Wed 19 Nov
Bitterpan - Kalahari tented camp (KTC)
After looking at all the spoor from the night before it was time to pack up and move on.
My impressions of bitterpan - An awesome camp.Such a wonderful vibe to it.You really get the bush experience.Its a bit of a conundrum on the one hand it is difficult to get there but that in itself makes it special.
At this point I would like to raise a suggestions for the unfenced bush camps.I realise that that money etc. has to be looked at.A camp like bitterpan has no real drives that you can set out for say 1.5 hrs - 2hrs in the am or pm.It is on a one way system.So if you are staying more than one night and you want to go for a drive you must drive to moravet to dikbaardskolk to nossob to bitterpan this must take at least 4-5 hrs.So if they put up another assistant chalet and they offer guided walks say for 2hrs in the am and 2 hrs pm.Have an extra cost for this which covers the extra assistant and you have the option of this available to you.Pay on booking your trip.I am not sure if I would go back to bitterpan not because of the camp but because if you go for more than one day what would you do but if you could go on a guided bush I would definately go back.
One other thing.Yes we made it in a 4x2 but I would not try to attempt it if I was not in convoy with a 4x4 with someone driving who I trusted.Just not worth the chance.
The rest of the trip had very few animals.Mostly steenbok which we saw at least 15.As we were coming over the last dune on the way to craig lockhart waterhole a whole herd ogf giraffe.Wow amazing no sign of them on the whole trip and then suddenly a herd amazing.This stretch of road from craig lockhart to KTC was full of herd game (springbuck,wildebeest) and I am assuming lots of predators following them.
Arrived at KTC.Now in my opinion this is the best camp in the park.It has been kept small.I stand corrected I think it has 16 units.Its unfenced so still has that wild factor.Has a swimming pool.Big plus for days when it gets to 40 degrees.Over looks a dry river bed which has a water hole in it.Is close to mata-mata,4km so if you need anything (fuel,drinks etc)you can get it and has awesome waterholes around it.Not that I recommened it but in a 2hr drive you can get to 5 waterholes!The tents itself are awesome.Spacious well designed and the kitchen tent with the braai is amazing.Well done who ever chose this spot for the camp site.
We unpacked and seen it was so hot we wollowed at the pool for the rest of the afternoon.A couple that was at the pool told us that last night hyenas had chase a wildebeest under one of the tents and had killed it there.This all happened at 4 in the early morning.An elderly oversees couple was staying in the tent and when they emerged the lady was looking rather frazzled after a rough night!
The carcase of the wildebeest had been drag out to under a tee on the edge of the dry river bed.
The same couple at the pool told us about a cheetah mom and her three cubs at dalkeith waterhole.The one cub they said had a broken leg and was not looking to good.Apparently a parks official,they were not sure if it was the head of the park or the vet had gone out to asses the cub.If anyone out there knows what happened if they could let me know I would be gratefull.
The rest of our group retired for an afternoon nap.I wanted to go and find the cheetah.After a lengthy negotiation with my SO off I went.My drive to dalkeith was uneventfull yet really beautifull.There were storm clouds gathering and a rainbow and you could smell the rain in the air.Only saw the usual game.Saw a lot of birds of prey.
I had taken my torch to mata mata to charge.I stoped at the road to KTC should I go back for a bit or go straight to mata mata.Thought I'll get into the good books with my SO so went to KTC and as I arrive there in the river bed is a cheetah.I could of saved a few rands on diesel.The cheetah was followed every where by to jakal.What an awesome sighting.
As we went to mata mata we came across a herd of 15 giraffe.Plenty of springbok and wildebeest and not to forget the gemsbok.On the way back it started rain.Was interested to see how the animals put their bums into the direction of the rain.
Had an great braai and off to bed.
Was awoken by hyena calling.This one hyena sounded like his voice was breaking and could not get the whoop at the end right.This caused great ammusment for me and I lay there giggling away with my SO saying "Its not funny-who strong is this tent?"
Well goodbye KTC I'll definately be back!