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.
Early morning drink at the Nossob hide
After that good start to the morning we headed South, stopping briefly at Marie se Gat, seeing that the young male was still there, having moved back to his bush, but through the brush he didn’t look too good.  We didn’t see any of the others so we carried on south towards Twee Rivierin, but not before detouring towards Mata-Mata first.

As usual, we stopped and checked out each waterhole, and were rewarded with our 3rd sighting of a brown hyena at Cheleka, as well as another lioness fast asleep under the big tree.  While we were watching the waterhole, another car arrived and told us that there was a lioness and an adolescent cub that had come out of the toilet at the picnic site at Dikbaardskolk. 
Fast asleep at the picnic site
Sure enough, there the 2 of them were sleeping under a bush in the middle of the picnic site.  And the other car that was there told us that there was apparently another lioness with 5 cubs actually in the men’s toilet.  So when the signboard says “Get out of the car at your own risk” they really do mean it!  We finally left the picnic area without seeing them, keen to hit the Auob River side for the last time.

Originally we were planning to have lunch under the tree at 14th Boorgat but decided to rather head up via the waterholes to Craig Lockhart just in case there was something worth watching. Lo and behold, 3 lions at Craig Lockhart, so we settled down to watch them while having lunch.
Cheetah cub
Not long after that a Namibian couple arrived and told us that there were 3 cheetahs – a collared mother and 2 adolescent cubs back a few kilometres and had been feeding on a young wildebeest calf from morning.  We couldn’t resist the opportunity and sure enough after a bit of searching (the directions given were a few kilometres off) we came across the 2 cheetah cubs and mom lying on the road.  
When we arrived, they moved off and went back to feeding on their kill (unfortunately with the grass too high to get any good photos) but soon they moved back and lay near the car for a while until we finally left them resting under a tree.

Lanner falcon with prey
We headed towards Twee Rivierin in the afternoon and were again rewarded with a sighting of 3 cheetahs near Kamfersboom – probably the same 3 we’d seen a few days early that had been stalking the springbok.  Since we’d come to the park for cheetah, it was fitting that our final sighting before we left the park would be of the fastest land mammal.  We spent as long as we could with the cheetahs before starting to head out of the park.  But the Kgalagadi had one last surprise for us…

Red hartebeest
We were about 4km from the gate, already past the Samevloeiing waterhole, when we came across about 4 vehicles parked together all looking in one direction.  After chatting to one of the cars, we found that we had just missed a leopard – Damn!  More than that, the leopard had been in the area for the last 3 days, mostly sleeping in a tree – Double Damn! We must have just missed the leopard when we left Twee Rivierin 3 days ago. 

Instantly our plans changed – we’d have to do a drive first thing in the morning now! Luckily because it was close to camp, we could do a short drive – hopefully catch the leopard first thing – and then head out the park.  So that was our plan for the bonus morning drive…

No comments:

Post a Comment