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 Post subject: What makes the Kgalagadi special
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:05 pm 
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The time November 1973.The place Nossob - Kalahari.It is hot, very hot.No air conditioners in vehicles or accommodation , the only "ac" is opening the front vents and rear windows of the LANDY.Late afternoon the sky turns from blue to an orange horizon , to purple to dark - the sun has gone rest.The little campfire is going and while waiting for the meat to be done, you hear a distant click - click - click - click , eventually it becomes louder and eventually a whole chorus - Sand Geckos - all pleased to be there and happy to still be alive and cooler.Sitting still you notice a movement just outside the firelight - you watch and eventually see a Bat Eared Fox listening and then digging for his meal.After the meat is done and the meal had, with the dishes washed you look into the sky and see the stars very close to you.You move closer to your loved one and together you just listen to the Kalahari quiet.Eventually it is bed time and still quite hot you lay and listen , you may hear a Jackal calling his mate , or Lions confirming their territory, an Owl telling everybody it is still there and still the Geckos click - click - click - click.Eventually you fall asleep lulled by natures symphony.Early morning you wake up sweaty, but refreshed , outside the dark is turning to crimson to orange to blue and when saying your morning prayers you thank the GOOD LORD for being able to experience again, another of His Wonderful Creations.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by Dotty on Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:31 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:17 pm 
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Location: Helderberg
Am with you all the way - KTP is my hydro - where I go to recharge my batteries - cannot explain it to somebody that has never been there


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:00 pm 
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If you ask me why, I wouldn't be able to tell you, but Nossob is one of my favourite places on earth.

Maybe is is far away from cell phone reception.
Maybe it was the 7 different predator types (including 5 lots of lions) we saw from the hide
Maybe it is because Marie se Draai is round the corner
Maybe it is the birds that drink at your tap
Maybe it is the barking gekko chorus
Maybe it is the raptors that fly above
Maybe it is the welcome swimming pool in mid summer
Maybe.... I have given you a few clues as to why I love it.

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Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:15 am 
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BB - maybe, Kwang is one of my most favourite places on earth.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:38 pm 
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Location: VEREENIGING
Still November 1973.The place Twee Rivieren.We took a few Jerry cans of Vereeniging water with on the visit as Kalahari water was close to undrinkable.We befriended Stoffel le Riche ( then KGP warden) and his wife Judith . One afternoon we invited them to join us for a cup of tea , something to eat and a chat. They accepted, my wife made the tea and when she poured in the jerry can water Stoffel asked what that was. My wife replied sweet water. His replied ,"please do not use it for me, as it tastes horrible" ( aaklig) . Judith and the two Smitte enjoyed the Vereeniging water tea. -
Another precious moment

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:28 am 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
For me ..it must be that up close and personal staring into the eyes of a leopard/lion/cheetah with no other vehicle around
It sends shivers down my spine !
My favourite waterholes.....Rooiputs, Kwang, Craig Lockhart.

