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 Post subject: lovehyena-The greenest Longest grass-Kalahari in April 2011
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:00 pm 
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So, as I have read so many times here on the forum about the people who love the Kalahari in March/ April, I decided it was about time to check it out for myself...

Please see the following link for pictures. I will try and add below as well.

The Aoub

I booked an 8 night trip, which slowly grew to 9, then 10 nights staying at Urikaruus, Nossob, Grootkolk, Gharagab and Twee Rivieren.

Both Grootkolk and Gharagab were new camps for me that I'd always wanted to give a try. The first 3 nights were spent in the Aoub in a combination of Urikaruus and Tented Camp.

What was the most surprising was that on arrival in the park, everything was so green!! I had never seen the park looking this green, even in a couple of January visits. It was crazy green. The grass, especially the further north you went, became so long that at times all that cold be seen was the ears and eyes of any large mammal. It was beautiful though, everything looked fat and happy and green. There were flowers all over, and the road was lined with small snakes enjoying the heat of the summer.
Our first sighting as we entered the park was a small pride of lions who were resting on the dune road. There were 3 at first, but they were soon joined by a few others who came wandering through the long grass. Seeing something like this on the dune road was a first for us. It also made us even more excited about finally being back in our favourite park!! The weather was warm, the park beautiful and we just had huge silly smiles on our faces.

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 Post subject: Re: The greenest Longest grass...Kalahari in April
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:17 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The greenest Longest grass...Kalahari in April
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:23 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The greenest Longest grass...Kalahari in April
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:34 pm 
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For some reason everytime I try and post 2 pictures together, it tells me I can only post 800 wide even though both are only 320 wide? Not sure where Im going wrong. Anyway...

Our 3 days spent in the Aoub were fantastic, with Cheetah sightings being particularly prolific. Unfortunateky we ddnt get any hyena sightings at the den, and had thought it was no longer active? I see others have had sightings, so we must have just been unlucky!

The best sighting we had was almost certainly being chased by the lioness just outside Urikaruus. WIt was early one morning, and another car had raced past us, so we were surprised when we found the lionesses near the road with no one else in attendance. I guess that is the best part of Urikaruus, having the road mostly to ones self. We saw 3 lioness stalking a herd of springbok, but the bokkies were spooked before they could give chase. The lionesses then moved slowly onto the road, to our delight, and began to play with each other, jumping on backs and nipping tails. It was very special to watch, and gave us such a thrill.

As we followed them we obviously became the subject of some interest. We had overtaken them while they were playing off the road, and one lioness decided that she liked the car to be a part of her game. She came trotting towards us, a naughty glint in her eyes. Fortunately we drove just in time, as her front paws lifted up and landy 30cm from my lens on the boot window... We could see her paw prints there afterwards!! It was clearly not malicious, but Im glad she didnt land on my lens!! That would have been a bit of a disaster...

Thanks for the concern over my eye, it did get better, but took about 5 days of pain and itching to do so. It wasn't very pleasant at all, but in such a beautiful place, it pales to insignificance. Ill remember the trip for the beauty and the wildlife, not the sore eye!!I do recommend taking drops etc and a first aid kit though, just in case. Never thought something as silly as a bug could cause such an injury! After I post a few more shots, I will get onto the next stage of the trip!!

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 Post subject: Re: The greenest Longest grass...Kalahari in April
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:38 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The greenest Longest grass...Kalahari in April
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:39 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The greenest Longest grass...Kalahari in April
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:39 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The greenest Longest grass...Kalahari in April
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:59 pm 
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http://www.lauradyer.blogspot.com/2011/ ... art-2.html

Thanks for the comments...
Photo's for the following, with more text can be viewed on my blog. I update quite often so always welcome to have a read... http://www.lauradyer.blogspot.com/2011/ ... art-2.html

The next stage of our trip was to the Nossob riverbed, with 3 nights at Grooktkolk, and 1 at Gharagab, just to get an impression of what it is like.

On the drive over we saw a small pride of lions, near to Nossob camp, but not much else. Our arrival at GK was full of excitement!! Firstly, it was completely new to us, we'd heard so many good things about it, and lastly we were the only ones in camp the first night!! The next two we were joined by only one other couple, so we really had the roads to ourselves.

Our first drive we managed to find a leopard, with only an hour til gate closing time. It was hunting a large herd of Wildebeest in the river bed, on the far side. We kept losing it in the long grass though. Trailing behind the herd was a poor baby wilde with a broken leg. He was calling and calling, and my heart nearly broke, as the herd just left him behind. By some miracle, the leopard didnt see him, and eventually we lost sight of the leopard, and in any case we had to move on as it was getting late!! We did see him the next day though, still following the herd, although without fail he would eventually be taken. The poor thing...
Nearing camp, not 100 metres from the turn off, we surprised a lioness in the road. She was watching a wildebeest wit great interest, but we had no time to wait. As we passed her, we saw 3 little faces staring at us in unison :) All in all it was a great start to GK. We arrived at camp, just in time, and set to cooking dinner all the while listening to the occasional sounds of hooves pounding the ground, and jackals calling.

So, we're sold on GK. It was always be on the list for the many (hopeful) future trips we have!!
Over the next few days we had another leopard, one so huge I nearly died of the adrenalin rush. He was huge, lioness size, altho moved into the long grass and high banks too quickly for a shot. He was HUGE!!!
We also saw lions a couple of times, a mellanistic Gabar Goshawk, and most importantly a beautiful Brown hyena.

They are my favorite, aside from leopard. We had just driven up to Unions End waterhole after a quiet drive. We took out the flasks,poured some coffee and there it was. A shaggy head coming toward me. He took no notice of us, and drank for 10 minutes or so, as I sat there trying not to squeal with excitement. It was the best moment, I was over the moon!!

Another awesome sighting was of a female cheetah and her 2 little cubs. They had a kill, and were playfully climbing the tree and chasing of jackal. Each time the jackal approached, the one more dominant cub would start marching off toward it, and put its feet on a tree stump in order to look bigger. It was just too comical...

The whole stay at GK was amazing, we loved the night sounds, the small camp and the game viewing was excellent. There is nothing better than being alone on the roads, no one pushing past, jostling for position. It was like magic...We finished it off with a male lion calling on the last morning, and we found him and 2 lionesses hunting in the road. He was not so friendly though, and was very tense with the cars. Even when we gave him space, he didn't look relaxed, although he did come and lie right next to us (to our great surprise!!)

Gharagab was also a lovely surprise. The drive there was beautiful, long grass and rolling dunes. The camp is in such a lovely setting, and birds were all around. We spent the afternoon pretty much relaxing and enjoying the silence. That night we had an incredible thunder storm and lightning show. The rain pelted down, and we hardly slept for the booming voice of the heavens. It was really great, sitting alone in our room, yummy braai filling our tummies, jackals calling and lightning all around. Cant wait to go back- it's a must for 2 nights of relaxation and peace. Just sitting and being in nature, no pressure, no where really to drive. We didnt see the cats, but lots of prints, although for us the camp is more about the stillness and the happy birds.

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 Post subject: Re: The greenest Longest grass...Kalahari in April
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:18 pm 
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