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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:45 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Award: Travel tale of the Year - Other Parks (2012)
Thanks everyone for the kind commets yet again. I am sorry that it's been a while since my last post, but life has got in the way :evil:

Day 5: Rooiputs to Nossob


We had decided the previous evening not to try and start packing up camp the night before leaving for Nossob, but rather to worry about that in the morning, and we were glad we did.

As a result we only left Rooiputs at about 8 am, an hour after “gate” opening time.
Having missed the opportunity of being alone on the road we decided to head off to Nossob straight away and not to see what was lurking at Leeudril that morning.

As a rule, we rarely see much when we move between camps. I suppose that really depends on what you call “seeing much” - That probably refers to the larger predators, but to say that we didn’t see much on any one given day in the Kgalagadi is really not true.

Today was to be a day for the little guys… (Well mostly)

On the section of road before Kij Kij, we came upon these delightful suricates up on the ridge,


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A tortoise was on the side of the raod,

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And this ground squirrel was diligenty guarding his home and watching us with interest

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The road between Melkvlei and Dikbaardskolk was the pits. We saw quite a lot of general game along the way, but the highlight was definitely this Cape Cobra next to the road. The snake reared up and displayed it’s hood as we approached. Probably a bit unhappy with the sound of an Isuzu bakkie being rattled to bits as we approached. We managed to get a photo as it was starting to calm down a bit.


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Keeping in with the snake theme, Debs also got to capture this snake eagle taking off.


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We got to Nossob at about 2pm and set up camp


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The afternoon was spent in camp chilling and catching up with a very special Kalahari Moose whom we hadn’t seen for over a year!
:dance: :dance:

We had an early supper that evening with Anna, and then went out on the night drive…..

In past night drives at Nossob the most we had ever seen was a baby barking gecko (a bit of a standing joke between Debs and I), and we wondered what tonight would reveal.

The drive started off well with various barn and spotted Eagle owl sightings.

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As well as some bunnies (Sorry no pics)

As we were approaching Maries, Anna commented that there were hyena tracks in the road, and a bit further on some pasting.

This was really special to see as the brownies mark their territory by marking the prominent grass tufts on the edge of their territories. Brown Hyena pasting can be differentiated from spotted hyena pasting by the additional brown paste on the grass. All really interesting stuff whilst seeing the real thing.

Then at Maries we saw the real, real thing

A proof pic, but a brownie nevertheless.


Image

_________________
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


Last edited by GavinW on Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:27 pm 
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Day 6: Fighter pilots of the Kgalagadi

The next morning we were up bright and early and were in the hide waiting for gate opening time. We had arranged to take Moose out for a short morning drive, as she never really gets out much during the day, and it gave us a chance to catch up a bit as well.

She met us in the hide and at 7am we set off and headed north…

On the way up to Langklaas, we happened upon these wildebeest at Kwang,

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and these gemsbok at Bedinkt

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Otherwise we just reveled in the beauty and tranquility of the Kgalagadi..

As did this juvenile PCG

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This soon changed once we got to Cubitjie Quap!!


We started off watching these sandgrouse collecting water for their young,

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And then the fun started :dance:

The Lanners arrived

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Well we were fascinated. The raptors held regular blitzes on the doves and finches drinking at the waterhole, which provided some great photographic opportunities.

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My comparison of the lanner falcons to fighter pilots really was apt, as they came in time after time causing havoc.

No kills, but lots of fun

We eventually had to leave in order to get Moose back to Nossob to resume her duties!

Once back in camp, we spent the afternoon doing all those household chores usually done by my myself, but delegated to my SO as I was also on holiday.
I must admit, he spaced the clothes pegs out perfectly

That evening

A sunset drive of a lifetime!!!

TBC :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Award: Travel tale of the Year - Other Parks (2012)
Before I continue I need to apologise for the delay since my last post. Life , no rather work, got in the way and I have had all these tsunamis landing on my head over the last few days… :twisted:


Day 6 cont… A sunset drive of note!!

After a busy day in camp, we were booked on the sunset drive that evening which was departing at about 5pm.

We were joined on the trip by an English couple David and Catherine, who were on a pre-wedding “honeymoon”, and Anna as our guide. :D

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Anna at work.

The first part of the trip was quite with only the usual general game around

We headed south down to Maries se Draai, and drove the loop in reverse.

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Catherine told us of a cheetah sighting they had had that afternoon on the loop, and we all hoped that they were still around.

The cheetah had been in the riverbed, so all our attention was focused there. But whilst we were looking for them, they were watching us

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Well spotted Debs!!!!


