Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 29
 [ 427 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 29  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: wildcatzoo's Both KTP and KNP in a month. Oct/Nov '13
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
For my 6th trip to South Africa/Botswana (my husband’s 3rd), a first visit to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was at the top of the list. I briefly considered hiring someone to take us there and drive us around, but all the self-drive trip reports on the sanparks.org forums convinced me that was the way to go. Of course some time in Kruger was also planned, I had always wanted to do one of the 3 day wilderness trails there. Once again we would go in November, as we liked seeing things green up after the first rains. Plus, through our volunteer work with EFBC’s Feline Conservation Center we knew of the black footed cat (BFC) research going on in the Karoo and wanted to visit them while the researchers were there, in early November. We planned to donate a trail camera; EFBC had donated a radio collar the previous year.

Earlier trips included a month volunteering for Cheetah Conservation Botswana in Jwana Game Park in 2003, and the Imfolozi wilderness trail in 2007 with a few days in Kruger and lots of self-driving. My husband said afterwards he could spend a month in Kruger, and I remembered that comment!

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
Knowing the wilderness camps booked up early, I started planning over a year in advance, and once again Jeremy Williamson of Far & Wild Safaris in Durban helped out by making the bookings for us. We weren’t sure of the exact place to meet the BFC group until a month out, so I left that open and made some late reservations a week in advance.

Final itinerary was:

24 October fly LAX-JNB
25 October overnight at Aviator Hotel, JNB
26 October fly to Upington, overnight Twee Rivieren
27 October Twee Rivieren (couldn’t get Urikaruus)
28 October Urikaruus
29 October Kalahari Tented Camp
30 October Kalahari Tented Camp
31 October Nossob chalet
1 November Grootkolk (could only get 1 night)
2 November Mata Mata riverfront chalet
3 November Mata Mata riverfront chalet
4 November Twee Rivieren
5-6 November De Herberg Lodge, De Aar
7 November Seldre Guesthouse, Nigel
8 November Berg En Dal
9 November Skukuza
10-12 November “Metsi-Metsi” walking trail (really Nwatimwambu Fly Camp)
13-14 November Lower Sabie safari tent
15-16 November Satara
17-19 November Sweni Trail
20-22 November Olifants
23-24 November Tamboti
25 November Biyamiti (switch late from Tamboti, because it was available, and concerned about long drive)
26-28 November Notten’s Bush Camp (Sabi Sands)
29-30 November JNB-LAX

I read many many trip reports in the year of waiting, getting great advice like shopping online at the Pick N Pay website and emailing a list to the Upington manager to have ready for us. We bought 2 small coolers and 2 plastic storage bins to hold our food, which worked out well.

The flights were long as usual, the night at the Aviator helped with the time change. We had out first Savannah ciders while trying to understand cricket. The breakfast buffet was great, and then back to the airport for the 60-seat Airlink flight to Upington. Rose and Sokkies the cat at the Budget counter greeted us. We reserved a Nissan X-trail, to have higher clearance and space for all our stuff. We didn’t realize until we were on our way that it didn’t have cruise control, which was a pain – we put 8000 km on that vehicle! Driving a stick shift from the wrong side of the car is always fun, as neither of us regularly drive a manual car, but with a few reminders to stay left we had no issues. We actually have only electric cars at home, a Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S, so buying petrol again was unusual.

The JNB-UTN flight landed at 12:30, so I ‘m glad we had most of our groceries picked out in advance. However we should have checked it more closely as we had two bottles of conditioner and no shampoo! The drive to KTP was on pretty good roads, with raptors and weaver nests to see (besides the goats, donleys, horses, and an emu). Closer to the park we saw a few springbok and an ostrich.

KTP is essentially two dry riverbeds that meet at Twee Rivieren (Two Rivers), the Auob and Nossob valleys. The Nossob is also the border between South Africa and Botswana. There are campsites and some new lodges on the Botswana side, but we only stayed in the chalets on the South African side. All the roads are sand or gravel. There are three main camps that have shops and fuel (Twee Rivieren, Mata Mata, and Nossob).

Image

We didn’t arrive at Twee Rivieren until 5 pm, so we signed up for the sunset drive for our first night. We also met Rob, a Dutch man camping with his wife & two sons – we would run into them a lot during our stay. We quickly unpacked into chalet #26.

Image

Robert was our ranger, and we soon saw some of the common KTP residents – springbok, wildebeest, and oryx (gemsbok).

Image

We also learned about the camelthorn pod tree, vomit bush, and saw a tawny eagle nest. There is a giant eagle owl nest close to the road:
Image

Image

Given our volunteer work, we are unashamedly cat-crazy, so we were ecstatic when we saw a family of 4 cheetah by spotlight up on a dune (just south of Leeuwedril). We came to KTP hoping for good cheetah sightings in particular, and this was a good start.

The next morning we were waiting at 6 for the gates to open, having reduced the tire pressures as recommended. We saw black-backed jackal near Samevloeling:

Image

Ostrich up on the dunes:

Image

Lion tracks in the road

Image

and our first two (of 10 total for KTP) bat-eared foxes

Image

The roads were in decent condition; we would be very lucky and have the graders active our entire trip, often driving newly graded or dragged roads.

Image

The springbok were posing in the morning light

Image

The Nossob looked very dry

Image

While I like raptors, I am not good at identifying them; tawny eagle or buzzard?

Image

Sociable weaver nests, which often break the trees

Image

Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
Is there still a 15 photo per page limit? I have 999 photos ready to go, working on the text...

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
So it's still our first morning, just north of TR,

can't get enough beautiful oryx pictures!

Image

Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
My first ever wild meerkats, with ground squirrels

Image

Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
The red sand dune where the cheetahs had been last night

Image

(known as "cheetah hill" for the rest of our trip)

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
And just north of Leeuwedril, a young male cheetah!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
We took an unmarked road that we later learned was for Rooiputs residents only – it was not signed or blocked at the place we entered it. It paralleled the main road. Here we saw a jackal, red hartebeest

Image

Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
More ground squirrels

Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
And more oryx

Image

(more cats coming next!)

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
We came out at Kij Kij/the lower dune road. A lazy male lion lay in the shade, ignoring the jackals
Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
His companion was nearby, on a wildebeest carcass
Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
Speaking of wildebeest, the herd was still in the area
Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
We continued to Melkvei, seeing kori bustard
Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Both KTP and KNP in a month: Cats, Dogs, and a lot more
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 475
Location: California
Springbok fawns
Image
Image

_________________
Nancy


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 427 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 29  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Jurie van Vuuren at 12:26:03 Submitted by Anonymous at 06:45:07 Submitted by Anonymous at 12:10:12 Submitted by bushwackedblonde at 17:27:19