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Back from Mana & Matusadona - Sept 13


Zim Girl
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We arrived back yesterday from our 13 nt safari in Mana Pools and Matusadona.

2 nts Ilala

2 nts Croton

3 nts Mucheni 4

3 nts Chitake

3 nts Rhino Camp - Matusadona

 

We were guided by Mark again as per the previous 2 years and used Natureways for the mobile camps in Mana.

We had a fantastic time as usual. I will try to put up a bit of a trip report with some pics when I have time.

 

Unusually we did not see wild dog at all during the 10 nts in Mana. It was definitely more of a lion safari this time.

We tracked and found a 14 strong pride in the Nyamatusi area.

Found 7 lion only 1 km from Mucheni and were able to spend a long time watching them from approx. 20 mts away, Saw some great interaction and watched with amusement when one of the males tried to climb the tree they were under to get away from flies that were biting him, and then lost his balance and fell out.

Most magical moment was in Chitake. We were walking when a lioness came charging up over the ridge and stopped only 7 metres away growling at us. We retreated very carefully and watched her walk back through the gully and to her 4 cubs that were hidden on the other side - hence the charge. We were then able to watch her and the cubs play. It was wonderful to see and was one of the most natural lion encounters I have witnessed.

 

Also in Chitake we saw a 400 strong herd of buffalo in the riverbed. Something we didn't see last year.

 

At Rhino camp Jenny gave us a private vehicle as we had planned with Mark to spend the entire time tracking rhino.

Sadly we didn't find any. We covered a lot of ground both by vehicle and walking and only found one fresh track in all that time. It is estimated now that there may only be around 5 or 6 rhinos left in the Matusadona. Therefore, because their territories are now so vast, the chances of seeing one are very slim.

 

However, while doing this we did find a pride of lions on a kudu kill, and also nearly ran into a big lone male, all while walking.

 

Also, for anyone transferring by road from Lusaka to Chirundu. The driving time is now 3 and a half hours as a very long stretch of road from the Lusaka outskirts is being relaid. This added a full hour onto the journey time.

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Not sure I'd be laughing too loud at a lion with heavily bruised pride after falling out of a tree 20 meters away from me. :-) I'm such a pussy cat though.

 

Sounds like a great time and I really hope you'll give us the blow-by-blow version too later.

 

And now I am off to see how your special formula worked on the tsetses! I saw you posted on that thread - what an excellent Safaritalker!!!

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@ Zim Girl Thanks for the prompt up date. Lions all the way, what a super experience. Dogs have probably retreated if the lions are so prominent. Sad to hear about the rhino at Rhino camp.

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Glad to hear you had a good time, despite the lack of dogs. A lioness charging must have been quite an experience!

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I look forward to reading this and seeing the pictures. This is a very good trailer for the full Trip Report

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Sounds like lots of activity so I am also looking forward to photos and more details.

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Jenny at Rhino was hoping we were going to find Mvura as they are not sure.

Our guide Mark, used to guide in the Matusadona and as we walked around all the places where in past years you would be fairly sure of finding Rhino we were finding no trace at all. All the middens we found were completely dried out which shows how much their territory has expanded.

Edited by Zim Girl
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Welcome back; look forward to your Trip Report also!

 

(Yes I need to shut up and get to work on mine! :))

 

@@pault, don't know your itinerary, BUT I only saw ONE tsetese in 8 days. And I packed enough "ammo" for a herd. Moli grabbed it so I could say I saw one. :D

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Welcome back; look forward to your Trip Report also!

 

(Yes I need to shut up and get to work on mine! :))

 

@@pault, don't know your itinerary, BUT I only saw ONE tsetese in 8 days. And I packed enough "ammo" for a herd. Moli grabbed it so I could say I saw one. :D

Hahaha... Isn't that funny? Scary tsetses of Ruaha, and you have to TRY to see one!

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Shame about the dogs.

 

Mvura- now this isn't Fatuous Naming of Rhinos is it?? Surely not :P

 

Oh dear, seems that I've upset Stokeygirl as this is the second dig at me for my dislike of naming wild big cats. Will have to self edit my writing to exclude any of my personal opinions in my trip report for unknown sensitivities. :wacko:

Certainly didn't mean to upset any Safaritalkers...... :(

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Shame about the dogs.

 

Mvura- now this isn't Fatuous Naming of Rhinos is it?? Surely not :P

 

Oh dear, seems that I've upset Stokeygirl as this is the second dig at me for my dislike of naming wild big cats. Will have to self edit my writing to exclude any of my personal opinions in my trip report for unknown sensitivities. :wacko:

Certainly didn't mean to upset any Safaritalkers...... :(

Solidarity sister!

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Shame about the dogs.

