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Published: August 6th 2016
A day on the road today and plenty of adventures and sightings along the way.
An early start this morning as I thought I could hear meerkats just as it was getting light, but despite checking all around there were none to be seen. After packing and a short walk we were treated to more wonderful food at breakfast. We were also able to see the elusive meerkats before we left and the adventures began.
After a short blast down more tar roads we turned onto the gravel where vibration and dust are the hazards but solitude, scenery and wildlife are the rewards. Our route took us past farms of cattle, goats and sheep, which is an animal we had not seen in Namibia before. We were also rewarded with wildlife, even a meerkat standing in the middle of the road. Ground squirrels were busy feeding along the road side, the ever-present springbok and eland but also bat eared foxes and this was before we entered the park.
As we entered the Kgalagadi park you leave Namibia so there are the inevitable forms to complete. You are then let through a gate into no-mans-land before another gate where
Most farms have at least one for pumping water from bore holes
you fill in more forms to enter the park. There isn't a customs point on the South African side of the border so currently we are not legally entitled to stay in South Africa, but this would only be an issue were we to leave the park. At the crossing point you are given a lecture about letting air out of your tyres and staying in your car as there are lions, cheetah and hyena roaming free. This is all fine until 20 km later you come across a Spanish family in a normal car bogged up to the axles in a soft patch of sand. So with the help of a South African and a Namibian couple, a tow rope, a spade, a lot of digging, pushing and braking the tow rope a few times we finally got them free. The journey onwards was again filled with encounters with springbok, foxes, oryx, secretary birds to name just a few of sights. Because of the hour time difference, and having to wait whilst we freed the Spanish we were seriously late for our planned rendezvous with a guide to show us the way of road and across the dunes to
our lodge. So late in fact they had sent out a search party, in the form of our guide John, who flagged us down on the road and then told us to follow him. Well he certainly did not hang around, in fact it felt to me like a stage of the Paris Dakar rally as we were led across the dunes on tracks of deep sand.
Eventually we made it to the lodge to be greeted with cold beer, and a full briefing on the history of the lodge and a full itinerary for our stay. After a quick shower we were given an excellent dinner before a very cold nighttime game drive. Most of the animals seemed to have the sense to stay somewhere warm but we did get to see another first: a spring hare which hops like a kangaroo, as well as some of the smaller antelope.
I think that will do for now, more to follow tomorrow.
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