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 Post subject: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip-December 2008
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:47 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
:D I wish I could get "hot" :twisted:. :roll:

We leave for a 3 week trip to the Northern Cape on Tuesday. We'll be taking a very slow drive down to Port Nolloth and then spend some time in Springbok visiting the SO's family. Then we spend 2 days (over Christmas) in Namaqua National Park, 2 days in Augrabies and a week in Kgalagadi (New Years in KTP :dance: ).

I'll see if I can get some nice pics of Namaqua National Park since there are very few on the forum.
:)

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:09 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Hi everyone :D

We arrived safely back home on Saturday.

What a trip! KTP is an AWESOME park.

Lions 6 days out of 6, leopard 5 days out of 6.

Saw a kill... 8)

Lots of raptors.

Lots of small predators, rodents...

Comical episode with meerkats... :lol:

Lots of babies and huge herds of springbok.

I just have to sort hrough the photos then I'll start the TR.

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:28 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thanks all. I also have some great pics of Namaqua National Park. I'll stick them up soon. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:06 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
@ pam - she is 6 years old and she is quite conitioned to travelling. On our return we drove straight throught from TR to Krugersdorp, a trip of 12 hours including breaks. I always stop every 200 km or 2 hours for a leg stretch and a wee and we had a 1.5 hour lunch break (slow service in Kuruman :x ).

She absolutely loved KTP!!! We did 5 hour drives with her. She just wants to go back in a 4x4 and stay at Rooiputs and do the Leeudril 4x4 loop! :lol: Daddy will have to make a plan with a 4x4 soon :roll:.

We always make sure she has lots to do, she has a portable CD player, lots of colouring books, we bought the Kgalagadi for kids guide which she loved, she also loves hearing about each animal we spot. We always stop and then read sections from the Kgakagadi guide. We don't have a portable DVD in the car, I would rather she colour in, and this year when she learns to read, read books while travelling, much better educationally and intellectually.

I think if we had two kids it would be different story though...

OK let me get started with the TR while I have a few minutes...

16 December to 23 Deecember 2008

We left Krugersdorp for Kuruman at about 7 am on 16 Dec but just before we left town we got a phone call from our neighbour. "There's a bokkie in your garden, it was in ours and then jumped over your wall. The SPCA is here but they can't get in."

So we turn around. When we get home, I lock the dogs away, they haven't seen the "bokkie" yet. I go toward the back of the house and luckily spot the hind quarters of a smallish antelope, a common duiker! Apparently several still survive in a nearby kloof (gulley) but are under huge pressure from poaching by vagrants. Our neighbour (a local municipality councillor) makes a few phone calls and organizes for a vet to come dart the animal. the vet can only come in an hour. We would love to see this but we have to get going, so I arrange for my parents to come over and open for the vet.

We drive off and later hear that the vet successfully darted, caught and treated the animal (all at his own cost) and it was released on a farm outside Krugersdorp.

Our first few days were to be spent outside of the parks. We overnighted at Kuruman, near Upington, spent three days at Port Nolloth (man is that water cold!), and spent a few days in Springbok visiting SO's family (man can those Namaqualanders drink wine, the SO had to drive back to the guset house!).

Our first park was Namaqua National Park near Kammieskroon...aah quiet (and recovery) at last...

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Last edited by Senyetse on Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:16 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Namaqua National Park 24 - 25 December 2008
Namaqua National Park is 20 odd km from Kammieskroon (Kammieskroon is about 60 km south of Springbok) on a fairly decent gravel road that passes through several sheep farms. In about 30 minutes we arrived at the gate.

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After a quick check in by the very friendly receptionist we drove off to the accommodation a few kms away on a very good gravel road. The Skilpad sign is situated on the 5 odd km ring roud that travels from reception and back again.

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We get unit number 4 - quite separate from the other 3, this is the preferred unit. Exceptional value for only R425 a night (out of season)

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The view from enclosed balcony is spectacular (more pics to come)

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The enclosed balcony is tastefully decorated and a superb place to enjoy meals and just laze around in.

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The view from braai is also spectacular. Just beware it is very windy late afternoon so be careful with fires!

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I'll post more pics of Namaqua tomorrow...

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:22 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
I've got some time to add a few more pics.

Units 1 and 2 as seen from the access road, are quite close together, 3 and 4 are more widely spaced

with 4 being the most isolated.

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A sleeper couch is found in the lounge and is suitable for 1 adult (or 2 very cosy adults) or 2 children

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An indoor braai is found in the lounge

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The kitchen is very well equipped (best equipped Sanpark we've encountered) with a microwave and stove

and oven.

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2 single beds are found in the bedroom.

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These two lovebirds were spotted just outside our chalet

Image

More to come...

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:04 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Gemsbok seen on the ring road

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Road

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Springbok

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Reception

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Anatolian Sheep Dogs - these dogs are being bred near reception, beautiful animals

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Roof of Namaqualand viewpoint

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Office complex seen from viewpoint

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The view from the chalet

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Next Augrabies...

