Caravanning in the Kgalagadi Twee Rivieren Monday 30 March 2015

It rained during the night and it is quite chilly when we wake up this morning. However, I still think shorts will be okay. Luckily I take a fleece with me as the weather does not warm up above 20 degrees C.
Earl goes ahead to wait in the queue while I go to the loo. As I walk towards reception I notice that two cars are already lining up at the gate. This means that they did not hand in their permits last night and are illegally up front! The rest of us wait for the gate staff to arrive and check us out before we can drive to the game area gate! Jim should be first but is now third and Earl is fourth. We take the Rooiputs road and have a brief encounter with some playful jackal.
At quarter to eight we see the illegal starters stopped on the side of the road – they are looking at lion.
The first one I spot is a big male.
001 Lion Helen Panasonic 2015-03-30 07-46-40 AM 4608x3456
then Earl points out two females near to him. They are just lying there in on the dune.
Another male is short way away fast asleep. While we watch, the females get up and go up onto the ridge. Then three more come over to meet them. We can hear roaring and suspect there is another male somewhere.
We watch the male get up take a walk and find a puddle to drink from but nothing else special happens so we move on.
001 Lion Helen 2015-03-30 08-04-09 AM 4608x3456
001 Lion Earl

A few kilometres on we find a female crouching in hunting mode at the crest of the dune. We watch her for a while but do not see what she is stalking so we move on.
001 lioness Helen 2015-03-30 09-20-22 AM 4608x3456

009 Martial Eagle 2015-03-30 05-09-35 PM 2701x1811

Martial Eagle

We stop at Melkvlei for a loo break and then decide to retrace our route and take the Dune road to Achterlonie. We find the same female and hear a roar. At first we think a male is calling her but then see that she is the one making the din!
On the Dune road we are delighted to see that beautiful yellow flowers have sprung up after the rains. I think they are called Dubbeltjies.
004 Dunes and flowers 2015-03-30 09-59-004
We see korhaan and Kori Bustards and two Spurwinged geese fly overhead. Some ant-eating chats don’t like the tawny that perches in their territory.
002 Tawny and Ant eating chats 2015-03-30 09-35-57 AM 4608x3456
Two jackal puppies are exploring unattended by their parents. They seem nervous of the car at first and then ignore us and continue their antics. They are so cute one feels that one can pick them up and take them home for pets.
003 Jackals Earl 2015-03-30 09-39-25 AM 4752x3168
We have breakfast at Achterlonie and take a look at the old historic cottage. It is so cold that we eat in the car.
The rest of our trip produces very little and we are back at camp by 12:30. At half past three we decide to go to The Kgalagadi lodge for a late lunch instead of cooking supper tonight. We are delighted with our meals – pepper steaks for Jim, Maureen and Earl and I have an Adam and Eve – Rump steak with green fig and blue cheese sauce.
007 Lunch at Kgalagadi Lodge 2015-03-30 03-01-02 PM 4608x3456
When we return Earl and I decide to take a quick drive to the waterhole – but stay out longer than we planned! We try to find yesterday’s caracal without success but enjoy a bit of bird-watching. The highlight is a martial eagle and when we get back into the gate we find black-faced wax-bills.

008 Wood Sandpiper 2015-03-30 04-30-48 PM 2621x1961

010 Black-faced Waxbill 2015-03-30 06-01-16 PM 2620x1961

011 black chested prinia 2015-03-30 06-02-10 PM 4608x3456

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