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 Post subject: Sharifa & Duke-KTP and Augrabies Revisited-December 2008
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:59 pm 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
In May 2007 I made my first trip to KTP and Augrabies. It was time for a revisit. My daughter and son in law are here from London and we were lucky enough to get two days in each of these Parks. My son joined us as well and it has been a while since we have been to a Park together.

We left for KTP at 5.00 am on 22 December and got to Twee Revieren (TR) at 5.30 pm. After off loading and having the customary braai we were ready for bed.

Our second night was going to be in Mata Mata (MM) and the last time we travelled from TR to MM it took us all of 6 hours as we had wonderful sightings along the way. We were hoping it would be same this time and with this thought in mind and full of anticipation we fell asleep.


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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:49 am 
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Hi Elsa and MM. Always a pleasure to give back to the forum in some small way.

The camp gates open at 5.30am and we were ready at 5.00am enjoying the tranquility and beautiful sunrise

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When we arrived at TR the day before it was a scorching 39 degrees at 5.00pm but we had a very pleasant overcast day today

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and it did not get above 27 until we got to Mata Mata

Once again we found the Auob River bed to be amazing and the trip to Mata Mata took us 7 hours.

Buckle up and hope you enjoy the drive as much as we did.


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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:02 pm 
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Hi Lorraine, p&m, Wanderw. Hope this eases the pain somewhat Dreamer.

First up was the cute and bushy tailed cape fox

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Next came the bat eared fox

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Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:49 am 
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Hi Lorraine,

The video is awesome but was not on this trip. I am using it in my signature so that I can share it with all of you as I am sure many people will enjoy it. The video was recoreded on the Doispane road in KNP earlier this year.


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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:28 pm 
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In the KTP you can drive for stretches without seeing any mammals but the birds are to be found everywhere. Having said that I expected to see a lot more birds in summer but found this not to be case compared to our last visit which was in the month of May.

Swallow tailed bee eater

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Action shot of red headed finches and also present are the Namaqua dove and sandgrouse

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Spotted thick knee

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Secretary bird in flight

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Preparing for landing

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Safely down

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Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:05 pm 
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Thank you for the comments Gavin, Icurrie, Wanderw (good thing the brakes were working :lol: ), Phumbaa and Lorraine and MM (certainly was a goosebump moment that lion)

We next found some very "accomodating" animals that posed for the camera

a smiling meerkat

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the ground agama

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some gemsbok

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Just before Auchterlonie we came across two very impressive male kalahari lions and guess what...................no traffic jam, in fact not another car in sight. They were on the other side of the riverbed but clearly visible in the open.

Image

Image


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:55 am 
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Thank you billyf and p@m.

At the Dalkeith waterhole we found a mating pair of lions. A role reversal as he was wide awake

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but not so her

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No words required for the next series of photos

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Image

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Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:40 pm 
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Thank Lorraine and Dreamer and all the best for 2009 to all forumites.

A family of wildebeest.

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According to the guide we had December/January is the calving period for wildebeest in the KTP and the pregnant females come together in calving herds and the births are synchronised over a few days. In this way some calves fall to predation but many more survive.

It was now past midday and getting hot as confirmed by these giraffes
sitting in the shade of a tree

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We spent the next 4 hours in Mata Mata camp, the better part of them in the pool. As is customary many tales were exchanged with other visitors.
At 5.00pm we did the evening drive and at Dalkeith we found the mating pair again, this time in the right roles

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Image


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:20 am 
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Thank you all for the comments.

We were now just about ready to see a spotted cat and a honey badger and pygmy falcon would be nice too.

We decided we will go as far down as dertiende boorgat and then back track to camp.

But for us it was going to be a day for lions. Two young males had sought out the shade of a tree bang in the middle of the road.

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We watched for a while and one of them gave us a lazy lion yawn

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then went back to sleep.

As we still had plenty of time to gate closing we assessed whether it would be safe (for them and us) to pass the lions and head for dertiende
boorgat. We inched closer and could see tyre marks on the side of the road where somebody had already passed. We slowly and carefully passed them and my daughter clicked away as we moved forward.

The expression on the lions face said, can't a guy have his siesta in peace

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Come now get done with it will you

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At this point we could see that the lion that was closest to us had a porcupine quill in his cheek.

