Caravanning in the Kgalagadi – Mata Mata Thursday 12 March 2015

Once again it is an early start to the day – I am second in the queue behind Des today.  Maureen is a close third!   We decide to stick as close to J&M as possible as they seem to bring us luck!

We speed-spot on the move and I mark down jackal, giraffe and Secretary Birds before we stop for a hyena  at 7:05.

An early rising spotted hyena

An early rising spotted hyena

At Dalkeith Waterhole we find a beautiful group of giraffe drinking and Gemsbok are there too.

Gemsbok drinking at Dalkeith

Gemsbok drinking at Dalkeith

At 13th Waterhole we spot a Tawny Eagle in a tree and also the usual bird activity going on.

Tawny by Earl

Tawny by Earl

It is 9:30 when we arrive at Rooibrak Waterhole and here we are delighted to find 5 lions.  They are drinking and then start moving. We follow them until they drop under some shady trees and clearly settle there for the day.

Tawny

Lovely lions

006 Lion Earl (6)

We retrace our steps and go to Kamqua for breakfast – Muesli again as I forgot to pack the cutlery!

We meet some interesting people.  A Dutch couple who have shipped their huge camper over for a 4 year sojourn in Southern Africa tell us all about their plans.   They have everything they need in the bus and it requires a special licence to drive it.  They were able to get a pensioners’ Visa to stay in the country for this length of time.

We hear about a cheetah who has killed a buck and then left it lying in the open while she and the cubs are taking a nap at the top of a ridge under a bush.  There are a couple of Tawny Eagles in the tree watching and waiting for something to tear it apart so they can get a share too.  But no jackal, hyena or any other predator appears.  We watch the cheetahs for a while and then Mom gets up and makes her way over the ridge.  The cubs follow but then return to their slumbers.    A few minutes later Mom reappears with a buck in her mouth! It looks like bits have already been eaten.  We assume she killed this first, started snacking on it then went and made the kill that she has now left to whoever wants it.  She takes the kill to a bigger tree with more shade and the cubs obediently follow.  We watch them feast and then decide it is time to leave.

Mom Cheetah

Mom Cheetah

She has something

She has something

She brings it to the cubs

She brings it to the cubs

On our way back to camp we find two beautiful bee-eaters.

Swallow-tailed bee-eaters

Swallow-tailed bee-eaters

I cook a risotto for dinner and as we sit down to eat a fellow camper calls to us – Lions at the Waterhole – we leave our supper, grab binoculars and cameras and race to the fence.   Sure enough there are three beautiful lions taking a drink.   What fun – right on our doorstep.

Lions at the waterhole

Lions at Mata Mata waterhole

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