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GavinW Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012

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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:01 am
Posts: 753
Location: Cape Town
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Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:40 am Unread post
Thanks everyone, and I am really sorry about keeping you in suspense. :twisted:
I am sure however that I can fit a few more pictures onto this page :D

Day 21 gets better!


We carried on south after our pit stop at Kamqua, and soon after Rooibrak, a car stopped on the side of the road flashed it’s lights at us. We duly stopped and had a look around.


On the far side of the riverbed, three cheetah cubs were sitting near a tree watching some springbok a bit further up the river.

We wondered as to where mommy was. :hmz:

We soon found out as she approached us, whilst stalking along the road, using the sidewall for cover.

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We were amazed at how she kept low, and moved along not changing her profile, with just her legs moving.

She crouched for a while in the road as she slowly moved forward

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Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012

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Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:05 pm Unread post
Day 21 continued


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Unfortunately the springbok noticed her, and with the element of surprise gone, she gave up the chase and returned to her cubs.

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The four, once reunited moved along the riverbed and eventually settled down in the shade of a tree.

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Knowing that she, and her cubs were hungry, we decided to stay around for a bit and see what happened.

We waited for about an hour and a quarter before she started moving again.
She again came up to the road and walked along the road, using the cars and trees on the side of the road for cover.

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This time a gemsbok noticed her and it’s alarm calls soon had everyone wide awake.

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The quartet then proceeded to carry on moving up the riverbed.


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We thought that they would stop at the nearby Rooibrak waterhole to have a drink, so we went to the waterhole and stopped in a good position. This time we were wrong, the four cheetah walked past the waterhole and up and over a dune on the far side of the river.

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We had been with them for almost three hours and were totally chuffed with the sighting.
We did need to carry on, so we set off to Twee Rivieren to go and book in to our chalet for our last night in the park.

The trip back was quiet, with this jackal the main star along the way.

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We didn’t mind a bit, and got to camp by 3.30pm


Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012

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Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:03 pm Unread post
Day 21: a brief farewell:


As I said, we got back to camp mid afternoon, and after doing all the admin stuff, we booked into our chalet, (no 31), which is at the back, right on the edge of the camp, and fairly secluded.

(Also We think it is bat free!!) :P

Not wanting to miss a trick, or a second of our precious time left in the park, we were soon out on our evening drive.


We decided to drive up to Leeudril and back as we had had quite a bit of luck earlier in the trip along that stretch.

Just after Samevloeiing, we met up with SueJ, who after a long day, was heading back to camp. We stopped and chatted for a bit, and exchanged chalet numbers in the hope of getting together later. ( Sorry SueJ, the evening got a bit hectic, and I believe you went to the restaurant anyway) :redface:

After saying goodbye, we carried on, and we were not much further along the road when we spotted Hannes Lochner in his Land Rover on the Botswana side of the valley.

We knew what that meant, and we suddenly were really wide awake and alert. :lol:


Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012

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Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:53 am Unread post
Thanks guys..... here we go!

Day 21 gets even better still !

Hannes Lochner was looking in the wrong direction! :lol:

We had only gone a few hundred metres when we saw them walking along the riverbed.

Oh my hat, not one but TWO leopards! I mean really!! :big_eyes:

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The two beauties walked alongside each other before one moved off around a bit of shrubbery, and the other moved closer to the road.


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After a bit that leopard too went towards the middle of the river

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Probably to contemplate as to whether or not gemsbok was on the menu for supper :hmz:

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But then probably just to admire the passing show. :D


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By now we were no longer the only car at the sighting, and even Hannes Lochner had returned to South Africa for the spectacle.

tbc


Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012

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Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:06 pm Unread post
Fantastic Gavin and Debbie.

I think the leopard nearer to camera is Rooiputs.
Image


Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012

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Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:36 pm Unread post
The leopards cont…..


After a while the two leopards decided that they were going in the wrong direction, and turned around.

