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 Post subject: Tobieo From dust to thunder KTP a wonder Nov/Dec 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:20 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
This TR will focus on the photography side rather than long narration (with a few exceptions here and there :tongue: ) My itinerary was as follows:

28 - 29 Nov Mata Mata
30 Nov - 2 Des Urikaruus
3 - 4 Des Mata Mata

It was a trip of rather extremes from extremely hot and dusty to a very nice thunder storm, very friendly staff to outright rude people, excellent sightings to rather quiet periods. Sit back and enjoy the ride…………

Image

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
27 November Pretoria to Van Zylsrus

I left home at 7:30 and travelled via the N14 to Kuruman. Only "2 stop and go" on the way and can you believe it, I travelled right through both without stopping. Thanks Switchback for the feedback on the road conditions!! Except for the fairly old detour on the way to Ventersdorp and the 2 "stop and go" the road was actually in a very good condition with very little traffic. I left the N14 at Kuruman as I prefer to travel via Van Zylsrus. By now it was fairly hot (36C) and I decided to stop off in Hotazel for something cold….. I should have known better, Sunday 14:00 nobody around and the only shop obviously very closed. So luke warm water from my water bottle in the car will have to do. :(

I arrived at my lodging for the first evening at Van Zylsrus and after a quick cold beer, okish steak hit the bed fairly early. Unfortunately the aircon in my room was only blowing out hot air but I eventually managed to fall asleep after opening the windows and fighting off a few mozzies.

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:27 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
28 November Van Zylsrus to Mata Mata

As this was probably going to be a hot and long day (first of many) I decided to have an early start. I left Van Zylsrus at 5:00 after a quick cup of coffee and some rusks that were available in my room. It was so nice to travel through the beautiful countryside so early in the morning. On the way I saw quite a lot of game, including some giraffe in the far distance. After stopping for fuel and some mean braai wood in Askham I arrived at the gate of my beloved KTP. The lady at reception was so nice and friendly. She quickly directed me to the HR lady Ms Mouton to drop of some Xmas gifts for the children. After also leaving some magazines for the bush camp attendants in KG's office, I decided to buy Eric at Urikaruus some cooldrinks and sweets. I was shocked by how unfriendly the lady behind the counter was. I could not help it but very kindly asked her if she could smile. After her confirmation I asked her to please do it more often….. (I don't think she liked it but hell we are the customers)!

After deflating my tyres (another unfriendly experience, the attendant suggesting that I do it myself, using a twig that I break off a nearby tree……… no Tsamma awards for this department)! I left for Mata Mata after all the last minute calls home, the children and the office. My dear wife decided to not face the summer KTP heat so this is again a solo trip.

I decided to quickly pop in at Samevloeiing to only find this "KG special anthill". Some birds have marked their territory.

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It was now already heating up and most of the animals were starting to move into the shade. On the way I spotted the normal general game and some birds. This Agama Lizard was enjoying the sunshine although he looked like doing the split.

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This Ant Eating Chat was looking for some clouds to hide the sun

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The tall and the short….

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This Red Hartebeest was looking for some relief from the heat

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_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:48 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:27 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
28 November Van Zylsrus to Mata Mata (continued)

This Black Chested Snake Eagle was looking around for something to eat

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After stopping at Urikaruus to drop of the cooldrink and sweets for Jacques (Eric will only be back on Wednesday) I made my way to Mata Mata.

I stopped for a while in the shade at Craig Lockhardt. This White-browed Sparrow-weaver (I think) was scratching around next to the car for some nesting material

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At reception I had to wait quite some time to check in as there were some foreign tourists that entered the park from Botswana through KAA gate and never went to 2R to have their documents stamped. They were very unhappy with the lady at reception as she was telling them that Namibia won't let them in unless they have the necessary stamps, they insisted to talk to her manager and she eventually helped me as they were trying to phone somebody to help them.

Checked into the new chalets (mine was no. 2) and unpacked all my goodies and made sure that I got some beers into the fridge. It is amazing the amount of damage to the walls of the news chalets (inside corners) even at heights where you would not expect it. What are the people doing??

The friendly resident Squirrel welcomed me

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I left camp at 16:30 (and forgot to collect my permit…)

This BWB was resting outside camp in the shade

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It was a fairly quiet afternoon as far as the sightings went until I came across these Spotted Eagle Owls chicks and I spent some time with them

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Throughout the afternoon the clouds started building up and just after I arrived at Craig Lockhardt, it started raining, first softly and then a heavy downpour for a few minutes. The smell of the fresh rain on the soil will always be so special, more so in a very dry KTP.

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(to be continued)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:53 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Just to wet the appetite and to assist the page in turning.............

Image

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:48 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
28 November Van Zylsrus to Mata Mata (continued)

On the way back to camp I found these Springbok with their backsides turned into the wind to try and dry themselves.

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The young rams had to get rid of extra energy and started mock fights, sometimes 4 or 5 "attacking" one another at the same time.

