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 Post subject: Tobieo's Kgalagadi - not for sissies!! Nov. '13
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:06 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
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Most of you that know me will be aware of the fact that I absolutely love the KTP and normally visit it once to twice every year. I have started to wonder if I have jinxed myself or have I just been unlucky? Let me start by giving you some background.

My last visit was March this year and I went camping with my Bushlapa caravan. I have been experiencing some back problems for quite some time and undergone a small back procedure +- a month before I left. I travelled with a back brace but unfortunately hurt my back again (further?) maneuvering the caravan in the sand and had to return early. I was very disappointed but at least I knew I had another reservation for Oct / Nov this year.

I was scheduled to depart on 26 Oct and only return on 4 Nov, what a time to look forward to (famous last words) :wall: A week before I departed I developed a hell of a rash on my arms, lower legs and back which was very itchy. After several visits to the doctor, including a dermatologist a diagnosis of a viral infection was made. The itching disappeared after a few days and I did not feel too bad. Obviously I decided to go ahead and leave for KTP (it was planned as a solo photography trip) including Rooiputs, Polentswa and ending in Grootkolk.

After the first night at TR I left and setup camp in Rooiputs, luckily at number 3 which has very nice shade. Without being too dramatic I started feeling really bad, lost all taste sensation and experienced some joint pains. After 4 nights, before moving north I decided to not venture further from my loved ones and possible medical assistance and returned home :( :wall: (I ended up really feeling bad for quite some time and was eventually booked off work for 2 weeks) In hindsight (which is an exact science) I should probably not have gone, not being 100% ok (ja vrou ek weet)


In this rather shorter than anticipated trip report I will share some of the experiences during my strange visit. Pack your picnic bags and join me on the trip.

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Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


Last edited by Tobieo on Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
I left Pretoria at 03:00 and stopped off in Vryburg for a quick breakfast and refueling the Ford. I normally travel via Hotazel and Van Zylsrus as this gets me to the bush much earlier. The road surface was actually quite good (the grader was busy on my return journey) and I made good time to arrive at TR early afternoon.

After checking in for the night, off loading Jannie's goodies (from Grandal), stocking up on firewood (tied onto my canopy roof), filling the water containers and refueling I left for my first short drive to Samevloeiing.

It was fairly quiet until this White faced duck arrived for a nice time in the water

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Some doves also came for a drink

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and this jackal appeared from nowhere looking for a quick snack but the doves put a spoke in his wheel and left

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After enjoying the quietness at Samevloeiing I returned to camp, enjoyed a cold one (glass of water obviously) and ended the evening with a venison pie in the restaurant (it normally is very good but by now I started loosing my sense of taste :( )

tbc

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Elize, Hilda, Kyknetta, Meandering Mouse, Bush Baptist, Pumbaa, Lionspoon, Trrp-trrrrrr, barryels and lionqueen, thank you for the comments and good wishes.

I am almost 100% better but am on my way to a business meeting in Germany. Will try to post before I depart but will be gone for a week.

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:52 am 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
After a late start, including a breakfast at the restaurant I left for Rooiputs for my first three nights camping. Although it was only 9:00 it was already fairly hot and I soon realized that the park is in desperate need of some good summer rains

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This young family was on their way somewhere (probably a shady spot)

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The red dunes is one of the reasons I keep on coming back

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These young springbok were preparing for the real world when they are older

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I arrived at my campsite at Rooiputs (#3) at 12:00. I did not know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that this specific campsite had some very nice shade. Although it was now quite warm and I was not feeling too good I decided to immediately set up camp as it was in the shade. This was my home for 3 days

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The beautiful sunset from my chair next to the fire was really spectacular

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tbc

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


Last edited by Tobieo on Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:48 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
After a good night's sleep I filled my coffee flask and left my camp. I decided to drive up to Kij Kij and then via Lower Dune road to Twee Rivieren and back to Rooiputs. Just past Rooiputs waterhole I came upon a group of hyena. They were sniffing and marking almost every bush while moving north.

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This family of Suricates where very active looking for food while some were on look out duty

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Kij Kij was packed with doves having a quick drink. I was waiting for the Lanners to arrive but no luck

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The only visitor was this scruffy looking jackal

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tbc

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


Last edited by Tobieo on Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:23 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
I will be off line until next weekend due to traveling but look forward to continue then.

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:16 am 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Greetings from cold Germany and thank you for your kind comments.

