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Lions and Dogs and Baboons, oh my: Botswana February 2013 Trip Report


SafariChick

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graceland

 

One of them had a bunch of lumps of varying sizes on its side. Ron said he's seen this kind of thing before and not just on sable, on other animals, but it sometimes resolves and goes away. Not sure what it was. Any of you antelope specialists know?

 

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Not 100% sure but that may be from a tick infestation. Sable antelopes are notorious for suffering from ticks, especially in the wet season.

Wow, from a tick infestation; I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from ONE tick bite and it was HELL; I cannot imagine what this poor guy was feeling. Some people fear spiders; I fear ticks. Once you have a disease from one you want to KILL every single one you ever see! I never thought about ticks when on safari! Everone warns you of Mozzies; but Tick Fever is not fun at alll. BE Safe, BEWARE.....

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Thanks, @@graceland   The next day was our last full day at Lagoon, another beautiful sunny day as all the days had been for me at Lagoon. I am trying to remember if this was the day that we had a

The next morning it was not raining and there was a pretty sunrise through white clouds.   P1110370   P1110371   P1110372   P1110374   I learned that no new guests were arriving that da

We soon met up with my guide-to-be, Russell Crossey. He was a charming, well-spoken and very knowledgeable South African who had been guiding for many years in Bots, and seemed to consider Bots his ho

SafariChick

mphelps, thanks for the nice comments, so glad you are enjoying it. I really like that lion cub photo as well - lucky with the light on the cub.

 

ah interesting about the tick theory. Luckily for me I've not been attacked by a tick as far as I recall but I seem to remember one getting on my sister when we were kids and having to do something crazy to get it off ... made an impression on me.

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Great report, SC. It continues to bring back happy recollections of the delta. My favorite leopard pictures is P1110088 which shows the leopard sleeping with his arm under his head, just like I sleep sometimes!!

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Sangeeta

Finally caught up with you, SC!! What with your misty lions and twaffle's storky trees, we have such beautiful descriptions for all these images on ST. Wonderful sightings and the dogs dawdling in water are a sight for sore eyes. Your enthusiasm is so evident and your photos are really good. I don't know why I am surprised, but for some odd reason I had taken you to be a photographer of my ilk :D Not so, not so - and you capture the ambiance along with the animals, which is lovely to see. Hah - now I can follow along properly like everyone else.

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SafariChick

In the afternoon, it was still cool and overcast. There was a bit of rain on the drive, so we put on ponchos, but it wasn't heavy and stopped in less than an hour. The Swiss couple had left so it was just me and the German couple. I was expressing my wish that we look for the dogs again, as we'd only seen them that one time, my first drive. (Yes, I'm greedy!) and the man of the German couple was expressing his wish to see cheetah.

 

We saw a small herd of zebra, two lying down by the water whose reflection in the water was very pretty, but I can't find my pictures of this drive. We watched them for a little while and I observed one doing something I'd never seen a zebra do, which was scratching his leg and belly on a log. We then saw the lions we'd seen in the morning, including one who I didn't mention in my last post. In the morning we'd seen a vehicle that wasn't the usual Chitabe vehicle. It said something like wildlife emergency services, do not follow and there were some people in the vehicle watching a lion by herself. It turned out she had had a radio collar on and, before we arrived, they had just darted her and removed it. Now they were watching her to make sure she woke up ok. She was not a full-time member of the pride nearby but sometimes hung out with them. She also had some cubs which apparently had run away when she got darted, and I never got to find out if she was reunited with them - I hope so. In any event, in this afternoon drive when we found the pride from the morning, this lioness that had been darted in the morning was now with them, but we still didn't see her cubs.

 

When we drove on, we saw two black-backed jackals curled up on the rain in a clearing.

 

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This photo of the cloudy sky was either from this drive or the day before, not sure.

 

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We also saw hippo, a pair of African Hawk Eagles (which Phinley told us mate for life). The sun came out just in time to set. We had sundowners in the vehicle whilst watching some elephants. Again, sorry but I'm very confused about photos for this drive - if they turn up, I'll post them later.

 

The next morning was my last drive at Chitabe. As you can imagine, I again mentioned to Phinley my strong hope to see if we could find the dogs again. The German couple was also leaving that day but they'd decided to sleep in and not go on the drive, whereas I chose to have my bags all ready by 5 a.m. so they could come on the game drive with me and I could stay out on drive as long as possible and have Phinley just take me straight to the airstrip when the time came for my flight to the next camp. So it was just me in the vehicle and Phinley was happy to see what we could do about finding those dogs!

