Central kalahari game reserve:April 2011:trip report. - Page 2





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  1. #21
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    Hi Stan,
    Firstly a fantastic report, thanks a lot. Am going up to same area for a "recon" and then down via Xade to Khute Gate.
    Don't have as much or enough time but want to check it out & plan a longer trip in Aug.
    Regards,
    Robin H.

  2. #22
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    Hi SAMK64,
    Also living in Gabs, contact me 71338976.
    Robin H.

  3. #23
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    Great report Stan. Now you know why I swear by rooftop tents!

    Tony

  4. #24
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    Default Mud & lions

    Hi Stan
    Wonderful to read your report - we were in exactly the same area a few days after you; fortunately we had been warned about the mud holes before deception pan by a tourist exiting the park, and so safely through the western bypass!

    We stayed at Deception camp no.3. Totally enjoyed the peace and quiet, and as you saw, the lions, gemsbok and springbok. No ellie sightings but plenty fresh dung.

    Will be back in the area end June to see Kubu island as we had to abandon our booking there due to wet conditions and we were travelling on our own.
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  5. #25
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    thanks Stan for taking the time (and effort) to do such an interesting and informative report. I really enjoyed reading it. And I can tell you, I am GREEEEEN ! we were there (stayed in Deception, 17-22 April), and didnt see ONE lion (or leopard or cheetah). we heard them and saw their footprints near our campsite on the road. You are so very lucky to have had such good sightings and on so many occasions. We really looked hard !!!! oh well, as you say, thats the way game viewing goes.

  6. #26
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin H View Post
    Hi Stan,
    Firstly a fantastic report, thanks a lot. Am going up to same area for a "recon" and then down via Xade to Khute Gate.
    Don't have as much or enough time but want to check it out & plan a longer trip in Aug.
    Regards,
    Robin H.
    Hi Robin
    Are you traveling from Xade to Khutse gate? Not sure of your off road background or what your plan is so you are welcome to tell me to get lost! We did this in reverse last month.This is a long sandy trip with some dense bush to give your vehicle a bit of "bar-coding". It took us 14.5 hrs from Moreswe to Xaka Camp (about 80 km short of Xade). We were with a group that had a Merc ML 500 AMG that started mowing the middle mannetjie in Khutse and grading it in CKGR. Finally abandoned it well short of Xaka (GPS co-ordinates withheld -but hope it has been recovered by now!). The electronics went haywire and eventually a radiator or hydraulic hose burst. The computer kept saying return to service center but we could not find one near by.
    Good trip for the enthusiast but have a high ground clearance vehicle, seed net plus check for grass on the drive train and exhaust train every few hours and do not expect to see game.
    We took it easy at the back of the convoy in the Trooper and even saw two ostrich.
    From Pipers Pan going northwards and eastwards is another world and incredibly beautiful and interesting with generally much better road conditions. We would definitely go into CKGR via Matswere across to Pipers and then back out Matswere on a different route per Stan Weakley's excellent report.
    1999 Isuzu Trooper - The Truck
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  7. #27
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    Default Malaria prophylaxis CKGR.

    You might have seen that I decided to take malaria prophylaxis, contrary to popular opinion, for CKGR. I saw a patient today who developed confirmed malaria about 3 weeks ago after a visit to Kgadigadi. They only stayed at Molopo Lodge, Nossob and Mata Mata. They did not leave SA. He was the only one in a large group who became ill. Luckily he was on the ball when he presented to his GP with "flu" and requested the malaria smear be done.
    With the extreme rains north of our borders I think there are going to be a lot of malaria cases from unexpected areas.
    If you become ill after a trip to the north please remember to ask for a malaria test. Every year we have travellers ill in our ICUs in East London after a delayed malaria diagnosis.They don't all make it.

    Stan.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    You might have seen that I decided to take malaria prophylaxis, contrary to popular opinion, for CKGR. I saw a patient today who developed confirmed malaria about 3 weeks ago after a visit to Kgadigadi. They only stayed at Molopo Lodge, Nossob and Mata Mata. They did not leave SA. He was the only one in a large group who became ill. Luckily he was on the ball when he presented to his GP with "flu" and requested the malaria smear be done.
    With the extreme rains north of our borders I think there are going to be a lot of malaria cases from unexpected areas.
    If you become ill after a trip to the north please remember to ask for a malaria test. Every year we have travellers ill in our ICUs in East London after a delayed malaria diagnosis.They don't all make it.
    Stan.
    Excellent advice Stan. Given the rains this year, I would think that even the Kgagalagadi Transfrontier Park and Mabua would be risk areas.

    Tony

  9. #29
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    Thanks for the interest shown by forumites. Thanks for wading through the report, my intention is always to post a short and concise report but the excitement of sharing our experiences gets the better of me.

    Spook, even if I had my camera in the tent, with flash attached, ready to go, I don't know if I would have summoned up the courage to sit up, never mind zipping open the tent entrance, to take a decent photo of the Lions.They were showing an unhealthy interest in our tent and presumably us, the occupants whom they could obviously scent. Some of them were in very close proximity to the tent all the time. We were just lying low and hoping to attract as little attention as possible. However a photograph of a Lion peering into the front entrance would have been a winner!

