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 Post subject: Mads & Vlakvarkvrou Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 9:37 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi to all forumites,

Vlakvarkvrou and I are just back from Kgalagadi (22 - 25 April). We stayed in Nossob for 3 nights and 1 night in 2 rivieren and then visited Augrabies 28 - 29 April. We did not stay in the park but visited it 2 days.

We left 21 April Pretoria and stayed over in Upington at a guest house. We left the guest house at 04:30 and arrived at Twee Rivieren as the gates open!...

To be continued....
(now I have to upload some phodies!!)

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 11:24 am 
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And now we are at the gates and had to wait a few minutes for them to open the office doors. I used the time to start warming up my camera - here are photos of the friendly welcome board to the Park, the beautiful admin building and "changes" being administered to our car's tires by the helpful staff in the park:

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Lionspoon - did you wear a yellow ribbon? We knew you were in the Park and were looking for you. We met Raptor142, Bosticbudgie, Tobieo in the Parks and Moose and Raptor142 (again) in Augrabies.

Micetta and vgstephens - hope you will enjoy the ride!

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KNP
15-24/08/2014
7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


Last edited by Vlakvarkvrou on Sun May 01, 2011 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 12:46 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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To all the above forumites who are waiting to hear from us again - and since I am still wide awake, I have decided to continue with the trip report. Perhaps I should start with Mads' wish to have a "close encounter" with a Burchell's Sandgrouse, which will motivates our hours and hours of continuous driving!!!!!! I will leave this part for her to tell whether we actually saw one or not!

Day 1
Before we even left the park gates at 2 Rivieren, we saw this beautiful White-Browed Sparrow-weaver (Koringvoël) - the first of MANY BIRDS:
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Next came our first of many Pale Chanting Goshawks (PCG as in our post title):
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On our way back from Samevloeiing and on our drive to and from Leeudril, this is what we saw: A Secretary Bird quite far away on its nest, a Gemsbok (the Gemmie in our post title) with a skew horn
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a Black Back Jackal and a Kori Bustard (the Gommie for the Afrikaans Gompou in our post title)
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And of course - "prints in the Sand"
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I wiil continue tomorrow with a few more pics.

_________________
KNP
15-24/08/2014
7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


Last edited by Vlakvarkvrou on Mon May 02, 2011 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 4:56 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Still early on day 1 ( 9.00 - 11.10
I think I must leave the birds behind for a while and post some other interesting sightings? I will conclude with 2 more bird photos - a sad one (dead Pygmy Falcon)
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and a beautiful and alive Martial Eagle
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Next - curious Meercats (Suricates) - photo taken by Mads
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Bat-eared Fox
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This for Micetta
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And lastly this pregnant? lady
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Untill next time :D

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KNP
15-24/08/2014
7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 10:13 pm 
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Thanks for all the comments. It was definitely a memorable trip... Keep watching!

Firstly I must say that it was my second trip to KTP, while it was Vlakvarkvrou’s first. The previous trip was in September 2007 when it was very dry and there were no Tsammas in the veld. This year there were Tsammas every 5 meters. I will sometimes compare this trip to the 2007 trip.

Obviously you decide before the trip what is on your wish list... On the top of mine was Burchell’s sandgrouse no.1 and cape fox no. 2!! Vlakvarkvrou had BEF and cheetah on her list. ... But we also decided whatever we see will be good!

I will concentrate on our birding and other smaller sightings. So here we go!!

We decided to first visit Samevloeiing and Leeudril and back, then past the Aoub river to the top dune road to Nossob Camp. I had my Raptor t-shirt on and we definitely saw them. Our first day was definitely about “small” sightings, but interesting sightings.
The namaqua doves were in abundance.
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This is my pic (2007) of samevloeiing . Note the amount of water and no grass and dust .
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This is how it looks at the moment at Samevloeiing!!
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On the way to Leeudril we saw this juvenile lanner falcon, secretary birds on a tree, Fork tailed drongo, wattled starling and yellow canaries. We also saw Ostrich and Kori Bustards (Gommies) and other general birds. Pics by VVV
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Obviously I was on the look for the burchell’s sandgrouse, and at leeudril we saw sandgrouse coming into land, but because of the tall grass, we could not see if there was burchell’s between the namaqua sandgrouse. :wall:

We decided to turn back towards Samevloeiing. At Samevloeiing we saw some sandgrouse that was coming in to land... they circled and eventually decided not to land. So we waited a while longer. It happened again and again and again... I nearly gave up... :big_eyes: :huh:

Then I noticed that there was a bird sitting at the side of the road at a pool of water... by closer inspection we saw it was a sandgrouse , so we went even closer and saw it was a burchell’s!!!!!!! Jipppeeeeeee!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: We never saw this fellow landing!! My trip was made!! 2 hours into our trip!
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To be continued... Birds of the Aoub river.

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 6:12 pm 
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Location: Erasmuskloof, Pretoria
Award: Best/Funniest Forumite Name of the Year (2012)
Dear forumites,
This is not part of the "formal" trip report....shall I call it a bonus for all the nice and friendly comments we have received so far? and the popcorn being put out!!

(I am trying this for the first time. Remember I was born before computers!! :redface: )

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15-24/08/2014
7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 9:31 pm 
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Thanks to ALL (hilda, micetta, elsa, norms,lion queen,kamadejo, fotomaljohan ,hugh and lionspoon) for your wonderful comments. And last but not the least my co author Vlakvarkvrou :clap: for all input and most of the pics. :clap: 8)

Micetta my mission was not accomplished.... I needed to find a Cape fox.... :pray: We actually saw so much on this trip!! :mrgreen: I had to leave so many pics out, there are just to many!! :wall: :wall:

WOW!! :big_eyes: Lionspoon!! I cannot believe it, I hope you took a pic.

