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 Post subject: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 1:53 pm 
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If all else fails......

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!st of January 2009 - a new year so a new format. Rather than a day by day account of our trip, I have decided to concentrate on camps and our impressions of them, in the order they were visited. Oh, and of course, a few interesting tales will also feature. And Eagle Eyes will tell a tale which had a slightly stuffy, bumpy impact on our lives.......



:dance: :dance: A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! :dance: :dance:

To start....

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Ellies? Do Sanparks know something we don’t?

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And tar nearly to the gate, with this WIP on your right! (mixed feelings about this!)

And at last Twee Rivieren! :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:33 pm 
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We got a good laugh out of that KTP sign too -- very strange!
And we also couldn't help noticing the massive construction on the Bots side at TR. Does anyone know details of this?

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:56 pm 
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Goody -- wanderw is starting a trip report :clap: :clap: :dance:

Love the opening pic :lol:

@lisa -- think this is going to be the new passport control for both the SA and Botswana sides. At the moment, the SA one is at twee Rivieren reception and the Botswana one over at Two Rivers.


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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:10 am 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Twee Rivieren!

Birds....

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A first for us in KTP :dance: - a 3 banded Plover at Samevloeing!

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Butterflies....

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The plant with the lovely pink flowers is called Devil’s Claw!

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Babes.......

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There were quite a few Springbok creches!

And Bats......

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In this case a very old departed bat that Mark found on his sheet in the morning.

And the four legged kind......

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This was a super sighting in the dunes near Samevloeing, but the hunting was very good and the 2 foxes didn’t stop to look at us even once.

And other creatures.........

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Most of these Agamas were sitting in the top of bushes along the Nossob road.

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We saw a few Cape Cobras around TR, but not as many as in March/April 2008, and no road kills this time! :dance:


Talking about hunting being good.........

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Dreamer and ingrid60! :thumbs_up:

Around Twee Rivieren - The Hunters(some of the time :roll: )

We found a lion pride(8 in all) camped out at Munro waterhole.

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Hitching a ride!

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One of two Big Daddies!

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In Action!!! Actually Walking! :wink:

And now a little tale entitled .... Respect?

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Hey! No Greeting?

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Ouch!!!

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Kids these days!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:46 am 
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Thanx again everyone! :D

@Pikasso - M? - not in this group! We did see a lioness with what looked like a "W' on her shoulder further up the road.

To continue while I can......

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Our first kill, but we were too slow with the cameras! This jackal staked out the Leeudril waterhole - seemed he was quite adept at catching doves.

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Also near Leeudril - this ‘Poot-uit”(dog-tired) cutie! :dance:

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Next up - a mixed bag of...........

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:53 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Next up - a mixed bag of...........

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I think the Munro lions know all about you already Pumbaa!
And where there’s Pumbaa..........

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There has got to be a Timon or two!(near Houmoed)

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(Thanx Katy :thumbs_up: )

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I love the Hartebeest’s coat!

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A sub-adult Black Breasted Snake Eagle
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And a sleeping beauty at Samevloeing!

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Samevloeing has always been very productive for us!

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A Tawny Eagle at Kij Kij

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A shower visitor in camp!

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Yes BB, saw one Honey Badger (near Leeudril) but it was farrrrr....but our very first pix of a HB! :dance: Interestingly no BBJs or Pale chanting Goshawks but 2 lanner falcons were with it! :hmz:

Twee Rivieren is IMHO an underated camp. Yes, it is on the border of the park, but the sightings around this camp have always been good for us, and interesting animals are also seen inside camp! (Cape Fox, African Wild Cat, Hyena, BBJackal) And. :wink: .... it is the only camp in the park where you can buy ice-cream!!! :dance: (Very NB for the W clan)

Some interesting birds seen - Montague’s Harrier(lifer), Common Scimitarbill, and just outside camp Cardinal Woodpeckers! :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:56 am 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Before I start on Nossob, I need to say something about Kamfersboom. In April 2008 we met Lirritma in KTP, who told us about a lion pride at Kamfersboom. Well, whenever we have gone past K since, we have always discovered cats there! :huh: So here are some of Lirritma’s cats! :D

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Not the sharpest, but I like this pic!

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And thru the looking grass!

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We also saw some action at Skiddy Corner(near Leeudril) but the springbok herd were on there toes, and the nannies had taken the crech far away with white flags flying at the first sign of the spotties. So this morning’s score was 1 to Springboks,0 to Hyenas!

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We also saw quite a few tortoises!

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And there has to be a secretary bird strutting its stuff! (Lots of these birds seen on this trip)

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And near Melkvlei, we came across these cats(4 lionesses and 2 little ones, one walking, one already suckling). Thanks BB :thumbs_up: , so whenever we see cats at Melkvlei, they will be known as BB’s cats! :wink:

And while the lions were relaxing, this guy was hunting a few feet away!

