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Lions in our campsite shower in Mabuasehube


cheetah80

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cheetah80

Hello,

 

Not really a full blown trip report but thought I would share with you an interesting experience we had in Mabuasehube whilst self-driving in the Kgalagadi a couple of weeks back. Please also check out the

which is much more fun :-)

 

So it all started with a Brown Hyena in our campsite, having a drink from the leaking shower.

 

We thought the excitement for the night was over, so we were just having a chat, chilling out & doing some last chores before we went to our tents to sleep. Suddenly, a weird noise comes from the direction of the shower. Could the hyena be back? A quick scan with the flashlight and we had the surprise of our lives - the Royal Family was in town and they were very very thirsty!

 

Here are the King and the Queen

 

Shower time? Think again ...

 

The princes now make their entrance

 

The image below would be quite disturbing if someone went missing

 

Things start getting rowdy

 

Then the young males discover our defenceless tablecloth ....

 

Busted - guilty face!

 

What do you have there?? I want it ....

 

Bush TV at it's finest!! If you enjoyed these photos remember there is also the

 

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wilddog

What an adventure! Thanks for sharing.

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What a rush it must have been :D , specially for anyone who would have been inside. :D

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wilddog

Lovely video @@cheetah80 .I assume you were all in your vehicles by the time they wandered by?

 

Were you nervous at any point ? It looked as though one lion might have been a bit interested in the person on top of the other vehicle.

 

The frozen table cloth was a terrific reminder of how cold it can get at night at this time of the year.

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cheetah80

Lovely video @@cheetah80 .I assume you were all in your vehicles by the time they wandered by?

 

Were you nervous at any point ? It looked as though one lion might have been a bit interested in the person on top of the other vehicle.

 

The frozen table cloth was a terrific reminder of how cold it can get at night at this time of the year.

 

We were actually out of the car when we noticed them. Us two girls jumped into the closest car's front seats and the guys went on top of the car trying to remain as flat as possible (the back seats were full of things). At no point were we really nervous, except maybe when the lions climbed the tree and we saw how easily they can climb on top of cars too. Awe killed all other emotion I guess!

 

At one point my partner, the one shooting the video (I was taking photos) had to get up a bit on the car to make proper space for the other guy as he had his leg dangling down. At that point one of the lions made a little charge at the car. I was on the driver seat and was ready to drive off quickly should there have been too much interest. When they left for a little while we all quickly got into our own tents - it was just wonderful watching all the action from our comfy bed! :)

 

But needless to say no one dared go out to the bathroom during the night :)

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wilddog

Thanks for that. Watching the video has made my day, except that I am very jealous!

 

Breathtaking - literally.

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stokeygirl

Love the photos- the video will have to wait til I'm not in the office.

Love the "guilty face". Lions are so good at it!

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Kitsafari

WOW! thanks for sharing. and that is what bush safari is all about. when you said the lion made a little charge at the car, was he attracted by the movement of the dangling leg? that must be unnerving at that point?

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cheetah80

WOW! thanks for sharing. and that is what bush safari is all about. when you said the lion made a little charge at the car, was he attracted by the movement of the dangling leg? that must be unnerving at that point?

 

No I think he was a bit surprised at someone standing upright on the car - with the tent, firewood, gas canisters and jerry cans on the roof there was not much room for maneuver. He ignored the guys again when they were both perfectly still. I had my hand on the ignition and ready to honk if it's body language became threatening - at no point did I do either. They mostly ignored us completely and whenever they came real close we were never the object of their attention. Quite remarkable really.

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Africalover

Awesome, i had a shower there last year in march. At night they were roaring outside our tents, freigtning, but fantastic. Mabuasehube is a fantastic place, like the rest of Kgalagadi, hope you had a great trip, did you see the cheetahs ?

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twaffle

Brilliant, just brilliant.

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Holy cats what a great experience! Thanks for sharing...I would have been more than bit nervous I was the one on the car with my leg dangling over the edge.

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cheetah80

Awesome, i had a shower there last year in march. At night they were roaring outside our tents, freigtning, but fantastic. Mabuasehube is a fantastic place, like the rest of Kgalagadi, hope you had a great trip, did you see the cheetahs ?

 

Yes I saw one male in Mabua, and a female with 3 almost full grown cubs on the SA side on a springbok kill. Predator sightings were very scarce when I was there.

 

I don't know why I waited this long to visit Mabuasehube - so awesome!

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wow!!!

@@cheetah80 - I know you said this is not a trip report but would you mind quickly summarizing your itinerary of this self drive. We have booked a few days in KTP in December and have some more days to play with.

Thanks!

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Africalover

Last year when I went to Kgalagadi and Mabuasehube and Okavango, it was with a SA guide with 25 years of guideing. The guide pitch up his tent underneath the shelter at the same campsite as yours. At midnight the roaring began close to the tents, he sad up and stared directly into the eyes of to female lions through the mosquitonet. He did a big mistake and forgot to close the tent intirely. He froze and stopped breathing for a while he said. The lionesses luckyli went on. He said he has never been so afraid in is life as a guide. One wonders what the lionesses was thinking. He will never forget again.

 

We saw lions every day and had some fantastic sightings without any cars. This is really wild country.

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cheetah80

wow!!!

@@cheetah80 - I know you said this is not a trip report but would you mind quickly summarizing your itinerary of this self drive. We have booked a few days in KTP in December and have some more days to play with.

