Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 1
 [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: oddesy Dream of land of The Camel Thorn:Magic of KTPDec11
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:42 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Posts: 3183
Location: Randburg, SA
I arrived home yesterday from a very memorable 1 week stay in the Kgalagadi :clap: :dance: My FIRST And boy what a trip it was! To say that I have taken to the place would be an understatement :wink:

From the crisp morning air, spectacular sun rises and sun sets, sky ablaze in crimson, amber and gold to the cry of the distant jackal or the whoop of a prowling hyaena, the star studded sky and soft lunar light to the utter silence of a powerless camp, the golden rays of the first light as they stretch and race over the undulating dunes, red in colour and dotted with scrub, to the heat caked earth of the sun scorched riverbed dotted with seas of camel thorns some mere shrubs and others with broad, ancient trunks and canopies well versed in the art of the shade, to the regal gemsbok and their towering crowns of horn, graceful springbok and the trials and tribulations of their newborn young, to the majestic Kalahari Lions and their eyes the colour of dusty red dunes and their black, flowing manes, the smell of Kgalagadi dust as it lingers in the air, to the boreholes, the lifeblood of the reserve; these and many other reasons are why KTP is a very special place. One that I had the pleasure of finally visiting; and one to which I will definitely return soon :wink: (bug bitten :dance: quite literally :lol: but thats another story :roll: )

Our Itinerary was as follows:
2 nights Twee Rivieren (camping)
4 nights Mata Mata (camping)
1 night Twee Rivieren

Hope you will all follow me as i try my best to relay what an AMAZING time I had on my First visit to KTP! :D :D

_________________
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I Dream of The land of The Camel Thorn: The Magic of KTP
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:44 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Posts: 3183
Location: Randburg, SA
@Elsa, I did have a wonderful trip and the sand just wont come out! :wink:

@p@m, :thumbs_up: :lol: I will admit I am an addict, now to start planning when the next trip will be! :dance:

@anne-marie, :lol: hopefully not :wink: the roads were so nice and quiet, felt as if you were the only car out there at some points.

@MM, im very glad to be back! :dance: having more time is always nice :D Thanks for remembering re my studies! yes I finished my third year at the end of November and now officially have my first degree 8) and managed to get it with Distinction :D , BSc in Zoology and Ecology, Environment and Conservation :dance: Next year im going on to do my Honours in Ecology also at Wits and probably heading the ecosystems ecology/biogeochemistry direction with a small focus also in Entomology. Already started work on my Honours project for next year :D and been busy at the field site, ironing out all the kinks and collecting the plant specimens I need. Basically I am going to be doing a mass balance study of whether or not Acacia ataxacantha (Flame thorn) is an obligate non nitrogen fixer so should be quite interesting.


@Tobieo, great to have you on board! I see you have a TR about KTP that i must start reading! :dance:

@Wanderw, thanks :thumbs_up: you should not have to wait too long! just busy sorting out the pics and can then get going :D

@Meerkitty, glad to see you have plenty of popcorn :lol:

@GavinW, :thumbs_up: hopefully I will do the experience justice! (with words and pictures)

_________________
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I Dream of The land of The Camel Thorn: The Magic of KTP
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:40 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Posts: 3183
Location: Randburg, SA
16 Dec: The Drive from Joburg to Upington

We had originally planned to drive straight through from Home to Twee Rivieren on the 17th but at the last minute decided to instead stay over in Upington on the night of the 16th and head up early to TR :dance: As you can imagine I was allot more than a little excited :D It was just my dad and I for this trip as the rest of the family could not make it but we planned to experience as much as we could and relay every detail to make sure the rest of the family would be hooked too 8)

I had been very busy during the week and had, had no time to pack at all,.....going to a new place and not having time to make sure you have packed everything, not a great idea! :roll: anyways I scurried around the night before packing and charging batteries and realising a friend had my largest, and fastest memory card :doh: :wall:

