Thanks so much for joining the train that takes you back on this trip with me Flying Cheetah, Gavin, Flutterby, icurrie, Elsa, Lion queen, Meandering Mouse, billyf, PNF and Katja Day 2 (part 1):
Twee Rivieren to Leeuwdril and back
I decided to stick to the Leeuwdril road in the hope of spotting the family of 5 cheetahs...so our first stop would be Samevloeiing anyway...
The air was crisp on this winter morning, and the sun was just beginning to peak over the dunes. We were first out of the camp, and the cold seemed to have held many back in their beds.
We reached Samevloeiing and the waterhole was eerily quiet...but as I looked across the plain on the opposite end in the direction of Botswana...was that a springbok coming for a drink? It was so far, but something in the way it moved told me otherwise!!
He was coming closer at a fast stroll...I assumed he would come to drink...
As he came closer to our vehicle he increased his pace...
In the excitement I placed myself so that I could get the morning light nicely on him, but he changed direction and I didn't bother moving the car again.
And then he was past us...and it looked like he was not going to drink at Samevloeiing!
He was in a hurry, and half-stalked for a few paces before trotting up the Auob.
And then he was gone...and we were the only car there!
I thought he would carry on up the Auob and decided to get on the dune road in the hopes of him ending up at Houmoed.
This herd of gemsbok were soaking up the morning sun:
We got across the dune road to the Auob river...but no sign of the cheetah...we waited for a few minutes, and then decided to head back to the Nossob to search for the other cheetahs.
We stopped for a few minutes at the Leeuwdril waterhole, with some doves flying about but nothing else. The moon was still out...
On the way back, we saw 2 cars parked! Nothing around, but then the one driver tells us we JUST missed the 5 cheetahs! They had come across the dunes and chased the ostriches I posted earlier, then disappeared over the Rooiputs access road
They also showed us an African Wild Cat which also crossed the road and was heading that way.
(this was very far!)
We patrolled the road up and down in the hopes of getting a glimpse of the cheetahs on the far side...
These were some of the animals/birds that shared the road with us:
Wildebeest against red sand:
Some LBJ (Little Brown Job - any takers on the ID here? I guess it's some kind of flycatcher?):
By 11am we decided to head back to camp...no sign of the cheetah family. We knew they were still around here! Maybe they would come out of hiding in the afternoon???