We headed out at first light fuelled by caffeine and rusks and headed out Nossob’s Northern Gate. Opposed to scouring the plains we decided to choose a spot by the riverbed and wait to see if anything would emerge. Our patience was rewarded with a distant sighting of a mother cheetah and 4 furry cubs. The cubs were independent and curious, frequently venturing away from their mother’s watchful eye to climb a dead tree branch or play fight with one another. They were the quintessential cubs – very fluffy, very playful and a handful for their mother. We tracked them until they disappeared out of view and into the long grasses of the riverbed.
Over lunch we decided to change our plans and head over to Kalahari Tented Camp a night early, so we packed up the car and off we went. It was a beautiful drive and we were treated to stunning landscapes – rolling dunes and hilltop vistas.
The closer we got to camp the more the landscape opened, treating us to wide vistas with sightings of giraffes ambling across the Auob riverbed, bat eared foxes hunting for insects and from hilltop vantage points in the late afternoon sun we spotted another cheetah mother with 3 cubs on the hills opposite.
Upon arriving at Kalahari Tented Camp at 6pm we set about unpacking and lighting the braai – scouring the riverbed at sunset for hyena (contrary to expectation none emerged during our entire stay). We popped on our thermals (it was -10 degrees) lit a fantastic braai and treated ourselves to the most incredibly tasty meal of boerewors and bbq’d butternut squash with garlic, spices and creamed sweet corn all washed down with cape red (recipe courtesy of fellow forumites). We loved it so much we had exactly the same meal again the following night. After dinner we settled into our (freezing cold) tent, both of us snuggling into the single bed by the window overlooking the riverbed with a hot chocolate and Amarula (again, thanks forumites!!) and fell contently to sleep.
More photos from our trip are available in the Taraji Blue Kalahari photo gallery.