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Kwando Nov & Dec 2014


CDL111

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The leopard shots are splendid.

 

Yes . it is unfortunate some people seem to talk their entire way through a game drive; I had one who screamed" no, don't stop-- get away' no no , don't get near"Take me back-- (that being the worst - what is the guide to do!) So...

 

We now splurge for private! :blink:

 

Better than ruining your very expensive trip.

I am able to "shut off" when somebody is speaking, (the wife keeps telling me that I am not listening!) and as she wasn't talking in a loud voice, didn't ruin our game drives. It is a puzzle why people spend so much money on safari and have no interest, her husband took very few photographs . Each to their own, as we say.

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This was my wife's (Stephanie) and my (Chris) fourth safari all in Botswana and this is my first report, so if I am getting it wrong please say so. Our trip was influenced by reading the trip report

Our trip to Deception valley was pre booked with by our TA. We had discussed the trip with the ladies that were sharing the vehicle with us and the declined as they did not want a full day trip, howev

Day 3 and a trip to Baines Baobabs.   We did a game drive before heading to the baobabs.   Breakfast is nearly ready   Crimson-breasted shrike.   Buffalo   Giraffe   On the road to

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@cd111 - by Raja your guide - I wonder if you refer to Balli? a skinny guy with glasses?

Paul told us that both brothers were given the name of Balli, your decription fits to a tee, but we had the other brother. Balli was our guide back in 2010 at Lagoon so we had asked Paul if he was to be our guide at Lebala.

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Love the markings on the back view of the leopard, beautiful.

It's a pity that this is our only sighting, but cannot complain, as we have seen two leopards close up.

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madaboutcheetah

 

@cd111 - by Raja your guide - I wonder if you refer to Balli? a skinny guy with glasses?

Paul told us that both brothers were given the name of Balli, your decription fits to a tee, but we had the other brother. Balli was our guide back in 2010 at Lagoon so we had asked Paul if he was to be our guide at Lebala.

 

 

Okay - Ballipe in that case (yes, Balli's brother)

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Oh my, it really seems to be the season for STers to meet up with annoying car "buddies" - Mrs. Motormouth sounds like the stuff of nightmares.

 

But what a fantastic leopard sighting Lebala welcomed you with - and I love the pic of the Kudus. :)

We do see more predators, which after Lagoon is pleasing. The dogs also stay in Lebala.

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Great sequence of leopards!

Thanks @@Marks, and thats with a basic camera, I do need to get a DSLR with a decent lens.

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Day 2 and our first full day at Lebala, and no, Irana has not got laryngitis. So off we go, Raja has said he will try and find leopard, which we do not find.

 

As there was no pics of sunset yesterday, took one of the sunrise this morning.

 

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Then a heron coming in for breakfast.

 

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Zebra having a look at us.

 

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Then we find a herd of elephant.

 

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One of them has an itch.

 

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The herd splits leaving us in the middle, so Raja revs the engine and we make our way out.

 

We then spot a well fed hyena.

 

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African open billed stork.

 

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Then a black headed heron and a great egret, both in the same pond, each with a frog and they are both trying to get the frog to release its poison before eating it.

 

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Warthog

 

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Now back in camp awaiting brunch and we see a little squirrel under one of the seats.

 

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So time for brunch and we should be joined by another couple for our afternoon drive.

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Hell of a sunrise @@CDL111. I also like the peaceful-looking hyena!

More luck than judgement @@Marks, as the vehicle was moving when I photographed the sunrise.

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Day 2, afternoon drive and we meet Taeke and Marie, who seem (and are) a nice couple. We told them that Irana is recovering from a broken leg and sits in the front row, Marie asks if they can sit in the middle row as she suffers from back problems. We are happy with this, peace and quite on the back row.

So off we go, again, Raja says they will try and find leopard.

 

TT sees leopard tracks crossing the road so we try and follow them. TT then gets out of the vehicle to try and follow the tracks, a few minutes later Raja stops the vehicle and tells us that he will also go on foot to see if he can find the tracks. Marie is concerned about their safety, Taeke, being the considerate husband, asks Raja "just in case you two get killed, which direction is the camp" Raja looks at us, smiles, points in a direction and says East. You do have to smile!

 

Raja returns to the vehicle and we follow TT, a few minutes later TT returns to the vehicle and sits next to Raja, who tells us that TT has spotted a lion, less than 100 metres away, good job that TT has better eyesight than the lion. So we go and find the solitary male. No comment is made as to the close proximity of the lion as to where TT was on foot.

 

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Its then back to trying to find the leopards. No sightings again.

 

Thabo radio's Raja that he has found the dogs so off we go. When we get there, there are all the young ones plus one adult, I wonder if it is the injured dog that we had seen at Lagoon. There is no sign of the other adults and Raja tells us the are off hunting, and if there is a kill, they will call they young in.

 

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We wait nearly 25 minutes and nothing is happening other than the young ones playing about so we move off for a downer (no sun). Then back to camp. After dinner we are sat around the fire with Taeke and Marie, who comment on Irana, and ask if we would rotate seating, we have to say yes. Off to bed.

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madaboutcheetah

Yet another nomadic male Lion - Oh My!!!

 

Yes, another vote for the "tracking on foot" - Huge fan of that experience!!!!

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Yet another nomadic male Lion - Oh My!!!

 

Yes, another vote for the "tracking on foot" - Huge fan of that experience!!!!

