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TonyQ

Great to see the brown hyena - and a lovely jackal. And even more caracal - what an excellent trip!

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Thank you all for the kind comments. The skies and vast scenery in the KTP are one of the reasons we can't stay away!   Last camp this trip Urikaruus. Its so popular its fully booked for most of the

Next stop Karoo National Park. It was an easy drive from Franschhoek although it took all day. The Karoo NP is huge with huge scenery to go with it. The bungalow we stayed in looked out onto the mount

Animals etc we saw driving out from and in Kieliekrankie wilderness camp. The leopard, the first we have seen in the park, was only there for a moment so no chance of good photographs. But at least we

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penolva

We had a lovely drive and there were lots of ostritch, red hartebeest, oryx and red sand dunes. The sky started to fill with clouds but at that point it didn't look as if a storm was brewing.

 

We got to Gharagab and Eric and the lions were there to welcome us back. They were the same lions we saw last year except the male had been busy and his ladies were in the family way. Looked ready to give birth any day. Eric said they had stayed around camp since last September and had been mating in front of his unit. It was lovely to see them again and see the male drink just as he had in September, just from the other side of the waterhole.

 

We unpacked and settled in when I noticed the sky was getting dark. John went to Eric's unit to take some pictures of the storm approaching. Within moments it hit camp and I was frantically trying to zip up the window covers as John made a run for it. The wind was like a tornado, the thunder directly overhead sounded as if the world was ending, the sand was blown so hard it was like sandpaper on your skin. We thought the unit might take off. Then the rain started and the poor lions were still at the waterhole. As the storm gathered strength they walked away in disgust and we didn't see them again. Next time!

 

I took video from inside the unit as the bathroom filled with sand and water behind us. No zips there just velcro, velcro does not work in a storm like that. Then the lightening started as well. It was absolutly thrilling. :o

 

It passed over the valley and we could see it continue in the distance. Meanwhile the sun came out and the birds started singing as a double rainbow appeared overhead. The colours in the photographs are exactly as it was that day. So very beautiful.

 

The next morning another brown hyena was at the waterhole and a whistling rat popped out of his burrow. How he survived the deluge i don't know. The brown hyena walked off across the red sand between the green trees and grasses. I thought his lone figure in the wilderness summed up the beauty of this place for us. We love it so much at Gharagab and have already booked for 3 nights there next March. We did ask Eric if he would like to swop lives with us, he laughed.

 

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penolva

Here is the video in case you didn't see it in the photography section. @gamewarden can you do what you do to show the begining again please? thanks

 

https://youtu.be/JvRgeG0aHfk

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xelas

We had a storm last year in Etosha, it was just a little baby compared to yours! And the light that came after the storm ... incredible! Even the lions have tough time to compete for the audience!

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Earthian

I notice that some water throughs have been made to provide water (to wild animals). In bhandhavgarh this has been a contentious issue since most sightings do take place in the vicinity of the trough. Wont the animal's behavioural characteristics change?

secondly for us photographers, it almost seems like cheating, apart from being an eyesore.

Edited by Earthian
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Atravelynn

That does look like a thrilling storm. How nice it produced a double rainbow. And how nice the luck of the double rainbow brought in another brown hyena! This one looks a little wary. Maybe still spooked by the thunder and lightning.

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penolva

@@Earthian the difference with the Kgalagadi is that it is a true desert region. Without the man made waterholes I doubt the animals would survive a drought in the national park. The Orange river is near but of course nowadays humans have taken over the area completely. I prefer the waterholes to be more natural looking. The trough at Gharagab used to be like that but was changed to the 'bath tub' as the oryx were damaging the pipes apparently.

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Marks

@@Tom Kellie it's a sociable weavers nest. Very common in Kgalagadi, Namibia. Lovely birds very entertaining

 

I was glad Tom asked about this. I meant to as well, but completely forgot by the time I started typing my reply.

 

The roaring lion video was nice. I have actually yet to hear a lion's roar in person!

 

The brown hyenas are marvelous sightings - and you have seen 5 of them? I have to keep my jealousy in check. :)

 

Your skies continue to be breathtaking throughout. The lightning shots are especially impressive.

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Alexander33

I second those who have commented on the astuteness of your photography. I love the shots above of the storm and the lightning, followed by the sedate scene with the rainbow. The light in that image is almost other-worldly.

