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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:43 am 
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Now now Dreamer.... :naughty: You had amazing sightings in Feb and you got amazing photos as well..... :clap: but thank you...and thank you to everybody else as well for all the lovely comments and compliments.

But time for an apology. :redface: I have had a hectic week with 18th birthdays and daughter's homecoming as well as other daughter visiting. AND this weekend we are off to Karoo so report writing has taken a bit of a backseat. But on my return I will tell you about this sighting

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Best you all get your :popcorn: ready ...
Till next week !!!! :D

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:16 pm 
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You will not see many of those in the Karoo NP :wink:
:popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:28 pm 
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Okay..on with the show !!! :D

This sighting took place on our very first morning in the park. We had overnighted in Augrabies and had driven straight through to Urikaruus. The next morning we were ready to leave at gate opening time. It was freezing …it was an effort… but some mornings you just know you have to get out there as soon as possible. Richard and Diana were right behind us.
Just before the turn off to 13th Borehole we saw a few jackals running across the riverbed towards the road…and almost immediately we saw a cheetah’s head come into view. :dance: The next minute we saw the other two cheetahs with a kill on the side of the road…and I mean right on the side of the road. :dance:

OMW..this was awesome…but I had to take a deep breath…it was a bit gruesome. :shock:

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I am not sure what Doug and Mannie's thoughts were on this but I for one was happy that I had not witnessed the actual kill.

Cheetah #3 was just returning from chasing a pesky jackal.

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# 3 was uneasy though… and kept looking around.

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I was frantically taking photos...stressing about the fact that it was straight into the sun. The sighting was on Doug’s side so I was taking pics through his window…..
Doug sit back…I can’t see ..your nose is the way….your beard is the way….Monty, your door is the way. :roll: Once I realised that the cheetahs were not going to abandon their kill I calmed down a bit and spent a few minutes thinking how best I could capture these cheetahs. Our cameras were misting up because it was still very cold outside and I could just see lens flare everytime I took a pic. Not easy. :evil:

With that Doug announced in a very excited voice….”We have company !!!”

Cheetah #3 had also noticed….

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OMW :shock: …what excitement…we just knew we were in for something special…because running towards us was a Brown Hyena !!!!

Image I snapped away through the windscreen.

The other two cheetah frantically grabbed a few more mouthfuls.

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And the Brown Hyena came closer…

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We held our breath...what would happen now.

The hyena ran straight up to the kill and claimed ownership

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All three cheetah stood back...as if they had no idea what to do….

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The hyena started dragging the carcass away.

Was this it ??? :big_eyes: ….were the cheetah going to stand there and just let the hyena take their kill ??? Was this the end of our sighting ?????

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:49 pm 
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Thx everybody :D ..yes this was an awesome sighting indeed. There were many "OMW's" and many "Oh Sh*t" moments. And it all happened so quickly...
And a bit more....


As the hyena was trying to drag the kill away one cheetah moved in …we cheered !!!

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There was a bit of a tug-o-war

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The cheetah lost :cry:

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The other two moved in :clap: ..but they were not very brave in their attack :cry:

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And hyena decided it was time to get stuck in…

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That seemed to irritate one of the cheetahs even further so a bit of a tussle followed :clap:

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Again the hyena won..

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It was somewhere during this that I picked up my video camera and “Oh Sh*t” it would not work. :evil: Again I was frantic !!! :twisted:

But we were also puzzled…surely 3 cheetahs could take on one hyena. Through all of this the hyena was trying to gobble the kill as well as drag it away.
The cheetahs tried to regain their breakfast but gave up very easily…it really did seem that they did not know what to do

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:07 pm 
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Thx all.. I needed the page to turn :D ..can you stomach more ???

The hyena picked up the carcass…he was intent on taking it away…

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But again the cheetah moved in….and the hyena dropped the carcass and gave chase.