We woke up at just after 3am as we wanted to enjoy the scenery on the way down as neither myself or my dad had been down that way before. The N14 we found to be in actually very good condition besides for the Guinness world record standard potholes (dongas might be a better description!) in Delareyville. The drive went by quicker than i had imagined and we got to Upington in just over 8hrs and decided to go get some lunch. By this time it was boiling hot!! Temp gauge measured 53°C in the sun :big_eyes:

The afternoon passed by so slowly :( Its one of those times you want to be somewhere but have to wait! The room had an aircon 8) but the beds were incredibly hard and I was poked by the planks the whole night :lol:

We left the next morning for TR at about 2 (early I know you will read of our stupidity later on :doh: :redface: )

On the way to the park we soon realised that the road to Kgalagadi had plenty wildlife from the surrounding farms and thought it safer to drive 70-80 and avoid hitting anything. We had a GREAT drive before even reaching TR. With 4 steenbok, half a dozen cape hare, spotted eagle owls, mongoose, all in the road! and then for one of the most anticipated sightings of my life.......we rounded the corner and my dad came to a complete stop as we had seen something in the road a couple hundred meters ahead (thanks to our very bright lights!)......an AARDVARK!!, a living, breathing aardvark!! :lol: :dance: :dance: We could quite honestly not believe our luck! Luckily we had not seen a single other car so we turned slightly and were able to illuminate it with the car lights as it foraged just next to the road for 5 min before disappearing the other side :dance:

Such a special sighting and we were not even in KTP yet!!

We arrived at the gate at just before 5, thinking we could go in when the reception opened at 05:30 :redface: :wall: :doh: the time comes and we see people queuing for their permits but no reception opening :? so we go and ask the "permit guard" and find out the reception only opens at 07:30 :wall: we felt kind of stupid but what could we do, live and learn! (I should probably have done more reading before we left though!)

I think they eventually felt sorry for us :lol: the only car in the parking lot on the wrong side and the guard said they would open the reception early :dance: so we booked in and decided to set up camp before it became too hot (and so we could do it in record time!). tent and gazebo up and freezer plugged in we set off for our first drive in KTP....... :dance:

_________________
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I Dream of The land of The Camel Thorn: The Magic of KTP
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:07 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Posts: 3183
Location: Randburg, SA
KDU, not a single second! 8) :D

17 Dec: First drive

We headed off up the Nossob road admiring all the new sights and scenery 8) we took pictures of almost anything! It is all so exciting visiting somewhere for the first time :dance: I now know what a first time visitor to a national park feels like! Stopped for a little while at Samevloeing but nothing to be seen (animal wise) plenty for the eyes to feast on!

The red sand, and especially the camel thorns immediately caught my attention :D and had to stop and take a picture where you could see both

Image
Nossob River bed by oddesy2, on Flickr

Mesmerized by the camel thorns of all sizes I started to see a difference as I noticed all the large camel thorns were mostly to the right while those on the left were smaller with some of the grey camel thorn only in bush form. Thats when it actually dawned on me that we must be driving IN a fossil riverbed as underground water could be the only thing explaining the different growth forms (I suppose i should have gathered this from knowing of the Nossob river but sometimes I take a round about way to get somewhere :lol: ). First animal sighting was some butterflies (looks like brown veined whites) feasting on the minerals in the slightly damp patch of soil. Next up a lone wildebeest.

Image
Butterfly mud pit by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Blue Wildebeest by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Blue Wildebeest by oddesy2, on Flickr

and then a lanner falcon :dance: (my first photo of one!) and as you can see I was still trying to adjust to the different area and some of the pics are slightly overexposed.

I would soon learn that this trip would yield more photos of raptors than I had ever imagined!

Image
Lanner Falcon by oddesy2, on Flickr

And our first Ostrich, although every animal is a first this trip (in KTP at least) 8)

Image
Kgalagadi Ostrich by oddesy2, on Flickr

Just a little further on we came across a ground squirrel burrow! and very much enjoyed watching them :D I could sit for ages. they seem to suffer from the heat just as much as the next animal and it was only about 9am! so quite a few pics to share of them but who can resist them :lol:

Image
Trying to keep cool: Ground Squirrel by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Close up by oddesy2, on Flickr

They even have their own portable umbrella, how nifty!