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We were at the front of the queue of about 8 cars, so we turned around first and got back to the prime viewing spot.

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What happened next is best described by these photos, as they moved together, and eventually crossed the road and headed up the side of the dune on the western side of the riverbed.

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Once the leopards had disappeared, so did all the spectators. We hung around a bit longer than the rest, but without success. Eventually, due to time constraints, we returned to camp.

That evening we spent a pleasant time with initially Jannie and Vanessa, who came to say hi over a few cold drinks, and then later with Anna, who stayed for supper. (That’s if you call a veggie burger supper!!)

We discussed the days events, and eagerly arranged the next mornings planned walk!


Last edited by GavinW on Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.


Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012

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Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:53 pm Unread post
Day 22: Shivering at Samevloeiing!!

We had arranged to meet at the old reception area at some ungodly time of the morning after picking Anna up at her Kalahari house. We were going on a morning walk along with Jannie and one of his guides, Rob.

After all the admin and pleasantries were sorted we were off to Samevloeiing in an open game drive vehicle, and the temperature was minus plenty ( I was sure it was at least minus 10)

It didn’t take long for my cheeks to feel as if frost bite would have been the better option as to what I was experiencing, and holding the steel torch was a no no!!

We eventually arrived at the waterhole, and were able to get out of the truck.

Jumping up and down at least got my circulation going while we waited for it to get lighter, and for those who needed it, to have a smoke break!. :evil:


After a while we set off on the walk.


Frozen fingers notwithstanding, I managed to get a few pics of the walk, on which we saw very little. These included:


Some pics of our party against the sunrise as we headed out,

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The long awaited sunrise, (And some warmth!!)

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I think it is out of focus due to me shivering so much :redface:


A very dead bok in a tree

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And, of our vehicle when we returned after the walk.

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As we were driving out Jannie pointed out some tracks on the road which had walked over our tyre tracks…


We later found out that a leopard had made a kill just after we passed by, and had the buck in a nearby tree and had watched us passing by. :whistle:

You can’t be everywhere all the time. :redface:


After the walk was over, we returned to camp, packed up all our stuff, and after debating as to whether or not to go for a last drive before leaving (And deciding not to seeing as we had 1200km to travel), we said our sad farewells to all our friends in the park, and to the park itself.


Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012

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Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:47 pm Unread post
Christmas Trees in the Kalahari


A lot of people must be wondering why this trip report has been titled, “Christmas Trees in the Kalahari”

Well a friend wrote in her blog the following;


May 22: Walking With Christmas Trees

Until this morning when they left, some of my best friends were here in the Kalahari. They’re wonderful people; all super-bright and glowy and full of happy light and colour. They’re warm, comforting and homely. And I only get to see them once a year. And I spend all year looking forward to seeing them. So I guess they’re like Christmas Trees. I love Christmas Trees.
The Christmas Trees have just ended an incredible three weeks in the Kalahari. They’re living proof of the saying that “the Kalahari reveals itself only to those who seek it with a true heart”. They were truly blessed to witness some seriously kudutastic things here. And the memories and mind-blowing photos they take home with them today prove that you don’t need to spend all that money on those really, really big cameras. Buy a point ‘n shoot and get lots of chocolate and flip-flops with all that money you’ve saved. That’s what I would do.





It kinda hit a note, and we both decided that it was apt!

(A bit of self indulgence.. Sorry) :redface: :dance: :dance:

Roll on 2013 :P


Re: Christmas Trees in the Kalahari - KTP May 2012

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Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:25 pm Unread post
Hi enrico

Next year we have the following booked, starting from 1 May 2013

4 nights Rooiputs

5 nights at Nossob

3 nights Polentswa

2 nights Nossob

3 nights Mata Mata

All camping up till then


2 Nights KTP only because we couldn't get KK


and 1 nighr KK

Thats about 20 nights in paradise, and we generally drive straight through from Cape Town and the same back again.


Like this year, we are going with NO EXPECTATIONS and just can't wait to be back.
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