Hari, do not think it is something I could do

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Day 3 and our last full day in Lebala.

 

It is predominately birds in the morning.

 

Hippo are seen just after we leave camp.

 

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Then a herd of Kudu

 

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A saddled-billed stork

 

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Wattled crane.

 

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And a pair of Bateleur, the male is on the left.

 

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Is it time for morning exercises or is he trying to impress her.

 

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She decides to fly off.

 

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He really does strech his wings.

 

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Eygyptian geese with their young

 

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Fish eagle

 

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Wilderbeast

 

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Stop for morning drinks and see a pied kingfisher.

 

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Hippos

 

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And a some egrets on the far bank

 

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A squacco heron

 

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Other than a bird of prey, I do not know what this is.

 

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Giant eagle owl

 

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Warthogs

 

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Then its back to camp for brunch and there is another type of dragon fly.

 

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Our afternoon drive starts off with birds again and later, we then come accross a large herd of ellies.

 

 

Great egret

 

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Sacred ibis

 

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Wattled crane

 

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Woodland kingfisher

 

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We then have to stop as up ahead the are elephant crossing the road, are view to our right is obscured by bushes and have no idea as to how many ellies there are. It seams to take ages for the ellies to cross and after they have all crossed, Raja and TT are of the opinion that there are two to three hundred ellies. I have seen some big herds in Chobe, but none as big as this. Its a shame that the camera cannot catch a herd of this size at ground level. But it is spectacular to see.

 

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One of the ellies charges, not the greatest pic, but difficult when on the move. Raja and TT know this ellie and told us that it only chases the vehicle for a short distance.

 

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Again no sunset, so just G & T.

 

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We are just leaving and TT spots a roan, but the light is so poor that it was not possible to get a pic.

 

When we get back to camp we are told our flight time. Rennie and Irana are flying out at 1050hrs and we are going at 1105hrs. I think all of us are surprised when Rennie and Irana decide they would prefer to stay in bed and miss the morning drive, we book the drive and then onto the airstrip.

 

 

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Productive birding. I like the bateleur with outstretched wings.

Edited by Marks
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Productive birding. I like the bateleur with outstretched wings.

It's pleasing @@Marks to capture a pic that isn't so called standard.

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Day 4 and our last morning at Lebala, then its back to cold England.

 

There are only four of us and our bags are on the back seat so off we go.

 

Fish eagle.

 

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Hippo

 

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Plenty of cloud cover again.

 

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Pearl spotted owlet

 

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Thabo then calls Raja to say he is with the dogs and the have killed an impala, so off we go.

 

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I then see the dog with the injured front leg, which could be the same one that I saw at Lagoon.

 

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Its now 0740hrs and we decide to leave the dogs.

 

Bateleur.

 

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Thabo stayed with the dogs and we get another call telling us they have killed a young impala, so we go back to the dogs, and we see a vehicle from Lagoon driven by the one and only Spencer.

 

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Raja is concerned about morning coffee, nobody else is, we agree to have coffee at the air strip. So on our travels again and a large ellie is seen.

 

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We are now on Boundary Road and meet a vehicle from Selinda, and their guide tells us that they have just seen a pride of 8 lions just within their boundry, so we drive off hoping that they just might have moved back to the Lebala side. No sight of them.

 

Its now 1030hrs and Raja tells us we must make for the airstrip.

 

So I take what I thought would be my last pics and its warthog.

 

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But just around the corner, lioness and two cubs.

 

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What a lovely ending to our holiday.

 

So off to the airstrip, say our goodbys and on the start of our journey home.

 

So to sum up, Lebala, the staff, like all the Kwando camps worked hard to make our stay enjoyable and yes we would come here again.

 

For those people looking at going in December, Botswana Tourist Board were holding an exhibition early December in Kasane, so it could be that TA reps from around the world were at some of the camps and that is why they were busy. I do not know if this is an annual event. It may be less busy nearer Christmas, and if you departed from Botswana the Friday before Christmas (work backwards for your arrival date) as all the Kwando camps were fully booked for Chrismas and New Year. Alternatively go in January and arrive on the first Friday after New Year as the guests should have left by now.

 

 

 

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michael-ibk

That was a very successful last morning drive - good of the lions and the dogs to give you a proper send-off. Very much enjoyed your report, especially since I'm contemplating returning to Kwando in Dec 2016. Good to see how it looks like at that time of the year.

 

Thanks for your efforts, what's next for you?

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That was a very successful last morning drive - good of the lions and the dogs to give you a proper send-off. Very much enjoyed your report, especially since I'm contemplating returning to Kwando in Dec 2016. Good to see how it looks like at that time of the year.

 

Thanks for your efforts, what's next for you?

Not sure @@michael-ibk, the wife needs a kidney transplant, thats why we went on this holiday. As she had a liver transplant in 1999, we have a rough idea as to what time recovery is. So Dec 2016 might be on the cards.

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michael-ibk

I´m sorry to hear that. All the best for your wife, I hope she will get well soon again after this - and then I will meet you both in Dec. 2016! :)

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Best of luck & a swift recovery to your wife with her transplant.

 

That last post was a good conclusion. The photo of the dog with the recognizable chunk of impala face in its mouth was startling. And as much as I like coffee, I'll take an elephant any day. Good choice. :)

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Game Warden

Here's to a swift recovery for your wife: reading ST everyday will help :)

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Nice report. Best wishes to your wife.

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