Namibia and Kgalagadi Adventure – Day 27 – Twee Rivieren

22 November 2018

Today is my birthday and just being here in the bush is the best gift I could ask for.  However, I  make a short list of what I would like to see today and at the top is Cheetah! The Kgalagadi usually shows us wonderful cheetah sightings but this time we’ve seen only a single sleepy one under a tree!   I really want the Mools to see them at their glorious best.  Pat even put in a request when saying Grace last night.  Will her prayer receive a positive answer???

The Mools greet  me with a big happy birthday and a gift of a new Kgalagadi Map Book! – It will be much treasured!

First up and always amazing to see is The Martial Eagle – then a den of the cutest Cape  Foxes. 

Enjoying the early morning sun
Should I come out of my hole?
Isn’t she the cutest!

Then we watch two springbok locking horns in a friendly battle of strength

These two entertained us when they decided to lock horns and tussle

We find the wild cat at the same spot as yesterday and point her out to others who stop to ask what we’re staring at.  We manage to get good shots of her and the kitten

There are no lion at Kij Kij today but we stop for coffee and to watch the sandgrouse, sparrows, quelea and finches flying from trees to water hole – always fascinating.

And a jackal comes down to drink

From there we drive to Melkvlei where The Earl cooks us a delicious birthday breakfast on the Skottel.

Pat poured some water in a plastic lid and the birds drank thirstily

After breakfast we take the Dune Road.

Korhaans love this habitat
Typical Kgalagadi Dune

 Once on the Mata Mata Road we stop to see birds and animals. We find Ostriches.  The babies are having a delightful sand bath.

Then it all happens.   Between Rooibrak and Kamqua bore holes, lying lazily under a tree we find two young cheetah! My birthday wish comes true! Patricia’s prayer is answered.

Happy Birthday, Helen
We were expecting you!
Is that a springbok I spy?
Let’s go get him!
 Come on – before he sees us!

We thoroughly enjoy a birthday treat of note! The cheetah interact with each other then they spot a springbok and get up and go for the chase – but they’re spotted and lose their lunch.  We think they’ll go off somewhere else now –but no, they return to the same tree, giving us more wonderful views of their beautiful selves.   I am in heaven!

Oh well – maybe next time – let’s go back to the shade
Stop sniffing – Keep up!
Okay – I’m coming!

There are only two other cars and we have nobody blocking our view – just awesome.

Thank you for being a friend
Goodbye, Cheetahs – You made my day!

It’s a long way back to Twee Rivieren and we’re on a high all the way home.  We stop to enjoy other creatures but the Cheetah are definitely the highlight.  A wonderful way to end an amazing month’s trip! Tomorrow we start making our way home!

Namibia and Kgalagadi Adventure – Day 26 – Twee Rivieren

21 November 2018

What an awesome day we had today.  There were more gemsbok, springbok and wildebeest about and jackals were going busily about their business. 

We were on the road just after 5:30 and by quarter to six we had a lovely male lion at the Samevloeiing water hole.   He was just lying there lazily set to sleep for the rest of the day.

This waterhole is fed by three boreholes drilled in 1913, 1984 and 1987 respectively. Samevloeiing means flow together – thus confluence.

I intend staying here all day – please don’t disturb my nap.
And when we visited later in the day – this is what we found!

More excitingly we found three lions right next to the road at Kij Kij Waterhole.   They were finishing off a meal of springbok and we got some lovely shots. 

Kij Kij was the first borehole driled in the Nossob River in 1913. The farm, Kij Kij was private property at the time.  It means – big big or The Biggest.

Then all of a sudden they got up and marched off.  All the spectators got into gear and followed them.  We enjoyed them walking, play fighting and interacting for the next 20 minutes.  It was great fun.

There was very little going on for a while but then we heard a jackal howling.  Stop, I said, There’s a reason why he’s making a fuss – there’s a predator nearby!  We looked all around and couldn’t see anything.  The jackal was looking up toward a hill and Earl followed his gaze and then said – It’s an African Wild Cat. He snapped a photo and then pointed it out to us. 

African Wild Cat

Wow! It was as clear as anything through our binoculars.   Another car was wondering what we were looking at and was amazed when we went up next to them and told them where to look.  It was an awesome sighting!

It strongly resembles Pussy at home –  but note the striped legs – and don’t try to pet her – she’s truly wild!

Those were the two highlights of the day.  We also enjoyed the birds tortoises and ground squirrels and a cute little mouse.

Black-shouldered kite
Lanner Falcon
Pririt Batis
Ant-eating chat
This ground squirrel was in our camp!
Very Cute

It’s all about being in the bush and experiencing the colours of the Kalahari, the changes in weather, the huge sky and the awesomeness of being away from normal town life!

The colours of the Kgalagadi

Namibia and Kgalagadi Adventure – Day 25 – Nossob to Twee Rivieren

20 November 2018

Moving Day today!   We were up by 5 and on the road by 6:25.  The Mools made stops at all the waterholes while The Earl and I went on as quickly as possible with the caravan.  As most of the waterholes don’t require negotiating, we managed to get some good sightings along the way. There were three lions at the waterhole on Kaspersdraai.  There were quite a few cars so we pulled in and quickly took photos before moving on so as not to block the view for  everyone else.

Kasper Sanderson had a residence here during the tsamma melon season.  He also dug a well here.  Kaspersdraai means Kasper’s Turn.

An hour later we had another lion sighting of 2 males and a female at Kameelsleep  waterhole.  A sad meaning to this name – kameel(perd) is a giraffe sleep means drag. It was here that the last migrating giraffe was shot by the Sandersons and dragged by donkeys to  neighbouring Bechuanaland.   Giraffe have now been reintroduced to The Kgalagadi. 

We had a brief pit stop at Dikbaardkolk  picnic site. Dikbaard means bushy beard and kolk means pool.   Dikbaard is a colloquial term for lion. So it means Lion Pool.

Our next stop was for for breakfast at Melkvlei which is a big un-fenced site with tables and benches on both sides of the road.  “Which spot do you want?” asked the Earl – I picked one on the opposite side of the road to the toilets.  “Are you sure?” He asked.  “Yes!”  I said and when he pulled in what should I see in the tree but a Spotted Eagle-Owl!  “This is definitely the right spot,” I said!  A little later I noticed there was a juvenile on a branch and the mom was keeping a careful eye on it.

Melk means milk vlei means small depression which collects water in the rainy season.  It is so named because of the white chalk banks of the river. We have indeed seen this picnic site flooded after heavy rains.

Mother Spotted Eagle Owl
Baby Spotted Eagle Owl

We arrived at Twee Rivieren at half past 11 and set up quickly.   The Mools arrived two hours later. We went out again at 4 o’clock and had another lion sighting at leeudril. Leeu means lion dril means shiver. So it means here a man’s legs shook with fear when he encountered a lion on the other side of the dune!

Having a lovely nap

We also saw springbok, tortoise, birds, ground squirrels and suricates but no cheetah and no leopard!

A Lovely Herd of Springbok
Ground squirrels
Surricate on guard
Suricate tails!
Leopard Tortoise