Written by: Greg Dardagan
I didn’t know much about the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park before my first visit earlier this year. Pronouncing the name was a struggle in itself, while getting there from Durban wasn’t that easy either!
I’d had to fly to Johannesburg to meet up with my eldest son – who had encouraged me to join him on the journey – and then it was a further 12 hours of hard driving from there to get to the entrance gates at Twee Rivieren in an isolated corner of the Northern Cape.
But what a worthwhile trip it turned out to be. I am now a Kalahari convert, just like my son!
During our two weeks in the Kgalagadi in January, the heavens opened and good rains fell in all areas of the park, which is a very unusual occurrence. The place turned green almost overnight. We saw water flowing in the usually dry Auob River, and we saw fields of green, as well as amazing desert flowers and shrubs. It was all so beautiful.
I had incredible close-up sights of lion, a cheetah kill from start to end, hyena, gemsbok, red hartebeest and a lot more.
But the star of my stay was a honey badger, which entertained us for about half an hour in the red sand dunes alongside the Leeuwdril 4×4 trail.
Renowned as the most fearless animal in the world, ready – if threatened – to take on lion or whatever else comes along, the honey badger showed us how ingenious it is at digging up snacks. We watched his whole routine – the intense listening, feeling with the front feet and then non-stop digging until he got what he was after.
I left in awe of this creature, who’s got balls… and brains!