porcupine quills

1 December Urikaruus

I woke up this morning to find it fairly light outside!! Did my cell alarm not go off? I quickly checked the time and found it to already be 5:45, 15 min past the start of traveling time!! Just then my alarm went off, I obviously set it for 5:45 in stead of 4:45. As I arrived in the kitchen to make some coffee before leaving I first checked the fridge. Still everything was luke warm. Reported this to Eric, the camp attendant as I collected my permit.

Just before the loop to 13th waterhole I saw this Cheetah with a radio collar walking towards me next to the road.

She was very interested in something in the river bed and would stop every few meters and stare to only then continue on. She eventually crossed the road and disappeared over the ridge to the right.

Highway patrol

I spotted some general game including some Springbok and these Gemsbok

 

Gemsbok staring

At Dalkeith waterhole I found the male Lion of yesterday sleeping in the shade of a tree close to the waterhole. He eventually sat up and I noticed he had killed a Porcupine as he still had some quills around his mouth (noticed the killing site some few meters earlier on the road.)

 

Male lion with porcupine quills

 

He gave a few yawns,

Old male lion yawning

 

and then got up to have a drink of water

 

Male lion going for drink

 

Unfortunately his best side but to just confirm that he indeed was a male…. He then made his way to an nice shady spot on the right hand side of the waterhole and plonked down for another rest, the life of a king!

 

I decided to return to camp (and check the fridge)! I stopped of at 13th waterhole watch this amazing onslaught onto the water. There were so many Red-billed Quellea and they were so fast I think they have no chance of drinking

 

Chaos at the waterhole

Back at camp I received confirmation from Eric that my fridge was not working and he reported it to Technical at Twee Rivieren. He kindly offered to put my meat in his freezer as it was probably not going to survive in mine. I wonder if they will do anything about it…? I still have lots of fruit, yogurt and cheese in my white metal box (supposed to be a fridge!!)

Eric, the Urikaruus camp attendant, later came to tell me that they are on their way from Twee Rivieren with a replacement fridge (at last, my beer is warm….) Bennett from the tourism department arrived at +- 12:00 and after some battling up the stairs I had a new fridge installed.

 

Fridge replacement

 

I asked them if they tested it before sending it and Bennett answered in the affirmative (I should have asked for a QA certificate……). They did not even send a clamp to attach the gas pipe!! Eric tried to improvise with a piece of wire but yes you guessed it, it leaked gas and as I discovered on my return from my afternoon drive it also does not work properly. My second day running without cold beer and my food is going off (I can do with losing some weight but hell I paid good money for the chalet)! While the two gentlemen were struggling with my fridge I had some visitors at the waterhole

 

Urikaruus waterhole

I left camp at 16:00 and decided to drive in the direction of Mata Mata. I again found my Spotted Thick-knee and this time noticed the other one sitting on a nest.

 

Spotted Thick-knee on nest

At 13th waterhole two Brown Snake Eagles were about to take a drink. The one immediately flew off but the second one entertained me for some time before also flying off.

Twany Eagle

 

At Craig Lockhardt I came across some lions but they were really doing what lions do best, sleeping. The one female eventually got up and went for a drink. She was not eager to wet her feet…

Lion female jumping at Craig Lockhardt

Just the other side of Dalkeith the female with the abrasions on her side was again walking in the road towards the waterhole. Unfortunately I was running out of time and could not go back to see her drink. It was now obvious that she was not pregnant but was still looking worse for wear.

 

Female lion in road

 

Female lion drinking