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 Post subject: Tobieo Searching in a dusty KTP!!! May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Time flies, especially when you enjoy yourself. I am back from my long awaited KTP trip, and although the sightings were not as good as I got used to (spoilt?) in the past, I had some very special moments. The Nossob river side was very quiet with the long grass making it even more challenging. The Auob river side was also quiet but at least the grass was more "photographer friendly"…. Disaster struck early in the visit. :cry:

My Canon 1DIV with Canon 300mm f2.8mm and 1.4x lll extender, that normally rides on a large square cushion on the passenger seat, moved (corrugated road) and when I opened the door to unload it, fell onto the Grootkolk sand. I nearly cried but immediately picked it up, dusted it off and tried it out. Error message….!!!! :wall: Eight days to go, apparently without my trusty combination. I still had the Canon 7D & 70-200 f2.8 as backup but that leaves me short by a long way. The 1DlV and 300mm worked without the 1.4x but from the results it was clear that something needed adjustment. The quality of photo's in this report is therefore not up to my normal standard but at least would show you what I experienced.

I will not do the TR as a daily report but rather again give a photographic overview of some sightings. This will include (but not limited to) and not necessary in this order

* The fight at Gemsbokplein waterhole
* 4x4ing at Kij Kij
* The crazy BWB of the Kgalagadi
* The gentle springbok
* The flying vacuum cleaners of Kannagaus
* Carpentry at 13th borehole
* Scavenging jackal
* The water carriers of Unions End
* The frolicking BWB
* Brickworks
* Some birds (no the feathered kind!)
* The roads to and in KTP
* My wish list……?
* The stand off in the Auob river
* The underground inhabitants
* The lazy ones
* The pedestrians of the Kgalagadi roads
* View from dizzy heights
* KTP longhorns

I left home just after 3:00 in the morning for the long journey to Urikaruus, bakkie packed with supplies for 11 days in KTP (plus some magazines and goodies for our special camp attendants). As it was a Sunday the road was fairly quiet and I passed through the few remaining "stop and go" without any delay. After a quick breakfast at Vryburg I once again decided to travel via the direct route through Van Zylsrust (report on road to follow in a later posting). I eventually arrived at Urikaruus at 17:00 and only unpacked the basic stuff for one night stay (I had to cancel two night due to urgent business meetings) After an uneventful night at the waterhole I left early for my trip to Grootkolk. What would the KTP reveal this year? :hmz:

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Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 3:03 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
The road to and in Kgalagadi

Every time I am about to leave for the KTP the question comes to mind, the direct way via Van Zylsrust or via Upington :hmz: . All of you that have recently travelled there from Gauteng have probably had the same question cross your mind. The direct route leaves the N14 at Kuruman and passes through Hotazel and then turns east towards Van Zylsrust. It is tarred up to +- 20 km from Van Zylsrust. What is the lesser of the two evils? "Stop and go"or dirt road?

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It is then a dirt road all the way to Askham where it joins the tar road (R360) from Upington. In total it is thus +- 170km of dirt road and roughly 280km shorter than via Upington. The Upington (N14) road has quite a few "stop and goes" (my pet hate!!) You can argue that travel time should be similar on either route as you have to travel at a slow 80-90km/hr on the dirt section. I have in the past travelled both ways and definitely prefer the direct route as the scenery is nicer (puts you in the Kalahari sooner) and the dirt section is not bad. Please keep in mind that this is my own view and everybody has to decide for them self.

The tar section between Hotazel and Van Zylsrust

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with even an side road for the off road fanatics.

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It has a short section towards the end which has some potholes in….

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the end of the tar

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The dirt road between Van Zylsrust and Askham

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with some fellow travellers

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some road works on the only bad section (probably only 5-8km) but there has been no progress in this regard over the last 2 years.

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Although the base is good and I think it does not get slippery in the rain you do find a few areas with standing water…

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Some nice signage on the tar road between Ashkam and 2R (especially if you are as hungry as I was at this stage)

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Although Sanparks does their best with the roads in the park

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it very quickly deteriorates due to speeding and people not deflating their tyre pressure.

