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 Post subject: canon Magical Kgalagadi May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Location: Grahamstown
Our long awaited trip to KTP which included our first visit to Mabuasehube had a rarther rocky start. We were due to depart on Good Friday to spend 4 days at Nossob before embarking on our Mabuasehube adventure. Well this was not to be - I contracted Malaria (visit to Zambia) and spent a few days in hospital on a drip. This was not fun. Nevertheless we left three days late which meant that we only had one night to get ready for the trail. The liver had taken a bit of a beating but the clean Kalahari air soon cleared that problem. We got the Landy and trailer packed (in the rain) and SO, my daughter and I set sail early in order to reach Askam for the first night. The trip went well, we had a lovely stay in Askam.

DAY 1

A bright start got us to Twee Rivieren nice and early. It is always such a thrill to arrive at this gateway to the Kgalagadi

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Check-in went smoothly and we got all the necessary paperwork done for the Botswana leg of out trip. Our friends who were due to do the Mabua trip with us had been in Nossob for a few days and nust have been wondering when we were going to arrive!

We decided to travel up to Nossob on the direct route - we had to chuckle because this road was due to be opened just before our first trip to KTP in 2009 - well as you all know, they are still working on the road! The first section up to Melkvlei, our favourite picnic spot was very quiet as far as sightings was concerned. We saw two lions at Rooiputs (mating pair) but they were a bit far for decent pics. Near Kij Kij this family of Meercats were sunning themselves

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After a welcome stop at Melkvlei we set off on the next leg up to Nossob. I am going to have a bit of a rant here - the road was simply not fit for any vehicle to use. I have never experienced a road so corrugated - driving at 20 kn/hour was the best option and even this was unpleasant. I do realize that the corrugations are part and parcel of the KTP experince but there must be a limit to how bad they can get. By the time we reached Dikbaardskolk we were in such foul moods that we felt like pitching camp right there so as not to have to do any more travelling. I do not know the answers to this problem but I find it totally unacceptable. If the blame is laid on speeding then do something about it - I never saw a single speed trap in the 18 days that we spent there!

Not far from Melkvlei we came across this handsome fellow right next to the road - he had was feeding on a young Gemsbok

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Between Dikbaardskolk and Nossob we saw some of the usual suspects which included a Black-chested Snake Eagle.

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I was quite surprised to see this Stork at the Cheleka waterhole - did not realize that they frequented this part of the world. We actually saw quite a few of them during our trip

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The trip from Twee Rivieren to Nossob took us all of 6 hours for obvious reasons. nevertheless it was great to be there. We set up camp - C (daughter) was very excited, this being her first camping experience with us. Once camp was ready a beer was opened but sadly the liver was not too happy! This problem soon came right though.

A short evening drive to Cubitjie Quap did not yield much. The Lanner Falcons were having a bad day at the office - watched numerous botched attempts at taking out the Turtle Doves.

_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 5:48 pm 
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Location: Grahamstown
Day 2

We were really disappointed that our stay at Nossob had been cut to one day but nevertheless we decided to make the most of it. We decided to head north as far as Bedinkt waterhole in the morning. First stop was at Cubitje Quap. Once again the Doves were drinking at the waterhole in droves.

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The Lanner Falcons eventually turned their attention to the Namaqua Doves with more success. One was taken out right in front of us. It must be quite confusing for the Lanners to dive into these huge flocks of doves - how do they decide which one tro target? It was interesting to see how they took out the Namaqua Doves - they would simply hit them with their wings which seemed to stun the little birds. When they hit the ground the Lanners would pick them up and fly off to a perch to eat them.

Next stop was Kwang waterhole. There was not much happening here because one really jealous Blue Wildebbest bull spent all his time chasing any possible suitor away. If any male BW came within 500m of him and his floozy he would dash off and chase them over the horizon! This was quite entertaining to say the least

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There was a bit of activity at Bedinkt. A number of Gemsbok were milling around having a drink and some were relaxing soaking up the sunshine. The Ground Squirrels were full value for money entertaining us with their antics and the Crowned-Lapwings arrived making their usual racket. It is so nice bto see such healthy squirrels, unlike the semi-domesticated ones in the camps that appear to be very mangy

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On the way back we saw the ever present Kori Bustards before spending more time at Cubitje Quap.

