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Finally in Kgalagadi!

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Mez
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Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby Mez » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:54 pm

It seems like it's time to begin my trip report of an incredible 9 nights in Kgalagadi.
Over a year ago I joined this forum to begin planning this trip but in reality it started long before then. Ten years ago while I was visiting my Granddad in South Africa I read an article about a mysterious park which was a photographer's paradise and famous for its big cat sightings. I don't want to give the impression that either I'm only interested in cats or that I'm a photographer, but when I read that article I knew I had to visit this magical place.
Ten years can really build up your expectations. Fortunately it did not disappoint.

My first visit to South Africa was when I was a wide-eyed three year old. I don't think I have lost that sense of wonder and excitement when I am fortunate enough to visit these incredible places.

My husband had never done anything like this. I must confess I was slightly nervous... What if he hated it?! What if it wasn't what he expected?! Fortunately again these worries were completely unfounded.


Our trip started on a Friday evening. I hadn't been working but my husband had. He got home and we made sure we had everything we needed and my father-in-law arrived to give us a lift to the airport. We live a long way from London and would not have been able to fly out of London on a Friday. I had worked out that we could arrive into Cape Town airport earlier and get slightly cheaper flights if we flew out of Birmingham but this did mean that we had to change flights in Dubai. We got to Cape Town at about 4:30pm on Saturday, checked into an airport hotel, ordered the World's slowest take-away and had an early night... the travelling was nowhere near done yet!

At home neither of us are good at mornings, and we often stay up later than we should... somehow we didn't have this problem during our trip and despite the long flights we were wide awake and on the road at 6am.
It was an easy journey, with a stop in Klawer for a delicious breakfast, a couple of other brief stops, 2 stop & goes and one baboon we arrived in Upington at 4pm. Another early night, after all we had a big day coming up!

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We had a slightly slower start, picking up our meat from the butcher and doing our pick n pay shop.

Finally, almost 3 days after we left, and about 10 years after I first dreamt of being here, we saw this: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

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We got to Twee Rivieren at about 1pm... and this was our welcoming committee!

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Kgalagadi 2015:
June 29th & 30th Twee Rivieren
July 1st & 2nd Mata Mata
3rd & 4th Urikaruus
5th & 6th Nossob
7th Kieliekrankie

Addo:
July 9th-14th (Main camp)

Counting down already!!!

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leervis
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby leervis » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:25 pm

Great start to what I am sure will be an epic TR. Those long straight Northern Cape roads must look so weird to anyone arriving from Europe. Also all that traffic between Upington and the Park! Looking forward to joining you for the rest of your journey.
10 -13 May Berg en Dal Camping
14 May Lower Sabie Chalet
15 - 18 Pretoriuskop Camping
19 May Satara Chalet
20 - 24 May Balule Camping

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Bushbuddies
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:20 pm

Oh Mez - I'm on board for this one. So glad to hear that after 10 years, the trip did not disappoint! Cannot wait to hear all about it! :popcorn:
22-25 July 2016 - Pafuri Border Camp
25-28 July 2016 - Shingwedzi
28-31 July 2016 - Olifants

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pamelajane
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby pamelajane » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:52 pm

:popcorn: Ready and waiting -already sounds like a great TR :clap:

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Mez
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby Mez » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:44 pm

Before I write anything more I must say that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the wonderful members of this forum. I read reams of helpful advice on here and am so grateful to the many forum members who answered my questions, and indeed to all the contributions that meant I didn't need to ask as many.

I can't express how excited we were to be there! We checked in and went to find where we were staying. Because they were in the process of paving the road in the camp we had to go out into the game area and then back in to get between the gate and the rest of the camp. We drove round this and saw the petrol station right in front of us so thought we'd fill up and deflate our tires. We unpacked the car and decided that we would grab a burger from the take-away. We checked the sightings board and decided to head up the Auob, went round the outside to the gate to let them know where we were going and get our pass again and off we went.

I happily took the wheel and decided that although I was really hungry I would save my burger for the first watering hole. Having just arrived we took it REALLY slow and after a while I decided I couldn't wait any longer, so I found somewhere to stop and inhaled my lunch. When we got to the junction where the road splits between the Nossob and Auob sides we seemed to have been out for ages... I'm sure if you've been to KTP you know that on the map it looks like almost no distance... we became worried that we'd accidentally gone up the Nossob and had reached the Lower Dune Road - we did work out our mistake and felt distinctly silly as we adjusted to the sheer vastness of Kgalagadi! :redface: :redface:

We had lovely sightings of "the usual" game.

