Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - December 2009

A summary of the birds and animals that we saw on our trip to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in December 2009.  We recorded the animals that we saw each day and specifically marked where we saw the predators and how many at each sighting.  For the birds, we listed all the birds that we saw in the park for the whole trip and marked anything that was a first time sighting for us.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

KTP - The Hidden Gem - Day 9

Sunrise from Two Rivers
Day 9 - Two Rivers to Gaborone
We were out into the park for the last time just after 5.40am.  We hadn’t got too far when we saw 2 cars stopped.  The excitement level rose, but they were only photographing the herd of springbok in the rising sun – a lovely shot but we were looking for leopard J Another couple of kms further on and a car was stopped on a small hill.  As we pulled up next to them, the driver told us there was a leopard coming – hoorah!  Our punt had paid off. 

Saturday, 26 December 2009

KTP - The Hidden Gem - Day 8

Driving over the dunes
Day 8 - Nossob to Two Rivers
Our last day in the park started off early (yet again).  We had packed everything the previous evening so that we could drive straight from Nossob to Twee Rivierin for our last night before heading straight back to Gaborone on Sunday.  We were just about to leave the Nossob camp when someone said that there was a lion on his way to drink.  So it was back to the hide to watch (and this time photograph) what was probably the same male lion that had drunk last night.

Friday, 25 December 2009

KTP - The Hidden Gem - Day 7

Red dunes of the Kgalagadi
Day 7 - Nossob
Christmas morning started the same as the others – early to rise and catch the morning game drive – we headed south this time to see if we could catch the lions and were rewarded with a young male lion drinking at Marie se Gat – along with about 6 jackals.  We also spotted a mating lion pair and another big black mane lion out on the pan. 

Thursday, 24 December 2009

KTP - The Hidden Gem - Day 6

Cheetah silhouette
Day 6 - Two Rivers to Nossob
The morning started well (as we’ve come to expect!) with 3 cheetahs on the ridge at Auchterlonie on the other side of the river.  After spending some time there, they finally headed down to lay under a tree a lot closer to the road. 

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

KTP - The Hidden Gem - Day 5

Sunset over the Kgalagadi
Day 5 - Bitterpan to Two Rivers
Nothing like being woken up to Marshall shouting “Lion!”  There were 2 lions drinking at his small waterhole.  And when we turned around there were a few more having a drink at the waterhole in front.  There were 7 in total – 2 males, a few females and a couple of adolescent cubs – who were quite content to ignore us and walk around the chalets. 

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

KTP - The Hidden Gem - Day 4

Day 4 - Nossob to Bitterpan
Another day, another early drive.  It was a bit of a struggle getting up so early this time, because the black-backed jackals had kept us awake a good part of the night howling and screaming just beyond the fence about 10 meters from our camp.

But we had figured that the morning drives were better than the evening drives, as at least the mornings were nice and cool and the cats would still be active, compared with the evening – even at 7pm it was still extremely hot in December. 

Monday, 21 December 2009

KTP - The Hidden Gem - Day 3

Thunderstorm over the KTP
Day 3
- Nossob
We were staying at Nossob for a second evening, so we decided to head North and check out that area.  We spent the morning driving all the way to Union’s End and back, only seeing one male lion sleeping in the distance at Polentswa.  We did see lots of lion spoor near the Grootkolk turnoff, so can only assume that we were just not lucky enough to see them, but that’s to be expected as it was stinking hot by then. 

Sunday, 20 December 2009

KTP - The Hidden Gem - Day 2

Springbok grazing on the dry riverbank
Day 2 - Two Rivers to Nossob
A mad rush to get out of Twee Rivierin at the gate opening time – something we dubbed the “Kalahari Express” for the rest of the trip.  For the first 10km, it was basically just driving in a row trying to get through the dune and into the river bed J  We hit our first bit of luck at the first waterhole in the Auob River. 

Saturday, 19 December 2009

KTP - The Hidden Gem - Day 1

Wild flowers on the way to the KTP
In December 2009, we did our first trip into the South African side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.  We'd previously done the Botswana side twice, but decided to check out what the SA side had to offer.  We didn't have much time over the December holiday due to work, but managed to spend 8 full days in this stunning, arid park...  This is the journal I wrote for it...