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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:03 pm 
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16.16.11

I was still outside in the morning having a coffee, when I heard the not too distant roaring of the Lion.
Searching the vicinity I indeed discovered him and he was coming closer to the camp.
Obviously he was heading towards the waterhole.
What a magnificent Kalahari male.

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After he had drink he turned around and walked towards a bush and collapsed.
We were pretty sure that this was the male we had already seen last year with the whole pride at Grootkolk. And because he kept constantly calling we hoped that the rest of the pride was around too.
So we decided to stay in camp, rather then heading towards the northern waterholes.
We spent most of the day observing the visitors to our bird baths.

Black-faced Waxbills
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Mice

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We watched mice having the sun bath

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Violet-eared Waxbills

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Hordes of Weavers

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Sparrows

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More Black-faced Waxbills

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Doesn’t this looks a bit strange, such a Yellow bird in KTP?!

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Scaly-feathered Finch

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These Black-chested Prinias look always so delicate

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The male Lion was still sleeping underneath the Bush, so we decided to go for a late afternoon drive.
It was far too hot to see anything, but at Unions End waterhole we find a lovely heard of Wildebeest resting in the shades of the tree close to the waterhole.

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On the way back we spotted this female Korhaan.

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Back at the camp that Bees that live in our kitchen were busy climbing into the tap.

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As if by command dozens and dozens of Weavers came to have a drink at our bird bath.
What a wonderful sighting with such lovely light.

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Then suddenly the male Lion decided to get up and walk to the waterhole to have yet another drink.

After he finished he walked directly into our direction and passed our hut to the right. He used the camp road to walk towards the main road and kept calling all the way like this morning, but the rest of the pride did not show up….

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Just to show you how close he passed by…

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It was time to light another fire.
And so we sat outside, enjoying the pleasure to be at Grootkolk.

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:59 pm 
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17.11.11

Already before we arrived at Grootkolk we decided that we would spend one of our days there staying in the camp.
So we enjoyed having breakfast, watching the birds, observing the mice and keeping an eye on the waterhole.

There were quite a few Bees that liked our bird bath as well.

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We had a huge herd of Wildebeest coming to the waterhole. So nice and so funny to see how they chased each other around.

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A Violet-eared Waxbill was visiting for our birdbath on the ground and was sitting in the meshes of the metal fence waiting for the right moment.

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The Black-faced Waxbill still preferred the bird bath on the wall.

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And the Canary was back too.

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In the afternoon we walked over to the boma and the kitchen, something we haven't done before during our previous visits.
This is the view from the boma towards # 3 and 4.

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And we met another little visitor.

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Later we had a new feathery visitor to the birdbath, an Ashy Tit. We have never seen one of those in KTP before.

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The day was hot, humid, a bit overcast and quiet. Yet still it was wonderful to be at Grootkolk and we enjoyed every single minute of that quiet day.

Even more as we had a wonderful sunset again.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:46 pm 
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18.11.11

The Leopard was back to the waterhole at 1.10 am.
And again we did not miss him thanks to the Jackals.
This morning we started at 6.30 am for a drive. Unfortunately Geinab waterhole was dry.
The drive was quiet until we reached Unions End waterhole.
Coming closer we saw that there was something sitting in the middle of the road.
It was a young Lioness watching us.

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She obviously was waiting for someone or something, as she constantly checked the area.
And indeed there was an adult Lioness coming closer.

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They walked side-by-side.

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Mum was coming to the waterhole to have a drink.

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And soon the younger Lioness joined her.

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Isn't she a beauty....

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Then she discovered two Sandgrouses and thought it might be a good idea to try and catch them.

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But without success. :lol:

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Now she lost interest and checked the Oryx carcass.

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Wonderful.

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Then they left the waterhole again, walking towards the direction of Unions End.
Mum was leading and the younger Lioness followed her, lying down every now and then, to wait if we followed too.

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She was pretty annoyed that it took her daughter so long to follow.

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Awesome eyes.

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She sat there and watched as, turned around and followed mum.

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What a simply wonderful sighting, we had them for an hour just to ourselves... 8)

Still smiling we drove back to the camp, the afternoon was very overcast and it looked as if it was going to rain, but nothing.
Of course all the birds were back in the afternoon, as well as one of my favourite Agamas.

