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 Post subject: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:55 pm 
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I guess that got your attention quickly enough…. :dance:

31 Dec 2007 SO and I were sitting in Twee Rivieren with an owl for company
1 Jan 2008 found us moving onto Kielie Krankie where we shared our 25th wedding anniversary with this leopard

Image

31 Dec 2008 SO and I were at Kalahari Tented Camp with hyenas for company.
1 Jan 2009 saw us moving onto Nossob where we celebrated our 26th Wedding Anniversary with some beautiful lions

Image

31 Dec 2009 will see us sitting at Nossob with Hijackers for company… :shock:
1 Jan 2010 will be spent celebrating our 27th Wedding Anniversary with a couple of Hijackers

Yes that is correct our quiet little summer trip to the KTP has been hijacked by BabyNel & Bat Eared Butland , as well as Son Steve and Friend.

This time next week a laden Combi and trailer will be on it’s way to the KTP.
It is the first time round for Bat Eared Butland and Friend. Son Steve was last in the park in 2005 and BabyNel in 2004.
As you can imagine there is a lot of excitement brewing ….
Lots of groceries to be bought…a sweetie box to be filled…and the sightings wishlist is just getting longer longer !!!!

7 more sleeps !!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:04 pm 
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Thanks again to everybody for their wonderful wishes :D ..yes it seems the 27th Wedding Anniversary is quite a feat...but actually we have known each other for 32 yrs !!!! ( I think SO deserves a medal for putting up with me for so long) :roll:
Already I am stressing about the heat but I just cannot say no to a trip to the KTP. I am sure that many times my sense of humour is going to appear on the missings list :shock: ..just call me a sucker for punishment. :roll:
The wet towel story does not work for me....it makes me itch too much. :evil: I just suffer in silence ...hoping that the KTP will reward me ...it always does !!!!!!!!! :dance: :dance:
This trip is going to be different...the Hijackers are desperate for sightings. Over the years SO and I have learnt to be patient and enjoy what the KTP has to offer at the time because we know that we will be back time and time again and at some stage we will get lucky. For the Hijackers sake I hope we have some awesome sightings. Especially for our first timers ...Bat Eared Butland and Friend. BabyNel and Son Steven have many past memories to fall back on.
Of course I am happy with anything that I can take a photo of...actually I am happy with anything (except the heat) even if I cannot take a photo of it.
Or course what would make me happy is a decent photo of a caracal, brown hyena or honey badger :thumbs_up: But then I don't want to sound too greedy. :naughty:
But I will be happy with seeing the old year out and the new year in at Nossob...full moon into the bargain. :thumbs_up: Best I stay away from the champagne so that I can concentrate on capturing that full moon on camera... :wink:
So much to do in 4 little sleepies time !!!!!! I call them little sleepies because I don't sleep much at night time...such a waste of time sleeping !!!!! :roll:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:14 pm 
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It seems I have got to the last sleepie ...tomorrow we hit the road hopefully by 5.00 am. Not sure how the Hijackers are going to cope with that :wink:
I have checked the weekly weather forcast...0% chance of rain throughout our stay...now where have I heard that story before :roll: High temperatures..reaching 39° C BUT Nossob waterhole has been cooking these past weeks....lions, cheetahs and hyenas :thumbs_up:

Again thanks to all for the well wishes..good to see you on the forum again WarthogB.
@ Micetta...I sure do like your way of thinking!
@ p@m..if that hyena is there ...I will sniff it out...
@ Ingid60..indeed I am looking forward to some Magic Moments :lol:

Now all that remains is to wish everybody a Happy New Year..... :D :thumbs_up:
See you all next year ....with many tales to tell...I hope :wink:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Hi there everybody....New Year greetings from Twee Rivieren.
We are about to go on our last game drive.... :cry: It has been raining...a huge thunderstorm prevented us from braaing last night but what the heck we made a plan. Thx for updating Dreamer :D ...and yes we have had our moments .....good and bad but more about that when we get back to CT.
But excuse me for now I need to go find a leopard :dance: :dance:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:44 am 
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The Kalahari through the Eyes of a Hijacker…

Hi All, welcome to the chronicles of Baby Nel (BN) and Bat-Eared Butland (BEB). For the next couple of minutes we plan to inform all and sundry of our adventures in the Kalahari. For some of us, BEB being one, this was another first time experience and one that truly was amazing!! So please sit back, relax and enjoy. Photos will be provided by Caracal.

