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. 
Mother and cub

But not only that – the Kgalagadi had one more little gem for us – she was carrying a tiny leopard cub in her mouth… And then we saw her – a tiny, little cub – still black and it seemed with its eyes still closed, carried by her mother.  This was unbelievable – a real climax to our trip.  The leopard was pretty calm, walking along the rocky ridge looking for a place to stash the cub.  A couple of times, the cub started wriggling and she had to readjust her grip, but otherwise it just lay there, just like a domestic cat carrying a kitten. 

She investigated a few little holes, until she finally found one that was to her satisfaction and disappeared down the hole.  It was absolutely awesome to watch and experience.  Unfortunately for the 2 cars that had been watching the springbok, they arrived too late when the leopard had already gone down the little cave.  And luck was not on their side – the leopard mother emerged from the cave just after they had left.

Leopard cub
She walked down the side of the dune, walked across the road and headed towards the Botswana side.  We could barely make her out against the brush, but could figure out her position by the reaction of the springbok herd.  She finally disappeared and a little while later we headed out of the park for the long drive back to Gaborone.

Our trip to the Kgalagadi was absolutely awesome.  It exceeded far, far beyond our expectations and on the way home we were already planning our next trip.  If Kruger NP is known as the flagship of wildlife parks in South Africa, then the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is definitely SA’s best kept secret.  In speaking to people in Botswana before leaving, we couldn’t even find anyone that had been to the park, but it’s definitely a place that once you’ve been, you’ll keep going back!  See you again in 2010 Kgalagadi!!

What we saw for the day

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