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And again we had a wonderful sunset, the last sunset at Grootkolk this year. Tomorrow we are moving back to Nossob. :(

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In the evening we discovered that Acacia Rats were living in a tree close to our hut.
Aren’t these rats cute!?

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Have a good look at this photo, can you see the ears and head of the baby rat to the left to the tree trunk behind the adult rat?!

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Later one of the Acacia Rats came to have a drink at our bird bath. We were delighted!

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After we had dinner there were quite a few insects around.
So I tried to take a photo of one of them.

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Unfortunately the spotlight at the waterhole wasn't working so we decided that it was time to go to bed.

The Leopard was back again during that night :dance: , the first time 1.30 am, he had a drink and then jumped right into the tree at the waterhole. He stayed there for quite a while, it was only at 4.30am that we heard the Jackals again...
Grootkolk had been very generous again. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:59 pm 
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19.11.11

Well it was finally time to leave Grootkolk. :(
We decided not to leave too early and to make the most of our last couple of hours there.
So we had breakfast and observed the waterhole while packing everything back into the car.
There was a herd of Wildebeest and a couple of Oryx having a drink, when suddenly I detected a movement to the right of the waterhole.
There was a Brown Hyena coming to have a drink, and she was not at all happy to see that the waterhole was already crowded.
She came closer, went away again, came closer again, went away again, lied down and finally left. Unfortunately she did not come close enough for really good photos.

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Then the inevitable came, we had to say goodbye. But of course we were sure that next year Grootkolk will be on our itinerary again next year.
The weather was really humid, windy and overcast. The drive to Nossob was quite uneventful, but we saw one of those beautiful and delicate Steenboks.

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At Bedinkt waterhole a couple of Oryx and a lot of dust.

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And of course I could not resist taking a photo of those colourful Agamas.

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Back at Nossob for just one night, we moved into #3. In the afternoon we drove to the southern direction to check the Jackals then again.
Near Mari se Draai we spotted two Jackals grooming each other.

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And a little later a beautiful Kudu resting underneath a tree.

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When we arrived at the den (beware here are many, many,many Jackal pics :lol: :redface: ), Mum was lying there and looking pretty relaxed.

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Then the pup appeared.

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And we couldn't believe our luck, there was a second one too.

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Aren’t they just too cute for words!?

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One of the youngsters went over to Mum who was still lying there.

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Then the pups discovered something interesting and there was little argument.

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After that they explored the surroundings a little bit more, it seems as if everything was interesting.

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We could hear a Jackal howling in the distance and suddenly Mum started to answer.

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Too cute was that one of the youngsters joined her as well.

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Unfortunately we do not have video footage of that, as Francolin was so awe-struck and simply forgot to press record.





Then we saw a second adult Jackal running along the river bed and was soon gone again.
Mum recognized him as well…

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But then I could see him again looking over my right shoulder and he was facing Mum with the pups.
As soon as she saw him she started to run and then she greeted him with excitement. How wonderful to experience such an interaction between the four Jackals.

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After they had greeted each other, the pups started to visit the milk bar and soon after that Mum left.

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Dad was checking the kids…

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Hey Mum, where are you going ?!...

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It was amazing.

Here are some extra information is I've found about the Jackals in Trevor Carnaby’s book “Beat About The Bush Mammals”:
"The pairs form a monogamous bond for life and only find another mate should one partner die. Both sexes actively mark and defend a territory that tends to be far larger than those of foxes, and is in essence the entire home range with very little, if no, overlap with neighbours. They tend to spend their entire time subsisting in this area, even if conditions become desperate, because aggression towards trespassers is extreme. They only heave these territories occasionally to get water, if it is not present in their own area. The male is actively participating in parenting and provisioning females that are confined to the den. They are often aided by so-called helpers-previous offspring will delay dispersal for a season or two. In so doing, they form a small social punk whose collective energy is focused on the new litter. This scenario reduces mortality. Foraging is done singly or in pairs with small social family groups spreading out individually. There is often food sharing, especially among the mated pair.
Like all local candidates (except Bat-eared Fox) adult Jackals will typically take forward back to the den-bound pups by carrying it safely in their stomachs. This prevents its being stolen by enemies and competitors. Pups were then solicit regurgitation of the food by nibbling at the lips of the adult all by various submissive behaviours-both visual (head low) and/or audio (whining)."


