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 Post subject: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
Well it's nearly time again for us to return to our beloved Kalahari.

All the bags are packed, the Cats safely arrived at their holiday destination (my parents place :wink: ) and we just can't wait to start.....
Tomorrow we will already be on our way to Joburg and hopefully on Monday we feel the red sand of the Kalahari underneath our feet :dance:

The Kittens are waiting for us (hopefully) :D

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See you all in a couple of weeks :yaya:

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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: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:30 am 
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Katja asked this to be posted:

New spotlight at Urikaruus Camp Waterhole. Installed yesterday morning!

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:58 pm 
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:cry: Well we are back since more than a week.....
Unbelievable how time flies :cry:
We had an awesome time once again, meeting familiar faces and having great sightings.
As usual I took really a lot of photos and so it will take some time to write a trip report :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:01 pm 
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07.11.

We arrived at Twee Rivieren around 2.30pm.
Check in was done in no time and soon we moved into our home for the next two nights.
Bungalow #3.
We unpacked our car ( very nice a VW AMAROK...),placed our birdbath outside, made a coffee and soon we had the first visitor.

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Of course we could not resist and left for a late afternoon drive soon.
Driving the direction to Rooiputs.
Shortly after Leeuwdril we spotted Cheetahs, it was a Cheetah mum with three larger cubs, unfortunately far away into the dunes, but we were very happy.

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What a start!

Just a couple metres up the road two Juvenile PCG's in a tree.

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We spotted nothing at the waterholes, but were very lucky to find a Cape Fox Den on our way back to Twee Rivieren.

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I think I do not have to mention that we were more than just happy to be back again ;)
What a great start of our trip.....

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:16 pm 
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08.11. Part one

Well after a good nights rest we woke up and enjoyed a lovely sunrise at Twee Rivieren.
Today we wanted to drive up to Melkvlei for breakfast using the Botswana bypass to Kij Kij.
It’s been years since we were able to drive that direction.

Our first sighting of the day were some Meerkats.
We almost always have great sightings after spotting Meerkats so we call it a positive Meerkat omen..
So let’s see what the day will have in store for us…

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Shortly after that we spotted another Cape Fox Den.

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And unbelievable a little later we spotted the Cheetah Mum with the three youngsters again….

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And a sentinel at one of the RSA border stones…

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Arriving at Rooiputs we spotted a couple of Lions in a shade of a tree.

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The drive using the Botswana bypass was lovely.
We had breakfast at Melkvlei and soon headed back to Twee Rivieren.

On the way back we could not believe our eyes….
Here they were again on a mission, Cheetah mum and youngsters.

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Hunting mode…..

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More to come...

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


Last edited by katydownunder on Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:54 pm 
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08.11. Part two

In the afternoon we wanted to check if the Lions were still at Rooiputs waterhole.
And indeed they were.
One of the Lionesses had walked over to the waterhole and was resting in the shade, until….
……a herd of Springboks was walking towards the waterhole to have a drink.
They did not see the Lioness who was now fully awake.

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She was surprised that the Springboks got a real fright when she got up…

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The Lioness had a drink and then started to walk over to the tree where the other Lions still had a rest.



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She than made the mistake and greeted the wrong male….
His mate wasn’t amused…

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Well he got his point across..

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We slowly drove towards the t-junction near Samevloeiing and decided that we still had some time to drive into the Aoub riverbed.
Our first sighting a Pale Chanting Goshawk on duty.

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We drove up to Monro Waterhole. The drive was quiet, well until we reached the waterhole.
Here a Cheetah Mum with 4 youngsters were relaxing.

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Mum

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Can’t get enough of them…

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One tired Cheetah

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Now it was really time to drive back to the camp and we kept our fingers crossed that we did not have another sighting as this would have meant that we missed gate closing time….
But we made the way back in time and ended this wonderful day with a lovely dinner in great company at the Restaurant at Twee Rivieren.

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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 Dec 18, 2011 3:58 pm 
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09.11.

Well today it was time to move on.
Our next destination was Urikaruus for the next 4 nights.

While packing all of our things back into the car we observed how he tried to impress the lady of his dreams.

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And I am always glad to see these kind of inhabitants of the huts.

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Arriving in the Aoub river our first sighting of the day were theses cuties.

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And coming closer to Monro waterhole we spotted the Cheetah Mum with the 4 youngsters again….
We simply could not believe it!

