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Thanks for "De Scoop" on De Hoop.

 

"One animal I was really hoping to see...was the Bontebok." Me too and De Hoop looks like spot for certain sightings. Plus Rhebok. Must admit that was a new one for me. Thanks for the education.

 

You have laid out the different habitats of De Hoop for us so nicely. Those white sands look like the snow in the Austrian Alps. Nice colorful fynbos opportunities too! If the boat rides stop, we all got to take one with you. The sunset shot of the boat should be part of their marketing materials if the boat is allowed to continue. But I understand and support protecting all those birds that you got such great shots of!

 

I must say you have mastered that new camera of yours!

 

Two nts to De Hoop. You saw so much, such variety of habitat, plus the boat! All this in "effectively only one day" at De Hoop. I know you said the boat was 3-ish hours. And then there was the photography of the creatures out and about between your cottage and the restaurant. About how much time did you spend driving? When did you get there and when did you leave? You really packed in a lot of cool viewing into that approximately 24 hour time period. And by the looks of the dining, you wouldn't want to cut that short.

 

The 5-day whale walk is very enticing. Thanks for alerting us.

 

So De Hoop was a big success!

Edited by Atravelynn
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Some magnificent sightings and photography Michael!

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@@dlo

 

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park should be put high on your to-go list. Just be aware that Wilderness Camps booking has to be done 11 months in advance; you wait obe day and they are all gone ...

 

The problem is the list is long and the flights are so long from Canada I would rather do fewer long trips than make the long flights on a regular basis. So after Kenya this year its a 2 year break until we go back and then I'm already committed to Gorillas and Kili. Perhaps you or @@Towlersonsafari would like to join me on Kili and then I could tag along to South Africa after that!

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Thank you, @Panthera Pardus ! I think it was you in the first place who got so many of us interested in the Kalahari. We miss you and @Sharifa here on Safaritalk, surely you must have had many great trips and sightings in South Africa in the last year?

 

We have, but also been busy with lots of business travel. Will try to share some of the sightings on ST :)

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@@michael-ibk just started reading your trip report and I cannot stop. Have to keep on reading. Love the report, love the pictures, specially the one of the seal in the tire and one of the little birds (sorry I am no birder) in the flower in the botanical garden.

 

Also like your info about Augrabies. We are going there next year November so I am now even looking more forward to this trip. I hope to stay in the Gorge cottage.

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@@michael-ibk

 

I've been away for a couple of weeks, so I'm just getting caught back up. You are making me nostalgic for that beautiful red sand. So glad you got your meerkats, and then some, plus your brown hyena -- and Cape foxes! I've never seen the latter two.

 

You and I share the same philosophy. The cheetah mother and her four cubs were simply meant to be -- you just didn't know at the time that it would require a torturously slow drive with 9 other tourists for several hours in order for it to unfold. But that was all part of the Grand Plan. :)

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Ive been having a really lousy day, in fact a rather awful week, but you just made me laugh and smile and focussed for those minutes I took to read your night drive.

 

Adorable baby "badgers", especially the curious one. And brown hyena!!! Im so jealous, but so happy for you . And of course for @@AndMic for the endearing meerkats.

Edited by Kitsafari
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Thanks again, everybody! :)

 

Just all around excellent sightings and a great job you and @@xelas have done bringing Kgalagadi to life, looks like i'll add it to the list!

 

I´m sure you won´t regret it, @@dlo !

 

@@michael-ibk

Looking at the picture of Dante's cooking - did you invite another 3 people over without telling us? :P

 

Those were just the starters, Tony. ;)

 

 

Where are the painted faces shots?

 

Classified of course, Lynn. But I will tell you a secret - for just a second my painted face is right here in the report, hidden in plain sight ...don´t tell anybody!

 

 

This was a challenge I could not back down from. I had to find your painted face. I scrutinized all the penguins with their pink paint-like patches but did not find a good likeness. Then I found you. Post 27, video, about the 37th second.

 

Good job, Lynn - but do not tell! :)

 

Thanks for "De Scoop" on De Hoop.