This had once again been a special day and tomorrow will we are going to move to Kalahari Tented Camp.

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:23 pm 
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20.11.11

So after just one night it was time to move on and we left Nossob for the direction of Kalahari Tented Camp.
Do you remember the mystery object we discovered at Polentswa Waterhole!?
Now at Rooikop Waterhole we found the solution... :slap: :lol:

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The morning was that overcast but already quite hot.
At Cheleka Waterhole we found all different kinds of visitors. Among them a lovely herd of Kudus.

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And Ostriches.

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Just as we came closer to Dikbaardskolk picnic spot we found a sleeping male Lion underneath the tree close to the road.

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We had breakfast at Dikbaardskolk picnic spot with the usual visitors.

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I think it is always quite amazing to find blooming bushes in section harsh environment. Which makes them almost even more beautiful.

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After arriving in the Aoub riverbed we found more and more young Springboks. Are they just too cute for words?!

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The little later we found a sleepy Jackal underneath a tree.

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It was amazing as soon as we arrived back to that riverbed we found Owls again. Here is a young Spotted Eagle Owl very well camouflaged.

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And only a couple of metres of the road one of “our” Spotted Eagle Owl Chicks…..

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It was surprising to see that this riverbed was already getting greener and greener.

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Arriving Kalahari Tented Camp we moved into tent # 15. We were delighted this is in our opinion the most private tent. And we got another surprise, entering the “bedroom” we discovered that the flats had been replaced by windows.
In the afternoon we left for another drive.
The Owls did not disappoint as, we found 8 different Owls within 700 m. Wow!
Of course the Chicks in "our"Owl tree.

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Mum in the tree on the opposite side of the road.

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Another Spotted Eagle Owl Chick.

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The waterhole's work quite so we decided to slowly return back to the camp.
We observed the Doves at Craig Lockhardt Waterhole.

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And we found more young Springboks.

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Again Owl Chick.

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At Sitzas we discovered for the first time, that a Drongo was riding on the back of one Springbok, like the Oxpeckers do on Impala backs in Kruger.

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Last sighting of that day was the Kori Bustard.

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Later back at the camp we enjoyed our dinner and listened to the Barking Geckos.

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:56 pm 
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21.11. 11

That morning we didn't leave too early, we just wanted to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere while having a coffee.
We couldn't believe our eyes when we suddenly detected movement in the riverbed, it was a male Cheetah crossing the riverbed right in front of our tent.
He then marked victory and wind up the dunes.

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A herd of Springboks discovered him as well.

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What a start of a new Kalahari day.
Then we left while morning drive, and soon spotted a Giraffe that was hiding behind a tree.

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And shortly after that the Jackal with a not so little any more youngster. He/ she was far more interested in us than mum.

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Just as we reached Sitzas waterhole we spotted three Lionesses resting under a tree.
There was not much movement so we decided to move on instead.

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We were slowly approaching Dalkeith waterhole when we saw that the car had stopped. The beautiful male Lion was sleeping right beside the road.

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To be continued.....

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:55 pm 
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21.11.11 Continued

The waterholes were quiet again.
But we were lucky to see the Barn Owls in the Weavers Nest.

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On the way back we spotted this Wood Hoopoe (very difficult to take a decent capture against the sun…)

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Not surprisingly the male Lion was still sleeping. :lol: :roll:

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Big Kitty Cat….

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Don't they have the most gorgeous eyes?!

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Then we left him again, shortly after we had reached the main road again we discovered a White Faced Scops Owl on a nest. We were delighted!
We were pretty sure that's we would be able to find that nest again, and so we decided to observe the nest over the period of the next two weeks.

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Here is the capture of tent # 15, we loved to have the tree close to the tent which provided a bit of extra shade for the car.

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And here are the new windows they just installed in the tents. They look good and we can tell you they worked like a charm, as we had two quite stormy nights during our stay there.

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During our afternoon drive we found yet another Spotted Eagle Owl, she wasn't too happy that we stopped for photo.

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Right in the middle of the riverbed we discovered a tree with a couple of Vultures on top, having a closer look we couldn't believe that we found a nest of an Giant Evil Owl only a couple of metres underneath.