All the excitement started earlier in the year when BN overheard Caracal and SO discussing a Dec ‘09 – Jan ’10 trip to the Kalahari. This is where her cunning plan came to be. It was not long until BN pitched the idea of “inviting ourselves along” to BEB. Without much hesitation or resistance, BEB’s rubber arm was twisted and “Operation Hijack” was launched. Fast-forward a couple months and the 27 December 2009 arrived, we were all packed and ready to roll to “the Calamari” as BN yelled a few days earlier. Methinks she was excited ?? Nevertheless, we were underway at 05H30, the temperature a moderate 14.5 degrees Celsius. The party had however increased in size and now consisted of Caracal and SO, BN, BEB as well as Caracal’s kitten Steven and his Friend. After a rather long drive with the occasional stop to refill, both with diesel and with food we arrived safe and sound at the first gate, Twee Rivieren. (Thanks to Caracal’s SO for getting us there safely)

Image BEB &BN

Image Son Steve & Friend

Once booked into Chalets 8 and 9 it was time to unpack and prepare for an afternoon appetizer drive just to whet the taste buds. The temperature had increased slightly. It was now a chilly 35.5 ° C….when you look at the temperatures that followed that week, you would all agree.
Once unpacked, room’s aircon’s working overtime it was time for our first drive. The time was 16H30 and the temperature was now in the upper 30’s, 39° C to be exact. After the first 15mins of the drive it became clear that today would be more about spotting the Tweeties than the Sylvester’s with four Spotted Eagle Owls,

Image

a Namaqua Dove, Sociable Weaver and Sparrows being the order of the day.
Seeing as BEB was a first timer to the Kalahari, the hope of “beginners luck” soon proved unsuccessful in spotting the Samevloeiing Leopard. :( Due to the now well known road-works, a detour was taken over the dune road. As beautiful as the dune road was, it failed to produce anything more than a Steenbok and a couple of Ostriches. Nevertheless, no one was complaining as everyone was just so excited and happy to be in the park. Once in the Auob riverbed we spotted an injured PCG

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Crowned Plover, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl

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Scaly-Feathered Finch, Ground Agama, Ground Squirrels

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and a couple of very curious Meerkat’s as well as three Spotted Eagle Owls with one on the ground.

Image

On the return journey five Northern Black Korhaan’s,

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a Violet Eared Waxbill, and a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl were seen not to mention a good number of Springbok

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and Blue Wildebeest.
All in all, a pretty successful hors d'oeuvre. The evening was concluded with a “Mal-braai” and the spotting of a new, rather seasonal buck, the Urbock :wink: :wink:

Image BEB's photo

and the euphoric thoughts of another six days in this wonderful place called the Kgalagadi.


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:10 am 
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Indeed it was so good to back in the KTP. We had a trouble free trip with the hijackers behaving themselves in the back. I must admit I was pretty exhausted by the time we got to Twee Rivieren..it had been hard work catering and packing up for this lot. I normally pack for two..now it was six.....which meant 12 eggs for a breakfast !!!!! :shock:
I was well pleased with the sightings of the first game drive ..owls are just my favourite and we saw so many. They were quite hard to spot though..as you can see they were very well camouflaged in the trees ...especially the "spotties".
The dying and then dead PCG was sad though. When we came upon it there was another PCG next to the one dying under the tree. I reckoned there had been a fight. The injured bird was still moving slightly but on our way back it was no longer moving. I was pleased about that....and the next morning the bird was longer there. No doubt it had become supper for a jackal or such like.

