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 Post subject: Kalahari Dreamin' ...
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:54 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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We (Russ and I) are leaving for SA on the 2nd May, spending time with my folks in KZN ... and then our great adventure is set to begin..... after a much anticipated braai planned for us by C O’Dee :clap: and the CT crowd we are off to KTP!!! :D We are so looking forward to this holiday which has been in the planning stages since returning from Kruger in February last year!! Reading all your trip reports has just fuelled our excitement and I will try to post while we are in SA but my folks’ internet connection is intermittent to say the least – so fingers crossed … I might get lucky! :wink:

Ever since reading Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Cordelia Owens (many, many moons ago) I have dreamed of seeing the Kalahari and the black maned lions. Now, I am finally getting to make another dream come true and experience those red sands for myself! So if I am going overboard with excitement please excuse me – actually NO, I am not going to apologise ...... I JUST CAN’T WAIT TO GET THERE! :dance: :dance: :dance:

After reading Vonnie’s trip report we (for ‘we’ read I) decided to adopt her reward system so here’s hoping KTP will reward us richly! :wink: (If you don’t yet know about Vonnie’s reward system then have a look at her very entertaining trip report! I won’t tell you what it is – read, enjoy her report and find out ….) :lol: .

And so, loaded down with countless camera’s, a video camera, tripods, monopod, beanbags etc as well as a UV torch for scorpion hunting (thanks for the tip Madach! :D ) we are off to the airport for our flight to SA and three weeks under African skies! *sigh*

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Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:10 pm 
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Thanks for the well wishes everyone!!! My yellow ribbon is packed (a little worse for wear from the KNP trip - but that gives it character!!! :wink: ) Only 2 sleeps to go!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

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Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 9:59 am 
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Woooo Hooooo !!!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: NO MORE SLEEPS TO GO!!! :D :D We're off to the airport in a couple of hours so I'm signing off now .... not sure when I will be back online :cry: We're so excited neither of us could sleep last night! :roll: :dance: :dance: :dance: Watch out Cape Town and KTP here we come!!! :wink:

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Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:07 am 
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Greetings from KZN!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: A trip that should have taken 23hrs took a VERY long 47.5 hours!!! :shock: :roll: Needless to say we were more than relieved to see my folks, have a shower and relax!!! :D At 4pm yesterday we had a virtual drink (actualy not so virtual as it went down really well!!) with C O'Dee to celebrate our arrival - thanks Cheeky!!! :wink: Speak to you all when we are able ......... looking forward to seeing the CT crowd next week! :clap: :clap: :clap: ... not to mention KTP. :wink:

PS: Our first sightings were on our drive from Dbn - two Zebra and two Giraffe - couldn't see the ark though .... :D

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Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Well, we are back ... in grey and dreary UK :cry: - what a change in weather from KTP!!! (Bit of a shock to the system!!) We arrived this morning with none of the hiccups of the outward trip - thanks for all the commisserations!!! We had a really great meet in CT and a wonderful 7 days in KTP. :D Once I have managed to download all my pics and the video I will be able to get started on the trip report ... I am having trouble downloading them at the moment :evil: so hopefully I will be able to get them done soon ........... :|

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Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:52 pm 
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OK – before too many people get me back for all the nagging I have done …. :whistle:

Thursday 15th May

What a fantastic way to start our trip to KTP – a braai at C O’Dee and K O’Dee’s house and a really typical South African welcome! :clap: :clap: :clap: We were even given a nick name by K O’Dee – Curry and Rice – which we both thought was very funny and witty!! :lol: Thanks Kevin! A big cyberspace hug as thanks to C O’Dee and JDO for meeting us at the airport and for the really great yellow balloon gift! :D

What a welcome!!
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Special THANKS go out to all the ‘mites’ who braved the uncertain weather on a Thursday night to join us. We feel very honoured that you took the time out of your busy schedules to make us feel so very welcome! It was really great to meet you all and to put faces and names together. :clap: :dance: :clap: And to Michele for the really great KTP taster – the DVD is great and we will be watching it again … Thank you! We were also very lucky to get to watch the “Flight of the Angels” DVD – what a lucky couple of Angels you were!!

The evening was a wonderful blur of chatting, laughing, drinking and eating – great salads you guys!!!! …… I’ll be begging for the recipes soon. The highlight of the evening was, of course, the O’Dee style “Hollywood Walk of Fame” moment ……. HAND PRINTS ON THE LOO WALL!!! (yellow paint of course!) All incriminating pics have not been posted but other pics are in the Meets & Greets thread.

