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Kgalagadi Nossob 4x4 Eco Trail

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:08 pm

Herewith some pictures of the last trip on the Nossob 4x4 Trail.

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Large Eland herd
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Kids learning the uses of a Tsamma melon
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The joy of camping on the 4x4 route.
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At Witgat Campsite.
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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Miros » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:03 pm

Kgalagadi Guru wrote:Morning all,

Unfortunately all good things in life comes to an end :cry:

Graeme AKA 'Miros" who have done the 4x4 trail the past 6 months have left the park to proceed with his Field Guide training. 'Miros' joined the park as part of his 6 months 'lodge placement'.

Graeme did such a good job with the Nossob 4x4 trail, not only in his reports but also with his guest relations; therefore we will miss him and his sense of humour. He surely was a true ambassador for SANParks - Kgalagadi.

As management of Kgalagadi we wish him all of the best for the future and his guiding career.

Thanks Greame and all of the best.

I will make sure that the Nossob 4x4 guide will keep up with the feedback on the 4x4 trails and to keep up with the good work Miros have done.

KG



Thanks KG! It was a truly amazing experience living and working in the park - one which I will never forget! I have to thank everyone at SAN parks for making me feel so welcome and treating me as part of the family.

I have just emerged from the training camp in Kruger where I completed the last portion of my Guiding course, and so have been released back out into the wild - or, in my case, Cape Town. It's taking some time to get used to living in civilization again - just last night I heard guineafowl alarming outside my window, and was halfway out of bed to see if I could find the leopard that was upsetting them before I realized where I was.

I'm not sure what comes next for me, but I know that the Kgalagadi sand is in my blood, and I will definitely return to the park again at some time in the future.

In the meantime, I have a few more trip reports that I'm in the process of writing up, and will be posting shortly now that I once again have a working internet connection. I'm also beginning work on the 33 thousand photos that I took during my year-long South African adventure - many of them in the park, and which I will post here once I've got them sorted, catalogued, and edited... so, that may take a while.

Go well!
"...I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not..." - Neil Gaiman (American Gods)

Miros Photography on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gbfootprints/

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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Miros » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:05 pm

May 28 – 31

Our first day started much warmer then last week! While we are definitely heading into winter, the true cold has yet to set in – thankfully. I picked up my guests in Nossob and we headed out to the start of the trail, but really didn’t get very far. Not more then 3km out of camp, I spotted a leopard right beside the road, standing on the embankment. She sat there just long enough for me to stop and get my radio in hand before turning and disappearing into the long grass. My guests, meanwhile, were looking elsewhere, as while I was trying to find where the leopard disappeared to, a honey badger skittered across the road just in front of my vehicle!

An excellent start to the day!

We continued on to the start of the trail, and the journey from that point on was largely uneventful, passing only the usual groups of ‘boks along the way. Once on the trail, we continued with our good luck, spotting a black-shouldered kite, tawney eagle, a common scimitarbill, several swallow-tailed bee-eaters, PCGs galore, a spectacled mousebird, and crimson-breasted shrikes in the way of bird life. As for the larger animals, we saw several steenbok and gemsbok, an African wild cat that went dashing across the track and under a bush, a grey mole snake curled up in the middle of the road, as well as a cape cobra coiled partially around a tree trunk while investigating a sociable weaver’s nest!

We arrived in camp quite excited about our handful of sightings and began setting up camp. One of my guests noticed some tracks in the sand, and I tried regaling them with information about the Kalahari penguin and the kind of spoor they leave behind, but they didn’t seem to believe me that penguins are found in this area of the world! This is what happens when I wake up too early in the morning: I think “pigeon” and “penguin” escapes somehow!

I still stand by my statement that the Kalahari penguin is incredibly rare and not often photographed, however!

Our first night was a quiet one, and thankfully one of the warmest in weeks – 16oC! We had a wonderful night around thee before turning in, listening to the jackals calling overnight. We didn’t find any evidence of activity through our camp overnight, so after a quick breakfast of coffee and rusks, we headed off onto the trail.

We really didn’t get too far – only about 4kms from Swartbos – before we came across a trio of lions sitting right in the middle of our road! They were fairly calm at our approach, and helpfully moved off the road into the shade as we got closer. I decided that there was enough room for me to squeeze by them to give my guests the best possible view, and so moved forward very slowly in the hopes that I wouldn’t scare them off. As it happens, the lions weren’t all that perturbed by my advance – in fact, they were quite curious about my vehicle!

Two of the lions were clearly quite young – nearly adult sized, but still holding onto some of their orange spots that lions cubs have – and they watched with interest as I slowly slid by them. I managed to get most of the way past when one of them decided that my bukky needed a closer inspection, and started wandering right up to me.

