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Charbel's Kgalagadi: The Big and Small. KTP, June '13

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Charbel's Kgalagadi: The Big and Small. KTP, June '13

Unread post by charbel » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:49 am

Back from 13 incredible days in KTP, time to begin a trip report. The trip was really great. Found two forumites Jill and BluTuna, which was very nice. We were lucky to see a wide diversity of predators, including night ones. And nice scenes of animal behavior was delight for Pedro and me, both researchers dealing with animal behavior, among other topics.

The title of the TR reflects the fact that we love both the big and the small animals, being as excited to see a lion as we are to see a small Four Striped Grass Mouse.

We arrived late in June 1st, although before the gate closed. So, no game drive for June 1st, only a nice dinner in Twee Rivieren. Accommodations were nice, no bat problems, good food, a nice first night, still not cold (coldness would eventually come in the next days). The sad part was the large number of Bat-Eared Foxes dead in the road from Upington to Kgalagadi.

June 2nd we left at 7:30. The previous days I had phoned Kgalagadi Guru to tell him I arrived in time, so that he didn't need to help me with the gate. South African delayed our flight in more than one hour, robbing us some precious time for traveling. But things were fast with the car rental (very good service by Kalahari 4 x4, thanks, Lion Queen, for the indication). Kgalagadi Guru gave us a clue, however, about meerkat dens close to the road in Leeudril. So, we changed our plans, originally to go directly to the Aoub road, and went up the Nossob road to Leeudril instead. The den was quite visible, but the meerkats were nowhere to be seen. Still early cold morning for them. But meerkats were faithful on us later, appearing quite often.

After reaching Leeudril, to some Namaqua Sandgrouse show, we came back to the Aoub road and headed to Kielikrankie, where we would sleep that dat. but when we reached Houmoed, I noticed we forgot to give back the keys in the reception. So, back to Twee Rivieren. Finally we went up the Aoub road and the lower Dune road, to Kielikrankie, where we arrived by the end of the afternoon.

Some animals were everywhere to be seen, as you know: Sociable Weavers, White-Browed Sparrow Weavers, Pae Chanting Goshawks, Gemsboks, Springboks, Ostriches, Fork-Tailed Drongos, Blue Wildebeests.

We also saw Red Hartebeests and a Steenbok in the way to Leeudril, Crowned Lapwings in several places, the same for Cape Glossy Starlings. A Tawny Eagle was also in the way to Leeudril. In the waterhole, lots of Namaqua Sandgrouses.

In Samevloeiing, the Elande carcasses were still there, as well as in other parts of the park.

Before Houmoed, we found our first (very active) Meerkats, along with Ground Squirrels. Quite funny to see all their interactions.

When heading back to Twee Rivieren to give back, we saw our only Secretary Bird in the whole trip.

In Twee Rivieren, we saw more Ground Squirrels and a Yellow Mongoose.

Back to Houmoed, besides the usual animals, Meerkats were in the same spot again, with the Squirrels. And we saw a Fawn-Coloured Lark.

Kori Bustards met us for the first time in the way to Kamfersboom. We would eventually see them everywhere. In the same road, we found more Ground Squirrels, an African Red-Eyed Bulbul, Cape Black Crows (also very common), and another Fawn-Coloured Lark.

The picnic spot in Auchterlonie was great to rest. And we visited the museum and walked down the historical pathways, both pleasant experiences.

But the best of the day was still to come. Soon after Auchterlonie, before reaching the Dune road, we found 5 Spotted Hyenas in the rocks above, resting besides some rocks, and with a cub. We also witnessed all the tension in the air when three Gemsboks came and the Hyenas raised staring at them. The Gemsboks stopped. For a while we thought we would see our first hunt, but the Hyenas came back to rest, The Gemsboks hesitated and then turned away... Better not to take chances with the Hyenas.

The Lower Dune Road was a pleasure in itself, so scenic and beautiful. We only saw a Steenbok in our way to the camp, where we were very well received by Jacques, very friendly and competent.

The dune cabin in Kielikrankie was amazing, so clean and tidy, beautifully built, and with such an astonishing, breathtaking view to the dunes and the waterhole below. And we could see it from kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, balcony, everywhere. Really great!

But the end of the day still had a surprise! When we were unpacking, Pedro came to the cabin telling me there was a Leopard in the road, coming to the camp, after passing close to him. We ran to watch it, but it was already hidden behind some bushes. Jacques took us to his cabin to look to the animal, also showing us Lion footprints just besides his cabin... The leopard didn't come out, and we went back to unpack... Around 20 minutes later, Jacques called us to tell that the Leopard had gone to the waterhole. We watched and there he (or she) was, drinking from the waterhole. Then he calmly walked past the camp, marked some trees in front of the cabins, and drifted back to the savanna.... Great!!!! First day with Hyenas and Leopards, along with Meerkats and all sorts of big and small things... Very rewarding.

The night was pleasant, with a good dinner, and some rounds of watching the waterhole from the balcony.... But it was freezing. We used all our winter clothes and stayed in the balcony as much as we could. Then we came back to the blankets. The night went quite well, freezing outside, nice below the blankets....

This is the full description of the first day. Now let's move to some pics, for several messages until reaching the second day. The equipment was: for me, a Canon Rebel with two lens, the regular 18-55mm (which I barely used) and a 55-250mm. For Pedro, a Canon sx50hs. Quite different cameras, but this was great, since it increased the range of what we could do. Next time I travel to SA, this time KNP, I'll buy an additional powershot cannon camera and additional lens for my Rebel.

First pic: me in the Auchterlonie open field museum.

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I will include this message to test the size of the pic, and then move to more pics in the following messages

Cheers
Charbel
KNP only in 2015

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:31 am

The Dune road is so beautiful.

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And Kielikrankie is a special place. If you never went there, include in your plans. First a general view of the cabins from the road and the view of the dunes from the cabin.

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I like this pic: landscape with ostrich, in the dune road leading to the Aoub road.

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And to finish this post, a collection of our Gemsbok pics. Common animal, but we really love them and liked the pics.

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We made several pics of Gemsbok's fights. I particularly like this sequence, fight and surrender. Look how the Gemsbok bends to show with his body that he was defeated, accepting a lower hierarchical rank. It was not a true fight, but more like simulation and play. But much of the hierarchy in animal groups are played out through ritualized simulations and plays. Natural selection favors those that decide hierarchical position by pretending to fight rather than fighting. The reason is simple: fitness decrease happens in true fights, even in the case of those that win.

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Cheers
Charbel
KNP just in 2015 (long time to wait)
Last edited by charbel on Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:49 pm

Dear forumites,
A posting for Springboks, other common animals, but always showing nice behaviors to be seen.
We can find them in groups, usually females, cubs, and juveniles, also bachelor herds.

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But we can also find bulls alone, in the middle of its hard-won and hard-defended territory, chasing other males away and evaluating every female that comes by, for reproductive status.

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Here are some details of juvenile Springboks

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And, finally, a glimpse of an intimate moment.

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Cheers
Charbel
Last edited by charbel on Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:26 pm

Hi forumites,
Time for a new posting, while I also select pics to show my best childhood friend, who will come in some hours to see the pics, watch the game (Brazil against Spain, Confederations Cup final), and to watch Searching for Sugar Man (great!) and David Attenborough's recent documentary on the Kalahari (stunning!).

An additional bird just identified, which we saw in the first day: Marico Flycatcher.

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Going on with the antelopes and company, some pics of Blue Wildebeests, taken in the first day in KTP.

I like this pic of a Blue Wildebeest checking on another passing companion.

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This guy gave a good look at us while crossing the Aoub road in front of the car.

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And here some mirror Wildebeests.

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Finally, a detail of a Wildebeest face.

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Another astonishingly beautiful animal, which we saw more and more often as we moved north, was the Red Hartebeest. Here are some pics from the first day.

Not a great pic, but it was the very first animal we saw in the park, deserving for this reason its space here.

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Here is a better pic.

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Finally, one of the greatest butts of the Kalahari! Great entry to the yet-to-be-done butt calendar.

