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 Post subject: madach-KTP Photographic trip report-October 2010
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:13 pm 
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When I was planning my trip to South Africa for October 2010 I decided that KTP had to be a major part of my trip. I hadn't been to the park for almost two years and for an aspiring wildlife photographer that is way too long as it is SANParks crown jewel with regards to photography (if you have a long lens). My wife prefers the bushveld over the desert but she agreed that it was time to go to KTP again.

I won't post a day by day trip report but I'll post some of the pictures that I made during our 11 day stay. During our last two trips to KTP I wasn't impressed by the sightings on the Nossob side so I decided to focus on the Twee Rivieren and Mata Mata side of the park for the duration of our stay. It went against my gut feeling to do that as I've had awesome sightings near Nossob in the past but this decision worked out fine as we've had amazing sightings during our stay. On the Twee Rivieren side sightings included 10 different meerkat sightings and lots of lions and on the Mata Mata side our days were filled with cheetah sightings. I had hoped to see cheetah this trip but I couldn't have even hoped for the amount of sightings that we got. In five days in KTC we had thirteen (13!) sightings of cheetah totaling fifteen individual cheetahs. We saw them hunt, and miss, three times and we also saw them on a kill three times. One morning we saw three different groups of cheetah around Dalkeith.

Before starting with the first images I have to make a comment about the roads in KTP. I've bitterly complained on the forum about the KTP roads in the past so I think it's only fair to compliment SANParks on the state of the roads during this trip. We saw graders twice during our stay (which was a first for me) and to be fair I even thought the roads were fine before they graded. On some patches near Dalkeith the road was very sandy and a car even got stuck but otherwise I was very happy with the roads.

I shot 12.500 images during this KTP trip and I'm still sorting through these images so this trip report will probably run for a couple of weeks. Enough talking now though, let's get this trip report of to a flying start:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:25 pm 
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Let's stay on the cheetah subject for a while....

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Both these images were made during separate sightings at Dalkeith waterhole. Cheetah sightings concentrated between 13de boorgat and Dalkeith waterholes with the occasional sighting towards Craig Lockhard. As I've said in my first post cheetah sightings were the most regular sighting besides Springbok and Gemsbok. I still can't believe the sheer numbers of cheetah that we saw during this trip. Credits for the last cheetah picture also go to JenB as she made us aware of the sighting by flashing her car lights at us when we'd driven past this sighting :redface:


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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:33 pm 
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Suej wrote:
So sorry we did not "bump into you" during our stay Madach!

When I read your TR I was wondering if we met in KTP. I met so many forumites that I have a hard time remembering who they all were :redface:

I'm sure we've passed each other somewhere in the park. We would be easy to remember as most of the time I had my 14-month old daughter either on my lap or she was hanging out the window. Lots of people looked very strangely at us when the saw that we were travelling with a small child. She loved driving through the park and for some reason she though that lions and giraffes were very funny animals because she laughed every time she saw them. Cheetahs for some reason were not that funny :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:38 pm 
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And another cheetah picture from Dalkeith. This was one of a coalition of two brothers. They crossed the riverbed and disappeared in the dunes and this one was kind enough to smile for a picture :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:48 pm 
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@Suej: The Africam meet....do you mean the 'Pillow fight' meet back in 2005? If you were then then we met for sure!

@TonyT: Sure I remember meeting you. When I saw your trip report I remember thinking to myself "You show a guy a leopard, and what does he do....he takes better pictures then I did". You definitely got better shots :lol: I was waiting for it to come down the tree and had positioned the car to get shots of the leopard going down the tree. It never came down the tree though :?

I'm going through my cheetah pics right now so I'm afraid I'll only be posting cheetahs for a while. If you're all getting bored with cheetahs then let me know and I'll see what else I've got. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:16 pm 
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Lionspoon wrote:
Was that the mum with the 4 cubs? They look pretty thin. :?

