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 Post subject: Munchkin-Hooked on KTP! December 2008
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:10 pm 
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:hmz: It all started with us needing info on our Addo trip (2007/2008). Then further exploration of the forum lead to Travel Tales (think it was called something else back then). First TR read - "Story of the Kalahari Girls", which was truly inspirational - Joined the forum and before I knew it, we were at a Cape Town Forumite Meet - well, the talk all night was mostly KTP! ( :roll: the Capies are known to be KTP nutters :lol: - but trust me, that is a badge they wear with pride). The seed was planted, the bait taken and so it was that our next trip after Addo was going to be KTP. Well :roll: planning a year in advance does make for a long, long wait!!!

:dance: Finally, D Day 27th Dec 2008, and we left for a most anticipated, and most expectant trip to first stop Augrabies and then our first KTP visit.

I did, following P@m's advice grab a copy of the "KTP Official Information Guide" from the Canal Walk SANParks satellite. Now, for those who have it, it says on the back cover, and I have seen it on the forum as well, "the Kalahari will reveal itself to only those who seek with a true heart..."! A sickening fear gripped me, what if we did not see any really awesome sightings - or worse yet, anything worth mentioning at all?? Would this then mean that we were not seeking with a true heart. :hmz: Would KTP deliver for us KTP newbies???

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:17 pm 
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We left home (Cape Town) at 6am and headed for Augrabies via Springbok. Being our first trip, we decided on this route but the next time (and there will be a next time) we will go via Calvinia etc.
Arrived at Augrabies at around 3ish and after receiving excellent service at reception, we headed off to find our chalet. Quickly unpacked and then went for a stroll to the Falls. Now as impressive and stunning as the Falls may be, I have to admit that I get very nervous when standing on those lookout platforms. :redface: Hence no pics. Then it was back to the chalet for a little siesta (SO - not me) in the lovely air conditioned room while I prepared for the first of 8 braais. After supper it was early to bed. KTP was waiting. :dance:

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Good Morning Augrabies

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With padkos (last nights boerie and steak on sarmies) and the flask filled with coffee, we set off for Upington to get some last minute goodies and then after a year of waiting -finally KTP.

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:00 pm 
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We left Upington with our few odd & sodds and also a spotlight - we had debated buying a spotlight back home and decided not to bother. SO then had a change of mind and so for our one night at Urikaruus we now had a spotlight - or so we thought. Stupid thing would not charge, not in the car or at KTP. :wall: Note to self, never leave such things to the last minute and if you do, check that they work before you leave the shop.

Anyway, that said, we reached Twee Rivieren just after 12ish. We checked in, changed our booking for our last night - we were to spend our last two nights at Mata Mata but decided to change the last night to TR. ( :thumbs_up: This proved to be a very good decision) Our chalet overlooked the campsite and after unpacking and having a look around TR we left at around 2pm for a drive. Not the best time for game viewing but still better than sitting at the chalet. We decided to go towards Mata Mata as the next day we were leaving for Nossob.

First animal spotted - Springbok. Whenever SO and I enter a Park, we like to try and guess which animal we will see first. We saw lots of Wildebeest, Gemsbok and Ostriches but no predators, not even lumps under trees. Just before Munro we stopped to look at the Springbok and their young ones so close to the road when :big_eyes: OMW - right next to us in a big tree we spotted two Verreaux's Eagle-Owls. I was over the moon as I have this thing about owls. Then, just a few trees up, a Spotted Eagle-Owl. :dance: We were both so excited at these two sightings.

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Loads of young lambs were next to the road under whatever shade they could find.

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Somewhere amongst the branches there is an owl - really!

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You can't do a TR without one of these.

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Northern Black Korhaan

We went as far as Montrose before turning back. PCG's, Crowned Lapwing, Secretary Birds, Cape Crows and then :shock: "big bird" - our first ever Kori Bustard. More excitement :lol: little did we know that we would be seeing plenty of them during our trip. A steenbokkie, ground agama's aplenty and a Northern Black Korhaan were added to the list - but no big predators, not even tired, sleeping ones. :roll: All in all, we were happy. Happy to be in KTP, happy with what we had seen and looking forward to the next day when we would be up and out early - or so we thought!

