Now that I have got your attention,
if you are under 18 ask a parent to read this report and tell you the story.
I asked my wife where she would like to go on her brief yearend holiday and to my surprise, she chose Kgalagadi. I had been there a month previously on the forum Nossob ecotrail with Barcud, but I didn’t mind at all.
We left Cape Town at 2h00 on Friday morning, anticipating that the traffic going north would be at its least then and we would have a clear run through the Olifants River valley. This proved to be so, and it was quite surreal as we rose above the mist clouds to crest the Van Ryn’s pass just before sunrise. The stop/go had also disappeared from the Piekenier’s pass, so that was also a doddle.
It warmed up quickly as expected, and we refuelled car and body in Upington, before heading up to Twee Rivieren.
After checking in, booking the new year’s night ride and letting down the tyres, I went looking for KG and found him in his office, and handed him the bag of clothing we had not been able to cram in on the forum ecotrail trip the previous month. In exchange he updated us with the latest sightings.
It was now after 14h00 and pitching the tents in the heat was not fun. Afterwards, my wife suggested that the coolest place would be in the bakkie and that we should bring forward our afternoon ride. Who am I to argue.
The mating pair of lions was exactly where KG had told us, under a sprawling camelthorn tree, a few metres from the road. They were a magnificent couple, both very big and extremely healthy looking as they lay in the shade not moving a muscle.
After a few minutes, the female suddenly got up and strode over to where his nibs was lying, and gave his face an affectionate rub with hers. That woke him up, and as she went to lie down, he got up and followed her. She presented herself and he started the proceedings. He gave her a love bite and she growled back at him, and within a minute they disengaged, and went to lie down again. He yawned and then they resumed the comatose status.
No unnecessary energy loss in ‘preamble’, or anything else, just focussed on the ’business’.
Lions mate every 20 – 30 minutes, so no wonder they were knackered as the crowd, about 5 cars, waited for the next performance.
We saw quite a lot of the usual springbok, gnu, oryx and jackals, plus a good variety of birds, some that were inquisitive as we had put up the tents, and some sheltering in the shade as it was too hot to fly.
We were in our way back to our campsite, when we drove past KG & his family on an evening stroll. They joined us for a drink and a chat, which revealed very interesting things,
as the night enfolded us.
We ate a simple meal and had a swim before getting into bed, only for our neighbours to keep on drinking and nattering until 23h00.
I would have asked them to keep quiet, but we had borrowed a tin opener from them. Somebody else asked them, but it didn’t help much.
Pictures by kind courtesy of my wife - despite my 'derogatory' remarks in the last TR.
Next: Day trip to Mata Mata.