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It's raining (a few) cats and (lots of wild) dogs - Botswana, June 2014


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Hi,

 

Just back from a wonderful week of camping safari in Northern Botswana (Moremi, Savuti, Chobe). After a somehow slow start, we were lucky to get some wonderful sightings in the second half thanks to a very astute guide, with a great understanding of animal behavior.

 

Over the next posts, I'll do a review of:

  1. the general safari setup
  2. the gear taken
  3. the various daily reports
  4. pros & cons of the option taken

Well, between these posts, I'll have to think about planning the next safari thoug,,, ^_^

 

Tom

 

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1. General safari setup

 

Since I no longer live in Africa, but in a high cost country (Switzerland), I was looking for a rather budget-friendly safari option in Southern Africa, to add to a few days of visiting a friend based in Jo'burg. Self-drive safari not being an option as I don't drive, the camping option seemed to be the best recourse.

 

I went for the Buffalo Safari offered by Bushways as "semi participation" (which basically means you have to help a bit hauling bags and un/mounting your tent, so very limited involvement in fact), in the first week of June. While it was pretty cold at times (especially the last night in Chobe) for camping, this is a great way to be in close contact with nature: I would often hear hippos passing just on the other side of the tent fabric, or hear roaring lions in close proximity.

 

The safari schedule was:

  1. two nights at Moremi, near Third Bridge Camp (Hippo pool)
  2. one night on the border of Khwai River, near Motsaa Pan
  3. one night near Savuti canal, about 1 km NW from Savute Safari Lodge
  4. two nights in the northern part of Chobe, just south of the Namibian border, about 500m south from the Serondela picnic spot
  5. one night (which I turned into two) at Maramba river lodge between Livingstone and the Victoria falls

All these locations were pretty nice, though the second one was a bit less interesting (maybe because we were the first campers of the season there, so the location needed a bit more preparation on our side).

 

While I was expecting to be among the more senior participants (at 35) for this kind of cheaper, rougher safaris, I was in fact by far the youngest. The 7 other participants (great number: high enough for the logistic to go quickly, low enough that everyone had its own side of the jeep, made of four rows) were:

- a lovely French couple in their late seventies (I would often act as a translator for them as they spoke pretty much no English, in spite of being well travelled)

- a Franco-Irish couple in their early seventies who was obviously completely lost in all three aspects of the "participation / camping / safari"

- a Belgian couple in their late fourties on their honeymoon

- a German guy in his mid forties, and the only hardcore photographer along with myself (he also had two bodies, him Canon, myself Nikon, and though we were always on the same row, we always managed to effortlessly and efficiently ensure the other person to take pictures on the other side)

 

The vehicle was an extended Land Rover, quite practical for the eight of us though it would have been cramped for the usual 12 (and it was a bit hard to get in for the older participants). Attached was a very efficiently designed trailer which would hold out bags, the food and the mattresses / tents, which we would leave at the camp when on local game drives. Tents were on the smaller side for a big guy like me (197 cm) but having one's own enabled me to sleep in the diagonal, so not much of an issue.

 

The team was made of:

  1. the main guide, OT, who would drive most of the time. He had been working in the area for 14 years, after having worked in conservation initiatives, with a focus on wild dogs. He had a great understanding of animal behaviour, which enabled him on quite a few occasion to guess where an animal spotted from afar would head next, and to have first row seats when he got there (actually, often only row, as the other cars did not have the same anticipation approach)
  2. a trainee guide, OP, coming from a higher end competitor, very helpful in all matters of the camp
  3. a cook, Papi, always sporting a huge smile on his face, and cooking the most delicious bread I have ever eaten under the campfire ashes.
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2. Gear taken

 

As I had two days in Joburg before, and two after (total of 15 days including travel time), I had to take some equipment that would not normally have been part of a safari, especially a camping one. My luggage included:

