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First Time on Safari - Notten's and Idube


TravelinTeacherAU

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Kitsafari

@@TravelinTeacherAU what an eventful and fruitful trip it is to Sabi Sands! and you are truly and well hooked. welcome to the club! your pictures are amazing, telling all the stories. and the amount of cross-species interactions on your first trip - you lucky guys! the cheetah-leopard interaction was incredible! and you saw all the "big 5" in just one trip. wow. for sure, that luck will be with you in future trips.

 

I'm not sure why you mentioned that it's seen as a zoo?I just have missed such comments alluding to it, which isn't surprising as I've not been reading as much as I can the last few weeks.:

 

But i agree with you. it's anything but a zoo or a sanctuary or an animal park.

 

I've also returned from Timbavati/Sabi Sands and the sightings are just amazing. You may think that after a few safaris, you've seen all the major things you need to see but each time I go on safari, there is always something that still astounds me even if i've seen that species over and over again. that's the thing about wildlife living free and roaming untethered in the bush - they always surprise you. So I cant imagine us ever ever getting bored watching the animals. and they are so beautiful, i can spend 2 hours just watching them sleep, nuzzle, play and sleep again. :)

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My wife and I took our first safari this summer to the country of South Africa.   We visited the Sabi Sands reserve, located just outside the Kruger National Park. In preparing for our trip, I have

Our first full day at Notten's was wonderful. We woke up early for homemade hot chocolate and rusks before piling into the vehicle. The hot water bottles provided for the game drive kept us nice and w

Around 3:30 p.m., we headed out on our evening game drive.   We were on the hunt for lions this afternoon, but we saw lots of plains game on the drive, including a herd of impala running at full bl

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Tom Kellie

I've also returned from Timbavati/Sabi Sands and the sightings are just amazing. You may think that after a few safaris, you've seen all the major things you need to see but each time I go on safari, there is always something that still astounds me even if i've seen that species over and over again. that's the thing about wildlife living free and roaming untethered in the bush - they always surprise you. So I cant imagine us ever ever getting bored watching the animals. and they are so beautiful, i can spend 2 hours just watching them sleep, nuzzle, play and sleep again. :)

 

~ @@Kitsafari

 

You've expressed the allure of safaris so well!

There's something new or different on every game drive.

Not only that, but sometimes the same behavior previously observed is great fun to see yet again!

There's sheer joy in first-hand observation of the ongoing interplay of life.

I'm so glad that your Timbavati/Sabi Sands sightings went well, as did the Notten's and Idube sightings of @@TravelinTeacherAU.

In 45 days I expect to be on my first-ever Sabi Sands safari, although the thought of that seems unreal to me at present.

Were I to see less than half of what @@TravelinTeacherAU spotted, I'd count it a wildly successful safari!

Tom K.

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Peter Connan

You may think that after a few safaris, you've seen all the major things you need to see but each time I go on safari, there is always something that still astounds me even if i've seen that species over and over again. that's the thing about wildlife living free and roaming untethered in the bush - they always surprise you. So I cant imagine us ever ever getting bored watching the animals. and they are so beautiful, i can spend 2 hours just watching them sleep, nuzzle, play and sleep again. :)

 

I was incredibly fortunate in that my grandfather owned a piece of the Klaserie Private nature reserve from about the time I was born untill about five years ago, and I had many opportunities to go there. At least once a year, and usually far more often than that.

 

And despite being restricted to a fairly small piece of ground, there was always something new, something I hadn't seen before, something astounding. Despite never having seen sightings like were seen on this trip!

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I also really enjoyed the Sabi Sand a few years ago.

You started off with a great hyena encounter and continued on with a truly spectacular kudu bull. And then to discover dogs and a black rhino - I think you would have been hard pressed to choose a better first safari!

 

I also enjoyed the lion/hyena interaction on the second page, and of course witnessing the cheetah's kill "changing hands" must have been fascinating to witness.

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SafariChick

@@TravelinTeacherAU gorgeous flower shots and love the penguins! We also spent a few days in Cape Town when we went to SA and loved it. We also visited Kirstenbosch Gardens - beautiful place - and went to see penguins - great experience!

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Alexander33

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, one I feel certain you'll never forget. Like others have mentioned, I can tell you've got the "bug." The Trip Planning forum on here is a great resource -- just sayin'.....

