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 Post subject: gb225450's KTP April/May 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:05 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Well we are sadly back from our first trip of 16 nights in KTP. We stayed in all the camps on the SA side expect Mata Mata and really enjoyed the wilderness camps. We were woken/kept awake by lions in all of the wilderness camps except KK. We saw some things that I doubt we will ever see again, we saw some of the rarer creatures that KTP has to offer and we saw some things that made me realise that animals have definitely not read the guide books about where they should occur or how they should behave. :rtm:

We traveled 2,970km in the park and our accommodation was as follows:

25,26,27,28 Apr – Urikaruus
29,30 Apr – Nossob
1,2 May - Kielie-Krankie
3 May – Bitterpan
4,5,6 May - Kalahari TC
7 May – Grootkolk
8 May – Gharagab
9 May – Nossob
10 May - TR

Here are a few sneak peak photos to get the report started…

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Latest Trip report: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sightings!

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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:51 am 
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Thanks for the comments Pumbaa, Lionspoon, Nina!

Nina!, to do ‘star trials’ you need a tripod & a remote shutter cable. Your camera would also need to have a ‘bulb’ setting which will allow you to leave the shutter open as long as the button is pressed on the remote shutter (30 minutes +). The star trails are caused by the earth spinning which changes the positions of the stars.

There are other ways of doing it (eg. by taken lots of individual photos and then overlapping them with software)

Cloud cover and the position of the moon will affect the photo as well as any other light sources (eg torches) & an additional battery comes in handy!

They are various guides on the internet with more details, just Google “star trails guide” if you are interested.

The floodlight waterholes at the wilderness camps can make is tricky to do startrails but I found unit 1 (Honeymoon suite) in TKC great for start trails due the position of the unit.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 8:59 pm 
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Thanks everyone,

mad4wildlife no filters but I do tend to set the white balance to ‘shade’.

The first couple of days were a little slow in terms of sightings/photo opportunities so I will rush through them a bit.

Day 1 – 25th April – Urikaruus
We arrived at Twee Rivieren just after 3pm and stopped briefly only to check in, fill up with fuel and deflate our tyres. We then started the 67km to Urikaruus camp for the next 4 nights. Along the way we spotted springbok, wildebeest, hartebeest, ground squirrels, a large herd of giraffes and 2 warthogs (luckily due to this forum I realise I am unlikely to see them again). We also saw our first PCG as well as a jackal, numerous fork-tailed drongos, around 6 kori bustards and lots of other birds.

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Once we arrived at camp we unpacked our stuff, showered and had a braai. We have a fantastic view of the waterhole from our kitchen decking area:

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That evening we were very tired after all the travelling but we managed to stay up for a few hours and we were rewarded by seeing a leopard and then a cape fox! Fantastic!

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Day 2 – 26th April – Urikaruus
We decided to stay in camp and see what was happening around the waterhole this morning.

There were some energetic wildebeest

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and an entertaining crow


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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 8:49 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Day 3 – 27th April – Urikaruus

At 7am we went for a game drive heading north to Mata Mata.
Along the way we saw springbok, 3 separate herds of giraffes, several pairs of jackals as well as a large flock of ostriches:

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And cute pygmy falcon

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As we got near Craig Lockheart Waterhole we spotted an African wild cat in a tree (the first of many that we didsee along this stretch of road that we renamed wildcat alley) Infract we saw one on every single drive we did on this road (but we did stop at every suitable tree :wink: )

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On our way back to camp we spotted 2 pale chanting goshawks feeding on something unidentifiable!

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Day 4 – 28th April – Urikaruus
At 3am we were woken by the sounds of lions rawing. Over the next 30 minutes their rawing got louder so we threw on some clothes and went outside. We were rewarded with 2 lionesses and 2 males walking straight past our cabin along the riverbed. It was fantastic. Unfortunately it was too dark for photos and our camcorder was in the car. Nonetheless the sighting was great!

At 7am we headed south along the riverbed, in the same direction as the lions had been walking. Unfortunately after 8km we had not seen them and we did not think they would have travelled this far so we turned around and headed north, just as we had yesterday. Along the drive we saw springbok, wildebeest, one large herd and some smaller ones, and lots of birds of prey including a bataleur;

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We also saw lots of pygmy falcons, including this pair
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Apart from all the bird spotting, we were lucky enough to see our wild cat again just a few trees south from last time!

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We arrived back at camp around 11am to be shortly joined by a bird of prey attaching the little birds drinking and 2 jackals, one carrying something in its mouth;

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After a lazy few hours catching up on sleep we headed back out for the afternoon. This time we drove south to Gemsbokplein waterhole. On this drive we spotted the usual; springbok, wildebeest and gemsbok. We also saw a cape fox who was very accommodating and allowing us to take photos. It looked like he had just woken up and come out of his den and so was still quite sleepy.

