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 Post subject: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:07 pm 
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After 4 visits to KNP we thought it is time for a change and decided to visit this year KTP as well as Augrabies for the very first time due to the enthusiasm some forum maniacs brought to us with their fantastic KTP stories and pictures. :P

Only a couple of hours left until we will board the aircraft leaving a cold, windy and snowy Germany behind for at least 18 days and hopefully will awake after a 11 hours flight in a cosy and hot South Africa. :dance:

We are staying in the following camps:

3 nights Augrabies
1 night TR
3 nights Nossob
2 nights Grootkolk
2 nights Urikaruus
2 nights Mata Mata
2 nights Kieliekrankie
1 night TR

As usual we put some things together which we want to do under all circumstances during this trip. Therefore please note in the following our “to do List”:

- do the Dassie Trail in Augrabies and indeed find some animals which gave the name to this trail

- do the Black Rhino Adventure – Not quite sure whether this is still available

- watch out for all the animals we never saw before such as springbok, oryx, honey badger, meercat, brown hyena, bat-eared fox, cape fox, porcupine, pangolin, whistling rat, caracal, aardvark, snakes and and and

- look out for some birds still missing on our bird list

- cats of all sizes, spotted or not are also very welcome

- search for some yellow ribbons (I know that turtlegirl and patries will we there)

- do a morning walk either at Nossob or Mata Mata or maybe both

- taste the famous Roesterkook at Nossob

- enjoy Grootkolk at Valentine’s day and pay Union’s end a visit

- Search for Skinny and Mum around Mata Mata

- enjoy the evenings on our verandahs or balconies and smell, feel, hear the African nights maybe with some animal sightings at the waterholes

- meet the forum’s famous mouse on our very last day before we leave

You are of course also invited to add some things here which you recommend us to do and what better not to do. :thumbs_up:

I herewith would like to thank all of you which gave already detailed information about KTP & Augrabies anywhere on this forum but my very special thank is going to the Augrabies Guru and wanderw for their detailed answers and hints to all our questions. You both were a great help already. :clap: :clap: :clap:

And another special thanks is going to Anne-Marie who volunteered to stay in SMS contact with us to let you know a bit about our adventures whilst still in the park. :clap:

So let’s see after our return whether KTP will have two more fans in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Well unfortunately finally we are back from a wonderful, amazing, incredible and very wet trip to KTP :P I always thought it will be hot in KTP - in Augrabies we did the Dassie trail at 38 degrees and survided but at KTP on some days even for us Europeans it was cold :shock:

As already mentioned survived heavy rains and huge (deep) puddles around Nossob, had nearly each night a thunderstorm and also saw waterfalls on the Auob river on Sunday, 22.02.09 again with flooding rains again 8)

Besides all this rain we had some incredible sightings of which I will tell you in my trip report as you never ever would believe me what we saw - besides one day we had each day one cat sighting - some with manes, some without, some very close, some a bit farer away, some with spots, some with other spots, some with cubs, some at a kill :big_eyes: Never believed earlier that we would ever see such things ever in our life. 8)

Besides all those kitties some other significant sightings of animals highly on our wish list. Presently the Nossob river is far better for game viewing as the Auob river was nearly bone dry - okay after all the rain Mashona experienced - by far more animals around Nossob presently. Finally I could get a picture of a puff adder (3x) and two other snakes which I still have to identify.

We took around 4.400 pictures which we have to sort out and also have to bring my memories back into the right order then we can start with this trip report.

Thanks once more Anne-Marie for your SMS mails although the cell phone reception was only possible at TR and KK. :clap:

But one thing is already sure we will be back :thumbs_up: and we miss already all those thunderstorms but not that huge puddles and all the mud :P


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:16 pm 
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I know everybody is waiting for the KTP report but our first days we spent at Augrabies which is a great park too so I will start here the KTP part is coming closer and closer then :lol:

Saturday, 07.02.2009 – Augrabies Falls N.P.

After a very turbulent flight with not much sleep (the excitement!!!) with many turbulences and a couple of thunderstorms (at this point we did not know that same would follow us permanently through the whole trip :whistle: ) – needless to say that on our return flight we had another thunderstorm to overcome – we arrived safely at O.R. Tambo International on a sunny Saturday morning (16 degrees). The passport control took endlessly but finally we were through and one more time our bags awaited us already.

We headed to the domestic departure hall which is also under construction as nearly the whole airport and after another while we could climb into our small propeller airplane which brought us in 2 hours to Upington (30 degrees). Also this airport is presently under construction. Bags had been handed out to us immediately and we just had to cross the street and reached all the car hire companies. However, when entering ours the guy had to do some phone calls as he did not have our booking on his screen. Finally everything was sorted out quickly and another white Toyota Hilux 4x4 Diesel (we had the same type of car during our last KNP trip which brought us a couple of great male lion sightings) was “our” car for the next 17 days. Furthermore a huge cooler box at no extra costs had been offered to us too of which we certainly made use.

After a first quick shopping at Pick’n’Pay we were already on our way to Augrabies Falls which we reached soon (38 degrees!). Formalities at gate had been done in no minute and finally chalet No. 9 was our home for the next 3 nights. We unpacked all our things and re-packed everything for our stays in the parks, took a quick shower and then we had no other wish than to walk a bit and take a first look at the falls. Of course one of my greatest wishes was to find some rock dassies again as during our very first stay to South Africa I fell in love with these cuties but same are nearly impossible to trace in KNP but maybe we will have more luck in this park.

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First we could not trace any animal activities whilst we walked over the rocks to the walkways on which we spent a couple of time and soak in all those beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views down to the Oranje river but when we made already our way back to our chalet (it was now already 5 p.m.) we found plenty of them – Augrabies Flat lizards and rock dassies. Never noticed earlier how fast and agile these small animals were running and jumping around from rock to rock and even into trees and bushes– really impressive. Timon took shot after shot whilst lying on the rocks or on the ground in the sand and could nearly be stopped :tongue: . At least one animal on my wish list could be ticked off already.

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Finally we found also a very hungry DIT (dassie in tree) :dance:

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Finally after a long travelling day and a fantastic dinner in the Restaurant (the butterfish with garlic sauce was top :thumbs_up: ) we just fell as we were into bed. Only to do what we ever do when in any South African National Park air condition on at night and after a while off and then again on and off. It was still extremely hot – over 30 degrees but we were back – lucky, safe and satisfied in our beloved South Africa.

to be continued


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:38 pm 
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Sunday, 08.02.2009 – Augrabies Falls N.P.

What a heavenly feeling to have breakfast outside on our veranda in the sun after suffering under our long long winter. As the gate is only opening at 7.00 the whole year round – closure is 18.30 o’clock - we had enough time to enjoy the warm sun. In the compliment form which had been handed out to us by reception I complained about the opening / closing time of gate in summer as normally they already could open the gate at 6.00 / 6.30. :rtm:

We decided to explore first the game area and on our way back to camp to visit all the view points, however, unfortunately Oranjekom was under construction and closed as they presently renewed the viewing platform. Anyway at 7.00 we entered the game area and soon a troop of baboons came across some were still a bit sleepy.

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The first giraffes came into sight in between we cannot took our eyes from the beautiful and very special landscape and vegetation.