  1. a duffel bag (about 20 kgs) for the clothes and personal effects
  2. a photo backpack (Lowepro flipside 400,a bit on the tiny side but I was afraid the 500 version would not fit the overhead compartment requirements), totalling about 8 kgs
  3. a small 13" laptop bag
  4. my beloved Domke photo vest which can absorb quite a few kgs of stuff to fit the airline requirements on luggage weight

Clothing:

- one jean (mostly for Joburg plus evenings at the camp)

- one light convertible pant

- two knee-level cotton shorts (could have gone with one)

- four polos (one long sleeved)

- four shirts (two long sleeved)

- 10 sets of underwear

- two sets of thermal underwear for the night

- one Tilley hat

- one Domke photo vest

- one fleece jacket

- one long poncho (for the Falls)

- one pair of hinking shoes

- one pair of trekking sandals

- one pair of tennis shoes (for Joburg and nights at the camp)

 

Photo:

- a newly acquired Nikon D800 (still had about a month before safari to get to know it)

- mounted on it permanently, a Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VR II with a 2x (TC-20E III) converter; I would sometime use the DX mode of the D800 for the extra reach, but considering the staggering 36 MP, simply centering the subject in view of future cropping was pretty much always sufficient

- my trusted Nikon D300s, which suffered quite a bit during this trip (the viewfinder became 3/4 submerged in water inside the body at one point during the Falls visit on the Zim side, and it still seems to work perfetly)

- mounted on it permanently, the beloved Nikkor 17-55/2.8 (a superb combo with the incredible buffer of the D300s for rapid shots at dusk from the moving car)

- a Canon SX260 HS compact camera (initially planed for the movies, but in fact used only in Joburg when a discrete camera was de rigueur)

- Steiner Predator 10x26 binoculars

- very comfortable OP/Tech straps on both bodies, plus a dual harness from the same brand to attach the two bodies when wandering around, while on the road, and when fast access to both bodies was required (typically when standing in the vehicle)

- three original batteries for each of the three bodies

- last but not least, not enough cards. Correction: by far not enough cards. I had four 32 GB CF card and about 100 GB in SD cards (both the D800 and D300s have the clever dual slot system, which I use as RAW on CF and JPG on SD), but I had to format all CF cards at least once (i.e. I should have brought 10 or 11 CF cards of 32 GB to prevent having to erase anything). The D800 was solely responsible for this, as it goes through CF cards at an amazing pace (about 500 - 600 pics per CF card only)

 

Backup routine:

- after every game drive, both at noon and night, I would first backup all the photos from the half day (taken from each of the three bodies, in both RAW and JPG) on a 13" laptop, using an external card reader

- I would then resave the newly copied photos to two external hard drives

- I would keep one of these hard drive in my vest, the second one in my camera bag

- the laptop would stay in my duffel bag during the land travels, and as cabin luggage in the air travel

- once back home, I did two additional copies: one on my local NAS, one on my Gdrive (and can now erase the version on the laptop to free up some space)

- total size was about 227 GB for 15.000 photos and films (actually 6.500 photos, in both RAW and NEF versions, plus JPG from the compact and movies from the D300s)

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johnkok

@@Toubab

 

Thanks for this - I like the details. It helps for planning purposes.

 

I too back up on to 2 separate external hard drives kept separately. With time, I sometimes also back up onto a third. Once home I put them into the big home drives. And one copy kept off site (in the office). A safari destination can be repeated, but some of those images cannot be. That's my rationale.

 

Was there a small generator set fired up while in camp which was used for re-charging all those batteries (cameras + Notebook)? I am assuming there must have been.

 

197 cm eh? That's tall in any language :-)

 

John

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@John: there was no generator per se, but there was an inverter linked to the car battery which meant up to five devices could be charged at the same time while doing game drives (so from about 7.30 to noon and from 15.30 to 18.30).

