We decided to spend the morning in the park before departing for Spitzkop which is just outside Upington where we would be spending the night before heading home to Grahamstown. We packed up early because our route today would be up to Leeudril, over the dunes via the Leeudril 4x4 route to the Auob, up to Auchterloni, back over the dunes to Kij Kij, down to TR and then sadly our exit and end of a magnificent journey through this Kalahari thirstland.
A typical Kalahari sunrise geeted us
We saw our first Spotted Eagle Owl of the trip near Leeudril. Unfortunately the light was bad but here is the evidence
The Leeudril 4x4 route is really a lovely drive. There had been light rain during the night which added to the lovely desert smells as we crossed the dunes. Not much life on the route except a very cold Greater Kestrel
We got excited when we found three sets of Cheetak spoor in the road. This spoor were in the road for the best part of 2km and we were convinced that we would find the Cheetah in the Auob valley but not to be!The route finishes at this lovely viewpoint that overlooks the Houmoed waterhole.
Soon after turning onto the Auob road en-route for Auchterloni were found two bachelor boys sunning themselves on the dunes
We had a quick coffee at the picnic site before proceeding over the dunes to Kij Kij. We spent some time at my favourite waterhole, Tierkop, before heading on and down to TR. Along the way we saw this lovely Slender Mongoose who, for a change, seemed to enjoy having its photo taken
We came across a huge Sociable Weaver nest - a large section had broken off and was lying next to the road. The birds seemed to be hard at work repairing damage to this section. Being on the ground certainly sets the nests up for raids from numerous hungry predators! This little tortoise was in attendance at the nest
Our trip ended on a sad note with this sighting. One wonders how on earth a vehicle could be driving so fast that it killed this beautiful creature. I love these Pygmy Falcons and they seem quite scarce. Speeding is a real problem, especially on the new section from TR to Leeudril. Sad sad sad
All good things come to an end - we checked out, glanced back once or twice with a quiet promise to ourselves that WE WOULD BE BACK SOON.