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 Post subject: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:39 pm 
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We have just returned from the park after spending 8 wonderful days there. (25 Feb – 4 March) :D
There seems to be quite a few forumites leaving for the park shortly, so I thought instead of doing a day by day report I would give a quite overview of the park and post pics later as I go through my hundreds day by day!
This was our first time that we have visited in a February month and I don’t think it will be the last. Wow, the park was wonderfully quiet. Our first night in TR (we stayed in chalets) there was not a tent in the camp site :huh: 2 caravans and a filming crew of 2 people. That was it!! Awesome to say the least. Leaving TR to go to Nossob the next day, we did not see a car till we got to Dikbaardskolk and that was a vehicle coming from the Nossob side. We had Auchterlonie picnic spot all to ourselves..Last Sept we could not park alongside a table as they were all occupied! We traveled along the lower dunes road to Kij Kij and then obviously headed in the Nossob direction. Once again the picnic spots were quiet. Only us at Melkvlei and then a couple of vehicles passing when we got to Dikbaardskolk.
The condition of the roads were perfect :clap: Only during our last 2 days on the Auob side between Kamqua did we find the corrugations getting a bit hectic, but overall, we could not complain at all :thumbs_up:
The day time and night time weather was hot but we found it bearable. Night time probably in the late 20’s and day time varied between 27-37 degrees.
We traveled with our windows open so you could smell the air and hear the beautiful sounds. This also meant a constant breeze and we felt a little bit of dust was a small sacrifice to pay. We far rather that than using the air conditioner and not hearing the silence of the bushes and the calls of the birds and animals.

The park was green, very very green and the grasses were growing longer by the day. Many days were skies started off clear and as the day progressed beautiful white fluffy clouds allowed for pretty photos. The park got rain while we were there. At Nossob the clouds built up to what we thought was the making of a huge thunderstorm but no luck. A bit of thunder and lightening but that was it.
At KTC we experienced a few drops of rain. I went out on a late afternoon drive and came and asked SO if it rained at KTC. It had not, however near Sitsas, the first waterhole after KTC I drove through huge puddles in the road. We believe that TR had lots of rain that evening and the water alongside the waterholes sure proved this.

We found the Nossob side very quiet predator wise. I think this was our first time ever of not hearing the roars of the lions. We sure missed them. Nossob camp site was also quiet the first night and the following night filled up considerably. Rapters were found throughout the park :D

We chose to skip staying at Grootkolk this time as we were only in the park for 8 nights. I prefer to stay a couple of nights in each camp instead of being in transit every day. So, next time Grootkolk will be on the itinary again!! This visit we only went north as far as Kousant.

On the Auob side we stayed at KTC and spoilt ourselves and spend 1 night in the new Mata Mata Chalets. I will chat about these when I post some pics.
One thing I will say now is that I feel very sorry for the campers. They have moved the waterhole away from in front of the hide and placed it closer towards the new chalets. Awesome for those in the chalets but what about the campers??? :huh:
Perhaps I should not get too hyped up now as I do understand that they are working on re designing the camp site and that would incorporate an extended waterhole :clap:

On our drives we met up with such friendly folk. We always do and after after meeting up at waterholes and in the camps we felt like they had be long standing friends.
From the forum we met ‘bigals’ parents ‘pvheerden’. That was such a pleasant surprise and they came bearing a gift from Bigal and SO. More about that with the pics! They made us really excited as from the little we heard, they had a super time .
We also met ‘Thebi’ and his family as well as ‘Quannah’ and SO. Quannah is a member but not an active member, reads a lot and a loyal visitor to our parks. We managed to spend some real quality time with them :D I caught up with ‘wanderw’ briefly as she was entering Nossob and I was going out on a drive in the middle of the day. I so wanted to see snakes and believe me, we saw none in the roads at all :( Did however see 2 cobras raiding a weavers nest. 'Arks' was also in the park, left a note for her at Kamqua as we would not be crossing paths.
All were displaying their yellow ribbons. I enjoy meeting other forumites in the park, these yellow ribbons are always great sighting :D

Thanks so much to AjayB and Caracal for books for the Wilderness Camp attendants library. These we had to leave them for ‘Bannav’ to collect from the central point – PnPay in Upington. Folks, for some immediate appreciation before the library takes off, if you can, it’s well worth it taking along a recent ‘Huisgenoot’ magazines or something similar. The staff were so thankful and it was a real pleasure to see.

