Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – Saffies and Aussies on Safari – Day 23 and 24

24 June 2015 Bitterpan

We hear lions this morning but none appear at the waterhole. We cook breakfast, chat to our neighbours and exchange details then leave for Twee Rivieren.
It is another roller coaster ride over the dunes and the scenery is great. We then take the dune road toward the Nossob – Twee Rivieren road but we have only a few sightings.

Affectionate jackals

Affectionate jackals

A secretary bird

A secretary bird

Big herds of Springbok

Big herds of Springbok

Ostriches descending rapidly from the ridge of a dune

Ostriches descending rapidly from the ridge of a dune

Erich's windebeest at a waterhole

Gemsbok at a waterhole

It is our grandson, Jay’s eighteenth birthday today.  We have had no internet or cell phone coms so are delighted to be able to ring him when we get to Twee Rivieren – the only camp where such luxuries are available.

Happy Birthday, my boy - What's that you say - You've been selected for Western Province Fishing?

Happy Birthday, my boy – What’s that you say – You’ve been selected for Western Province Fishing?

Doesn’t Earlybird look cute with my pink iphone on his ear?  The exciting news of Jay being selected for Western Province delights him. Watch out Shelly Beach – Here comes Jay!

We spend the afternoon relaxing and have a braai for dinner.

25 June 2015 Twee Rivieren

We set off early and are the first car in the queue. I tell Earlybird he is making a mistake choosing the Mata Mata road as it was very quiet in March and we had had all our good sightings on the Nossob road.

“The fact that we saw nothing yesterday,” I said, “is because it was the wrong time of day.”
I don’t like travelling at 40 km/hr. It is too fast in a game reserve. As we whiz by I see something right on the side of the road and yell, “Stop –  lion!”

Earlybird sees it at the same time a skids to a halt. We’ve almost passed a pride of 8. The two males are proudly watching their cubs while the moms cross over to the other side of the road.





We are the only car for half an hour – nobody else comes while we’re there. We move on and alert several others as we pass them.  It’s fun to see their bored expressions change when they realise that good a sighting is coming up soon!
Lions are not the only exciting things to see in a game reserve.  We are very excited at our next observation.

There was a whole family of these cute little meerkats

There was a whole family of  meerkats – on the wrong side of the road for good light – and this chap was taking his guard duty very seriously



Gemsbok having a confrontation


Erich’s favourite surveying the world from the top of a dune


Male and female yellow canaries singing sweetly


Marico Flycatcher looking dapper


It was interesting to see this little steenbok digging for roots with its front hooves

I have to take back my words about this being the wrong road to take today – because in addition to our lions and other creatures we have three cheetah sightings

After we have breakfast at Kamqua picnic site we drive  on a bit further toward Mata Mata and find  some cars parked. They tell us we’ve missed three cheetahs  trying to get lunch.   Then we see them!


We follow them as they make their way through the bush.

IMG_7205 IMG_7208 IMG_7214We think they may try to hunt again but instead they lie down under a tree and so we leave them in peace.


Soon after this we spot another cheetah, on her own, sitting up on the ridge.  She then walks along the ridge and disappears down the other side.


As we travel on Earlybird stops and says – Look at that gemsbok – We look and see his is standing stock still and staring up onto the dune ridge.  We scan with our binoculars and after a few minutes I spot her.


She starts to move towards the springbok and gemsbok.  They all move away and the springbok cross to the other side of the road.


We drive up the hill toward Killie Krankie to get a better view.  She is patient and does not move for ages.


Eventually we leave as all the animals are aware of her and she won’t hunt today.

As we travel back to TR cars stop us to say they have seen the lions but when we get back to the spot they are no longer there.  What a fabulous last day we have had.


Namibia – Saffies and Aussies on Safari – Day 11

Friday 12 June 2015 Halali

We decide to have a rest day today. I get up first and out of the corner of my eye spot a ‘dog’ darting past the window.  Of course it was not a dog but a honey badger. I dash out with my camera but the light is still not good enough.  The badger is having fun.  He rolls and does head-over-heals and darts about doing his morning exercise.  I watch in fascination and then he runs toward the exit gate having had enough fun scavenging in the bins of Halali for one night!

The Mischievous Honey Badger

The Mischievous Honey Badger

Our chalet attendant is comes early and lets me take a photo.


I just love her outfit

Breakfast is first on our Agenda and after that we head out for our morning drive.

The guys enjoying their morning coffee

The guys enjoying their morning coffee

It is very dry in Etosha at present, yet there is plenty of game about in the form of giraffe, zebra, elephant, springbok, impala, gemsbok and kudu.


Black-faced impala


Gathering of Stripes


We are also see the Northern Black Korhaan.


What’s that you’re saying?

In the afternoon we spend some time at the pool.  Earl has a nap but Erich, Wendy and I order a take away lunch – chicken patty, salad and chips.  It takes an hour before it is delivered to us but it is really good. Before Erich arrives at the pool Wendy and I try to move a lounge into the shade but they are rather heavy.  A young man comes over to offer help – I am convinced that Wendy and I haven’t lost our charm but she says – It’s because we remind him of his granny and he couldn’t let his granny do it on her own.

