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2 February – The Cheetah Hunt

 

The nature has its ways to redeem those that are not complaining against her (the weather is not good, the sightings are poor, etc). This day was as good as it gets, the Kgalagadi way. We have had several great sightings, each would be a highlight of a day, on a normal day! At the end of the day we have taken 1000+ photos, almost the double of our average on a "normal" day.

 

We woke up into a heavily overcasted day yet the light was soft and almost perfect for photography. There are several huge trees in Nossob Camp but unfortunately none in front of our cabin.

 

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We headed northbound and were surprised again by how lush and green the Nossob riverbed was. The grazers enjoyed this as much as we did.

 

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At Cubitje Quap the sun came out and it was time for birding.

 

Cape Turtle Doves Trio

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Yellow Canary

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Next stop was Kwang waterhole and there it was, our first grand moment of this day. A lovely brown hyena was quenching her thirst at the waterhole.

 

Arriving at the waterhole

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Brown Hyena looks surprisingly nice!

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Is there any danger in that direction?

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One more portrait

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That's it, folks!

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Is it time for breakfast already?

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Seeing the Brown Hyena was high on my personal list of sightings. Just below the leopard. They are cute with their long fur, although based on other photos I have expected to be more brownish in colour.

 

(to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(continued)   This morning highlight happened half way between Bedinkt and Langklaas waterholes. A lonely car was parked along the roadside. We stopped to ask why. There was a cheetah lying in the r

2 February – The Cheetah Hunt   The nature has its ways to redeem those that are not complaining against her (the weather is not good, the sightings are poor, etc). This day was as good as it gets,

(continued)   As there was a break in the activity as young lions have moved away from the waterhole, and adults didn't showed yet, we have quickly entered the camp gates, and parked the car next to

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Tom Kellie

~ @@xelas

 

Thank you so much for the generous brown hyena series.

Easily among the clearest brown hyena images I've ever seen.

The turtle doves and canary are excellent bird images.

Tom K.

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@@xelas

Those are superb pictures of the brown hyena. A highlight of any safari I would imagine. Beautiful!

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Galana

What an excellent first day. Lovely and green which is as big a surprise as a Brownie on your first outing. Lovely animal. I am envious as I am of the trip.

More please.

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michael-ibk

Very excited about the Brown Hyena, great photos! My number one "Target Animal" for May!

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"The hyena has left the waterhole!" and thus also we have left this first stage. Mere 10 minutes driving away (I should write "Around the next corner" but you all know how straight are the two main roads in Kgalagadi :) ) there was already the next scene.

 

A Black-backed Jackal was smiling from ear-to-ear while circling around a huge carcas of a wildebeest. In fact, it was 1/2 of the whole animal still intact. No other concurrents around; no hyenas, not even vultures. The lucky jackpot winner took his time having an excellent high protein breakfast.

 

And the jackpot goes to ...

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I am such a lucky jackal

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The blue wildebeest is a huge animal, and I am still at awe of what force was there at work to rip the rear part of the animal clean off, and took it somewhere without a trace on the ground. This is how the blue wildebeest looks in full size

 

Looking for the buddy

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Once the first jackal has its share and moved away ...

 

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The second lucky jackal arrived. This one acts as he was not sure that the animal is really dead!

 

What happened to you, my friend?

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Move your head, I know you can do it!

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We have scanned the horizon constantly as we were sure there must be lions around. Yet the jackals were all calm. After a while we left the second scene only to enter into the next one!

 

(to be continued)

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It is difficult to keep track of all you kind souls that are showing the interest in my (not so good) writing and Zvezda's excellent photo skills!

 

Thus I am welcoming also, @@JohnR , @@PT123 , @@Sverker , @@Thursday's Child , @@ZaminOz , @@Patty and @@madaboutcheetah !

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Galana

More good sightings and excellent photographs. Looks like a lion kill to me as they enter from the rear. So it does pay to keep a sharp eye somewhere mid field. They are out there.

Maybe you failed to hear the answer to "What happened to you, my friend?". I love the expression on the Wildebeeste 'face!' in that shot.

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@@xelas - great stuff with the brownie and the jackal sequence is also a great sighting. Really like the one with the jackal tugging on the head of the wildebeest as I am guessing that the just the head of a dead wildebeest outweighs a whole jackal several times over.

 

Good job with leaving Jamesons with your host. I'm sure they will remember you as generous guests with extremely good taste.

 

kind regards

 

deano.

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@@xyz99

 

About self-driving I am not a proper person to give you impartial advice ... as I am a hard core slef-driving enthusiast (to the limit of deciding to self drive on our next trip, in Sri Lanka).

 

However, spotting the wildlife is easy. Big birds of prey are usually on top of the trees, or on dead branches. Small birds, if not very colourful, I just skip (to the horor of all proper birders out there).

In Etosha and in Kgalagadi (the only two parks we have visited in Africa) there are not many roads. One eyes adapts quite quickly to the "anomalies" in the nature order. Zvezda is much better spotter for distant subjects,

and I can catch the bird if it flies or is of bright colour. If all that fails, there is always someone parked along the road, and she/he will gladly share with you what is the reason for that. That is true specially for Kgalagadi where there are

only 2 proper game drive roads.

 

Cooking ... hahaha ... you are asking me for advices?! Ready for some rice&can diet :P ?! But once one came prepared it is easy job. True is braai is the most useful tool, and meat the most eaten food. With proper logistic one can

have much more varied menu than we have had ... but we are learning all the time! Myself I have loved the thick soups Zvezda cooked, using meat and sweet potatoe and carrots etc plus curry. Braaing meat was also much easier and more enjoyable affair than back home ... maybe because of the G&T?! We have skipped on fresh salad (not often on our table also back home) but we did have tomatoes, both as side dish and as salad.

Others will add their more expert advices. Yet bottom line: cooking is easy ... and funny. Just don't overdue it ... on your first attempt.

Two very important advices: bring with you 1 very sharp knife and 1 non-stickig (teflon) pan.

Milk we did not use, but with the fridge we have had, we could.

One more important piece of advice: do not buy all of your food at the beginning of the trip. We have shared 1/3 of our meat, and all the rice, because we have bought too much. Due to logistical reasons, we have had to discard all the bread (who cooked itself in the big black plastic container) and half of our vegetables (which has drowned in the cooler box when the ice in the bag has melted).

In Kgalagadi shops at all three main camps have decent selection of food so even if the prices were 25-30% higher than outside the park, re-stocking would be less expensive, in our case.

 

How the proper "camping cooking" will go, you will need to ask me after our May 2017 Namibia camping trip!!

 

Self-driving and self-cooking is much more enjoyable than waiting for the dinner at Dolomite Camp :) !

Hi Xelas. Enjoying your KTP TR. Self driving in Sri Lanka will not be that easy. It is indeed a very crowded place. Yala N Reserve is the place with the highest density of naturally occurring leopards, in the world ! It is a beautiful park, much like the ones we are used in Africa. For birds try Bundala NP, a treasure! Happy traveling, just waiting for the remaining of your TR.

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Treepol

@@xelas fabulous brown hyena sequence.

 

I can't believe how green the Nossob riverbed is - such a change from the red sand of mid-year.

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Nothing surprising about that brown hyena @@xelas that shaggy fur makes them pretty damn cute! They along with meerkats for the wife are on the top of our have not seen bucket list.

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Marks

Really like the two lappet-faced vultures on page 3, and of course the brown hyena. The jackal jackpot (pun intended?) is also great.

The lightning storm sounds like an excellent experience, photos or not.

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Amazing stuff! I don't know where to look first, birds, lions, cheetah, jackals, brown hyenas (and I thought all hyenas are like the one we saw in Kruger, spotted)...keep it coming. Not sure when our next Africa trip will be, but I think it will be sooner than originally planned :)

 

Thanks for all the driving and cooking details. Sounds exciting, but I'm not sure it's for us. I guess we'll stick to camps...we might drive for the day, but we'd better have someone else cook for us. I can't imagine having to fly with a non-stick pan, ha-ha.

 

And not only I learned more about South Africa, but now I need to thank apfac for adding Sri Lanka on my list...

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cheetah80

I can't get over how green it is! I have always visited in dry season and this looks like a completely different park! Great photos of the Brown Hyena - always a highlight. And that's a really nicely groomed and healthy looking specimen.

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xelas

@@deano

 

It was not an easy decision, about Jameson :huh: . Luckily a bottle of the same waited for me back home :P .

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xelas

@@apfac

 

Thanks for your vote for Bundala NP. And I do understand that driving "ethics" are very different in Sri Lanka. Yet, what can a "self-driving afficionado" do?!

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xelas

@@Treepol

 

And it happened in less than 2 weeks!! There is a video on YouTube of Auob river "flowing"; the riverbed was brown and dusty!

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xelas

@@dlo

 

This specimen looks very nicely groomed. The spotted hyenas we have seen later were not so clean ... or cute.

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xelas

@@Marks

 

I was hoping for some good shots ... maybe next time?!

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xelas

@@xyz99

 

As there is only one restaurant in whole of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, one has to bring the cook along :) .

Sri Lanka is unchartered territory also for me ... There will be a TR upon our returning.

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xelas

@@cheetah80

 

Kgalagadi this time looked very different to Kgalagadi we have been to in May also to us!

 

It seems that it changes its character each season.

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Galana

 

@xelas No my friend. Not sloppy at all.Your clear photos depict the Black-backed Jackal not the Side-striped species. :blink:

Two visual aids.Side-striped looks totally grey/brown with NO black back and no white tip to tail and the fact that Side-striped would be a long way from home in KTFP as the nearest known range is in Kruger. :D

 

Keep em coming.

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xelas

@@Galana

 

Glad to hear that I am better with mammals then with birds :blink: ! 5 more hours till next post B) .

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@@xyz99

 

As there is only one restaurant in whole of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, one has to bring the cook along :) .

Sri Lanka is unchartered territory also for me ... There will be a TR upon our returning.

 

Bring the cook....now, that's a problem...

 

When are you going to Sri Lanka? And then Namibia in May? I love your TR and your pics, can't wait to read more about your adventures, my friend :)

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