They are once again doing construction work at the New reception area. Personally, I think it is a waste of finances, BUT, as I say...that may not be the feelings of others, and maybe it is neccessary, :hmz: it's me expressing what I think of it :(


Seeing this signpost always makes my heart skip a beat
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Samevloeeing Waterhole welcomes us

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Oh so green, its beautiful
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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:49 pm 
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Okie Dokie.....You have had enough popcorn :wink:
Thank you for all the comments and encouragement to continue sharing our time in KTP. This trip was AWESOME , although as you all know, quiet days do happen.

We left TR and slowly made our way to Nossob.
One can never tire of watching the grounds squirrels get up to all sorts of antics

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Spiders nests and webs were everywhere. Never before had we seen so many and so big.

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This PCG was quite happy going for an afternoon stroll along the dunes road

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This ground agama popped out to see why the PCG was getting so much attention

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A family of yellow mongoose seemed to have made themselves very comfortable at Dikbaardskolk picnic spot.

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This one certainly knew how to beg probably due to the fact the guests insist on feeding them. He was even begging even though there was no one there!

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We were pleased to see these reminders in quite a few places :thumbs_up:

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View from the picnic spot

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All I can say about the next pic is that I wish I could travel this road a LOT more often than we do

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We arrived at Nossob after a long, thoroughly enjoyable leisurely drive and were happy to see this Pearl Spotted Owl in the tree behind the shop. He was very difficult to find, I was just about to give up as I could no longer keep my neck stretched looking for him when SO was happy to announce he was there very well hidden!

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We decided that we would not drive out later in the afternoon and instead enjoyed sitting in the hide and appreciated the last sunlight moments of the day.

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When leaving the hide I looked north through the walkway fence and got such an excited feeling …… tomorrow we would be traveling this road towards Cubitjie Quap and I could hardly wait.

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The end of a beautiful day

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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:58 pm 
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annalie wrote:
Dreamer wrote:
Thanks again everyone :D
Quickly hijacking So's laptop as....my computer is at the 'doctor' :evil: :evil: :evil:
Think a few of you can relate to this :( Oh well, promised for today so lets cross fingers, I really don't enjoy starting a day stressed so I am going off to work pretending all is good :dance: :dance: Hope to see you all here shortly!


This "doctor" must be having the longest day ever :shock: and should be :redface: of keeping us waiting so long for this fabulous trip report to continue!!!

Dreamer thank you for sharing your memories with us!


Oh yes I am...but somebody has to pay the bills :twisted: :twisted:
Thanks for the encouragement and seeing you had to wait so long thought perhaps I should give you an exciting episode :wink:

Mostly, the pics will tell the story but what I do need to add is that we were alone at this sighting for 1 hour and 20 min before another car came along :D :D
Then, we have never witnessed a kill. So, when we came across these cheetahs at a kill and then witnessed this kill and then witnessed a second kill (yes..... :shock: it's true) you can just imagine how we were feeling.

These pics are the first in a series of events and are ok to look at but the next episode is quite detailed. I must admit, I managed while taking the pics (although several times I thought my heart had stopped beating) but when we got home and I took a look at them I did not feel so happy. We know its nature.. but still it hurts.

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At this point, mom was watching her cubs attempting what she had just achieved........

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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:41 pm 
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Thank you for your compliments :redface: I really do look, sigh and criticize my pics and wish I had lenses to take closer pics or use my lens better, so thank you, I appreciate your kind comments :D Many are not taken with the correct apertures etc but I was determined to try AND can I add, as I'm sure you will understand, that taking pics in these circumstances did not allow me much 'thinking' time :redface:
Picasso, I understand this is Elana and her cubs :D
This is a few of the next sequence. I need to split them up or else I will be posting too many on a page and there are a lot more to come. I think I will need to edit the rest after these carefully and just show you a couple as seeing all these may not be everyone's choice :hmz:

Mum dropped her springbok and watched her cubs try catch another!
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The one that caught her seemed to be thinking .."now what???"
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Mum once again picked up her springbok. She continued this action of picking up, holding, walking along and dropping again for at least half an hour.
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At this stage Mum moved along again, obviously teaching her cubs what to do next. Well, these cubs needed to learn a lot as you will see in my episode to follow.
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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:11 pm 
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Well, what more can I add? Yes, we all agree, a once in a life time experience!!
Thank you for the compliments on how I managed to capture this whole experience while shaking and hyperventilating but now what I really do need to know is ...can you cope with any more???
I have edited and edited and....edited :redface: and really would love to share this with you all but please do say if you have had enough :huh: I don't mind, I'll just move on to something else. I have divided all these into stages and downsized for easier and quicker uploading so do let me know if you are finding it too many in one batch.

