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Kwando 2004 - 2007


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I have previously posted a TR about my ventures with guide Steve Kgwatalala in http://safaritalk.net/topic/14662-a-tribute-to-steve-kgwatalala-or-how-a-good-guide-can-make-a-difference/ This TR will

Back in camp we had Buffaloes visiting. During the afternoon drive: Steenbok Roan Antelope Saddle billed stork And thenwe rejoined the Cheetah brothers. Still not hungry but just relax

More Lion activity. The Lions wanted to cross the pool but were a little apprehensive. Females first. It was clear that they were not fond of the water. and then some playing.

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mvecht

The next morning we went back to look for the Cheetah.

As they had had a very good meal the night before so they were ofcourse not very active.

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We then found a Selous Mongoose but it was to quick for me. A few minutes later we had a Yellow Mongoose that was more cooperative.

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Some Wildebeest and Warthog.

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We then drove to the southern part of the concession. A little north of Aardvark Island we found "Milky Eye" and his partner stalking a herd of a few hundred Buffalo. The Lions were extremely patient and basically waited for the entire herd to pass before they launched the attack on a Buffalo calf.

Unfortunately for us the hunt took them across a channel with fiarly deep water and we had a poorly functional radio. Spencer was a bit reluctant to cross the water without having told camp where we were but after a short discussion with thetracker they decided to cross. We had quite a bit of water in the vehicle but made it safely. In the mean time the Lions had taken down the Buffalo calf.

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Next, more Cheetah.

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mvecht

Back in camp we had Buffaloes visiting.

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During the afternoon drive:

Steenbok

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Roan Antelope

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Saddle billed stork

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And thenwe rejoined the Cheetah brothers.

Still not hungry but just relaxing.

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Dagga boy

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Magpie Shrike.

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The next morning we found the Cheetah brothers first thing.

Still not hungry but now it was time to mark the territory.

These brothers covered one of the largest territories of any known Cheetah. The territory probably stretched close to 100 km from north to south in multiple concessions so they could be gone from parts of the territory for several weeks.

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My Avatar

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More scent marking

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We were still in the early hours of the morning drive when Spencer heard some commotion nearby and we went to investigate.

Next installment. Hyena kill.

 

 

 

 

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Marks

Gorgeous cheetah, love the yawn photo.

A good avatar choice.

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madaboutcheetah

Nice cheetah instalment - They appear to be near Twin pools somewhere?

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mvecht

@@madaboutcheetah

Hari, yes it was the twin pools area. They actually moved very slowly. During our 3 day stay they did not even cross the entire Lebala area.

I have actually been very lucky with these boys as saw them during every visit to Kwando.

@@Marks thank you for your always nice comments.

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michael-ibk

The lates batch of posts was fantastic. Really loved the Springhare and the Yellow Mongoose. The Cheetahs bringing down a Kudu are just ... WOW!

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Geoff

very nice yellow mongoose images.

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mvecht

Geoff and Michael

Thank you for the nice comments

140 days until the next safari in Tanzania. Just started counting

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mvecht

We rushed to what turned out to be a Hyena kill.

The Hyenas had just taken down a young Buffalo.

In normal Hyena fashion there was a lot of dominace and social behaviour going on.

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A Yellow-billed Kite came looking for scraps.

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The leading members of the clan were quite full by now but some of the less dominant members were arriving trying to get their part.

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A subordinate member of the clan seeking acceptance.

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A Lapwing being unhappy with the presence of the Kite.

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And the game drive was not over yet.

 

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Tom Kellie

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~ @@mvecht

 

The Little Bee-eater's ruffled plumage looks like I feel on many mornings.

Terrific photograph!

Tom K.

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mvecht

@@Tom Kellie

 

thank you for the kind words. The photo did win in the birds category in the first Kwando photo competition.

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Tom Kellie

@@Tom Kellie

 

thank you for the kind words. The photo did win in the birds category in the first Kwando photo competition.

 

~ @@mvecht

 

WHAT ?!?!?!

CONGRATULATIONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had no idea whatsoever about that. It happened to be the one photo in your trip report which ‘reached out and grabbed me’.

Evidently the judges felt likewise.

I'm so PROUD of your well-deserved achievement!

Tom K.

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mvecht

After the exciting Hyena sighting we went back to the Cheetah.

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Next we saw a Roan Antelope just north of the White Plains area. I have had good luck with Roan in this area.

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Next a few photos of an LBR. I have never had good luck with LBR`s in flight but I still find these photos a little bit unusual.

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The afternoon drive was the only drive where we could not find the Cheetahs. Three vehicles were searching but they were hiding in a fairly wet area that we could not access. They also made a kill that afternoon as we would find out the next morning by their full bellies.