I stopped – rather then suddenly taking off, which would most likely have caused her to start chasing me – and we had a short Mexican stand-off. I’d move slowly forward, she’d start moving to follow, I’d stop, she’d stop. Eventually, she tired of this game of “follow the leader” and started approaching closer still, so I revved my engine a couple times; a very “aggressive” sound which caused her to halt and reconsider testing the palatability of my bumper.

Eventually she decided that my truck wasn’t worth the effort, and wandered back to her sister, freeing me to move on down the road another few metres and allowing my guests to move forward and have a look. We sat with them for a few minutes before the same curious youngster got creative, wandering back behind their vehicle – as though innocently going to wander down the road – before circling back behind them to investigate the back of their landy. Before I could get my radio in hand, she’d found a lovely new play toy: their passenger-side mudflap!

I instructed them to rev their engine (as I did), and she backed off long enough for them to roll forward and out of harms way. The lion didn’t care at this point: she had torn off a small piece of the mudflap, and now trotted off, looking extremely proud of herself! Her mother and sister followed her off into the grass, and we moved off and continued down the trail a few kilometres to survey the damage – which, thankfully, wasn’t all that severe: rather a mere war wound to show off to other 4x4ers!

The rest of our second day was much less eventful, spending lunch on Eileen’s pan with the usual complement of hartebeest and gemsbok, and spotting a rock kestrel, swallow-tailed bee-eaters, pale chanting goshawks, steenbok, and gemsbok along the rest of the trail.

We arrived in camp with plenty of time to set up, and my guests relaxed while I did some minor maintenance to our shower station, re-tying the boards that made up the privacy screen which seemed to be trying to make a break for it. We watched a wonderful sunset - enhanced by some nice puffy clouds that had rolled in during the afternoon - before enjoying another nice quiet evening under the African sky.

Our third day dawned bright and clear, with no trace of the clouds from the night before. We set off on the trail and continued our luck with sightings, finding a bevy of pale chanting goshawks, steenbok, and gemsbok, as well as wonderful views of two rock kestrels, a bateleur wheeling in the distance, and several northern black korhaan.

We were also very lucky to spot a small group of eland, well off in the distance. True to form, they disappeared rapidly as soon as we spotted them, but it was still good to catch even that short glimpse of one of the harder-to-find Kalahari ‘bok. We also managed to spot three meercats (or suricate, if you prefer) who were standing sentinel beside our track in a large salt pan, not more then 10 meters away, giving my guests an excellent view! They were cooperative enough to stand still for a few minutes to be photographed, before running off into the grass.

We pulled into camp to find our usual friendly black-headed heron at the witgat waterhole – but this time he had been joined by a friend: a great heron (or white heron, depending on the age of your bird book)! This is the second time I’ve spotted one of these guys n the park, and they are well, well out of their typical range – especially now that we’re in the dry season! Unfortunately, as we set about setting up camp, a trio of pale chanting goshawks decided to give the herons a bit of a chase, sending them squawking off over the dunes. I do hope that they return!

We had a quiet night in camp, with only a few jackals calling in the distance. It wasn’t until the morning that I found the evidence of our visitors: a pair of big female lions! They wandered into our camp and peered at our setup from bit of a distance, before turning off into the bush and wandering down to the waterhole and away. We also found a nice set of owl tracks, landing in the centre of our camp and marching around a bit, before flying off again. I wasn’t sure whether it was the spotted eagle owl, or the barn owl who was responsible for the tracks, as I’d seen both flying around before we headed to bed.

Off on the trail, we had a very nice day of sightings, spotting the first ever wildebeest I’ve seen on the trail. Now that winter is descending, the wildebeest are starting to range further and further from their waterhole lifelines, and starting to come near to our track. We also found the herd of eland wandering through the bush, as well as good sightings of gemsbok, secretary birds, black-backed jackal running through the grass, hartebeest, ostrich, and steenbok.

It was a truly excellent week in the bush, with several unforgettable sightings – and events!
"...I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not..." - Neil Gaiman (American Gods)

Miros Photography on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gbfootprints/

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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:08 am

Morning All,

Herewith the last report of the 4x4 trail.

Nossob 4x4 eco trail report 16th - 19h July 2012

Day 1

So on a freezing winter’s morning (-3) at Nossob, 8 intrepid explorers and a guide set out north from the Nossob main rest camp to begin their adventure on the Eco trail. Stopping to admire a magnificent male Kudu although small in stature had amazing spiraling horns we finally got to the start of the trail. Here we had a short stop for some trail rules and tips on how to tackle the trail were imparted. At the lunch stop some chatter about what could be expected in the days ahead and the tracks that could be found passing through the lunch stop area was the lunch time conversation. By now the day was warming up nicely. After lunch we proceeded with the rest of the days trail through undulating savannah and three thorn thickets stopping to take some landscape photos, also stopping along the way we investigated some eland tracks and droppings. Along our trail we had sightings of vultures, batalears, gemsbok herds, steenbok, a herd of red hartebeest and closer to the camp a small herd of eland. On arriving at camp and the usual perimeter check, camp was quickly set up. Around the camp fire under another amazing African night, along with the usual chatter we also talked about the stars before the cold sent every one off too bed for the night.

