Namibia and Kgalagadi Adventure – Day 22 and 23 – Mata Mata to Nossob

17 November 2018

Pack up and set up day today.  

The mornings are just cool enough to pack up in comfort. The Earl and I were off by quarter to seven.  The Mools followed a little later as they still had to fuel. The plan was to meet at Kamqua for breakfast.

The sightings were slow all day today but The Earl and I did see sleeping lions and the Mools got them awake! 

We arrived at Kamqua and opened up the caravan kitchen to prepare breakfast.  Earl said – I’ll just prepare everything and start the cooking when the Mools arrive. Well he’d just completed the prep when they arrived.  It was quarter past ten. Perfect timing.

The drive to Nossob from Mata Mata is over 100 km.   It was a slow day as far as sightings were concerned. Our most interesting sighting was a little jackal at a waterhole we could see from the road.

Below are some photos of animals and birds we did see.

Necking giraffe
Thirsty Wildebeest
Lanner Falcon

It was 43 degrees when we arrived at Nossob at around 1 pm. 
Nossob means blackwater, black lung – soft and even flow.  The northern reaches of the river are wide and flat making it difficult to see where the actual course runs.

We parked the caravan and pushed up the roof but left the canopy till later. I washed up the breakfast things in the camp kitchen and washed out all my dish towels.  Then I sat in the air conditioned caravan and edited photographs while the Earl napped.

When the Mools arrived we finished setting up and then all went to the pool for a swim.  I was delighted to get a good photo of a violet cheeked waxbill at the gate.

Lots of these were flitting about near the gate to the pool
No better way to get cool – a wonderful splash in the pool!
Swallow-tailed bee-eaters sat on the shady fence and watched us wallow in the water

18 November 2018

Nossob to Polentswa and back

We made an early start this morning, getting our exit permit at 20 to 6.   The first water hole we stopped at was Cubitje Quap.  The meaning of this name is Aardvark Burrow but I’ve never seen any aardvarks there!

This is a good spot to watch birds of prey trying to catch birds. There were hundreds of doves, quelea and finches in the trees. They swarmed down in twittering clouds to drink at the waterhole.  At the approach of the prey-bird they explode into the air and back into the trees. 

Cubitje Quap – early in the morning
Tree full of birds
A lanner tried to catch some birds while this immature Pale Chanting looked on

There are several waterholes along the corrugated way to Polentswa.  We stopped at Kwang where the water is of good quality.  The meaning of Kwang is unknown but it is a site where Piet de Villiers, the Inspector of Lands, camped regularly.  He was instrumental in having the area declared a national park. We had rewarding sightings of secretary birds as well as a red-necked falcon that landed on the ground near the waterhole.  This bird is easy to confuse with the lanner.  The diagnostic feature is that its whole crown is red and the feathered part of the legs are striped, not plain.

Red-necked Falcon

At Polentswa we sat having our breakfast while observing wildebeest and birds at the waterhole. Polentswa means ‘losing the way, or rogue river.  

On our return we saw vultures at some of the waterholes the last being Bedinkt which means sour grass.

Lappet-faced Vulture

It is also interesting to pay attention to the small creatures of the park.  Aren’t these ground agamas fascinating. Although they are called ground agama, they do like to hang about in thorn trees.  The male’s head turns blue in the breeding season.

Sunset at Nossob

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