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Another animal on our wish list could also be spotted – eland and a strange eland which looked a bit like a mutation between eland and kudu – a kuland or eludu maybe? :hmz:

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Whilst observing this kokerboom in a valley between two hills I realized also another eland watching the area from high above.

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Finally we also found our first gemsboks needless to say that in KTP many many more to follow but Timon fell in love with these beautiful animals and he took so many gemsboks pictures in KTP that I think he nearly captured each and every single gemsbok at least once. :P

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Surprisingly a few kilometers before we had to drive under the Blouputs Dividing road we found in a rocky area another animal which we under all circumstances wanted to see in this Park – Hartmann’s Mountain zebras

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and whilst having a look back to scan the area we also spotted a couple of klipspringers very well camouflaged on some rocks.

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Moreover plenty of kokerbooms spread all over the area some dead, some alive and plenty of them covered by huge social weaver nests which I suppose finally leads unfortunately into their dead.

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A nice posing steenbok presenting us it’s huge ears came across – these animals are normally very shy and after taking their usual short closer look (which we captured here) they ran away. Furthermore plenty of ground agamas were running around – we always had to watch out carefully not to overrun them.

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Whilst I just read the bird list of the park telling Timon that they do also have ostriches in the park plenty of them crossed our way near to the picnic spot. Of course we also had moments where nothing could be spotted but we were just lucky to be there with no other cars around us. Nearly in the middle of the extended route four red Hartebeests appeared in a dry river bed – moreover most of the animals could be found near such dry riverbeds and of course our first springboks could also be spotted during the entire drive.

Although it was the whole day more than 30 degrees it started over the day sometimes to rain slightly, later it stopped and the sun came out until the next clouds appeared and it started drizzling again. There was also a strong wind blowing so everything was bearable.

After done the extended route we returned to the rocks where we spotted earlier the zebras and we had again luck as they were still standing at nearly the same spot obviously they did not move much

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Also more and more springboks and gemsboks could also be traced. It was meanwhile already 1.00 o’clock when we finally could take a look at the view points also to stretch the legs a bit

Image Eggohoek / Echo Corner

The view from Ararat was once more breathtaking. The only other people we met during the whole drive just arrived here when we already climbed back into our car

Image View to the left

Image and to the right

And finally Mannrots / Moon Rock – What an impressive rock !

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After such first overview about the animals, landscape and vegetation we thought it was indeed the right decision to also include this park into our trip. After a break in our chalet we explored first the camp shop which was indeed very well stocked – an ice cream was a must – then we decided that after such a long drive in the car it would be a good idea to walk all over the walkways back to our chalet. This is of course another great highlight of this park – one can do an extensive sunset walk. 8)

In between it started again to drizzle a bit but the light was still brilliant.

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All the rocks were covered by plenty of Augrabies Flat agamas and of course the rocks dassies were also again busy in feeding and running around and moreover a couple of ground squirrels could also be spotted during this walk.

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Whilst braaing this evening it started again to rain so we had unfortunately to eat inside – An exciting first day came to an end and very satisfied we fell again into bed.

To be continued.....with some impressions of the Dassie Trail


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:37 pm 
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Monday, 09.02.2009 – Augrabies Falls N.P.

The day started again very sunny and already very warm – I had the impression that it did not cool down much at night. Whilst having breakfast on our veranda we could spot via binocs plenty of rock dassies running all over the rocks but more too soon they suddenly vanished because a huge troop of noisy baboons made their way through the camp from West to East. Some of them inspected the dust bins of our neighbours, one very naughty one came very close to us until we chased him away – well we originally thought we had chased him away only to spot him again on the roof of our chalet and made himself comfortable there (I should have brought the Braai fork which I used last year at Talamati 8) 8) 8) ). After a couple of while all of them finally were out of sight and we packed the car to do one last game drive through the whole park again.

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Right at the beginning of the game drive before one has to cross the little river an eland popped out of the bush and nearly slipped out on the rocks but made it safe to the other side of the road – unfortunately no pictures. Furthermore besides giraffes, rock dassies, springboks, gemboks, steenboks and ostriches which could nearly be observed on the same spots as yesterday we spotted a Kudu male, however, very skittish and not willing to let us take a picture. The zebras and the klipspringers unfortunately kept hidden today.

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Close to the picnic spot a pair of Karoo Korhaans (new for us) were displaying and right at the picnic spot whilst taking a break plenty of white-brown sparrow weavers caught our attention. Plenty of nests were spread all over a tree and they offered some good photo opportunities. One of them found a feather and was very proud.

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Also today although the camp was relatively fully booked we did not see any other car during the whole game drive, however, on our way back close to Moon Rock all the park rangers seemed to do an inspection drive as three vehicles full of them crossed our way.

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From noon until 3 p.m. we relaxed in our chalet with reading and napping but then we decided it is enough and wanted to stretch our legs a bit and our steps leaded to the Dassie trail. Yesterday I already requested the Dassie Trail brochure at reception and as same has been rated as “easy” and with only 5 kilometer same should be a nice and “easy” walk and we will be back in at least 1 ½ hours. HaHaHa :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: – we should have known better. Bearing in mind that it still was 35 degrees (gladly it was cloudy and a strong wind was still blowing), with all our photo equipment with us in bag-packs on our backs, full water bottles and moreover some very obtrusive small flies flying around our heads which decided to join us after we passed the camping area this walk took much longer although I never regretted any step. Gladly we decided to wear our hiking boots instead of our hiking sandals otherwise we were slipped out on the rocks.

Right at the beginning of the trail a small waterfall

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Although the trail is perfectly signposted sometimes you had to watch your steps very carefully as the rocks and steps one had to walk on have different heights or can you tell me where the trail is on this picture?

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Over rocks and more rocks the trail leaded through the beautiful landscapes of the park

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and sometimes you even had to cross a stream only via a very small footbridge

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We always stopped also at the numbers under which in the brochure some interesting facts about the things to discover on the trail have been explained. Right at No. 9 where a bit more about rock dassies have been explained plenty of them already awaited us high on a rock and furthermore an agama sunbathing on a rock was not willing to let us pass in compensation same was abused by us as another photogenic object :thumbs_up:

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In between we made quite a lot of short breaks and finally after a final river crossing via a not very inspiring bridge we were back at camp with glaring red heads, wet cloths, empty water bottles and a lot of pictures. Furthermore also a lone klipspringer came across shortly before we reached the gate but unfortunately too far in the distance.

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After a nice break under the air condition and shower we were again ready to have another brilliant dinner in the restaurant – I never can stop to highly recommend the butterfish again and again :clap: :clap: :clap: - and were already very much excited what the next day will bring us on our very first game drive in KTP especially after this very promising start at Augrabies.

To be continued with Kgalagadi we are coming......


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:01 am 
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Thanks once more Jo, Dotty, annalie, MM and ingrid :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: I will thanks you in detail later but first as promised the first KTP installment :dance:

Tuesday, 10.02.2009 – Augrabies Falls N.P. – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

But before we could leave we wanted to enjoy a very last breakfast with view down to the rocks on our veranda but unfortunately same had to take place inside as it started once more to rain although the sun was still shining :cry: After packing had been done and we had grabbed our exit permit from the reception – the lone klipspringer was still at the same spot as yesterday evening - we hit the road to Upington as still a couple of things had to be bought.

