Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 2 of 2
 [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:22 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Thank you again anne-marie.

Here we go.
Day 4- 03 April Nossob to Mata Mata

After the viewing of the Lions at the waterhole, there was a steady stream of vehicles in convoy on towards Marie se Draai to see if we could spot them again. We did as they decided to have a little rest not to far from the gate but the far side of the riverbed so we continued on. First up we came across what we believe is a juvenile Lanner Falcon. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Image

Then at the waterhole we saw our first and only Kudu. These two young kudu bulls paraded around for a bit in the early morning light. We enjoyed seeing them…almost as if they are out of their environment here in the Kalahari.
Image

We made a sudden stop when Mattanator spotted this Gabar Goshawk in the tree. Once again a positive id would be appreciated from the experts.
Image

In the road just a bit further on we saw four of the juvenile Gabar Goshawks sitting in the mud enjoying the water puddles. They sat so still and allowed us to get quite close.
Image

Before we exited Marie se Draai there was a traffic jam…a whole two vehicles. At first we didn't see what they were watching, until the two Cheetahs were pointed out to us. We would probably have missed them, even though we travel a slow speed at all times looking every where.
Image

On the way down to Dikbaarskolk the road, which was scraped the previous day, was relatively quiet with us stopping only a few times. Once for this Pygmy Falcon….we were becoming good at spotting these beauties.
Image

And this stunning Hoepoe which was another first for me.
Image

The dune road, which I was dreading again, delivered very little (again) with the only "emergency" stop being for this beautifully perched Pale Chanting Goshawk. I know they are as common as sand in the park, this one was just to well lit to not stop for a pic.
Image

We ended the dune road without any incident and hit the road north to Mata Mata.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:11 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 4- 03 April Nossob to Mata Mata

So we hit the Auob riverbed and turned right to drive up to Mata Mata for a one night stay in the new "river front" chalets. I was looking forward to getting a good nights rest with at least an air-conditioned start to the night. It has been very hot during the day and humid during the nights and I felt physically tired. First up in terms of sightings this Black Chested Snake Eagle.
Image

A little further along a car parked next to the road. One car….not a cat sighting. Or so we thought. This was our view of one very hot cat.
Image

She stood up from behind the bush and walked across the road to settle down next to the carcass of a Wildebeest. We later heard that she is part of a clan of 4 and had caught a Wildebeest and her calf.
Image

Image

She was just so hot and by the looks on all the other pics she has a sore right eye.
Image

While we were sat here in the 36 degree heat with the windows only slightly open, I was coaching my son (on the back seat) on composing shots and him just grinning ear to ear with the excitement of being so close to this beauty. Once again we were pumped by the sighting....what a holiday.
We left her there by her lunch and headed towards Mata Mata on the not so smooth roads.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:22 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Thank you all for staying with the trip and your words of encouragement.

Day 4- 03 April Nossob to Mata Mata

After the excitement of the lioness we were now ready for anything. So far we had seen the 2 lions, 1 lioness and 2 Cheetahs. Great day for us. I was amassed by the number of Springbok large and small, mostly standing in the shade of a tree. Here is a shot of them enjoying the water at a waterhole. I think it is Dertiende Boorgat…can't real recall.
Image

Here is a real little one..hopefully it won't be the evening meal for some hungry predator. Even a McDonalds Cheeseburger has more meat than this babe.
Image

Everywhere we went so far we saw Secretary birds and mostly in groups of two and more. We would see a group of 13 later on in the trip. This one came close enough to get a decent headshot.
Image

Another bird than we found very abundant was the White Browed Sparrow Weaver.
Image

On the way we ran into the very photogenic Hartebeest and the Wildebeest. Well only their mothers love them.
Image

Image

At Dalkeith we watched this Black Backed Jackal quench his thirst, get into the little dam and fish out bird feathers. We commented that we hoped he washed his feet before getting into the drinking water.
Image

To complete the list of commoners, the beautiful Gemsbok in the late afternoon sun.
Image

We needed to get to Mata Mata to check in and see about a sunset drive. All a bit of a rush for a so called holiday. (little/interrupted sleep, long days squinting under and behind bushes through the harsh light, spending most of the day looking through a viewfinder) tough life..and one I would gladly do every day.

