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 Post subject: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:40 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:22 am
Posts: 272
Location: Brackenfell, Cape Town
We arrived at Twee Rivieren, our home base for the next eight nights, full of expectation and anticipation, after travelling via Calvinia through a rather green and wet Hantam region all the way from Cape Town.

We slept over at the Kalahari Guest Farm en route to KTP on the R360 about 50 km outside Upington.

The gate beckoning!

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Finally here!

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The Kalahari heaters were on full throttle and got stuck mostly at around 40 degrees Centigrade during the day with a slight drop in temperature at night time – mostly after 3 am!

But we were prepared with our mist spray bottles ready and showering two or three times daily with light clothes and all on, walking around semi wet at our camp site and even on game drives (Mind you, the clothes dried out pretty quickly). The swimming pool was also a very popular venue during the afternoon hours and we attended regularly (without clothes – I mean, with swimming cossies this time!)

Home away from home!

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After the loss of ALL my photos after our April 2012 visit to Namibia & KTP due to a hard drive malfunction, I also backed my photos up methodically every day on a separate external hard drive and extra memory cards this time. I was going to take NO chances this time! So now I can share them with you again!

After pitching camp and cooling off in the pool and waiting in vain for the thermometer to drop below 44 degrees C, we went off on our first drive.
Arriving at Samevloeiing waterhole we saw no live animals, but counted seven eland carcasses scattered at random. The first of many eland carcasses throughout the Park on both rivers – Auob & Nossob!

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….and one of them up close!

What was surprising about it, was that most of them were not eaten like one would expect lions would do, never mind the other scavengers afterwards!

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See you soon!

_________________
My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Location: Brackenfell, Cape Town
Thank you all for getting 'on board' of my latest trip report! Thank you also Elsa for your view
on all the dead eland, it certainly is very unusual! Also welcome to all my 'old' friends and the new ones too! Nice also to meet you and hubby in person Sharifa and thank you for showing us where that 'leo' with the kill was! Stunning!

Still on the topic of all the dead eland, we started discussing this phenomenon with other visitors to the Park. At first we thought that there were just an abundance of eland all over and that the lions just had a feast eating only the 'steaks & fillets'. The experts seemed to think that when the large herds arrived in the south of KTP from Botswana they were in very bad shape and totally dehydratded and weak. Many of them dying of thirst or they became easy prey to predators. (Your view on this will be appreciated!)

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The highlight of this trip for me, was indeed the sighting of the eland one morning at Samevloeiing Waterhole. I have never seen eland in KTP and after reading an article in the December issue of the “SANParks Times” that 7500 eland were counted in a mere 500 meter strip during an aerial count, we could not wait to observe these very skittish animals.
After several days, we however thought they had all gone back north, but to our relief, we saw these one morning at Samevloeiing Waterhole.

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They were moving away as we approached and my heart sank in my shoes. But I managed to drive around them via the beginning of the Nossob road and.....voila!

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They even posed for us for a short while.

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They all seemed to be very young and some observers believe that the adult eland had gone north already.

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Talking about the young, we saw plenty of blue wildebeest, springbok and gemsbok juveniles, mostly only a week or two old. Without a doubt, this time of the year is the replenishing season of the the grazers and most of the other animals!

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…...but alas, born in a very hostile world!

On our very first drive towards Rooiputs on the Nossob road, we came across these two lazy ladies at Leeudril waterhole.

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I realised that they were not going to get up to brush their teeth or stalk a nearby springbok soon, so we left them day dreamiming and drove off.

I think that the Kgalagadi must be the Park where one get to see the most kori bustards of all the parks in RSA.

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We also saw lots of tiny tortoises (to backup my theory about the birthing season in Dec/Jan) …...and bigger ones too!

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From the Nossob road at Rooiputs we saw the newly built and very controversial 'Rooiputs Lodge' being constructed in a distance.

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….and another glimpse!

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Watch this space for more soon please!

_________________
My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:22 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:22 am
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Location: Brackenfell, Cape Town
Once again, a warm welcome and a BIG thank you for joining me on this trip and sharing some comments here! It is great to have you all on board!

While staying at Twee Rivieren all of the eight nights, we picked a random day to head north, north west all the way to Mata Mata along the rather green Auob river. It was the 30th December. In all of our five visits to KTP, this was the best we have ever encountered the condition of that complete Auob road. Hardly any corrugations! Well done KTP road maintenance staff!

