24th July – Kalahari Tented Camp
Once again we still have to pack everything up before our morning game drive, as even though we are staying in the Kalahari Tented Camp for 2 more nights, we are now moving into unit 15. We leave for our game drive at 7:30 and head south – well, that is the only option here. The colours of the sunrise are always so beautiful, and any animal makes for an interesting subject in this light.
We drive and drive hoping to see the cheetahs from the day before, but nothing, nada, zilch – waterhole after waterhole offers nothing particularly exciting. I guess most animals are just huddling somewhere else trying to get warm! Eventually we find the cutest little thing – a Cape Fox puppy under the branches of a tree. It finds shelter faster than I can squeak “oooh” and despite the fact that we sit there for a very long time it barely shows itself anymore. And I don’t even have a photo to document this cuteness. We store the coordinates in the GPS and twice a day we would make the pilgrimage to this tree … but to no avail. The little Cape Fox puppy eludes us.
While we are hoping for the Cape Fox glimpse a car passes by, the driver informing us that there were 4 leopards on a kill at Craig Lockhart. I am pretty sure he means cheetahs. We drive towards the waterhole full of anticipation and sure enough 4 cheetahs are feasting on a springbok – again very far away for any decent shots but great to witness nonetheless! The cheetahs are having a good time with the scarcity of the lions – they are all bulging at the seams. Quite a few jackals have congregated for the banquet and they harass the cats. Wistful vultures are also gathering. One of the little jackals manages to snatch some meat, and is chased around by a cheetah – no guts no glory! After a while the cheetahs just can’t eat anymore without springbok meat coming out of their ears and head for the dunes on the other side of the road, and they cross right in front of us. I am delighted as they are my favourite animal and I rarely get to see them up close in the wild.
We return to the Kalahari Tented Camp for some afternoon rest and at around 3pm we go for another drive. Sadly there is no sign of the cheetahs but we do see some very full vultures literally sprawled on the ground on their bellies, too far for a photo though. Seems even tiny springboks can offer a pretty good feast to many!
In the evening, back at camp, after our sundowner we make chicken and sausage tikka masala kebabs. They turn out wonderfully especially accompanies by some nice South African red wine.
As usual during the evening the jackals start their chorus and this time we realise that one of them is right under our unit, howling its head off.