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 Post subject: Mgoddard's Virgin Visit to KTP.... March 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:20 pm 
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Its been a very long time since I did a TR :redface: but with my first visit to KTP I think its called for as people got a bit tired of me talking, chatting and blogging about Kruger!!! Only 6 days and I will be on my way! Cant wait to meet all the faces on the forum at the cricket and YES Im playing cricket what position yet, Im not sure :lol: Camera bag is packed and ready, my clothes, that is another story as I have my 2 Yorkies here in Doha the girl, Adore, gets frantic when I put my shoes on and cries like a baby...so I have to wait to take out and pack the suitcases until about 2 hrs before I go to the airport :shock: or I wont be able to move from room to room in the next week!

KTP...Im on my way, I hope Barry and Hilda leaves something behind for me to see!

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:46 pm 
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Thanks MM...Look forward to seeing you again. This time you wont have to hide the G&T :P Im ready, here is my beer mug! Please dont tell DB or others! :roll: or I will get a :rtm:

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:41 am 
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So in 10 hours I will be at the airport and almost on my way to S.A :D I look forward to meeting many new members and catching up with some old ones!

Cant wait to experience the Kalahari :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:20 am 
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So Im back from KTP and back in Doha. A long flight delayed by some medical emergency onboard and I will start posting in the next few days. KTP was extremely dry and extremely hot during the midday hours, but I enjoyed every minute of seeing a different scene to Kruger. 3 flat tyres, lots of dust, a 5 minute rain storm followed by a dust storm all added to the excitement! I will go back, not sure when....maybe when its cooler. The cricket was amazing! I loved seeing those children who have never in their lives seen a jumping castle or so many crazy people and they loved it as much as I did. I hope you will share this trip with me through my pictures and I hope those who have never been to KTP will be enticed to go and experience it!!!

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:06 pm 
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Seems like my boss has fallen asleep in his office, so Im using the time to start this report :lol: hope he does not wake up while Im posting :roll: :roll:

For those who are not of fb a short introduction....a week before I left for KTP I took Adorable (Adore and Rable, my Yorkies) for a walk. They do not like cats and as it is said that 50 years ago Doha was called the Rat city due to so many rats around, they imported cats to get rid of the problem :shock: but now the rats are gone and we have thousands of stray cats on all the streets. Im usually very careful when I take them out, unfortunately I did not see the stray cats under the car and they went for it and in the process pulling me off my feet and down the step :shock: this resulted in me tearing the ligaments in my knee and now I was handicapped (with a huge brace around my knee, off the cricket team and wondering how I was going to manage driving in KTP :? :roll:

I made it in one piece to Jhb (OR airport) and was met by my very good friends VVSG and SO and click click. The plan was to divide my luggage between the two and then I drove with click click to Upington. She very gratefully decided that she would drive all the way so that I could rest my leg :D The road was good, a few stop and goes which I use to rather smoke outside instead of inside the car (although I had a few inside too :wink: A little bit of rain on the way, but by the time we wanted to stop so I could feel the rain it had stopped :cry: We had booked a B&B for the night in Upington and I was very glad and very tired as I had not slept for almost 36 hrs. :wink: We had a few beers on our patio, hamburgers and then got to bed, ready for the early morning shopping etc.

We left the B&B just before 9am as I had to pick up my car from Upington airport and only then could I go and do my shopping as there was absolutely NO space in the other cars for anything. I booked a Kia Sportage, but my booking said or similar...I arrived and was given a Nissan Qashqai which looked good had more than enough space and quickly transfered my luggage, coolerboxes, fridge etc in my car and we left for shopping at PnP. 2 trolleys later a quick stop at the bottle store for 8 cases of beer and 6 bags of ice and I was on my way to KTP with a car filled to the roof!!!

