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Kgalagadi Jan 2020: Desert, drought and dead eland


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Enjoying this TR from one of my favorite places in Africa.  You are capturing KTP magnificently.  

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On 5/30/2020 at 3:49 PM, Tdgraves said:

After finally getting over what I assume to have been Coronavirus 

well, hot off the press and more than a little surprising, my antibody test was negative! So, must have been some other nasty virus (or the tests aren’t as good as the government claims...)

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Surprising :huh: and perhaps dissappointing. 

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8 minutes ago, Tdgraves said:

well, hot off the press and more than a little surprising, my antibody test was negative! So, must have been some other nasty virus (or the tests aren’t as good as the government claims...)


The tests are not as good as the government claims. Some patients in hospital whom doctors are convinced have  Coronavirus have had to be tested 3 times to achieve a positive result.

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An article about accuracy of antibody tests - two elements, identify those who have not had the disease and those who have. Sounds obvious but different accuracy for each.


I am enjoying the report, some lovely sightings.

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Day 5, Evening drive, Nossob, 21/1/20


First of all, a couple of birds from the stoop


49962960686_b6e9df669d_o.jpgJ19A1034a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49962458568_c465935142_o.jpgJ19A1048a by tdgraves, on Flickr


and the camp waterhole, where there were 4 lanners drinking (but very far away)


49963242512_8c119a65af_o.jpgJ19A1078a by tdgraves, on Flickr


It was not quite as hot (38 degrees) but our initial plan to go South was aborted, as it was so quiet. We did the Marie se Gat loop and did not take a single shot. So back to plan B - go North again. There was a roadblock outside of camp..


49962960916_b9f7509342_o.jpgJ19A1136a by tdgraves, on Flickr


And we slowly drove up to Cubitjie Quap and back.


49963242667_ba86ba4288_o.jpgJ19A1237a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49962961051_6317f372bd_o.jpgJ19A1277a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49963242832_88d3ca14b5_o.jpgJ19A1283a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49962458938_951a5d67bb_o.jpgJ19A1289a by tdgraves, on Flickr


another attempt at the Milky Way


49962459018_7caecec1c0_o.jpg7T4A9508 by tdgraves, on Flickr


Edited by Tdgraves
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Peter Connan

The drinking Wildie is a lovely shot!

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Love the look on the Wildebeest at your road block.

Edited by Hads
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Peter Connan

Thanks for thinking of me.

My company is working again. I am working from home, not from the office, but I actually hope it can continue, as it suits me very well. The time not spent in traffic is very valuable!


It's even getting to the point where we can start getting out and doing something interesting on the weekends!

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55 minutes ago, Peter Connan said:

Thanks for thinking of me.

My company is working again. I am working from home, not from the office, but I actually hope it can continue, as it suits me very well. The time not spent in traffic is very valuable!


It's even getting to the point where we can start getting out and doing something interesting on the weekends!


sounds good - no cigarettes yet though :ph34r:

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Day 6, Morning drive, Nossob, 22/1/20


It was again 16 degrees on departure and I had the 5D. It was time to try going South again, but we didn't get far. We were only just out of the gate, I was the passenger and as I looked out of my side window, there was a male lion, right next to me!! A lot of the sand roads are much lower than the verges, due to the constant grading, so it seemed even more imposing than it actually was! By the time I picked my camera up, he had disappeared into the bush, but his partner was there...


49972541828_20372d4825_o.jpg7T4A9513a by tdgraves, on Flickr


So we had to reverse back, much to the consternation of the vehicle behind us. They were flashing away and eventually their convoy of three passed us. Don't they know why people reverse on safari? Their loss. Although they did eventually work it out, I guess that they must have seen one of the lions when it entered the riverbed. There was a male and two females.


49973321752_ec86065dee_o.jpg7T4A9524a by tdgraves, on Flickr


We were able to turn around and it seemed that they were off to the camp waterhole, so we went back into camp, parked up and waited. As we arrived at the hide, a couple who had been having breakfast there were leaving. I told them to turn around, as three lions were coming, but they carried on, only to return a couple of minutes later, presumably as the translation filtered into their consciousness.... 


Unfortunately, it was still pretty dark as they approached, but still pretty awesome.


