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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Centurion
While we turned around to follow the lion, this sighting came up and was moving closer at quite a pace...

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Our first Brownie in KTP!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

But it was walking in the opposite direction to the lioness, whom we were still following...

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Decisions, decisions... In the end we decided that we've seen many lions before, but this was our first Brownie - so we decided to turn around again, and rather follow the Brownie. The air was filled with excitement!!! :dance:

By the time we got back to our brownie, it had already crossed the road and was now in the riverbed. It was walking quite fast!

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I was hoping it would walk all the way to the waterhole and give us some nice :cam: ... :pray:

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....the light was just perfect - the pics would be great... :pray:

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...but instead this determined brownie crossed the riverbed and walked into the veld on the other side.

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We decided to drive around and see if we could find it on the main road on the other side of the riverbed...

On our way there, we spotted another 2 lionesses walking in the distance! :shock:

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And not too far from them, a sighting of a springbok lamb - hidden away:

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What a cutie! I just hoped the lions wouldn't discover it... :pray:

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We didn't manage to find the brownie on the other side, but man - what an exciting morning so far! :dance:

_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 7:10 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1221
Location: Centurion
On our second round around the waterhole, all the lionesses and brownies were out of sight, but the little lamb was still safe next to its little bush. 8) We continued on with the road South. Our next sighting was that of a kill in progress! :big_eyes: Maybe not as exciting as a lot of you might be hoping for now, but as a keen birder - I really enjoyed this one. A Brown Snake Eagle (Bruinslangarend) with a..... snake! :D

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He was sitting right next to the road, under a tree...

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...and it had a puffadder in its talons! :big_eyes: His wings were spread open, making sure nobody else could see its prized prey!

We were waiting for the eagle to start eating away at its prey, when it did the absolute opposite! :shock:

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The eagle let the puffy go free!

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And the puffadder was still alive and well. It made its way away from the eagle and towards the tree as fast as it could, while it seemed the Snake Eagle turned a blind eye! :doh:


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Before you know it the snake went up the tree, and was soon out of sight!

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All the time it seemed as if the Eagle kept looking at the snake out of the corner of its eye...

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...was he playing catch and release, hide and seek with his prey? :hmz: Was he just not in the mood for puffadder today? :hmz: Who knows what this Eagle was thinking! :|

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Anyway, we sat with this strange ol' eagle for a while, had a few stare-down competitions with him, but he did not seem to go looking for his snake again! :roll: So we decided to move on. We'd hopefully pass the spot again on our way back, and will see if anything has developed by then.

_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 1:48 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1221
Location: Centurion
After all that excitement, we spent the rest of our morning enjoying the little and the usual things out there.

I could just not get enough pictures to try and show how beautifully green the Kgalagadi was. We found this happy herd of springbok and BWB in the green riverbed just passed Urikaruus.

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Beautiful animals really!

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After a stop at Kamqua, we returned on our way. We saw our first Common Scimitarbill (Swartbekkakelaar) in KTP:

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A spotted Thick-knee (Gewone Dikkop):

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And then we got to the place where we left our Brown Snake Eagle (Bruinslangarend) behind. Luckily he was still there - this time on the other side of the tree, and guess who was in his tallons? Mr Puffadder (not as easily seen as the first time around, but we could definitely see it!). I guess the old BSE was just "playing with his food"! :tongue:

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We decided to leave the BSE to finally dig into his meal (hopefully he won't let it go again!).

At our next stop we decided to sit for a while and enjoy the birds at... I think it was Veertiende Boorgat...? :hmz: Just love the Secretary Birds (Sekretarisvoëls)!

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And on the tree to our right, we were visited by a Shaft-tailed Whydah (Pylstertrooibekkie)...

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...a Red-headed Finch (Rooikopvinkie)...

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...and a Whitebrowed Sparrow-Weaver (Koringvoel).

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Quite a poser again! 8)

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It was getting hot again, and the animals were all hiding under the trees. We decided to follow suit, and headed back for a short midday snooze in KTC. 8)

_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


Last edited by Bushbuddies on Fri May 16, 2014 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 8:01 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1221
Location: Centurion
The days just seemed to be getting more and more hot. So after waking up from a short nap, we decided to head back up to Mata-Mata for an ice cold cooldrink again.

On our way we saw this guy who also seemed quite hot:

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We decided to cross the border and went to go visit the farmstall just across the border. I must say they have very reasonably priced meat! :thumbs_up:

Then, after filling up the car, we headed South along the Auob again. Most of the animals were in the shade. We noticed this springbok amongst the others under the shady trees:

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Looked to us like a leucisistic one... First time I saw one in the wild!

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Close to Craig Lockhart, we saw another animal enjoying the shade of a tree - the king himself:

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We decided that he was probably not going anywhere soon in that heat, so we made the decision to move on, and return to him on our way back.

Next up we had the privelage of seeing a giraffe come in for a drink:

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You've gotta love the way these guys drink! :lol:

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Of course no drive would be complete without a nice bird-pic. This afternoon it was this immature Pale Chanting Goshawk (Bleeksingvalk) who took the honours:

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It was time to return to our lion...

Luckily he was still there...

And seemed more alert now...

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_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 1:07 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1221
Location: Centurion
Not only did the lion now lift his head - he started roaring... :dance: :dance: :dance:

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We decided to park at Craig Lockhart waterhole and wait for the lion - hoping he would maybe give us some action. The only problem was that we were not the only people with that idea... :slap: So the parking space around the waterhole was packed, and we managed to squeeze into a spot on the far end.

While listening to our lion roaring intermittently under his tree at the other far end, we were watching a BBJ stalk some doves coming to drink at the waterhole...

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Even though we were sitting behind him, we enjoyed watching him stalking...

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...and I tried to capture the action on :cam: !

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...untill he finally caught one!

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He walked back towards us and crunched away at his well-deserved lunch:

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All through this, the lion would roar every now and then. The BBJ would then look up, and scan in the lion's direction. "I just wish that lion would get up and come for a drink...!" How often don't we wish things like this at sightings, and it never happens, or they walk the other direction. We were sitting, waiting. Then, all of a sudden...

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_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:57 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1221
Location: Centurion
We've all been there. Sitting at a sighting, hoping and wishing those lions would get up, or that leopard would walk towards you or that brownie would go have a drink at the waterhole. Then they just keep on lying, or stand up and walk into the bush. Today our wish came true. For more than an hour we had patiently been waiting, hoping the lion would get up and come and drink at the waterhole. And that is exactly what he did! :dance:

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The BBJ looked up and realized that the guy he's been hearing roar all this time was now approaching. He made a dash for the bush as he saw it...

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This was a beautiful male lion. I could not believe our luck - I was just "rapid-firing"... :cam:

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He positioned himself right across from us to drink...

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Unfortunately his face was in the shadow, but then he started turning his head...

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So that the golden sun would catch his beautiful face...

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For only a few seconds he gave us this perfect pose...

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The light reflecting in his eyes, the sun illuminating his mane...

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And then he moved on.

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Amazing! :dance:

Time was ticking and all the engines around us got switched on. It was getting close to gate-closing time. As I already mentioned, there were quite a lot of vehicles at this sighting. While he was roaring, there was talk of his brother being spotted north of the waterhole by some of the guys. And while we were all driving back to camp in convoy-fashion, we spotted this guy, about 1km North of Craig Lockhart.

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He was walking at quite a pace in a same direction as we were moving. He seemed quite determined - not even noticing the Springbok right next to him!

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He started moving closer to the road. There were vehicles everywhere...

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Somewhere between the vehicles in front of us, he crossed the road and started walking on the other side...

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The sun was setting, the gate was waiting, and the traffic was quite hectic for KTP! We took a last glimpse of this second beautiful Kalahari lion we saw this afternoon...

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...and we were off to camp! 8)

_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:16 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1221
Location: Centurion
The last day of the year arrived. 31 December 2013. It was also our last full day in the park. We decided to get up early and make the most of this last day! :D

We left KTC at gate opening time and started making our way down to TR where we would spend our last night. Our first sighting was at Sitzas Waterhole. It was still dark. The sun was starting to colour the sky, and there was a big herd of impala (edit: Springbok! :slap: ) scattered out in the riverbed.

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On the other side of the road, was a cheetah - one that seemed very interested in the springbok...

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But, it did not take the springbok long to notice him, despite the dark. The wind direction must have been in their favour. So, his cover was blown, and he decided to try and lie low for a while.

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We decided to hang around for a while, and see if anything would happen. In the meantime, two BBJ's were having fun with some of the springbok.

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I actually found it quite interesting. It really looked like the BBJ's and the springboks had fun. The springboks never snorted, or looked like they were annoyed by these little BBJ's charging them - it really looked like a good clean game of "cowboys and crooks"! :tongue:

After a while, we realised that the poor cheetah's cover was still blown. He was just lying down in the grass now. Maybe something could happen, but probably not soon. And it is in situations like these where decisions are difficult to make. Do you move on, don't you... Are you going to miss out on the action if you leave now, or are you already missing out on the action happening at the next waterhole... I think you all know what I mean... :slap:

We decided to move on. Next sightings - some early morning birds. Immature Pale Chanting Goshawk (Bleeksingvalk):

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A Secretary Bird (Sekretarisvoël) coming for a drink:

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And then at Craig Lockhart - our good friend the BBJ was at it stalking the poor doves - again!

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We parked and decided to watch this guy in action again. The light and our angle was better this morning. After a while he decided to move in and go for them again...

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...but this time, luck was on the side of the doves...

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...and he had to leave without getting breakfast!

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_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


Last edited by Bushbuddies on Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:59 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1221
Location: Centurion
After the BBJ's unsuccessful attack on the doves, we decided to move on. Just as we turned into the loop at Dalkeith - we saw a cheetah walking towards us.

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He must have just been at the waterhole, as he was coming from that direction.

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It did not look as if our presence phased him at all, as he continued walking with determination, crossing the road...

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... and continuing into the bush.

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What a beautiful cheetah sighting so early in the morning! :D

We continued on to Dalkeith waterhole - where we would find yet another BBJ and doves.

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Luckily for the doves, this BBJ did not seem interested in them - he just had a big thirst!

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We decided to move on to 14e Boorgat. Dejavu! The exact same lioness coming from the waterhole as the previous day!

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I was now even more certain that she had to have a den close by. She probably just came to drink water here every morning, and then return to her suckling cubs.

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This time there was no Brownie around... :tongue: so she could get our full attention!

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We followed her as she approached the road, and came quite close to us.

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She then proceded walking along the road...

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...2 or 3 other cars were also following her.

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She eventually crossed the road and moved off into the bushes - her den was too well hidden - no cubs for us today!

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We continued to find that our bokkie was also still alive and well, and lived to see another day - despite all the lions in the area. Dejavu again!

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_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:33 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1221
Location: Centurion
After a pitstop and quick breakfast at Kamqua, we continued on South. About halfway between Montrose and Rooibrak, we saw one car parked. And we looked down the riverbed, and saw this lovely lady on the other side of the riverbed:

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She was sniffing under the tree, and eventually found what looked like a springbok's leg - she started eating away at it.

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The first car probably decided she was quite far off and not doing much - so they took off, and another car arrived. We decided to just sit and enjoy our first leopard sighting for the trip.

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The leg obviously didn't have too much meat on, and soon she was done with her breakfast and she started marking the tree.

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The other car wasn't even there for 5 minutes and it left. Strange, we thought. For us a leopard sighting in KTP is quite special. We wanted to sit and enjoy every moment - even if it takes a few hours! I'm sure most of you would agree... :wink: Now we were at the sighting alone. Just us and the leopard. I so hoped she would come closer to us, to our side of the riverbed. :pray:

And just like my hopes came true with the lion the previous afternoon, this leopard started off in our direction! :shock:

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She was crossing the riverbed, and heading straight for us!

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I could hardly contain my excitement! :dance: She was now coming pretty close!

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Seeing as we were now the only vehicle at the sighting, we could move backwards or forwards as needed to see her perfectly.

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She was heading straight towards the tree we were parked next to...

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...and then proceeded to go and stand right underneath it and pose for us!

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As she moved away from the tree, we followed her...

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...until she was standing right next to our car. She did not seem bothered by our presence at all - and she allowed me to get some beautiful shots of her:

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She then went on to smell our car's tyres, and passed behind our car to the other side of the road.

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Untill she disappeared on the other side of the ridge.

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Thanks to Astromatt's identification guide, we could identify her as Miera. What an absolute privilege to have met this beautiful lady! 8)

_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:20 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1221
Location: Centurion
As for the rest of our day - we just enjoyed it. With all the sightings we'd had so far - we felt spoilt!

Further South we watched these Gemsbok having a drink:

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We reached TR, and checked into our chalet.

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We decided to drive up the Nossob Riverbed one last time the afternoon. A typical picture of KTP - just love these nests!

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At Kijkij our a Greater Painted Snipe (Goudsnip) was still around and I could not help to take more pics of this beautiful bird out of place:

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We never saw a single Meerkat on the Auob side, but they welcomed us back on the Nossob side.

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We also saw some BBJ's...

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... And a Kori Bustard (Gompou) - we actually did not see too many of these birds on our trip this time around... :hmz:

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And as we approached the gate as the sun was setting, the a Giant Eagle Owl (Reuse Ooruil) came to greet the evening.

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I cannot think of a better way to greet the New Year, than to be on a midnight drive out in KTP or KNP. And that is just what we did after our last supper in the park...

_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: A Warm Welcome to a Green Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:07 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1221
Location: Centurion
We had a most enjoyable midnight drive with Kgalagadi Guru. We did not drive too far - only about 5-7km up the Nossob riverbed, and back. We enjoyed some lovely sightings. I'll share some "proof-shots" with you...

First off - a Brownie - our second sighting this trip! :dance:

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We also saw lots of Spotted Eagle Owls. It is amazing how different the bush is at night. These owls were everywhere - hunting from the ground. Where are they all in the day? :hmz:

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A BBJ stopping to smell the flowers...

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A Bat-eared Fox:

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And my favourite sighting of the evening - a purcupine! :dance:

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Just before 24:00 we parked close to Samevloeing, as the area is quite open and probably relatively more safe. We could get out and stand on KTP soil. :dance:

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We got out the bubbly - and celebrated the New Year... :bdaysmile:

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...with all the goggatjies (bugs)!

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What a lovely place to enter in the New Year! What a great start to the year - I would recommend it to anyone! :thumbs_up:

But as the New Year arrived, we had to sadly leave the park, and head home. The next morning we decided to just do a quick drive to Samevloeing and back, before saying our final goodbyes...

...and we got rewarded! :dance:

Some lionesses were sleeping close to TR under a bush:

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What a trip! :D

Next trip is about to start. Want to finnish this one before I start with the next one. Kruger is calling, and I'm going! Hope to see you all on my KNP TR soon. On my way to try and go collect some good :cam: !

_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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