Jump to content

Kwando Nov. 2014, a mixed safari experience


Wild Dogger

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 113
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Wild Dogger

    31

  • madaboutcheetah

    16

  • Marks

    5

  • CDL111

    4

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

We booked this trip with African Travel Resource as we did not get the desired travel dates with our German TO. ATR was able to produce the desired dates. Itinerary:   07.11. depart from Frankfurt

09.11. day 2 pt. 1, better known as predator´s sunday   We wake up with the lion´s roaring east of camp. After a quick caffee and cookie by the fire we head east. Needless to say that the ponchos

A happy New Year everybody!

FlyTraveler

What a great report with amazing (as usual for you) photography @@Wild Dogger! I almost feel sorry for having to go to New Years Eve party and not being able to read your report in details (which I will do next year). Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tdgraves

It's funny how the vehicle-related "trouble" usually comes from ones fellow countrymen isn't it? How does that work? We had similar this year (see my forthcoming TR).....,

Link to post
Share on other sites
wilddog

Those Aardwolf are spectacular; what a special sighting!

Link to post
Share on other sites
graceland

The Ardwolf den - such a special sighting. And at least cheetahs have a great pose even if you don't particularly love them..I love their arrogant look, as if...no one can pose better than I...even if I do "mew"..

 

You know I have met so many of my countrymen that have no idea what safari etiquette is...one reason we do try to afford private these days. When the camp gives the "security" briefing, they ought to add...."And This Is What You Do on Safari :rolleyes: " just in case you are wondering!

Also difficult on the guides as well.

Edited by graceland
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks WildDogger. Lovely TR & photos. I hope we are as lucky ( except for the 'car companions'!) In 6 weeks time we will be at Little Kwara.

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Happy new year, Thomas ..... So now you aardwolf puppies to add to aardvark and pangolin .... I think I should be in your vehicle. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
kittykat23uk

Your experience reminds me of the Barron Knights song, "Don't let the Germans pinch your sunbeds" Unfortunately I can't find a video of it online. Were the rules about rotation clearly stated to the new couples when they arrived? In my personal experience I have not often come across this rule and has usually been a case of first come first served, when joining group game drives, or if travelling with the same group throughout then we did rotate but it was more an agreement between us all rather than a rule as such. I've never been to Kwando though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Peter Connan

@@Wild Dogger, thanks and happy new year to you as well.

 

Lovely trip report, i am very envious as I have never seen Aardwolf!

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Your experience reminds me of the Barron Knights song, "Don't let the Germans pinch your sunbeds" Unfortunately I can't find a video of it online. Were the rules about rotation clearly stated to the new couples when they arrived? In my personal experience I have not often come across this rule and has usually been a case of first come first served, when joining group game drives, or if travelling with the same group throughout then we did rotate but it was more an agreement between us all rather than a rule as such. I've never been to Kwando though.

Even without rules .... It's just proper etiquette and manners to ask ,,,,, Thomas' car mates were probably the type that would be difficult to handle even at your normal weekend at Epcot centre ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wild Dogger

It's funny how the vehicle-related "trouble" usually comes from ones fellow countrymen isn't it? How does that work? We had similar this year (see my forthcoming TR).....,

I think this has to do with the exclusivity of going to such remote places. People maybe think, how is it possible that others from my country go here and, maybe also, how can others afford this. Let´s call a bit being jealous or losing the idea of having it exclusive.

Don´t know, if I am right. It´s just an idea to explain it.

 

 

Your experience reminds me of the Barron Knights song, "Don't let the Germans pinch your sunbeds" Unfortunately I can't find a video of it online. Were the rules about rotation clearly stated to the new couples when they arrived? In my personal experience I have not often come across this rule and has usually been a case of first come first served, when joining group game drives, or if travelling with the same group throughout then we did rotate but it was more an agreement between us all rather than a rule as such. I've never been to Kwando though.

 

I don´t know, if there is a rule as such. It was in all the years we go on safari in Botswana the way we did it, also with wilderness f.e.. And I think for good reason.

IMHO taking seats on a first come first sit base will cause bad blood in the long run.

In Lebala there was no doubt it was done without any discussion. We were the newbies, we took the last row, the next drive we rotated into the second. That was the way it was done there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bush dog

With well mannered people, with or without rules, there will never be a problem. Personnally, I circumvent any eventuality, by automatically, where it's possible, sitting by the driver. Besides, for me, the lowest level is also better for photography.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wild Dogger

At Lebala we are lucky to have Bate as guide, who always did his very best, to get me in a good photo position

 

gallery_5715_1161_22231.jpg

and the legendary Mr. Mo as our tracker.

gallery_5715_1161_348966.jpg

They were excellent.