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We just wished the cheetah would combine forces and attack the hyena but that never seemed to happen. :roll: One cheetah would have a brave spurt and the other two would watch.
Eventually all three had a breather and the hyena was very engrossed in the carcass….he was after something….

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Ah..got it…the liver ..oh gross !!!!! :big_eyes:

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He ran off to eat this delicacy and the cheetah moved in to reclaim their kill :clap:

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And the black backed jackals moved in to grab the stomach that had fallen by the wayside. :clap:
BTW… by now I felt my stomach was about to fall by the wayside as well !!!!! :big_eyes:

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Another jackal moved in but was obviously a junior

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It was interesting to watch how he cowered to his elders and acted very subserviently..after a while he was allowed a morsel or two.

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_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:51 pm 
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I do apologise for the delay..... :redface:

By now the thief was having a difficult time trying to hang onto his stolen goods.... 15 jackals had moved in….and we all know how cunning they can be. :roll:

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Hyena..”Grrr!!!”
Jackals….” Oh Sh*t !!!”


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Hyena..“ What you cheetahs laughing at !!!”

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Cheetahs…”Oh Sh*t !!!!

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Eventually the carcass broke into two pieces….
Hyena walked off with the one half
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And the cheetah and jackals had an argument over the other half.

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( you may want to check the jackal on the right in the above pic..he was having a serious " oh Sh*t" moment !!!!! :wink: )

One of the other cheetahs followed the hyena and was allowed a share in the carcass….
Image

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:08 pm 
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But a squabble soon broke out….

Image..pity I missed the focus on this one…

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Image

But the cheetah was not giving up….

Image

Image

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:15 pm 
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But neither was the hyena giving up…

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Okay you win..cheetah went into sulk mode…

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The hyena gobbled a few more mouthfuls
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And proceeded once again to move off with the remains of the carcass.
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This time the hyena did not stop...he disappeared over the dune...with all three cheetah following a safe distance behind.

In the meantime the remaining jackals were still fighting over the bits and pieces

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With that a tawny eagle arrived

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But now it was the jackals' turn to act all big stuff and the Tawny did not get a look in at all. After finding a tidbit or two he flew off into the nearby tree.

And sadly last to arrive were the people from the other chalet at Urikaruus…yes we had this entire sighting all to ourselves. The entire drama had lasted 40 mins. I fell back into my seat...I was exhausted….my arm was aching,…but we were absolutely thrilled… ..exhilarated…gobsmacked. But most of all we realised how privileged we were to have witnessed this
Now you may understand why we are Slaves to the Kalahari !!!!

We continued onto 13th Borehole and this was where we had our first brief caracal sighting mentioned earlier in the report. I honestly do not think I could have coped with anymore “ Oh my Word !!!! “ moments.

On our way back to Urikaruus we stopped and surveyed the crime scene….nothing. Not a jackal…not a morsel. One springbok had fed 3 cheetahs, 1 brown hyena, 15 jackals and one tawny and out of all the guests travelling along the Auob that day only 4 of us were witness to it. !!!!!!

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:18 pm 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Oops sorry...no not off to Namaqualand just yet. I will hopefully finish this trip report before then.... :D

But I have just received this info from Gus and Margie Mills..I am sure that they will not mind if I share it on the forum.

The 3 cheetahs that you saw are the 3 Marie’s Draai siblings, 2 boys and a girl, who left their mother in September last year and moved right down the Nossob and then far up the Auob. They are obviously doing pretty well without their mother and have been seen several times in the Auob. It won’t be long before the female moves off on her own, and the 2 males will probably stay as a 2 male coalition for the rest of their lives, or even join up with another young male ( this has just happened with 2 other young brothers that we know). From the literature on east African cheetahs, siblings seem to stay together for only a couple of months after leaving their mother – these Maries draai group have been together for nearly a year now, and we have had another group of 2 sisters and 2 brothers that stayed together for over a year.
We have seen several interactions with cheetahs and brown hyaenas and the cheetah have never put up much resistance, especially if it was a female with small cubs. We would like to see what happens if a brown hyaena tries to take a kill away from a 3 male coalition – I would imagine they might put up more of a fight than the 3 siblings that you saw did. Yes, brown hyaenas are certainly higher up on the food chain. It is amazing how the jackals so quickly appear and how fast they finish everything off.
I am so glad you had such a wonderful sighting. This is such a special place.

