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 Post subject: ruthp-First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:09 pm 
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Location: Germiston, Gauteng
So, after more than 2 years in the planning stage and cancelling our proposed 2010 trip we finally left home in the early hours of Saturday 23 April 2011 for our first KTP adventure. :thumbs_up:
After much discussion with all and sundry we finally opted to take the "notorious" N14 route from our home in Germiston and have to say that it wasn't bad at all. One "serious" :shock: detour where there was a big drop from the tar onto the sandy track - all of about 500 metres!. :P A few stop/go places but not stopped for long - probably due to the fact that we were travelling in the middle of the Easter week-end. We did have loads of rain though - from the time we left home until just before Kuruman - but it was all OK - we were on our way…at last!! Excitement was high :dance: :clap:
Here we are at our first fuel stop - maybe those who travel the same way we did recognise the place
Image (hope this comes through - I'm stumped - don't knwo how to get more than one picture into the TR at a time - still figuring that out)
. Reached our overnight stop at Red Sands early in the afternoon (stayed 2 nights as we were only booked in at TR from 25 April). Had a lovely restaurant meal on our first night complete with a very good singer entertaining us.
Bright and early on Monday 25 April we hit the road to Upington - stopped to buy a supply of wood - not at the lodge (forget the name now) but from one of the locals and very soon saw the signs that KTP was near....


I don't

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2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Location: Germiston, Gauteng
Really excited when we saw this sign - although up to now hadn't seen any red sand
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Then we finally arrived at what is a familiar place to many
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Checking in formalities dispensed with we went to find a spot to put up camp for two days - A bit of a mission that was - camp full - no free electrical point - although we had booked one - but campers are a special breed - it wasn't long before some kind soul came to our aid with a double adaptor on his line (apologies for forgetting their name but they were real serious photographers - met them a day or so later on our way to MM - parked at the hyena den near UriK where they had been for hours). We had chosen a spot but then 3 families from PTA arrived with kids and asked if we would move so they could all camp together and we not have their kids running through our camp - no problem - chop chop they moved our van - into a much better spot. I must say that even though the camp was full and there were a lot of children it was not bad at all. The kids were frisky in the early evening but by 9 pm had quietened down. Can't say the same for the access road from the entrance gate - there seemed to be traffic on it all through the night! We found the staff friendly though and especially helpful in the shop.

Next mornign we set on our first official game drive in KTP full of expectation and wondering what we would see. Saw our first
Image
then our first
Image

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2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Location: Germiston, Gauteng
We were really enjoying our first day - before we had een seen our first gemsbok or sprinbokkies we saw a huge male lion walking in the riverbed - just after we had finished going over the dune part of the road leaving TR - although too far away to photograph we were very chuffed with the sighting :dance: - not long after that we came across a pair of these - only managed to get a pic of one - but, I was over the moon seeing them for the first time :dance: :clap:

[Image

We then saw swallow tailed bee-eaters - they're too quick for me - couldn't get one halfway decent pic but no matter - another first for us :clap: - we pressed on - saw ostriches, wildebeest more bokkies (gem and spring) - and various birdies 8) and then .... arrived at........ Auchterlonie Picnic site

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- it was cold - wind blowing - but were were prepared (beanies, gloves and about 20 layers (OK OK I exaggerate a little :tongue: :whistle: ) The view!! - the openess - the grandness of the sky - awesome :D - :cam: :thumbs_up: We loved it there - had our brunch and just drank in the beauty of the place - checked out all the interesting historical things - and then - reluctantly - turned back to TR - enjoyed our drive - (no red red sand which we had been hoping for just fields of endless grass - beautiful too! :wink: ). Had an early evening braai and did a bit of packing up 'cause next morning we were off to MM for 4 nights .......................

