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Shane's Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won. Dec. '12

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shane
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Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:02 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:20 pm

I hope you wont mind the manner in which I am writing this report, but I am skipping the day to day detail and rather concerntrate on the special and exciting highlights, I hope this will keep the TR readable.

After unpacking, time to set up the office and download and sort images:

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The following 2 days at Urikaruus were great. The weather was cool (overcast) with afternnons storms ......... beautifull ones. Great sitings at the waterhole. Pregnant female lioness first evening:

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Followed by Spotted Hyena and Leopard in late evening.

Oh yes, staying in Urikaruus no. 4.
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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shane
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:02 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:18 pm

A trip up the Auob to Mata Mata the following day, provided us with hours of early morning entertainment. Besides the usual Hyena, we stumble upon a 'birthing ward' of Springbok. In a matter of 2.5 hours we witness 4 births. The furthest being about 50m off the road ............ was a special siting.

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

WillemK
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Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby WillemK » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:58 am

shane wrote:After a stop at Melkvlei for tea and breakfast, around mid morning, we headed back to Kielie via Twee Rivieren. At kij Kij: about 10 cars scrabbling for the best position; a beautiful male lion right next to the road. Frustration creapt in with all the car josling and people driving way off the road (with some 4x4's even taking a short cut from the old rooiputs, road across river bed, onto the main road).

CRAZY ........ !!!!!!!

So we left. I can get as much of that traffic as I want in the city.

I think the most unusual siting for whole day was this VW Beetle. I am not sure how it held up to the roads, but it was fun to see.

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Hi Shane

I am sure you've passed us because I have some bad news for you re: this Beetle. The two people (a young couple from Europe) in that car stopped us in almost that exact spot (between Kji Kji and Melkvlei) with the "surprising" news that the Beetle has broken down. We assisted them to push it into the shade of a tree as it was already 40 degree and they were sitting in the sun. They've asked us to report it to the reception at TR and we did. What happened afterwards, we do not know but it was a rented car. My wife looked at the website of the rental company and they warn customers that their cars are old.

I hopt they made it.
Follow my photography journey including trip reports and photos on my blog

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shane
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Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:49 am

Thanks again guys for all your wishes, we appreciate it !

WillemK:
Thanks for updating us on that Beetle. Shame, horrible way to start a trip, but I must say they are lucky it happened there close to Twee Riveiren and not up near Nossob or worse, Goortkolk. We greeted them when we passed, but they gave no indication that they had car troubles. Hope they manage to continue their trip ............

On the 28th December on our way out of the park from Nossob, we passed a SANParks ranger speed trapping along that section of road. Apparently notorious for speeding hooligans - I hope they caught alot of them.

Hilda:
Thanks.
I, unfortunately, don't have an image of us from this trip, but have included one of us from the Captured Experience Banquet held in the Auob River bed about 300- 400m from the Samevloeiing waterhole in April 2011:

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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shane
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:02 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:37 am

One think that draws us back to KTP are the landscapes. We just cannot get enough of it. The grass fires late last year provide dramatic landscapes ........... the upper and lower dune roads, in parts, have almost no grass. Here are a few landscape images:

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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shane
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:02 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:56 am

Forestgump, now you see the reasoning behind my plan ...............

To start off today entries and before I continue with any further stories, I thought I would add a few more landscapes and sunsets. Enjoy:

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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shane
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:02 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:57 am

Our second evening in Urikaruus saw our wish for a storm come true.

The passed 2 days were overcast, clearing slightly by mid afternoon. On this day the storm clouds would build and passed by to the east and west, but by late afernoon a big storm started developing over Namibia and as luck would have it, drifted towards us ........... so the braai would have to wait.

We closed up the windows in expectation of the pre-storm gusts and did they arrive with vengeance !:

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Now the cameras needed a good dusting, but before this could be done I needed eye drops to help remove half the Kgalagadi sand that had now resulted in partial blindness - just in time for the lightning and thunder. Unfortunately no images during the storm .......... water not good for electronics.

We had, Eric (the camp manager), checking up on us ......... he was stuck with us until the storm passed.
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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shane
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Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:02 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:51 am

The rain stopped. Now I could start the fire while enjoying the thunder rumbling down the Auob and a cheetah visiting for a quick drink. He hung around for sometime and then disappeared over the dunes opposite us.

With the tail end of the storm passing over, we were treated to a magnificent sunset:

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The evening was cool and we looked forward to a peaceful / COOL sleep, well that was until the local male Lion arrived at the waterhole in the early part of the following morning, roaring for a hour. No sleep when he is around, but beautiful being in bed listening to him just outside our unit .........

