August 27: Left Gauteng at 4h00 and arrived at Uppington at 12h00. Plenty of birds along the way: Whitebacked Duck, Blacksmith and crowned Lapwings, Grey Headed Gulls, Black Headed and Grey Herons, Fulvous Duck, Pied Crows and many more... Arrived at Kalahari Guest House at 14h00 to a wonderful sighting of Fish Eagle! What an oasis in the desert! Kitlitz's Plover, Pied Kingfisher, Egyptian Goose, Namaqua Sandgrouse (lifer), Orange River White Eye (lifer), Pirit Batis (lifer) and a posible Dusky Sunbird (dipped on).
August 28: Andrew's B-Day
. Left Kalahari Guest House at 7 and drove through to Kaglagadi. We saw plenty of Owls and Honey Badgers that had been killed on the road in the night. We were pleasantly surprised by the "dreaded" road into the park. Pgymy falcon (lifer), Sociable Weavers (lifer) along the road and Marico Flycatchers by the ton! Arrived at the park at around 11 and picked our camp site at Twee Riverin. Enjoyed our lunch while watching some squirrels and Meerkats in the camp site. We went for an afternoon drive and saw: Wildebeest, Ostrich, Black Backed Jackal and Gemsbok. Added Ashy Tit and Fawn Coloured Lark to our Life List.
August 29: Drove to Mata Mata via the Auob Road. Plenty of Springbok, Gemsbok, Wildebeest, Black Backed Jackal. Missed out on a kill...only the carcass left and Vultures. Pgymy Falcon, Crimson Breasted Shrike, Fawn Coloured Larks, Pale chanting Goshawks, Lanner Falcons, Sociable Weavers and more Ashy Tits. There were so many rodents that for every bird we saw, we saw a mouse too! Yellow Mongeese and Suricats. We watched a black crow at the picnic site burying his food and a red-eyed Bulbul landed on the car door as we got out! We got to Mata Mata and picked our campsite near the fence. It was so cold in the night...
August 30: Stayed at Mata Mata again. Morning drive yielded: Two Bat Eared Foxes by a den near the road going through their morning activities - cleaning each other! Two Cheetahs on the top of a dune that we follwed down the road for at least an hour. We must have seen all the Giraffe in the park too! More Black Backed Jackal and Bateleur, Vultures, Lanner Falcons, Pale Chanting Goshawks, Secretary Birds and Kori Bustards. A Small Spotted Gennet visited our camp site while we were braaing and sat next to us for ages just like any feral cat! We felt like we were at home with our cats!
Was colder at night (-0,5C, but felt much colder), packing up the next morning was very difficult given that we were frozen!
August 31: Kilie Krankie tonight. First drive across the dune road and we were amazed at how the scenery changed! We saw Steenbok and Gemsbok, Kori Bustards and Springbok. We also saw about 10 Black Faced Waxbills at a watering hole, apparently quite rare in the park. The sight that awaited us as we drove into Kilie Krankie is undescribable! Edward (the park official based there) was so welcoming and friendly. We had a relaxing afternoon and enjoyed the view so much that you could not get us off the patio and into the car for a drive later for anything! After our braai we sat on the patio and it was so quiet that the silence was painful. A far cry from the noise of generators at Mata Mata.
Sep 1: We were to leave Kilie Krankie today to camp again at Twee Riverin - lucky for us there was a chalet available that night so we drove (via Auob road) through to Twee Riverin to pick up some firewood and drinks and pay for another night at Kilie Krankie! On this road we saw a totally leucistic Sabota Lark. Its stark whiteness made it stick out like a sore thumb and the birds with it in the bird party were not happy with it and were squawking like mad at it! We drove back (via the Dune Road) and saw Black Headed Herons, more Fawn Coloured Larks another Bateleur and Kori Bustards. Had our lunch on the patio at Kilie Krankie and started a Potjie for dinner. At 17h00, a leopard came to drink at the small waterhole in front of the chalets! What a sighting! The Black Backed Jackals were going crazy and barking like mad! The steenboks were nowhere to be seen. The leopard then walked up one of the dunes towards the camp and eventually disappeared! That night the Barking Geckos had obviously got the memo about it being spring day and spent the rest of the night barking!
Sep 2: Left Kilie Krankie with a heavy heart...
could have stayed for ever! Can not wait to go back. We drove through to Twee Riverin via the Dune Road, with sightings of Double Banded Coursers, Greater Kestrel, Northern Black Korhaans and the usuals. As we were filling up with Diesel, we saw a Dusky Sunbird (lifer) in the Aloes next to the petrol pumps. A wonderful leaving present! Left the park at about 12, both of us vowing to come back as soon as we can! Not 10km outside the park and our fuel gauge sensor broke leaving us thinking we had no petrol even though we had just filled up in Twee Riverin. Many more squeaks and rattles from all the corregations. Spent the night at Kalahari Guest House and got the elusive Dusky Sunbird there as well!
Sep 3: Left at 3h00 to come back to Gauteng, seeing many of the usual birds along the way.
We had an absolutely fantasitc trip
and can not wait to go back again. We are lovers of KNP
, but the Kaglagadi is like no other place on earth!