We finished the evening happy in the knowledge that we would be meeting the O’Dee’s ; MN & Doug again on our last night in KTP. Mini meet … yayyyyy!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Our Angel Hostess :littleangel:
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_________________
Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:46 pm 
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Ok, Ok here goes :D Thank you all for your doggie well wishes - hopefully she is on the mend (fingers crossed!)

Saturday 17th May KTP DAY!! :dance: :dance:

To Twee Rivieren and beyond!!!!

At last, the day had arrived!!! :clap: We were up at 5am to get ready for our flight to Upington. We flew with SA Airlink and although the small planes sometimes get bad press we had a really great flight up. We were met by our hire car company (Kalahari 4x4) and I cannot praise their service enough – great guys and a really great and roomy 4x4 and you get a big cooler box with the car …. mmmmm I wonder what we can fill that with ….. :hmz:

Once we were back in Upington we did our shopping at Pick ‘n Pay – many thanks to all the contributors on the ‘shopping’ thread on Arid Parks – it was a great help and we used most of your helpful hints and tips. After the essential alcohol shopping was done we were on our way armed with spirits, beer, cider and Amarula (otherwise known as milk!)…. Yum coffee! oh, and food :roll:

The drive from Upington to Twee Rivieren is not the most scenic but it does get you accustomed to the scenery. A useful tip from Michele Nel is to use the time to spot animals and birds to ‘get your eye in’ before you get to the park. (we didn’t know this at the time so spent the time counting down the 10km markers ….)

We stopped at Askham to fill up with diesel. As it was a Saturday afternoon the only place open was the Shell garage, the rest of the place had a real ‘sleepy town’ feel which was really nice to experience. The last 30 odd km to the park are still untarred but when we drove it the condition of the road was pretty good – this may be because the construction traffic uses it as well.

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Along the way we saw the local football team ….

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And at long last …. Twee Rivieren!!

After booking in at the gate and then at reception we were on our way to Chalet Number 1!!!! – this appears to be a forum favourite and we can see why! We dropped our bags off as quick as possible, shoved all the cold stuff in the fridge and freezer, collected our permit and were off on a quick drive before the gates closed.
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We were slightly confused by the map but eventually worked it out. By the way, does anyone know how the lions etc know not to go through the open camp gates?? :wink:

We drove to Samevloeiing and stopped at the waterhole for a while. The sun was going down and the atmosphere was so peaceful. When we got to the waterhole I saw a kudu ram walking away – I was still driving so did not get a photo and after speaking to Michele I now doubt what I saw as this is apparently very far south for kudu. Oh well, no proof so you may have to take my word for it. :D

The only activity at the waterhole were these birdies – Blackwing Stilts – I think … can anyone confirm?

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When we got back from our drive we sat outside enjoying ‘a cold one’ until we realised that we were being eaten alive!!! :huh: We thought this was a dry area and certainly did not expect to find hoards of mozzies attempting to carry us away!!! We had no insect repellent so retreated inside double time! The shop had already closed so we knew we were in for a ‘rough’ night.

We had decided to spoil ourselves and have dinner at the restaurant on our first night. The restaurant had had mixed reviews so we thought we would give it a go ourselves. To be fair, the food was good, considering the transportation difficulties etc, we enjoyed our meal and there was no faulting the service. :thumbs_up:

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We walked back, using our UV torch in the hope of finding a scorpion or two …. no luck but the hunting was fun!!! The sky and moon was very interesting with the moon creating a large halo in the surrounding sky – unfortunately it was too dark to take a picture of this interesting phenomenon. The skies in the Kgalagadi really are amazing.

It was warm during the night (about 26⁰C) and the mozzie attack did not abate all night :shock: ……. zzzzzzz ….. swat …… zzzzzzzz …….. swat……………..zzzzzzz …..(*&(^%$%^&* …….zzzzzzz ………..Arghhhhhh!! (you get the picture!) Russ slept with the sheet over his face but the little blighters still managed to zap him 3 times on top of his head. Final Score: Russ 0 Mozzies 19 (my SA skin saved me and it was icurrie 0 Mozzies 0 – not sure how that happed because they sure did bug me!!!) Well done mozzies - no favouritism :wink:

_________________
Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


Last edited by icurrie on Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:54 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Luanda, Angola (ex-PE, RSA)
Sounds like another great report coming. :dance: :dance:

By the way ... the lion don't know that they are not suppose to come through the open gate at TR. The staff in the camp can tell you many stories of how they had to chase lions back into the game are.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:05 am 
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Location: Luanda, Angola (ex-PE, RSA)
icurrie wrote:
Interesting to know Gerrit - remind me not to feel so safe in camp!!! We were a little :shock: when we saw the open gate and not even a cattle grid as deterrent ..... :D


The cattle grid might be good for people but a "killer" for the game - would not like to see a lion stuck in it.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:34 pm 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
I am sure those birdies are black winged stilts :shock: ..not ever seen them in the park myself....lucky you !!! :clap:


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:08 pm 
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Location: SAffie in Southend
Sunday 18th May Urikaruus Chalet No.3 (Approx 15⁰C Min 33⁰C Max)

We were up at 6am, not exactly rested but excited to be on our way. Gates opened at 7am but the shop opened at 7:30 and after the night we had had there was no way we were going anywhere without a MOZZIE DESTROYER :evil: ….. we settled for Peaceful Sleep ……… so as soon as the shop opened I was there! We had also discovered that we did not have any vessels to drink our Amarula :roll: so I did the tourist thing and bought 2 Kgalagadi Mugs (we were later ragged unmercifully by the Ietermagogas for our mugs :twisted: but boy did they work!! Coffee & Amarula breakfast yum yum ). After this slight detour we were on our way to Urikaruus! Yippeeeee!!! :clap:

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twee Rivieren sunrise

On our way we saw : steenbok, a very large eagle or vulture but it was too far away to id, ground squirrels, owls (not sure on id), gemsbok, wildebeest, ostrich, pronking springbok and meerkats!!!

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The meerkats were quite a distance away but I was really chuffed to see them. I thought of MN and thought …. hmmmm do I tell her that we have seen them??? And then I thought, Hell Yes!!! :wink:

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We stopped at the picnic sight at Achterlonie and a look at the museum …… also celebrated our first full day in the park with our first Amarula coffee. :D I was quite surprised to see crows around – something I had not expected to see in the park, although don’t ask me why??

We got to Urikaruus at about 12:30 – what a really lovely and peaceful camp. My favourite of all the camps we stayed in.

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After we had unpacked we sat on the deck with a drink and watched a parade of springbok and the mongoose below us. (an observation here – springbok do tend to relieve themselves an awful lot!)

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The watering hole was quite quiet but we didn’t mind – just sitting and listening to the birds and the peace was enough. Although our peace was destroyed by both of us trying to evade the hornet which had made it’s nest in the rolled up canvas door flap – it made for slightly uneasy relaxing. It was quite windy at this stage.

At 3pm we went for a short drive to 14de Boorgat where we had a sun downer or two while watching springbok and Wildebeest as well as a Tawny eagle. On the way back we stopped to look at some bat eared foxes and noticed a hyena den on the opposite side of the road. The hyena had two cubs and we watched them until it was time to head back. Soooo cute! (I will try and download the hyena video but at the moment am having difficulties!)

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The wind had abated and we were able to make our fire without worrying. It was so lovely to sit by the fire and listen to the birds as the sun went down. *sigh*

At about 6pm I checked my little temp gauge and it was 26⁰C – lovely! :D Had a great braai and salad plus more sundowners and then made ready for bed. When we were in the bedroom we heard a sawing noise .. leopard!!! We tried very hard to see if we could spot it but no luck - throught the night we heard it slowly move away up the valley. Oh well, we might not have seen it but we did hear it and that is as close as we have (knowingly) come to a leopard – I suppose there is always next time! 8)

Thought for the Day: The Kalahari is food for the soul. It is the Kalahari itself which is special and the animals in the Kalahari are a bonus to be enjoyed as such. Leave your expectations behind and just relax and enjoy this special place.

_________________
Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:36 pm 
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Thanks everyone for your comments. :D Suej - they may have been sandflies - have never encountered them before so not sure what they look like. These ones looked like mozzies, though - maybe they were sandflies in disguise! :lol:

C O'Dee - just sniff the flask and it will transport you all the way back to KTP! :D

....not sure how I have managed to sneak another update past annalie ..... :lol:

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Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:48 pm 
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i hear i have been getting a hard time for not getting involved with 'our' trip report, i'm the one behind the writer pushing for the next part of the report to be finished, so i can remember what we got up to as there was too much to see and take in, so i am doing my bit behind the scenes! so hurry up with the next part of the report.

as for the mozzies, yes they were mozzies, its the sweet english blood they love.

we will be back to KTP soon as i have just found red sand in my sandels

thanks for all your comments and by for now - for about 4 weeks as i am moving offices and will not be able to get on the forum for a while, issy won't let me on at home as she is always doing the trip report

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my mind and body may be in england my soul is in africa


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:12 pm 
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Thanks for your kind comments all! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Munchkin - next installment coming up :wink:

wanderw - I agree, definitely my favourite!

