29th July – Polentswa to Motopi
We wake up to another beautiful Kalahari sunrise and prepare to head south towards Nossob.
At Cubitje Quap we have an interesting sighting. A Goshawk is just standing at the waterhole while the doves and the sandgrouse descend for a drink. I was trying to photograph the sandgrouse in flight when all of a sudden the Goshawk does some Kung Fu move and suddenly a sandgrouse is in it’s claws! And here I am photographing the totally wrong thing … wasn’t really expecting it to attack from the ground in plain view. Oh well – lesson learned for next time. I have to content myself of pictures of the proud goshawk expertly butchering its prey.
We stop by at Nossob to have a shower and restock on some beer. We only manage the shower, which is a welcome piping hot experience. The shopping did not happen because the shop was taking in new stock. The lady was at the counter watching the proceedings but when asked to sell something she refuses, even when we tell her we are off to Mabuasehube within the hour. Mabuasehube is the easternmost side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, located in Botswana.
We meet some German tourists who just arrived from Mabuasehube and they tell us about the big scary dune we will have to conquer to arrive in Mabuasehube. We are confident in our Land Cruiser, but perhaps not so much about ourselves! We set off at around noon. The road is undulating – up and down the dunes. It is a bit corrugated but nothing like the washboard Nossob road. Overall it is quite easy going. The sand is not as deep as we were expecting. The only real danger is that this is a two way road with two tire tracks – so space for only one car. So if two cars are climbing the same dune crest at the same time it is impossible for them to see each other – and impossible to swerve in time too as the tire tracks are deep. We meet absolutely no one along the way though. There is some game around but not much – mostly Gemsbok, Hartbeest, some Ostrich and lots of Steenbok. We come across a meerkat family at some point and we all stop to watch each other.
After about 3 hours since we set off from Nossob we arrive at our campsite, Matopi 1. We feel like we are alone in total wilderness. The next campsite is 11 km away and we have our doubts whether anyone was there so quite possibly we are the only two people for at least 100 km in each direction. That is how we like it! As soon as we arrive we are greeted by some hornbills which come and watch us curiously. We set about making dinner – easy stuff planned just in case of a rough ride – tuna salad with lemon rice and pita breads warmed on the coals. The rest of the time we just relax soaking in the quiet atmosphere and thoroughly enjoying being in the middle of nowhere all by ourselves.