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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:36 pm 
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Thanks so much, friends... :mrgreen:

Day 6: Mata-Mata

Our afternoon drive was VERY quiet...

Only the usual herbivores and not even in big numbers.

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We spent the evening having a braai on our patio and wondering what tomorrow would hold?

:thumbs_up: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:34 am 
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thanks for your kind words, friends...
:mrgreen:

Day 7: Mata-Mata

We headed out first and looked for some Kalahari magic. First up were the giraffes...

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Followed by peewee Wildebeest...(with his herd, of course)

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The adults in the herd were sorting some kind of argument out...

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The Auob was quiet that morning. We found a large herd of springbok around 14th borehole.

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Just before the 13th borehole turnoff we spot him...

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He wants to come down, but is weary...

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He's looking up the Auob...this is why!

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The Spotted Hyena was disinterested, and kept walking southwards and out of sight. Now the cheetah had taken a "spook" and disappeared. Everybody else who had since joined the sighting moved on. I had an instinct that the cheetah would come down, as it really looked intent on crossing the Auob.

Soon enough, this appeared at my side out of the long grass. Being able to read and predict animal behaviour is precious in a place like KTP! I was all alone with him. Not the best shots (the bugger never even looked at me!), but a great sighting nonetheless.

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We headed back to camp for a well-deserved brunch...
:thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:15 pm 
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Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year & Sighting of the Year - Small Creatures and Insects (2013)
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:02 pm
Posts: 2211
Location: Bellville, Cape Town
I'm a subscriber to an international photography newsletter with Digital Photography School and on one of their topics they feature regular Photography Tips and Tutorials, but the latest newsletter also featured 5 Hot tutorials of which one was 10 Tips for Improving Your Wildlife Photography by a Guest Photographer - Morkel Erasmus or as we know him as Morkel777.
Here is the link: http://digital-photography-school.com/10-tips-for-improving-your-wildlife-photography

Well done Morkel, excellent and handy piece of work :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:26 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
You are all making me blush! :redface: :P
Thanks! :mrgreen:

Day 7: Mata-Mata

The rest of the day was fairly quiet. Afternoon sightings were all antelopes...

Oh, and this dusting ostrich male!

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...hopefully the next day would be different?... :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:34 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Day 8: Mata-Mata

I woke up early. SO was going to sleep in late with our little one, and we had to pack up the stuff to move from our normal room to the Riverfront Chalets that morning (our friends had slept in KTC and were joining us). So I wanted to do a drive until 9am, go and pack our stuff and drive around again until we could move into the new chalet.

I was out of the gate first and drove leisurely into the rising Kalahari sun. The giraffes seemed to follow me around on this trip! :big_eyes:

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I made it past Sitzas (which was quiet) and the plan (which I made the previous evening) was to sit at Craig Lockhart for a good while. I love that waterhole. I broke my resolution...I sat at Craig Lockhart ofr 15 minutes, listening to the coo of the morning doves...when the Kalahari Waterhole Fear hit me. You know that one, right? It's when you are comfortably sitting in a good spot at a waterhole (where anything might happen at any moment), and you start to wonder: "What if a ________ (insert species here) is currently doing _________ (insert amazing sighting/behaviour here) at the ____________ (insert whatever waterhole is closest down the road) waterhole right now!!????!?!" :big_eyes: :hmz: :wall:

I listened to that fear...and drove off to Dalkeith. I would regret that...but more on that later. For the record - in future don't listen to the Kalahari Waterhole Fear!!

On the way to Dalkeith I saw a Brown Snake Eagle.

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And a Kori Bustard...

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I got to Dalkeith. The imagined species was not there doing the imagined amazing thing. There were a pair of Kudu Bulls though...

