Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 2
 [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: *Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:05 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Well not quite yet time to even leave for KTP. In fact it is 6 more sleeps before Touareg and young Mattanator do the KTP roadtrip.
First night 31 Mar TR, 01 and 02 Apr Nossob, 03 Apr Mata Mata, 04 Apr KTC and 05 Apr Urikaruus and 06 Apr Kieliekrankie. I am sure that by the time its time to leave we will already be planning the next extended trip. I have been waiting for the time to fly by since our last visit in June 09 and have read ALL the trip reports and have decided that I will also do one. I am unsure of the format, but will NOT be trying to get to Africat's stunning standard. What a hoot that was from start to finish. So I will be bringing back a report for the addicts :dance: of which I am one.
I have kept from asking too many questions to date, but here goes :D
As I haven't been there this time of the year, we are expecting thundershowers, tall grass, very hot days, unsure of the nights? Do we need to take mosquito/insect coils? Are the freezer compartments in the Wilderness camps fridges the same size as the fridges in e.g the other larger camps?
Is the road from TR to Nossob open yet?

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:54 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
So its Saturday and today is the big "getting everything together and getting the food day" I have already been into Cape Town to Orms this morning to buy another 16GB compact flash card just in case. On the 8GB cards I get about 350 shots shooting in RAW, but I don't want to get caught short. Bought the inverter on Friday so I think now I need a trailer to card all the techno gadgets and camera equipment around. :hmz:

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:02 pm
Posts: 70
Touareg wrote:
I have kept from asking too many questions to date, but here goes :D
As I haven't been there this time of the year, we are expecting thundershowers, tall grass, very hot days, unsure of the nights? Do we need to take mosquito/insect coils? Are the freezer compartments in the Wilderness camps fridges the same size as the fridges in e.g the other larger camps?
Is the road from TR to Nossob open yet?


hi...
Sure the wait is now really starting to get to you...
We just got back on Monday, wat can i say, AWESOME...
in regards to thunder showers, we only experienced one, not too severe though..
The nights are warm, when the electricity goes out at 11 the room really gets hot, no need for a thin jacket, but just take one in case..
The grass isnt very long, still easy to spot animals though..
There are insects around, we didnt use anything and didnt get any bites, but as a precaution you can take peaceful sleep..
About the freezes, that i cant answer as we were only in nossob..
The road is still closed, but you can link up again at kij kij.
in regards to sightings, the road between mata mata & twee riv was very productive with alot of cheetah & lion, between nossob & kwang saw a cheetah, brown hyhena drinking at cubetjie, o, & lions at the nossob hide...
Hope this was helpful.. ( take enough drinks, very hot during the day )
If you need anything lemme know..
dont forget your yellow ribbon...
:thumbs_up:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:28 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Micetta....yes Mattanator is my 12 yr old son. So its a dad and son outing. As he says his mom likes only the short trips and on the long trips "she blocks his flow" :D Thats why its only the two of us on this trip. It also gave us the opportunity to get into the wilderness camps to which we are really looking forward.

shaheen....fantastic to hear the most current news from you. Thanks for all the info. Will definately pack the Peacefull sleep. Now I am also glad to hear about the sightings between TR and Mata Mata as we will be spending most of our time in this part of the park.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Last edited by Touareg on Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:24 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
We arrived back safely this afternoon after the drive south. I have so much to share and show in the next few days. I will get the first installment out tomorrow after having gone through some of the pics. In summary we saw 23 lions, 17 cheetah and one awesome leopard sighting. The birds were also unbelievable. More tomorrow :lol:

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:32 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
The car was packed fueled and ready for the 1060km from Somerset West to the KTP. The only thing to was to pack the last last few bits, the frozen goods into the cooler boxes and young Mattanator with his sleeping bag into the car. The plan was roughly to get to the park in time to allow a few hours for a drive before the gates close. So with that in mind the alarm was set for 03:00, but when I woke AGAIN at 02:22 the day began. The final things were packed and we hit the road at 03:17 to be specific. The planning, waiting and anticipation was finally over. My son promptly fell asleep in the back of the car and left me to my thoughts for the first few hours. First stop was Calvinia for a fuel top up, a pit stop and a coffee with rusks in the crisp early morning air of the small Karoo. Then we were off again with the next stop north of Upington next to the alt flats for lunch of Woolies goodies, biltong and cold drinks. Not a long stop as we had a deadline to keep to. The GPS I bought before the trip was excellent at predicting the estimated arrival time with the exception of adding an hour for the drive from Molopo Lodge to the gate as it still thought it was an unpaved road and thus a 50km/hr road. We stopped at Askam to fill up on diesel as we have been caught out in July last year with TR running out of diesel. We arrived at TR reception in just over 10 hrs drive and what a beautiful site it is for all us addicts. Check in was quick and efficient however I did have to remind myself that the excitement of the guests to be in the park, is not necessarily shared by al the staff at the TR reception. Sadly the mood is very cold. Enough of that. Nothing was was going to "block my flow" (as my son would say). There is a temporary road running from reception past the staff accommodation on the hill and the road runs to the gate you would normally have left the camp at. All this while the old road is being upgraded. So we quickly got our keys and unpacked the frozen food into the freezer and some of the other bits to make space for the camera equipment. We were only going to be there one night so did not need everything unpacked. Ready…off into the park with the broad plan to drive as far as Houmoed, park and just watch the comings and goings of the animals. Not much on the dune road the river bed, with the usual suspects on the road to Houmoed.
First up the Springbok.
Image
Not much else to Houmoed, so I parked and waited. Some birds dashing o the waterhole making a bush to my right a perch and lookout. I managed these two shots of a Namaqua dove and a White Browed Sparrow Weaver.
Image

Image
A car came from the front, stopped and told us that there were 2 lions up ahead a few kilometers, so we immediately set off to find our first cats. We drove a few km's but couldn't find them. The next car that came along we promptly stopped and asked about the lions. "What lions" the reply. "But there are 3 Cheetahs on a kill near Auchterlonie. Off we went to find the Cheetahs, which we did in the form of this collared mother and her two young kids lying under a tree next to the Springbok carcass. We would see them again.
Image

Image
Wow day one, no first 2 hours and we had seen Cheetahs. We sat there a while hoping they would come out into the sunlight for some better shots, but they were doing what cats do best…sleep.
After about 30 minutes we decided to head back a look for the lions. We proceed slowly looking under every tree and in all the deep shadows. On the way I saw something and stopped suddenly. I saw this Abdim's stork not knowing at the time what it was, only knowing I had never seen it before. What a beautifully colorful bird. We would see this bird again in the same spot near Auchterlonie in a few days, but no other similar birds anywhere in the park.
Image
Eventually after a lot of eyestrain we found the couple. The male raised its head briefly, but the female was in a deep sleep behind the bush.
Image
Wow…Cheetahs and lions…Day1. We agreed to go back to Houmoed and sit by the waterhole for a while before heading back to TR for a braai and much need rest.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:31 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 1 - 31 March 2010 Auchterlonie to Twee Rivieren

So having seen the Cheetah family and the Lions my first goal to get young Mattanator hooked on sightings and get him started with the photography was well set. I was using the Canon 7d with the Canon 500mm plus 1.4 extender and my son had my other camera for the trip the Canon 50 D with the 100 - 400mm. My biggest concern was getting into a situation where we have sighting close to the car and then I would have to revert back to the 24 - 70mm which could leave me short. But hey you have to see something first. So we headed back to the waterhole at Houmoed full of excitement. On the way I stopped for a pic of this ground squirrel or Nut Buddy as my son calls them Apparently it has something to do with the physical attributes.
Image
We also started to notice the large number of young animals with this small Springbok lying under a bush.
Image

So we reached Houmoed and I turned the car around so we had a good view of the waterhole. We had just settled down with the windows slightly down, beanbags on the windows and cameras trained on the waterhole when a vehicle came from behind, stopped and asked if we had seen the leopard. What Leopard we asked. Apparently there was a Leopard sighting in this area or a few hundred meters ahead. Great!!. Off we went and followed the car ahead looking for the Leopard. After about 2 kilometers I said to Mattanator that I was turning around and going back. This is a waste of time. So we turned around and drove back to Houmoed. As we passed the second tree…..LEOPARD in the tree above us. Less than 5 meters away. We didn't even see it previously because we didn't look in the tree. Lesson number one for us….look in very tree and under every bush and in all shadows. As the Leopard was to close for me to get a full body shot I managed to get this one when it jumped from one branch to the next.
Image
Mattanator managed this beauty as the Leopard came out of the tree so close to us that even at 100mm he could get the whole cat in the frame.
Image
The Leopard the proceeded to walk down to the waterhole for a long drink of water. It was probably there for about 6 minutes and allowed plenty of shots in the afternoon light.
Image

Image
After drinking its fill it walked away at a leisurely pace to the low hill on the opposite bank. We were pumped and what a start to this KTP trip for us. We were absolutely stoked with the sightings.