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penolva

Thank you all for the kind comments. The skies and vast scenery in the KTP are one of the reasons we can't stay away!

 

Last camp this trip Urikaruus. Its so popular its fully booked for most of the year and we have to check for cancellations to be able to stay there. If we ring 11 months in advance, by the time we get through, its usually booked for the whole month, but cancellations come up all the time if you keep checking. Its our second favourite after Gharagab.

 

Set on two levels with two decks it overlooks its own waterhole which is much more natural than the one at Gharagab and much nearer. Lunch on the deck during the heat of the day was very enjoyable. The early morning and late evening drives we did from Urikaruus brought some very special sightings and the light was incredible.

 

We stopped to photograph a lilac breasted roller as it presented a perfect pose. We have seen lots before but they are beautiful birds and not that easy to photograph. It suddenly dropped down to the ground and then hopped back onto the branch with a worm/snake in its beak and proceeded to kill and eat it. Very unusual to see and photograph. We were the only car there as everyone else drove by. It was only a bird after all :rolleyes:

 

Giraffe were reintroduced to the KTP in 1990 having been brought from Etosha NP. Three bulls and five cows were kept in a boma at Mata Mata and eventually released in 1998. The population has expanded to at least 40 and are doing very well. We found them early in the morning with the young ones practicing 'necking' and in the evening they were sitting down, never seen that before! or climbing out of the valley for the night.

 

Just after a beautiful family of bat eared foxes ran down the road in front of us and then stopped to hunt and play very near the road. We have glimpsed these elusive animals before but have never seen them so close or for so long. They really made our last day in the park special.

 

On our way out of the park the following morning there were large herds of oryx gathered, too many to count.

 

Next stop Mokala NP.

 

 

Urikaruus and morning drive photographs

 

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Marks

Awesome LBR sequence!

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penolva

Evening drive and the oryx as we left the following morning.

 

 

 

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michael-ibk

Great sightings - love the Lilac-Breasted-Roller with the Lilac kill, but also the Bat-Eared-Foxes. You had a fantastic stay in the Kgalagadi, thank you for sharing the experience!

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Earthian

awesome...just awesome. the LBR is pure class- the photograph, i mean. The bokeh background is beautiful. and what a catch..again i mean the timing of the photograph. :)

you are gifted @@penolva. Better insure your talent :rolleyes:

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Earthian

@@Earthian the difference with the Kgalagadi is that it is a true desert region. Without the man made waterholes I doubt the animals would survive a drought in the national park. The Orange river is near but of course nowadays humans have taken over the area completely. I prefer the waterholes to be more natural looking. The trough at Gharagab used to be like that but was changed to the 'bath tub' as the oryx were damaging the pipes apparently.

@@Tom Kellie

 

all life in our planet has evolved since time immemorial - a few billion years ago- and they have adapted, evolved and survived. some species ( is that the right word ?) have died-only to be replaced by another resilient one. this seems to be the natural order of things. Why then, try and change it by providing water in supposedly inhospitable regions? are we not making that life dependable on us?

i think this is a debate i would be very interested in participating. or has this already been discussed in ST?

Edited by Earthian
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penolva

awesome...just awesome. the LBR is pure class- the photograph, i mean. The bokeh background is beautiful. and what a catch..again i mean the timing of the photograph. :)

you are gifted @@penolva. Better insure your talent :rolleyes:

@@Earthian too kind :wub:

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penolva

 

@@Earthian the difference with the Kgalagadi is that it is a true desert region. Without the man made waterholes I doubt the animals would survive a drought in the national park. The Orange river is near but of course nowadays humans have taken over the area completely. I prefer the waterholes to be more natural looking. The trough at Gharagab used to be like that but was changed to the 'bath tub' as the oryx were damaging the pipes apparently.

@@Tom Kellie

 

all life in our planet has evolved since time immemorial - a few billion years ago- and they have adapted, evolved and survived. some species ( is that the right word ?) have died-only to be replaced by another resilient one. this seems to be the natural order of things. Why then, try and change it by providing water in supposedly inhospitable regions? are we not making that life dependable on us?

i think this is a debate i would be very interested in participating. or has this already been discussed in ST?