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As usual we were pretty slow and enjoyed our drive along the riverbed.
We spotted a Hoopoe.

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And our first Pygmy Falcon on this years trip.

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At Kamfersboom three Hyenas we having a nap at the waterhole in bright daylight.
It would not be the last time we saw them there and they must have been the same Hyenas that other forumites saw as well.

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Having a refreshing bath…

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A Secretary tried to join them, but the Hyena was more interested in the Namaqua Dove than in him…

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We had a late breakfast at Auchterlonie and of course the usual company.

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Later back on the main road we spotted these youngsters, well there were four of them when we stopped…
But when another car passed us without even bothering to stop they disappeared down into the little den.

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This was our first Bat-Eared Fox sighting (first of many) on this trip.

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And of course the Owls did not disappoint us.

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I only discovered now, processing the photos that this one just had a little Cape Cobra Snack. :shock:

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I always struggled to get a decent capture of a Black-shouldered Kite.
This year they seemed to be everywhere, they were especially plentiful along the boreholes.

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Now it was time to move into our home for the next nights.
We were greeted by Eric and he smiled when he saw us: “Welcome back!”
I just love those words…

We got cabin # 4.
"Our" cabin, where we already had the most wonderful sightings, so we unpacked the car and after that enjoyed the view to the waterhole.

Our afternoon drive along the boreholes was quiet, but we enjoyed the scenery and beautiful Springbok herds.

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And of course we just had to checkout the Weavers Nest with the Barn Owls.
No good light for photos, but enough for a nice video.



Shortly before we arrived back at the camp we spotted yet another BEF.

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While we enjoyed our sundowner on the kitchen deck a Hyena came for a drink to the waterhole.



Another prefect day for us! :dance:

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


Last edited by katydownunder on Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:09 pm 
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10.11.11

At 3am morning we were wide awake in an instant, a Hyena decided to start to whoop right underneath our bedroom window.
After that she started to growl, there was obviously something in the vicinity that disturbed her.
Of course we were out of bed in a flash, grabbed the torch and checked the riverbed.
And indeed, there was something at the waterhole.
There were two Lions having a drink and looking into the direction of the Hyena with unease.
Neither the Hyenas nor the Lions liked the presence of each other.
We never heard a hyena making such a sound, it was pretty scary to hear this in the middle of the night and pitch darkness.
The Lions were not happy at all, stopped drinking and soon left into the night.
It took us quite a while to get back to sleep.

We enjoyed our morning coffee on the lower balcony.
It was freezing cold and we were really happy that we packed enough warm clothes.

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Soon we were on our way to the direction of Mata Mata.
Our first sighting of the day was the Crimson-breasted Shrike with his breakfast. It is never easy to take a picture as these birds are quiet agile.
But this time we were lucky.

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And even more, as there was a second one joining the first.

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We stopped at the 13th borehole to have a look for birds.
There were no Raptors around, but the bushes close to the waterhole seem to be alive with hundreds of little Red-billed Queleas.

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Close to Craig Lockhard we saw some of the Springbok youngsters…

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Apart from that the drive to Mata Mata was quite.
We did some shopping, had a little breakfast (in the newly built day visitors area, very nice) bought some fuel and were soon on our way back to Urikaruus.
Shortly after leaving Mata Mata we spotted the Giraffes for the first time on this trip.

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This year we saw so many Black-shouldered Kites it was plain unbelievable. Sometimes we even saw as many as five in one single tree.
This one here is, I think, a juvenile.

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But then we arrived at live traffic jam, quite uncommon for KTP.
We saw Springbok lying in the middle of the riverbed and not much else.
Then emerging from the shrub underneath a tree, was a Cheetah. He grabbed the bum of the Springbok and dragged it into the shrub.
Unfortunately we were not able to see how he started to feed.

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It was time to return back to Urikaruus for lunch.
When we entered our bedroom, we were delighted to see that a Crimson – breasted Shrike had build its nest right in front of our bedroom window.

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The choice for our afternoon drive was the southern direction.
Here we spotted a Thick Knee with two chicks, very well camouflaged.

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And of course we spotted some Ground Squirrels. Mum with two youngsters always so nice to see.

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We drove past the waterholes down south until we reached Batulama.
But nothing.
On the way back we were delighted to find a den with Bat-eared Foxes. The little ones were just too cute, and already have that slightly grumpy facial expression of the adult Bat-eared Foxes.
The den was situated shortly after the dead tree in the riverbed south of Montrose waterhole.

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The sun was setting and so the light was getting worse and worse, which made it an easy decision to leave the Bat-Eared Foxes and make our way back to Urikaruus.
It was another wonderful surprise to find a Cape foxes right next to the road.
Mum was resting in the riverbed and the little ones were playing close to the road. What a wonderful sight!
This den was situated 2.6 km south of Rooibrak waterhole.

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We arrived at Urikaruus just in time for a sundowner and later enjoyed another lovely braai.
Still having a brought smile on our faces…

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


Last edited by katydownunder on Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:06 pm 
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11.11.11

I woke up early in the morning and went down the stairs to the kitchen deck to have a coffee. Stepping outside there was just enough time to see the moon disappearing behind the dunes.

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This morning we choose the southern direction again far morning drive, and the first sighting were to Hyenas walking towards us coming from Kamqua waterhole.



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It is further down south that we discovered our first Dassie ever in KTP.

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We heard that there were frequently Lion sightings at Kij Gamies waterhole, so this was our southern turning point.
We didn't find the Lions, but instead we discovered some lovely Oryx youngsters in the dunes.

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Of course the adults were not far either.

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We had breakfast at Auchterlonie and were heading back to Urikaruus again.
Soon after that we spotted this juvenile Bee-eater on the side of the road.

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A Slender Mongoose is always a nice and very rare sighting. This time it even stopped for more than a second so that I was able to take a photo.

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Back at the camp it was time for a light lunch. While we were sitting outside some of the birds in the camp came to our little improvised bird bath to have a drink (they loved this one more than our newly Bought plastic-plate-bird bath).

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We were delighted to discover upstairs in the tree close to our bedroom window, not only the nest of the Crimson breasted shrike, but this time we also discovered a little chick in the nest.

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And to make things even better, mum was coming with some kind of a worm to feed the little one.

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Later she was standing above the chicks to protect it from the heat of the sun.

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What a special sighting.

In the afternoon we were heading towards the northern direction.
Near the entrance of the 14th borehole we try to have a better look at the barn Owl in the Weavers nest. This time we were more lucky, they did not dive back into the depth of the cave by the time we stopped the car.

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We have often seen Kudus in Kruger, but to see them in KTP is always extra special.
And this was a particularly beautiful little herd.

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This time we made Craig Lockhart our northern turning point.
Here we saw some of the very cute little Springboks, I simply cannot resist taking photos.

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We were heading back south again, and couldn't believe our luck that we spotted a Wildcat in one of the trees close to Dalkeith waterhole.

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And even better, a Wildcat with two little kittens ( the second one was very shy and only watched us hidden behind some branches, you can see one of the eyes ).

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Mum kept watching us.

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Too cute for words…

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The rest of the drive back to the camp was very quiet. But you can imagine that we were still over the moon when we arrived at Urikaruus. :dance:
After that we had another wonderful evening listening to the sounds of the night.

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


Last edited by katydownunder on Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:07 pm 
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12.11.11

Today we wanted to drive down to Twee Rivieren to do some shopping before heading over to Nossob the next day.
Our first sighting was one of those wonderful KTP Raptors.

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We passed all the southern waterholes without any sightings. Just after we had left Gemsbokplein we spotted something in the riverbed and were very happy to see Meerkats again.
It's always so much fun to see them digging for food and roaming the area busily.



The Sentinels are always on guard.

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This time we observed for the first time that a Drongo was following them, and hovered above them while they were digging.

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I just love the cute faces and I can never resist taking a portrait capture if they are so close by.

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The rest of the drive to Twee Rivieren was uneventful. On the way back we met p@m once again on the dunes Road to the Aoub riverbed.
She told us they had seen the Cheetah Mum with the four youngsters again and we indeed found them shortly after we had passed Houmoed waterhole.

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Then were reached Kamfersboom again, and couldn't believe our eyes, the Hyenas were back at the waterhole and again in the middle of the day.
One of the older hyenas was lying in the road in the shade of a tree and having a nap. The youngsters were having fun chasing each other at the waterhole. And they especially loved the mud there. There was so wonderful to observe them.

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Then all of a sudden another adult Hyena approached the waterhole and was greeted by the other Hyenas. It was very interesting to observe the greeting ritual.