The wind was really nasty so it meant a quick braai with a glass or two of sparkling wine - :roll: we had to celebrate. Tomorow would hopefully be a good sightings day.

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Oh yes, just had to include this ugly critter which was in the kitchen at our chalet - SO opened the window in the hope that he would leave - but no such luck.

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:55 pm 
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:roll: For the record - at home we only have one laptop, SO's work one and because we are not allowed to load any software, I have my Canon software loaded at work and my pics as well. I then realised that as long as I had uploaded my pics to tinypic I could carry on with my TR at home over the weekend and in the evenings. Well, Saturday morning - no internet :evil: :evil: - we had been capped. So its back to dial up until the 1st of Feb. :wall: Anyway - with that grumble out of the way lets carry on.....

29/12/08 - Our first full day in the Park and we were ready to leave - it was just after 05:30 when :shock: Oops - one small problem, SO had forgotten to check the chalet fridge - and by now the bakkie had been packed, our camping freezer and cooler box as well - :evil: one very unhappy SO had to unpack and then repack. :lol:

6am and we finally entered the gate. First up a lone Cape Fox was basking in the morning sun and then just as we approached Samevloeiing we realised that something very interesting had to be around, as the area was teeming with cars. Then suddenly my SO spotted the most magnificent Leopard making his / her way past the cars, over the road and up towards the dunes. I shoved my camera at SO and yelled (quietly of course) "take a pic, take a pic". SO had never even touched my camera before then. At least we did get a few as proof. :thumbs_up:

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To say we were extremely excited is putting it mildly :dance: - what a great start to the day. As the Leopard was heading away and towards the dunes, we decided to move on and try to put some space between us and the gazillion other cars. We headed off and spotted some more Cape Foxies, BBJ's as well as Springbok and Wildebeest.

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Then, between Samevloeiing and Leeuwdril we came upon another traffic jam. Probably only about 5 cars but the road was well and truly blocked and we had no clue as to what they were all looking at. :evil: Our view was blocked by a huge tree, so we edged up as close as possible, switched off the engine and waited and waited and waited..... Soon all the cars that were behind us had also caught up and they too stopped and waited and waited..... :evil:

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:50 pm 
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...Eventually one of the cars up front moved and we all took our turn edging forward slowly to see what the fuss was about. We were the first of our bunch - so we tried not to hog the sighting for too long. Took a few pics - stopped for a quick chat to a fellow yellow ribbonner - none other than Caracal & Doug (Hope you guys got better pics than we did) - but what a sighting - our very first LIT... :dance: :big_eyes: . We were so stoked - our second leopard sighting for the day and it was still very early in the day. I was told by Bigal, who was also in the Park, and who we met at a Picnic site just further up that he had actually witnessed the leopard being chased up the tree. But I will leave that for him to tell in his TR. ( :hmz: or maybe its all been told in Senyetse's report - will go an catch up after this post)

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(Hopefully you can see the leopard between all the branches... :wink: )

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:25 am 
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:hmz: I wonder if it was the same sighting we had. Was that tree just on the right before the turnoff to Samevloeing when travelling from Twee Riv?

We heard about the leopard being chased up the tree but did not see it. Was it this one?

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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:16 pm 
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:thumbs_up: Once again, thanks for all your comments.
@Senyetse - the only way I can explain it, is that we were coming from TR, and between Samevloeiing and Leeuwdril there were two big trees on the lhs. I think there was mention of the leopard with a kill and then it being chased up the tree by a lion. We only saw the LIT and not the action so don't take my absolute word for it. (was morning of the 29th Dec if that helps)

Well, after such a wonderful sighting it was onwards to Nossob. Stopped at Melkvlei Picninc Site for a pit stop and a cuppa coffee. Met Big Al and SO and heard how they had witnessed the lion chasing the leopard up the tree. Spotted our first Red Hartebeest of the trip along with some Ostriches and then our first Martial Eagle sighting just after Melkvlei. I have made mention of it before but I would strongly recommend that first time visitors to the Park purchase the KTP Official Information Guide - it is very user friendly and I in fact turned to the guide instead of my bird book for help with this ID. ( :wink: we are new to birding)

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A bit too far for a decent pic - as was most of the birdlife.

