Getting up in the morning we were already very excited.
We were moving to Grootkolk that morning for the very first time. Everybody we knew and who stayed there before, raves about that special camp.
So while we were still busy putting our stuff together and preparing some coffee one of the female staff members at Nossob rushed to our kitchen door and told us something about a Lion. She told us to follow her and we did. We could see from the fence close to # 10b that a male Lion was right at the waterhole at the hide.
We thanked her and rushed back to get our cameras and off we were to the hide, that was already by now bursting with people. Some of them had just returned back to camp and you could see that they left their cars in a hurry as it was quite a traffic jam at the gate. Some of the cars had their doors wide open.
By the time we got to the hide the Lion had turned around and was ready to leave.
This is the only decent pic I managed to take ( after taking pics of the Jackals in camp the nigh before I forgot to switch the ISO back from 3200…, and I was too excited to realise that
),all others were far too bright and with a lot of noise. Larger View
So this was already a brilliant start into the new day. We had our first Lion sighting while still in camp.
We were leaving Nossob with a thrill of anticipation.
En route I tried to capture one of those many little birdies that are always so very difficult to photograph.
They can really give you a hard time ( I am sure everybody knows what I am talking about), so this little fellow looked at me as if he wanted to tease me. And I was only able to have a small glimpse before he was off again, chirping. Or was he laughing at me?! Larger View
So we drove on into the direction to Kwang.
A lovely place to have a coffee.
Coming closer I realised there was something lying close to the water tank.
And indeed, it was a Lion.
But why on earth did he choose to rest close to that ugly thing… Larger View
Nevertheless we took some pics and stopped underneath the trees of the parking space, hoping that he might got up and walk over to the hole to have a drink.
Soon after we stopped he did us that favour.
Walking veeery slowly over to the waterhole. He really struggled to get to the water to have a drink. The hole was deep and I think in that hole was nearly no water at all. He just did not realize that this wasn’t the actual waterhole. That was only a few steps away and filled with water up to the top.Lion at Kwang 1
Then he turned around and discovered the proper waterhole, with a kind of surprise.
''Oh, water!'' Lion at Kwang 2 Larger View Larger View Larger View
He must have been very thursty, as he drank for more than 15 minutes.
Then he stood up and walked over to our left were he lied down in the shade of the trees. Larger View Larger View
All the time we had the whole sighting all by ourselves.
While the Lion was drinking at the waterhole, two Jackals waited for their turn to have a drink. When they first arrived they were appalled to see a Lion drinking from ''their'' waterhole. Larger View
Leaving Kwang we had one last glance at the Lion. Larger View
Not too far away from that point we could see a movement in one of the bushes.
So we stopped to have a closer look. And discovered some furry and brown in colour.
A Shrub Hare!
Amazing , we never saw one during the daytime before. Larger ViewShrub Hare
We stopped again at Bedinkt waterhole. There were 5 Secretary Birds. This year we were pretty surprised how many Secretaries we saw. Always a couple of birds on one spot.
The largest group was near the end of our trip at Rooiputs were we counted 9 birds.
Has anyone an explanation for that ?
Coming in to land. Larger View Larger View
We had a small break at Lijersdraai.
And were greeted by our little friends, the Lizards. Larger View
But by now we were eager to finally reach Grootkolk so it was just a very short stop there.
This year we seemed to have luck with the Spotted Eagle Owl. We could detect yet another one I a tree along the road. Larger View
At Kannaguass Waterhole we saw a nice herd of Oryx seeking the shade of the trees at the waterhole.Oryx at Kannaguass
But then we were finally there.
We moved into tent #3 and loved it right from the beginning.
The outdoor kitchen, the view to the waterhole, simply everything.
At Nossob I had made a bird bath using one of the empty water canisters. It was hard work…:lol:
Now we filled it with water and were amazed.
The bush just in front of our tent seemed to explode and we had all kinds of little birdies coming for a visit. Larger View
It was already a little later, so we decided to stay in the camp to savour every single moment of that special atmosphere.
Here are our visitors.
The Red-headed finches were nearly posing for photos...
What are you doing there ? Larger View Larger View Larger View Larger View Larger View Larger View
A typical Grootkolk scene. Larger View
Later 3 Hartebeest came to the waterhole to have a drink. Larger View
And we could enjoy a very nice sunset. Larger View
We are sitting outside in the darkness and everything is calm. Only the sounds of the nights surround us.
Suddenly we could make out a movement at the waterhole.
A Brown Hyena came to have a drink and disappeared into the night soft-footed as it came.
I think I have no more words to describe our feelings.
But I am pretty sure you know exactly how we felt.