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KTP really is Raptors heaven, here is another of those beautiful Tawny Eagles.

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Of course we wanted to check, if the male Lion was still around Dalkeith waterhole.
And indeed he was resting on top of one of the dunes, observing the cars that stopped for him.

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So wonderful to see him and we left again, as there were far too many cars for our taste.

On the way back, close to Craig Lockhardt we spotted another Giant Eagle Owl.
The Owls are really very cooperative….

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At Sitzas we found the three girls again. Now they were finally slowly waking up for the night's hunt.

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And yet again we stopped at "our" Owl tree, but all of them had moved to the tree on the opposite side of the road.
It was dinnertime, and mum delivered the food right on time.
Unfortunately it was far too dark to take any photos, but I really love the video footage.

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It really has been another awesome day in KTP.

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:57 am 
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22. 11 .11

That morning we left Kalahari Tented Camp earlier than the previous day.
Just south of Sitzas Waterhole we found to Vultures on top of a Weavers Nest.

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Only a couple of hundred metres after passing the waterhole we spotted some Giraffes in the riverbed.

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We checked Craig Lockhardt Waterhole, but found nothing.
It was only when we drove around the next bend, that we saw Morkel (whom we had met the previous day) was reversing towards us.
He stopped and then told us that the Cheetah mum with the two youngsters had just made a kill, and was now together with the cubs and the prey underneath the tree on the far side of the riverbed.
And indeed, we could see them together with their breakfast.
Unfortunately the light was already pretty bad, this in combination with the distance was not great to take decent pictures.

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At one point the Cheetah mum picked up the Springbok, which made the cubs go crazy. They jumped up and down trying to get hold of the prey.

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When they stopped feeding and laid down to rest, we decided it was time to move on.
A few hundred metres further south we spotted a couple of Ludwig’s Bustards foraging for food. It was amazing how many of these beautiful birds we spotted during our trip.

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Shortly before reaching the northern entrance to the 14th waterhole we spotted a Lioness close to some shrub and dead trees in the riverbed.
It was only when we used the binoculars that we discovered, that she had cubs.
And they were the tiniest cubs that we ever saw. 8)
The Lioness was pretty stressed, unable to get some rest, whenever she tried to walk away the cubs started to follow her and she turned around again…

And again not really brilliant pics due to the harsh light, the distance and the size of the cubs. :roll:
But the little ones were just too cute.
In most of the pics you can find at least one tiny cub, I hope you are able to spot them. :wink:

Two cubs here…

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One cub, right behind Mums bum…

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Two together with Mum here..

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Really bad pic, but you can see just how small the cubs were, even shorter than the grass…

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Here all three of them together…

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We were very happy about having such a wonderful and successful morning drive and returned back to Kalahari Tented Camp for lunch and a little nap.
In the afternoon we set off to the waterholes again, of course we wanted to check if we were able to find the Lioness with the tiny ones again.
We had passed Dalkeith and were heading further south, when we spotted a movement in the road. It was the Lioness walking towards us. As we were still quite close to the waterhole, we were sure that she was heading towards the water to have a drink. So we turned around to find a good place to see her.
And indeed it was only about 15 min later that she slowly approached Dalkeith waterhole.
Such a pretty lady, but looking badly in need of good meal.

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The Wildebeest discovered her as well…

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She was having a drink.

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I really like this photo with all the butterflies flying around her head, although the fact that I had to take the photo against the sun made it very difficult.

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She then walked off, ignoring all the cars and was lying down for a little rest.

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Yet again it was time for us to leave.
On the way back we spotted a nice Red-necked Falcon feeding in one of the trees close to the road.

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Back at ”home” we enjoyed our sundowner listening to the Barking Geckos.
It maybe had not been the best day for photos, but it was an amazing day for sightings…

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:11 pm 
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23.11.11

Again we left early in the morning for another drive. Our first sighting was a Jackal amongst a herd of Springboks.
Well it's lambing season...

