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 Post subject: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:51 pm 
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The fact that I only now have the time to post our farewell here on the forum shows that the last couple of months and weeks had been really very busy. Image

But now the time has finally come and we will be on our way to KTP tomorrow. Image

We are going to enter the gates at Twee Rivieren on the 2nd of November and are only leaving again on the 27th …..
We simply can not wait to be finally back to our beloved dunes.
Whenever there is the possibility we will update our sightings (whenever we have cellphone reception that is)
We hope to see Elena with her cubs, but moving between different camps we are looking forward as well to all the other fabulous sightings that the Kalahari has in store.

So I hope to see you all here again on the 29th of November. Image

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:32 pm 
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Thank you all for following our trip through KTP, for all your comments and good wishes. 8)

Sorry to keep you waiting for so long. :redface:
But again after the trip times were hectic over here all over again.
Not the x-mas preparations… I think you all know what I am talking about. :roll:
I had to read all the wonderful trip reports here on the forum and hopefully over the x-mas days I will find the time to reply.

We had a great time in KTP once again.
We were surprised that the building activities disturbed us far less than expected.
Unfortunately there was a lot of noise at Grootkolk at the beginning of our stay there due to some construction work at the kitchen tent and the doors of the newly build fences around the huts.
We met Mashona close to Twee Rivieren and a couple of more times :wink: (only one Leopard Steve, I don't know what was wrong with us this year :hmz: ) Munchkin at Nossob and KTC which was so nice. :thumbs_up:

In fact we saw a lot of familiar faces and it was wonderful that we were greeted more than often with the words:"Welcome back"
We liked the improvements in the Wilderness Camps and are of the opinion that a lot of things had changed (to the positive) in regards of service.

But enough of all that now.
I think it’s time to start :whistle:

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:42 pm 
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02.11.09

Stopping at Cape Town of our way from Joburg to Upngton we had a wonderful but much too short meet with C.O’Dee at the airport. We chatted away as if we only have not seen each other for a little while, you would have never guessed that this was the first time ever that we met....
Unfortunately the time time to leave again came far too soon.
After the usual loooong way to KTP finally the last leg of our journey started. Not long and we wil be in Upington. We were so much looking forward to have a shower an a decent coffee.
But…...40 minutes into the flight the captain told us, that we had to return due to technical problems. :wall:
So instead of landing in Upington, we landed in Cape Town once again, this time surrounded by three fire engines.

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But thank God the problem was solved soon and we were on our way again.

We picked up the car at the airport (it was already getting dark by now) , drove to our accommodation, had a nice dinner in a small restaurant and later fell into the bed and were soon fast asleep.
The next morning started with a nice breakfast, some shopping in Upington ( well in fact we had to buy a lot, as we were stocking up on food etc. for nearly 4 weeks :dance: ) and soon we were on our way to KTP.
The only drawback was that Francolin had caught a cold somewhere along the way and was not feeling good at all.

We were looking forward to see the new reception. Last year they were still building it and in the meantime it became the new Gate into the park.
We were impressed. It was very new, very modern, airconditioned, but maybe a bit too posh for the Kalahari. Well but we thought it was a bit too early to make up our minds and we decided to think about the pros and cons later. :hmz:

We moved into #25.
We never stayed on that side of the Camp before, but the bungalow was huge and very private.
Unpacking the car for the first of many times….

Finally we were back, what a good feeling.
Although Francolin was feeling worse and worse, we could not resist to leave for a first afternoon drive.
Unfortunately the road to Rooiputs was still closed and we were told at the reception that this will be the case till the end of 2010…. :(

A small stop at Samevloeiing and after that we were on our way through the dunes towards the Aoub riverbed.
We had the feeling that we had left only about 2-3 and not 11 months ago.
We were home again… Image

The first sighting was a Northern Black Korhaan.

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And a little later a small group of Oryx with some youngsters.

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Stopping at Houmoed waterhole we discovered that the waterhole was not in function and a sign told us that it was in state of repair.
So a little bit dsappointed we drove up to the lookout point. We already decided that this would be our turning point, as it was already a bit late.

But then suddenly a movement a bit further away. We were delighted to discover that we sighted our first Meerkats.
We stopped the engine and slowly they came closer.

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The light was fading fast and so we decided to return back to the camp.
We were happy and regarded the sighting of the Meerkats as a good omen. 8)

We spotted our first Owls on this trip just after we had passed the t-junction close to Samevloeiing.

