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Kgalagadi Jan 2020: Desert, drought and dead eland


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Wow - stunning male lion shots. Great photo's all round.

Edited by Hads
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Thanks @Hads and @adamt123

nossob is usually good for lion, but in one four night stay we only saw them on the last morning 

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Peter Connan

Lovely sighting! He looks rather down-trodden though, doesn't he?

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Day 8, Transfer Nossob to Kalahari tented camp, 24/1/20


It was 37 degrees on our long transfer, so there was not much to see! There was a stationary car at Chelaka, which is set back from the road, so we thought "worth a look". It was a sleepy lion.


49994259651_21aea997de_o.jpg7T4A0726a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49994512317_444053c8fe_o.jpg7T4A0733a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49994259806_9500490896_o.jpg7T4A0739a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Even the picnic sites were quiet, you can usually rely on some birds there. The trees in Kamqua had all died, so it looked really bleak, like a post-apocalyptic landscape. I'm not sure what happened to them. The last time we were here one had died. SANParks have now erected wooden structures to shade picnickers, no such niceties for us, so it was a quick in and out to the loo and onwards!  


49994512462_d480f96c19_o.jpg7T4A0745a by tdgraves, on Flickr


We checked into KTC. The construction work had finished and so we were able to use the pool for the first time ever - necessary after unloading the car!

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Day 8, Evening drive, Kalahari tented camp, 24/1/20


What I forgot to say about the transfer, was that the land approx 25 km south of camp was totally dead. Desert, dust, no plants, no animals, barely any birds, dead. Sistas hole was unproductive for our entire stay. You basically had to get to Craig Lockhart before you found anything, which in the mornings meant that the best light had already passed and there was a procession of Ferrari safari vehicles, as there was nothing to slow down or stop for, for mile after mile.


It was 39 degrees when we left, which didn't help. When we got to Craig Lockhart, there were two vehicles parked off to the right of the hole. This is a good waterhole for photography as you are able to get alongside the hole quite close and it has the added bonus of being under a large tree, so with plenty of shade. I therefore decided to park there, as the view from where the two cars were already parked would not be great, given they would have picked the best spots and whatever they were looking at would hopefully come for a drink, in which case, we would definitely have the best view.


49994512512_ff37671e2a_o.jpg7T4A0761a by tdgraves, on Flickr


this was what they were looking at and our view was not too shabby! the OH moved into the back seat and we waited....


49994512562_fd2f3171b0_o.jpg7T4A0787a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49994260236_f1463c137e_o.jpg7T4A0811a by tdgraves, on Flickr


and as predicted, 18 minutes after we arrived, she got up for a drink


49994512907_cec3111cbc_o.jpg7T4A0825a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Which the other vehicles would have really struggled to see, as they were parked to the right and behind the tree she was laying under


49993742983_b09441c10a_o.jpg7T4A0829a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49993743043_def5e1fa7e_o.jpg7T4A0836a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49993743108_61f070776c_o.jpg7T4A0846a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49993743213_94827d3ab4_o.jpg7T4A0850a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49994260781_b0b2ab8b96_o.jpg7T4A0866a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49994260886_17a2439214_o.jpg7T4A0890a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49993743473_0a0bf17808_o.jpg7T4A0896a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49994261031_1cc7149841_o.jpg7T4A0910a by tdgraves, on Flickr


She soon had her fill and turned to leave


49994513592_4fa228cfaf_o.jpg7T4A0916a by tdgraves, on Flickr


all the way up the dunes


49994513687_fbe247fb3f_o.jpg7T4A0922a by tdgraves, on Flickr


and we could see that she was a lactating mother.


Whilst we were waiting for her to get up, we amused ourselves with the doves in the golden light


49993743828_6713408314_o.jpg7T4A0939a by tdgraves, on Flickr


It was time for the long drive back to camp. Just as were were about to leave the riverbed, we came across some giraffe


49994513927_6690f11093_o.jpg7T4A0982a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49994514027_f930b52b43_o.jpg7T4A0990a by tdgraves, on Flickr


49994514117_9c3cb72a63_o.jpg7T4A0997a by tdgraves, on Flickr


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Peter Connan
42 minutes ago, Tdgraves said:

Do you mean sad, or past his prime @Peter Connan ?


I guess a bit of both? Very thin compared to the other lions in the report.

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probably just the angle, as I was driving. i think he was pretty chunky

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Excellent lion sightings and photos 

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Day 8, Morning drive, Kalahari tented camp, 25/1/20


I got the tripod out again the night before...


50004331158_54cd446f41_o.jpg7T4A1044 by tdgraves, on Flickr


50005112712_b2a10dc523_o.jpg7T4A1023 by tdgraves, on Flickr


Overnight there were lions calling around camp, but no sign of them when we got up. We were awoken by a very loud and horrific noise, which we later discovered was a barn owl calling, whilst sitting on the canvas roof directly above us. Not a wake up call I would like repeating! I had the 7D today. It was 19 degrees when we left and given the condition of the bush, we did not stop for a while. Now I have to warn you, there is cheetah overload in this installment, perhaps I should give @madaboutcheetah a call?


50002347872_5876418503_o.jpgJ19A2578a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50004345963_8cdd531549_o.jpgJ19A2577 by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002091466_0fb0a78b15_o.jpgJ19A2581a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002091606_8c04510fa9_o.jpgJ19A2586a by tdgraves, on Flickr


When we arrived at the 14th waterhole, we were greeted by this site...


50001571233_604feae336_o.jpgJ19A2587a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002348357_5d2a418c31_o.jpgJ19A2591a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002092056_9f4658e0cc_o.jpgJ19A2608a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50001571733_33b56ce7bf_o.jpgJ19A2613a by tdgraves, on Flickr


There were only a couple of vehicles there already and in fact, the car in front of us moved to try and get a head on shot drinking, so we were able to get even closer.