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:38 am 
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Before I start posting, let me just say...I wish I had more time with the new 7D before I left :redface: :cry: I am not at all impressed with the pics, but here it goes I hope you will excuse the ones that are not so great

I arrived at Twee Rivieren just after 2pm, VVSG and SO were there already and we had a nice unit overlooking the camping site and the view to the gate. A quick unpacking of everything that needed to go into the fridge and off course the camera bags that were still zipped up. We sat down and had an ice cold hansa from the coolerbox in the back that was filled with 2 cases of beer and 8 bags of ice :D

Around 5pm we had enough of chatting and stretching our legs so we decided to go for a quick drive. I loaded VVSG and SO into my car and we left. This was my first trip to KTP and I wondered what I was expecting or what I would think as this was definitely not Kruger :wink:

We decided to drive to Samevloeiing and then on to Leeuwdrill. At Samevloeiing we experienced the first of what we thought was caused by the drought, but were later told that the Eland came over from Botswana in search of water and the lions just killed them, so full of eating that they still keep them in the Park, but dont eat :shock: I have not seen one live Eland, they were all dead and rotting away :?

Image
_MG_5784 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and another one close to the road, further away from the waterhole
Image
_MG_5786 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

It was not nice to see these dead animals, but then this is nature and this is KTP

We started driving back to camp and although I have seen lots of raptors on the way to KTP I did not know or realize that it seems like all the goshawks in the world actually stay in KTP I must have seen 200 during my time, but this was the first one I took a pic of and many more to come :lol:
Image
IMG_0507 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and just after that this I believe a Gabar Goshawk, please correct me if Im wrong :roll:
Image
IMG_0518 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

It was getting late and we had to get back to camp to make the fire for very simple boerewors rolls and just before we got to the gate a very far off and very distant Caracal! The only one I saw on the trip, but nice to have seen it.
Image
IMG_0456 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

We went to bed early as we had a very long way to go the next day. All the way from TR to Grootkolk a total of 286km!!! Oh my, we were really silly :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:11 pm 
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Adult PCG MGoddard, followed by the juvenile.

Nice to see you on the Mata Mata road again. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Thank you all for the comments and offcourse the correction on wrong bird ID :roll: As Im at work and stealing time to post I will not thank each individually. Anne marie so nice to hear that you had lots of rain the last 3 days as it was just so, so dry and I wondered what would happen during winter if no rain falls.

On with the report..we left TR at gate opening time as we really had a looonnngg way to go! As everything was so new to me I only did about 40km in the first 3 hours :shock: We took the road that goes up to Nossob pass Samevloeiing and Dikbaardskolk and all the other waterholes. These names were funny and I wondered where all originated. I must definately make a plan to read about it on the forum.

Early morning and you will see how dry it was. The Wildebeest were not even running, just walking and they created such a lot of dust.

Image
IMG_0553 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

I saw many little birdies but could not stop for all and also have not have time yet to take out my bird book to see what they are, so I will just post them as I go along.

This Red Hartebeest was walking all alone

Image
IMG_0572 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

Just before Dikbaardskolk this scrawny and muddy jackal. I wonder how many BBJ's there are in KTP, must be hundreds :shock:

Image
IMG_0608 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

We stopped for a quick wee break and click click told me that we will have to move it a bit or we will be driving the whole day. We stepped it up a bit still going at a slow but not snales pace. I suddenly heard something rustling in the bush next to me as I was passing and stopped to have a look. My first very close and nicely posing African Wild Cat

Image
IMG_0594 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

Im not sure if in pounced on something, I could not see, but it turned its head, licked its lips and looked away.

Image
IMG_0593 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

I would have liked to have sat with it for a while, but I could not see click click car anymore and really did not want to get lost on my first full day in KTP :|

Just around the corner a little Steenbok

Image
IMG_0601 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and then some birdies. At least I know this one is called an African Red Eye Bulbul

Image
IMG_0615 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and this one I have no idea.

Image
IMG_0611 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

High overhead a Black Chested Snake Eagle was flying.

Image
IMG_0600 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and with that my boss is calling :roll: :| I will continue tomorrow


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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:14 pm 
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Great sightings and great pictures. You are so lucky with the AWC - well done.

The little bird is a Marico fly catcher and they are very common in the park. They usually sit on branches of bushes closes to the ground along with the fork tailed Drongo (the black birds).

