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My Kwando experience : report & stories


Bush dog

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michael-ibk

Outstanding! Fantastic Leopard pics, and the Carmines are just stunning. But what I loved most was your story of the Wild Dog sniffing your shoes - how magical that must have been!

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May 2003   Continued   At Lagoon, there was at the time (maybe it still is?) a large African marula tree, also called, rightly, elephant tree. The camp was visited by two elephants, a very large

May 2003   Continued   One morning, we stopped, as usual, to have tea / coffee. Charles drew our attention to the song of a bird he spotted. He said it was a honeyguide. He began, by imitating

May 2003   Continued   A series of pictures of the three big males and members of their pride.     To be continued

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Bush dog

Thanks, Michael,

 

It was, indeed, quite a great moment but afterwards if you think well about it, it was similar to a domestic dog's behaviour. Anyway, the magic was present even it was a bit spoiled by the smell that was given off by the dog.

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Bush dog

October 2006

 

Continued

 

KWARA

 

The next day, it rained from 4 to 7 a.m. and the weather remained overcast throughout the day. Two lionesses and the two cubs were still on the buffalo carcass. Vultures were perched on the skull. A lioness made a rush at them, jumped and almost got one. I had, before the failure of the lioness, put my glasses on one knee. I then noticed that they were not there anymore. They were not fallen in the vehicle, but probably somewhere nearby, in the grass. It was, of course, impossible to get out of the vehicle to try to find them. Luckily, I had a spare pair in the camp.

 

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The day after, we followed lions’ spoors and found them not far from the camp. The injury on the face of the male, seen on the first day, seemed to be on the mend. It was with two lionesses, a young male and a young female. Suddenly, we heard the alarm call of the impala, and strangely enough, we saw it scamper towards the surprised lions. Two hundred meters away, we found the female leopard and its cub, the latter comfortably installed in the fork of a tree. We spent two hours in their company.

 

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What is the best technique to climb down a tree ?

 

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In the afternoon, we found its tracks near the airstrip. During two hours, we tracked it before finding it and then seeing it disappear in reeds. Nothing is more exciting than tracking a leopard because nothing is more uncertain. And if you find it, you feel proud and happy, when in the end, in reality, it is the leopard that allowed you to find it.

 

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After sundowners, there it was on a termite mound. It started to call its cub that appeared fifteen minutes after.

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Bush dog

October 2009

 

KWARA

 

In 2009, Little Kwara was managed by a woman. I do not remember her name. For the first game drives, my guide was Hector. Then, and for the rest of the stay, it was Steve, with Mike as tracker. The wild dogs were seen only once, at dusk. We were having the sundowners along a pond, when the pack, hunting, passed nearby. We hurriedly jumped in the vehicle and tried to follow them. But soon, because of the obscurity, we had to abandon.

 

Arrival day

 

The flood plains were always well flooded. It allowed us to see many hippos.

 

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Then, lions.

 

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A very old elephant.

 

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During the night drive, along the water, a serval in search of frogs.

 

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wilddog

What a fascinating thread - Kwando through the years with some superb photographs. A great pleasure to read.

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madaboutcheetah

Wow - very nostalgic, Mike ...... names like Hector and Steve Matija .......

 

Again, I must say you were very very very unlucky with cheetah - if my memory serves me correctly, there was a cheetah mum and 5 cubs around Kwara between 2009 and 2010. The 3 big males too hung around Tsum Tsum. What dates were you at LK? I think I was there around Botswana day, 2009 into the first few days of October that year. Pity, we missed each other!

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marg

@@Bush dog...just fabulous photos!

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AfricIan

Wow - very nostalgic, Mike ...... names like Hector and Steve Matija .......

 

 

Absolutely, I remember Steve well from our trip - he left Kwando to set-up on his own didn't he? Did that work out for him?

 

Our guide at Lebala was "Prof" Thabo (?sp), another excellent guy.

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madaboutcheetah

@@AfricIan - Steve did indeed ...... I haven't been in touch with him - but, I do know some of his old clients who were guided by him on his mobile safaris.

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Bush dog

Hari,

 

I arrived at LK on the 15th and left on the 21st, six days in total. Concerning cheetahs, I remember that I just had the time, in the area of the old hunting camp, to catch a glimpse of an extremely shy and lonely one.

 

Yes, Steve Matija, cheerful guy and very instictive, like Kanawe.

 

Yes, Hari, we missed each other once more like we did in May 2007 at Zib. Next time that you plan to go to Kwando, please let me know and If it's possible for me, I will come at the same time. Now that I am retired, I am very flexible.

