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 Post subject: Re: Cheetah Fest - KTP November 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:35 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thanks a million, folks. It was a special trip, if I can replicate this kind of luck (even half of it) again I would be a happy man... :lol:


Day 6: Nossob

So cheetah #2 started approaching as #1 crossed the road behind me.

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This one also crossed the road behind me and the 2 sat and gazed over the Nossob for a potential meal...

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They couldn't spot anything from this vantage point, and started moving on...

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There were a few vehicles behind me now, so I decided to use this opportunity to push on and remain clear of their dust...

:thumbs_up: :popcorn:

The rest of the road to Bedinkt didn't deliver much.
I stopped at Bedinkt and sat a while, waiting to see if the local lion pride would be around for a drink.

A lone Black-backed Jackal approached. Its coat looked very mangy and it seemed in poor condition...most of the jackals we saw on this trip looked mangy and sick...not sure why... :big_eyes:

The guy next to me at the waterhole told me about a large male lion he'd found next to the road between Kwang and Bedinkt (he left the cheetahs earlier than I did)... :evil: :wall: :slap:

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There were some Springbok and Gemsbok mulling around. They seemed restless - so we waited a bit.
Apparently there was a fierce fight between lions and hyenas not a week ago here, you could spot the carcass in the distance...

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After a while I decided to turn around and head back.
Perhaps the male lion would show himself again?? :hmz:

(you'll want to get some :popcorn: now)... :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Cheetah Fest - KTP November 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 617
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Glad you are all still on board and not bored out of your socks yet :wink: :mrgreen:

Day 6: Nossob

So as I said, I turned back...
...and was I glad I did...
...check out the sight that awaited me next to the road at Kwang...
:big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

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This guy was seriously the most beautiful male lion in the best condition that I have ever seen anywhere in South Africa... :big_eyes: :cam: :clap: :clap:

When I arrived he was actually roaring his heart out...and I had to maneuver the vehicle around to get a better shooting angle on him.

"What are YOU looking at, punk??" (check the expression here)

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Some grooming of the king...

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I spent about 15 minutes with him - one other vehicle present :dance: before he got up and walked across the road and into the thick foliage/shrubs opposite the Kwang turnoff...roaring all the way as he walked. This must've been the male that the other tourists had found that morning that I had just missed. He was finishing off his patrols...

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I returned to camp, a very happy chappy with the morning's drive... :whistle: :clap: :D

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 Post subject: Re: Cheetah Fest - KTP November 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:08 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 617
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Glad you liked that lion - he was a beaut... :shock:


Day 6: Nossob

So we had a brunch, a swim and a rest that afternoon, and at about 4pm we set out for an afternoon drive...heading north again (I hoped the lion would still be about).

Guess what we found????.... :thumbs_up: :cam:

Yep - CHEETAHS...not even 1km north of Nossob, the same 2 males I found in the morning, lazing under a tree in the riverbed... :clap: :dance:

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We decided to wait around a bit. There was a lone springbok a little further south, which seemed to pique their interest :hmz:

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But...I could see/feel the wind direction wasn't right, and the springbok was standing looking in their direction, no doubt aware of their presence. The other tourists at the sighting moved and went to park with the springbok, no doubt wanting to see a chase and possibly a kill. I stayed with the cheetahs. I made the right call...after a while they got up, and started moving north! :big_eyes: :clap:

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I moved forward and tried to anticipate what they would do. It seemed that something on the dune behind the road had caught their attention, perhaps a Steenbok... :popcorn:

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The older one was leading the approach...

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I maneuvered the SUV to be right in the spot where he would come marching up the bank of the river/road.

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And then he shot forward, past the nose of our car, and across the road into the shrubbery of the dune.

The other one paused momentarily...

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And then followed.
We lost them then, I patrolled the stretch of road up-and-down but they didn't come down again.

I was stoked though - Cheetah Fest was an unbelievable trip thus far...

There was still some light left so I went south to see if something would show up at Marie-se-draai...
:whistle: :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Cheetah Fest - KTP November 2011
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:25 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 617
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thanks everyone... :lol:


Day 6: Nossob

Some sights from Marie-se-draai that afternoon after the cheetah sighting...

Violet-Eared Waxbill
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Tree Mouse
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Mr Jackal - not the scraggly/moulted coat
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Some more tree mice
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A sleepy mouse
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Starling
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Kori Bustard:
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And one last mangy jackal...
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We spent our last night in Nossob under the stars. Our LO had developed a temperature that night - and we would have to watch her closely during the next day... :( :hmz:

The next day we would head over to the Kalahari Tented Camp.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheetah Fest - KTP November 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:38 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 617
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
thanks guys...almost time to start packing for KTP again! :big_eyes: :dance: :clap:
so let's see how much we can finish of this one before I go again... :mrgreen:


Day 7: Nossob to Mata-Mata

We had just finished packing up for the long drive to Mata-Mata when we saw a commotion at the hide. I grabbed the first camera I could and ran in there.

6 lions had just finished drinking!! And they were too far from the waterhole for the 70-200mm lens I had on the camera...!! :big_eyes: :wall: :slap: :doh:

I snapped some memory-shots anyway, since they then started to play in the dust lit up by the golden morning light!

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We got out of the camp and hit the road. LO was still not feeling lekker, though we managed to break the fever during the night. Marie-se-draai was quiet...a few birdies around...

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At Kaspersdraai there were 2 Tawny Eagles...

