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 Post subject: GavinW-Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:26 pm 
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(all pics by Wannabe Nerd unless stated)
DAY 1 (1st May 2010)

The alarm was set for 1am, but we were wide awake long before then, so we decided to hit the road. The car had been packed the night before so we threw the rest in and left Lakeside for a place that we both call HOME. We stopped for breakfast in Calvinia, gave Upington a miss (Debs had not forgotten anything this time) and we arrived at Twee Rivieren at about 2.30pm.


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We were both very impressed with the new building and the ever efficient Annetjie had us booked in and sorted within minutes. We unpacked, deflated tyres, restocked ice and drinks, got cameras and binocs and we where off. We headed for Samevloeiing and then over the dune and onto the Auob River. Saw the usual (Gemsbok, Springbok etc)


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Got back to camp, lit a fire with a bit of help from the next door neighbour (We borrowed their leftover coals after mine died!) and enjoyed our first evening and meal in the park.

Image (My pic)

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(My pic)


DAY 2 (2nd May 2010) Twee Rivieren to Nossob

Full of expectations, we were packed and first at the gate waiting for our adventure to begin. Funnily enough, unlike previous years, we were the only ones there….. did we have the time wrong or was everyone just too laid back to bother!!

The dune road to the Auob was uneventful,

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and after checking out Dreamers tree (thoroughly) we turned off towards Kij Kij via the Lower Dune road.


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We chugged along slowly, just enjoying being back in the Kgalagadi, knowing that we had all day to get to Nossob, and started to relax.
Along the way we saw…


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Whilst watching this herd of gembok, near Tierkop,
Image(My pic)


the 1st car of the day came screaming past, obviously on a mission to get somewhere. We finally arrived at Kij kij just in time to see the rear of this……

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Very frustrating as he sauntered off, down the ROAD, to Twee Rivieren (a big ROAD CLOSED sign stopped us from following him). We then stopped at Melkvlei for a quick rusk and coffee break (our standard breakfast in the bush). We rattled and bounced along and soon after Gunong I spotted this in the river bed

Image(My pic)


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Our best AWC sighting ever!!! :dance:
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We stayed with him for about an hour (had him to ourselves) before other cars came along, and having had our fill of the sighting we carried on.
(to be continued.....)

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


Last edited by GavinW on Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:44 pm 
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Thank you so much for all your encouraging comments.
So now on with the tale.......
DAY 2 Cont.
We drove off as we needed to get to Nossob and pitch our tent. We were hoping that we could get old campsite No. 5 (in the corner – no electricity).
We were on a bit of a high after seeing the wild cat, but didn’t see too much else before stopping briefly for a pit stop at Dikbaardskolk. We did however, have these two guys pose for us along the way….

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Just before Cheleke and 40km South of Nossob, Gav and I heard an all too familiar CLUNK……….. I went cold and looked across at Gav and I knew that we were thinking the same thing …… LEAFSPRING. Yes it had happened again. The leafspring on the right had broken and we were stuck 40km south of Nossob with not a car in sight. Well I suppose the good thing was it was not next to a lion pride. We could not believe that it had happened again especially on the 2nd day of our holiday.

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I can’t remember how long we waited, but a car did finally come towards us, they were on their way to Twee Rivieren, and we asked them to let Nossob know where we were. Fortunately for us, other cars did stop and it took 5 cars to unload our car and take us to Nossob. I went ahead with a lovely German couple and some luggage (their car was very full with their own stuff) and left my poor husband to come with the rest. I booked in and of course informed all that my hubby was following but if he was not here by 6 could they please go and fetch him. Some of the camping stuff arrived, including our tent, and as I had found a camp site (not no. 5), I decided to pitch the tent. Well ladies you will be very pleased to know that I did not let the angel side down and I pitched the tent all on my little lonesome. Well 5 came and went and still no hubby, I started to worry but was told that they were still waiting for 2 more cars. Gav finally arrived just before closing and he had got a lift with 6 guys on a boys week…….. they pitched camp next to us and I think finally went to sleep at about 4am the following morning.

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Adrie, the resident mechanic, had told Gav that he would take us to the car in the morning and see if he could do a bush repair and in the mean time they had ordered a new part from Upington. We saw a silver lining and I was thrilled that at least we were not on our way home. We decided to braai but this idea was rained out so we had plenty of wine along with crackers and cheese and tried to get some sleep.

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I woke up in the early hours to hear lions roaring and I knew that I had come home.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:34 am 
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DAY 3 – Nossob

We awoke bright and early as we were meeting with Adrie at 7. There was a delay so we waited in the hide and only left at 8.30.

