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 1 of 1
 [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: mybs11 'cool' December days in KTP Dec 2010
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Whenever people ask me how I can go to the KTP in December when it's bound to be extremely hot at times, I always reply: "Because it's so 'cool' in the KTP in December!". Those of us who have been to the park at various times during the year will, I suppose, always say that it's cool, whenever you go!!

Well, we only planned the trip middle of November, having just returned from a 3 week Botswana trip in October, so the question of heat was relative. Botswana was also hot and we were camping, this time it was going to be chalets in the KTP. Fortunately, we were able to put together a reasonable trip, spending most of the time around the Aoub riverbed, with one night in Nossob and a first visit to Bitterpan included as well.

Looking back now, I can say it was a good trip and I am satisfied with the photographs I got and will be sharing with the forumites in this TR. Also met a few fellow forumites (Touareg and Caracal amongst others) so it is possible that you will encounter some similar sightings than they have posted thusfar in their TR's.

Our first two nights were at Tweerivieren, always hoping for some leopard activity at Samevloeiing, maybe some cheetahs on the way to Leeudril, but alas, nothing much during the first couple of gamedrives. Samevloeiing did deliver two firsts for me, but more about that at the end of the TR. At Houmoed we came accross some lions lazing about as lions seem to do during the day:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

It was rather strange to see this fellow out of the dunes on the riverbed.
Image

Yes, we also had the bat 'poop' problem in the chalets (No 14) at Tweerivieren and my SO had to share her pillow with a few baby bats. They're so cute! (and harmless).

More later...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Thanks for comments and taking the time to share in my TR.

I purchased a permit to travel up to Nossob on the track on the Botswana side of the Nossob riverbed. It was interesting to see the progress on the new road being built and I still have my doubts whether it will be completed by April 2011.

Right near the Rooiputs turn-off we found a suricate den, but they were not very co-operative with this photographer.

Image

The rest of the track up to Kij-Kij was rather quiet and I can confirm that no animals are being hidden there by Sanparks! Near Kij-Kij we saw this guy against the dune, posing in the morning sun.

Image

Some birdlife encountered along the way to Nossob:

Image
Image

This little guy was also willing to show his better side for a few seconds:

Image

We arrived at Nossob around lunch time and it was extremely hot. The coolness of the fan in the chalet and a wet towel was a welcome relief and made a quick nap possible. A leisurely walk around the camp and the pool area was enjoyable and I made a new friend in a tree near the shop:

Image

The afternoon game drive decision was not easy as not much had been reported on the sighting board either north or south. I've never been lucky at Marie se Gat so I decided to give it another try, just in case... (hint to myself: next time follow Caracal). The absence of raptors in the trees around the loop was noticeable and my heart sank as I approached the waterhole... nothing.

Parked there I remember some years ago when the fibreglass dam was still at the waterhole, I was also parked here and saw a PCG busy drowning in the dam. There was no way the bird could get out as there was no plank/branch in the water. Should I or should I not interfere...? Not an easy decision, knowing the rules. Having watched the scene for about ten minutes I decided that the dam was unnatural and the bird did not have a reasonable chance to survive. Making sure that it was safe, with my sister-in-law keeping watch, my brother and I rescued the bird. Maybe he is still flying about somewhere.

In time, some Gemsbok and a lone Red Hartebeest came down to drink. The Kori Bustard tried to get a turn at the waterhole, but was rather weary of the many hoofs.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

I did have a good, for me, photo opportunity a bit later at Marie se Gat with a bateleur. I've never been lucky with bateleurs in the KTP, but more about that later.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Sitting at Marie se Gat in the heat, all by myself, no other cars around was good for the soul. Once again the beauty and the 'specialness' of the KTP hit home and made me realise that we are so fortunate to experience this place on such a regular basis.

A jackal came down to drink and they are always fun to photograph. The two had a bit of a tiff, but nothing serious. The Gemsbok posed for his portrait session nicely.

Image
Image
Image

A group of wattled starlings also played on the edge of the waterhole, in the shade.

Image

Suddenly, the bateleur appeared and so started a rather special KTP moment for me. Maybe the pics will better describe my few magic moments ... keep in mind that I'd not had any memorable bateleur sightings before.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Maybe Marie se Gat will in future deliver for me as well...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Thanks for the comments.

Graham, here's hoping June comes quickly!!
Scouter, he looks famliar (Paul Kruger beard!) taken in Houmoed/Monro area?

The evening was so hot and wet towels provided some relief. When the power went off and the fan died, it became worse. Fortunately no bats. Early morning we were awoken by lions and so I went down to the hide, but nothing visible after waiting for 30 odd minutes.

The morning game drive decision was to head north and spend some time at Cubitje Quap as it is a great waterhole for morning photography. Arriving there, it was only the doves that came down in droves to drink and some jackals, unfortunately the jackals were not in hunting mode. In fact they were extremely skittish.

