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 Post subject: KDU & Francolin's Thirstland Trip - KTP: Nov. '13
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:11 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
Well, we already arrived back home in the beginning of December, but life has been a bit hectic since then, so I start our annual Kalahari Trip Report a bit latish...

We arrive at TR late afternoon on the 4th of November.
We checked in very quickly, were greeted by familiar faces at the gate and soon move into our "home" for the next two night.
It was hot and as soon as we started for our afternoon drive we, discovered that the Nossob looked incredibly dry.
It was a quiet drive, but we did not care...... At least we were driving on our beloved Kalahari roads....

Our first sighting a beautiful Giant-eagle Owl sitting regally in a tree close to the road.

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We drove up till Leeuwdril and then returned back to the camp.
On the way back we spotted a Double-banded Courser, unfortunately the light was already pretty bad...

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For the evening we had a reservation for the restaurant.
When we arrived we were surprised that the restaurant was dark.....
Then we discovered that the restaurant had moved to the Ladies Bar, due to renovations of the old restaurant. Phew!
We had a delicious meal and later enjoyed to sit outside our cottage, listening to the sounds of the Kalahari.

YES!
We are back and looking forward to spend the next couple of weeks in this special place...

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:58 am 
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05.11.

Well, we started early this morning :D

First sighting a wonderful Pygmy Falcon

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Later a cape Fox, but into the riverbed

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We saw many Ostriches.....
This one had just ended a dustbath

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A Kori Bustard at one of the waterholes
See the first greens in the Auob riverbed?

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We had passed Monro waterhole, when we spotted this beautiful Juv. Martial Eagle in a tree

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We already prearranged a meeting with Katja B at Auchterlonie and by the time we arrived we were very surprised, that she was talking to Jacliz and SO and a little later we were joined by Peregrine Falcon and Dassiedelight.....
What a wonderful surprise, a Mini Meet all of a sudden....
We chatted away and had a good time.
It was great to meet you all there! 8) 8) 8)

The ride back to TR was quiet and in the afternoon we left for yet another drive....
No sightings except a Heron at the TR waterhole, just shortly before we were back to the camp.

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This was our last night at TR, tomorrow we were heading towards Grootkolk, for the next 4 nights.... :dance:

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:28 pm 
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06.11.

Early start as we have quite a few kilometres to drive...
All the way up from TR to Grootkolk, oh boy, what are we looking forward to be back to that magical place.....

At first we stopped at Samevloeiing
Here we found a Wood Sandpiper ( I think :hmz: ....)

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A little north we found a lovely small herd of Oryx.

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This Mongoose was observing the Oryx as they walked away

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Our first Tortoise that year

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We stopped at Leeuwdril and discovered to very relaxed flat cats....

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Before we reached Rooiputs we spotted something on the ridge.
A group of Hyenas in all kinds of sizes.....

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Rooiputs waterhole itself was quiet but, after we passed it we found a Cape Fox.

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That was already a quite brilliant start of the day

Shortly before we reached KijKij, two Cheetahs crossed the riverbed and disappeared into the dunes.

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And gone!

Later at one of the waterholes ( sorry, can not remember which one :redface: ....) a Hyena was having a bath...

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At Rooikop, a couple of Lions were resting close to the waterhole..

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Maybe about 500-600 metres after that we got stuck in the sand....
The car we had was heavily packed and not as powerful as the ones we had before....
Fortunately after a couple of minutes Francolin was able to get us out of that unpleasant situation...

A short toilet- fuel- shop stop at Nossob and we were on the road again, heading towards Grootkolk...

We stopped at Kwang, there were quite a few Vultures and Jackals around...

Beautiful Lappet- faced Vultures

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Near Bedinct we were stopped by a Kalahari Roadblock....

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Of course we had to stop at Polentswa Waterhole and were very happy that we found the beautiful Bateleurs there once again.

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Close to Lijersdraai we spotted one of those lovely Steenboks

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We arrived at Grootkolk at 3.30 pm and were greeted with a very big grin by Franco.
Then we moved into #2 our home for the next 4 nights.....
Franco told us that Enrico, whom we met the previous year already, was going to arrive the next day and he had to say Hello from rjm, who was going to arrive on our last day at Grootkolk.

Shortly after we moved in, Lions arrived at the Waterhole, three cubs, three females and later we discovered the male lying underneath a tree a bit further away.

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Then they were gone....
Later that evening a Brown Hyena came to the waterhole for a drink.
What an amazing day this had been.
And I have to admit that day was very far from being quiet ;-)

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:23 pm 
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07.11.


Well, the Brown Hyena was back at the waterhole again shortly before the light went out...
Not a great pic, so I tried to do something artistic with it :lol:

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We thought the Lions had been gone, but in the morning we discovered that there were fresh Lion tracks underneath our "bedroom" window :shock: ....