The two soon disappeared into the darkness, and we watched a stunning full moon rise over the Kgalagadi!

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We carried on and whilst I was busy pointing out an owl in the riverbed, there was this load gasp from the front of the vehicle.

This chap suddenly appeared out of the darkness walking down the road. He passed right next to the van and walked past and behind the vehicle.

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Sorry about the pics, but it was dark and everything was moving!

The lion was a beauty, and we followed him (In reverse) whilst he sauntered along the road……. And got a whole lot of bum shots.

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We eventually let him wander off on his way, and continued on towards the waterhole.
Along the way, we spotted this Springhare

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As well as this Spotted Eagle Owl

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And then we came upon this roadblock.

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The two lovers were not moving and Anna advised us that to try interfere with a mating lioness is not a clever idea.
She was best left alone so we had no alternative but to turn around and retrace our steps.

We weren’t complaining, but it did put a bit of a time pressure on us to return in time for the night drive.

We went around Maries a bit quicker that on our way out, and after a while came across big daddy again. More bum shots until he moved off onto the dunes to the north.

Image

We then headed back towards Rooikop……………tbc

_________________
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:54 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Award: Travel tale of the Year - Other Parks (2012)
Thanks everyone for all your input. We are so glad that you are enjoying re-living our holiday with us!

I don't have the time to comment on each reply, but REALLY they are all appreciated.

Rooikop rocks!!!

Ok after our previous experiences on Nossob night drives of baby barking geckos (OK conveniently forgetting last night’s bonus brownie) we were totally stoked at the evenings proceedings thus far. :dance: :dance:

As we were going over the hill, inbetween the entrance and exit of Maries, Deb’s joked “Now all we need to see is a leopard” :hmz: :hmz:


Ha Ha Ya really, Debs that’s pushing it. :lol: :lol:

Well the Kgalagadi was about to throw some red sand straight into my face, :redface:
because just after Rooikop this lady was walking down the road!!


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Oh my hat!!!!!!!!!!

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Like her feline friend earlier in the evening, she presented us with loads of bum shots

Before she lay down next to the road and put us on ignore!!


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All to soon we had to return to camp so that the night drive could go out...( they also saw the princess, only she faced the cameras for them :twisted: )


But who cares!! We had had a drive of a lifetime, as Debs said "Ok We can go home now!!"


NO!! So NO :naughty:

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Award: Travel tale of the Year - Other Parks (2012)
@ Wanderw. Thanks for identifying Langklaas for us :clap:


Morkel... we went through all our trips to KTP having only seen one leopard in May 2008!

Until this trip when we saw 6 in 5 different sightings :lol:

@ Rookie ... glad to have you back on board :P

Day 7: Maries delivers ……Again


We woke up on Monday 7 May hardly believing that our long awaited holiday was already one week old!!

On the bright side we still had another two weeks to go, and we were in Nossob about to head south to see what Marie’s se Draai had to deliver…

After last night’s game drive do you blame us! :redface:

Whilst waiting for the gate to open Debs noticed that we had a mouse in the house!! :lol:

Image


All was quiet as we travelled past Rooikop…. No leopard this morning, lots of cat tracks in the road, but no cats.

Until.....


We turned into Maries and within the first 100 meters we spotted these two cheetah on the move.


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Unfortunately, they were quite far off and moving away. We watched them till they were out of sight and decided to carry on…

About a kilometer further on down the road, we happened upon this African Wild Cat trying to get warm…

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A really special sighting. :D

_________________
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:32 pm 
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Day 7 cont... A “rest day”



Marie's decided that we had seen enough (for now) so after travelling around the loop, we decided to head up north to Bedinkt and back.

At Kwang, we came across a crowd all looking for their mid morning drink.

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After that we spent a good bit of time watching the Lanners at Cubitjie Quap again.

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Never a dull moment!!

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I also tried my hand at taking a few pics, which turned out OK (I think anyway)

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And on the way back to camp we spotted these Swallow Tailed Bee-eaters.

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(my pic)

And a Marico Fly catcher (?)

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We got back to camp to find that our friends Kelly and Chris had arrived.
We spent an enjoyable afternoon in camp with them and the kids, and after a stunning steak braai, I went on a night drive along with Chris and Kelly, whilst Debbie decided to stay in to have an “early” night!!

Night Drives in Nossob in early May 2012 were no longer quiet affairs!

As I was given “torch” duty and Debs wasn’t with us, I never took any photos, but Chris has kindly supplied a few of his images of the evening:


This spotted Eagle Owl in flight (especially for Bill!!)

