Kgalagadi – a true Kalahari experience

It is really great to be able to travel in our own beautiful country while it’s not an ideal time to travel abroad. We are trying our best to still have great experiences and our country has so much to offer! This time we were fortunate to visit the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This park borders South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The largest part of the park lies in the Botswana area, but we opted to stay in one of the rest camps on the South African side of the park – Nossob. There are a number of wilderness camps where you might have a “wilder” experience with lions walking around your camp, etc, but with my previous experience of the wildlife around Nossob, we decided to go there again. We were not disappointed and had wonderful sightings of lions, leopards and cheetahs and the most beautiful birds, and others! In this post I will give a general overview of our time, but will then zoom in on different experiences in separate posts too…

The morning we left Stellenbosch for our Kalahari excursion, I got the news that my brother passed away. So our time in the Kglagadi was bitter-sweet, because I was thinking of him the whole time and also because he loved the Kalahari so dearly. But I saw this “quiet” time on the road and in the veld also as a time to be able to reflect on my love for him, family matters, etc. wherever it was possible.

We were very fortunate to see wonderful things… lions twice, leopards three times and once three cheetahs stalking a few springbuck – unsuccessfully. But it was also all the antelopes (Springbok, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok (Oryx), Kudu, Blue Wildebeest) smaller animals and birds which we saw, that made our time so special. With the birds it was a bit more difficult, and had to get my bird book out to identify some of the birds, and still were sometimes unsure… A photographer’s paradise… With this trip I just realised that my little camera (Canon Powershot X60) isn’t really doing the thing next to all the big lenses that we saw out there ๐Ÿ™‚

And then the landscape. The Kalahari has it’s own charm, the red dunes, the grass, depending on what time of year it is. It was very green earlier this year after the Kglagadi had a great rain season, but now in June the green tall grass already turned yellow. Beautiful, but you can imagine how difficult it could be to spot a lion, cheetah or leopard in this tall grass where they were camouflaged perfectly. It also got tricky to photograph any animal behind tall grass blades… it was nearly like a game to get focused on the right place. The worst was that the road is sometimes (often in Nossob area) lower than the river bed along which one drives, now with tall grass there were spots where it was totally impossible to see anything. But we were still so lucky to see so many great things up close.

When we got to Nossob after more than 4 hours drive from the entrance gate of the Kgalagadi at Twee Rivieren rest camp, we found the most beautiful camping site, right next to the border of the rest camp. It was ideal, because we only had one neighbour and a large camping area and it felt as if we were really in the wilderness…. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the next post I will tell more about the special birds we’ve seen…

2 Comments

  1. Oooh I am pretty envious… I still dream about it visiting there. Your photos are awesome. Definitely lived vicariously through your lens. Thank you.

  2. Thanks, yes, we were also dreaming about the Kglagadi for years before we eventually got there. There will be a number of follow-up posts… there’s so much to share ๐Ÿ™‚

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