I especially enjoyed being back at Samevloeiing. I couldn't help but notice how different the landscape was to our last visit in June. It was sooo dry but the waterhole was full of water. Not much visited the waterhole except Springbok and this tiny little striped mouse.

Image

The boys ( Steve and friend) had not joined us on this drive but when we got back to camp Steve pointed the following bird out to me. They had spent a while watching it. At first I thought it may be a Shikra but then I changed my mind...a juvenile Gabar Goshawk. :hmz:
Image

One problem with TR are those bats :big_eyes: ...both chalets had bats in them. BN and I both shotgun the Kombi in case of Bat Attacks but strangely enough by the time we retired for the night the bats had disappeared. I fell asleep in a blissfully cool air-conditioned chalet wondering what the trip up to Nossob the next morning had in store for us....little did I know :whistle:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:41 pm 
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Something I forgot to mention.....and BEB deliberately didn't mention..were these huge spider webs.

Image

There were very many around,smaller ones as well as really really huge ones. Now why didn't BEB mentioned these :hmz: ( because spiders are not his most favourite creatures :shock: ) I remember him looking at them in horror and saying..."If that is the size of the web imagine the size of the spider !!!" I just laughed... :D
Strangely enough these huge spider webs were more prevalent around Twee Rivieren. We hardly saw any around Nossob.

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Day 2

28 December 2009 signaled the start of day 2 of our adventure. After an early rise and a quick repack we were off, the time was 05H46 and the temperature a refreshing 19.5 degrees Celsius the destination was Nossob. The realization that we would be leaving air-conditioned chalets had not quite hit us yet, only the seasoned and experienced Caracal and SO really knew what we were heading for. :shock: En-route to Nossob we got our day off to the ideal start by seeing the Samevloeiing Leopard sleeping in a tree 3km’s from the camp. :clap:

Image

Image

We also spotted Black Backed Jackals, Doves, a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Ant-Eating Chats and the usual game, Sprinbok, Gemsbok and Wildebeest included. While watching a group of Meerkat we spotted a Leopard Tortoise, Scrub Hare and a rather large, hungry looking Greater Blue Grader eating up the road. :dance: Travelling in the wake of a freshly graded road, the next stop was Auchterlonie for a coffee stop and cultural lesson at the Museum. After sharing a joke or two about the six week round trip it would take the farmers from years gone by to travel by wagon to Upington, we were underway. We headed over another dune road towards Kij Kij.

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Image

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Along with various other animals we spotted three Kori Bustard’s just before Tierkop. At Kij Kij we stopped to watch nine Black Backed Jackal’s however we were originally completely oblivious of the four lion’s right in front of us.

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Image

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After a couple of minutes of observing these four amazing and very well fed creatures, it was time to continue towards a toilet break at Melkvlei which soon became known as "Melktert". :D Shortly after our toilet stop Caracal spotted two Cheetahs in the distance. Slowly it was becoming clear that today the Sylvester’s were outnumbering the Tweeties.


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:45 pm 
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What I was beginning to find strange was the lack of raptors. Up till now we had not seen one Tawny, Black Chested Snake Eagle, Martial or Bateleur. :hmz:
Kori Bustards were also not abundant but I was thrilled with this Ludwig's Bustard sighting.

Image

I might even go as far as to say that we saw more Ludwig's on this trip than Koris... :huh:

We came across this pretty fellow near Houmoed.

Image

Otherwise as BEB noted...the birdies were scarce!
But not so the cats. :dance: Leopard, Lion and Cheetah all in a morning's viewing. :clap: The leopard and cheetahs were quite far away but it is only me that frets about getting photos .... the Hijackers wanted sightings and sightings they were getting.

I was just thinking what a good performance the Kalahari was putting on for us when.......