It was the right day for many reasons, near perfect road conditions, a very green Auob River for this time of the year ...... and the variety of sightings on one single drive!

The first stretch up to Auchterlonie was rather uneventful, but just after the picnic site we spotted three spotted hyenas in the river bed. It was still early morning around six am.

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We saw plenty of springbok with very young ones, some small herds of blue wildebeest and a few gembok.

This BBJ was clearly on a mission and I remembered reading somewhere that they can smell food as far as 11 km away.

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But he did not have to run so far this time, or maybe he already have done some distance by the time I saw him.

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Unicorn? I wonder if there is more than one gemsbok with only one horn in KTP, because we seem to see one on each visit!

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Then on approaching Batulama waterhole, we saw them in the river – lions, but not sleeping this time! Two beatiful males and a strong, good looking female lion

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The two brothers seemed to be more interested in one another than in the female with them.

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She decided to come closer to the side of the road and to us, while the two male lions remained in the river – for now!

Imagethorn

OMW, a thorn in the foot, must first remove it!

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What is that on the back of your leg?

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Let's see if I can remove it for you!

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Now that was not too bad, was it?

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What is that over there next to the road?

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…..and I don't trust that camera looking at me!

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Is that your shadow or mine?

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Batulama waterhole in the back ground!

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I'll just sit here waiting, the boys will come sooner or later!

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Hang in here please , more Auob images to follow soon!

_________________
My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:14 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Brackenfell, Cape Town
Before I continue this TR, I want to just acknowledge, black on white, all you wonderful Forumites for joining me on my trip to KTP and for commenting on this trip report. Your comments are much appreciated! :D :D :D :D :D

Katydownunder

Trrp – trrrrrrrr

barryels

Sharifa

Lion Queen

Elsa

GavinW

Philip1

wanderw

anne – marie

Tobieo

Pumbaa

Aristocat

Foxy

Richardj

Sheenaugh – Lee


…...and a very Special Thank You to Dinky Bird for coming to my rescue for removing my accidental duplication of the last lot of text & photos! :gflower: :gflower: :gflower:

The folks in these forum pages are absolutely stunning people! People one can rely on!


THANK YOU ALL!


Like I said, here they come! Woman Power!

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First the one............!

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here
….....then the other!

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Now join me next to the road, right in front of the BATULAMA Signpost! Maybe we can deflate some tyres here!

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Males infront and then the female......we must protect her, not so?

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Now posing just for the tourists!

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Don't look now, let's pretend we don't see the photographer!

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What about our synchronised stare as if we don't see him at all!

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Is that photographer hanging out of his car by any chance?

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I can get to him in less than 2 seconds, does he not realise this? Makes me irritable!

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.....and a little closer - see those piercing eyes!

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The truth is, that shortly after this photo was taken, both the male lions got up and strolled towards us and the rear wheels. One on the left and one on the right. They displayed an intense liking in the tyres so I started the Kombi and started driving off slowly. To my surprise they followed me and I increased the speed. They increased their jog and I added some gas. They started chasing after us and I drove off with the lions giving up the chase eventually. Strange behaviour indeed!

More photos soon!

_________________
My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


Last edited by Fotomaljohan on Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
Oh wow, beautiful series of lion photos. Sounds like the KTP lions have a liking for tyres. :roll: :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:50 pm 
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What beautiful and powerful lions, Fotomaljohan :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Back again!

Like I said before, we saw many kori bustards, but this one was really trying hard to impress somebody!

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….all puffed up!

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Just after Batulama on the way to Mata Mata, we met Sharifa and S O and she pointed out a leopard with a kill under a tree!

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I cropped this photo for a better view!

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another view!

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These blue wildebeest made a nice photo!

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Just after the Kampqua picnic spot and immediately after the top dune road turn off, we saw at least 10 spotted hyenas, some of them busy with a kill! Tummies bulging and necks red with blood still!

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Some on the slope still busy eating.

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While others have had more than enough.

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…....back axle broke under the weight!

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Did I say ten hyenas? Must be more!

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Cheetahs and more lions up next...........al in the same morning drive en route to Mata Mata!