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It becomes very dusty

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but we can NOT stay away!!!!!

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Sat May 12, 2012 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
The crazy BWB of the Kgalagadi

Today I was moving from Grootkolk to Kieliekrankie. On the way, just pass Leijersdraai I noticed the 2 BWB bulls standing fairly close to the road. Most of the surrounding area was covered by grass except a small sandy area. The one BWB would scratch the sand like a maniac, dip his face in the sand, get up and stand facing the second one.

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Suddenly they would be head butting and pushing one another for a few seconds, stop and then the second BWB would do the scratching, face rubbing and then mock fighting.

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In between some face pulling and mocking (reminding me of the NZ rugby team's Haka)

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This carried on for probably 30 minutes, the crazy BWB taking turns to apply "war paint" and then the pushing and shoving one another until a car approached and they then walked off, great friends.

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 7:10 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
My wish list

As I wrote in my short posting before the trip (From Istanbul to KTP) I had a fairly short wish list consisting off the following

* Leopard (decent sighting)
* Brown hyena
* some nice photo opportunities

On the first day as I was driving towards Urikaruus for my first stop over, just passed Rooibrak waterhole I noticed a vehicle standing next to the road. I approached very slowly (as I believe everyone should do!!!) and the driver very frantically waved me closer. I then spoted something white in a tree on the other side of the river bed, which on closer inspection, was my elusive leopard trying to drag a springbok into the tree. I was FAR of so the images are heavily cropped but at least proof of my leopard.

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The next image is the second item on my wish list (after a lot of searching for it) :big_eyes: ……

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You cannot find it?? Nor could I :tongue:

The third item was a bit dissapointing, I spoke to some people on the way out and most of them confirmed my overall experience of "KTP hiding it's best" When I checked in at Nossob on my way through to Grootkolk (where I spent 5 nights) Marius, ex-Urikaruus said oh ho, 5 nights!! There is nothing going on there at the moment. By nature I am a very optimistic person and thought by myself, wait you ain't seen nothing yet…. Unfortunately Marius was mostly right (with one or two exceptions)

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Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 7:21 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
The gentle springbok

The springbok are one of my favorite antelope of the KTP. They can be resting in the shade of a camel thorn, grazing on a dune, lazing at a waterhole or be manning a road block…..

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they even have their scraps (although this was just playing)

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Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 7:11 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
anne-marie wrote:
:yaya: Tobieo... me too I missed the start
and what a dusty start :clap:
:popcorn:


Wait 'till you see the real dusty ones...... :big_eyes:

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June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
4x4ing at Kij Kij

As I was going to Kieliekrankie, I travelled from Grootkolk all the way down the Nossob river to the lower dune road. At Kij Kij waterhole some gemsbok were standing around doing almost nothing until they all very quickly became very restless and stared in the same direction. My immediate reaction was predator… I really looked carefully and waited in anticipation but nothing.... :doh:

Then I saw the tortoise (male I realized after his subsequent 4x4 behavior) approaching the waterhole at quite a speed.

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The chap must have been thirsty. After arriving at the waterhole he took a quick drink and then the fun began…

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Some rock climbing (over not around, my 4x4 has traction control :thumbs_up: ), with some onlookers, some even fleeing

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Some mud crawling….

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Some water crossing…..

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and then just some playing in the water for the hell of it.

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Do you agree that it is a male tortoise?? :tongue:

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 8:51 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Scavaging jackal

I was told a leopard killed a gemsbok calf in the road just past Gemsbokplein waterhole (I saw the stomach content in the road) All that was left of the carcass was apparently dragged out of the road to under a tree. When I arrived a Tawny Eagle and three jackal were feasting on the remains. The Tawny quickly departed while the jackal played tug of war with the remains.

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These guys were no where to be seen (these images were taken at other sightings)

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Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 10:09 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
The flying vacuum cleaners of Kannagaus

The Kannagaus lion pride (for lack of a better description) made a kill right next to the road just north of Kannagaus. More about some of them in a later episode :whistle:

When I arrived there rather late one morning (after sitting at Union End for most of the morning) the one lioness was standing around with a piece of hide in her mouth with some vultures (White-backed and Lappet-faced) waiting in the trees for a piece of the pie.