Having just passed Melkvlei, we saw a vehicle parked up front, facing us. The driver was flashing his lights as if to indicate that something was there. We once again we slowly, slowly edged forward and WOW :shock: 5 Lions right next to the road. Our first for the trip. What a day this was turning out to be for us. I was struck by the thought that here we were, parked so close to these magnificent yet powerful animals and I had my window wound right down. Eventually I settled for half way... :lol:

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Come now - this does not look like the face of a ferocious beast...

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Really nice profile pic I thought, if only I could have asked him to
keep his pose while I got out and cut away those twigs and then redid the shot...

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... likewise.

After sitting and watching them laze about because thats pretty much what they did, we headed off again.

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There's just something fascinating about old bones, skulls, horns.

We saw more Kori Bustards, actually we saw them virtually every day. A huge herd of Gemsbok were hanging around Jan se Draai and then our first Whitebacked Vultures - I had never seen one before so this was really cool. Another tick for my birdlist. :thumbs_up:

Stopped at Dikbaardskolk and could not believe it when I saw this little mongoose muching away on what seriously looked like a chop bone.
Must have been leftovers from someone's earlier braai? :roll:

I was most impressed by a SANParks employee (no name, sorry) - seemed like someone with a bit of authority, who also happened to stop at the Picnic Site and went out of his way to greet and talk to everyone else that had stopped. Nice one. :thumbs_up:

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Chop bones for lunch anyone....

Finally we arrived at Nossob and checked in. Staff at reception were great and we were impressed with the information centre. We went and found our chalet which I have to say we were pretty impressed with. More so the fact that it was pretty private and far from the camping area. Not that I have anything against campers as we almost always camp ourselves but it just seemed like it would be nice and quiet. Also what was nice was that our door faced a big tree and some shrubs so there were always lots of birds and ground squirrels to watch.

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Chalet no 9b at Nossob

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:05 pm 
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@ Micetta - the horns belonged to Eland. Large numbers of them died I think it was last year or even the year before - mabye the regulars can confirm this. Not sure if it was lack of water or food but I heard that there were many carcasses about.

According to the KTP official information guide - " Manes are generally light or tawny on younger animals, and usually darken and lengthen with age. "

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:49 am 
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After unpacking at Nossob, exploring the campsite and buying the usual touristy things from the shop (Kgalagadi glasses, tin mugs etc - :wink: being our first trip we had to buy some stuff) it was time for a little afternoon siesta.

For our early evening drive we headed off to Marie se Draai, but nothing was around at Marie se Gat. We did see Kori's, Wildebeest, Springbok, Red Hartebeest, PCG's, White-backed Vultures, Secretary Bird and lots of BBJ's on the drive though.

That evening, while lighting the fire we had guests. Two BBJ's who were sitting a mere few metres away from us and had probably come to see what they could scavenge. I know they are a nuisance in the camps but I kinda liked having them around so close by. They soon moved off when they saw they were outta luck.

Early the next morning we set off for Unions End. On the way to Cubitje Quap we saw BBJ's, the usual Kori's and White-backed vultures but nothing at the actual waterhole. We continued to Kwang where we decided to park and sit for a while and have a cuppa coffee. While sitting and listening to the sounds, I heard what sounded not so much like a roar but more like a lion calling (best way I can describe). We looked and sure enough, in the distance we saw two lions, one a big black maned one, trotting up towards the dune. They were very far away but we were able to watch them for quite a while with our binoculars until they dissappeard out of sight. We stayed a short while longer and then decided to head off again.

No sooner had we gone not very far up the road when :big_eyes: we had 3 lions walking towards us on the road.

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SO decided to back up the car and go back to the waterhole as we were sure that was where they were headed.

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First one, then two and then three at the waterhole.

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Drinks break over and they headed past us and back onto the road - much to the delight I am sure of those in the cars approaching.

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:thumbs_up: Another great start to our day - we were loving it in KTP.

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


Last edited by Munchkin on Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:41 am 
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After leaving Kwang waterhole it was quite some time before we both thought we spotted a smallish brown hump - rather far away even when looking through the binocs. We parked, switched off the engine and sat trying to figure out if it was indeed anything. Then, the something lifted its head - Hoorray - :dance: our first Bat-eared fox. It was very far off, so the pic is not that great but it was still a great sighting for us.