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Then we came upon another scene, here a kill just had happened. :wink:

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When we reached Craig Lockhardt waterhole we could already see from afar that a couple of cars were parked underneath the big tree.
And coming even closer we detected some movement at the waterhole.
Lions!
One adult female with two young Lionesses.
Such magnificent animals. 8)

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Oh no, I do not want to get wet feet… :lol:

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And another one afraid of the water.. :roll:

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Now they were retreating towards the dunes and so it was time for us to leave as well.
We only had driven a couple of kilometres when there was another traffic jam.
The Cheetah mum with the two youngsters was hunting in the riverbed.

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This time without success, but it was amazing to see them run.
After that mum needed a rest and the youngsters returned to join her.

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We drove on towards the boreholes and found a Slender Mongoose. As usual she only stopped for a couple of seconds before speeding over to the other side of the road.

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She then climbed into one of the smaller trees close to the road.

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On the way back to Kalahari Tented Camp we found a Pearl Spotted Owl in one of the trees. It had started to be quite windy and it was hard for the Owl to hold on to one of the branches.

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After we had passed Sitzas waterhole we spotted this Jackal underneath the tree, he didn't like it when we stopped to watch him.

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And here is another one of those magnificent Secretary Birds, I can never resist to stop and take a photo.

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Back at the camp we had a light lunch and a little nap, before going out for yet another drive.
Our first sighting that afternoon was a lovesick Ostrich. He was chasing his beloved all through the riverbed :lol:

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The boreholes were quiet, but then we discovered the young Cheetahs, that we already had seen in the morning, underneath a bush on the dunes.

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They sat underneath the bush, watching the surroundings and then suddenly, as if by a command, got up and walked up the dunes. I think Mum had called them inaudible for us.

Of course we could not pass our Owl tree without stopping for some photos.

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When we stood there to watch the little Owls, some Springboks right behind the tree in the riverbed, started to run and bounce.
Always such a lovely sight.

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Back at the camp we started a fire and after dinner sat there, being thankful to be in such a wonderful place.

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:08 pm 
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24.11.11

The last morning at Kalahari Tented Camp before moving to Urikaruus for the next couple of nights.
So leaving the camp early for a morning drive.
First sighting just north of Sitzas waterhole.

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And a Springbok in that lovely early morning light.

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After passing Craig Lockhardt waterhole I discovered some Giraffes on the opposite side of the river bed.
I then realised that the Giraffes were pretty excited. And all of them were staring in the same direction.

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And then I spotted the reason for that...
A Cheetah!

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She had no eyes for the Giraffes and was walking along the river bed parallel to the road.
What a beautiful animal.

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She sniffed at a tree, walked into the road (unfortunately I had to take these photos through the windscreen, hence they are a bit blurred).

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Then I could follow her for a couple of metres, before she crossed the road and walked up the dunes.

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So well camouflaged…

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Now it was time to return back to camp to pack everything back into the car and to leave for Urikaruus.
One of the Owl chicks was sitting very convenient for a nice photo.
Can you see the reflection of our car in the eyes of the Owl!?

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We always love to observe the young Springboks.
This one here was very much interested in its little tail and kept chewing the tip of the tail.

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We simply could not believe our luck, shortly before reaching the northern entrance to Dalkeith waterhole we found the Cheetah mum with her two youngsters again. This time with another kill under a tree in the riverbed.

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Then it was Ostrich time.
At first a couple of ladies having a dust bath

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Then an Ostrich mum with chicks.
Here we observed another Drongo following the ostriches, like the other Drongo's followed the Springboks and Meerkats.

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I love the Bee-eaters and this one here just caught himself a little snack.

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Then we arrived back at Urikaruus. And we met a familiar face again, Jaques was there to greet us and what a luck, we got # 4 again.
We heard about the new planned spotlight at the camp before, but now we could see the "tree" that was planted for the spotlight. Although it was still without the actual spotlight attached.

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In the afternoon we decided to drive south again.
We saw a little Squirrel, unbelievable how huge the hind paws are.

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On the way back we found the Bat-eared Fox den south of Montrose waterhole again.
Unfortunately very bad light for nice photos.

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We left them again, and said Hi to the Cape Fox mum, the little ones were nowhere to be seen. But she was pretty relaxed.

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Another one of those beautiful KTP raptors.

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And then the surprise, we discovered another Bat-eared Fox den, right opposite Kamqua waterhole and very close to the road.
It was a den with four youngsters. Too cute for words!
So I have to say sorry for posting many photos of them now and in the parts of the trip report that are going to follow.