Thanks!

Sure Kavita!

 

Here it goes:

 

19th July - Arrive Johannesburg. Pick up car, shopping.

20th July - Drove to Van Zylsrus

21st July - A visit to the Kalahari Meerkat Project (only allowed on Sundays) - we got to meet the stars of "Meerkat Manor", the Whiskers group. Though the ones from the actual series have all died by now. Highly recommended activity Drive to Rooiputs via the gravel road to Askham. Road in ok condition.

22nd July - Rooiputs

23 - 25th July - Kalahari Tented Camp. Great area for cheetah. Urikaruus is the best placed but it was fully booked.

26th July - Nossob

27 & 28th July - Polentswa. Resident brown hyena seen at sunset by the waterhole.

29th July - Matopi 1 (on the way to Mabuasehube). Not really an essential stop, one can easily make Polentswa to Mabua in one full day. It takes about 7 hours.

30, 31 July & 1st August - Mpaya #1. This is where the lions came to the shower.

2nd August: Khiding

3rd August: Lobatse. Drive from Mabua to Lobatse about 8-9 hours including the time to eat, refuel and reinflate tires. We used the Northern Cutline and slept in Phuduhudu Lodge. Just as a warning this is a hunting lodge but we couldn't find any other suitable accommodation as we had to be in the airport the next day. But I guess it realistic to be able to drive to Zeerust in one day but we didn't want to risk that.

4th August: about 4 hours driving to Johannesburg including the border crossing as well as some stops for shopping (I wanted to take home some Nandos products)

 

Mabua needs a lot of patience - in the dry season the game is very scarce and it is a hit and miss whether you will see the lions. It seems that they hadn't been around for around 5 days when we arrived. Every pan will have some Bat Eared Fox at dusk (very skittish though - like the rest of the animals except the lions) and brown hyena are also a common sight - we saw every day at the waterhole in Mpaya & in the campsite. Meerkats are quite common. Cheetahs tend to be in the Lesholoago pan. Spotted Hyena at Monamodi (we learned about that too late though)

 

Hope this helps :)

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cheetah80

Last year when I went to Kgalagadi and Mabuasehube and Okavango, it was with a SA guide with 25 years of guideing. The guide pitch up his tent underneath the shelter at the same campsite as yours. At midnight the roaring began close to the tents, he sad up and stared directly into the eyes of to female lions through the mosquitonet. He did a big mistake and forgot to close the tent intirely. He froze and stopped breathing for a while he said. The lionesses luckyli went on.

 

That is quite a big mistake I would say when you have your tent on the ground. That must have been terrifying! I saw a picture a while ago of some idiots that slept under one of the A Frames without a tent. Darwin Award stuff....

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Africalover

You got to be suicidal to sleep under the shelters in Mabua og anywere else in the bush, with lions and hyena hanging around.

The best time to visit Mabuasehube and Kgalagadi, is from dec to march during the greenseason, as far as I know. Lots of plainsgame and birds in the pans and riverbeds. Lions, cheetahs, leopard and hyenas hanging around.

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Sangeeta

Wow, what an adventure and what a treat! Amazing video - totally gripping - thank you for sharing. The youngsters really acting like overgrown cubs! The more I see and learn about this area, the more attractive it continues to get...

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Super LEEDS

Wow. Perhaps trying not to think of the implications but awesome.

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graceland

Since I am going to be on a mobile expedition next month, these photos gave me an OMG moment...in addition, a "What the HeLL am I doing moment?" ( Like @Superleeds - what about the implications?? agghh)

 

A bit of anxiety, nonetheless, but I am hoping if lions come into camp I will not be face to face. At least it has scared me into not being too complacent - realizing anything can happen! Might have to send this link to our guide.

Wish me luck. I had nightmares last night!

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cheetah80

Since I am going to be on a mobile expedition next month, these photos gave me an OMG moment...in addition, a "What the HeLL am I doing moment?" ( Like @Superleeds - what about the implications?? agghh)

 

A bit of anxiety, nonetheless, but I am hoping if lions come into camp I will not be face to face. At least it has scared me into not being too complacent - realizing anything can happen! Might have to send this link to our guide.

Wish me luck. I had nightmares last night!

 

Please do not worry too much - if you stick by a car or a tent you will be fine, especially with an experienced guide. It is only when you stray away, especially by yourself - or fall asleep by yourself by a fire that they might be trouble. When the lions arrived we were out of the cars (but close to them). The lions path was just perhaps 5 metres or so away from us - they ignored us completely. Over the years we had all sorts of animals in camp and except for scared elephants I never felt threatened. I must stress we are still very very cautious whenever we are camping out in these unfenced campsites. Remember none of the predators in these parks actively hunt humans - but they are opportunistic. Remove the opportunity and you are relatively safe.

 

Part of the reason we posted this video is to remind people not to be complacent - we have seen our fair share of people doing reckless stuff. But I think mostly it shows that you can share space with these beautiful creatures.

 

By the way, perhaps one thing I should mention since it is obvious I used flash for the photos (turned down the power and really tried my best not to flash when they were looking) - Never, ever use flash to take a photo of an elephant, or shine a light in its face! They get extremely upset. I don't know this from first hand experience but I was told by different sources.

Edited by cheetah80
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