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Lastly, before returning to camp we spotted 2 slender mongoose who were also by their den;

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Day 5 – 29th April – Nossob
At 7am this morning we packed up our car and said goodbye to Urikaruus. We drove east along the dune road towards the other side of the park. We didn’t expect to see much along this road so planned to hurry along here to reach the road beside the riverbed as early as possible. However, we were pleasantly surprised as we saw several different birds of prey, including tawny eagles and pale chanting goshawks. We also saw numerous ostriches all with young at various stages of development, many oryx including a huge heard of 50+ oryx and wildebeest. We spotted a few steenboks;

At Moravet I was greeted by an unexpected sight. I am pretty sure I have never seen them mentioned on this forum before and when we got to Nossob I was talking to a guy who has been coming to the park for 20 years and when I told him about the sighting he told me to pull the other leg! So I guess they are not a common sight. (Maybe some of you will tell me otherwise?) They certainly were not on my radar for this trip
Can you guess what is behind the red square? :hmz: :whistle:
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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Well done Muhammad!

Was it a lucky guess or have you seen or heard of them being there? Has anyone ever seen them in KTP? According to my Sasol bird guide book they are a bit lost.

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Before the end of the dune road we also found a cheetah! Unfortunately the cheetah wasn’t in a very co-operative mood but we managed to snap a few photos of it before it hide itself in the thicket;

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Interesting lion sighing coming up in next installment…..

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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:17 pm 
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Also, I forgot to mention, I am pretty sure that one is a lesser and the other greater flamingo:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 9:54 am 
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Thanks everyone.

After checking in at Nossob we went for a drive north. We soon found 3 cars parked off-road in the centre of the riverbed. As we stopped and looked through our binoculars we saw that there were lions lying under the tree and several men standing beside their cars looking at them.

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Some very brave rangers!


The lions appeared to have bee darted but seem to be waking up, although very slowly. After an hour or so, the cars left. Kindly the rangers stopped by our car to explain that the lions had escaped from the park on several occasions and so they were trying a new approach. They placed the 4 unacquainted lions in an enclosure for a while and today were being released back into the park. The hope was that the lions would form a pride. The males were collared and all four were branded.

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We stayed for several hours and they did eventually get up but they were still very groggy and wobbly on their feet





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Day 6 – 30th April – Nossob
During our morning drive we spotted hartebeest, oryx, numerous pale chanting goshawks, jackal and a pair of honey badgers! Unfortunately they were busy with their heads in the ground so photos weren’t great. There was a jackal and a PGC following the honey badgers around trying to cash-in on the HB work:

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On our afternoon drive south we again found a HB. As before, there was also a jackal and PGC beside the honey badger

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Day 7 – 1st May – Kielie-Krankie
This morning we packed up the car and headed south to Kielie-Krankie. We weren’t far into our drive when we spotted yet another honey badger. Thankfully this one was a bit more accommodating and it didn’t always have its head in the ground. It did however still have its friends; the jackal and pale chanting goshawk!

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As well as spotting many pale chanting goshawks we also saw a marshal eagle and a clan of 5 spotted hyenas. They were asleep quite far away but as we pulled up they all got up and walked straight towards us.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 8:42 pm 
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Sorry for the delay, had a busy week.

Thanks everyone for the comments (&anne-marie for helping me count! :lol: )

The next week has some great sightings. Stay tuned! :cam:

Along the dune road we spotted some steenboks, oryx and ostriches running:

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Just before we arrived at Kielie-Krankie we found some lions doing what they do best:

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Day 8 – 2nd May – Kielie-Krankie
At 7am we headed out for our morning drive. We drove west along the dune road before driving south towards Twee Riverien. Just as we left camp we spotted yet another honey badger along the top of the dune.
We also spotted a large marshal eagle

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A lioness on the dune just south of Kij Kij waterhole.

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At around midday we decide to make our way back to camp. We found friendly mongoose along the way

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Just before Kij Gamies we found a leopard sleeping under a tree no more than 40 metres away. Matthew from the KTP leopard project has confirmed that this is Ingwe, a female that has been seen in this area a few times.

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After a while 2 other cars arrived and after about 20 minutes she got up and walked into a nearby bush. The other cars left thinking the sighting was over, big mistake! :slap: We decided to hang around for 5 minutes to see if she would reappear. We only had to wait about a minute when she reappeared with a kill. After watching her with the kill for a few minutes we noticed something was not quite right. The ‘kill’ was not the usual steenbok. It was a species we had never seen before anywhere on our travels. Can you guess what it is?

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Latest Trip report: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sightings!