Upon check in we managed to get a spot on the sunset drive, but first I was dying to see the new chalets. Wow!..they are beautiful and well designed. A pity we would spend so little time in the actual chalet as our sunset drive was waiting for us. We walked up to the office and climbed aboard the smaller of the 2 vehicles. It turned out that there was going to be only 4 if us on the drive. Before we headed off I asked the guide about the rumor of a lioness and soon Hyenas at Kalahari Tented Camp. He confirmed they could still be there, so we headed there first as we had not seen any Hyenas yet. We stopped next number 14 and walked out onto the dune. After a little searching in the evening dusk we saw the lioness lying behind a log in the distance. Then out walked a single Hyena and then another. They were apparently at each other for the last few nights trying to take control of the carcass. We later heard that the Hyenas had taken the carcass right into the waterhole.
Image

On the sunset drive itself we saw many of the usual and also this African Wild Cat and Cape Fox.
Image

Image

We also saw a group of Giraffe and a Striped Polecat, too far and active for a decent pic. We arrived back at camp after 21:00 and the lights go out at 23:00 we still needed to braai and get settled, so it was a bit of rush after the drive to get all done. The room was air-conditioned until the power went off. We were exhausted but very fulfilled with the day's sights and sounds.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:04 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 5- 04 April Mata Mata

Today we do not have far to go as our next night will be in Kalahari Tented Camp in the "honeymoon cabin", which took some explaining to a 12 year old. The short distance between camps certainly doesn't mean a short day on the road. While the gates are open we are out looking for anything the Kalahari decides to show us. So after a great nights rest we had a quick breakfast of coffee and rusks, loaded the car, stocked up on cold drinks and water from the little shop and hit the road. So we started off with what we ended the previous day…the Gemsbok.
Image

On one of the loops we stopped to shoot this Black Chested Snake Eagle.
Image

As we approached the spot where we saw the lioness the previous afternoon we saw a one vehicle roadblock. Aha. We approached slowly and stopped to look in the shadows on the side of the road to see 4 lions lazing the day away.
Image

There were 2 adult lionesses and 2 young males. One of the lionesses was the same one with the sore right eye we saw the previous day The young ones got up a few times and even seemed a bit miffed at the intrusion.
Image

Image

This one was having trouble waking up and was probably thinking " please someone turn off the lights"
Image

Big yawn.
Image

Here is the other female with the sore eye. She seemed to want to close it the whole time. I did see in one of the other pics the the eye was still there and could not see any obvious damage.
Image

I think this one was mamma…she was huge and has a real presence about her.
Image

But even mamma gets tired and can yawn..showing off her huge choppers.
Image

We sat with them for early an hour until the young ones walked off further up the hill followed later by the adults. What a way to start the day….adrenalin jump start.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:40 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
b]Day 5- 04 April Mata Mata[/b]

After a great hour spent with the four cats we drove on further south, in and out of all the loops. This is also becoming a great bonding experience for us as we are experiencing so many awesome things together. The Kalahari keeps on giving more to those who look.
Here is evidence of the successes of the apex predators of the Kalahari. You would think that with all these predators around, that the ground would be littered with skulls and bones however ashes to ashes and dust to dust
Image

The roads at this stage were still very corrugated and we could only hope the big yellow graders were on their way. The Springbok were all trying to stay out of the harsh sunlight. It was another scorcher of 35 degrees, but somehow feels cooler, maybe as a result of the dry desert air.
Image

Another quick stop to get off a few shots of a raptor which we later identified as a Juvenile Martial Eagle (we think…help on id welcome)
Image

I found it fascinating since starting the bird photography that the number of things to see in the Kalahari has increased ten fold. Everywhere you look there is something new or interesting to stop for. So when we don't see the big predators we are still very content as we had seen so much every day. Even the little "nut buddies" caused a few stirs and must have felt the papparazi had arrived in the Kalahari.
Image

Another miracle of nature taking a rest in the shade. We were very pleased to see so many young Springbok, Gemsbok and Wildebeest.
Image

