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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:31 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
2 December Urikaruus (continued)

As it was really hot I only left on my afternoon drive (after a cold shower) later than normal (only at 17:00). What I found works like a bomb to cool you down is a buff rinsed in cold water and a 500ml garden spray bottle to "hose yourself down". I saw some gemsbok

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and some feathered ones, a BSK

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and a Black Chested Snake Eagle

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The Lion at Dalkeith was nowhere to be seen and during the whole afternoon I only met one other car (at 18:15 my car clocked 38.5C), only 2 other mad guys out on the road in this heat (I should tell them about my buff and water spray!) My rule is, I never drive with the aircon on and my window always open (the downside is the dust but at least I can really then be part of KTP).

On the way back to camp I drove every loop (13th and 14th) and found probably 20 Cape Crows drinking and tooling down in the water.

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This is my last night this trip at Urikaruus and I wonder if the resident Leopard will visit…..

In camp I like to have all the doors (and windows) open but can then not switch on any lights (attack goggos) but a torch and head lamp are there to be used. Great was my surprise when, while preparing my salad, I suddenly notice a movement next to me at the sink!!! A rat. Now I don't mind mice but rats, no go. I chased him and he disappeared behind the fridge. I hope he leaves before I go to bed as I don't want to pack everything away this evening.

(to be continued after my KNP 4 day visit :thumbs_up: )

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Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:36 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
3 December Urikaruus to Mata Mata

Yes you guessed it, the Leopard did not visit (or I was fast asleep when she did). I got up later than I wanted to, quickly packed the car, made my coffee and said goodbye to Eric (until we meet again in April 2012). I took a slow drive to Mata Mata as I could only check in at 12:00 and it was only roughly 60km to go. Sightings again rather slow with some general game and then a Crimson Breasted Shrike

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and a Pygmy Falcon

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At 14th waterhole I sat watching some RHB

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some Springbok later joined them and then some Gemsbok

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They were all interacting and the dominant RHB male was giving everyone a hard time

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The Springbok left the waterhole but after a few minutes came charging back. Everyone at the waterhole was now wide awake and staring in the same direction. From the reaction it must be something serious…..

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but it turned out to be

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what a disappointment, as he was drinking the male RHB tried to take him on as well.

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(to be continued)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:49 am 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
3 December Urikaruus to Mata Mata (continued)

These Swallow Tailed Bee Eaters were putting up a show with dad first feeding mommy a bee

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and then they commenced with some lovey dovey

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they left and returned with some snacks for mommy

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Further along the Springbok were once again looking for some shade to stand in

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Just before camp I saw my first Giraffe for this trip

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I arrived at Mata Mata at 11:30 and was given chalet no. 6 (Riverside) which has a slightly different layout than no. 2 where I previously stayed. After unpacking I made sure that the bedroom aircon was on and drank probably 1 liter of cold water (as it was rather hot)!!! I made myself something to eat, charged all camera batteries and downloaded photos. After all this hard work I took a short nap and was ready to leave camp at 17:00 for my afternoon drive. As would be expected this time of the day most animals were still standing in the shade. I decided to go to Craig Lockhardt. On the way the mother Cheetah (Lizette) and her 4 cubs were enjoying the shade (not good photo)

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There were some Giraffe approaching the waterhole at Craig Lockhardt and I had to quickly find a spot that would remain in the shade but also presented good photo opportunities (although these two are normally mutually exclusive). All of a sudden there were 7 Giraffe and this made getting a nice shot very difficult as they were all over and in the way of a clear photo

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I reluctantly had to leave them and head back to camp. At Sitzas this male Cheetah was relaxing very close to the cars

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_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:19 am 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
4 December Mata Mata

Reported at reception to collect permit at 5:15, chatting to other guests also waiting for gates to open. What will we see today….? Left camp as soon as I received my permit and decided to just have a leisurely drive up the Auob river. This BWB presented itself in the early morning light (sun has not risen above the dunes yet)

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The dust from the car ahead of me created quite a nice image with the Springbok against the rising sun

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Eventually the sun cleared the dunes

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Little further on I saw two Cheetahs moving off into the dunes. They were obviously going somewhere as they hardly stopped

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Sitzas was quiet and I continued towards one of my favorite waterholes, Craig Lockhardt. As I approached I saw there was something drinking. It was my Cheetah mother with the 2 cubs (from whom the Lion stole their Springbok kill a few days ago). I parked under the tree close to the waterhole and the Cheetahs were very close.