Image
Ground Squirrel by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Ground Squirrel by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Ground Squirrel by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Ground Squirrel by oddesy2, on Flickr

When all else fails spread out your body to soak up the shade!

Image
Ahhh nice and cool by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Ground squirrel by oddesy2, on Flickr

and then a final one of them (for this burrow :lol: )

Image
I cant seem to get at this flea by oddesy2, on Flickr

Plenty, plenty more to come for day 1!....

To be continued......

_________________
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I Dream of The land of The Camel Thorn: The Magic of KTP
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:40 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Posts: 3183
Location: Randburg, SA
17 Dec: Continued

We left the ground squirrels excited about what KTP would have in store for us next :dance: I found it very enjoyable watching as the environment changed slightly as we made our way up the Nossob road.

Next up some more springbok and this time a much larger herd! scattered everywhere

Image
Sea of Springbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Sea of Springbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
The Kgalagadi staple by oddesy2, on Flickr

And then just before or during the detour road at rooiputs (cant remember exactly) spotted a tawny eagle (I think :? raptors especially the brown variety always stump me!) perched in a mass of dead wood.

Image
Tawny Eagle by oddesy2, on Flickr

A gemsbok having a quick look at us :D They are incredibly beautiful animals and so different to the antelope im used to from KNP.

Image
The regal gemsbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

We then came across some more ostrich! only this time the little chicks were right in the road and we managed to get quite close without frightening them off. their stripy necks and colouration is so different to the adults we are used to seeing. Really enjoyed seeing them close up.

Image
Ostrich chicks! by oddesy2, on Flickr

Mother was close by keeping a watchful eye on her younglings :wink:

Image
Ostrich Portrait by oddesy2, on Flickr

they then ran off to dad which seemed to be quite common with all the chicks we saw during the trip :hmz:

Image
Ostrich by oddesy2, on Flickr

I could not resist another ground squirrel next to the road :lol:

Image
Ground Squirrel by oddesy2, on Flickr

Nothing much on the rest of the detour but plenty of activity at Kij Kij after the detour :dance: (reminds me wondered if there was a specific reason why that part of the road is closed?)

Many Gemsbok and sproingbok were drinking from the waterhole and we pulled up to find a nice spot to sit and watch the action :D

Image
Kij Kij Waterhole by oddesy2, on Flickr

This is the part of KTP that I had been waiting to experience. Simply sitting at a waterhole where animals flock with nice open ground and snapping away 8) so there are quite a few as I could not choose which ones to show :lol:

Image
Kij Kij Waterhole by oddesy2, on Flickr

Soon a secretary bird dropped in to say hello

Image
Secretary Bird by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Gemsbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Gemsbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Springbok Drinking by oddesy2, on Flickr

We left Kij Kij and decided to carry on to Melkvlei to see what a KTP picnic site was like and I was pleasantly surprised :D The views are GREAT and the shady camel thorns provide a much welcome relief from the heat!

Image
Gemsbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

The drive back towards TR was quiter as the animals had all retreated into the shade by now. Unlucky for us we had left all the food stuffs back at camp so decided to head back for a quick lunch and then head out again. on the way back this cape crow was making plenty of noise!

Image
Cape Crow by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Gemsbok by oddesy2, on Flickr


After a quck stop back at TR we headed to the shop to stock up on ice and bought extra water. What we found very useful is that we have this 1.5L cooler bottle that we put a packet of ice in and fill up with water and it lasts ages as the ice melts so basically almost 3L of ice cold liquid 8)

We were eager to see how the Aoub and Nossob river beds differ so we headed up that way for our afternoon drive. Houmoed was quiet as was Monro but I had my eyes open taking in all the different scenery there was on offer! one of the many reasons why KTP has for so long intrigued me :D :D

Next sighting was of a steenbok

Image
Steenbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

and then another raptor, a pygmy falcon! 8) There were three all hiding in the shade but I managed to get a decent picture of the one staring through the branches.