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A BW came down to drink whilst being watched by this Juv PCG

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Soon we were back in camp for a siesta. WE decided to spend the afternoon in camp as well so that we could start preparing for our much awaited trip to Mabuasehube. A quick visit to the bird hide yielded this Lanner falcon that appeared mto have polished off a dove

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A visit to Nossob is never complete without finding an owlet somewhere in the camp. This Pearl-spotted Owlet was found in the tree behind the laundry.

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There were also plenty of Shaft-tailed Whydah in the camp

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_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 8:53 pm 
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Location: Grahamstown
Day 3

It was an early start to the day because we had to break up camp and sort out what had to be left behind with the trailer. Being inexperienced at wilderness trails we soon found out that we took far too much stuff with us - one soon learns. The Nossob management kindly agreed to allow us to park our trailer in the "car port" in front of the filling station where it would remain for the next 5 days.

We were quite nervous about driving this trail (the bottom section - Bosobogolo Trail) to Mabuasehube because there had been a quite serious head-on collision on this road a few days prior to our departure. This is a two way trail that crests a number of dunes - particularly in the early stages of the drive. We were soon to discover that some of the users of this trail have only one intension and that is to get from A to Z as quickly as possible.

Ourselves and fellow trailist W and his son were ready to depart for Matopi 1 by 09h30. Our Landy was loaded to the hilt but it was eager to take us into the unknown. The report of this section of our adventure will include mostly photos of the camp sites, the roads, us and the scenery which will hopefully give forumites a good idea of what to expect should they do this trip in the near future.

The turn-off is about 3km from Nossob on the northern side

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The distance to Matopi 1 is 98km and W offered to do the first section driving in front. We soon entered the beautiful dune veld and an amazing sense of solitude enveloped us

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Unfortunately the twee-spoor was quite badly corrugated mainly because of speeding so we stuck to a steady 20km/hr for most of the way. The road was quite easy going - never used low range.

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The season had obviously been really good as far as rainfall was concerned. The grass was above knee height

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We saw very little game along this route. There were Gemsbok and the occassional Steenbok and that was about it. This did not concern us at all - it was just great being having the Kalahari to one's self!

We stopped a few times to stretch our legs because it was really slow going and the 98km seemed to take forever. Our Landy loved the outing dispite being so loaded

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Here are a few more pics of the track

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We only passed one vehicle heading in the direction of Nossob. We arrived at Matopi 1 after about 5 hours of driving which had been thoroughly enjoyable. I simply cannot understand how folk drive all the way from Mabua to Nossob in one day - maybe that is why the road is so corrugated! It really cannot be fun.

The isolation that one experiences at Matopi is difficult to describe. We pitched our tents under a large shepards tree and had a few hours to simply relax, cook up a tasty potjie and it was amazing how quickly my liver forgot that I had had malaria. We were visited by a Yellow-billed Hornbill and a Red-billed Francolin (a first for me).

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The snoring that took place late into the night certainly told a story - the red wine was good , the grub was good and wow, it was great to be so close to Mother Nature

_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 6:37 pm 
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Posts: 553
Location: Grahamstown
Day 4

After a very pleasant night's sleep we were up early because we had to strike camp and get going because the trip to Mabuasehube pan was a bit more than 100km.

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Nothing like an early morning cuppa to get you going!

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Soon after leaving Matopi 1 we found fresh Leopard spoor in the road which serves as a warning to all of us - never think that you can be catreless after dark. We soon arrived at a number of small pans that all had herds of antelope grazing.

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After about 60 km we stopped to strech our legs

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There was great excitement when we reached Bosobogolo Pan which indicated to us that we had finally reached the pans. We drove around the top end of this large pan and stopped at one of the vacant campsites to have lunch (together with something cold). The were a number of antelope on this huge pan

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These Gemsbok were very skittish and dashed off when our Landies approached

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The roads from Bosobogolo confused us a bit but we put our faith in W's T4A and set sail for Mabuasehube pan via Mapayathutlwa Pan. Here we saw a Temmincks Courser which was a first for me

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The road suddenly became very rough as we crested a calctret outcrop which we negotiated very slowly for fear of cutting the side walls of our tyres. Soon we reached the magnificent Mabuasehube Pan where we headed for Campsite No 4 which is without a doubt the best site at this pan. The view over the pan is stunning, there was water in the shower and very little traffic passed the camp during our stay. We set about pitching our tents and setting up our "home" for the two days.

