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Botswana and South Africa


Double Dare

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Double Dare

My husband and I returned from our trip last Friday night. I don't have a proper trip report done, but thought I would share these two videos.

 

An impala died from an injury earlier in the day. We found a hyena busily eating the dead impala. She drug the impala off and we found her again a few minutes later. To her dismay, so did the wild dogs. I felt like I was part of a documentary watching the interaction!

 

 

First video of hyena eating the impala before dragging it off.

 

 

Too many dogs for one hyena!!!

 

Hope you enjoy it!

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wilddog

Fabulous!

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Double Dare

Thanks @@wilddog. One of the guests asked what would happen if the dogs showed up and suddenly there was one dog. The dogs kept streaming in and the hyena had to give up the impala. The hyena came back and tried again later, but again was not successful in regaining the remains of her prize.

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Kitsafari

what a great capture of the interaction. the dogs are really fast, darting around and harassing the poor hyaena.

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Big_Dog

Epic stuff. Big, good looking hyaena and great filming of the interaction! :)
Where in Bots was this taken?

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Double Dare

@@Big_Dog we were staying at Kings Pool in Linyanti. I need to get ambitious and write the whole report as we had a great trip.

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Soukous

@@Big_Dog we were staying at Kings Pool in Linyanti. I need to get ambitious and write the whole report as we had a great trip.

 

we're waiting :D

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Big_Dog

@@Big_Dog we were staying at Kings Pool in Linyanti. I need to get ambitious and write the whole report as we had a great trip.

I'm in agreement with Soukous a full trip report is needed then! :D

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Double Dare

I am taking the plunge and beginning my trip report - more from a sense of guilt than anything else. I have been a bit of a Safaritalk parasite - always benefiting from everyone else's information and insight and yet contributing nothing. I don't have the breadth nor depth of knowledge of many of the board members so hopefully you will be kind when reading my report.

 

Background

 

My husband and I went on our first safari in October of 2012. We went to Zimbabwe and absolutely loved it! I knew we had to go back. I had wanted to go to Botswana on our first trip, but the prices in the dry season were just beyond our budget, After reading some of the green season reports here on Safaritalk, I decided a green season visit was a good option and started planning.

 

Itinerary

 

After much debate, the final itinerary was one night Dullstroom (trout fishing), one night Hazyview (Blyde River Canyon), two nights Mala Mala, three nights Chitabe, three nights Little Vumburu, and three nights Kings Pool.

 

Getting there

 

Our flight to JNB had a long layover in London and we decided to make use of our time there by going to Windsor Castle. The weather was great, flowers were blooming ( a welcome contrast to the snow we left in PA), and a good time was had.

 

post-17536-0-17435600-1395513046_thumb.jpg

 

All in all a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

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Double Dare

Dullstroom

 

My husband, Ben, is an avid fisherman (primarily fly) so a stop in Dullstroom seemed like a nice way to start the trip. We stayed at Walkersons and in all honesty I could have stayed there another day. The setting was beautiful, the weather was good, and the accomodations were nice. Ben caught fish, but not the impressive fish he caught in Zimbabwe.

 

Zimbabwe fish

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Dullstroom fish

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Another great day on vacation!

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graceland

Dullstroom

 

My husband, Ben, is an avid fisherman (primarily fly) so a stop in Dullstroom seemed like a nice way to start the trip. We stayed at Walkersons and in all honesty I could have stayed there another day. The setting was beautiful, the weather was good, and the accomodations were nice. Ben caught fish, but not the impressive fish he caught in Zimbabwe.

 

Zimbabwe fish

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Dullstroom fish

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Another great day on vacation!

@DoubleDare, you caught my Dh's attention with the flyfisherman who accompanied you, as that is also a passion of his.

 

What a great safari itinerary; you sure hit some top spots. Looking forward to hearing more and seeing tons of pics.

 

And sneak in there where MR. DD fished~ as we are heading to Zim in Sept and he needs to catch that fish..it is huge! (Lake Kariba?)

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Double Dare

@@graceland, your trip report was one of the green season reports I read! Ben caught the tiger fish on the Zambezi River. He did not catch that on a fly rod. We stayed at Ruckomechi in Mana Pools and had a great time.

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Double Dare

Blyde River Canyon - skirting the rain

 

We spent a day exploring the Blyde River Canyon and the Panorama route. The rain was all around us and yet we managed to avoid getting we all day. The rain did give us some pretty rainbows.

 

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The views and waterfalls were lovely. If you enjoy scenery, the Blyde River Canyon is worth the time.

 

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The road signs were descriptive and accurate! After the winter we have had here in PA, we could use the signs here.

 

 

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Our only mistake was miscalculating the time to get to our hotel in Hazyview. We spent about 45 minutes driving in the dark. That was 44 minutes too long!

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Double Dare

Mala Mala

 

We chose Mala Mala for the good food, luxurious rooms, well manicured grounds, and excellent toiletries.

 

Just kidding.

 

I know Mala Mala would not be the choice of many of the Safaritalk members, but we really enjoyed it. I went to Mala Mala because I wanted to see a rhino. I debated going to a less expensive place, but in the end the size of the traverse area and knowing there would be a maximum of six guests in the vehicle swayed me to Mala Mala.

 

We had a great time with wonderful sightings. Again, we managed to avoid any pouring rain. We did have some minor to moderate rain, but nothing to deter us.

 

I don't know how I would feel about Mala Mala outside of the green season. We were in the main camp, but there were only about 15 to 18 guests staying there versus 60 at capacity. We were upgraded to a luxury suite in the Sable Camp and it was over the top. Believe it or not, my husband and I can share a bathroom and in fact must do so at home! Two bathrooms, two air conditioners, in room fridge, sitting area, huge bedroom etc. were really more than we needed.

 

The game viewing was great. We were there for two nights. Our ranger was Nic and he was a pleasure to be with. Our first game ride we shared the vehicle with one couple. The next morning, only the wife went out with us. We returned for breakfast and Nic asked us what we wanted to do after breakfast. Sue had to catch a flight so it was just me and Ben and would stay that way for the rest of our stay. The day was overcast and threatening rain and not too hot. Did we want to go back out Nic asked? He did not have to ask us twice! That was how our time went at Mala Mala. Lots of time out and our own vehicle. (We did have a member of the office staff join us on the night drive on the second night. We were asked if we would mind and said of course not!)

 

The highlight of our time at Mala Mala would have to be watching a leopard stalk and kill an impala. The hunting conditions were perfect for the leopard. The night was cloudy; the wind was quiet; the grass was high; and, a light rain was falling. I have to admit I really was not thrilled to witness a kill. I really didn't know who to root for. I felt badly for the impala, but the leopard had two cubs to feed. We had difficulty seeing everything happen because of the dark, but we pretty much watched the whole hunt. (My binoculars actually allow me to see really well in the dark.). In the end the impala killed a very large male impala. The impala was so big there was no way she could drag it up into a tree. We watched her drag it into some bushes and begin feeding on it. The next morning, she still had the impala in the bushes.

 

I said I wanted to see a leopard when I arrived and I certainly did get to see one!

 

Hunt in progress and mission accomplished

 

post-17536-0-29167700-1395536189_thumb.jpgpost-17536-0-66256800-1395536309_thumb.jpg

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Double Dare

Mala Mala - other sightings

 

As I said, we were able to see quite a bit at Mala Mala. We saw a serval during the day, but it disappeared too quickly to get any pictures. I have to admit that I loved the klipspringers. They are just so cute! We were looking for the leopard and cubs and happened upon the klipspringers. I loved how they are on their tip toes.

 

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I had not seen nyala before either.

 

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And of course, we did see the rhinos.

 

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post-17536-0-71036500-1395537414_thumb.jpg

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Kitsafari

great stuff! you watched a leopard kill! i can share your sentiments - not knowing who to root for, feeling sad for the leopard if she didn't get the kill, but equally sad for the impala if the leopard made the kill.

 

when were you at little vumbura? i wonder if our vehicles cross each other as i was at Vumbura plains in early march.

 

and forgot to add - ive not seen klipspringers before and they look so cute.

Edited by Kitsafari
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Atravelynn

What a good job of holding the camera perfectly still for the videos. Now onto the content--such intensity playing out in front of you. I started feeling bad for that frustrated hyena trying to get a bite. It reminded me of some days at work when I couldn't seem to get a bite without interruptions. At least no wild dogs were nipping at me.

 

Congrats on seeing the leopard kill. The rainbow and the purple flowers is almost unreal. Fortunate on that too.

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Big_Dog

Excellent photos...a full leopard kill is something really special!

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Double Dare

Thank you for your kind comments. We felt very fortunate with our sightings. My husband is the photographer and I can not take credit for the photos.

 

@@Kitsafari - We were at Little Vumburu March 7, 8, 9.

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Kitsafari

@@Double Dare we missed each other by a few days - I was there from mar 2-5.

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Double Dare

Mala Mala - other creatures

 

My husband and I enjoy seeing everything. We are not birders, but the birds were great!

 

European roller?

 

post-17536-0-06726600-1395585398_thumb.jpg

 

Wooly necked stork?

 

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Saddle billed stork

 

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And many birds that I don't recall the names of.

 

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Even smaller

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Spider with a dung beetle

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One more antelope - Bushbuck?

 

post-17536-0-26847500-1395586873_thumb.jpg

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Double Dare

Final thoughts on Mala Mala

 

We really enjoyed our time there, but I am not sure I would feel the same if the camp had been full. The service was incredible; I felt a bit like I was living in Downton Abbey. For example, our vehicle was returned to us washed and with a flat tire changed! (We did not realize we had a flat tire when we arrived.). Your ranger works very hard and eats all of his meals with you. He also gets your drinks and takes your breakfast order. I felt uncomfortable with all he was doing.

 

There were a few things that struck me as odd. One was that the day is designed to discourage mingling between guests. You eat with your ranger and anyone else in your vehicle for all of your meals. Pre-dinner cocktails are split up by vehicle. I barely learned the names of anyone else at Mala Mala.

 

In addition there was a real emphasis on seeing the big five. We had not seen any lions going into our last game drive and really didn't care if we saw any. We told Nic this was not a big deal for us. On our way back to camp we practically ran over a lion at the last turn into camp. While we were checking out, a manager mentioned how glad they were that we saw those lions as they were thinking of putting up posters so we would see them. Just odd as it was not our emphasis at all.

 

I did like the information sheets the had posted outside the ranger room. They showed the territories of the various cats and their histories. I got a good feel for the various leopards and lion prides and their lives.

 

Finally, I promise to make the next installments shorter!

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graceland

Looks like a great sucess at Mala-Mala! Naturally the leopard shot is "killer" and the ballerina toes are the sweetest.

 

I too have a love/hate relationship with wanting to see a kill. I think I'd love it; but I hate to see anything killed (except pesky insects and whatever is killing one of my shrubs) however, the nurturer in me would say, feed the cubs.

 

I saw many starts and endings in Bots, but never the entire sequence from stalk to victory. It is amazing to capture.

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SafariChick

I agree with everything @@graceland says above - and @@Kitsafari felt similarly I saw. @@Double Dare that leopard kill was really something - that impala was enormous too! But no need to make your installments shorter!

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twaffle

Impressive impala kill for sure! So pleased that you had a great time and you saw plenty of action by the sounds of things.

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