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Cat kismet : Kgalagadi, August 2014


Treepol
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Recently returned from a 6 day KTP safari where we were lucky with lion, seeing 7 individual mature males with handsome manes and 2 separate African Wild Cats. In addition to the cat lotto, we enjoyed 2 separate Spotted Eagle Owl sightings, one of which included a chick. The full length KTP trip report featuring meerkats, ground squirrels and much more begins at post #24 in this trip report in the Botswana forum.

 

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13-Ground%2520squirrels%252C%2520KTP.jpg

 

23-Cape%2520Fox%25202%252C%2520KTP.jpg

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You just confirmed a question I had in your full report--6 nights spent here. Can you comment on the # and how you divided them up. Also about choosing August. What month did you go last time with Masson & can you make any comparisons? Thanks!

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@@Atravelynn, we originally had thought to visit the Sesfontein and Kunene areas, but that was such a lot of time in the north that we transferred six days from the north to Kgalagadi. Based on our 2011 experience I knew this would allow for a decent exploration of the southern part of the park which we didn't get to in 2011. I planned to be in the Caprivi in early-mid September for Carmine Bee-eaters and as were were travelling clockwise from Kgalagadi to Maun, KTP was at the 'front' of the itinerary.

 

The main difference was the temperature - much warmer in August than July. We saw less cheetah and lion this time in overall numbers, but many more male lions which are always welcome. We missed leopard - in 2011 our only sighting was of a male that walked onto the road, 30 seconds earlier or later and we would have missed it. This year we saw Spotted Eagle Owl rather than Giant Eagle Owl and I think overall there were more raptors. We saw bat-eared fox both trips, with more sightings of more individual animals in 2011. The African Wild Cat, meerkats, honey badger and I think Cape Fox were seen this trip, none in 2011.

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Thanks much for the comparison! Six nights is a nice amount of time and your sightings/photos prove it!

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We saw less cheetah and lion this time in overall numbers, but many more male lions which are always welcome.

 

there is an article in the most recent issue of the SanParks letter about a what they call a "disturbing trend": seems like a dramatic change in the sex ratio among KTP lions, favouring males over females which researcher fear could lead to a decline of the population and ultimately, their extinction.

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@@ice thanks for posting. How interesting (and marvellous) that male lions in KTP are doing so well that this is a subject for research when elsewhere they seem to be under so much pressure. I wonder what game management strategies might be initiated to address this imbalance?

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@@Treepol

 

no strategies yet as they are still in the process of obtaining basic data - so far they were (according to the article) able to identify 195 individual lions in the park (though I am not sure they also went in the Botswana side)

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@@ice is that 195 male lions or both male and female lions?

 

A very healthy count I would think for KTP, even without the Botswana side.

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195 total - and once again, the scientists believe it's not so healthy after all, since there seem to be too many males and too few females

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  • 3 weeks later...

@@Treepol some great sightings in this thread and your other TR.

Can't wait to get to my beloved KTP in a month's time! :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

@@Atravelynn, we originally had thought to visit the Sesfontein and Kunene areas, but that was such a lot of time in the north that we transferred six days from the north to Kgalagadi. Based on our 2011 experience I knew this would allow for a decent exploration of the southern part of the park which we didn't get to in 2011. I planned to be in the Caprivi in early-mid September for Carmine Bee-eaters and as were were travelling clockwise from Kgalagadi to Maun, KTP was at the 'front' of the itinerary.

 

The main difference was the temperature - much warmer in August than July. We saw less cheetah and lion this time in overall numbers, but many more male lions which are always welcome. We missed leopard - in 2011 our only sighting was of a male that walked onto the road, 30 seconds earlier or later and we would have missed it. This year we saw Spotted Eagle Owl rather than Giant Eagle Owl and I think overall there were more raptors. We saw bat-eared fox both trips, with more sightings of more individual animals in 2011. The African Wild Cat, meerkats, honey badger and I think Cape Fox were seen this trip, none in 2011.

I see I asked a similar question in your other report, and you answered similarly. Oh well, it takes 7 exposures to info for it to sink in. So I'll probably be posing the same when did you go and what was it like 5 more times throughout the various forums. :blink:

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