 

Forgot to mention that I had also bought a no-name additional battery for the laptop to be on the safe side, though I could have made without it. Never had to recharge any of the camera batteries, though I got stuck with a dead battery at the very end of the last day in Zim, as I took movies with the D300s which I was not familiar with, especially battery-consumption-wise, and had not brought an extra one (though no photo opportunity was lost due to this).

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3a. 31st May, Moremi

 

I'll pass on the Joburg days considering the audience here, but let's just say it was a weird feeling after having lived 3 years in Senegal. While it looked way more modern on a number of aspects (mall-passion-wise in particular), the obsession about security is a bit unnerving.

 

Anyway...

 

So the safari per se started with a flight from Joburg to Maun mid-day on the 30th. The welcoming employee at Maun airport took me (along with the Belgian couple, arriving on the same flight) to a Choppies to get the necessary drinks for the week on the ground (the only item not provided, as some people preferred alcoholic drinks or sodas while other like myself were teetotallers).

 

After a night spent at Island Safari Lodge, with quite a few monkeys to get some training with the camera setup for action shots, we were picked up at 7.30 on the 31st, with the other participants (who were doing a longer circuit) already in the vehicle.

 

We entered Moremi park around 9.00 and we soon saw our first zebras, girafes and impalas. First real thrill comes around 9.45, as we see some fresh wild dog prints, but no luck to actually see them then.

 

At 10.20, we get to a Moremi Game Reserve gate, and do not see many more animals till the lunch break (some impalas).

 

We get to the camping place near Hippo Pool at 14.00, and leave again at 15.45 after having set up camp and mounted our tents.

 

We see about 10 red Lechwe soon afterwards then some more zebras and impalas.

 

The first elephants (3 of them) appear around 16.30, soon followed by our first croc on an island in the middle of a swamp, then about a dozen wildebeests.

 

Around 17.00, we see a pair of ostriches, which will oddly be the only ones we will see during the entire trip.

 

At 17.15 appears the first hippo as we get back to our camp. Curiously, we will always see them submerged, never on the land.

 

 

Daily sightings:

  • about 25 zebras
  • 17 girafes
  • about 80 impalas
  • 10 red Lechwe
  • 8 elephants
  • 1 croc
  • 1 cormorant
  • 2 Egyptian geese
  • 13 wildebeest
  • 2 ostriches
  • 1 hippo
  • 2 African jacanas

I'll post some pics later on my blog, and will edit the post to reflect the gallery.

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Marks

Sounds like a good first day of a great itinerary; looking forward to the rest.

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3b. 1st June, Moremi

 

The daily ritual of waking up at 6.00 is starting, though at least one that day, we do not have to pack the tents and luggage as we are staying two nights in the same location.

 

We leave at 7.00, and soon see two more Jacanas. Around 7.20, we see some relatively fresh leopard prints, but again no luck for the actual cat.

 

Going through Third Ridge Bridge around 7.30, we see our first eagle, then about 10 Guinea fowls, with some elephants and impalas in the background.

 

Around 8.00, after seeing about 15 wildebeests, we are stopped in our way by a large group of buffaloes (about 500). About 500m on the way, a pack of 8 wild dogs suddenly appears, and starts trying to isolate a younger buffalo which seems to be limping (I would later see he had a tumor to the front left leg). A couple of bigger buffaloes go in their way and prevent them from doing any harm.

 

The wild dogs then start heading towards the Third ridge gate. We would then follow them on a termite mound, trying to assess their hunting opportunities (at least for some of them, since two had their face covered in blood and seemed already full).

 

Apparently, it was rather time for a drink, as we headed to a swamp next to the gate and soon saw them arrive, taking a short bath and drink, then head towards the woods after crossing our path.

 

Around 9.30, we precede them towards the woods, where they saw a herd of about 20 impalas, all ears out. The latter quickly head into the woods and the wild dog pack soon abandons their chase, as it's getting too hot to hunt and they rather head to the shade of a bush.