 

There´s only 6 people all together in the camp, and Kwando puts all 6 of us in one vehicle. I find this policy strange. I understand why they do it, but it is not customer friendly. More than that, with the early rains and the animals disappearing, it showed that it was hard to find any animals at Lebala at all. With a second game viewing vehicle out there the chances would have doubled. We had that issue with Kwando 4 years ago already and I don´t know, why they are so client unfriendly in that particular case.

In the two days at Lebala we covered the whole concession and were not really happy with the sightings (with one exception). Very low.

 

This was the mixed experience Pt. 2.

 

The pack of 21 wild dogs were in the Lagoon area. There was another pack of 7 in the area and we worked hard to find them.

 

Nonetheless we had some good photo opportunities and our travel mates from Down Under were lovely and we had a good time with them.

They were newbies and while we were a bit disappointed about the sightings, they were absolutely happy. It´s just the point of view.

One lady was very scary of all the animals, when there were ellies she dived deep in the car.

 

gallery_5715_1161_52868.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_206408.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_239599.jpg

 

We saw 2 lions late. This came out to be the last sighting of lions in Botswana for us.

 

gallery_5715_1161_487563.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Awesome to see Mr.Moe .... Did put a smile on my face first thing this morning!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sangeeta

Amazing photographs, as always! So jealous of the aardwolf pup, and agree with Hari that you've had phenomenal luck at Kwara - pangolin, aardvark and now this!

All the images are superb, but the aardwolf pup was esp cute and your birds are crystal clear. The stand-out photo for me, though (despite the wonderful dogs) is the NY one of the hippo upright in the water! That one is memorable.

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

I agree with @@Bush dog - I too love the seat next to the guide up front (the tracker will jump into any of the empty seats when a predator is found) .......... For one thing (atleast in the Kwando vehicles at Lagoon/Lebala) there is no where to balance a big lens from the front row in the LandCruiser. No place to put a bean bag, either. I don't find the tripod practical at all inside the vehicle..........

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another vote for sitting up front next to the guide.

Link to post
Share on other sites
penolva

And if it's Spencer you have a very entertaining ride and laugh a lot!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wild Dogger

I find the front seat a bit narrow to be honest. For me the only, but a big, advantage is the low angle. From time to time I also use it.
But I like using a monopod with a wimberley, works fine for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wild Dogger

14.11.

 

With all this rains it´s really hard for Bate and Mr. Moe.

But there are animals:

 

gallery_5715_1161_412565.jpg

 

Kudu

 

gallery_5715_1161_472536.jpg

first new life Impala and fawn

 

At least we have some good light this morning, so I get some nice shots.

 

gallery_5715_1161_418425.jpg

 

Tsessebee

 

gallery_5715_1161_204574.jpg

 

Yellowbilled Hornbills

 

gallery_5715_1161_6693.jpg

 

Again we cover a lot of terrain to find game.

 

gallery_5715_1161_76342.jpg

 

Hamerkop dipping frog

 

gallery_5715_1161_411502.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_395136.jpg

 

Giraffe

 

gallery_5715_1161_181004.jpg

 

We get attacked by some elephants, which seemed to be a serious charge as Bate told.

 

Bate

 

gallery_5715_1161_166231.jpg

 

waits a bit unless the elephants are cooling down and tries another attempt.

 

gallery_5715_1161_120662.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_299220.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_621314.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_127232.jpg

 

We also see crocodile (strangely we never have seen big ones in the delta or at Lebala, but they must be somewhere), Lechwe again and a Roan hiding in the bushes.

 

The Aussies leave after this drive.

In the afternonn 7 new guests arrive and we know 6 of them.

Pete and Fiona are joing us in our car as well as another english couple.

There´s another young Aussie couple arriving and a lady from England.

We have good fun with this bunch of people.

 

In the afternoon we again try hard to find the wild dogs. We go as far as to the very south west to the Selinda spillway.

We see hyena, African Fish Eagle, giraffes, Tsessebee, red-billed hornbills and Zebra.

No hints of dogs.

 

gallery_5715_1161_179016.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_218834.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_155349.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_94259.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_114439.jpg

 

As it´s getting darker, we have a flat tire.

We have our sundowner, while Bate and Mr. Moe are changing the tire.

The spare tire does not really look good for me, there´s a big scratch on the flank.

 

As it´s getting dark, we go. We have to cover a long distance because we´re closed to Selinda Spillway.

 

There she comes:

Jane, the resident leopard of the area. Unfortunately without her cub.

But I am happy to see a leopard.

Bate and Mr. Moe heard her already while packing the sundowner stuff together.

