Jump to content

pme
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

 

I have completed the write-up on my Safari to Little Kwara, Selinda, Matusadona and Mana Pools in March 2013. In a nutshell, the safari was fantastic and while I certainly had some big misses, I also had some wildlife encounters that I am tempted to call "once in a lifetime" opportunities. This involved joining on foot a pride of lions at breakfast in Mana Pools.

 

Little Kwara will definitely see me again. Great guiding by Hobbs and Mike.

 

Selinda feels like my 2nd home anyway and this time we had a private vehicle to arrange a proper boys outing. It was just Josh Iremonger (lead guide for Selinda Canoe Trails), my friend Humphrey Gumpo (Tailormade-Safaris.com) and myself, so full days on end following game around.

 

Rhino Island and the Rhino Safari Lodge was a lot of fun, too. Matusadona and Lake Kariba is stunning to visit at this time of the year. Westerly winds blowing up waves and crests made for very attractive, dark blue backgrounds. It was great to see a lot of game along the lake shore, including black rhino.

 

Mana Pools: Since it was just Humphery and Phil from Tailormade Safaris and myself travelling, we had arranged a light mobile camp for this part of the safari. The camp team was absolutely outstandig and the stay at Mana was once again legendary in every way. Chitake was full of wildlife, although no concentrations, no moving up and down the river bed, as there still was a lot of water in all the pans around the area. So we only spent two nights at Chitake 3 camp site and then moved to Mucheni 1 (as camp sites at Mucheni 3 and 4, Trichilia and BBC were inaccessible). The floodplains provided some stunning scenery, and as said, some unbelieavble lion sightings. The best I have ever had. Check out photographic results in my galleries (I will upload some pictures to my safaritalk.net gallery shortly).

 

2013 Botswana Gallery

 

2013 Zimbabwe Gallery

 

2013 Afircan Impressions

 

Copying the full travel report to safaritalk.net would probably be a bit much. But whoever is interested I welcome to read up on my photography website. Link to full travel report.

 

In closing, what worries me is the fact that throughout the three weeks I spent in the field, I felt raindrops only for a few minutes, in transit at Victoria Falls. Botswana's northern concessions were still green, but already quite dry and hot, with many of the pans between Kwara, Savute and Selinda turning milky. At Mana Pools, the Chitake area was still moist, but the floodplains along the Zambezi were very dry already. Without further significant rainfall, Mana will again see a very dry year.

 

So what's next:

 

My next major trip will come up in July, when I return to Brazil's Pantanal in search of jaguars and to the Atlantic Rainforest for some birding.

 

As for Africa, I am in the process of planning a south - north trip through Botswana for early 2014. Starting at KTP, crossing CKGR, then heading into the Delta, the northern concessions and finishing on the Chobe.

 

Best wishes,

 

Patrick

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report and photos Patrick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lovely images, thanks for sharing :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beautiful report and images. Thanks for sharing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent report, Patrick. I was going to say you should move it here regardless as you'll get a lot more interest, but you presented it very nicely on your web site so I see why you think it would be superfluous. A great array of transportation - all that is missing is the trains.

 

I really felt the need to work out when you said what you put in your bag at Mana Pools and called it easy. With the best set up in the world I would never call that easy in 35 degree heat!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice work, some lovely images.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

madaboutcheetah

Lovely, indeed!!! Thanks for the thread - great stuff ....... Zim on my list too!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report and photos! Thanks!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beautiful pictures and very good report. i love Mana Pools and the excitement you get from canoeing and walking but I am wondering how safe it is to sit 10 meters from a pride of Lions eating their prey. Must be an amazing experience but it could put the life of those lions in danger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have caught some amazing scenes. I love the lions with their bloodied faces.

 

Look forward to your trip report on the Pantanal. Have only watched shows about it on tv so it would be interesting to read a personal experience to the area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

africapurohit

Thank you for the wonderful report, photos and bringing Tailormade Safaris to my attention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have caught some amazing scenes. I love the lions with their bloodied faces.

 

Look forward to your trip report on the Pantanal. Have only watched shows about it on tv so it would be interesting to read a personal experience to the area.