 

We slowly head to a more bird-y part of the area, crossing the way of 4 cute jackals on the way. There are pelicans and marabouts by the dozen, along with some ibis.

 

Heading back slowly in the direction of the camp a bit before 11.00, we see a honey badger run almost in front of our tires.

 

First warthogs of the trip appear around 11.30: they are not as cute as the Tanzanian ones, but still much more so as the Senegalese ones.

 

Lots of red Lechwee around 12.00, along with some vultures.

 

After a lunch / rest / backup break at the camp from 12.30 to 16.00, we head back to see some crocs first, then some tsessebes (apparently close to the topi).

 

The rest of the afternoon is mainly about zebras, though we see a brown snake eagle just before arriving back at the camp at 18.05

 

 

Daily sightings:

  • 2 jacanas
  • about 110 impalas
  • 2 eagles
  • about 40 Guinea fowls
  • 3 elephants
  • 25 wildebeests
  • about 500 buffaloes
  • 8 wild dogs
  • 4 tsessebes
  • 12 warthogs
  • 4 jackals
  • a mix of about 120 pelicans, marabouts, spatulas, storks...
  • 6 giraffes
  • 1 honey badger
  • 2 hippos
  • 9 red Lechwe
  • 4 white-head vultures
  • 2 crocs
  • 15 zebras
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graceland

@@Toubab

 

 

Hi there, I'd love to see some pics along with your report. Are they under your "photo galleries-Africa" link, as I took a peek but did not see. Could you direct those of us who would love to view.

 

Thanks, glad you had a great safari! I did love Botswana for its' many different areas/terrains/eco-systems. Lots of birds and game. Perfect in my mind.

 

Impressed with your counting skills. I'd give up after awhile, but my safaris are limited, so I don't dwell on stats. Or, obviously photographs.... ^_^ (haha)

Just happy to be.....there.

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@Graceland: I've not yet edited the photos, but I'll do so before doing the next post, and will place some of the pics from the first two days here in a scaled down version.

 

Somehow counting was easier this time than in TZ two years ago, when it was the end of the big migration!

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Here is a small selection of the photos from the two days reported. These are simple out-of-camera JPGs, only redimensioned and watermarked. The good (edited RAW) stuff will be on the blog.

 

DSC 0676

 

Third Bridge

 

DSC 0757

 

First close elephant encounter

 

DSC 0990

Half of the only ostrich pair seen over the week

DSC 1176

 

Wild dogs wondering whether they shall attack or not

 

DSC 1485

Rather have a drink first...

DSC 1629

Where have you gone, guys??

DSC 1957

A place packed with birds, not far from the Third bridge gate

DSC 2026

 

Impala crossing

 

DSC 2120

Look how colourful I am

DSC 2193

Zebra not crossing

 

 

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3c. 2nd June, Moremi to Khwai

 

This time, we have to pack the tents, and we leave towards Khwai around 7.30. We see 3 red Lechwe right after start, and quite a few zebras.

 

As we continue, vegetation gets denser, and some elephants try to hide behind leaves.

 

We stop around 9.45 near a swamp to have some fresh fruit, and have our closer encounter with hippos: 4 of them in the swamp, but they are still too shy to show more than a quarter of their face.

 

We see 6 more wild dogs about 150m away, under some trees, and heading further from us, just before arriving to the Khwai gate around 11.15.

 

As we enter the reserve and find more swamps, wildlife goes more varied and numerous around these points: kudus, elephants, warthogs, waterbucks, varied birds...

 

We get to the camp just before noon, and after putting it together and doing the mid-day routine, we leave again at 15.40.

 

After some more mammals, we soon see our first varan (which will be the only one), followed by an increasing number of elephants: two then six then 25...

 

We head toward a bigger swamp where there could be more opportunities to see big cats around 16.30, and indeed, 20 minutes later, we find a very weak lionness heavily panting under a tree, while the cutest cube is "holding guard" for her. According to the guide, she was actually in a remission phase, as he had seen her much weaker in the same area a couple of months before.