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amybatt

@@TravelinTeacherAU, wonderful report! I've only been on two safaris myself (with the next one already in the queue) and this report got me even more excited to go again. Your energy and excitement is palpable through both your words and your photos. Yes, you did have a stupendous experience, but as others have said, there is something about each safari that makes each one special too. I loved both of mine, and despite seeing the Big Five, a slew of birds, etc. each was very different and each had its own very special moments.

 

Glad you enjoyed my trip report from the Mara. That is indeed where I'm returning to, just a different conservancy for a different point of view, plus Amboseli. I don't have nearly the exposure others have to other locations, but I think I could happily return to the Mara area forever and be happy. Although your report has me thinking of S. Africa for #4! So thank you!

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@TravelinTeacherAU Great trip report! Wonderful pictures! Love the pictures of the cheetahs and the leopards. They both are such beautiful animals and you captured their beauty well. I am glad to read that you enjoyed Idube. I look forward to staying there because of the hide and the opportunities to photograph the animals and the birds as they come to drink, but you never mentioned the hide. Is it still in use? Do animals come to drink at the waterhole by the hide?

 

Your report on Notten's really made it sound like a place we would enjoy also. We found on our first safari that small camps without all the perks are our kind of places.

 

Thank you for taking the time to write and post such a fascinating story of your first safari. May you enjoy many, many more!

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@@TravelinTeacherAU

 

Before I begin your Idube posts I really had to react to your stay at Nottens. What a fantastic first few days on safari! Leopards, mating lions, eles, wild dogs and a black rhino. Wow!

I absolutely love your 'flying' impala shot. Also the zebra from behind. A couple of favourites I picked out from your photos so far.

Nottens looks like a great place to stay.

 

What a start to your trip....looking forward to reading the next adventures.

 

And having read the rest, it just got better and better. Incredible cheetah/leopard interaction.

Altogether a spectacular first safari. I think you have now well and truly caught the bug!

 

Thank you for writing this trip report. I really enjoyed reading it. I could sense your mounting excitement as every game drive delivered more and more. The great photos also made this a great trip report. Here's to the next one. In 2017, if not before!

Edited by CaroleE
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TravelinTeacherAU

@TravelinTeacherAU Great trip report! I am glad to read that you enjoyed Idube. I look forward to staying there because of the hide and the opportunities to photograph the animals and the birds as they come to drink, but you never mentioned the hide. Is it still in use? Do animals come to drink at the waterhole by the hide?

@@Terry

 

The hide is still there and in use. We were just so fulfilled by the game drives that we never felt an urge to spend much time in the hide.

 

We checked it out. It's nice, and there are plenty of stories of animals parading in front of the hide, but we got plenty of great sightings on our drives. During the down time, we usually rested up for the afternoon excursion.

 

Idube showed us great viewing and provided amazing guiding. You will have a blast.

 

Notten's provides a wonderful time for its guests. In fact, I think it may be the best hospitality that I've ever experienced. If the game viewing and guiding had been up to the Idube standard, I'd already be booked for a return trip.

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TravelinTeacherAU

@@TravelinTeacherAU

 

Before I begin your Idube posts I really had to react to your stay at Nottens.

 

I absolutely love your 'flying' impala shot. I think you have now well and truly caught the bug!

 

Thank you for writing this trip report. I really enjoyed reading it. I could sense your mounting excitement as every game drive delivered more and more. The great photos also made this a great trip report. Here's to the next one. In 2017, if not before!

 

@@CaroleE

 

Thanks for the kind words. I'm such a rank amateur when it comes to photography that I am really surprised but happy that some people enjoy the images I captured this summer.

 

 

I had a blast in the Sabi Sands, and I honestly feel like it gets kind of a bad rap on this forum sometimes.

 

I mean, I get that the level of luxury can be off-putting to some. However, I think that for the quality and quantity of wildlife sightings in the Sabi Sands (at a price lower than many safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Botswana), one could tolerate a few raised walkways and fine wines. ;)

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TravelinTeacherAU

I can tell you've got the "bug." The Trip Planning forum on here is a great resource -- just sayin'.....

@@Alexander33

 

Thanks for your comments!

 

I devoured most of the Trip Reports before we even left, but I'm excited to read more as I focus in on our next trip! I'm sure I'll be all over the Trip Planning forum as well!