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We usually found in KTP one single Blue Wildebeest along with a single Springbok and a single Gemsbok (more occasionally). If we consider that territorial bulls typically stay in their territories, waiting for reproductive females to appear, we can infer that the bulls from different species with overlapping territories can gain advantage from the vigilance of the others, and they evidently do not compete for their territories regarding reproduction. I have to do some more research, however, on the extent that they compete for food. They are all herbivorous, but may have different feeding preferences. Wildebeests, for instance, shows great preference to graze on brand new plants, we saw Springboks browsing besides grazing.... Things to consider while reading the great manual on African animals behavior I just bought:
http://www.amazon.com/Behavior-Guide-Af ... 830&sr=1-1

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This is the best pic (although with some problems) of the Steenbok we saw near Kielikrankie.

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That's it for the moment.

All the best
Charbel
Last edited by charbel on Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:26 am

I'm rather busy preparing for a meeting in Montpellier next week, but cannot avoid another posting! A TR is like going on with the trip excitement.

In this posting, a Meerkat and Ground Squirrel show.

We found two Meerkat groups in the first day, all very amusing, good to watch for long times, and often mixed up with Ground Squrrels, something common as the latter take advantage of Meerkat's dens. Probably advantageous to Meerkats too. Extra eyes are always great!

As soon as we left Twee Rivieren, we followed Kgalagadi Guru's clue about a Meerkat colony near Leeudril. We found the den entrances, but no Meerkats visible. Still too early, too cold.

We were disappointed, but in the Aoub river road, we found the two groups in the way to Houmoed. We also had the opportunity to see Fork-Tailed Drongos fooling the Meerkats to steal food. We tried some pics that could show the scene, nothing good followed from these attempts.

We thought at first they might be hard to spot. Not at all! As they keep upright looking in all directions, we find them relatively easy by looking at the side of the roads.

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They were also very active, digging to find food.

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My friend Pedro with his astonishing Powershot Cannon camera with 50x optical zoom (not digital. How do they do that?), got some very nice pics of Meerkats, such as the following close-ups.

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Here we can see a Meerkat and a Ground Squirrel, both foraging.

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Look at this Ground Squirrel's posture and expression. Almost like a cartoon character! They were always very funny, amusement guaranteed!

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Or in this one, which reminds me of a wonderful scene in David Attenborough's superb "Kalahari" episode of the BBC series "Africa", in which a Ground Squirrel lets its food fall when freeze with th sight of a predator...

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And they are really cute eating.

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Finally, a close-up of a Ground Squirrel.

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Thanks for all on board!

Cheers
Charbel
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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:55 am

As I told before, we forgot to give back the keys and had to return to Twee Rivieren. We lost time but at least we saw our first Yellow Mongoose when leaving the camp again. Not a great pic, but first one!

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As soon as we left Auchterlonie, before entering the Lower Dune Road, we found a group of five Spotted Hyenas resting besides some bushes up in the dunes to the right of the road. They were far away, that's why the pics are not sharp.

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The pic is far from good, but the Hyeana was posing like a sphynx!

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And then some Gemsbok came from the North, and when they saw the Hyenas they stopped immediately, and began to move back.... slowly...

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The Hyenas stood up... we though we would some good real action

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But then the Hyenas simply went back to rest.... The Gemsbok went away, stopping and moving slowly, stopping and moving slowly. Not the action we wanted, but, still, quite interesting to watch.

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Finally, one of the Hyenas was a cub.... As it remained resting hidden most of the time, we didn't get much chance to photograph it... Then, a bad pic, but the only reasonable one....

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:03 am

We arrived at Kielikrankie around 5:30, astonished with the beauty of the place, the view of the dunes, the quality of the cabins, the sympathy of Jacques, the warden of the camp. Here are two views of the dunes in front of the cabins.

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We were bringing food and other things from the car to the cabin, when a Leopard passed by, not far from my friend Pedro. It went behind a bush and remained there hidden for a long time. We went to Jacques' house to see if we could see it. Jacques showed us lion footsteps just besides the house, but the leopard was not moving.

Jacques told us he would tell when the leopard moved.... After some time, he came to our cabin to tell us the leopard was in the waterhole... It was funny that the leopard looked so small. The waterhole looked so close but it was an illusion, it was far away... We needed an animal to give us the right perspective.