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I knew there were people coming up behind me on the road (at least our friends who had stayed at KTC). But none of them came up to Dalkeith. And that's when I knew...I turned back to Craig Lockhart! I knew I'd missed something by being stupid and listening to the Kalahari Waterhole Fear! But what did I miss??? :hmz: :wall: :doh:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:12 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thanks again folks :lol:

Day 8: Mata-Mata

I came back to Craig Lockhart. Our friends were waiting there. MOMENTS after I left they arrived and moments after they arrived a lone male cheetah sprinted down the dunes and tried to catch a springbok!!!

Then, being unsuccessful, he slaked his thirst in glorious morning light, before moving up to the top of the dune again. :evil: :big_eyes: :wall: :wall:

He was still sitting there...

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So we waited...

After about 15 minutes he stood up, stretched, and moved out of sight. We could see he was checking out the herd of springbok again, and anticipated his moves. Soon enough he came stalking down the dune.

After another painful waiting game he eventually started to run down the dune...but it was too early. The animals all saw him and got well out of his way... :hmz: :doh:

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He gave up...

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One last glance...

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He then walked right up to the roadside and strolled past our vehicles (we were the only ones who stuck around to see what he would do, everyone else moved on South).

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He crossed the road, and after posing a bit in the yellow flowers for us, went to lie down under a tree.
We chose this moment to head back to camp and get our stuff out of the chalet...

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...but we would return to our golden boy! :thumbs_up: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:37 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thank you all for following along...
:D :clap: :dance:

Day 8: Mata-Mata

We sorted out our exit from our chalet (and since we could only check into our Riverfront chalet by 14h00, we decided to go and sit with our spotted friend some more... :mrgreen: :whistle:

On the way we saw the journey of giraffes moving southward.

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And then we found him further on under a tree not too far from where we left him.

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The light was already horrible, but we decided to enjoy the sighting and not worry about the pics too much :wink:

He got up and started moving towards us, eventually walking beside the car (we drove along with him very slowly) for about 15 minutes... :mrgreen:

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You can see he was in desperate NEED of that meal that he couldn't bring down! :( :big_eyes:

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He then crossed the road, and proceeded towards the giraffes we had seen earlier. What followed was a truly quirky, funny moment. The giraffes were unfazed by the cheetah...they were more like:

"Dude...what the #$@%$ is that?"

"I don't know dude...but it's pretty awesome dude!"

"Yeah...right on dude..."

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:mrgreen: :clap: :hmz:

Anyway...the cheetah then disappeared over the dunes. But ahead we saw a herd of springbok, and figured he may try his luck to fill his belly again.

We headed towards the herd and waited. Soon enough, the cheetah appeared high on the dune, and sunk down beneath a little bush. There he waited, and we waited. After sitting with him for about 2 hours, we finally headed home as we needed to check into our new Riverfront chalet and we needed a swim! We found out later he made one final charge down the dune about another 2 hours after we left, without success...
:thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:08 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thank you all for viewing and the kind words...
:lol: :clap:

Day 8: Mata-Mata

For our afternoon drive - we headed south...duh - that's the only direction to take from Mata Mata :D :doh:

Right where we left our cheetah...we found this guy (no cheetah, of course)...

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He came down, crossed the road in front of us, and lay down right next to us. We were the only people there.

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We left him - as he looked very relaxed - to see what was up ahead at Craig Lockhart.

We encountered the usual Kalahari roadblock...

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The waterhole was lifeless this afternoon, we decided to head back to the lion in hopes of him doing something interesting...
...it was a vain hope. He was being pretty consistent with lion behaviour this time of day...
:big_eyes: :hmz:

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Eventually, we had to leave to make the camp gate. Back in the camp we took some quick snaps of the squirrels before the light really vanished...

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And that night - the moon was the target of our lenses...

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What would tomorrow hold?
Stay tuned for the next "episode"...
:whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thanks everyone...

Day 9: Mata-Mata

The morning drive delivered the usual antelope grazing and sparring scenes...

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...some birds of prey...

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...this cute African Wild Cat kitten...