 

When we started out, we saw a mother and quite small baby, nursing. Phinley thought the baby was only about two days old, perhaps.

 

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We drove past some birds and general game and Phinley was really checking the ground for tracks as he drove. Then he found some dog tracks! From there on, he was doing some serious tracking, following the tracks off road and found more tracks, but couldn't find the dogs and then lost the tracks. We came back out, and Phinley found more tracks on the road and got out of the vehicle and followed them on foot for a while. In fact, I couldn't see him at some point! BB was out in his vehicle with his guests also trying to find the dogs. We all kept finding and then losing the tracks. Then, by a termite mound, Phinley got out. The dogs' tracks were there and fresh blood and some of the dogs' dung. It looked to him like they'd killed and eaten something there and also played on and around the termite mound. We went into the woods again as Phinley thought they were probably resting somewhere nearby. BB went in also, in a different direction and suddenly radioed us he'd found them! We were so close and had just turned slightly too soon. So we raced over to their location, which was near some water againdogs and I had about a half an hour to hang out with them before we had to leave for the airstrip to catch my flight. :D I was very happy about this.

 

The dogs were mostly resting again, the adults looked quite full and some had blood on their faces. The pups didn't look quite so full. I took a lot of pictures, not knowing if this would be my last time to see wild dogs on this trip.

 

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I hated to leave them but it was time to go to the airstrip and catch my flight to Little Kwara. It had been a great stay at Chitabe, and off I went.

 

 

 

 

 

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SafariChick

Thanks so much, AKR1 and Sangeeta. AKR1 I like that photo too, and I also sleep like that sometimes! She does look very comfy, doesn't she, though I don't think I'd be so comfy on that log! Sangeeta, you are very kind, but I have a lot to learn about photography! I am using a Panasonic Lumix with 18x zoom for most of my photos, I guess it's what's called a bridge camera? I just started on this trip to play around with the settings as previously I used to just put it on IA! I am happier with how these came out than prior photos, but I feel I have a long way to go!

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graceland

Whew ,so glad you found those dogs! I guess that is the nature of the beast. One day here, one day gone. They sure can traverse long distances! It is pure luck when a couple sleeps in and you have Phinley all to yourself!

 

So enjoying your travels! You've more places to go...

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Our first afternoon drive at Chitabe,Molemi was fixing sundowners and a dog ran by; he threw us drinks and said HOLD ON!!...Finding dogs was way more imp't than a drink though our vechicle mates managed to down theirs as we flew overland! (Mine landed in my lap :unsure:)

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twaffle

Whew ,so glad you found those dogs! I guess that is the nature of the beast. One day here, one day gone. They sure can traverse long distances! It is pure luck when a couple sleeps in and you have Phinley all to yourself!

 

So enjoying your travels! You've more places to go...

.

Our first afternoon drive at Chitabe,Molemi was fixing sundowners and a dog ran by; he threw us drinks and said HOLD ON!!...Finding dogs was way more imp't than a drink though our vechicle mates managed to down theirs as we flew overland! (Mine landed in my lap :unsure:)

That's why safaris are so enchanting and addictive. You just never know. :)

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SafariChick

Ok, now I found some of those pictures from the last afternoon drive at Chitabe.

 

The zebra reflected in the water while scratching his leg on a log

 

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Baboon riding backwards

 

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a couple of lion shots:

 

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one I like better of one of those jackals:

 

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and a few photos of the sunset:

 

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Ok, NOW I'm really on to Little Kwara!

 

By the time I took the tiny plane to Little Kwara I decided I was actually not only getting used to these flights, but might even be enjoying them! This was huge progress for me as I normally suffer from quite a fear of being in a small plane. Here's a pretty view from the plane, in which I was the only passenger and sat next to the pilot!

 

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I had requested Hobbs as my guide, and my request was granted. Our tracker was Mike. Hobbs and Mike were a fantastic team, and I was so glad to get to meet, and be guided by, the "Cowboy!"

 

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(More pix of Hobbs later, because he's just so cool).