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:00 pm 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Today has been a day for tying up some loose ends and one really big loose end that really needs tying up is this trip report. My apologies for taking so long….I have no excuse except that I gallivant too much. :redface: :redface:

So yes this trip report was all about why we keep going back to the KTP….why are we such slaves. The KTP has a grip on our souls and I do not think we will ever tire of visiting. Each trip is different ….and they just seem to get better. Why does each trip seem better than the previous ones. The more you visit the park the more you let the park take over…..and you soon realise that it is not all just about the lions and leopards.
We never have real high hopes or expectations that we will find something really awesome on our drives. We start each game drive with the same thought “I wonder what the Kalahari has to offer us today.” We have learnt to appreciate the tiniest of creatures…I mean where else do you find a car load of grownups fascinated by two mice having a squabble in the road. We return from every game drive having experienced something spectacular...be it a mass of yellow flowers covering the dunes, 3 cheetah v. brown hyena over a kill or an awesome thunderstorm. Sometimes the most spectacular thing of all is the seemingly “nothingness” out there…but you know that there is something out there…and sooner or later it will show itself. It is during these quite times that I think back on our previous trips to the KTP. Many a drive goes by with “ Remember the lion kill that we saw here….or remember the huge puddle that we almost got stuck in. So there is never such a thing as a quiet drive …..we have our Memories to reflect back on.
We have come a long way since first visiting the park (which was in 2000 I think)
We started off by camping at Twee Rivieren for a whole week and doing day trips to Nossob and Mata Mata. Everything went with….. our own 3 kids plus friends, exchange students, bicycles and kitchen sinks, books, games, puzzles. I spent hours before we left drawing up project sheets to keep the kids busy. Planning meals and packing took days

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It probably took us a whole day to set up camp….but there we stayed for the whole week. How it has changed. I can probably now pack up for the KTP in 2 hrs flat…..

Something that has not changed though is the extreme weather……

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I still tend to lose my sense of humour in these temperatures but I am now even contemplating camping at Rooiputs in Feb. How crazy is that !!!!

Can you believe that the Mata Mata gate looked like this

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And the toilet stops …..

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Then the children grew up and Doug and ventured off on our own in Monty. I was so skeptical…but now I love going off in Monty. That added a new dimension to our trips ..we could now do the 4 x 4 trails.

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But staying up on the hill in Nossob on this last trip brought back a flood of memories and I mean a flood…
I walked onto the stoep and the first thing that jumped into my mind was an image of my mom “pole dancing” the night before the floods arrived.

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I then walked into the chalet and my hair stood on end…I remembered that terrible crash banging thunderstorm that put Nossob under water….and kept us all prisoners for 3 days

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I had not been up to that house on the hill since the Kalahari girls vacated it in April 2005….as I say….a flood of memories. I needed to get out of there and after much “humming and ha-ing” we went off to Marie se Gat where we had the best ever sighting of a caracal. Instant mood lifter….
We enjoyed a wonderful braai that night and now my memory of that house on the hill will be that of Doug covered in the gem squash that exploded all over him. !!!!!

Maybe now those of you that are not already “ Slaves to the Kalahari” will have a better understanding of us that are…..we have to keep going back…it is a simple as that !!!!.

Thank you all for reading my trip report…….. :D
And thank you for the wonderful and humorous comments :D :D :D

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Slaves to the Kalahari
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:04 am 
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What a fantastic trip you had with awesome sightings and stunning :cam: - well done. :clap: :thumbs_up:

Thanks for all the advise on KTP :dance: :clap: - perhaps we will meet on the road between Nossob and TR in Feb 2011. :whistle:


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