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After a few more cars arrived the lioness (with very full belly) waggled across the road and disappeared. The vultures used the opportunity to fly in to do their job.

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Unfortunately one of the cars that arrived later transgressed the rules and started hanging out of the car (the driver at one stage climbing through the window and standing on the roof rack) disturbed them and they kept on flying off again and eventually left all together (I did report them but don't know what happened)

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Damn...... :wall:

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Sun May 13, 2012 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Brickworks at Union End

I left early morning from Grootkolk and drove up to Union End waterhole where I spent the morning waiting for some animals to come for a drink and work on my BIF shots with the Sand Grouse coming for a refreshing sip of Kalahari water. During the 4 days that I did this, the only mammal that showed up was this lovely female steenbok

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I took a quick sip of water but then nibbled on some fresh growth followed by some sand

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On the way back to camp these guys were resting next to the road
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and to end this episode, a Grootkolk sunset
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_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Mon May 14, 2012 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Carpentry at 13th borehole

On all my previous visits I only once saw a hamerkop and that was at the Grootkolk waterhole (therefor very far off). I was thus very glad to find this lone hamerkop wading in the overflow at 13th borehole.

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It was feeding on some water goggas. The hamerkop would stand very till, then either move his foot or open his wings to frighten them and then as they move pick them off.

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some other visitors around
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and some flora

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_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
I hope this is not where we are with this TR :hmz: , please help the page to turn :whistle:

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Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:36 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
The fight at Gemsbokplein waterhole

Early one morning after leaving Kieliekrankie towards Mata Mata I met this lion family resting in the river bed close to Gemsbokplein waterhole. At this stage I could only see two young and an adult male.

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Another motorist told me that there were some more sleeping on the opposite bank. After watching them for some time the one young male spotted something on the dune behind me. He got up and crossed the road and later went into stalking mode.

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There were some gemsbok but probably 200m further back. He quickly lost interest and returned, sniffed my car and went back to the rest of the family. At this stage another male lion that was sleeping on the opposite side of the river bed came closer and sat down.

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As the youngster strolled past him, all hell broke loose. He attacked the youngster while both of them were growling and the rest of the pride followed suit (amazing to listen to)

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The young lion quickly surrendered

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and wet himself while trying to get away and then ran off.

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The total encounter probably lasted 30 sec but was amazing. The pride continued to growl and the youngster lay down to "lick his wounds"(although I did not see any blood) He later approached his brother who (please excuse the human phrase) gave him a hug.

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They older male who was lying next to the road watching all this joined them and they all went to sleep. Peace again in the lion pride!!!!

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Wow, writing this I get goose bumps all over. (I will be posting the full sequence on my web site)

_________________
Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


Last edited by Tobieo on Fri May 18, 2012 7:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
The frolicking BWB (Parental guidance required)

One morning as I was driving along the Auob river I noticed some BWB acting very strangely, they were standing closely together and turning all the time.

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My first reaction again (stupid of me) was that they were threatened by something and were protecting perhaps a new born calf in the middle. Driving closer I soon realized what was going on. There was a cow in oestrus and some males were trying their luck while one or two females were watching….

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The dominant male would every few minutes mate with the cow, chase away some competitors and the mate again (is the blue pill available in KTP?) This carried on for quite some time

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some other females hanging around (never participated..)

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while this teenager was hiding behind some bush next to the road
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and this bull waiting for the pharmacist to arrive to dispense some tablets.....
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Apr 2014 Chobe
June 2014 Etosha
Nov / Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP


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 Post subject: Searching in a dusty KTP!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 7:01 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Somerset West
Tobie. What a disaster. I too travel with a big square cushion on the passenger seat for all the gear. My son once dropped a 50D and 100-400mm out the car when he opened a door at Mata Mata. Luckely nothing was damaged except for a scrape or two on the hood. Your wildebeest pics really made me smile and your leopard sighting was one that is right at the top of my list. Keep it coming. I have now booked for December and a two week solo stint mid March 2013.

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[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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