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 Post subject: Panekoek Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember Jan 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:40 am 
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Hi Guys

We have just arrived back from a very short 5 day trip to paradise. This was the second time that I have been there and WOW what a place it is! This is my first trip report so I am very new to this and I am also not much of a writer. I am 18 years old and do not own a proper camera so I took my uncles Nikon 200mm lens for photos so excuse them if they are not up to the usual high quality standard :wink:

Regards
Ari


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:15 pm 
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Hi Guys :)

Sorry for the huge delay but I seriously have not had the time to start but I now do :)

So Here goes...

Day 1 Part 1


We were all packed and ready by 11pm on Saturday the 14th of Jan and we got on the road at about 11 30 PM. We arrived at about 10 30 AM and the temperature was already about 36 :D

Our bungalow was not ready at Twee Revieren so we went on a small one hour drive to the nearest waterhole and this is what we saw:

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This juvenile pale chanter inquisitively staring.

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Gemsbok Bull Posing

We then drove back to the camp, Unpacked and rested before the big afternoon gamedrive :D

tbc...


Last edited by Panekoek on Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:33 pm 
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Day 1 Part 2:

So we had now finished lunch and we were ready to begin our afternoon game drive.

We set off and decided we were going to do the lower dune road loop starting from the Nossob road side.

On the road we had a few lovely sightings:

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This Wildebeest calf was lying on the floor and did not move for 5 minutes. We feared the worst but as we started to drive off, the head came up and we were relieved :D

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The sheer size of the Kalahari springbok herds is breathtaking...

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A game ranger that we spoke to told us that the biggest sociable weaver nest ever found was 20 tons :shock: . Dont know how true that is though... :roll:

At Kij Kij we saw a lone male lion under a tree. It was our first cat of the trip, one of many I might say :tongue: But it was too far for a picture.

We then crossed the dune road.

TBC....


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:17 pm 
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Day 1 Part 3

So we crossed the dunes and headed down south on the Mata Mata road towards TR. We then spotted these guys lazing about on the dune.

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While we were sitting watching these cats, a car pulled up next to us and told us about two cheetahs that had just made a kill and they were busy eating down the road. So we left the lions, hearts racing, and found these guys :)

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Unfortunately they had already finished eating by the time we got there. This is what was left.

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By this time it was getting late already so we started heading back to TR. But a few KMs down the road we saw MORE cars stopped! This is what they stopped for:

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What a way to end off a perfect day in paradise!
The next days were even better...
TBC...


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:41 am 
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Day 2 Part 1

So the night at Twee Revieren was very nice but it was now time to move on to our next "home", Urikaruus. We got out the gate early and it was a quiteish morning. Our first major sighting was these hyenas:

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We got to Urikaruus too early to check in so we decided to go to Mata Mata to stock up on ice and cook brunch.

We then saw a lone female lioness at die dertiende boorgat under a tree but it was too far for a picture.

Moving along, we were greeted by this cute guy.

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We then spotted these 5 cheetah, mom and four adolescent cubs, that had just killed a springbok and were eating it under a tree. This was close to the Delkeith waterhole and they were far away so the pictures arent great.

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We then went on and found 3 male lions all around Craig Lockhart. There was a giraffe carcus there so there were all bloody and well fed. Two of them were on the road of the loop.

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Do you get the joke ? :mrgreen: :doh:

We then carried on towards Mata Mata for brunch and we spotted 4 cheetahs in the riverbed right on the part of the road where it curves to mata mata. They were too far for a picture.

This was our last sighting before Mata Mata:
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TBC...


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:35 am 
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Day 2 Part 2

So we finished brunch, bought ice and started heading back to Urikaruus. We looked for the cheetahs at the turn and at the kill but both families were gone :( We then saw the lions at Craig Lockhart again and they hadnt moved much but one of them posed nicely for a photo :)

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Here are some sightings on the way back to Urikaruus:

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This guy took about 10 minutes to cross the road but he finally made it after sinking into the sand a few times :mrgreen:
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We then arrived at Urikaruus.

TBC...


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Day 2 Part 3

So we arrived at Urikaruus and decided that we were going to sit and watch the waterhole for the rest of the afternoon.

These were our first visitors:

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These birds also came to say hi :)
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We saw this cute little critter running around our chalet :)
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A picture of Eric's chambers
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My friend watching the waterhole at sunset
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We invited Eric to have a beer and braai that night and waited up until 1AM constantly checking the waterhole looking for the famous Urikaruus leopard but it was all in vain :( But it wasnt a waste of time as we were visited by an african wildcat, some springbok and a cape fox. I didnt manage photos though. Sorry :redface:

We fell asleep to the sounds of the Kalahari. What a feeling.