First stop was of course at the famous Skaapland butchery, then Pick’n’Pay which we left with two full trolleys and finally after a quick pitstop we were on our way. Whilst we started with sunny and warm weather at Augrabies and Upington the closer we came to the park the darker it was. Just after the crossing to the Upington airport and nearly down the whole road up to the park it rained heavily with very dark grey clouds. Gladly the road is meanwhile completely tarred and the park is easy to reach especially after such heavy rains. :thumbs_up:

We arrived at the gate around 1 p.m. formalities were done in no minute, check in at reception took also not much time and once more we unpacked everything only for one night but as we had to re-arrange the packing of our foodstuff we completely unpacked the car. Chalet No. 1 had been awarded to us which is the one which is farest away from the reception and shop but for us it was great as we had the ground squirrels in their holes all by ourselves and the legs could be stretched a bit longer whilst strolling through the camp.

Lucky for us it had meanwhile stopped raining and only white clouds were hiding the sun. First thing after the foodstuff was at it’s place was to sit with a coffee on our veranda and breath the first Kgalagadi air and studying the just bought Kgalagadi information guide. Whilst sitting and relaxing more and more curious ground squirrels came closer and closer and inspected us intensively. Timon grabbed once more his camera, laid down in the wet red sand and snapped away.

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Plenty of them were very active in running around digging, nagging each other, digging again and searching for food. It was great fun watching them. In between the ground was also covered with plenty of giant millipedes – compared to those found in KNP these KTP ones are indeed giant (at least they do have the double size).

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After our break we strolled a bit through the camp and inspected also the shop which was quite well stocked and enjoyed an ice cream which will be the last one for at least the following 2 weeks.

Thereafter very excitedly we packed the car as our very first game drive in KTP was said to begin and already curious to know what animal will be the one we will spot first. Unfortunately during our whole stay the road between Kij Kij and Samevloeiing was closed so the decision which road to take was at least from Twee Rivieren easy :lol:

Close to Samevloeiing (at the end of this trip report I guess I can spell it by heart – presently I always have to check in the map how the spelling is) :whistle: we spotted our first animals – ostriches – and whilst crossing the dune road we heart another bird prior we spotted it – a white-quilled korhaan. Fortunately it was getting brighter and brighter and also the sun was coming out at the end of the day.

Our first view into the Auob River bed after crossing the dunes.

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It was dry already now in February – okay on our very last day this river was flowing - but for the first days it was still bone dry.

We drove further up the road and approx. 200 m after Houmoed something was running eagerly on the ground very close to the road much to our delight it turned out to be another animal highly on our wish list (as so many more.....) – meerkats!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

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It was a great fun watching them. As the ground squirrels in the camp they were running around, observing the area, digging in the sand for food. Then the whole procedure started again running, observing digging and again and again.

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Sometimes we only saw their tails, some had dirty noses and faces covered with red sand and even one of them digged out a huge beetle and started feeding on it – the crunchy and juicy noises told it all – same must have been delicious.

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After 45 minutes they all unfortunately disappeared higher on the dunes and we could no longer spot them. I know that it was a privilege to spot these animals already on our very first day as although typical Kalahari animals they are in KTP a rare sighting according to all those other KTP reports which I read prior to our trip. So we were in 7th heaven not only about the sighting but also as furthermore we were the only car at this sighting.

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As it was still enough time to drive a bit further we decided to drive up to Munro and then back – always in mind that you never know which might come out on your way back to camp. Unfortunately our first Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk was a bit too far away for a descent picture but the Verreaux’s Giant eagle owl placed itself perfectly for some nice shots in the middle of a dry tree.

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Obviously it was still a bit sleepy – You could have put a “please do not disturb” sign onto the tree that would have fit perfectly :P

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The first herd of springboks,

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some lone wildebeests, a yellow mongoose as well as another noisy bird came across until we spotted high above on the red dunes shortly before Munro our first Kalahari lion – not a great picture - but the way he placed himself on the dunes was so idyllic and typical Kalahari.

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As usual time was running out and after only 15 minutes we spent with him we had to leave also due to the fact that he laid himself down was no longer visible for us. On our way back we spotted once more meerkats now directly in the Auob riverbed but in fact unfortunately a bit too far away for descent pictures as moreover they are very well camouflaged.

Whilst crossing the dune road again the sun came out with a dramatic grey sky

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and finally the first KTP gemsboks presented themselves, another of those noisy birds and a Kori bustard as well as plenty of ostriches crossed our way in the dunes – just the typical dune inhabitants.

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A short visit at Samevloeiing waterhole revealed not much besides some Namaqua doves but the view was nice and we spend a couple of time here unfortunately the famous Leopard mom with her cub did not appear.

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As it was already nearly gate closing time we had to hurry a bit as we booked a table in the restaurant for 8.00 o’clock. After this very promising first game drive we enjoyed our dinner very much. The meal itself was delicious and the atmosphere in the restaurant just great.

Unfortunately somewhere in my bag I lost my small torch so the way back to our chalet had to be done in darkness not knowing whether you step into one of those squirrel holes or on any other creatures but as it was a clear night and the moon was shining although not totally full it was bright enough and we made it back safe.

Back in our chalet we switched on the air condition but one inhabitant of our chalet was not in favour of that and squeaked desperately – a bat – hanging on the thatched roof right up Timon’s bed. As he did not want to share his pillow with a bat we pushed the beds a bit further in the middle of the room and went to sleep. However, somewhere in the middle of the night Timon felt an itching at his leg – well it was neither me nor the bat – and after a closer inspection it turned out to be a giant millipede which made it somehow into the bed!!! :big_eyes: After same had been safely removed from our chalet and the beds had been inspected again carefully we slept very well this night with no other disturbances.

To be continued.......


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:30 pm 
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Forgot to mention, we also stayed in no.1 in December! No. 1 is tops! :thumbs_up:

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http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:38 pm 
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Wednesday, 11.02.2009 – Twee Rivieren - Nossob

Today we had a long way to drive and soon after the first coffee we left already and decided to drive via the upper dune road to Nossob. Our first stop was again at Samevloeiing but as yesterday evening nothing to be spotted. The weather was typical as during our whole stay although there was a beautiful sunrise on one hand

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but as soon as you crossed the next dune the sky was again (once more!!!) covered with grey clouds

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Whilst crossing the dunes up to the Auob river some ostriches obviously the same as yesterday evening and a pair of steenbok came across – these animals always occured as pair.

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Finally the dunes were crossed and we entered again the Auob river where only a small strip of grass was remaining and the typical Kalahari inhabitants could be spotted such as wildebeests, a brown snake eagle, a forktailed drongo and plenty of springboks,

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however, the first black backed jackals were a bit too far away and the Crimson-breasted shrikes were always hiding their red breast for a decent picture. But plenty of social weaver nests were hanging around and some of them were willing to pose.

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More and more springboks appeared and it started always to drizzle slightly in between.

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We stopped at Auchterlonie and also visited the museum and although the paths you should only walk are clearly marked some people were running around and walked down to the waterhole :rtm:

Unfortunately all other animals kept hidden today or were still sleeping everywhere else as we did not spot anything until we reached the upper dune road. We did not expect that the dune roads were so easy to drive beforehand - the roads were very well done and only very few other cars around and on top with all those breathtaking views driving was a great pleasure although the sky could have been a bit more blue.