 

gallery_5715_1161_529083.jpg

 

We call the others and after they arrive we leave the gorgeous cat and head back as a storm is building up.

 

Close to camp: another flat tire, the spare wheel of course.

 

Bate calls camp so they can bring another wheel and pick us up while Bate and Mr. Moe change tires again.

 

Next post will take some time now, as we are heading to Myanmar and Thailand tomorrow.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What excellent dog action. The pale female and the dog you focused on gave you some great results. And also, to be in a place where cheetah are almost a given would be great. It's a shame that a guide touching one soured you on their wildness!

 

I don't think I've ever seen a young aardwolf before (well, I've never seen an adult either, but even photos of young) - extraordinary. Also really nice job capturing the hammerkop in action.

 

I might add that I also rather like Hobbs' hat and sunglasses.

Link to post
Share on other sites
graceland

I hope we get a TR on Myanmar and Thailand; they are on my list.

 

Seeing the leopard -yes quite gorgeous!

 

I like the front seat as well; I remember well at LK when Hobbs took me along with his vehicle guests and had me sit next to him- there were already 6.

 

Such a gentleman and terrific guide. A gem.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wild Dogger...I see so many potential winners of the 'New Life' category in Kwando's competition! Either the Impala lamb quartett or the aardwolf cub! It was very painful to read of those 'bored' by the cub. They evidently had no idea of how special such a sighting is.
I also loved the grinning hyaena, and the Hammerkop with a frog was also really cool. (Maybe an entry for the 'Birds' category!)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
Wild Dogger

So, back from Myanmar and Thailand.

Myanmar was a fabulous trip with an outstanding lady as tour guide. Lot of guides in Africa could learn from her attitude and communication skills, but that´s off topic.

 

That´s our last morning in Lebala and after reading the guest book, it seems that not only we had been unlucky with the sightings the last days. Most remarks sound the same.

 

Off we go up north on a road transfer to Lagoon. We hope that sightings will be better there, who knows.

 

On our way we see the usual suspicious.

gallery_5715_1161_101151.jpg
the bush is already very green

 

gallery_5715_1161_85589.jpg

 

 

We also pass a giant baobab tree.

 

gallery_5715_1161_423614.jpg

Poor tree has been almost eaten by elephants. The guides try to prevent it to be eaten completely by arranging logs aroung the trunk. Might help for a short time.

 

gallery_5715_1161_90824.jpg

 

It´s really green out there!

 

gallery_5715_1161_455065.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_336966.jpg

 

The new prisoner exchange point is now Johns pan, no more halfway pan.

 

Mr. Moe again:
gallery_5715_1161_210818.jpg

 

BK is awaiting us and we say byebye to Pete and Fiona.

gallery_5715_1161_217190.jpg
We join 3 english ladies, who come out to be heavy birders. Luckily we will only have this transfer to Lagoon with them.

 

gallery_5715_1161_172098.jpg

Dead Hippo

 

gallery_5715_1161_319010.jpg

 

 

Close to Lagoon we find dog tracks but cannot locate the animals.

 

At Lagoon Paul
gallery_5715_1161_101978.jpg

will be our guide and Temo`s the tracker

gallery_5715_1161_134346.jpg
Paul appears to me like a comfy bear.

 

At least the tents at Lagoon are spacious and nice!

 

gallery_5715_1161_179341.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_314577.jpg


We will be in the car together with Heather and John, a nice elderly pair from England who lives in Somerset West in the winter.

 

gallery_5715_1161_106733.jpg

 

In the afternoon we don´t have to drive far, the dogs are just outside the camp.

 

They are lying in the bushes.

gallery_5715_1161_361735.jpg

After a while watching them there, Paul decides to drive into the bushes to get a better look at the dogs. Not good for photography.
Some time later I ask, if it would not be better to go back into the open, as I thought that when the dogs wake up, all this running run action will happen im the open.

Pau denies. He thinks this will happen in the bushes.

What will happen, will happen. The dogs wake up and run around in the open and we have to manoeuvre ourself out of the bushes and miss some of the action.

gallery_5715_1161_420603.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_250833.jpg

 

gallery_5715_1161_60178.jpg

 

The dogs than start their evening hunt attempt and we follow.

gallery_5715_1161_132316.jpg

 

The Golden Dog was always in the back of the pack. He was in charge for the puppies.

gallery_5715_1161_96463.jpg

 

After a while Paul says that it´s time for sundowner and that we leave the dogs now.

The guiding of Paul does not really impress me. But it should get worse.

 

Back in camp we meet Matt who was guiding us 2 years ago, he´s a funny, nice guy.

Edited by Wild Dogger
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy