A couple of South Africans we spoke with back in Simon's Town had the same advice to us about seeing the natural of South Africa. Go to the Kalahari, they said. Kruger is great, they explained, but the Kalahari is wilder.
Well, who could resist? Certainly not the Galactics. Soon our initial plan of a two-week overland tour had blown out to a month, with plans to take in the Kalahari and points north in Namibia.
(The three-day trip between Kruger and the Kalahari still resonates with us. Alisa met a woman from Jo'berg recently who said, "You did that with kids? You're brave."
Surely it couldn't have been that risky?)
Our target was the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which is shared among South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
|A trophy moment for us - a leopard stalking and catching a bird. Here, the pounce...|
|A quick reaction as the bird tries to get away|
|And success - we couldn't ID the bird, but you can see it in the leopard's mouth.|
We Galactics are quite bloodthirsty in our wildlife viewing - we love seeing
acts of predation.
We found less car traffic in the Kgalagadi than we had in Kruger. And there was much less camaraderie in the Kgalagadi. In Kruger, everyone was forever rolling down their windows to share tips for recent sightings. In the Kgalagadi we struggled to get people to talk from their vehicles, and then found ourselves giving up and generally keeping our own counsel. Remarkable how quickly you fall into line with the social norm.
|Pale chanting goshawk|
|Ostrich - much brighter plumage than we've seen in captive birds|
|Secretary bird - a raptor that has evolved to be a stork|
|Cats. We always look for the cats.|
|The kids running around the rig to burn off energy in the middle of a long day of sitting and riding. Note that this picnic spot is unfenced. Consider the photo above and wonder about the potential consequences. We were pretty vigilant.|
|Our redsand campground.|
Finally, there's this photo below that Elias got with the point-and-shoot. He was so proud of it, and so keen that it be posted to the blog. I think it encapsulates a lot about how much he and his brother are getting out of this side trip.