At one of the waterholes we stopped to watch four Secretary birds having a drink. This one really posed nicely and was begging to have its picture taken. We were only too happy to oblige.
Image

As we passed under a tree I spotted an unfamiliar shape in the branches, stopped and reversed. Totally unsure of what I was looking at, I snapped a few very difficult shots of this elusive bird. I later that evening was able to identify it as a Greater Spotted Cuckoo. Another first for me and I was very glad to have it ticked off.
Image

Our daily diet consisted mainly of biltong, wors, more meat and pap in the evening and the occasional fruit. I have learnt that with this diet, a young lad's digestive system becomes toxic...so keep the windows open at every opportunity. Rather suffer the heat.
This was turning out to be a great day…again

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 6:10 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
b]Day 5- 04 April Mata Mata[/b]

Thank you for your wonderful comments so far. Lets see what I can share with you today. At the start of the trip I had instructed my son to keep a sharp eye out for the bee-eaters as I had these visions of photographing them in flight. They were very elusive and although we saw some on occasion, they were quite far out. This one however was coming in and out of a tree and seemed to be landing in generally the same area every time. I decided to take a few shots as my son the lookout was "out" asleep in the back getting his daily power nap.
Image

We pulled in at the Dalkeith waterhole and decided to sit a while and watch the animals come in to drink. The birds were nervous as usual with quick darts to the water and then off again into the branches. A herd of Hartebeest came to drink and I got these two shots of an adult and also a young one coming in to drink. With the late afternoon sun on them, they look absolutely stunning and in perfect health. I find them very photogenic if an animal can be that?
Image

Image

Another visitor was this Secretary bird who arrived with a big fanfare and noise as is to say "I have arrived".
Image

After a hour of sitting and watching this comings and goings at the water hole we headed north to Kalahari Tented Camp.

About 15km from KTC excitement went from zero to 100 again when we saw 4 cars parked next to the road….this could only mean more cats. At first we saw nothing and then decided to ask. There were apparently a number of lions behind a small hill, with some young cubs also having been seen. Still seeing nothing we drove forward a few meters and waited. This was the first sight.
Image

Time was against us as it was already 17:30, so we only had an hour before the gates closed. We saw them moving about seeing at least 3 lionesses. The one decided to get up, stretch and gave is a great big old yawn.
Image

I think she was trying to tell us that we were not welcome anymore and showed us here tough side.
Image

One of the other lionesses decided to get up and walk around, luckily for us we could get a few shots off before we really had to leave to get to the camp. I hate leaving when you are on a sighting like this.
Image

Well we arrived at KTC with 5 minus to spare and promptly proceeded to tent number one , the honeymoon suite". As far as I can tell, the only difference is the size of the bathroom which includes a bath. Well we put the meat in the freezer, lit the fire and proceeded to check, delete and backup the days keepers. Here we are doing the hard but necessary work at the end of the day.
Image

The amount of insects were crazy…we couldn't eat outside or even in the kitchen as they were absolutely everywhere. We ended up eating in the main tent as they seemed not to have penetrated here.
Image

We went to bed tired but very content with the days sightings.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 7:47 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 6- 05 April Mata Mata

Waking in the Kalahari is always special…and waking in KTC even more so. We were itching to get going and quickly packed the cooler boxes (I use a safari chiller with ice packs..keeps the meat frozen for up to 36 hours. Cheaper than car freezer.) and loaded the car. We now have a routine on who packs what. Basically I get to pack everything except the sleeping bags and pillows. The first animal we saw was this Bat eared fox. I was really hoping to get some close and personal shots of these guys, but they were so scarce and always on the move. Maybe in the next trip.
Image

We headed for Craig Lockheart and saw two stunning Tawneys in the old dead tree next to the waterhole. Here is a pick of one them.
Image

On the way out this Marico Flycatcher caught our attention begging to be shot.
Image

We followed the Dalkeith loop, hoping to see a cat or two, but it was dead quiet. We continued on and stopped at the Veertiende Boorgat as there was quite a bit of bird activity. I was hoping to shoot some of the sandgrouse but they were to far off. Then I nearly injured myself twisting in my seat to get the is shot of the thus far elusive Shaft Tailed Whydah. Not a totally clear shot, but hey beggars can't be choosers.
Image