TBC...


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Day 3 Part 1

We woke up and decided we would spend the morning at the camp and watch the waterhole.

This guy was up and ready to greet us as we woke up :)
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3 more then arrived and this wildebeest had an hour stand off with them over the waterhole.
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We then saw our first KILL HAPPEN!!!
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:whistle: :mrgreen:

We then left Urikaruus to go check on the Craig Lockhart male lions and we were not disappointed.
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We then went south of Urikaruus and found 2 lionesses at Rooibrak. Here is one of them:
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We then found this staring group of Gemsbok:
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And then these Giraffe
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We carried on going but little did we know that we were about to experience our best lion sighting of our trip :D:D:D

TBC....


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:01 am 
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Day 3 Part 2

It was about 4 30 PM, when we were waved down by a car coming towards us. The continued to inform us that a few KMs down the road, there was a mating pair of lions. So we headed south and sure enough, about 20 minutes later, we found them near Kamfersboom dam. They were just lying there, yawning and getting ready to become active.

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Check out that claw :o You wouldnt want that digging into your hind quarters :naughty:

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The female then got up and walked about 100m down the road and then sat down again, Thats when the male started calling.

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He did this for about 5 minutes.

They then both got up and started walking along and next to the road.
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Then something happened that I have never seen in my life before. 3 more lions came from different directions over the dunes, They then had a whole "Family Reunion". It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. They all started caressing and rubbing up against one another like they hadnt seen each other for months! I cant do the situation justice. Ill let the pictures do the rest of the talking:

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It was truly an amazing sighting. Who knew that lions could be so... Human? :hmz: :hmz:

We then started rushing back towards Urikaruus for a night that will never be forgotten :D :D :D

TBC...


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:54 pm 
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Day 3 Part 3

It was now nearing gate time and after seeing that incredibly satisfying lion sighting it was time to get back to Urikaruus.

On the way back we came across a few cape fox and bat eared fox dens. Here are a few pictures of them:

The bat eared foxes.
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And one of the very cute cape foxes.
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We then got back to the camp, made the fire, braaied, ate and while the oldies went to sleep, my friend and I sat on the balcony, next to the fire, talking and checking the waterhole. At about 11PM, while we were speaking, I glanced at the waterhole and saw a cat-like figure staring at us. I could not properly see what it was because it was not actually in the light, it was standing just behind it. We then checked with the binoculars and realized that it was a......... LEOPARD :D My friend and I being the over enthusiastic teenagers that we are started celebrating a little too loudly and as quickly as the leopard was there, it disappeared :( :(. We were truly gutted. But we did not give up hope. We scanned the area with the spotlight and got a glimpse of eye reflections. We then wiated and looked through the binoculars without light for about 45 minutes, until the shy cat finally gave in. It drank for about 10 minutes but it was too dark to get a decent picture. Here is a proof picture however:

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Other sightings that night at the waterhole:
African wild cat x 2.
Springbok
Cape Fox with mouse in mouth came right up to our bungalow but I was too slow to get a picture :(
Springhare
Scrubhare

We then went to sleep after an incredibly exciting night.
At about 3AM we woke up to the sound of complete chaos outside. As I walked out onto the wooden bridge, A huge male lion walked straight under me! It was so close. A huge male lion, less than a meter under me, and it didnt even look at me. I could have easily been lion food that night :mrgreen: The huge noise continued and we walked onto the balcony, only to find 4 lionesses lying right outside our bungalow and the hyenas trying to ware them off their territory. The lions eventually got up and left.
This is the guy that walked under me : (Sorry for the terrible pictures)
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And here is the rest of the pride:
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What a night in the "Garden Of Eden" as some call it :wink:

TBC...


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:47 pm 
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Thanks you so much guys:)

Day 4

So after that incredibly satisfying night at Urikaruus, it was now time to set off across the dunes to Nossob. The car was packed, rooms checked, permit signed and coffee made before the official gate opening time. 6 30 eventually came and we were off. The drive to the dune road was incredibly quiet except for some giraffes, springbok and beautiful gemsbok. We then crossed the dunes and that drive was a serious "Graveyard Shift". All the spotters were asleep and only the driver was awake. Thats probably the reason we saw less than nothing on that road :mrgreen: We finally arrived at Dikbaardskolk picnic spot and made a light breakfast. We were all rejuvenated from the quick munch and we set off again. On the way to Nossob we saw lots of general game including a herd of Kudus. This was very special as it seems that they are quite a rarity in the park. They were sadly too far from pictures. We then arrived at Nossob at about 1 30PM, checked in and rested until about 3 15.