Spotted Eagle-Owls.
Aren’t they just beautiful?!

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She turned around.

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Another tried to hide from us.

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What a successful afternoon.

Back at camp we observed a bunch of Mongooses that were looking for food while enjoying a nice dinner.
A lot of Beetles were attracted by our outdoor light and one of the Mongoose was munching them like crunchy chips.
A little later we heard a sound that every cat owner knows only too well.
It came as a kind of surprise to us that a vomiting Mongoose makes the same sounds as a cat throwing up…. :lol:
Later we discovered that the Mongoose got rid off the Beetles chitin exoskeletons.

A wonderful evening, but the Mosquitoes were driving us crazy and were nearly eating us alive. So we decided that it would be a good decision to call it a day and go to bed.

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:05 pm 
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03.11.

The day started slow. Francolin was not feeling well at all.
So we did not rush, we were on holiday and still got plenty of days ahead…

You maybe still know that I love all the Agamas in the Kalahari, so no wonder that we stopped on the road through the dunes to have a closer look.

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A little further we saw this Yellow Canary.

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But after that it was really quiet. Just north of Kamfersboom we spotted this Sand Snake ?.

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Usually they are as quick as lightning, but this one stayed in the middle of the road and did not move an inch….
This made us think at first that she was maybe hurt :shock: , but she was gone only a couple of minutes later, when we were on the way back to Twee Rivieren.

At Kamfersboom we sighted a nice huge herd of Oryx having a drink.
Such beautiful animals.

Oryx

We saw quite a lot of Ground Squirrels, but this youngster was really cute. Just look at these big paws!!!!

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Every now and then we saw Bee-Eaters busy with their breeding actvities.

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So I stopped at one of the cave entrances and tried to capture them, more or less successful (I have to try again next year….) :redface:

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Of course a stop at Samevloeiing is compulsory to have a look at the waterhole.

Here we suddenly heard a familiar sound.
A Cuckoo.
Having a closer look at the big tree to the left of the waterhole we could indeed discover him hiding behind some branches.

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Then we were back at camp and very grateful to have an aircondition. It was really hot and so we used the hours around noon for a siesta.
No need to drive around in this heat.

We left the camp again late afternoon about 4.30 pm.
The first sighting was a Juvenile Pale Chanting Goshawk sitting underneath a tree.

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As we were already pretty late we decided to drive up to the lookout near Houmoed Waterhole and then return again to Twee Rivieren.

Just a little south of the waterhole we spotted another Meerkat.
But only saw the single individual and no others digging around. :hmz:

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Meerkat

We were delighted to see that the waterhole had water again and that the pump was running.
And we were glad to see that they had covered the basin, as it was here last year that we saw a dead Genet floating in the water.He/she obviously fell into the water and was not able to get out again.

By now it was really time to get back to the camp.

On the way back we spotted a Giant Eagle Owl in one of the trees along the way.

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It seemed as if she did not even realised that we stopped to watch her.
We slowly made our way through the dunes.

Suddenly I detected a movement on the side of the road. A really tiny chick and then I saw Mum, a Lark….
Unfortunately she got really hectic and kept running up and down the side of the road with it’s vegetation, the chick still folowing her, so there was no way to take a proper pic of the really tiny chick,
Only Mum eyed us suspiciously from time to time…

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Just after passing the t-junction to the camp we spotted our first Pygmy Falcon on this trip.
I am always amazed that a raptor can be that small.

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Back at the camp we had another lovely dinner with Mosquitoes and Mongoose…. :roll:
And again had an early night.

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:15 pm 
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04.11.
This was our last full day at Twee Rivieren, tomorrow we are heading towards Urikaruus for the next couple of nights.

In the morning we had one of those breathtaking Kalahari sunrises.
From our chalet we were looking over to the Botswana side of the park.
Those Kalahari sunrises are stunning, colours to make your heart ache….
Especially if you are now sitting in grey, cold and unpleasant Cologne watching the photos…. :wall:

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Nevertheless we took our time and observed a couple of Mongooses roaming the camp.

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We left the camp at around 8 am and we were on our way again.
We stopped ate Samevloeiing and sighted a Lizard in a tree stump.

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And close by a Brant’s Whistling Rat.
We are always very pleased to see them, they a cute little guys. And always a nice sighting.

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Apart from that there was nothing at the waterhole itself.
So we commenced our way through the dunes to the Aoub river bed once again.