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TravelinTeacherAU

@@TravelinTeacherAU I think I could happily return to the Mara area forever and be happy. Although your report has me thinking of S. Africa for #4! So thank you!

@@amybatt

 

I think you'd have a blast in South Africa! Great sightings, but a totally different landscape from the Mara.

 

If you don't mind, I might pick your brain as we plan our next trip. Right now, I'm thinking of 3 night at Porini Lion (or Ol Kinye Adventure Camp) and then 3-4 nights at Serian Nkorombo.

 

Our other thought is to just do 6-7 nights at Serian Nkorombo or Serian Serengeti North.

 

Already excited and can't wait!

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@@TravelinTeacherAU

 

Before I begin your Idube posts I really had to react to your stay at Nottens.

 

I absolutely love your 'flying' impala shot. I think you have now well and truly caught the bug!

 

Thank you for writing this trip report. I really enjoyed reading it. I could sense your mounting excitement as every game drive delivered more and more. The great photos also made this a great trip report. Here's to the next one. In 2017, if not before!

@@CaroleE

 

Thanks for the kind words. I'm such a rank amateur when it comes to photography that I am really surprised but happy that some people enjoy the images I captured this summer.

 

 

I had a blast in the Sabi Sands, and I honestly feel like it gets kind of a bad rap on this forum sometimes.

 

I mean, I get that the level of luxury can be off-putting to some. However, I think that for the quality and quantity of wildlife sightings in the Sabi Sands (at a price lower than many safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Botswana), one could tolerate a few raised walkways and fine wines. ;)

 

 

I was looking at Sabi Sands for a quick safari this year. It isn't all luxary there, there are other levels of camps. Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable in a really luxurious camp. I don't need it plus I think there is just something wrong with swimming pools/baths in a camp/tent if the area is struggling with water anyway. I have nothing against fine wines though (especially a nice South African red) :)

One thing that tempted me was the quality and quantity of wildlife sightings there. In the end I was finding it difficult to find camps willing to do just dame dribes/walks in Sabi Sands as I didn't really want to go into the Kruger. Maybe I gave up too quickly! But luckily I now know about Idube and Nottens (thank you!) so if the chance arises again for a SA trip I have them on the list of possibilities.

 

At the end of the day it comes down to personal choice. Everyone has their own dislikes/likes/preferences and budgets for a safari (or any other holiday) and that has to be taken into account when commenting on here. Most of the time I think people here are pretty accepting of other people's choices.

 

Ok I will now get off my soap box :)

 

I have to say judging my the shots in this TR you are no rank amateur when it comes to photography!!

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Tom Kellie

~ @@TravelinTeacherAU

 

The hoary adage says that individual character may be judged by the type of friends one has.

In like manner, a safari trip report may be considered in light of the responses that it receives.

In re-reading your entire trip report this evening, it's unmistakably clear that your commentary and photography have been highly appreciated on Safaritalk.

I notice that unusually warm replies have been written by Safaritalk members, expressing their admiration for your trip report style, as well as your phenomenal good fortune on game drives.

Reading their comments has reinforced my own feeling that you're an especially gifted safari writer, who takes delightful photos.

Above all, your gracious replies to others have earned my highest admiration.

Very, very well done. May your next safari be as memorable as was this one.

With Respect,

Tom K.

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amybatt

@@TravelinTeacherAU, would be glad to chat about Porini Lion. You can message me here, I'm in and out a few times a week at least. LOOOOOOVE Porini Lion! ;-)

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Tom Kellie

@@TravelinTeacherAU, would be glad to chat about Porini Lion. You can message me here, I'm in and out a few times a week at least. LOOOOOOVE Porini Lion! ;-)

 

~ @@amybatt

 

You've stayed at Porini Lion?

For the past three months I've been regularly looking at reviews of the Porini camps.

What I read thus far has piqued my interest.

They sound well-run, fun and moderately priced.

Your strong endorsement above stands out to me.

Thanks for posting it!

Tom K.

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TravelinTeacherAU

@@TravelinTeacherAU, would be glad to chat about Porini Lion. You can message me here, I'm in and out a few times a week at least. LOOOOOOVE Porini Lion! ;-)

 

Sounds great @@amybatt !

 

I'm a teacher, so things are a bit crazy now with back-to-school activity. I'll send you a message when things settle down! Thanks for being so willing to help!