Day 2

After a good night sleep with little to nose night time noises we rose a 7 to another chilly winters morning and to find that there had been no visitors to the camp sight, we did have a herd of Eland pass the camp on the western side of the camp while we were packing away, and so after some breakfast we set off for the second day of the trail. With the stop at Eileen pan we were treated to a nice sighting of red hartebeest close to the vehicles they stayed around for a minute or so looking at us before moving off to a safer distance. After some coffee and a stretch of the legs we set off for the silver cluster leaves and bertha the dune of the trip. After some mixed success at Bertha and a short stop to inflate tire’s and to need some bread for supper that night we took a leisurely drive through to Rosyntjiebos the camp for the second night. While on route we did get to see Gemsbok and Steenbok. Once set up and gathered around the fire Rosyntjiebos treated us to another stunning African savanna sunset. After a good supper and some coffee then cold again came into play with people preferring the warmth of the beds than the fire. Tonight we were treated to the sound of Jackals calling to each other.

Day 3

We woke again at 7 to another of Rosyntjiebos’s amazing sunrises, and again no night time visitor’s. With coffee and breakfast done and the camp packed away we set off for the day ahead stopping at the lookout point just outside of camp to take in the view from where had travelled and where we were heading. To keep up with the game count we were treated to two nice bull Eland, Gemsbok and Steenbok. With a very relaxing drive though and over the dunes we stopped at the old camp site for a coffee break before continuing on our leisurely drive taking in the sights and some photos along the way through to Witgat the last camp site for the trail again once the perimeter was checked we set about settling in for the last night of the trail. Once the camp fire was going we gathered around for another night under the African skies and we were not disappointed.

Day 4

We were up with a sense of urgency for an early start, and while they final things were being fetched and packed away a call of LIONS was sounded, and sure enough there were 9 of the local pride, some of the females and cubs coming over the dune from the south passing the camp on the eastern side and heading down to the water hole to drink before setting off again in an easterly direction heading off to only they knew where, an amazing serious of events to be able to watch. Thus there was now a buzz of excitement around the camp as we finished packing. With the camp eventually packed up and the excitement still in the air we stet off for the last day of the trail. Travelling along taking in the scenery that is the Kalahari we made one final stop at a large Witgat boom and while on top of the dune admiring the view down into the Nossob river bed what do we see …….. A male lion walking through the grass in the river bed. And so another lion sighting for the day under the belts we headed off to the end of the trail feeling very happy that we had been lucky enough to have two amazing lion sightings in one day. So at the end of the trail the fond farewells were said and off in our own directions.
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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Miros » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:54 pm

June 4 – 7, 2012

A new month, a new trail! Starting down in Twee Riveren, I set off north along the main roads towards the trail with a full complement of cars behind me, and we didn’t get far before we ran into our first wonderful sighting, spotting a big male lion lazing on the crest of a dune right near the road, soaking up the morning sun. He was a nice tan-manned guy, but extremely lazy, only spending enough effort to look up at us for a bare instant before flopping back down into the sand. We continued on, and aside from passing a few herds of various ‘boks and a slender mongoose darting across the road, the ride to the trail was otherwise uneventful.

Once on the trail, we had a day of excellent sightings, with plenty of gemsbok lining the trail. We also managed to spot several kori bustards, a small group of ostrich in the distance, hartebeest, steenboks, and a black-backed jackal. In terms of birds, we saw the usual complement of pale chanting goshawks, a flock of spectacled mousebirds, a tawny eagle and a bateleur eagle soaring nearby during lunch, and our resident black-headed heron sitting on near the waterhole at witgat.

We also had truly amazing luck with eland, spotting them on three different occasions: once near our lunch spot, one another 10 minutes down the road, and another nice big herd – with some youngsters! – right at camp! We scared them off the waterhole, so I’m hoping that our camera trap (which I set up last week) will have some excellent and up-close pictures of eland when I retrieve it next week.

We settled down in camp, battening down the hatches against some unseasonably strong winds, which thankfully died down as soon as the sun dipped below the horizon. After sitting around a roaring fire for a while, we watched beautiful full moon rise orange above the horizon, and in the bright light we were able to spot a brown hyena wandering in towards camp. We stood and turned our flashlights on him to watch as he wandered to within 50m of us to peer at our camp, before turning away, marking some grass nearby (a process known as “pasting”) and wandering off into the dunes. A truly excellent sighting, and only the first time I’ve spotted this frequent visitor to the witgat waterhole.

We rose on our second day after a quiet night, but were unable to find any prints or other evidence of late-night visitors to our camp. We did, however, spot both the black-headed heron and the great egret down at the waterhole in the early light of the dawn. I admit that I’m surprised the Egret has stuck around – he’s well out of his typical range, as well as outside of the species’ usual habitat: lakes, estuaries, etc. The witgat cistern makes for a very poor lake, in my opinion!