    Kerry, thanks, will contact you fairly soon when free, it will be great to swop notes with another enthusiast.

    Stan

  10. #30
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    Thanks again Stan, im happy now that you have added more photos, they are really goood..

  11. #31
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    Really wish i could go!!!!
    Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6 SE

    ''I live to experience not imagine''

  12. #32
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    This is a masterpiece, very enjoyable reading, thank you Stan! I will come back to it next year before our trip.

    WRT lions at Sundays, their behavior is a bit concerning. We have had many lion encounters in Moremi and Savuti but none of them ever showed and interest in the tent. We will have to take something that makes a loud noise to frighten them if we have the same experience as you.

    Lastly your patient with the malaria, I doubt very much that they got malaria in the KTP. We were there the same time that you were in the CKGR but rarely saw mosquitos despite of lots of water around. However, Molopo lodge is a different story: we stayed there for one night last year and although very clean and comfortable they have a pool and lots of waterfeatures plus lots of damp soil under all the lovely shade trees which turned it into a mosquito hell. My son had 23 bites just on his one arm, even though I sprayed us and the room and repeated it twice during the night.

    Thanks again for your trip report and your answer on the other thread.

  13. #33
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    Thanks Lekhubu,
    Yes the malaria victim also suspected Molopo as he was bitten plenty there, but the point is that he could not be sure where exactly he picked it up. This is still the same area of the Kalahari, where one would not usually take prophylaxis.

    I am concerned that people leave food out in their camps, perhaps even deliberately, to entice Lions into the camp. Lions are natural scavengers. Although people may feel safe in their roof top tents, Lions feeling at home in camps is not a good thing and it is only a matter of time before something bad comes of this. I understand that Lions can also be a nuisance in Mabua and the other southern Kalahari reserves in Bots.

    Have a look at this deliberately provocative thread which I posted long before this trip http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php?t=78777
    I do not support all of the views expressed but it is food for thought.

    I must emphasise that we would not swop this experience for anything, but once the adrenaline has settled, I realise that an inadvertent tear in the thin canvas and we could have been in trouble. In walking safaris the Lions usually make way for the walkers and it is mainly Buffalo and Elephant that the guides are concerned about.

    I am going to take some big bang crackers with me in future just in case Lions get out of hand.

    Stan.

  14. #34
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    Hi Stan, yes Molopo is in the same area as KTP but the way I see it is at Molopo there is man-made things like water features the cause mozzies to breed in great numbers which is not present in the KTP. We were in fact amazed how quickly large pools of water in road close to Polentswa dried up after a bit of sun. Within a day they were gone whereas at Molopo it always stays damp. But I am merely speculating.

    Some people leave food out deliberately and they are idiots (no apologies) that cause endless trouble for campers after them and eventually even leading to an animal being destroyed. Others just camp the way they do in Kruger's or KTP fenced camp without thinking: braai grid left on the ground, dirty plates left on the table or the ground for the night, plastic ammo boxes full of food on the ground, etc,etc. Worst of all food in the tent

    I still believe that it is unlikely that a lion will tear open a tent. I have never heard of it in the years we lived and camped in Botswana, neither from our friends still living there. But there is a first for everything.

    But we will take precautions, we have a 7 year old and he will not be able to lay quietly in a tent for even five minutes with so many frisky lions in camp.

  15. #35
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    Default CKGR - Trip Report

    A great report Stan.
    Reading it was great in that it brought back memories of our previous trips there. We have enjoyed every trip there - We had lions in our camp at Passarge 3. The lions seem very brazen in the northern camps.
    I would suggest that anybody wanting to visit CKGR read your report first before they place queries on the forum as the report has very good info input. I liked the floating tent!!!

    Well done & Regards

    MikevR

  16. #36
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    A friend of mine Dennis Von Essen living in Maun who is very au fait with the bush and the country, was contracted to build the campsite ablutions and firepits in CKGR a couple of years back. He tells of lion prides coming to visit them during the building of these, lying in the shade of the trees and watching the activities, attracted by the sounds and just being terribly curious lions - somewhat different to other lion prides for some reason or other.

  17. #37
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    Talking CKGR Report

    Great report Stan. It will help the guys who have not been and reminded me of things not to forget

  18. #38
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    Must be the most full, comprehensive and informative trip record i have ever read and some brilliant photies too.

    Thank you Stan.

  19. #39
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    Default Another excellent report Stan!

    ALWAYS look forward to your trip reports Stan, well detailed, passionate and humorous! Truly an author of note! Can almost say: "been there"...

  20. #40
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    hello Stan
    Very nice trip and a "good" report. We plan to go to Kahalari in October with our motorhome (4X4 Toy) and of course we saved your report!
    I have one question: what do you think of the weather in october, hot? very hot? More that? and the game at this time of the year?
    Thanks a lot
    jean michel and Madou (from France)

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