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:09 pm 
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It was about this time, 09H45 to be exact that we heard the strange, new call of the VW Alternator. This new rather nerve racking warning tone did raise the alarm bells and all unnecessary electronics were unplugged. After this failed to shut the VW Alternator up it became clear that a huge problem was brewing. Nonetheless we pushed on in an attempt to reach Nossob as soon as possible. We did however stop to spot a Red Hartebeest or three, a Spotted Hyena

Image

View My Video

and the first Secretary Bird of the trip.
After Caracal's SO managed to nurse us into Nossob it was clear that the problem would not fix itself so after a satellite phone call to Upington and a recharge of the batteries it was decided that Caracals SO would head back to Twee Rivieren for the night and then push onto Upington the next morning. Caracals SO was off shortly after midday, fingers crossed that he would make it. :pray:


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:15 pm 
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What a frustrating situation we were in...and what was even more frustrating was that we had not stopped at Dikbaardskolk (didn't dare switch off the engine) and that is where we later learnt the lioness and her family had beseiged the bathrooms. Oh well..one cannot have all the excitement all the time.
It was hot..very hot and I was bothered....very bothered..but there was nothing to be done except play the waiting game !

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:19 pm 
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Later it was revealed to us that the mechanic in Upington got it wrong, :twisted: the VW Alternator was soon joined in it's cries by its fellow warning calls and the Kombi died at Kij Kij, Lions still insight. :big_eyes: Thanks to a very friendly and helpful fellow Kalahari lover Caracal's SO was towed for some 80km’s back to Twee Rivieren with no power steering, decent breaks or aircon, where he charged the batteries overnight and nursed the Kombi into Upington at 05H30 the next morning. The bad news continued as the parts needed would only arrive in the New Year thus threatening to put an end to our trip. But like they say in the classics, “Never fear when Doug is near” and this was the case as he made a trip to Avis, hired another Kombi :thumbs_up: and bolted through to us.


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:09 am 
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Meanwhile, back at Nossob we were booking night drives and spending the afternoon in the lifesaving swimming pool. On the night drive we spotted Red Necked Falcon, Southern White-Faced Scops Owl,

Image

Image

Spotted Eagle Owl,

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Vultures, Jackals,

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a Spotted Dikkop, Springbok, a Bat Eared Fox, Springhare and an amazing sunset. Upon our return from the night drive we spent a couple minutes in the Hide where we spotted a Barn Owl and more Jackals and Springbok. The evening was concluded with eggs on toast.


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:40 pm 
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Thanks again everybody for the great comments.

Oh yes TonyT ..any excuse :D :D But what really irritated me with this breakdown is that we did not get to stay in the park for any extra days...I would have been much happier if we could have stayed at least another day or two...but then I suppose some people do have to go to work :roll: :wink:
Thx Ladyhawke for the anniversary wishes :D

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hijackers in the KTP !!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:14 pm 
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Thanks RayK :D

Quote:
and an amazing sunset.


Indeed it was BEB..just a bit surprised that you two actually noticed it :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :wink:

Image

Image

I see a sunset and I start clicking...these two see a sunset and they start kissing :wink:

I must admit I was caught unawares on this night drive. I did not expect to be able to get off the vehicle and watch the sun set. If I had known that I would have taken another lens as well as my tripod along . Oh well I had to make do with hand holding !

Image

Friend was a bit nervous in getting off the vehicle at first but we soon convinced him that it was safe to do so.

Image

View My Video

The night drive was over before we knew it...and we were back in camp. I went to the hide a couple of times but there was not much to report. I decided I would get my notes up to date before the lights went out..but then disasters of all disasters. :doh: My glasses were in the kombi...no checking of bird lists for me...after trying unsuccessfully to work out what a Bestbut Rented Sit Rabbler was I decided to call it a night!
I must admit I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and it was so darn hot in that chalet. I really did hope that Doug had some awesome sightings on his way down to TR..little did I know then that he had broken down right next to the lions. I had given BEB and BN strict instructions to wake me early in the morning. They were to ignore all pillows and abuse that could possibly be hurled at them...they just had to make sure I was awake to join them in the hide.

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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