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My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:25 pm 
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Location: Brackenfell, Cape Town
Back and on the road again!
New 'bokkies were born everyday now!

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Some distance after Urikarees the road crosses the Auob river bed and that is where we found the cheetahs, a mother with three cubs!

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We left the cheetahs and drove off en route to Mata Mata and came across more lions at Craig Lockhart. Three (lazy) males!

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…...and finalally we reached Mata Mata, my son Deon with his son Amadeo
at Mata Mata office. Their first visit to KTP!

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More coming up soon!

_________________
My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:22 am
Posts: 272
Location: Brackenfell, Cape Town
Thank you folks for the kind comments and visit to my TR!
Thank you also Anne - Marie for the ID of GERTIE, the cheetah with the three cubs! Nice to be in the company of the experts!
Cape of Storms and Chickadee, This was our second trip to KTP in December and I can highly recommend it, BUT you must be aware of REAL Kalahari heat and a possible thunder storm. (Well above 40 degrees C everyday! .................and if you don't book well in advance, you will be disappointed!

Here we go again!

Since our first visit to the Kgalagadi about some five years ago, we have always looked for and seen the scopps owls in front of the big tree just outside the Mata Mata shop.

We stooped under the tree and scanned it...... and there they were, three owls resting there in the tree!

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It was time to do our return journey to Twee Rivieren from Mata Mata.
At Sitsas, the first waterhole from MM, we found 6 lions under the tree. A male lion, three females and two cubs.

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….and at the next waterhole at Craig Lockhart, the three males now moved to a new shadowy spot under the tree!

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Twelve lions in three lots, four cheetahs, a clan of hyenas having a breakfast (more than ten) and a leopard with a kill, all in one trip is more than what we hoped for! KTP seldom lets us down!

Somewhere beyond Dalkeith loop, we found this unfortunate evidence that this was indeed lion country!

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Just a Kgalagadi snapshot!

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Notice the cute little new born springbokkie in front.

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….and the senior bokkie just 'eyeballing' me!

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Signing off for now! See you soon with more!

_________________
My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:12 pm 
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Thank you and back again with more!

Lots of birds also this time of the year! A thirsty Bateleur at the water hole.

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….and off course...........ostriches (with little ones) and without!

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Which one is the father?

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Aerobatics near the waterhole!

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lots of tortoises and this time a leopard tortoise.

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So difficult to scratch your head with your tail!

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We also saw many secretary birds, but this one was standing in the water! In fact, there were three of them. (Have a look at his eye and compare the two photos!)

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I must have taken this photo at the precise moment he winked the shutter membrane over his eye!?

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…..and the obligatory Pale chanting goshawk picture!

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…..and a cute little steenbokkie!

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…...and the score for to - day's trip to MM: 12 lions, 1 leopard with a kill', two lots of hyenas, including many hyenas with a kill, Cheetah mother Gertie and three cubs with a kill and a beautiful green Auob with plenty nice landscapes!

…...and finally back at camp after a wonderful day!

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Under the big tree at TR!

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…....and what is better than a camp fire to conclude a nice day in KTP!

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Some more KTP camp stories, pictures and commentary soon!

_________________
My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:12 pm 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Hi Fotomaljohan
It seems we were following you around the KTP ..we were also at the leopard kill :thumbs_up: And we also enjoyed the antics of Gertie and her three cubs...as well as the hyena clan at Kamqua...:)
Enjoying your storytelling and photos very much...thank you. :)

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:51 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Brackenfell, Cape Town
:big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

I wonder how many of you have heard the incredible survival story of the Twee Rivieren Ranger, ALBERT BOJANE and his ordeal with a huge male lion on the Botswana side about 80 km from Twee Rivieren?

Here is Albert (still) in his hospital bed after he was saved, literary from the lions' jaws, as published in the December 2012 issue of the SANParks Times!


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Photographed here with Albert shortly after the attack, is SANParks reseacher
Graeme Ellis.

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On November 2011 the rangers were called out to dart three lions about 80 km away from TR on the Botswana side. These lions were killing the Botswana farmers' cattle and by the time they arrived, one lion was already shot. Albert started tracking on foot and on the back of a bakkie.

The rangers and some farmers located the one lion, when all of a sudden and from no where, a lion launched straight at Albert through the air and over the
the bakkie's railings, to where Albert was on the back!

