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 Post subject: Beautiful, Beautiful Kgalagadi ......
Unread postPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 3:01 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Strand, South Africa
BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL KGALAGADI!!!!!!!!

The first time we went to the former KalahariGemsbok Park, I decided that this was not for me! It was August and terribly cold. I was used to the Kruger with its great variety of animals and habitat. But a few years later we had the opportunity to visit the Kgalagdi with friends. I thought that at least I would enjoy the company of our friends!!

Somehow the sand of the Kgalagadi dunes got into my shoes and my attitude completely changed. I lost my heart in the beautiful, beautiful Kalahari! I realised that if you look totally different to the animal life in the Kgalagadi you will be rewarded in ways you could never have imagined.

Three years ago we witnessed lions playing in the water after a thunderstorm. We saw lions mating. We saw the Samevloeiing leopard jumping into the tree next to our car. That was amazing!!
We saw a gemsbuck and springbuck moving away from a waterhole when a tortoise came along for a drink. They watched from a distance and went back to the waterhole after the tortoise went away. It was with fascination that we watched this strange animal behaviour.

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We did not witness lions that close on this trip, we did not even see the Samevloeiing leopard, (a very big dissapointment!!!) but still the Kgalagadi has so much to offer!!!

There will ALWAYS be very special moments in the Kgalagadi. After all the wonderful rain this year we knew that we would see the Kgalagadi at its best! And what a feast it was!!!

The main gate opens at 7.30 am. We arrived at 7.34 am. It is impossible to describe the wonderful feeling of being in the Park!


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A welcome little visitor

I have never seen the Kgalagadi so beautiful. The grass is unbelievable high. Near Montrose the grass was so high you could not see the gemsbucks’s legs and almost half of their bodies!!
The dunes are covered with green bushes.
This made it difficult to see the animals. But still the Kgalagadi has it own surprises.

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To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice.


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 Post subject: Re: Beautiful, Beautiful Kgalagadi ......
Unread postPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Strand, South Africa
Our second day at KTP was going to be a very hot day!!!

On the dunes at Houmoed we saw 5 very lazy lions. A mother and 4 young lions. Most of the time they were asleep It was only the springbuck grazing across the road that alerted them!
(only 3 of the young lions on the photos)

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I had a mission: I wanted to see real meerkats. I would love to sit and watch them ....... I was so excited when we saw a little group of meerkats playing near Houmoed. If only they were closer ……...
Nevertheless we watched them through the binoculars. They are the most adorable little creatures. I am a big fan of Meerkat Manor!!

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The following day on our way to Nossob we stopped at Dikbaardskolk.
The grass was almost as high as the table and bench! The landscape was beautiful. The condition of the veld was excellent!!!

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We settled in at Nossob. Definitely my favourite camp!!

At the hide there was the usual wildebeest.

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And above the hide watching ........

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 Post subject: Re: Beautiful, Beautiful Kgalagadi ......
Unread postPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 5:12 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Strand, South Africa
Every night we watched the stars. The sky is so clear and the stars are brilliant bright. We looked at the bright Southern Cross showing us where home is, not yet ready to go home!
Two years ago at Twee Rivieren my son showed us four moons around Jupiter. It was unbelievable.

Sunrise at Nossob.
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Marie se Draai had a few surprises.

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At Marie se Gat two cheetah came for a drink.

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Falcon in tree at Marie se Gat.

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Kori bustard flying in front of the car on Marie se Draai.

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The next morning again on Marie se Draai 4 cheetah. They played quite far away. Eventually they walked towards the road. Suddenly they started to run and disappeared into the grass. Unfortunately our view was not very good because of cars in front of us.

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When we got back to Nossob we were told that two male lion had caught a wildebeest. We hurried to the hide. The carcass was under the tree but the two lion was not visible because they were lying behind the dune. Eventually the one lion came to feast on the wildebeest. Then he dragged the carcass into the shade. The other lion soon joined the first lion.

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In the meantime an intriguing drama was being played out in front of our eyes. A tawny eagle waited for the namaqua sandgrouse to come and drink water. He swept down suddenly and caught a bird. He hopped into the water and kept the bird under the water until it had drowned. Afterwards he sat on the edge and pulled off the head of the little bird. Not so nice to watch, but that is nature.

Tawney eagle

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To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice.


Last edited by Janeli on Tue May 12, 2009 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Beautiful, Beautiful Kgalagadi ......
Unread postPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 12:43 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Strand, South Africa
On our last day at Nossob we drove to Bedinkt.

The only hyena that we saw during our trip was at the Kwang waterhole.

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Between Bedinkt and Kwang we saw 2 lions. There could have been more. It was impossible to be sure how many lions were lying in the grass because the grass was so long.

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Vultures not far from the lions.

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At Cubitje Quap there were a few cars. People said lions were making their way to the waterhole!!! They saw them through binoculars. We couldn't see anything and no lions showed up.

I liked the doves on the branches at Cubitje Quab.

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Owl sleeping in a tree in the camp. Witwanguil

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Always a busy little squirrel around.

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A last sunset at Nossob.

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On the 22 April we had to say goodbye to Nossob. To leave Nossob made me very sad. The previous night we went to the hide for the last time. When we arrived there we were told we just missed the male lion drinking water at the waterhole. Fortunately he was lying about 30 meters to the right side of the hide. It was a beautiful lion. Lying so near the hide licking his paw……. Suddenly he stood up and walked in the direction of the fence of the camp. Then there was silence in the hide when the lion started to roar. What a sound! The other lion in the grass (which you could not see) answered back. That kept on for a while. It was stunning!! This was the best farewell roar ever!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Beautiful, Beautiful Kgalagadi ......
Unread postPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 10:18 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Strand, South Africa
A Kgalagadi sunrise

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There was something we had to do before leaving Nossob.
It was 22 April 2009. Voting day!!! I will always remember that we were allowed to vote in a beautiful little place called Nossob!!!! That was a very unusual experience.