Looking forward to some more photos/stories

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Last edited by WillemK on Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:23 am 
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jelico60 wrote:
We went to bed early as we had a very long way to go the next day. All the way from TR to Grootkolk a total of 286km!!! Oh my, we were really silly :shock:



Hi jelico60, i agree with lion queen, it can be done, but as a first time visitor to KTP Im sorry that we did do it. I like to drive at max 20km/h but as it was extremely hot (45 degrees) and a very long way as all roads are either gravel on sand I would definately on my next trip stop over at Nossob for a night and rather enjoy the drive from TR to GK :wink:

thank you for your comments Shushin, hilda, RichardJ, Sheenaugh-Lee, Pumbaa, billyf, lion queen, barryels, john n poppy and Willem K for the ID of the Marico Fly Catcher. I wonder how many pic I took of this one as they all looked different to me :shock:

This is what most roads look like in KTP some are good and some are very bad :|

Image
_MG_5801 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and some from the very dry scenery driving between TR and Nossob

Image
IMG_0760 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

Most of the action was happening at the water holes and not much inbetween.

Although we had a long way to go, we still had a bit of time for fun. I was driving behind click click and all windows open the next minute I was engulfed in a cloud of dust. I asked her to drive again and I took pics of what the cloud of dust looked like behind her

Image
IMG_0751 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

Im sure during the rainy season this will be a completely different look :D

We arrivied at Nossob just before the shop closed at 12:30 and were very lucky to buy almost the last few bags of ice. At Grootkolk there is no shop and we had to stock up on first of all keeping the beers cold and 2nd make sure click click had enough to eat :D We were told that more ice would arrive on the Tuesday, good for us as that was the day we would return to Nossob and would definately be in need of lots of ice :D

A very nice lady stopped us on the way between Nossob and GK to tell us that there was a male lion at Polentswa, wow, nice..I was going to see my first Khalahari lion :D

Arriving at Polentswa the first thing I noticed was only 1 car at a lion sighting, almost unheard of in Kruger :lol: and there it was lying in the shade of a bush and all around him so many animals wanting to come to the water. Blue Wildebeest, Kori Bustard, Secretary birds, Bateleurs, Springbok and even jackals :D

Image
IMG_0685 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

I zoomed in a bit and 2nd time today a cat licking its lips, made me wonder if I smelled nice :D

Image
IMG_0693 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and a few of the other pics I took at Polentswa, wildebeest waiting to drink

Image
IMG_0706 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

A secretary bird

Image
IMG_0703 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and a Juv Bateleur

Image
IMG_0714 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0652 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and the last one before I will have to wait for the page to turn, a Kori Bustard

Image
IMG_0656 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:06 am 
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I WANT TO STRESS THAT THESE PICTURES WERE TAKEN BY DRIVING 30KM/H! WE WERE NOT SPEEDING!!! It was suggested on facebook by a certain person who had been banned from this site a few times that we did indeed speed and were idiots!! :evil: :evil: :evil: I challenge anyone from this forum or any social website to proof me wrong! We love and respect nature far too much to act like morons!!

[/quote]Although we had a long way to go, we still had a bit of time for fun. I was driving behind click click and all windows open the next minute I was engulfed in a cloud of dust. I asked her to drive again and I took pics of what the cloud of dust looked like behind her

Image
IMG_0751 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

Im sure during the rainy season this will be a completely different look :D

[/quote]

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:58 pm 
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and all the YR I met on the way..I will post in my trip report when and where I met you. Im not ignoring you its just part of the report :D

Thanks for the comments to GavinW, lion queen - Im glad you like the Bateleurs so many of them around, must have been the drought that brought them to the water holes :roll: Chappies so nice that you can share my report on this forum, Cape of Storm, john n poppy, Bushbuddies, RichardJ (Im still coming to your braaiing skills :D ), Pumbaa, manic walker, MM (was nice catching up-still coming) and Trrp-trrrrr (hope I added enough r's to your name :D

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:16 pm 
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Ok, so I have calmed down after the "Idiot" accused us of speeding and its on with this report :D