Image
Pygmy Falcon by oddesy2, on Flickr

I know there are a LOT og pictures of this first day but hope you are all enjoying them! Between Monro and Kamfersboom a special sighting 8) ......

A sample of what we spent watching for ages! :dance:

Image
Twee Rivieren Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr


To be continued.......

_________________
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I Dream of The land of The Camel Thorn: The Magic of KTP
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:04 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Posts: 3183
Location: Randburg, SA
17 Dec: last Part

We were so happy to have seen the cheetah as I had been explaining to my dad beforehand that KTP would definitely deliver GREAT cheetah sightings, so lucky for me it did! :dance:

The four of them seemed very calm and had no problems with the coming and goings of the cars. Every now and then they would lift their heads and you would hear a dozen camera shoot away, especially the giant lenses in the car next to us :shock: .

The mother was happy to lie a short distance away at the base of the tree while the cubs relaxed in the open. I found it quite surprising to see how thing they appear close up and it puts things into perspective as you realise they really are no match for a lion or leopard!

Mom under the tree

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

A close up, the eyes always fascinate me 8) windows to the soul it is always said and in this case it definitely seems to reveal something.

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

Eventually this cub found it just too much to keep its head in position and so flopped down.

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

While this one was playing roly-poly , he could not seem to find a comfortable position to sleep!

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

After a while they started showing allot more interest in a small herd of springbok a good few hundred metres away. I do not think they had eaten in quite some time.

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

Getting up to shift positions

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Cheetah yawn by oddesy2, on Flickr

Finally this one managed to find a comfortable position with the help of a sibling pillow :lol:

Image
Lazing about by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

It was now about 18:30 or even later and it was nearing the time when we would have to head back to TR :( but there was lots of excitement as she got up and started to head in the direction of the springbok :dance: would I see my first complete kill?

Image
Cheetah on the hunt by oddesy2, on Flickr

She was definitely in stalking mode

Image
Cheetah on the hunt by oddesy2, on Flickr

So we drove on ahead to give her space and waited closer to the springbok, the targets of her determined stare

Image
Springbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

but unfortunately I do not know whether the wind was in their favour or not or whether they were seen but a few of the springbok gave alarm calls and all looked precisely in her direction. So unfortunately no kill, but still exciting to watch all the same!!

We did not know exactly how far we were from camp and at that stage we were still adjusting to the different style of driving as we found you cant really drive the same way we do in Kruger. so we had to leave them and headed back to camp. On the way spotting two greater kestrels in a dead tree just off the road with perfect light. A very fitting end to our first EVER day in KTP :dance: :dance:

Image
Greater Kestrel by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Greater Kestrel by oddesy2, on Flickr

That night we had a small meal and were in bed early to catch up on some sleep and head out as soon as we got our permit the next morning, eagerly awaiting what the day would have in store for us!

_________________
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I Dream of The land of The Camel Thorn: The Magic of KTP
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:40 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Posts: 3183
Location: Randburg, SA
18 December : Part 1

I had no problem waking up and heading straight for the shower this morning, very eager to get out and see what we could find. as a side note, the shower took some getting used to! the water made it feel as if you had forgot to rinse the soap off.

The fresh morning smell was exhilarating! 8) different to that of KNP (i know I keep comparing them but kruger has been our destination of choice my whole life so KTP has quite a bit to live up to :rtm: , although of course it did well surpass my expectations :dance: ).

The stars were out in full force, blanketing the still dark sky. Always when walking to the ablutions in the morning, a mandatory gawk at the stars is necessary :D To see so many stars is a real privilege in my book.

We then headed off to wait to collect our permit, the sunrise just starting to break over the horizon through the reception.

Image
Twee Rivieren sunrise by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Twee Rivieren sunrise by oddesy2, on Flickr

This is my favourite, for some reason I like the bits of the building in it.

Image
Twee Rivieren sunrise by oddesy2, on Flickr

Permit in hand and we were off! :dance: our first sighting for the day was this jackal at samevloeiing. It was obviously very thirsty but did not want to seem to go up to the main waterhole to drink.

Image
Black Backed Jackal by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Black Backed Jackal by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Black Backed Jackal by oddesy2, on Flickr

It then started lapping up some water from a shallow mud pool

Image
Black Backed Jackal by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Black Backed Jackal by oddesy2, on Flickr

Just the other side of the waterhole we saw this Juvenile PCG :D

Image
Pale chanting goshawk (Juvenile) by oddesy2, on Flickr

we had fewer sightings from that point, although some large herds of springbok and the odd wildebeest. Just as we got onto the detour we saw our first bat eared fox :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: although he/she was running away from the road and so I did not manage to get a picture. Then next up saw a cape fox den with 4 pups! they were in the middle of a game or at least 3 were. The fourth seemed uninterested in the shenanigans of its siblings. They zipped in, out , over and around the small bushes as they played. It was very nice to watch the interaction between them. If only they had been closer to the road!

Image
Cape fox den by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Cape fox pup by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Cape fox pup by oddesy2, on Flickr

further along the bots detour road this speedy warthog hastily mad an appearance before disappearing just as quickly! also he was our only warthog for the entire trip!!

Image
Busy Warthog by oddesy2, on Flickr

Just after the warthog we came upon another ground squirrel burrow, where mom was busy grooming the little ones. The first gave up as soon as she approached, adopting a resistance is futile position on its back :lol: while mom cleaned away while the baby was squashed and every mm cleaned.

Image
Bath time by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Bath time by oddesy2, on Flickr

even standing up so she could then do its back, a very well behaved baby!

Image
Bath time by oddesy2, on Flickr

however compliance was short lived and the next baby all but refused to be cleaned, at first just ignoring her completely prompting her to give up on him/her and use a bit of force on the next one in line :lol:

Image
I don't want to be clean! by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Bath time by oddesy2, on Flickr

Just after Kij Kij we saw this jackal in the distance eating a wholesome meal of cape cobra :? was interesting to see. I dont have a photo but after eating the body, the part you could clearly see was the head was discarded by the jackal. so it definitely is aware that the head is the dangerous part. i wonder if it killed the snake or found it dead? :hmz:

Image
Jackal and cape cobra meal by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Jackal and cape cobra meal by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Jackal and cape cobra meal by oddesy2, on Flickr

another gemsbok, I never get tired of them 8)

Image
Gemsbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

And then.......Our FIRST kalahari Lion! :dance: :dance: even if they were just sleeping. They looked to be very impressive lioness and in tip top shape :D I had been looking forward to seeing how these lion compared with krugers and was not disappointed! Now i just had to see them closer up and moving :lol: The one lioness did get up to shift her position.

Image
Lion by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Ostrich chicks by oddesy2, on Flickr

A little tortoise was in the middle of the road, and this after we had just glimpsed the end of a mating "session" between two MASSIVE tortoises. They were very far away though so no picture to show you.

Image
Tortoise by oddesy2, on Flickr

The scenery just before melkvlei, spectacular :D

Image
Nossob Riverbed by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Gemsbok on ridge by oddesy2, on Flickr

We stopped off at Melkvlei and had some cereal. I also followed this ground agama and got very close! the colouring is awesome

Image
Ground Agama by oddesy2, on Flickr

to be continued........

_________________
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I Dream of The land of The Camel Thorn: The Magic of KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:58 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Posts: 3183
Location: Randburg, SA
wanderw wrote:
Warthog - the furthest south sighting before yours was I think melkvlei. A fantastic sighting oddesy! Clap, clap

:shock: Thanks for the info!! 8) 8)

hilda wrote:
We have never been to KTP ourselves Odessy, but appreciate all the beautiful sightings you have had! :clap: At least I will now know that it is very special to see my favourite animal in KTP if we ever get there, the Warthog! :wink: You have had beautiful sightings with stunning pictures! :dance: I simply love the ostrich babies! They are so cute! :D

Thanks for reading! :D

You should definitely take a trip there :D :D and hopefully you will see a warthog too! :pray:

Wishing everyone who has read my TR a very special year ahead, filled with joy and blessings. Here's to a brilliant 2012! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Image

18 December: Part 2

I had to take a picture of this dune 8)

Image
Dune by oddesy2, on Flickr

and then another KTP first! a red hartebeest :dance: :D This one was out in the open while there was a small herd lying nearby in thick shade.