Another brief visitor to the Whydah bush was this Red-headed Finch, another first for me.
Image

Satisfied with the birdies, we continued on to the Dertiende Boorgat loop and in the loop right next to the road another present for me…..not one but two Namaqua Sandgrouse. A male and female.
Image

Image

Nothing further except loads of Springbok, Wildebeest and the occasional Gemsbok. So we carried on further south with a view to get to Kamqua for a bacon and egg breakfast only to come to a grinding halt to view this Juvenile Bateleur. Where are all the adults? He didn't stick around long enough for us to get our camera settings sorted hence the blurred wings, but what a stunning bird. I am so glad to see so many young birds on this trip.
Image

Just berfor the Kamaqua waterhole we saw two GIraffe, one of which is pictured here.
Image

And here is it's mate getting down low. You have at marvel at how the get down to get a drink.
Image

Off to Kamqua for a loverly breakfast. We were lucky to get a picnic table as there were quite a number of people about.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:59 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 6- 05 April Urikaruus

After a great Kalahari bacon and eggs breakfast, only interrupted to see if anything was stalking us, we packed up and headed off again. Everyone we saw and spoke to at the picnic site seemed so relaxed and eager to chat and share their sightings. Likeminded people. O yes before we even got to the picnic area, my car's oil light came on to warn about a low oil level. Luckily I had a spare can on oil in the car that I could use to see us through until we get to a garage in a few days time.
We hadn't gone far when we saw these two lions. They must have been a mating pair as the male was dead to the world…fast asleep and not in a very good condition. Although the female was in a good condition she had a blind left eye. It was raining nicely now and we sat and waited for them to get up or even just raise a head.
Image

The male decided to get up and change position during a lull in the rain.
Image

One of the birds that is quite plentiful but was eluding a me so far is the pied crow. Here I managed to get off a few shots before they flew off …again.
Image

Next we saw a group of about 12 Secretary birds with a lot of commotion amongst them with jumping and a lot of chasing around. We followed three of them a few hundred meters who seemed very agitated. Here are a few pics of the fights.
Image

Image

Image

They were really entertaining but we eventually left them as they calmed down and assumed the normal Secretary bird behavior i.e. stomping about in the grass. We did however also run into this Lesser Grey Headed Shrike upset about something.
Image

On the way back to Urikaruus our next nights stay, Mattanator spotted a Martial Eagle on a branch in the river bed. As I was watching the Eagle a second one came in to land. WOW!..We hadn't seen them on the trip on the ground yet, so we were very impressed. It was raining slightly and the light wasn't to good but we had to get off more than a few shots. Most of which we trashed, but here are two of these beauties.
Image

Image

At Urikaruus we unpacked and quickly lit the fire, downloaded and backed up the day's best pics. We tried to move about as quiet as possible, but for those of you who have stayed there would know that it's not possible with the creaking floorboards. We tried our best. So while the fire was burning out we tried to spot the lions that were there the afternoon or even the two leopards that visited the waterhole the previous morning.
Image

You have to look and hope. Nothing. We watched the stars and looked out for meteorites. I tried my hand at photographing the stars..not very successfully. I have since read up on how to do this properly and hope with the next trip report that I can bring you nice images of the sky.
Image

That night at about midnight an incredible windstorm hit us. I looked out the window and saw the last embers of the fire was still glowing and was afraid it would start a fire. I went down the stairs, looking around for anything that might want to eat an overweight white male, to douse the embers. Also while down there had to shine the spotlight on the waterhole hoping to see something. Nothing. Back to bed. Still only wind and no rain.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:51 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 7- 05 April Urikaruus - Kieliekrankie

We woke up about 05:00 and walked down to the kitchen area for coffee and rusks with the hope of spotting something coming to the waterhole for a drink. We had incredible wind the previous night but no rain as yet. Nothing came to drink and Mattanator urged me to start packing as it was nearly 07:00. Just as we started to pack it started to rain. Murphy at work. Nevertheless we were packed, got our permit and headed of on another day with loads of expectation. First up we came across the faithful Springboks with the rams having a go at each other.
Image

