May 27- Day 19:
Today was a very slow start - we had lots of 'Admin' to catch up on seeing as it was Monday. All the admin was good though! First and foremost, the weekend had also been filled with numerous sms's between us, our supervisor, and another Prof. in the department about a ginger kitty that needed a home urgently. Newws had spread fast about our loss and subsequent vacancy... So we phoned the cattery and made arrangements for 'Ginger' to be taken to the cattery so that our kitties could meet him and get to know him in neutral territory. Secondly, this trip has been pretty much our first trip ever that was open-ended, leaving us the option of staying a day our two longer if we wished, and the parents had conferred the night before and decided they did wish to stay an extra night! (It would also give the kitties a bit longer to get acquainted)
We then phoned our friends near Port Edward to hear if we could come a day later, and with that confirmed, discussed our options of camping or a chalet. The chalet won as we had a long day of travelling to get to Port Edward. So we went to reception and booked our extra night in a Chalet. All this was done whilst cooking and eating breakfast at camp - porridge for the ladies to keep warm!
All the while we were kept in close company with these chatty White-browed Sparrow Weavers
After all was finalised, we took ourselves on drive - straight up to Rooiplaat Loop, then down Link road and then an unplanned emergency trip to the gate for a loo (I drank too much coffee
), and then back to complete the entire Ubejane Loop. The journey up to Rooiplaat Loop was uneventful in terms of sightings. Our first sighting of note up on the plateau was this Cape Longclaw
(A first for me
Next up on the plateau was this Blacked-backed Jackal
sniffing around for any edible bits (perhaps left overs from the new lions, who knows)
Then we drove down Link road stopping only for a pair of Ground Squirrels
, these South African Shelducks
, and another Jackal as the need was getting pretty dire!
Upon our return to Ubejane Loop, we stopped to watch the antics of this Ant-eating Chat
And then this comedy show put on by these Squirrels
'Hmm, one of those canned humans. Think I must go and investigate'
'Well, you gonna feed me or what?!' (Answer was No!)
'Oh well, then I better go and get back-up'
'You still not gonna feed us?'
'Nope, cute as you are, we still not gonna feed you'
'Well we'll just have to see about that then won't we!'
We then beat a hasty retreat as they all decided to try out car tyre for lunch! Kgalagadi may have its tyre eating lions, but MZNP has squirrels! (I know which I prefer, and its not the lions!)
Next up was a Secretary Bird
and some Ostriches
and finally, our first Gemsbok
and what I think is a Yellow Mongoose
- I wasn't aware that they also stand up like that, but it doesn't look right for a meercat.
And last but not least, my first photo opportunity of a PCG
We then returned to camp to just chill and cook supper before heading off to bed. Tonight was particularly freezing, and when I got up in the early hours to replenish my hot water bottle and spend a penny I saw why!-I was no longer sleeping in a tent but rather a nylon-lined igloo! The frost was about 1cm thick over my tent!