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amybatt

@TomKellie, yes! My Feb 2014 safari was Porini Rhino, Porini Mara and Porini Lion. The big cats are my passion and never was I so satisfied at Porini Lion. It seemed they were everywhere, without having to really look for them. One very early morning after I'd left for the game ride, a leopard was on the porch to my tent! As tempting as a return visit is, I forced myself not to try to "repeat perfection" and branched out a bit with Sangeeta's able assistance for Feb 2016. I'll return to the Mara but trying a different conservancy this time.

 

As an interesting aside, since you like photography and are so good at it, I met a Norwegian wildlife photographer at Porini Rhino, and followed behind him a couple days to Porini Mara and Lion Camps. He goes to Lion Camp several times a year. He pays for his own guide and vehicle, they rip out the seats for him and he spends him safari lying on his belly and shooting out the open doors (to be at "eye level" with the animals). That he returns so often, either on his own or with other photographers, is really a testament to how good the subject matter is there. Each day he has his mind set on a different subject. I saw him scoping out a hippo pool once, and determining with the guide the best location and time to set up to see the hippos coming back in the early morning. He's won international awards with some of these shots! You can check him out here: http://www.arnfinnjohansen.com

 

Sorry for the sidetrack. I'd be glad to speak to both of you more offline about Porini.

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@@TravelinTeacherAU

I have just got to the end of Nottens.

Great sightings of leopards, rhino, - amazing photo of the leaping impala - perfect timing.

And a very cute baby elephant.

I am looking forward to joining the next camp with you!

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I have to comment on your dancing leopards as well - what a great encounter.

And your first shot of the male leopard, sitting in a shady area, but with a patch of sun landing on his chest and also lighting up his eyes - beautiful.

I enjoyed listening to your video of the lion roaring!

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Tom Kellie

@TomKellie, yes! My Feb 2014 safari was Porini Rhino, Porini Mara and Porini Lion. The big cats are my passion and never was I so satisfied at Porini Lion. It seemed they were everywhere, without having to really look for them. One very early morning after I'd left for the game ride, a leopard was on the porch to my tent! As tempting as a return visit is, I forced myself not to try to "repeat perfection" and branched out a bit with Sangeeta's able assistance for Feb 2016. I'll return to the Mara but trying a different conservancy this time.

 

As an interesting aside, since you like photography and are so good at it, I met a Norwegian wildlife photographer at Porini Rhino, and followed behind him a couple days to Porini Mara and Lion Camps. He goes to Lion Camp several times a year. He pays for his own guide and vehicle, they rip out the seats for him and he spends him safari lying on his belly and shooting out the open doors (to be at "eye level" with the animals). That he returns so often, either on his own or with other photographers, is really a testament to how good the subject matter is there. Each day he has his mind set on a different subject. I saw him scoping out a hippo pool once, and determining with the guide the best location and time to set up to see the hippos coming back in the early morning. He's won international awards with some of these shots! You can check him out here: http://www.arnfinnjohansen.com

 

Sorry for the sidetrack. I'd be glad to speak to both of you more offline about Porini.

 

~ @@amybatt

 

You've filled me with wondeffully relevant information concerning Porini Lion.

All which you've carefully explained is of such high interest to me.

This considerably raises Porini Lion in my estimation.

The bonus information concerning Mr. Johansen is highly appreciated!

His eye-level approach shows true commitment and exemplary professionalism.

I'm indebted to you both for the comprehensive information and the link.

Hmm... Porini Lion sounds like a high value destination.

With Appreciation,

Tom K.

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Thank you for a really enjoyable report - great sightings and great writing!

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  • 4 weeks later...
Atravelynn

The quality of your predator sightings was tremendous. You got a glimpse of the "eternal enemies" in their interaction and standoff. Two cheetah sightings and one kill! Great comment: "I actually got to see a cheetah be a cheetah!" Then more interesting interaction between leopard and cheetah. At least the cheetah got a few bites consumed. Did your guide say anything about increased cheetah activity in the area or were you just exceedingly lucky with those cats? The very young lion cubs are also an exceptional treat.

 

Throw in the African Penguins, Great Whites, and Fur Seals, and you had tremendous first trip.

 

Now maybe Samburu is on the list and don't give up on walking in Zimbabwe, even if cats are your thing. I just got back from Mana Pools and had sightings of 2 prides on foot.

 

You are likely back to school now, but summer will come around again for you.

Edited by Atravelynn
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