We always scan the area thoroughly after leaving the dunes, we were often very lucky to have some Meerkat sightings here.
This time just about 2 km south of Houmoed Waterhole we detected a sudden movement and discovered in an instant that we just saw a Cape Fox popping out of his/her den.
Amazing almost like a Jack in the Box.

We stopped and it was indeed a Cape Fox Mum with three pups.
They did not bother our presence too much and so we stopped to have a closer look,
I am so sorry, but as I am not able to decide which one of the many pics I like the most, so I will post quite a few of them…


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The Shy one…

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The Adventurous….

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The Greeting

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They are just too cute…

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THIS is something that drives me crazy in wildlife photography, why is it that she must have her head behind the branches at that moment?!.... :evil:

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Cape Fox Den

Cape Fox Mum

A little further on just as we were about to reach Houmoed waterhole we saw this rather thin and maybe old Lion. We felt sorry for him. Ok I know that this is nature, but still….. :(

I did choose the pics where still looks rather good.

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I took others where he looks sooo awefully thin. You could see the backbone and the bone of the hips. :(

Our last sighting for this morning was a Tortoise south of Monro waterhole.

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Now back to the camp again.
Resting a bit before heading out again for another drive.

To be continued..... :whistle:

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:30 pm 
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04.11. Part 2

Around 4 pm we were driving towards the Aoub again.
Unfortunately there is not that much choice departing from Twee Rivieren….
Stopping at Samevloeiing we recognized a white car with some labels on the ar doors and thought that this must be some kind of organized tour.

We had just crossed the dunes, passed the Cape Fox den and were on the way to the Houmoed.
Waterhole when we sighted Meerkats once again.
Yay! We just can not get enough of them…… 8)

They are so cute!
The little one did his best to stay upright like the grown ups as well, but it only lasted for a second. Then he was already sitting on his bum.

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Stretching…

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Was there something ?!

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The Lion was still at Houmoed waterhole.We already had taken some pics in the morning and the sight was so sad for us, that we decided to move instead of taking some more pics of this poor soul.....

We passed the white car again and instantly tought while passing ....we somehow know the one that was driving the car :hmz:
Thinking about it I realised that the driver used his headlight to attract our attention. So we drove back and saw that it was Mashona :thumbs_up:
We have not seen each other for quite a while and chatted about sightings and things.
What a wonderful surprise!!!

A little north of Houmoed we sighted two Jackals. I like them very much.
On our first visit it took hours to drive up to Nossob, as we stopped for every single Jackal. And we saw a lot of them….. :slap:
And we still stop for them very often, especially if they are so relaxed like this one.

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Approaching Monro Waterhole we sighted another single Meerkat.

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We turned around and headed back to the camp again, after passing Kamfersboom waterhole.
Of course we were looking forward to stop again at the Cape Fox Den to have look if they were out playing again.
And indeed they were out. :dance:

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Lets have a look if your ears are clean enough….

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And it seems that mum was not pleased about what she was seeing and was convinced that the ear needed to be thoroughly cleaned. The little one wasn’t at all pleased… :lol:

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We decided to leave them alone and drive back,as the sun was already too low for more photos.
After 2/3 of the way through the dunes we suddenly discovered that the bird that we think was a Kori Bustard was indeed a Ludwig’s Bustard.
Our first ever, we were chuffed….. 8)

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The Spotted Eagle Owls were still in and around the tree where we spotted them on the first afternoon.
We were too late to take photos as it was already far too dark, but the camcorder was still able to capture them pretty well.
What I love about this video, are hearing the Barking Geckos in the background and the movement the Owl made with her head….

Spotted Eagle Owl

We enjoyed a nice dinner at the restaurant on our last evening.
And sat outside enjoying a nice warm evening afterwards.
Already now looking forward to be back to Urikaruus the next evening... 8)

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:37 pm 
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05.11.

Oh how long have we been looking forward to be back to Urikaruus…..
Now the time had finally come.
We were looking forward to be there for three nights.

But before we started we had a little breakfast.
Here is the brekkie FRancolin is having for the last couple of days…..
Hopefully the relaxing atmosphere of Urikaruus will help her to finally recover. At least she felt a little less weak today.

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But soon we were on our way over the dunes to the Aoub riverbed.

Yet again some Meerkats were our first sightings for the day.
Looking at this one makes me think, that there are going to be more Meerkat babies in the near future….

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I just can not get enough of them.