Does someone know which leopard is this? I still have to check in the Astromat's guide.

Here is the leopard drinking from the waterhole.

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Here is a closer image.

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After drinking water, he followed through the dunes, crossing the whole space in front of the cabins.

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This is a closer pic of the leopard moving down there in the dunes.

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The leopard marked a bush. So, its territory is around the camp.

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All the best
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:00 pm

Dear forumites on board!

At the first day in KTP, we saw some raptors, but the best pics are the ones below, from a Tawny Eagle and a Pale Chanting Goshawk. The latter is so so common that, as the trip progressed, it had to work harder to get a pic from us.... :lol:

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Ostriches were also like that, in the first day many pics of them, but there are so many in KTP that, as days progressed, just interesting behaviors would make us photograph them. However, they were not scant in behaving interestingly.

As they walk down the Aoub river, nice pics could be taken....

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Here is a male ostrich

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And two females

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The ostrich head was a challenge to put into focus. Our guess is that it is too small for the remainder of the body and, when set against the brownish background, being brown too, the camera auto focus or our manual focus is lost.... So, it is great when a pic like this succeds.

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Finally, ostriches also deserve to have their butts registered. Here a male with yellowish and white feathers. Some of them were only yellowish, some only white...

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Kori bustards were also common. This was our first decent pic, of many more to come...

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Let's turn then to the smaller things. Sociable weavers to begin.

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But they are small guys with big nests... In fact, they make a mess, don't they? They begin to add more and more individual nests to the mass of nests, up to a point where the trees simply fall down. We saw them many times frantically bringing twigs back to the remaining nest from a large part of the nest that fell down. Or whole trees tore apart by the weight of their nests. Not to speak of telephone poles and wires in the road to KTP. That's why my friend Pedro told that we need a new biological concept to capture the behavior of animals like them, niche destructors... Well, I don't think so. They play the part in the renewal of the bush.

I like the quadrangular stylish construction of this nest below.

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And to finish this posting a nice pic of a White-Browed Sparrow Weaver.

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Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:51 am

Great to find time for a new posting, amidst a very hectic working time.

This will be the last posting for the first day in KTP: a bird show, for the most part.

We found our first Namaqua Sandgrouses in Leeudril, as usual, making a lot of noise and going back and forth to the waterhole.

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Crowned Plovers were quite common all around the park.... But they are so beautiful! Quite similar to a Brazilian bird we call "quero quero".

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A Fawn-Colored Lark was eating in the ground, here and there, looking for some snacks.

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Another highlight was an African Red-Eyed Bulbul.

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Fork-Tailed Drongos are common but a show in themselves, particularly in the winter months, when they guarantee some good meals fooling meerkats.

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Cape Black Crows are other common birds in KTP, but amusing ones. I particularly liked their vocalizations. In the first pic, we can also see them in some sort of grooming. In the second, vocalizations taking place!

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I read about the dead Elands in many TRs here.... They were still there...

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Tsamma melons are so important in the Kalahari ecosystem that they deserve to be here. This was an old melon in Kielikrankie.

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All the best!

Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:40 pm

Dear forumites,
Finally for our second day in KTP. We had to go from Kielikrankie to Kahalari Tented Camp where we would sleep for two days. The itinerary was the obvious one, down the Lower Dune Road and up the Aoub River Road, exploring all the viewpoints and loops. We were lazy in the morning and wanted to enjoy Kielie a little more, so it was 8:10 when we took the road.

Besides the usual sightings, Springboks, BBJs, Gemsboks, Wildebeests, Pale Chanting Goshawks, Fork-tailed Drongos, Ostriches,White-Browed Sparrow Weavers, Sociable Weavers, Cape Turtle-Doves, Cape Black Crows, Crowned Plovers, Kori Bustards, we saw:
A male Steenbok at the Lower Dune Road.
Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbills.

In one of the viewpoints, it was great to see two BBJs with a carcass and digging the ground for food. I will add pictures of them soon.

From Gemsbokplein to Batulama, we saw a large Meerkat colony with the accompanying Ground Squirrels, and our only Leopard Tortoise in all the trip (but just a dead skeleton!), besides the several signs in the roads asking us to take care with them crossing. In the same stretch, African Grey and Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbills.

In Batulama, we found Namaqua Sandgrouses in the grass with Springboks.

More Ground Squirrels and a Crimson-Breasted Shrike (which would become a relatively common sighting) from Batulama to Montrose, Namaqua Sandgrouses in Montrose, and then between Montrose and Rooibrak, the first really fantastic sighting of the day: A cheetah that had just caught a Springbok! We didn't see the real action, but it was a very recent catch and with a tragic history of its own, as I will soon tell you. Above the Cheetah, we had the surplus of two Tawny Eagles at the same spot. After the cheetah, we found our first Giraffes, a group containing six of them. In the same stretch, another Crimson-Breasted Shrike, a Slender Mongoose, a Brubru, more Ground Squirrels,

In the Kamqua picnic site, we saw some Red-Headed Finches. From Kamqua to Urikaruus, we saw more 4 Giraffes. Another great sighting was a couple of Kudus between Urikaruus and Dertiende Boorgat, Green-Winged Pytilias in Dertiende Boorgat. Our first Lilac-Breasted Rollers appeared between Dertiende and Veertiende Boorgat. And then two more Kudus (a couple) between these two waterholes. Between Veertiende Boorgat and Dalkeith, we saw a Steppe Buzzard and 3 White-Backed Vultures (4 more of them between Dalkeith and Craig Lockhart).

Other birds to registers: Scaly-Feathered Finches and Sabota Larks.

We were progressing slowly, taking time to watch the animals' behavior, and thus we only reached Sitzas by the end of the day. This was good! We were in the exact right time....

... to see 4 Cheetahs coming back from a hunting day.. followed by 2 BBJs. Ooops, but the guides say BBJs don't take chances with Cheetahs! These guys hadn't read the guides and were obviously following the Cheetahs. No doubt was left in our minds that this is what they were doing when we left KTC the next day.... and found again the same four Cheetahs with the BBJs following them... We couldn't but think that BBJs are ectoparasites, just like remoras... Indeed, we found them parasitizing everybody in the field, from Cheetahs to Lions, from Hyenas to humans.... Very opportunistic animals and that's why they are so successful, even though even a Springbok can haunt them, as we saw sometimes....

In KTC, we were received by the guard, Edward, who showed us our very confortable and enjoyable tent. Really beautiful view of the Aoub River, with Springboks scattered there, and the occasional BBJs rounding the tent. The kitchen is separated from the bedroom, and that day we had dinner with many Hyenas calling nearby. It was great,exhilarating... After dinner, we just checked with our spotlights and ran to the bedroom. Besides Hyenas' calls, BBJs' calls accompanied us through the night. It was freezing, but our sleeping bags were so good that we had to sleep on shorts and shirts inside them. The only bad thing is to go out of their warmth in the morning.

Let me begin with some nice landscape pictures. First, the Aoub River from a viewpoint, then, the beginning of the Upper Dune Road with a beautiful sky, and a nice panoramic view of the Aoub River with a waterhole and Wildebeests. To finish, Ostriches at the top of the dunes.

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To finish this posting, some BBJs pics, to be continued.

This is one of the BBJs we saw in the viewpoint eating carcass and ground animals.

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To begin a series of eating carcasses pics, three nice ones.

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Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:29 am

Let's go on with the BBJ pics, somewhere between the small and the big ones in KTP.

Look how the same BBJ which I showed eating the carcass in the previous posting was literally diving in the carcass in this pic.

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I like this pic where the BBJ is biting from the side

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And here truly catching the bone!

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Then he decided to leave the carcass and explore the ground, digging for soil animals.

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This is really digging hard for your food!

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And there it is, something to chew so openly!

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Some chewing details!

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That same day, later, we found 4 BBJs in Veertiende Boorgat. They are not social animals at all. Just a coincidence of four together in the same spot.

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I lke these scenes of a BBJ enjoying a swim.

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And then a very doggy-like method of getting dry.

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In Veertiende Boorgat, another BBJ digging deep.

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As they are not social but territorial animals, conflicts are common.

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All the best for all
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:22 pm

We were going up the Aoub River, before Montrose, when a nice couple of elderly people stopped besides us, telling that just some Km above the road a Cheetah had just captured a Springbok. We couldn't control the excitement while we drove up the road. And there they were, between Montrose and Rooibrak.

It was far from the road, as you can see in this first pic. They were where I marked HERE in the pic. It is possible to see, also, the marks in the ground where the Cheetah had dragged the Springbok.

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In a closer view, we can see that there was an extra in the scene! A Tawny Eagle just above them.

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She was divided between watching attentively and eating... You never know who might appear to steal the food....

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Then she decided to drag the Springbok somewhere else.

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But for some reason she gave up. What was the reason?

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hummm. that leg didn't look good. We feared about the Cheetah's fate...

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She had visible difficulty in walking. Couldn't drag the Springbok. So, she stayed there, at least up to the point we decided to go...

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And the Springbok were near there, inadvertently leaving their lives, while a cospecific was being eaten...

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All the best
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:24 pm

By the end of June 3rd we had the lucky of finding Cheetahs once again. This time four of them! Gertie and her offspring! We were arriving at Kalahari Tented Camp for the night, almost 6PM, that's why the light was not great. It was the last sighting of the day. And what a sighting!

Gertie was the first we saw, crossing the road.

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And then the young Cheetahs also crossed the road, just in front of us.

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Here is a closer view of the youngsters

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They went into the bush looking to the sides

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Look how mommy was keeping an eye on them, in between the bushes

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They were followed by BBJs, probably waiting for some leftover from their hunting, or for the chance of stealing some food. They were ectoparasites of the big hunters. We saw them following Hyenas, stealing food from Lions, and even following these Cheetahs. Courageous they certainly are! Steal food from Lions?!

One of our guides for mammal behavior says that BBJs don't take a chance with Cheetahs, because they are fast and can grab them. Well, these two BBJs didn't read the book. Here is one of them.

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All the best
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:25 am

Time for a new posting...
First, a pic of a Gemsbok we saw beautifully posing between flowers.

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With the usual look at us!

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Here a Gemsbok walking leaving dust behind it.

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We saw many times Gemsbok eating from the ground to obtain salts. It is interesting to see an animal besides water in the savana eating earth instead of drinking water. But as you know, Gemsbok are water-independent animals. Here they are besides Urikaruus.

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This was a nice close-up of a Blue Wildebeest.

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What I like about this pic is that the Wildebeest look very much like a cartoon character

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We saw a number of Wildebeests cubs. Here is one of them.

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Finally, a Wildebeest scratching itself in a funny pose.

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I will finish this posting with our first sighting of a couple of Kudus in the park. First, the male.

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Then the female.

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Here is a detail of this magnificent male.

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Another detailed view.

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The male Kudu caught while eating.

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This is a mystical animal, like an ancient warrior painted to war.

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Even when chewing.

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And, to conclude, a detail of the female Kudu.

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All the best
Charbel

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charbel
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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread post by charbel » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:47 pm

In June 3rd we saw our first Giraffes in the Aoub River Road! It didn't take long, it was the second day in the park.

As all here probably know, Giraffes have been shot to death, all of them, in that part of Kalahari. One of the waterholes even has a name to remember this: Kameelsleep, where the Sandersons shot the last free roaming Giraffe. They have been reintroduced in the 1990s and, as far as we could see, they are going quite well!

Here is a pic of how we saw the first Giraffe. A majestic animal going down the dune...

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It crossed the road, just in front of a car, and entered the Aoub River, walking in that typical peaceful way a Giraffe walks, as if floating over the world.

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A little further in the road, we found more Giraffes walking in the Aoub River. Here we photographed them against the dunes background. This shows how they can mix with the environment despite being huge animals.

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Here is a closer view.

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A detail of the feet.

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I like the light over the Giraffe in this pic.

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Giraffes in a mirror.

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Finally, details of Giraffe eating, with a view of the tongue, the famous 50cm tongue.

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All the best
Charbel


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