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2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:50 pm 
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Location: Germiston, Gauteng
Around 7.30 am on 27 April we collected our permit and started off for MM. Somewhere before our pitstop at Auchterlonie saw some cars stopped - looked left and right and all over with binocs but couldn't see a thing - asked "what aren’t we seeing?" :huh: - Cheetah with a kill - there in the riverbed under a small bush :big_eyes: - managed to find it through the long grass and although far off we were happy that we could clearly see the face and the kill. :D
Had brekkies at Kamqua and contined to MM where we arried a little after lunchtime - Chose a spot near the fence and started to get set up when I was discracted by a bird - it was being "pursued" by a group of photographers and as it flitted from tree to tree it was giving these quite pitiful cheeps for a bird of its size - I joined the throng tried to get some pics and then went back to putting up camp. It didn't take long to settle and as we were enjoying a refreshing drink and looking at the view through the camp fence I head the cheeping again in the tree right above our head. As I looked up what did I see but a starling landing on the branch next to the big bird and feeding it!
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I think it is a greater spotted cuckoo (haven't got my bird book here at work to verify again). Poor old starling mom (dad?) looked really hassled. Peering all over for more food for this great big cheeping and wing flapping baby - I'm sure it could have fed itself already. Didn't see either of them again - wonder if the starling got wise :slap: or if the poor thing dropped dead from exhaustion? Great seeing this interaction - a first for us :clap:
Spent the rest of the afternoon in the camp looking at

Image


\Image

Image

Image

Image

and enjoyed our first MJM sunset

Image

_________________
2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:44 am 
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Location: Germiston, Gauteng
Next day went for eary morning drive - saw varied game including jackal taking a kill into its den a few kms from MM ..... Stopped at Craigh Lockhart - and had our breakfast parked under a tree -Saw a gabar goshawk with a kill but it was eating it low down in a dense thorny bush/tree so no pics but it was interesting to watch......... Spent quite a time there just looking around and at the birds ...managed to get this pic.... namaqua dove
Image

sat for while at this water hole just enjoying the comings and goings - wildebeest, ostriches, gemsbok, springbok, - saw lots kori busterds this day

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also saw our first of these

giraffe group
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close up giraffe
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giraffe on dune - something I had also been wanting to experience
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back to camp for a snooze and shower and a walk around the camp looking at birds, plants and ground squirrels ---- then left hubby making bread Image
and went out alone for a late afternoon drive - driving along - seeing nothing exceptional but thinking to myself this beats driving in the rush hour traffic back home at this time of day :whistle: - then....2 black blobs in the road - ?? :big_eyes: - so excited I clapped hands :clap: :clap: - my first bat eared foxes :dance: They got up and went into the grass - where there were others already but with the grass being so long this was the best I could get
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Got back to camp just as the gates were about to close and was welcomed back at our camp by this lovely Image..so ended another lovely day in the park

Next morning up early and out again - around 9hoo we came on a traffic jam (6 or 7 cars) ...the reason ....

Image
they were on both sides of the road but were in the process of crossing over... 2 were "dragging their heels" which gave us lots of time to look at the others - very good mannered folks at this viewing - everyone stayed on the one side of the road and no one pulled up right next to the lions to block others viewing -

lion crossing
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each one who wanted to move off stopped briefly right next to the lions took a few pics and moved on as did we..
Image what a magic morning!! :dance:

_________________
2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:34 pm 
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Location: Germiston, Gauteng
Micetta wrote:
Good lion sighting....they were even moving :wink: :thumbs_up:


Yes, we were fortunate that day with our lion sightings :D both times they were moving - after we left the ones we photographed we saw 2 beautiful males and two females (we assume) walking diagonally up a ridge (somwhere before Kamqua) - too far for my camera to get anything but blobs :wall: but we had good views through the binocs

Also had a cheetah sighting that day - which was after we had seen the 2nd lot of lions (also too far for my camera) but watched the pair for at least 20 minutes - on top of a ridge -sitting up, lying down and finally one coming down on our side of the ridge and going into stalking mode (grass right up to its shoulder) - the other one went down the other side of the ridge - we presume that a kill was made behind some trees because we could not see them again despite a few of us searching back and forth
We had also seen - tawny eagles, vultures, PCGs and lots of other intersting birds - all before we reached Kamqua - What an existing morning!! :dance:

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2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:03 pm 
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Here's the next part of our adventure - sorry for the delay - work pressure and internet problems at home..... :wall:
After our lovely morning outing we returned to our campsite

Image

we sleep in the part on the left of the picture which is a canopy that folds out of the side wall of the 'van - (a special reason for pointing this out)
We started packing up as we were leaving for Nossob next day (1 May) - lots of other folk were doing the same as the schools were staring again on 3 May. We noticed the storm clouds brewing n :o