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There was time for a quick drive around the pan before lighting the fire. The sunset was magnificent

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After a lovely evening around the camp fire we decided that it was time to turn in for a well deserved sleep. SO and my daughter went under the A frame to get a jug of water to use for cleaning their teeth. Like a shot they were on my lap saying that they could hear lapping sounds close by. We got out the torch and shone it in the direction of the "lapping" and can you imagine the fright we got when we saw a huge black-maned lion standing looking at us from a mere 15m away. The lion gave us a brief look and sauntered off down the road with his lady friend. That was the ultimate adrenelin rush. WOW. We were soon in bed and were treated to a night of roaring, growling and grunting from very close by. We were clearly in amongst the lions and very far from home! Nevertheless we all went to sleep with smiles on our faces. This was the experience that we had wished for.

_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:28 pm
Posts: 553
Location: Grahamstown
Day 5

We were up at sunrise and saw a number of spoor in our camp. It appeared as though the Hyenas had been around - W was missing a shoe and the potjie lid had been dragged from under the A frame. Never a dull moment

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There were plenty of game on the edge of the pan

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After coffee and rusks we decided to take a drive around the pan to see if we could find the Lions that had kept us wake all night. We were not to be disapponted - we found 7 Lions lying on the eastern side of the pan. They were in two groups and seemed to be quite alert. A herd od Red Haartebeest approached and we were sure that we would see action. The RHB saw the lions and from then on it was a game of cat and mouse. The RHB would walk up to the Lions and then dash off. The games continued for a while until the Lions appeared to lose interest

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The Lions got up, had a good stretch and then moved on to the pan. The RHB then became a bit twitchy and the excitement in our Landy was palpable

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The RHB moved off and one by one the Lions got up and started moving across the pan in a westerly direction - some were quite playful.

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We sensed that they were possibly heading towards the waterhole which is on the opposite side of the pan (close to No 1). We decided to gamble and left the Lions, heading back past our camp to the waterhole. We stopped of at Campsite No 2 and 3 to tell them that we thought that the Lions were coming to drink - can you believe it, they were totally disinterested!!
We then proceeded to experience one of the more special "lion encounters". We arrived at the waterhole virtually as the Lions got there. To spend this time in their midst in this isolated part of the park was really beautiful. The pictures will tell the story. They slaked their thirst and moved on.

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This fellow arrived at the waterhole a bit later

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I believe that we were so lucky with this sighting. This was no doubt one of the highlights of our trip.

We headed back to camp and spent the rest of the morning relaxing watching the goings on on the pan. We did witness a very interesting encounter. There were a large number of vultures sitting in groups all over the pan. Lappet-faced and White-backed being in the majority. We were very excited to see Palm-nut vultures as well (another first). An amazing thing happened - two black-backed jackals managed to catch a Lappet-faced vulture. The battle lasted at least an hour. The vulture was unable to fly (jackals must have damaged its wings). The poor vulture put up an amazing fight, refusing to let the jaclaks get the better of it. They would dash in and nip at the vulture's neck which they did not seem to get right because of much flapping and kicking from the vulture. Anyway, to cut a long story short they eventually wore the poor thing down and killed it. Unfortunately this was all witnessed through binoculars hence no photos.

Another view from our camp

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Our campsite at Mabua (No 4)

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There were a number of Capped-wheatear around the campsite

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Aother beautiful sunset.....but the day was not over yet!!

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_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:20 pm 
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Posts: 553
Location: Grahamstown
Day 5 continued........

I said the day was not over yet. Well we were quite wary of Lion encounters after the "scare" that we had last night. We prepared ourselves really well building a bigger fire, putting out more lamps etc and settled down for a relaxing evening. Soon after dark it was decided to warm up with a bottle of red wine. The cork screw could not be located so W offered to fetch his trusty leatherman from his tent which was a mere 10 m from where we were sitting around the fire. He asked his son to shine the torch which he duly did. The next thing we heard M (son) shout "Lion!!" and before we could say Jack Sprat a huge Lion appeared from behind the tent. We all froze and I would not be surprised if W did something else as well! He was within spitting distance of this King of the Kalahari. We managed not to panic and the Lion, followed by a lioness simply walked past in front of us and went straight to the tap at our shower, supposedly to get a drink. We had put a lamp at the shower and sadly this seemed to scare him of so they both gave us a glance and disappeared into the darkness. We suspect that this was the same pair from the previous night. Once again the we had had huge excitement. We made short work of the KWV! This is the beauty of this place - you never know who is watching you.