 

Hello Sharifa,

 

I have had the opportunity to travel to the Pantanal back in 2011 and was privileged to get some great photos of jaguars and other wildlife.

 

Travel write-up to the Pantanal

 

Jaguar gallery

 

Pantanal impressions

 

The Bodoquena Plateau

 

The area from where we launched by boat to find the jaguars is called Porto Jofré. I will stay there for a week in July, but this trip will also include a few nights in the Atlantic Rainforest and other destinations in the Pantanal and Mato Grosso South.

 

Best wishes,

 

Patrick

Edited by pme
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Patrick, i was reading your travel report again. You took some amazing pictures but I also would like to comment on your walking experience with lions.

 

 

 

you wrote: "Following lions dragging a kill into dense bush is a special experience. It requires patience and crisp sharp attention to detail. If tracked properly, the reward may be a fantastic on-foot sighting of a pride of lions feeding. It was too early for this, though. Carefully moving in, we found the big male lion fast asleep under a shrub. He had taken over the kill and wanted to be the first to feed. We sat down and as we started to get the cameras ready, this lion woke up and gave us a serious growl, before relaxing, not considering us to be a threat. When heard from ground level close up, this growl resembles thunder, rather than living creature vocalising. It is very impressive. "


and



"Again we headed out very early the next day. This time, as we were approaching the place where we had left the male on the previous day, we could hear several different types of growls. Our move in was so careful and quite, we actually surprised a hyena that was also scouting around the place. Foot by foot we edged in closer, until the bush in front of us started growling directly at us. From there it was another 30 minutes shuffling on the ground, moving inch by inch, until we sat about 10 metres from a pride of 8 lions finishing off the kudu. What an amazing experience. Especially if like in this case, it happens without altering animal behaviour. The lions looked at us, there was the odd growl"

 

I would not encourage anyone reading those reports to get too closed to lions on foot.To be honest, I am wondering if it is professional and ethical from a safari guide to get so closed to lions on foot in dense bush. To me, it seems that you crossed their comfort zone. It s only my personal feeling, I might be wrong and would be interested to hear the point of views of other ppl. People reading your travel report could think it is exciting, fun and safe to do the same on their own without a guide or some safari guides might even tolerate it. But the consequences could be terrible for the tourists and most importantly for the lions. Also Mana Pools is surrounded by hunting concessions and I dont think that game like lions should get used to humans on foot so close to them.

 

As I said, it s my personal opinion and I think it would be a good debate among safaritalk members

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Dam2810 . I hear what you say.From my experience most guides that work in an area know their lion prides well,as you know lions are very territorial ,and if the guide is 100% sure he knows his pride and has interacted with them often he or she will get you in and out of there safely.Yes there is always a risk involved hence the indemnity forms you sign before you go on such a walk. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The above video was filmed in MP during the dry season in an open plain with a lion more than 10 meters away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@A&M i am not concerned about the tourists but much more about the consequences for the wildlife in case of an accident. According to lots of professionals in MP, walking safari are getting a bit out of control.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thx.

 

I have also done lots of walking safari in MP and North Luangwa. I have also been mock charged by a lioness (who was not so close to us when she charged us) and for me, it was not a pleasant experience. Last time when I was in mp, we saw a guy walking towards wild dogs eating an impala not even aware that a lioness was coming behind him.

 

I believe that no matter how much the guides know the pride, the risk remains high, especially at this time of the year when safaris are just starting in mp after the rains season and when the bush is dense. As I said, it s only my personal opinion, It would be interesting to hear the point of view of professional guides.

Edited by Tdgraves
p
Link to comment
Share on other sites

stokeygirl

I find it interesting that these discussions about walking safaris and safety always seem to focus on lions.

I have not heard of a single incident in which a person has actually been attacked by a lion on a walking safari, or where a lion has been shot to protect guests. On the other hand, I have heard of plenty of incidents involving elephants, buffalo, hippos etc.. I'm sure there must be incidents I'm not aware of but probably the ones I've heard of are at least representative of the overall numbers.

 

Based on that, is approaching lions on foot really that dangerous?

