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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Sitting in Twee Rivieren, just said goodbye to Jannie (Kgalagadi Guru) and Henriette, the organiser of the whole Kids in Parks for Kgalagadi.

I cannot describe what we feel tonight, as tears are running freely at the moment. Everybody told me I am going to fall in love with the Kgalagadi, ..... and I did, BIG TIME. We had such a wonderful time in this Magical Place, and I will be back for sure. So far it is set for the Cricket in March 2013, but if I can help it, it will be sooner :twisted:

We had some brilliant sightings, starting with the cheetahs, and again ending with some cheetahs... tomorrow, we are leaving on the long drive home.

Sleep well, all....


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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:28 pm 
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We arrived home late last night at about 8, into a completely dark Roodepoort (aparently someone decided to steal the copper cables out of one of the electrical substations, and then the whole thing blew up and left Roodepoort in the dark for 13 hours).

So, this morning when I woke up the lights were on, and there was hot water. Heard on the news later the power was restored by about 22h00. First thing that went through my head, I can take a bath (not a shower) and I can blowdry my hair, for the first time in 10 days. Needless to say, I jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom to get all started :tongue: :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:00 pm 
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Busy making the truck ready for the next trip in a few days time, and looked for the pic of PJ without the hairdryer. :twisted:

But this pic speaks a lot of words: It was a great experience. 8)

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LQ, it was good to have lunch. :thumbs_up:

Sparrow, the power was in the red this morning. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:18 pm 
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On Thursday 6 September it rained a lot here in Johannesburg, and decided to wait till later before we leave. So eventually by 03h00 on Friday morning we left in the bus, all filled up and very excited. We had an uneventfull trip full of laughter and excitement of the week to come. Took the road via Hotazel and Vanzylsrus, because we wanted to see first hand on what the road conditions were.

Up to 30km just before Vanzylsrus the road is tarred and then it becomes gravel. So, up to there it was a nice drive, watching the scenery change from where we came from the big city to this landscape... it was breathtaking to say the least.

At Vanzylsrus, Dolf begged me for a Hansa, and seeing that he behaved so well on the drive there :twisted: I agreed and we made a stop at the hotel. We met some locals while having a beer and they told us about a farmer who captured a Brown Hyena by accident on his farm. He still had it and was looking for someone to "take it off his hands" as he doesn't like to kill the animals. So next morning on our way to Askam, we stopped at the farmer. He showed us the Browny and after some coffee, exchanging of telephone numbers and a bottle of Red Wine :twisted: we were on our way.

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Although the Browny was in a cage we could see that they were really trying to make it as comfortable as possible and there were no injuries to her.


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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:01 am 
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Thanks Marijke, Kgalagadi Guru and Migo (a ranger in Twee Rivieren) are busy with organizing a relocation to KTP :thumbs_up: In the past, this specific farmer also captured 3 cheetahs and a leopard, which he relocated. He feels very strongly about it not to kill the animals but to rather capture it and remove it from his farm. We found a lot of farmers in the area have a problem with Caracal as well, and they are just killing it the moment they see it, so we are trying to get them to capture and relocate them as well.


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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:32 am 
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We arrived at Twee Rivieren at about 13h00, and going through the gate without a booking almost posed a problem, but when I mention they must please phone Jannie or Henriette, and they realised we are there for the Kids in Parks, everything went well. :pray: Got a permit (which we only used the very last day to do a quick trip to Leeuwdril before we left the park) and drove up to the shop.

There sitting on the rocks in front of the shop were Jannie, waiting for us. :dance: After all the “hello’s and how are you’s”… he phoned Scouter to tell her we arrived as she wanted to say hi before she left for Cape Town. So we all drove in convoy to the Tsammaland School where we dropped off the books and computer.

Jannie told us where to find our new site for the next 8 days, and we arranged to have a braai there that evening. Then our journey began. :clap: By this time I was really jumping up and down from excitement and couldn’t wait to get into the park. I couldn’t believe I was really here, as I have been wanting and dreaming about coming to KTP for as long as I can remember.

As this was a first time for me, there is also a lot of other first timers… like the first springbok, first Gemsbok, first this and first that. Due to that I am not going to tell you what was a first as basically everything was… even my first Kgalagadi Lion :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:54 am 
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Thank you so much for your replies everyone. :k

We arrived at our destination at about 16h00, and decided not to go out on a drive as we wanted to familiarise ourselves with the surroundings before it gets dark. So we set up camp and waited for Jannie and family to arrive. There were some residents inside the camp as well, and we had great fun watching them.

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We were allowed to switch on the generator once it gets dark, but we decided not to do that as it will spoil any animal noises. So it got dark… and I realised we are right next to a small fence (one that is not supposed to keep wild animals outside, but just to keep the children inside) … and the ablutions is about 30m away … and it got darker … :shock: and then the Barking Gecko’s started calling… :) I was in heaven … :D and then it was totally dark … :big_eyes: but luckily Jannie arrived and I felt more relaxed after that. :whistle:


Last edited by PetraJ on Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Now to carry on with this report.

