Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 1
 [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Our yearly autumn jaunt to KTP
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Langebaan
Tuesday 5 May -Twee Rivieren.
After setting up camp we took a drive heading towards Houmoed. It really felt good to be back again.
We could see there had been a lot of rain. The grass was dense and tall and drying out. Light yellow. Remember thinking game spotting would be difficult and the glare off the grass would not make photography easy.
After 5 kms our first sighting – 5 Cheetah. What looked like a mom and 4 fully grown youngsters. They had a kill under a tree up against a dune 300 – 400m off the road.
Mom
Image
Two of the youngsters
Image
And a third youngster
Image
We delayed our leaving for camp as long as we could (gate close - 6pm). As we were leaving we noticed a guy hanging out his window looking at his front wheel. As we drew up alongside the SO noticed a Puffy had draped itself over the brake calliper and through the spokes of the front wheel. My SO had to guide the driver back and forward. Just when it looked as though the snake was being squashed she would tell him to reverse, only for the same to happen. This went on for a time until the snake dropped to the ground, at which time my SO screeched at him to reverse quickly so that it did not have a chance to slither back up. It had obviously been looking for a bit of heat. So at the end of each game drive I now check for snakes back in camp.
Would you believe in the excitement I did not take a photo!
Quite an eventful first day (like last August when we found a jackal with a wire noose around its neck). Caracal you’ll remember that one.

Next day after looking up friends who had also come for the HR Indaba we headed out for a drive. With the Nossob road still closed there was only one road to drive.
My fellow HR had told me to brush up on my birds for the birding day on the Friday so we headed out with a purpose.
We came across a juv. Goshawk (the first of many seen on our trip). This bird can be most entertaining as we watched him honing his hunting skills. It would attack a shrub with much noise and flapping of wings trying to scare any would be victim into the open.
Image

Image

Image

We also ran accross this little fellow
Image
The only other bird sightings that day was a Marshall eagle feeding and a Lanner Falcon also feeding. On this trip to KTP I planned to watch the Lanners at the waterholes – lots of photo opportunities there.
Another instalment to follow......


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Our yearly autumn jaunt to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Langebaan
Another instalment.....

Day 3 and we were scheduled to go on a 4x4 trip in the afternoon. HR friends had kindly invited us along with them– I’m no 4x4 ‘er.
But first we decided to drive to Houmoed. Near Houmoed in a tree someone pointed out no less than 3 Giant Eagle owls. A first for me.

Image

To add to the excitement 2 Goshawks were harassing them no end. Later in our trip we observed that PCG’s are very protective of their young.

Image

In fact the very next day the owls were perched in the same tree but this time the one was feeding on what looked like a juv. PCG. We could just see 2 orange legs protruding from under the owls claws. If that was the case we realised why the PCG’s had been harassing the owls the previous day. Juv. PCG’s seem overly carefree for their own good.
That morning we also saw Bat Eared fox and Meercats which are so entertaining.

In the afternoon we went on the 4x4 trip. Our guide was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about trees, shrubs and grasses and what animals feed on. We got a lot of red sand between our toes too. A truly wonderful experience.

Image

Image

Image

Birding day arrived. Raptors aplenty. Giant Eagle owl, Tawny, Black Snake and Martial eagles, Lanner and Pigmy falcons, PCG’s.

Image

Image

Image

A Martial and notice its carrying its kill.

Image

No Secretary or Corrie Bastard that particular day. Did’nt do too well on the LBJ’s – none of us are serious birders. Back in camp we managed to “bag” few more but we ended up with only a modest total. We did quite well on grasses, shrubs and trees though.
As all losers say “at least we had fun and we learnt something”.

That evening the Indaba organisers put on event called the “Kalahari Experience”. Dinner, prize giving, quiz and much more. A truly stunning evening I believe. The SO attended, I was a little bushed but she enjoyed the evening.

Day 5 was the Indaba proper which was held in the airport hanger.
That evening happened to be full moon.

Image

A beautiful evening. We enjoyed sundowners which turned into moonrisers. Very soon though the nip in the air reminded us that we were in the Kalahari, and we hit the sack.
Our first HR Indaba. The organisation was tops considering it was held in the wilderness.
Further instalment soon.......


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Our yearly autumn jaunt to KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Langebaan
Another instalment coming up..............

Day 6 we headed for Mata Mata for the second leg of our trip - and the real holiday.
Image

THis fellow was really mad about something - tired of the Springboks company!?

Image
Near Craig Lockhardt we came across this collared cheetah lying in the shade under a tree with a kill. We assumed its tummy was full as it seemed contented. After 15 min we decided to head to camp. We’d booked a chalet for the night.
Next day we set up camp for the rest of our stay in MM. Late afternoon we went for a drive.
We love the big cats; deep down that is one of the reasons one goes to KTP, but there are so many other animals and birds to look out for. The landscape is so beautiful too. Nothing beats a waterhole when things are “slow”. We decided we were going to sit at a waterhole the next day. We like Dalkeith ‘cause that’s where we'd noticed on our up that the Lanners where quite active at the waterhole.

Day 8 arrived and this would turn out to be our day for birds. Not very far from camp we watched 2 vultures nesting.
Image

One was busying itself building and the other was flying in with twigs.

A little further on my SO saw a Bateleur.

Image

In lifted off and came flying towards us and perched in a tree close to us on the road.

Image

We manouvered under the tree and noticed it was also building a nest.

At Dalkeith the Lanners gave us a wonderful show. We positioned ourselves in the shade were we looked down its flight path. The routine was that it would wait in a tree and as soon as the doves became active at the water hole it would skim the grass and pounce.

Image

(This one did get away) We sat and enjoyed this for hours.

Image

On the way back I took some shots of Lilac Breasted Rollers.

Image

Also saw these Swallow Tailed Bee Eaters.

Image

This looks like a Juv Tawny!?

Wonderful day for birds. Needless to say next day we ended up going back to Dalkeith and the Lanners did’nt disappoint us.
This was our last day in Mata Mata.

Day 10 we broke up camp and headed for Nossob.
More to follow.......


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Our yearly autumn jaunt to KTP
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:45 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Langebaan
Another episode……….

Previous night was very windy with the threat of rain. Over the dunes to Nossob we could see rain was imminent.

Image

Image

Some of the cloud formations were breathtaking especially so in this wilderness.

Image

That evening after a late drive this sunset.

Next day we ran into Rieks, thanks to the yellow ribbon thing. Nice lady. (Back in camp we found we were camped next to each other.)
At the lookout point north of Nossob we saw 4 lion at some distance with a kill but they were sleeping it off. For the rest of the day we enjoyed our raptors.
That night we woke to the sound of a lion roaring. An event that makes a trip to the Kgalagadi complete!!

Next day, Saturday, we were up early and headed north and were rewarded. At Cubitje Quab we came across lion at the waterhole; 2 females and a male. After a drink they headed off over the dune.
On we drove. At Kousant we found fresh lion spoor in the road heading north. As we drove 2 cars stopped and told us to look out for a large male sleeping it off under a tree at Polentswa. Suddenly without warning a huge male lion stumbled down the embankment (the shoulders of the road here are so high that one cannot see the veld, and the long grass does not help either) I slammed on brakes to avoid him (I don’t know who got the biggest scare).
I can just add that if I was doing anything over 40 kph I would have hit him.
Anyway he walked in front of us for a while. When he climbed the embankment on the other side I managed to get a few “shots” of him.

Image

He was huge!

That night was cold. In the early hours we heard roaring again but this night it was so close that at early sunlight I when to check for spoor over the fence, but to no avail.
This morning we headed north again and again we came across lion at Cubitje Quab. This time 3 females and 2 males. After an hour or so we realised they were'nt going anyhere. To while away the time I watched the Lanners at the waterhole

Image

and got a picture of this pair doing a “fly past”.
We drove on and sat at Kwang waterhole.

Image

Got a shot of this fellow(Greater Kestrel I think)

Early afternoon we headed back and the lion were still at CQ. It was then that I got these shots.

Image

Waking after a days sleep.

Image

Then heading over to the missis

Image

"Can't believe you're still sleeping"

More to follow.......


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Our yearly autumn jaunt to KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:38 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Langebaan
Once again I want to thank you all for your comments.

PS- Lets thank the SANparks personal who do a fine job, sometimes under very difficult circumstances.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 5 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: anne-marie, Kaapsedraai, PAPA SMURF and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Kiepersol at 17:13:54 Submitted by umkhulu at 20:20:05 Submitted by salamanda at 17:21:39 Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 16:23:02