29 Oct 2012

Kagalagadi Transfrontier National Park, Northern Cape, South Africa

(My 300th posting !  I should be getting the hang of it by now !)

Swallow-tailed Bee-eater Merops hirundineus

We stayed at Twee Revieren, which is the park HQs, located at its' southern point.  The names means "Two Rivers" and the site is the confluence of the Aoub and Nossob rivers, both usually dry.

It seems incredible that, a century ago, the land was parceled off and farmers invited to try to make a living from the area.   Most had given up by the time people started to get concerned about the wildlife in the 1930s.  I'd read about the dry riverbeds, but they were broader and drier than I'd imagined.

There are "waterholes" here and there, and my experience of Kruger National Park twenty years ago made me think of deep hollows with a body of water the size of a tennis court.  Well, I was wrong about Kgalagadi, the "waterholes" are really just concrete troughs, fed by small pipes from tanks fed by arterial water drawn up by solar or wind power.
Ho hum.  Anyway, there was always plenty to see around the parts of the park we visited, which was really just a "v" shape, with each side about 30km long.  The hire car didn't take to the sandier road sections, and getting out and digging wasn't an attractive option in lion country.
Yes, lions.  Here are the first ones we saw, on our first evening.  We saw another car had stopped, and soon saw why.

We ended up seeing lions every day.  These two different males were more obliging.

Lion Panthera leo

Cheetahs, too.  We sighted one on a ridge line and saw there was a family party of four. Then they crossed the road within yards of us.

Cheetah Acinoryx jubatus

Plenty of "cat-food" on the hoof out there..

Springbok  Antidorcas marsupialis

Gemsbok Oryx gazella

And some good birds around. Not a cosmic variety, but enough to make the place more interesting for birders.

Yellow-billed Hornbill  Tockus leucomelas

Namaqua Sandgrouse  Pterocles namaqua

Burchell's Sandgrouse Pterocles burchelli

Northern Black Korhaan Afrotis afraoides

Crimson-breasted Shrike  Laniarius atrococcineus

Secretary Bird Sagittarius serpentarius

Yellow Mongoose  Cynictis pencillata

Pygmy Falcon  Poliheirax semitorquatus

Photo captions all over the place again; - I certainly haven't got the hang of those yet !


  1. Pretty FAB. Love the shrike. And the mongoosesssss. 300 up. Congrats. Almost up with F S Trueman. "Where next?" the crowd choruses.

    1. Andrew,

      Before I get to Murali/Warney territory, they will have all gone home !

  2. Dunno which is scarier looking............the lion or the hornbill.

    Great photos again.

  3. Stu,

    Yes, the Hornbill has a sort of "haunted" look... but I'd look worse if I bumped into a lion !