Image
Red Hartebeest by oddesy2, on Flickr

At jan se draai we saw some more lion! :dance: :dance: they however were doing what lions do best and sleeping! not so much as a twitch of a paw :shock: the shade and extreme heat did not make it easy to get pictures. there were 7 all together spread over a few hundred metres. In the distance there was what looked like an eland that the lions had killed earlier. But im guessing with the heat had not eaten much of as yet.

arrived at Dikbaardskolk. I like this picnic spot allot!! and if we were staying at nossob would frequently visit :D

Image
Dikbaardskolk by oddesy2, on Flickr

We headed onto the dune road and first sighting was of some ostriches

Image
Father and chicks by oddesy2, on Flickr

then came across these gemsbok with the first young one of the trip between them :D

Image
Juvenile Gemsbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Mother and calf by oddesy2, on Flickr

At the one waterhole, someone please help with the name :pray: (only went on the dune road this one time) the scenery was very nice and we watched these gemsbok drink for quite a while.

Image
Dune road by oddesy2, on Flickr

The rest of the road was quiet and when we reached kamqua I knew I would definitely enjoy the auob river bed with the seas of massive camelthorns :D :D the riverbed is very different to the nossob being much narrower.

Image
Aoub river bed by oddesy2, on Flickr

There were plenty of springbok along the way back and in much greater numbers than we had noticed on the nossob side. Most of the way was quiet although in the one loop we sat and enjoyed this tawny eagle for ages in the tree above us 8)

Image
Tawny Eagle by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Tawny Eagle by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Tawny Eagle by oddesy2, on Flickr

We arrived back at camp at about 6 and after getting the braai going started packing up lots of our stuff in preparation for the move to Mata Mata 8) I would have liked to stay out till gate closing :( but this way we could get going when the gates opened in the morning!

_________________
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I Dream of The land of The Camel Thorn: The Magic of KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:59 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:25 pm
Posts: 1254
Location: Back "home"?!...........
Wonderful captures Odessy :thumbs_up:
The KTP Lions are just too beautiful, don't you think ?!
A Warthog ?! We never saw one in KTP :mrgreen: 8)
Love the landscape shots as well ( if I am not wrong your nameless waterhole in the dunes might be Moravet on the upper dunes road).
Loooovvve the Squirrels :wink: , little Tortoise, Ostrich chicks, and, and, and...
Just too many favourites :clap:

Ok, I am here waiting for more :popcorn: :wink: :whistle:

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I Dream of The land of The Camel Thorn: The Magic of KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:49 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Posts: 3183
Location: Randburg, SA
Sorry about the long delay between this and the last episodes! :doh: but here it is, hope you enjoy :D

19 Dec: The move from Twee Rivieren to Mata Mata

This morning we got up at 4am to get an early start on packing up so as to be on time to leave as soon as we collected our permit. So head lights in hand (on heads :wink: ) we packed up very quietly (well at least I think we did :lol: ). We were right on time and were one of the first few cars out and into the park :dance:

What would the day hold for us :hmz: something exciting for sure 8) 8) The sunrise set the mood for what was to be an exciting day!

The first rays of light rising above the river bed

Image
sunrise by oddesy2, on Flickr

and then later on a deep crimson washed the horizon :D

Image
Crimson Sky by oddesy2, on Flickr

Our first sighting for the day on the sparse area opposite samevloeiing was this beautiful lanner Falcon :D more and more I was appreciating KTP for its special raptor sightings! And the early morning light was perfect :dance:

Image
Lanner falcon by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Lanner Falcon by oddesy2, on Flickr

we headed the short distance back to the mata mata road with sightings a a bit quiet until after Houmoed when we spotted 2 Hyaena running towards the waterhole. However there were some gemsbok drinking and they turned and headed off into the dunes instead of coming for a drink.