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so decided to start the braai fire a little earlier than usual - everything going nicely - veggies in foil in the coals - enjoying a late afternoon drink :thumbs_up: suddenly a strong wind sprang up and large drops of rain and some hail (about pigeon egg size) started to come down - Hey no problem we're seasoned campers after all :whistle: - so quickly re-erect the canopy at the back of the 'van - unpack our portable braai - transfer the coals and veggies and voila :lol: there we were set up for braaing in the rain - quite chuffed with ourselves :wink:
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that storm passed by quickly - but there was still some fabulous lightning around - Nossob direction - so after finishing our meal we took our after dinner drinks (Amarula - what else :roll: :clap: !) and moved our chairs into an open spot in the campsite where we sat for about half an hour enjoying the lovely spectacle before deciding that we were off to bed as we wanted an early start the next day. We had hardly packed the chairs in the car and closed the caravan door when the wind began to howl - it was so fierce that it lifted up the heavy bed canopy and almost blew it shut! :big_eyes: :big_eyes: It was flapping up and down in the wind!!. When we saw this we both dived onto the bed to keep it down :x . The "braai canopy" at the back of the 'van was flapping around madly in the wind - but nothing we could do :doh: - it was teeming with rain and the wind was howling so we just had to lie on the bed and wait till the storm abated - After about 45 minutes the worst of the storm had passed and hubby went outside to check the damage- our whole site was under water right up to his ankles :shock: :cry: - fortunately the canopy got caught up in the tree so it didn't tear - the whole camp was awake and "licking their wounds" so to speak. So, after all this excitement we finally got to bed after midnight. Next morning…… the drying out and cleaning up phase

ImageImage
the camp fence was festooned with camping gear that needed to dry out - not many made their planned early starts.
We eventually got away after 9h00 but were rewarded with this lovely sighting on our way……..

_________________
2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:00 pm 
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Location: Germiston, Gauteng
WillemK wrote:
Very strange lighting - mainly "making the cloudes white" with no real "stripes" to catch on film..................................met person ..........and she told me they decided to sleep for the rest of the night in the car. So bad was it.


Yes, the lightning was very strange - we did see a few jagged flashes though, but not from the clouds down to earth but across inside the clouds - something we've never seen before

One of the campers who was packing up to go home kindly cleared out the back of his vehicle and let a couple sleep in it whose whole tent and bedding got wet - their own vehicle was a smallish sedan - but boy did they have their priorities right :thumbs_up: - early next morning we saw their mattress propped up on chairs to dry out and they were nowhere to be seen - out viewing game I'm sure :) instead of watching their mattress dry :tongue:

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2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:52 pm 
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Afer leaving the "disaster zone" at MM we were enjoying our not so early morning drive when we cam accross this guy - he was clearly on a mission - unfortunately as we were towing our van we couldn't turn around to follow :evil: - just had to grab what pics we could as he came marching past
Image
Image
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quick pit stop at Kamqua and then onto the upper dune road en route to Nossob - saw lots of birds including this one (pic not so good - sorry :( ) - forgot to identify it in my book - Red Crested Korhaan - thanks Elsa …..

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also saw lots of PCG - but hard to get decent pic - this the best one I could get :tongue:

Image

then we came to …Moravet
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we would have liked to get closer to the water but were afraid there would not be space to turn the van around - really loved it here :D - - saw Egyptian geese here and, unexpected by us, :o also a white faced duck
sat for quite a while just taking it all in - this is definitely one of our "must return to" spots and then pushed on and eventually arrived at Dikbaardskolk where we made brunch

I was very tickled by this sign

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Hubby was not quite as tickled when he discovered that one of these had climbed up right onto his shoulder and was about to walk up his ear!! :big_eyes:

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And was it stubborn - a little flick wasn't enough to dislodge it - took quite a hard whack to get it off - hubby was still shuddering at the thought of it when we were kms away :evil: :redface: - (On our return trip home a week later the memory still made hubby shudder when we came to this picnic spot again and when he saw how many of them were walking about - no ways we were stopping for our tea break there! :redface: ! He insisted we "drink and drive").......Anyway, after all that excitement we pushed on saw the usuals - springbok, gemsbok (imagine I can now call gemsbok - Usuals!! :whistle: ) as well as some more of these - we'd seen lots of them when we were at MM
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and then arrived at the gate where we saw this sign :clap: :dance:
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put up our
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and enjoyed our first Nossob sunset :clap: :clap: :D Image