 

In the vehicle with me were a few people that had been driving with Hobbs already, a Canadian doctor traveling by himself, and an English couple. They were all going home the following day, though. The doctor was my savior because I'd lost my only pair of sunglasses at Chitabe. Yes, I know you're supposed to bring an extra pair and that was one of the few bits of advice I did not heed, and I lived to regret it. Anyway, he had an extra pair which he lent me, and apologized that they were scratched, but when I put them on I didn't notice the scratches. He ended up telling me just to keep them, and I later found out they turned out to be an expensive pair of sunglasses!

 

In fact, I lived to regret all the little bits of advice I didn't follow in bringing things: a bug flew into my eye at Chitabe (I hope I haven't already told this story, but I am not up to re-reading my report right now!) and my eye was, well, bugging me a lot! The woman of the German couple there had several kinds of eye drops in little individual portions which she was kind enough to share with me - one was prescription and one was homeopathic. After a few days of using them, my eye seemed all better! Oddly, she'd ALSO had a bug fly into her eye and was also using them, but she seemed not to have had as much success as I. Then, at Little Kwara and Lagoon, my mosquito bites started really really itching. They'd seem to get better and then reactivate. I got a lot of bites - and it seemed others were having issues as well. if I missed one spot, the mosquitoes would find it, though they mostly bit below the waist - but I got a few on the arm or hand. My Cortaid cream wasn't doing much. Another nice woman, who I met at Little Kwara and continued on to Lagoon, where she and her husband were my vehicle-mates, shared her anti-itch cream with me (from Spain) and it worked better than my Cortaid. But the best treatement was one night I took one of her anti-histamines - now that is something I thought I had with me, but I didn't. That seemed to do the trick and the bites were much less itchy after that. Meanwhile, all the stuff I brought that the travel dr suggested such as stomach remedies was not needed. Figures!

 

Ok, enough digression. So our first quest on our first afternoon drive was to try to find the cheetah that they'd seen that morning with an impala kill. We went to the area where it had been but there was now no sign of it. Hobbs and Mike and another guide and tracker got out and followed tracks and were unable to determine where it had gone. We saw general game and a few interesting things including a baby tssessebe nursing

 

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an ostrich family with a mother, father and three young,

 

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also a black-faced impala and a side-striped jackal - not finding photos of them as of now.

 

So off to a bit of a slow start. The grass was very high and there were a number of places that were flooded. This seemed to be a change that had just happened over the past couple of weeks. Hobbs told me he was away for the last two weeks of January on leave and when he returned, the difference was very noticeable. Every time we drove out from the camp to go on a drive, we had to drive for a kind of long way on a track with grass so high on either side of us that it was as high as the tracker seat, sometimes it seemed as high as the tracker's head! Every single day these lyrics came into my head "There's a bright golden sun on the meadow! The corn is as high as an elephant's eye .... and it looks like it's climbing clear up to the skyyyyyy" - the Broadway musical Oklahoma, for those that don't recognize it :) But nevertheless, every drive with Hobbs was a delight, even if we didn't see a whole ton. And any time I see a baby animal nursing, it brings a big smile to my face :) More to come ....

 

 

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Sangeeta


"And any time I see a baby animal nursing, it brings a big smile to my face :) "

 

You said that so well.

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SafariChick

That night it rained while we slept, but had stopped by breakfast time. The next morning, I still had the English couple and the Canadian doctor with me in the vehicle. Our best sighting of the drive was when we first set out as the sun was coming up.

 

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To get out of camp you drive over these wooden bridges and in the watery grass (or grassy water?) we saw a serval catch a catfish - my first kill ha ha! It was actually a sighting I really enjoyed, though of course the grass was high so we couldn't see it perfectly but first time I've seen one of those smaller cats in daylight.

 

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Other than that, we just saw general game, ostrich and birds.

 

A few other pix from the drive:

 

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I have to admit that by after lunch time, I was feeling a bit disappointed in the game at Little Kwara at this point, and also in some aspects of the camp. I adored Hobbs and Mike, and the staff that served the food were great but I had a few issues with the management. I had no hot water for three days there, and it was at least in part due to miscommunications with and between the managers. Carlos had told me sometimes it runs out so to let him know if it did. My first shower, it ran out in the middle of my first shower when I had shampoo all over my hair - no choice but to finish it with cold. I told Carlos about it and he said he's check it out. The next day - only had warm for about a minute. Told one of the other managers (not Lizzie, there was a third one, maybe assistant manager) and she said she'd tell Carlos. Next day - totally cold. Talked to Carlos - he said he'd worked on it the first time I told him and hadn't heard the next day from other manager that it still wasn't fixed. Finally the next shower (my last there) it was fixed.

 

I felt the managers were nice but not that effective and less kind of welcoming or helpful overall than at other camps. When we would come into a room where they were, they might just sit around and not get up and come over to talk. It's hard to put it into words, but it was just different than anywhere else. And It wasn't just a Kwando thing, as at Lagoon it felt more welcoming and more well-run. Another person I talked to who was at both LK and Lagoon with me felt the same. She pointed out how at Lagoon, we were asked to go sit by the fire after dinner and stay as long as we liked, and the wine kept being poured all evening whereas at LK she felt the management couldn't wait for us to leave dinner. I didn't notice it being quite that bad, but it is true there was no fire set up for us at LK after dinner and the guest I was talking to also noticed that at LK they seemed to stop pouring wine after 2 glasses. (I didn't notice this as I'm a lightweight and I never wanted more than one glass)! This is not a management issue, but I also felt it was too hot in the room with no fan in the middle of the day - and the weather was relatively cool when we were there so I can only imagine what it must be like when the weather is really hot. I talked to Carlos about that issue and he said there were other guests who felt the same (about wishing there were a fan) but they couldn't do it with their current set up, they would have to remodel like Lagoon did in order to put in fans.

 

Anyway, I don't want to be negative and overall I had such a great trip and I loved Hobbs - and the food here was good (for me anyway - I'm a vegetarian and I liked the vegetarian dishes). I just think the management could use some polishing and I happened to have visited at a time when the grass was very high and there was a bunch of flooding and there just wasn't as much animals visible as at other times. That's the luck of the draw on safari. Luckily I had a lot of great luck at other camps and did have some good sightings here as well, coming up soon .....

 


Edited by SafariChick
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graceland

You know, there are good times and there are not so good times, as Carlos (who I did not meet in Nov) said. "luck of the draw."..I was unlucky - you were lucky but had a few bumps...things happen. No camp is perfect, but I did, as you probably did~~ also expect MORE from LK, after reading so many RAVE reviews.

 

Thank goodness you had Hobbs to offset the negatives. I guess he deserves a HUGE raise :) I was quite surprised by how much the grass had grown from your pics, but then again I was there in Nov and there was still dry brown short grass.

 

The tents needed work; I found them a bit charming in the "old safari" look; but definitely could use fans. HOT as can be...How much does a fan cost! We did have "fire pit" time with wine poured, but I drank water as I thought the wine a bit ~ well, cheap. And hey this camp is NOT a cheap camp ( (I paid more than WS as the Kwando 5 Rivers had not kicked in & so very disappiointed in guiding and camp!) BUT, hopefully someone from KWANDO reads these postings. If not how will they ever know??? The die hards would never complain, but I will with not a problem. That is why we give TR's - for OUR experience. DO NOT feel bad if it wasn't up to par.

 

I doubt people really fill out those forms left for us ~ and if they are negative they'd never get to the owners! I don't expect WS "extras" but I did expect a great guide, management and service and I do not think they delivered. Just my opinion. i know so many here disagree; but hey, it happens folks. I heard lots of rumblings while there...things need to be shaken up.

 

Everyone has a bad day; unfortunately when you travel so far you do not want it to be you!!

 

Thaks for sharing SC; I would think someone that has something to do with the camp lurks around here..... :)

 

Other wise I love Botswana!

Edited by graceland
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SafariChick

I did fill out that form at all the camps. I was hesitant to turn in the LK one at LK, but then I did turn the LK one in at Lagoon and they said they'd send it to the Kwando management. The issue with putting in a fan wasn't the cost of it but they didn't have the electrical capacity to use them with the set up they had is what I understood from Carlos.

In the afternoon, I was alone in the vehicle with Hobbs and Mike. I asked Hobbs about Tsum Tsum as I'd heard about it being a great area. He said it was flooded so it would be hard to go there. He said we could try, but it sounded like we'd get to a point where we couldn't go farther. We were talking about whether we might be able to find the three cheetah boys. He said they usually stay out at Tsum Tsum about 3 days at a time even if it's flooded and the next day would be the fourth day since they'd seen them so he thought they were due to come back from Tsum Tsum pretty soon. It turns out we'd been to the Splash area that morning, which was the other area I'd heard of, but hadn't seen them there. Hobbs said he wanted to try going out to the Four Rivers area the following day, which also has plains though smaller than Tsum Tsum.