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
On my return to my camping spot at Rooiputs I found this Black shouldered kite in a tree close to my tent. As I was busy taking some photos he was dive bombed by another bird (looks like a Kestrel, some help with ID please :doh: )

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Some decorations that I found at the camp site

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I left a large plastic container full of water in the sun. By night time it was nice and warm for a bush bath (used the same container to do my washing in :) )

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As I approached the A frame structure I heard this strange noise, almost like some bees. Imagine my surprise when I saw this strange object flying over the camp site… (not a good photo but I hope you can make out what it was)

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Yip it was a remote control helicopter / hover craft that my neighbour brought along to play with. I must admit it was not too much of a nuisance but I find it strange that you would want to bring such a toy to Rooiputs in the Kgalagadi.

Later that afternoon I returned to Kij Kij to find this guy in the shade, unfortunately he was not too keen to open his eyes.

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tbc

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:06 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
At Kij Kij the scruffy looking jackals came for a quick drink and although there were quite a few doves around they were not interested in them. There were lots of biting flies and bees around but they were staying close to the water (or on the male lion from the previous post :tongue: ).

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As I was now not feeling too well I headed back to camp (not to sit and feel sorry for myself :tongue: ) Unfortunately still no visitors during the night (no tracks in the sand).

Early the next morning I decided to tackle the road back to Twee Rivieren. Not far from camp I found this family trying to hunt a lone Springbok ram . It was amazing, he was clearly aware of them but kept on coming closer while he made this strange noise. It was as if he suddenly realized what he was looking at and gave a loud snort and ran off.

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At Leeudril I watched the Sand grouse for some time but as the waterhole is too far the images are not that clear

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This lonely Red Hartebeest was standing staring and hardly moved for quite some time

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tbc

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


Last edited by Tobieo on Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
During one of my trips I noticed this "dust storm" approaching and quickly closed the windows

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This beautiful tree with Sociable Weaver nest in remains very special. I can not drive past without taking a photo

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One of the Forumites (if I remember correctly Johan Mocke) took a photo earlier in the year of this couple that decorated the entry to their nest with wild flowers. I am sure it is the same nest but in his (excellent) photo the flowers still relatively new and therefor still colourful. His image was published in the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld.

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The following images really confirms that the Kgalagadi is not for sissies but can in fact also be very challenging, especially so for the animals

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It probably is part of nature's selection process to ensure survival of the fittest but must be hard on the sissies :cry:

tbc

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:34 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
This male Springbok came to the Kij Kji waterhole with two young females. He was very involved and was pushing them with his front leg. He got a bit excited while they were otherwise occupied…. :twisted:

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They were not interested and he followed them into the dry riverbed.

The view towards the east from my campsite

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Some images from the Auob river side

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This crow was very thirsty and almost landed in the water

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tbc

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
One morning driving down the Auob river I came across this family Spotted Thick-knee next to the road. I could not get the total family in one photo as the parents were walking away from the chick (probably to draw attention away from it). Luckily the chick later got up and followed the parents.

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Look at this swollen crop on this Tawny Eagle, he must have just finished a nice meal

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This (possible also Tawny Eagle) looks like he has a bloody chest)

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This Swallow-tailed Bee-eater was hiding in the shade and was not willing to move into the sun

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tbc

_________________
Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


Last edited by Tobieo on Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:59 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
This family of Cape foxes was enjoying the early morning sun

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Some high level view of this silly guy taking photos all the time

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I normally like sitting at Craig Lockhart waiting for the action coming to me. All that I experienced this day was a really inexperienced jackal trying to catch some doves

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This is how it is supposed to be done (from my March 2013 visit)

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This African Wildcat was sitting in the shade just outside Mata Mata and it was a challenge to get a decent photo

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tbc - final episode :cry:

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Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi - not for sissies!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
As all good things in life this TR has now also come to an end as the bus has reached it's destination (although it was a rather short trip) It was once again a pleasure to do this TR and share some of my passion (photography) with you.

I will end off with some sightings of my last day in the Auob river.

The Agama lizard was enjoying the sun (although it was very hot)

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While this young Springbok was nibbling on some green leaves

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and the look out was concentrating on what was happening

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The Tawny Eagle landed on the Wildebeest scull to check if there was a last snack left

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He soon realized that biltong (dried meat) is not his favorite diet and departed to find something juicier

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This ostrich was so thirsty that he raced to the water hole and gulped the water down

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In the detour via 14de Boorgat I heard this strange noise. To my surprise I found this group of Lilac Breasted Rollers amongst the trees. They were flying from tree to tree while making a screeching noise. I do not know if this is a courting ritual or perhaps an intruder.

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On this colorful note it is time to say goodbye until we meet again. :sori:

The trip home was uneventful although not pleasant and I arrived safely home in Pretoria during the early evening.

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Jan 2014 KNP
March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


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