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Suddenly they discovered something in the sky (still don’t know what it was) and were gone in seconds…

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Shortly after that we met Mashona again, They were on their way up to Nossob. So another quick chat and it was finally time to say goodbye….

Along the way to Urikaruus we saw quite a few nice Springbok herds, they were all resting in the shades of the trees.

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Plenty of time to get to Urikaruus, we didn’t want to be there too early, so we took our time.

We stopped for some Dikkops, they successfully hide a chick underneath some trees.
Just look at those huge eyes, but how sweet and how small….


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Later some Scaly-feathered Finches were foraging the ground for some food.

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The stretch of road between Gemsbokplein and Kamqua was always great for AWC sightings and indeed it was here that we sighted our first one on this years trip very sleepy in one of the trees.

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We were greeted with a shy smile and the words “Welcome back to Urikaruus” by Marius, when we arrived at Urikaruus around 1 pm.
We had met him before here and at Killiekrankie on previous trips.

This time # 4 was our home during our stay.
We already new the new doors in the kitchen and the bedroom, but the new windows upstairs and in the kitchen were new to us. Last year we still got wet feet in bed when it started to rain and storm came up in the middle of the night….Well that is not going to happen this time and we liked it.

We carried everything inside and upstairs, made ourselves at home and a coffee and enjoyed the lovely view to the waterhole,
Of course we wanted to go for another drive in the afternoon, we were so eager to see the Hyena pups at the den just north of Urikaruus waterhole.

Our first sighting though were some White Faced Scops Owls.

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White-faced Scops Owl
But to our disappointment there was no activity at the Hyena den, but then we still had three nights at Urikaruus …..
So we drove on towards the Boreholes.

In one of the bushes there was one of those very cute mice enjoying some nibbles.

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Close to the 13th Borehole a little Ostrich family.

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And a Black-shouldered Kite close to Dalkeith .

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But now it was time to slowly made our way back towards Urikaruus, as we wanted to have some spare time to stop at the den for a while.

We just returned back to the main road when we sighted a Bat-eared Fox.
And he was not alone.

I slammed on the breaks. The light was pretty bad as the sun was already behind the dunes. I had to set the ISO higher , I am still angry wit myself, in all the excitement I set the ISO far too high :redface: (over 4000 …. :slap: ) and ruined the pics a bit…… :mad:

But still they are a proof for the sighting and the single Batty is thank god not that bad after all.

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Only ears….

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Bat Eared Foxes

We left the Foxes and were indeed lucky that the Hyenas were out and in the mood to play.
Again bad light for photos…. So only one photo and Francolin focussed on capturing them on video, which is actually much more fun as you can see the whole action

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Hyenas

Hyenas

Back at Urikaruus we prepared dinner and enjoyed the sounds of the night.
We had two visitors one was this Praying Mantis, I have never seen one like this before.

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Here is another pic I took the next day, when she was still there.

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The seconds visitor, maybe to him we were the visitors as he was obviously living underneath the fridge, was this Gecko.
We called him Uri as he was living at Urikaruus.... :lol:

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Later 4 Hyenas came to drink at the waterhole, we are pretty sure that these must have been the Hyenas from the den just up the road.
It looked to us that the two cubs from last year were still living close to the den and coming for a visit from time to time.
They looked much smaller than the female Hyena.

Hyenas at the waterhole

After they had left a Cape Fox encircled the huts and was looking for food.


Cape Fox at Urikaruus

Ahhhh, heaven indeed…Don’t you think? :wink:
Tired and already curious what the next day might bring we fell into bed for a good rest.

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:27 pm 
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06.11.

We enjoyed our morning coffee and tea on the deck (after a cool, even chilly night) and headed off into the direction of Mata Mata.

We were eager to drive up to Mata Mata and see how the building activities had changed the character of the camp.

Our first sighting was a Tawny Eagle in a bush, just as we reached the main road.


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I don’t have to tell you that we checked the Hyena Den, but no one was outside…
So we commenced our way towards the Boreholes.
At the 13th borehole we saw a lot of small birdies including a couple of Southern Masked Weaver coming for a drink every now and then. But no Lanner Falcons this time.

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A little further on we discovered this Gabar Goshawk in one of the trees.
KTP is indeed Raptors heaven.

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Along the way we saw yet another Ostrich family and were surprised about the different sizes of the chicks …

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And a little further on another family with even more chicks….
They are just too cute.
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Ostriches

There is one tree on the way to Mata Mata, we call it the Owl tree. On previous trips we nearly always found Owls in this tree (well an on one occasion there were no Owls, but an AWC). So we always stop for a closer look. And once again we were not disappointed.
A Juvenile Spotted Eagle Owl eyed us suspiciously.