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After the long drive the day before we decided to stay in the camp that morning.
Observing the wildlife in the camp.

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Black-faced Waxbill

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We tried to have breakfast :roll: :lol:

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Chestnut- vented Titbabbler

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Later that day at Unions End we discovered that there was a new box and visitors book.

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On the way back to the camp we found a Cape Fox Den close to Unions End.
With very small pups.... :dance:
So cute!

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Then they disappeared in the den and it was time to return back to Grootkolk....
Here near the t-junction to the camp a Mongoose...

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The evening at the waterhole was quiet, but then Jackals and later the Brown Hyena visited again.....

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:21 pm 
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08.11.

This morning we decided to go for an early drive...
At first we spotted a Drongo feeding the chicks...

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At Unions End Waterhole a pretty nervous Jackal was having a drink..

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Not even 500 mm past the waterhole we discovered a couple of Lions, no wonder that the Jackal was so nervous..... :lol:

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Bout a kilometre south of Unions End we spotted an African Wildcat... 8)

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Some Squirrels near Unions End...

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And even a Meerkat

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The Kitty Cat was still very cautious when we stopped again on our way back....

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At Unions End Waterhole, a PCG had just killed a Sandgrouse and way having breakfast...

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And near the picnic spot more Meerkats.... :dance:

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At Kannaguass the Sandgrouses were looking for some shade.....

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We spend the afternoon in the camp and in the evening Francolin prepared her famous Fried Potatoes....
So, so yummy :D :thumbs_up:

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First time for me to give it a try and do some star trail photography.....
Only decided to do so 3 weeks before we left for KTP :roll: , so I think I will do some more reading before our next stay in KTP :wink: ....

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And later the Lions came for a visit again.... 8)

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Another great day at Grootkolk...

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:13 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
09.11.

Our last full day at Grootkolk....
We headed towards Unions End early in the morning...
At first we spotted a Brown Hyena, but far away in the river bed

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A Jackal at Unions End Waterhole

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Sandgrouse rush hour

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On our way back to the camp we spotted Meerkats again, but this time with babies....
We were delighted....

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He did not listen to Mum...

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Run...

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Sentinel

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The rest of the day stayed quiet...
But in the evening the Brown Hyena visited the waterhole again....

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And a night shot of our beloved Grootkolk....
Very pleased with the result ;-)

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Tomorrow we are off to Nossob....
Hard to say goodbye to Grootkolk, but looking forward what lies ahead.

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:57 pm 
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10.11.

Well, as I said, we were heavy hearted that we already had to leave Grootkolk.
It was still pretty dark when we had our first sighting...
A Lioness was at the waterhole for a drink, by the time we had grabbed the camcorder, she was already leaving....



While we packed our stuff and had breakfast we observed the Weaver around us and finally left at 9 am.

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It was a quiet drive until we nearly reached Lijersdraai Waterhole, we were roughly 5km north of it....
Francolin spotted something in the riverbed....
We instantly knew, a big cat.... But then we realized it was a Leopard.... YAY!

I had to crop the pics, as it was far away....

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Then she climbed into a tree.....
Here, we would have never been able to spot her....

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AstroMatt was able to ID her, we spotted SAFRAN.

We were still very happy we stopped at Lijersdraai Waterhole for another cup of coffee...
While we were there a Warthog was coming to the waterhole to have a drink...

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Time to leave for the Warthog...

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Now the Springboks wanted to enjoy some water...

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It was a long and hot drive and so we decided to stay in camp for the afternoon....
Especially as we have to drive all the way to KTC the next morning.

Later that evening I took my camera and walked through the camp for some night shots....

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At the hide....

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After the lights were switcvhed off, we had a wonderful Lion serenade....
Sorry, only the sound, no pics, as they were far away from the hide and I had only my camera for the footage...
But turn up the volume ;-) :whistle:


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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:09 am 
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11.11.

After just one night at Nossob we are moving to Kalahari Tented Camp for the next couple of nights.

But early in the morning I could not resist to go for another early morning drive...
Close to Cubitje Quap I spotted yet another far away Brownie....

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I stopped at Cubitje as I did not wat to drive any further than that and observed a Jackal at the waterhole.

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It must have been a hard night....

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Hiding to wait for the breakfast visiting the waterhole

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Pretending to sleep

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But,....

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Now it was time to return back to the camp, to pack the car....
Jackal close to the hide.

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Later, maybe about 100 metres out of the camp gates we spotted some Meerkats

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Already in the Aoub we spotted this beautiful Martial Eagle

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Need an help with the ID here....

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On our afternoon drive I could not resist to take a pic of this poo.....
So beautiful with all the butterflies :lol:

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South of Sitzas a Spotted eagle Owl, nesting in a Weavers Nest....