 

"One animal I was really hoping to see...was the Bontebok." Me too and De Hoop looks like spot for certain sightings. Plus Rhebok. Must admit that was a new one for me. Thanks for the education.

 

You have laid out the different habitats of De Hoop for us so nicely. Those white sands look like the snow in the Austrian Alps. Nice colorful fynbos opportunities too! If the boat rides stop, we all got to take one with you. The sunset shot of the boat should be part of their marketing materials if the boat is allowed to continue. But I understand and support protecting all those birds that you got such great shots of!

 

I must say you have mastered that new camera of yours!

 

Two nts to De Hoop. You saw so much, such variety of habitat, plus the boat! All this in "effectively only one day" at De Hoop. I know you said the boat was 3-ish hours. And then there was the photography of the creatures out and about between your cottage and the restaurant. About how much time did you spend driving? When did you get there and when did you leave? You really packed in a lot of cool viewing into that approximately 24 hour time period. And by the looks of the dining, you wouldn't want to cut that short.

 

The 5-day whale walk is very enticing. Thanks for alerting us.

 

So De Hoop was a big success!

 

Thanks, Lynn! We did not start too early, because both mornings I spent some time just walking around near the cottages and the lake. We started at about 08:30 the first day and left around 09:00 the secon day I believe. We returned from our drive for a late lunch (about 13:00), and had spent about two hours of that at the beach, I´d say. After the boat drive we had maybe 45 minutes to drive around, and we went pretty straight out when we left.

 

Very surprised you´ve never seen a Rhebok - I was sure you must have seen everything!

 

 

 

 

Thank you, @Panthera Pardus ! I think it was you in the first place who got so many of us interested in the Kalahari. We miss you and @Sharifa here on Safaritalk, surely you must have had many great trips and sightings in South Africa in the last year?

 

We have, but also been busy with lots of business travel. Will try to share some of the sightings on ST :)

 

 

Looking forward to it! :)

 

@@michael-ibk just started reading your trip report and I cannot stop. Have to keep on reading. Love the report, love the pictures, specially the one of the seal in the tire and one of the little birds (sorry I am no birder) in the flower in the botanical garden.

 

Also like your info about Augrabies. We are going there next year November so I am now even looking more forward to this trip. I hope to stay in the Gorge cottage.

 

Thank you, @@Ladouce , the Gorge cottage will be super - such a fantastic location! The little bird is a female Greater Double-Collared Sunbird.

 

@@michael-ibk

I've been away for a couple of weeks, so I'm just getting caught back up. You are making me nostalgic for that beautiful red sand. So glad you got your meerkats, and then some, plus your brown hyena -- and Cape foxes! I've never seen the latter two.

You and I share the same philosophy. The cheetah mother and her four cubs were simply meant to be -- you just didn't know at the time that it would require a torturously slow drive with 9 other tourists for several hours in order for it to unfold. But that was all part of the Grand Plan. :)

 

Thanks, Peter! Fortunately the torturously slow drive was only slow for one hours - then it was *BANG* Cheetah.

 

Ive been having a really lousy day, in fact a rather awful week, but you just made me laugh and smile and focussed for those minutes I took to read your night drive.

Adorable baby "badgers", especially the curious one. And brown hyena!!! Im so jealous, but so happy for you . And of course for @@AndMic for the endearing meerkats.

 

Sorry to hear you´re having some hard times, Kit, and glad I could cheer you up a bit. Badgers? Do you mean the Foxes?

Edited by michael-ibk
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On to day 4! We spent the whole day at the Mata Mata area, going down till Kamqua in the morning (and returned to camp at about 13:00), and had a shorter afternoon drive from about 15:30 till 18:00. No Big Cats today unfortunately. We thoroughly looked for Wild Cats in the trees, this is a good area for them, but it was not meant to be. But even without "big" sightings it was a very relaxed and beautiful day.

 

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A Bateleur was perching just above the road, while its partner was nesting in a tree pretty far off.

 

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Gemsbok in the morning light:

 

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All waterholes were buzzing with birds.

