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A Safari All Over Zambia - September 2013


Safaridude

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Excellent stuff.

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Bangweulu Wetlands – What is it?   You know those HSBC ads? The one, for instance, that shows three identical photographs of a cow individually titled, “leather”, “deity”, and “dinner”? Bangweulu

Zambia gets left out. It’s definitely not east Africa, and it’s not exactly southern Africa, or for that matter central Africa. It has a reputation of not being a suitable “fist-timer” destination,

Kafue National Park (Nanzhila Plains) – What do we tell her?   I have expressed my unbridled enthusiasm for this southern part of Kafue National Park (http://safaritalk.net/topic/7753-little-kwara-k

Now here is something interesting...

 

Some animals in the Luangwa Valley are small:

 

- The lions are smaller bodied... the ones in Kafue make the Luangwa lions look like kittens.

 

 

Why?

 

@@Safaridude Ah! , Now that is an interesting observation. I said the same thing on my first safari to the South Luangwa in 1999 except I was comparing them to the huge males in the Linyanti region of Botswana. Everyone in the vehicle laughed and said i was crazy.

Edited by Geoff
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Ditto Geoff, really excellent stuff. Exceptional.

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Atravelynn

You've given a great endorsement of the Shenton camps. Your intro sentence is so right, especially for bird books. Zambia does not seem to fit in north or south. Those night photos are tremendous. Page 1 has been a real treat!

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madaboutcheetah

@@Safaridude - lovely report!!! Thank You!!!! A fabulous read! When I was complaining about the flies that were attracted to the buffalo herds at Lebala, Benson brought the Tse Tse flies of Kafue to my attention and how they were known to attack! Sounds an awesome trip for sure - super images to go with the report!!!

 

Cheers

Hari

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Atravelynn

Just read the Bangweulu part. Your descriptions are wonderful. I can so relate to the HSBC ads and your analogy to Bangweulu. Your observation about the appeal of black and white markings is so obvious, but I had not thought of it before. The black lechwe movements through the swamp mimicking a toilet not flushing right, I can hear it now.

 

Your aerial shot of the lechwe looks just like one I took except the grass was emerald green in December. You have so many great action shots of the lechwe. I found the black lechwe to be skittish subjects. Compared to the tsessebe, they were probably easy.

 

I'm glad you got nice photos of the newly designated Damaliscus lunatus superstes. The journey to get to them and the challenge of photographing them seemed to be arduous. You succeeded and I'm sure you were very happy with the triumph. Thanks for the description of the differences in this species. I agree they do look a bit darker.

 

Looking forward to Kasanka.

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Morkel Erasmus

Lovely read, and lovely photos @@Safaridude.

These parks are high on my wish-list to visit...sadly the middle class South African budget I live on cannot afford these destinations - the other alternative would be for me to lead a photo safari there ;).

 

Interesting thoughts on the challenges Zambian (and other African) wildlife face... :o

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Soukous

Top report @@Safaridude, thought provoking too.

Zambia moves a few notches higher on my list, as does Malawi.

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Nicholls Wildlife Art

Another great report! But then they always are. You really know how to capture a place with words and images. I still haven't been to Zambia but this makes the planning all the more urgent.

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Atravelynn

Busangadude is one handsome fellow! Taking on another unrelated male to oversee the pride is really unusual. Busangadude may not only be smart but innovative.

 

You took full advantage of the cooperative roan and even found your sable.

 

The little splashes of water really set off the running lechwe. Many of your shots have that misty morning (or evening) feel of Busanga Plains. You even got a spot necked otter! You have caught the birds in lovely poses. The dead croc skull is an evocative composition.

 

Such diversity within Zambia and your report captures it all so well.

 

If Cindy reads your outstanding report, you won’t have to tell her anything.

 

Have not looked at the epilogue yet.

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Kitsafari

Thank you @@Safaridude for sharing your emotions, your passion and your heartfelt sentiments in your beautiful photos, evocative words and profound thoughts. everyone's already said everything i wanted to say too about your TR, but your thought-provoking ending is what makes such trips so meaningful - they prod us to think of the larger things in life, and remind us there is a bigger purpose in life than just being wrapped up at our desks and computers and mobile phones and ipads.

 

and i did enjoy Swamp Lions. what an amazing documentary - when you least expect it, busangadude goes and does something crazy and turn your notion of what should have been inside out. Have you heard any update since the last report on him? has he returned to his territory?

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Safaridude

Been away for a few days. Thanks everyone for your kind comments.

 

@@Atravelynn - I found the black lechwe to be very tame, actually... strange...

 

@@Kitsafari - Busangadude is still hanging around with his adopted male and skirmishing with the two Musanza males. It is a strange situation. Normally, there is a big fight between the new entrants and the old guard and if the new entrants prevail, they kill the cubs of the old guard. Apparently, that has not happened. The Busanga Boys' cubs are still there under the protection of the Busanga Pride females. The Musanza males move into the territory... the Busanga Boys move off... and then when the Musanza males drift off again, the Busanga Boys come back to their females and cubs. Strange, fascinating, non-textbook behavior!

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Atravelynn

Captivating again. Thanks for transporting us to the wonders of the bush, as you do in each of your reports. Chitsere is the perfect ending for this report and begs the question of what's next for you Safaridude?

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Safaridude

@@Atravelynn

 

Thank you Lynn. Next for me is Kenya in early 2014, and then Bots/Zim later in the year. I haven't been back to Zim in a long time...

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Safaridude

 

 

And yes, I have read every single one of them...

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Atravelynn

We could use Mana Pools spiritual subsection.

 

Any hints on WHERE in Kenya? I'm wondering if Shimba Hills for sable might be on your list, Safaridude? My theory is those sable might have one different chromosome from the other sable and you are driven to investigate.

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Safaridude

@@Atravelynn

 

Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Meru, Sosian Ranch and Masai Mara are on the menu.

 

I have been to Shimba Hills more than once. Yes, in fact the sable there are of the roosevelti race, the same ones found in the Selous. They are smaller than the other ones.

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K,

Managed to read your report in one sitting this Sunday although I had read parts before. Just exceptional writing, one of the finest trip reports on ST and essential reading for anyone planning a Zambian safari. You have a flair for conveying your experiences in manner that really takes the reader on your adventure. The photography is top notch as well.

 

Your report epitomizes what is best about ST. For me, the real attraction here are the trip reports that allow those of us who cannot travel to the bush as often as we would like, to still vicariously live the experience between safaris. Thanks for the effort in putting this together but as you have clearly seen from the many positive comments, well worth it.

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Atravelynn

You should have another great trip Safaridude. And another fantastic report. But no pressure really.

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Safari Cal

Hi @@Safaridude, sorry I've got to this so late, been so busy at work lately.

 

Stunning photos and wonderful words to accompany them. Loved reading about your journey and after reading this TR and seeing the recent BBC programme on Zambia it's been elevated right to the top of my list. I echo what everyone has said already, one of the best TRs I've read.

 

Chitsere dude

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Rainbirder

A superbly written and beautifully illustrated trip report!!!

Zambia has so much more to offer than I realised!

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Kitsafari

@@Safaridude i sent this TR link to my hubby and he was so won over by your beautiful pictures and marvellous report, that he's thinking we shd now go to zambia instead of Bots next year.

 

and your report will now form the essential foundation for our plans.

 

:D

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Kitsafari

And, can't wait to see Busangadude!

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