 

After 30 minutes there, we hit the road again, with some more elephants on the menu, along with Guinea fowls and impalas.

 

As we head back to the camp, we see our first big pack of baboons (about 30 of them) around 18.00.

 

 

Sightings of the day:

  • 3 red Lechwe
  • about 120 impalas
  • 18 zebras
  • around 75 elephants
  • 12 kudus
  • 7 warthogs
  • 4 hippos
  • 5 giraffes
  • 6 wild dogs
  • 3 waterbucks
  • 1 varan
  • 2 sand partridges
  • 2 lions
  • around 30 Guinea fowls
  • 1 croc
  • around 30 baboons
Edited by Toubab
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3d. 3rd June, Khwai to Savuti

 

This was a "one night stand" camping this time, so we pack again, and head towards Savuti at 7.30. Over the next 30 minutes, we'll see lots of impalas, then a Jeep stopped right on the path. As we get closer, we find it surrounded by 7 wild dogs, who seem perfectly happy lazing around the car, with no specific target in mind.

 

Afterwards, we do a 1.5h lap in the swamp where we saw the lionness the day before, but will come back mostly with impalas, elephants and some storks.

 

We take the bridge on river Khwai around 9.40, and start the looong road towards Savuti. Wildlife gets rarer, but we still see some wildebeests, warthogs and a secretary bird.

 

After lunch, it's giraffe time, till we reach the camp around 15.00.

 

We leave again at 16.40, and find our first of a long series of mongooses, then the last few remains of an elephant (including some skin); the guide told us he was there when he saw the elephant die six months before, and each time he would pass there, there were fewer and fewer parts left, as hyenas would pick their choice and take it under the adjacent trees.

 

We then see two Kori bustards, some more mongooses, then several groups of mixed impalas and wildebeests.

 

 

 

Sightings of the day:

  • 23 elephants
  • around 270 impalas
  • 7 wild dogs
  • 4 zebras
  • 1 marabou stork
  • 3 storks
  • around 50 Guinea fowls
  • 1 hippo
  • 24 warthogs
  • 7 giraffes
  • 31 wildebeests
  • 1 secretary bird
  • 7 zebra mongooses
  • 2 Kori bustards
  • 5 partridges
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graceland

@@Toubab

 

Hello- and again thank you for your report on Botswana, one of my favs of 5 safaris. I cannot see the current pics on your blog --can you help me along....or maybe post some here?

 

Would appreciate it....I saw older pics which were lovely..maybe I am not perusing your blog correctly?

 

Thanks again!

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twaffle

Graceland, I think Toubab mentions above that he hasn't posted them yet but will give the link as soon as he does.

 

I know it's hard, but patience! :)

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Indeed, postprocessing not yet started... I expect to complete it by the end of this week. Was initiatlly thinking of doing all reports + JPG posting here then doing all galleries at once on the blog, but to speed things up a bit, I may do the photo editing first tonight for the blog, so that the two Moremi days at least can be posted in the blog galleries.

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As promised the first photo gallery, corresponding to the first two days in Moremi, is now online

 

HERE

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twaffle

Some lovely photos, I especially like the dog on his hind legs.

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3e. 4th June, Savuti to Chobe

 

Last change of camp today, as we will be two nights in Chobe before heading to Zambia and finish this week in Livingstone.

 

We leave at 7.25 and soon see a springbok, followed by some giraffes and wildebeests, then two waterbucks. At 8.50, we see at Bateleur eagle, then some kudus.

 

After a last, short drive in the park, we hit the main road around 9.30 (with a "Kassane = 172 km" milepost). However, we discuss with another car whose drive is apparently trying to track a leopard, so we go along for 30 minutes, but no luck.

 

Bak on our road, we see another Bateleur, before doing a stop at Goha gate. It's then mostly road from there, with little wildlife, with a lunch stop at Kavimba rest area around 13.30.

