I came over to SA to organize and judge a professional skateboard contest that was held in Kimberley from Sept 29-Oct 2. Luckily my work affords me to travel to some amazing places and SA was no different. I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to explore and shoot some photos while there as most of my wife and my trips are based around wildlife viewing (Galapagos, Costa Rica etc).
I decided upon visiting the Kgalagadi simply because it seemed like the most remote of the parks within a decent driving distance from where we were staying. I have always looked for the places with the least amount of people and this seemed like the ticket.
While in Kimberley I hiked and explored a guest farm every morning from about 6-9am before heading to run the contest. Here's a few highlights of what we saw around Kimberley while hiking around.
I've got some bird ID's I would like to get out of the way first from the beginning of the trip, any help here?
At the farm it was nice to see a scene like this...
These were nice to come across there as well...beautiful
Here's the view from the top of the roll-in on the mini-mega ram that was part of the contest. About 10 meters high with a similar sized gap to cross after it. No sweat, right?
We did manage to see an Aardvark on a night drive as well, odd looking animals.
After that it was off and driving. We chose to take the longer route up the R31 in hopes of finding some Cape Cobras or other stuff along that less travelled highway. I did manage to see 3 DOR (dead on road) Cobas along with a heartbreaking Rock Monitor dead as well. I'm a bit of a reptile hound and we did see 1 alive Cape Cobra but it proved too quick for me to get a photo of as I followed it into the grass and it was down a hole. So bummed.
First White-backed Vulture of the trip
We stayed just south of the park entrance, about a 15 minutes drive each morning to get to the gate at TW.
If I do come again, I may choose one of the bushcamps like Urikarus or something as they seem not too crowded.
This was our place for our stay, very nice, along with a few of directly behind us, just after the fire a few days earlier before we arrived.
Each night I was enjoying the Bibron's Thick-toed Geckos feeding near our lights
Our first morning drive was full of excitement as we really didn't know what to expect. So many raptors in the park I was really amazed.
But first up were of course some Springbok.
I could use an ID on this bird as well.
Steenbok we saw pretty early on our drive
Saw plenty of these Kori Bustards roaming around
These little guys made us aware that we truly were in the Kalahari
I found shooting photos of the Swallow-tailed Bee Eaters just too hard to resist everytime I saw one, lots of these photos on my memory cards.
The first real exciting thing happened just after about Monroe, we saw a Cape Fox dart into it's burrow so we turned the car off and waited to see if she would emerge again. 10-15 minutes later she did along with her babies
A ton of these Pale-chanting Goshawks were in the park that day
I was trying to post the whole trip report in one post, but it doesn't look like it's working. So, I'll cut it there and redo the rest later on or tomorrow. Maybe it's just too much text and photos for the forum to handle.