This little fellow was on his own a long way from the herd. We hope he wasn't some animal's appetizer. There is more meat on a McRib than this little thing.
Image

We followed the loops north through the gloomy morning before turning south. Here we spotted a number of birds again with this Juvenile Martial Eagle up first.
Image

We had to stop and take a pic of this Gemsbok standing in the yellow grass. Just a brief break in the clouds allowing to morning sun through.
Image

All the animals were wet and trying to dry out in the weak morning sun. Here is a Pygmy looking a bit miffed.
Image

Here a juvenile Pale Chanting Goshawk (PCG as we called them) was up to some mischief and not sitting still long enough for a full body shot.
Image

It started to drizzle again and it looked like this Bee-eater had seen better days.
Image

This Capped Wheatear just sat in the rain and waited it out. I think they must enjoy the rain though.
Image

Lastly this PCG trying to dry off as the sun came out. He was thoroughly soaked.
Image

I will stop here for not as the good stuff is coming and I will need more space for the photo series

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:42 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 7- 05 April Urikaruus - Kieliekrankie

So this was our 2nd last day in the park and we wanted to get the most out of the last day as well. In order to do that I needed to get more fuel. We were about 15km from Mata Mata in the morning but decided against going all the way there for fuel as I was going towards TR anyway and it would also allow Mattanator to call him mom for the first time in a week. Bad choice on the fuel decision. More on that later. We drove south towards TR and stopped when we saw a few cars up ahead and new that again we would be seeing cats. First we saw the mom and 2 young Cheetahs lying under a bush. As we had nowhere else to go we decided to wait and see if they would hunt. They got up and walked slowly north. At first we did not see any prey closes enough for them , but then a few Springbok appeared walking from North to South. They were very skittish and were probably smelling the Cheetahs. As soon as the 3 Cheetahs saw the Springbok they dropped down flat on their stomachs.
Image

The Springboks decided against walking in the river bed and angled up towards the river bank.
Image

As they walked up, the 3 Cheetahs followed close behind., At this stage we were worried that all the action was going to take place on the other side of the little rise. As the Cheetahs got onto the rise we suddenly saw an Africa Wild Cat run like crazy towards the riverbank, obviously not aware of the Cheetahs.
Image

We lost sight of the AWC. The Cheetah sat and watched the Springbok, or should I say 2 of the Cheetahs were watching the Springbok and one of the young ones was looking behind.
Image

The next moment the one that was looking back jumped up and ran like crazy. My son shouted that it was chasing the AWC.
Image

The second young Cheetah now joined in the chase with the AWC running for it's life, jumping over low shrubs and darting around bushes, all the time with the 2 Cheetahs within a breath of it's tail. I managed to get some shots off, not to clear, so look closely.
Image
Image
Image

I am happy to say that the small AWC managed to evade the Cheetahs by charging into a bush.
Image

The two Cheetahs seem to now have lost interest and looked a bit tired from the chase. Mother Cheetah came walking down towards them, probably thinking that these two had ruined the Springbok hunt. The walked off together.
Image
Image

What a sight. Before leaving I still had a chance to get this Anteating Chat.
Image

With no other prey in sight we decided to head off to TR to get fuel and then to come back and find the Cheetahs again. That was the plan. On the way to TR we got mobile phone reception and called home. Lots to tell so far and it was like a torrent of excited news being shared. We arrived at the TR petrol station with a nice big sign on the diesel pump saying "SORRY NO DIESEL" Not again...we faced the same problem on our last day in July last year. Now what. My car was saying that I could do another 280 km. We were due to stay over in Kieliekrankie so hoped that going out to find diesel at Molopo lodge was the safest option so we at least could do some driving around the next day before having to leave. I was absolutely fuming, but what could you do. Its not the attendants responsibility to order diesel. According to him, the diesel levels are reported every day to the person responsible for ordering. Guess somebody was asleep on the job ...again. We were told that the diesel comes from Cape Town and would only arrive in a day or two. Sure..so we wait for the truck to arrive? We are in the Kalahari, but this is the 21st century and it's not like they have never ordered diesel before. So we handed in our permit and set off to Molopo lodge 65km away to get diesel. Arriving at Molopo Lodge we found the attendant. Yes they have diesel, but there is a power failure so the pumps don't work. But there is good news. At Askham they have generators to power the pumps. Off we went to Askham..another 15km of fuel being consumed. At this stage I am thinking that if Askham is out of diesel we will be sleeping in the car as I would not be able to reach Upington and the holiday would anyway be over prematurely. Arrived at Askham and luckily got fuel. Filled the car to the brim :-). If they didn't have Diesel we would have been stuck outside the park. Huge relief. Off we went back to KTP. Picked up the permit and relaxed again...well just to a boil :-). Half the afternoon lost. On the way to Kieliekrankie we spotted a few cars again and saw a vehicle on top of the riverbank following three Cheetahs. We later learned that this was the research vehicle tracking the collared Cheetah.
Image

