Mabuasehube Pan, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Distance : 35 km
Another crisp morning with a perfect sunrise slowly turned into a cool, windy day.
After grabbing a cup of coffee I took a 300m walk towards the edge of the pan to watch the local herd of springbok grazing just off the edge of the pan. The cold wind was starting to whip around me so I had the hood, and my (daughters) beanie, both pulled on tight as I sat on a rocky outcrop watching their antics.
Two youngsters chased one another onto the pan in a mock fight that had the two of them ‘pronking’ every now and again. Unfortunately I was a bit far away to get it clearly and the backdrop wasn’t great but I did get a few pictures trying to capture this quintessential move.
Back at the camp, walking past Sharpie’s roof top tent I noticed his shoes all neatly tied to the top of his ladder, peacefully waiting for him to awaken from his slumber. I quickly untied them and put them a few metres away from the bottom of the ladder thus leaving him with a quandary – get his socks dirty walking to his shoes or sit in his tent until some kindly sole took pity on him.
There was no way he was going to get his cute little sockies dirty. And no-one was ever going to take pity on HIM. But I forgot how loud the little bugger can be… Talk about bleating like a stuck pig – he sounded like an entire piggery being slowly eviscerated – en masse – by thousands of VERY blunt blades!
Eventually Dietwin came along to put him out of his misery but then spent the next 15 minutes torturing Sharpie by eliciting pro-Belgian statements out of him in exchange for moving the shoes marginally closer!
After breakfast we took a quick game drive back to Leshlaoga Pan. Along the way we saw mainly the smaller, cuter mammals, the only exception being a small herd of female kudu – no male in sight, which is unusual.
On return from the drive, Nico (the Poitjie King) decided it was time for another of his awesome poitjie dinners but this time he co-opted Dietwin as the main cook. When Nico had cooked a poitjie a week earlier, Dietwin had expressed an interest in learning the dark art of a bush poitjie. So Nico took him through the whole process from start to finish – with only a gentle smack across the knuckles with a large spoon any time Dietwin looked like he might improvise or otherwise deviate from the masters path!
And added to this was the side pot of ‘stuiwe pap’ – which no good poitjie should ever be without.
So, while the rest of us chilled out, the sounds of chopping, frying, shaking, stirring and gentle admonishments from Nico filled the air around the fire.
The late afternoon quiet was stirred up by Sharpie calling all of us together where he (with ever so small a tear in the corner of his eye) presented us with our “Go There Come Back” trip memorabilia – a ‘Kalahari Krossing’ metal badge to go with our ‘ZimZam’ one from 2012 and a ‘Kalahari Krossing’ t-shirt. Both of which we immediately donned – amidst much back slapping and high fiving – so that we could take a group photo in the late afternoon sun.
And the poitjie that night was frikking awesome!
Dietwin spent the rest of the night trying to figure out how he was going to get a Falkirk No 3 poitjie pot back to Belgium.
In his hand luggage.
Late that evening, around 10:30 pm, we all drifted off to bed, looking forward to a good nights uninterrupted sleep.
But that was not to be, as the start to Day 18 turned out to be anything but quite and undisturbed…
Facts for the day:
Distance 428.0 meters
Min Alt 1068.030 meters
Max Alt 1087.190 meters
Max Speed 50.5 km/hour
Avg Speed 123.3 meters/hour