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 Post subject: Dreamers Kgalagadi Trip: Sept 06
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:46 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Feeling sad that our wonderful trip is over, but I know that we will be back - the sooner the better. Each time it is harder to leave but that just makes the desire to get back much stronger!

As mentioned in the "Roads" topic, the Molopo stretch to the park was not an issue for us.
Deflated our tyres and proceded with ease.

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Arrived at TR, lovely warm weather, to be greated by the one of the regular house visitors


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Wonderful to finally meet Jannie, arranged our first morning walk for the following morning.


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 Post subject: Day 2
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:50 pm 
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Left at 6am on truck before stopping for a very chilly walk.
Wonderful to walk in the dunes with Jannie, so well informed and interesting. Identifying spoor, discussing animal habits and behaviour, vegetation. Time passed too quickly in these breathtaking beautiful surroundings. So special, the closest to nature possible.



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On our way back we saw our first ever Elephant Shrew
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Wild Cat with Whisteling Rat
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Can really recommend a walk at the beginning of your trip as all the information that Jannie provides sets you up for the days ahead!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:25 am 
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Left TR for Nossob, once again early as the gates opened.
Plenty of general game, and lots of small interesting activity.
Gemsbok on dune
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Wildcat in tree
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Mouse in tree, this one really amused the family for some time!
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Also had a great time watching the suricates which on previous visits have not shown themselves to us. This time we were so lucky
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Saw fresh lion spoor at Melkvlei picnic spot which made us sure there were lion about. We were right, a couple of 100 metres along, spotted a lioness on the dune. She was very alert and watching a Gemsbok on the opposite side of the road. She eventually stood up and moved quite quickly. Following her, we were thrilled when we noticed she was heading towards her cub at a lair on the ridge

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:28 am 
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Further along, our son, an amazing 'spotter' of distant things, spotted 4 lionesses at a kill between Dikbaardskolk and Cheleka. They were far to contented to be bothered to give us any further excitement at all!
(At a later stage after this summarised general report I will post additional pics..my downloads full at the moment :x )


Snakes and plenty more snakes seen. Not always able to get good photos but never gave up on trying!


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Any help with identifying the first two? Juvenile Cobra and Juvenile Mole Snake?


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 Post subject: Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:54 am 
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If I had to make a decision I think I would say Nossob is my favourite traditional camp.
We had not seen the pool yet, and the kids were rather quick to check it out.

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Always plenty to keep us amused Nossob

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Could not believe that this Crimson Breasted Shrike was so obliging!
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Enjoying a drink at the hide waterhole
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Our formulite friend, although he did not have much respect for our bird book on the seat!!
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Still obliging..
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 Post subject: Nossob Drives
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:24 am 
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Driving out from Nossob for a game drive is always a tricky one in deciding whether to go north or south.
Driving north one morning saw 4 Cheetah just 7kms from camp.
Not too close to the road but we were able to watch for a long while before they moved over the dune.
Think these were the mother and her 3 cubs that had been seen at a kill in the region the morning before.

The best pic I have of 2 of them

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Sitting at Cubitjie Quap early am. Did you know that the name for the Secretary Bird has changed to 'Long Legged Ground Eagle?"

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An amazing sight watching these Namaqua Sangrouse flying in and out to drink

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The Grey Heron seem to love this waterhole
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:31 pm 
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We made a good choice again this am. Left park at 6.30am and headed towards Maries se Gat.

Getting our permit at the gate:
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Sat at the waterhole, so peaceful. Coffee and rusks don’t taste the same at home!
500m on from the waterhole we were entertained by Cape Fox mom and her 2 cubs. What a treat. The cubs played for ages but never ventured too fair. You can see from the pics how easy it was for them to disappear down under!
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Close to the exit of Maries se Draai we saw these Bat Eared Fox
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Afternoon spend a lot of time at the hide at Nossob, viewing springbok, gemsbok, wildebeest and plenty birds.
View of hide:
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:19 am 
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Left for Grootkolk the following am. The mornings warmed up a bit. The first few days were rather chilly, so for those who have always wondered about the weather in Sept, it is a still a good idea to take something along for cold early mornings and late evenings. The temperatures till now had varied from 2 degrees up to 38 degrees.

