We jumped out of bed way before the alarm went off, awoken by the smell of braais and excited by the promise of our first full day in the Kalahari. I quickly showered, brewed some strong black coffee, made some bacon sarnies for lunch and loaded the car with our camera gear, all the while unable to take my eyes off the perimeter fence, hoping to capture a glimpse of something.
Thermals on and fleeces zipped up, we headed out Nossob’s northern gate at first light eager to find big cats and birds of prey. We headed about 25 km to a picnic spot and, in the company of gemsbok, delved into our first ever bag of rusks. We felt instantly at home. In the distance we heard the unmistakable roar of a lion – we waited around to see if they would materialise but their roars became increasingly more distant.
Despite all the advice from forumites and all the pre-reading I conducted prior to the trip, I was still a little shocked at how hard it was to spot wildlife and how rare sightings were. Being used to Kenya and Kruger, I had set my expectations a little too high and on the first morning we’d seen little more than an eagle, springbok and jackal. This didn’t bother me too much though, because I quickly became happy with occasional sightings of tree climbing mice, ground squirrels, meerkats, mongoose, rollers and bee eaters.
After a busy morning driving’ around North Nossob we retired for lunch. I’d retreated into the kitchen to start preparing the food and was about to head out to the braai when I saw my husband frantically arm waving, asking me not to leave the building. I was very confused. We attempted to lip read and I, somehow, interpreted that a porcupine was outside the door… I lay flat on the floor and inched open the door, peering tentatively around it. There, on the patio, was a tiny scops owl. I’d been looking for them ever since we’d arrived and here he was, quite literally on my doorstep. We looked at each other eye to eye, neither one quite understanding nor expecting to see the other. I daren’t breathe or move, I was close enough to almost touch him. It was an incredible encounter.
That afternoon we headed out of Nossob’s Southern gate to explore the nearby loops and waterholes. We were treated to sighting of gangly legged secretary birds hunting, colourful bee eaters frollicking on branches by the roadside and herds of springbok and ostrich. To our delight the roads had also been repaired, so the bone shaking was kept to a minimum which provided for a much better safari experience.
That evening we retired to the hide at Nossob with an Amarula to watch jackals and gemsbok at the waterhole.
More photos from our trip are available in the Taraji Blue Kalahari photo gallery.