Image
Spotted Hyaena by oddesy2, on Flickr

I have no photographic evidence of the next sighting as it was so very far and I decided rather to just savour the experience than try get a photo. Just after spotting these hyaena we carried on and then noticed something dark brown walking far away along the dunes, and instantly I knew what it was.....my very FIRST Brown Hyaena :dance: :dance: :dance: I was over the moon as this was almost at the top of my KTP sightings wishlist! 8) It was a very special sighting even at the far distance, I was just happy to have seen one :dance: :dance: not the elusive (imaginary) BH of kruger.

The temperature rocketed up incredibly fast and by 8:30 already had most animals battling for the shade, But i did not mind, the scalding heat pouring through the window, the frequent face full of dust (and scrambling to cover my camera with a towel as im quite protective :lol: ) or the fine red layer accumulating on the dark leather. To me it was all part of the experience that I had waited so long to enjoy and no amount of dust or teeth rattling corrugations with the odd wince from my dad would change my mind 8) :D

we arrived at Auctherlonie for a toilet break and I had to take a photo :D

Image
Auctherlonie picnic site by oddesy2, on Flickr

Next sighting was another special one and I instantly remembered many forumites claiming these energetic creatures were the harbingers of good luck :dance: .....Meerkats :dance: :dance: :dance: they seemed to have just set off for the morning and it was awesome to watch them literally scatter in every direction to begin foraging for the day, every now and then checking for any would be intruders.

Image
Meerkat by oddesy2, on Flickr

Most went further away and not closer towards us but as with the BH the sighting in itself was more than enough (although a close up picture would not have hurt :whistle: )

Image
Meerkat by oddesy2, on Flickr

A little later on another sighting of kalahari Lion! :dance: :dance: They were not very active but I managed to get them with there heads up at least :lol: :dance: These meerkats must bring good luck!

Image
Lion by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Gemsbok by oddesy2, on Flickr

Just after rooibrak we spotted this cape fox close to the road! :dance: Much closer than our previous sighting and we snapped plenty photos of it :D

Fast asleep when we first arrived

Image
Cape fox by oddesy2, on Flickr

and then beginning to stir ...

Image
Cape fox by oddesy2, on Flickr

suddenly digging became an immediate priority which then occupied it for the next 15 minutes! every now and then stopping, looking around and then getting back to the task at hand.

Image
Hard at work by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
I got sand in my eye! by oddesy2, on Flickr

by now the existing hole had been dug out a fair amount!

Image
Cape fox by oddesy2, on Flickr

still hard at work!

Image
Cape fox by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Digging out a burrow by oddesy2, on Flickr

a momentary break

Image
Cape fox by oddesy2, on Flickr

beginning to get tired or loose interest :lol: and then disappeared into the hole not visible any more!

Image
Cape fox by oddesy2, on Flickr

A few hundred metres down the road and two bat-eared fox very close to the road, we were getting luckier! :dance: They look so impressive with their ears up

Image
Bat-eared fox portrait by oddesy2, on Flickr

to looking seriously depressed for some reason with their ears down

Image
Im depressed by oddesy2, on Flickr

and downright weird with triangular looking heads when asleep :lol:

Image
Fast asleep by oddesy2, on Flickr

The one got up and did a rather elaborate stretch before joining the other individual for a sleep.

Image
Streeeetch by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Bat-eared fox by oddesy2, on Flickr

To be continued with an afternoon of cats...... 8)

_________________
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I Dream of The land of The Camel Thorn: The Magic of KTP
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:55 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Posts: 3183
Location: Randburg, SA
19 December: Move to Mata Mata Part 2

After a very fruitful morning we arrived at Kamqua and had a short stop to stretch the legs and then back to looking for animals 8) But first some photos of the picnic site

Image
Kamqua Picnic site by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Kamqua picnic site by oddesy2, on Flickr

The massive camel thorns providing some very welcome respite from the sun :dance: I would love to know how old some of these trees are!