Here goes with the next sequence pretty much telling its own story.....

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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:13 pm 
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As I mentioned earlier, this sighting lasted about an hour and a half and what was really interesting was that mom did not intervene at all. She came to their side but did not take over at all. In the end :cry: as you can see, she ate with them. Except for the one pic where I have the three of them lying heads together, most of the time one of them , either the mom or one of the cubs stayed upright and very alert.


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We moved along towards Kamqua Picnic spot for morning tea however I must admit I felt like something a lot stronger than tea :redface: Shortly after Kamqua at one of the look out points we came across another mom and 2 cheetah cubs resting close to the road in the shade. What a morning we had!! Prior to the first sighting we came across the first lions of our trip but will tell you more of that in another episode.
Thank you for allowing me to share these pics with you. I did sensor them a lot and do hope I was not too insensitive by including so many, however these show the sequence of events as to how these cubs were being taught the lesson of survival.

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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:31 pm 
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THANK YOU once again for the super comments. However, I am sure you all would have managed to get these shots of the cheetahs as well as they were so close and with nothing obstruting our view of them.

@MM, I can't disagree with your statement :redface: :redface: :redface: I do seem to lose myself amongst too many other things on the go.....sorry :doh:

This beautiful male lion was the first lion for us this trip and we saw him just before the cheetah sighting. There were 2 males and a female but she was really relaxed and not interested in anyone paying her any attention at all.

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These tawny eagles were having a feast on what was left of the very first springbok that we found the cheetah eating on.
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In all our visits to KTP we have never seen so many young ones.
I could sit for hours watching them , just so cute!!
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Veertiende Boorgat was very busy this day.
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We made our way back to KTC for an afternoon rest. We felt we deserved it after such a busy busy morning :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:41 pm 
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Some of the pics to follow are of those that we can look at while longing and waiting for our next trip to KTP. Nothing that those who have been to KTP would not have see, they just help to make the months pass before we can get there again :D

For me, this is such a typical KTP scene. I love the contrasting colours :D
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Taken from the deck of our tent at KTC
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This gorgeous Cape Fox was so well hidden but I was determined to take a pic for the records :D
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For those interested, the next posting will show a couple of pics of the New Chalets at Mata Mata.

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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:53 pm 
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The waterhole that was in front of the hide has now been moved!! It :evil: It is now right in front of the new chalets (where you see all the tall green grass in the pic) At this stage I feel sorry for the campers but I do believe that the camp is to be 'redesigned' and the waterhole will be extended and the campers will once again be happy campers :D

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Here you can see where the waterhole was. A day or two before we arrived it was still operating but just before we got there they seemed to have 'ploughed' over it.
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Here you can see the electric fencing around the chalets as there is no other fence between the chalets and the game area.
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Each chalet has trees between them so all are very private. I do know that everyone is not entirely happy with this luxury style accommodation so I will not go into any further detail about them. However, if anyone would like any further info please do let me know, I will be very happy to pass on info you require.
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Back to the natural surrounds :D

This little one had us in stitches laughing :lol: He or she was lying right up close to Mum but as soon as we stopped our car it got up and it ran towards us at full speed. It came to sudden stop. What it was thinking we would love to know :D
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The view you get when you approach the Auob Riverbed as you get to it from the top Dune road coming from the Nossob side

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Seen alone the Dune road
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A first for us in the park......a terrapin, seen at Craig Lockhart Waterhole
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Driving towards Mata Mata , those familiar with the park I'm sure will recognise Sitsas waterhole :D
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It appeared that a huge storm was brewing at KTC Camp but believe it or not, not much arrived (I was very thankful after seeing the tent next to ours had been blown down a couple of weeks before in what must have been a huge storm. :shock:)

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A beautiful start to the next day
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Very obliging, beautiful wild cat seen close to Sitsas
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As you may have noticed I am pretty much letting the pictures tell their own story. There are so many wonderful tales coming our way at the moment from KTP and they are being so beautifully told. I'm no good at that so I hope you can enjoy some of my pictures instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 3:08 pm 
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Thanks for your patience...but it appears that some don't realize that some CT mites have had logging in problems!! :wink:
So... @ Annalie :naughty:
We thought our Cheetah sighting was just THE BEST, but soon we realised that it was only the best CHEETAH sighting!! We happened to find not only Mom LEOPARD but Mom and not only one cub but two and not only on their own but with a kill :shock:
What a way to spend out last afternoon in the park!!
We arrived at this tree and there was only one other vehicle. They were folk that we had met in the park last Sept as well. They could not stay long as they were exiting the park on their way home so we were very fortunate to spend at least 2 hours alone with them until slowly other cars began arriving.