49973321872_0c611b6695_o.jpg7T4A9549a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973060131_2d66c96d51_o.jpg7T4A9569a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973060206_82e82aff65_o.jpg7T4A9575a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973060286_c40b00fbf6_o.jpg7T4A9590a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973322272_e08922bcb6_o.jpg7T4A9601a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973322417_95d24081e7_o.jpg7T4A9604a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973060696_e6c6a96ef6_o.jpg7T4A9609a by tdgraves, on Flickr


A couple from the OH with the 7D


49977238163_963669d056_o.jpgJ19A1368a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49978019052_bbec93bae7_o.jpgJ19A1348a by tdgraves, on Flickr


We decided to go back out South again, this was by the gate...


49972542688_8bd7096217_o.jpg7T4A9619a by tdgraves, on Flickr


The rest of the drive was pretty much only birds, we got as far as Kaspersdraai


49973060906_d56b94d4ce_o.jpg7T4A9623a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973322812_f2d5e47899_o.jpg7T4A9642a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973322962_7566c34694_o.jpg7T4A9643a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973323027_aa754ac41e_o.jpg7T4A9645a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973061341_67bde3d247_o.jpg7T4A9687a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973323222_35ef4f34e8_o.jpg7T4A9694a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973061556_ab0f01023f_o.jpg7T4A9700a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973061631_d738ae87a6_o.jpg7T4A9707a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Including quite a lot at the Rooikop hole


49973061806_05ce30722f_o.jpg7T4A9719a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973323627_fd6b2d8158_o.jpg7T4A9759a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49973062076_f83bfabba4_o.jpg7T4A9762a by tdgraves, on Flickr


This wildebeest was very nervous when approaching for a drink and as it was getting very hot (33 degrees), we left it in peace


49973062171_7079a0099f_o.jpg7T4A9800a by tdgraves, on Flickr


When we got back to our room, we were joined by a jackal buzzard, who landed right in front of us


49972544013_fdc6846819_o.jpg7T4A9826a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Time for breakfast

Edited by Tdgraves
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Day 6, Evening drive, Nossob, 22/1/20


From our stoop, we could see 4 black kites sat in a dead tree at the waterhole, so we popped into the hide before setting off on our afternoon drive. They were not in a particularly accessible spot for photos, but a Lanner falcon soon arrived.


49977235183_963b5e373f_o.jpg7T4A9852a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977753931_353f335127_o.jpg7T4A9872a by tdgraves, on Flickr


and the kites took off


49977754056_a89d83ba18_o.jpg7T4A9876a by tdgraves, on Flickr


We decided to go North and got as far as Kwang, which is usually a good waterhole (when the water is not all behind it). It was a whopping 40 degrees when we left. It progressively clouded over and there was some rain-ish!


49978016837_2b08dba941_o.jpg7T4A9888a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49978017037_4ef77bf5ea_o.jpg7T4A9906a by tdgraves, on Flickr


We had been at the hole for quite a time and other vehicles had come and gone. We decided that we would also leave and in the process of turning around, spotted this...


49977754491_ba1591571b_o.jpg7T4A9940a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Whether she had just arrived or had been there the entire time was not clear, but no one else had spotted her, under a bush just next to the road. She was clearly hot and it was not long before she went for a drink


49977754571_2dba1b1732_o.jpg7T4A9942a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977754636_7b307511d0_o.jpg7T4A9948a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977236158_e10ca9bb9a_o.jpg7T4A9960a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977236253_f2ef3feb8f_o.jpg7T4A9966a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977236348_6632df43eb_o.jpg7T4A9988a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977236688_3e555475aa_o.jpg7T4A9992a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49978017987_8ff679463a_o.jpg7T4A9999a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Drink finished - she made a beeline to the same spot, where we were parked


49977236583_191df5ba66_o.jpg7T4A0026a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977755301_43d2b46900_o.jpg7T4A0038a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49978018162_b7095e64e2_o.jpg7T4A0063a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977755511_e2eb1d8a59_o.jpg7T4A0079a by tdgraves, on Flickr


venturing out a bit when the heat went over


49977755696_2e2b4c6108_o.jpg7T4A0085a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977755791_33c964f0e2_o.jpg7T4A0097a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977755941_4a002df80c_o.jpg7T4A0105a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977756031_d9daf0126c_o.jpg7T4A0124a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977238283_43be830385_o.jpg7T4A0141a by tdgraves, on Flickr


A couple from the OH on the 7D

49977756821_45cc1ed65a_o.jpgJ19A1612a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977757036_7079033c7c_o.jpgJ19A1653a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49977238463_449bfdce75_o.jpgJ19A1567a by tdgraves, on Flickr


No astrophotography tonight, I can't remember why. Possibly due to a power cut, which we did have one night during our stay in Nossob. Lasted over an hour, but they then left it on late to compensate.