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This adult Spotted Eagle Owl was enjoying the sun after the rain

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So did this SBJ

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and the BWB

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_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:40 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
29 November Mata Mata

I arrived at reception at 5:15 waiting to collect my permit. What will KTP reveal to me today? Some predators? Left camp at 5:30 and traveled through the dunes to the Auob river bed. On the way it was very quiet with almost no animals around. Far off I noticed a brown hyena but no photo as it was running away and really far. Arrived at the loop leading to 14th waterhole and arrived probably minutes after a female Cheetah killed a Springbok. She was still sitting panting but her 2 cubs were very eagerly starting to feed on the carcass.

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I spent some time with the three while they were feeding, chasing the Jackal away and feeding some more.


I eventually decided to leave to see what else is about.

Probably a kilometer further on I found a rather thin male Lion purposefully walking towards me in the riverbed. He probably smelt the kill and was going to claim a free snack. I quickly reversed back to the kill but found the proverbial KTP traffic jam (probably 6 cars). The male Lion sprinted the last meters

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the Cheetah trio very quickly departed (they had eaten the hind quarters and some juicy bits). What happened next....? This is now where we take a commercial break (aka wait for the page to turn :tongue: )

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Award: Funniest/Best Forumite Name (2013)
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:38 pm
Posts: 9714
Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain
FAC Member (2012)
Tobieo wrote:
This LBJ (ID please) was looking for some clouds to hide the sun

Image


Ant eating chat Tobieo.

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Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:53 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
29 November Mata Mata (continued)

As the male arrived at the carcass I noticed it was the old male with the broken jaw (Old badmouth).

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He took a few bites and decided to move the carcass across the road to a big tree with some nice shade.

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Further along the river I noticed 5 Cheetahs (mother with 4 grown up cubs?) under a tree on the opposite side of the river.

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I decided to return to camp as it was warming up nicely (9:00 and 29C). Just before the road that leads to Dalkeith waterhole I noticed something walking in the road. What another Lion?!

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This time a female but she had some mean looking scars on her body and looked very pregnant (or just had an enormous meal). The light was very harsh but I would like to share

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I soon realized that she was on her way to have a drink and left her to find myself a prime spot.

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After waiting a few minute she arrived and had a loooong drink.

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She must have really been thirsty. After probably 15 minutes of drinking she moved on to the closest tree and plonked down in the shade.

(to be continued)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:28 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
29 November Mata Mata (continued)

At CL these Springbok entertained me for a short while

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By know both my tummy and bladder were complaining (one being empty and the other wanting to burst) so I returned to camp.

After filling up and emptying out, some downloading of photos and doing this TR, I enjoyed a catnap in the air-conditioned bedroom of my chalet. I left camp at roughly 16:30 and it was still cooking outside (36C, Africa is not for sissies). I slowly made my way on the only road out of camp and stopped at Sitzas to spend some time with a Secretary Bird that was looking for something to nibble on. It was probably just as fascinated with me as I was with it (how do you tell the different sexes? Are they all female? Secretary??? Real male comment, yes I know…. :tongue: )

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and an innocent looking one without the hairdo

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It found a Lizard and quickly swallowed it down

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I moved on to Craig Lockhardt and enjoyed the silence and the Doves coming for a drink

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As I was having a braai tonight, I decided to return to camp early, not knowing that I will once again spend some time at another sighting of immature Spotted Eagle Owls

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with mummy still just across the road

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As I approached camp I noticed the beautiful clouds on the horizon, will they bring relief from not only the heat but also provide some much needed rain??

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_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:00 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
30 November Mata Mata to Urikaruus

As I was moving to Urikaruus today I started packing the car after breakfast and left camp just before 7:00. The viewing was once again fairly slow until I reached the Auob river bed. I spotted the Cheetah mother and her two cubs (that was robbed of their meal by the male Lion). They were stalking a lone Springbok male but he was so far away and moved off so they abandoned the hunt. I also met Katydownunder on the way and we had a short chat in the shade of a huge Camel Thorn tree. I stopped at Dalkeith waiting for some action but nothing happened. Some kind tourist drove past, stopped after +- 50 m and reversed back to the waterhole to tell me that there was a male Lion lying under a tree up ahead. I quickly went to investigate and he was kind enough to move to another tree with more shade. He was salivating and was walking with a serious limp. Was it the same male than yesterday???

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I stopped for this Spotted Thick Knee

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and this immature Black Shouldered Kite (help ID)

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and this LBR who quickly departed

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and slowly made my way to Urikaruus through the heat of the morning.

I arrived at 11:30 and luckily my chalet no. 3 was ready. I quickly unpacked and settled for a cold one and a snack. The wind was really blowing and it was dusty.

During the middle of the day it was really hot and so windy but it felt as if the breeze was actually just as warm. After a cold shower I left camp for a late afternoon drive. The animals were probably still hiding as sightings were very quiet. I watched this Black Shouldered Kite catch a mouse and then ripped it apart.

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On my return to camp there were 2 Hyenas at the waterhole. They both came to lie down close to the chalets.

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My fridge is apparently not working too well as my beers were not even slightly cold. I did overload it but let me check in the morning.