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At Sitzas we discovered some Vultures that had landed right by the waterhole, but as soon as we stopped they quickly left.
So I only had the chance to capture the last one taking off.

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Then we reached Mata Mata.
The new buildings looked great and by the time they are finished they must have a brilliant view into the riverbed.
I now hope they are going to renovate the old accommodation as well, we loved the small bungalows, but they badly need some paint etc….
I still think we will still prefer KTC in the future tough…
All the building that was going on in the camp made it quite loud and so we were a bit surprised to still find the White Faced Scops Owl in the Tree outside the shop.

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We discovered, apart from the Scopsies, a Caterpillar in the tree.
The Caterpillar of a Gonometa postica or African Wild Silkmoth (thanx DuneRichard for the ID).
We were impressed and observed it for quite a while, little did we know that we will later see them in their hundreds between Nossob and Grootkolk….

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Checked our Owl tree once again on the way back we discovered a Second Juvenile Spotted Eagle Owl. In fact there were 5 Owls altogether, but unfortunately the others were hiding quite well behind some branches…So no photos of them (well not today…..)

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Near Craig Lockhardt we sighted a beautiful Black Shouldered Kite was sitting in a tree.

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Just shortly before reaching Urikaruus again, another Owl, this time a Giant Eagle Owl.

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It was again a veeery hot day. And like the Squirrels we decided to laze a bit in the shade. Have some nibbles and a little nap.

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Squirrels

Of course we would love to go on another drive in the afternoon. So soon we were on our way again towards the Mata Mata direction.
We checked the tree again were we saw the Giant Eagle Owl around noon, she was still there but now in a far better place to take a photo of her.

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This hot afternoon was veeery quiet. Not even some birds visited the boreholes…
So we decided to turn around and drive back to the camp as we wanted to have enough time to spend it at the den.

There is a huge weavers nest at the southern entrance to the 14th borehole. We stopped and I suddenly got very excited…..
I simply could not believe my eyes, here was a Slender Mongoose right on the nest, relaxing.
I always struggled before to take a photo of a Slender Mongoose. They were always shy and very fast. I was never really successful, neither her, nor in Kruger.
But this time…..

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Slender Mongoose

We had to leave. We wanted to be at the Hyena den a little bit earlier today and yet again we were late….

The sun was already setting behind the dunes and due to that the light was bad once again, but we had a lovely time with the Hyenas.

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Hyenas 1

Hyenas 2

Hyenas 3

We were still so very happy arriving back at Camp.
We celebrated the great day with a lovely braai and a nice wine.

Later a Bat Eared Fox came to visit us.

Bat Eared Fox

It is just awesome to be in KTP. 8)

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:42 pm 
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07.11.

The morning started with a kind of surprise.

We observed the Lanner Falcons hunting at Urikaruus waterhole.
One of them hit of the birds in flight, but did not kill it.
After a moment of shock the bird came to the waterhole a little later. We only then discovered that these birds were Ducks.

They were Cape Teals to be precise, and according to my bird book they are not supposed to be in the Kalahari. :hmz:

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Later Squirrels and one Mongoose joined the birds for a drink.

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We stopped at the den, but no activities.
But of course we will check once more on the way back to the camp.

We sighted loads of birds on our way along the boreholes.

At first this Violet-eared Waxbill.

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Dozens of Scaly-feathered Finches.

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Just after passing the 13th borehole we saw two Bat-eared Foxes disappearing in the dunes.

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At the 14th borehole a Jackal was waiting in the shade of a tree.

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Just as we reached the main road again, we sighted another Batty under a bush close to the road.

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Bat Eared Fox

A little later another Batty in the river bed.

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And after passing Dalkeith we observed two Bat-eared Foxes digging.

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I don't know what it was on that morning we never saw that many Bat-eared Foxes at that time of the day in November.

A couple of kilometres further on I tried to capture a Black-shouldered Kite in flight.

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They are such beautiful birds…. 8)

We sighted Lions near Craig Loackhardt. They did what Lions nearly always do, resting and sleeping in the shade of a huge tree in the river bed. :lol:

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We used the time at Mata Mata to do some shopping, filled up with fuel again,had a morning coffee and after that slowly made our way back to Urikaruus.

Along the way we first sighted some pretty nervous Jackals at Sitzas waterhole.