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Back at the camp we sat outside, listened to the Jackals and some Lions calling in the distance...

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:05 pm 
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25.11.11

I got up early in the morning and thought it might be a good idea to check that waterhole before having a shower.
And indeed, we had a visitor.
A beautiful male Lion was having a drink. And in addition to that beautiful sight, the light was lovely.

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Then our neighbour had discovered the Lion as well, he got really excited and was a bit hectic moving around on the upper balcony. The Lion looked up and he didn't like what he saw, then just turned around and ran away.

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Not long time after he had left, a little Steenbuck wanted to have a drink at the waterhole. But he/she could still smell the Lion and decided to leave instead.

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Here is one of the visitors to the little bird bath at Urikaruus.

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Then we left the camp for our morning drive. We wanted to go south, visit Kij Gamies waterhole and have breakfast at Auchterlonie.
Our first sighting was a sleepy Giant Eagle Owl.

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A huge herd of Wildebeest at Kamqua.



We then met another Ostrich family.
The chicks are just too cute.

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A Thick Knee with chick resting in the shade.

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Just after we had just passed Gemsbokplein waterhole we spotted a group of Meerkats.

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Among them a Crimson-breasted Shrike, waiting to have his share.

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Kij Gamies was very quiet and so we decided to have a breakfast break at Auchterlonie. Of course I could not resist to take a photo of one of the many Agamas around.

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Two Crows were sitting on the table close by.

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One of the little birdies checked out my coffee mug.

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And as always it's lovely to see little flowers among all the sand and gravel.

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We thought we might give it a try and check out Kamfersboom waterhole to see if the Hyenas were around again.
And indeed they were.

The youngsters.

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Then they discovered a Jackal coming to the waterhole to have a drink, scandalous behaviour...
The Jackal started to run and the youngsters followed.

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After that they all returned to the waterhole for some family action.

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It was already way too hot and so we turned around to drive back to the camp. Along the way we spotted a Korhaan.

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What a surprise, when we returned to Urikaruus we saw that some KTP staff was busy to apply the new spotlight.
Here one of them was checking if the light faced the right direction.

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In the afternoon we drove south again. And we are delighted to find the Cape Foxes again.
Still a bit sleepy.

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Here a Bee irritated them.

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Ach, they are so cute.

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Then they disappeared back into the den. And so it was time for us to leave.
Of course we hoped to find the Bat-eared Foxes at Kamqua and that the babies were out playing.
And yet again we were lucky.
I already threatened you with posting more pics of them...

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KTP is just too wonderful.
At Urikaruus we had another surprise…
The Lion came back for a drink .


_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:23 am 
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26.11.11

Today was my grandmother's birthday, so we had to go down to Twee Rivieren to make a phone call.
Just when I had breakfast and coffee on the kitchen balcony I spotted something coming closer to the waterhole.
I can't believe what I saw, a Leopard in beautiful morning light.

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She (Khomani, thanx Astromat for the ID) stayed for quite a while, had a drink and left again.
What a wonderful start into the day. :dance:

On the way south we were able to see the little Batties again.
Oh my word they are just too cute for words...

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I think I haven't posted an Agama for quite a while :lol:

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At Samenvloeiing we discovered the Termite Mound Camera Trap.

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At Twee Rivieren we made the phone call, bought some Petrol, had a Pie in the shop and were soon heading back to Urikaruus.
The drive back was really quiet.
As well were the hours in camp. No one visited the waterhole, the Squirrel were lying underneath the cabin in the shade, hardly any birds.... :?
Later in the afternoon we were heading north towards the boreholes.

We heard some kind of screaming and soon found out that a Giant Eagle Owl was attacked by a Pale Chanting Goshawk.
Unfortunately I was not able to take a clear photo of the whole scene.

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But we've got the video footage as well.



If I remember it correctly :redface: it must have been at the 14th Borehole where we spotted 2 Lions lying in the shade of trees are far from the waterhole.
But they weren't just sleeping, there was some movement and we thought they might come soon to have a drink at the waterhole.
And indeed slowly Mum was coming closer and a bigger cub slowly, very slowly :lol: followed her.

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Then they walked along the river bed, stretching and getting awake.

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Now they stepped onto the road.