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The lions were only interested in their sleep and we were soon pass them


which brings me to another snippet from my KTP guide book. Research done on the Kalahari lion shows that he kills three times more animals per year compared to his KNP cousin although the KTP lion kills far more smaller animas (squirrels, bat eared foxes, porcupines etc.). The KTP terrain makes it more difficult to kill the larger animals which are fewer in KTP anyway. Porcupines account for about 25% of the animals killed.

The trip to veertiende and dertiende boorgat was unproductive and the lions were still there when we returned in about half an hour and so was another car, enjoying the young males.

On our way back to camp we met up with Wanderw - hi there - and exchanged notes. She told us about the cheetah at Sitszas waterhole and we told her about the lions at Dalkeith and the young males on the road.

Cheetah.............we were excited.


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:37 am 
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The cheetah was exactly in the spot that Wanderw said it would be but in the distance. We watched it for a while and then headed for Mata Mata.

Just before camp we came across some very playful meerkats

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but they soon went into high alert

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because of him

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We appreciated the brilliant star lit sky at camp (never get to see all those stars from the city) while having a braai and discussed the remarkable day we had.


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:28 am 
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Thank you all for the comments. We were ready at 5.30am for the return trip to Twee Rivieren. We decided we wil go till the Auchterlonie picnic site and then take the dune road to Kij Kij and drive along the Nossob riverbed to Twee Rivieren from Kij Kij.

The giraffes were out and about in the early morning and this one was all eyes looking at us

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and this guy was all ears

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but the bateleur was fast asleep

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OK you can have one shot if you must

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and the squirrels were all play

Image


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:23 pm 
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Hi All,

Thanks for the comments.

Looks like the meerkats were a hit with a lot of you, so two more shots of them.

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Anyway we were way past dertiende boorgat and and found this young lion looking regal in the morning light

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and when he turned around we saw that it was "quill face". He must have walked about 10km the night before

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Soon we were on the dune road heading towards Kij Kij and we got two of our better sightings for the trip on this road but I am getting ahead of myself.


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:35 pm 
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Hi All,

Sorry for the delay but today is day back at work day :x :(

Photo of vegetation on Dune road

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and we saw a Northern Black Korhaan (White quilled korhaan)

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Kept seeing Kori Bustards (KB) all along the dune road. Have to agree with you Bush Baptist on the Bustard part of the Boulevard (did not see any jackals on this road). As we rounded a bend a huge bird took off right in front of our car. We were more startled then it was and it all happened too quickly to take a photo but we could see it was a KB. Had never seen one in flight before and it had a snake dangling from its beak. It was really great to see the worlds heaviest flying bird take off and fly. It landed some way from us but still had its luggage in tow.

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At the tierkop waterhole we stopped for a while and out of nowhere a Lanner Falcon swooped down and caught what looked like a lizard and took of. It landed in the dunes on the other side of the road and you can just see the prey in the talon

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Further on we came upon an ostrich family and it was wonderful to see the chicks trying to keep up with dad and mum kept a watchful eye from the side of the road

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Image


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:19 pm 
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BB I haven't really paid much attention to the diet of the KB till now but a quik look up in my bird guide says diet is mainly insects and seed but lizards and snakes also feature as do melons, bulbs and carrion.

Velkkie sorry to hear you had to wait so long for your chalet.

The trip from Kij Kij to Twee Rivirien produced general game and we were at TR at 10.30am. We only spent a day and a morning in KTP but were lucky to have such wonderful and varied sightings. We liked KTP after our first trip but absolutely fell in love with it this time.

So all you KTP nutters when is the best time to visit KTP as I have to plan a longer trip.

We got to Augrabies at 4.00pm and it was scorching hot. Vlekkie the computer at reception was off line but the staff were very good and we got our chalets immediately.

After settling in we headed for the falls

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The Augrabies flat lizard which hangs around on the rocks alongside the viewing points

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Soon we were in the pool as it was unbearably hoy.

We had an early night as we were going to do the dassie trail in the morning.


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP and Augrabies Revisited
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:08 pm 
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We set off on the Dassie trail at 5.30am and it was a beautiful morning.

For those who have not done the trail it is about 5km long and well sign posted. Along the route you get numbers which refer you back to a booklet you get about the trail. So when you come to the common reeds on the trail you will see a number 1 and everything about the common reed is explained in your booklet.

My son in law walking through commom reed

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This reed acts as a filter removing waste from the water.

It was so good to be out in the open and the place is simply breath taking. I hope I do justice to it by walking you through it.

The next point is known as Arrow and there are beautiful twin falls here.

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We saw a klipspringer which darted off before we could take a photo and the baboons and dassies were all over the place


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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