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And a little later we sighted three Secretary Birds. One of them a subadult (but he was very shy, ….).

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Secretary Birds

At Craig Lockhardt a Crimson-breasted Shrike caught our attention.
They are so beautiful, but very hard to capture. :?

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Kalahari is Raptors heaven and indeed we often discovered Raptors in trees along the way.

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Near the 14th borehole a Pearl-spotted Owl was eyeing us suspiciously.

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Isn’t it amazing how small they are ?! 8)

Later we sighted another wonderful Raptor close to Urikaruus.

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The Hyenas were still not in the mood to play outdoors and so we decided to drive on to have a little nap as well.

We arrived back at the camp and were still very happy, as we had many wonderful sightings of this morning.

To be continued….. :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:04 pm 
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07.11. Part 2

Stopping at the Hyena den in the afternoon the Hyena was coming back to the den right at the moment when we stopped to have a closer look .

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Mum was tired, but the young ones were in playing mood and even used her as a lookout point. :doh:

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After a while they got tired as well and were lying there together with mum…
Isn’t that just too cute for words?!

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Hyenas 1

Hyenas 2

Hyenas 3

The afternoon was once again very hot and very quiet.
We sighted another Spotted Eagle Owl under a tree.

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Spotted Eagle Owl

They have got such intense eyes.
She felt not too comfortable in our presence and so we decided it would be better to move on.

On the way back we checked the Weaver nest again where we sighted the Mongoose the day before and could not believe our eyes. She was lying there again. Just how lucky can we be?! 8)
I just love the way she is resting her hind paw on the small twigs….

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A little later we found this Crowned Plover with his chick.

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Today we had enough time to stop at the Hyena den again for a longer while.
They are very curious and soon the first one put his head out of the entrance of the den.

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Then they started to wander around.

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Mum was no at all amused and called them.

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It was time to leave again.
A couple of hundred metres from the den we discovered a small Giraffe family.

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We observed them a when we suddenly discovered something else in the distance.
A Hyena was making her way towards the Giraffes.
We held our breath. :shock:
The Giraffes observed the Hyena when she suddenly changed directions gave them a wide berth.
While she was commencing her way the Giraffes stood there and watched where she was going.

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Giraffes and Hyena

Again it was already nearly dark when we reached the camp.
Another braai in the evening with a glass of wine…..*sigh*
Sitting on our balcony we suddenly heard something like footsteps underneath the balcony. We had a closer look with our torch and discovered a Hyena right underneath watching us.
But soon she just turned around and left.

Hyena at Urikaruus

We observed the waterhole for a while, but then decided that it was bedtime.
Around 3am that I was woken by a deafening roaring of a Lion.
I was just about to wake up Francolin when she opened her eyes right in the middle of the roar.
It took her a couple of seconds to realize were she was….
We then grabbed the torch and camcorder and rushed downstairs.

And just as we arrived on the balcony a Lioness walked along the river bed, followed by a male Lion. He stopped for a drink at the waterhole, but she commenced her way.

You could hear her roaring in the background while he was still having a drink. 8)

Lions at Urikaruus

Wow, this is why we love the wilderness camps. 8) 8) 8) :thumbs_up:
We still had goosebumps being back upstairs again.

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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:41 pm 
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Thank you SC for your compliments. 8)

As related to the Lion….
Well at the first moment we thought so as well…..
But we tried not to overreact. We saw Lions with skin problems and the dead Lioness at Craig Lockhardt. But we tried to think that not every thin Lion suffers from the CD virus.
We saw another Lion in a not so good condition last year and that one definitely was a poor old Lion.
And of course there are Lions that die a natural death.
But I think we will never know for sure though.
We still hope that the disease is under control and there are no more deaths due to CD.

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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:53 pm 
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08.11.

Today was the day to leave Urikaruus again. :(
This time we were heading towards Nossob for the next couple of nights.
We had to repack the car again, due to this we were not really leaving that early.
Moreover I think the thought of leaving this beautiful place made us even a bit slower.

Of course we payed the Hyenas at the den another last visit.
And I can tell you they were really showing off, so I have to apologize once again, but there are too many cute pics. A hard decision but I have to post quite a few of them…. :redface:
Just to show you how much fun we had watching them. :whistle:

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Curious young Hyena....

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A little fighting practice...

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Just too cute for words, don't you think ?! :D

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Me being such a very tired little Hyena..

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A quiet and peaceful moment.