We headed off on the trail and continued to have great luck with Eland sightings, finding two different herds out in the dune. Elsewhere on the trail, we found herds of gemsbok, steenbok, red hartebeest, ostrich, as well as a rock kestrel, black-chested snake eagle, as well as the usual complement of pale chanting goshawks – one of which was flying around with a mouse firmly clenched in one claw.

We had another quiet night in camp with the open grassland brightly lit by the near-full moon. We heard jackals calling in the night, but otherwise the camp was quiet. I had a look around the camp in the morning, but I wasn’t able to find any prints other then those of the small rodents that run around in the long grass.

We set off on our third day, and again had a wonderful day of sightings. We had yet another Eland sighting – five in one trail! – which I’m fairly sure means that I’ve seen as many eland herds on this trail as on all my other trails combined! They were quite cooperative too, standing in the open – at a fair distance, to be sure – but not immediately fleeing off into the bush, giving us a chance to get a good look at them.

Along the rest of the trail, we came across several herds of gemsbok and herds of hartebeest, several kori bustards, steenbok, a pair of namaqua sandgrouse, groups of ostrich, as well as the usual complement of pale chanting goshawks. We spent a very nice lunch at Eileen’s pan with the resident herds of gemsbok and hartebeest as well. I think the gemsbok are slowly getting used to my weekly intrusions into their territory, as they’re slowly starting to stick around slightly longer in the pan, whereas before they went fleeing off into the bush almost as soon as we got out of our vehicles.

We arrived in Swartbos for our final night of the trail, and had another wonderfully calm, moonlight night in front of a roaring fire. We were very lucky that this entire week had been quite mild, with the temperatures only just dropping into the single digits before we headed off into bed.

We woke on the final day and almost immediately spotted evidence of visitors in the night. I was able to identify three separate tracks of lions, which had come close enough to peer at our vehicles before deciding we looked unsavoury and wandering off down the road. We wandered about admiring the size of the prints before deciding to set off from camp, but really didn’t get much further then a couple hundred meters before we spotted the lions far up on a ridge! We spent quite some time sitting and watching them, while they did the same in return!

There was one adult female, and what looked to be a sub-adult, though we weren’t close enough to them to be able to tell whether the youngster was male or female. The difference in behaviour – calm and stately vs playful curiosity and mischief – was enough of a clue to determine that this was mother and cub! We’re not sure where the third lion was, but its likely that they were still too clod to come and investigate us a second time!

We continued down the rest of the trail after taking our fill of pictures and continued having luck with sightings, spotting a black-backed jackal which ran along beside us for a while before tiring of the game, a bateleur eagle flying overhead, steenbok, gemsbok, and the usual complement of pale chanting goshawks.

A very eventful final day, capping off another excellent trail!
"...I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not..." - Neil Gaiman (American Gods)

Miros Photography on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gbfootprints/

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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:12 pm

Nossob 4x4 Eco Trail forum report for 23 – 26 July 2012

Day 1

10 intrepid explorers and the guide gathered at Nossob on a cold winter’s morning to start this week’s adventure on the trail. Traveling north along the Nossb River and its flood plains to the start of the trail. Once arriving at the start of the trail some advice on driving the trail and the rules were given out before leaving the Nossob River and her flood plains behind we headed into the dunes for our 4 day long adventure. A pleasant drive though the Savanna that makes up the landscape for the first day we enjoyed some of the amazing views as well as the tranquility of driving in this part of the park. Stopping for lunch we got into a discussion of holiday destinations were people had been. With lunch finished we headed off to enjoy the afternoon drive to the camp sight. With some sightings of Vultures, Gemsbok and Red Hartebeest added some interest to the relaxing first days drive. On arriving at Swartbas camp site to find that there had been little animal activity around the camp as there were no fresh tracks, and so the process of setting up camp began. Once this was done and showers completed the fire started we gathered around to enjoy the African night and each others company. After supper and more fire side chatter we all drifted of to bed.

Day 2

Rising at 07h00 after a quit night we found that there had been not nocturnal visitors to the camp although Hyena were heard off in the distance during the night. Thus after some breakfast and the packing up of the camp we set off for the day ahead through the undulating dunes and seas of Kalahari sour grass that seems to dominate the landscape. With a coffee stop at Eileen pan and some informative stops we reached Bertha the dune challenge of the trail, and so after the action of the challenge we settled down for some much deserved lunch. With lunch done we headed off for the camp site again we have some lovely views of the landscape with some scattered sightings of Jackal, Eland, Gemsbok and Red Hartebeest. Arriving at the camp site with the sun starting to turn the seas of sour grass golden we began the process of setting up the camp for the second night. So with the sun setting over the Savanna planes the fire was started and the preparations for the evening meal got underway. With African night setting in the smell of meat on the fire brought the group around the fire for another evening in Africa under a night sky. With tummy’s full and the night chill setting in we all drifted of to sleep with the sounds of Jackal adding to the night’s ambiance.