We headed west and again saw many birds, reedbuck, baboons, a Wahlberg;s Eagle, zebras with babies, ostrich family with seven babies, a plover incubating an egg on the ground. (a couple of pictures above were from this drive, I think). It turned out we did go into the beginning of the Tsum Tsum area as some guides thought they heard lions calling in that direction. Hobbs said when there wasn't water there, this area is all covered with animals. We saw a few - kudus, elephants with a baby walking through the water. I took a video of that:

 

 

When we stopped for sundowners, there was a bit of excitement. Hobbs checked out a bush and declared it safe for use as a bush loo. I went to use it and when I came out, he and Mike were kind of smiling - I looked at where they were pointing and there was a hyena that seemed to me to be walking towards me - but they said it actually had seen me and was walking away! Hobbs estimated it was maybe 100 meters away from me, so it never got that close. We saw another hyena a bit farther away while we had our sundowners.

 

It only took us about an hour to get back to camp, so we didn't get that far into Tsum Tsum for those of you who know how long it can take to get there and back. On the way back, we saw bush baby eyes and a great view of an eagle owl on a leafless tree. At dinner, we had a frog on the table, and we had a frog on the table most of the nights. The guides said they thought it was because the light on the table attract insects.

 

After dinner just from the dinner table, Hobbs spotted a genet! We watched it for a while until it climbed a tree and disappeared out of sight.

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SafariChick

The next morning it was not raining and there was a pretty sunrise through white clouds.

 

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I learned that no new guests were arriving that day, so I would get another couple of drives of having a private vehicle. Meanwhile, they had 2 couples in another vehicle. I don't know why it worked out that way, but I wasn't complaining, although one of the couples in the other vehicle was the couple that went on with me to Lagoon, where we did share a vehicle, and they were very nice. Lions had been heard calling from the direction we'd gone to the day before (I had heard them since 3 a.m. myself) so we headed back in that direction. The other vehicles ahead of us were not finding any sign of them, though they did see tracks of one lion heading up north. Hobbs saw something and decided to go off-road to check it out. Hobbs saw some tracks and Mike got out of the car to follow them on foot while Hobbs drove. Hobbs was cracking me up because he was somehow driving while sitting on the edge of the door with one leg in the truck on the gas and one hanging out of the truck and using a long wooden stick to point at things! This way he could see out to see the tracks better - quite impressive!

 

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He and Mike also stopped fairly often to hack off branches that were in our way with a machete!

 

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This went on for quite some time, going through thickets and so on, and it was amazing to watch them follow the tracks so easily when I really couldn't see what they were seeing. Finally, we came out of the woods into a clearing and right in front of us lying next to a termite mound was this beautiful male lion!

 

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Then Hobbs announced that this was exactly where we'd had sundowners the night before! Had we known he'd be there, we could have gotten there an easier way, of course. But it was fun and exciting to see Hobbs and Mike track this lion so well, so was glad we had that experience. The lion got up and walked, giving us some nice photo opportunities. He walked around marking bushes and we stayed with him about ten minutes until he went off into some thickets. Hobbs said this was a male they'd seen before by himself, not part of any coalition.

 

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What happened next was exciting and a little bit scary (for me anyway, probably not for Hobbs or Mike!) We still wanted to head towards the Four Rivers area, but the road we should be taking was quite wet, so Hobbs decided to go a different way which involved going back off-road. As we drove along through thickets, we suddenly came upon a breeding herd of elephants blocking our way. We stopped and waited to see if they would move, but they did not. Hobbs started revving the motor and there was little reaction from the eles. He revved it louder and they might take one step back but then one step forward again. Mike had been on the tracker seat when this encounter started, having climbed out there after we left that male lion, but he carefully climbed back into the vehicle at this point. Then a couple of them started coming around to the side of our vehicle and behind it - one of them seemed to me to only be about 20 feet behind me!! I found this somewhat alarming! In South Africa, I was in a vehicle that came upon some eles browsing on leaves and we stopped in their midst and they ended up moving and surrounding us but that was different as they were just feeding and ignoring us. This was all of them stopped and staring at us, no feeding going on, and seemed threatening. There was head tossing and trumpeting as well. I asked Hobbs should we just drive off another way and get out of here quickly? He said no, if you "run" they'll chase you, it's better to rev the engine and try to get them to back off. So we kept doing it for a few minutes. Finally, we did end up turning off another way driving off through some water, and I don't think they really tried to follow. I was certainly relieved though when we got out of there and we talked and laughed about it after. Hobbs said "I know that matriarch, she is very cheeky! Others will move off when you rev the engine, but not this one!" I asked if he'd been nervous and he laughed and said something to indicate no but even if he were, he wouldn't let that show to his guests as then everyone would get more nervous. And I do not have any pictures of this experience!

