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 Post subject: Suej KTP May'12-Green Dunes,hungry mice & frozen toothpaste!
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 1:10 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Vale of Belvoir, UK
So here I am back in the sunny and warm(!) UK again after a 3 week vacation in my favourite place.

I and a work friend arrived in Johannesburg on 3rd May to be met by forumite (Freda) and husband Malcolm. We spent 2 nights in Joburg, visiting the botanical gardens and saw nesting Black Eagles (what a treat!) before commencing our onward journey, with one night stop en route. Although Freda & Malcolm are ex-UK pats they have lived in ZA for 30 years and have retired to Marloth Park in recent years, so are confirmed Krugerites! . This was to be their first trip to the sand dunes!

We had an amazing view of the large bright moon, the closest it has been to earth for some 30 years I believe!

Image

quite stunning !

7th May We arrived at Twee Rivieren around 12 noon and booked into Chalet 18. ....

.. to be continued

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


Last edited by Suej on Tue May 29, 2012 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Thanks ctv4!

OK, so on arrival, we found a nice herd of Gemsbok at Sameleoving. After watching them for a while we drove on up the Nossob road, viewing Wildebeest and Meerkat in the distance. Neer the Leeudril 4x4 trail we glimpsed the local Leopard high up on the hillside under a bush.. It appears this Leopard has been given good sightings for some time in the area, but it was hot today and I guess he/she preferred the shade.

8th May Today my friend, Linda and I had booked an early morning walk with Jannie. We had a cold, windy start, looked at the different grasses (which everything was covered in this visit), saw porcupine and hyena spoor, amongst other interesting details. It was still too cold for the Whistling Rats to brave the outside world.

Jannie showed us the remains of a Leopard kill in a tree and a porcupine den in the calcrete, where a number of bones were scattered around the small cave.

On the way back we saw a pair of Bat-eared Foxes out foraging. They allowed us to walk very close towards them, within about 6-10 metres and appeared totally relaxed and unconcerned at our presence.

Image

Image

Further on we saw another pair of BEF's but these behaved naturally, taking off into the distance on seeing us.

This will have been my fourth trip to the KTP, my third in May and each time I have visited has been totally different. This time, due to high levels of rain in 2011, and a lot of rain during April, the grass was not only long, but the dunes and riverbeds were covered in thick, stubby vegetation. There was little red dunes to see at all, so yet another new experience that the KTP offers.

We returned to camp for breakfast and to rejoin Freda & Malcom before setting off along the Auob road to take the Lower Dune Road.

/to be continued. ..

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


Last edited by Suej on Tue May 29, 2012 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 4:28 pm 
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thanks Pam & CofS - I don't think F&M were really sold on the KTP. It is of course very different from Kruger :wink:

8th May continued....

As we proceeded along the Auob riverbed, apart from the usual bokkies we saw very little. The wind was quite strong. We stopped for lunch at Auchterlonie and saw Yellow Mongoose, Sabota Lark and possibly Spike-heeled Lark together, as I had on my previous trip in 2010.

Image Sabota Lark

Image Yellow Mongoose

We also stopped to see Pale Chanting Goshawks and Secretary Birds, after a while the delight in SB's with such an abundance seemed to wear off my companions! :lol:

Image
PCG
Image

Image
Secretary Bird eating snake
Image

Image Capped Wheatear

Crossing the Lower Dune Road, again we saw very little/. The vegetation was prolific. We crossed into the Nossob at Kij Kij, noticing Jannie's capture cam disguised as an anthill. The Nossob road still has roadworks and a diversion in place.

to be continued.....

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


Last edited by Suej on Wed May 30, 2012 8:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 6:35 pm 
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8th May continued..

Just before Rooipots we found 4 Cheetah sleeping in the shade of a tree.

Image

Image

Image

After a few minutes they rose and started to walk to the calcrete dune tops.

Image

Image

One youngster found an old rusty can, picked it up and appeared to get it impailed on it's mouth :evil:
The Cheetah tried to paw it off unsuccessfully until a sibling came to inspect what had been found and managed to knock the can away, thankfully. They both left the offending can alone.

Image

Image

Image

Image

The 4 Cheetahs then walked along the ridge briefly before disappearing into the dunes.

Image

We were happy to return to camp having seen our first Cheetah of trip and a first ever for my friend Linda!

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:13 am 
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Correction: In my original message I incorrectly labelled a Capped Wheatear as a Pririt Batis. Thanks for the correcttion Papa Smurf - please if anyone notices an incorrect ID, feel free to inform me ! :doh:

Image Capped Wheatear

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:50 am 
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Gavinw Thanks for the page turn.
Kite glad to have you on board.

I will mention that I usually have a wish list when visiting the KTP. This year, my wish list was for a good Caracal sighting, an Ardvaark (haha), good Leopard sightings, and I have started to take for granted good Lion and Cheetah sightings in the park!

Well the Caracal we missed out on, and the Ardvaak is still a dream :o

However......

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:13 am 
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9th May Twee Rivieren - Mata Mata.

We packed up at TR and departed camp around 8.30am to head for Mata Mata. We stopped for several small birds along the way and the delightful Brants Whistling Rats, although Freda was less impressed with my shouts of delight when a BWR appeared above the ground! :)

We saw several White Stork on this trip, a first in the park for me.

Image Scaly-feathered Finch

Image Fiscal Shrike

Image Ant-eating Chat

Image Brants Whistling Rat

Image Fork-tailed Drongo

Image White Stork

Image Lilac-breasted Roller

Near to Rooibrak we spotted a large Black-maned Lion sleeping under a tree. He rose to stretch and pose before repositioning.

Image

At Dalkeith loop we saw a lone Giraffe.

Image

Image

We arrived at Mata Mata at 2pm, Chalet No 1.

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 8:28 am 
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9th May Mata Mata

After unpacking, we rested for a while and in camp saw Black-chested Prinia, the resident White-faced Scops Owl, and other usual birdies.

Oddly enough, I have little trouble ID'ng birds in the park, but the minute I get home, my bird head seems to fly off! Can someone please ID the small bird below?
Image

Image White-faced Scops Owl

On a short drive (cannot remember if this was on the way up or after lunch, we were raced by a Red Hartebeest, and I could not help wondering if it had mistaken us for a cyclist (as YouTube clip!) and if it would attempt to jump over the Landy!

Image
Image
Image
Image

That night we were attacked by lots of mozzies, biting and buzzing during the night.

/tbc

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:18 am 
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Hi Suej. Very nice images. I think your small bird is a Black-chested prinia. I saw a few of them in Marie se Draai in March. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:54 am 
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Yeah, a page turn so I will continue....

10th May - Mata Mata

We were out the gate just after opening at 7am - very cold! Up to just past Sitsas we saw only a few Gemsbok, Wildebeest and Springbok.

Image

Four Jackals were playing on the roadside. We also glimpsed a White-faced Scops Owl, a Jackal eating a bird, a Tawny Eagle, White-backed Vultures, a Pigmy Falcon, lots of Lion spoor, a Black-Shouldered Kite,2 x Yellow Hornbills and a Secretary Bird

Image Pygmy Falcon

Image Secretary Bird

At Dalkeith waterhole we watched a bathing Juvenile Goshawk and the Usual Doves.

Image
Juvenile Gabar Goshawk
Image

Image Cape Turtle Dove

There were four Giraffe just before Kamqua. We had a break at Kamqua picnic site, leaving at 11.45am. It was now warm and the wind from yesterday had gone.

Image "Betsy" & crew at Kamqua

On the way back we saw a very young Gemsbok calf with it's mother and three more Giraffes before 13th Boorgat loop, including a younger calf.

Image
Gemsbok calf with mother
Image

Image
Image

There were two White-backed Vultures on a nest near to Dalkeith.

Image White-backed Vultures

Image

Sadly, the above small "Sand Snake"? was a roadkill victim.

Image

There were several Ostriches playing and displaying around the riverbed. An interesting fact I recently read is that the only truly wild Ostrich are those seen in Namibia or the Kalahari. Those seen in other areas of Africa are generally escaped from Ostrich farms, bred for their feathers originally. Maybe that is why the colour of the Ostriches in this area is so magnificent and vibrant with the rich cinnamon tail-feathers of the males as seen above.

Image Crimson-breasted Shrike

Back in camp, we met up with Jannie again who was just visiting briefly and also found this nicely posing Crimson-breasted Shrike on the Mata Mata fence post.

We stayed in camp for the rest of the day.

/to be continued...

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


Last edited by Suej on Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:03 pm 
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11th May

It was even colder today as we trundled out the gate on opening at 7am. Just outside camp we saw a lone Giraffe, a lame Wildebeest and a Jackal near the roadside.

On the road just after Sitsas we cam across two Spotted Hyena, but no photo opportunities before they were gone. We then came across Gemsbok sparring in the dusty sunrays and creating some nice photo effects.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

A further family of four Giraffe were also ambling up the riverbed.

Image

A puffed up Lilac-breasted Roller

Image

At Dalkeith we watched the usual variety of Dove display along with Sand Grouse. Just after the loop we saw copulating Tawny Eagles and a Black-breasted Snake Eagle in the 13th loop.
The Gabar Goshawk was present again, along with a mate this time.