Shortly after entering the dune road we came across a very strange sighting – 3 elderly people, 2 women and one man who was nearly immobile out of their car and lying as far as possible or walking between a field of beautiful Nerine flowers trying to taking some pictures – unbelievable – we of course reported this behaviour at Nossob whilst checking in. :huh:

Nevertheless the flowers were amazing and occured plentiful as well as ripe Tsamma melons between the red dune in the bare sand.

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Furthermore plenty of general animals could also be spotted besides more than hundreds of gemsboks especially at Moravet digging in the mud for something, plenty ostriches and red hartebeests, two pairs of very shy steenboks, a pair of black backed jackals, a couple of white-quilled korhaans in typical shouting pose and also plenty of Southern Pale Chanting Goshawks as well as tawny eagles showed themselves.

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Also a brown bird where I need your help in identifying same came across

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Furthermore we found a lanner falcon sitting right in the middle of the road which was not willing to let us pass. It always took off the closer we came and landed further down the road and the minute we came again closer it took off again and landed and so on. Finally it let us pass but was afterwards again sitting right in the middle of the road.

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Furthermore the KTP guide came also very handy as for the animals or plants you saw most they put some very good information together so you never had to search for any information about these animals or plants in any other bird or mammal guides. :thumbs_up:

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All in all the drive through the dunes took much longer than planned as everything was new for us and we cannot get enough from the landscape and animals which came across but finally as it was already late noon we reached the picnic spot at Dikbaardskolk and took a break from driving under a beautiful camelthorn tree and moreover the near we came the Nossob riverbed the better the weather got – the grey clouds disappeared and the sky presented itself in a nice blue and the heat was also back. 8)

The animals in this riverbed were nearly the same as we already spotted during the whole drive but all of them were hiding under trees in the shade to escape the sun. New for us in KTP was a Kori bustard, a martial eagle and a ground agama on a tree stump.

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Furthermore we were quite astonished how green this riverbed was compared to the one in Auob – at this stage we did not know how fast grass can grow within a week after some heavy rains.

The closer we came to Nossob camp more than hundreds Adim’s storks and brown eagles spread over all the trees came across. We never saw such an amazing amount of these birds together.

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Check in at Nossob was also done in no minute and also the first roesterkooks have been ordered although it was already late afternoon. We were awarded with No. 7 which was a three bed chalet, had enough space for all our stuff, a beautiful and shady tree in front of our veranda and moreover was again found at the end of the buildings close to the camping area and much to our delight also in this camp the ground squirrels and yellow mongoose had already occupied their own area with their burrows close to our chalet and began already to visit us whilst we again enjoyed a mug of hot coffee on our veranda.

Only at 18.30 o’clock we decided to do a very short sunset drive – the guy at the reception already threw a reproachful view at the clock but as we only wanted to do a short drive South to Marie se Draai we had enough time. Some very young gemsboks were fighting and a lot of other general game was also around bit unfortunately once more a bit too far away for some good pictures but the birds were still there and the Nossob sunset presented itself as it’s best. :P

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Timon lit the braai and the meat, veggies and roesterkook were just delicious under the bright African sky and much to our delight we had a visitor this night – a black-backed jackal (must be the same which already Katy mentioned in her travel tale). It was already late when we went to bed and I already was a bit concerned forehand about the heat in the chalets in Nossob after the vans come to a standstill but my concern was groundless as a nice cooling wind was blowing through the open windows and tent flaps.

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to be continued with a rainy day in Nossob.......


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:31 am 
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Thursday, 12.02.2009 – A Rainy Day in Nossob


When the alarm clock awoke us around 5 o’clock it was still pitch dark, however, it was still dry but whilst having the obligatory first coffee on our veranda we could see lightings in the distance and also heard thunders but still far away, however, the minute we packed everything in the car for our morning drive it was as if somebody has opened the floodgates and it started to pour like hell :shock: Huge puddles could already be spotted inside the camp and also the burrows of our beloved ground squirrels and yellow mongoose were flooded. This only happened within 10 minutes and also it was not so easy to open the gate as a huge puddle has to be crossed but finally with wet feet I could climb again into the car.

We decided to take the drive up to the North at least up to Bendikt depending on the sightings this morning, however, as it started to rain again heavier - if even possible – we already thought that the sightings will not be that numerous as usual. First we stopped at the viewing point a couple of kilometers outside of Nossob and from there we only saw rain, rain and more rain. The Nossob river bed already was full of puddles and the puddles growing further and further and formed into lakes already :pray:

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Driving on the road was still no problem as only very small puddles and not very deep ones have to be crossed and as it obviously did not rain the last couple of days earlier the underground was still hard.

Animalwise as already supposed not much activity so far but the birding was great although the light was not good today as due to the rain and clouds is was still very dark. We spotted during the first part of our drive our first KTP secretary bird, plenty of white-backed vultures and Southern pale chanting goshawks, lots of wattled starlings and a huge flock of Abdim’s storks and two giant eagle owls

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Meanwhile not only our feathered friends appeared more and more but also the other animals. A huge herd of wildebeests – presently we only saw lone wildebeests during our first 1 ½ days - gemsboks and even a king between Kwang and Bendikt which was lying under a tree sit up shortly, holding his noise in the rain and laid down again. Definitely not the weather he normally is liking :P

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The picture is neither blurred not misty it was just raining and raining.

As his majesty was now nearly invisible we drove further North and also the heavy rain stopped and it was only drizzling now and the much further we drove it stopped even completely to rain.

More and more gemboks appeared from nowhere as well as kori bustards, a martial eagle only presenting it’s back but a greater kestrel was willing to pose

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I do like the colour of the feathers - What a beauty!!!

More and more birds were sitting in the trees everywhere and had spread their wings to get them dried. The bateleur was a bit far away but the yellow billed kite was offering a nice pose and even threw us a view out of its staring eyes.

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At Bendikt two other cars were already parking as there was lying a dead gemsbok under a tree. We could not trace any injury from any other animal so obviously the gemsbok died because it was it’s time to come. We stopped also and scanned the area, enjoyed some rusks and finally a black backed jackal appeared at the waterhole and finally was also observing the dead gemsbok.

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We stayed there approx. half an hour and decided as it was dry meanwhile and also the sun broke sometimes through the clouds to drive further to Kousant but during the whole drive we spotted nothing. Langklaas was meanwhile completely flooded and no waterhole was visible any longer. Meanwhile also the puddles started to dry up a bit and the more cars were crossing the slippery they were getting so we decided it was time to drive back to Nossob as we did not know how long it will take us back. At Bendikt the dead gemsbok was still lying there at the same position and even our lion was still lying under his tree doing what’s lion do best – sleeping on the back with praws in the air.

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Furthermore another beautiful gemsbok was looking so cute so Timon could not resist to take a snap shot.

