Trip report. Day 5 in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp

This morning we headed off to Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp. We had been looking forward to this so much and, therefore, after stocking up on a few essentials at Mata Mata, we headed into the dunes with huge smiles on our faces.

En-route we saw a herd of 17 giraffe, bat eared foxes, gemsbok, wildebeest and springbok, not to mention an array of beautiful birds of prey.

Of course it would have been rude not to stop off at borehole no.14 on the way to see if any of the barn owls were home, so I declared a breakfast stop and we feasted on bacon and chutney sandwiches outside the nest. This time we were a little bit lucky – someone was definitely home. Every now and then we’d catch a glimpse of a wing as the owl stretched and preened, and we’d capture the occasional stolen glimpse of a beady little eye checking us out. It was more than enough to satisfy my owl-lust, so after an hour we pressed on southwards on the main road towards Twee Rivieren.

Grasshopper at Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp

We arrived at Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp mid afternoon and could not wait to explore our accommodation. I barely got through the front door – thrilled by the lizards, grasshoppers and odd looking bugs gracing our doorstep. I grabbed my macro lens and set to work immediately. Braai at Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp

Kieliekrankie is a wilderness camp of just 4 cabins perched atop the red dunes of the Kalahari. The wooden cabins are sensitively positioned to offer maximum privacy. We were in cabin 4 right at the edge of the camp and had a wonderful uninterrupted visa. Upon arrival we were informed that there were 4 lions resting on the dune opposite – the night previous they’d been at their most curious and had spent the evening trying to get into the bathroom of cabin three – tearing at the cabin’s canvas sides with their teeth. This was more than enough of a warning for me to stay well clear, so I parked myself firmly on the deck with a pair of binoculars not wishing to venture any closer.
We decided to spend the afternoon in camp to see if the lions would venture any closer. Deciding on an early braai we lit the logs, grabbed a beer and settled on the deck all eyes fixed on the dunes and the waterhole. It ended up being quite a quiet night in camp – but the highlight by far was when a beautiful barn owl landed right next to us on our deck after dinner and regarded us with such curiosity – we daren’t breathe or move and an obsession was born that very moment – for me to catch a barn owl on camera.

More photos from our trip are available in the Taraji Blue Kalahari photo gallery.

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