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 Post subject: Shane's Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won. Dec. '12
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:51 pm 
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After years of visiting KTP every year, something special happened ............... a planned event !

We are back now from our annual KTP visit. Sitting in the office reflecting on our holiday, sorting through the images and day dreaming about the next trip in July / August.

If I don't start this TR then it will never happen. So lets refer to this entry as the introduction and as soon as I have my images arranged for posting, I will continue (will need the weekend, so next week).

In the mean time, let me set the scene for the special event:

Kielie Krankie no. 4
Image

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:43 am 
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Intially, early in 2012, we actually planned a 3 week trip to Namibia and skip KTP in December as we had visited in January 2012 and planned a visit in July / August 2013. Etosha would be a great place to spend a week, not to mention places on route.

Needless to say, later in the year the 'red sands' of the kgalagadi started working its magic and KTP was back on the cards. The problem was we had left booking a little late (late October). Now we had a dilemma: do we travel nambia or return to KTP ............ easy for some, but took a week of contemplation. The Kgalagadi remains like a drug and I managed to convince Tracy to consider, that is if I was able to secure accomodation.

First thing Monday morning I logged into SANParks web site and checked. Low and behold the following was available:

2 nights Kielie Kielie Krankie (16,17 Dec)
2 nights Urikaruus (18, 19 Dec)
2 nights Goortkolk (20, 21 Dec)
4 nights Urikaruus (22, 23, 24, 25 Dec)
2 nights Nossob (26, 27 Dec)

Perfect !!!!!

I booked .................. the plan was coming together ............

THE KGALAGADI WON !

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


Last edited by shane on Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:49 am 
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Another way of viewing a Kielie Krankie panorama:

Image

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:24 am 
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Now for those of you who have not visited Kielie Krankie, let me painted you a picture and you will understand why this setting is perfect:

The entrance road with an approaching storm:
Image

The waterhole in the evening:
Image

Image

Image

Oh yes, and the Champagne is still on ice !, chilling nicely

Sunset:
Image

Approaching storm:
Image

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


Last edited by shane on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:05 pm 
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Our planning and packing started the same week I made the bookings. I tend to worry that something will be forgotten and this time around I wanted to relaxed the days prior to leaving and ensure nothing is left behind, especially the MOST IMPORTANT thing ...........

I had my 'ducks in a row', and closed up office on the 14th December. The following day was spent arranging one or two last items and it would be early to bed to rise and leave before 2:00, this in expectation of the 'stop and go's' between Nieuwoudtville and Upington. To our surprise only 2 'S n G's'; total waiting time: 2 minutes. As a resulted of leaving so early and no stops, we arrived in Upginton to pick up the 4x4 by mid morning.

We were fine with this, more time in the park ..................

A quick visit to the new shop 3km before Twee Rivieren, meant we could stock up on wood, but the packs of ice were a little to big for the freezers in the park. The normal routine on arrival and then off to the Twee Rivieren shop for ice.

Before leaving for Kielie, the normal proceedures:

1. Cameras and lens out of their bags.
2. Clear front passenger seat and make cameras and lens comfortable.
3. Thirdly, but most important, make Tracy comfortable on the back seat (a hour and half nagging can be worse than 45 degree heat).
4. A quick dip in the pool and
5. Lastly, place ice rapped in wet towels in the cooler box and rap the cooler box in wet towels (great way to stop ice melting if you do not own a portable freezer / fridge.
6. Oh yes, place champagne with ice in cooler box (not our normal routine, but this trip it is vital).

Now we are ready and off we go ..............

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:30 pm 
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Being midday by the time we leave Twee Rivieren and around 40 degrees ...... nothing much moved. The trip generally uneventfull, but just great to be back at last.

The heat, the wind, the sky ......................

At Kamfersboom: just a hot dry landscape:
Image

Until closer inspection:
Image

And a lonely dust devil:
Image

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Beautifull day at Kielie:
Image

And then the unpacking. If you have stayed at this camp and particularly number 4, then you know the slogg up the stairs, along the path into the unit, drop off and back for the next load.

The first priority: ensure that the meat and ice is packed away ASAP. This is just another way of helping the gas freezer stay as cool as possible (a wet towel):
Image

Then lunch and a quick shower before its time for a little siesta. late afternoon is time to sort out the room:
Image

The planning needs to start for the first evening and the event to come ............

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:32 am 
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Hi Annie-Marie, yes the shop is very well stocked and cheaper than the TWEE Rivieren. For example a bag of wood is R21 as opposed to R29 in T R. They, however, do not sell beer or wine.

Certainly worth a visit.

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:24 am 
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Monday is here so let me continue:

We decided not to go out for an afternoon drive since we had been driving for a good 12 hours since 2:00am that morning. A drink on the deck, watching the waterhole and waiting for sunset seemed a far more attractive idea.

We had the normal visitors at the water, with a Brown Hyena showing itself as it was getting dark. By this time a really strong evening wind had come up ...........spoiling my sunset plan.

I had to wait for the wind to drop .......