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the arrival of the Lanner falcon looks spectacular.

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Wonderful Goshawk sequence and the Lanner Falcon landing is superb

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Thanks Martin

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Peter Connan
On 6/6/2020 at 7:17 PM, Tdgraves said:


sounds good - no cigarettes yet though :ph34r:

Yes, and they are making noises about closing the grogshops again.

Doesn't bother me personally, but I don't really understand the reasoning...


Lots of lions! Always amazing how easy they are to miss if they just lie still.

Edited by Peter Connan
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1 hour ago, Peter Connan said:


Lots of lions! Always amazing how easy they are to miss if they just lie still.

which they known to do a lot!

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Day 7, Morning drive, Nossob, 23/1/20


For some reason this day, we didn't leave camp until 6 am. I suspect that the snooze button was involved! We again went North and ended up going as far North as we ever had in the park, up to Liijersdraai, resulting in a 6 hour game drive!! It was 16 degrees and I had the 7D. It was quite cloudy and climbed to 33 upon our return. Despite the long drive, sightings were largely bird related. This tawny kept teasing us that it would take off...


49981029227_1571c3dc8a_o.jpgJ19A1669a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49981029322_cc13aa64a4_o.jpgJ19A1681a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49980249243_4aa17d1277_o.jpgJ19A1701a by tdgraves, on Flickr


and when it eventually did, it was away from us, so all we got were bum shots.


49980776966_f79e97ba23_o.jpgJ19A1747a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49981029702_ee690ab5de_o.jpgJ19A1765a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Polenstwa hole was busy. We had never been here before, but it is a good hole, where you can be alongside the actual waterhole.


49981029842_525b221c65_o.jpgJ19A1787a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49980777606_07896289ed_o.jpgJ19A1824a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49980777726_25fe0712c8_o.jpgJ19A1838a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49980250273_a447598f44_o.jpgJ19A1896a by tdgraves, on Flickr


A couple from the OH on the 5D


49980250988_764a3f141a_o.jpg7T4A0176a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49981031212_f06550f898_o.jpg7T4A0198a by tdgraves, on Flickr


There is a kind of one way system into the hole, whereby you cut a bit off of the main road if you continue to the hole. As we emerged back onto the road North, there were stationary vehicles in the section of road that you would miss by going to the hole. Stationary cars in the KTP, what does that usually mean? Cats. Flat cats. Although not for long, as it was a mating pair...


49980777926_a6e3e14b71_o.jpgJ19A1918a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49980250468_1d3cd69e67_o.jpgJ19A1928a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49980250633_f20bf778f8_o.jpgJ19A1935a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49981030887_d540eb5e3b_o.jpgJ19A1957a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49980251128_108e1e7df2_o.jpgJ19A1969a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49981031307_5075422553_o.jpgJ19A2014a by tdgraves, on Flickr


We decided that we may as well make our way up to Liijersdraai so that we could use the facilities, making the return journey more pleasant!


49980251473_90e196ac87_o.jpgJ19A2031a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49980251683_a05768b519_o.jpgJ19A2041a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49980251788_6a007e6c2b_o.jpgJ19A2047a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49981031857_05d2d15ee2_o.jpgJ19A2056a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Lunch not breakfast today!

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It always surprises me how long it takes to get up to Liijersdraai @Tdgraves,  I do like the lanner falcon and the finch on the tree branch in particular

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pedro maia

Great report so far, lots of cats, birds of prey and that incredible landscape of KTP, looking forward for the rest!!