FMJ - I could not believe my eyes!!! The grass and water were amazing!! Keep watching for more!!

Now for more.......

In the Aoub riverbed we saw Pygmy falcon, Tawny Eagle, Martial eagle and Giant Eagle Owl. We also many Gemsbok, springbok, Blue Wildebees, etc.
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Just before thetop dune road we saw these young Springbok males “practising” their skills
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On the top dune road we found this Ostrich family. Did you know? That Ostriches are polygamous. So all female that one male mates with, lays their eggs in the same nest, so that is why you get different sizes babies in one group.
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At More vet pan we were astonished with the amount of water the pan had. We saw African Shell duck at hte pan. The pic not the best but youcan definitely see ducks in the middle of the Kalahari!!
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Then we found this Steenbok in the road. Her nose was totally underground and at first we thought she was chewing a stone or a piece of salt, but would later learn that it is the the minerals (probably lime stone) they are after. We later saw Gemsbok doing the same thing.
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At Dikbaardskolk Picnic area, we saw different birds, such as Glossy starling, Marico flycatcher, Sociable weaver. We also saw one of the Armour plated crickets in the tree.
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Then on our way to Nossob we saw our first kill!! In this Sociable weaver nest I spotted this Cape Cobra having a feast!!! After this one he went into the nest to find more food. We left our first kill and saw shortly after White backed Vultures on a nest.
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Just after six we arrived in Nossob Camp..... Tired but we had a wonderful day, full of excitement.

To be continued...

_________________
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


Last edited by Mads on Thu May 05, 2011 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 5:07 pm 
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Day 2:

We saw lots of birds, Gemsbok, Springbuck, Steenbok, Red Hartebeest, Blou Wildebeest, etc:

Lanner Falcon
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White backed vultures in a nest
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Young black breasted snake eagle
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Swallow tailed bee-eater
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Gemsbok, Blue WB and cattle egret
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Springbuck at Jan se Draai
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Locust in the road
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To be continued later tonight with the promised bonus and introduction to Mads' next installment.

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KNP
15-24/08/2014
7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 6:40 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Glad you are back wanderw!!!

Now for Bunus video nr2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS6S1h3Ebh0

And a photo:
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Enjoy!

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KNP
15-24/08/2014
7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Dan, Kamadejo, PetraJ and wanderw,
thanks again for reading and hopefully still enjoying our experiences :D. This is for you!

Image[/quote]

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KNP
15-24/08/2014
7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 12:58 am 
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We passed Gunong waterhole around 15:00. About one km further we saw 3 cars watching something… What could it be? We asked the first car and were told it was cheetah!! … but they were gone !!! So the 3 cars left …. I could see it will rain any minute… I told VVV that we should wait a while for cats are known to “disappear” and then come back to the road once the cars have left. The next minute she came out!! And her 4 cubs followed! At the same time it started to rain. You will some spots and dots on some of the pics as my window was open and I got some drops on my lens… I got soaked but was absolutely worth it!!

They crossed the road to the right and then to the left. By then it was really raining hard, and they huddled together. When the rain subsided, they started licking one another (also the video of VVV). I thought it was to dry themselves, but someone told me that the cats in the dry areas only lick one another to have some water intake. It makes sense to me! After a while when the rain subsided they decided to move. SO we left the. We had them probably for more than half a hour all to ourselves!
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(VVV ‘s pic)’

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:52 am 
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Thanks Rusky and Lionspoon,

here is the last installment of day 2. It would not post last night.

Wow! It did rain!! And this was the first rainbows of 4 in the Kgalagadi that afternoon. It started raining again and you can see how this big herd (nearly 200) turn their backsides to the rain. Some areas of the Nossob River had water!! :big_eyes: Wow!! It really did rain!!
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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:55 am 
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After Dikbaardskolk we found this Gemsbok doing??????... :huh: I think trying to rub feromones on his forehead as Nyala, Kudu, Eland, etc. do.
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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 8:02 am 
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This Ostrich charged us!! She did not like that

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… and then we had a road block!! Note the water puddle in the fore ground.
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VVV's pic

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VVV's pic

Wow !! What a wonderful day!! Oh by the way it did not rain one drop at Nossob!! We saw the lightning in a distance while having a braai with wonderful friends. :mrgreen:

To be continued by VVV (Day 3) A day full of adrenalin!we were close to her babies. Unfortunately I did not get a pic of the charge, this was just after it. I was to shocked! :shock:
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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmies, Gommies and PCG's - April 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 8:01 pm 
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And we go on -

Day 3:
Was started at this familiar land mark from inside the Nossob webcam
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Then we decided to enter the park through the left gate in the camp in the direction of Unions End and encounter these little creatures along the way

(Four) striped mice (Photo by Mads)
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Puff adder crossing the road (Photo by Mads)
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Squirrel and squirrel and Black crow
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After a while we decided to move on. We were stopped by people in a bakkie telling us we just missed 3 lions pulling a dead Blue Wildebeest over the road wall into the bushes. We could scarsely see them and decided to move back to the parking area at Bedinkt which was a little higher, and this is what we saw (the reason why I kept these poor quality photos was to remind me of what was going to happen to us next).
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We watched them eating through our binoculars, but decided to go and see what else we could find. When I start the car, she refused to make anything else than a click as in a dead battery!!!! There was no vehicle in sight as far as we could see :cry:

To be continued.

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7-14/11 2014
17/12/2014-01/01/2015


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