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:21 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
1 December Urikaruus

I woke up this morning to find it fairly light outside!! Did my cell alarm not go off? I quickly checked the time and found it to already be 5:45, 15 min past the start of traveling time!! Just then my alarm went off, I obviously set it for 5:45 in stead of 4:45. As I arrived in the kitchen to make some coffee before leaving I first checked the fridge. Still everything was luke warm. Reported this to Eric, the camp attendant as I collected my permit.

These two Secretary Birds were really enjoying themselves in the early morning sun

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Just before the loop to 13th waterhole I saw this Cheetah with a radio collar walking towards me next to the road.

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She was very interested in something in the river bed and would stop every few meters and stare to only then continue on. She eventually crossed the road and disappeared over the ridge to the right.

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I spotted some general game

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At Dalkeith waterhole I found the male Lion of yesterday sleeping in the shade of a tree close to the waterhole. He eventually sat up and I noticed he had killed a Porcupine as he still had some quills around his mouth (noticed the killing site some few meters earlier on the road.)

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He gave a few yawns,

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scratched himself

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and then got up to have a drink of water but first

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Unfortunately not his best side but to just confirm that he indeed was a male….

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He then made his way to a nice shady spot on the right hand side of the waterhole and plonked down for another rest, the life of a king!

(to be continued...)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:33 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
1 December Urikaruus (continued)

I decided to return to camp (and check the fridge!) as it was now really hot! I stopped of at 13th waterhole to watch this amazing onslaught onto the water. There were so many of them and they were so quick I think they have no chance of drinking and I am convinced that some of them even make an u-turn in mid air!!!

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Back at camp I received confirmation from Eric that my fridge was not working and he reported it to Technical at Twee Rivieren. He kindly offered to put my meat in his freezer as it was probably not going to survive in mine. I wondered if they would do anything about it… I still have lots of fruit, yogurt and cheese in my white metal box (supposed to be a fridge!!)

Eric later came to tell me that they are on their way from Twee Rivieren with a replacement fridge (at last, my beer is warm….) Bennett from the tourism department arrived at +- 12:00 and after some battling up the stairs I had a new fridge installed.

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I asked them if they tested it before sending it and Bennett answered to the affirmative (I should have asked for a QA certificate……). They did not even send a clamp to attach the gas pipe!! Eric tried to improvise with a piece of wire but, yes you guessed it, it leaked gas and as discovered on my return from my afternoon drive it also did not work properly. My second day running without cold beer and my food is going off (I can do with losing some weight but hell I paid good money for the chalet). Eric and Bennett really tried their best but were let down by the Technical Support team (at least they did send a replacement fridge...).

While the two gentlemen were struggling with my fridge I had some visitors to the waterhole

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I left camp at 16:00 and decided to drive in the direction of Mata Mata. I again found my Spotted Thick Knee and this time noticed the other one sitting on a nest.

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At 13th waterhole two Tawny Eagles were about to take a drink. The one immediately flew off but the second one entertained me for some time before also taking off.

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(to be continued)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:51 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
1 December Urikaruus (continued)

At Craig Lockhardt these Lions were really doing what Lions do best, sleeping.

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The one female eventually got up and went for a drink.

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She was not eager to wet her feet…

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On the way back to camp I stopped at the old male at Dalkeith. He was now lying very close to the road and wow, did he pong!!

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Some other sightings, a LBR

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Just the other side of Dalkeith the female with the abrasions on her side was again walking in the road towards the waterhole. Unfortunately I was running out of time and could not go back to see her drink. It was now obvious that she was not pregnant but was still looking worse for wear.

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One of my favorite scenes to end of this day

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_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: From dust to thunder KTP a wonder!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:07 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
2 December Urikaruus

Today I travelled to Twee Rivieren to phone home (and get some ice for cold beer and clamps to stop the gas leak from my fridge). On the way I found a few BEF families basking in the early morning sun.

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With some young ones being very happy to be alive

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I could not resist posting this old time favorite, a Gemsbok on a ridge

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and a Springbok

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I met Bush Baptist and co along the road and had a brief chat regarding the sightings in general and the Forumite Eco 4x4 that they just completed. We had to cut our conversation short as another vehicle came along.

After breakfast at the restaurant, phoning everyone and collecting the ice and clamps for my fridge I was off back to Urikaruus. While in camp I met Scouter and SO and she told me they have attended the Xmas present handout the previous day (after finishing an apparently "hot" Forumite 4x4). Thank you very much for all your efforts and hard work in arranging the Xmas present initiative Scouter.

The drive back was rather uneventful except for this Lion at Samevloeiing (I trust KG's camera did catch it drinking)

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these Hyena at Houmoed (if I remember correctly) watched by the Secretary Bird

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and some other things I met along the way

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The much rain needed Kgalagadi midday scene

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I arrived back at a very hot Urikaruus at midday and enjoyed my first cold beer in 2 days. On my arrival I stood outside talking to Mario Fazelas who is busy writing a photography book about KTP, Etosha and ? (help Mario). While we were talking he pointed out a Cape Fox under a log just across the road above the chalets. It came towards us stopped probably 3m from us, squatted down for a wee, turned around and walked up the hill and disappeared into the den. We just looked at one another and shook our heads (unfortunately no photos).

(to be continued)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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