Near Kwang, folks in a parked Kombi signaled that there were 3 lion in the bushes. We would never have spotted them (at least I think not) if they had not shown us. They were well hidden. However, a coffee break was necessary and we patiently waited.
A lion and two adolescent cubs finally showed themselves. Too many bushes for good pics but still worth showing:
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Saw another ‘seriously’ long cape cobra but too quick to capture a pic.
Just loved the scenery on route up North

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Stopped at Lijersdraai picnic spot for lunch. As can be seen, we always have someone on the ‘lookout’ for us!

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We were welcomed at Grootkolk on a very hot (not complaining) afternoon by 1 and then 2 mole snakes!
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The sociable weavers were happy to enjoy some ‘salty’ iceblocks. After a 15 mins at Grootkolk my soul is rejuveinated!!

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Watching all the activity, big and small. Oh how I wished time could stand still.
These stripped mice were so cute!!
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more tomorrow..


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:04 am 
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Even my daughter didn’t mind doing dishes when there was so much else to distract her at the waterhole which was about 30 m from our unit!

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The communal kitchen area is perfect to use if you have friends in the other units and want to braai (or cook, it does have a gas stove and oven) and share the time together. Well equipped, this is between the 2 units to the left and 2 units right of the waterhole. The waterhole is lit until about 9.30 at night. An addition spot light is necessary for you to occasionally scan the area.
While were enjoying the peace and tranquility we heard lapping sounds. Switched the spotlight on and saw a Spotted Hyaena drinking. This was rather a sad sight. The hyaena had a broken back and later moved off, dragging his back legs. Nature would no doubt take its course.

We only stayed one night here, what a pity. Take a look how beautiful the mornings are as well. Sitting ouside our unit, once again enjoying gourmet coffee and rusks :lol:, we saw these hyaenas


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Very clear that these 2 had enjoyed supper the evening before!
They drank for a long time before moving off through the long grass. The stunning morning light made for beautiful viewing

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Wildebeest making a dash for a drink



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During the night, I heard the 'sawing' sound of the leopard, tried hard to locate it but no luck :evil: Did however know he was there because right outside our unit there were perfect spoor as proof!

More later...


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:25 pm 
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We left Grootkolk prepared for a long drive to KTC.
A quiet drive, stopped at Nossob for lunch break and kids enjoyed a quick swim. Am sure many folk are pleased as our children are that Nossob has this new pool !!
Along the Dunes road we saw Ostriches with babies. We always look out for them and never fail to see them. Stopped for a pic but they did not like our horrible squeaking breaks. (Nor did we but what could we do ??? :evil: )

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We also witnessed what Jannie had told us about on our first walk. When Steenbok urinates, she digs a bit of a hole, urinates and then covers it up again. Shame, she had no privacy this time, we luckily managed to capture it all on video.



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Once on Mata Mata Road we chose to do the ‘loops’This time not the right choice as we missed 3 lions in the road near Dalkeith. What we did see was an injured male lion with a ‘hanging’ jaw. Not a happy sighting :(

On arriving at KTC we were met by these spotted hyaenas

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Stayed in our car, watching them watching us. They were in no hurry to move along which of course we did not mind.

KTC is a fabulous camp, for those who have not been there, here is a pic of the entrance, the pool area is just behind the reception.


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We saw them often and heard them calling “whooo-hoop”
and laughing.