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The puddles we had to cross up to Kwang were easily to drive and not very deep sometimes you also could drive via a short by-pass which was already used as by-pass earlier and at least one tire was still outside the water but the puddles from Kwang up to Nossob were just the pure horror. The whole 20 kilometer nearly one puddle was following after the other especially sometimes it was not possible to neither see the end of the puddle nor how deep it was. Our whole concentration was now focussed on the driving. Windows down to get fresh air for the nerves when one puddle has been crossed successfully and then again windows up when a new puddle had to be crossed without getting wet. Also Kwang and Cubitje Quap were flooded extremely so both waterholes turned into lakes and even flooded the street :shock: :shock:

The signposts announcing only 20 respectively 10 kilometer up to Nossob came very handy this day, however, the three deepest and longest puddles only appeared shortly before we reached the camp. We took a deep breath, put the 1st gear in, prayed that no other car drove towards us, and even were able to take some pictures whilst driving – not the best ones but maybe you got an impression of how we felt whilst canoeing in our car through the Nossob river.

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Between two puddles we even could photograph the beautiful cat’s tail was in full flower

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Finally at nearly 3 o’clock we somehow managed it to stand again in front of the gate – Uffffff. Back safe and sound without getting stuck and wet but with trembling hands – only whilst crossing the last two deep puddles a bit water came inside the car.

We decided it was time for a well earned break and furthermore as they just delivered the hot roosterkoeks time for a delicious late lunch. Meanwhile also the sun broke through the clouds and if there were no puddle inside the camp it was as if it did not rain the whole morning. We had to stretch our legs a bit so inspected the camp with a walk. Needless to say that we already got stuck at the burrows of the ground squirrels and yellow mongoose as our little friends also with some youngsters were more than active and Timon’s camera did once more some overwork.

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After a visit to the camp shop and the bird hide where only those plentiful yellow billed kites as well as the Abdim’s stork could be spotted we returned to our chalet. The usual meeting point at Nossob is of course the fuel station where news and sightings were changed so whilst strolling back we noticed there a VW Golf completely covered with mud. The man from the fuel station was inspecting the engine and the woman was taking a picture of their car. I could not resist to ask from where they came this morning. They drove the whole way down from Grootkolk and needed nearly the whole day but they did not know how they managed it. Well done :clap: but I suppose that they drove a bit off road as I cannot imagine how they could cross the huge puddles near Nossob as we had already difficulties with our 4x4.

We decided to do a short afternoon drive and decided to drive again to Marie se Draai. The puddles in this direction were far not that deep and huge so driving was okay but meanwhile the puddles turned into huge mud baths. Normally the colour of our car was white but from that day on mostly light brown with darker brown spots until our very last day.

Unfortunately not much animal activity during the whole drive – Some wildebeests far in the distance, a kori bustard and plenty of yellow billed kites everywhere on trees on the ground just everywhere and even a beautiful tawny eagle could be spotted.

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Much to our regret no sunset today as some more grey clouds started already to cover the sky. As we have to drive to Grootkolk the day after tomorrow we already prayed and hoped that it will stop raining as otherwise we have to think about changing our booking there. Gladly we could braai without any rain and even our black backed jackal appeared again. Today a bit later as usual. You could hear them screaming from outside the camp and after ten minutes it was there. So I suppose that there must be a hole somewhere in the fence.

We went to bed early and fell the second we laid down already into sleep until......yes, until we awoke in the middle of the night due to some noise – we thought it was in the middle of the night but it was only slightly after 11 p.m. – It was again raining heavily and the rain was drumming on our roof and also some thunders very near could be heard. Our only thoughts before fell again into sleep were – will we make it to Grootkolk in two days or not??? :hmz:

To be continued with lions and more lions......


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:13 pm 
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Friday, 13.02.2009 – Nossob

The minute we awoke we were already outside to check whether the rain stopped or whether meanwhile everything was under water as far as this was possible as it was still completely dark.....but gladly it was dry and we also could not spot any puddles in the camp which means that the heavy rain from yesterday evening was only a short thunderstorm. :P

We again wanted to try the Northern direction – once we crossed the puddles we can do it another time successfully so we hoped. A herd of red hartebeests as well as wildebeests came across both with plenty of youngsters in between but all a bit far away for some great pictures but the wildebeests started to gallopping.

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It was getting brighter and brighter and it was dry although with some darker clouds but also with sunny parts so maybe we will have indeed luck with our Grootkolk booking for tomorrow :wink: :dance: :wink: :dance:

Also we were lucky in spotted four spotted hyenas but also too far away. The first huge puddles came closer but dried already a bit up and we could cross them without any difficulties although the underground was getting muddier and muddier and the mud started to stick everywhere on our car.

Meanwhile also the huge puddles on the grass were nearly dried out and the grass already started to grow higher and higher. More wildebeests, red hartebeests, as well as gemsboks and ostriches came across.

One of our greatest dreams was to take some pictures at the waterholes from drinking animals especially lions but due to the flooded waterholes we already knew that this dream will never come true during this trip but gladly there are also smaller puddles on the road and obviously the animals do favour them instead of the water from the waterholes so the first drinking animal was a wildebeests in the middle of the road

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Shortly after Kwang we saw a family of black backed jackals with two youngsters crisscrossing the road. We saw them quite a few times in this area. They were all wet due to the high wet grass.

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A car was passing us with high speed – It was the same car which we already saw yesterday at Bendinkt at the dead gemsbok. Obviously they wanted to be first at this waterhole. Anyway we took it nice and slow as usual as life is hectic enough and furthermore we wanted to check first whether maybe our wet king from yesterday was still near the tree.

Believe me or not but he was indeed still there and today he even brought his friend and they must have killed earlier a gemsbok. The following pictures could be better but exactly at this sighting the bushes near the road were extremely high so we first had to maneuver the car in the best position and then we had the lions for ourselves as all the other cars were already on their way to Bendinkt. :thumbs_up:

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The feast must have already started earlier as their tummies were already quite impressive. In the distance we also could spot a black backed jackal running already around nervously and waiting for some scraps.


Another car joined us – we already met the couple yesterday – and we chatted a bit whilst the lions had their breakfast. We stayed with them for at least one hour – the other car was meanwhile also gone –

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before one of the lions had enough and stood up and walked away.

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His buddy looked after him as if he would like to say: “Hey buddy, where are you going?” I like the impression on his face on this picture.

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We decided to follow the one who walked away – you cannot talk about walking here as he was waddling like a duck due to his full tummy

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He also stopped to check whether his buddy will follow him but the other lion was obviously still a bit hungry and stayed at the kill

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I already realized a smaller puddle on the road and maybe only maybe he was thirsty – He was indeed thirsty and allowed us to take some nice pictures – finally our dream definitely came true 8)

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He drank and drank and drank, looked up and started to drink again.

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Finally he had enough and walked back into the direction where his buddy was still lying but stopped and again we were able to take some nice close ups of him. Meanwhile it already started again to rain and you clearly can see the raindrops in the pictures

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He laid down and started to clean his fur excessively but finally the rain was again too much for him and he started to walk away.

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One final time he was staring at us as if we could do something against the rain.

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WOW – What a successful morning we had and with still smiling faces we drove further and reached also Bendinkt where already the two high speeding cars stood. The dead gemsbok was still lying there but no predator up to now realized it although we could trace some nibbling marks on one leg and some on the tummy.