50002348912_0494983ae2_o.jpgJ19A2622a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50001572058_34f88a97b1_o.jpgJ19A2642a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002092851_921d878495_o.jpgJ19A2648a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002349357_9d2217133a_o.jpgJ19A2672a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002093196_300635a0d3_o.jpgJ19A2684a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002093496_dbf482057f_o.jpgJ19A2696a by tdgraves, on Flickr


It kept changing positions, making us think it was leaving, only to settle down and drink more


50002093691_d22ded244d_o.jpgJ19A2818a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50001573203_b2c1f538de_o.jpgJ19A2822a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002350452_b19979b113_o.jpgJ19A2834a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002350632_29d9a4196d_o.jpgJ19A2855a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50001573743_ba5bd9271f_o.jpgJ19A2869a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50001573998_e171e2f445_o.jpgJ19A2884a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002094876_a6c8981b9f_o.jpgJ19A2905a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002351457_a6ae860b25_o.jpgJ19A2916a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50001574513_3172344c2a_o.jpgJ19A2925a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002095381_e34183780a_o.jpgJ19A2927a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002095501_c831daccd7_o.jpgJ19A2956a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50001575078_c72b38c959_o.jpgJ19A2985a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002352277_88c505f0cf_o.jpgJ19A3003a by tdgraves, on Flickr


a couple of crows kept landing on the cars, looking for handouts


50002096001_40846c6294_o.jpgJ19A3040a by tdgraves, on Flickr


but the didn't distract me for long


50002352627_3e1bbf91f5_o.jpgJ19A3007a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002352747_6a3d725ba5_o.jpgJ19A3052a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50001575783_a48128e099_o.jpgJ19A3103a by tdgraves, on Flickr


I was convinced it was going to jump, so I changed my settings and zoomed back as far as possible, held my breath and hit "fire"


50001576013_74ea1b9615_o.jpgJ19A3110a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002353302_cb5aab4c7b_o.jpgJ19A3111a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002096981_547d7b5a52_o.jpgJ19A3113a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002353627_b6d4c5ebc5_o.jpgJ19A3114a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002097286_4b018040f3_o.jpgJ19A3115a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002097446_b05f05e4ab_o.jpgJ19A3116a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002354342_87a4b319f0_o.jpgJ19A3117a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002098036_4c31b069b9_o.jpgJ19A3118a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002098511_414654b958_o.jpgJ19A3119a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Got it! and the OH didn't :wacko:


It still seemed a bit thirsty, so had another drink before wandering off


50002099926_18ac0f8e69_o.jpgJ19A3145a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002356587_6b946214a0_o.jpgJ19A3164a by tdgraves, on Flickr


What a fabulous sighting! The crows were still trying it on


50002100461_ff69d52ef0_o.jpgJ19A3170a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50001580208_29cb7c8bf5_o.jpgJ19A3174a by tdgraves, on Flickr


We carried on and ended up in Kamqua to have a comfort break before the long drive back


50002097676_f3fd4f5c09_o.jpgJ19A3193a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002098346_0ea7075554_o.jpgJ19A3204a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002098211_b7b766b0ac_o.jpgJ19A3199a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002100366_4ef163b5ef_o.jpgJ19A3324a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Low and behold, when we got back to near the 14th, we again found the cheetah, who was on a mission, so I could drive passed, let it walk to us and repeat


50002098971_f5a565e0fd_o.jpgJ19A3266a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002356122_787fcb8899_o.jpgJ19A3285a by tdgraves, on Flickr


50002099106_d45dbb1ac5_o.jpgJ19A3273a by tdgraves, on Flickr


A long drive (and post), but worth it!

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Cheetah overload indeed, but no complaints from me, I love them.

A wonderful sighting, really well captured. Your experience has paid dividends throughout this trip.

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Great report so far, from one of my favourite parks... And a lot of stunning photos, I really like the lioness at Craig Lockhart and the pictures of the giraffes...Only problem with this report is that it really makes me longing for Africa and Kgalagadi :(.... 

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@Tdgraves - Thanks for the alert - I had missed the report until now ....... Sorry you were unwell, but, glad all is okay ......


I will have to put the Kgalagadi on my list now ....... For if and when we can travel again one day!!!


Question - I'd guess kudu there is not an everyday find?  Lovely images of raptors, Predators and Wow - the Male Lion portraits were amazing!!! 

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thanks @madaboutcheetah you are correct about the kudu. Maybe one or two sightings per trip at a guess

you should go - it is great!

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Thanks @Soukous and @JayRon 

10 hours ago, JayRon said:

Only problem with this report is that it really makes me longing for Africa and Kgalagadi :(.... 

what’s wrong with that?!?

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Peter Connan

You NAILED it! Well done!

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2 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

You NAILED it! Well done!


spot on.

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On 6/15/2020 at 9:47 AM, Tdgraves said:

Thanks @Soukous and @JayRon 

what’s wrong with that?!?

Ha ha.. Normally it wouldn´t  be a problem, but I was suppose to travel to South Africa on the 6tn of july for a 24-day safari to Kruger and Hwange... But as we all know, that is not gonna happen this year :(:(

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Sorry to hear that @JayRon when have you rebooked for?

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13 hours ago, Tdgraves said:

Sorry to hear that @JayRon when have you rebooked for?


No rebooking yet, I have some problems with my dates..... :( But hopefully we will go in july 2021....

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Great cheetah sighting, Kgalagadi at its best!

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Lovely report with some wonderful shots. The long distant male lion with the sunlight catching the kicked up dust was really nice and as for the Cheetah jumping...


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