Tag Archives: Cubitje Quap

Namibia and Kgalagadi Adventure – Day 24 – Nossob

19 November 2018

Nossob to Rooikop to Marie se Gat to Kaspersdraai and back

Another early start today and out the gate by 06:06. The Earl complained that we were late!  We should have been out by 5:30 – now we’ll miss the lions and cheetahs.  But all was not lost.  Why are these cars parked at the water hole looking at nothing – he said.  We turned in and there they were!  

Two Lions coming to drink

We watched them drink and play and then walk off together. What an awesome sighting – they spotted a springbok and went into hunting mode.  But it was far off and gone before they could give chase.   We watched them till they melted into the veld. A few minutes earlier or later and we would have missed them

We continued to Marie se gat.  Marie was married to one of the men responsible for drilling the boreholes.  His name was Henry Brink.   Imagine being Marie – living like a squatter in the wilds of Africa.  Life was tough but when the man on whom you depend fails to perform his duties and no money is coming in, you turn to desperate measures. Henry began to drink excessively and his job became the last thing he paid attention to so Marie simply drilled the borehole herself so that they could survive!  Hooray for pioneering women like Marie!

At her famous Gat (bore hole) we watched quelea and Cape Sparrow

We continued to Kaspersdraai waterhole where clouds of quelea, finches and Namaquadove were being pursued by a lanner.  Then we made our way back spotting a Martial Eagle on the way

Martial Eagle
A Red-necked falcon also posed beautifully for us

Half way between Kaspers and Marie’s we saw a car stopped and asked the Australians within what they were looking at.  “A sleeping cheetah – hasn’t moved for half an hour – we may give up and go back for breakfast!”   We found a suitable spot – saw the cheetah lift her head and flick her tail and stayed to see if she did anything more while we had a cup of coffee.  She didn’t stir – but it was still a lovely sighting as thus far no other cheetahs had made an appearance!

Back home I did some washing while The Earl cooked brekkie and then we watched the birds and mongooses round the camp.

Yellow mongooses in camp

Afternoon drive – Nossob to Cubitje Quap and Kwang and back

On the way we found a spotted eagle-owl in a tree

Parents with juvenile

At Kwang Water Hole we found lion!

The male was on the side of the road
The females were under the trees near the water hole

There were some vultures there too.

Lapet-faced vultures
Lapet-faced and white-backed vultures

We left the creatures in peace and drove on for a while.  When we came back they were more active.

Starting to wake up
Then a female flopped down next to him
She was a bit more wakeful
He decided to stretch and yawn
And gave us an authoritative stare
We thought they might hunt but clearly it was too early for dinner and they flopped down again

On our return drive we found that there were two owls in the tree.  

The one we saw on the way there
And this one spreading his wings

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