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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:37 pm 
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Posts: 38
Crossing the top dune road, evidence of the recent fire.
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A female Northern Black Korhaan that posed instead of running for cover.
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Back into the Aoub, a recent lion kill at Kamfersboom – lots of vultures including Lappet-faced.
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One very happy jackal almost climbing inside.
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Three lions sleeping under a tree nearby.
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Then on to Urikaruus....?


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:43 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Cape of Storms and Sharifa - Thank you! :k

We booked into Urikaruus and were warned about the 3 lions in camp. We met up with rjm who invited us into his unit for a better look at the lions, who were camped out right outside.
Many thanks rjm! :gflower: You are a real star! :dance:

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Belly-up again! :roll:

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During the afternoon, the lions moved over to the other side of the riverbed.

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We decided to go out for a late afternoon drive and headed south in search of the famous Urikaruus leopard trio. Well, no leopards, but we did discover the hyena den and hyenas heading for camp.

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We did a quick U turn and headed back to camp to hopefully see some action. All the events that transpired from here made this evening very exciting. Apologies, no pix or video, the action was far too fast for cameras at night, so you will have to bare with my written recap of events.

We arrived in camp, just before gate closing, to see 4 hyenas sauntering towards the waterhole. The lions were still fast asleep at this stage. When the hyenas got to about 100 metres from the waterhole, the lions sprang up(seemed like they had received an electric shock) and galloped towards the hyenas. :big_eyes: Believe me, fat male lions can move VERY fast! The hyenas retreated a little, but then turned around and we had a faceoff of hyenas versus the 2 lions - standing about 20 metres apart, then the hyenas started to laugh. Goosebumpy stuff!

The hyenas eventually backed away and the lions settled down where they were - as if on guard duty.(about 100 metres on the south side of unit one) A little while later, 2 lionesses arrived at the waterhole from the north. 2 lions quickly got up and met them, but immediately a fight between the 2 males broke out with lots of snarling, growls and roars. It was difficult for us to keep track of where the lions were as the fight was fast and furious, and in the dark. Finally, the spot picked up lions skulking off in a northerly direction, while the victorious lion and his lioness lay down in the riverbed.

Then the eland herds started to arrive. After a while I decided to hit the pillow. :wall: Mark stayed up and lo and behold - the lioness then started stalking an eland. She got very close before the eland noticed her and took off. She tried a second time but had no luck. Things then seemed to settle down and we both managed to get some shut-eye. What a night!!! :D

_________________
Kgalagadi Leopard Identification Guide and Sightings Form
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

F2/2014


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:59 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Urikaruus continued:

Early morning visit from a brownie! :dance:

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Springbok at the waterhole in the golden light.

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_________________
Kgalagadi Leopard Identification Guide and Sightings Form
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

F2/2014


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
We always have a dilemma at Urikaruus - to stay in and see what comes to the waterhole, or to go out. We chose to go out... but did not get very far at all! :wink:

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Charlie was out of the den with 2 cubs. :dance:

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This was one of my favourite sightings this time.

Ooh Ma! I promise I DID clean my ears!

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_________________
Kgalagadi Leopard Identification Guide and Sightings Form
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

F2/2014


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:15 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
A few other creatures seen...

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2 of the 3 lions from the night before.

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Another Swallowtailed Bee-eater - one of my favourite birds!

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A lovely sighting of a slender mongoose.

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And a small herd of Kudu at 14th borehole.

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Another Urkaruus resident - I loved the colours of this Agama.

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And one of many AWCs seen, near 13th borehole. This was a bumper year for them.

