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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Day 10: Ok not quite Polentswa yet, but we are getting there!



Today was the day we were going to Polentswa for the first time. :D

With Polentswa being only 60km north of Nossob, we decided to go on a morning game drive (South again!!) before returning to camp to pack up before heading up north.


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Nossob sunrise!

It was really frustrating passing the road leading to where we had taken the detour the previous evening and not being able to see or to go and see what had happened at the site of the kill since we were last there. :roll:

The news of the kill had spread pretty quickly, so we were not the only frustrated tourists in the park that morning. (I believe that night’s night drive was a sell out!!) :dance:

Soon after entering Maries se Draai, we spotted two cheetah(really far off so these are proof pics only).

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They seemed to be on the lookout for breakfast and were climbing into the trees to get a better vantage point!

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They were obviously hungry and looking for a meal, but remained just too far away for decent pictures. (given our camera equipment)

Eventually they disappeared from view and we carried on on our merry way.

At Maries we came across this herd of Gemsbok, who did a bit of "pronking" for us.


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We then returned to Nossob to do the “break down camp thing”

Before we could do that Ron and Annette kindly asked us over for some coffee and delicious carrot cake. Whilst we were enjoying the quietness of a Nossob morning in camp,with most of the tourists out on game drives, we were able to observe all the local birds coming in for a drink

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As well as the resident yellow mongoose checking out his surrounds.

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We then broke down our campsite and set sail for Polentswa.

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:57 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. :D

Polentswa


We had an enjoyable trip up to Polentswa, and spotted these pygmy falcons along the way.

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A short stop at the Polentswa waterhole before heading off to set up camp, produced sightings of this juvenile bateleur eagle,

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And of this elegant white stork.


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We got to the Polentswa campsite at about 3 30, to find that we were the only people there, and wondered if the other campsites were going to be empty that evening.

They were, and we had our first night at Polentswa all to ourselves!

Scary, but AMAZING!!!!

Here are a few pics of the evening at the Polentswa Palace.


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Sunset!!

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Now I need a new page for the next days events!!

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:19 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thanks Hilda, Ollie, MM, Rolypoly and wanderw for your comments, and turning the page :D


Day 11: A trip up north

We had been up to Grootkolk and to Unions End on previous trips, but besides the stunning scenery up north, we had never really had any amazing sightings up there.

Mind you now I say it, I remember on our very first trip to the KTP way back in 1990, we saw a lion bring a springbok carcass up to the road, wave it in our faces, and then proceed to hide it just behind a bush just next to the road for the rest of the day. We didn’t even have a camera or a set of binocs with us.
The debate between Debbie and myself is as to where we saw him. I know it was just north of Polentswa, but she insists it was near Kwang. (She is probably correct, but anyway!!) :redface:

Nevertheless, on recent trips we had had pretty quiet trips up north, so we really didn’t expect to see too much, but were hoping to see some of the hyenas from the Lijersdraai clan.

We woke up on Friday 11 May having had a glorious night’s sleep only interrupted by some nearby hyenas during the early hours, got ourselves all sorted and headed of north.

First stop was a very deserted Polentswa waterhole, Oh well the birds ARE still asleep! 8)

We were busy admiring the sunrise when after about 6kms out of camp we came across this very dead bat eared fox stuck up in a tree!


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The question is, Where was the leopard?

Well after waiting for a good half hour or so, all I can say is that, we still don’t know!!


Further on, between Lijersdraai and Kannagauss, we came upon this family of yellow mongooses.

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We carried on only to spot these piggies on the way to market. Warthog are seldom seen in the Kgalagadi, but if they are seen, it is usually up north. This far away sighting was thus really special.(unlike in Addo where you see loads!)


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Then just north of Gunong!!


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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:56 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Day 11 continued..Animal Aerobics!.

We followed her as she strolled down the road.

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She was very alert and most certainly on the lookout for some breakfast.

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After a while she decided that she had had enough excersise for the day and settled down under a tree on the side of the road. (As all good lions do!)

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Oops :redface: In my haste to post the pics of the lioness, I forgot totally to mention the wildebeest we had seen earlier that morning also doing his morning excersise.

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As well as this stunning Rooi Hartebeest.

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Spots!!!!!!


After leaving the lioness to contemplate her navel under the thorn tree, we carried on up towards Union’s End. (We were hoping to get there to sign the forumite book!) :roll:

It was about 10 am when I spotted these guys in the riverbed.

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Once spotted, they rewarded us with yet another an amazing Kgalagadi sighting.


Let the pictures do the talking , as they came up to the road, walked along it for a while, before moving up onto the dune on the west!

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Pretty girl!!

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They eventually disappeared over the dunes, and we carried on our merry way.

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_________________
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:39 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Where do you look???


We decided not to carry on to Union’s End as time was marching on, so we turned around and drove back to Polentswa.

It was a quiet drive, but after the morning’s sightings we were certainly not complaining.

We arrived at the waterhole at Polentswa to find that not only was the light putrid,
(we were looking straight into the sun from wherever we positioned ourselves), but that the waterhole was a pretty popular pub!!!

:lol:


Just about every raptor in the area had come for afternoon sundowners!!

Debbie just plutzed. :dance: :dance:

”I don’t know what to photograph first!” she lamented. :hmz: :redface:

I don’t know which photos to show first, but this is my best shot!!


To start off we saw this Harrier Hawk. (Gymnogene), which was a first for both of us!

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With a white stork thrown into the mix!!

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Not to be outdone, this Bateleur also was on display!




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Whist it's child and the Gymnogene looked on!!

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Loads more to follow :P :P

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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The white stork was still around, chatting to the Battie.

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Whilst this BBJ arrived on the scene to cause some trouble

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But not before the secretary birds had had their say..

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And all a along the Tawney was observing all the Polentswa patrons!


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A crow was also in the mix, but then we don’t do crow photos!!


(and still more to come, but I have already overextended this page! :redface: )

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:49 am 
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Thank you all so much for your wonderful words of praise for my photos and as well as for Gav's talent of story telling.
Gav was awesome this trip and he seemed to know just where to manouvre the car so that I could try and get the best pic, and in doing so he usually ended up by not taking photos himself :thanx:
Our afternoon at the Polentswa waterhole was one of the highlights of the trip and my hubby was very patient while I clicked away in very unfriendly light :D

Once again thanks to all who are reading and commenting on our TR
Debbie

Oh goody I seem to have turned the page
OK Gav it is your turn now :lol: :dance:

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Being in the Kalahari is like making your heartbeat whole again


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:02 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thanks for turning the page Debs, and allowing me to continue :P

Polentswa Paradise


We returned to camp at about 3pm, to have a break from the car and to stretch our legs a bit.

Debbie decided to settle down and download some pictures to the pc, whilst I thought it might be a good idea to sweep around our campsite, so that we could see who may have passed by during the night!

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We decided to go back to the waterhole at about 4.30 with the idea of having some sundowners all on our own in the middle of paradise!

As we arrived at the waterhole, a couple of juvenile bateleur eagles decided it was time to leave,

:evil:

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But the gynmogene flew down from his perch in the nearby tree to get a drink.

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He too soon flew off

The waterhole was quiet, so we took a few pics of the nearby scenery before we returned to camp.

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We had neighbours this evening, they were far away in unit no 1,but this tiny familywere a whole lot closer!


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We were able to enjoy a perfect evening back in camp.

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_________________
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Award: Travel tale of the Year - Other Parks (2012)
Day 12: A sunrise and thoughts about a grave

We slept soundly that night, and awoke to a new African sunrise!

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I checked the spoor around our campsite, and found what I think were hyeana spoor on the road near the campsite. We didn’t see or hear them anyway. :redface:

Our plan was to head up north to Lijersdraai before returning to pack up the camp as quickly as possible. We would then head off to Nossob for two nights.


We had passed an unmarked grave as we entered and exited Polentswa over the last few days, and each time we went past the grave, I said to Debbie, “We must get a photo of the German’s grave”.
We stopped this time on our way out and took the photo.