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Bush dog

October 2009

 

KWARA

 

2nd day

 

Still a lot of hippos, in the morning and in the afternoon.

 

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Zebras.

 

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The beautiful but highly endangered wattled cranes.

 

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A Senegal coucal.

 

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Big male baboon.

 

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And the same old elephant that was seen on arrival day.

 

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Marks

Sounds (and looks) like you've had some really special wild dog encounters, odor notwithstanding. Your shots of the feeding lion's eyes are also striking.

 

Post #71 contains the most ridiculous-looking marabou I've yet seen.

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Bush dog

Sounds (and looks) like you've had some really special wild dog encounters, odor notwithstanding. Your shots of the feeding lion's eyes are also striking.

Thanks a lot

Post #71 contains the most ridiculous-looking marabou I've yet seen.

It is a juvenile!

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Bush dog

October 2009

 

KWARA

 

3rd day

 

A very quiet day.

 

Lions.

 

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Lilac-breasted roller

 

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Fan-tailed cisticola ?

 

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Marks

Wow that LBR is a looker! Is its left wing extended in the first photo?

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Bush dog

Wow that LBR is a looker! Is its left wing extended in the first photo?

 

Yes, just stretching like many birds do, extending their wings.

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Bush dog

October 2009

 

KWARA

 

4th day

 

Knob-billed ducks to begin the day.

 

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This leopard, when we spotted it, was already on the tree. In the beginning it was a bit anxious but, with minutes going by, became more relax. But , as soon as it heard the noise of the engine of another car, coming at high speed, it went down and disappeared in the thick bushes. I guess, it had its own rules on a sighting, one car only ?

 

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Girafes.

 

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Knob-billed duck to end the day.

 

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Peter Connan

The first picture in Post #89 is my absolute favourite lion photo ever Mike! absolutely stunning.

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Bush dog

The first picture in Post #89 is my absolute favourite lion photo ever Mike! absolutely stunning.

 

Thanks a lot, Peter, I am sincerely touched by your compliment.

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Bush dog

October 2009

 

KWARA

 

5th day

 

A familiar face, the female leopard, seen in 2006.

 

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Female kudu.

 

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Tssessebe with its new-born.

 

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This is another leopard. As soon as it saw us and so shy it was, it precipitately climbed down the tree and vanished from sight.

 

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Bush dog

October 2009

 

KWARA

 

6th day

 

Young cormorant on the bridge near the airstrip.

 

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Another fan-tailed cisticola ?

 

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Tsessebe with its new-born.

 

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Spur-winged goose and knob-billed duck.

 

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Couple of reedbucks.

 

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Kitsafari

The first picture in Post #89 is my absolute favourite lion photo ever Mike! absolutely stunning.

 

+2. the next close-up wasn't that bad either. ;):D

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michael-ibk

Cute Tsessebe sequence, and I really like the Goose-Duck size comparion. :)

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Wild Dogger

I remember the guide Doctor very well. He´s still the favorite guide of my wife. He was guiding us in 2004 and 2005 I think.
He´s the one in charge that we still go to Africa.
My wife was so afraid of the bush (snakes!!!!) and he made her feel comfortable in all ways. I would not say that he cured her snake phobia, which is still a big thing, but he made her feel safe. She trusted him.

I know, he went to Mapula some years later. Would be curios to know, where he ended up.

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Bush dog

October 2009

 

KWARA

 

Departure day

 

Lions.

 

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En route to Lebala.

 

 

LEBALA

 

Since my visit in 2003, the camp, especially the tents, had been completely renovated. Charles was the manager. The guide was Spencer, unfortunately I do not remember the name of the tracker. At that time, the safari business was still suffering from the financial crisis of 2008. From the third day to the end of my stay, I will be the sole guest in the camp and therefore, the lucky recipient of a private vehicle. Evenings were pretty quiet since we were only three at table, Charles, Spencer and me. But it was also an opportunity to discuss, without interference, with these two great guides and listen to their anecdotes and the account of their experiences.

 

 

One evening, after dinner, we were having a few drinks, when Spencer told Charles to turn his head in order to see one of his "friends", while pointing his flashlight to a snouted cobra that was coming out from behind the toilet, then crossed the floor and disappeared into the vegetation. Charles, who is afraid of nothing, and he proved it many times, then instantly changed of expression and had all the trouble to stay on his chair. Charles, when he was a child, in his village, was confronted with a cobra that spat in his face. Since that day, he suffers from ophidiophobia.

 

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