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Wild Adventure – Namibia and Kgalagadi – Day 3 Springbok to Ai Ais

Wild Adventure – Namibia an Kgalagadi – Day 3 – Springbok to Ai Ais

29 October 2018

This morning we were all up at 7 getting ready for departure.  We had rusks, cereal and coffee for breakfast and The Earl and I set off ahead of The Mools as we would be travelling a tad slower.  It’s a good thing we did this because as we neared Steinskop we became aware of an awful knocking sound on the rear right of the car.   We contacted the Mools who had not yet left Springbok and told them we would turn into the Steinkopf to have it checked out.  Well, the mechanics at the local garage didn’t have a high lift so we had to head back to Ford in Springbok.  The Mools had just left but turned back saying they thought they should rather wait for us.

I phoned ahead to tell the mechanics that we needed emergency assistance and they were quite willing to see us immediately.   The Mools had a flask of boiling water and we found a shady spot, set out my cups on a chopping board, hauled out the cookies and rusks and had a little coffee party next to the forecourt!

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Preparing to picnic in front of the workshop!

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The Ford in the air

Luckily it was an easily sorted problem – the paper label had come loose from the prop shaft and was hitting against it making an unholy noise.  With that sorted were back on the road by 10:30.

We reached Vioolsdrift just before midday and the border crossing went smoothly.  It was not at all busy

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Then we were in Namibia!

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We filled up with fuel then drove through the desolate landscape of semis dessert.  The rocks are phenomenal!   Sometimes it looked like a pile of boulders had been poured onto  the side of the road by a huge dump truck.  It felt like we were driving on another moon like planet.IMG_1410IMG_1408

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Check in at Ai Ais went smoothly and we set up camp under some shady trees.   By five we were ready for our first swim in the hot pools

The wind got up in the evening so we decided not to braai and instead ate at the restaurant.  Pat had Schnitzel, I had chicken breast with cheese sauce and the men had rump steak.  The steak was a bit sinewy but very tasty.  We all enjoyed our meal but had to fetch our own wine as they had run out of the type they sold by the glass.  That saved us R40 each!

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Our first day in Namibia went well!  More of our adventure to follow.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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Black-faced impala

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Gathering of Stripes

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We are also see the Northern Black Korhaan.

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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.

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A serious discussion on what to do about the intruding zebra

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Shall we chase the zebs away?

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The rhino are coming

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I told you not to do that!

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

In the evening we enjoy a braai at our chalet

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Caravanning in The Kgalagadi – Wednesday 11 March 2015

We have still not learned to keep up with Jim but we have improved.   Maureen is second in the queue, a chap named Des – a hardened bush whacker who has to be out first – has been waiting since 5:45!   I am third!  We chat with Des and he says it is vital to get to the waterholes as early as possible and that if something exciting is going to happen it must be right next to the road or it won’t be worth watching!  But we are still torn between wanting to see the cats and wanting to enjoy the early morning birdlife!

It is already 23 C and rising.   The first animal of the day is a Black-backed jackal.

By 7:10 we’ve spotted Gemsbok, Springbok, Kori Bustard Giraffe and Tawny Eagle.

Our first proper stop is at 13th Waterhole where there is quite a bit of action.  A jackal is drinking and  so is a large tortoise.

Black-backed Jackal taking an early morning drink.

Black-backed Jackal taking an early morning drink.

The birds – Namaqua doves, red-headed finches, lark-like buntings, grey-backed sparrow-larks, yellow canaries, Cape sparrows and laughing doves are flying down is flocks grabbing a drink and flying up into the trees again.  The juvenile Gabar and a Lanner are there swooping down on the hunt.  We see the Gabar take a lark-like bunting and settle in the tree to enjoy it!

Larklike buntings

Larklike buntings taking refuge in the trees

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Juvenile Gabar with prey

We then head to the breakfast spot – Kamqua – and find a good table under a tree but the shade hasn’t reached it yet so Jim uses his canopy which works perfectly.  This time we decide to have muesli and yogurt.

We then head toward Montrose Waterhole find very little so turn around and come back. We find a hyena lying in the shade on the side of the road.

He gives us a look that says "Hey - what are you looking at?"

He gives us a look that says “Hey – what are you looking at?”

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Just let me sleep!

As we continue I yell STOP  Go Back, I’ve seen a White-faced  Owl.  Earl reverses and sure enough there among the foliage is the bird I’ve been looking for in camp! Soon after this we find 4 spotted dikkop.

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There were supposed to be a pair of these in camp but we never found them

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One of the four spotted dikkops we saw

At Dalkeith a lovely family of ostriches runs away from us.

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We watch a Namaqua Sandgrouse take drink

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And a grey headed sparrow goes rock jumping

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A car stops to tell us there is a lion at Craig Lockhart and when we get there we look toward the waterhole and see nothing.  The chap in the car parked next to the big tree that dominates the site points next to us and there in all his glory sits a big male lion!

No peace from the tourists

No peace from the tourists

Please go away

Please go away

Or I might just eat you

I wonder what Human tastes like

I have very sharp teeth

I have very sharp teeth

Half an hour later we find 4 cheetahs resting under a shady tree.  We return to camp after a cursory glance at some beautiful giraffe and then return to the cheetahs later in the afternoon. They wake up and mover around and we hope to see them hunt but all too soon it is time to go back to camp so we don’t have that privilege.