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Kwando Lagoon/Lebala June/July 2014


madaboutcheetah

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africapurohit

Look forward to more details and seeing more photos - and no teasing us with posting one photo at a time!

 

Safaritalk has the functionality to upload 10 photos at a time! :D

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Driving through the woodland (wanting to find Roan/Sable/kudu) ...... we stumbled upon this Fab Four ..... they posed for just one second before they went back to their feeding.

Lions sleep or stay idle for too long (for my liking) ......... Yet, this keeps my brain working in terms of possible composition ideas.

Now for pictures of those puppies from the Lebala triple wild dog den ....... Details already mentioned in some of the previous posts. About the location of the den - it's right behind the BDF camp o

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madaboutcheetah

Driving through the woodland (wanting to find Roan/Sable/kudu) ...... we stumbled upon this Fab Four ..... they posed for just one second before they went back to their feeding.

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madaboutcheetah

The new boys in Town ....... looks like they have a firm grip on atleast the Southern half of the Kwando concession. They made an about turn not far from John's Pan on their march from the South (John's Pan is half way between Lagoon and Lebala). I do need to sort out plenty of images of these guys ...... Since they are still trying to establish territory they spend a heck of a lot of time on patrol and do entertain you all day long. Very active, intensely photogenic and they are certainly the new boys in Town.

 

The old 3 - The Boys of Lagoon still come back every now and then from Muvumbi - but, less frequently and stay very little time in the Lagoon area. As mentioned in other posts, appears like Muvumbi shall be their retirement home (that's where they hail from)

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madaboutcheetah

A famous dead leadwood tree in the Lebala grounds (near the airstrip) ..........pretty well photographed tree I would imagine.

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madaboutcheetah

That Leadwood tree in all it's glory ......... as you can see here there is a layer of smoke haze in the bottom layer - the fires across the border in Namibia have just begun.

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madaboutcheetah

The pans are still holding water - although drying up! This one is Nare Pan. I wasn't much impressed with the viewing last year when literally all of the pans were bone dry - the game then needs to move towards the permanent waters in the eastern section of the concession and that is where there are still lot of islands inaccessible to vehicles due to the water levels (Old airstrip submerged some 6 years ago).

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madaboutcheetah

The Lion pride that traverses both Lebala and Selinda grounds ........ 3 adult females with 3 sub adults and 3 young cubs. Here they are feasting on a Wildebeest. Last saturday night - literally when I packed my camera bag and headed off having had enough of lazing Lions ...... they kill two wildebeest. This was literally 5 minutes from camp.

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madaboutcheetah

One particular day - we found them before sun rise and they had us on the move all day long - both trying to hunt and patrol the Lebala grounds ....... We moved some 20KMS with them that day. These boys (atleast without the moon) don't appear to move off before sunrise - so early morning tracking is easier with these guys. We were reliably able to pick them off not far from where they were left the prior sunset. I bet this isn't the case with a full moon (I do know the other 3 boys when they were younger used to cover lots of ground on patrol).

 

 

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michael-ibk

Great pics, but I especially love the Kudus.

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Soukous

Neat kudu picture Hari and I am surprised find that I love your sunset silhouettes, plus, of course, the cheetahs.

Keep em coming....please.

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FlyTraveler

Great stuff @@madaboutcheetah! I like very much the cheetahs and the dead leadwood tree photos. The four greater kudus were posing really well.

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SSF556

Unless I see a pic of the pangolin I do not believe ya.... -_-

 

Also we saw lots of lions and cubs at LK in Feb.....

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twaffle

Love the kudu photo, perfect timing. Also the leadwood tree photos are stunning. Looks like you had lots of fun with the cheetahs.

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madaboutcheetah

Interesting incident in the Maun airport on sunday ........ one of my fellow travellers purchased a wood carving hand crafted by a local Maun artist - airport security wanted to personally open the package to inspect it. It was bubble wrapped in several layers for airplane handling ......... Unfortunately, it had to be left behind at the Moremi Air office in the airport and possibly have to endure the expensive shipping later on. ;)

 

On the flip side, I guess the authorities are cautious this day and age to ensure that nothing illegal is smuggled out.

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michael-ibk

 

 

 

Quick update from the triple den situation .............. Initially there was a lot of apprehension from the three mothers who gave birth to the puppies, but, now things seem to be settling down. One of the mums seem to have adopted all pups into her den and the other two mums are off hunting with the other 5 in the pack. The 3 intruding males from Muvumbi seem to be absolutely useless at hunting. Could not even count the number of puppies - that many! well over 20! ............... they also started eating meat. Good times for anyone visiting Lebala.

 

Hari, a question. Were all the cubs adopted or were the ones of the third female killed? Because that´s what the Kwando June sightings report seems to reply, which only mentions 8 cubs?!?

 

Excerpt from the Sightings report:

 

June is the beginning of wild dog season – and what a strange way to begin! The pack of eight dogs, found a den about 30 minutes drive from Lebala, and set up two dens in termite mounds less than 50m from each other. One female occupied one den and the other two occupied the remaining den. All females gave birth, though one was harassed considerably by the other dogs, so it was impossible to tell if her puppies were killed straight away on birth. Either way, it was going to be a real struggle for the remaining five dogs to hunt and continue to feed the three females that stay at the den site, until the puppies are old enough to stay with one care-taker. On the last days of the month, eight puppies timidly emerged from the den site with the single female – we still wait to see what happens with the other females, and if any other puppies will survive.

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madaboutcheetah

@@michael-ibk ......... the report was from June :)

 

Initially only a couple of puppies popped out at one den. couple more from another ............ max 8 was seen in the first den (of the dominant female) - i.e., the single den.

 

It was only more recently in July that the one mum established superiority and adopted (snatched) all puppies.......... You will perhaps have to wait for the July newsletter for the official update -

 

The two dominant females seem to have a lot of battle marks on their faces - having had a go at each other ......... the third mum seems to be more submissive (she gave birth the last of the three I'm told).

 

There so much politics and role play within the pack - that I'm afraid a lot will be missed without regular visits to the den .......... there is so much happening right outside Lebala camp - that guests are obsessed with Lions and Leopard (I guess your quintessential safari subjects.......)

 

Likewise, the days I was with cheetah from sun up to sun down - I didn't bother with a den visit on those days ............ only after the boys went Selinda way did I venture to the den.

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Kitsafari

@@madaboutcheetah Gosh you had me at the first post. after reading that, i really felt like booking Lebala and Lagoon and jump in the plane immediately so that i won't miss the action.

 

love the kudu picture as well, and the lions in the dusty dusky background.

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graceland

Beautiful shots. Love the Kudo; they are amazing creatures. Of course the cats, sunsets, - All the Above...

 

Obviously, you had yet another amazing time; and yes one day I'd like to tag along with Kitsafari :D

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madaboutcheetah

One of the Boys on the move.....

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madaboutcheetah

Sometimes, you get a high termite mound with tall grasses in it! - sometimes it also, works for photography .......... With these two Boys - we got every kind of termite mound; Fallen dead wooden logs, short trees all day long ............. (it's going to take awhile to sort out ;) )

 

Also, note - there are some cloudy days even in the middle of the winter .......

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madaboutcheetah

The Boys on the move again ........ Get the theme of where this report is heading? ;)

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Marks

The pics are well worth the (brief) wait. Haven't made it to Botswana yet, but it sure seems like the skies are unbeatable, clouds or no. Now let's see what those cheetahs were up to!

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Sangeeta

Likewise, the days I was with cheetah from sun up to sun down - I didn't bother with a den visit on those days ............ only after the boys went Selinda way did I venture to the den.

Haha! We can certainly see which way this report is headed! Looks like these two boys have made good inroads with you already :)

 

The silhouettes are lovely, as are the kudu and lined up cheetah boys.

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madaboutcheetah

Next few images will be of the Pride of Lions at Lebala - they really were very photogenic ......... As mentioned the pride were 3 adult Lionesses; 3 sub-adults and 3 younger cubs. Fortunately for me, when the two cheetah boys disappeared across the border to Selinda, we were able to track down the pride as we saw the cheetah tracks disappear across the boundary (nearly in tears) ....... and pick up tracks of this pride (we assume that they were already in a day prior and went un-noticed)

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madaboutcheetah

It's pretty hard to get a Facial portrait of a Reedbuck; I've only seen very skittish ones ........ This particular one was still and alert as there were Lions in the neighborhood! I didn't have my 70-200 ready; so had to make do with this portrait .........

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