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...the obligatory Jackal...

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...and a cute Slender Mongoose!

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No big predators this morning...but no worries - the Kalahari always delivers.
We went back to camp and spent some time with the local ground squirrels...

(to be continued)
:thumbs_up: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:35 pm 
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Thanks so much, folks :clap: :dance:

I will only be able to continue the trip report early in October - as I am off to the Masai Mara at the end of the week! :mrgreen: :whistle: :thumbs_up: :cam:

So keep the :popcorn: warm until I return! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:17 am 
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Thanks for your patience, friends! Back from the Masai Mara and should continue with this TR sooooooon! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:27 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Day 9: Mata-Mata

We got back to camp and spent some time photographing the local soap opera...

Fighting...

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And making up...

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...to bringing a 3rd party to the "party" :big_eyes: :k :roll:

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After having a good swim and rest...we headed out later the afternoon again!

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:50 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thanks everyone, glad to be back (not really, would rather be in the Masai Mara still - what an epic place :big_eyes: :) )

Day 9: Mata-Mata

Our afternoon drive didn't take us far, cause this chap was waiting at Dalkeith...

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He moved across the road and up to the dune side to spy out some springbok in the area, but a gemsbok gave him away. We'd spent a couple of hours waiting for him to make his move, but it wasn't going to happen now... :cry:

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At Craig Lockhart we saw a herd of springbok drinking...

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We got back to camp just in time...and had a lovely braai under the stars. Some eland came drinking that night

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:18 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thanks folks.

Terribly sorry for the delay - just sooooooo bussssyyyyy... :hmz: :wall: :wall:

Anyway - I will need to finish this one THIS week, as I'm off to Etosha and Kgalagadi on Friday :wink: :cam: :thumbs_up:


Day 10: Mata-Mata to Twee Rivieren

We were packed up the night before already, and left as soon as I got a jump-start from my friend (somehow my battery had lost its life during the night! :redface: ) for the long drive to Twee Rivieren where we would spend the LAST night of this trip :? :cry:

Some of the local giraffes came to see us off in great light.

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A quiet drive followed, until we spotted the lions at 14th borehole!

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We stuck around in hope of them coming closer to the water - but to no avail. Further to that - my car wouldn't start AGAIN! The battery was fully dead and didn't even charge when we drove the 30km here. I completed a precarious jump-start (seeing that the lions were close by) after someone else kindly pulled in front of my bonnet so the cats couldn't spot me (they were well over 100 meters from us though).

This raptor caught my attention - I'm sure it's some kind of Buzzard but was too lazy tonight to make the ID - can any of the serious twitchers ID this for me?? :P :clap: :clap:

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We drove on. Between Kamqua and Rooibrak we found an old geezer - his teeth were worn but he was feeding on something he'd probably stolen underneath a tree. As he walked you could also see he was in bad shape.

[img]http://i578.photobucket.com/albums/ss230/Lekrom777/Kgalagadi%20Trip%20March%202012/200_day11_lion_2_zps5b62b3fd.jpg[/img

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There was also a brave man present...
:wall: :evil:

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Just south of Batulama we found a family of 4 cheetahs sprawled under a tree (mom and 3 cubs). We marked the spot on the GPS and vowed to return later that afternoon.

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We got to Twee Rivieren without much further happening. We did return to the cheetahs later that afternoon, however, and got an amazing sighting!! Stay tuned for more of that...

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrims to the Green Kalahari - March 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:29 am 
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anne-marie wrote:
the four Cheetahs must be Elena :clap: :clap:
she is far South at the moment with her three big cubs :wink:

magnificent Giraffe in the sun :clap: :clap: :clap:
the Buzzard could be a Jackal :hmz: juv. ... only an idea :?

and the guys at the window :rtm: :naughty:


AM this was March 2012 so won't be the same group of cubs - but yeah I think we gave the photos to Gus at the time and he ID'ed her as Elena.

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