_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:48 pm 
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Posts: 553
Location: Grahamstown
Day 6

Sadly our brief stay at the Mabua Pan had come to an end. We had to pack up early and then head for the Mabuasehube Trail which starts at the Malatso Pan. This is a one way route back to Nossob with a compulsory stopover at Mosamane Pan. The trip to Mosomane was 65 km which meant thet we did not need to rush. You have to pre-book this trail and you have the exclusive use of the trail for the day - no other vehicles.

Whilst packing up at Mabua this Yellow-billed Hornbill popped over to have breakfast with us

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The first section of the drive past Khiding Pan is relatively flat with long grass which made game viewing quite difficult

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As we reached the entrance to the Mabua Trail it actually started to rain - cold and overcast which seemed very out of place. See the raindrops on the signboard

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You will notice from the picture that the road had recently been graded which really baffled us. I must say it spoilt the atmosphere somewhat but did make for a smooth ride. I had read that this section had become very overgrown and that vehicles had got badly scratched. I suspect that was the resaon why "human intervention" had taken place.

The scenery was once again stunning

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A few km from Mosomane we saw this vulture. I ID it as a Cape Vulture but there was a school of thought who felt that it was a White-backed vulture - what do the experts think?

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We reached Mosomane at about lunch time and were immediately impressed by this campsite. It had a feeling of pure isolation and had a good view of the pan. It was, however, clearly evident that humans had once agin shown scant respect for this piece of paradise. Fires had not been cleaned up, vehicles had driven all over the place and "new" camping spots had been cleared outside the designated boundaries - really sad.

As soon as we had our tents out it started raining - can you believe it! Nevertheless we pitched our wet tents and had no sooner completed the job and the rain stopped. Anyway it freshened things up nicely.

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There were a few Gemsbok and Red Haartebeest on the pan when we arrived but later on we were very excited to see 4 Eland coming down onto the pan. We jumped into the Landy so that we could drive around the pan to get a closer look at them. Clearly they were not acquainted with vehicles because they took off like race horses and disappeared over the dunes

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These were the first Eland that I had seen in KTP. We continued on our drive around the pan and found these rather curious meercats

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The view over the pan from our campsite

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We had a welcoming committee of feathered friends - a Fork-tailed Drongo and a Kalahari Scrub Robin

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We had a great evening around the camp fire - very sad that this was nearly the end of this section of our trip. We had no visitors (that we know of) - just clear skies, bright stars and clever people!

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_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:28 pm
Posts: 553
Location: Grahamstown
Day 7

Quite a long pull lay ahead of us - 115 Km. We struck camp early and set sail for Nossob. Being our last day we thought it would be appropriate to include the Landies in our photo

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One last shot of the Mosamane Pan before departing

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The road soon became a twee spoor again which was great. Along bthe way we saw Pale-chanting Goshawk (one with an unfortunate mouse) and Gemsbok

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At about the halfway mark we stopped for a bush breakfast. We enjoyeed our now legendary jaffles, thanks to the chefs

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We then departed on our home run. The grass was almost over-grown due to the abundant summer rains that had fallen

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The volume of Gemsbok increased as we approached the Nossob valley

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All good things come to an end which called for a toast

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We arrived at Nossob at about 14h00 and the showers were really welcome. We set up camp for the night and then went out to Marie se Draai for an evening drive. What a good move this was. Just passed Rooikop waterhole we came across these three Cheetah in hunting mode. They made a few half-hearted attempts at catching a young Blue Wildebeest before heading down towards the Nossob waterhole. We turned round and followed them. A few Km down we came across a Cheetah with her four cubs. Quite a tense encounter followed between the Cheetah mum and the three males. We left them and had to head back to camp because closing time was looming so do not know what happened. Where do you have the honour of seeing 8 Cheetah all together? It was very dark hence the poor quality of the photos.

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_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:28 pm
Posts: 553
Location: Grahamstown
Day 8

Sadly we had to bid farewell to our fellow trailists, W & M. They were heading home and we had to pack up and head for Polentswa. We had heard so much about this campsite and were thrilled to have been able to book No 1. We fetched our trailer and did a thorough re-pack. We decided to take our time and then take a slow drive up to Polentswa.

En-route we found this Juv PCG enjoying a meal between Cubitje Quap and Kwang. The mice really do take a hammering in KTP!

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We stopped off at Bedinkt. Once again the Gemsbok were present. They had dug a hole from which they must have been extracting some sort of "mineral fix". We had never seen so many Gemsbok in the park before. Convewrsely we thought that there were far less Springbok than in previous years. I wonder if other forumites also thought so?

