Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers





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  1. #1
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    Default Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Dear fellow travellers,

    as usual we want to share some thoughts on our latest travels. Do not despair, it will not be the usual lengthy trip report but rather a list of highlights and lowlights with plenty of photos.

    Quite some time ago on a bleak and cold winter day last year I had read a wonderful trip report with most impressive photos of the harsh landscapes of Southern Namibia and wild Mabua and I was overcome by a deep urge to get back to this part of the world and see some of the areas that we did not manage to visit in 2014. What I sadly failed to consider was the fact that it is really murderous time of the year to go or probably it was such a bleak day that I thought everything was better than a winter day in Germany - I have no other explanation. The fact is that the heat was insane, excruciating, infernal, exhausting. We had known that it would be hot but together with the terrible drought it was not pleasant and we would really hesitate to visit again at this time of the year.

    I have pondered for some time about whether or not to share our experience but finally decided to do so as someone might learn from it and avoid the mistakes we made.

    Our intinerary:

    26.1.19: Arrival in JNB, take-over of the Bushlore Bushcamper and overnight in Vryburg
    27.-28.1.19: Mabua, Lesholoago campsite
    29.-30.1.19: Mabua, Mpaya campsite
    31.1.19: Nossob Premium campsite
    1.2.19: Rooiputs
    2.2.19: Mata-Mata campsite
    3.2.19: Mesosaurus Fossil Bush camp
    4.2.19: Canyon Roadhouse campsite
    5.2.19: Namtib Guestfarm (Tiras) Litte Hunter's campsite
    6.2.19: NamibRand Familiy hideout campsite
    7.2.19: Namibgreens campsite
    8.2.19: Namib Valley of 1000 Hills campsite
    9.2.19: Windhoek Game Camp tented camp

    Highlights Mabua:

    * Meeting the first lion at Mabua entrance gate even before we entered the Game Reserve
    * Arriving at our campsite at Lesholoago around 1 hour later and finding it occupied by yet another male lion
    * Finding even more lions down at the waterhole. Obviously the male at the campsite did not belong to the waterhole group - when he started to roar the other male instantely got up, whole body tense and alert and rushed towards the intruder who turned tail and ran away
    * A quick hail storm before sunset which even provided for a few puddles in the pan - what a welcome day to Botswana!
    * The solitude around Lesholoago - we hardly saw any vehicles during the first 2 days
    * During our first night at Mpaya we heard an animal lapping at the tap. Imagine our surprise when a leopard passed our tent a few minutes later.
    * Our first mighty Kalahari thunderstorm. The storm had started to build up in the late afternoon while we were spending time with two male lions at Mpaya waterhole. The cats were really knocked out by the heat and just as we decided to head back to camp they got up, had their fill at the waterhole and started to roar about 3 metres from the car - we could feel the vehicle trembling
    Just when we thought the thunderstorm would pass us all hell broke loose. Constant cracking lightening and deafening thunder, beautiful rain, gusts of heavy wind, the whole car was ratteling as if some giant was furiously shaking the vehicle
    * A brown hyena drinking at the tap during the second night and resting there for quite some time

    Lowlights Mabua:

    * The drought. We had hoped to experience the area after good rains but there was hardly any vegetation left and the game was scarce. The few springboks that we saw were terribly thin, you could count their ribs as they were listlessly nibbling the stumps of dry grass. My heart was really aching for the wildlife.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Thank you Anne for your short write up. Your photos are stunning.

    You certainly chose a challenging time for the visit. Now that you have seen how beautiful Namibia is, you have to come back in a more "European Civilized" time to take it all in and experience the magic.

    You have also now proved that Africa got you hooked.
    Hermanator

    Herman Smit

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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Thanks for another exciting trip report, Anne.

    Sometimes it is best for photos to tell the story...
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog: Our African Ramblings (https://safaribug.wordpress.com/)

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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Quote Originally Posted by ortelius View Post
    Thanks for another exciting trip report, Anne.

    Sometimes it is best for photos to tell the story...
    Thanks Ortelius, I have not yet managed to read your TR of Uganda but I am looking forward to doing so!