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Mum seems to think: Oh no, they are starting all over again… :slap:

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Hyenas 1

Hyenas 2

Hyenas 3

Hyenas 4

I know I have to admit, a lot of Hyena pics…..
There are even more, but I think this is the choice of the nicest shots… :hmz:

By then it really was time to leave.
Alittle later we had a last chance to wave goodbye to Mashona on the Upper Dunes Road.
The way to Nossob was quiet, very, very quiet. :|
We "only" spotted a Pygmy Falcon, he was having lunch in a small tree, but gone again as soon as we stopped the car.
We arrived at the camp around 2 pm.
Chalet # 4 was our home for the next days once more. :dance:
We made ourselves at home, got some fuel for the car and did some shopping.

Later we left again for a small drive into the northern direction.
A Spike Healed Lark was obliging and sat still for a pic.

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We drove all the way till Kwang, but nothing.
So we stopped at Cubitje Quap to wait for the birds and maybe some furry visitors to the waterhole. Well at least the Doves did not disappoint and gave us some nice photo opportunities.

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We enjoyed another stunning Kalahari sunset on the way back to Nossob...

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At Nossob we had a lovely braai, enjoyed freshly baked heavenly roosterkoek and observed the Jackals roaming the camp while listening to the barking Geckos.
Tonight we were too tired to visit the hide and went to bed early.

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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:52 pm 
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09.11.

We heard Lions and Jackals in the distance all through the night. But it sounded as if they were indeed quite far away.
In the morning we faced the same hard decision as always…..Where are we going today?North or South…
:hmz: Well this time we did choose the northern direction, driving up till Polentswa Waterhole and then back again.

After leaving the camp this beautiful Bateleur was our first sighting just close to the road.

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As always we stopped at Cubitje Quap , usually there were always some birds to observe and of course we were hoping for the Lanner Falcons, but this morning there was nothing… :|
But we sighted some Whistling Rats further along the way.

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Aren’t they cute?!
Then we sighted more and more of the Caterpillars we already saw in Mata Mata.
In the next parts you will even see more of them. It was amazing they were nearly everywhere. :shock:

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We discovered tracks in the middle of the road south of Kwang. On closer inspection we were almost sure that we found Cheetah tracks and they were on top of the tire marks. Hopefully she was still around.

So we closely scanned the area and indeed discovered a Cheetah walking up on the dunes. Unfortunately the grass was really high and she was already far from the road, but we could observe her for quite a while until she finally disappeared. :dance:

Only maybe ten minutes early she had probably still been in the middle of the road.
Well it is always the question of being at the right place on the right time….

Not a brilliant capture at all, but I think usable as a proof for our sighting …. :whistle:

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After that it got quiet once more. Maybe this was the unbelievable heat that was already back again…

On the way back, just south of Kwang we sighted a lone Wildebeest resting in the shade of a tree.

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Shortly before reaching Cubitje Quap we found this Juvenile Pale Chanting Goshawk gulping down his breakfast before flying off again.

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Cubitje Quap was a bit busier than this morning.
A Jackal came to have a drink.

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And a Secretary Bird was walking up and down.

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And inspecting his feet or maybe he discovered something on the ground. :lol:

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Before lying down for some rest.

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We had some lunch back at Nossob and decided to go for a short stroll through the camp.
Unfortunately we did not find the Owls…
But other little critters were hanging around.

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It was far too hot, so we soon retired to the bungalow for an afternoon nap before heading out for yet another drive again.

This time the southern direction towards Marie se Draai was our choice.
Right on the first half towards Marie we were delighted by the sight of a wonderful small herd of Kudus. Close to the road and pretty relaxed. 8)

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Kudus 1

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Kudus 4

Apart from this sighting right at the beginning of our drive it was quiet.
We decided to return back to the camp and drive once again into the northern direction towards Cubitje for a while.

Just a couple of hundred metres before reaching the camp entrance we saw this beautiful Black-Chested Snake Eagle.

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Arriving at Cubitje Quap we found….nothing.
But were later on the way back to Nossob the Kalahari spoiled us with theses wonderful Kalahari evening skies….. 8)

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No braai tonight, but a great salad with these delicious freshly bakes roosterkoek. We lighted a fire just for the atmosphere and enjoyed a glass of wine.
*Sigh* writing this I suddenly think, I want o be back right now…

Later we decided that a visit o the hide would be a great idea and indeed by the time we arrive we saw this male Lion at the waterhole drinking and a little later walking off into the darkness.....