We took also a break and had some rusks and coffee but besides another nervously black backed jackal always inspecting the gemsbok once and again nothing happened. Yesterday also here a huge puddle was overflowing the waterhole and we were standing in a huge puddle but today we stood in a huge slippery mud puddle.

We still drove a bit further up to Langklaas and Kousant but only could trace the general game so we decided to drive back to Nossob for a break. We could not resist to take a picture of a car in front of us whilst crossing one of the smaller puddles

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On our way back we again saw plenty of red hartebeests, wildebeests, some herds of gemsboks with some highly pregnant ones in between, ostriches, kori bustards and again those masses of yellow billed kites.

A just starting juvenile pale chanting goshawk

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and another greater kestrel came also across – I guess it was the same we spotted already yesterday. Much to our luck the weather was getting better and better and even the sun made it through the clouds now successfully and it started to clear up more and more. :dance:

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Also the huge puddles near Nossob started to shrink more and more and so maybe if no more heavy rain or thunderstorms will come up we will definitely make it to Grootkolk tomorrow. :P

Back in camp we again after a short break did a short walk around and got again stuck at the ground squirrels. The youngsters were entertaining us whereas their parents were running around somewhere else in the camp. After some coffee and roosterkoeks (we cannot get enough of them) we were already on our way to our afternoon drive into the Southerly direction.

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To be continued with Alakay’s and Dad’s yawning competition……


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:15 pm 
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Jo, Katy, p@m (Thanks a lot), Lorrainepring and anne-marie (Yes, I found something but It is his dad's birthday) and all the others - Finallythe next installment and another good news the next installment after that is also already in preparation :dance: :dance:

We decided to one more time try the Marie se draai loop although we had not much luck up to now. Plenty of animals could be traced nearly the whole general game which the KTP has to offer showed themselves. Huge amount of gemsboks, plenty of wildebeest herds out of this one was very curious

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Red Hartebeests, Kori bustards, yellow billed kites, secretary birds came across as well as this beautiful just taking off tawny eagles – might be the same we spotted already yesterday :hmz:

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As well as a huge amount of ostriches could be spotted out of which this bum shot picture developed

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On the loop there were still some amazing puddles to be crossed by far not very deep ones but nearly one puddle after the other and mud everywhere. On one of those puddle we spotted a pair of ducks. Unwillingly they flew up and let us cross the puddle and then landed into it again. Another car also arrived and they did the same procedure again – Obviously they declared this puddle to their very own lake :lol:

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As we still have plenty of time until the gate is about to close we decided to drive a bit further up to Kaspersdraai but not much around and everything a bit far away we therefore decided to turn around and just a couple of hundred meters before you can turn into the Marie se draai loop we spotted our first KTP traffic jam – 3 cars and obviously something interesting to see – and yes there they was a a huge pride of lions lying unfortunately a bit hidden between and under small bushes and branches

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Most of the lions were lying flat on the ground and obviously we overlooked them earlier as they already must be doing what lions do best the whole day. As we still have more than 1 ½ hours until the gate will close and only 8 kilometers back to camp we decided to stay with them as long as possible and maybe as the sun was about to set slowly there will be some activity in the pride.

A beautiful lioness a bit farer away from the rest of the pride stood up, looked around and lay down again

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All in all we counted approx. 20 lions with some semi- adult cubs and two huge males one with a darker mane and the other one with a much brighter mane - from some lions you could only see a leg or part of an ear so very well hidden they were

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Another car arrived and some of them looked up

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I do love those black parts on their ears

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Scratching is good

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The cubs were at least a bit more active than the adults as big daddy and big mom prefer to do still some napping on the back.

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One of the cubs was lying close to daddy and the other close to mom and they now changed the position.

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Dad, are you awake???

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Dad, wake up please, come on!!!

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I’m bored

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There are some yummy tyres which I maybe can try – No I am too lazy

(I am quite confident that these cubs are the tires testers from Katy’s trip report as also the one male with the bright mane must be the same she saw)

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Maybe I can climb a tree but who will help me down later??? Hhhmmm

I am still bored – I will check whether one of the siblings is up

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Up up - let’s do something

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The male with the dark mane stood up and surprise surprise lay down again – Also the two cubs changed again the position

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When all the others are too lazy I will practice a bit the yawning

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How come that the older ones are sleeping the whole day????

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Finally and slowly the lionesses stood up one after the other and walked farer away. As the sun was already down meanwhile they obviously puzzled out their hunting strategy for this night

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Meanwhile nearly all of the full grown lionesses were gone and only the two cubs, the 2 daddies and one limping lioness where left behind and also our time clocked down meanwhile and only a couple of minutes left not to be too late at the gate.

But before we left the yawning competition started and Zuba and Alaky did their best

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Alakay, you must do it a little more crimpier - Alakay: !?!?!?

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Crimpier phhhhh – I will do it my way and this is wide open

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Finally also our two naughty cubs followed the lionesses and only the daddies and the limping lioness stayed.

Zuba must have his own hair stylist as such a mane is needing care

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Who is still the King??? – Kids!!!

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We now had to hurry up a bit as only 15 minutes left and one car after the other started the engines and in a convoy all cars returned to camp. What an amazing evening drive with such huge pride we had. During the whole time we stayed with the pride in the background you could see a huge thunderstorm also with a couple of lightings so we indeed were getting more and more concerned whether we will make it to Grootkolk or not tomorrow.

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As usual the braai had been lit and the food tasted much more better under a plain clear African night sky – btw the jackal was also back……and it kept dry

To be continued with Grootkolk or not???………..


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:19 pm 
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Ready for the next course???? 8)

Saturday, 14.02.2009 Nossob - Grootkolk

First thing which we did after we awoke was to run outside and to check whether it rained this night but luckily it was dry and no puddles to be seen inside the camp – Obviously it looks as if we will definitely make it to Grootkolk :dance: As we presently only knew the puddles up to Kousant and not any further North we decided that we will try under all circumstances to reach Grootkolk – afterwards if we have reached same safe and sound it can rain like hell as I can imagine worst things in life than to get stuck in Grootkolk :tongue:

Unfortunately the guy who put the electricity on must have overslept this morning as we only got back light around 5.30 o’clock. Showering and packing the car had to be done by torch light but at least the very important first morning coffee could be drank. With heavy hearts we finally left Nossob as we spent 3 unforgettable days here and could have spend much more – furthermore we already miss desperately the yellow mongoose, the ground squirrels and the jackals :cry:

As the first car we left the camp into the Northern direction and meanwhile it was getting brighter and brighter but in the direction we had to drive once more some impressive grey clouds build up but we had luck those clouds disappeared as soon as you drove around next curve and from the Eastern side more and more the blue sky and the sun successfully came through. Obviously the grey clouds rained down at the Auob river – poor Kalahari boys!!!

All the puddles shrank already more and more but there was still a lot of water remaining also the mud already began to dry a bit. A huge herd of Red Hartebeest with a couple of youngsters were drinking from a puddle in the middle of the road but when we finally reached them they were unfortunately already gone.

Next stop was at the very idyllic “Lake Kwang” where a great amount of gemsboks were digging and drinking already and more and more were about to arrive – We stopped there and just enjoyed the silence until finally two cars passed by – the ones from yesterday from the dead gembok at Bedinkt – obviously they wanted to be first again there but we took it again slow this morning.