_________________
2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


Last edited by ruthp on Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:12 pm 
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Went to bed tired and happy :clap: at finally being in Nossob after dreaming and planning for so long to be there - It was a wonderful night - lions roared all night - jackals called repeatedly and we heard hyena too =- magic! :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: Hubby didn't want to fall out of bed early next morning :big_eyes: :wall: so I settled for walking around the camp - saw two jackals inside the camp - one had some unfortunate's shoe - they were very skittish - tried a couple of pics but they're not good enough to post - light not good -
I had wanted to go and sit at the hide - but can you believe it!! :big_eyes: :redface: :redface: I couldn't find the entrance!! - Never took proper notice the day before that it is between the two entrance gates.

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Anyway I landed up on the interpretive walk that is laid out inside the camp and that was very interesting - it really felt as if I was alone in the veldt - a bit scary being alone there I must say :wink: :) …. watched the sun rise

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saw the queue of cars that were going out to find the lions that had roared all night :mrgreen: :mrgreen: ..went back to our camp for morning coffee and rusks and waited for hubby to make his appearance - and then went out - just 2 kms from the camp the lions were lying in the riverbed

Image

There was another male further back under a tree - watched them for some time - sitting, lying down - rolling around, grooming..until they eventually moved, one by one further back into the trees - saw a lovely black breasted snake eagle and some other raptors (too far for my camera but good views through the binocs) - also saw a gymnogene - forgot the new name

Then back to camp where we did a bit of "housework" and watched the camp life -

Yellow mongoose
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and quite a few of these - but this one was fearless - hubby was eating his biscuit when all of a sudden this guy ran up his leg...

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I won't post a pice of what hubby did next - :naughty: :naughty: :naughty: :redface:

Next morning we went to Marie se Gat - I had really been looking forward to going there from all the reading on the forum........

_________________
2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:17 pm 
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At long last … we were finally sitting at Marie se draai ………surveying the scene -

Image

there was a male trying to keep his "harem" under control - quite interesting the way he just put his head down and the female would move back where he wanted her - but he had to many things distracting him - trotting off to meet guys coming to the waterhole and having a "chat", then of course ladies would wander off again and he had to go trotting to them and do the head down thing and they would move to where he wanted them to be

then decided to have breakfast - I had no sooner leaned over to the backseat to get our basket when the starlings arrived - out of nowhere it seemed :big_eyes: - very bold and insistent - young birds and older ones were at both our windows - not put off at all by the movement inside the car - even when we tried to shoo them away -

Image

Eventually there were three on hubby's side and one jumped right in onto the dashboard- left a calling card there too :tongue: ! (Again won't post a pic of what hubby did next :redface: :naughty: )

As we were sitting there enjoying our late breakfast we saw a huge group (flock??) of ostriches coming towards the waterhole - we counted 26 - 1 beautiful daddy - two mommies and a whole lot of teenagers - they looked quite comical marching along in single file - dad in front, then two moms and the rest - they preened and fluffed in the water and around the edge of the waterhole - Suddenly then all took off running -single file - their legs looked like a train chugging along:XXXXXXXX. Why? There bounding through the long grass from the same direction the ostriches had come from was a lion! :big_eyes: While mommies and kids headed for the hills daddy peeled off and ran at an angle back towards the lion.... :shock: drawing him away from the family group - the male ostrich ran just fast enough to keep the lion interested until the family group was over the hill and far away and then he sped up until lion gave up the chase. Young lion still was interested - went looking up the hill for his prey but by then the ostriches were long gone! It was 11h30 already and quite hot - we reckoned only a young inexperienced lion would be wasting energy that time of the day - searched the bushes backwards and forwards looking for the rest of the pride but we couldn't find any sign of them just saw the tracks of the youngster where he had come down the hill and crossed over the road before chasing the ostriches
We were very chuffed with what we had seen even if we hadn't been able to capture any of it on film - it all happened so fast!

