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Atravelynn

Mana Pools Haikus - Wilddog, Blue Bird, Atravelynn

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Atravelynn

Wilddog made a plan

Celebrate in Mana Pools

Her special birthday

 

On Safaritalk

A question: “Who is planning

for 2015?"

 

Wilddog was posting

An invitation to all.

I accept! Thank you!

 

Late August we’ll leave

Wilddog, Blue Bird, and me….plus

Guide Doug MacDonald.

 

Arrive Harare

To Guinea Fowl B&B

We will launch from here.

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Guinea Fowl B&B in Harare

I wait for my friends.

It’s now dark. Where could they be?

Lost luggage delay.

 

Bags finally found.

Here’s Wilddog, Blue Bird and Doug.

To the bar for drinks.

 

We get acquainted.

Compatible group we are.

Doug heads home next door.

 

We’re three for dinner

In Guinea Fowl’s dining room

Fine food, company.

 

Early departure

On Altair from Charles Prince

Watch farms morph to bush.

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Aerial view flying to Mana Pools

Haiku Hiatus

Sometimes flights leave from Charles Prince Airport instead of Harare International Airport. This less busy option was a nice surprise. Our Guinea Fowl B&B breakfast box was so ample that the airport staff were the recipients of bananas and yogurt.

Land at Main Airstrip

Nearby wild dog tracks are seen

The sole trace of dogs.

 

Drive to Chitake

Rocking the party mobile

Festooned with balloons.

 

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Doug is the driver and Birthday Girl Wilddog rides shot gun in the party mobile

 

Tents near the river

Activity comes to you

If you wait and watch.

 

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Tents, staffed by Tailormade Safaris, and riverside view at Chitake. The outstretched legs belong to Blue Bird.

The elephants walked down the riverbed in front of our dining table with only a few trees separating us.

 

Across the river

In front of our tents it lies

And decomposes

 

An elephant carcass

Decayed after several months

Odor wafts toward me.

 

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View of elephant carcass from my tent (top) and from up close (bottom)

 

When they can sense death

Elephants seek out water

A final thirst quenched

 

Or perhaps heeding

A primal call to return

To aquatic roots.

 

Whatever compelled

This once sentient gray beast

To die on the bank

 

I wish that old age

Even mortal battle wounds

Felled this great creature.

 

Please, no poacher’s gun.

Civets and jackals scavenge

Bones without wishes.

 

Haiku Hiatus

Sirenia (manatees) and Proboscidea (elephants) are both known as tethytheres. They share an ancestor that lived more than 55 million years ago in Africa or South Asia called Moeritherium.

Manatees and elephants have an uncommonly -shaped heart that is spherical rather than the well-known heartshape like other mammals.

The West Indian and West African manatee have three or four fingernail-like structures on the tip of their flippers, just like the toenails on the feet of elephant.

Manatees and elephants have molars which move toward the front of the mouth, eventually break off, and are restored by those at the rear. Elephants have a limited number while manatees are never-ending. Manatees have two incisors in the location of elephant tusks.

Manatees’ large, flexible muscular lips break apart vegetation in the water and skillfully bring food to their mouths, similar to the manner in which an elephant uses its trunk.

 

Cautious but thirsty

Guinea Fowl pushing closer

Forgetting their fear.

 

The flock drinks it fill

Step, look, head down, drink, head up.

Scurry back to brush.

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The normally shy Crested Guinea Fowl approached us along the Chitake Riverbed in front of our camp.

Having these goofy looking birds come so close was actually a trip highlight for me because they are usually so hard to see.

Silent shapes in sand

A small elephant parade

Calf tucked in middle.

 

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Chitake. Viewed from our dining table. Calf in the middle

 

Elephants dig down

Searching for moisture below

Below sand...water

 

The river deceives

No current flows or ripples

Water runs beneath.

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Viewed from our campsite at Chitake. Much of the riverbed appears dry.

The elephant found water to drink below the surface.

Kudu, impala,

A family of baboons

Daily hydration.

 

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The water forms puddles along the sides and is not flowing like a typical river.

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The baboon encounters along the Chitake riverbed are as intimate as much of what I did on baboon walks with habituated troops near Simons Town. Both are Chacma Baboons.

Edited by Atravelynn

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Tom Kellie

~ @@Atravelynn

 

Thank goodness I didn't opt for haikus!

My next trip report will be a bit different, in a comparable way, but not haikus.

Truly loved reading these.

The creativity, insight, care — all first-rate!

This post will definitely be recommended to several life science students who nonetheless nurture a literary bent.

How I've hoped for a different approach to trip reports, and you've done it.

I'll shortly be following in your footsteps, albeit in a different style.

Thank you so much for preparing this for us to enjoy.

I had no idea that you'd traveled with @@wilddog.

Who is ‘Blue Bird’? I've seen that name crop up from time to time.

Such a fine post, @@Atravelynn!

With Admiration,

Tom K.

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Atravelynn

When midday heat dies

Venture out for a bush walk

Buffalo herd found

 

Retreating in haste

Clouds of dust billow, linger

Last light retreats too.

 

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Chitake Buffalo herd in cloud of dust

 

Full moon above us

Shines upon bleached riverbed

Illumination.

 

Like ships floating past

Elephants in riverbed

Dissolve in darkness.

 

Night noises commence

Hyena howls pierce silence

Jackals whine and wail.

 

Trumpeting, bellows.

Loud nocturnal encounters

Shrill disapprovals.

 

Lion roars perturb

Buffalos and elephants

Hooves pound through our camp.

 

Dinner disrupted

Our slumber interrupted

Exhilarating!

 

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Chitake Sunrise, taken from in front of camp

Bare feet shuffle through

Chitake riverbed sand

Feels good between toes.

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We walked barefoot through both dry sand and puddles with no problems from thorns or prickers. Notice the sandals and Keens we are carrying, good choices in Chitake.

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Doug walked barefoot too in Chitake, carrying his boots.

 

Low water levels

Mean buffalo have drunk here.

But where are they now?

 

Midday river’s edge

Baboons stroll by unconcerned

Their daily routine.

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Impalas appear

Bushbucks mingle with warthogs

Baboons steal the show.

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Camp Manager Valentine serving tea. Baboons can be seen in the background. Though not shown, they passed nearby during afternoon tea. The baboons' disinterest in our food reinforces that visitors before us never fed the wildlife.

Drive to “Cathedral,”

Towering baobab “grove.”

Mystical sunset.

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Even when there is no sunset or sunrise, it is mystical. If the riverside campsites are full, then this area is used as a campsite. Not a bad overflow spot.

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Wilddog admires the mystical baobabs

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Mischievous rather than mystical. Holding up the baobab.

The full moon reveals

The elusive buffalo

Ghosts in the moonlight.

 

Far in the distance,

Constant click of horn bump horn.

Buffalo on the move.

 

Thirstily drinking

River level is shrinking

In the dark of night

 

Next morning we search

Where’s that big buffalo herd?

But they have vanished.

 

Good bye Chitake

But not to Tailormade staff

They remain our team.

 

Haiku Hiatus

We were all packed and in the vehicle ready to depart Chitake for the floodplain when one of the Tailormade staff members came sprinting toward us. “Wait, wait, you forgot something!” he shouted. Then he produced a basket with a salt and pepper shaker to be used for lunch.

At that moment Wilddog and I both breathed a sigh of relief and simultaneously confessed to each other that we were certain the “forgotten item” was an oversight on our respective parts. Whew, at least not this time.

Salt and pepper properly stowed, we were off!

to be continued

Edited by Atravelynn

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Atravelynn

~ @@Atravelynn

 

Thank goodness I didn't opt for haikus! I had thought it would be odd if someone posted a haiku before this got up there. We could always appeal to Matt for a haiku sub-forum, I suppose.

My next trip report will be a bit different, in a comparable way, but not haikus. We're morphing into some kind of literary forum!

Truly loved reading these. It was actually YOUR posts that got me thinking about a haiku trip report! You were the muse!

The creativity, insight, care — all first-rate! ...For a first attempt. I must admit, I have some haiku experience, having submitted a contest entry about spicy mustard that was required to be in haiku form. But that was 20+ years ago and I don't recall if I won anything or not.

This post will definitely be recommended to several life science students who nonetheless nurture a literary bent. I'm required reading? Oh my!

How I've hoped for a different approach to trip reports, and you've done it. How about crossword puzzle? Now there's a challenge.

I'll shortly be following in your footsteps, albeit in a different style. The suspense builds!

Thank you so much for preparing this for us to enjoy. It has been fun, though not quite as much fun as the trip itself.

I had no idea that you'd traveled with @@wilddog. It was our first trip. She was such a delight, maybe we can go again.

Who is ‘Blue Bird’? I've seen that name crop up from time to time. He is really into walking and hiking and has done some very remote stuff in Africa, lots of it with Doug. Wilddog and I encouraged him to post more reports or even mini-reports on his experiences. I first encountered him on this forum when asking about Saiwa Swamp in Kenya.

Such a fine post, @@Atravelynn! Thank you very much.

With Admiration,

Tom K.

Edited by Atravelynn

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Tom Kellie

~ @@Atravelynn

 

Here sits yours truly in haze-shrouded Beijing, one-by-one posting Samburu wildlife images from last year in order to refresh a few neglected Safaritalk threads.

From out of nowhere a fresh trip report commences, but unlike any before. Not the usual tediously snarky razzle-dazzle, but more artisanal, with care rather than swagger.

Haikus!

My own next trip report format is parallel and will be launched next month.

You've broken the mold, established the precedent, thereby reducing my own trepidation.

Absolutely love the haiku, “Midday river's edge...” and the close range baboon portraits with it.

The final baobab image is stunning, having never seen any tree that stout outside of California's most venerable sequoias and redwoods. It puts you into perspective as it would me, too!

The barefoot portrait is charming. Never knew what Keens were but do now. Like @@wilddog's stylish hat. As I love the feel of squishy mud between toes, that image is appealing.

Appreciate your noting that the wildlife appears to have never been habituated to feeding. Excellent.

I keep returning to the baboon closeup where its looking away. That's a gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous photograph, @@Atravelynn. Top drawer animal photography.

Thanks for clarifying ‘Blue Bird’. Hope he someday feels comfortable sharing his experiences or images.

Best of all, I'm truly delighted that @@wilddog was able to celebrate a very special birthday in a place that she loves. That's the best way to do it. My birthday is one week later but won't be on safari. Only in my daydreams...

With Happiness and Esteem,

Tom K.

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twaffle

Well, what a lovely surprise. Safari haikus, I'm impressed. It sounds like a wonderful trip, I particularly like the buffalo in dust photo which has so much mood to it.

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Atravelynn

~ @@Atravelynn

My birthday is one week later but won't be on safari. Only in my daydreams... Happy Birthday soon. I peeked at your profile so I know when it will be!

With Happiness and Esteem,

Tom K.

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Atravelynn

Well, what a lovely surprise. Safari haikus, I'm impressed. It sounds like a wonderful trip, I particularly like the buffalo in dust photo which has so much mood to it.

Our mood was, "Oh no, there go the buffalo."

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Atravelynn

Itinerary Interlude

 

6-night Mana Pools walking safari, guided by Doug MacDonald and arranged through Doug MacDonald’s Safaris.

 

Prior to Mana Pools, atravelynn visited Chishakwe Ranch.

 

28 Aug Arrive Guinea Fowl B&B in Harare. Transfers by Doug MacDonald using himself or Prosper Transport, arranged by Doug.

 

29 Aug 06:15 Departure from Guinea Fowl B&B. Fly Altair Charter to Mana Pools Main Airstrip 07:15 – 08:40.

09:15 – 11:15 Drive to Chitake Campsite 2, mobile camp managed by Tailormade Safaris.

 

30 Aug Chitake Campsite 2

 

31 Aug Morning in Chitake. 10:15 - 16:30 Drive to Mana Pools Floodplain with 1.5 hour stop at Bezhjan Pan near Kanga, arrive Mucheni Campsite 4, mobile camp managed by Tailormade Safaris.

 

1-3 Sept Mucheni Campsite 4 in Mana Pools floodplain.

 

4 Sept Doug, Wilddog, Blue Bird flew out approximately 08:00 from Main Airstrip to continue in Gonarezhou and vicinity.

Atravelynn and Tailormade Guide Valentine did a game drive until 11:30. Then depart on a canoe safari with Natureways, arranged/booked by Doug.

 

 

Special Illustrated Haiku Dedicated to the Adapter, entitled "Ode to the Adapter."

