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    • AKR1
      Thanks again Janet for this report, your erudite details and of course, as others have said, incredible photography.  With your report and that of @Zubbie15 @madaboutcheetah @Atravelynn@michael-ibk, @Kitsafari ongoing trip reports, it’s currently an embarrassment of riches for the rest of us. 😀
    • AKR1
      Zubbie Nice commentary to match your magnificent photography! Very interested to learn that Ping is trying to get off road permits for all his vehicles. That will really add to the camp’s appeal. Many moons ago I recall Ping finding a leopard ( Fig) that had not been seen for several days. He did it entirely by sound- the calls of the bush in the middle of the Mara- I would not have believed it if I did not witness it first hand in the vehicle. He’s an exceptional guide.  PS: With multiple excellent photographers producing simultaneously reports- Janet , Hari, Michael + 1 and Wild Dog- these last few weeks have been a real treat. 😃  
    • madaboutcheetah
    • Zubbie15
      Ping had heard through the grapevine (which was of course his phone; he claimed the radio in the truck didn't work, and he basically never even turned it on, but he did occasionally use his phone for updates) that the Topi Plains pride still hadn't hunted since we'd seen them the day before, so he was pretty convinced they were going to do so today.  He suggested we slowly make our way over to them, and see what would happen.  On our way, we made our first stop for a smaller herd of elephants - I've shared one of these photos, but I really thought this sighting worked well photographically (and it's always good to see elephants).   Three amigos     Mom and baby     Last of the herd   Once they had left us behind, we continued along, and soon came to a mixed herd of zebra and topi.  I have to say, I have never seen so many topi before, they were everywhere.  And, of course, I didn't really take many photos of them.  I have 1 or 2 coming up, but I regret not putting a little more effort into trying to photograph them, since they are quite special looking.   Friends, and lookout buddies   By this time we were quite close to camp - Ping thought about having us stop in quickly for lunch, but then decided to have lunch brought to us.     lunch under ominous skies   I think this is a tree that they use quite often for bush lunches, it really wasn't far from camp but let us have a wilder feel.  Note the storm clouds behind us - we had to wrap up eating quite quickly and get back into the truck as the rain approached.  We were off to try to find the lions - would they do something for us today? 
    • michael-ibk
      Great report Kit, you really deserved all those awesome sightings after too many years away from Africa. Love the sunsets, and that wet Hyena is so funny! Sorry to hear your booking process with Porini was not exactly stellar. The on the ground people were all excellent when I joined Sangeeta and friends in the Mara last year.   There´something about Wilson Airport toilets making people leave their stuff there. I left my trousers - true story!    What a relief you got your camera back!
    • Atravelynn
    • michael-ibk
      Doug is looking a bit grumpy here. Maybe the thought of still having to bear with us for another 12 nights.      A two-in-one tree we passed every day. Finally I gave in and asked to stop for a photo.    Of course we did a walk again for our last afternoon - I love the flood plains.     They really own the diabolical grin thing, the Joker could learn from them!     If this is not paradise I don´t know what is!         The second Hippo was using a kind of plant blanket.     "Run, Forrest, Ruuun!"       We decided to visit the Carmines again, but they were not really complying. None of them flew where I wanted them to, they behaved like real spoilsports.         So I decided to punish them by photographing Lapwings instead. I hope that will teach them!           Quite incredibly I took one(!) photo of a Pied Kingfisher this trip even though I like them so much. And it was so distant and lousy I had to b&w it.   We spotted one of the male Lions again and tried to approach him. Quite absurd, we were really trying hard not to scare this poor little kittykat and were very concerned we could stress him. The poor Super-predator who could kill us in a heartbeat.      And he really was a scaredycat - ran off into the forest before we could get close. "Coward", Doug hissed after him with contempt.     Not exactly the most thrilling end to our walk but there you go. Seriously though, it was another really enjoyable outing - we had not seen a single soul out here.         Last G&T in Mana. Really should have asked the Gentlemen to pose for that occasion.     
    • michael-ibk
      It was already well past noon when we returned to camp. We were tired but just did not manage to nap - there was always something going on.     This Yellow-Bellied Greenbul apparently really cared about his personal hygiene!   T   The Lovebirds were also performing nicely today.             Plenty of Waterbuck in front of us.       Our campsite:         And just like every day the Elephants stopped by in the afternoon. Yesterday they had caught me by surprise while I was in the shower - all of a sudden a lot of huge eyes were staring at me less than three metres away, just a thin piece of canvas between us.      Today they were a bit late, joining us for teatime.           
    • Julian
      @michael-ibk We did have an awesome time and are determined to go back again  relatively soon -  before Stretch stops doing this. I believe he has been guiding there for nearly 40 years and obviously at some point will eventually stop. We are all getting older  - and I need to go back while I am still relatively fit enough to do all the walking, so  the return trip will be no later than Sept 2024, but going back this year looks to be unlikely as we are going to Uganda in June.  The trip report will come , but as usual I struggle to find the time to sort, reduce, edit the photos and videos.  During our 5 days there a lot of other guides stopped to say hello/ have a chat with Stretch- I think all the guides there know him - he is hard to  not notice!  
    • michael-ibk
      We reached Chisasiku after about 2 1/2 hours - very thirsty! Good thing our car was waiting for us with coffee, cookies and ice-cold drinks.     I love Chisasiku, especially the Western end. We enjoyed a good long coffee break here.       White-Fronted Bee-Eater     We soon got company, we were not the only ones thinking Chisasiku is just a nice area to hang around.     Very cute youngster.       The magic of Mana Pools!         And then some gory action - an all-out (but somewhat uneven) fight to the death between Intermediate Egret and Mana Mayhem Frog!     Poor Frog, it was alive for at least 10 minutes or so. The Egret always smashed it to the ground, and then seemed to start to wash it, always dunkin´in into the water.     This Hippo couldn´t have cared less about the frog´s last dance.     I asked to drive to Mana Mouth then. Another of the park´s classic spots.     No activity going on now - it was already late and way too hot for anything to move.       Case in point.
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