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The cheetah we had seen that morning were still around

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As was a lion near Rooikop.. (Sorry no pic)

And these Cape Foxes we spotted on the way back!!

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(Not to sure what it was about the border markers that day, but anyway :twisted: )

Thanks Chris for the photos
We got back to find that the crowd we had left behind, Debbie, Don and Den (Chris’s parents), all still on baby sitting duty, and not complaining :dance:

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Day 8: Nossob to Dikbaardskolk and back!

This was the morning Moose was heading back to Twee Rivieren. :cry:

Anna met us early at the hide so that we could share a few more minutes with her before she left, and was persuaded by both WillieW and myself, that half a tank of diesel would get her back to TR. (She was really very nervous about it, but had to get back ASAP, so didn’t have time to wait for the petrol tanks to open)

She left just a bit before 7.30 promising not to chase all the animals away whilst she passed. :D

WillieW and Chris and Kelly all went north, whilst we set off south yet again.

Creatures of habit I suppose!! :redface:

This morning Marie’s was quiet, but then what is quiet. She delivered in a different way this morning


These stunning Kudu (I remember a previous trip when all we saw on Maries were some Kudu)

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These falcons

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And a PCG having breakfast (With no Honey badger in tow)

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The trip down to Dikbaardskolk provided us with a sighting of two Rooi Hartebeest having a bit of a power struggle. (Sorry a proof pic only!)

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Whilst at Dikbaardskolk itself we saw these crimson breasted shrikes

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A starling

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And a Hamerkop (A new tick for both of us)


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Who took off as we were about to take his photo!
:evil:

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We had an uneventful trip back to camp, only to find a message from Chris and Kelly written in the sand at our campsite….. “Cheetah kill 2kms north of camp!” :big_eyes:

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Day 8: cont.. our afternoon up north!


I really need a page to turn, but I will continue for a bit anyway

Having heard about the cheetah kill just north of camp, we soon found out that the cheetah had long since disappeared, leaving the carcass to some vultures.

After a short break in camp, we decided to go and have a look and then continue up north for the evening.

We soon came upon the kill, which was basically history

Image

Image

Our decision to go up to Kwang soon proved to be a really good decision.

Soon after leaving the kill we came upon WillieW on his way back to camp, who had gone north that morning, had also missed the cheetah kill, but told us of a small pride of lions which were sleeping near the Kwang waterhole, as well as about a mating couple about a kilometer further on.

We carried on past Kwang and eventually found the couple..

Image

Now I really need a new page.

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:07 pm 
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Thanks for all the replies everyone, and for assisting in turning the page.

Day 8 cont... Lion overdose!


We spent a fair amount of time watching the two lovers sleep, all the time on our own, due probably to the fact that everyone else was watching some lions sleeping under a tree at Kwang.

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Image

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Yawn!! :|


Debs started getting a bit bored so got a little creative with her photos 8)


Image

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No flies on me!! :lol:

This was the same couple WillieW had seen earlier. the male eventually sat up. (he had a porcupine quill stuck in his chest, and was a bit uncomfortable)

Image

After a while, time was running out, and we still wanted to see what was going on a Kwang, so we left them to their own devices.

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:58 pm 
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The Kwang Quarrel

We got to Kwang just in time. As we had suspected, whole “herd” of cars had been watching the lions sleeping at Kwang. :lol:

Well, just before we arrived, they woke up and after having a sip of water, proceeded to walk past all the cars in the “car park” and walk straight up to us as we arrived.
(God is good…all the time!!) :dance: :dance:

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The lions walked up towards the road, and the one male, obviously had his eye on one of the lionesses in the group.

She obviously had other ideas!

Let the pictures tell the story!!

Image

Image

Image

Image

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OMW What just happened? :big_eyes:

Image




(I’m sorry, but that was a bit of an overkill, but you must admit it was worth it!!)

TBC……

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Lions at Kwang.... continued

The lioness carried on up towards our vehicle and sat down on the side of the road next to us.

A second lioness, sidled up to Mr Handsome and offered herself as a stand in

Hello handsome!

Image

Want some fun?

Image


Wink!

Image Image

However the man had eyes only for the first lady of the pride, and ignored her!

All the time this was happening next to our car, we were being watched by Chris and Kelly, and everyone else at Kwang

Image

Debbie does seem to be a little concerned in this pic! (Note the lioness right next to the car!) :shock:

Image
(Chris's pic)

We eventually moved on to allow others a chance as well to get close to the pride, and set off back to camp.
We got back just before gate closing time, checked in and went and had a really pleasant time with WillieV and his wife over some evening sundowners..