THE TREE!! :D
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Mom was in the tree and on top on a weavers nest lay one of the cubs next to the springbok.
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Mom then came down and was soon followed by one her cubs. At this stage we never realised that there were two. However, the second one was far more rebellious and did not come when called.

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In the next two pics you can see mom looking up and waiting. Soon mom lay down and without noticing the second cub tumbled down the tree and promptly ran across the road and up and over the dune. I was is such a state panicking that that mom would never see her again :( :(
Well, for the next two hours she did not reappear.
SO decided it was time to get to TR and that 3 hours in a 37degree hot vehicle was enough!! :huh: Not for me... I promptly agreed to leave for TR but only for me to drop him off and return :D :D That's exactly what I did and then spent another 2 hours watching and waiting for the second cub to return :pray: , just like you need to wait for me to return :wink:


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Sorry, There seems to be a problem and I can't find out why it takes so long to download this episode. I have edited to check but it still seems really slow...sorry :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:46 pm 
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The next couple of pics are of the naughty cub before she came down and 'ran away'
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As you can imagine, I have many pics but can't show you all, so just a few of when I returned after taking SO to TR.
Now I was SO frustrated :redface: I was feeling sorry for a couple in a smaller vehicle that could not see from where they were stopped so I moved backwards for them to get a better view. Well...I did not realise they were going to cause a traffic jam in the centre of the road. The easiest thing was for me to then move away for other vehicles to pass by and at last also get a turn to see...after all i had spent a long time with them earlier. Then more vehicles arrived and I had no view at all so tried to console myself by thinking we were lucky to have had the wonderful sighting earlier on with only 2 other vehicles. I can't deny the fact that I was :cry: :cry: as the light was now becoming a lot softer and it would have made for wonderful pics. Oh well...can't win ALL the time :wink:
One of the other vehicles realised what had happened and kindly moved and encouraged me to move into his spot. If you happen to read here...Thank you SO much. I could at least she mom and take a couple of quick pics before heading back to TR.
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Back in camp, we had the traditional braai that we always do on our last evening. Steak with a sauce, a good red wine for SO and some ice cold Champagne for me.
I experimented trying to capture a star trail. The full moon was rising as this was the best I could do.

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We did not for one moment think the leopards would still be there the following morning so we took our time and enjoyed a slow drive taking in all we could as we were to exit the park at lunch time :cry: Well, we were wrong....., they were there.

Just one of many exciting ones to show you and the rest will follow tomorrow :D Little did we know what we would witness next .....
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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Found a couple more of Mom before I left to go back to TR and if I'm not in the bad books for posting so many :naughty: , I will post a different series tomorrow.

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Look carefully, this one you can see both cubs with mom
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Looking for sibling to come down from tree and play. She/he did eventually come down but not to play.
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Too cute :D
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Keeping itself entertained and us amused :D
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Whenever mom climbed up to eat some more of the springbok in the tree, little one tried to follow. It did eventually manage to get up to mom but it took a lot of effort
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 Post subject: Re: Dreamer and SO's Feb Visit to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:49 am 
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Thank you to each one of you who have commented on enjoying this sighting with me :D
Toureg...., having just read some more of your report, I just know you would have captured some award winning pics with your talent and camera gear. Good luck for your visit in June :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


These pics will tell their own story and I'll fill in a little bit :D

What great excitement the next morning when we reached the end of the dune road and soon saw cars stopped at THE TREE :D
This is what we saw. They we so active that I did not find it easy to get pics between trees and bushes but managed a few

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You can imagine how happy I was when suddenly we spotted these. The other vehicles that were there had also been with us at the sighting the day before and were aware that the second cub had run off. They we also all so happy and everyone was signaling 2 with their hands and fingers :dance: :dance:

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Mom got a bit restless and got up and proceeded to climb down from the tree
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Little one followed on . Probably the same obedient cub :D

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This jackal started to howl his warning calls
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Only then did we realise what all the fuss was about. A springbok kill was lying at the bottom of the tree, out of our site.
Mum was very speedy, jumped down and then returned to the tree with the springbok and dragged it to the same place as we had seen one the day before. We are still not sure if it was the same buck as the day before or another kill :hmz:
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This is when we left and drove on the Auchterlonie to have our last breakfast in the park.
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Well, how lucky were we?? :D :dance: Our last morning in the park and seeing this. An amazing parting 'gift' :D
I won't sign off and say cheers now, I'll be back with a couple of general bits of info re our stay in the park.

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