The video is not really of a brilliant picture quality, but please switch on your speakers and set the volume high. And keep watching the video even after the pics stopped, the Lion meets another Lion in the darkness. The sound of the roaring is unbelievable. And it was even louder in reality…. Still got goosebumps :lol: 8)

Lions at Nossob Hide

Later the Jackals were having a feast, eating all the Insects that were attracted by the light at the hide.

Jackals at Nossob Hide

What an end of another brilliant day….. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:38 am 
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10.11.

This morning I managed to get up really early.
I always need some days till I am finally able to get up at 4.30 am. :redface: :lol:

This morning I was driving south when I suddenly discovered Lion tracks in the sand and followed them for quite a while.
Rooikop waterhole was very close by the time we discovered a wonderful male Lion in the high grass.

We watched him for a while,the he got up and walked towards the direction of the road.

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Then he was suddenly there. Looking straight into my eyes.
I had only time to take one pic and close the window before he reached the car.
I have to admit my knees were indeed a bit shaky afterwards....

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As he was walking in the road towards the direction of the camp, I turned around and followed him .

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Male Lion

Coming closer to the camp he decided to leave the road and to commence his way in the river bed.

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Lion

Lion

It was still quite cool that morning, you can see the breath of the Lion...

So I drove all the way back to the camp and waited for him at the bird hide (like a couple of other people, in fact the hide was crowded).
And there he was, but unfortunately not for a drink. He did choose the opposite river bank to have a rest…. :roll:

Lion

I stayed at the hide for another 2/4 of an hour, but the Lion was lying in the high grass, not moving an inch.

In the meantime a Jackal had come to the waterhole and tried to chase some Doves.
Really funny to watch, but the poor guy was not successful.

Jackal chasing doves

A little breakfast at the camp and we were off again towards the northern direction.

To be continued .....
In the next part, an exciting afternoon sightng and more Lions.... :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: It’s time again..... KDU and Francolin in KTP November 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:56 pm 
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10.11. Part 2

Just as we had left the cam some Haartbeest were grazing close to the road.

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Of course we stopped at Cubitje Quap.
The bushes close to the waterhole were alive with Red-headed Finches and other small birds.
It is always so nice to see huge flocks of them coming to the waterhole for a drink.Like waves.

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But they were not the only ones looking for a drink.
A Jackal visited the waterhole as well.

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And soon we heard the very familiar sound of Sandgrouses. Dozens of them were flying in.

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This morning Bedinkt was our destination.
Along the way we sighted another of the beautiful Agamas.

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But it was apart from that another quiet drive.
At Bedinkt some Oryx were at the waterhole.

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We were so much hoping for Jo’s Leopard, but the only thing we could discover, were some tracks in the sand.
So she sure was still there……But she did not show up. :|

We stopped for another one of my KTP faves on the way back to the camp. A Mouse. They are so cute . :D

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At Nossob it was far too hot to do anything. Even a walk through the camp did not look too tempting today.
So we stayed at the chalet. Had a little nap and prepared ourselves for the afternoon drive.

This time we went South
We drove very slowly and scanned the area. But it seemed that even the animals felt too hot to come out of the shade. No Birds, no Mice, no Agamas.....

About 2 km before we reached the end of Maries loop I discovered a movement in the dunes and was in an instant very sure what I was seeing. I jammed on the breaks and ...
A Caracal! 8) :dance:

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Wow, our first ever sighting of one of these magnificent cats. :cool:
Unfortunately it was quite far away and she looked up towards the top of the dunes, but it was still a wonderful sighting. As sudden as she appeared she was gone again.
And as hard as we searched the dunes she did not come back.

We were still excited and smiling when we got back to the camp and could not wait to post the Caracal to the sightings board.

After yet another nice braai I decided to pay the hide a last visit before leaving Nossob the next day.
I sat there for a couple of minutes and suddenly a shadow was moving closer to the waterhole.

A Lioness had rested close to the dead tree and was now coming to have a drink.

Lioness

And second Lioness was joining her, before they both walked off into the darkness again.

Lionesses

I just thought, well what a nice sighting at the end of a great day, when I spotted another movement in the darkness.

A male Lion was following the two Lionesses.

Male Lion at the Hide

He was even in the mood to pose under the light close to the hide. :D

Male Lion at the Hide

But then they were all gone and I called it a day.
Tomorrow we are going to move again to one of the wonderful wilderness camps, Grootkolk was waiting for us.

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