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Only 2 scorpions seen near TR!

Next......Nossob!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:36 am 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Nossob!

BB was right! Nossob was quiet...... for the first 24 hours! However, Marie se Draai has other interesting things(other than lions) to keep your attention.

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We were very excited about this brownie sighting! But they are so shy!

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And we discovered a duo...... a bat eared fox den and a cape fox den next to each other, but they were quite far away. Not the greatest pic - (going left to right)extreme left Batty mom with babes( looks like a twisted old branch) and then Cape Fox cub at den entrance, and two other adult foxes lying to the right. We watched them thru bins for some time - great to watch them playing and the batty cubs suckling, and we wished it was nearer!

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On Marie’s and further south - lots of ostriches and lots of communal baths!

And an incident where feathers nearly flew!

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And now we come to the W’s most :redface: few moments!!!

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A cheetah sighting between Bedinkt and Langklaus! Lovely cheetah isn’t she?

I commented to Mark that there was fluff at her feet at one stage, and the grass moved when there was no wind! We looked and looked! Nah! No cubs! She was lying down for most of the sighting, and sat up for a few moments in total!

So here’s looking at you babes! - 2 FLUFFBALLS!!! :wall:

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(Apologies - pix cropped a lot to show the cute but :redface: evidence)

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Last edited by wanderw on Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:57 am 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Nossob(continued).....

To start - we met a very nice Swiss couple who asked us to explain which scorpions were really bad(deadly) and why most of the children in camp walked around barefoot, even at dusk. After telling them about the fat sting/small pincers being the baddie, they remarked that they had seen both kinds in camp(the other kind being my scorpion on page 5) We couldn’t answer their second question - they went away puzzled by the risk taken by some of the parents concerning their children. While we were at Nossob, a male camper was stung by a page 5 scorpion, and most of Nossob heard about it - apparently not deadly but very painful!

Some regulars at Nossob!

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White faced Owls - there were 5 sitting in the same tree!

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Hornbill at the hide!

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And Bateleurs! Nossob is the place to be! :dance: Not many Bateleurs seen on the Mata Mata side!

Kwang is one of our favourite waterholes north of Nossob. We feel that the perfect end to the day is sitting at the waterhole and soaking up the tranquil atmosphere! On this particular day we were the last vehicle there. We were amazed to find Black Winged Stilts in the water - I took one last pic and we turned the car to start our slow drive back and ....... ‘Trouble’ came tumbling out of the bush!

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Our first thought :shock: - Are these the Terrorists?( A group of six young lions who liked tasting cars bumpers, numberplates and rear view mirrors) There were four lions in the group - one older lioness, one young lioness and 2 young males- and they looked at us, and playfully walked on to the water’s edge. We relaxed - they seemed full of the joy of life and very interested in each other. This was going to be good! :dance:

They went to drink - 3 at the main waterhole and the older of the 2 young males, at an indentation in the ground nearer to us.

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Now let me introduce you to ‘Trouble’......heading straight for us!

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Very inquisitive, she made eye contact with each one of us in turn, and I had a feeling that it was not soul searching, rather letting us know that she knew we were edible.

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And Eish! :big_eyes: She sure looked at Eagle Eyes! Leeudril(lion shiver) Big Time! (EE did obey instructions and quickly put up her window!)

And then she nonchalantly turned and went off to have a manicure!

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To be continued.........

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 am 
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Ok here goes.....

Another introduction.....

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The guy that seemed to be in charge - lets call him Prince!

And now for the tail of the left out Butt!

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Prince and Trouble had something going on.....

But Butt really wanted to be involved too so ......

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(Not a pride or a pile but..... a Knot of lions)

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Oops! A Bad Faux Pax/Paw on a sensitive part! So.....

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OK! OK! You're the Boss!

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Here goes.....

Nossob(continued)

We reluctantly left the Kwang threesome(all forgiven!) looking at 2 gemsbok playing on the far side of the dry riverbed.....

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The young males looking longingly......

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And.....

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Trouble looking decidedly interested! And we had to go!!! :wall:

Another cheetah sighting near Langklaus.....Mom and three youngsters!

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Nossob camp has a great atmosphere - although it is a big camp and can get very busy, there is that excitement of being ‘in the bush’ and a quick walk to the hide can produce fantastic sightings. On various trips we have seen at the hide - raptors, snakes, bat eared foxes, african wild cat, brownies, lion and all the regular birds, jackals, buck and wildebeest. Like all the camps, Nossob can be very quiet too! When we arrived, there had been no sightings of cats or hyenas for a few days. However, the interesting ‘little’ creatures and birds are always around and can keep you entertained for hours.

Interesting birds seen - black winged stilts, white storks, abdim’s storks and at the hide a wood sandpiper! :dance:


Now on to Grootkolk Wilderness Camp! Slap bang in the bush and on ground level too! Lots of creepy crawlies :shock: , lots of strange night sounds :big_eyes: and NOT for the faint hearted! (Kruger’s Skukuza is a much,much better option! :thumbs_up: )


Part coming up is just for the diehards and would be diehards.......