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Mum walked up the dunes, but the little one stayed behind. Three cars in the road were just too interesting to just walk away. :lol:

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Mum stopped, peered over the high grass to have a look we're the little one was. Then she returned and lied close to her in the middle of the road. What a beautiful scene!

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After a while they got up and left again, time for us to return to Urikaruus.

Just as we reached the main road we spotted a Shrub Hare. We like these little fellows, but all too often it is already far too dark to take a photo.

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This had been once again a very successful day in KTP. Tonight was our last night at Urikaruus, of course we were a bit sad to leave, but on the other hand we were looking forward to be in Mata Mata, especially as we have never state in the new riverfront Chalets before.

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:52 am 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
27.11.11

Today we are moving from Urikaruus to Mata Mata.
Of course I was out for an early morning drive to say goodbye to the Cape Foxes and the little Batties.

First sighting was a kill, or at least the end of it as the prey was already gone and all that was left were the feathers.

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Coming closer to the Cape Fox den I saw that I was lucky and the youngsters were out playing.

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I discovered that mum was in the riverbed, the youngsters ran towards her. There was a Crowned Plover in the riverbed as well, as soon as the youngsters came closer he started to shriek. That really shocked the youngsters and they ran back to the den. :lol:

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I saw this behaviour about three or four times before they finally managed to cross the riverbed and to disappear in a different then on the other side.
I think I just witnessed that they had moved from one den to the other.

The Bat-Eared Foxes were very cooperative as well, mum and the babies were out enjoying the first sunshine.

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The kids are tired…

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By then it was time to return back to Urikaruus, to pack the car and vacate the hut.
At first the drive was a bit quiet, but then we spotted a Barn Owl in a tree right beside the road.

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And what a surprise, one of the few Hartebeests on this years trip, last year we saw hundreds of them, this year it was a rare sighting.

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Just after we had passed Dalkeith waterhole we "found" three Lions, doing what Lions best. :roll:

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Of course I had to check the White-faced Scops Owls nest again. And we were delighted to discover that she was not only sitting on the nest, but that this time there were chicks too. :dance:

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We stopped at Craig Lockhardt waterhole, as there was a family of Ostriches arriving and slowly walking towards the waterhole for drink.
Those little Ostrich chicks are just too cute and it was so much fun to observe them.

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He looks a bit grumpy…

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Then we arrived at Mata Mata, and moved into the new riverfront chalets.
Wow! 8)
It was so nice and it was wonderful to discover that the waterhole could be easily seen from our little terrace.
Here are some photos I had taken of the new accommodation.

The bedroom

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The terrace with the braai

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The view to the waterhole

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The terrace facing towards the living room and bedroom.

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In the afternoon we were looking again for our Spotted Eagle Owl chicks. And they did not disappoint us.

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We were wondering if the lazy Lions close to Dalkeith waterhole were a bit more active now. But it was only the adult Lioness that was awake and checking the surroundings.

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When she went back to sleep it was time for us to leave.
Just as we had reached the main road again there was another Scrub Hare. This time in very nice light.

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Further along the road a juvenile Pale Chanting Goshawk was sitting on the ground.

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Apart from that the rest of the drive was quiet. Back at the camp we prepared our sundowners, lit a fire and enjoyed the view to the waterhole.

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Here is a photo of the living room in the evening.

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It was already dark when a Brown Hyena visited the waterhole, what a beautiful end to another great day in the Kalahari.

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
28.11.11

We took our time in the morning and enjoyed a breakfast and a morning coffee on the terrace.
But then we heard a sound that we already heard last year and I searched the trees for the bird that caused that sound.
And I was right, as I soon found a Great Spotted Cuckoo.

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Soon after we've left Mata Mata we spotted a Pearl Spotted Owl in one of the bushes close to the road.

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We stopped at Sitzas, Craig Lockhardt and found nothing.
But after we had passed Craig Lockhardt we spotted the Cheetah mum with the two youngsters again. Unfortunately this time far from the road, so just a not really decent photo as proof.

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At Dalkeith we found another lovely Ostrich family running towards the waterhole.
Of course I just had to take more photos of those little cuties.

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On the way back to Mata Mata we checked the nest of the White Faced Scops Owl again.
This time a very curious chick was watching us.