 

Mvura- now this isn't Fatuous Naming of Rhinos is it?? Surely not :P

 

Oh dear, seems that I've upset Stokeygirl as this is the second dig at me for my dislike of naming wild big cats. Will have to self edit my writing to exclude any of my personal opinions in my trip report for unknown sensitivities. :wacko:

Certainly didn't mean to upset any Safaritalkers...... :(

 

 

I was only joking- not upset!

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Back in the late 1990's i was visiting Zim and my BiL mentioned an orphaned rhino who was being cared for at the NP station at Tashinga. They were struggling to feed her,so we bought as many sacks of dried milk as we could get into the Landcruiser, loaded up the camping gear and drove to Tasginga. It was one heck of a drive - some of the worst roads I have ever encountered and it took a good 12 hours to get there from Harare.

 

One we arrived, we gave the food to grateful Parks staff and camped for 4 or 5 days, visiting Chewore (named after the area she was found following the death of her mother at the hands of poachers) at least twice a day to feed her and shower her with water. It was a great privelidge and tremendous fun to spend so much time with a mischief-full young black rhino - until you have received a blow in the groin from a charging 8 week old rhino you haven't lived!!! The water play was especially popular with Chewore and ourselves - daytime temperatures were into the low 50'sC.

 

Chewore was also released into the wild and I happened across an article about her a few months ago - she was still up to mischeif! I'll try to dig it out.

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On 9/25/2013 at 5:25 AM, twaffle said:

 

On 9/24/2013 at 4:10 PM, stokeygirl said:

Shame about the dogs.

 

Mvura- now this isn't Fatuous Naming of Rhinos is it?? Surely not :P

 

Oh dear, seems that I've upset Stokeygirl as this is the second dig at me for my dislike of naming wild big cats. Will have to self edit my writing to exclude any of my personal opinions in my trip report for unknown sensitivities. :wacko:

Certainly didn't mean to upset any Safaritalkers...... :(

 

 

Don't you go self-censoring personal opinions. Where would be then? Nowhere good.

 

You've simply established a trend. Like when Lynn started counting vehicles at sightings or beginning a trip report with interesting lists, or when @SuperLEEDS posted a pic of his well-ventilated socks (well, that one hasn't quite caught fire yet, but it can only be a matter of time). I've been trying to start trends for years but nobody seems to want to litter their reports with typos or create chronologies that would only make sense in dreams. :(

 

 

Where the cats have no name! Fantastic.

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Yes Mvura has a very special place in our hearts and we have tried our best to keep an eye on her and her 2 offspring and they are one of the main reasons we made a pact to remain open during the years of hyperinflation, etc.

 

Not sure if Mvura's parents were victims of poaching incident, as she was in fact one of the babies from Imire's breeding program and she was released into the Matus in the 90s, where she was initially held in a holding boma at Tashinga and then released into the wild.

 

From our interactions with her, it was noticed that she was definitely "attracted" by Jenny's voice in particular and we could only surmise that Mvura had (fond) memories of Judy Travers from Imire, who would have had a lot of interaction with the baby rhinos initially.......

 

Her name is also quite apt, because in the early years when we first opened the camp, she would be a real nonsense and would not walk 20-50m to the lake to drink, but would instead knock the taps off the pipes outside the rooms, have a few sips and then let 5,000L of water drain into the sand <_<:) ......

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@@Rhino Safari Camp Please do start a new topic with photos and experiences of Mvura, I think many Safaritalkers would be very interested

Matt

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Song lyrics from an ex-member have been deleted at their request.

 

Safarichick....she started out as a professional singer! I've heard her, she's good.

 

 

Maybe she could video herself singing and post it here! Cats have no name. Actually when at Little Kwara our first night, we came across 2 Lion brothers watching their Sister and her Boyfriend. I just asked the guide innocently if their prides had names. He told me they DID not name animals. I could have sworn I'd seen names linked with Kwando prides. But I shut up after that. Went downhill anyhow. ^_^ That happens. On ward and upward!

Edited by kittykat23uk
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Hey come on guys, this is a TR.

 

I got excited when I saw a load of updates and it's just you lot gassing!

 

Aah, the mighty socks off Kigio.

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  • 3 months later...
On 9/25/2013 at 7:59 PM, Game Warden said:

@@Rhino Safari Camp Please do start a new topic with photos and experiences of Mvura, I think many Safaritalkers would be very interested

 

Matt

Hi Mat - still trying to juggle time to allow for more frequent posts <_<. This is a good idea and will make note to follow up when my other half, Jenny, is back in town as she is the best to do this :).

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content removed referencing former member.

Edited by SafariChick
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  • 2 weeks later...

@@rhinowoman I've deleted the content of the post as all it contained was the above quoted. How can I help you to post?

 

Matt

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