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Tales and memories from the Kwando concession Sept 2015


madaboutcheetah
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Dear All,

 

A Kwando safari is nothing without the experiences created by their fabulous guides and staff ........ So, as always I'd have to immensely thank Spencer and Mr.Moe for guiding me through a fabulous trip through the super dry and further drying up concession. Huge Thanks to Shex and OB at lagoon for their fabulous camp management (seriously the best I've had in a very long time) a super time to be had. Also, thanks to BK (new BK) at Lebala. A great time indeed and will be hit by a huge reality check starting tomorrow when back home.

 

Game viewing .......... (gulp) Game viewing can be so up and down one week to the next. It's really hard to predict. Lebala and Lagoon have both been taking turns to hog the spotlight - yet, during my visit Lagoon took all the glory. Was seriously rocking ..........

 

The Dogs - are running wild at the moment. 17 adults and 7 puppies. They travel vast distances and are anywhere between the Upper Kwando in the north all the way down to South of Lebala camp........ So, they can really be anywhere. I also, saw another pack of 5 (4 males and 1 female) - early one morning when we set out, we found this pack right outside camp trying to sniff out the big pack and we followed them for an hour until we lost them in the tall mopane out in the western side of the concession.

 

Cheetah - The Boys of Lagoon did show up after a long time (Phew) and even though they are slow and old and missing teeth .......... they did put on a show ambushing impala TWICE.

 

Lions - Some mind boggling Lion sightings and new male Lions popping up....... I can't keep up with all the names ...... as of 3 days ago - a new coalition from Namibia turned up and they really are beasts. Some highlights include Male Lions having a fight; attempt of a pride takeover and catching up with the grown up sub-adults from last years litter of the Lagoon pride (they are having a mighty hard time trying to keep away from all the different male lions in the area at the moment).

 

Leopard - 3 different Leopards at Lagoon. One big male was shy and not photogenic.

 

Amazing plains game - so many Zebra herds in the Lebala grounds.

 

Herd of 35 sable in Lagoon; good Roan; one Eland sighting .......... Elephants everywhere; some afternoons had over a 100 Elephants right in front of Lagoon trying to come there for a drink. It's so dry now that the boat trip is called off until the rains start. Other animals coming down in front of camp were sable; kudu and would you believe it - a male Lion!!! Yet another year without a single Elephant mock charge!!!! (they really have come a long way)

 

Light for photography ......... To be honest, I wasn't impressed with the light this time of the year with all the smoke haze. There has been a lot of fires and not just in Namibia in the Caprivi strip. Also, when it's so hot - the animals are hardly active after 10AM.

Anyways, will edit pictures in the upcoming weeks when I catch up with reality again ..........

 

Cheers

Hari

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Looking forward to the pics! Another M.A.C special...

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Look forward to your report and pictures.

welcome back

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Sounds like it's going to be a good one, I'll be watching and taking note for the future.

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Welcome back, Hari! Now, bring on these pics fast! :)

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Welcome back Hari. Hope the visa process was easier this year than the past. Look forward to seeing your pictures and more details of your trip.

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Welcome back! Let's get your always fabulous photos rolling...

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Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone .........

Will start with a few images from Botswana Day, September 30th ...... Thanks to Richard from "Blue Horizons" for providing us with an amazing helicopter experience. Couldn't have asked for a better pilot for my first ever experience in one of those! He was patient enough to get us the shots that we wanted from the air; at the same time he ensured that he maintained a distance that would not stress the animals that we would encounter from the air. I did request for specific images that I hoped for - Landscapes of popular "land marks" in the concession/ anything interesting should we encounter them ........

 

Most of the images are self-explanatory - The Pelican colony is at "water cut" that's drying up and they are keen to gobble up the fish.

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Great pictures, Hari, love the last one with the Buffalos especially. Wow, so dry ....

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Welcome back Hari. Sounds like a great trip.

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Love the aerials even though I'm not familiar with any landmarks.

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Agree with @@michael-ibk, love the last shot with the buffalo. There's something almost surreal about it, as though the buffalo are floating just above the landscape.

Edited by Marks
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Thanks so much ..... You guys are much too kind!!!

 

Here's the next batch of aerial shots.... the mopane woodland has it's own spooky charm and i got a few images as we flew over sections of it ..... Image 1 is Lagoon camp. 2 is Kubu Pan in the Lebala end.

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Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Wow as you say it does look very dry and dusty, with probably another eight weeks to go before there is much chance of rain if then. Ariel shots do make a change from the usual angles and really show of the environment the animals are having to cope with.

I notice the pelicans are not actually in the water fishing do you think this is because there are toothy critters in there or just they a sated on the easy pickings?

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@@Big Andy - Indeed that's the case. There's been a lot of fires in the concession too ........ Fresh grass is already beginning to grow even without rain in those areas.

 

You will notice a change in landscape and a lot more green when i post images of the flood plains and the permanent water - i.e., Spillway/ Kwando sections.

 

Pelicans - I do think the water there is receding ....... I think there are easy pickings. I have some images from the Land Cruiser of those Pelicans from the previous morning.

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One quick photo of the Lagoon speciality at the moment ....... This one from Kwena Lagoon to mix things up ....... Will have more aerials tomorrow.

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Great photos Hari

 

It always amazes me how dry the veld looks from the air.

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Thanks, Peter. Indeed dry - less rains the previous season plus low floods due to a possible change in tectonic plates? (I remember hearing that there was an earthquake last year along the Linyanti fault line) .......

 

More aerial shots ........ oddly a large pan in the mopane veldt holding some water.

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Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Absolutely awesome stuff as usual Hari.

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Thanks so much @@KaingU Lodge

 

More aerials........

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Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Interlude - I want to break all the aerials up with one of the two "new kings in Town" - He and his brother (with a collar - Gulp) ..... showed up towards the end of September and they are real beasts!!!! They threaten not only the male Lions in the Lagoon area - but, the Lagoon pride. Reason we think they are from Namibia is that they often have a helicopter flying overhead trying to monitor where they are. If you think this one is a fighter - let me tell you his brother is the big bully!!! More to come later on......

 

 

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More scenics from the air -

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Great pics from the helicopter and I am really looking forward to the remainder of your report.

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The aerial shot with the openmouthed hippo is a real gem! (Of course, they're all great.)

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