Saturday, August 30, 2014


My view

That's a waterhole waaaay down there...
Kieliekrankie is another wilderness camp, but this one is up in the dunes. You can see the whole world from up here.

I can't think of a better place to wind down after a hard day's game viewing.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

A lazy day

We had four nights at Urikaruus, another wilderness camp with cabins raised on stilts

On the second day Walter and I decided to lounge around camp rather than doing a game drive. It was the coldest day of the trip so far and I huddled in blankets around ET, moving into patches of sun to try to warm up, engrossed in my Kindle. In the early evening the camp attendant came to see how we were doing and while we were having a chat in our kitchen he yelled "cheetah!" and leaped across the room to snatch open the balcony door. We rushed out to see a cheetah racing after the springbok around the waterhole.
There was no kill and that cheetah went to bed hungry last night, but what a sight!

The waterhole, not 100m away from our balcony.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Finglittens and the stompmasjien

The finglittens have been put to good use in the sub-zero early mornings, this is the pair I've used most (they are black and consequently don't show the dirt)

Talking about dirt...a washing machine is also a good idea (because the teenytiny4x4 doesn't really allow for 3 weeks' worth of clothes so you do actually have to wash them at some stage)

This is the stompmasjien mark I (patent pending)

Empty the container of tinned foods and place in shower. Add washing powder and water while shower temperature reaches optimal. Add clothes. Stomp on clothes while you shower. Tip container over to empty out the dirty water. Rinse.

Voila! Clean clothes.

Caution - the stompmasjien is an avaricious sockaloshe. Tie socks together as with your suburban version.

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Monday, August 25, 2014


The Kgalagadi is bitterly cold at night in winter. We were lulled into a false sense of security traveling up to Gharagap from Grootkolk, when the temperature reached 36deg C.
But a cold front swept in on our first night at Urikaruus, heralded by a vicious thin wind that had temperatures plunging to -6 overnight and froze the water pipes.

You will need thermal underwear, beanies, jackets and scarves. Finglittens work well too, as does a hefty dose of Old Brown Sherry.

This is ET, a gas heater and our lifesaver. No way I'm getting out of bed without him. He works wonders in the bathroom where he greets you cheerfully as you step out of your piping hot shower. Bless.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kom in Bravo Drie

A very clever idea from my Grandmother and Darling, a small two-way radio with a distance of about 15km. They have the base station in their vehicle (spotter one) and we have a handset in ours (sweeper one)

Note the monster aerial on the teenytiny4x4's roof (beware of low-hanging branches)

Perfect, given that the Kgalagadi is the Mordor of cell phone signal.

Useful, too, for game-spotting.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

The Empty Quarter

As I sit here having my condensed milk coffee this morning there is a black-backed jackal curled up near the waterhole, so much like a dog that I almost started looking for the dog food.

Quite a few people told me there's nothing to see here; they couldn't be more wrong.
We have seen bat-eared foxes, meerkats, yellow mongoose, jackals, brown hyena, gemsbok, springbok, kudu, red hartebeest, steenbok, blue wildebeest, eland, striped mice, shrews, tawny eagles, pale chanting goshawks, gabar goshawks, a sub adult martial eagle, ostriches, chestnut-vented tit babblers, crimson breasted shrikes, Karoo scrub robins, yellow-fronted canaries, lanner falcons, sociable weavers, white-browed sparrow weavers, kori bustards, secretary birds, and a spotted eagle owl in a tree at mid day. And that's just what I can remember without consulting the list.

And Walter whispered urgently at some ungodly hour this morning that a lion was outside our tent.
Oh yes, I almost forgot the fattest black-maned lion I've ever seen taking a siesta in the shade.

But by all means stay away if the perfectly-tarred roads of the tame parks are more to your liking, you won't see anything here at all.

This is quite obviously a different lion.

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