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The Ground Squirrels once again kept us entertained. My word but this guy was certainly well-endowed!

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When we reached the Polentswa turn-off we notic3d that the weather in the west was beginning to look ominous. We crossed the Nossob and saw this Lessor Grey Shrike who must have been preparing to move off to warmer pastures

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A sign to remind us that we had arrived

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The Polentswa camp is not far from the Nossob valley, probably 3 km. I must say we took an immediate liking to this place, particarly site no 1. It has a 180 degree view of the pan. We decided to pich our tent under the A-frame because the weather was steadily building up and we did not feel like holding on for dear life all night.

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Once we had settled in we took a short drive to the Polentswa waterhole. We had heard that there was a pair of nomadic lions that were frequenting this area. We did not see much except for this Tawny Eagle

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There were now serious rumblings in the west so we headed back to camp to light the fire

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During the course of the evening we were treated to the most amazing display of lightening and thunder. The view across the pan was unspoiled. The storm inched closer but by the time we turned in for the night it appeared as though the storm had subsided. Well we were not so lucky - at about midnight we copped it - this was a Kalahari storm of note. The wind and rain lashed us for about half an hour. Thank goodness we were reasonably secure under the A-frame. Had we been under the tree I fear we would have been in serious trouble. Well we survived and yet again a new and fascinating experience.

_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


Last edited by canon on Thu May 31, 2012 6:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:28 pm
Posts: 553
Location: Grahamstown
Day 9

We decided to take the long drive up to Unions End today - our daughter had never been there. The roads.......grrrrrrrr. Say no more. It was very quiet until we reached Kannagaus waterhole. We did the Leijersdraai Loop (long one). This is always such a special drive. The Red Haartebeest entertained us for a while

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A timid Slender Mongoose dshed across the road

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A kind fellow approaching from Grootkolk stopped to tell us that there were Lions that had been spotted earlier about 15km from Unions End. This perked us up - what is it about the cats that gets us going??

We still had a way to go but decided to keep toddling along instead of rushing off in dearch of these Lions. Well barely a1 km further on we saw this single Lioness drinking from a pool of water in the Nossob valley. She then moved on across to the Botswana side. She appeared to be heavily pregnant.

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We had no sooner moved off when we saw a Brown Hyena (on our wishlist) disappear into the long grass. It had ctossed the road while we were watching the Lion. This was too terrible - we could just see its ears moving through the grass over hill and then gone!! What a shame - we had only seen one Brownie before. Anyway we carried on our merry way marvelling at the huge pools of water in the Nossob valley - product of last night's storm.

Near the Geinab waterhole SO cried "Stop, whats that?". Blow me down, another single Lioness looking in the opposite direction. She kept calling and looked very agitated. She soon got up and walked parallel the road for about three km, calling all the time. We wondered if she was looking for missing cubs. It difficult to see if she was lactating or not.

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We spent a bit of time at Unions End, signed the book and headed back to Unions End picnic site. We saw a lovely Gemsbok along the way

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The ablutions at the picnic spot were disgusting to say the least - not sure when the parks officials last paid this place a visit. Nevertheless we had a pleasant brunch - it had got really hot. A German couple pulled into the picnic spot and decided to choose a table right next to us which is sometimes a little annoying. Well there is never a dull moment. The lady decided that it was really too hot and stripped down to her underwear!!!. She then waltzed around with her binoculars looking up into all the trees. THIS WAS A FIRST FOR ME. Who says the KTP is boring.

After this rare sighting we wended our way back down to Polentswa. We did the short Leijersdraai Loop and later saw this Squirrel enjoying a meal of Tsama Melon

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Near the Polentswa waterhole we saw ths Juv Bateleur. They had also been few and far between on our trip

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Another stork at Polentswa before heading back to camp where we spent the rest of the day relaxing, enjoying the view and watching the antics of the Sprinbuck and Blue Wildebeest on the pan

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Hans Schwabe's grave is near the camp. He apparently was a fellow who wandered off into the Kalahari to do some illegal prospecting and consequently died of thirst right there where the grave is

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There were plenty of these Skinks around - not too fond of them

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Soon after sunset the Tree Rats came out of hiding. Apparently these fellows never leave the tree and it is their urine that kills the Camelthorn trees.

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The elements co-operated this evening and we had a very pleasant time under the stars. We did have a visit from a very brave Spotted Hyena who came very close to us despite us trying to shoo him away. He obviously visited again during the night because we found a number of our "utensils" were scattered around the campsite when we got up in the morning.

