|565> Mirror cats reading the news in Kgalagadi transfrontier|
19 Dec> wint for an early morning drive... again dint see much in the way of animals, but walked around + our guide showed us how bushmen «read the newspaper»... i.e. analyze all the tracks to see who passed thru in the middle of the night, or looking at the tracks grass makes in the wind to predict weather, etc. He showed us medicinal plants which we forgot the names of (usually involved some sorta clicking noise) + we foraged on berries from the shepherd bush, which has an amazing root structure. And also how they get water from the melons. If u look close, the «desert» is quite thriving, but defnitely a harsh environment, most animals survive off very little water (for example, this past yr they only received 3 mm of rain). Walked down to this bushmen village which we knew would be super cheesey, but if we dint visit them it'd be even worse, all for nothing (there's scant few guests staying here). Essentially they get dressed up in traditional garb (which means just a loincloth, the women topless) + show up in this mock «village» for a few hours a day to make crafts out of material gatherd from the landscape, just for 4 of us. Afterwards they wear Manchester United shirts + check their facebook accounts (in our guides words). We got a few things just to support them. Dint take no photos cuz we wd of felt stupid. Went for a sundowner drive, again, dint see much, them meerkats still elude us, tho we went to their known dens + saw a few scampering away. Did spot a brown hyena in the twilight, then saw him again later down at the waterhole, along w/ many jackals + the barn owl flying around in the darkness.
20 Dec | along Orange (SP) river> woke up in Kgalagadi before 5 a.m... back thru the 91 dunes... not so bad early morning w/ cold sand. Took our time driving back along the river, finally spotted our meerkats in their full glory. Dozens of them foraging, digging, not so afraid of us. What a fitting finale as we existed the park. Sat + watched them for quite a while. Saw more lions too, and lots more black-backed jackals, a cape fox, another African wild cat, some sort of eagle, lots of birds, etc. Stopped at this meerkat sanctuary, but it was really weird, some strange women looked at us like she was scared. Then stopped at the mall in Upington + got an SD card so we cd download these photos. Then to a winery along the orange river.
|564 <( )> 566 > deriving d'ark side of South Afrikaaan landxcape to breach each itch|