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)
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,
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
Crowned Plover, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl
Scaly-Feathered Finch, Ground Agama, Ground Squirrels
and a couple of very curious Meerkat’s as well as three Spotted Eagle Owls with one on the ground.
On the return journey five Northern Black Korhaan’s,
a Violet Eared Waxbill, and a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl were seen not to mention a good number of Springbok
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
and the euphoric thoughts of another six days in this wonderful place called the Kgalagadi.