The viewing of the hyaena were very special for all of us, we couldn't get enough!! If they stayed there all night we would have watched all night :roll:

This pic is to show you how close they were that we could watch in the dark!!
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After a great evening stargazing and being entertained by a special guest and the hyaenas we went to bed full of excitement and anticipation for our next early am walk with Jannie.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:22 pm 
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At last, my turn again:

For those who have not experienced the park in September, please note that the mornings can still be rather chilly. We experienced 1 degrees at the beginning of our trip.
We were met by Jannie and a second guide,(apologies to him, think his name is spelt incorrectly) Whitold, who drove us to Dalkeith to begin our walk. We were always out the gates as the sun rose, but witnessing the sunrise from high up on the vehicle was awesome. I was so enjoying it that failed to take any pics :x Now I regret it but it was good at the time to just absorb it with worrying with the camera.

After a briefing our walk begins :D An exhilerating esperience. Crisp early morning, silence, only the sounds of our footsteps.

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Our first sighting were these giraffe on the crest

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Then, seconds later, whispers down the line.... Lion :shock:
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We had so much confidence and trust in Jannie. This left us with such an awesome feeling, too difficult to describe. I can highly recommend a walk, an experience that will stay with us all forever!! 3.6 Million hectaresof park, approx 450 Lions and we walk into one :clap: Thank you Jannie.
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We proceded slowly, stopped and chatted for a while to get rid of some of all the adrenalin.

Had some interesting lessons and tasting sessions
Jannie digging deep down show us the large root of the Gemsbok Cucumber which, despite its bitterness are eaten by Gemsbok, Mole rats as well as honey-badgers.
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Tasted really bitter, thankful not part of our diet :)
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We then tasted Springbok Cucumber. That was just like the taste of the cucumber we enjoy.


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We ended off our walk with some light hearted fun, called 'Bok Drol Spoeg' For those who don't know, in english, it is 'spitting buck droppings' :lol: :lol: This time it was Giraffe droppings. Give you a clue who won, his name begins with a "J" :lol:
Thanks to my son he didn't mind me posting him having his turn

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I do hope that those who have not done a walk will do so on their next visit, even if you don't walk into anything big, just the whole experience of walking in the wild is MAGIC!!

More a bit later..


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:20 pm 
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We popped in to Mata Mata briefly. The new reception area and new pool give this camp quite a different look
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These Suricates were in the Mata Mata Camp Site
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Behind the shop above an old watertank, we could climb up a ladder to view these gorgeous Barn Owls
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More to follow


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:30 am 
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Arks
Quote:
Did Jannie come and collect you for your walk from KTC or were you staying at TR? I'd thought your preveious report ended with you at KTC, but I thought Jannie's walks started from TR?


You are right Arks,
Talk about going the extra mile :!:
Jannie did just this, he drove the first few miles and then walked the rest with us :D :D

Who can top that for going the extra mile :?: :clap:
Great isn't it.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:41 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cape Town
Thank you all for the responses.
Just a couple of general pics before i post a few bird pics and then the last stop of our trip, Urikaruus.

These Tsamma Melons were along the roadside going up to Nossob. Previous visits we have only seen them on the dunes road.
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Lunch time
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Kalahari Rose Bush
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Please don't tar the roads :cry:
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Please, this is to show an ABSOLUTE NO NO!!! So unneccessary and this was a registered tour guide who knows the rules, well supposedly not!!
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A couple of bird pics tomorrow.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:12 pm 
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Thanks for the replies, yes I do count myself as lucky!! :D

Oh my, I do need practice in photographing birds, so I’ll have to put it into practice during my next visit.
Just loved these Pygmy Falcons
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Pale Chanting Goshawk
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Barn Owl
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Bee Eater
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Tawny Eagle, looks like a snake between his feet
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Urikaruus, a perfect camp to end off a wonderful stay.
Have a look here to see the pics I have posted on the accommodation and activity at the Urikaruus waterhole.http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8390

One does not need to go on a game drive. You feel you can just sit , relax and view from your private balcony!
On a drive we did see:
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We did not see may Red Hartebeest this time. This was probably only the third time we saw some time during our 10 day stay.
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These Giraffe were seen close to Urikaruus
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Our second day and second last day of our trip was quiet and relaxing. It’s hard to want to leave the comfort of the cabins and the pleasure of watching herds of game coming down to the waterhole as well as watch the smaller things.
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More to follow


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