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 Post subject: Cooling off in the Kalahari, JAN 2009
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:54 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Cape Town
2008 was certainly a busy year study-wise: I didn't have a free weekend during the entire year (saturday lectures :( ) and I needed a trip. Cape Town is a great city, but even us Capetonians need a break from paradise every now and then.

I was desperate to get out there: Somewhere, anywhere! The Kalahari had been on my mind for quite a while, but somehow we (my (now ex) girlfriend and I) had never ventured that far north of Cape Town. That little spot sandwiched between Botswana and Namibia seemed like the perfect place to pitch a tent for a week or so. And when we realised that we had no plans for early January, I picked up the phone- dialed Sanparks and with much excitement booked my holiday.

Itinerary

Jan 5,6: Twee Rivieren
Jan 7: Nossob
Jan 8: Grootkolk
Jan 9: Nossob
Jan 10,11: Mata Mata

Jan 12,13: Augrabies

Come January 4th, we were packed and ready to go. One night in Keimos en route and then that much anticipated date: January 5th- We slipped through the gates at Twee Rivieren; I was already hooked! The thermometer in the car was working overtime- it registered close on 50C! We pitched the tent under a bit of shade, went for a swim and then our first ever KTNP game drive! ...To be continued

[quick Q: what's the easiest way to upload photos? When I click the insert image button up top, it wants a URL- Can I not upload pics straight from my PC]


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 Post subject: Re: Cooling off in the Kalahari, JAN 2009
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:54 pm
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Location: Cape Town
January 4th, 5am- we're dressed, packed and ready to go. The drive up was an absolute pleasure. We took the Van Rhynsdorp-Calvinia-Brandvlei-Keimos road, which was an absolute charm: We probably passed 1 truck and maybe 3 other cars. Smooth sailing all the way to Keimos. We decided to spend the night in Keimos- we had a campsite to ourselves right on the Orange River.

The view from our tent (Keimos). It doesn't get much better than this!
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Keimos is a beautiful Oasis in the desert, as seen from the top of Tierkop
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Kokerboom, top of Tierkop (Keimos)
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That evening we went to a spot called De Werf and took our first animal picture of the trip: A blurry Springbok. Even though the picture is blurry, there's something about it that I love: It looks a bit like a painting.
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January 5th and we're off to Upington. A quick visit to Skaapland and Pic 'n Pay and we're on the long, straight road to Twee Riviern...
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Arriving in Askham (or is it Askram), we expected to find the worst dust road in the country...The tar seemed to go on and on until eventually- we had arrived at Twee Rivieren. No dust, what a pleasure! I'd heard bad things about that stretch of road...

Our first game drive in the KTNP was pretty much uneventful. We did the loop from TR-Kij Kij-Auchterlonie-TR. The usual suspects: Springbok, Kori Bustard (wow!, never seen anything like that before), Secretary Birds and some rather impressive sociable weaver nests:
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Day one had come and gone. The freakiest part of the day was the car thermometer. It rose to an astonishing 54C, but I'm 99.99% certain that that was an inaccurate reading. It really didn't feel that bad, maybe low-mid 40s. I was warned by countless people that traveling around the Kalahari in January is pure madness: "The Sun will have you for breakfast; you'll have regrets etc etc..." They were all wrong! It was beautiful and I really didn't care how hot it got. I was just so happy to be in the Kalahari! :D :D :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: Cooling off in the Kalahari, JAN 2009
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:54 pm
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Location: Cape Town
Hi all

Thank you for the messages, encouragement etc...Makes going on with the report that much easier (at least I know that there's a captive audience :D )

Firstly, A-J: Once again, I'm really sorry to hear about the car. It must have been really hard to have gone on after that: My cap is off to you guys for continuing with the trip in such good spirits. My girlfriend and I actually spoke to you guys in the Twee Rivieren reception the day after it happened (we also bumped into each other at the fuel stop in Brandvlei en route).

Bigal, if you're following: Hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip- and hope to see a trip report up here soon!

My one and only complaint about the Kalahari is this: TIME FLIES WAY TO FAST!!! 7 nights just isn't enough time to enjoy what the park has to offer...

OK, time for a bit of fun. Before I continue with my trip report, any guesses as to what's hiding behind the shading? And for all you Kalahari junkies, can you name the spot (the tree's very close one of the waterholes in the park)- If anyone manages to get the spot, I'll be super impressed...
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 Post subject: Re: Cooling off in the Kalahari, JAN 2009
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:54 pm
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Location: Cape Town
Hi all

I've been quite busy recently so I haven't really had time to update this trip report, but will get to it shortly...

Any more guess as to the animals hiding behind the shading, page two? I'll tell you this much: It's not a leopard mom and cub at samevloeiing...


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