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Gav and I shared the front seat which was a bit of a squash and when Adrie decided to take a short cut………..it became a lot more hair-raising. One thing I can say about life with my hubby, IT IS NEVER DULL. We at least got to see a little more of the bush and some different roads (bumpy but not corrugated). We arrived at the car and Adrie proceeded to do an amazing bush repair. He had to line everything up and then weld the broken joint.


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:clap: :clap:

I was the lookout and got a bit bored but still had time to take some pics of the proceedings:

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The “sleuping” truck arrived and we followed it all the way to Marie’s se Gat as we were then guaranteed smooth roads. We slowly wended our way back to camp, only to find that old campsite no 5 was available so we proceeded to move tent and gear across and set up a new home.

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:dance:

It was great, our car was going to be OK and we had the spot that we had both been praying for…… I was one very happy lady.

That afternoon we drove down to Marie’s se Gat and just sat there watching very little go by. We were content just to sit and listen, it was awesome.



Image

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We spent a bit more time at the hide before heading back to the tent
Gav's pic of a Fork tailed Drongo from the hide

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The braai that night was worth the wait and we sat around the fire quietly talking, drinking our Amarula coffee and checking out the glorious night sky.

We were home and the cherry on the top was after we climbed into bed the lions started roaring and this time we both heard them.

The next day was going to be fun……….. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:01 am 
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Day 4 Nossob

As Debbie said we went to bed the previous night only to be awoken by the sound of roaring lions VERY close by in the early hours of the morning. Needless to say whilst we slept a bit, it was pretty much interrupted sleep as soon as they started up each time we would wake and wonder what to do... Sleep!! :evil:
Eventually at about 4.45am we decided to go to the hide and see if they were there. As the generator was still off we couldn't see too much, but the only other guy in the hide, our next door neighbour Chris, pointed out some lions on the far side of the valley.

Coffee in hand we waited and eventually one lioness came down to drink

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As it started getting lighter, the hide slowly filled and the pride of lions became more active....... and thirsty :D

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Whilst some of the children decided it was time for play:

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With an old piece of hide in her mouth


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Or playing with a bit of the Nossob sewerage works!!

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Or climbing trees whilst daddy watches (Top right corner of pic)

Eventually they disappeared over the rise to the north of the camp and the by now very excited campsite started getting ready for the day.

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


Last edited by GavinW on Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:20 pm 
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DAY 4 cont…….

We went back to the tent, got ourselves sorted, and because the vehicle still had a dodgey leafspring we decided just to go around Marie’s and come back as we also had to be back by 11 as the new leafspring was due to arrive from Twee Rivieren by then and Adrie wanted to start the repairs.

Marie’s was quiet and we got back to camp and pottered around. The leafspring eventually arrived from TR at about 2pm and the car was repaired. :dance: :dance:

Image
(Nossob workshop)


Whilst all this was going on Debs decided to catch up on some long overdue sleep while I wondered around the camp, playing with my camera.


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Ground squirrel

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A thirsty starling




That evening we were booked on a night drive.

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Sunset on our our way to Maries


Melissa took us around the usual Nossob night drive route and we saw an African Wild Cat (to far away for photos), spring hares and all the usual as well as some owls in the road and trees.

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Spotted Eagle Owl

Got home and defrosted around a fire, ate some potjie, had Amarula coffee in the hide and hit the sack for some zzzzzzzzzs. Once again we heard lions roaring on and off during the night.

_________________
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:52 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thanks so much again for all your comments.

The part of being in Nossob I love the most is just being there!! :D
I love just being in the campsite pottering around, I love the game rides and the continual expectation of what the Kalahari will reveal next, I love the remoteness and quieteness you experience when you park off at a waterhole, I love seeing the little things, and on reflection I must admit, I am not that crazy about the corregations! :redface:

When we camp at Nossob our biggest dilemma is deciding on which way to go, north or south. Maries se Draai has almost always delivered for us whilst Kwang to the north has always been quiet. That being said we have had some amazing cheetah sightings up north, but whenever we are undecided Maries always wins.... :D :redface:
Well on day 5 we certainly didn't need to wonder as to which way to go, and day 6 would prove to be the opposite...... :D

Once the page turns I can continue :twisted:

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


Last edited by GavinW on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Well done normana53 :clap:

DAY 5 Nossob
Lions roaring. Very loud. Which way to go, North or South? :hmz:

No………. definitely south. :P

We were 1st at the gate, all packed and just waiting for it to open. Drove out looking for our noisy neighbours, and were not disappointed as just before Rooikop we came across this guy

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We followed him along the road taking photos. Now you must realize that on previous trips Gav always did the driving and I was the photographer, however with Gav taking over my old camera we were now sitting with 2 photographers in the car and half a driver. Hence a few divorces (and blurry shots) along the way………

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I digress……… The lion carried on past Rooikop, and to our delight met up with his brother just before the turnoff to Marie’s. A car had overtaken us so we missed a classic pic of the two brothers meeting but I did manage to get this shot:

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The boys then crossed the road and disappeared over the hill to the right. We continued around a very quiet Marie se Draai but we did manage to spot this guy


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and I got him in flight (Yippee) :dance:

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Once we reached the end of Marie’s we met up with Chris and Kerry who had not gone around the loop road, but had decided rather to play the waiting game at the southern intersection of the loop. (Very commendable especially with two small children in the car) :clap:

Just before we arrived, they had just seen one of the brothers come over the hill, cross the road, and head off south and they were waiting for brother no. 2.

Of course we sat down to wait and I got a pic of these guys in the interim.


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The lion eventually came over hill, crossed the road behind us and proceeded to try and smell where his brother had gone, calling all the while, and carried on south and sort of out of sight.

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We carried on south for a while and then turned back to head back to camp. We were approaching Marie’s and came across the lion walking along the road with cars in tow. Not really wanting to meet us (again), he climbed up over the bank on the side of the road and disappeared into the veld.

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We carried on back to camp for some brunch and saw this immature Black Breasted snake eagle along the way.


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At the Nossob waterhole a White Backed vulture had come for a drink.

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Our midday drive would provide us with one of the highlights of our trip... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:37 pm 
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DAY 5 Nossob cont

While we were stuck, we noticed, on the odd occasion, a big white bird in the valley. It was too far away for photos but a kind lady told us that it was a juvenile martial and that it had been around for a few days.

Anyway after lunch we decided to head up north to Kwang. Not even 1km out of the gate we saw the juvenile martial sitting in a tree, next to the road. We stopped and watched for a while and pointed out the eagle to a few passing cars but nobody really seemed that interested. After a while the bird started going ballistic (almost like a 2yr old having a temper tantrum). It jumped around from branch to branch making a very weird noise and both Debs and I wondered what was going on as we could not see anything. Suddenly Mom Eagle arrived from over the top of our car (no photos) and landed on the tree with a lovely cape cobra for baby’s lunch……….. Wow

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We then left and we watched baby devour a 2m cape cobra in about 5min flat…… we were fascinated and wondered when she would return. Debbie has a lot more patience than me and eventually I persuaded her that we should get to Kwang.

Along the way we saw this agama

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Kwang was very quiet (surprise, surprise) and so was Cubitjie Quap. We stopped once again at the juvenile martial only to see another cape cobra in its claws (Debs told me that we should have waited and that I was way too impatient).

We then went in and drove straight out, to go around Marie’s for our evening drive. Along the way we saw these bat eared foxes:

Image

(Sorry about the small pics,,,, must have been cropped!!!)

We returned to camp, had an enjoyable braai and went to bed to a silent Nossob. What would tomorrow bring?

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


Last edited by GavinW on Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:16 am 
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billyf wrote:
Where's my pic of Kwang?? :huh: :huh:

Well, maybe tomorrow .... :popcorn: :thumbs_up:



OK billyf, here is a pic I took in a few days time!! :D (If you know what I mean :redface: )

Image

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Again thanks everyone for your support :P

DAY 6 Nossob

We decided the previous evening that all things being equal, that we would go north the next day. Our car was fixed and we had spent a fair amount of time south of Nossob over the previous few days. That morning we woke early to more lions roaring and still kept our decision to go north.Yet again were first at the gate!!!
:dance:

All was very quiet up until Qubitje Quap and so we carried on towards Kwang. Just before the Nossob 20km sign, we saw lion tracks in the road, and shortly after that I spotted a lion on the right about 50m off the road. :shock:

Image

We watched the two brothers for a good 45 minutes before we were joined by another vehicle. Were they Jan and Freek, the sons of the famous Ousis ? We really don’t know or care. They were two amazing specimens and we enjoyed every second we had with them……..

We watched them as they walked along the road… (as lions do… they are lazy after all!!)

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And right next to the car!!

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Marking his teritory!

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Checking out the surrounds!