When we decided move off we hit a Kgalagardi roadblock

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waited for them to clear off and eventually there was just this youngster have a long drink
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back to camp to get ready to park the van next morning and go off to Grootkolk for 2 nights :clap: - next morning parked the van and then off on the next leg of our adventure - on the way came across two cars parked - just before Kwang - looked this way and that - nope - can't see anything :| - pulled up next to one of them - "hello - what you guys looking at?" - "lions in the bush right here next to the road" - Really ? :o - this was all we could see

Image (
but no one was moving so neither were we - out came the morning coffee and rusks and we sat there eating and drinking and looking and looking for quite a long time until suddenly we saw

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so, there definitely was a lion there ---but -he wouldn't give us a good view - kept lying down and sitting up - eventually we got this…

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the front car moved off so we decided to move into that spot as the guys directly in front of us weren't budging - hardly stopped again when he got up :dance:

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and then he came and flopped down right in front of us :clap: :dance: :cam:

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chills up the spine!!!! What a great start to our day!!

_________________
2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:10 pm 
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After the exciting lion sighting we continued on our way - I had been slightly disappointed :( on our trip at seeing so much grass - beautiful as it was - and not much of the red sand dunes I had been hoping to see - but we saw other things which I don't think we would have seen in May if it hadn't rain so much, for instance

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it was awe inspiring and humbling - just us two being in all this open space for km after km - we stopped and sat for a while doing nothing but drinking it all in............. the beauty of the wide open sky and the landscape...............

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this turned out to be the "vegetation phase" :) :wink: of our trip - we stopped and looked closely at lots of plants and grasses and flowers

Image

Image

Image - "gemsbok cucumber" - don't know the names of any of the others

eventually.......we arrived at Grootkolk :dance: - so great to be there ourselves after reading so much about it on the forum - it was lovely and quiet - no one else there yet - got ourselves settled in.....(taken from Unit 1)

Image

sat on the verandah of the the communal kitchen set-up which you can see in the distance behind our unit and enjoyed the view.............

got a pic of one of the local inhabitants

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and then get ready for the "potjie" that we had been planning to do at Grootkolk -

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enjoyed a lovely sunset

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and settled down to our meal - which we shared with the camp attendant so sorry I have now just forgotten his name :wall: :redface: :redface: ..,. was it Franco? --- :redface: :redface: while we chatted softly in the dim patio light and watched the stars come out …. heard a lion roaring in the distance :thumbs_up: … what bliss!! :clap: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: had a lovely night even though no predators came to visit - I got up several times in the night just to listen to the night sounds and look at the stars......

_________________
2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:19 pm 
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Here's the next part of our adventure (a bit delayed … work keeps getting in the way :evil: :whistle: )
We spent our second day at Grootkolk taking it easy - fortunately this was the plan from the start -hubby didn't feel so well so he caught up on some zzzzzz's while I watched the comings and goings
A large herd of red hartebeest came to the waterhole
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and spent most of the day around it - it was a good opportunity to really check them out and see the different horn formations and the interactions between the various sub-groups -
a lone gemsbok came to join them and spent the day with them too
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There were lots of birdies visiting the little drinking trough someone had placed on top of the fence - I got a pic of this one
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Also saw striped mice running through the grass and, I think it is a gerbil - it was a small round mouselike creature with a little "trunk" - just couldn't capture any of these guys on film - so quick to run into the grass!! :wall:
At 5pm we decided to do a quick game drive "half hour out and then back" Even at Grootkolk official gate closing still have to be obeyed - nothing too eventful seen and just when we were nearing Geinab waterhole and our "half an hour out" was up we saw one of our Grootkolk neighbours parked facing back towards Grootkolk - told us they had just seen two male lions drinking at the waterhole and they were now lying in the grass - waited a bit and just when we had decided we had to turn back they both briefly stood up - they looked so beautiful with setting sun shining on them - unfortunately hubby duffed the pics :roll: :roll: :slap: but we still have the beautiful memory and picture in our minds. :) We had just turned around and driven about 1km when suddenly I caught sight of something and was able to grab the camera and get a pic
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I was so glad to see them :clap: as I had read in the sightings book that they had been seen around Grootkolk - up till then I hadn't even known you get kudu in KTP :o . All too soon we were back in camp and enjoying our last Grootkolk braai :(
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and the very last light of the day :( :D
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Next day we left for Gharagab via Unions End - we saw no one else on the road to the picnic spot -
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or at Unions End - and were once again in awe of the vast landscape and our insignificance in it :pray:
We tried to get a pic of us together at this spot -
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but despite carefully balancing the camera on the open car door - setting what we thought were the correct timer settings - one or the other of use running to the pole with the signboards showing the three countries - doing our smiling / pointing thing -we couldn't get us both in the picture! :shock: :redface: ! After we had spent about 15 mins on this useless exercise we finally gave up and collapsed laughing at how crazy it would have looked if there was an onlooker nearby. :big_eyes: On we pressed to Gharagab ..
Grass was very long- so we did not see much except some steenbokkies at the turnoff and some huge grasshoppers but we enjoyed the different scenery …
arrived at our unit
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and quickly settled in -- the deck is very compact - but even has a braai on it
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Our first visitor was a jackal -
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it looked like he was doing a regular patrol past the front of all the cabins and down around the waterhole - next up was…
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a steenbokkie - it spent a lot of time around the waterhole licking at the stones and just when it got very dark another one joined it - saw a lot of them during the night too
Had a lovely candlelight supper :D
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and so ended another lovely day in KTP
:clap: :dance:

_________________
2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 245
Location: Germiston, Gauteng
Thanks all for reading and commenting - it really makes it a pleasure to share our adventure with you :D

So, we left Gharagab on 10 May for Nossob - At the Gharagab waterhole we saw this guy

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Continued to Lijiersdraai Picnic Spot - at least this time we found it :lol: - Have to admit that on our way up to Grootkolk we somehow completely missed it :redface: :doh: - we only started looking for the picnic spot when we saw the sign for the Lijiersdraai waterhole not knowing then that we had long passed the picnic spot! :roll: After enjoying a leg stretch and morning tea we continued on our journey - long grass and high embankment on the side of the road - It was about 10h30 when I saw in the distance a black blob at the side of the road - as we got nearer we realised it was a honey badger :clap: - as soon as it saw us it ducked back into the long grass on the left and then suddenly appeared again with a companion and ran across the road into the long grass on the right :big_eyes: . It was over in a flash so no pic opportunity :wall: but I was so excited to see them that I forgot I was actually driving and stalled the vehicle :slap: :? - what a sudden stop :tongue: .
After recovering from the excitement and explaining to hubby what an unusual sighting we had just had we continued on our way - caught a glimpse of a this snake hurrying onto the bush

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We saw a few puff adders on our trip - we had hoped to see a cobra and spent a lot of time scanning sociable weaver nests just in case, but nothing doing
About half an hour after we saw the first 2 honey badgers we saw another one :lol: - this guy was walking on the right hand side of the road away from us - I slowed down and tried to creep up to him to get a pic, but he wasn't going for that - jumped around, gave an aggressive charge towards us :evil: and then ran up the embankment into the long grass and disappeared from sight. Our first ever sighting in the wild of honey badgers - 3 within an hour :thumbs_up: - in the middle of the day - KTP magic :dance: :clap:

Had a lovely last night's braai at Nossob - as it got dark lions started to roar/call- it seemed all around the camp - went to the hide - there was a lone lioness there - her roars made the hide floor vibrate - quite scary- she was off to the side so light not good enough for pic - the other lions who replied were at the back of the camp around where the aircraft hanger is. Drifted off to sleep with lions calling and woke in the early morning to lions roaring close by - there were a whole group about 9 right next to the gate at the back gate of Nossob - about 200m from our caravan - moved off before we could jump up and put on enough clothes to go outside and still be decent! :wall: :slap: :twisted: (but later we did get a consolation prize :wink: )…………

All too soon we saw our last KTP sunrise :cry: (for 2011 at least)

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the lovely morning sky as we left Nossob

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Just before Dikbaardskolk we found these two - I kept my window open with hubby having strict instructions to close the window chop chop if they made a move towards me

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After a while one of them moved off and the other got up and sat in another spot - we couldn't go with them 'cause of towing the van

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Eventually the second one moved off - Just a brief stop at Dikbaardskolk to use the facilities - remember hubby had the "armoured cricket incident" here :whistle: and there were a lot of them walking about so it was "drink and drive" for our tea

We hadn't gone very far when we came across this scene (see the little springhare at the bottom right) pic taken at max zoom on my point and shoot

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They seemed to be having a "face off" - each one was dead still looking at the other :hmz: - we watched for a least 5 minutes without there being any movement, when suddenly the hare gave a huge leap.... landed on the side of the road ahead of us and with another huge leap was deep into the bush on the other side of the road and out of sight :big_eyes: ! We could hardly believe that such a small thing could jump so high and so far! :shock: :shock:

more follows soon....