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In between we could not resist to take a picture of the green Kalahari – I never have guessed that it will be so green there

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Our next stop was again at “our” tree between Kwang and Bedinkt to check whether the lions maybe still hang around there but besides the abandoned gemsbok carcass unfortunately nothing to be seen there. Another car passed also by – obviously they knew also from the dead gemsbok. Anyway we also drove further but enjoyed the company of several herds of wildebeests and red hartebeests with plenty of young calves running around all mixed together.

Also more gemsboks came across and the light was just so brilliant we again stopped for some more quick shots.

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Finally we also reached Bedinkt waterhole where already the 3 cars were standing, however, the grass had grown meanwhile so high it was no longer possible to see whether the gemsbok was still lying there from the road so you had to drive onto the waterhole and surprisingly today a predator was around – a huge male lion was sleeping in the middle of the parking area – knowing that he is the king and he must already towed the dead gemsbok under the tree in the high grass and according to his tummy had already a nice bite.

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As it was time for the second coffee and also for some more rusks we also decided to stay a while maybe later there will be some action. The lion sat up, looked around, was scratching himself and finally yawned and then he lay down again – did was lions do best. After a while he repeated this procedure a couple of times.

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Obviously he still was feeling a bit hungry as finally he stood up, walked to the dead gemsbok and started to feed again - he waited another while until all the masses of flies flew up from the kill and disappeared

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It took quite a while until he finished feeding but decided that he still was a bit more hungry turned around and started again to feed – He was now nearly invisible in the high grass.

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From time to time he looked up to check what’s up.

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He was already about to leave the kill but decided that he found somewhere deep in his stomach a bit more space for some more delicious bites.

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Finally we was indeed finished and with a red snout and a full tummy he walked back to the place where he was lying before and started to clean himself excessively as only cats can do. His tongue was everywhere.

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Funny shot, isn’t it???

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A very contented looking lion

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Finally he finished cleaning his snout and carried on with his paws and thereafter his legs got their turn

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He was scratching himself again and the cleaning carried on again

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His eyes meanwhile were getting heavier and heavier and he began to drift away, threw himself on the ground as only lions can to and was sleeping again as he did when we arrived at this spot.

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As presently nothing else happened we began to scan the surroundings a bit more and believe us or not but right in the tree under which the kill was lying we spotted a Great Spotted Cuckoo – WOW :dance: – and also the black backed jackal was excitedly lounging around the waterhole – maybe there will now be some scraps remaining later the day

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Also in the distance we again could spot a huge amount of Abdim’s storks wading on the ground to search for some food. Furthermore plenty of black crows were also hanging around in the tree, flying up and down the tree, walking on the ground near the lion – one of them even picked up a small branch, flew up into the tree with it and threw it down on the ground just to test what the King was maybe doing :big_eyes:

Finally they successfully waked him up – The birds got on his nerves meanwhile!

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Like a dog!

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He started to clean himself again and looked up to the black crows in the tree.

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One last glance to the lion and we were on the road again. In total we spent approx. 1 ½ hour at this sightings and in total after later another car arrived we were only 5 cars during the whole time.

A beautiful pair of Pale Chanting Goshawks in a Camel Thorn tree came across and also some springboks came into sight after we never saw any during our stay in Nossob - one of them was even drinking from a remaining puddle

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Also the weather was getting better and better, the sky bluer and bluer and the temperatures hotter and hotter the more we drove towards the North. Also the puddles behind Kousant were finally not that worse and deep as close to Nossob besides a huge one near the Lichtersdraai picnic spot where we made a short break to stretch our legs a bit. It was already close to noon and it was our very first hot day in the Kalahari and I was a bit sleepy from looking around and searching for animals therefore I decided to close my eyes a bit and to take a quick nap until....

yes, until Timon braked frantically and yelled: “Cheetah with cubs!!!” :big_eyes:

To be continued......hehehehe :tongue: :tongue: :tongue:


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:31 pm 
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Let's get the :popcorn: ready the torture has an end - I successfully finished earlier than expected :dance: :dance: :dance:

Unbelievable but true around noon during the heat of the day we spotted between Lichtersdraai and Kanaguass a cheetah mum with her two cubs under a tree :big_eyes:

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As cheetahs are one of my favourite animals if not my favourite animal it was one of my greatest wishes at least once in my whole life to spot cheetah cubs with their fluffy manes - this wish has just been fulfilled. – Jiiepieeeeee – They were a bit far away but due to the bigger lenses we managed to take some nice pictures :tongue:

One of the cubs stood up and went nearer to mum and lied down close to her. Obviously there was something interesting in the tree to be seen as first one of the cubs, then the other and after a while also mum looked up. We also tried to spot something there but were unsuccessful in finding anything.

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Meanwhile the one cub began to lick mum and she obviously enjoyed this very much.

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Mum, I love you so much, I even give you a big kiss!!!

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It was a privilege to be there and spent time watching them – much to our delight we were once more the only car during the whole time at this amazing sighting :dance: :dance: :dance:

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One of the cubs turned on the back and finally rolled around – their hind legs do look a bit like those of rabbits

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One of them was always sleeping first one of the cubs, then the other cub and finally Mum

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In between Mum stood up looked around and unfortunately lied down behind the tree so that she was no longer so good visible as before

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It was so hot also in the car and finally all three cheetahs began to doze away

We spent unforgettable 1 ½ hours with them before Mum decided to stand up and walked away closer to the dunes. The cubs followed her immediately they did everything what mum did. After half way through the dunes Mum sat down and also the cubs sat down, Mum walked further they did the same. The cheetah mum was a real beauty and very impressive

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Unfortunately they walked farer and farer away and we even had to turn the car around so that we at least could follow them and had the opportunity to watch them for a bit longer. She even started to hunt a gemsbok which was grazing there but this attempt was obviously not a very serious one. At least she startled the gemsbok which was now running away in high speed.

Furthermore also she and her cubs disappeared behind the dunes and from time to time she re-appeared again but this all happened very far away. But we already knew at this stage before we arrived at Grootkolk that the whole drive up to this camp was already more than worthwhile.

A huge herd of red hartebeests again with plenty of youngsters and a lone wildebeest in between came across. One of the red hartebeests even was wearing a collar and much to our delight whilst editing these pictures we spotted very far away in the background a lone meerkat on a sand hill – unfortunately not worthwhile to post these pictures although it was funny to spot them afterwards :lol:

Finally we had the right lens on the camera to take a descent picture of a beautiful pale chanting goshawk

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And after a long, hot and very eventful drive we finally reached Grootkolk. What an idyllic place and we were thrilled right from the beginning. Unfortunately I did not understand the name of the attendant correct – it could have been something like Adrian/Eric?? – He greeted us very friendly and showed us everything and much to our delight we were awarded with bungalow No. 1. Unfortunately the spotlight of the waterhole was broken but a repair team was already there to do everything to get it fixed until the evening. One of the repair guys we had met already earlier during our drive from TR to Nossob – the repair team made a break at Kamqua picnic spot and afterwards checked each and every waterhole on the upper dune road - moreover we met him again several times during our whole stay – a very friendly character he always greeted with a big smile in his face :thumbs_up:

We unpacked again all our stuff, settled in and made another coffee break on our veranda whilst we uploaded all our pictures which we took from our morning drive – we were too curious about the cheetah pictures – made the knowledge of the bungalow pet – a gecko - and just soaked in the atmosphere and silence of this amazing place besides the noises all those social weavers and red headed finches made which also paid us a visit :P

Late in the afternoon we decided to drive a bit into the Northern direction and animals were again plentiful. Black backed jackals, wildebeests, gemsboks and red hartebeests nearly everywhere

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Another animal highly on our wish list could also be ticked :big_eyes: - bat eared foxes – obviously a pair – unfortunately they were very shy and only allowed us a couple of seconds to take a picture before they disappeared in the high grass. Not the best picture but sometimes you have to be satisfied with what you get.

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We drove up to Union’s end picnic spot and then back to the camp. As the view from the picnic spot was just breathtaking we decided already that we will make tomorrow a longer break there. On our drive back we had to wait a couple of minutes near Geinab as more and more red hartebeests just wanted to cross the road in front of our car and some of them even began a fight.

Besides another couple we were the only guests in the camp. Timon lit the braai and we settled down and enjoyed the sunset

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– much to our delight we noticed that the repair of the waterhole spotlight had been done successfully. Finally also the meat, mushrooms and the vegetables were also ready but it was now nearly pitch dark and we had only a lamp high on our veranda. This was the time when the invasion of the moths, bugs, grasshoppers and everything else which had more than four legs and wings took place. It was as if it was raining moths, bugs and more insects and they landed everywhere on our plates, in our glasses, in our hair, on our shoulders, on the ground etc. It was as if the floor was moving this was then the time when we decided we had enough and ate the baked potato inside. :big_eyes:

After this very eventful valentine’s day we were once more dead tired and the second our heads touched the pillows we were already sleeping.

to be continued.....with more impressions from Grootkolk


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:35 pm
Posts: 838
Location: Innsbruck
:clap: :clap: :clap: :dance: :dance: :dance:

Thank you Pumbaa for this wonderful installment.
Great pix of the cheetah and her cubs!What a lovely family!!!

Pumbaa,please have a look at your pic Nr.16(cheetah mum and one cub
walking away).See her hind leg,the big dots,next to the upper part of her tail!!Now look at mine and watch the dots at her hind leg!!Don't you think
she could be the same cat?She looked quite pregnant at this time we met
her(Oct.08)at the waterhole Kannaguass!!She was very careful and alert !!

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Grootkolk!!!We just love this place!!We also had Nr.1!!!Memories over
memories!!! :wink: :wink:
This year we will stay there for 4 days!!What a pity!!! :shock:

I'm eagerly waiting for your next posting!!
:dance: :dance: :dance:

_________________
We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.
William Hazlitt


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 Post subject: Re: Pumbaa’s + Timon’s first KTP / Augrabies Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 2:03 pm 
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Location: 105 days to go!
As promised although a bit lion overloaded and once more thanks for nagging anne-marie, Ingrid, Mike1916& Micetta :whistle:

Sunday, 15. February 2009 - Grootkolk

With exciting feelings we awoke this morning as there are so many Grootkolk fans on the forum which made our mouth watering already beforehand and we had now high expectations which already had been fulfilled with our yesterday’s cheetah sighting so this day after the exciting Valentine’s day yesterday was just a day to relax a bit from driving and to just enjoy the atmosphere and silence of Grootkolk. So we slept a bit longer which we normally do not do and started nice and easy with a hot and strong coffee on our veranda before we hit the road.

What we wanted to do under all circumstances was to drive up to Union’s End and to sign the famous book there and everything else which might come across is just a bonus. Well all in all we met the same animals which already could be spotted yesterday evening gemsboks, wildebeests, a pair of black backed jackal, a beautiful tawny eagle and plenty of red hartebeests one of them was digging in the mud with its horns - we saw this behaviour quite often and we suppose that it just wanted to get rid of flies, ticks and other parasites

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two of them were fighting and a third one was functioning as referee

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With not many extraordinary sightings we reached finally Union’s end where we spent quite a time with reading all the entries in the book, writing also something down and watching a huge herd of wildebeests (must have been more than 200). All of them were mooing and on the move it was just amazing to see such an amount of animal altogether.

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Me at Union’s end you can still clearly see all the mud – Obviously on Valentine’s day yesterday Union’s end was a famous aim to reach as there were quite a few new entries in the book but today it was just us. So after a while we drove back to camp until we spotted only 2 kilometers from Union’s end a male lion right behind the road flat on the ground. We stopped close to him and he came up for a second, looked around and lied down again.

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Obviously our veranda has to wait a bit longer because we decided to spend quite a while with him and as it was only 8.30 in the morning we had plenty of time :dance:

But he was making me a bit nervous as he was staring steadily one, two and more times into one direction so I also decided to look into this direction as I read in some of Caracal’s travel tales that you also have to look back and what to tell you what I saw was another male lion enjoying the morning sun. We decided to drive a bit back to take some pictures of him but more to soon he stood up, walked over to the other side of the road and watched longingly (by the size of his tummy he already had a nice bite earlier) over to all the wildebeests far in the distance but then decided to join the other lion – I suppose it were brothers - in the shade of a tree as it was one of those days without any single sign of thunderstorms or rain and already at that time of the day extremely hot.

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As we also find some space under this shady tree we joined them and enjoyed this sighting

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One of them had a brighter mane and the other one a mane with a brighter colour close to his face and the darker part outside – It looked a bit like the beard of Abraham Lincoln so we named him Lincoln and his brother Diego as we was quite often hiding his face behind his paw just as the sabre tooth tiger in the movie “Ice Age” did.

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They were doing – what a surprise – just doing what lions do best, sleeping, dreaming, doze away and licking their coat but as it was two of them the chances that at least one will do something were by far higher.

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And so it was one of them was always sleeping flat on the ground and the other one normally Lincoln was offering us some good photographic opportunities. Obviously only recently we had some trouble with something as we spotted some wounds close to his right eye and on his right paw not to mention all the other scars on his face.

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On this picture we had the opportunity to capture whilst both were looking but only shortly afterwards they lied down again and slept again.

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After quite a while the same procedure started again looking a bit around, doze away, licking the coat and even Lincoln made some a grumpy grimace

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and finally he also did what Diego is famous for

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We are always fascinated by the beauty of their brown eyes

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Finally Lincoln drifted into dreamland and Diego did what his brother had done just recently and moreover offered us a yawning pose.

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As the sun made its way around the tree they had to change positions to be always in the shade of the tree and so we did. We had all windows down so that the wind was cooling a bit but one of us had always an eye to the sleeping lions. In the background the huge herd of wildebeests was passing and it was just another amazing time we had with them. Neither the crackle of the rusks bag did disturb the lions nor our whispering whilst changing our thoughts and emotions. It was one of this idyllic sightings which could have go on forever.

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Obviously we all four had the times of our life but after 3 ½ hours we spent with them it was time to leave as moreover nature was also calling so whilst Timon started the car they both looked up again and said good-bye to us as we waved them bye-bye “sweeties”. If nothing dramatically happened since now I am suppose that they will still be there at their spot.

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to be continued with more of Grootkolk and a very diversified, hot and eventful drive to Urikaruus.....


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