We did find a Serval during the night drive.

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The next morning we found a large herd of Buffalo.

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A "party" of Yellow billed oxpeckers.

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Yellow-billed Kite

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Pearl spotted Owlet. For this sighting I was able to leave the vehicle and get within a few meters of the little fellow.

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A very nice Kudu bull.

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One of my favorite animals. A Steenbok

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Next stop Kwara camp.

 

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mvecht

@@Tom Kellie

 

Once again thank you!

Now I look forward to reading your latest trip report that I expect to be very exciting and more eloquent than mine ;)

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Marks

Excellent hyena photos, and nice job with the serval, as well.

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mvecht

First drive we saw a young female Leopard

This Leopard is familiar to most people that visited Kwara around that time.

She was born in May/June 2006 close to camp by a mother that was very relaxed around vehicles and often appeared in camp.

When we first found her she was relaxing in a tree but only app 2m above ground.

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We then found a pride of Lions that we later would encounter several times. They were really bothered by Flies but more about that later. This was the same pride I saw swimming in 2006, featured earlier in this TR.

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The next morning very early, we joined the young female Leopard again. This time high up a tree relaxing.

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Typical Okavango scenery.

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Wattled Cranes.

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Hippo in front of our tent (nr 8).

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In the afternoon we would visit the rookery

 

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mvecht

Off to the rookery.

Malachite Kingfisher

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You normally dont see to many mammals on the boattrips but we had a nice bull Elephant.

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Lots of Yellow-billes Storks

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Marabous are not exactly pretty.

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This Marabou was trying to take a very large branch back to the nest but kept getting stuck as the branch could not get in between other branches. Finally the branch he was carrying snapped and he managed to get moving. He was very proud of himself!

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I love the papyrus reeds in the Okavango.

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Driving back to camp we hooked up with the young female Leopard again.

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Awesome experiences here. I could talk of how good each one was, but naturally for me, the hyaena feeding sequence is fantastic and my favourite, and on prey as atypical as a buffalo calf! Your visits to Kwando were really something else!

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mvecht

The next drive was more quiet but still very interesting.

First a herd of Buffalo.

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Next we found the Lions. They were bothered by the Flies so they were seeking any protection they could find.

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The smell from a Lion farting can be quite overwhelming.

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One of the Lionesses spotted a Warthog and tried to stalk it. However as there was no cover she had to give up.

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The other Lions were just resting.

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In camp we had some action from the resident Hippo pride.

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Last installment. The tree climbing Lions of Kwara.

 

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mvecht

The Tree climbing Lions of Kwara

In the afternoon one of the Lions had taken refuge under a vehicle.

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The Lion also appeared to be interested in the Wattled Cranes flying past.

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Anyhow the other vehicle could not move for quite some time.

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An Elephant walked past to see what the commotion was all about. This is a typical bull Elephant from Botswana. Very big but rather small tusk in a not so great state.

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The flies were still very bad so the Lions decided to get away from them by climbing a nearby tree.

One of the Lions brushed itself along the side of our vehicle to get rid of the flies and both the Lion and I got quite a shock a few minutes later. I had a monopod attached to the camera and as I was trying to make a shot with the camera in the vertical position, the leg of the monopod was out of the vehicle and accidentally hit the Lioness that I had not noticed had come round to my side of the vehicle. Trust me, that is a mistake I will never do again!

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They were also quite clumsy coming down from the Tree.

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On the night drive we saw a White faced Scops Owl.

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The next morning Mothusi found tracks from the Male Lions near the boat station.

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The Go away birds were not happy with the Bateleur

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Meyers Parrot

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It has been fun doing this TR as it has brought back so many wonderful memories. Kwando is a truly amazing place.

My next TR will be in January when I am back from Tarangire, Ndutu, Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

 

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madaboutcheetah

Michael - if possible try to go to namiri plains when in the Serengeti. You will love it.

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michael-ibk

Thanks for this report, thoroughly enjoyed it. You had fantastic sightings at Kwando. How did the lioness react when you hit her with the monopod? (A question That can only be asked on Safaritalk. :))

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I loved your sightings at Kwando. I'm very excited at the fact that I'll be spending four days at Labala, four at Lagoon and three days at Little Kwara. I'm only interested in doing game drives because I have done the Mokoro trip, boat trip as well as the visit to the heronry.

 

In fact, I may visit Labala, Lagoon in combination with Selinda Explorers Camp or Chitabe Lediba and Machaba.

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Really enjoyed reading this report, more so as I can relate to the Kwnado camps.

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