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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:05 pm 
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Sorry folks...I could not log on last night :twisted:
Let's hope this works.

To recap..we were on our way north from Urikaruus.


We left the cars and the lions at Dalkeith and moved onto Craig Lockhart ( BN’s new favourite place !)
A jackal was just leaving the waterhole..why did he look like he was up to no good.

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Hordes of doves were busily flying around the waterhole. They would take off and land in the adjacent tree and then fly back to the waterhole again.

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I of course could sit and watch this all day long but my family not…we continued on our way to Mata Mata. The road was quiet...nothing at all at Sitsas.

While refueling we met up with Barrydalers…we exchanged stories ( great to meet up with you again Barrydalers !) and then I went in search of owls. I found one White-faced Scops Owl in the tree in front of the shop but it was an ill-mannered owl and kept it’s back to me. No matter which way I contorted my body underneath that tree there was just no ways I could see it’s face !!!

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I grumbled my way back to car…selfish owl. :evil: I think the heat was beginning to get to me again. We started our journey back to Urikaruus.

Sitsas was a bit more lively…a large herd of springbok as well as a couple of ostriches and gemsbok had appeared out of nowhere.

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While I was busy photographing them Doug noticed a tiny baby springbok struggling to get to it’s feet…yes this baby was just a few minutes old. How special is that…
Unfortunately it was quite far away to take any sort of photos but using binoculars we thoroughly enjoyed watching the little thing take it’s first few wobbly steps. Soon it made it’s way behind the trees and we could no longer see it. Such a special moment. :dance:
Our drive back to Urikaruus was quiet…the lions were still at Dalkeith and 13th…very much passed out. The hyenas had disappeared..probably into their den. Every living creature seemed to have disappeared into the ground, or under a tree..or within the branches. I could not blame them.. by now it was a 40° C :shock:

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17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:57 pm 
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Yes Micetta..it was hot...really really hot !!!!


Picture the scene…

Back at Urikaruus ..
44 ° C :big_eyes:
I had provided some sort of a lunch for everybody…
I was hot and I was bothered :cry:
Doug walks into the kitchen..
He says...”Not sure whether I should you tell you this Dear…”
Dear looks at him bleary eyed through the heat waves…
“I just walked into our bedroom and there was a bat sleeping on your pillow”
My mind registered three words….bat, pillow and MINE !!! :big_eyes:
I just looked at him and never said a word….they were all waiting for the expletives but they never came…why ??? Because I was quietly planning to steal Doug’s pillow :whistle: …but then in the distance I heard the words
“ And don’t even think about stealing mine !!!!
Since when had my husband become a mind reader…. :shock:

Well who cares said I...I have slept in bat poep so I may as well sleep with bats!!!!
BN thought I had gone crazy…I had …the heat was making me lose my mind !!!
After that laugh everybody disappeared for their afternoon nap …I didn’t dare go upstairs to that furnace because I knew somebody would get smacked….either Doug or the Bats. :evil:
I decided to stay downstairs and photograph the gathering clouds...would it storm.. hopefully.

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Doug and I had Incinerator # 3 and BN and BEB had Incinerator #4.

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Incinerator # 3 has quite a nice view of the waterhole…
A Secretary Bird popped in for a visit...the light was harsh but I took photographs anyway.

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The secretary bird was followed by 5 Cape Crows…..they drank in unison. I imagined the crow on the right was counting them through their paces….
Altogether now...heads down…

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And heads up…

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I then proceeded to have a full on conversation with a crow…

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OMW…the heat was making me do stupid things. :shock:

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17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:03 pm 
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OK, your camera is better than mine.... and you are more clever and your sky was nicer :whistle: and the light was better :tongue: and your pic ios cropped better :doh:

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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:47 am 
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Eventually 16h00 arrived and it was time to go on our afternoon game drive…not a moment too soon….although it was a tad cooler than the previous afternoon it was still unbearable. Thunder clouds were gathering…I so hoped it would rain.

Again we chose to go north.
The lads were still fast asleep at 13th

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And so were the lasses at Dalkeith. :roll:

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We spent a while at Craig Lockhart watching the springbok and wildebeest coming down for a drink.

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The cloud formations were awesome.

Image

But eventually I was told that I had taken enough cloud photos and it was time to head back to camp :roll:

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:52 am 
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Back at Dalkeith some lasses waking up.

Image

Others not.

Image

And it was pretty much the same story at 13th.
One lad was trying to wake up

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Another looked like he was going nowhere for a very long time. :roll:
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And one of them was extremely interested in us.

Image Doug’s photo.

But where was the lioness that we had seen with these lads in the morning. Just as we were leaving BN spotted the following on the opposite side of the road to the lads.