Image Namaqua Sandgroouse

Image
Gabar Goshawk pair
Image
Image

At 14th Boorgat there were one of each of Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest and Springbok. On the way back we saw a very nice Ostrich pair, displaying near the road.

Image
Ostrich pair
Image

/to be continued .....

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:56 am 
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11th May continued

We arrived back in camp for lunch at 12 noon and spent a little time capturing the smaller creatures that reside in camp at Mata Mata.

Image
African Monarch Butterfly

Image
Yellow Mongoose

Image
Scaly-feathered Finch collecting nest material

Image
Image

The African Ground Squirrels are always so amusing and photogenic, where photo opportunities are never too many for me!

Image
Image

We were back out again at 3pm. We found two sleeping Juvenile male Lions before Craig Lockhart. I am guessing these two males have been recently ejected from the main pride and both looked hungry. One, in particular looked painfully skinny and I hope it is just a matter of them not yet having got too used to fending for themselves. Hope they soon fine their own pride.

Image
Image
Image

We did not see any of the larger prides that I have seen on previous trips to the KTP. The well known Mata Mata pride were about 13 strong on my visit in 2010. There used to be two beautiful black-maned brothers together in that pride, both had damaged mouths. One in particular could always be recognised by his mouth, and has often been referred to as "slack-mouth" or similar. The last time I saw part of the pride in 2010, one of the males was limping badly. We only saw one of these males on this trip, after our return from the Nossob side. The pride does seem to have now dispersed into smaller groups. More of the older male later on.

Returning to camp, just past Craig Lockhart we saw four Bat-eared Foxes (no pics) and a little further on a fleeting glimpse of an African Wildcat.

Image

Back in camp, we spotted this Rock Martin perched on the Mata Mata sign!
Image

Malcolm and Freda did us proud for food on this trip, Malcolm preparing all the main meals, which were without doubt some of the best dishes I have eaten, even the vegetarian dishes, which we ate plenty of to cater for Linda - certainly nobody went hungry! On top of this Freda's desserts are something else, ESPECIALLY her home made Tira Misu! Now how many people can say they have had such wonderful bush (or desert) tucker??

/to be continued...

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:46 am 
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Thanks for the page turn Gavin and all ! :D

Now I can continue....

12th May - Mata Mata Prinking Springbok!

We were out of camp at 7am again today. It was very cloudy but not as cold and made for a dramatic sunrise.

Image
Image

Just out the gate we met a lone Giraffe.

Image

There was nothing happening at Craig Lockhart, but we saw a mature Bateleur in a tree, just past the turn-off. No pics.

We had another 3 Giraffe just past the Dalkeith loop, opposite to the riverbed.

On the top road past the 13th loop we came across lots of crazily pronking Springbok, going round and round in circles, kicking up dust and appearing to have fun for no apparent reason.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Forgive the indulgence of these amusing Springbok images!

We found a nicely posing Jackal.

Image

At Montrose we saw an Ostrich family with a mixture of about 12 chicks of differing sizes. A couple of the larger chicks amused us with their antics of trying to do a display dance, twirling around and tripping over their long legs!

Image
Image

When Ostrich families meet, the chicks will mix together, and then simply trot off with any set of parents, becoming jumbled up, hence the difference in sizes.

/to be continued

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:18 am 
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12th May continued...

After the excitement of the pronking bokkies, we found a small snake in the road, possibly a young Cape Cobra? We tried to protect it from slithering along the road and hope it did not get squashed after we left it!

Image
a baby Cape Cobra?
Image

There were 4 (or maybe 5) Cheetah high on the calcrete ridge between Montrose and Rooibrak. We watched as they disappeared over the top od the dunes.

Image

Image
A beautiful juvenile Martial Eagle in a tree by the road.

Image

A group of Ground Squirrels were emerging from their burrow, whilst a Swallow-tailed Bee Eater and a juvenile Pale-chanting Goshawk posed nicely for us.

Image
Swallow-tailed Bee Eater

Image
juvenile Pale-chanting Goshawk

Image
A number of White-backed Vultures were hogging a tree in the riverbed.

Image
Springbok with young lamb.

Image
A very obliging Kori Bustard also posed well for us .

Image
We returned to camp at 12.30 to be met by this Glossy Starling and did not venture out again today, apart from a short walk to the little farm SHop inside the Namibia border.

to be continued ...

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: Re: KTP May 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpa
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:09 am 
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Before I proceed, I need a bird ID - anyone?

Image

.. and a page turn :wink:

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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