Another Kgalagadi Experience
With an iconic sighting of lion on the dunes (and for those of you who have been there you know exactly where it is) on the way down to KijKiji we continued to have a most special experience in the park.
As we drove through the park gates on our first morning drive we were informed that a caracal had been seen 'just down the road'. Well you and I know that animals are not tied by a rope to a stick and we held little hope that the creature might still be visible. But luck was with us and we spent over and hour with this beautiful creature. He crossed the road, stalked, rustled grass and when he's finished 'performing' he slowly wondered back to the dunes. Breathtaking.
We stayed at Twee Rivieren, Mata Mata, Kieliekrankie, Nossob and back to Twee. The camps have been well maintained and in some places upgraded. The staff clean after each visitor leaves the accommodation and guests are 'on their own' for the duration of the stay. The picnic spots are being renovated with shelters over the picnic tables which will be an added bonus in summer.
We had remarkable weather ranging from -6 degrees to not much more than 32 and we were extremely pleased to have gloves and scarves to keep out the chill. There was a lot of dust and a little drop of rain which tinged the grass and river a little greener to add some colour to the terracotta dunes and river bed.
We had full moon at Mata Mata where jackals called into night and added to the mystical Bush experience.One early morning lions roared outside our bungalow at Mata - so loud that I was extremely pleased to have glass between me and the river bed. Barn owls screeched at night and added to the eerie night sounds.
We were fortunate to view a number of raptors from Short-Tail eagles bathing, mating and sitting to Pale Chanting Goshawks and a few Pygmy Falcons which was a bonus. Kori Bustards strode through the dunes rather like fractious professors and Black-bellied Korhaans scurried from bush to bush driving the photographer to distraction.
At 9h00 nearly every day the little sandgrouse whistled in to drink at the waterholes and it was enchanting to watch them swoop in and burst back into the sky.
We 'caught' jackal bathing at a water hole, saw Cape Foxes at their den and as a special treat viewed 12 lions meeting and greeting each other down the dunes and into the river bed.
Of course that elusive leopard kept out of sight, but that is simply an excuse to visit again in February.
What a privilege to be able to visit this pristine part of our world with so much silence and beauty of a different kind.