 

I'm sure being mock charged by a lion must be pretty scarey, but how much of the "danger" is in your mind? I mean, a roller coaster ride feels more scarey than driving a car, but statistically which is actually more dangerous? There's a difference between statistical risk and just a perception of being in danger (AKA fear!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Game Warden

Everyone, instead of discussing this issue on a members trip report topic, can you add your comments to the appropriate thread here. Thanks, Matt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dam2810 ...... You can find the debate on this here. It all gets a bit personal but there are still some interesting viewpoints in there.

(Edited, Matt)

Sorry, I can't post it as a link on this device.

Generally, it's good to keep debate really, really minimal in someone else's trip report thread - works better to ask questions of the OP and suss out if they're up for it at least. Not trying to.gag you at all (i'm sure I couldn't even if I wanted!) ....go ahead as and where you wish, and I'll enjoy hearing what you have to say. You say what many experienced safari-goers - rightly or wrongly - think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I put the link to an article written by Gerry Van Der Walt. Personally i also know the opinions of some Zim guides. Dick Pitman (maybe not a "pure" safari guide but a well known conservationist in MP) also commented on that topic in other forums. Some zim guides have a macho culture (sorry) and get some adrenaline by being charged by dangerous game or are pushed by guests to experience the same kinds of encounter to wildlife as what they saw on tv. i love walking safari and I don't want it one day to be forbidden because of some incidents. I would certainly keep some distance from lions (more than xxx meters, to be defined by the zim parks) and would only find it normal to approach lions on an open plain and not in dense bush. If for instance lions growl at you, doesn t it mean that you are getting into their comfort area?

 

@@stokeygirl, one year ago, somebody was killed by lions in MP, not during a walking safari but maybe lions are getting used to humans on foot. Some tourists seem to want to sit among lions sharing a meal together. Personally i don't think you need to be on foot 10 meters from lions to have an amazing experience or to take the ultimate pictures. My solution is as Dick Pitman said, some rules will soon urgently be needed at MP.

 

It s an interesting debate, I am only sharing my own opinions. nothing personal against you Patrick, but i was just wondering if it is professional and ethical from the guide to get his guests so close to lions in dense bush (10meters) with lions growling at you.

 

@Matt and Pault, sorry i will switch to the other forums

Link to comment
Share on other sites

stokeygirl

I am aware of that incident- it wasn't on a walking safari and it was at night. Totally different circumstances. I heard of a staff member in Chobe who was killed many years ago, also at night, whilst switching off the camp's generator. There are no walking safaris in that area, so it couldn't be related to lions "getting used to humans on foot".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Game Warden

Okay, last request to move the discussion here, otherwise I'll close this topic to new posts. Matt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

madaboutcheetah

@@Paolo, I put the link to an article written by Gerry Van Der Walt. Personally i also know the opinions of some Zim guides. Dick Pitman (maybe not a "pure" safari guide but a well known conservationist in MP) also commented on that topic in other forums. Some zim guides have a macho culture (sorry) and get some adrenaline by being charged by dangerous game or are pushed by guests to experience the same kinds of encounter to wildlife as what they saw on tv. i love walking safari and I don't want it one day to be forbidden because of some incidents. I would certainly keep some distance from lions (more than xxx meters, to be defined by the zim parks) and would only find it normal to approach lions on an open plain and not in dense bush. If for instance lions growl at you, doesn t it mean that you are getting into their comfort area?

 

@@stokeygirl, one year ago, somebody was killed by lions in MP, not during a walking safari but maybe lions are getting used to humans on foot. Some tourists seem to want to sit among lions sharing a meal together. Personally i don't think you need to be on foot 10 meters from lions to have an amazing experience or to take the ultimate pictures. My solution is as Dick Pitman said, some rules will soon urgently be needed at MP.

 

It s an interesting debate, I am only sharing my own opinions. nothing personal against you Patrick, but i was just wondering if it is professional and ethical from the guide to get his guests so close to lions in dense bush (10meters) with lions growling at you.

 

@Matt and Pault, sorry i will switch to the other forums

 

I don't think it was a walking safari - I think it was some one self-driving who went off to shower on his own after dark (if i remember the story correctly)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy