After a long haul from Johannesburg with all the field gear and some very Southern music, the WildEarth crew arrived at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. I had totally forgotten how much I missed the Kalahari, and soon my ears were filled with the sound of sand-grouse, my lungs with the promise of rain, and my nostrils with monstrous smell of rhino dung. My lodgings are just how I like it; basic, practical, and in the middle of a few sand-dunes. After unpacking last night, having a “braai” (barbeque) and soaking up the starlit atmosphere to the sounds of a Jackal quartet, I decided to turn in for the night and suddenly realised that I had forgotten one crucial, exponentially important , ultimate health issue that I can only liken to a second Chernobyl disaster….I had forgotten my toothbrush.
Meet the Meerkats
However, undeterred and fuzzy-toothed, I was up at 4am this morning prepping my gear and donning my boots for my first morning with the Gosa Meerkat Gang. The blood-red sunrise set the scene and after a quick drive and a spat of rain I found myself sitting in front of the Gosa Burrows. 10 minutes later, there she was.
Cleopatra’s head popped out of the burrow, cautiously eyeing the surrounding Kalahari for any sign of danger, be they predator or paparazzi. Cleopatra is the matriarch of the Gosa family, and it falls upon her to look after the well-being of the family members, and of course give us the over-the-shoulder Hollywood shot for our facebook fan page. And even more amazingly, she is pregnant. Heavily so. By my estimates, she will give birth in about a week and a half’s time which means that her pups will come out the burrow around two weeks after that. And so my fellow followers, soon we shall have the arrival of a small band of meerkat pups right on our doorstep, and I promise you I will be there every morning awaiting for the great reveal, Live and unscripted, of this fantastic moment here in the middle of the Kalahari. To tell the truth, I cannot wait! I have never seen meerkat pups before, and watching Cleopatra introduce them to the Krazy Kalahari is going to be a moment we can all share and continue to watch over the weeks!
Hope you are all well, keep in touch via facebook and twitter and I’ll keep you updated as often as possible if the signal here will let me! The great Gosa Meerkat Gang is about to invade your screens!
HA! JUST FOUND MY TOOTHBRUSH!