Day 3

Rose again at 07h00 to another chilly morning and an African savanna sunrise to find again that there had been no nocturnal visitor’s to the camp. And so after a bite to eat and the camp packed away we got underway and shortly after leaving the camp arrived at the look out point which looks back down on the plains were Rosentjiebos camp site is situated we also can look ahead to the undulation dunes that lie in wait for us and so we set off for the day ahead. Traveling through seas of Bushman grass we enjoy the up and down of the dunes. Thus we reach the lunch stop for the day, and so a very relaxing lunch at the old camp site of Kameel Doring. So with this done and before everyone got to comfortable we set off for the afternoon drive through to Witgat camp site stopping of to take in some of the larger nest in the trees and the irregular criss cross dunes. With our sightings for the day that of Gemsbok with calves, Steenbok and a herd of Red Hartebeest we arrive at camp to find no new animal activity. So we settled in for the last night of the trail over looking the Witgat water hole. So with the dunes surrounding the camp changing colour as the sun set the fire roaring we gathered around to enjoy the last night and each others company. Our tummy’ again full and the fire roaring we talked into the night with only a brave steenbok coming close to the camp, and so with the coals dieing down we drifted off to bed.

Day 4

Rising again at 07h00 to discover that we had had some visitors in the camp the 2 big male lions who have their territory in the area had taken a look around the camp during the night, so after following the spoor through the camp we looked back to the water hole to see that they had returned and now were quenching there thirst at the waterhole before moving off in an easterly direction. The same direction we would be heading once we were packed up. So the camp was now a buzz with exited chatter of the sighting. So again camp was packed up after some breakfast we stopped at the waterhole too look at the prints that they had left behind. No sooner had we got on the road again than the two lions were spotted again now resting on one of the dunes catching some of the morning sun. After spending some time watching them we headed off for the rest of the day. Sighting some White backed and Lapped Faced Vultures we enjoyed some up and down dune driving and some dune street driving before stopping at the large Shepherds tree. Arriving at the end of the trail the strangers that started the trial bade farewell to friends and we all headed of at our own pace for Twee Rivieren.
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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:50 am

Nossob 4x4 eco trail forum report (30 July – 02 August 2012)

Day 1

So for the last time for a while we gathered at Nossob on a warm winter’s morning for the 4x4 Eco-trail. So 4 adventures and a guide set off north along the Nossob River to the start of the trail, while still in the river we sighted a Kudu bull and a cow. On arriving at the beginning of the trail rules and how to tackle the trail were given out. With this done we set off soon leaving the river and its flood plains behind we headed into the dunes with anticipation for what lay ahead. We entered the grassland of the dunes and began the adventure. Stopping for lunch under some trees we were soon chatting. After lunch we continued and at about 25 Km into the trail we arrived at a clump of trees to discover a female and 2 male lions resting quietly under the trees. They were very relaxed and allowed us to stop and take photos of them before we moved on again. Thus after a pleasant meander through the dunes with some wonderful landscape views and amazing lion sighting we arrived at the Swartbas camp site and began to set up camp. With that done we settled down for what was to be a pleasant mild evening around the camp fire with home made hamburgers and marshmallows and hot chocolate foe supper, before we all drifted off to bed.

Day 2

Rising at 7 to 5.4 degrees made for the start of a warm day ahead. So after breakfast and packing up camp we set off for our second day on the trail which involves a coffee stop at Eileen pan to take in the view of the pan, a stop at the look out point and discuss the role of the Silver Cluster leaves play in the Kalahari we tackled Bertha the dune challenge for the north south trip of the trail. With this successfully done another amazing view was enjoyed before heading off on a short drive to the lunch stop, where a picnic lunch was enjoyed by all in the warm winter sun. With lunch completed we set off for the afternoon drive through to the camp. To add to the lion sightings of the day before we were able to see Gemsbok, Steenbok, a Black Shouldered kite and a Gabar Goshawk to keep the animal sightings tally up. Arriving at Rosyntjiebos surrounded by seas of hay colored Kalahari sour grass we set up for another evening under the African night skies. That night with the moon very nearly full it transformed the camp site and its surrounds into an eerie wonderland, which added to the ambience of the second night.

