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 Post subject: Mashona Sightings : Kgalagadi Nov 2005
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:55 pm 
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Have just returned from a week in the Kgalagadi, and what a diverse trip it was.
Started off at Nossob for two nights, as usual the area gave its fair share of Lion sightings, one at the waterhole in front of the camp, first time I have ever seen the gates closed. On the way up from Twee Riverieren saw some good sightings of Hyaena, wild cat, and an unusual sighting of a pair of Spotted Eagle Owls with three young on the ground. Good Barn Owl photographs at the first big Community Weavers nest above the road.
Around the Nossob waterhole at night Bat eared fox, Brown Hyaena at Rooikop, and a further Two Lions at at the same waterhole.
We went north to Grootkolk to be greeted by a very vocal and friendly Gert, who promised without doubt Leopard in the camp every night.........well they were certainly in the area, Gert is quite happy in the evenings to join you at your Braai plek and drink your wine and taste your vors!
We had good sightings in the area, although it was very quiet of night noises. 4 cheetah sightings, more Wild Cat and a special evening performance at the water hole of six Spoted Hyaena and Two Brown Hyaena, Thanks Gert for organising that.
We had planned two nights at Bitterpan, the trip across the dunes was my first, great fun.
The camp was empty so we had the place to ourselves, again we were told that Leopard would be in the area every night, maybe we have the lack of Leopard curse but once again we came up empty. That evening was really stunning, good braai fire and good night noises.
The next morning however things really changed, our first "Desert Storm" within thirty minutes the sand storm was all around us, the tents soon filled with sand and the kitchen area resembled a sand dune, we stayed on till two in the afternoon and then realised we could not carry on, it became really unpleasent, hasty retreat was beaten to Twee Rivieren. I must say it was a great expierence to witness the Kalahari in that mood.
One very big negative about the the two camps ie Bitterpan or Grootkolk is we found we had been eaten alive by BED BUGGS in one of them, not sure which but believe this should be sorted out immediately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We then moved up to Kiele Kranke which must be the best Kalahari expierence, the view is to die for, the rooms clean and the guard Eric deserves much praise for his attitude and willingness to help.
That evening we were treated to another Kalahari gem, a real heavy thunderstorm, from the day befores sand storm to a drenching downpoor, wonderful
Early morning drive found good sightings of cape Fox, great birding, Wild Cat and what must have been the biggest herd of Springbok I have seen in my 13 visits to the park.
The late afternoon drive was very different for the wrong reasons, we were parked on the road facing towards Mata when a speeding "Tourist" crashed into us, talking our wing mirror off, think he was speeding and not looking at the road, he drove off without stopping! ( One shudders to think if I had been photographing with my long lens out of the window ) Had to catch up to him and ask what on earth he was doing!!! Think he would have been quite happy to do a hit and run.
Notice the park is getting a lot of overseas visitors who do not have a clue about how to drive and most certainly STAY in their cars! Twice we found people out of their cars wondering around within the park. MORE detailed rules in foreign languages are required.
That evening our final in the park, bright moonlight, the water hole in front of the camp was visited by a Lioness and her Cub, plus another Brown Hyeana.
Another wonderful stay, but the BED BUGGS situation and the blocked drain in the shower in hut number 2 at GrootKolk are items that should be looked at and sorted out immediately
Thanks to all who made it another wonderful Kalahari trip
Anybody interested can view my pictures from the trip at

http://www.pbase.com/mashona/kalahari_2005

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:20 pm 
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Hi Mashona,

I enjoyed looking at your pictures. You have some flippin' nice shots from both Kalahari and Addo. I especially like the star trails pics you took in the Kalahari.

The picture of the two young African Wild Cats is a special one. It's not often you get a good photo opportunity with wild cats. Where was this pic taken? Anywhere close to Leeuwdril waterhole?

M


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 Post subject: Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:25 am 
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The kittens were in their "den" in a fallen tree, just off the road north of Urikarus, Family of six, but we saw them on several occasions.Near Unions end, again south of Urikarus, Montrose, Batulama. Quite lucky on this trip

Thanks for all the comments


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:39 am 
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Welcome to the forums Mashona!

Thank you for your wonderful report! I must join the others and congratulate you on your super photos!

How big would you say the herd of springbok were?


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 Post subject: Springbok
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:46 am 
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Would estimate at least 500, they were spread across the river bed and into the dunes about 4 kms north of Urikaruus
A lot of young ones present. Must admit it was quite a surprise because I have not seen a herd that big since 1993

Thanks for viewing my photographs

Regards


Steve


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