The driver heard Albert's screams and accelerated and revved up to drive off, but in the panic the bakkie got stuck at an angle in the sand with Albert's hand firmly in the lion's jaws. He then tried to kick the lion to release his mutilated hand and by the time the rangers shot the lion, his shoe was still in the lion's jaws! His foot was damaged, but not as bad as his hand.
He was driven all the way back to TR (can you imagine this never ending trip), where an ambulance awaited him!

We met the very friendly Albert at TR in early January this year and here he is smiling (again), showing what was left of his right hand, with my grandson Amadeo Van Zyl.

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Albert personally told us the incredible and unimaginable story of how he survived this, almost fatal ordeal! Albert is of opinion that the fact that he was on the back of the bakkie and that the lion somehow got stuck in the bakkie's railings, saved his life and off course, also the rangers that shot the lion. His boot was still in the dead lion's jaw!

If this had to happen on the red Kalahari soil, he would not have been able to tell this fantastic story!

The Botswana farmers then shot the third lion as well!

He resumed his duties a while ago at TR and said that he had received very good trauma therapy that helped him cope! But he will never forget this episode and we are thankful to hear this first hand, an amazing story of
some of the daily events behind the KTP 'curtains' from dedicated people like the very likeable ALBERT BOJANE! He told us that he was born at Nossob and has 23 years of tracking experience......and that is what he will continue to do!

We salute you Albert! :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

(Photos courtesy of Albert Bojane)

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My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:35 am 
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Lovely to see Albert looking so well and recovered. He certainly had his angels with him that day. Thank you.

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:35 pm 
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More TR if you are ready!

On the Auob river things were happening! A herd of BWbeasts suddenly appeard from over the dune side, literary running down the slope.

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For some reason this mother and calf ran as if something were chasing them!

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The poor young wildebeest was more in the air than on the ground to keep up with mother!

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For the first few days we thought that all the Gemsbuck had disappeared, until one afternoon we saw these between Samevloeiing and Kij Kij.

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Earlier in this report I mentioned the oryx with only one horn that we have seen on previous visits and now we also saw the oryx with NO horns – look in the middle of the photo!

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Every day now we came across more and more newborns, this time some (very) young BWB calves!

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Two years ago we actually witnessed the birth of one!

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The Auob river was definitely the nursery for the young sprinbokkies!

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…..and somehow they form real nurseries straight after birth - nature is wonderful!

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….and just where you look – young springbokkies!
To the left........

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…...and to the right!

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Up until now we have not seen any of the giraffes and we decided to drive north again to try and see these wonderful creatures. We stopped some cars coming in the opposite direction from Mata Mata and they all assured us that the saw giraffes. At Sitsas we turned back – NO giraffes!

Then way passed Urikarees on the way back and fairly south for giraffes (I thought) at Gemsbokplein waterhole, were 5 of them – ready to drink water!

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OK, I'll go first, while you watch my back!

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It's easy for you youngsters to bend so lo, I'll rather drink here!

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….and the wider picture!

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_________________
My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


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 Post subject: Re: The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:39 pm 
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Posts: 272
Location: Brackenfell, Cape Town
Thank you all for the kind visits and comments!

This secretary bird performed a real Kalahari dance trying to catch something!


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To-day we took a drive up the Nossob river and also saw the most gemsbuck ever in a single herd, I counted 49. Some on the nearby dune......

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….and some on the plain.

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A person in a car stopped us and and told us there were lions at Melkvlei, they were rather far of, but we counted two male lions and two females!

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He was so full after the feast, that he could only lie on his back!

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...and the second male was watching from under this tree.

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On the way back to TR we took the Rooiputs 4x4 route and it turned out to be a good decision. Not far from the track/road was this single male, with the other cars driving past on the 'main' road a mere 30 meters away, not spotting it!

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He did what most lions do most of the time!

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:roll: :roll: :roll: SLEEP! :roll: :roll: :roll:

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My Latest Trip Report:
FROM B&D TO PAFURI IN 30 DAYS - Aug/Sept '13
The (Green ) Auob & (Dry) Nossob in December/January 2013

DO NOT FORGET:
Predators at Picnic Sites, Waterholes and Toilets in KTP!


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