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:26 am 
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Location: VEREENIGING
Still Nov 1973.We arrived at Twee Rivieren at 13:30 hot , dusty and sweaty after a 10.5 hour journey from Vereeniging.Unpacked and eager - asked Stoffel le Riche (what a decent chap he was ) where he suggests we go on a drive , his reply was anywhere, just be back in time.We left and drove up the Auob route , saw many Springbok and then just north of Houmoed the biggest Leopard I have seen in my life, crossing the riverbed from west to east , pausing and posing for photographs just in front and on the side of our Landy in no hurry at all.The following day off to Mata Mata about the third day the morning we spotted a BEAUTIFUL LION male with a no 3 marked on him at Craig Lockhart . Upon returning to camp we reported this to Johan van Graan the Ranger there, his reply was that no3 was the prime Lion male in KGP and asked us to enter the details into the log at reception,which we did.That afternoon we left for Craig Lockhart eager to find no 3 again , which we did.Then we turned around to return to camp and my wife Lanette noticed something about 150 metres from us in the riverbed. A CHEETAH stalking - SPRINGBOK. We saw the stalk, the chase , the kill and the rest period.The Cheetah chased approximately ran 220 metres before catching the Springbok ram . they came to rest approximately 30 metres from impact ( the Springboks neck broken and the Cheetah rested 28 minutes panting heavily ,before it could start the feast We were so fascinated that we clean forgot to take any slides.The following morning there was just a pair of half eaten horns left of the previous day's excitement. ........... .Then on to Nossob where we watched Lion cubs at Kwang pan daily for four days . There were no adults. What was amazing was the way in which they hid when we arrived and then after a while peeped over the ridge and we would watch them and they watched us.They would play , but always kept their distance.All of this on our own no one else even close by . We share what Michele Nel has said about her favourite places , and the circumstances ,There are some more stories about that wonderful trip to that wonderful place called KTF, but that will be at a later posting.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Sat Jul 26, 2008 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: The People of KGP
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:22 pm 
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Still more Nov 1973, at Twee Rivieren.Soon after we arrived at Twee Rivieren a bakkie (small ldv) arrived with some Coloured children on back and they were talking of oom Andries (uncle Andries).Later on I asked Stoffel le Riche who oom Andries is , he asked why am I asking and I told him oh he replied that is Andries the petrol pump attendant.Later Andries and myself became great friends , as you will find out - I drove a Landy and it had a fuel tank taking 73 litres of fuel.Filling it cost R9.60 ( the good old days) with a lot of effort, remember it was November .The fuel pumps at KGP then were hand pumps still with the two bottles.We started and ended our trip at Twee Rivieren spending a few days there.After driving around I would drive up to the filling station and then ask my great friend to fill up.He would sigh and then start swinging the handle , after a while he would then say "dit is nou die baas se beurt " (it is now your turn) , and I would than do my share of the toiling.Eventually the tank would be full and Andries often got a generous tip . The Saturday afternoon there we were taking a siesta and there was a knock on the door. I opened and there was Andries.He said he needed a favour , I enquired what it was. He asked whether I would please buy him a packet of cigarettes from the Parks Shop and he would not have bothered asking me but seeing that I am his good friend he thought he would ask me to do it for him , he said he would give me the money . I then asked why he couldn't buy the cigarettes himself and he replied that staff were not allowed to buy cigarettes from the shop between 2.00 pm Saturday and 8.00 am on Monday , and he had run out of cigarettes. He said that I must please remember that he would only ask a favour like this from a reliable good friend like me .I was also requested to please keep this our secret and not tell anyone that the cigarettes were for him . Naturally I felt so honoured by our great friendship that I obliged , and bought him a "pasela" packet as well. - This is how it was, in the days gone by . People talked to one another , respected one another and also laughed together.Another fond memory of the KGP and its people.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:48 pm 
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I remember you got about 80c change from R10.00 if you put in 70 litres. Rates were although today it is still a bargain. Rates were : Entrance fee : Adults :R1.00 Children under 16:R0.25 Accommodation Family Huts 4 people R8.00 Huts per person R1.30 Camping per person R0.20 all per night. Firewood R0.10 per bundle Vehicles entrance fees <2 ton :R1.00. >2 ton R2.00. Self propelled Caravan :R3.00. Towed Caravan R2.00. Towed trailer :R1.00. Minimum entrance fee (vehicle plus passengers R3.00 Inclusive in the above was sightings of : Blue Wildebeest,Springbok,Gemsbok,Eland, Steenbok,Kori Bustard, various Falcons and Eagles, Secretary Birds,Weavers,Sparrows, Ground Hornbills, Ostriches and many other bird species.Also African Wild Cat,Striped Hyena,Brown Hyena,Lion , Leopard, Cheetah,Surricate Mongoose,Ground Squirrels,Puffadders, Cape Cobras , Geckos and many more. I have stopped because I am just making myself feel miserable. Due to withdrawal symptoms getting worse and worse.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Langebaan
KTP is truly special -Hi I've just joined the forum - My most unforgetable experience was at MM in 2007 when I was woken by the roar of a male lion. Our tent was pitched next to the fence. I shot out of my sleeping bag and stood outside listening. You know how close it sounds but in reality their roar travals for kms. Your fear tells you he must be right outside your tent - it was so loud but he was at least a km away. I just stood there mesmerised. I gazed up at the stars and felt a tingling down my spine. Others had also got up to savour that moment. We all just stood there until the roaring had stopped and then quietly, without one word being spoken, found our way back to our beds. I've related this to people and more often than not just get a "thats nice" or a blank stare. Not everyone's cup of tea but I find KTP is good for my soul. Keep this theme going.
By the way, we were in KTP mid May 08. 3 days in MM and 4 in Nossop and we're booked to go again end Aug 08. This time we're spending 5 nights in Nossop and 2 in TR.
Sanparks, may our wildlife be preserved for more reasons than just for tourism.


