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Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Hani

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charbel
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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:29 am

billyf wrote:Wonderful start to your KTP trip - and your photographs are excellent.

I believe that the solitary wildebeest bulls are in fact not territorial , but have been kicked out of the herd by a new generation of dominant bulls - but I stand to be corrected. :thumbs_up:

And your leopard sighting on the first day :dance: :dance:



Dear Billy,
Thanks for the nice message, In fact, both me and my friend, Pedro, were quite happy with the equipments... The pics came out quite well... As the trip progressed, I challenged myself increasingly with flying birds, it was fun, I will include some of these pics.

Yes, Leopard at the first day! It was great. Unfortunately, the only one for the trip. As this leopard marked a tree in front of Kielikrankie, it might be easy to identify it, but I still didn't find time to look at the Astromat guide.

About the blue wildebeests, I will be able to give a more detailed answer after my volume of Estes' guide to african mammals behavior arrives. But, for the moment, I checked once again and it seems that they may be territorial, varying in the time they keep the territories, could be a month or even a full year. Territories range from 1 to 2 ha, and are actively marked.

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:30 am

lion queen wrote:Nearly missed the start........... :redface: I'm on board and ready to be spoiled...... :dance: :dance: :dance:

Great sightings so far............love the steenbok......... :clap: :clap: :clap:


Lion Queen!
Welcome on board! Thanks once again for all the help with the trip!

All went so so well!

All the best
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:26 am

I'm rather busy preparing for a meeting in Montpellier next week, but cannot avoid another posting! A TR is like going on with the trip excitement.

In this posting, a Meerkat and Ground Squirrel show.

We found two Meerkat groups in the first day, all very amusing, good to watch for long times, and often mixed up with Ground Squrrels, something common as the latter take advantage of Meerkat's dens. Probably advantageous to Meerkats too. Extra eyes are always great!

As soon as we left Twee Rivieren, we followed Kgalagadi Guru's clue about a Meerkat colony near Leeudril. We found the den entrances, but no Meerkats visible. Still too early, too cold.

We were disappointed, but in the Aoub river road, we found the two groups in the way to Houmoed. We also had the opportunity to see Fork-Tailed Drongos fooling the Meerkats to steal food. We tried some pics that could show the scene, nothing good followed from these attempts.

We thought at first they might be hard to spot. Not at all! As they keep upright looking in all directions, we find them relatively easy by looking at the side of the roads.

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They were also very active, digging to find food.

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My friend Pedro with his astonishing Powershot Cannon camera with 50x optical zoom (not digital. How do they do that?), got some very nice pics of Meerkats, such as the following close-ups.

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Here we can see a Meerkat and a Ground Squirrel, both foraging.

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Look at this Ground Squirrel's posture and expression. Almost like a cartoon character! They were always very funny, amusement guaranteed!

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Or in this one, which reminds me of a wonderful scene in David Attenborough's superb "Kalahari" episode of the BBC series "Africa", in which a Ground Squirrel lets its food fall when freeze with th sight of a predator...

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And they are really cute eating.

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Finally, a close-up of a Ground Squirrel.

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Thanks for all on board!

Cheers
Charbel
Last edited by charbel on Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:32 am

Lovely, lovely little critters. :D

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

:popcorn:
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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:37 am

Charbel,

Stunning :cam: of the Meerkats and Squirrels..agree they are ever so cute and can entertain one for long stretches of time. :clap: :clap:

Always enjoyed watching the program "Meerkat Manor" where the different dens of these adorable little things was monitored and filmed, very educational and thrilling to watch their behaviour. :thumbs_up:

more please :popcorn:
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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:15 am

Yes, Meandering Mouse, they are so lovely and entertaining, trp-trrrrrr, I also like Meerkat Manor, in fact, very good biology is present there, the scientific consultant is a top researcher on animal behavior, who works with those meerkats, Tim Clutton-Brock. Sometimes, it is too much dramatized, but it is understandable why...

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby kyknetta » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:26 am

Hi charbel!
Thanks for sharing your 13 days in Kgalagadi!
We enjoy your TR and appreciate your :cam:

8)

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby anne-marie » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:43 am

cute little Suricates and Squirrels :dance: :clap:
they often share the same places and holes :thumbs_up:
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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby hilda » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:40 am

Thank you for this very enjoyable episode of the Suricates and Squirrels Charbel! Beautiful pictures of them too! They are such lovable animals! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:19 pm

kyknetta wrote:Hi charbel!
Thanks for sharing your 13 days in Kgalagadi!
We enjoy your TR and appreciate your :cam:

8)


Hi Kiknetta
Welcome on board!!!!

All the best
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:20 pm

anne-marie wrote:cute little Suricates and Squirrels :dance: :clap:
they often share the same places and holes :thumbs_up:


Dear Anne-Marie
It is true. And people going to KTP around these days can look for them where we spotted, they keep in the same place for some period of time....

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:21 pm

hilda wrote:Thank you for this very enjoyable episode of the Suricates and Squirrels Charbel! Beautiful pictures of them too! They are such lovable animals! :clap: :clap:


Great, Hilda. Thanks!
In the next episode, some time in the next 3-4 days, Spotted Hyenas.

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby Pumbaa » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:42 am

I am on board now as well, Charbel :dance: :dance: :dance:

Great portraits of the antelopes and the meerkats and squirrels are cute :P

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:36 am

Pumbaa wrote:I am on board now as well, Charbel :dance: :dance: :dance:

Great portraits of the antelopes and the meerkats and squirrels are cute :P


Pumbaa,
Great to have you on board!
I am now traveling again, but hope to make a posting today or tomorrow...

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:55 am

As I told before, we forgot to give back the keys and had to return to Twee Rivieren. We lost time but at least we saw our first Yellow Mongoose when leaving the camp again. Not a great pic, but first one!

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As soon as we left Auchterlonie, before entering the Lower Dune Road, we found a group of five Spotted Hyenas resting besides some bushes up in the dunes to the right of the road. They were far away, that's why the pics are not sharp.

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The pic is far from good, but the Hyeana was posing like a sphynx!

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And then some Gemsbok came from the North, and when they saw the Hyenas they stopped immediately, and began to move back.... slowly...

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The Hyenas stood up... we though we would some good real action

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But then the Hyenas simply went back to rest.... The Gemsbok went away, stopping and moving slowly, stopping and moving slowly. Not the action we wanted, but, still, quite interesting to watch.

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Finally, one of the Hyenas was a cub.... As it remained resting hidden most of the time, we didn't get much chance to photograph it... Then, a bad pic, but the only reasonable one....

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Last edited by charbel on Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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