A place of sleepy dragons........

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And bloody beasts!

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(But now I’m jumping the gun a bit.)

To be continued......(with a tale from Eagle Eyes)........when the page turns!

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:30 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Thanx for all the comments everyone! :D
@lirritma - pleased to hear that you are now settled! :thumbs_up:

Onwards....

I think I should tell you a bit about Grootkolk first. There are 4 x2 bed accommodation units. Each unit has a small sleeping area and a bathroom as well as an outside kitchen area (sink, taps, gas stove and a table and chairs on a patio). Every unit has a view of the waterhole, unit 1 having the best view overall(also closest to waterhole) and unit 3 the worst, because it has a tree growing in the front of the unit, although you can still see the waterhole if you stand on the lefthand side of the patio. There is also a communal kitchen and braai area between units 2 and 3, also with a good view of the waterhole. After prebooking unit 1 and 2, we were allocated unit 3 and 4 :hmz: , on the north side of the camp. Another con to unit 3's tree is that you have a limited view of the approach to the waterhole, but a pro - plenty of shade on a hot day :dance: . On our arrival we were told that, although not visible, a lion pride was sleeping under a distant tree in front of unit 1. So there we were, our first day at Grootkolk, watching the sun set and having supper on unit 3's patio, also making little excursions now and then to the communal kitchen’s patio.(I’d finished grumbling about the lucky people in unit 1 by then! :wink: )

(There are plans to close in the kitchen area and extend the patio of each unit this year(2009))

Over to you EE! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:45 pm 
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After supper I went inside to have a snooze so I would have the energy to stay up later. (I get grumpy when not well rested! :roll: ) Later that night I was woken up for a dark shape at the waterhole. It was a brown hyena! It drank for a short while but left all too quickly. Soon there were a few more shapes at the waterhole. They turned out to be the lions that had spent the afternoon under that far away tree! After a short drink they started to walk towards us! :dance:

Warning: The next part of this story is a V.S.T. (Very scary thriller!) Please keep away from younger readers!

The pride consisted of one extra large male, three females and three or four middle-sized cubs. The male walked onto the communal kitchen’s stoop and his huge frame was outlined by the spotlight. It was an awe-inspiring sight! He then walked slowly up between unit 3 and the communal kitchen, heading for the road. The lionesses and cubs went round on the unit 4 side. Trying to keep sight of all the lions at once was really hard. At one time they disappeared behind the tree in front of us. One lioness settled down to the right of us with the cubs, between unit 3 and 4. :shock: By now we were at the door of our unit. The two remaining females went off to go hunt. Unfortunately for us, the other lioness had decided to stay the night with the cubs. After checking the bush once more we all went inside and discussed our newly arranged sleeping places. I shared a bed with Wanderw. (My mom.) My brother gallantly offered to sleep on the floor. We piled up all our duvets and blankets to make a mattress for him. Markw (my dad) got the second bed all to himself. He wanted to go across to the other unit but we wouldn’t let him. I was very nervous but very excited too. Eventually we went to sleep. My mom and dad heard distant roars and then the lioness outside answering them, in the middle of the night. After all the nerves and excitement, I slept right through the night. :thumbs_up:

In the morning we woke up to find the lions gone! :hmz:


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 Post subject: Re: Just a few tails about some Kalahari bums! Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:59 pm 
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Thanx EE! :thumbs_up:

As the coast seemed clear in the morning, Markw, Eagle Eyes and I decided to go on an early morning drive. Wezl had decided to stay in camp to catch up on his sleep. We bumped into 4 bloody lionesses(no cubs) crossing the road just north of the Grootkolk turnoff, heading for the camp waterhole. So we headed back, arriving in camp to see the lionesses, and cubs :hmz: , nearly at the waterhole.(much to Wezl’s surprise)

A few pix of the Grootkolk pride(sans the King).....

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All the cubs licked their bloody aunts/mom at some stage or another!

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Greeting Mom! The cubs must have been at/or near camp all the time!

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We were also scrutinised!

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Heading back to a shady tree!

A bit of history about the pride - The big male had had a lot of trouble with his sons (Gert and Eric - from our ‘Shaken..... and Stirred’ trip) earlier in 2008, and we wondered whether we would see a change in leadership this trip. Well, the big guy was looking magnificent again(especially in the moonlight) and definitely in control of his pride. He had apparently put his sons in their places.....for now.

All thru our stay, the lions camped with us, although not camping as close to us as on the first night. They preferred the far away trees in the daytime. At night? - we were serenaded to in roars but did not manage to see them. As for the big male - we did not see him again! He was probably sleeping off the feast at the kill!

(I will try to make the next post 'lion free'!)

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