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 Post subject: KGALAGADI TFP EXPERIENCES
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:11 am 
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Location: VEREENIGING
Thanks for the kind remarks.Those were the days before digital photography . I will look through my albums and archives ,maybe something could come to light. Reading posts, I again realise that people are different and do not all share the same values (referring to eg. the "oh that's nice"),thank heaven. Fortunately some do, again thank heaven.True nature lovers will appreciate their experiences, and also vent their disapproval when other agendas start creeping in . I still have two or three experiences about this wonderful place to share .Regards to all the KGALAGADI TFP lovers.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:03 pm 
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Location: VEREENIGING
It is the 19th March 1989 and we are on our way to KGP.just before getting to vanZylsrus we have a tyre problem and decide to have it replaced.We drove to Hotazel and at the garage there asked whether we could get a replacement tyre.No problem , the tyre is found and when I want to pay the person behind the counter says I cant pay I must sign and I keep on but I have to pay and he keeps on that I cant pay , I have to sign.Eventually it transpires that we are at the Samancor Manganese Mine garage.Next town back is Kuruman we get going and arrive there just before 13:00 ,a complete shut down time. We wait and eventually soon after 14:00 the tyre people arrive and after along discussion about our welfare and whatever else a tyre is found and fitted to the Landy.We are all anxious to get going as Twee Rivieren is still far away and , my wife phoned the reception and told them of our problem , the reply "don't worry we will wait for you ".Eventually at 15:20 we get going and the sand is running out.We arrived at the entrance gate to KGP Twee Rivieren about 20:30 all tired and stressed up.The chap at the gate comes and asked whether we were the Smit family, we confirmed and he said that we must follow him to our accommodation.Getting to the accommodation I said I was going to report in.his reply was that they can imagine that we must be tired and can do so the following morning. I offered to go and report as there was still activity at the office but the chap insisted tomorrow morning will do.I accepted gratefully we unpacked the bare necessities as on 21 March it was off to Mata Mata to spend our 29th anniversary.The following morning we reported and thanked the staff for their kind consideration of the previous day.Returning from the morning drive my wife mentioned that the five litres of milk she brought with had gone sour.I found one of the personnel and enquired whether they would want the milk . Yes it was eagerly fetched in Coke bottles. 21 March anniversary day off to Mata Mata , had a magnificent braai the evening and a few days there , then off to Nossob for a few days there then back to Twee Rivieren in a very dusty Landy.We had dinner and were sitting outside and my father said he noticed something at the Landy - I went to have a look - and there was someone busy washing the vehicle. I enquired what was going on and was told that I was the person who had given him a lot of milk about two weeks ago , I said yes , and was then told that he could not just accept the milk without doing anything in return. my response was but it was not necessary , but was told that is what I may think but he thought differently.When I wanted to pay for the cleaning I was told that he was not prepared to accept the money.The following evening we had a braai and "over catered" . the next morning I called the attendant and told him that we had "over catered" and that he could have the meat .He was very humble and grateful for the donation.This common decency and humbleness , is also one of my fond memories of this wonderful place and will always stick to me.This is one example of what it was like . No wonder many of us sometimes get nostalgic about those times.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:16 pm 
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What wonderful stories gmlsmit and I am going to add something here...I think that caring attitude of the staff still exists in KTP. Travelling with the Kalahari girls we managed to get ourselves into a pickle or two and every situation was sorted out with such friendliness and not just because anybody was hoping to get a tip! Poor Hendrik in TR...he was great...he was almost waiting for us when we got back from our drives wondering what he would have to fix next !!!
There are also wonderful staff in Nossob. I remember checking in 18 mths after the Kalahari Girls had being stranded in Nossob for 3 days because of floods and the staff recognised me and immediately wanted to know where the rest of the girls were. When I told the receptionist that my mom had passed away the tears rolled down her cheeks.....I ended up consoling her......
There are many complaints about the parks, the roads , the speeding vehicles etc...maybe I am an ostrich and put my head in the sand but the positives far outweigh the negatives!
I think KTP together with their friendly, helpful and caring staff is the place to be !
Roll on August !!!!!

