The brand new book, Kgalagadi Self-drive – Routes, Roads and Ratings, combines the very best travel tips and route suggestions with captivating Kgalagadi photography. Wild exclusively brings you a lion kill photo essay from the new guide coming out in October this year.

After the raging success of HPH Publishing’s Kruger Self-drive, the publishers have turned their talents to another one of South Africa’s best-loved parks. Their latest offering, Kgalagadi Self-drive – Routes, Roads and Ratings, offers 358 pages of meticulous detail and comprehensive information on the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. From accommodation and roads to plant and animal life, Kgalagadi Self-drive is an essential guide to the Kgalagadi trip of your dreams.

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Inside Kgalagadi Self-drive

  • Complete guide to all roads and routes with easy-to-read maps
  • Accurate navigational and geographic information
  • A hard-cover for practical use in a vehicle
  • Pictures by award-winning photographers

And because we cannot wait to share the incredible pages from Kgalagadi Self-drive with the Wild community, we exclusively preview one of the book’s heart-stopping photo sequences.

Nick Rabjohn was driving through the Kgalagadi when he witnessed some big cats sink their teeth into a gemsbok.

Nick writes:

Last summer in the Kgalagadi was extremely hot and dry, with daytime temperatures reaching 53˚C. There was very little water, antelope were highly stressed and there was a lot of tension at the waterholes. On the morning of 11 January 2016 we left Nossob Camp heading north but soon decided to turn around and head back towards Nossob to look for the lions that had been spotted south of the camp the night before.

At about 07:45 we drove past Rooikop waterhole and noticed a lioness on the right-hand side of the road as she raised her head. She was staring intently in the direction of the trough where a few gemsbok were lingering. They were oblivious of her presence but nevertheless alert and nervous.

They walked around and then headed off, and we thought the lioness had missed her opportunity. But then a single gemsbok left the group and returned in the direction of the waterhole. The lioness lowered her head and sat motionless as it approached. We set our cameras and hoped for some action.

The gemsbok approached nervously with its head lowered, but it was desperate for water. It was now 08:34 and already swelteringly hot. Once the gemsbok was within striking distance, the lioness raised herself on her haunches and burst out from behind the bush with unbelievable power and speed as she pursued her prey. She reached the animal after about 20 metres and leapt on its back, bringing it down.

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Pictures by Nick Rabjohn

A massive struggle ensued while the antelope fought for its life and tried to defend itself with its horns. The lioness was joined by a younger one that we had not seen, which came to assist her in the tussle. Suddenly, from the left-hand side of the road, two massive black-maned lions ran past the car towards the scene of the struggle. As soon as they reached it, the lioness leapt up, not wanting to get in the way of the two males whose brute strength overwhelmed the fighting gemsbok in no time. The females looked on as the males took over the kill, then decided to leave, walking dejectedly towards us.

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The wind had picked up, with dust blowing everywhere, and the lions decided to take the kill to the shade surrounding the waterhole, where they fed on it. The young lioness returned a short while later and chased off a jackal that, determined to get something to eat, had begun feeding on the entrails. At this, one of the feeding males leapt up and ran straight towards her, stopping her in her tracks.

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The jackal made off, and the male was happy to let her feed on the entrails while he returned to his place at the kill. After eating their fill, the males went and sat a short distance away while a massive dust storm continued around them. It was 09:30 and the end of an epic sighting!

Pre-order your copy

The early bird catches the worm – pre-order your copy of Kgalagadi Self-drive online and save R50! Until 10 October 2017, nature lovers can buy the new book for only R450 instead of the recommended retail price of R500.

Wild travellers, watch this space. Later this month we will bring you more exciting news from Kgalagadi Self-drive. Keep an eye on your inbox!