Day 3

After a chilly night, it was 0.6 when we got up at 7 to the calls of a Jackal. Again the Rosntjiebos sunrise did not disappoint. We were to discover that a rodent had made its home under the fire place, and that a leopard had passed the camp stopping at the toilet to lie down and play with the toilet roll at the toilet. Thus we packed up and headed off to the local view point hoping to catch a sighting of the leopard with no success. Thus we stopped at the view point to look out over the plain where we had spent the night and to look forward to the dunes that lay ahead. For a km or so before the lunch stop at the old camp site we had a herd of Springbok running ahead of us in the road which made for an interesting sighting. At the lunch stop the Springbok decided to join us for lunch and stayed in close proximity for the duration of lunch. Departing the lunch site we had travelled about 3 Km’s when we came across 2 female and a male lion at an Eland kill quit close to the road on the left hand side. While the females stayed quit hidden for the duration of our sighting the male was for part of it quit visible. Thus our second lion sighting for the trail was enjoyed before we continued through to the last camp of the trail stopping at some Sociable weavers and tree rat’s nests as well as the irregular criss cross dunes before arriving at the camp. Gemsbok and Steenbok made up the rest of the days sightings. So with the full moon casting its light over the camp and the surroundings we enjoyed the last night on the trail with regular close visits by the local Gerbil community.

Day 4

So rising again at 7 to 0.8 degrees and a breeze that made it feel colder. We prepared to tackle the last day of the trail. So we set off for the last day of the trail with a nice drive through we had numerous sightings of Eland including one that was actually lying down which was a pleasant surprise. With a stop at a large Shepard’s tree we came to the end of the trail and said our good byes before heading off on our separate ways.

Pics to follow
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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:05 am

Herewith the Pictures.

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Enjoy
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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:49 am

Forum report for Nossob 4x4 eco-trail 06-09 August 2012

Day 1

With the start of a new month we began this week’s adventure at Twee Revierin. So with 10 guests, 5 vehicles and a guide we set off from Twee Revierin for the week’s adventure on a cold windy winter’s morning. Stopping at the start of the trail to discuss some of the finer points of the trail, we left the Nossob River and entered the dunes with anticipation. We had a herd of Wildebeest as a farewell party as we entered the dunes. At the lunch stop the weather was between 15c – 20c depending on weather you were standing in the sun or the shade. With lunch some interpreting of the Sociable Weavers nest and Tree Rats nest and the sour grass were some of the topics for lunch. So with the wind still blowing we headed off for the afternoon stretch of the trail which sees the last part like a bit of a roller coaster with all the up and down on the dunes. With Gemsbok, Steenbok, Eland and wildebeest as our sighting tally for the day we arrived at Witgat camp site that showed no real signs of activity at the camp sight but lots of different spoor at the water hole. So rather wind blown we set up camp for the night. The wind did not play along and did not die down and persisted through out the night. So once we had made a plan to braai for the evening (with the use of a wind breaker) we drifted off to bed with the temperature sitting at 4.4 c.

Day 2

So rising at 07H00 to – 2.8c with a breeze that seemed to make it even colder we found that there had been no tracks to indicate night time visitor’s to the camp. We were treated to 3 Jackal and a solitary brown Hyena who came down to the water hole and hung around for disappearing over the dunes. One of the Jackals came to the camp to investigate and say good morning. So we set off for the day ahead passing through the Grass Savanna we made a stop at the irregular criss cross dunes to take in the sight’s, the wind had picked up again and stayed with us for the day. 2 honey badgers were sighted as the morning progressed. Shortly before lunch we stopped at the carcass of a female Eland who had been killed the previous week. Then off to the lunch stop. With the temperature between 11- 20c depending on where you were standing it was a windy but restful lunch stop. With the afternoons drive we headed off to see what lay ahead, stopping at an aardvark burrow and burrows that are frequently used by Ground Squirrels, Meerkat’s and mongoose, we had Gemsbok and Steenbok rounding off the sightings for the day, we stopped at the look out point that looks down over the plains where the next camp is situated. Pulling into the camp there was no signs of animal activity around the camp. That evening the wind died down and allowed us to enjoy an evening around the fire. We were in for another cold night as the temperature had dropped to – 0.2c as we climbed in to bed.

Day 3

So rising at 07H00 to find no sign’s of nightly activity and -3c as the temperature we set about preparing for the day ahead. We stopped to talk about the black thorn the lunar moth cocoon’s before arriving at the first look out point that gives us a wonderful 360’ view of the Kalahari dunes, here we discussed more of the vegetation and their uses, and we headed off for lunch stopping at the Silver cluster leaves and their look out point. At lunch at Eileen pan we were treated to herds of Gemsbok and Red Hartebeest resting in the pan below us. With the temperature at 30’ c and no wind to speak of we settled in for a very relaxing and warm lunch discussing briefly the role that the pans play in the park, in particular for the animals. Lunch completed we took a pleasant afternoon drive through to the Swartbas camp site. Where once the camp was set up an informal game of bole was enjoyed by some of the guests. So for the last night of the trail we gathered around the camp fire to enjoy another night under the African Night Skies. With the temperature getting down to 3.2’c we drifted of to bed.