 

I think I would argue that these animals lived in the region long before man arrived. When the nomadic San people lived in the area they lived in harmony with the plants and animals and the balance of nature maintained. Things changed when settlers and farmers moved in and impacted on the San, animals and plants. I think if humans change the environment then humans should try to make amends and if that means drilling a bore hole or two then I support that. Pen

Edited by penolva
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xelas

@penolva: Fantastic LBR series! My wife is a LBR fan yet we have not seen them as many as they we had in Etosha. Time of year (April) or general situation??

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penolva

@penolva: Fantastic LBR series! My wife is a LBR fan yet we have not seen them as many as they we had in Etosha. Time of year (April) or general situation??

@@xelas they are fairly common in KTP and we were just very lucky with this one. Pen

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Earthian

@penlova

 

take the case of the white polar bears. they evolved from brown bears. over a period of time, by a quirk of evolution, and survival of the fittest, white bears thrived in that region and brown bears became extinct ( in the polar regions)

 

now with global warming and the ice cap melting, would a reversal take place? taking your argument we cannot hope to make amends there, the way we have made in KTP.

true, if this continues, the white bear could become endangered, but so have a million species over the past 4 billion years.

 

Behaving as the devil's advocate here- want you to prove me wrong :unsure:

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Towlersonsafari

We are enjoying this trip report as much as the last one! In respect of the borehole question they were mostly dug to encourage farmers in an effort to attract settlers and not for the benefit of wildlife.One could argue that the boreholes off set the artificial constraints on animal movement that inhibits wildlife from finding other water sources

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penolva

@penlova

 

take the case of the white polar bears. they evolved from brown bears. over a period of time, by a quirk of evolution, and survival of the fittest, white bears thrived in that region and brown bears became extinct ( in the polar regions)

 

now with global warming and the ice cap melting, would a reversal take place? taking your argument we cannot hope to make amends there, the way we have made in KTP.

true, if this continues, the white bear could become endangered, but so have a million species over the past 4 billion years.

 

Behaving as the devil's advocate here- want you to prove me wrong :unsure:

Hi @@Earthian I would prefer if this thread is continued away from my trip report before it takes over. Thanks Pen Edited by penolva
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Tom Kellie

 

@@Earthian the difference with the Kgalagadi is that it is a true desert region. Without the man made waterholes I doubt the animals would survive a drought in the national park. The Orange river is near but of course nowadays humans have taken over the area completely. I prefer the waterholes to be more natural looking. The trough at Gharagab used to be like that but was changed to the 'bath tub' as the oryx were damaging the pipes apparently.

@@Tom Kellie

 

all life in our planet has evolved since time immemorial - a few billion years ago- and they have adapted, evolved and survived. some species ( is that the right word ?) have died-only to be replaced by another resilient one. this seems to be the natural order of things. Why then, try and change it by providing water in supposedly inhospitable regions? are we not making that life dependable on us?

i think this is a debate i would be very interested in participating. or has this already been discussed in ST?

 

 

~ @Earthian:

 

You wrote my name above. However, I'd never yet visited much less commented on this section of @@penolva's lovely trip report.

It's @@penolva who had made the comment to which you were responding, not me.

I had nothing to do with this topic or question, although upon reading it I see its merits.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

We stopped to photograph a lilac breasted roller as it presented a perfect pose. We have seen lots before but they are beautiful birds and not that easy to photograph. It suddenly dropped down to the ground and then hopped back onto the branch with a worm/snake in its beak and proceeded to kill and eat it. Very unusual to see and photograph. We were the only car there as everyone else drove by. It was only a bird after all

 

~ @penolva:

 

What you've written mirrors my own experience.

The ‘it's only a bird’ mindset is entrenched and widespread.

What you eloquently described regularly happens to me during game drives, including as recently as last week in Masai Mara.

Yet by having a lively interest in the avian world, the pleasure of being on safari is effectively doubled.

I highly appreciate your comment.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

post-49296-0-07209600-1431548683_thumb.jpg post-49296-0-81917700-1431548694_thumb.jpg

~ @penolva:

 

What terrific images!

The giraffe trio looks as though they're doing the '70s dance, ‘the bump’.

The meal is what I'd love to tuck into during any safari.

Your bat-eared foxes are a very special sighting.

What a pleasing trip report you're sharing with us. Considering the care and planning necessary to write any trip report, I'm grateful for your effort.

With Appreciation,

Tom K.

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