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 Post subject: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:30 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:27 am
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Location: Secunda
Hi all

Let the journey begin, one moment at a time...

I will be going on solo trip to KTP at the end of the year. My SO does not feel like sticking it out in the heat (having grown up in the Boland I feel I have a little training) and anyhow, this is a photographic trip for me, so 3 cameras on the front seat/seatwell mean there is limited space. So yes, it is just me, 1 car, 2 camera bags plus accessories, 12x40 binoculars, some cash, 1 coolbox, 1 small bag of clothes etc., jerry cans of water and petrol, spare toilet paper, booking forms and other items to be mentioned later.

I will be driving from Secunda the Friday after work (hope to leave around 12) and make it to Vryburg or maybe even Kuruman if the traffic and sun permit. I have 3 nights TR, 1 Nossob, 2 Grootkolk (intense anticipation for these days and nights!), 3 Nossob, 1 TR, 1 Urikaruus. Then on for 3 nights in Augrabies.

Mostly I enjoy wildlife photography but have found myself doing mostly avian (Marievale is so close and so magical) the past few months. Unlike most, I do not feel a need to focus on lions (although at least 1 black mane would be nice) but all subjects. Anything that moves or moved could make a special image. Landscapes, especially a thunderstorm and some night scenes are also on my menu. 17 years ago I had a family visit to KTP. Now it is a time for me to enjoy the silence, find some solitude (although the voices are welcome to join) and enjoy the art of nature around me.

Currently I sit on 360 bird species, hoping to find at least another 20 new ones over the 2 weeks.

So, why am I writing now already about a report if I have not even left yet? I plan on including notes on my packing thoughts, camera gear selections, route ideas and general excitement. Join me in the anticipation...

John Mx

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Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:47 pm 
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I join with anticipation and I'm already waiting for the pictures you have not yet taken , MxM :hmz:
Enjoy your stay and take a lot of birdies to feed "Birds seen in Kgalagadi " thread :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Looking forward to this trip with great anticipation. Wishing you a wonderful trip with some magic sightings.

:pray: :pray: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:59 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Let me just start by saying that I keep, every 15 minutes, checking the webcams, especially Nossob - A: because I can; B: I wish I were there; C: I want to know what is going on there right now (while I am in my office or on the plant).

From here on I will be numbering my posts in categories - if I want to add something to a section I can refer to the numbers.

2. Route to KTP planning

I am driving from Secunda. Only 1 driver. I prefer not driving more than 2.5 h between stops for a stretch and concentration gathering rest. I keep to the speed limit – partly because of the law, partly because speeding tickets will not help the cost of the trip (already looking at around R5k in petrol), partly because above 110 km/h my vehicle starts chowing fuel like a Hummer at the Dakar, partly because the amount of concentration needed is much less than going even faster, partly because then I can break/swerve for holes/animals in the road, but mostly because that is what will balance getting to my destinations safely and enjoying the world through which I will be going to get there.

Luckily I can leave work around 12, pack the CRV, greet the family and then it is a go go go – so I should miss most of the other weekend traffic. Although I was planning on going N17-N12, I have been informed by a colleague who travels the route to Potch monthly for the past few years that I should rather take the N17 to Nigel, cut across via Heidelberg and Vereeniging, onto the R54 towards Potch where I can join the N12.

I am still not fully decided on what happens next. Currently the plan is to get to Vryburg via Wolmaransstad and Schweizer-Reneke, but I may decide to go via Delareyville for no good reason still. Much will depend on road conditions as described by the brother of previously mentioned colleague who live in Klerksdorp and travels the area often. In a perfect world I will push to Kuruman, but somehow I see the sun setting too soon for that and as someone who grew up visiting the Karoo often, I prefer avoiding driving in the dark in areas where kudu may pay me a visit. Regardless, I will be rising before the sun to make my way to TR.

The town in which I overnight is currently not too relevant. I will make a list of accommodation options in each (simple self catering with no breakfast, just a bed and safe parking required) and phone my SO when I feel either too tired or that it is getting too dark to book me a place at the next stop. Perfect. Sorted.

Now for the fun. As this is a photographic tour, I need to take the scenic route. Although not a 4x4 bakkie, my CRV handles soft offroading pretty well. So. I am planning on going via Hotazel and Van Zylsrus – partly as I may never travel this route again, and partly because I feel a sense of adventure at this moment. This is a trip of photographic moments and experience, so why not take the road less tarred? An update from a fellow photographer who comes back the weekend from travelling the same route I have proposed may decide the final route.