Eventually we left them once that they appeared to have settled for the morning.


We carried on past Kwang and turned around just after Kawang pan at that “double highway” section of the road!

On the way back towards Kwang we saw a helleva commotion going on in the bushes on either side of the road. A couple of red necked falcons, a juvenile PCG and a gabar goshawk all were having a tea party chasing each other around the place.

Image


Debs got this stunning pic of a red necked falcon,

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and her appie got this pic which I was really chuffed with.( One of my favourite birds)


Image

_________________
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:26 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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One more pic before bed!! :D

Image

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:58 am 
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ruthp wrote:
Soo enjoyng this TR :D :clap: - just hope we have such lovely sightings when we make it for our first trip booked for MAY 2011. BTW - are you guys very tough :P or was it really hot enough to go sleeveless - in May? :hmz:


Thank you all for reading our TR and replying with such glowing comments. We will be posting more soon (I have been busy and Gav as been away)

ruthp - We have been to KTP at the same time for the last 3 years and I have always come back with an amazing tan. Warm during the day with temperatures cooling down at night. We even had a few nights when we remained in shorts and short sleeved tops. We always take a nice warm jacket for the 'just in case' but so far we have been very lucky with the weather. This year it rained the 1st night that we were there and on the last day but the rest of the weather was great.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:08 am 
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GavinW and Wannabe Nerd, enjoying this TR a lot. :thumbs_up: Those lions represent the pride (no pun intended), dominance, and freedom that all animals in Africa deserve; it, of course, being their land first (ours a distant second)! Those visages are worth staring at for several minutes: suffuses my soul with deep delight! Beautiful. Keep it comin' ...

:clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:37 am 
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Thanks for all your comments everyone. Sorry about the delay in posting, but life has been hectic and as Debs mentioned I have been in George this week. We will try post some more this weekend.

@ ruthp, looks like we will be making our first visit to Kruger next year :redface:

Just to continue quickly, on the way back to Nossob we saw very little, which was OK considering the magic we had experienced earlier. We did see this gemsbok at Kwang though

Image

We got back to camp, had a short break and then went for a drive down south......

_________________
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Of Lions and Leafsprings.............KTP May 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:17 pm 
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Sorry about the delay, but you know what they say about what comes to those who wait. :D

Well unfortunatley the balance of day 6 did not produce much :x

Day 6 Nossob... Cont

We decided to take a slow drive down south seeing as we had been north earlier (and totally spoilt with our lion sighting)
We decided to head down towards Kaspersdraai. it was pretty quiet, but we did see these two Pale Chanting Goshawks having a bit of a difference of opinion along the way:

Image

We returned via Maries se Gat which was quiet besides a delightful herd of Gemsbok

Image

Closer up:


Image

Image

We returned to camp happy and content with the days viewing


Day 7 Nossob

We got up bright and early and headed South to our favourite place. It was all very quiet around Marie se Draai but as we neared the Gat we saw lion spoor on the road. Great excitement and as we rounded the bend you could see the lion pride lying around the waterhole. Some had wandered off towards the bank on the other side and a few were lying around. Of course the lighting was terrible but it was great to sit and watch these beautiful creatures.

Image

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We stayed with them for a while and they all eventually crossed the riverbed and lay down on the far side. They were not going anywhere so we decided to head back to camp and enjoy some lazy time. Along the way we saw some rooi hartebeest

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Image

As well as these falcons

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As we came to hand in our permit, we were asked if we would like to go on another night drive as there were two other folk who desparately wanted to go. We happily agreed.

As we were going out again at 5, we decided to relax in camp for a while until then.
In the camp I managed to capture a few of the local birds whilst parking off in my camping chair;

Image
A mariko flycatcher

Image
And a cheeky starling



Of course we wanted to see if the lions were still at Maries so that is where we headed that evening. We got to Maries se gat when it was still light.
The lions had moved off a bit further away and looked pretty settled. We decided to carry on along the loop and persuaded the guides to turn around after a while to see if they had come down to the water on our way back.


Well they carried on all the way to the end of the road, and then we turned around. Along the way we had a really nice sighting of a wild cat as well as a genet, both too far away for pics in the poor light.
We got back to Maries se Gat to find no sign of the felines, so we carried on back to camp for a wonderful meal and bed.

We had already decided that the next morning regardless of what was going on to the south,we were heading up to Polentswa the next day as we wouldn't get another chance to do so. A decision which paid handsome dividends the next day :P

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


Last edited by GavinW on Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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