_________________
2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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 Post subject: Re: First timers KTP Adventure (Apr/May 2011)
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 245
Location: Germiston, Gauteng
After recovering from the surprise of seeing the springhare jump so high and so far we pushed on - saw the usual (how I LOVE being able to say that about gemsbok & springbok!! :D ) - also saw ostriches and wildebeest and enjoyed the scenery - Just a short distance before we reached Melkvlei we came on 3 jackals and some lappet faced and white backed vultures at the left-overs of a small kill (looked like a springbok – maybe it was a cheetah kill) :hmz:

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it was fascinating to watch how the one jackal dominated everyone and kept everything for himself – he kept chasing off the vultures if they got too near – can you see he is growling?

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He even had this quarrel without losing any ground to the vultures

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After watching for a while we had to move on as we still had a way to go - we were sleeping outside the park that night :cry: :evil: We had just moved off when I looked to the right - that embankment was a bit higher than on the left - and there I saw a buck sitting down - it was a bit obscured by the long grass and a low tree but after peering this way and that we eventually were able to identify it as Eland - there were a few further away - but the grass was too long for any worthwhile pics. We were very excited - having seen Kudu and Eland in the KTP :clap: :clap: .

Stopped briefly at Melkvlei Picnic spot - I was quite amazed to see how spread out this picnic spot is and on both sides of the road too :big_eyes:

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what if a pride of lions appears when you are walking towards the "facilities"?? :hmz: :big_eyes:

After that we reached the turn off at Kij Kij for the lower dune road (the road direct to Nossob still being closed) and with that hit the most bone shaking ride of our entire holiday :shock: :o - this despite our tyres being deflated to about 1 bar! The up side was that we saw some real RED sand dunes :clap: :whistle: :thumbs_up: !

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and just to get some respite from the shuddering we made frequent stops to admire the scenery –

Image can you see the corrugations in the road?

these ostriches were originally near the road but the rattle and roll scared them into the hills

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Eventually we reached the turn off at Auchterlonie - no respite from the shake rattle and roll though – this section was almost as bad as the lower dune road. Our hearts were getting heavy as we took that turn off knowing that we were on the last leg of our wonderful adventure :cry: :cry: . I had been on a constant look out for tortoises and was quite chuffed when we came across this guy/gal? crossing the road :) . We turned across the road so that no other vehicle would suddenly appear and "splat" our sighting :tongue: (had that experience once watching a chameleon in KNP)

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All too soon we reached TR :wall: While hubby checked inside the van after our bumpy drive (all was OK) and pumped up the tyres, I dithered in the shop :? - with the kind and patient assistance of the friendly staff - buying a T-shirt for hubby I don’t usually dither but I think I was just trying to put off leaving the park – amazing how after just one visit one can feel so attached and sad at leaving – even now typing about it I confess I got tears in my eyes :redface: :whistle: All too soon the exit formalities were over and we were out of the Park. :(

We had a wonderful time - met interesting people, saw some idiots hanging out their vehicle :naughty: on one of our drives but were very happy :dance: :clap: to see stopped and reprimanded by a park official travelling towards them from MM :clap: - encountered only friendliness with all the staff that we met on our entire trip. Sure, Nossob ablutions could do with a bit of sprucing up and being cleaned earlier in the morning, TR ladies ablutions had steps which imo are too high :roll: - ended up using the disabled facilities, but those are minor things compared the beauty of the park and all the wonderful things we saw. :thumbs_up: :cam: :thumbs_up:
This view is one that we particularly liked and we look forward to seeing it again in 2012

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Thanks to everyone on the forum who inspired and encouraged us to make the trip and thanks for reading this report - :gflower: :k hope it helps someone to make the decision to do the trip and see it all or themselves – the only thing we regret is that we never got to visit the park sooner :doh: :slap:

_________________
2015:
Urikaruus 24 & 25 Feb !!!!
Nossob 26 Feb - 2 Mar
Bitterpan 2 - 4 Mar (might change)
KTC 4 - 7 Mar
TR 7 Mar


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