 

Finally, we were back on the road out of Tsum Tsum - it was a sunny day unlike the day before when we'd been there and it was lovely and green. We saw lechwe, ostrich with babies, wildies, impala, giraffe and a battleur eagle.

 

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There were beautiful flowers, both light and bright yellow and a few shades of purple.

 

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The Four Rivers area was pretty also, open plains with some trees and bushes. We saw two fish eagles on a bare tree,

 

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a crocodile in a small pool of water, and hippos.

 

Then we came upon the coalition of four males that are intruders at Kwara. They were sleepy, two under one bush and two under another, but they did wake up a little and pose for us.

 

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Then one at a time, two decided to walk over and join the other two, flopped back down and went back to sleep. I think this next photo is the one that was left on his own before he also decided to go join the other three.

 

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We left them to their slumbers and headed back towards camp, passing a side-striped jackal on our way. This had been a good drive, things were looking up!

 

 

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SafariChick

That afternoon, the other two pairs from the other vehicle were going to take the boat ride to the rookery (is that the right word?), so Hobbs asked if I wanted to go along, so I said sure. The other guide who was guiding the other four, Master, went on the boat with us and I guess Hobbs got a break. I sat up on the top of the boat by myself and the others sat down below. It was kind of fun as there was nothing in the way of my view. We didn't see all that much (one buffalo along the banks and birds of course) but it was pretty and relaxing, and some nice sunset views on the way home.

 

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Edited by SafariChick
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twaffle

Despite the slightly disappointing experience at LK camp, you have some really beautiful images and I especially enjoyed the elephant video and the blond lions are very handsome. Lovely sunsets, I'm a sucker for an African sunset!

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SafariChick

Thank you twaffle  - yes the blond lions are very pretty and were nice to pose for me. And thanks for sticking with the report, I feel like it's going on and on!

 

ATTN: HARI aka MadAboutCheetah! I know you are away on your own African adventure right now, but this post is for you!

 

The next day dawned with a misty fog hanging over the grass. After the sun rose, we were left with a mostly blue sky and just a few wispy white clouds. We were heading out to the Splash area to see if we could find the three cheetah brothers whose tracks had been seen heading out that way the prior afternoon while we were on the boat. When we got to the Splash area, we found a single male lion lying in a sandy area by himself. Hobbs said he was one of the coalition of 7 males - sadly, he ended up being the only one of the seven I actually got to see at Kwara. I thought he looked kind of sad, but Hobbs said he was just ugly - aww, I don't think any lion is ugly. He did look somewhat battle-scarred and lying in the sandy clearing wasn't doing much for him as a background. ;)

 

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As we were watching the lion, we heard on the radio from Master that he'd found the three cheetah brothers lying under a tree, very close to where we were with the lion! We left the lion to his rest and went over to check out the cheetahs. They had full bellies and were just lying around under the tree together. They were still quite elegant and photogenic, although the light wasn't ideal seeing as they were lying in shade. I love how they lie close together and at least one always keeps its head up in order to watch for anything approaching.

 

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They looked healthy and well and we stayed with them for quite a while, close to an hour. Finally we decided to move on as it appeared they weren't going to do anything else.

 

As we stopped to find a spot for coffee, Hobbs noticed a tree with a lot of birds on it making quite a racket. He said the birds were "mobbing" and it must be there was a snake on the tree. He pplled out his binocs and sure enough, there was a big African rock python on the tree! Well, I don't know if it was particularly big for a rock python but it looked like quite a big snake to me. So we drove over to get a closer look before having our coffee.

