Thursday 20 December 2012

Kgalagadi: September 2009 (Part 8)

Let's carry on with this trip report, shall we?

We spent our last night in Nossob and headed out on a quick game drive the next morning before we had to break up our camp. We had heard lions roaring to the south early in the morning and set off towards the Marie-se-gat waterhole. We found lots of tracks around the waterhole...but no lions there...

After driving around the area scanning the foliage vigorously - we got one glimpse of a lone lioness...

She promptly disappeared, and we wondered if she had small cubs in the area. We then did a quick trip north towards Cubitje Quap waterhole. This Bateleur eagle checked us out.

This waterhole is a great place to photograph the droves of doves and sandgrouse that come to drink in the mornings. This was where we had the Lanner Falcon sighting the previous morning.

A Black-Backed Jackal came for a drink. He eyed the birds briefly, but didn't try to hunt any of them.

We went back to camp to break down our tents and pack up the camp. We made it out in time for check-out time and set off on the long road over to the Auob river again. This night would be spent in the Mata-Mata rest camp.

On the way to the Upper Dune Road we had the surprise of the trip...a Honey Badger crossed the road!! These are very rare to see in broad daylight, though the Kalahari is one place where you can expect to see them like this...

As we pulled up to the point where they crossed we saw some more next to the road, ready to cross!

That was one exhilarating sighting! They are such characters.
We stopped for a quick refreshment at the Dikbaardskolk picnic spot...

Here are some more sights we saw on the way up to Mata-Mata.


Lanner Falcon:



(I zoomed out while taking this photo with a slow shutter speed to get this effect - no fancy Photoshop here)

Verreaux's Eagle Owl:

We got to Mata-Mata safely, and unpacked (this time in a chalet). Later that afternoon we set off on a quick drive south towards the Dalkeith waterhole.

This young Goshawk was gorging on a snake it had caught in the shade of a roadside tree.

We also found another Verreaux's Eagle Owl (formerly Giant Eagle Owl).

How about another Bateleur?

As we started to head back to the camp...I noticed a familiar shape sticking out of the long grass against the setting sun...

A solitary male lion was gorging on something he had caught.

The setting and light here made it seem like a scene from the movie The Ghost and the Darkness (about the man-eater lions of Tsavo in Kenya).

He got up and walked over the dune...

We went back to camp when he was out of sight...and enjoyed a nice meal and a good rest. The following day would be our last full day in the Kgalagadi on this trip...

Stay tuned for more...

Morkel Erasmus

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