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(to be continued)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:58 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
4 December Mata Mata (continued)

The one cub climbed into the tree at the waterhole. As it was peeping through the fork in the tree it must have seen it's reflection in my car window and growled at itself.

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They played around for quite some time with the cubs trying to chase some Doves

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and one another

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Eventually mother spotted some Springbok towards Dalkeith and she moved off into the dunes followed by the cubs. She was probably going to try and stalk them from behind the dunes and I decided to drive along and wait next to the Springbok to see what will happen. I lost track of them but then suddenly a male Lion came walking along the river towards us. This spooked the Springbok and at the same time the Cheetah charged from the dune. This caused pandemonium with Springbok scattering in all directions.

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As she was probably not ready for the charge (Lion forced her hand) she did not catch anything.

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(to be continued)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:38 am 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
4 December Mata Mata (continued)

I decided to go back to the waterhole as the Lion would probably come and have a drink. He duly arrived

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but to my surprise he plonked down in the shade of the tree a few yards from my car and started grooming himself!

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After a while he moved to a different spot (now behind the logs packed as a barrier for the cars). I was still convinced that he will eventually have to come for a drink and therefore decided to stay put. At one stage he suddenly stood up and stared towards the dunes, what can it be?

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Yes the same culprit as yesterday, a Jackal

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The Lion quickly settled down again and slept, groomed himself and slept some more. I (still waiting for the water drinking shot) had to move slightly a few times as the sun was now burning down. After about 90 minutes of this he at last got up and started moving in the direction of the waterhole. Yes now for the shot of the day, he is going to drink….

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How disappointing, he was not interested at all and moved to a shady spot on the dune…..

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These 2 visitors enjoyed a quick drink

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At this time I admitted defeat (strongly motivated by a overflowing bladder and growling tummy) and returned to camp.

(to be continued)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:57 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
4 December Mata Mata (continued)

For the normal afternoon drive I decided to return to Craig Lockhardt and check if the male Lion is still around. To my disappointment there was no sign of him and the Springbok and BWB grazing not too far off were not interested in drinking either. After watching all the small birds drinking and scratching around for something to eat I returned to camp for my last braai.

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On entering the camp I clearly saw the thunder clouds building up. I just finished the braai when the wind really started howling and then a magnificent thunder storm with lots of lightning and rain erupted. It was really quite a site with all the lights off inside the chalets and to see the lightning flashes lighting up the downpour outside. I eventually went to bed and it was still raining.

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:51 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
5 December Mata Mata to Pretoria

After getting up early, packing the final few things in the I car reported at reception for an early start on the trip to Pretoria. Unfortunately, the guy overslept and only arrived at 6:05 (5:30 official opening time :wall: ). All guests returning to Mata Mata later that day have left without their permits but I did not want to chance arriving at Twee Rivieren without a permit and then being sent back to collect it. It was amazing to travel on the dust free roads with puddles of water everywhere

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The female Cheetah with the two cubs were feeding on a Springbok carcass close to the road but the grass was so tall that I could not manage a clear photo. Further on I found this Twany Eagle soaking his feet in the water

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and eventually dipping his backside in the water

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(to be continued)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:17 am 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
5 December Mata Mata to Pretoria (continued)

This Lanner Falcon also enjoyed the water.

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Some of the KTP inhabitants that were enjoying the fresh air after the first rain of the season

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One of the most popular sights in KTP

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I trust that this little guy made it across before the grading started.

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As normally is the case I was a bit sad to leave (and again not seeing a leopard :( )

I travelled back home via Van Zylsrus to Kuruman then N14 all the way home. The "stop and go" (2) was still in action but as on my inbound trip I travelled through both without being stopped.

This is the end of this TR and I trust that you enjoyed the trip with me. I am already looking forward to my next visit in April 2012.

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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