Namibia and Kgalagadi Adventure – Day 20 – Mata Mata

Thursday 15 November 2018

We made a late start this morning.  Earl managed to get some plastic sheeting from one of the staff at the park shop and he and Tony did a good job of sorting out the lack of a back window.

Our Camp at Mata Mata

We had an excellent “Earlie” breakfast of scrambled eggs, tomato, bacon and banana and then set off for a game drive at half past nine.

The Hide overlooking a Water Hole

Peter Derichs had produced a series of guides to various game reserves in South Africa called Peter’s Guides.  The snippets of information I have given on the names and places in the Kgalagadi come from such a reference –  Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – by Peter Derichs”   

Kgalagadi means ‘salt pans’.  It is part of a 89000 square kilometers sand field which has a red colour caused by a thin layer of iron oxide on the sand grains. 

The park has two rivers – the Nossob and the Aub which are mainly dry and only flow when there are heavy rains.  There are many years between flooding and the average annual rainfall is 200 mm.  To meet the water needs of the animals, over 86 water points have been provided. These were previously powered by windmills but now most are solar powered.

Today we followed the Auob riverbed road  and checked out each of the waterholes until we reached the Kamqua picnic site where we had lunch and then drove back again.

The Aub River is part of an ancient drainage system and runs in a southerly direction until it joins the Nossob River near Twee Rivieren Camp.  There are 18 water points in the river.

A Swallow-tailed bee-eater in full song
Secretary bird
Male Ostrich seeking shade

Chat fly-catcher
The animals really rely on  camel thorn trees during the heat of the day

The quality of the water at Craig Lockhart bore hole is good.  Craig means rock and Lockhart is a person’s name. It is derived from the French word Loche meaning a fresh water fish.  It is assumed that Lockhart was a name given to a fresh water fisherman.

Craig Lockhart is a good place to spot birds. We spotted a black-breasted snake eagle.  He did not seem to want to pose for his portrait but I managed to get a reasonable shot.

Black-breasted snake-eagle trying to hide
Namaqua dove
Red-headed finch

The Gemsbok were enjoying a drink until theu saw the bullies arrive.

When the wildebeest show up the other buck make way

The Gemsbok allow the bullies to drink until they all scatter  when predators arrive

—  Even though these ones are much smaller than the  grazers they are treated with wary respect
Did you know that giraffe sometimes sit down!

Dertiende en Viertiende Boorgat (thirteenth and fourteenth bore hole) were originally known as Kleinskrij and Grootskrij – small and big diarrhoea.  This is because when a surveyor named Jackson camped there his oxen ate tsamma melon and drank the poor quality water which gave them diarrhoea!

Hopefully the tawny will not get an attack of the runs!
A rather grumpy looking wildebeest

Kamqua like all the picnic sites in the park is not fenced so one must be on the lookout for wild animals when getting out of the car.  Fortunately I have never seen any animals passing through while I’ve been there but cheetah are often in the vicinity.   Kamqua means green pothole.

Published by puppy1952

I am making the most of the South African Lifestyle and hope with my blog to share some of the adventures my husband and I are having in our retirement. We live at the Southern Tip of Africa in the small coastal town of Struisbaai. Earl and I have a Gecko off-road caravan and we travel around South Africa frequently. We are bird and wild life enthusiasts so are often in game reserves.

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