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 Post subject: wanderw's BELLY-UP....in KTP! Oct/Nov. 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:01 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
This is a report of our recent trip to KTP. In total we spent 10 nights(28th Oct to 6th Nov) in the park; it was the first time that we left our children at home alone :big_eyes: , and it was the first time we had co-travellers :dance: , being my sister and her SO.

Weather - temperature was in the mid to high 40s on our first 2 days(seemed hotter than on our usual Dec/Jan trips), but decreased slightly after that. We experienced cooler temps north of Nossob - early to mid 30s.

We met up with the following forumites:
KG
enrico
Lionspoon and Spots
Jacliz
Arks
Katydownunder and Francolin
Katja
rjm
Jumbo(former forumite)
Hearick
It was a pleasure to meet and chat to all you wonderful forumites, and it was great to get together with some old friends again! :dance:

On to our trip - I will not do a daily report but will rather tell you about our special moments in the park.

Our first real belly-up moment :( - we had just entered the park and came across our first Eland of the trip, an Eland cow dying in the road near Samevloeiing. We felt so sad, but, this was just the start to experiencing nature’s circle of life over the next 11 days.

When we came across our next encounter, we could not believe our luck. Before leaving CT, SO had told me that his new favourite animal was LION! Well, here we were at Houmoed, and a few metres from the road were .....

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:31 am 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Nibble?

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Bite!

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Lick!

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Snarl!

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Yawn and..... BELLY UP! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:00 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Ok, on with the trip...

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Any idea what it takes to look so spiffy?

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A swan in the desert?

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A dying swan? :?

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
A first for us - Eland calves! :dance:

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Near Rooiputs we came across a very laid back caracal.

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I was quite chuffed that I actually got a pic with the eyes half open.

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We unfortunately had to leave the sleepy caracal (also a first for us, normally the caracal leaves us supaquick) as it was getting late and we had to get to the gate before it closed.

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
At Rooiputs we found this lonesome fellow - the sentinel perhaps?

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He/she was intently watching a tawny eagle eating something.

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We wondered whether the eagle was busy devouring a family member.
(Apologies - cannot upload last pic - photobucket problems :wall: )

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:41 am 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Duke, Trrp, RichardJ, Foxy and Philip1 - Thanx! :D

hilda wrote:
Cute little Meerkat wanderw! :clap: :clap:

I sincerely hope the Tawny was not eating one of the Meerkat's family members! :(

Great shot of the Tawny too! Thanks for sharing. :dance: :dance:


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Thanx! :thumbs_up: We never found out Hilda, and the eagle was just too far to determine exactly what he was eating. :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:23 am 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Just outside TR:

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Red-necked Falcon in the morning light - first time we had seen this bird so far south.

The day before we had discovered a thicket near Leeudril. There were 2 lionesses here(Mom and Aunty) with( I think) 2 very young cubs. Well Aunty made a few appearances and we got a few looks at the tawny rump of Mom, but no cubs. Mom kept them very well hidden! :roll:

This morning, Aunty was soaking up the golden rays of the new day.

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She seemed to be in tip top condition.

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After a few minutes she got up and joined the concealed Mom in the thicket. We waited but to no avail. All we could hear was the gentle mewing of the little ones. Very, very frustrating! :wall: We decided to move on for a quick look at Leeudril, before heading back to Samevloeiing.

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:35 am 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
When we returned about an hour later, there were no other vehicles when we pulled up to the brush. With a little bit of backward and forward manoeuvring we discovered a tiny twiggy window of opportunity - Mom had moved a bit! :dance:

Would you call this a Belly-Upish moment? :wink: I know the pix are not great but I would like to share what we saw.

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And Mom giving a tender lick!(Sorry - very twiggy :redface: )

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(The cubs were about a week old)

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Some parent/juvie hornbill interaction.

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A Giant eagle owl near Kamqua.

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Little leggy ones! :dance:

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One of the babes with mom, pic for size comparison.

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:26 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
A Purple Roller!

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Not common in the park, but we had seen them on previous trips. This year there seemed to be a few around 14th borehole.

And a Gerrie taking it easy!

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The temperature was 47 degrees this afternoon, much easier and more comfortable to just rest in the shade!

One of the pros of travelling when the temperature is so high - we seemed to be able to get closer to animals and birds.

At 13th borehole we crept past the waterhole and came to a dead tree.....

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The tawny seemed to be taking strain in the heat.

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:35 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Had to include this pic of an Eland bull near Craig Lockhart.

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We found that the Eland in the Auob riverbed, especially nearer Mata Mata, were in much better condition than the Eland near Twee Rivieren. Another pic I thought I should include...sharing shade at Craig Lockhart!

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:hmz: Might be another 5 to 10 years(when the Eland come over to KTP), before we have another chance to take a pic like this!

Our first ever warthog on the Auob side! :dance:

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Taken just outside Mata Mata, the best pic I managed as the model was a bit camera shy.

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:02 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Thanx Div! That bull was a beaut! :thumbs_up:

To continue...

One morning at 13th borehole we found 2 very cosy Bee-eaters!

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At Dalkeith we found a beautiful lioness

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who was very pregnant!

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:09 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Especially for my sister, who is passionate about LBRs!

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A posing white-backed vulture!

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A pigmy falcon - quite difficult to find.

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And a new bird for us :dance: - a 'thick-billed' Sabota lark.

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
And between 14th borehole and Dalkeith we were ecstatic to find a very chilled AWC. :dance:

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After washing itself, it curled up on the branch and went to sleep, just like a domestic cat!

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:05 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!
Some spots - we had 6 cheetah sightings on our trip. We saw the famous mom and 3 cubs 4 times. The first 2 times the family were very far away. The 3rd time we saw them they were a bit nearer and we could watch them mainly thru the binocs and giggle at their antics.

The following pix are cropped a lot and lightened a bit so you can see a bit of what we saw.

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We found out that mom was very tolerant.

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2 cubs were scallywags, with the 3rd cub being calmer and slightly smaller.

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