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 Post subject: Cape of Storms Sandy & Silver Bird:City Slickers... Sept '12
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:03 pm 
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Sandy becomes rescue ranger to Silver Bird as the City Slickers hit the Kgalagadi again!

It has been 4 months since our visit to KTP and it is time to put proverbial pen to paper and relive the moments of another wonderful trip to our desert paradise.

The players are the same as 2 years ago:

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=43486 *Sandy and the Silver Bird: City Slickers in the Wild

Lion Hunter (Ray) usually the first to spot the King of the jungle and willing to spend hours in their company.
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Jan Peeter-man (Martin) if it is broke or needs a plan, he is your man!
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Bosvrou #1 wife of Jan Peeter-man and great at camp life while making sure we have the creature comforts of home to go along with it!
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The junior members of this pride are my pride and joy Courtney (Bucking Bronco for a) her love of horses and b) her sleeping habits! ) and Emily also known as Cutie Pie - an avid collector of soft toys!
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Finally there is Pink Lady or Bosvrou #2 known on the forum as Cape of Storms. My job is to organize that the pride gets together for our annual migration to either KTP or KNP!
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On our last visit to KTP we had the most awesome time and decided we could never top it. True to the gem that Kgalagadi is, we were wrong!

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Trip Report 2014 April: Kruger Park Family Adventure


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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:56 am 
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Once again around a winter Cape Town braai the seed is planted to take a impromptu visit to feel the hot sand between our toes.  After calling and praying for cancelations we nail down a week in KTP!

Two weeks before  we do a dry run of checking all the camping equipment and old “trusty” or should we say “rusty” the trailer.  Time for some maintenance and Jan Peeterman steps up to turn RUSTY back into Trusty! 

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The decision is made to leave after work on Friday 21 September 2012 and try and make it to Calvinia before 9.  Sandy the X3 and Silver Bird VW polo ( yes a Polo to KTP - could mean some trouble but still an adventure in the sand) We hit the N7 with 6 excited pride members. Armed with our walkie talkies, laughter echoes through the two cars until we hit the first "bump" in our journey.  A traffic jam on the Piketberg  pass.  Stuck because a truck jack knifed. Two hours behind a huge truck in the rain was not the start we were hoping for and if that is not bad enough the mist moves in making it a very nerve wrecking drive to Calvinia. After arriving there at 1am we have a drink (helps calm the nerves) before crashing into bed at the b&b.

Refusing to cut into our Kgalagadi time we hit the road in the cold hours of Saturday morning and get lucky with most of the "stop/goes". When we had to wait we did our exercises.
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Later afternoon we arrive at glorious Twee Rivieren.  

Home at last!

Time to light up the fire and enjoy the best part of the day. What is more our first animal of the trip comes to us!
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A Yellow Mongoose hoping we would give him a snack!

Since our camping stay is at Mata Mata and this is only for one night we checked into a chalet for our first night under desert stars. Once the fire is going we all breathe in the smell of holiday and sit back to watch the fire. What could be better?
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Trip Report 2014 April: Kruger Park Family Adventure


Last edited by Cape of Storms on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:28 am 
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22 September 2012

Paul Simon’s song “Under African Skies” has a line that goes:
“This is the story of how we begin to remember , This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein”

Waking up to the quiet desert sounds, cold fresh air and all your loved ones around you makes you appreciate what this life is about. We need to remember that before the technology that rules our lives this is what has always been and hopefully will remain : AFRICAN SKIES

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Having shared our quarters in very close proximity, a couple of the male pride members were chastised that they were growling/snoring during the night. We decide that when we set up camp later in the day our tents will have to be far apart! :hmz:

Shortly after sunrise we depart not really expecting to see much until we near Mata Mata since on all our previous trips the first 20 km from Twee Rivieren have been pretty uneventful..... :(

Just after Samevloeiing we head up a hill where some movement catches our eye at the top of the dune. First sighting.... :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
CHEETAH!!! our Cheetah luck this year has been unreal. In July in Kruger we saw a Cheetah every second day.

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Now our first sighting, on our first day this beauty makes his way down the dune right past Silver Bird!!!

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He was one of the finest specimens I have ever seen!
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Last edited by Cape of Storms on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:45 am 
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@cheetah2111 Thank you so much :redface: :redface: you make me blush since I think you are one of the most entertaining "travel Tale Writers" I hope I can convince you to take trip to KTP yourself because there are many of your Namesake there!!!


Our first Pale Chanting Goshawk was near Houmoed. Seeing them tells me we are in Kgalagadi.

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Another little creature that loves this desert area.
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And then of course the humble Springbok that seems to thrive in this barren land.
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The view from the lookout always surprises because despite the dry surrounding area it is absolutely stunningly beautiful.

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Life as Timon means checking left and right .....

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Because you never know who is looking for dinner!
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And if the danger isn’t above you it could be drinking right near you! This little Jackal was having a drink at Kamfersboom.

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Last edited by Cape of Storms on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:03 am 
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What a wonderful way to start. We were seeing the old faithfuls of KTP. Birds of Prey are usually plentyful and we were not disappointed.

Martial Eagle ready to go!

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He had a funny kind of growth on his face and I wonder if that is common?

Two of the most adapted creatures coming down for a drink near Batulama.
Gemsbok and Springbok
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At Montrose we saw our first Verreaux Owl fast asleep in a tree.
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Trip Report 2014 April: Kruger Park Family Adventure


Last edited by Cape of Storms on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:39 pm 
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With the early start and numerous stops not only were our bladders bursting by the time we reached Kamqua, we were completely STARVING and our first full breakfast became an event in the day!

The cooks for the morning.
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They did not disappoint!

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:34 am 
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After refueling our bodies we pack up and head towards Mata Mata at Dertiende Boorgat we see a Secretary Bird.
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We pass a few more of the usual suspects before pulling into Mata Mata and choosing our campsite. Setting up in the sun was less than desirable but at least we could jump into the pool when we were done.

Once the sun went down our fire was going and we were ready to get our steak on the grill. What a way to end to our first day in the park!

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Trip Report 2014 April: Kruger Park Family Adventure


Last edited by Cape of Storms on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:00 pm 
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24 September

Stretching as we zip open our tents we are eager to see what the morning has to offer. A quick toilet run before piling the the kids PJ’s and all into the car. Our first sighting is at Sitzas. An Ostrich coming down for a drink.

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Not to far from the water whole we see Mr Jackal peeping over the long grass. Always the opportunist!
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Listening to Johnny Clegg and starting to really unwind in the early sun we see one of the more rare animals in KTP. A Jerry!

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Many years ago they were hunted into extinction in this region but in 1990 eight were brought from Etosha into a camp near Mata Mata. After about eight years they were released and now there are supposed to be more than 40 in the park!

Because of the their rehabilitation to the area we are always happy to spot them and spend more time with them than we would with their darker cousins in Kruger!

As we approached Veertiende Boorgat we look up at this beautiful Vulture. It made for one of my favorite photos.
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The next bird we see is a Kori Bustard and I am very proud that my daughter, aged 8, captured a perfect in flight picture. Just shows that kids are willing to try and succeed!

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Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:42 pm 
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It is not long after this that a Cape Cobra dashes across the road with to much speed to even capture a photo! Our next sighting is my first in Kgalagadi and thanks to @Myles for the directions! So great to meet you and share stories! What a beauty! AWC are now on my favorites list!

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Dalkeith Loop : The Eagle staring into the loop should have alerted us to the wonderful sightings that Dalkeith would offer us over the next few days.
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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:13 pm 
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@Meandering Mouse He was a very special specimen and a poser of note!

@Trrp-trrrrrrrr Thanks! I did want to cuddle him but have heard the stories of those claws!

@Philip1 and @hilda :thanx:


We turn back after the Dalkeith loop and head on back towards Mata Mata. Brunch time was nearly over and we hadn’t eaten yet. But Between Sitsas and Craig Lockhart we are privileged to witness somethings as spectacular as a kill...... a birth!

We notice a female springbok pushing as hard as she can. Little ones feet are visible.

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This went on for about 45 minutes. She seems to really be battling and if I could I wish I could just help her by grabbing those feet and pulling the baby free.
Some in the herd must have felt the same way!
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Eventually we see that there is progress and within a minute she delivers the foal!