But seriously, even at 75 km/h, the two routes will take me the same time. And I do not plan on getting any supplies in Upington. And I am anticipating the chance of amazing sunrise and landscape moments on this route. And I can stop almost where I want: I am not sure who else other than the odd farmer would be on the road? And sommer – that is a reason too, although my mother would disagree.

The route home will be TR to Augrabies via Upington, then Augrabies via Upington on the N12-N17 to home. So why travel the same road twice?

Now I am already lus to pack and get going. Still 60 sleeps. Huh, the wait.

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Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:38 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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:popcorn: We are waiting too ! Let there be leopard ! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:52 pm 
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MxM wrote:
Let me just start by saying that I keep, every 15 minutes, checking the webcams, especially Nossob - A: because I can; B: I wish I were there; C: I want to know what is going on there right now (while I am in my office or on the plant).

I have 'seen' you there, MxM 8) Great way to make the waiting fun :D
Wishing you a super trip !

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:57 am 
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Location: Cape Town
You are going to love KTP. It gets into your blood!!! Can't wait to see your photos

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:23 am 
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Welcome to the forums MxM :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: .

Great start so far. Will be visiting your TR to enjoy the trip with you :dance: :dance: .

I think you should try these Birding school for ducklings and Bird ID Challenge challenges just to get the feel for your upcoming trip :hmz: .

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:45 am 
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I am just as excited about your KTP trip MxM, because we have more than 60 days to wait before we are going back there (April next year)! :dance: :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
MxM, I am basically doing the same my friend, ok not travelling from Secunda but Pretoria. I will luckily be there sooner (leave 26 Oct) but the rest is very similar. Keep up the good work on the posting! It adds to the excitement :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
I will be camping except the 3 WONDERFUL nights at Grootkolk :D

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:47 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi John,

I've got 66 days before I will start the same journey as you to KTP. We will leave early Sat morning due to the fact that the road can be busy on a Friday near Jo'burg and towards Potch. Will think about the one your friend is suggesting too.

All these years we've travel through Delareyville and haven't done the Wolmaransstad road. Not that its a good road, but at least I know the pot hole section is not that long (relatively to the total distance).

Difficult to say that you must not take the Van Zylsrus road, but I would say if you can get to Kuruman on a Friday (done it before arriving at 8 pm) the Van Zylsrus road can be tempting. You can get to VZR for breakfast still and arrive lunch time at Twee rivieren.

Don't forget to stop at Rooiputs No 4 on your way to Twee rivieren from Nossob. Would love to hear about all your sightings and number of pics taken. :dance: :dance: :dance: :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Songodin, I was under the impression that access to the Rooiputs camping area is limited to the people holding reservations and not open for the general tourists. Am I mistaken? :doh:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:33 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:27 am
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Location: Secunda
Hi all

Thanks for the interest so far. Helps psych me up - just come of a 12.5 h callout, on a pph, seriously! Guess that makes the time I will be getting off all the sweeter, particularly as nobody will be able to phone me.

On that, is there any way that I will be able to let my SO know that I am ok while in the north? Was thinking of sticking a sign at a given time and date in front of the webcam, but not sure that that is really a nice idea. Buying a satellite phone also seems excessive. Really like the idea that nobody can contact me, but would like to get a message out.

If anybody travels the roads I have mentioned in the meanwhile and can give feedback before I leave, I will much appreciate it. I will consider the Kuruman by 8 thing, but being only 1 driver may make it a stretch. But now I want the breakfast in VZR so badly!

If there are things that somebody would like me to comment on wrt the places/roads I will be going, accommodation, camera gear (to be discussed in detail another report before I leave with a review of what I used afterwards), photo spots, or whatever, please let me know. Will comment/review if I have the knowledge/facility.

Otherwise, let the sand start blowing my way but settle as I arrive at its red origin.

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Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:52 pm 
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Tobieo wrote:
Songodin, I was under the impression that access to the Rooiputs camping area is limited to the people holding reservations and not open for the general tourists. Am I mistaken? :doh:


Tobieo,

It works the same as for any campsite on SANParks side. No day visitors are allowed. Even in Nossob the Section Ranger can stop any day visitors from entering the camping facilities. As a permit holder I am allowed to add up to 8 people to my booking and 3 vehicles per camp site as long as I've arranged up front with the reservation office.

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