pedro maia

Overwhelmed with Kgalagadi

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Suddenly, the cheetahs started to look nervous

 

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And they run, but this time they weren´t playing anymore

 

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and they quickly crossed the road in front of our car and desapeared in the bush

 

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we looked backwards, in the direction of the camp, and the reason of the cheetahs escape became very clear when we saw this beautiful lioness walking towards the place where the cheetahs were moments before

 

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And it also became clear that the interest of the lioness wasn´t in the cheetahs, but in the wildebeest that never left the place while the cheetahs were playing

 

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However, the lioness was in open field and the wildebeest was in full control of the situation, whenever the lioness got a little close to his comfort zone he just moved a bit and never let her approach him enough to be a real threat

 

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And, eventually, the lioness gave up on any ideas she might have had

 

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There wasn´t going to be any action, the lioness just laid down so, after a while, we left the scene and went to Cubitje Quap to finally have breakfast (and until that moment we were still alone with no other car in sight).

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After having breakfast looking at some birds and orix we got back to Nossob

 

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And the lioness was in the same spot, still laying down

 

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She stood up, yawning and loong quite grumpy

 

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with the omnipresent jackal behind her

 

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She crossed the road (where finally there were a couple of cars) and vanished

 

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After all this episode, probably our best sighting ever, it was time to say goodbye to Nossob

 

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But before leaving I couldn´t help taking a picture of this bush model fire extinguishers

 

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Nossob camp is not to be missed, in central position. Only chalets tend to be very hot during the nights, at least our was.

 

But all that is quickly forgotten when next morning such fantastic sightings are on menu!

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@PedroMala, Kgalagadi is certainly on my list of dream safari locations. The only problem I have with it is that, I simply can't drive in Africa because of my inability to take the stress and I would need to hire a vehicle and a driver, so I would need to find at least one other person to split the expense with me. 

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11 hours ago, xelas said:

Nossob camp is not to be missed, in central position. Only chalets tend to be very hot during the nights, at least our was.

 

But all that is quickly forgotten when next morning such fantastic sightings are on menu!

 

Hi Alex, that depends on the time of the year, the night I spent there the chalet temperature was normal, it was not an issue.

 

The menu of the sightings is, as you say, fantasticB).

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52 minutes ago, optig said:

@PedroMala, Kgalagadi is certainly on my list of dream safari locations. The only problem I have with it is that, I simply can't drive in Africa because of my inability to take the stress and I would need to hire a vehicle and a driver, so I would need to find at least one other person to split the expense with me. 

 

I see you live in Africa but conditions differ from one destination to another..

 

In what concerns the road trip from Upington to Kgalagadi it couldn´t be less stressful, you leave the airport, in our case we went to buy groceries at the Kalahari Mall which is close to the airport and you don´t need to get inside Upington and then you have a little more than 250km of good tar road, mostly straights, and very few cars.

 

I think if there is a place in Africa where there is no stress involved in driving it can be this one, although I can only compare with other places in South Africa.

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The trip from Nossob back to the park exit at Twee Rivieren was long and it didn´t produce any "wow factor" sightings but it was pleasant still there were some very nice moments and sightings

 

orix allways provide nice images

 

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just like spingbocks

 

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just try to do this...

 

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This secretary bird´s bath was a very curious and funny moment

 

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it looks good

 

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it´s really good

 

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just one more time

 

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and a last one

 

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maybe another go

 

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or maybe not

 

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why do you look at me as if I am weird?

 

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one of the few sightings of red hartebeest

 

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a beautiful yellow mongoose

 

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I know there is an overload of jackal picture in this TR but they provided us some great moments, including a few missed hunt attempts (no pictures of those)

 

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Lavoisier Law

 

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Kori bustard are also very nice to watch and they blend really well with the dry grass

 

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Another raptor, to me it looks like an immature pale chanting goshawk

 

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And I love this image, with the orix in the pale yellow grass with the red sand of the dunes as background

 

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Video of a female ostrich´s dust bath

 

 

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Really looking forward to visiting Kgalagadi, even if we may not get to Nossob! Your report has whet my appetite! 😁

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21 hours ago, kittykat23uk said:

Really looking forward to visiting Kgalagadi, even if we may not get to Nossob! Your report has whet my appetite! 😁

 

At first I booked all 5 nigths of our stay at the Kgalagadi Lodge and my idea was to take one full day to go to Nossob and back, which I quickly realised wasn´t going to be possible.

 

Than I kept tracking Sanparks website for cancelations at Nossob and finally got to book a family chalet for a one single night and it was a very good decision, Nossob provided the best moments of the trip.and if I ever go back to KTP I will try to stay there fore a few more nights.

 

So the only thing I can tell you is to try todo what you can to fit it in your itinerary.

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At first my idea for our third day at the park was to go all the way to Mata Mata and back but we were just too tired so we decided to try the Auob river road, then the lower dunes road and the final stretch of the Nossob road during the morning, have lunch at our lodge, rest a bit and then return to the park to go on a sunset drive from Twee Rivieren, it was going to be the hottest day (it got to 33º) of all so it wouldn´t be too cold for the night part of the sunset drive.