Image

I guess she was having problems waking up as well

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:37 pm 
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All in all it had been a fairly quiet drive up to Craig Lockhart and back…apart from the sleepy lions and lionesses. There was no sign of the young spotted hyena at the den ..just these three lazy lumps…

Image

The bird life had also been rather scarce…apart from the ever present doves and crows.
We did come across this Pale chanting Goshawk under a tree finishing off his mid afternoon snack. Judging by all the grey feathers around I am guessing that the snack consisted off a Cape Turtle Dove.

Image


A interesting bird sighting was that of a Striped Kingfisher…for once I was able to get a photo of him...he was obviously far too hot to contemplate flying away.

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The raptors were very far and few between...the most exciting raptor was that of a Black-chested Snake Eagle soaring high up in the sky.


We arrived back at camp and Doug opted to use charcoal for our braai…which did not give off as much heat as the wood fire of the night before..so we joined him on the balcony.
I was delighted to see our caracal putting in an appearance every so often and I was even more convinced that she was hiding something behind that shrub/bush. Soon barn owls, night jars and bats joined us.
The thunder clouds were looming and eventually we were watching the lightening from our balcony. Even though it was still a fair distance away it was still a spectacular sight.
The storm held off until after our braai...and then the heavens opened. By now it was a bit cooler and I looked forward to some sleep that night.

Barn Owl and lightening

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:24 am 
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29th Dec

We woke up to quite a cool sodden Kalahari..what bliss.
It had it’s disadvantages though ..these bugs were bombarding us from all angles. It is amazing what one downpour of rain can produce in the line of bugs…. :shock:

Image Not sure what this is but I will post it on the “ KTP What is this.. thread “

We left at camp at 5h30…onto Nossob. I was happy to leave Urikaruus…many items on our wishlists had been ticked off. As left camp my conversation with Mybs at Twee Rivieren came back to me….Nossob was quiet !!! I put that fact on ignore..I am very good at putting things on ignore…

The dune roads are not my most favourite roads but they do show one a different aspect of the Kalahari…I enjoyed watching the Kalahari wake up.
There were a fair amount of Ant-eating Chats, Northern Black Korhaans and what I call “Swaftins” ( no idea whether they were Swallows, Swifts or Martins ) going about their early morning business.
And nothing just nothing beats a gemsbok on the horizon…when you see this you just know you are in the Kalahari !

Image

I love photographing jackals…I find them very photogenic.

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Another highlight of driving the dune roads is that you may get to see a baby gemsbok…there were three babies in this herd of gemsbok but they disappeared very quickly.

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Just before we descended into the Nossob riverbed we saw a brown hyena run across the road. He continued running across the dunes at a rapid rate…what had spooked him???

As we pulled into Dikbaardskolk I noticed a herd of kudu in the riverbed opposite the picnic site…a kudu sighting is always special because it is not often that they are sighted in KTP. A pity they were so far away…

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Now this little breakfast stop has suddenly become more interesting since reading Fotomaljohan’s trip report….and after seeing these photo of his.

Quote:
We stopped at Dikbaardskolk under the trees near the toilet, all eyes fixed on the the wonderful private building across the pathway, when we wanted to open the doors of the car al at once! STOP! :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: There he was, under the tree, next to the picnic table……

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………….. and four meters from the car!!!!

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No one could remember why we had to stop at Dikbaardskolk……


I have a photo of the selfsame tree and tables

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….not only that I walked around the entire picnic spot taking photos. I also walked right up to the tables furtherest away from the picnic site. I get a shiver right down my spine when I think that those lions could have popped over the dune at any moment.

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:27 am 
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We continued onto Nossob….
At last a whistling rat...rats and mice had been really scarce on this trip.

Image

And at last a raptor…well okay so it is PCG..it is still a raptor isn’t it ???
I had been dying to put Wirlwind’s lens to the test with a BIF ( bird in flight ) pic..well the PCG just sat and sat ….and sat

Image

And so did this Bee-eater

Image

I spotted this strange plant on the side of the road…

Image

This is actually a fungus and goes by the name of false ink cup, slangkop ( snake head).
These can pop up almost overnight after good rains.

At last we arrived at Marie se Loop…here I would surely see some raptors. Well apart from one White-backed Vulture in the distance there was not one other raptor to be seen nevermind practising a few BIF shots.

I cheered up though when we spotted this lone springbok and her tiny wobbly lamb...yes once again we had come across a springbok that had just dropped a lamb. It was fairly far away but just a proof photo...quite cropped.

Image

The poor little thing was having difficulty in finding the milk bar. Mom was clearly in a rush to join the rest of the herd and poor baby had to have it’s first few mouthfuls of sustenance pretty much on the run.
As we came out of the loop we saw a car parked on the side of the road. The object of their interest was this “lazy couldn’t care less “ lion. He really wasn’t interested in us at all and put us on ignore. Well two can play that game ..we put him on ignore as well and continued to Nossob. I felt a bit sorry for BEB though…the Kalahari black-maned lion is always on his wishlist and so far out of all the lions that we had seen on the Auob not one of them fitted that bill.

Image

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:08 am 
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We arrived at Nossob and seeing that we were a bit early we had to wait a few minutes to see if our chalet was ready.
I went into stalk mode...and was rewarded with 3 White-faced Scops Owls in the tree outside reception. Is it possible that an owl’s eyes can be so orange !!!

Image

Image

These butterflies did not escape my camera either….

Quite a nice welcome to Nossob if you ask me

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Image

We happily checked into chalet no 8.

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:03 pm 
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Everybody spent the sfternoon doing what they do best...some of us slept..some of us wanted to smack those of us that were sleeping and some of us went off to the swimming pool and came back with much news. :D In general Nossob was quiet :( but there were lions north of Nossob with cubs as well as a pride at Marie's with cubs. BN was besides herself..she so desperately wanted to see lion cubs. :pray: Seeing that BN was now on a" lion cub finding mission" we let her decide whether we should drive north or south. She opted for north…and boy oh boy was it quiet. :roll:
Cubitje Quap was quiet…I am not even sure if there was water in the waterhole.
Just before Kwang BN’s "cub finding mission" produced an ear sticking up from behind a bush… :roll: we presumed it was the lions that everybody had seen in the area.
Kwang was even quieter and the level of the water in the waterhole was also extremely low. The doves were really battling to have a drink of water

We continued as far as Bedinkt with a Secretary Bird precariously perched on a nest on top of a tree and three Ludwig’s Bustards being the highlight of our sightings.
Mybs’s words “ Nossob is quiet” kept coming to mind and I was finding it more difficult to put those words on ignore. :roll:

We turned around and started the journey back to camp. There was great excitement when I yelled , “ Stop ….snake.”
“where …where “...everybody was looking in the road of course.
But I had spotted this Kalahari Sand Snake sunning itself in the bush alongside the road….
It disappeared very quickly though !!!
It was our first snake sighting !

Image

Image BN’s photo

The “lion’s ear sighting” had now progressed to a “lion’s ear and leg sticking out from behind bush sighting” :roll: We moved on in the hopes that we may see something else.
When all else fails in the line of sightings…..just stop and look around you…you will soon realise that it is not all about lions, leopards and cheetahs…….

There is nothing too much wrong with the scenery is there ???? A quiet afternoon out in the Kalahari is way better than no afternoon in the Kalahari at all !!!!

Image

Image

Image

We had a quick look in the hide when we got back to camp and I was quite excited to see one lonely Cattle Egret at the waterhole…a first in the park for me !

Image

But soon the wind picked up and we were getting sandblasted in the hide

Image

We went back to the chalet to start the “braai procedure”

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:07 pm 
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Thanks icurrie :D ..it seems many forumites are having problems logging in. Sometimes I
cannot log in either...frustrating !

But while the going is good let me continue...... :D

We had no sooner settled down at the chalet when we saw somebody rushing out of the hide….across to the campsite…and then back again with more people in tow. Something was happening there :shock: …so yes off we went as well.
Well what was happening down there was …pandemonium !!!!! :big_eyes:
Either a cheetah or a leopard had been sighted but it had disappeared back into the bushes and there were some very lively bodies in that hide. I decided that any cheetah/leopard with any sense in it’s head would not come back to the waterhole with all that noise on the go so Doug and I went back to the chalet. After a while BN and BEB came back as well…the leopard/cheetah had not returned…the sighting was history. :cry:
After supper it was drizzling slightly but I was not done with my day.
I decided that another trip to the hide was in order so we all ambled off to the hide.
There were not many people in the hide...it was quiet …it was very quiet. :roll:
All of a sudden somebody whispered “leopard” but although we were all very quiet the noise from cameras and light from spotlights chased the leopard back into the bushes to the right of the hide. We all sat in absolute silence ..but no leopard :cry:
Oh well …one more look through the binos…and what I saw through the binos was the start of one of our most special sightings at the hide ever. :dance:
Another long look through the bino’s ..oh yes I was sure of my facts…it was definitely a brown hyena approaching the waterhole.
Now what ?? :whistle:
The brown hyena took his time in getting to the waterhole and he was in no hurry to leave it either. He ambled around trying to decide where he was going to drink and when he finally decided he had a good long drink.
We then noticed the leopard appearing out of the bushes so we quickly switched off the spotlight. The leopard walked straight to the waterhole and the brown hyena did not see the leopard approaching at all. The leopard was almost at the waterhole when the hyena realised he had company…talk about a quick exit. It was hilarious. We then tried the spotlight on the leopard but mistake :redface: …leopard took off in a flash.

