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 Post subject: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
Introduction:

"No two visits to the Kalahari are ever the same. The atmosphere can change in the blink of an eye - sometimes hidden by a dust storm and at other times with the gathering of threatening thunderclouds. It is an open, honest world which readily shares its riches with whoever will appreciate it." - Quote from KTP: SANP Official Information Guide.

We discovered the KTP late in life, only making our first visit in April 2007. This is our eighth visit since then and no two are the same. I was really shocked :shock: to see the cycle of changes from barely a month ago. The dusty dry riverbeds teemimg with Eland in November

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had been transformed to a parklike green with the recent rains. The greenest we have ever seen the park

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If November was the time of Lions and Eland, December was so different with only one Eland sighting and very few lions compared to November. There are so many factors at play in this delicate thirstland.

The KTP is one of the most pristine conservation areas on earth - Quote from KTP: SANP Official Information Guide,

It is a fine balance of nature, a wonderland to cherish and protect.

once you get the red sands in your feet, there is no looking back :D

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The special magic of the Kglagadi is getting close to predators and raptors. To Quote Duke from past trip reports, "The KTP is the best place on planet earth for raptors and the big cats."

The cycle of change from one month ago had changed from the year of the Eland and Lion to the season of Springboks :wink:

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and Spotted Cats :dance:

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Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 pm
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
Thank you All for the comments and great to have you on board :thumbs_up:

22 December 2012

We had just returned from a 17 day trip to the KTP on 27 November so why this trip?

My son, Rockhound,

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and daughter in law, Valerie

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wanted to experience the Kalahari. Good enough reason for me. The driver muttered about Kruger. Both of them are geologists so we get some interesting insight into the geology of the KTP and I will get them to the a write up on it.

Rockhound has a Nikon x35 bridge camera and Val has a Canon x50 super zoom camera so it will be interesting to see how these compare to our DSLR cameras. I will insert their names on the photos taken by them. For anything that was some distance from the road we just asked Val to do the honours with that x50 zoom.

We leave home at 5.00am and arrive at Twee Rivieren at 4.30pm. We meet up with Kalahari Guru (KG) and family :D

KG gets a SMS from Shaky Jakes that Auob is flowing in the Houmoed area :big_eyes: . We tempted to go but have a supper date with DuQues and Guinea Pig and will not be back it time.

We have supper with DuQues, Guinea Pig, Kalahari Guru and family and ctv4 and his SO join us for a while too.

Later we do the Midnight Drive with DuQues and Guinea Pig :dance:

On the drive we see two African wild cats, a brown hyena, barn owl, spotted eagle owl, striped polecat, genet, cape foxes, bat eared foxes and the animal that eluded us for 17 days in November – a cheetah.

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a brilliant start to our trip :D

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NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS

Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 pm
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
23 December 2012

Twee Rivieren

We were leaving for Grootkolk today but first a morning drive is a must

First up a Cape Fox

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Then Bat- eared Fox

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Lanner Falcon

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Gemsbok

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A Kori Bustard in flight

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A meerkat and squirrel foraging

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Then we went back to Twee Rivieren, packed up and got ready for the long drive to my favourite place on earth, Grootkolk :D

On the way to Nossob we see a Bateleur

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We have a break at Nossob. While the drive attends to refueling I decide to go to the hide. It is blazing hot and I am not expecting to see anything. I hear this growl from under me and get a major fright :big_eyes:
almost dropping my camera and messing my brooks ( Hi GavinW - thought of you here :lol: :wink: )

Lions mating under the hide at Nossob :big_eyes: I get the rest of the clan to the hide

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On the way to Grootkolk, we see general game and it is good to arrive in Grootkolk. Grootkolk has not failed us yet and this time was the same :wink:

_________________
NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS

Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 pm
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
24 December 2012

From the puddles of water on the road we can see that the Grootkolk area had pleny of rain and Franco confirms this. Due to this not much game is visiting the camp waterhole and even the birds are staying away from the water baths. We still have a great day with many wonderful sightings :D

I do get my tea made for me but sadly nothing at the waterhole. We decide to drive south and see a brown hyena in the riverbed but about 70 meters away

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followed by a PCG

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Nothing at Kannagauss but 11km south of Kannaguass we see this

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and he is a boy

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and very impressive

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we had only see Rosa and Safran in the Grootkolk area to date. He is marking his territory and we follow slowly keeping our distance

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We could not ID this very impressive leopard as he is in the historical section of Astromatt's Guide and we did not look in that section. Only one documented record of him, by non other than Pumbaa, on the 16 feb 2009

We are elated to have found N!xau (Thanks AstroMatt and wanderw for the ID :thumbs_up: ) and get good photos of him :dance:

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TBC......