We hoped these guys would be coming to visit us at Kieliekrankie. We also saw a Kori Bustard and the Abdim's Stork again on the road to Kieliekrankie.
Image
Image
Image

Cheking in was friendly and quick..we stayed in cabin number 2. What a view.
Image

I love the fact that the cabin is all in one i.e. no split of the cooking and sleeping quarters. We also rated this the camp with the best shower.
Image

We sat and watched the sun set and then the lightning far off over Upington. The tension of the afternoons diesel run had disappeared and we slept like babies. O yes, i did report that the freezer of cabin number 2 doesn't seal properly and I had to gently wedge my tripod against the door and a cupboard to ensure we got a decent seal and our meat would stay frozen. The seals are torn, resulting in a lack of suction. Nevertheless a great camp with an awesome view. Last day tomorrow.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:36 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 7- 05 April Kieliekrankie - Twee Rivieren

Waking up in Kieliekrankie must be one of the most special things to do. So quiet and peaceful. On this morning there was a light fog over the dunes but still beautiful.
Image

We did not have any night visitors that we were aware but the birds were up and about. We packed our things for the last time on the trip and and set off promptly at 07:00 all eager for the day’s events. So with a near full tank of diesel and planned departure time from the park at around 15:00 we set off north in search of cats. So far we had cats on every single day and we were determined to find more.
No cats this morning, just the usual suspects and a good assortment of feathered friends.
Image

A Kamqua Giraffe too close for the 500mm to get anything other than a headshot.
Image

A young Wildebeest in the early morning light.
Image

A male Gabar Goshawk
Image

A very young Springbok foal.
Image

Here we have a juvenile red breasted shrike.
Image

This Juvenile Pale Chanting Goshawk was hunting on the ground.
Image

This Flycatcher was most obliging in posed for a whole series of pics.
Image

This male Ostrich pic is the best Ostrich pic I have taken to date. Pin sharp and correctly exposed. IMHO
Image

Another Pygmy Falcon.
Image

Lastly for this bird series, this Sociable weaver and Gabar Goshawk. I think its a juvenile
Image
Image

We stopped at the Kamqua picnic site and set about preparing another bacon and eggs breakfast. A few people came to chat eager to share sightings and listen to stories. The local Cape Crows were about, diving onto any table being vacated, looking for scraps. I must say, having read many trip reports, I am never 100% relaxed at these picnic spots, always looking around. We took a few last pics of the two of us and then headed off again.

Up to this point I had my yellow and red ribbons flying the for the whole trip thus far not one format or a sighting of other format. Nevertheless I will be flying the colors again from 10 to 16 June in the KTP.