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The newly arrived Hyena looked very different from the others at the waterhole. She was massive, looked a bit scruffy and had a brownish colour.

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Now the youngsters discovered a little twig and decided that this was something worth fighting for...

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One of the adult Hyenas was again resting in the shade of the tree on the roadside. One of the youngsters had joined her. The other two curiously observed the cars.

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The two were so curious that they came closer and closer.

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Then they suddenly lost interest in the cars and returned to the waterhole.
Time for us to leave, and return back to the camp.

In the afternoon we drove the northern direction again.
We had found the Wildcat with the kittens just north of Dalkeith waterhole the day before, and as they were pretty small we hoped that they were probably still in the same tree.
The day before I stopped the distance to the waterhole, this and the special shape of the tree made it easy to find the spot again.
And yay, here there were.

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This had been once again a very successful full day at Urikaruus tomorrow we were moving up to Nossob.
But we are already going to return to Urikaruus again on this year's trip.

On the way back to the camp we discovered another Cape Fox Den, south of Urikaruus waterhole.

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Back at the camp we were just about to prepare dinner when the first guest of the waterhole arrived, a Hyena.
In no time more and more Hyenas arrived at the waterhole and in the end there were a total of seven greeting each other and having a drink.
While we were busy taking the video footage of our visitors (unfortunately too dark for photos) we had another visitor, a small Owl was sitting on the fence of the walkway right behind our kitchen (here the light was too bad for a really good pic....).

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Urikaruus never disappoints us.
We were sad to leave, but looking forward to be back to Nossob.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:22 am 
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Love the Hyaena clan, and the owl, especially the younger cubs playing.

I am sure the large brown female and her clan are the one's we saw on our last day in 2010. The image below shows the same scar on her right shoulder and the mark on her nose.

Sue's image: Image

Katy's image: Image

My blog for that day shows other members of the clan, running along the riverbed below Auchterlonie. Pretty sure it's the same clan. (scroll down the page to see the episode).

http://suejayjames.blogspot.com/2010/11/29-kgalagadi-farewell-party.html

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
Thanks again all for the great comments.

Wow! Suej this really seems to be the same Hyena.
I really love that you are able to follow certain animals during the various trips of different forumites here. 8)
Thank you for sharing! :thumbs_up:

@anne catherine
Thank you and the very same to you!

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:44 pm 
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13.11.11

It was once again time to say goodbye to Urikaruus.
The fact that it wasn't for too long, we already will return during this trip, made it a little bit easier.
Moreover we were looking forward to be back to Nossob and of course Grootkolk.
But first it was time to do another early morning drive.
I did choose again the southern direction, ever want to check out the Bat-eared Foxes and Cape Foxes again.
The first sighting this morning was a Wildebeest in this beautiful early morning light.

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Then I spotted this the Bat eared foxes again.
First one of the adults.

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And a little later one of the pups came out of the den to join the adult.

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Unfortunately they then disappeared together back into the den.
So I decided that this was the right time to slowly returned back to camp.
I stopped at the Cape Fox Den and was happy that at least one of the adults was outside enjoying the early morning sun.

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I always enjoy the many raptors of KTP and so I was really happy to find two different ones along the road.

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Back at the camp we packed everything back into the car said goodbye to Eric and were soon on our way.
It was already pretty hot and the sightings with scarce.
After leaving the upper Dunes Road we had breakfast at Dikbaardskolk. While we had breakfast there were many birds around.
Among dozens of Weavers this little birdie, which I think is a juvenile Chestnut-vented Titbabbler.

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The rest of the drive was quite again.
We checked in at Nossob, unpacked the car, and moved into our home for the next nights.

In the afternoon we started for another short drive, this time to the northern direction.
We drove up Kwang, but had no sightings.
So we decided to drive back and stop at Cubitje Quap and wait for what might come.
We had two different Jackal sightings there and, as I really like them, I could not resist taking some photos.

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But these were the only visitors and we returned back to Nossob to have a braai.
So we sit there enjoying our dinner, listening to the Barking Geckos and watched the Jackals roaming the campground.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:25 pm 
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14.11.11

We went to the northern direction for our morning drive.
At Bedinkt we found some Ostriches. At first a male just nibbling something…
Then came one female strolling along.
What began then was a game of chasing the woman….
It was so funny to watch and it was amazing how much speed the two gained.