Next sighting was a first for me :dance: a pair of swallowtail bee-eaters 8) They are beautiful birds!

Image
Swallowtail Bee-eaters by oddesy2, on Flickr

Then a little distance after Urikaruus some more cats! :dance: :D :D three male lion were well and truly passed out in the thick canopy shade. Not a moving paw, leg, head, eye, whisker or twitch was to be seen!! I would have pronounced them dead if not for the occasional ever so slight movement of the chest as they made the effort to breathe :lol: and that im sure only out of necessity :roll:

Image
Sleeping lions by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Sleeping lions by oddesy2, on Flickr

But it was still nice to see them and only a mere 3m from the road :D

Next up this ostrich was thoroughly enjoying a dust bath, although I'd hate to try and twist my neck in those directions :shock:

Image
Dust-bathing ostrich by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Dust-bathing ostrich by oddesy2, on Flickr

she seemed to enjoy herself very much though. It helps allot for getting rid of ecto-parasites by removing lipids (basically fatty oils) from the feathers which therefore decreases the parasite load.

Next up.......CHEETAH! :dance: :dance: could this day get any better! A mother (i think Lisette??) and 4 cubs were resting in the shade watching some springbok in the distance. It was by now after midday and very hot so I did not think an attempt was likely. We stayed with them for 30min before moving on. An awesome sighting though!

Image
Mother and 4 cubs by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Cheetah by oddesy2, on Flickr

just after craig lockhart (my favourite waterhole :dance: ) we spotted one of Mata Mata's specialities a giraffe!! Another first in KTP to tick off :D

Image
Giraffe by oddesy2, on Flickr

Sightings then went quiet but being the first time driving on this road I was mesmerized by the new scenery taking in as much as I possibly could. and then ahead our destination for the next 4 nights 8)

Image
Mata Mata Entrance gate by oddesy2, on Flickr

We set up our camp under the shadiest tree possible and stocked up on ice from the shop. After a short nap we went for an afternoon drive. The sociable weaver nests fascinated me and they are everywhere!

Image
Camel thorn with sociable weaver nest by oddesy2, on Flickr

Then I could not believe it :shock: more lion!!! :D :D This time a magnificent male along with a lioness! :D :D At first they were only sleeping.

Image
Lion by oddesy2, on Flickr

but after a few minutes they moved! :lol: The male is truly magnificent, so much power.

Image
Magnificent Male by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Magnificent Male by oddesy2, on Flickr

after a nice lion sighting next on the agenda was this posing juvenile PCG

Image
Juvenile Pale chanting goshawk by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Juvenile Pale chanting goshawk by oddesy2, on Flickr

A view of the road along the river bed

Image
Mata Mata road by oddesy2, on Flickr

we then made it back to the lions from earlier and they were still asleep when we arrived :D :D

Image
KTP Lions "lion" around by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
"Lion" around by oddesy2, on Flickr

but now it was starting to cool down slightly and they seemed to get a bit restless

Image
Im Lazy by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Lion by oddesy2, on Flickr

then things got exciting :dance: A small herd of wildebeest were passing by on the far side of the river bed and the three of them were quite interested in the wildebeest, more curiosity than the potential to hunt I think.

2 of them continued staring at the wildebeest but the wildebeest did not seem phased by the lions which they surely must have seen.

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/oddesy2/6694775831/]
Image[/url]
Shopping by oddesy2, on Flickr

Image
Kalahari Lion Portrait by oddesy2, on Flickr

Eventually the wildebeest had passed by and we had to head back in the direction of MM.

Image
Afternoon Drink! by oddesy2, on Flickr

After a brilliant, awesome, exciting, sighting filled day we settled in at camp with a braai and the spectacular backdrop of stars which filled the sky.

_________________
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 11 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: LesleyWilson and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by swartj at 19:10:55 Submitted by fromfar at 06:12:40 Submitted by grannyb at 07:58:56 Submitted by Scottm at 02:21:18