25 Oct 2012

Kgalagadi Night Drives

Spotted Eagle Owl  (Bubo africanus)

The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in Northern Cape Province, South Africa was combined with nature reserves in adjacent parts of Botswana in 1994 to become the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.  We spent five nights there in early October.

The night drive vehicle was a very stable 22-seat Isuzu, driven and guided by the personable Sarah. (Didn't get her last name !) With a beanbag, the 800mm and 5D MKIII were a powerful combination. Here we are waiting for the rest of the passengers.

The "Sunset Drive" from 18:00 to 21:00hrs was the most productive for us.  Some of these photos were taken before sunset, which was at around 19:00hrs. After dark,the two spotlights fitted on the  vehicle provided enough light if the subject was within about 30 metres and not moving much.  We did two "Sunset Drives" and one "Night Drive" which followed-on, from 21:00 to 23:00. (Visitors are not allowed to drive their own vehicles in the park after dark.)

Giant Eagle Owl  (Bubo lacteus)

Meerkat  (Suricata suricatta)

Sandbathing   Kori Bustard  (Ardeotis kori)

Yep, totally failed to line up anything iconic with the setting sun...

Barn Owl  (Tyto alba) - female and male

Cape Hare   (Lepus capensis)

Southern African Springhare   (Pedetes capensis)

African Wild Cat   (Felis sylvestris lybica)

with   Black-backed Jackal    (Canis misomelas)

Bat-eared Fox   (Otocyon megalotis)

Cape Fox   (Vulpes chama)

Spotted Hyaena   (Crocuta crocuta)

Cape (Spotted) Dikkop  (Burhinus capensis)

And we'll end as we began.....

Spotted Eagle Owl  (Bubo africanus)

Next posting, "Kgalagadi in the daytime…."


  1. Bat-eared fox is just mega cute. Fantastic.

  2. With the ears down the Bat-eared Fox reminded me of those Heineken adverts with Mr. Spock's floppy ears about to be "cured" by a dose of "the beer that refreshes the parts...."

  3. Brilliant, I am green with envy.......

    Who cares about sunsets when you have all those birds and animals!

  4. What an experience it must have been. Great images as usual.