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My first TR - a return to South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks


Tdgraves

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Safari Cal

Great stuff @@Tdgraves, what an amazing night drive, you guys got lucky. Love the photos, and what about night photography... it's a challenge eh? You got some great shots, I have so many blurred attempts! haha!!

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Afternoon drive   During our rest, we were treated to a display by two african harrier hawks (not sure if it was fighting or mating behaviour). A herd of elephants returning from a drink in the rive

You lot are insatiable!   Day 3 Tena Tena: Evening drive   We were paired up with a honeymoon couple from the UK. It was their first day and the bride was particularly tired after the wedding and

Day 10 Chongwe morning game drive   So after complaining about our late start, we were given Sam as a guide and we left at 6am. We were very surprised to find that we had a private vehicle, even mor

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ZaminOz

Second vote for the heron sunset - and the leopard!

The photos at night did come out well (The first night one suggests a new thread on photos that didn't quite come out as we wished? - reminds me of the experience!)

Oh my forte! I could dominate that thread!
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Tdgraves

Day 4 Morning drive from Tena Tena

 

The morning after the night before! Nothing was going to live up to hte evening drive and so it was only fitting that we saw very little game indeed. We watched a troupe of baboons basking in the morning sun.

 

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Later we found various vultures hanging around. Although they were centred around an old elephant carcass, there was no food on it.

 

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There were exceedingly fresh lion tracks leading off into the direction we came from, but annoyingly, our guide didn’t bother to follow them up. Given what happened over the next days, I really wish that he had. Given that there were so many vultures around, they must have been on a kill. It is so rare to see such fresh tracks and then not to follow them, defies belief. He thought that they were resting up in a crevice in the shade, but I’d have been happier if he had actually checked that this was the case. :(

 

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The monkeys were just outside of camp

 

 

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And that concludes one of the slowest game drives ever. Our fault for being so successful the night before, I suppose!

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Tdgraves

PS sorry for the delay - first Christmas with everyone in our house this year! Need another safari now......

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Wonderful report! Do you remember if the guide called in the elephant skull so some scouts could remove the tusks? Quite rare to find a skull that old with tusks in it, usually they get taken out quickly, even by the scouts who accompany tourists for walks.

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Tdgraves

@@egilio i don't think that he did. They are not big on using radios to get to sightings etc. andi think he knew it was there

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Aha, he probably told the scout back in camp. Zawa is keen to get any ivory of elephants who died naturally as you can imagine they're quite valuable.

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Only just saw and read this!
Very nice trip report. Superb Leopard shots and also very nice action ones of battling hippos! Enjoyable read. :)

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Just catching up..... Good stuff and outstanding night drive. Enjoy your Christmas break.

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Second vote for the heron sunset - and the leopard!

The photos at night did come out well (The first night one suggests a new thread on photos that didn't quite come out as we wished? - reminds me of the experience!)

Oh my forte! I could dominate that thread!

I think that would be a really good thread - for the stories rather than the photos of course. Let's start it.

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I loved this report as I've stayed at South Luangwa twice before, and I'm planning to visit again in 2015. The photos are all superb.

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Kitsafari

Day 4 Morning drive from Tena Tena

 

 

There were exceedingly fresh lion tracks leading off into the direction we came from, but annoyingly, our guide didn’t bother to follow them up. Given what happened over the next days, I really wish that he had. Given that there were so many vultures around, they must have been on a kill. It is so rare to see such fresh tracks and then not to follow them, defies belief. He thought that they were resting up in a crevice in the shade, but I’d have been happier if he had actually checked that this was the case. :(

 

 

 

 

Loving the latest installment! but what a bummer that your guide didn't follow the tracks. it's a surprise though, because I assumed guides in general would be excited about catching glimpses of the big predators. would he have done so if you had suggested it? or was he in a rush to do something else? altho what can be more thrilling than following the tracks and successfully finding the lions!@@Tdgraves

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Soukous

Ditto the last post.

We all tend to work on the assumption that our guide knows best but there are times when they become a bit stuck on a pre-determined agenda and you need to give them a prod and let them know what you want to do. The tracks may have led to nothing but at least you woudl have satisfied your curiosity and - for me at least - there is always an excitement about following fresh tracks.

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Tdgraves

Ditto the last post.

We all tend to work on the assumption that our guide knows best but there are times when they become a bit stuck on a pre-determined agenda and you need to give them a prod and let them know what you want to do. The tracks may have led to nothing but at least you woudl have satisfied your curiosity and - for me at least - there is always an excitement about following fresh tracks.

 

@@Soukous

 

I would normally be more assertive, so I don't know why I wasn't then. I guess I thought we'd go back in the evening (we didn't). The only other times I have seen such fresh tracks the guides have been mega-excited and you are guaranteed a sighting (as long as you are allowed off road). Spoiler alert - we didn't see any lion during 3 days at Tena Tena, so I guess I am more bitter about this now with retrospect.

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Tdgraves

 

Day 4 Morning drive from Tena Tena

 

 

There were exceedingly fresh lion tracks leading off into the direction we came from, but annoyingly, our guide didn’t bother to follow them up. Given what happened over the next days, I really wish that he had. Given that there were so many vultures around, they must have been on a kill. It is so rare to see such fresh tracks and then not to follow them, defies belief. He thought that they were resting up in a crevice in the shade, but I’d have been happier if he had actually checked that this was the case. :(

 

 

 

 

Loving the latest installment! but what a bummer that your guide didn't follow the tracks. it's a surprise though, because I assumed guides in general would be excited about catching glimpses of the big predators. would he have done so if you had suggested it? or was he in a rush to do something else? altho what can be more thrilling than following the tracks and successfully finding the lions!@@Tdgraves

 

 

He didn't appear to be in a rush to go anywhere and we still had plenty of time to get back to camp...

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Soukous

You won't be voting for him as 'guide of the year' then?

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Tdgraves

You won't be voting for him as 'guide of the year' then?

 

Hmm, maybe not!! :)

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Who was the guide? There could be plenty of reasons as to why not to follow the tracks. Did he need to offroad for it, thick bush around the corner, a steep dangerous gully nearby etc.

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Tdgraves

@@egilio i cannot remember who it was as they kept changing. I realise that there are lots of reasons to stop following tracks, but not to start in the first place?

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It's a bit odd indeed, and at least he should've explained why not to follow imho.

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Tdgraves

Yes, that would have been better....

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Tdgraves

Day 4 Evening drive from Tena Tena

 

Another quiet drive.

 

We saw our first striped kingfisher, but it was difficult to get a good shot.

 

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This bushbuck was better at posing though

 

 

And seeing a giant eagle owl in the daylight was very strange – those eyelids!

 

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We were off for sundowners when these elephant with a small one spooked whilst crossing the river – a croc we think...

 

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The night drive was fairly uneventful, though we saw this leopard leave the tree cover to rapidly enter the ravine

 

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TonyQ

@@Tdgraves

The bushbuck is beautiful. Interesting to see the baby elephant being protected by the adults as they cross the river.

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Atravelynn

Loved the hippos and the storks in their shrinking pool. You managed shooting into the sun very well. Those are great shots with fish in the bills.

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Kitsafari

@@Tdgraves wonderful pix of the owl! 

Edited by Kitsafari
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