 

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Cape Turtle Dove

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Yellow Canary

 

Mata Mata is the only area where one finds Giraffes. They were re-introduced into the park and are doing quite well. Only North in the Auob valley - they never wander too far. At one time a young male wandered almost as far as Twee Riviereen but then went straight back.

 

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Wonderful seeing them - they are such iconic "Africa animals".

 

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Few things are as soothing and peaceful than watching a large Springbok herd.

 


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One of our nicest sightings was a very young Springbok being introduced into the herd.

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At first he stayed strictly by mother´s side.

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But once he realized he was among friends he was very excited.

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And had fun the Springbok way:

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Pronking. :)

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Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill - as mentioned before they were surprisingly rare.

 

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Can´t tell what that bird is? Well, it´s only in here because that was the one and only Vulture we saw here. I had expected them to be quite common in Kgalagadi so this was a surprise. Dantes told us that at certain times they pretty much leave the area. Hunting season had just started over in Namibia, and so they find a lot of food there.

 

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Crowned Lapwing - definitely not rare.

 

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Swallow-Tailed Bee-Eaters - the only Bee-Eaters in this area

 

 

 

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Sandgrouse flock - coming into inredible numbers to some waterholes in the morning.

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Red-Billed Finches

 

I always love when I discover "new" birds just by going through photos. We had actually looked out for Red-Billed Quelea - but had not found any. Or so I thought, because there are some right in this shot - one more for the Big Year. :

 

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Black-Shouldered Kite

 

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The Ground Squirrels often were quite the posers:

 

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One of my "most-wanted" birds for this trip was Pygmy Falcon - and we had some very good sightings this day:

 

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And some shots from the afternoon:

 

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Drongos are very hard to take decent photos of, and most of the time I do not even try. But this one was quite close, close enough for getting their red eyes, and it was friendly enough to linger for a while. Thanks!

 

Kingfishers are not birds one would expect to find in the Kgalagadi.

 

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But here it was - a Striped One. Not exactly out of place, this Kingfisher likes dry areas. Still, they are not seen too often. A very, very patient bird with us, it let us approach extremely close.

 

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Kori Bustard

 

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Yay, glad this report is continuing - I've been missing it! I love springboks pronking and that's a great shot of it you have there! Funny thing, our dog Dusty does a version of that move when he thinks there is a squirrel outside, he bounds out and does a couple of high pronks - it's hilarious! Speaking of squirrels, you got some great squirrel shots, and also some super pygmy falcon and batteleurs!

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A lovely collection of images in this TR.

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Great bird shots, Michael. I especially like the bee eaters and the Pygmy falcon -- one of my favorites as well, but I never managed to get images as good as yours.

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Thanks again, everybody]

 

Sorry to hear you´re having some hard times, Kit, and glad I could cheer you up a bit. Badgers? Do you mean the Foxes?

I was actually referring to the cheetah cubs - those white furry behinds of the cubs looked like the badgers'.

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Great shots of the Springbok and baby.

 

And so many fantastic close-ups among all the others pictures, particularly like the Black-shouldered Kite and the Kori Bustard.

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@@michael-ibk beautiful photos at the beginning of #212.

 

Great captue of the quizzical black shouldered kite, and a great spot with the Striped Kingfisher.

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@@michael-ibk, too many great sightings complimented by your photography. So many raptors. The Pygmy Falcon is a such a great looking little bird, very unique with its red eye ring.

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Thanks, @@Tdgraves , @@SafariChick , @@Geoff , @@Alexander33 , @@Zim Girl , @@Treepol , @@Hads and @@elefromoz ! :)

 

@@michael-ibk Beautiful birds and sunsets. I think you mean red-headed finches though....

 

Absolutely, you´re right.

 

Yay, glad this report is continuing - I've been missing it! I love springboks pronking and that's a great shot of it you have there! Funny thing, our dog Dusty does a version of that move when he thinks there is a squirrel outside, he bounds out and does a couple of high pronks - it's hilarious!

 

Pictures! We need to see Springbok-Dusty!

Edited by michael-ibk
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