Image
Image

Out of nowhere, this majestic young lion appeared. I did not see him approach at all, maybe he was lying down behind the bushes at the back of the waterhole, but now I knew why the jackals were so skittish.

Image
Image
Image
Image

After the lion left the sandgrouse and lanners began their daily battle and the lanner was successful on at least two occasions. Did not get the actual kills, but managed to get the following:

Image
Image

Sitting there at the waterhole I witnessed the lion and lanner kills all by myself. So many people rushed by, saw nothing at the waterhole and sped off to the next waterhole.

Till next time...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Thanks once again for looking and taking the time to leave comments. Much appreciated.

Kamadejo - Always great in KTP, sometimes just a little bit more special
Johan - I use a Canon 1d Mark III and Mark IV, mostly with 300 f2.8 and 600 f4 lenses
Micetta - I've also sat there waiting many a time with nothing happening. That's why we go back. I think you need to go back...?

As we needed to go to Bitterpan, the morning drive was not that extensive. As we headed back to Nossob, I saw two kestrels sitting in a tree. I stopped and as I was setting up the big lens, they started making very excited gestures and noises. Then the mother appeared with a gecko in her talons. My camera settings weren't 100% and the light was quite harsh, but I could not stop shooting!!

After she had fed the one she went away and came back (30 minutes later) with another lizard for the other youngster. What an amazing sighting. I managed to get about 30 shots, but I'll post a couple to give you an idea of what we saw. perhaps not as exciting as a cheetah or lion kill, but it was special for me.

Image
Image
Image

After spending an hour or so with the kestrels we had to rush back to pack and prepare for our first visit to Bitterpan...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Thanks for looking and leaving kind comments.

After packing and eventally finding the exit gate, we set off for Bitterpan over the dunes. The road was relatively easy going and I never had to go full 4x4. Beautiful landscape all along the way with the odd gemsbok and some steenbokkies the only sightings.

The arrival at Bitterpan is quite sudden in a way, but what a great setting! By now it was past midday and getting hot, Kalahari hot. Best to have some lunch and try to have a bit of a lie down. The late afternoon was spent helping the tourist assistant (Willem) fix the solar pump system as there was a shortage of water. I had brought a special part/machine from Nossob for him for this purpose but this was also out of order (not for the first time this had happened according to him) and the pump therefore remained unfixed. This gave me the opportunity to walk on the pan and take some shots of the chalets.

Image

Later that evening:

Image
Image
Image

After a relaxing braai and chats with our neighbours we were about to hit the sack when Willem alerted us to the leopard drinking at the water basin near his chalet. The leopard watched us carefully for a while and then disappeared into the darkness. No photos unfortunately. A while later a steenbokkie came to drink at the basin and then slowly walked towards us, nibbling some grass. Then we saw the leopard, about 30 meters behind the steenbokkie, in obvious stalk mode. We tried to keep the spotlight off, but it was pitch dark without it. Every time we switched on the spotlight, the leopard was 5 or so meters closer. Were we going to see the kill? We kept off
the spotlight for a while and when we swiched it on again the leopard was about 6-10 meters from the steenbokkie, ready to pounce. It was just then when something disturbed the bokkie and he shot off in the opposite direction. The leopard did not even bother to give chase and merely went to have another drink before disappearing into the night.

After all this excitement, we were ready for a good night's rest. The night was quiet, with just the barking geckos and other peaceful night sounds. The next morning early two brown hyenas came down to drink within 10 minutes of each other. (Caracal, they did not want to fight! :huh: )

As this was the first sighting of a brownie for me, I took some shots for the record. The waterhole is quite far from the chalets and the light was not great.

Image
Image

After packing we set off for KTC on a leisurely drive, but not much was seen. When we hit the Auob river, we went for a bit of a detour to Dalkeith as we were too early to book in. Along the way we had a couple of decent sightings, amongst others, a cousin of mine whom I had not seen for more than 30 years. Small world the KTP!

Image
Image

The pool at KTC was calling...


Last edited by mybs on Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Thanks once again for comments.

We spent the next few days at KTC and one night at Urikaruus and I will not endeavour to remember what we saw where each specific day. I am going to post what we saw around each waterhole during the stay.

Craig Lockhart

Image
Image
Image
Image

I tried to get some shots of the giraffes drinking with the water dripping from their mouth as they stand up after each sip. Have subsequently sold one of these shots to a company for a wildlife calender!

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

One morning early I had my second brownie sighting ever:

Image
Image

I've always enjoyed this waterhole over the years. Coming up next: Dalkeith.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Dalkeith offered some good early morning lion sightings:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Some more later. Great to see the cubs playing in the early morning light.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Dalkeith has always delivered reasonable sightings for me and great morning light photography opportunities. This trip was no exception.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Driving back to Kalahari Tented Camp one evening we saw some vultures on a Springbok carcass that had died earlier in the day near Craig Lockhard. The jackal chased away about 12 vultures with ease and had a feast. We saw two Springboks die during the trip.

