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 Post subject: wanderw's A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip! Oct. '13
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:33 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
One day in August I was feeling very heart sore, so I went on to the Sanparks site and dreamily looked at Availability. I could not believe my eyes - there were 3 nights available at Grootkolk, 2 tents nogal too - for early October. Of course I took this as a sign, so I booked them. My sister and her SO were game, so the trip was on. The fact that there was virtually no other accommodation in the park for early October was just a minor issue. Well, I stalked ‘Availability’ for the next few weeks and just before we left our itinerary looked like this:
2nd - Twee Rivieren campsite
3rd - Nossob campsite
4th - 6th Grootkolk
7th - Mata Mata campsite
8th - TR chalet

We left Cape Town at 5.15am on the 1st. Had quite an eventful trip up with a very near write-off of vehicle and people(our guardian angel was working overtime), and lots of stop and gos. We met up with my sister in Upington and hit the road again to our ‘accommodation’ for the night. We arrived at our campsite(about 4kms outside the TR gate) just before 6pm, and decided that we could not waste an hour, so we entered the park and took a slow drive along the Nossob road.

It was great to be in the park, even if the light was bad. We enjoyed seeing a spotted eagle owl,a pygmy falcon and some springbok and gemsbok. As we neared the TR 10km sign we saw a small traffic jam. 4 lionesses were crouching in the bush and stalking a grazing gemsbok. Finally the gemsbok noticed that something was wrong, and as the one lioness charged, the gemsbok turned, kicked and was off to live another day. (Yes, I tried to take some pix, but all I got was blurrrs!) We were very happy, this was a good start to our trip. Our time was disappearing fast so we drove to the gate, and got to our campsite, where we spent a lovely evening soaking up the environment(red dunes, barking geckos, bliss!) and chatting around the fire.

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:48 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
2nd October

We packed up and got into the park at 6.10am. This was the earliest that we managed to get into the park for the whole trip. :redface:

At Samevloeiing there was a SA Shelduck couple enjoying the water, but light was bad. We carried on along the Nossob road.
A beautiful morning!

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The ever present Kalahari bird(Pale Chanting Goshawk) catching the early morning sun.

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As we approached Leeudril, we saw a few cars ahead. We joined them and watched a spunky queen and a would-be king, a mating couple.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:59 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
The king was not having a good day. The lioness seemed to be teaching him a lesson - ‘Handle with Care’! When the lion finished, the lioness tried to ‘wallop’ him.

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After a few minutes they mated again, and again the lion got a wallop.
The lion looking a bit sheepish.

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They mated a third time, seemed like he tried a softer approach.

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Then a display of teeth at the end.

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And then no wallop, although he sure was expecting it, going by his face.

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Either the soft approach or the display of teeth seemed to do the trick. :hmz: Who knows!

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
At Leeudril we saw this bird - I believe it is a sub-adult Southern Masked Weaver, but I am open to correction.

Image

And a black headed heron was enjoying the waterhole.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:38 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
October 2nd (continued)

We went on to just past the 20km sign and found hyenas trying to catch the early morning sun on top of a ridge - 2 adults and 2 youngsters.

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The one youngster decided that the best position was on top of mom.(Please excuse the quality of pix - they were quite far off so I have cropped quite a bit, and the light was not great)

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We decided to go onto Melkvlei. On route a Tawny eagle

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Our first Hartebeest!

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A Battle of the Wildie Wills at Rooiputs. They were like statues and so we left after a few minutes.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:47 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Near Melkvlei we came across a Springbok creche and Mom was giving one babe a tail curling snack!

Image

On our return to TR we passed the lions again. They were flopped out but we waited about a minute and the action started again. :wink: This time there was no wallop from the lioness - probably because it was getting hot and I think they were both getting tired.

An after action pic! Notice the flattened lioness!

Image

The lion decided to lie down close to his queen, and amazingly the queen’s paw came up - perhaps a warning for him to keep his distance or coincidence? :hmz:

Image

We had a quiet drive after that, and at Samevloeiing, decided to head over the dunes into the Auob riverbed for a small drive( at Melkvlei people had told us that there were lots of cheetah on the Auob side).

We found a sleepy Spotted Eagle Owl near Houmoed.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:56 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Well, the cheetahs were invisible and we turned around to head back to TR. We decided to give Samevloeiing another check and found some spots in the shade! :dance:

At first this sighting was not the best - 2 cheetahs lying flat in deep shade at lunchtime - but we hung around and things got better.

They were very affectionate.