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Day 7, Evening drive, Nossob, 23/1/20


It was another hot day, 39 degrees when we motivated ourselves to get out. We decided to try our luck South again, although in general, it has never really been lucky for us


First a bird from our stoop - a chestnut-vented tit-babbler


49987554306_9109c1585c_o.jpgJ19A2066a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49987554396_e23c48bd59_o.jpgJ19A2083a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49987554476_d5bfb6a448_o.jpgJ19A2096a by tdgraves, on Flickr


There were two female lions asleep under the bushes, but too far for photos. We had finished the Marie se Gat loop very fast and so decided to cut our losses and try North again. Just short of camp there was a convoy of 3 vehicles parked facing the sun. There were apparently two male lions asleep right near to the camp gate and they were waiting for them to get up. Waiting and waiting. We managed to get this shot through the gaps in the vehicles....


49987042093_819bab42b7_o.jpgJ19A2101a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Given that the only reason they would get up would be when it cooled down to get a drink at the camp waterhole, we could not understand why they would wait there for so long, maybe getting one or two shots before they walked past, whereas from the hide, you would get a much wider view. Anyway, each to their own. We set ourselves up in the hide for the wait and a friend of the convoy said that they had already been waiting for three hours! This was the convoy who were flashing us to get past when we spotted the 3 lions on the previous morning, which perhaps explains things. :(


Given the presence of the lions, it was pretty quiet at the hole as we waited.


49987042173_7215df6bcf_o.jpgJ19A2102a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49987554791_c1f0010643_o.jpgJ19A2109a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49987042518_dcc6a48f5d_o.jpgJ19A2118a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Low and behold, just as the light got really bad, they decided to get up, but at least they did make an appearance


49987042828_942b114411_o.jpgJ19A2127 by tdgraves, on Flickr


49987042618_2d6fe5aee9_o.jpgJ19A2140a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49987042738_75c6ec0f04_o.jpgJ19A2153a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49987555341_d863a9f12a_o.jpgJ19A2174a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49988628816_c132a27ec7_o.jpgJ19A2183a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Only one made it to the hole, the other had another rest just past the hide. I had to go and hand the permit in and collect our bread order. By the time I arrived back at the hide, the two were already preparing to leave.

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Day 8, Morning drive, Nossob, 24/1/20


We returned North, as we would be changing camps and therefore driving South later anyway. It was a bit warmer today, 22 degrees and I had the 5D. I was driving and when we got to Cubitjie Quap, this is what we saw...all to ourselves


49990582083_fc8a0b678d_o.jpg7T4A0417a by tdgraves, on Flickr


It was still not quite light, so very high ISO. After he finished his drink, he moved over and sat right next to us


49991347372_f4d936a6dc_o.jpg7T4A0408a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49991347532_2ef72755d7_o.jpg7T4A0442a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49991104856_47a6ea4603_o.jpg7T4A0453a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49991347727_37e219a1a3_o.jpg7T4A0466a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49991347832_11213e7bc5_o.jpg7T4A0472a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49991347892_400c09e967_o.jpg7T4A0489a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49991347972_7234c02533_o.jpg7T4A0497a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49997008198_4b5395a9b3_o.jpg7T4A0496 - Copy by tdgraves, on Flickr


We were only joined by one other vehicle during the sighting. He got up to have another drink


49997778772_e3217155ca_o.jpg7T4A0520 by tdgraves, on Flickr


and then walked directly towards us


49991346632_7d07f18641_o.jpg7T4A0530a by tdgraves, on Flickr


and sat down again briefly


49990582833_7208c64342_o.jpg7T4A0546a by tdgraves, on Flickr


before wandering off across the riverbed


49991346697_75c6bffb27_o.jpg7T4A0558a by tdgraves, on Flickr


What a cool sighting. We carried on up to Kwang


49991104021_ffdc8fb7b2_o.jpg7T4A0564a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49991104101_318e5eefe5_o.jpg7T4A0644a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Before turning around to get back to camp


49991346902_4b3c4d5032_o.jpg7T4A0674a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49991346987_3df986b9a6_o.jpg7T4A0681a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49990581793_bac40b7a6e_o.jpg7T4A0691a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49990581898_9c32a0d65c_o.jpg7T4A0703a by tdgraves, on Flickr


this jackal was doing his best pooch impression


49991104546_02e9fedbce_o.jpg7T4A0713a by tdgraves, on Flickr


back to camp to pack up.

Edited by Tdgraves
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Your raptor shots are really lovely @Tdgraves and what a splendid male lion too! I'm glad you had better luck than me at Nossob :)

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