Image
Image

A bit further away the young owls were out at the 'owl' tree and the soft evening light (shade) made for some nice shots of the owls.

Image
Image

Some more on the way. How I'm missing the KTP right now...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Thanks for leaving comments. here are some more images taken either at Dalkeith or between Dalkeith and 14th Borehole.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

At the entrance of the loop at Dalkeith we found a bat eared fox den, but they were extremely skittish and I only managed to get one half decent shot ofthe lttle ones.

Image

We had a glance of the kitty in the tree near Dalkeith, but she was not impressed by our presence.

Image

Some birds along the way:

Sabota Lark
Image

Marico Flycatcher
Image

Pygmy Falcon
Image

The next day we moved on to Urikaruus and met up with the cheetahs...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
The one bird, besides the Bateleur, that I had not ever had good sightings of in the KTP is the Martial Eagle. Before this trip I had read of the nest and the juvenile near Batulama, but each time I drove past there ... empty. One morning, near the northern entrance to the 14th Borehole loop, I hit the Martial jackpot. This sub-adult bird was quite willing to pose and even obliged with a take-off sequence...

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

I enjoyed that sequence and now I too believe that they actually do frequent the KTP!

The area between 13th and 14th boreholes was a real cheetah hotspot during the couple of days we were at KTC and Urikaruus.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

We saw them hunting quite a few times, but without success, well almost without success, but that's for the next episode.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
The cheetahs were quite active and provided good opportunities for trying to get some action shots. They are so fast and to try and track them was much more difficult than I thought. Not easy to predict where they will end up once the chase starts.

I got the collared mother as she led the chase in harsh light.
Image

Followed by the cubs.
Image

In between the chases they would seek the shade of a tree next to the road.
Image
Image
Image

At 14th Borehole we found some lions in the shade about 100 m's from the waterhole. Our patience paid off as they decided to have a drink and I also managed to get some shots of the famous jumping lions.
Image
Image

This guy also allowed me to shoot his portrait.
Image

Some bee-eaters. Not many of them seen during this trip.
Image
Image

Not much else seen this day and the next day we moved on to Urikaruus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11 'cool' December days in KTP
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Cape Town
Thanks for the kind comments.

We stayed at Urikaruus for one night and then moved on to Kieliekrankie for one night. At Urikaruus we were fortunate to see the pack returning from their nightly 'hunt' one morning and the greeting formalities with the young one was something to behold.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Other sightings in the area included:

Image

Also some landscapes:
Image
Image
Image

That afternoon we came accross the petrol truck stuck in thick sand near Batulama. At first I did not realise that the truck was stuck, blocking the road, it looked like the driver had stopped to look at something. I tried to see what he was seeing, but saw nothing... about 10 minutes or so later, I sort of indicated whether he was going to move over so that we could pass. From his gesturing I realised something was wrong, so I got out of my car and walked over to him (there was no way that he was going to get out of the truck!) and enquired what his problem was. He then told me he had to slow down for another vehicle and he then got stuck!!

There was no way that any other vehicle could pass either side of the truck. I then decided to use my 4x4 to drive up the embankment and use the riverbed to pass he truck. Not as easy as it sounds as the sand ridges either side was quite high. Wev eventually got past and promised to get a message through to TR for him. He had no other form of communication with him (mobile phones do not work that far away from TR). This happened around 2h30. We did get a message through to TR via another vehicle returning to TR (we were on our way to KK) and at about 18h00, on our afternoon drive, we saw the rescue Sanparks bakkie pass us. Apparently they only managed to free the truck at around 11h00 that evening!

That afternoon we witnessed a frist for me. Two young giraffes were 'necking' and soon it became a more serious fight. The one giraffe tried to topple the other one by placing his neck between the rear legs of the other one and then he would push upwards.

Image
Image

I photographed a whole sequence and Jannie confirmed that it was a serious fight between the two young males for mating rights. Giraffes are not territorial and do not have fights for territory. Jannie also mentioned that the victor will at times actually mount the defeated giraffe as a sign of domination.

Later that afternoon we saw this hare at Samevloeiing and also this wet Giant Eagle Owl (so well documented by Caracal in her trip report) at the waterhole just by the gates at TR.

Image
Image

That brings to an end this TR. I have thousands of photographs from this trip and will definately be returning for a December trip again at the end of this year, but before that, there's another trip booked for June... can't wait.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 13 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ghostdogg, melph68 and 1 guest


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

cron
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 Ellies at 21:11:38 Submitted by grannyb at 17:20:50 Submitted by victimofnature at 13:45:00