Thank you everybody --- with all this encouragement it's a lot of fun to post this trip report !!!
There WERE some quieter (I wouldn't say boring days) in the KTP. But it all depends on the way you look at things: For this years trip we had planned to be really patient and appreciate all the small creatures, the landscape and being far away from home without cell phone reception
!!! So we had a lot of fun --- even if there were some days without any special sightings - but I think I must admit that we were quite lucky this year (last year we didn's see that many cats) !!!
So, but let's continue with what you've probably been waiting for:Day 5: Saturday August 16th
It had been our second night at Urikaruus and compared to the night before it had been REALLY cold --- so getting out of bed in the morning was especially hard
.Nevertheless the hope of finding the lions we had seen the evening before again made us rush.
We drove south right away, but unfortunately the lions were nowhere to be found. There also weren't many other animals around --- you see we also had "boring" morning drives.
So we drove back to the hyena den but the parents and their cubs were lying far away from the road. We decided to drive to Mata Mata as we needed some gas anyway --- as we were driving along we were already wondering where all the other cars were and we already suspected that something worth watching was waiting up the road.
And we were right: Between Craig Lockhart and Sitzas we came across an enormous Kgalagadi traffic jam. As we came closer we saw what everybody was looking at: Two cheetahs – a mother and her cub – were lying next to a springbok kill. At first the cub was still feeding:
Then it walked over to its mum and they slept hidden in tall grass in the shade. We waited for more than an hour for them to move but they weren’t very cooperative
So we filled up our car with gas in MM and when we came back not much had changed – so we drove back in the direction of Urikaruus for a break.
At Dalkeith we almost couldn’t believe our own eyes: In the middle of the day a lion mother was walking along with a little cub!!! We were hoping that they would walk to the waterhole and drink and that’s what they actually did
. The mother was a beauty - and the little cub was so cute that we couldn't stop taking pictures.
First the the lioness checked the situation:
She decided that it was safe to go and have a drink. So the cub followed her clumsily to the waterhole:
When they had finished drinking the cub looked one more time back over its shoulder:
Then the two lions walked back into the direction they had come from. They walked some time next to the road along the riverbed:
After a while the little cub seemd to be tired from walking and sat down --- but soon its mother urged to walk on:
They walked on for a few meters and then they crossed the road directly behind our car and disappeared behind the dunes.
I would never have expected to witness something like this at all - and especially not in the middle of the day (around noon) !!!
After this fantastic distraction there wasn't much time for a long break - we just ate some sandwiches, I had a qick shower and soon we were on the road again.
We wanted to check on the cheetah kill, but of course everybody else wanted to have a look at the two as well and it was VERY crowded.
Although the afternoon light wasn't very good I got a nice "bloody" portrait of the cub:
We didn't stay very long this time, because we were soon annoyed by the great number of cars and spectators. So we decided to search for something else and to enjoy the silence of the KTP rather than to be stuck in some Kruger-style traffic jam.
And we actually observed our “own kill” later on, when we watched a secretary bird catching and eating a lizard – something we’d also never seen before.
And at the end of the day we enjoyed this beautiful full moon rising above the dunes:
This is a blend of two shots because of the already unfavorable shutter speed - one focused on the moon and one focused on the landscape.