 

Wondrous appliance

You make photos possible

In a foreign land.

Oh tri-pronged marvel

Configuration: Type G

I always pack three.

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The adapter used in Zimbabwe

Edited by Atravelynn

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Safaridude

@@Atravelynn

 

So, Lynn brings it up to a new level… even the way you arranged the photos is quite poetic. Thanks for a refreshing take on a TR. Fabulous.

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Atravelynn

@@Atravelynn

 

So, Lynn brings it up to a new level… even the way you arranged the photos is quite poetic. Thanks for a refreshing take on a TR. Fabulous.

Thank you. The ode to the adapter is a refreshing take as well. ^_^

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ZaminOz

@@Atravelynn

 

Wow let me just say,

An excellent trip report -

And in Haiku too!

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Bush dog

Really, Lynn, you'll never be short of imagination and creativity. Bravo!!!

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Blue Bird

@@Atravelynn

 

Really enjoying the alternative trip report - I think it deserves the award of 'Order of the Bard'. I hadn't realised I was travelling with such a literary giant.

 

I'm currently preparing my trip report in iambic pentameter, punctuated with a few heroic couplets so it may be sometime (that's my excuse!).

 

Keep up the excellent work!

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Game Warden

It's a Safaritalk gorsedd...

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Tom Kellie

It's a Safaritalk gorsedd...

 

~ @@Game Warden

 

Never heard of that term before.

Thanks for introducing it!

Tom K.

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pault

Atravelynn writes

Smells and sounds flow from her pen

Nuts! In the best way

 

I need to look at this on my PC at home.... it's just too weird on an iPad (not that I expect it to be normal on a PC)..

 

I was going to say you need fewer haikus, but I think actually I just have to read it much more slowly.

 

And a belated happy birthday @@wilddog. Great way to spend it.

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wilddog

Thanks @@pault . Great safari and with very good company. What more could I ask for? :)

 

Really enjoying the @@Atravelynn perspective on it all. Having done several Mana reports over the years, I thought a fresh eye would be good but did not expect this amazing haiku.

 

Wonderful.

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Zim Girl

@@Atravelynn

 

Great take on a trip report and fun to read.

 

We were at Chitake a couple of weeks after you. That elephant carcass was still smelling quite bad if the wind blew the wrong way!

Looks like those crested guineafowl were regulars at camp.

 

Lovely photos and close-ups of the baboons.

 

Looking forward to your report on Mucheni 4.

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TonyQ

@@Atravelynn

A great, original report (even your trade mark, very useful adapters)

I am really enjoying the photos - in particular the attention paid to the baboons - close-ups, drinking. I always find them to be interesting animals but they are often overlookedor seem to only merit a quick glance.

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marg

@@Atravelynn...what an enjoyable trip report, both in word and in photo! Thank you for sharing.

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CaroleE

@@Atravelynn

 

Great stuff! Haikus in a TR.....genius.

 

Really enjoying the photos as well. Buffalo in clouds of dust a particular favourite and the baobab (now that would be a great campsite to have. And they only use it as a back up site. Crazy)

Ode to the adaptor. I think this needs to be in all our packs as we set off on our travels :)

 

Thank you!

 

Good to hear @@wilddog wa able to celebrate a special birthday in style.

I am also looking forward to @@Blue Bird's iambic pentameter :)

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Marks

What fun! I certainly would not have expected this format, but what a treat it is. "Ode to the Adapter" really made me laugh.

 

Really impressive baobab photos, too.

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michael-ibk

You really do like your adaptors, do you? ;)

 

Great stuff, like Marks said, fun absolutely! You never fail to come up with new and interesting formats. Well, that´s why you are "Mrs. Trip Report". :)

 

The birthday mobile looks great fun! Luckily for us, that elephant carcass had pretty much lost his odor when we arrived a few weeks later - that can´t have been too much fun. Totally understand about the Guineafowl being a highlight, they are wonderful birds. And I really love your baboon pictures, they are very special there.

 

My favourite picture is that of the buffalo herd in the dust - a very powerful Image!

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Atravelynn

 

It's a Safaritalk gorsedd...

 

~ @@Game Warden

 

Never heard of that term before.

Thanks for introducing it!

Tom K.

 

I learned something!

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