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According to the book called “Kalahari Gemsbok National Park” by Gus Mills and Clem Haagner, the grave was that of one Hans Schwabe, a diamond prospector who was passing through the Park on his way to Namibia (then South West Africa) in 1958. He enquired whether there were diamonds in the area and didn’t believe it when he was told that there weren’t any. Schwabe abandoned his car and went in search of diamonds on foot. He left a note in his car saying that there was no water for the car (which was untrue as the radiator was found to be full) and did some illegal prospecting along the way. Game rangers later found his unsteady tracks and saw vultures overhead. It wasn’t long before they came across what was left of his remains. As it was impossible to remove his body, they buried it where they found it and placed a little wooden cross on his grave.

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


Last edited by GavinW on Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:27 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Our last trip up north


We carried on with the plan to go up as far as the Lijersdraai loops before turning around to move on down south.
This pale Tawny eagle perched on a tree at the Polentswa waterhole.



Image


The dead bat eared fox was still in the tree (Note to self: “ Good move in not waiting for the leopard!”)






I now do need a new page!

:popcorn: :popcorn:

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:17 pm 
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Lijersdraai Latrine Lessons.


Carrying on up north we saw pretty little until just after Lijersdraai this guy popped out of the bushes on the side of the road. :big_eyes:

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I don’t know who got the biggest fright, him or us!!



Once all parties had regained their respective composures, we turned around and followed him as he walked along the side of the road.

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He eventually arrived back at the Lijersdraai picnic spot, and proceeded to inspect the facilities.

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When I first brought Debbie to the Kalahari and we stopped at the various picnic spots, I always told her not to worry about predators at the picnic spots, as they had all gone to “Lion School” and had been instructed in no uncertain terms that the area on the other side of the white rocks around the picnic sites were out of bounds!.

This chap obviously was either from another planet or a delinquent of note!!

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I am not too sure if they passed muster, as he turned his nose up and carried on. Talk about a “knyp” moment!!


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Once he left the picnic site we followed him a bit further, until some other vehicles arrived when we decided to turn around and head off on our merry way.


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The Lijersdaraai loop proved to be void of animals, with the hyena clan we had hoped to spot not playing the game that morning

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Here are another two pictures of the Lijersdraai lion

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And one of my favourite pictures of the holiday!

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:44 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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WillieV wrote:
Hi GavinW

A Few days before you we saw Cheetah spoor infront of the toilets.

Pity you missed them WillieV :x

Day 12: Back to Nossob

We returned to camp, and dismantled our Polentswa home, packed it into the bakkie and set off back to Nossob.

The middle of the day is usually quiet in the KTP, and today was no exception.

We, no, I was anxious to get back to Nossob,to get settled and to be able to enjoy the evening in camp.

Near Bedinkt we came across the resident Wildies who posed nicely for us.


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And eventually arrived back at Nossob, to be welcomed by Ron and Annette. Ron, being the star he is had reserved our favourite campsite (Old campsite no 5) for us.

We exchanged stories and set about putting up our tent for the last time during this trip.

Debbie decided to become creative at one stage of the proceedings, and took this pic of a fly on her shoe…

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(talk about a filler!!)


All done and dusted we were eventually ready to go out and se what Maries had to offer….

And with us, Maries ALWAYS delivers ……..tbc .......after a page turn!

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


Last edited by GavinW on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:28 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Maries magic!!


Maries se Draai is our most favourite drive in the Kgalagadi, and it has always been kind to us. It’s like a love affair …. I always find my heart racing as I get near the entrance to the loop in anticipation as to what we are about to see.
:shock:

In the past we have had some amazing sightings, from big maned lions, tiny cubs, cheetahs at the waterhole, and a mouse family on a log. All special and memorable. :P



We were not even 500m into Maries when I saw this delightful family on our right, having a good look at the goings on in the riverbed……….. Plutz!!

Oh my hat !

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And I do need to post my pic as well :redface: I know it's overload but anyway!

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We watched the quintet as they watched us as we watched them, they eventually crossed over the road and moved off into the distance pretty quickly.

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A bit further on we were left debating….


When is a Kudu not a Kudu? :hmz: (Or a mountain goat!!)


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This steppe buzzard was also keeping eye on proceedings!

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_________________
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


Last edited by GavinW on Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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