The next camp: Grootkolk and MORE RAIN TO COME ............ LOTS OF IT !
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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shane
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Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:22 pm

The next morning about 3.2km from Urikaruus own the way down to the upper dune road, we came across a mother Leopard with her almost full grown cub, in the middle of the Auob. They had just caught a young springbok and she proceeded to let her youngster learn a few leasons. As we arrived they made their way to the other side of the river so I was unable to get good images, they were just to quick. I kept the images for 'Astromat' and his online research project (identification of KTP Leopards), I will included them just to put you in the scene:

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Making their way to the other side of the river. The cub would hang onto the Springbok, pulling and tugging until mother let the bokkie go and the game was on again.

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We watched them for almost 2 hours without any other cars. Although a great siting it was difficult watching the baby Springbok being caught over and over and over again. The cub would let it go and dart after it, catch it, rest and then let it go again (up and down the dune). Eventually the learning game took its tol on the bokkie and one could see it was worn out and badly injured. They eventually disappeared behind a large Shepards Tree far up a dune. We left ................ not speaking for a while, letting the events sink in.

Unbeknown to us, we would have further encounters with this cub when we return to urikaruus in 2 days time.
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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shane
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:02 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:40 pm

The upper dune road was quiet, except for Steenbok. I stopped counting when I got to 50 and that was within 25 - 30km:

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Significant parts were burnt:

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And the Gemsbok could be seen easily without grass covering the dunes:

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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shane
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:02 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:38 pm

I am born a Leo, mid August, so I have an affinity with Lions and this is why we have our own cat, Harley. He maybe much smaller, but portrays the same character. We, unfortunately, didn't have as many special sighting of Lions as we have had in previous visits so i thought I include a few. A TR needs to have a few Lion images:

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Fun with an old, rusted tin can:

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A teenage stuffle:

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A sad end to a baby badger and her mom (2km before Dalkeith waterhole on Mata Mata side):

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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hilda
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Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby hilda » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:25 pm

Just finished these last two sad posts Shane! Your pictures of the Leopards are awesome, but the poor baby Springbok! I found it so sad that he was caught several times. Okay, I know it's nature's way, but still. :(

The same with the beautiful Lion pictures, until the baby Honey Badger got caught. :( That surely is not enough to fill a grown Lion's tummy! Why then catch it! Animals! :doh:

On a lighter note .... your pictures of the clouds and the sky are superb! A complete burst of colours after the storm! Beautiful! :clap: :clap:

I can imagine the dust in your eyes after that sand storm! It seems that a few dunes were also shifted after the storm has passed! :lol:
The secret of life is not to do what you like, but to like what you do. - Unknown.
Kruger sleeps in March 2016
2 - 5: Skukuza
6 - 8: Crocodile Bridge
9 - 11: Lower Sabie
12 - 13: Biyamiti
14: Return home

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shane
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Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:41 pm

Hilda thanks for your words. It is never easy witnessing such scenes, but they are part of nature and we consider ourselves truly lucky to be part of it.

The lion didn't eat the baby badger, it was more a attack on another predator. It happens.

The springbok was caught at least 23 times before I stopped counting.

The mother badger defended her baby with all her will, but the lion eventually managed to break her back and she dragged herself off to a nearby bush, a really sad sight. Many tears from the people watching......
Last edited by shane on Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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shane
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:02 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:46 am

So let me continue.

Thanks for all the comments, great to see a couple of you enjoying my TR.

We do enjoy the KTP birds, but not nearly as much as my parents. They are also reading this TR so I have to add a few birds images for all you bird fanatics:

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During the trip up from Dikbaardskolk to Nossob, I must have counted at least 12 Bee-eaters nests on the road verge. Can spend hours watching their aerobatics while catch insects for their babies:

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The Auob side also has many nest, from Twee Riveiren to Mata Mata.
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.

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shane
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:02 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won

Unread postby shane » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:43 am

We arrived at GrootKolk in the middle afternoon, after spending some time in Nossob having a swim and buying ice.

Franco (camp manager) made us welcome and we settled in at no. 4 (all 3 camps that we have been at so far we were in no. 4 - coincidence). Later the afternoon, Franco had to remove a Cape Cobra from next to his bed. He heard it behind some boxes - it was a good 1.8m long. Not a pleasant thought being so far from hospitals.

Grootkolk evening:

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Our neigbhour the Tree Mouse:

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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