We now had to leave to make it back to TR before the gates closed. On the way this sighting of a Black Chested Snake Eagle. Quite far away, but a shot for the record anyway.
Image
We saw nothing of significance on the dune road but before the gate, this Pale Chanting Goshawk in the dark shadows.
Image

Back at the bungalow I immediately started the fire in the hope that I could finish the braai before the threatening thunderstorm opened the heavens. It was not to be as the rain started almost immediately and I had to cook the meat on the gas stove and little 2 plate stove in the bungalow. Somewhere there was short in one of the appliances as we lost power a couple of times and had to go behind the bungalow to find the circuit board to reset the trip switch. Nothing was going to dampen our spirits after the afternoon we just had and we went to bed still jabbering on about what we saw and speculating about what will tomorrow bring.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:54 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 2- 01 April 2010 Twee Rivieren to Nossob Part 1

After the Cheetahs, Lions and Leopard of yesterday we were ready to meet the day head on. It was going to be a long drive from Twee Rivieren up to Nossob, for a two day stay, via the dune road as the other direct road is still not open. But we are not complaining, hoping to see more of the cats from yesterday. I am not keen on the stoney dune roads as I am afraid of getting a flat tyre and having to unpack the car and limp along will the dinky spare VW provide for this vehicle. We packed quickly and headed off to collect our permit from the main gate. On the temporary road leading from the dune road to the staff quarters we saw no less that 3 sets of leopard tracks leading down from the staff quarters and heading off down a private road. OK…so we had seen people on foot between the campsite and main reception on a few occasions and decided that this probably wasn't the best idea. Anyway, we collected our permit at 06:45 and started our journey with great expectation. On the dune road we did not see much initially, but did have a porcupine cross the road in front of us in quite a hurry. It did not stick around to check if maybe we wanted to take it's picture, but was a first for me in the park.

We stopped in the beautiful morning light to take a pic of this Lesser Grey Shrike.
Image

And a little way further our first sighting of the Pygmy Falcon, a bird I was very keen on seeing and photographing.
Image
Further on past Houmoed..no Leopard today…..we saw this Suricate family in the far off distance. A photo for the record and we were off again.
Image

Only to stop again in a hurry to capture this Fork Tailed Drongo sitting pretty in the morning light. The must be one of the most prolific birds in the park.
Image

At this pace and the number of stops we were making, we were never going to get to Nossob today. Just past Kamfersboom there was a traffic jam…eh…all of three vehicles and we saw a mail and female lion. Maybe the pair from yesterday. The male however was in a very poor condition looking very thin as it walked away looking for shade. The female was chomping on a Springbok leg for breakfast. I did notice that she had her left eye closed which on a later sighting showed that the eye was completely dark which leads me to think that she is blind in the left eye.
Image

We also heard reports later of another male in bad shape in the vicinity with many Porcupine quills stuck in its chest and face. I had to forcefully remove ourselves from the sighting promising Mattanator that there would be more sightings and that we had to get a move on. At this stage it is only 08:20. So about 90 minutes to cover 34km….it was going to be a long day. The next reason to stop was this Northern Black Korhaan and his mate which I could also mark off on my bird list. I decided to start a bird list a few months ago, but as I am usually on my own, my record of any sighting would be a quality photograph as proof.
Image

Next sighting was this Lanner and young Ground Squirrel.
Image

Image

We were not making any ground with this Black Chested Snake Eagle stopped us again.
Image

We were again stopped in our tracks with this Red-Necked Falcon sitting in a tree above the road with it's early morning kill.
Image

We finally arrived at the dune road …….tbc

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:42 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 2- 01 April 2010 Twee Rivieren to Nossob Part 2 (The dune road)

After all the sightings on the sand road, I was dreading the dune road to get to the Nossob sand road. The road is largely crushed stone and gravel, but I always keep an eye out for upturned sharp stones just waiting to cut the sidewall. Paranoid I know. I have not seen any cats on this road previously, although I keep a sharp lookup. I said to Mattanator that every little rise is like a present waiting under the christmas tree as we don't know what to expect on the other side. Needless to say that over the next 40km I made a number or stop to take some pics. First up this little Red Capped Lark brought the car to a stop. Another bird to be ticked off on my bird list.
Image

Next up this stunning Juvenile Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk sitting perfectly in the early morning sunlight.
Image

