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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:20 pm 
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Our stay at Grootkolk was pretty quiet with little to no activity at the waterhole or around the camp. There had been so much rain in the area that the animals certainly didn't need to visit. They had more than enought water.

That did not bother us we were happy just to be there.

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Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:13 pm 
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Day 6 (21 december):

We took a late afternoon drive up to Unions End; there was an approaching storm from Botswana and I was hoping to get some more landscapes. By the time we got back to camp the storm had actually changed direction and headed back to Botswana. Now this wasn't the first storm to disappointed us in this manner. There is something so energising about storms and the anticipation of wind, dust, rain and, of course, thunder and lighting - nothing beats it, especially in the Kgalagadi. We would again have our wish early the following morning:

A beautiful afternoon in the northern section of KTP:

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Geinab waterhole:

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Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:28 pm 
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Before we arrived at Grootkolk I had viewed the video of the dramatic events experienced by 'katydownunder' (a forum member) in November 2010. They were woken one night by a pride of Lions that have cornered a Red Hartebeest against fence of unit no. 4 (the one we were staying in). They killed it and feed right there for the night.

Read the fascinating storey http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=38&t=49414

This would have been a metre from the braai so when we arrived at our unit, I stood at the fence and imagined what they had experienced. It really must have been phenomenal and an absolute chance of a life time .......... I think I may even considered forgoing the chance of winning the Lotto to swop places with them - oops, forgot Tracy will read this ................just joking love !

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:36 pm 
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The following morning at around 3:30am a storm was developing towards Namibia. At 4:15 it hit us with evengence.

We were on our way to Urikaruus that morning, but couldn't pack with rain and lightning. We only left at about 6:30. I was seriously worried that we would get stuck on the way down to Nossob and not being a 4x4 owner, although I had lucky rented one, I popped up to Franco (camp manager) for a quick 4x4 lesson before leaving ............ it was a beautiful drive down the Nossob.

So much water:

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Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:30 pm 
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On the way back to Urikaruus for 4 days, some more 'candy floss' clouds:

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Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:25 am 
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Our first evening back at Urikaruus and these two guys visited the waterhole in the late afternoon:

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Tracy keeping an eye on them:

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They finished drinking and found a tree nearby for a late afternoon nap. As it was getting dark they walk off down river. About 45 minutes later one of them returned, but he was sneaky. He must have walk down river and then return to camp but from back. We walked passed us, while sitting on the deck, at about 5-7m away. We didn't hear him until he was right there, the only thing that gave him away was the light from the fire. It shows you when you go down to the car .......... KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN !

Oh yes, by the way, we are back in no. 4.

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:04 am 
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Thanks GavinW, we are back in KTP in July/August so I know; October must feel like a life time.

Let me continue:

Up early next morning and we heading north to Mata Mata. KTP in the early morning, magical colour:

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And a very dry and barren Sitsas:

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Most of the morning was cloudy but humid so we decided to have a quick swim at Mata Mata before we drive back to urikaruus. No route back, between 14th and 13th borehole we spend a good 2 and half hours with these 2 Cheetah. They were hunting and made good progress stalking a herd of Springbok, but alas they were spotted. They eventually disappeared over the dunes and we went off for lunch:

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:29 am 
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Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
Hi Shane, Great photos of the cheetah :thumbs_up:

The two cheetahs look like Smith and Smit :dance:

It is so good to find they are still around in the area. We last saw them at Sitzas waterhole in December 2011. They are brothers. Their sister Caster has not been seen recently :hmz: Wonder of she is OK :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:36 am 
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Sharif, thanks for that information, hope she is fine.

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:49 am 
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Late afternoon back at camp saw a passing storm, with dramatic dark skies:

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Just before sunset, a passing band of cloud made for a beautiful back drop to waterhole:

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The waterhole that evening had its general game svisiting. 7 Spotted hyenas made their appreance just after dinner and a Leopard just as we were ready to go to bed.

