We have visited the Kgalagadi many times, but never before in December. We decided to visit in December 2011 and took in consideration that to counter the heat we stayed in the main camps for our first visit. We booked 2 nights in Twee Rivieren, 3 nights at Nossob, 3 nights in Mata Mata and 1 night back in Twee Rivieren.
Day 1 – Twee Rivieren
After months of planning we left home at 4:30 on the 11th of December and after a 12 hour drive (took the gravel road from van zyls rus) we arrived at Twee Rivieren rest camp at about 16:00.
We unpacked and set off for our first drive, with the feeling of high anticipation in the air.
We took the Mata Mata road and guessing what will be our first sighting. We thought it will be a Gemsbok, but our first sighting between houmoed and Munro was a mother Leopard (learned afterwards her name is the Auchterloenie female).
She was in the river bed and it was not possible to take any photographs. Luckily, just 1km on our way back we spotted the cub against the dune. We are keen photographers and manage to get some decent images and drove back to the mother. She moved towards the road and posed for a few photographs.
The first night around the braai we knew if out trip started with a Leopard sighting it could only get better and better.
Day 2 – Twee Rivieren
The next morning the we set off on the Nossob road just after 5:30 and between Samevloeiing and Leeudril, pair Pale Chanting Goshawks was busy attacking a poor Cape fox in perfect sweet morning light. We capture the action and after wards one posed for a few beautiful portraits. We then saw our first off many Kori Bustards.
Two kilometers on we saw our first Lions. A Male following a Female marking his territory and we manage to take some great images of these spectacular mammals.
On the detour between Rooiputs and Kij Kij we found a Bat-Eared fox den with a mother and two adorable cubs. We were very excited for our first baby foxes after many visits to the Kgaladadi.They were playing around under the watch full eye of their protective mother.
We knew the Dune road from Kij Kij to Auchterlonie is an excellent road for raptors and its reputation surely didn’t disappoint. We spotted a Goshawk with it’s pray and saw many White-quiled Korhaans between the Dunes.
After a good Brunch it was time for a well deserved nap until, the afternoon drive…
16:00: With the temperature still at 38 degrees we traveled again on the Mata Mata road looking for our Leopards. No luck, but we saw: Bee-eaters, young Goshawk, Springboks, Gemsbokke and Red-necked Falcon.
It was still early afternoon on our way back and decides to search for the Lions we saw this morning near Leeudril.
We found the Male at a traffic jam (that is not more than 5 cars in the Kgalagadi) posing on top of a Dune. It was a scene one can only imagine from the Kgalagadi. A male lion, on a red dune, with beautiful golden light and the wind whirling up the sand. Truly something out of a coffee table book…