At about 8 o’clock the lions started roaring somewhere, at that time still far away. A jackal was heard every now and then and we really had a good visit. Jannie left with his wife and son and we were left there by ourselves. Quickly did the necessary at ablutions, and we dove into bed.

Somewhere after midnight the lions started up again, and this time it was very close. Just before sunrise it felt like they were in camp….

At about 07h30 we left the camp in search of the lions. We had a full day ahead of us all to ourselves to do some driving as the kids only arrived the next day. We found the spoor just as we turned into the road about 100m from the camp gate. We followed them up to the Lower Dune Road and down to the Mata-Mata road, but with no luck.

As we wanted to go to Mata-Mata, we turned north and headed that way. Not 1km down the road we suddenly spotted something right next to the road. Cheetah !! Mom and 3 large cubs. Mom started hunting and cubs were watching her for a while, then got up, crossed the road right behind us and walked up the dune on the other side.

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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:21 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:43 pm 
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The road to Mata Mata was nice to drive with some odd sightings every now and then.

African wild cat, can you see it?

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Hyena mum and her baby

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The Kori Bustards in Kgalagadi is such a sight ...

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This little fellow kept me company for an hour while we were sitting at the Gemsbokplein waterhole. It was so peaceful at some stage we fell asleep in the back...

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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:52 pm 
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That evening we were once again alone in the camp. The wind blew quite strongly and we struggled a bit to get the fire sorted. We couldn’t hear anything animal wise that night due to the wind… but that is not to say that they weren’t there …

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I have survived my first full day in the Kgalagadi…


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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:18 pm 
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As you can see PJ was sitting inside the truck, and refused to come out cause someone/something was watching. AND HER HAIR WAS IN A STATE. :big_eyes:

The next morning as the wind stopped we found the Lion spoor 20 meters from the truck. 8)

AND PJ saw her first Kalahari Lion. :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Monday morning we woke up quite early and left at 06h30 to see if we can find the lion spoor again. We were in luck. We followed the spoor from outside the gate all the way around the children’s dorms and down the Lower Dune Road and south to Twee Rivieren. Scipio told me to watch the dunes while he followed the spoor in the road. Suddenly the spoor was gone….
We were now a few metres before the road up the hill to Achterlonie. As I looked up to the picnic spot, I suddenly saw a lion, and yelled “There it is!... ag no, it is a Zebra…” LOL… (there is no Zebra in KTP …but I was so used to confuse a lion with a zebra in Kruger). Scipio then confirmed it to be a lion. I tried to get a pic, but the sun was just rising over the dune, and you cannot really see the lion. But that image… it looked like a picture out of Lion King (the movie). What a superb sighting of my very first Kalahari lion.

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We drove to the picnic spot, hoping he would still be there on the dune by the time we get there, and yes, he was lying in the grass right next to the first picnic table, waiting for us. Scipio turned the wheel so he could turn in the drive way, and oh my, almost collided with another lion coming from the ablution. This one was also awesome and tried to intimidate us by marking his territory while keeping us in his sight the whole time.

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They were very playful and after a bit starting to move again. We drove down to the Mata-Mata road and followed them while they were playfully chasing the Blue wildebeest and Springboks. It was quite funny.

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They decided they made their rounds and went on to the dune and then disappeared. What a great sighting. We were the only car up to ten minutes before they left and it was truly awesome.
After all this excitement we went back to camp to wait for Henriette and the cook Auntie Toya. And off course… the children….


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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:02 am 
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Thank you all for still reading my Trip Report, will get to each of you individually in a bit.

On our way to the camp, we still had time to stop and take pics of these...

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 Post subject: Re: How am I going to cope in Kgalagadi without a hairdryer.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:37 am 
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Sorry for the long delay, been to Kruger a few times this past 3 weeks and only caught up with everything now.

We returned to camp, helped Aunti Toya with the preperations for dinner and then went for a little snooze while waiting for the first group of children. We were so excited and actually a little scared as well, as we didn’t know what to expect. Then we heard the sound of the bus and saw this from the truck… they were here…

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As they were about an hour earlier than expected we suddenly found ourselves with 50 grade 7 children all excited and waiting for us to give them something to do. Henriette came up with a few boxes of straws and pins, and I took over and got them to build a cellphone reception tower with the straws and pins… (I never knew my daytime job would come in handy in the middle of the Kgalagadi :lol: ).

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Our first stroll up the dune were awesome as this was also my very first time outside the camp on foot on a dune…

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The children divided into groups and did a little activity while we were walking among them and helped where we could

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Jannie Bok our guide on duty

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The view from the dune

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The teachers and children went back to the camp while we were checking to see what was caught in the traps during the day. This was supposed to be an activity for each group of children, but Henriette realised that it is not working with 13 children trying to see at once in the trap, and then rather collected and documented the traps without the children .

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