We arrived at Grootkolk and I was pleasantly surprised except for NO Fan in the bedroom. By now VVSG and SO have caught up with us and we were allocated units 3 & 4. Nice units with a little enclosure around the braai area and I gave this little braai one look and though how are we going to braai and make all the thingies to go with it on this little thing? :roll: it was then that Andries came around and told us we are welcome to use the communal area. What a relieve. VVSG was kind enough to take with him the camping freezer. Its the same type I had during my time in Kruger and it works on electricity, gas and battery. Problem is that when on gas we had to offload it and put it somewhere as we could not afford his pickup to blow up during the night. Only our 2nd night in KTP and it was still Full to the brim. The communal area at Grootkolk is great. A nice braai area with great views over the water holes, an indoor area which is fully equiped with freezer, gas stove and oven, cutlery, crockery etc. I loved it and think for those who wants to book out the whole camp (only 4 units) what a great place for a get-together :D

Anyway the freezer got offloaded and we were ready to start the fire and see what comes along. Cameras safely stored in the units we made our way to the braai. We had chops, lamb ribs, potatoes, vegetables, salads, etc and most of these had to go on the braai. It was a pleasure to have a pit with a massive grid over it :D The light was shining over the water hole and before long the animals started coming. This I rated as my first night in KTP as the driving from Upington to TR and then the long drive to GK, I could now relax :D

Before long I wished I had my camera with me, we saw no less than 5 Brown Hyaenas coming to drink, my first sighting of them ever :D but we were just so tired that we got the food going, had a few ice cold hansa and retired to bed. It was hot :shock: I got a great tip from a friend to wet the sheets and lie down on them, by the time it dried out I was long gone and snoozing like a baby :D (hope I was not snoring, but click click never mentioned anything :wink: )

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:25 pm 
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Scenery on the way to Grootkolk

Image
_MG_5813 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and another

Image
_MG_5820 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

Our view from the unit to the water hole

Image
_MG_5810 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

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 Post subject: Re: A Virgin Visit to KTP.. I Wonder What Is Waiting For Me
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:53 am 
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Thanks for the comments Sheenaugh-Lee, RichardJ, Chappies, Trrp-trrrr, hilda, barrels. Lionspoon we booked Grootkolk one year in advance and Im sure most of the wilderness camps are the same. They are gems and much sought after. I would not mind if they increase the accommodation to 6 instead of 4 units, it would mean so many more can experience the magic of these camps. Please dont shoot me for saying it. anne marie so glad you can now see the pics and yes that is why I went to bed way to looonnnnggg after midnight doing the blog as connection is vital to posting. :wink:

On with the report. Hilda as you mentioned, yes I was almost dead on my feet. It was time to take a break and that is why I decided to stay in camp the next day. Woke up bright and early while click click was driving off. I made a nice hot cup of tea and just relaxed :D Someone or maybe Andries had put cut off bottles with stones inside on the pillars surrounding the unit and we filled it with water. Lots of birdies came along and it was so nice to just take pics, not moving, just sitting and lifting the camera when I wanted to.

The water hole was infront of the unit as show before. Many animals came drinking. First the Blue Wildebeest.

Image
IMG_0782 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

In the distance we could see another herd approaching and Andries, the camp attendant, came to ask if anyone wanted to shower and if not, he will use the camps water to fill up the water hole. We had no problem with that :D

Then the birdies arrived.

First up Red-Headed Finch
Image
IMG_0831 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

Sociable Weavers
Image
IMG_0822 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

Crimson Breasted Bush Shrike
Image
IMG_0854 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and this Rufus vented something, cant remember if VVSG said Wabbler, Babbler or what and cant find it in my bird book :redface:
Image
IMG_0835 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

Inbetween all the birdies the animals just kept on coming.

Kudu which is not as common as in Kruger.
Image
IMG_0794 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

and Red Hartebeest
Image
IMG_0802 by mgoddard2007, on Flickr

VVSG and SO and click click returned back to camp for our breakfast. Picnic sites in KTP are very different to Kruger, a few tables and chairs and a toilet, that is it! No skottels for hire, no washing up area and no shops :D so therefor we decided to have breakfast back at camp. It was magic, and sorry i did not take any pics. Will ask click click to post some when she has time :D

With tummies full and a great relaxing morning for me I decided to have a snooze. It was hot again, but from the previous tip I walked to the back of the car, dipped my sheets into the ice cold water as the ice had melted by now and had a very nice cool snooze for the next 2 hrs :D

And then my afternoon drive to Unions End, or the Unions End I think it was :roll:

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