As a new birder, most of the time I don't know what I am photographing until I have the opportunity to id the specimen in one of the bird books. Some of the little LBJs I still don't know what they are. A challenge I will post later for the bird experts on the forum. I took the turnoff to the Kij Gamies lookout point and immediately saw this female Steenbok in the grass.
Image

The view from the lookout point is also special for me.
Image

I could not help but stop and take a photo of the grass.
Image

The last stop before we hit the Auob River Road was for this Chat Flycatcher (the name of which I just managed to identify a few moments ago. If I'm wrong please tell me)
Image

Bear with me....the interesting pics will follow soon

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:22 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Anne-marie...thanks for turning the page..I am going to need a bit of space tonight.

Thank you for your kind comments. Its only a pleasure sharing this report with like-minded people.

Here we go!!

Day 2 - 01 April Kij Kij to Nossob

We hit the Auob River road and were suprised to find it in such a good state. Hardly any corrugations?? Was I just imagining it or did I exaggerate the corrugations we experienced last July. Nevertheless it was a pleasure to drive without you fillings coming out. At Kij Kij we stopped for a herd of Gemsbok and also saw this lone tortoise speeding across the hot desert sand.
Image
Image

Also this stunning Tawney Eagle in flight. I am not sure if this one is juvenile due to its light coloring, so an id would be welcomed. We saw many more of these light colored Tawneys over the next few days.
Image

Just as we were picking up speed again, Mattanator shouts "African Wild Cat". Stop. from under a tree this AWC darted into the shade of the next bush, then sat and watched us. Our first AWC in daytime in the park. Another animal to tick off the list.
Image

A few more sightings before Melkvlei were a pair of Tawneys in a tree, another single Tawney, an adult Bateluer on the ground (quite far off), an immature Black Chested Snake Eagle and a Lanner falcon.
Here is a Greater Kestrel giving a nice pose and very patient with us, trying to find the better light position.
Image

Also giving a showing these White Backed Vultures.
Image

We stopped and Melkvlei for a well deserved break at about 13:00. So 6 hours and not even half way….great! So much more to see before gate closure at 18:30. These Yellow Mongoose entertained us and were very tame, probably due to the visitors feeding them. This one seemed to want to play hide and seek and opted to be the first one to go and seek.
Image

We hit the road again and still enjoying the beautiful roads. STOP!!…Meerkat next to the road. Reverse to get into a better position and fire of a few shots. Ok more than a few. Here are two of them. The flies were all over this chaps eyes and nose, probably after the moisture.
Image
Image

On the way we had to skirt many parts of the road covered in water. It seems that quite a lot of rain had fallen during the previous evening's thundershower. We passed Dikbaardskolk and there they were….the yellow graders. The reason for our wonderful highway like journey. And yes as soon as we passed them, the teeth rattling, bone jarring started. There was good news however…..the graders were on their way to Nossob. The parts of the road that was wetted down by the thundershower wasn't bad at all…but the rest!! We decided there and then that our favorite sighting in the spark was big and yellow.

Just before Marie se draai this Kori Bustard.
Image

At Marie se dray there was quite a lot of water with many Gemsbok and Hartebeeste hanging around enjoying the water. In addition we counted no less than 12 large birds of prey, which included, juvenile Bateleurs, Juvenile and adult Tawney Eagles.
Image

This Cape Turtle dove couldn't get enough water quick enough.
Image

We were then forced to get to Nossob before they locked us out and also to try and get a place on the night drive. The staff were friendly and efficient with the check in and most importantly taking our roosterkoek order for later that evening. At R4 a jam filled roosterkoek was a bargain. We couldn't get a spot on the sunset drive and booked for the next evening. We unpacked and I took a last walk around the camp looking for owls. The only one I found was this Pearl Spotted owl.
Image

I downloaded and backed up the days pics from the two cameras and did a first pass delete of the out of focus and bad pics. Also got the batteries on charge. We visited the hide later that evening and saw a Puffadder slithering around in front of the hide and later disappearing under the hide…OK…so were did it go. Time for a shower and sleep on this hot and humid evening. Thunderstorms threatening again.

