2015 Kgalagadi – Day 6

The first unforgettable Kgalagadi trip!

Tuesday – 2015/09/29

We slept like babies, considering the experience we had the previous night, but shortly before 5h we were up and having coffee in the hide. The morning once again treated us to a beautiful sunrise… but this morning there were no animals in sight.

Back at the tent it was time to break up camp again… and this time it would be the last time for this trip. Today was our last day in the Kgalagadi and we had a long way to go to Witsand… We inflated the tires a bit, but our hearts were heavy, as the end of our time in the Kgalagadi was rapidly approaching.

Kori bustard in the Auob river

Shortly after leaving Mata-Mata, we had the opportunity to see a Kori bustard more closely. It is quite an impressive bird.

At Craig Lockhart waterhole we saw the first predator. There was a lioness at the waterhole and she had it all to herself.

Lioness at Craig Lockhart

About a hundred meter away a jackal was crying out his displeasure to the world, probably because he could not get to the waterhole to have a drink of water.

Crying black-backed jackal close to Craig Lockhart waterhole

Down the road we came across a tawny eagle trying to either kill something it caught, or trying to break something open… but he ended up on his tail feathers in the process.

Tawny Eagle’s stomping activities

At Twee Rivieren we filled up the bakkie and bought our last Kgalagadi ice cream at the shop… and then we were back on the tar road.

We stopped shortly after leaving the park, to allow Christoff to take a picture of the red dune he saw when we arrived a few days ago… and a bit further it was my turn to jump out for a shot of the short wind mill.

The tar road to Upington was a bit of a bore after the dirt roads in the Kgalagadi, so I had to relief Christoff and take the wheel for a while. He took a nap.

In Upington we filled up the tank again, but some cold sodas and headed out along the Orange river towards Groblershoop… The winding green strip in the otherwise dry surroundings were quite a site.

Stretches of green along the Orange river

At Groblershoop we exchanged the tar road again for the dirt road to Witsand… While the men were again busy deflating tires, I started walking away to grab a picture of Escapé on the dirt road… I could not do that in the Kgalagadi…

Escapé riding the dirt road
Witsand’s entrance
Roaring dune at Witsand

Arriving at Witsand, we collected our keys and drove to where the dunes roar. At first we jogged up the dune to make it roar, but that was in vane. Well, we did reach the top successfully and enjoyed the view, but did not hear any roaring.

Grandpa Ampie made us run on all the surrounding dunes until we found a few spots where the sand roared and shivered under our feet. It was a strange experience.

After unpacking at our rooms, we started a fire and Grandpa Ampie pulled our red pot closer to make some pap. While we were waiting for the braaivleis a genet climbed in a nearby tree and eagerly waited with us for the food to be ready, maybe hoping for a scrap or two to end up in his tummy.

After the long day on the road – and jogging up and down the dunes – we headed off to bed early… The beds were extra snug in the cooled room, after the last four nights on stretchers in a tent.

For more adventures, have a look at the other daily posts from the introduction. Or click here to go to the next day.

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