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At Sitzas, beautiful young Springboks

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Enjoying the evening at KTC

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Later that evening a Hyena was visiting the waterhole and camp....



*sigh*, just love those Kalahari nights 8) :dance:

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:40 pm 
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12.11.

We started early in the morning...
When we reached Sitzas, there was lot of dust in the air and the rising sun created such a special mood....

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A little later nearly reaching Craig Lockhardt we met Ernrico with a big grin on his face and two Cheetahs walking up the dunes.....
Unfortunately the were gone soon.

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Then coming closer to Craig Lockhardt we discovered some Jackals in the river bed with a carcass. We were wondering if this might be the kill of the Cheetahs...

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At Dalkeith we observed the doves

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The on the way back to camp we found a very fresh Springbok, so cute!

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Later that day we spotted another Spotted Eagle Owl

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Jackals at Sitzas

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And in the evening I tried again to do some star trails at KTC

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..... as I said,don't we all love the nights sky in KTP ?!

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:57 pm 
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13.11.

Well we did not start to early that morning as we had to do an animal rescue.
A baby Tree Rat, that had fallen into our salad bowl in the cupboard and wasn't able to get our again on it's own....
So damn cute....
I am wearing the gloves, as I am always afraid that Mum abandons the little one if it smells of us humans...

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But then we were on our way.
First sighting a couple of Giraffes in the riverbed

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At Craig lockhardt two male Lions.
Both a bit sleepy, but then one of them woke up.
"Combed" his hair, got up and walked over to the Lion that was lying in the shade.

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This Jackal could not believe it, that HIS waterhole was occupied....

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Soon after we left we spotted another far away Brownie...

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Soon she was gone...

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We drove till the 14th borehole, before we decided to drive back to the camp.
Just about maybe 50 meters north of the waterhole we discovered yet another Spotted Eagle Owl on a Weavers Nest....

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At Dalkeith a pride of Lions was sleeping close to the waterhole, but very well hidden by some bushes.
But one of the younger males got up and walked over to the waterhole to have a drink.

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In the afternoon we met the bigger male of this morning again.
He was now lying right beside the road, watching the cars that stopped every now and then....

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We checked Dalkeith waterhole, but the Lions were gone.
So we turned around and heading back towards KTC.
Shortly before we reached the waterhole we saw this Springbok with a weird looking head decoration.

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We stopped at Dalkeith to watch a Giraffe having a drink.
The light was unbelievable.

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Then the nearby Springboks made an alarm sound and soon we discovered why, Lioness slowly walked towards the waterhole.

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The Giraffe ran away, at first, only to return back to the waterhole to watch the Lioness....

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By the time the sun had disappeared behind the dunes, a second Lioness joined the first one....

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To us it seemed as if the second one was in a certain mood :whistle:
Which seemed to annoy the first Lioness a bit :lol:

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What a prefect ending to a perfect Kitty Cat day........

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:17 pm 
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14.11.

Another early morning moody, dust pic

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When we arrived at Craig Lockhardt we already saw a couple of cars there...
Coming closer we saw that a Cheetah was at the waterhole...

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Then she was leaving...

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One last shot and the sighting was over.....

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The Springboks were still suspicious...

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The Jackals had a little argument and then we thought it was time to leave...

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A little later we spotted a Striped Kingfisher

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Close to Dalkeith some Lions in the dunes....

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Giraffes, this was a very good year for Giraffes...
We saw so many of them....

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South of Dalkeith we spotted a grumpy looking AWC

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Later we checked the tree again.....

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In the afternoon another Giraffe having a drink

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And yep, we found Grumpy Cat again, lol...

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Bute he was tired...

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North of Craig Lockhardt a very short glimpse of a far away Cheetah

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And later after we had passed Sitzas a Giraffe on the dunes

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Not the best pic, but this was a Jackal den we discovered just before you drive down into the riverbed close to KTC

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What a wonderful day this had been....

And what another great evening at KTC

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Later we had another visitor....
Wondering if this was Mum or Dad of the little one that we had saved in the morning...


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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:07 pm 
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15.11.

Today we are moving to Mata Mata....
Already looking forward to that and the view to the waterhole....

First sighting in the morning, a Springbok on the run....

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Giant Eagle Owl, still sleepy

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Young Springbok having breakfast

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Oryx at Dalkeith

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North of Dalkeith we spotted a Cheetah, lying in the shade of a tree

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Later she moved into the shade and it was time for us to go...

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While we unpacked the car at Mata Mata, we felt like someone was watching us and turning around we discovered this AWC observing us.
But she was quite shy....

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When we returned to Dalkeith in the afternoon we discovered that the Cheetah was still there, but moved a bit further into the bush....

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But soon, she moved away further into the dunes and we left to return back to camp...



Sitzas late afternoon

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Young Giraffe in late afternoon light

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Young Springbok....
I just love those gorgeous eyes.

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Scenic clouds and Weaver nest near Mata Mata

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It was a quiet evening, no visitors at the waterhole.
But lots and lots of Jackals patrolling the bungalows......

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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:32 pm 
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16.11.

First sighting in the morning, a sleepy Jackal

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Then on the way to the Boreholes we spotted a Jackal with a Wildebeest Cracass.

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A little further along the road we discovered who had killed the Wildebeest....
4 Hyenas ( 2 adults and 2 youngsters) were resting in the shade of a tree, with very full bellies.....

Here are the youngsters...

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It was getting buys close to the Hyenas, as more and more cars arrived and so we drove back to the carcass to observe the Jackal interaction....

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An intruder arrived...

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Then the Jackals left and it was time for us to drive on as well...

Oryx at the waterhole

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Back at the camp we observed the small wildlife....

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Or was it again that the wildlife observed us ?! :hmz:

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Then early afternoon we went over the border to visit the Sitzas Farmstall again....
We contacted them beforehand (while still at home) and ordered a freshly baked bread for that specific day.....
In indeed we arrived at the stall the same time, as our bread.
We bought some lamb chops and some droëwors and walked back to South Africa...

We could not wait to try the fresh bread ...
It was great :thumbs_up:

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In the afternoon we just drove till Craig Lockhardt and watched a Jackal catching Doves, one by one....

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Waiting for the next one to arrive....

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But then the Doves were gone and we decided to return back to the camp.

Along the way we found this Ostrich family

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The moon had already risen and was there big and beautiful in the sky....

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The nearly full moon made it quite difficulty to get any star pics, but here is my try at Mata Mata....

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:40 pm 
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17.11.

First sighting in the morning....
Giraffes on top of a dune, so majestic...

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Then we spotted yet another Kudu near Dalkeith

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A Jackal was having a drink at Dalkeith waterhole

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Thanx to some cars that were already parked in the road, we spotted some Cheetahs on the far side of the riverbed, we would have never discovered them.... :redface:

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Spot the Cheetah :lol:

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Here are the two of them together....

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Then it broke our heart to discover one of the Hyena pups dead in the riverbed....
We do not know what happened to him/her :cry: :cry:

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Only about an hour later the Hyena was facing a different direction, so she already must have had quite a few visitors....

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Very sad we headed back to Mata Mata
At Dalkeith we stopped to observe some more Jackals....

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Back at the camp we decided to stay in the afternoon and not go for another drive that day.
So we took a walk through the camp.

Here a Mongoose we spotted from the hide...

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The very inviting pool

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There were hundreds of Butterflies in the trees....

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This Dove was observing me....

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The Camelthorn tree beside #7 had collapsed since our stay in November 2012.
But the trunk together with some branches is still standing and here I discovered a Pearl-spotted Owl Chick in one of the branches.
At first I saw Mum/Dad fly away, then I heard the chick and had to search quite a while before discovering the little one...

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Back at the bungalow we started to do some preparations for dinner.
We already marinated the meat for the Sosaties since the previous day and now we assembled them.

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Of course we had some visitors on the stoep...

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Never leave your coffee unattended :lol:

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Apart from that it was quiet, we had no visitors at the waterhole. But enjoyed just sitting outside with a coffee and a book. Listening to the sounds and checking the surroundings every now and then...

This were the Sosaties finally on the braai....
They were delicious :D

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And we enjoyed another lovely evening under a full moon in the Kalahari... 8)

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For all those interested....
Here is the recipe for the Sosaties

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Thirstland Trip- KDU & Francolin at KTP/ November 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:27 pm 
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18.11.

Some more moody morning shots....
Isn't it amazing what beautiful colours nature creates just with the rising sun and some dust ;-)

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An African Hoopoe

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Just a couple of kilometres south of Craig Lockhardt we spotted two Cheetahs, they were walking through the riverbed towards us....

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Then they settled on a small sand hill in the middle of the riverbed, observing a Springbok slowly coming closer....

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When the Springbok was within eyesight of the Cheetahs, one of them flicked her tail and the Springbok was gone.....
We waited for a little more than an hour, if there might be a chase and then this was the end....

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It seemed that they weren't really interested...

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Then they slowly walked away and soon disappeared behind the dunes

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In the afternoon we met the Jackal at Craig Lockhardt again, but this time we wasn't lucky enough to catch one of the doves....

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A little later we spotted another Spotted Eagle Owl
Very well camouflaged.

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Greater Kestrel

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Sleepy cat

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Snake Eagle

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Vulture at Craig Lockhardt

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Close to Sitzas Waterhole Springboks with loads of youngsters

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Another wonderful day in the Kalahari......

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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