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_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:44 pm 
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Location: Grahamstown
Fotomaljohan wrote:
Hi CANON, I'm on board as well! What a sad start and I hope you (and your liver) is much better by now! Those roaring lions in the bush at night (with no fences), will surely keep me awakde all night as well! You must have had a wonderful experirience in those 'wild' camps! Very nice sightings and photos! (Love your camps!) We were camping at Nossob for six nights in April (14 in total in KTP) and were kept awake by two roaring male lions the last 3 nights! (with a fence in between!), so I can just imagine how scared you must have been! Great TR! FMJ


One does get nervous in a strange sort of way. You know you should be safe but you never know.... During our first night at Polentswa we were woken by the sound of the potjioe being knocked over and immediately our minds started racing. We were convinced that we had heard breathing next to the tent and all three of us lay dead still in the tent for what seemed like hours. Eventually the call of nature forced one of us to get to the porta potti - of course every sound made seemed far too loud. Well to cut a long story short there was not a single spoor anywhere near our tent the next morning.

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WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:51 pm 
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PetraJ wrote:
Wow Canon, just read through your whole report. Up to a year ago, I never even dreamed of visiting KTP, but all has changed and now we are looking at possible 4x4 routes. This sounds so amazing, especially the close encounters at night. :thumbs_up:


We had been going to Kruger for many years and absolutely love it there. SO suggested that we give the KTP a try and to be honest I was quite reluctant. Anyway we booked the trip and the rest is history - WE ARE HOOKED. It is unfair to compare the two parks because both have there good points. What we love about the KTP is -
- very few tourists
- no scrums at good sightings
- those visiting the park seem to be so considerate and friendly (there are a few exceptions)
- the solitude and harshness of the environment really appeals to us

The 4x4 trails add a whole new dimension to visiting the KTP. Highly recommended.

_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Day 10

Two nights at Polentswa was definitely too short but anyway we packed up and had to head all the way to Mata Mata. We had got used to the packing by now and each of us had a specific role to play making it much easier and much less foul language was being used! We were really sad to leave this place and decided that we would definitely be back

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We were informed by another camper that lions gad been seen near the Polentswa waterhole so we did a right turn at the T-junction. We had hardly gone 200m when we saw the two nomadic lions lying right next to the road. They did not look happy to see us but eventually calmed down

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We had a long haul ahead of us today so decided to only stop for exceptional sightings. We filled up at Nossob and headed south seeoing this single cheetah near Cheleka waterhole and a bit further on another squirrel enjoying a tsama melon

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Brunch at a very busy Dikbaardskolk was very welcome. The remainder of the trip was uneventful (we saw a Pygmy Falcon and a White-backed Vulture in the Auob Valley) and we were really glad to reach Mata Mata which would be our home for the next week. We found a lovely sight next to the fence right in front of the waterhole. It was so nice to do a bit of "glamping" for a change, pitching both tents and having electricity etc.

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While we were pitching our tents a pair of Laughing Doves were busy building a nest in the tree above us. These two were our constant companions for the whole week

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We spent the rest of the day simply enjoying the camp before turning in for a peaceful night's sleep. The camp site was very full and I must say there were a number of chain saws fueled by red wine that were busy late into the night!

_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:29 pm 
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Meandering Mouse wrote:
More, please, more :pray:

had another look at your tree rats, Acacia tree rats, I think. Just about the cutest little critters around. I can understand why some people keep them as pets.

:popcorn:


Ther Acacia tree rats really are cute. Here is a pic I took at Melkvlei Picnic spot on a previous trip

Image

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WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Location: Grahamstown
Day 11

We decided that today would be taken easy and that we would spend the bulk of the day in the camp. We had a bit of a lie-in but there was plenty of activity above our tent - the new home-owners were still hard at it!

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Every now and then they would give the nest building a bit of a break and get down to some serious TLC

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Other visitors to our camp site were a Fork-tailed Drongo and the ever present Ground Squirrels

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I had a good walk around in search of owls but had no luck. I must say the personel at the shop and filling station were not much help. I asked if they had seen owls around and all that I got was "Hulle is maar hier rond". THANKS.

We took a short afternoon drive to Craig Lochardt and saw these Springbuck

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_________________
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES : We can make a living or we can design a life

29/12/14 - 05/1/15 MZNP
02-07/4/15 Addo
26/6 - 5/7/15 MZNP
4 - 7/8/15 Richtersveld NP
17 - 26/8/15 Kgalagadi NP


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