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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Highlights KTP:

    * a huge herd of about 80 elands in the dunes ~ 20 km before Nossob when we came from Mabua
    * a rainstorm over Nossob which even filled the river bed in some parts
    * sitting in the Nossob hide and listening to a huge male lion whose powerfull roaring echoed through the riverbed - magic
    * spending time with a beautiful Giant Eagle owl that patiently sat in the trees next to a seasonal waterhole near KijKij
    * watching a graceful cheetah and a group of curious 5 hyenas close to KijKij
    * a group of around cute 15 meerkats digging and chattering right next to our car
    * a martial eagle in the early morning hours at a waterhole near Mata-Mata

    Lowlights KTP:

    * the drought. If the Nossob valley was dry, Mata Mata was devastated. Huge dust storms, very little game
    * People who do not appreciate the sounds of nature and spoil the experience with their constant babbling. At Nossob hide we were listening to the echoing powerful roars of a male lion. Someone whispered "amazing" but as an elder gentleman remarked, it was utterly unamazing and annoying that a couple next to the hide did not even stop their constant loud babbling for the short time that the lion was roaring.
    * Mata-Mata campsite. Others will have a different view on this but I find this camp really unattractive. Thanks to inconsiderate fellow campers we were treated to a session of psychedelic music until well after midnight.
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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Namibia highlights:

    In general: the endless views, the astonishing variety of beautiful landscapes, the quality of the camps, the solitude, the silence (except for the nerve-wracking wind that blew most of the time)


    * Mesosaurus Fossil Bush Camp: Sunrise and sunset among the quiver trees - MAGIC
    * Sunset at Fish River Canyon - few people and what a sight! and dinner at Canyon Roadhouse.
    * Sunset at Namtib Guest Farm Little Hunter's Rest campsite and finding the Cape Eagle Owl that kept us entertained during the night
    * NamibRand Orion campsite with the waterhole in front where timid Gemsbok constantly came to drink
    * Bush-Pizza from our Potje at Namibgreens
    * The views from Namib Valley of 1000 Hills campsite

    Namibia lowlights:

    In general: It was even drier and hotter than in Botswana. We spoke to a farmer in Tiras Mountains and he said that it was the 7th year of drought in the region.
    Learning at Windhoek Game camp that Koppie (the half-tame giraffe bull) died some time ago in an accident - but as a whole we still prefer to stay at this wonderful place when in Windhoek

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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Mesosaurus Fossil Bush Camp - one of the most beautiful places on our trip
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  22. #12
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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Fish River Canyon - Camping at Canyon Roadhouse was really good, beautiful abolutions, large sites
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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Namtib Guest Farm, Little Hunters Camp (Tiras Mountains )
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  26. #14
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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Nothing like the "green season" then.

    Yep, Africa is not for sissies as you can tell the story too.

    Despite, wonderful sightings and encounters, thanks for the excellent pictures

    Gruesse nach Deutschland 8)
    Kalahari Safari
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    | Nissan Safari GU TD42 | B'rakah 4x4 Trailer
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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Safari View Post
    Nothing like the "green season" then.

    Yep, Africa is not for sissies as you can tell the story too.

    Despite, wonderful sightings and encounters, thanks for the excellent pictures

    Gruesse nach Deutschland 8)
    Thanks for your kind words und schöne Grüße aus dem wunderbar regnerischen Deutschland ins hoffentlich grüne Botswana

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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    NamibRand Nature Reserve
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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    more NamibRand and Namibgreens
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  33. #18
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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Namib Valley of a 1000 Hills and Windhoek Game Camp
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  35. #19
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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    So what would WE do differently next time?

    - Choose a different time to go. The heat really wore us out, it was only 2 hours after sunrise and 1 hour before sunset that it was pleasant to be active. The rest of the day was spent desperately looking for deeper shade, reading, preparing dishes, dozing. In Namibia we would have liked to hike around, there are wonderful opportunities, but we could not find the energy.

    - Either see less or allow for longer holidays, it was too much driving.

    - Fenced campsites of KTP are no longer an option for us. They felt crowded and we missed the wilderness feeling as opposed to 2013 when we were there first.

    - I realized that for me wildlife encounters (not necessarily lions or other big game) are more important than beautiful landscapes. Priorities change with time.

    Where next? We have not yet decided where and when to go next time. Kenya sounds lovely and probably not so hot, Zambia sounds different but just as attractive - maybe we'll give it a try in the green season. At least I would not complaning about the drought 8) -
    Matthias thinks it is time for a longer break before we go back to Africa - me, I think a break of one year is long enough.
    On the other hand a longer break would give us more time to explore our new-found favourable country in Europe, the UK, which is as much home to my soul as many parts of Africa. A sweet dilemma - I know.

    Till next time, thanks for your interest and safe travels, Anne

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  37. #20
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    Default Re: Mabua, KTP and Southern Namibia Jan/Feb 19: Of two roasted travellers

    Super nice pictures ! You are good with your camera...

    -juha

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