All in all a fair evening ..............

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:22 am 
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Following morning we head north again. We planned a shortish drive and to spend most of the day relaxing in camp. Between Dalkeith and 14th borehole we spent a hour watching a pride of 4 Lions stalking Giraffe, but they gave up and disappear into the dunes. They were some distance from the road and in between a lot of vegetation so the images aren't worth keeping. I did get images of the Giraffes keeping a careful eye on the pride:

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On the way back to camp just as we were turning into Urikaruus, we were told there was a Leopard with a Kill not far down the road. We went to look.

Thanks to AstroMat for the identification of Seleka. Seleka is the second cub to Barolong and sister of Tshidi (Barolong and Tshidi are the 2 in my images of them playing with the baby Springbok, above). Seleka was 4.6km south of Urikaruus and must have just caught the Springbok. Barolong and Tshidi were no where to be seen:

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I took at couple of Images of her feeding, but she was mostly behind the street stump so we quickly went to drop off our ice at urikaruus and came back for more:

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Seleka eventually came down from the tree, walked towards us, crossed the road and disappeared over the dunes.

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:26 am 
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The following afternoon the 24 December we heard the cub was back in the same tree. We to have a look just after 16:00. There was a Springbok in the tree, but can't be sure whether it was still the same one from the day before. Unfortunately I couldn't get images of the cub eating; the branches were to thick. I got a couple of her having a snooze:

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:34 am 
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Images of the 2 Wild Cat we watch playing:

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:59 am 
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Chrismas day 2012:

A quiet morning out in the park, we wanted to get back early and spend a relaxing christmas afternoon and start a Gammon dinner which would take a good 2-3 hours of prep.

We got back around lunch time and lucky we did:
Gertie and her 3 cubs were there, she caught a Springbok about 75-100mm from the waterhole (to our left). She dragged it to the opposite side of the river bed where they all feasted for about 3 hours 9just to far to get images). Later the afternoon they moved closer to the waterhole directly opposite us.
While we waited for them to come drink this is what we do:

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Tracy relaxing while I am doing the cooking !

Just after 17:00 they came down to drink. They didn't drink long and moved off down river.

I had to stop Tracy from running to Eric (the camp managed) to radio KG to come help. Gertie was limping badly and Tracy thought she had broken her leg and the whole family would perish if she couldn't hunt. Caught tracy just in time, otherwise Eric would of had his hands full trying to explain to her that she couldn't radio for help ...... after reassuring her that gertie had been limping before the hunt and she still easily managed to catch that Springbok, calm her nerves.

I have attached a few images of them at the waterhole. Take note of their bellies:: Enjoy !

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


Last edited by shane on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:06 pm 
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I boiled the Gammon for a goor 2.5 hours and now its was cooking. Tracy's turn to make the honey and mustard dressing and I would get the braai going. We envited Eric to join us for Christmas dinner .......... which he did. We had a wonderful time when at about 21:45 we heard the Jackals barking down river. Now Jackals barking in this manner are synonymous with a Leopard in the vicinity. They eventually stopped and Eric decide to go back to his unit, but I drove him back from our unit no. 4. Lucky we did because the Leopard was around.

He must have been walking under the unit from no. 1 towards no. 4 when I was dropping Eric off because when I got back I went to sit out on the deck again. I sat in the front left hand corner of the deck and put the torch on and there was the Male Leopard. He had just mark the tree in front of the unit and came to sit below me a 1 metre from the deck and just watched me. He sat like that for probably a minute and a half. Tracy was upstairs, in the shower, so I couldn't call her. The Leopard eventually got up and went to mark under unit no. 3.

I rushed up to call Tracy. By this time he was standing at the bottom of the steps to the camp manages unit. He disappear behind Eric's unit. 30 minutes later, I heard the Jakcals barking up the Auob ........... so he had made his way north.

2 Minutes so close to this Leopard (without feeling threatened), will stay with me for a LOOOONG time.

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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