just lovely peace and quiet.....



The sun came up, and we unfortunately had to pack up to move on.

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Our thoughts on Grootkolk: I think we possibly had very high expectations of the camp as we had read so much about it from other TR’s. We also unfort only had 1 night there so we need to give it more of a chance......but overall it was nice.....but on my scale, Urikaruus still takes the cake!!!

We headed south, our next stop, Urikaruus!!!


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Years - A celebration in KTP
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:44 pm 
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Thanks again for the replies :thumbs_up:

The view from the shower window at Grootkolk.........aaaaaahhhhhhhh.......to be there now :cry:

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We headed south, our next stop, Urikaruus!!! Just before Kannaguass, another 1st for us in KTP....

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We had heard of the warthogs up north, and we had found one......!!!!

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We also spotted some bat-eared foxes.....never seemed seemed to see them closer than about 100m away....shy-guys!

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Near to Leijersdraai, we spotted something in a tree....

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At least there was evidence of the leopards around! What was quite interesting was that the kill was about 500m north of the picnic site.....I seem to remember one of the forum members coming out of the loos there and coming face-to-face with a leopard....possibly the same culprit!.....and so close to the picnic site.....

Just north of Polentswa, we picked up some spoor in the road....

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And followed it for close on 2km......then it disappeared into the bush....”stop Dad, its gone”.....”Ok, lets look around....”.......”Oi Dad, bottom of the bush NEXT TO MY WINDOW!!!!!!”.....

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He looked like he had seen his fair share of battles......he also wasn’t too comfortable as he had a vicious thorn bush behind him and us in front, so he quickly scooted around the back of the bush, were we couldn’t see him anymore!

We continued on our way, stopped in at Nossob and enquired about swapping our last night at Twee Rivieren for a night at Kielikrankie, as before we left I had seen there was a hut available.....it was still free.....so we swapped to KK.....we had also never been there before!!!!

A quick stop in at Dikbaardskolk....no lions....and then we hit the dune road. After about 10km......a dark shape shot across the road.......What was that?.....Wildcat?.......we stopped at the spot where we thought it disappeared .....we had a brief glimpse of it in the grass again – confirmed.....African Wild Cat!!! Unfort no pics....it was just too quick!

We arrived at Morevet ..........WOW, are we in the right place???So much water.....everywhere :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Even had a couple of Egyptian Geese!!!

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We arrived at the Auob river bed, turned right towards Urikaruus, a couple of km up the road, came across some giraffe having an arguement....our first giraffe!!!!

We arrived at home – aka Urikaruus! – met Jaques who was standing in for Marius who was on leave, and were given hut 2......straight in front of the waterhole!!!!

We settled in, had some lunch and thought we would head out for a short drive as we wanted to spend some time just seeing what would come to the waterhole. We took the road north around the “boorgate” and around Dalkeith. At the end of Dalkeith we were going to turn around but noticed some cars stopped. We went to investigate and the guy there showed us a lump of brown in the grass...

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A brand new springbok.....we were told junior was 2 min old!!!!
We sat there as he started his first tentative steps in the world...

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


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Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by melboth at 14:15:06 Submitted by Stampajane at 13:34:46 Submitted by Stampajane at 12:14:03 Submitted by Mrs. S.K.L.Gauntlett at 08:36:49