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We stopped at what can only be described as the worst loo stop of the entire trip, but if you have to go.....! Lijersdraai - eeww!!!

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We saw the usual suspects along the road but just before Kannagaus, we were very happy to see 4 female Kudu. We stopped to let them cross the road before continuing to Kannagaus waterhole.

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(not the greatest of pics)

At Kannagaus there were two very large lions asleep under a tree. Once again, very far away. We sat and watched for a while and then we were joined by another couple, tourists staying at Grootkolk. We showed them the lion and lent them our binocs so that they could have a better look.

:cry: We never made it to Unions End unfortunately and turned around at Grootkolk after having a look at the restcamp. It might seem silly seen that we had gone this far but SO was nervous about whether we would have enough fuel (we never filled up before we left :doh: ) so we reluctantly turned back. Unions End would have to wait for our next trip.

On our way back, we stopped in at Kwang waterhole again - and we both decided that this was our best waterhole so far. There was such a lot of activity. There were Abdim's storks - plenty, Secretary Birds, Wildebeest, Gemsbok and Ostriches.

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At Cubitje Quap we spotted our first Bateleur, in fact there were two. Word is that they often like to hang out there. Because we were parked on the loop opposite, they were a bit far off for a decent pic.

Finally we arrived back at Nossob - the time 2pm. We had been out since 05:30am the morning - only 8 and a half hours. :shock:

The afternoon siesta was followed by an early evening drive back to Kwang but other than the Abdims - it was quiet. We did however meet Pathfinder, SO and little ones and Tintin - it was really cool to have 3 forumites parked next to each other. Thanks to Pathfinder for pointing out the Gabar Goshawk. :thumbs_up:

I just have to add this little quip - while watching the Abdim's Storks, my SO jokingly remarked "Are these the storks that bring the babies"? For those of you that don't know, we had a daughter back home who was due to give birth to our first grandchild. We both had a chuckle at this remark. :hmz:

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


Last edited by Munchkin on Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:08 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:04 pm 
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:hmz: Because we were due to leave Nossob today for Urikaruus, we decided that instead of packing everything up and then heading for Urikaruus, we would rather opt for an early morning drive and then come back, pack up, and then slowly make our way to Urikaruus.

Just as we were about to leave, I was most intrigued to find two BBJ's fighting over an early morning breakfast that I am sure was not top-most on the dietary food chain. (PS - There are many warnings to visitors not to leave shoes lying about - in fact, especially mentioned were anything of a leathery type )

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After that little chuckle we set off for Marie se Draai - more importantly, Marie se Gat. We arrived and found, much to our delight, a pride of lions, very far off but still within viewing distance with our binocs. We watched the antics of the young ones, so playful and full of energy when suddenly, we noticed that one of the adult females was very interested in something somewhat in the distance.

It was at this time that we decided to move our car onto the mound, facing the waterhole in order to get a better sighting of the waterhole. Then, :big_eyes: a Brown Hyaena was making its way to the waterhole, with frequent stops to check the surroundings.


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Eventually he made his way to the waterhole, stopped to have a quick drink and then, :shock: quick as a flash, the lioness was charging and chased him right passed our vehicle and away into the bush. She eventually gave up the chase, and sauntered back to the waterhole, soon to be joined by the rest of the pride. What an exciting start to our day. :dance:

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Then, as SO was so busy taking pics of the pride, (with new camera and no experience to mention) I noticed that the lady in the car in front of us was gesturing to us to "look behind us"!l

I mentioned to SO "Honey, I think there is something behind you". Honey's reply "No! don't worry there is nothing behind me.....

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


Last edited by Munchkin on Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:14 pm, edited 18 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:15 am 
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:roll: Okay, so last nights posting was a bit of a mission, I struggled to get tinypic to play ball and then our system at home kept hanging... :wall: so I had duplicate pics and then no pics. :hmz: Will maybe stick to posting at work.

So just for Micetta, here is a pic of the lady that did all the chasing.

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As I said earlier, the woman in the vehicle diagonally opposite us was gesturing for us to "look behind" but SO was insistent that there was nothing behind him. Well :big_eyes: just take a look at what walked past his window, a few feet away.

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Luckily he managed to get a shot of him as he passed.

He went across to the pride, exchanged some pleasantries and then they all moved off again - back towards the dunes.

