Thanks to everyone for their comments, they are appreciated.
Trrp-trrrrrrrr – some days certainly can be scorching. More than once I’ve alternated between sitting in the sun for 5 minutes, then in the shade for 5 minutes..... The vehicle didn’t have a thermometer, but I know that it was below freezing some mornings when we left.
billyf, pumbaa , SandyS – thanks, the AWC sighting was pretty special. And, it was nice that the other couple stopped because they wanted to see what we had seen. And I didn't even think of using the hot water bottle until you mentioned it. Duh!!!
Philip1 - the striped mice were conspicuous by their absence. We didn’t see many this time around.
Meandering Mouse, wanderw – SO thinks I’m crazy taking pictures of the roads, but I find that when I look at the photos later, they bring back the essence of the park.
Sharifa – thanks for joining the tour. The photo of the sign still makes me smile every time I see it. It’s a good thing it wasn’t on our first trip to the park.
Lionspoon - 2 weeks will go by quickly.
I wish you great sightings on your trip. If you seeCagn around Leeudril, say "Hi" for me
Hilda – gemsbok standing at the top of the dune is so typical Kalahari. I wish I had gotten more of the dune though. Sounds like a good reason to go back.
barryels - I love the little mouse too. I need more photos of them which give me another reason to go back. Monday September 03
We didn’t see anything of note at the water hole last night. It's a shame the light is turned off at 9 pm.
This is our third visit to Grootkolk and we’ve not yet been to Union’s End, so that’s where we’re heading this morning. We left around 7:30 am. Not much on the road except for a large number of vultures in one area. We looked around for a kill but didn’t see anything. We saw 2 bat eared foxes, but they were quite far away.
There is a picnic spot on the way to Union’s End. A long time ago, I learned that one never passes by a picnic spot without stopping and using the facilities. I don’t carry a Lay’s tube and you never know when you might come across a sighting that you just don’t want to leave. As we pulled in to the picnic spot, I said “Look, lion”. There was a male lion about 15 – 20 metres, lying on the sand.
I'm always amazed at how well they blend in with the background.
SO looked to the right and said “And there’s the female”, about 30 metres away, lying near a picnic table.
WOW!!! Mating lions, and we are the only ones here! How cool is that? We had a few biscuits while we waited. After about 10 minutes, the female got up and walked to the men’s toilet. It looked like she was lapping up water on the floor.
Then she went behind the toilet and came out behind the ladies’ side.
She went in,
“freshened up?” and came back out.
Then she went and laid close to the male. He then got up and flopped down about 2 metres away from her, in the grass. He was very well hidden. He was limping badly, left front paw was injured, he had a hard time putting his weight on it. Another vehicle showed up, stayed about 20 minutes and then left.
We’ve been sitting here for close to an hour. I’m pretty sure there are no cubs in the loo, and no other lioness waiting in the background. With nothing to take my mind off the original reason for stopping, it’s becoming a pressing issue. SO drives as close to the toilets as possible. He tells me to leave the window down, just in case he want to take
. I wait another 5 minutes, and then slowly exit the vehicle. I cautiously peered inside the toilet to make sure there were no surprises.
I closed the door, but now it’s pitch black because there are no windows in here. It turns out that it doesn’t really matter, because the door doesn’t latch. The toilet is not really within arm’s reach of the door, and I certainly don’t want to trip over something in the dark, so the door stays open. While I’m sitting down, the water conservation ditty is running through my mind - “if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down”. Oh $h!t, I have to flush! Are the lions listening? Will the sound of rushing water bring the lioness? Everything is quiet outside. I peek outside and the male has moved out of the grass and is beside the female.
I’m pretty sure he has other things on his mind, but ....... I flush and exit as quickly as possible.
Quickly/quietly and gracefully are mutually exclusive. I settle for quickly/quietly. Back in the vehicle, I made sure the door was properly closed and looked around. The racing heartbeat quickly slows to normal when I see that the lions seem disinterested in what is going on around them. After another 20 minutes of inactivity, we decided to head up to Union’s End. We signed the book, but all was quiet so we went back to the picnic spot. The lions are still there, but now SO needs to use the facilities. No point in making a new plan when the old one has been proven to work. We parked as close to the toilets as possible and SO was quickly out and back in. Lions were still resting comfortably, so we decided to leave them in peace. The return to camp was uneventful.
We stayed in camp for the afternoon. The first time we were here, we were entertained by the striped mice. They would come out of their burrows, cut down a stalk of grass and bring it back, where they would proceed to gnaw on it. It was so quiet that you could actually hear them chewing. This time, they just aren’t around.
I put out a plate of water, and within a minute or two, the sociable weavers have discovered it.
It’s quite amusing to watch them. I had hoped the striped mice would show up like the first time, but they just aren’t around. There were a number of these lizards around.
They are quite common but I have no idea what they are called. Can someone identify them, please?
Our neighbours invited us over for a braii. I decided to make roosterkoeks. I had found the recipe on the internet about a month before our vacation. I had to make a number of modifications to the recipe before I tried it. It called for self-rising flour which I don’t use, so I had to substitute flour and baking powder. The measurements were by weight (grams), I’m used to volume (cups), so I converted that. I made them at home over a gas grill and they turned out to be tasty little morsels, so I decided to give it a try. The cups that are in the chalet are teacups and mugs. I mixed everything together and hoped for the best. Our neighbours had a nifty little wire basket that was perfect for them.
10 minutes later, we tried them, and no one was more surprised than I was that they turned out perfect. We had a lovely dinner with great company. Around 10:30 pm, we decided to call it a night.