I was dead tired from the long day, lack of sleep due to excitement and anticipation for the next day..What will tomorrow bring.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:59 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 3- 02 April Nossob to Kousant

It was a very hot and humid night and we were up before 06:00 and off to the hide to see what would turn up. We waited a while and as nothing stirred or came close to the hide, we headed back to the bungalow, grabbed a quick coffee and rusks and loaded the car for the trip North. As we were staying here another night the packing went quickly. The plan was to go as far north as Kousant and then head back at a leisurely pace to be back by around 13:00, have a quick bite to eat, do Marie se Draai and be back for the Sunset drive at 17:30. So off we went together it seemed with the whole camp as there were 3 separate groups of lions spotted the previous afternoon. We soon decided to let the other vehicles past as we stopped more than them for the birdies. First up the Lilac Breasted Roller.
Image

And then this juvenile Goshawk.
Image

A bit further down the road (which hadn't been graded yet) this Cape Glossy Starling.
Image

Then a vehicle actually stopped ahead of us and we pulled up alongside. What are you seeing.."the two lions walking in the grass next to you" was the response. We didn't get great sightings as the two big boys were walking away from us and over the hill. Great..our Lion sighting for the day…were now still 3 for 3 on the lion sightings and planned to keep it that way.
Image

We headed off and came across a few vehicles looking over the grasses at Kwang were we apparently missed a Hyena in the distance. O well you can't see it all. Off we went again and I just had to stop to photograph this Crowned Plover. A common enough bird, but the light was just too great to pass it up.
Image

Next we came across this battle scarred Gemsbok…or so we think. How else do you break off both horns except through fierce contests.
Image

We pulled up at Kousant and had some coffee and jam roosterkoek and then headed back to Nossob. We saw the usual suspect, Hartebeest, Gemsbok, Goshawks, Tawneys, and even 2 Red Billed Teals in a small puddle next to the road. This was quite weird to see them in this environment. At Nossob a quick pitstop and on to Marie se Draai. Here once again were quite a number of Raptors with this Tawney trying to cool off from the 36 degree hear by sitting in the water.
Image

Even the Ostriches had to take a swim.
Image

In the one tree close to us this Juvenile Bateleur sat and watched us carefully, eventually fed up with all the clicking of the cameras and flew off to a tree a bit further along.
Image

Sitting there watching the birds, we saw a few Fork Tailed Bee-eaters coming and going and were really hoping one of them was going to land in a favorable position for a few god shots. This was not the be. Also coming along a bird which I had not seen before and really wanted a few good shots off, the Shaft Tailed Whydah.
Image

There were quite a few Hartebees around and this one caught the late afternoon sun quite nicely.
Image

We had to get back to camp so we could be in time for afternoon drive. We wanted to be early so we could choose our seats on the truck so we drove back. Outside our bungalow I saw this African Red-Eyed Bulbul.
Image

Then this opportunistic shot of a Pririt Batis…the one and only time I saw this bird. Two more to tick off.
Image

Off to the vehicle for the sunset drive.........

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Last edited by Touareg on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:32 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Thanks for visiting the report and your comments.

Lionspoon....I use a Canon 7D body with a Canon 500mm EF IS lens. Mostly attached is a 1.4 extender which which me the extra reach to 700mm when needed. This works great for bord photography, but for the cats and larger antelope a shorter lens is required. As with the Leopard in the tree this was way too long a lens and I couldn't get to my 24-70mm in time, so only managed the headshot and then th efurther shots when the Leopard was drinking. My son on the other hand was using my 100-400mm and managed a fuller shot with the exception of the tip of the tail being cut off. He is learning though but soooo proud of his Leopard shots.

Another thing I realised too late was that when shooting from a car standing in the sun, be aware of the breeze as the head wind will blow the heat shimmer from your vehicle accross your field of view resulting in less than sharp images. I have some examples for later.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:34 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 3- 02 April Nossob - Sunset Drive

We were going to be a full house on the vehicle, all 22 of us so we picked a spot in back seats near the spotlight. After having signed the indemnity forms we were being briefed by a young lady who was to be our guide for the evening. I forget her name, but she guided us with patience and a lot of inherent knowledge. We set off South (secretly hoping to go North to see if we could find the male lions again, and after a short drive turned off left on one of the "no entry" roads towards Marie se Draai. Along the way we stopped and saw an immature Bateleur
Image

A Black Chested Snake Eagle
Image

as well as a number of White Backed- and Lapped Face Vultures.as well as a number of White Backed- and Lapped Face Vultures.
Image

Also for the first time on the trip we saw Bat Eared foxes. Not sure why they are so scares seeing that we had many sightings of them last July.
Image