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:thumbs_up: Marie se Draai had delivered.

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I know the sign says "Welcome", but for us, sadly it was time to say goodbye.

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And with that it was off to Urikaruus - :dance: a place I was really looking forward to.

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Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:13 pm 
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We left Nossob and made our way over the dune road to Urikaruus. The trip was rather uneventful with regard to wildlife sightings, although we did see a few Ostrich and Gemsbok at Eland and Morevet Waterholes. It was really cool to see all the tsamma melons lying about - there were so many. It was also cool that SO let me drive :roll: .

We arrived at Urikaruus at around 12:45 and after sorting out what needed sorting out with Marius, we were allocated cabin no 1.

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Our cabin!

I was very thrilled about this as I knew that there was one cabin that had a tree in front of it - and ours did not. (PS - that cabin is no 4) I loved the accommodation and the thought of having our own private waterhole - okay so you share it with 3 other cabins - but it still felt so special.

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We quickly unpacked the car - well I did anyway - as I was just a tad nervous about being in an unfenced camp. Once inside, I was like a little child, so excited, going from balcony, to bedroom, to bathroom all the while exclaiming - "look at this, wow look at this" - everything was just stunning. We decided that as we were only staying for one night we would not go out for any game drives but would rather opt to stay put until the next morning.

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We never had many visitors to the waterhole that afternoon, bar the odd springbok or two that visited sporadically. We did see a lanner falcon and two martials a bit further up in a tree and loads of Namaqua doves. It was also lovely to watch the antics and listen to the song of two White-browed Sparrow-Weavers in the tree right next to our cabin.

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Critters like the this Mongoose and Ground squirrels were equally entertaining to watch from the balcony.

We might have missed something whilst we had our afternoon siesta but we were happy with our decision not to leave - although it was very hot -but cool showers sorted that out.

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SO - ever hopeful a visitor will come along...

That evening while braaing we had more springbok at the waterhole and a visit by 2 steenbokkies. Because we did not have a spotlight :evil: , we had to rely on the others to shine theirs on the waterhole. Just after 9:30 the spotlight revealed two leopards at the waterhole. I was later informed that it was a mating pair. It was such a beautiful sighting - they were so impressive. I did try to take a pic but it was all too far and too dark. With that fantastic sighting we retired for the night, two very happy campers or should I say cabinners. Roll on 2009.

2009 and we awoke to another glorious day in KTP. While SO was having a shower, I was sitting on the balcony waiting and hoping for some more visitors. Suddenly I saw a lion approaching. I rushed up the stairs to the bedroom, opened the door, shouted "lion at the waterhole" and then rushed back down again. A single rather bloodied lion had made his way down for a drink. SO soon joined me and we sat watching him - he seemed to drink forever and then eventually turned around and sauntered back in the direction from where he had come - and out of our view. What another great way to start the day and the new year. Later as we sat on our balcony with our bacon & eggs breakfast I could'nt help but think that this "restaurant" had the best view ever.

( :sniper: And because tiny pic will not let me continue with my uploads - this will have to do for now. Will try again tomorrow)

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AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


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 Post subject: Re: Hooked on KTP!
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:07 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
:lol: ....and then anne-marie .... we have to wait until tomorrow when I get back to work so that we can hopefully try and get tinypic to be nice to me again so that we may continue on our journey!

But I do want to tell of a very intersting find I discovered in the cabin. :clap: A sightings book (to be found in the bedroom) made by none other than our forum SANParks Champion, Caracal. What a great idea and a very interesting read. I understand that there is a book in every cabin, so I hope that everyone that visits Urikaruus takes the time to read about the sightings of fellow visitors and also takes the time to record their own sightings. I could hardly wait to be the first person to write in the book for 2009. So, fellow visitors, if you happen to stay in cabin no 1 - "by hook or by crook, I am first in the visitors book for 2009". :lol: I did try to encourage fellow readers to log onto the SANParks website and more particularly the forum - if I remember it was something like a "Munchkin was here" entry somewhere near the bottom of my ramblings. :thumbs_up: Thumbs up to Caracal for a super idea!

_________________
Munchkin = Our Persian Cat - Sadly Munchie no longer with us.

AGULHAS REST CAMP : Sat 14 June 2014 - Mon 16 June 2014 (Our first visit!)


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