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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 8:03 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Trrp-trrrrrrrr it was indeed an Aardwolf! :thumbs_up:

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Latest Trip report: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sightings!

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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 8:04 am 
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Some longer videos




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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:04 am 
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Day 9 – 3rd May – Bitterpan

We left Kielie-Krankie at 7am and headed west along the dune road. This was pretty quiet except for a few springbok dotted around. We then turned north along the riverbed road towards Mata Mata. Along here we spotted 2 pairs of tawny eagles, oryx, wildebeest and a marshall eagle.
We also spotted 2 warthogs followed by a very large herd of 200+ springbok.

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Just before we reached the picnic spot we also were rewarded with 4 bat-eared foxes in the riverbed

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At Moravet the 2 flamingos were still there.

Further along the dune road we also spotted kori bustards, a ludwig bustard and quite a few ostriches.
At Cheleka we found a male lion lying less than 20m away. We were there no more than a minute before he rolled over facing away from us. Luckily we managed to take a few quick photos.

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The dune road to Bitterpan was fairly quiet, but it was probably my favourite road. We did see steenbok, numerous PCGs as well as some oryx and yellow mongooses.
About 3km from camp we spotted a male lion lying out in the sun.

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What happened next was one of the highlights of the trip, after a few minutes he got up and walk towards us, crossed over behind our car and stood about 5 meters away and did this:

Turn up the sound! :note: :note: :note: :note:



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After some time he moved away into the savannah. Our last glimpse (or so we thought! :redface: ) of him was standing on top on the dune;

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We arrived at BItterpan which definitely had the most wilderness feel of all the camps to date.
At around 11pm we were woken from a deep sleep to the sounds of a lion roaring within a couple meters of the cabin! :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
A great end to the day! :D

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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:58 pm 
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Thanks guys.

Just before we got to Bitterpan we had a great sunset:
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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:03 pm 
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Day 10 – 4th May – Kalahari Tented Camp

We left Bitterpan at 7am after spotting a few oryx on the pan. For the first 15km or so we followed lion tracks in the road. It was amazing to see how far he walked in the night. Along the way we spotted a PGC. We stopped to take a photo but only after we put the camera down and he flew away did we notice that he had a snake in his talons. You can just make it out in this photo;

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We also spotted many steenbok, oryx, ostriches, kori bustards, a marshall eagle soaring;

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Nearing Craig Lochhart we spotted a wild cat.

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We arrived at camp and after unpacking the car we noticed that we had a flat tyre. After changing it we headed out for another drive

We spotted some swallow-tailed bee-eaters feeding:

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Further south we spotted 3 lions:

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Further up, past Craig Lockhart we came across lots of cars. We could see what they were looking at but one guy told us there were 4 cheetahs (mother and 3 cubs) further up but they had driven down here as they were hoping for a hunt. We drove further up to see if we could see them. After 5 minutes or so we spotted them. They all came out from behind a bush the other side of the river bed and walked straight towards us and up over the dunes the other side.

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When we arrived back we started a braai and were welcomed by the camp guide. We told him about our flat tyre and he returned 30 minutes later to collect it, confirming he had found someone who could fix it.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:18 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Day 11 – 5th May – Kalahari Tented Camp

As we headed south this morning we spotted the usual oryx, wildebeest and several large herds of springbok.
Just south of Craig Lockhart we spotted yet another wild cat in a tree; The sighting wasn’t brilliant so we didn’t stay long.

As we reached Dalkeith we spotted 3 lionesses walking towards us from the dunes down towards the riverbed.

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It wasn’t long before we were joined by a few other cars all heading out on their morning drive. The lionesses crossed the riverbed before investigating a tree with vultures in it. We sat and watched them for quite some time before they walked back towards us, pass the cars and back onto the riverbed.



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 Post subject: Re: KTP April/May: Blooming KTP & some very unusual sighting
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:19 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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On our way back to camp we found a wild cat raiding a nest in a tree. There was an awful racket coming from all the birds. We couldn’t get any good photos as there were so many branches but it soon moved onto a new tree. We followed it along the riverbed and it checked every tree for potential prey. It found the smell it was looking for at the bottom of a tree, an acacia rat. It was great watching the game of cat and mouse.

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While we were watching it, a car stopped to see what we were looking at and told us that there were cheetahs up ahead. Once the cat was out of sight we headed towards to rumour of the cheetahs. It was Gertie and her cubs. We watched them come towards us and walk along beside us. It appeared that they were in the mood to hunt and heading towards the riverbed so we took a gamble and drove down there to wait for them. Unfortunately our gamble didn’t pay off as when we headed back up to where we last saw them we spotted them walking the other way. We decided to head back to camp (a decision which we will regret later but that story will have to wait for the next page)

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