Life Abroad travel blog

A mad dash to the gate

Jackal

Captivated by critters

Game viewing

gemsbok

Sunrise in the Kalahari

Wildebeest

It's a rough life in the bush

The chef

Impala club blues


We left Augrabies falls in mid morning and began our drive to the Kalahari-gemsbok national park via Upington. The back door of the jeep was broken so we made a stop in Upington to see if we could get it checked out by the local car shop. We were a bit short on time and really had to get on the road in order to get to the Kalahari before the gate closed. There were about four guys working feverishly on the car as we ate our lunch in the garage before we headed out. The other cars left before us hoping they would be able to get to the gate and convince someone to leave it open for when we arrived. The drive to the reserve was intense, we were constantly calculating the speed we had to go in order to get to the gate before it closed at 6:00pm. We were flying through the desert with the music playing and us singing along at the top of our lungs. We passed moglie on the way and when we were almost to the park we finally caught up to rupert but moglie was now far behind. Then the road became dirt (which we did not take into consideration when calculating driving time) and we let rupert go ahead as we could not possibly reach the gate before closing and rupert just might make it. We were flying down that dirt road as fast as that little jeep could take us. The sunset was stunning through the dust and Jacobus and I were hanging out the windows trying to take pictures as Jess did her best to get us to the gate before closing. Rupert was far ahead of us but we were unsure if they could make it, we were considering our options and thinking we might have to set up camp outside the park. By the time we reached the gate it was about 6:40pm and rupert was sitting at the gate and Chris, Sarah, Charlie and Laura were cheering us on. They had arrived to the gate after it had closed but convinced someone to open it and bribed them to hold it till we all arrived. They were all yelling and greeted us with hugs and high five's and moglie showed up soon after and we all welcomed them and exchanged stories of our hectic journey to the Kalahari.

After we all calmed down we looked for a site and set up camp in the dark (this is becoming a pattern). A fire was lit and we all sat around it and chatted about the days events. We had a wonderful dinner including braai pap prepared by Dave. After dinner we sat around and wailed to the tunes of the guitar...the impala club blues. That evening was freezing cold and we did everything we could to keep warm. Jess and I did jumping-jacks and laps around the camp site to try to heat up before jumping into bed. The next morning we got up quite early for our first proper game drive, we saw copious amounts of gemsbok, impala, wildebeest, and zebra. We also saw a jackal hunting in the bush and several amazing birds. We stopped for lunch and enjoyed what seemed to be a never ending view of the desert. During the drive, when we were on the Botswana side of the park, moglie got a puncture so we had to stop while Julian and Craig repaired it. I jumped out and ran around looking at the dung beetles and we all enjoyed a nice stretch. That evening was another cold one and I just about crawled into the fire to get away from the biting cold. The next morning we drove around for some more game viewing before heading out. None of the big five had been spotted yet, but we had a lot of game viewing to do in the next several weeks so I wasn't too bleak. As we drove back down that dusty road out of the Kalahari-gemsbok national park we stopped where there were five children standing on the side of the road in loin cloths screaming and dancing around. We stopped the car and gave them each an apple and a cookie and had a nice chat with their father, a bushman tracker. He told us how he came to be a tracker and he drew me a gorgeous picture. The children were adorable and enjoyed their treats and we soon headed on our way.



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