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Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 pm
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
N!xau went into the riverbed, still marking trees

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completely ignoring the haarties

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We had followed him for 3 km and 45 minutes before he disappeared into the dunes :D

On the way back to Grootkolk we find a Ludwigs Busttard :dance:

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a baby gemsbok - looks very much like a roan

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then just before Kaa, I tell the driver to stop, honey badgers. There were three of them but on the move and difficult to get good photos

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_________________
NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS

Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 pm
Posts: 889
Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
Booked already Aristocat :lol: Thank You and yes the encounter at the hide is both scary and wonderful

Further on we see a haartie wih baby

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a bateleur

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Gemsbok that flees from us

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The children cannot wait to see Unions end so we head there. Whenever we travel the road from Grootkolk to Unions End Duke says something like,

There are 7 billion people on the planet and yet we can find a place like this. To feel nature and be part of it, to have a spiritual experience.

This photo by Val helps explain it better

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The Driver and I at Unions End

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Springboks getting some salt

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Back at Grootkolk it is quiet at the waterhole and the bird baths but a shaft tailed whydah is feeding on the ground

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We head south in the afternoon and find a most amazing sighting just before Lijerssdraai....... :wink:

_________________
NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS

Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 pm
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
It is still the 24 December and we driving south of Grootkolk in the afternoon. About 3 km before Lijersdraai we find five cheetah :dance: :dance: :dance:

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'Tis the season of spotted cats :D :dance:

We settle down hoping they will get up for a stretch or change positions. They comply. Enjoy

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We trying to figure out what is going on. Is this a coalition of male cheetahs or a mother with sub-adults, we then see what is going on....... :wink:

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NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS

Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 pm
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
As we watched it became apparent what was happening here. There were four males

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wanting to win the favours of a female, on the left

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This one seems to have won the heart of the female

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:k :k :k

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It is late and we reluctantly have to get back to Grootkolk :wall:
What happens that night :hmz: We will never know

What a day, Brownie, leopard, Ludwigs, honey badgers, haartie with baby, cheetahs, the drive on the magical road to Unions End

and to finish off with a glorius sunset at Grootkolk

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_________________
NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS

Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:45 pm 
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
Thanks RichardJ :thumbs_up:

25 December 2012

Today we move on to Gharagab. We decide to drive to Lijersdraai first then return to Grootkolk for breakfast and pack up for Gharagab.

We find our cheetah again in the same place we left them :D :dance:

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_________________
NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS

Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:18 am 
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
I did say it was the season for spotted cats and springboks

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We have breakfast, pack up and are on the road to Gharagab

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The cycle of changes - the plants in bloom :D :dance:

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so beautiful, the canary was singing

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and this one for you MM :wink:

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_________________
NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS

Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:34 pm 
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Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
Thank you Jan van Wyk, Sky, Phillip1 :thumbs_up:

Gharagab, View from the cabin

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and a full moon :D

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We had haarties at the waterhole

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in the evening this PCG landed at the waterhole and just sat still

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We waited, thinking it will come to drink water. Suddenly it took off, flew to the base of a tree and came out with a dove :big_eyes: Wow - it happened quick but we managed some shots

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another PCG arrived, but this guy was not sharing

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Gharagab presents a great setting for reflection photography (as in my avatar). Today the water level was just a little low

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and then we just enjoyed the tranquility of Gharagab

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_________________
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Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:32 pm 
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
26 December 2012

We had just one night in Gharagab and today we move on to Mata Mata. At Polentswa, a Lanner Falcon was hunting and had two attempts at some doves, failing both times. It also chose a perch which made it difficult to get a good photo.

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Wilderbeest came to drink

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A great spotted cuckoo

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Giraffe at Kamqua

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That afternoon when we went for a drive from Mata Mata, Val was very happy as we found spotted eagle owl chicks between Dalkeith and Craig Lockhart and in the same area we did last year.

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_________________
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Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:54 am 
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
27 December 2012

Today we move on to Urikaruus for two nights followed by two nights at Kielie Krankie. Four more days in KTP and all of them were good :wink:

We were first out at 5.30am and saw a brownie disappearing into the dunes at Sitzas.

before Dalkeith, an AWC :D

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14 borehole was quiet but at the southern entrance to 13 borehole we found Tsamma (Thanks wanderw and Astromatt for the ID)

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She was not comfortable with us at all and headed for the upper 13 road and the dunes :( Now Miera would not have behaved like that :roll:

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NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS

Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:50 am 
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Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
Tsamma disappears into the dunes but we see a honey badger not much later on the upper 13 road. It is far from the road so we get Val to do the honours

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Further on 2 lilac breasted rollers trying to out sing one another

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We return to Mata Mata, have breakfast and pack up for Urikaruus.

On the way we see two Pygmy Falcons squabbling over breakfast, which is a lizard

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_________________
NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS

Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: The Cycle of Changes
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 pm
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
Thank you for all your lovely comments hilda, Trrp-trrrrrrrr, anne-marie, yoda, Foxy, Lionspoon, Sky, melph68, Pumbaa Timbits, billyf :thumbs_up:

@Lionspoon - I use a canon 100-400 lens on a 7D camera and this works fine for me. I can hand hold it. In camps, Duke will set up the canon 500 lens, which I cannot handhold. Below picture from our November trip in Urikaruus where I had fun taking pics of the baby ostriches.

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_________________
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Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)


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