The closeup of the collared cheetah and the picture of the two young cheetahs is indeed of the mother and four cubs. The mother was hurt on the inside of her right backleg but didn't seem to be bothered by it. The wound looked like a chaffing wound and didn't look serious. It might have affected her ability to hunt for a couple of days though and maybe that's why they were so thin. We saw them hunt unsuccesfully two times and desperately hoped they would make a kill because they looked like they could use a good meal. We didn't see the kills but found them on Springbok kills on two consecutive days at the end of our stay.

The image I posted of the cheetah in full flight is one of the cubs during the first unsuccesfull hunt that we saw.


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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:38 pm 
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Suej wrote:
Yes, that's the one - I was the person who asked you to take a pic of Toods with a fat lip after I had bashed her ! :lol:

:lol: :lol:

Now that I've bored you all to death with cheetah pictures I decided to post some pictures of a slightly more illusive cat, but don't worry I'll post some more cheetah pics later in the report 8) The sighting of this caracal was only my fifth sighting in over 25 trips to Southern Africa. The previous sightings were either glimpes of a running caracals backside or blurred pics of a caracal at at an impossibly early hour in the Central Kalahari before gate opening hours. I'm very happy that I finally got some decent shots in gorgeous soft light but also a bit sad :cry: because it refused to look at me. Had it looked at me then it would have been an awesome shot.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:27 pm 
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Sorry I've been busy so I didn't post pictures for a while. I've got some new ones now, unfortunately mainlt cheetah pics again :wink: Let's start of with a couple of pics from an animal I've been wanting to photograph for years now; the Cape Cobra. I found one hunting geckos close to Monro waterhole and it was kind enough to move parallel to the road so I could get some nice shots.

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This lion was part of, what I suspect was, a mating pair. They were lying in the shade of a bush next to Samevloeiing waterhole and she was kind enough to get up walk to the waterhole, drink and then chase an unsuspecting Gemsbok who was also coming to have a sip of water. Unfortunately she missed :(

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And now it's back to cheetahs again :lol: Lets start with some youngsters on a kill next to the road near Craig Lockhard. The conditions to photograph weren't good. They had the kill three meters from the road but in high grass so getting any decent shots was difficult. In the end I managed to find a gap in the grass and I used my 500mm + 1.4TC to shoot through that gap. I was still hamperred by some grassen but I got some nice shots.

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Still more cheetah pictures to come....


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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:36 pm 
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anne-marie wrote:
..."The conditions to photograph weren't good"... :shock:

I know, it's a harsh statement if you see the pictures that I got. After slowly driving up and down this sighting I found the only hole in the grass where I could get pics without too many grasses in the way. By that time the sun had disappeared behind a dune so the light wasn't the best for photography. A very cool sighting which I thoroughly enjoyed, but getting good images was difficult.


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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:20 pm 
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I'm browsing through my cheetah pictures and even I'm astounded by the sheer number of pictures I made of cheetahs. The funny thing is that it's not tons of pictures of sleeping cheetahs, in most cases they are either hunting, on a kill, or walking. I don't think I'll ever again get this many good pictures of cheetah in one trip.

Here are some more shots:

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This must surely be the trip report with the most cheetah pictures ever 8) If you've all gotten bored let me know :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:20 pm 
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After five months I've finally found the time to finish processing the images I took in KTP last October. I won't post any more images in this trip report but you can find all the images on my website. As I had so many good cheetah and meerkat sightings I've put those images in separate galleries.

In the cheetah gallery there are quite a number of Charlize and her four cubs. The injuries that, from what I understand from information on the forum, contributed to her death are clearly visible on a number of the images. At the time I didn't think the injuries looked that serious so I was surprised to hear of her death. She gave me many great photo opportunities over the last couple of years. May she rest in peace.

October 2010 - Meerkat gallery
October 2010 - Cheetah gallery
October 2010 - General wildlife


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 Post subject: Re: KTP October 2010 - Photographic trip report
Unread postPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Friedrich von Hörsten wrote:
Did you have time to relax and enjoy the holiday?


No worries, my family and I relaxed a lot. We only go out on game drive when the light is good for photography and in October that meant we were usually back in camp at 09h30. We'd usually go out for the afternoon drive between 15h30 and 16h30 so we had lots of time during the day to relax. We were travelling with our 14 month old daugther at the time and we usually went for a swim with her after the morning drive.


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