Our trip started in the Kgalagadi setting up camp in torrential rain and very strong winds. This sort of weather makes you look at a semi arid region with different eyes. It is amazing the extremes that animals live and thrive in. We spent a night at Polentswa and packed early the next morning for Swartpan, a long day’s drive. About a kilometer from camp our early start stopped when we came across several lion and a mating pair. They mated every 10 mins or so all instigated by the female.
Eventually we had to leave and after a long day arrived at Swartpan as beautiful as ever. Luckily there was water in the tap so we did not need all the water we had stocked up with. The pan was full of animals, wildebeest, oryx, springbok, red hartebeest, ostrich, bat eared faxes, eland, etc but we did not see or hear any of the big predators. We spent a very relaxing 2nd day here before travelling to the next pan in the area, Gnu Gnu. Not many animals at the pan but we spotted a few on the way there.
Leaving Gnu Gnu we went to Kaa gate to leave and had brunch at the camp site. I found very fresh lion spoor and evidence of a failed hunt at the shower in the camp.Must have happened in the early hours of the morning. The drive to Hukinsi is one of my favorites. Real Africa grasslands and big trees. We spent the night at Kalahari rest camp . After stocking up at Ghanzi we headed off to Xade through the notorious thick sand, was not that bad. We spotted wild dog soon after entering the park. What a bonus. It looked like the youngsters of a pack and there were over 10 of them but we battled to count them in the bush. We set up camp at Xade and the ablutions are pretty good with hot water. We filled all our water tanks in the expectation that we would get no more water for 5 days and we didn’t.
Our next camp was Piper Pan 1. This camp has a beautiful view over the pan and is about a km from the waterhole. Our first night there was uneventful and we drove around the one area of the pan during the day. It is huge and it has 3 distinct areas to explore.
We always have good sightings at Piper. The second night we woke up to lion roaring and getting closer all the time. At about 3 in the morning they came into camp like they owned the place. One went straight to the shower and the others spread around the camp. A clothes line had been put up with some clothes and a towel left hanging on it. The towel was instantly of interest and the lion swatted it and jumped back in mock play. The towel did not last long after that. It ended up being the center of a tug of war and we just heard ripping noises. We only found tiny peices all around the camp the next day. After the towel some clothes followed- never found. After about 15 minutes in camp they left and everything went quiet.
When we woke the following morning early we started inspecting the damage and swopping stories.
Wait for it………….