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A jackal longing to be inside the Nossob Camp. I know exactly how this little scavenger feels!! This is how I am feeling at this moment. Longing to be back in the Kgalagadi!!!

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Gemsbuck in a hurry! Wonder if something was chasing them?

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The beautiful landscape.

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And then we were at the turnoff to the First Dune Road.

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To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice.


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 Post subject: Re: Beautiful, Beautiful Kgalagadi ......
Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 3:18 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:11 pm
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Location: Strand, South Africa
On our way to Twee Rivieren for our last 3 days in the Kgalagdi the wind became stronger.
Near the road under a fallen tree a lion was hiding against the wind. Only a small part of her face was visible through the branches. She looked so cold.

A storm was brewing.
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That night we had a thunderstorm. I can’t even remember when the last time was that I have experienced a real thunderstorm. It was wonderful to watch the lightning and thunder. The following morning friends phoned us and told us they heard on the radio that Twee Revieren had 14mm of rain.
When we drove out of the camp you could see that the Kgalagadi once more had lovely rains.

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Soon the Kalahari sun will be hot. The roads will become dusty again. But for a while the road was damp and the red sand was exceptionally beautiful ………

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The animals were exuberant!!!!

The gemsbuck were playing and chasing each other. We watched three gemsbuck running full speed and not even slowing down when a herd of springbuck was in their way! The springbuck had to make way for the gemsbuck. What a show!!!!


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On that lovely morning the animals were really showing off:

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While sitting at the Samevloeiing Dam and enjoying the Kalahari evening a herd of 25-30 gemsbuck grazed nearby. Some came to drink water at the waterhole. It was a peaceful day. Watching and enjoying nature.


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To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice.


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 Post subject: Re: Beautiful, Beautiful Kgalagadi ......
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:11 pm
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Location: Strand, South Africa
Our last day at Kgalagadi was a beautiful sunny day.

We drove to Auchterlonie where we saw 5 lions. There were already a few cars watching. The male lion was circling around a few gemsbuck while the other lions were waiting in the grass. Suddenly the gemsbuck started to run and the lions chased them. Unfortunately they disappeared over a dune and we could not see whether there was a kill!!! So near the real action but not able to witness it! What a disappointment.

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On the First Dune Road we saw a cheetah on a dune. It was too far for a good photo. This will have to do.

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A very small and beautiful steenbuck.

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The beautiful red dunes of the Kgalagadi.

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When we were in Shingwedzi in the KNP in August 2008 I almost stepped on a pufadder. Therefore I had no desire to ever see a snake again! But we saw a puffadder crossing the road and another one who was injured. A car must have run him over. He was unable to move and there was blood on the road.

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We also saw a mole-snake sailing into his hole!! No danger at all!!

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Unfortunately all good things come to an end. We enjoyed every moment. What a pleasure it was to experience the Kgalagadi at its best!!!! It was sad to say goodbye but I will always remember how exceptionally beautiful the Kgalagadi was April 2009: the long grass, the green bushes covering the dunes and the big herds of springbuck and gemsbuck.

In the beautiful, beautiful Kgalagadi there will always be very, very special moments. I have many to treasure ……………



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Dear Forumites/Friends,
Thank you for reading my Travel Report. I appreciate your interest and feedback on this Report. To be in the Kalahari was a wonderful experience; to write the Travel Report was to relive our experiences. To everyone who had been to the Kalahari: you already know what a special place the KTP is! To those who have not had the opportunity yet: the Forum is definitely the place to learn about the Kgalagadi, but I hope that one day you will have the opportunity to experience the beautiful, beautiful Kgalagadi yourself …..….
______________________________________________________________

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 Post subject: Re: Beautiful, Beautiful Kgalagadi ......
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:57 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Strand, South Africa
Hi everyone, thanks again for reading my TR. Special thanks to all the Forumites for their feedback after the last page. I appreciate the wonderful responses!!!!!


I have an interesting story to tell!! I know a lovely French girl who is studying in SA. We told her about the KTP. The next thing we know she and 3 of her French friends and a Dutch girl contacted the Sanparks. They were fortunate to get accommodation for 3 days at Mata Mata. They had no idea about the distance between the camps when they booked!

They took the bus to Upington, rented a car and with tents and sleepingbags they were ready for the KTP. I gave them a map and a crash course on the Kgalagadi!!!!! My thoughts were constantly with them during those 3 days. Wondering how they managed …….

They phoned us when they came back and we met them at the station. Five very tired young people, but glad they could experience South Africa in a very special way!!! They said they enjoyed their stay very much, but the nights were very, very cold!! Unfortunately no lions for them, but they saw a leopard in a distance. They have never seen a life giraffe and were so pleased to have seen a few giraffes. They took lovely photos of giraffes and springbuck.

I was amazed at the courage these young people had to arrange everything on their own in such an easy way!

Pauline wrote the following:

Kgalagadi ……….
For me it was a big contrast with Cape Town area... In the Kgalagadi I really saw, smelt, been somewhere in Africa …... the colours, the vegetation, the landscapes, the shapes, the animals, the atmosphere .…. particularly the colours! It was wonderful! I was surprised about the quiet, and the brightness of the stars. There, I really felt freedom and happiness of nature ….....
Magical souvenir!

A few photos they took:

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FIN!!!!

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