Leopards!!! We had a VERY frustrating glimpse of a leopard’s head near the northern entrance to the 14th borehole loop. :wall: However, on our 2nd night at Urikaruus, the lions had disappeared and a gorgeous leopard paid us a visit around midnight. :dance: We had eland herds coming to visit the waterhole throughout the night. Strangely no jackals announced her visit. Mark came to call me and said there was something strange at the waterhole. In the excitement we could not find the video camera, but Mark handled the spotlight and I had the binocs. It was Tsamma, the young female(grown-up cub of Barolong)! She finished drinking and confidently walked nearer to the units. My heart was thumping madly. Suddenly a big eland herd came in to drink and Tsamma took off like a bat out of hell. :roll: Later, when things were quiet again, Mark looked out at the waterhole, and she was back. She drank for a few seconds and disappeared into the night.

_________________
Kgalagadi Leopard Identification Guide and Sightings Form
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

F2/2014


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:55 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Thanx Timbits! :thumbs_up:

To continue..

Our last day in the park! Tonight we were sleeping 200km outside the park. At Kamqua we found our closest battie this trip - he/she was still huddled near the den.

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We returned to Urikaruus to pack up and found the wildies visiting - this time unusually all lined up, bar one.

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We sadly said our goodbyes and headed for TR.
Gemsbok near Auchterlonie.

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One of two groups of lion seen this morning - doing what lions do best in the daytime. :roll:

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A close-up spotted thick-knee.

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Apart from pulling out a sedan which was stuck in a patch of thick sand, the morning was very quiet and we were soon back at Samevloeiing. Wildies were drinking from the road there.

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_________________
Kgalagadi Leopard Identification Guide and Sightings Form
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

F2/2014


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:34 pm
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Before we knew it we were on our last afternoon drive to Kji kji. First up 2 bee-eaters.

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Then a passed out lion pair. At Leeudril we found a beautiful Tawny at the waterhole.

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We then came across a big herd of springbok, and, while we watched they started to pronk. :dance:

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And we finally found our daytime leopard....tortoise. :wink:

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Near Rooiputs we spotted a big group of vultures.

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(To be continued with the final post on the next page.)

_________________
Kgalagadi Leopard Identification Guide and Sightings Form
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

F2/2014


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:56 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Thanx anne-marie and Katy! :thumbs_up:

There was a carcass of a big Eland nearby. The vultures were waiting their turn.

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I think this sighting was the most vultures that we had ever seen together in the Kgalagadi. Vultures were camped out under every nearby tree. I think this one is a Cape vulture, although it does not seem to have a yellow eye.(I f anybody can help here please :pray: )

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We went onto Kij Kij and found another Eland belly-up.

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A lone jackal was on guard some distance away. There were zero vultures around, all were a few kms down the road. :hmz:

We turned around and headed back to TR. When we passed the dead Eland near Rooiputs, the vultures had taken over.

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We eventually left the vultures. I jokingly asked Mark to speed up a bit as I did not want us to miss the cheetahs at Samevloeiing.

Near Leeudril, the lion pair were up and otherwise occupied! :roll:

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Belly-up Eland, mating lions - it was starting to play out exactly like our first day.

We reached Samevloeiing with some minutes to spare and enjoyed this huge Eland bull drinking at the waterhole.

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And then....

_________________
Kgalagadi Leopard Identification Guide and Sightings Form
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

F2/2014


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:07 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
No sooner had he disappeared along the old Auob track, when these popped out of the brush. :dance:

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3 cheetahs! A great sighting but the light was fading fast.

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2 cheetahs finished drinking and settled down to wait for their mate, under a pink sky. Bliss!

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The 3rd cheetah eventually made her way to the pair, and the 3 strolled off after the distant springbok herd.

We HAD to leave.

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Goodbye Kgalagadi!

_________________
Kgalagadi Leopard Identification Guide and Sightings Form
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

F2/2014


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:57 pm
Posts: 38
Again, adding my thanks to those of wanderw for all the replies. And, some last pics from the final days of a very eventful trip.

Of course, must include a final lion, shared with lionspoon.
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Another of a wild cat (never seen so many on one trip).
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A group of Kudu males at 14th, one with the biggest set of horns I have seen.
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A scrub hare in daylight.
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A night time visitor at Urikaruus.
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The final sunset :(
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The arrival of the jeep jockies?
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And so farewell till next time.


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