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Last edited by Senyetse on Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:16 pm
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Location: Fairest Cape
Great pics again :clap: :clap:

Do you know what they're going to use the Anatolian sheepdogs for ?
They are stock guardians -- usually brought up with sheep or goats -- and have been successfully introduced to Namibian farmers to stop them shooting cheetah. What will they protect at Namaqua ?


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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:38 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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@ pam, strangely there are sheep in Namaqua, we saw them on the loop road near reception. I think they fill in a herbivore niche to assist in veld rehabilitation until such time as suitable indigenous animals are re-introduced.

I think they intend establishing the breed in SA. Aparrently they help with predator problems, ie leopard, caracal BB Jackal etc. Very successful where they are usedand helps with predator conservation, ie no more poisoning, trapping, huntig etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:28 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Augrabies National Park - 26-27 December 2008

We left a mild (relatively speaking, 28 degrees :roll: ) Namaqua National Park and landed in a very very hot Augrabies several hours later. The two days at Augrabies were the hottest that we experienced on the trip, one was 38 and the other 45! :shock:

We were given chalet number 12, the ones with the double bed and view. The chalets are comfortable but are a bit outdated. I see they are in the process of updating all the chalets though.

The Augrabies trip was not very eventful, the falls were not at their highest. My SO had visited many years back and she remembered the lizards being all over the place and the falls being extremely full.

This time we saw probably 20 lizards maximum. Anyone have any ideas where they all went to?

We drove to Moonrock (and walked up it in the heat!). We also drove to Echo corner. The road to Mount Ararat and Oranjekom was closed so we had to skip that.

We saw very very little game, in fact all we saw were klipspringer and ground squirrels. I must add

though that we did not drive around too much, maybe next time when I've got a vehicle more suited to rough roads. We did notice many dead and dying quiver trees (kokerboom). I'm sure I read or saw somewhere that the trees are being attacked by a fingus. Anyone have any info on this?

Here are a few pics from Augrabies (not very many I'm afraid).

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Next, off to KTP! :dance:

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Last edited by Senyetse on Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:43 am 
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Location: Rottingdean,near,Brighton.-UK
Nice pic of augr. falls and walkway :) seems to be quite a lot of folk around--- :thumbs_up: mike

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:16 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Everyone, thanks for the comments :D.

Quote:
The Anatolian Sheepdogs--are they domesticated enough to be like family pets?


As far as I know they are not bred as pets. In fact these dogs sleep in the enclosures with the sheep and not at farm houses.

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:17 am 
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Location: Innsbruck
(As far as I know they are not bred as pets. In fact these dogs sleep in the enclosures with the sheep and not at farm houses.)

:redface: We have people here,they used these dogs for fights!!!!Very cruel!!!
They were taken to police!But the dogs will be put down,they are much
to dangerous now to be kept.It's really very sad!! :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:22 am 
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Location: Krugersdorp
28 December 2008 to 2 January 2009

We leave Augrabies at about 7 am for Twee Rivieren. I am very excited because I have been looking forward to this part of the trip immensely. I had last been to the Kalahari Gemsbok Park in 1997. We make good time with very very little traffic on the road after we leave Upington. Eventually we reach Askham and soon notice that we are travelling on a very newly tarred road. Although new this road looks to my eye not very well built. It is quite bumpy and most corners are badly constructed,
not tilting properly as one would expect, resulting in me having to slow down quite considerably (with the roof box the car is a bit top heavy).

But later on the road gets a bit better. It is not a bad road by any means, far far better than the gravel road it had once been but the workmanship leaves a lot to be desired...

I am wondering as I drive how much is still untarred, last I had read it was 11 km. Eventually we see the Kgalagadi gate and the road is tarred to within a 100 or 200 meters of the gate. Excellent!

Twee Rivieren (Two Rivers in Botswana in the backround).
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We are allocated no 27 which is very comfortable and neat:
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We unpack, have a swim and later the afternoon we take a drive up to Leeudril. Just passed Samevloeing there is a huge herd of springbok and several wildebeest.

Wildebeest babes:
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Adults
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Remember, look right, left then right again
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Sociable weaver nest.
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The Cape fox den near Samevloeing, mom/dad not very full of energy:
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Pups were playing and probably the reason why mom/dad not very full of energy!
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Springbok taking a sundowner at Samevloeing:
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Whistling rat:
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We arrive back and light the fire and just enjoy the Kalahari.
More to come...

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 Post subject: Re: Senyetse gets hot - an arid parks trip
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:11 pm 
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Location: Krugersdorp
Day 2

We decide we'll go see what the Auob looks like. This is the first view of the Aoub when travelling from TR:
Image

Our first sighting is this Jackal at Houmoed. Over the next few days we see jackal at just about every water hole.
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We see many of these plants on the dune. I looked up the name on the interactive flower guide at TR reception but now forget it.
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Shortly after Houmoed we see a few vehicles stopped. Cheetah up on the crest of the dune on the left of the road. It is a mother and two cubs. Unfortunately too far for any photos but it is an incredible sighting nevertheless!

After seeing a few springbok we stop off at Auchterlonie. We are the only people there.
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We take a walk around the museum:
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The well (dug by hand!)
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The museum
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The kraal
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Picnic site, toilets and museum
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On our way back to TR:
Two by two
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I'm too sexy for my shirt..
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More to come...

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