Lion drinking

29 November Mata Mata

I arrived at reception at 5:15 waiting to collect my permit. What will KTP reveal to me today? Some predators? Left camp at 5:30 and travelled through the dunes to the Auob river bed. On the way it was very quiet with almost no animals around. Far off I noticed a brown hyena but no photo as it was running away and really far. Arrived at the loop leading to 14th waterhole and arrived probably minutes after a female Cheetah killed a Springbok. She was still sitting panting but her 2 cubs were very eagerly starting to feed on the carcass.

 

Breakfast in KgalagadiNice breakfast

Nice breakfast

Breakfast in Kgalagadi

I spent some time with the three while they were feeding, chasing the Jackal away and feeding some more. I eventually decided to leave to see what else is about. Probably a kilometer further on I found a rather thin male Lion purposefully walking towards me in the riverbed. He probably smelt the kill and was going to claim a free snack. I quickly reversed back to the kill but found the proverbial KTP traffic jam (probably 6 cars). The male Lion sprinted the last meters and the Cheetah trio very quickly departed (they had eaten the hind quarters and some juicy bits). It was the male lion with the broken jaw

 

Where is my breakfast??

Let me eat somewhere else

I decided to return to camp as it was warming up nicely (9:00 and 29C). Just before the road that leads to Dalkeith waterhole I noticed something walking in the road. What another Lion?!

This time a female but she had some mean looking scars on her body and looked very pregnant (or just had an enormous meal). The light was very harsh but I would like to share. I soon realized that she was on her way to have a drink and left her to find myself a prime spot. After waiting a few minute she arrived and had a loooong drink. She must have really been thirsty. After probably 15 minutes of drinking she moved on to the closest tree and plonked down in the shade.

 

Female lion on the way to Dalkeith waterhole

Female lion drinking

 

At Craig Lockhardt  these Springbok entertained me for a short while

 

Springbok at Craig Lockhardt, Kgalagadi

 

By know both my tummy and bladder were complaining (one being empty and the other wanting to burst) so I returned to camp.

 

After filling up and emptying out, some downloading of photos and doing this TR, I enjoyed a catnap in the air-conditioned bedroom of my chalet. I left camp at roughly 16:30 and it was still cooking outside (36C, Africa is not for sissies). I slowly made my way on the only road out of camp and stopped at Sitzas to spend some time with a Secretary Bird that was looking for something to nibble on. It was probably just as fascinated with me as I was with it (how do you tell the different sexes? Are they all female? Secretary??? Real male comment, yes I know….)

 

Secretarybird

 

It found a Lizard and quickly swallowed it down

 

Found it!!

 

As I was having a braai tonight, I decided to return to camp early, not knowing that I will once again spend some time at another sighting of immature Spotted Eagle-Owls

 

Spotted Eagle-Owl

 

Spotted Eagle_owl in setting sun

 

As I approached camp I noticed the beautiful clouds on the horizon, will they bring relief from not only the heat but also provide some much needed rain??