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We crossed the upper dune road with all tyres in tact this time... :thumbs_up:

Once in the Auob, it wasn't long after Urikaruus that we saw this cute family...

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And shortly after that, another kind of family...guess what?? Lisette and her 4 cubs again! :hmz: :thumbs_up:
Cheetah Fest continues...though they were quite lazy and resting. We pushed on.

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In the next episode: a VERY interesting encounter at Dalkeith...and no it doesn't involve a cheetah :whistle: :cam:

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 Post subject: Re: Cheetah Fest - KTP November 2011
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:01 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 617
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Okay, I'm back and our trip was amazing. We had the sighting of my life... :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

You'll have to wait for the TR, though!! :mrgreen:

First I need to finish this one, then to KTP Feb2012 before I can do KTP Nov 2012 :mrgreen: :whistle:


Day 7: Mata-Mata

We moved further up the Auob, and at Dalkeith we had a pretty interesting sighting!

A journey of giraffe had come down for a drink in the late morning heat...only to find that they would have to wait their turn! :big_eyes:

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It seemed to be the same female with the small cubs hidden somewhere... :hmz:

The giraffes moved closer cautiously, keeping an eye on their nemesis... :rtm: :sniper:

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Finally she was done and moved to a nearby tree for a little nap...

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The giraffes still didn't trust the peace...and kept checking her out!

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We left her to her nap and moved on, eager to get to the camp.

We saw the Spotted Eagle Owl chicks out and about again briefly...

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At Mata Mata we followed the usual routine...eat, nap, sleep...

That afternoon I went out on my own. :hmz:

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Last edited by Morkel777 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheetah Fest - KTP November 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:21 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 617
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thanks for hopping back on the bus, guys... :lol: :dance:


Day 7: Mata-Mata

So that afternoon I drove out alone again. SO wanted to stay in camp with LO who's temperature was heating up again. We decided to consider skipping the next night in TR and driving straight home... :? :(

Some Bee-Eaters to start things off...

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Close to Dalkeith I linked up with the lioness who was now on the move. I spent the next 40 minutes on my own with her as she moved up into the dunes to where her cubs were stashed. I got no real keepers in terms of photos but it was great to amble next to her with my windows open for about 3km in the road.

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Here she's next to the passenger window before she walked into the road and next to my side of the car...

[img][IMG]http://i578.photobucket.com/albums/ss230/Lekrom777/Kgalagadi%20Trip%20November%202011/377_day7_lion_4.jpg[/img][/img]

Here's an iphone photo I took - straight from the phone... :hmz: :thumbs_up:

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She eventually headed up the high dune on the Namibian side...

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I could see the cubs come from the bush to meet her and to suckle, but it was far and I got no photos.

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When she laid down, she was out of sight and with her kids...

Jan van Wyk and family would have an amazing sighting just the next week as she introduced the cubs to the pride! :big_eyes: :slap: :doh:

I turned back after a while, and saw that a young male lion had come down to have a nap at Craig Lockhart.
He was being pretty useless...so I didn't stay long with him. :wall:

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On the way back I came across some young Black-backed Jackal pups...

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Back at camp, we had our final braai for the trip... :(
During the night, LO's fever spiked again, so it was certain that we would head home the next day. First I had to have my tyre replaced in TR...the Sanparks guys did a great job to get me an almost-new tyre of the same tread up from Upington as I didn't want to hit the long road with the Marie Biscuit I had on for the past 4 days :big_eyes: :mrgreen:

Stay tuned for the last drive from MM to TR... :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: Cheetah Fest - KTP November 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:44 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Thank you folks! 8)


Day 8: Mata-Mata to Twee Rivieren

So we got up and left early. One of the other visitors told me about how he found Lisette and her 4 cheetah cubs at 13th borehole that evening...I hope to see them in that area.

Some morning magic...

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This Spotted Eagle Owl was checking out the traffic flowing by with eyes half shut.

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We found the jackal pups again, at play this time... :popcorn:

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Tawny Eagle on the lookout

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The road was quiet up to the 13th borehole turnoff...
BINGO! :thumbs_up:

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They got up and started moving...

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Stay tuned for more photos from this sighting...the cheetahs were giving us a great closing to Cheetah Fest 2011! :thumbs_up: :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Cheetah Fest - KTP November 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:16 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 617
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Day 8: Mata-Mata to Twee Rivieren

The young ones then found a tree to sharpen their claws on...

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...and another tree to climb...


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then they moved up the Auob again...

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We moved on...

Found some hyenas at Kamfersboom

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And some meerkats close by

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This youngster was enjoying a scorpion-snack...

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And some last goodbyes from some Kalahari stalwarts...

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We got back to Twee Rivieren, got my new tyre fitted (a big THANKS to all the staff that helped make this happen - taking my blown tyre to Upington, having the new tyre fitted to the rim, having it brought back and having it fitted at TR :clap: :dance: :mrgreen: )

We drove home - a long drive - and took LO to the emergency doctor...she had tonsilitis. Within a day of treatment she was fine. :thumbs_up:

Thanks to everyone who followed along on Cheetah Fest 2011. I hope you enjoyed it!

Watch this space as I am now only behind on 2 more TRs:
KTP Feb 2012
KTP Nov 2012
Some interesting sightings to come!! :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Cheetah Fest - KTP November 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:13 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 617
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
thank you folks

I have started with the next one and images will come soon... :clap: :dance:

viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=68197

:popcorn:

see you over there :thumbs_up: :tongue:

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