MN - No more faffing, liquid amber is doing the job tonight although not on the video :?

Pjw - enjoy the excitement and let it be fed by everyone's trip reports (it is a way to keep sane :D )

annalie - I have to tell on Russ - he is telling fibs!!! We have two pc's at home and he can quite easily get on and do some of the report himself but ... being a muskateer he would rather leave it to me! :wink: Give him a break Eish! I'm the one doing all the work!! :roll:

OK Ok so I have got the hint :P

Monday 19th May Urikaruus Chalet 3 (Approx Min 20⁰C Max 32⁰C Windy but bright)

What a place to wake up to!! We had left the canvas flap up and so when we woke up at we could watch the slowing rising sun while still snuggled up in bed. *Heaven*

During the night we had heard the leopard intermittently and it slowly grew fainter and fainter. We also woke up a couple of time to strange whistling noises. I have no idea what they were but the noise did come from underneath us. Regardless of these interruptions we had a really great night’s sleep and NO MOZZIES!!!!

A word about Urikaruus, it really is the creaky camp! Everything you do makes a noise and the more you try to creep about the more you end up creaking about! Eventually we gave up trying to be quiet and just walked about – surprisingly that seemed to make it less creaky!

At about 5am the wind started to get up so we closed the bathroom window flap and that stopped the through draft. The wind was a little fresh but not too cold and really made you want to snuggle up nicely in your bed. We got up at 6am – ready for 7am ‘gate opening’ time! It was great to sit on the deck and have an early morning coffee. It is amazing how the light changes as the sun starts to come up behind the buildings.

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At 7am we started our drive to Mata Mata and at the hyena den we saw the hyena with a kill/carcass. On the other side of the road were two jackals fighting over a scrap of the carcass. We could not see the hyena cubs although we did look for them.

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“Don’t know why I am so itchy”
(PS. I do … it’s those %&%&$££ mozzies!!)

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Birds mobbing a Gemsbok

We drove all the waterhole loops but it was very quiet. On the way to Mata Mata we saw red hartebeest, springbok, wildebeest, ostrich and many birds. We got to Mata Mata at about 10am and filled up with diesel.

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Fancy a walk?

All was very quiet on our drive back to Urikaruus but we still enjoyed the scenery and peace. The road was quite bad in places and I discovered that you have to be really careful not to let the corrugations, sun and slow driving speed lull you into a drowsy state!! :roll: We got back at lunch time and spent a little time relaxing. There was no game at the waterhole and the mongooses (geese?) seemed to be absent – maybe they were hunting elsewhere.

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Sleepy road …..?

At 5:20 we went for another drive and saw springbok, wildebeest and gemsbok. We stopped at a waterhole and had a sun downer while waiting for game to appear. The atmosphere of peace and tranquillity is priceless and the memories of sitting quietly at the Kalahari waterholes are an abiding memory to be taken out and treasured in times of stress. While we were quietly sitting at the waterhole a line of Gemsbok came down to drink, single file and very nervous. We did notice that the Gemsbok on the Auob side were far more nervous than the Gemsbok on the Nossob side of the park.

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Fancy a dip?

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Nah, I’ll just dunk my head instead!

When we got back to camp we made another fire and Russ attempted his first potjie! Dinner was delicious. It had been windy during the day but the wind died down at sunset. I wondered if this is a feature of the camp? We sat by the fire and the temp was a very comfortable 25⁰C. Sitting on the deck with a drink or two and watching the sun set while the fire blazes merrily away – could life get any better?

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Sightings were sparse today and it was almost as if the Kalahari was saying “learn to enjoy me as I am and put all your expectations aside”. Sightings are great but without them I cannot say that we enjoyed the day any less. It was great to be alone with no telephones, no TV, no radio and NO INTERUPTIONS! Just us and nature – bliss! :thumbs_up:

_________________
Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:37 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks for the comments everyone. :D

Pumba :shock: Puff adder on your wish list! Oooo, I have had too many near steppings (let alone sightings) to want to be anywhere near one.......! Actually this was one of only 2 snake sightings we had in the park.

It was very interesting to watch it move across the road though - it did not slither like one would expect from a snake but rather 'walked' - as it went over the ruts in the road you could actually see how the muscles and bones in it's body lifted it up and propelled it forward. It was fascinating even though I was creeped out! :roll:

_________________
Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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