We then decided that for our afternoon game drive we would travel north of Nossob. So off we went. The drive started quietly until we spotted a cheetah under a tree which was about 5KM away from Bedinkt waterhole. It was about 250 meters away so couldnt get a picture :( We carried on and then saw an almost carbon copy of the first cheetah sighting. It was also about 250 meters off the road under a tree. This was about 500m away from Bedinkt. We then carried on and found these lovely girls resting under a bush right next to the water tank at the Langklass waterhole.


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Aggg How cuteeee :wink:

We then carried on and found this guy at Polentswa. Bird ID needed please. I think it is a juvenile Bateleur but I am not sure.

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We then carried on and saw these handsome fellows next to the road

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Love the white face :mrgreen:

We then turned around at the next waterhole and started heading back. We then came across lion(I Think) tracks in the road. We followed them for about 1KM because they were on top of the tyre tracks. But then suddenly they disappeared :( Ahh well...

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We then got back to the camp and sat and watched the sunset at the waterhole. This was the only action at the waterhole.

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We decided that we would go on a nightdrive because so far, it had been our quietest day in the park so far but by no means a bad day. On the night drive we saw all the general game, springhares, scrubhares, porcupines and 2 african wild cats :dance:. Oh and we even saw a tree mouse :D

This was right next to my head in the vehicle :o

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We then arrived back to this little fellow greeting us :)

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TBC....


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:20 pm 
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Final Day Part 1

The time had come and it was our last actual day in the park as we would be leaving at 6am sharp the next morning. We left Nossob feeling confident and tired all at the same time.On the Nossob side we saw the kudus again which was really nice as well as lots of the other general game. The only cat that we saw that side in the morning was half a male lion. He was so camouflaged that we considered him to be half :hmz: We then crossed the dunes and went down the Auob river road. Our first sighting on that side was this:

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We carried on only to find these guys on the dune side of the road:

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About 1KM down the road this guy:
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But they smelt him and bolted into the dunes.

Our last sighting before Twee Rivieren was this cute little critter:

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We then got to TR, had lunch and rested until about 2PM before we embarked on our last, yet most successful game drive of the trip :dance: :dance: :dance: :D :D :D

TBC...


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:58 pm 
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Final Day Part 2

So we were now rested and ready to embark on our last game drive of the trip. We were sad, yet excited :D My uncle, who was staying at Rooiputs at the time, told us to meet him at Rooiputs for a bit. So we left Twee Rivieren and not too far before Leeudril, we found these guys:

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In the binoculars I saw it was a mother with four older cubs and the mother had a collar on. I think it might have been that family that I have read about in other TRs, but it was on the Nossob side so I was doubtful. They were very far away so sorry for the terrible quality.

We then got to Rooiputs and we were pleasantly surprised to find this guy:

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We then saw another one under one of the other camp site roofs but she was not happy to see us as you can see,,,
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We then left Rooiputs and carried on this drive of a lifetime...

TBC


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 Post subject: Re: Kalahari Jan 2012, 5 days to remember
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Final Day Final Installment

So guys this is the final installment, I hope you enjoy :)

We left Rooiputs Camp Site and started heading towards the dune road turnoff. On the bypass we spotted this guy. He was in such good shape and he was calling for his brother/partner I think.

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He then got up, and marked his territory:
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We then left him because it was getting late and crossed the dunes. Once again they did not provide much for us... Except for great views of perfect scenery.
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As we got off the dune road we saw the 5 lions that we saw earlier in the day. They were far in the riverbed, walking towards Mata Mata and they seemed to be on the prowl. Gate time was fast approaching so we left them to be. We then carried on, and saw a Game Ranger vehicle stopped in the distance. We then saw our best sighting of the trip:

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She was beautiful! Perfect in every way! Just sitting on the hill, right next to the road, staring at us! The Game ranger vehicle that we saw was actually a wild life photographer who told us this this leopard was 9 months old and was self sustaining. He also said that he saw her catch a springbok the day before :big_eyes: :big_eyes: I mean this is a cat about the size of a Labrador and it took out a Springbok : :o :o I was amazed.
She then got up and disappeared over the dunes...
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And on that incredible note we set off to Twee Rivieren, Absolutely satisfied! We booked the night drive for that night but it stormed heavily the whole night so sadly it was canceled... :( :(

We left the next morning at 6AM sharp.

It really did turn out to be 5 days in Paradise, to remember!

Thanks to everyone for following this TR!
Its been a pleasure. Until next time!
:gflower: :dance: :dance: :dance: :thumbs_up:

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