Caravanning in the Kgalagadi – Saturday 21 March 2015

We woke to the sound of rain which is so needed here at this time of year. We lie in a little longer as we are not showering till after our morning drive.
We have to abide by park opening and closing times even though we are in an unfenced camp. It is scary wondering around the campsite in the dark and we have to shine the torch all around to ensure there are no predators lying in wait.
We leave at 6:30 just as it is getting light and make our short way to the water hole.  No luck there so we head south to see what we can find. Just before Kousant Waterhole we find a lioness on the road hiding next to a tree. She is watching a small herd of wildebeest.

A Lioness hides and watches a small herd of Wildebeest

A Lioness hides and watches a small herd of Wildebeest

She keeps looking up the road, we thing, hoping her pride will hurry and join her in a hunt. She goes into stalk mode but the herd are too far away and in the open so she does not have the element of surprise. Soon she gives up. Another car stops to observe then moves on a little further then stops. We move on to see whether they have found the rest of the pride. Yes there is another lioness.

001 Lion Helen 2015-03-21 08-01-18 AM 2617x1965

We follow her to the KOUSANT waterhole. She is quite unconcerned about us and we watch her mark her territory and then go down to the waterhole to drink.

Thirsty Lioness

Thirsty Lioness

She also makes some roaring sounds. We then follow her back to the road and she heads north toward her friend.  A little way on we see the first lioness making her way south. They ignore each other but number one turns and follows number 2 north. We stay with them for ages. They cross the road and continue walking steadily on the river plane and then one suddenly decides she I stored and flops down for a rest.

001 Lions Helen 2015-03-21 07-31-35 AM 3069x2304

Number 2 continues and then she too flops down for a few minutes. Then they continue and cross the road again and walk through the bush. We follow I till the move out of sight.
We stop off at camp for a few minutes then go to Lijersdraai picnic site for breakfast. There is a flush loo there which I gratefully make use of.  We take photos of rufous vented tilt babbler.

002 Chestnut vented titbabbler 2015-03-21 09-52-06 AM 2617x1965

Next we visit the Lijersdraai  waterhole but the windmill is broken. We wait there for Jim and Maureen but they have clearly been delayed. Mike and Harriet stop by and tell us that they’ve seen lion at Kannaguass further north. Then we meet up with Jeff and Jackie who are on their way back from Gharagab. They are on their way to Lijersdraai Picnic site so we ask them to tell Jim and Maureen that we are going onto Kannaguass. En route we find some bateared fox but they are too far for good photographs. At the waterhole we only fine sandgrouse. J & M soon join us and tell us to look out for Ludwig bustard which we do find but also too distant for a photograph. However, we see him well with our binoculars.

003 Ludwig's Bustard 2015-03-21 12-35-19 PM 2618x1965Back at camp we have salad sandwiches for lunch then have an afternoon nap. We are out again at half past 4. We check Kousant waterhole and then sit at Polentswa and wait.  We have to be back at camp by 7. At 6:15 a single wildebeest starts to run then stops and looks onto the ridge.  We see nothing but suddenly a mighty roar fills the air. Still no visual. Mike and Harriet arrive and tell us they can see 2 males behind the trees on the skyline.  I notice Daan and Jeanette training binos in the other direction then Earl yells look the female and she is almost upon us!

001 Lion 2015-03-21 06-26-00 PM 4274x3162

M is still looking beyond her and we try to attract her attention to tell her to look closer when obviously she appears hugely in her binos and she lowered them in fright. Soon the second female appears and the two walk right past the waterhole towards where the roar came from. Then we spot the males. There are 3 altogether. The light is fading fast but. We watch them and the males finally appear so that we get good vies of them. At 6:55 we all head back to camp.
Mike and Harriet join us for supper. We hear the lions roar but none come calling.  We are in bed by9:45

002 Supper at Polentswa 2015-03-21 09-48-40 PM 4608x3456 IMG_0027

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