Kalahari Gemsbok Park

Young male lion close-up
As promised, here is the link to my Kalahari Gemsbok Park photos.

The Kalahari desert is part of the huge sand basin that reaches from the Orange River up to Angola, in the west to Namibia and in the east to Zimbabwe. The sand masses were created by the erosion of soft stone formations. The wind shaped the sand ridges, which are so typical of the landscape in the Kalahari.

The dunes are stabilised through vegetation, so the area should actually be called a dry savannah.

The dominant vegetation – grasses, thorny shrubs and Acacia trees – can survive long drought periods of more than ten months every year.

To read more on the Kalahri Desert, look at the Kalahari Desert Wiki.

The Kalahari Gemsbok Park is a brilliant place to take photos of lions. The lions in this region are even more impressive because of their black manes. I did get some awesome shots, but there is so much more here than lions. It always happens like this, but now I wish I could go back again and take more photos of the “lower profile” creatures.

We stayed at the Nossob campsite. The last time I was there (15 years ago) this camp didn’t leave a great impression, but with the addition of a swimming pool and other “user friendly” stuff Nossob is now as good as the other campsites. They have also recently built a very good waterhole viewpoint, although this will really mean much more in the dry season.

All in all a trip to the Kalahari is well worth it. It is very hot (although not unbearably so) and remote, but I honestly feel that this kind of experience is healthy for the soul. Plus the wildlife is absolutely superb.

Shark attacks on video

These clips might persuade you NEVER to swim in the sea EVER AGAIN. But although they are scary, they are well worth seeing.

The 1st clip was taken in the Western Cape in South Africa, an area well known for Great White Sharks. This guy was lucky.

The 2nd clip was taken in the US. Please note this is not for the squirmish! This guy was not so lucky.

These are, of course, courtesy of Google’s amazing new video service.

I’m back

Well I’m finally back in the UK after a month of R&R in South-Africa.

It always takes a bit of getting used to, but this year seems more difficult than ever. The quality of life in SA is just so much higher than in the UK. Why are we still in this country?!? I’m just moaning now I know – the UK and London specifically has so much to offer. I guess I’m just missing the sunshine, beauty & wide open spaces of South Africa.

Swiftly moving on. We spent the first 11 days at my parents-in-law on the Kromme River (near St Francis Bay). The next 10 days we spent at my parents at Boesmansriviermond. For the rest of my holiday my father and I spent in the Kalahari Gemsbok Park.

As you probably got from the 2nd paragraph, we had a fantastic time. The weather on the coast wasn’t as hot/sunny as you’d usually expect for this time of the year, but they needed rain so we didn’t complain too much. We still managed to spend some quality time on my brother-in-law’s jetski.

The Kalahari Gemsbok Park was superb (and hot as hell). It is meant to be the best place in the world to photograph lions. And these lions have the characteristic black manes. We had six sightings of lion; 2 producing some great photographic oppurtunities. We also experienced some hardcore thundershowers. It rained 63mm in one morning. The area’s annual rainfall is 130mm!

Although the KGP was superb, it almost turned very nasty indeed. I came about 5cm from being bitten by a puff-adder. Some of you may know that the puff-adder is a very poisonous. It is virulently cytotoxic (cell-destroying) and can cause some very serious damage. It was my own stupidity and I was bloody lucky to not have been bitten. If you do ever walk around at night in SA, make sure you look where you walk and wear shoes. I got told this and ignored the advice. It almost cost me.

I’ll upload some photos soon enough.

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