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Kgalagadi Summer: Self-Drive and Self-Catering (!) in South Africa, January 2015


Tdgraves
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@Tdgraves: that 90 minutes of waiting really payed off ... what a great shot!! And the light ... hard to describe. We have followed a couple of pros also, and on one occasion, with great sighting which we would otherwise missed.

 

42 degrees centigrades ... so this is how hot it will be in Kgalagadi in February??!!

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@@xelas that was the highest temperature it got to and it seemed to be in one area of a valley. Once the weather cleared and it was blue sky and sunshine, the afternoon temperatures were about 34-36 degrees

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Great photos of the lions drinking, @@Tdgraves...and good for you to sit tight and wait for the lion to awake!

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Nice afternoon!

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Great photos of the lions drinking, @@Tdgraves...and good for you to sit tight and wait for the lion to awake!

Thanks @@graceland. sometimes it is really difficult to decide what to do. When you have invested so much time, it feels wrong to leave, but it was very hot. We got proved right, but being a lion, he could've easily stayed asleep....

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Neat shot of the secretaries drinking, and your patience with the lion was certainly rewarded. I guess that makes up for the earlier drive with no photos to show for it! Please pass along my compliments to your OH as well; that is a very endearing canine portrait.

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A couple of videos of the pride, mainly for the audio. It was already after sunset, so the grainy effect is the high ISO setting of the 7D

 

 

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Day 7 Morning Drive from Nossob South

 

We decided to have a lie in, or as much of one as you can with all the cars driving past. We thought we'd wander across to the hide, as a lot of people seemed to go to the hide prior to going on a drive. The brown hyaena was often spotted in this way. We didn't spot him, but some impala were having a drink, just as the light got nice. First with a lanner falcon flying in the foreground

 

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It was a gamble which direction the lions had moved in, so we went south

 

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And a lovely agama, who posed beautifully for me

 

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And then a pair of bat eared foxes frolicking. Unfortunately far away and this was to be our only sighting

 

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No lions, but a pretty good drive

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Poor Springbok - looks like the horn is growing out of its eye! :)

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Poor Springbok - looks like the horn is growing out of its eye! :)

 

I don't think it had much peripheral vision!!

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@@Tdgraves..cheetah gangs are fantastic..also jumping springbok..

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The lion was worth the wait - lovely pictures through the grass - the colour and light contribute to beautiful photos

The agama is a fine animal - and I love your springbok photos.

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Day 7 Evening drive North from Nossob

 

We thought we would go north, having been south in the morning. There were a couple of cars parked at cubitje quap waterhole and I could see something dark within it, as we approached to park up next to them I realised what it was, a bateleur!

 

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It was quite hot again and as we dutifully passed each waterhole, there was not much around. We got as far north as we felt comfortable with in order to get back to the gate in time and turned back south again. We got to Kwang water hole and again there was not much around. As my OH was turning the car around, he said "all we need to see now is a leopard walking down the road". "Ha ha ha", said I. No sooner had he said this, than he said "well there is a big male lion there instead". Pointing to the thick bush on the opposite side of the road. But almost immediately changed his mind and wondered whether it was a trick of the light. However, he was indeed correct! 1-0 to him (I'm normally the game spotter). A perfect vantage point in the shade to watch whoever comes for a drink. It was very difficult to focus through the branches, so we inched backwards and forwards to try and get the best view.

 

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We were the only vehicle and we stayed as long as we dare, to see if he made a move towards the water, but unfortunately it was not to be. We had to get moving before the gate closed. When we got back to cubitje quap, there was something brown there. A brown hyaena! Our only sighting of the trip and boy did he stink!! Presumably he was the one who frequented the Nossob water hole.

 

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Not a bad day! I'll leave you with one from the OH, which he'll claim was on purpose, but I can guarantee was a fluke!!

 

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Love the Hyena shots - although he does look quite a bit like an Ork there. :)

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Really nice light on the brown hyena! The reddish one, no fluke, a lot of training is needed to get one. Mine are usually more darker, like completely black :P !

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Lovely brown hyena images and gorgeous jackal portrait

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just come across this fantastic pictures especially the cheetahs, we saw some last year, but never saw a lion.

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sorry to hear that @@Red Squirrel as you can see from the TR, it took us quite a few days before we found them....

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That last bateleur shot is superb.

 

Enjoying all of the photos, whether they are flukes or not. ;)

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thanks @@Marks it doesn't matter how they are obtained, it is the result which counts ;)

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Day 8 Morning drive from Nossob North

 

After our lie-in the previous day, we decided that we would get up and go when the gates opened. What we failed to take into account was that it was now February and not January, which meant the gates did not open until 6am. The OH was not happy that I'd set the alarm at 5 :angry:

 

As I joined the queue at the office, waiting for the staff to appear, I had a chat with the photographer we met, Gerhard and another pro-photographer arrived. By the time we had our permits, there was quite a queue to leave the gates. I was happy that we had inadvertently spanned the two months, as it was already very light at 6am and there would have been no way that we would have seen the cape foxes, for example on a morning drive that was so light.

 

We were in a mini convoy headed north and there was not much about, which was a shame as the light was lovely

 

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However, at about the third waterhole, which is quite close to the road, some oryx decided to give us a show

 

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Time to go back to camp for a quick breakfast, pack up and check out.

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Amazing sighting of the brown hyena. I really like the pictures

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@@Tdgraves I have just read your report for the second time all the way through at one sitting. It's superb! I especially like the action shots: cheetahs sprinting and playing, pronking springbok, oryx putting on a show, the goshawk in flight, and not to overlook the brown hyena, honey badger, lions, jackals, the impressive storm and so much more. As we are plannning a self drive trip to Kgalagadi and Namibia next year I also found your practical information extremely useful. Thank you so much for posting this.

 

 

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Thanks @@Pennyanne, but it's not finished yet - three days in mata mata to go....

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