Ok next day, new chances of seeing animals we wanted to see especially. Ofcourse the big cats, but also maybey hyena, caracal or african wildcat. The little and more specials sightings of birds, or mammals can be just as exciting as a leopard in a tree.
Despite the awesome KTC honymoon suite we had a very unpleasent sleep due to the cold conditions. KTC is one of the coldest places i have ever slept and that excludes my trip to the summit of Mont Blanc (mountain in Europe). We had -10 the ranger told us and with a cabin on poles and a strong wind it was unpleasent, but we could at least keep each other warm and had the beaty of nightly sounds surrounding us
. But everybody can agree with me that when the alarm goes off and the sun is just cracking the horizon that when you need to get out to head to the toilet it is NOT recommendable to anybody
OK enough of the negative talk, we had a quick breakfast and warm coffee/tea and head of with FULL excitement because this was our first ever full day in the park. We needed to head off to Twee Rivieren and then up again to Nossob. This was proven to be challeging but doable.
We also found out that day that distances are small on teh map but can take forever in the park due to sightings/ state of roads/ picknicks and toilet breaks. It was a lesson to be kept in mind!
We did saw alot of the usual suspects in teh riverbed and sometimes just stopped at some herds next to the road to enjoy the morning lights just enlighten the animals with suberb photo conditions. We realised at auchterlonie that it was already 11:30 or so and we still needed to go to the reception at Twee rivieren, the shop and fill up diesel... That made us step up teh speed abit so we could at least do our things and start the long drive to Nossob. When we left the dune road to trun right traffic jam.. we where like oh noooo, not now!!! There where lions up in the dunes and you could see one. Due to the time and miscalculations we drove one, stopping sadly for 2 minutes, because we knew we had to get back shortly.
Got our refill, money at the atm, checked the shop (good shop!!) and FORGOT where we actually came for in our hurry... our stamps in teh passports....... I could not believe it when i realised we just driven back to the lions and the imagined we forgot what we wanted to get in teh first place and do the long drive that day.....
We then decided we needed to drive on and watched the lions for some to start the long drive up north.
We saw a beautifull Tawny eagle up close in a tree at Batulama (i think, with a kill. I made some quick shots and wanted to get better framed when suddenly it took off. We looked at what startled it and saw one guy standing next to his car...
. We where sadly to late for a pic, and also abit shocked of this misbehaviour and i was abit pissed i lost the change of some awesome feeding pictures. In the picture below you can see it has a weird eye, anybody can explain?
Ok off we went again taking the shortest route from kamqua to dikbaardskolk. This route is used by people to SPEED alot, and i mean speed, like 70 or 80 km/h. Also the staff and supply trucks drive FAR to fast on this dangerous route. We saw not much but still some outstanding birds of prey close to the route. The problem is when you stand next to a tree, engine dead, just off the dune, you don't feel comfortable because if somebody comes over the dune with 50-70 he cannot evade you... We did not like that stretch at all sadly but had some good pics and sightings and our first red hartebeest
We stopped at dikbaardskolk )closeby at the intersection' for some toilet stop and great scenery over the nossob riverbed. We saw we had enough time left and watched the yellow mongoose strolling past us at close range.
Up north we went again not seeing anything to stop at the lovely kaspersdraai waterhole to see someone standing there. We saw a herd of gemsbok at the waterhole and sit there for some. Then i saw movement and watched as a brown hyena came strolling in at the wh chasing the gemsbok away. We where excited ofcourse and watched the brown hyena drink alot of water and being followed by a black backed jackal all the time. After 10 min teh gemsbok started to chase the hyena again up to the road. There he stood ground and returned again to the waterhole. He then stayed there for some 15 min and wondered off in the bush. Was the best ever sighting we had for a brown hyeana!.
The Marie se gat draai proved another traffic jam and appereantly we just missed out the lions that walked there and now where in the vegetation 100 meter off the road. We looked and looked, but could not find em. We decided to head to the park at 17:20 because we where tired and been driving all day.
Checking in was taking ages sadly but we enjoyed the predator centre, warm cottage and also a decent braai with wine. Watched some wildebeest/impala/jackal at he waterhole and bumped into very cocky jackals in our camp. Problem isn't solved
We also discovered that at KTC we just missed a cheetah with 4 cubs ... We had mixed feelings but still we had the brown hyeana seen!
Next day off to Grootkolk for 2 nights. My big dream!
Here are some pictures again:
We also have alot of video footage but i need to convert the *.mod files to mpeg i think to make it work. Will post them asap.
Keep looking because Grootkolk will be exciting