 

The decision to start the day by the Auob road was logical since we had driven the Nossob road up and down the two previous days but it wasn´t the best one, if we had done the other way round we wouldn´t have miss hyenas and jackals sharing a carcass close to the road, when we passed by the spot there weren´t any hyenas, jackals or carcass, it´s just the way it is, we cuoldn´t have guessed it but it would have been better if nobody told us about the sighting we missed.

 

The Auob road was very quiet, the first sighting worth mentioning was this black headed heron at a waterhole

 

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And this “zazu”, we only saw them at the Auob road.

 

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A nice view of the Auchterlonie museum

 

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We made a quick stop to get in, a curious place that shows a bit of the roughness of living at this hostile place 100 years ago

 

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Then we entered the lower dunes road and I must say that although it didn´t produce any extraordinary sighting it is a really beautiful road.

 

As usual oryx showed up and they really fit in the red dunes landscape

 

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The inevitable jackal crossing the road

 

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An immature pale chanting goshawk, I guess

 

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A kori bustard in the dunes, we saw a few of them in this road

 

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I don´t know how did we spot this stenbock, it wasn´t that close to the road and it has just the same colour of the sand

 

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An ostrich

 

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Another kori bustard, this one very close to us

 

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A beautiful raptor I can´t identify

 

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Some cute ground squirrels

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Close up of a jackal

 

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The road

 

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And back to the Nossob road, where we were told about the hyenas feeding sighting we missed

 

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The raptor you are struggling with above is a mature Pale Chanting Goshawk.

 

Thanks for takin gme back!

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Thanks @Peter Connan, I was hoping it was something different but it is still beautiful.

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The sunset drive was scheduled to 5:30pm at Twee Rivieren, it was a good chance to spot some animals we hadn´t seen before and that´s exactly what happened, although it was hard to take pictures at night we had great sightings.

 

At the beginning if the drive our ranger told us that the night before 3 lions jumped the camps fence and wandered around the camping area, besides producing a few casualties between the staff´s chickens.

 

We aren´t campers but I can imagine the fright of hearing a noise, come out of the tent to check what´s going on an see 3 lions, or maybe I can´t and I prefer not to have the experience...

 

First sighting was of the resident verreaux's eagle owl little after exiting the camp gate, we had pass by that tree a few times and didn´t know there was an owl living there.

 

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Then our first sighting of meerkats, which were high on my wishing list, but they were at the other side of the river bed so we needed the binoculars to see them properly.

 

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A korhan

 

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Then, the first bat-eared fox of the drive, but still quite distant

 

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Right after the bat-eared fox (we also saw cape fox but didn´t get any picture) another animal from my wish list, an african wild cat hiding in the bushes

 

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The only sighting of spotted hyenas we had and quite distant, it´s not clear but in the first picture there´s the hyena and a jackal and they were peacefully together, maybe they were scraping some leftovers of the carcass we didn´t get to see during our morning drive, it´s hard to say

 

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Another bat-eared fox, this time from a close range, nice looking animal

 

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We loved to see this white-faced scops owl, the eyes are just amazing

 

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Another african wild cat, this time we got a better sighting

 

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And the last animal spotted before returning to Twee Rivieren was this genet

 

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A very pleasant and productive game drive I would say.

 

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Lovely sightings on that night drive!

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Great stuff all around. The owl is a nice find, and I'm enjoying all the focus the jackals are getting.

I should also say that as I haven't eaten yet today, I find my eyes drawn back to that braai picture...

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Our last full day at the park was going to be a long one, it was the day we did the Auob river road all the way to Mata Mata and back and it was, again, a great day with great sightings.

 

First this springbock shape with the sunrise as background

 

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A visual illusion or it is really forbidden to go to nowhere?

 

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A group of ostriches on top of a dune

 

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A tawny eagle, in the nest

 

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Did I already mention I like jackals?

 

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Then a herbivore procession to a waterhole

 

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Kori bustard

 

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Oryx are really beautiful

 

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Close-up of a wildebeest

 

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The only kudu bull we saw during the whole trip, majestic and looking as if he was proudly posing for us

 

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My daughter caught this kori bustard in its approach to landing

 

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I knew that somewhere before Mata Mata would be the place to spot giraffes, we nearly missed them but at 13th or 14th borehole, I´m not sure, a lady whose husband was there making a survey for Sanparks to the creation of a new picnic site told us they were right behind us, and there they were, nice sighting of an animal which the first time we went to Kruger, 6 or 7 years ago, my daughter described as “looking very African”, and I tend to agree with her.

 

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One yellow-billed hornbill, as I said we only saw them at the Auob road

 

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The only lilac breasted roller of the trip

 

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Another giraffe

 

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And the landscape approaching Mata Mata, Kgalagadi can be amazing, can´t it?