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And finally one decided to go drink at the waterhole...

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And the other joined her(could not see any ‘male’ evidence).

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Image

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When they walked off together, we went onto to TR to book in. We had booked a campsite with power, but Reception told us to take our pick, and we ended up with a lovely campsite, without power. We set up our tent, had lunch, and were ready for the afternoon drive(we were learning that time disappears exceptionally fast when you are camping :whistle: ).

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
A big thank you to - barryels, arks, MM, Trrp, anne-marie, gatita, Katja, Pumbaa, Timbits, lion queen, Cape of Storms, hilda, Carol g, SurfCindy and cheetahlady! :gflower:

Apologies for the delay - my PC crashed and, although SO was very clever and got it going again, for the moment we are running with a damaged hard drive and some corrupted pic files, which makes everything extra slow. :wall:

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:23 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
October 2nd(continued)

Our highlight of our afternoon drive was finding 2 honey badgers(albeit far off) foraging for food at the start of the old Leeudril 4x4 trail. Excuse the pix but at least we got pix this time. We have seen quite a few HBs on our KTP trips, but normally they disappear superfast and there are zero pix, so we were very happy with this sighting.

Image

Image

We also had a sighting of meerkats, but again quite far off.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Have to put in a Gemmie pic. :dance:

Image

We arrived back at Samevloeiing to discover a few cars watching the flopped out cheetahs. We decided to wait a little bit, which was unfortunate. :roll:

More and more cars arrived. We decided to head back to TR but found that we could not move due to been hemmed in by vehicles. :wall:

Image

Didn’t know that heads visible ‘outside’ the vehicle was legal, apart from the Sanparks vehicle! This was one of the tour operators.

Image

The cheetahs tried to cross the road but were put off by the vehicles(this was a traffic jam ala Kruger) :(

We eventually managed to leave and headed back to TR in a cloud of dust due to the convoy of cars heading the same way.

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:41 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
That evening we had a little lonesome soul join us. A little scaly feathered finch must have fallen out of the nest and was hopping along around our braai area.

Image

Yes, I know that you should leave nature to take care of itself, especially in a Sanparks park, but we were worried that this little guy would be trodden on/driven over. First I picked him up and tried to put him back in the tree - put him in a big tree fork, but the little guy just hopped off and landed back on the ground. It was getting chilly by this time, so we fashioned a little nest out of a cardboard rusk box and put him in it. All was quiet for about 10 minutes, then he seemed to get a second wind and hopped right out. We spent the rest of the evening with our headlights on, and walked like zombies whenever we moved around, so as to ensure that we did not step on Hop-a-long. By the time we went to bed, we scanned the area and noticed that Hop-a-long had collapsed for the final time. :( We went to sleep with heavy hearts.

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:45 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Many thanks to all that have commented. :gflower:

At the moment I am losing a battle with my old PC. :wall: The next day's post is the last 'full' post I will be making of our trip. I hope to continue this TR with a few of our special sightings - hopefully this TR will then go quicker. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:51 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
3rd October
We were moving to Nossob today. We got out of camp around 6.30am and decided to go along the Auob and take the 2nd Dune road to Nossob.

New morning, red dunes, blue sky!

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A yellow canary.

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A bat out of hell near Houmoed! Our first and only daytime sighting of a battie. Of course this guy gave us a bum view all across the Auob riverbed.. He stopped and turned when he got to the far side of the riverbed, only because the missus was spring cleaning the den, going by the big cloud of dust around him.

Image

A shot of 2 fluffed up pygmy falcons.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:59 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
At Kamfersboom, an interesting ridge view - Elena and cubs.

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Elena came down to ‘patrol’ her area.

Image

Image

This was very strange. No crouching, she walked like this was her domain, and the springbok knew she was there.

Image

After walking back and forth a few times, and giving the bokkies a few glances, she collapsed into a pile of cubs(who were now in the riverbed lying in the shade).

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 Post subject: Re: A Crazy Wallop of a KTP Trip!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:05 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Continuing along the Auob we found a juv Martial Eagle and a little way away, Mom or Dad?

Image

Near Kamqua we were lucky to get a ‘raised head’ pic of this very relaxed guy.

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On to the dune road which was very quiet - the usual shy steenbokkies, pcgs and a few gemmie babes. At Dikbaardskolk I finally found a chilled Crimson Breasted Shrike. :dance:

The catch - it was in the nest.

Image

After a quiet drive up the Nossob we got to camp, fuelled, set up camp, fed our faces and had time to pop up north in the late afternoon.

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