 

We arrive at Ngoma at 14.35, then get to the Chobe National Park gate five minutes later. Wildlife starts to be more numerous as we keep close to the river, with about 50 Guinea fowls, 30 zebras and 40 impalas around 15.00.

 

At 15.20, we see 4 hippos in the river, but still no luck to see one on terra firma. As we get closer to 16.00, we start to see bigger and bigger herds of elephants, as well as some baboons and giraffes. Elephants now arrive by the dozen around 17.00, when we are lucky to see a puku, which the guide suggests can rarely be seen.

 

At 17.10, we get into a traffic jam caused by about 200 buffaloes in the middle of the road. It gives us time to admire 15 cute zebra mongooses playing around.

 

We arrive at the camp ten minutes later and, considering the timing, call it a day, especially after the long road.

 

Sightings of the day:

  • 1 springbok
  • about 430 impalas
  • 53 giraffes
  • 127 elephants
  • 15 wildebeests
  • 9 waterbucks
  • 2 warthogs
  • 2 bateleur eagles
  • 31 kudus
  • 1 ostrich (had forgotten that one when I wrote the previous couple was the only one seen, but this one was just a head in the bushes while going 50 km/h on the long road...)
  • 48 zebras
  • about 70 Guinea fowls
  • 4 hippos
  • about 360 buffaloes
  • 4 baboons
  • 1 vulture
  • 1 puku
  • 15 mongooses
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3f. 5th June, Chobe

 

Spoiler alert: this will be a biiiig day :)

 

Leaving at 7.00, we see 10 buffaloes in the immediate neighborhood of the camp. As we approach the river, we stumble upon a Guinea fowl mine (about 100 of them).

 

Around 7.20, we see about 6 cars stopped on the road. Getting there, it appears they have seen a lionness lying about 150m from there, about halfway between them and the water. As there are so many cars, our guide decides we should try to find another position, closer to the water. We thus get on a little frequented road, getting you to the river bank, thus arriving at a somewhat mirror position, about 150m from the lionness. After 10-15 minutes, some of the campers are not so happy about the wait, but the guide rightly suggests to give the lionness a few more minutes. He is spot on, as I see the lionness get up and head towards the back of the car, and signal it to the driver. We quickly head directly to the river bank, where we are alone, and after 5 minutes, we see the lionness emerge from the bushes, giving us a glance, then cautiously surveying the area for danger.

 

She then head to the water, and as we are capturing this great reward of our wait on our SD cards and memory brain cells, we are blessed with one, then two, then three, then four cute little snours emerging from the bushes: four lion cubs just for us. They are a bit shy at first, but quickly head to Mom's protective paws, and start lapping as well. Under the great 08.00 light, this makes for an absolutely fantastic view. Their fur is shining, as are the droplets dripping from their lips. While this beautiful scene is taking place about 30m from us, another lionness is also getting to the water with one single cub further away, about 150m.

 

After 15 minutes, we are finally joined by another vehicle, which is just the time the lionness decides they are no longer thirsty and they all head back into the bushes, not to be seen again for the time being. First strike of the day!

 

We hit the road again around 08.20, with some plovers for a change. An hour later, the trainee guide is checking hard under the trees right next to the river, as he saw some leopard tracks, but we are somehow stopped by about 50 buffaloes slowly heading towards the river for a drink.

 

We thus have to retrace our steps, but at 09.50, the spotted beast is finally spotted! About 15m away, right at the border between the river bank and the first line of trees. Since we are on the former, the leopard is not too keen to come play with us directly, so he heads west (getting upstream) as he tries to get in front of us. We just have to match his slow pace, since he does not exhibit any sign of stress, and we are lucky to see him in almost unobstructed view, 15m from us, for about 15 minutes.

 

Once again, this was all only for ourselves, though we are finally joined by another card (from the same company as ours, but them doing the standard lodge thing), just as the beach road ends, the leopard enters the last bushes, and finally can reach the water (though behind trees from where we are standing, so no drinking animal shot this time). Second strike of the day!

 

Back on the road, we head towards a yet unexplored area, above which several vultures are turning. No trophies there, but lots of mongooses, a Lilac breasted roller and some fowls.

 

After this great morning, we head back to the camp earlier than usual, at 11.10.

 

We find our cook, Papi, who tells us:

 

 

Just after you left, the buffaloes that were there started to move east, going straight through the camp. Just behind them was a pride of seven lions chasing them. Since they did not seem to want to go around the camp, I weighted my options. As they came closer, I finally decided to hide in the trailer! After 20 minutes of hanging around, they finally left and I was able to start cooking.

Oh, and also, 30 minutes before you arrived, a leopard went through the camp as well. I had to hide in the trailer again, cursing that if they kept coming, these big cats would put me late with my cooking schedule! :)

 

(all of this said with his big smile)

 

After lots of cheering, and a well deserved lunch for all, we head for the afternoon game drive at 15.25.

 

Twenty minutes later, we see a group of about 50 elephants furiously digging the sand to get some minerals. The next hour is mostly about impalas and giraffes, with some fish eagles and a bushbucj at 17.00.

 

As we head back towards the camp, we see a group of 3 cars stopped in the middle of a relatively large flat area. The guide rightfully suggests we do not rush there and add to the annoyance to whatever wildlife is there. Once again, he made the right call, as we soon see a lionness emerge from the bushes about 150m on our right, consider her options, then rather then head in a straight line towards the other side of the area (which would have brought her to the pooled cars), head just behind our vehicle, and stop on our side. She is so close (maybe 3-4 meters from me) that I have to get my second body, with the landscape lens (17-55 on APS-C) to have her fit in the image frame!

 

This time again, as she slowly reaches her destination (with her mouth open all along as she is apparently trying to help her digestion), she is soon followed by three adorable cubs, who will do a much larger circle around our vehicle however. Once they have reached the other side of the area, the lionness bumps head with another lionness lying there, then a second one (coming with a cub). Looks like it's tea time for them, and a hat trick for us!

 

The sun is now gone, and as we head to the camp, we make one final great discovery, with a giant eagle owl at 18.05. What a day!!

 

Sightings of the day:

  • about 150 buffaloes
  • about 180 Guinea fowls
  • about 40 baboons
  • about 480 impalas
  • 5 lionnesses
  • 10 lion cubs
  • 6 plovers
  • 5 blue balls
  • 15 warthogs
  • 2 hippos
  • 2 crocs
  • 2 Egyptian geese
  • 1 leopard
  • 14 zebra mongooses
  • 6 vultures
  • 15 giraffes
  • 3 Lilac breasted rollers
  • 1 wildebeest
  • 87 elephants
  • 2 pukus
  • 1 kudu
  • 2 fish eagles
  • 1 bushbuck
  • 1 giant eagle owl
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Marks

This is a very precise record of your sightings; you must have made excellent notes while on your trip. This attention to detail makes for a very immersive read

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It's probably silly, but I kept a notepad and pen with me at all time, and made 5-minute-interval notes of everything I saw (sometimes not right on the spot, when there was lots of action, but as we were moving in the car). Just have to prepare the schedule sheet in advance, and design an abbreviation code, to remember that " c30I" means "about 30 impalas" or that "5ExR" means "5 elephants crossing the road". Compare these notes with your photos, and you can pretty much recreate your whole trip :)

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The Khwai gallery is now online

 

HERE

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... and the Savuti gallery

 

 

HERE

 

 

(warning, risk of wild dog overdose)

Edited by Toubab
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Marks

Great pictures, I looked at them last night but forgot to comment.

This is the second time I've heard of this alleged "wild dog overdose"...I'm not convinced it is a real affliction! :)

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