Brown hyena and leopard

By now the hide was filling up but we whispered to everybody that we were sure the leopard would come back if we were quiet...no spotlights….
And sure enough it did…..

leopard drinking

It was now the leopard’s turn to have a long drink of water.
Again something spooked the leopard and it disappeared into the selfsame bushes to the right of the hide.

But luck was on our side and the leopard reappeared again…walked to waterhole but it did not stop to drink…it walked towards the trees and bushes to the left of the waterhole and here it sniffed around for quite a while. In and out of the bushes…but eventually it disappeared into the night ...in the direction of the road that leads north.

leopard walking

A definite “ Oh my word” moment….
We eventually went back to the chalet…my thoughts that night…
“ Nossob quiet …?”
Pfft !!!!!! ( :wink: :D @ Mybs )

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:12 pm 
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Thank you everybody..your comments are really lovely and it really does make writing this trip report worthwhile..I just wish I could get through it a bit quicker though. :redface:

So let me stop yacking and continue !!!

30th Dec

We were up and ready to leave camp by 5h30. It was a cool 29° C… I knew it wouldn’t be long though before the temperature reached the 40’s. We were heading south. BN was still on her “cub finding mission”.
Watching the sun rise was awesome…how can one not have a wonderful day in KTP when you witness this at the start ….

Image

Image

As I left camp and drove past the hide I had a feeling that the excitement we had experienced the previous evening was not over…

All was quiet en route to Marie’s. BN was telling everybody to look sharp… the cubs had to be found. Well the cubs were not showing themselves...neither was any other lion/lioness. As we drove up to the waterhole BN said very uncertainly “ Warthog!!!” :big_eyes:
One lonely warthog was sauntering up to the waterhole as if he owned the place. He walked right up to the water and had a good long drink. A gemsbok approached and was extremely puzzled by this creature ...it had obviously never seen one before. The jackals were a bit nervous of it as well….

Image

Image

warthog

Well this was indeed an interesting sighting. Apart from seeing a warthog at Melkvlei a good few trips ago we have only ever seen them up north.

We continued out of the loop..still no lions or cubs. Up next were some Ludwig’s Bustards…we were seeing more Ludwig’s than Kori’s on this trip. :shock:

Image

We had not seen many raptors so far at all..again no vultures in Marie’s Loop…so when we spotted a Tawny we stopped to watch it.
A Starling kept it company ..joined by a Fork-tailed Drongo. For some or other reason the Tawny was in trouble with the Drongo and was soon chased away. Drongos really are such cheeky birds. The light was really bad but Doug tried a photo or two….

Image

Other birds sighted were 2 Lanner Falcons and a Hoopoe…one of these days I will get a photo of a Hoopoe. :evil:

BN was lamenting the fact that we had missed the lion cubs. She was sure that we should have done the top loop and missed out Marie se Gat. We decided to stop at Kaspersdraai for coffee. There were many tracks and scuffle marks in the road…but we had missed the party…or so we thought.
We pulled up onto the embankment that overlooked the waterhole. I was having a quick look around the waterhole when somebody (cannot remember who) spotted something in the road….
And then it happened…one of those sightings that makes the entire trip worthwhile.
A sighting that makes all thoughts of 46°C, corrugated roads, bat poep and koring krieke fly right out of your mind.
A sighting that makes you book your next Dec/Jan trip as soon as you get back home….
A sighting that makes you realise that the Kalahari is a very special place indeed…
A sighting that makes you feel so privileged that you have witnessed it…….

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:22 pm 
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The creature that appeared in the road continued to cross the road and run past the back of the kombi in the direction of the waterhole…

Image

My thoughts…
Wow...a brown hyena… :lol:
Making it’s way to waterhole :clap:
pick up the long lens…
What …. hyena stopped… :shock:
And back tracked… :big_eyes:
Nooooooooo…please go back to the waterhole…I need to take your photo :pray:
Voice in the background…” another brown hyena in the road”
What ??? :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
Brown hyenas scuffling in bushes behind kombi..
Reverse reverse !!!
BN..." Mom..give me the video camera…how do you use this new one… "
:doh:
Mom…"just press that button there !!!!"
Put down long lens…pick up shorter lens..

And what followed was absolutely amazing !!!!!

These two brown hyenas had a scuffle of note…but I will let the photos and the video tell the story.
BTW..I didn’t have too much time to think about these photos…taken head on into bright light and dust flying everywhere. They are as I took them….if I had to edit these I would never get done……but they tell a story !!!!

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:25 pm 
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Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Kalahari will reveal itself ....
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:35 pm 
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Image

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Image


And BN's video..thx BN ..you did a good job there ...

hyena fight

As you can imagine we were all gobsmacked.....

Doug moved the car forward as the hyenas ran off to the waterhole !!!!

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