There was a large and beautiful herd of Springbok. The first time I'd seen them, it was lovely to see so many of them in our time in the park and they brought a smile on every occasion.
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My husband was manning the animal book and showed his newbie status by asking whether these could be buffalo... we saw lots of these wonderful chaps during our trip and resulted in having a certain Flanders and Swann song stuck in our heads on a regular basis!
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We also had a great sighting of a lone male ostrich, a steenbok who disappeared behind a bush before we were able to get a decent picture, and of course the truly magnificent Gemsbok. We enjoyed watching a couple of them having a disagreement!
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As we (slowly) made our way onwards we saw a car coming the other way was waving at us. Feeling optimistic I made sure I had my window down and stopped as we drew alongside!
Kgalagadi 2015:
June 29th & 30th Twee Rivieren
July 1st & 2nd Mata Mata
3rd & 4th Urikaruus
5th & 6th Nossob
7th Kieliekrankie

Addo:
July 9th-14th (Main camp)

Counting down already!!!

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Mez
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby Mez » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:48 pm

Hi leervis, Bushbuddies and Pamelajane!
Thanks for joining me and for your comments. I really hope you continue to enjoy my TR. I'm enjoying reliving the experiences *almost* as much as the trip itself!
Mez
Kgalagadi 2015:
June 29th & 30th Twee Rivieren
July 1st & 2nd Mata Mata
3rd & 4th Urikaruus
5th & 6th Nossob
7th Kieliekrankie

Addo:
July 9th-14th (Main camp)

Counting down already!!!

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hilda
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby hilda » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:00 am

This is a trip report not to be missed! Thank you for starting to share your wonderful experience with us Mez! Can't wait for the next episode! :dance: :dance:
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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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:59 am

What a lovely and entertaining start. I can feel your enthusiasm. :D

The sheer vastness is rather overwhelming, so I can quite understand the "Nossob' concern.

'........

and now, this car :hmz:

:popcorn:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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barryels
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby barryels » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:54 am

I am in the bus for another wonderful KTP trip Mez :clap: :clap: .

I can imagine how you felt to be there for the first time in this unique park and experience the open space and red dunes of KTP :thumbs_up: .

Looking forward to how the trip unfolded :popcorn: .
Always be humble and understanding

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leervis
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby leervis » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:16 am

Most of us are confused at how slowly we cover distance when only driving at 20 kph or slower, but that's the way to go to enjoy your surroundings. Great sightings already, the very big herd of Springbok against the typical Kalahari background is a great image. Your other images certainly leave us in no doubt as to where you are. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
10 -13 May Berg en Dal Camping
14 May Lower Sabie Chalet
15 - 18 Pretoriuskop Camping
19 May Satara Chalet
20 - 24 May Balule Camping

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gatita
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby gatita » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:22 am

what a nice start even with a welcoming committee :dance: :dance:

Mez wrote:Because they were in the process of paving the road in the camp


:hmz:
back from KTP November 2015 waiting for November 2016
visiting a green park again – Kruger NP March 2015

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GavinW
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby GavinW » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:46 am

Can't wait to jump on board this already very entertaining trip report.
It will certainly make the 108 sleeps till we are back in the park go faster :)
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012
Winner Travel Tale of the year - Other Parks 2012

Wannabe Larnies in the KTP December/Jan 2015
Winner Travel Tale of the year - Other Parks 2015

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Mez
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby Mez » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:19 pm

Hi hilda, Meandering mouse, barryels, gatita and GavinW
Welcome aboard! I hope that you enjoy my TR as much as I have enjoyed reading lots of them while I've been counting down!
GavinW I'm sure the time will fly by before your trip!
leervis and Meandering mouse... we felt rather red-faced by our silly mistake... it wasn't the last time on the trip either.
gatita we were very excited by our welcoming committee and loved the many mongeese (I think the correct plural is actually mongooses but I can't help but call them mongeese!) that we saw on our trip. The road between the reception and the rest of the camp (up to the petrol station) was closed because they were laying bricks... it looked like it was going to be lovely once it was finished.

Will continue when the page turns.
Mez
Kgalagadi 2015:
June 29th & 30th Twee Rivieren
July 1st & 2nd Mata Mata
3rd & 4th Urikaruus
5th & 6th Nossob
7th Kieliekrankie

Addo:
July 9th-14th (Main camp)

Counting down already!!!

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Karin Mitton
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby Karin Mitton » Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:25 pm

Mez, I know the feeling of dreaming aboit visiting KTP! It is top of my wish list, and hopefully I will manage a trip thereat some stage.

Love the oryx/gemsbok pics.

And I am on the bus for to enjoy KTP through your eyes!

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GavinW
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Re: Finally in Kgalagadi!

Unread postby GavinW » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:20 pm

The next post is yours on a new page
:popcorn:
See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012
Winner Travel Tale of the year - Other Parks 2012

Wannabe Larnies in the KTP December/Jan 2015
Winner Travel Tale of the year - Other Parks 2015


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