Oh well!   Anyway there are two of these young men and they introduce themselves and chat to us – One is German the other Chilean.  Later an Alaskan joins them and it is fun learning that they’d met each other in Windhoek and are now travelling together.  The young Chilean is an airline pilot who has taken a year off to travel.  The German is a musician and the Alaskan has some sort of trade and is working his way around the world.

After our swim and lunch, Earl wakes up and joins us for a bit at the pool.  We then go to the waterhole and after enjoying that for a bit we go back to the chalet to braai.


A serious discussion on what to do about the intruding zebra


Shall we chase the zebs away?


The rhino are coming


I told you not to do that!


Oh well – I guess we’ll just share the waterhole

In the evening we enjoy a braai at our chalet



Namibia – Saffies and Aussies on Safari – Day 8

Tuesday 9 June 2015 -Namutoni

We are up early to get the car is packed and ready for our after breakfast departure.

We start our slow trip up the dirt road and stop to watch birds including purple roller,IMG_4246

pied babbler


Marico Fly-catcher


and yellow-billed hornbill


We are some kilometres away when it suddenly strikes me that I have left my expensive ski-jacket in the cupboard in our room.   There is a quick u turn as we race back to get it.

On the way back we see dik dik in the bushes.

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The Waterberg Plateau

The Waterberg Plateau

Termite Hill

Termite Hill

Finally we arrive at Namutoni.  On hearing my name the receptionist says – We have had a call from Sossusvlei – It seems that you have not paid for your two guided drives.  I am a bit taken aback as when I checked out I’d asked Herbert if all was in order and he’d assured me that it was. Earl goes straight into panic mode and thinks I have lost the receipt. But I only find receipts for dinners so he has to concede that the drives which should have been put onto our daily bill have been omitted. Yes – I should have checked the amounts but I’d simply written down the amounts paid by card in my meticulous records.

After calming down, we settle into our comfortable cabins, have a cold drink and then go out in the Land Rover.


Luxurious Bathroom


Comfortable sleeping quarters

We have a successful afternoon and see black-faced impala,

Black-faced Impala





lots of kori bustards,


northern black korhaan,


grey hornbill,


double banded courser,


a single bull elephant,


parent Burchell’s sandgrouse with 2 babies,

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and a black rhino hiding among the foliage of tree he was browsing.


It is a good start to our stay in Etosha National Park!  When we get back to camp, Wendy and I browse around the fort shops and late we have dinner in the restaurant – a buffet which is acceptable.


Namibia – Saffies and Aussies on Safari – Day 7

Monday 8 June 2015 Windhoek to The Waterberg Plateau

Our hostess, Anthea, cooks us a superb breakfast and tries to get an appointment with dentist for Erich because he has broken a tooth. Unfortunately he is unable to see him straight away and as Erich is in no pain he decides to leave it until we return to Windhoek in a week’s time.

The birds are active at the feeding table and bird bath and before we leave I take a few photographs of these cute little blue waxbills and black-throated canaries.

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On our way to the Waterberg Platteaux we stop to shop and refuel at Okahandju.  The street markets look interesting so we decide to browse.  The traders are pushy and call for us to come into their shops.  We look at some necklaces and small bowls in one and ask how much.  He shows us a hugely inflated price on the calculator on his cell phone and says – “This is my normal price – but because you are my first customer today – I will give it to you for less.”  The price offered is still way too much so I help Wendy bargain. “$400 is my final offer.” I tell him after haggling for several minutes.  He looks upset and annoyed and shakes his head so we turn to leave.  He calls us back – Fine -You can have it all for $400 but it means I will starve!”

We wanted to browse at some more shops but the pushiness of the traders put us off and we escaped as fast as we could.  It’s a pity – because if they offered a reasonalbe price to begin with they would get more customers and make more money! Every trader who approached us after this began with – because you’re my first customer, I will give you a special price!


Earl decides to buy some braai meat and salads as he has a feeling that there might be a place to braai at The Waterberg.  When I booked in I was told there was no self-catering at any of the Namibian Wildlife Reserve chalets.

When we check in, we find that we could have had one chalet instead of 2.  The person who booked me in had not explained that I only needed one chalet for 4 people although she knew perfectly well I was booking for 4!  There is a fridge and kettle in the chalet but it is not equipped with any other catering utensils.  There is, however, a braai!  I have my own catering equipment so we are delighted to be able to have a home cooked meal for a change.  The cottages are clean and comfortable and banded mongoose are there to welcome us.


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After snacking on last night’s leftovers from Joe’s Beer House we go for a 4 hour game drive on the plateaux.  It is fun and we see giraffe, sable, buffalo, springbok, impala, eland and kudu.  We hope to see the rhino but no luck in this respect!

Wendy and Erich at the viewpoint on the plateau

Wendy and Erich at the viewpoint on the plateau

Inquisitive Giraffe

Inquisitive Giraffe


Damara Hornbill

Damara Hornbill

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It is warm travelling up to the plateau but the sun is etting on our return and so the chill sets in. Luckily we have our warm jackets and rugs with us.  There are also rugs available on the vehicle.

We have a lovely braai for supper and turn in early so as to be ready to leave for Etosha tomorrow.