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We wait with bated breath but it is pretty soon obvious that the little one is a stillborn. With all the excitement from the kids we realize that we have to tell them that he didn’t make it :(
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On virtually the same spot 3 years prior we spent hours with a mating pair of lion and it afforded us the opportunity to teach them about the birds and bees. We are now forced into consoling them as they are heartbroken that the little one is dead. Nature gives and takes but offers us all lessons along the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:38 am 
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After the sadness of the dead fawn we headed back for camp for what was now lunch. Temperatures soared to 40 degrees and we basically parked ourselves in the pool at Mata Mata. It proved to be a brilliantly relaxing afternoon. Check the pool’s reflection in the shades! For a Capie who has seen nothing but rain for a few weeks this was heaven!

At about 5 we decide to go for a little sundowner drive till the gates close. What a great decision. Excuse the PATHETIC photos but as usual when you don’t expect something to happen it does.
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Once again the little African Wildcat shows us why it is a true survivor and opportunist. We saw the blur of action as it pounced on the poor little squirrel but alas only caught the final moments on camera. What amazing speed and skill!

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Of course I had my girls crying for the poor victim and now had to deal with the deaths of two small creatures in one day!

In all the excitement we hit a heavy patch of sand and the first of a few vehicle issues on the trip! As mentioned at the beginning of the trip our adventurist spirit is reflected in the fact that we came with a Polo to KTP!! Now some adrenalin as we need faithful Sandy to pull Silver Bird out of a tricky situation!

For those who don’t know my kids named the vehicles on our previous trip
BMW X3 Red = Sandy
Silver Polo = Silver Bird

These became our “handles” when chatting on Walky Talky.... “Sandy come in.. we have a problem”

Good thing we have all our rescue equipment and the “Rescue Rangers” get to work. Pink Lady is the Lookout..... I know we are breaking the “no body part out of the car” rule but knowing what lurks in these grasses we have to be alert. Bosvrou #1 is capturing the moment for nostalgia in years to come.

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Jan Peter-man and Lion Hunter(who now is hoping his Lion luck has run out!!) hitch Silver bird for our rescue operation!

Like the “Bush Pros” we think we are, we pop Silver Bird out of her disaster and head on back! What a relief.

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Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:54 pm 
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On our way back to camp it was heart wrenching to see the mommy Springbok still trying to get the baby up :cry:
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That evening we decide to do a slow braaied butterflied leg of lamb. Let me tell you the chefs were out doing themselves! :dance:
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Before we left my fellow pride members had a bit of a chuckle at me when I bought some garden solar lamps but I think the night time ambience around camp was perfect. Just excuse the washing!!! :tongue:
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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:22 am 
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25 September 2012
An Early morning sunrise with a cup of coffee and then into the car to catch some Mata Mata action. We are hoping the early bird catches the cat!! (Lion kind that is!)

As we head down the first hill we spot a hyena moving very quickly!
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When they want to they sure can motor! :roll:

The cold morning wind lifted the red dune dust as these springboks headed towards the water hole.

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Out in the distance our Jerry was still there!

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How small the tall can look on a horizon!

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Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:14 am 
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The Early morning drive rewards us with the Dalkeith lions playing in the road. It looks like mom and daughter were thourally enjoying their time together!
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Check her tummy out! Either she has made a pig of herself at a recent meal or she is expecting a new liter of cubs and is ready to pop.
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Mamma Lion looking out for the rest of the pride
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while the youngster ...... well you know kids!

I saw it and I want it! Let’s put my speed to the test,
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Eina a thorn! This is gonna cost you Mr Bird!
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Bird, your tail is mine!!

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/22842646@N08/8070695754/]Image[/[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/22842646@N08/8070703889/][img]


(This is my favorite one)

I see you bird and I will get you!

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Locked and Loaded, ready for action.
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Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy and Silver Bird:City Slickers at it again
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:45 pm 
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Mom and teenager headed off into the bushes after hearing a while lot of roaring over the hill. A Jackal deciding to kick up some dust as he also left the area.

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This eagle at 14nd watergat was keeping an eye on proceedings.
url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/22842646@N08/8070688698/]Image[/url]

Some young kudu's posed for a silhouette photograph as we headed towards Dertiende watergat.

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While at the waterhole 2 wildebeest entertained with a battle parade while on blended knee. I wonder where the lucky lady is???
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While siping our coffee and munching down n some rusks we hear the feinting barking sound of what we are pretty convinced is a Cheetah! Could it be? Another sighting this year of the spotted one?? Then he makes his appearance. Well coffee and rusks go flying as we grab for the cameras!

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After wandering up and down he sat down at the tree right opposite us. Lucky indeed!!!
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Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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