Mega thanks to you all for the wonderful and encouraging posts. Day 3 - 20th Jan - Off to KTP
When we reached the previously closed Kakamas bridge we were quite amazed to see the fields of grape vines and Date palms standing literally "knee deep" in water, (well about where their knees would be if they had any!) clearly where the river had flooded and a good distance away on each side, what a sight it must have been.
I am sorry we did not get a pic but the traffic at that time didn't really give us the opportunity to stop.
But from what we could see, and of course,without actually talking to anyone, and we could be wrong, it looked to us that it was not so much that the bridge would have been under water but the road leading up the bridge which appeared to be a lot lower.
At Upington we had to to have a 3 hour delay as our car was due one of its essential services, oil, spark plugs and the like, and owing to the long distances we had to travel, could not be deferred.
A bit frustrating but nothing that could be done and the dealership was most efficient and took the car in straight away, still all loaded up with our cameras, cooler boxes, cases, etc. and assured us it would be perfectly safe and so it was.
They even loaned us a little car to go around the town in, so we dropped into the offices of Sentech for a natter where my SO used to spend a lot of his time doing training there.
then off to Pick & Pay for a few more essentials and it had got even hotter than when we were there before,
literally more tar melting temps.
Eventually the car was ready and we could set off on the 250 kms journey to TR.
After a quick check in at the new and impressive reception building we made our way to our allotted accommodation. # 28 in Twee Rivieren.
After unpacking and relaxing for a bit we decided to take some sundowners and do a little drive up as far as the road closure on the Nossob river side.
Some Springbok, Wildebeest, a few Tortoises which we always seem to see at Leeudril and other odds and ends were seen.
Back at camp we settled down with a nice braai and just enjoyed the peace and quiet.
During the night, the peace was shattered and we were woken with some vivid flashes of lightning and huge rolls of thunder followed by a couple of hours of heavy rain.
The next morning, pack everything back in the car again and off on a slow drive up towards Mata Mata
for the next 2 nights.
Something we hadn't seen last time and were hoping to see this time was almost our first sighting.Whistling RatLargeLarge
Then what I think is a Spike-heeled LarkLarge
and an Anteating ChatLarge
These attractive flowers were found all over and what I believe are the Devil Thorn plant.Large
Then a beautiful Red-crested KorhaanLarge
who decided to impress us with his call.
and then as an added attraction did his flying up in the air, then feet up and plunge to the ground like he had been shot.
and I was most
Carrying on up and I must apologise at the outset that despite taking a notepad, it came back empty,
I am becoming a hopeless "spaceman"
This is where Jock comes in useful as she writes every little detail down! She does have a few other uses as well.
This next sighting was rather strange to me, as I somehow didn't expect to see one in this area, but there it was nonetheless and my bird guide supports it. Egyptian GooseLarge
Next up the ever present Springbok
who, I might add, were in springbok heaven with the fresh green leaves of offer.LargeLargeLarge
Springbok and Rainbow.
Then we noticed this lovely Tree Agama
scuttling around, not in a tree but on the ground.Large
We hadn't gone too far when we came across a few parked cars with everyone gazing with binocs intently at the ridge of rocks in the distance, so we did the same and suddenly into view came some spots and a long tail, Leopard,
I whispered! not sure why as it was far off!
Then it jumped up on the top of the rocks and stood there silhouetted against the sky, then down again and made its way along just below the ridge, SO still couldn't for the life of him find it?
"Just take a pic" Huh, but where, was the answer, "there, by those trees"
and this is the result, see if you can spot the spots?Large
At one of the waterholes having a drink was this Lanner Falcon
which I think is a juvenile by the streaking on the chest, bigger than I had expected them to be!Large
and nearby a Tawny EagleLarge
Also off.... was it something we said?Large
We couldn't get over how green everything was, in fact sometimes it was hard not to think we were in Kruger.Large
The Sociable Weaver
nests as impressive as ever and some so large that the branch had broken and fallen to the ground.Large
with the occupants of said nestsLarge
We saw many Black-chested Snake Eagles
flying around and finally got one that was happy to pose for the camera.LargeLargeLarge
and a cute little Wildebeest calf who was quite curiousLargeSecretary BirdLarge
and some Ostrich with youngLarge
This sighting is at the one place I do definitely remember!
A little way past Sitszas water Hole
Such good buddies!Large
A nice leg rest!Large
The King and his Queen flat out!Large
Then we arrived at Mata Mata, checked into a river front unit # 7 which are really lovely and spacious.
While SO flopped out in the air conditioning I sat on the patio with something cold and observed the river bed and water hole.
Just the little Ground squirrels rushing around in the heat doing what Squirrels things.
We went a bit later and sat in the hide in the camping ground and although there were no animals present the Doves constantly flying in for a quick sip, the males harassing the females, then flying out again kept us amused for a while until it was time to go back and light the braai.LargeLarge
That night a couple of Gemsbok and what we think was a Bat-eared Fox visited the waterhole.
More to follow on the next day.........