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15 October, 2009

What Animals Will You Find in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park?

People visit the Kgalagadi to see animals in their natural habitat and enjoy the solitude and beauty of the landscape.

Before I start to give you some insight into the variety of animals one would see while visiting the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Mabuasehube Game Reserve, I have to warn all readers... I am an avid birder who would sit and stare at an owl for hours on end rather than wait for a lazy lion to lift his or her butt just so that I can get a photograph. So if I concentrate more on birds, please forgive me as it is not intentional.

Being semi desert country and an arid region, some of the animals found here - and we can take a bet on this - will amaze you. During the summer months the temperature can soar to above 40⁰ Celsius while winter nights can have you shivering in your tent at well below zero. The animals that inhabit this are must therefore be well adjusted to survive in minimal rainfall and extreme temperatures.

Carnivorous Mammals found in the Kgalagadi (Kalahari Desert)

Most people visit the park hoping to see at least some of the Big Five. Most of the time, this is no problem. Due to the heat during the summer months, the best time to view lions, leopard (yes they are there) and cheetah are early morning and late afternoon. Once you spot a lion in the morning, the chances are good that you will find the lion in the same vicinity later during the day as well. They are lazy critters and only move to drink (so check out the water points and bore holes carefully) or to crawl into another shady spot. After dark chances are that you will see them quenching their thirst at the water holes of Mata Mata or Nossob before they embark on the hunt.

If you stay at Twee Riviere or Rooiputs, look for the leopard early in the day and late afternoon around the Confluence water point (photo on the right). From Twee Riviere side, a fallen tree on the right side of the road, just before you reach the waterhole is a popular hideout for the leopard. If you are lucky, you might find a female with her cubs, like we did last December. Nothing prepares you for the feeling of "aaww shame" when you see the small leopard cub cheekily peeking out from the grass.

We found cheetahs all along the Nossob River as well as at Mata Mata ( where we viewed them from the campsite). Hyenas frequent the Nossob River and you should keep an eye out for them from Twee Riviere right up to Unie End in the north. We were lucky enough to see a hyena cooling off in one of the drinking troughs, which made me extremely happy that I had my own drinking water.

Besides the obvious carnivores, smaller carnivorous mammals also inhabit the park. In the next post I will reveal more about them. If anyone can think of some , please comment and we'll see whose list is closest to mine.

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. I love this article, it made me homesick for Africa. Keep up the good work and post another one soon.

    From: Diana, Austria