 

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At Mata Mata we had a purpose, to go to Sitzas Farmsatll to by meat for that night´s braai, it was father and daughter team´s turn

 

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Going shopping in Namibia after getting the necessary authorization from the border officer

 

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Sitzas Farmstahl, 800m from the border

 

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Back from shopping

 

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Return to South Africa

 

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Our company while we had some sandwiches at Mata Mata picnic site

 

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And time to hit the road again for an absolutely memorable afternoon

 

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We left Mata Mata to make the 120km back to the park gate at Twee Rivieren, once again I couldn´t resist to take a few pictures of the road and the landscape.

 

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Soon after leaving Mata Mata a car made us signs with the headlights and the very gentle couple inside told us that there was a cheetah moving along the left side of the road 3,1km from where we were (perfectly detailed information), we thanked them and moved away at 50km/h and, right according to the information, there it was, close to the road and moving south, this beautiful cheetah that we found out in another forum that is a female known as Corinne.

 

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Gorgeous animal, really athletic and elegant ,a true sprinter.

 

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There was only another car nearby (then another one after we warned another family with our headlights) and we watch and slowly moved along Corinne, who had a goal, a herd of springboks grazing several hundreds of meters ahead, in the middle of the river bed.

 

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Corinne´s task wasn´t an easy one, there was a lot of open terrain between her and the herd so she moved slowly, trying to blend with the grass

 

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Then she sat for a bit to assess the situation

 

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And decided to cross to the other bank, to the dune, but that had to be done in the open

 

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By then the springboks were still quite far from Corinne but either they spotted her or sensed that there was danger because one of them was a little apart from the others, with it´s head up in Corinne´s direction, without moving.

 

In the meantime we had a great (although brief) moment when we were watching Corinne already in the dune and in the river bed a scrub hare passed running for it´s life with two jackals running behind it, suddenly the hare turned to the dune and the jackals didn´t even notice that and kept running, but it was too quick so we don´t have pictures of that pursuit.

 

By then Corinne was moving along the dune, as stealthy as possible.

 

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From time to time we lost her sight, then saw her again, until she sat, then laid down, and stopped moving.

 

We waited for a good while but it became clear that there was probably going to be some action but it was going to take time, Corinne was still far from the springboks and we had all the Auob road ahead of us, if we were staying at Mata Mata we would have return later but it wasn´t the case so we had to leave the scene.

 

It was, nevertheless, one of the best moments of the trip.

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As I said we had to leave Corinne so we didn´t know what happened, if there was some action and if she was successful or not, we kept driving the Auob road towards Twee Rivieren, once again we saw giraffes in what looked like a meeting around the tree

 

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We got some close ups of springboks

 

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Some female kudus drinking at a waterhole

 

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And we stayed for a while watching this group of wildebeest, as there seemed to be lots of testosterone in the air

 

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Two of them got engaed in a fight, although not too serious

 

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Then four

 

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And then it looked like wildebeest wrestlemania:D

 

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It was fun to watch, as I said it didn´t seem to be too serious and none of them seemed to get hurt, but it was a good momment of the drive.

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I have a stupid question (from ignorance on my part of how this works). You were self-driving, right? So did you get these fabulous photos through the glass of your vehicle? or did you rent a pop-top vehicle? I was wondering how that works when you self-drive.I'm assuming you don't get out of the car to take the picture, or roll down the window (LOL)?

 

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1 hour ago, mtanenbaum said:

I have a stupid question (from ignorance on my part of how this works). You were self-driving, right? So did you get these fabulous photos through the glass of your vehicle? or did you rent a pop-top vehicle? I was wondering how that works when you self-drive.I'm assuming you don't get out of the car to take the picture, or roll down the window (LOL)?

 

 

You can only get out of the vehicule in designated places, like picnic sites, and I would say 99% of the people self drive in this park and vehicules are normal, no pop-top, most of the time our windows were down, except when passing by or driving behind other vehicules, because of the dust.

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6 hours ago, mtanenbaum said:

I have a stupid question (from ignorance on my part of how this works). You were self-driving, right? So did you get these fabulous photos through the glass of your vehicle? or did you rent a pop-top vehicle? I was wondering how that works when you self-drive.I'm assuming you don't get out of the car to take the picture, or roll down the window (LOL)?

 

 

Definately roll down the window, but don't hang out the window. It is fine if the lens protrudes through the window though, and most people will use some form of window rest.

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On 8/30/2017 at 8:18 PM, pedro maia said:

she has a lot to learn but she´s very young,

 

@pedro maia  I can see an excellent photographer in the making.

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After we left the wrestling wildebeest of kept driving along the Auob until we saw this meerkat, one of my favourites animals which we had only seen from quite a distance in the sunset drive we took the day before.

 

I really love this image of the lone meerkat on the river bed, it´s the kind of image I had in my head as been quintessential Kgalagadi without having been there any time before.

 

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Of course that meerkat wasn´t alone, there was the rest of the gang and they were really close to the road, we got a good position and stayed with them for a good while watching this awesome creature while my daughter took the pictures, and it was really hard to choose so prepare for a "massacre"

 

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