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It was a very hot and quite humid day, more and more clouds were building up. But we could not resist to go for yet another drive. Our first sighting was a very colourful Melba Finch or Green-winged Pytilia.

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And later a Springbok mum with a lovely little youngster.

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In the meantime we had one of those wonderful Kalahari downpours, followed by sunlight which made the landscape and the colours very dramatic.

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The Springboks looked soaking wet and the males were eager to fight after the rain.

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We found a different Spotted Eagle Owl in wonderful light, again in a tree right beside the road.

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Then on the way back we experienced the most beautiful and mind blowing colours you can imagine. This is really the beauty of Kalahari thunderstorms.

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Crossing the river bed close to Mata Mata we saw this herd of Wildebeests grazing on top of the dune, such a beautiful sight.

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Back at the camp we stopped at the shop and were making up our minds whether to have a braai tonight or not, as the sky looked as if there was more rain coming our way.

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But we did not have a single drop of rain that evening, so once again we enjoyed our dinner on the terrace.
Then we heard Barking Geckos really close by.
Since our first time in KTP I was eager to take a photo of them, so I grabbed my camera and the torch and tried to have a closer look.
And indeed we spotted one not too far from our terrace.

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In fact I only discovered back at home that I actually took a photo of not just one, but two Barking Geckos. :lol:

Then we heard another one, so again I grabbed the camera, the torch and rushed outside the front door, and was lucky :dance:

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The Kalahari had once again been very generous... 8)

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:53 pm 
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29.11.11

It was a pleasantly cool night.
So we started our early morning drive really relaxed.
Our first sighting was yet another Bat Eared Fox Den, but quite far away.

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We were just on the way to Dalkeith waterhole when we were stopped by a small traffic jam.
And soon we discovered that Old Badmouth was lying under a tree feasting on a Springbok. We really wondered how he was able to catch such a breakfast. Later Tobieo told us that he snatched the Springbok from the Cheetah mum with the two youngsters.
He was eating his prey in presence of Jackals and a Tawny Eagle.

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More cars arrive and it was time for us to go.
What a good decision, when we reached Dalkeith waterhole there was a Lioness drinking.

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She had quite a few deep scratches and wounds on one side.

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We were pretty sure that this was the Lioness with tiny babies, and dearly hoped that nothing had happened to them. :?

We wanted to go further south and were slowly approaching the 14th Borehole, when we spotted some spots.
The Cheetah mum with the four youngsters were resting in the shade of some trees right in the middle of the river bed.

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The mum was watching a Springbok in the distance, but that was too far away and we decided to move on instead.
We made the 14th our turning point and returned back to the direction of Mata Mata.
On the way we found this Pearl Spotted Owl in one of the trees.

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Old Badmouth was now tired and having a nap right beside the dead Springbok.

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And we couldn't believe our luck, when we stopped at the White Faced Scops Owls nest once again, all of the four chicks were observing us. YAY! I was hoping for a moment like this. :dance:

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Although it was only around 11 am it was already quite hot and the Springboks gathered underneath the trees.

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What an extremely successful morning. 8)
On our game drive in the afternoon we found a Lion just south of Sitzas waterhole.
Can you spot it?! :lol:

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The park gets greener and greener and we saw more and more young Springboks.

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Then we were stopped by a Kalahari traffic jam...

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And just too cute, a very fresh young Springbok with his mum.

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We decided to drive the main road towards the 13th borehole and were surprised that we found the same Lioness that we saw that morning walking southbound. She was walking along the road, and at some point starts to walk up the dune.

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Unfortunately the grass was really high so there was no chance to see if the cubs were still there. But we were more than happy when we suddenly heard the ones squeaking and calling for mummy. :dance:

On the way back we stopped to have a look at Old Badmouth again, he had moved with his prey and now nibbled pretty relaxed.
But there were too many cars for our taste so we left.

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Of course I just had to stop at the White Faced Scops Owls Nest again... :whistle:

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We were slowly coming closer to Sitzas waterhole where we saw something running across the road only a couple of metres from the waterhole itself.
A Brown Hyena!
Unfortunately far too bad light and fast to take a decent photo.

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Later on the way back to Mata Mata we enjoyed once again the beautiful colours and those special clouds of the Kalahari.

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And even if I have two repeat myself, what a wonderful day.

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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