A little bit further down someone said STOP!! and there it was for a brief moment, looking at us, my first Caracal sighting. It took off like lightning around the tree it was sitting under and sprinted away from us. I have some shots of its South side as it ran. Great another one to mark off.
Image

Image

The sun was setting under a thundercloud sky with some beautiful scenes.
Image

Image

It was now dark as we headed down the road past Marie se Draai and suddenly in the road in front of us 3 lions appeared and lay down. A further 2 lions appeared behind them. All of them seemed sub adult and inquisitive. The guide watched them through her binoculars and said that she was not to comfortable with this group as they were referred to as the "naughty lions". Apparently they like to stand up against the vehicles. She asked we keep as quiet as possible. They continued towards us and walked to the back of the vehicle where we were….2 meters away from us and looked us firmly in the eye. We continued to click away as much as possible, while trying to hold the light (which a kind gent took away from us, freeing us up for the video and photos) What an intense feeling looking into the yellow eyes of a wild lion at such a close distance. The adrenaline was pumping!!!. They lay down behind the vehicle for a while and then a spring hare caught the attention of three off them and off they ran to try and catch it. They didn't get it and then just walked off. Definitely the adrenaline rush of the trip so far.
Image

Image

Image

Everyone was jabbering away as we left, but we soon found another reason to stop and that was a Cape Fox who had caught a Spring hare. The hare looked almost larger than the fox. No pic I'm afraid. Further on we stopped for a huge owl, of which we only saw it from behind. We headed back to Nossob and upon arrival received our reserved roosterkoek. Off to the bungalow and as it was late, dinner consisted off scrambled eggs with viennas mixed in on toast. We thats what dads cook best.

Dinner finished, photos downloaded and backed up and into bed for a peaceful night's rest…….maybe!

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:58 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:16 pm
Posts: 1861
Location: Fairest Cape
Great pics Touareg :thumbs_up:
Caracal :mrgreen:

PS The guide's name is Melissa -- she's great :thumbs_up:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are we there yet!! Touareg and Mattanator do KTP.
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:45 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Thanks for the new page RichardJ :thumbs_up:

Day 4- 03 April Nossob

It was so hot in the bungalow that at around 02:00 we were sat outside on the little stoep trying to cool off. We sat and listened to the jackals howling and answering from all over. I opened all the windows in the bungalow to get the little breeze to come through and then lay in the dark waiting for sleep while watching the bats dart in and out of the window. I shot out of bed when the first lion roared, somewhere close by. I woke Mattanator and in record time he got dressed (his mother would be really proud of him dressing in record time…now to transfer this knowledge to school mornings. We grabbed our gear and headed off to the hide expecting the whole camp to be there. We arrived and the hide was deserted. We sat very whitely and waited for the next roar. Definitely moving from left to right. Every now and then we would shine our spotlight towards the spot where we thought we heard the last roar. Then we saw the shining eyes in the beam of the spot. Far off to the left on the little dune. We waited….and some other people arrived and also saw the eyes. As we were were hitting the road to Mata Mata at 07:00 I decided to head back to the bungalow and quickly pack the car and then come back. While I was packing I heard another roar towards the back of the camp. Either the same lion which had moved or another one. I was back in about 40 minutes and as I was arriving other peep were leaving the hide…"nothing there", "the lions are probable gone". Mattanator was still in the hide and as I arrived he said he thinks he sees something…sure enough I could just make out the shape of a head.
Image

I focused all 700mm of my camera lens on the shape and put the 7D on video mode to show the people in the hide what we were seeing. A line formed behind the camera to have a look. We hear another roar to the left. The big male on the hill got up, walked down and met what looked like it's twin brother.
Image

They walked back up the hill and moved left to right. The sun was just rising and in our eyes. The one male lay down while the other one came down to the waterhole for a drink. We couldn't believe our luck with all the hours we had spent in this hide and not having seen anything interesting.
Image

There was so much excitement in the hide and adults and children alike were talking in louder than hushed voices when a gentleman reminded us that "this was a hide and we should be quiet" OK. The lion moved away down the riverbed after it had had its fill and the other one now came down for a drink. Double wow!. It too walked off to the right.
Image

Image

The hide emptied out in a hurry and as we were packed we were second in line to get out the gate. Problem. The key to the locks on the gates could not be found, so we sat and waited for about 15minutes until the gates swung open on a day of new sights and excitement.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Meandering Mouse and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by swartj at 19:10:55 Submitted by holigan at 20:38:17 Submitted by tomdchef at 17:55:10 Submitted by tomdchef at 20:04:22