One more Cheetah episode to come.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Last edited by Touareg on Thu May 13, 2010 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:35 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 7- 05 April Kieliekrankie - Twee Rivieren

After a great brunch and friendly conversation with other visitors we hit the road again south to be out the park Park 15:00. So with this in mind we tried to prolong the exit by going as slow as possible. Our exit was rudely interrupted (just kidding) by 3 Cheetahs walking towards us, then crossing the road and disappearing over the bank on the right. We only managed a few shots as it all happened so fast and we still needed to change lenses and get in the right spot.
Image

It is not the same 3 we saw the previous days and later learnt it was the mother with the two young ones Pudding and Pie. I wish they would have stayed around a bit longer. "Crawling" along we saw the usual suspects and clicked away. I will not post them again as they have already been covered a number of times. As we continued south we saw a roadblock of a few vehicles in the distance and made our way there with great expectation.
Our first glimpse of what was to come was three Cheetahs lying under a tree out of the midday sun. They were clearly very hot.
Image

Notice the Suricates in the background keeping a keen eye out on the guests under their tree. We sat there a while and I said to my son that these must be the 3 we saw yesterday trying to hunt and if they hadn't hunted anything last night that the would probably be hungry. We had nowhere to go yet and decided to sit and wait as long as it took. That was a big ask in the heat with the zircon turned off. I scanned the riverbed to the south looking for Springbok that might be walking towards the trio. Nothing. I scanned the riverbed to the North and saw a Springbok. Well to be precise a dead Springbok about a 100 meters north of where we sat.
Image

We decided to reverse to get closer to the prey as the Cheetahs would surely come and eat at some point. Hopefully not before we had to leave. Our patience was rewarded when the mother got up from under the tree and walked towards the fallen Springbok. The two youngsters reluctantly got up and followed probably knowing what was about to happen. When the two youngsters had joined mother at the Springbok she grabbed the Springbok by the skin of its neck and gently dragged it. One of the youngsters followed suit and bit into the the and pulled as well.
Image
Image

At this point mom and the other youngsters walked back towards the tree and left the other one to bring the carcass. This was a lesson to the young on how to drag a carcass into the shade. He was having a difficult time of it as it is not an easy thing to move over rough ground. Poor thing worked so hard.
Image

It nearly made it all the way to the shade, but I think its will and energy ran out and it probably thought "thats it enough is enough you come and get it now". It left the Springbok ether and walked off to the becconing shade of the tree.
Image

Mom then got up, walked up to the carcass and dragged into the shade in a cloud of dust, probably saying "thats how you do it"
Image

She started eating straight away with the youngsters just enjoying the shade. By this time we were way past out 15:00 planned exit time and promptly set off to check out, well no before a pie and a cold drink from the TR shop.
Before I end this trip report I have to show you our number one sighting and the heros of the KTP.
Image


We checked out at reception and hit the tar road. After 7 days in the park you have great appreciation for the black stuff. Next destination was Keimoes for our overnight stay. We wanted to to break the ten hour journey back home.

I guess thats it. Compiling a trip report was more work than I thought but your compliments and the number of viewings made it worth while. As I have said in the report, Mattanator and I are returning to KTP in a few weeks and hope to see more cats than we did on our first trip last July. We put this trip together 3 weeks ago on the spur of the moment and after a few days of fine-tuning and re-booking we now have our itinerary.
10 June - Twee Rivieren
11 June - Urikaruus
12 June - Nossob
13 June - Mata Mata chalets
14 June - Twee Rivieren (Trying to get this changed to another camp)
15 June - Kalahari Tented Camp

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:06 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
I would like to say thank you to all the readers of this trip report. It would have been great to "meet" more of the guest readers but I am just hopeful that I was able to share a little bit of this very special place with the larger world and people that do not have maybe the means or time to come and visit beautiful South Africa. If only all our day jobs brought us so much joy and energy as a day in a National Park. For myself the challenge is in not only learning about nature and the habits of the animals, but being able to capture and freeze these very special moments on camera to be able to share with others. Before we went back to the KTP last July, there was a 33 year break between visits. During all those years the one holiday that always stood out, was the one to the then Kalahari Gemsbok Park. There we were, 3 young kids and two adults in a small car with maybe one binoculars between us looking at everything through the eyes of a child. I still remember leaving Twee Rivieren on the first morning and within 10 minutes having a lioness and a few cubs crossing the road in front of us still covered in blood from the recent kill. Or the time the Cheetahs used our car as cover to stalk some Springbok.
Magic magic times.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dijo, teddy_rsa, TornaDouw and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by swartj at 19:10:55 Submitted by BevAnn at 09:48:15 Submitted by Melani K at 10:48:41 Submitted by tomdchef at 20:04:22