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On the way back to Nossob we stopped at Kwang for breakfast, but spotted nothing.
We spotted lots and lots of vultures though and they were all starting form the same spot in the dunes but our view was obscured by too many bushes, so we did not see if there was something lying there.

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At Cubitje Quap we observed the little birdies having a drink.
They were so busy and it was so lovely to see them all coming in.

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We always love to see the Scaly-feathered Finches.
Especially those two sitting on the stones.
Do you know the game angry birds ?!....

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Back at Nossob we had a light lunch and used the afternoon for a small walk through the camp.

What are you eating?! Do you have some more?! And can I have it plllleeeaaasseee?!....

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Camp fence

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The new “hill” at Nossob

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The “Green Mamba”, we already know this car for years (just love the name Groen Mamba)…

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Plant shot

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And another Squirrel visiting the trees close to our bungalow.

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In the afternoon we wanted to drive the southern direction.
Katja Boll had told us that she had found a Jackal den north of Kaspersedraai and we would like to see if we were lucky as well.
We found the spot, but at first no Jackal, then a little head, we moved closer and the head disappeared, so we stopped the car, switched of the engines and waited.

And there was the little curious Jackal again.
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Well it was a long way back to Nossob so it was time to leave again.
It has been so wonderful to observe the little one.
Back at the camp we were already greeted at the reception and our ordered Roosterkoek arrived.
We couldn’t resist and already eat them, still warm, with some cheese and marmalade.

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We had a bungalow overlooking the almost empty campground.
Looks romantic, but I think we still prefer the bungalow…

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The Jackals were roaming the camp again and though it was already our last night at Nossob we were not too sad, as we were looking forward to be back to Grootkolk, wondering what we will experience this time…

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


Last edited by katydownunder on Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi November 2011- Katydownunder & Francolin
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
15.11.11

Today we were finally driving up to Grootkolk.
First stop was at Cubitje Quap, no Lanner Falcons but this usual dozens of Doves.

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The drive was really quite, we stopped at Polentswa, here we were joined by a couple of little birdies, as well as a very nervous jackal and coming to the waterhole for drink.

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Moreover we discovered something very interesting close to the waterhole.
We didn't have the slightest clue what it was. :hmz:
After discussing several theories we finally left, but not without taking a photo of the object.

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We only found out a couple of days later that it Nossob what it was... :lol: :slap:

We arrived at Grootkolk early afternoon.
And...we got #4 again, the same one cabin we had last year!
We unpacked the car, placed our bird bath on the wall of the kitchen.
There were already other bird baths, so we filled them all with water, made ourselves a coffee and enjoyed the beautiful view.
Later that afternoon we started for a drive towards Unions End.
North of Geinab waterhole we were very happy to spot Meerkats again.

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Then we finally reached Unions End.
Here we discovered anne-maries booklet with the yellow ribbon at the signpost. Thanks a lot for that anne-marie!!! :clap: :thumbs_up: 8)

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Apart from that we found a Hornets nest.

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I never managed to take a photo of the signpost with the distances before. :roll:

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On the way back we stopped at Unions End waterhole.
Already on the way towards Unions End we discovered the bones of an Oryx.
You could clearly see that it was killed very close to the waterhole and some animals had dragged the carcass further away.

While we waited we observed a Jackal catching a mouse.



He was soon joined by a second jackal and it was very interesting to see the interaction between the two animals.It doesn't look too relaxed....

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One of them examined the carcass of the Oryx alittle bit closer before heading to the waterhole.

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On the way back to the camp we sported is the Pearl-spotted Owl in one of the trees close to the road.

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At Grootkolk we started to have a braai and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.

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It was already dark, Francolin was inside, when I suddenly heard the sawing sound of a Leopard right at the waterhole. Unbelievable how load it was :shock:
Francolin rushed outside, we grabbed the binoculars and the torch, and the was is a big male at the waterhole. Unfortunately it was far too dark to take a picture or do some video footage.
But wow! 8)

It had been a long day, so we went to bed early.
In the middle of the night we heard the hysterical call off the Jackal's at the waterhole, so we got up and checked the waterhole again with the torch and the binoculars, and there was a Leopard at the waterhole yet again, but this one was smaller than the one we had seen before.
It was the female visiting for a drink and she was far more skittish then the big male we had seen earlier.
Grootkolk was already surprising us again. 8) :dance:

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


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