Day 4

Rising again at 07H00 we discovered that there were tracks of Jackal around the camp and that a single Hyena
(Possibly Spotted Hyena) had skirted around the southern side of the camp but not come any closer. So with the temperature at – 3.2’c we set about taking down the camp and setting off for the last day of the trail. Traveling through the Savanna grasslands that dominate the last days drive we were lucky enough to have a sighting of 2 Kudu bulls a young male with 1 curl in his horns and the other a magnificent specimen whose horns were a magnificent sight. With this as our sighting for the day we arrived back at the Nossob River and her flood plains that provide for some wonderful views. Thus at the end of the trail people who greeted each other as strangers at the beginning of the trail said goodbye as friends.
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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:59 am

Here are so pictures of the past 4x4 trail.

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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:25 am

Eco-trail 13-16 August 2012

Day 1

So on a warm winter’s morning (12.6 c) when we left Twee Revierin. 6 guests and a guide set out for this week’s Eco-Trail adventure. Our sighting tally started early as we got a small herd of young Eland and 2 male Lions in plain sight of the main Nossob road before we got on to the trail. Arriving at the start of the trail we discussed how we were going to go about tackling the trail we set off. We arrived at the shepherd’s tree our first stop where we looked down onto the Nossob River and the road that leads up to Nossob rest camp. Shortly after this we got our second sighting of Eland our first of the trail. At our lunch stop we made general chatter of the day we enjoyed a chance to stretch and take in the sights before heading off for the afternoon section and Witgat the camp site for the night. Arriving at the camp we had a herd of around 22 Gemsbok hovering around the water hole to add to our sightings. The wind eventually died down allowing us to get the fire under way and enjoy the evening. Which was rounded off with a brown Hyena and Jackal sighting at the water hole before we headed off to bed?

Day 2

After a rather windy night we rose to a rather warm morning 6.8c. As we were departing the camp we found Hyena and Jackal tracks in the road. At our first stop for the morning at the irregular dunes we were able to see a small herd of Eland off in the distance. We again stopped off at the old Eland kill as well as a sociable weaver’s nest and candle pod acacia. With Gemsbok and Steenbok rounding off the morning sightings we arrived for lunch that was rather a windy affair. So we set off for the afternoon drive with only Gemsbok sighting to add to our sightings for the day. Settling down around the fire at Rosyntjiebos we were treated to a Cheetah chasing a Steenbok not more than 40 meters from the camp, which was a very rare turn of events for this camp. Unsuccessful with the chase both the Cheetah and the Steenbok disappeared out of sight so our night had an interesting topic of conversation. After all this excitement we settled down again for an amazing evening around the fire under the African night skies, before wariness took us off to bed with the temperature at a warm 12. 6c.

Day 3

So rising on the 3rd morning to a chilly 3.6c we packed up and set off for the day’s adventure. We had sightings of Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok and a herd of Wildebeest before our first stop. Arriving at our first stop the view point at the top of Bertha we were able to enjoy a 360’ view of the Kalahari from the top before setting off for the second stop of the day and lunch. We arrived at the Silver Cluster leaves and their look out point to enjoy their view and discuses the role they play in the lives of the San. Thus off to lunch which was a shortened affair as again as the wind had picked up again making the temperature seem colder than it was. On the afternoon drive through to Swartbas we were treated to seeing 2 Honey Badgers make 2 appearances in the road and just off the road. Thus we arrived at Swartbas our last camp for the trail. That night around the fire we were treated to the sounds of Jackal calling adding ambience to the African night. Thus at the end of a chilly evening 2.6c we drifted off to bed.

Day 4

So on the last day of the trail we rose again at 07H00 to a freezing – 7c we packed up the camp, with coffee to keep us warm. We headed off for the last days drive. With our sightings for the day 4 Eland, we enjoyed an undulating drive through the Savanna grasslands that dominate this section of the trail stopping to learn more about the 3 thorns and black thorn that grow in large patches on this section of the trail. Eventually we arrived back at the Nossob River and her flood plains, here at the end of the trail we bade farewell to each other and headed off at our own paces.
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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:03 pm

Trail 21- 23 August 2012

Day 1

On a warm day (24.6’c) at Twee Revierin, 7 guests and a guide met too tackle the adventure of this week’s Eco-Trail. With everything organized we set off for the start of the trail, before we got to the start of the trail we sighted 3 lion up on the ridge. Once on the trail and after the trail briefing we came across a broken Ostrich egg under the shade of a tree. At the large Shepard’s tree we could enjoy the shade underneath the tree as well as the view from the dune. At the lunch stop (26.5’c) shade was greatly appreciated. Traveling through some undulating dunes for the afternoon with Gemsbok, Red hartebeest and Eland rounded off the sightings for the day. Arriving at Witgat there was no signs of fresh animal activity at the camp. We settled in to the camp to enjoy the first night under the African night which was rounded off with the sounds of the Jackal’s in the distance.