At around 20:00 the wind had dropped and I opened the Champagne that was now perfectly chilled. Tracy was sitting at the table watching the waterhole with the fire going. A white table cloth (ala restaurant style) drapped over the table. I placed her glass of champagne in front of her, we cheered our arrival. I had purposefully not lite the candle as I needed the dark. Standing behind her, I switch on my head lamp to reveal the little box on the table in front of her and wispered in her ear ............... WILL YOU MARRY ME ?

It a great setting with the perfect answer ........ YES !

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:50 am 
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We finished the Champagne ............ the braai would have to wait: we weren't hungry now.

Since Kielie Krankie is the only other camp in KTP where one can receive a little cell reception (other than Twee Rivieren), we prepared a sms to send out to family and friends. Lucky the reception was bad, otherwise we would have been on the phone the rest of the evening ............ after receiving a load of messages, we decided to switch off, afterall we really didn't want technology disturbing the evening.

Image

My planning was a little flawed: I had the ring made too big ........ not good with all the sand around. So we had to 'jimmie' a quick plan: some tape cut and rapped around the bottom on the ring. This did keep the ring in place until we get back to Cape Town.

Well needless to stay we only ate dinner around 23:30, but what a special evening ...

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:20 am 
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Thank you, thank you everyone.

Now that I have broken the news, I will have to try and hold your attention in another way, so on with the trip:

Bright and early next morning we were up and off for a drive to the Nossob river. At Kij Gamies view site we were again fortunate to experience the FATA MORGANA EFFECT, although this time it was not as spectcular as the first time we witnessed the phenomenon. I did not take any images, but do have from the previous trip. This is an extract from a posting I placed on another 'thread' on the forum, it will give you a good idea what this optical illusion is:

Considering an early phrase “castles in the air’, describing imaginary constructions or more to the fact: pipe dreams and visions that will never come to fruition. These explanations can be used to describe this phrase quite accurately, but consider this: it may also be used to describe an actual rare, optical phenomenon, a Fata Morgana. A Fata Morgana is a superior mirage than those evident in that ‘distance pool of water’ on a hot tarred road or the illusions of water in the desert.

A Fata Morgana can be best described as follows:

“A rare optical illusion resulting from a temperature inversion, where the interface between warm air over colder, dense air below acts as a mirror, to reflect surface features (producing upside-down, fairy-like, ever changing images of the topography below). The phenomenon was first described in English in 1818 in the translation of an Italian document that referred to such a mirage that had been witnessed between Calabria and Sicily in the strait of Messina. Fata Morgana was the Italian version of the name “Morgan le Fay”, the shape-shifting fairy that was half sister to King Arthur.” (see image and text by Adrian Brink in the kitchen of unit no. 4, Kielie Krankie, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park).

Associated images:

We had the privilege of witnessing the Fata Morgana phenomenon describe above. What first appeared to be mist turned out to be what seemed a wall above the dunes on the horizon. What made this even more spectacular was that it was continuous around the horizon in a full 360 degrees with a perfect flat top.
The first 3 images show the full reflection (Fata Morgana) of the topography below.

Image

Image

Image

The remaining images show the slow disappearance of the phenomenon. During this time, when viewed with binoculars, it certainly does look like buildings (or “castles”) on the horizon.

Image

Image

Image

Image

So keep an eye out for this phenomenon on your next trip, it is really amazing to see.

It is lucky we did not experience this on the 21 Decemeber 2012 (the end of the Mayan calendar and the supposed end of the world). We would have had no idea what it was and it certainly looked like a wall of water on the horizon.

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:52 am 
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After a stop at Melkvlei for tea and breakfast, around mid morning, we headed back to Kielie via Twee Rivieren. At kij Kij: about 10 cars scrabbling for the best position; a beautiful male lion right next to the road. Frustration creapt in with all the car josling and people driving way off the road (with some 4x4's even taking a short cut from the old rooiputs, road across river bed, onto the main road).

CRAZY ........ !!!!!!!

So we left. I can get as much of that traffic as I want in the city.

I think the most unusual siting for whole day was this VW Beetle. I am not sure how it held up to the roads, but it was fun to see.

Image

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:50 pm 
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A quick stop at Twee Riveren to see if Kalahari Guru was in, but unfortunately he was out and was only due back in the afternoon. We couldn't wait around until then so we made our way back to the Auob. A quick stop at the Samevloeiing waterhole revealed very little except the 8 Eland carcasses. Amazing to see how little was eaten:

Image

Image

Image

The hyenas at Kamersboom were back in their 'pool' cooling off.

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:57 pm 
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We were hoping for a storm that evening at Kielie, but unfortunately we weren't in for the same treat as we experienced the last time:

Image

Image

The Brown Hyenas showed up again (2 of them). Tomorrow we off to Urikaruus.

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:02 pm 
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I must admit that we have never seen so many Hyena in KTP as we did this trip - almost everyday.

The resident clan around Kamqua:

Image

Image

Image

Image

And the birth of baby Springbok (which I will write about later), provide easy meals:

Image

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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