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


Last edited by GavinW on Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Day 9: A day for the birds, (Well initially anyway)

Our day started with the sound of lions roaring early in the morning, which resulted in us being up and about a bit earlier than usual, and we were soon at the birdhide to see if we could spot our noisy neighbours. We were unsuccessful, but were told of a male heading north, which had been seen a bit earlier.

This, and after the previous day’s action at Kwang, it was not surprising that there was a pretty long queue of cars at the gate just before gate opening time. All going north!

We decided at the last minute to head south around Maries so as to avoid the crowds, and experienced this amazing sunrise and moon set as we set out.

Image

Image


Marie’s was really quiet this morning, with only this vulture and Pale Chanting Goshawk posing for us.

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We then turned around and took a drive up to Cubitjie Quap, where we came upon these sandgrouse.


Image

It seemed as if everyone was having similar luck this morning so we returned to camp for a break.

That afternoon we set off south again as far as Kaspersdraai, where we had heard of cheetah and lion being spotted earlier on in the day.

These also proved to be elusive, and besides my loosing my front number plate whilst doing one of my special 10 point Kgalagadi turns the drive was pretty uneventful.

These birds brightened up the drive home that afternoon.

Image

Image

All in all the day which though quiet had been really pleasant, but as we all know by now, you never know what the Kgalagadi has in store for you, and this day was far from over.

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:45 pm 
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Smoked salmon and Pomgraz

Flashback: May 2010 Twee Rivieren;

Post subject: Re: Prides of grass, hyenas, (and other animals) KTP May 2011

Day 16: 15 May 2011 Kieliekrankie to Twee Rivieren cont


We went and relaxed a bit at the chalet, unpacked and downloaded photos, before heading off on an evening drive up to Leeudril and back. Hoping to spot that elusive leopard, which we were sure, did not exist!! :redface:

We ended the day off sharing a delicious meal with Bill and Gigi, who were on their way back to Cape Town the next morning. Bill even organised some smoked salmon as a starter!! After two weeks in the park that was impressive!!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes:



After our 2011 trip we were instructed by Bill and Gigi that even though they were not able to join us, we were to continue the “smoked salmon” tradition in the park this year. Bill and Chris had met and connected in Nossob searching for barn owls in flight, so we thought who better to share the tradition with but with Chris and Kelly.

Image

Added to the above, Kelly managed to pull out a bottle of Pomgraz from somewhere in their trailer

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Chris’s parents Den and Don also joined us as we enjoyed our feast!!
:dance:

Talia also enjoyed a taste of Norway!!

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And Ron and Annette some new friends we had made this year also popped in to say farewell to C&Kl

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Sundowners done and dusted, we had arranged a final night drive with Chris and Kelly as they were heading off home the next day and we were off to Polentswa.

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:14 pm 
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A night drive to remember

There are times when you know that you are really blessed, when you have the opportunity to experience nature at it’s best, in our most favourite place on the planet along with good friends. :dance:

Tonight was one of those moments. :D

Champagned and salmoned up, Debbie, Chris, Kelly, Den and I joined Melissa on the night drive that evening leaving Don to stoke up .the fire and to babysit. :twisted:

Unbeknown to us, Melissa had seen two lions just outside camp on the sunset drive heading off along one of the “no entry” roads nearby.

She decided to take that road to see if we could spot them.

Well about 500m into the detour, Debs shouted… There is a lion on the left !!( no , no two lions on the left!!)

:big_eyes: :big_eyes:

This is what she saw!!

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A very full big daddy

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And a very mean looking lady,

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Who was still a bit snackish!


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(Not quite smoked salmon, but she didn't seem to mind!)


They must have caught the wildebeest in the time between the two drives.

Tbc…………….

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:48 pm 
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The rest of the night drive…..


After a while Melissa decided it was time to move on, so we did. :wall: :wall:

As we went around Maries, we saw this stunning owl

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And another acting as a road block!

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These bat eared foxes were out looking for supper just before we got back to camp.

Image

Image


Once back at the tent, we heard this big commotion coming from the riverbed near the hide.
We rushed there to see two brown hyenas having a quarrel.. Too far away for pics, but a nice sighting to end off Nossob (part one) of our trip

Tomorrow: Polentswa :dance: :dance:

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Stampajane at 08:54:29 Submitted by CarolynR at 11:25:29 Submitted by KWAGGA C at 05:50:22 Submitted by Mrs. S.K.L.Gauntlett at 09:01:29