DAY 5 : MABUASEHUBE PAN NO 2
My thanks to all those who have posted replies - welcome on board. There is always space in the Landy!
We woke at about 05h00 and it was still raining steadily - we thought to ourselves "what now! How are we going to pack up in the rain" We dozed off and before we knew it it was really time to get up and what do you know - the sun peeped out from behind the clouds. The smell of the Kalahari in the early morning after plentiful rain is hard to describe! We soon discovered that we had had visitors during the night. There were three sets of these tracks on the veranda. I guess that they belonged to Spotted Hyenas.
We were really lazy to pack up - felt like sitting back and simply soaking up the view and the fresh air. I don't want to bore you with repitition of this pic but you have no option!
I moved the Landy into the sun so that the RTT could dry off while we packed.
Two Barn Owls visited us while we were having a coffee and rusk. They appeared to have spent the night in the building next door and were obviously keen for some fresh air. They played cat and mouse with me, never letting me get close enough for a decent photograph
We took our time because it was only about 50km to Mabua East Gate so we were out of there by about 10h00. Along the cutline we saw these Sandgrouse
The condition of the cutline was quite good - 50km/hr was easily attainable (not that we drove at that speed.)
We were soon at East Gate to check in. There was nobody to attend to us so we hung around a bit before tapping the hooter. Took this pic while waiting to be checked into the park
After about 15 minutes a lady arrived (walking at her own pace I might add) to check us in. It was soon very evident that it was HAPPY EASTER time!! Nevertheless she told us that she had checked us in for all our Botswana stays. I must admit that I was a trifle worried about this arrangement but what can you do? Through the gate and happy to be in the KTP proper
It is a beautiful drive from East gate across to Mabuasehube Pan. The road was wet so no dust , the birds were all over the place and I simply could not resist cracking an early morning can of the best! The first game that we saw were these very relaxed looking Blue Wildebeest
When we creasted the dune at Mabua Pan we could not believe our eyes - there was water in the pan!
This was an unbelievable sight - we later heard that this area had had about 100mm of rain during the night. Who could have imagined the sight of a pan full of water in the middle of the Kalahari. We were indeed fortunate to witness this.
We drove past campsite No 4 which is our favourite site at this pan (Stayed there in 2012 when Lions visited us every night) on our way to No 2. When we arrived there were a number of cars parked there and immediately I thought that the lady at the gate had really messed this one up!. However the folk at our site had driven over from Khiding and were merely having a picnic lunch under our camel thorn tree. They told us that they had seen Lions about 8km up the road so we left them to finish their picnic while we went Lion hunting. We battled to find them and were about to give it up as a wild goose chase when SO spotted them about 100m from the road. So frustrating for the first sighting because they were doing what Lions do best - relaxing. We counted about 10 of them which included a few cubs. We sat patiently for about 20 minutes but they were going nowhere so we decided to head back to set up camp. Here is the proof
When we arrived at our camp our visitors had left. It was about 13h00 so we parked under our camelthorn tree and decided to have a beer and some lunch before setting up camp. A piece of paper blew across our path and I immediately cursed the picnic goers for leaving this scrap of paper lying around. I picked it up and was about to toss it in our rubbish bag when SO said to me "what is written on that paper?" You will not believe what was written "Beware - there is a Rock Python in the tree". We looked up and right above our heads we saw this
We got the fright of our lives and decided right there and then that we would not set up out RTT under this tree. The Python did not budge all afternoon but when we got up the next morning it was gone. Where to, who knows! We spent the remainder of the day watching all the antelope coming down to drink nice fresh water from the pan. They definitely had a spring in their heals and seemed to be in 7th heaven. It is amazing how nature provides. We thought that the Lions would venture down to the pan in the evening but there was no sign of them.