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:21 am 
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Nov 1973 Nossob.The only people in Nossob were Lanette and myself together with staff, being Elias and Doempie le Riche with their little son Klein Joep, as well as some cleaning staff and SAN tracker FRANS his wife and little son PIETIE as well as Gus Mills . Elias is a remarkable person friendly , knowledgeable,and very jovial, petite Doempie handled the tourism side ,Klein Joep spent his day on his bicycle riding around in camp and amusing us.Gus was doing Brown Hyena research. Pietie herded the camels and Frans did everything else.A new brand of beer namely "KRONENBRAU" just came on the market and I got quite a supply as a gift ,which we took with to quench the thirst.We found the Kwang cubs and spent many hours with them sharing the KGP wonderland.The second day at Nossob ,we purchased our bundle of wood (10c for a wheelbarrow full), Frans brought us the wood and I made the fire.I always enjoy the company of the locals as there is always a lot to learn from them and of them.I was braaiing and Frans pitched up and we started chatting, he told me quite a lot of his experiences out in the bush together with Prof. Fritz Eloff the famed zoologist from TUKS who was mainly doing research on the Kalahari Lions. There were quite a lot of laughs . I asked him about his family and he told me he had a wife and one son PIETIE , he told me that PIETIE herded the camels , now PIETIE was still small, he could barely look over a table.His job was to take the camels out to the veld in the mornings , look after them during the day and return them to camp in the late afternoon.I asked whether Pietie knows about the Lions and other predators . The reply was yes , but he is not afraid of them. (ja , hy weet van hulle maar hy bang hulle nie).I asked whether Pietie has ever been bothered by the Lions , yes quite often.Now what does Pietie do when this happens. He throws sand and sticks at them and he shouts at them and then they give way.I was rather sceptical about this story but took it for what it was worth.I asked Frans whether he drinks beer his eyes lit up and said yes.I then told him to go to our unit and ask my wife to give him a six pack of KRONENBRAU which he obligingly did,on his return I told him not to have all the beers that evening. He promised not to because Elias would kill him if he got drunk.I shared some of the over catered meat with Frans and he left. We had our meal and off to bed.The following morning off to the cubs.On our return to camp we ran into Elias and we started chatting, eventually we started talking about Frans and eventually about Pietie.I told him about what Frans said about Pietie herding the camels, and not being afraid of Lions.Elias confirmed this , I asked how is this possible.Elias' reply was Pietie does not know that he is supposed to be afraid of Lions.I then asked but what does he do when he comes across Lions , The reply : he throws sand and stick at them and he yells and shouts at them , but the language ..................... too terrible. Lanette and myself decided we were not braaiing that evening. We went to the cubs again late afternoon. Upon our return we noticed that there was a big fire in the camp ,and we were met by Frans with a big smile on his face telling me that the fire is ready........................ We then decided to not disappoint Frans and had another braai, again with a lot of chatting and of course Frans got another reward.Wonderful memories like this make the Kgalagadi TF PARK such a special place to me and my family.Because they are so precious to us ,it is why I love sharing them with whoever cares to read them or listen ,they may fade away one day but hopefully that will be in the very far future.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:55 am 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
@ gmlsmit ..please tell me more about these camels . Why were they herded into the veld in the mornings ???Thanks

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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