 

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The snake did not seem to manage to catch any of the birds, or anything else that we saw.

 

That was about it for this morning's drive, but we felt it had been a pretty good morning!

 

 

Edited by SafariChick
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Game Warden

Are those the cheetahs in MAC's avatar?

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SafariChick

That's a good question, to which I do not know the answer - MAC will have to tell us! I know he loves his cheetah brothers, wherever he finds them.

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twaffle

I think the python sighting would have been my pick for the morning, how many of us ever get to see something like that. And nice photos as well.

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SafariChick

I think the python sighting would have been my pick for the morning, how many of us ever get to see something like that. And nice photos as well.

Thanks, twaffle. I did find the python sighting very cool. I've always been interested in reptiles, and was the proud owner of a box turtle for, well, all my life from age 8 on. My parents kept it after I went to college as my Mom had become quite attached to it. They had no clue when they got it that it was actually a tortoise and could live that long. They kept it until my Dad became ill in his 70s and my Mom was having a hard time taking care of it and him and herself, then they gave it to someone my sister met who worked at a pet store and had a lot of animals, including another box turtle. My box turtle, Lucy, laid eggs for the first time after she moved in with this nice woman! They didn't hatch, but it was still cool. (I am still in touch with the woman on Facebook). She only passed away about 5 years ago! (the box turtle, I mean. The woman who adopted her is still very much alive).

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SafariChick

This is going to be my last post about Little Kwara - it was my second to last game drive but we didn't see all that much on the very last one. On this drive, I was joined by three women friends traveling together from Australia. We decided to go back out to the Splash area again and see if the cheetah boys were still around, and if they might become more active than they'd been in the morning. On our way there, we saw a Fish Eagle

 

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a Pied Kingfisher

 

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and a cute little Painted Reed Frog

 

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When we got back out to Splash, we did find the cheetah boys, and they hadn't moved too far. When we arrived, they decided to get up

 

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and go get a drink nearby

 

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Then they walked to another spot, marking their territory as they went

 

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and they settled down again

 

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seeming to be rather relaxed

 

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a herd of zebra was watching them the whole time they were settling down with great curiosity, hanging out nearby to check them out.

 

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The cheetah boys were relaxed but ever watchful:

 

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but it seemed they weren't really going to get up and do anything, so we moved on. We ran into the lion from the morning, the one I thought looked sad. He looked considerably better to me now. It may just have been the nicer background :)

 

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After watching him for a while, he decided to get up and move, yawning on his way.

 

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and walking towards us, I felt like he looked right at me:

 

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We watched him walk off down the road and, as it was getting to be near sunset by now, we went to find a spot for sundowners. I had my usual, Amarula, and asked Hobbs and Mike if they would mind taking a photo with me. They seemed happy to oblige, and Mike ran over with the Amarula bottle, which I thought was a great idea for the shot :D

 

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The next morning, the four from the other vehicle with whom I'd gone on the boat ride the night before were going on a mokoro ride. I was iffy about whether to do one, and I kept having the feeling if I did that and ended up missing something like dogs I'd be really mad at myself, so I decided to do one last game drive with Hobbs and Mike, and with the Australian ladies. Unfortunately, we really didn't see much, but that's ok, I had really enjoyed my time with Hobbs and wanted to extend it to one more drive anyway.

And in my next post, I will move on to Lagoon, and the most exciting experience of my trip! To be continued ...

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SafariChick

Ok wait, I lied! I'll post just a few pictures from my last morning at Little Kwara.

 

A Boomslang, which is a venomous snake (not the greatest pictures but it was a cool sighting):

 

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Hobbs and his impressive camera set up!

 

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elephant drinking as it walked through water:

 

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This cracked me up: The Guest Lounge of Kwara Airstrip:

 

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Tiny plane I'd be flying in:

 

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Ok, after this post I will be on to Lagoon ... have to look at my pictures and sort out which are worth posting, so stay tuned ...

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stokeygirl

Love the cheetahs drinking!

 

It looks like the weather held out after I left- there's an awful lot of sunshine and blue skies in these photos. Not bad for the rainy season!

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graceland

Very enjoyable SC; I took the water cruise to the Henrony with Hobbs; when he pulled out his huge camera I just watched him taking pics. Educational water journey for sure!

 

Loved the Cheetah shots.

 

Looking forward to Lagoon....

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