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Back from Botswana and Zimbabwe


Safaridude
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Phew! An epic one.

 

Started red-hot to white-hot at Kwando (2 nights Lagoon; 3 nights Lebala). The Kwando pack with 13 pups. Adults regurgitating meat for them. Late afternoon hunt (half-hearted)… tried for a warthog in a burrow but the pack lost interest. Then 6(!) warthogs came out of the burrow to escape. Lions stole an impala kill from a female leopard and treed her. The poor thing spent the entire day up there. On the road transfer to Lebala, "Blackie" and "Blondie" were intruded upon by two unknown male lions. Blondie stayed close to a female, essentially guarding her, and Blackie went after the intruders, roaring and chasing for a good 20 minutes. Two cheetah brothers at Lebala. Some roan encounters. Lions hunting wildebeest at Lebala.

 

Met up with GW in Zim. Hwange was a bit tough going because of the tremendous amount of rain they've had (water, and therefore game, widely distributed). Still, had very good lion encounters at Camp Hwange. Even a pack of six wild dogs. Great roan sightings. One nice sable bull. Of course, elephants everywhere. Walked up to elephants and lions -- Zim style. Little Makalolo - awesome elephant encounters at the camp waterhole. Joined by Benson Siyawareva from Little Mak on. Two leopards. Nice sable and roan, but sparse due to so much water in the back pans.

 

Mana Pools delivered. Lions and wild dogs. Big eland and kudu. Exquisite filtered light through the woodland. Nyala. Boswell out on an island… no close-up viewing. Quite surprised at how crowded it was though. Many of the sightings included a huge crowd on foot. We were lucky enough to have one lion sighting and one wild dog sighting by ourselves. They need to seriously think about controlling the crowding situation. A Soukous sighting. @@Soukous Also, saw some guy in a mankini on the riverfront. Humphrey Gumpo's Tailormade Safaris had a wonderful camp set-up at Mucheni 4.

Edited by Safaridude
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Please, no Mankini pics! ;-)

 

Welcome back, sounds terrific. Looking forward to your report!

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madaboutcheetah

Super updates!!!

 

Going to nag with some details ...... Did you see the cubs from the Lagoon Pride? When I was there in the winter - there was three cubs and then two cubs seperately.

 

Also, curious to hear about which Lions you came across at Lebala? That concession is a Lion zone this year.

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I saw two cubs (not small) with the females at Lagoon. There could have been more, but the bush was very thick.

 

I don't know the name of the pride we saw at Lebala, but it has many females and it's the one that goes back and forth between Lebala and Selinda. Thabo said it's the main one they've been seeing. Will do a TR soon, and you might be able to figure it out by looking at the photos.

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I can only say that going on Safari with the 'dude really is one of those "once in a lifetime" experiences. Not just for the wildlife but his knowledge and erudite way of discussing conservation issues. Halfway into the trip, thanks to his influence, (good or bad, not sure), I was spotting Elands based only on a view of their horns :)

 

And indeed was a pleasure to meet so many great people as well, including Mr and Mrs @@Soukous and their travelling companions. Have now met up with him in London, Milan and Zim :)

 

I'll join you @@Safaridude in the trip report when you arrive in Zim.

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Well I guess I will add to the reports so there will be three from Zim at once!

 

'Dude, what a difference a week makes.

 

When we arrived....oh wait..you have to read the "TR" -_-

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Welcome back, K. Looking forward to dreaming of being in the bush vicariously through your trip report.

Edited by AKR1
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Very much looking forward to the very exciting encounters at Lagoon/Lebala and Zim. Hubby says he's wondering if we should do Botswana first or mana pools first. So your TR will help him (just as your SLNP did!). I don't care, as long as it brings me back to Africa's wild and free! ;)

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@@Safaridude

I look forward to the report!

 

I can only say that going on Safari with the 'dude really is one of those "once in a lifetime" experiences.

@@Game Warden - is that the second "once in a lifetime"? :)

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Morkel Erasmus

Just climbing on board for this one! And it's not for the view of the "mankini" ;):D

Get cracking @@Safaridude and @@Game Warden!!!

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