Day 2

After a warm night (9’c) when we rose in the morning, to find that there had been to visit the camp. We set about packing up, stopping at the water hole we saw track’s of a brown hyena that had come down to drink during the night. We stopped off at the irregular dunes and nests as well as stopping at a candle pod Acacia we arrive at the lunch stop with the temperature now at 30’c the day was warming up. After a relaxing lunch we set off for the afternoon drive the days sighting were Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest and Steenbok. Before we arrived at the camp for the second night we stopped at the look out point were we took in the view of the plain were that night’s camp is situated as well as a view of where we had traveled from. Thus we came to Rosyntjiebos the camp for that night. Again we were able to enjoy a warmish night under the African skies with moon starting to shed its light on the veld below.

Day 3

After a chilly night (1.2’c) when we rose in the morning, again to find that there had been no nocturnal visitors to the camp. We broke up camp and set off for the day’s adventure. Sighting a herd of Wildebeest before our first look out point we stopped to discuss the thunderbolt flower we arrived at our first view point to take in the 360’ view that it provides us of the Kalahari. With this taken in we set off to Eileen pan for lunch. At lunch we found the shade most welcoming as the lunch time temperature had reached 35’c. With lunch finished we headed off for the afternoon drive and Swartbas the last camp for the trail. At the camp a number of tracks could be seen but nothing that was fresh, so we set up camp and relaxed in the shade of the Swartbas trees that dominate the camp. With the moon shedding more light on the surrounding area we enjoyed the last night of the trail with each others company.

Day 4

We were woken on the last morning to the distant sound of a roaring lion. So with the temperature a pleasant 6.8’c we packed up to set off for the last day of the trail. We enjoyed a pleasant drive through rolling savanna grassland and patches of 3 thorn and black thorn, stopping to look at loner moth cocoons and discuss the 3 thorn. Before arriving at the end of the trail to another day of 35’c. So after our farewells we set off on our own ways to the rest of the day.
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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:17 pm

Here are some pics of the trail;

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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:57 pm

Report for Nossob 4x4 eco-trail 27-30 August

Day 1

On a warm Monday morning 18’c when we left Twee Revierin, 8 guests and a guide left for this weeks 4x4 Eco trail adventure. We headed off for the start of the trail on arriving at the start of the trail a run down of some rules and how to tackle the trail was give before heading off into the dunes to see what secrets they held for us. Stopping at lunch time to 35’c some general conversation was enjoyed before setting off for the afternoon of undulating dunes and the camp. Arriving at the camp with an Eland running ahead of us to round of a days sighting that included Gemsbok, Eland, Red Hartebeest and 2 Honey badgers who were making their way over the dune. Once camp was up we were able to have an enjoyable evening with a nice chicken dish around a small fire listening to the sounds of the Jackal and owls calling adding ambiance to a cloudy night in the African bush.

Day 2

Waking up to 13’6 c with a few clouds in the sky and a slight breeze, to find no nocturnal animals had visited during the night. We were treated to a lone Brown Hyena coming to drink at the water hole. Once on the road after coffee and rusk’s and packing up we stopped to look at some nests a Candle pod Acacia and an Eland carcass. We stopped off for a windy yet hot lunch (38.4’c) the shade was appreciated. We set off for hot and interesting afternoon drive trying to get over some of the dunes. Stopping a few kilometers from the camp to take in the view of the plains where the camp is situated and too look over the land which we had traveled. Arriving at the camp to find no fresh tracks we set about getting the camp up. Gemsbok, Eland and Steenbok rounded off the days sightings. After another Rosyntjiebos sunset the moon cast a magical light over the veld for another great night in the Kalahari.

Day 3

After another warm night with the jackal calling during the night. The clouds provided for a great sunrise (13.2’c) in the morning. We departed the camp for the days adventure, stopping to take in some 360’ view points and discuss the roles some of the trees and plants play in the lives of the San we arrived at Eileen pan for lunch with the temperature at 25’c and a wind blowing. We enjoyed some shade and the view over the pan during lunch. We set off for the afternoon drive. Sighting Red Hartebeest, A Gemsbok and a Steenbok rounded of the afternoon sightings. We arrived at camp and soon had it set up and thus had some time to relax as the sun eventually started to geo under for another great sun set. Again the moon cast a magical and mystical light on the veld of the Kalahari and around a fire we enjoyed the last night of the trail.

Day 4

We woke on the last morning to some clouds in the sky and to find tracks around the outside of the camp that told us that Jackal and Spotted hyena had been to have a look around, we were to enjoy another great sunrise with coffee and rusk’s. We packed up and got on the road to head off to the Nossob River and the end of the trail we traveled through the rolling dunes and savanna grassland with clusters of trees and three thorns. Stopping for a break we were able to take in some of the sights before we arrived back at the Nossob and her flood plains. Here we said our good byes and headed off on our separate ways.
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Re: Kgalagadi: Nossob 4 x 4 Eco Trail

Unread post by Kgalagadi Guru » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:18 pm

Some pics of the last trail:

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Doing what a guide should do :whistle:
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