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Green Season Botswana January 2016: Part Two - the Amazing Duba Plains; Leopards of Selinda and incredible scenic flight!


madaboutcheetah

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madaboutcheetah

Dear All,

 

Here's my recent Green season expedition (part 2) of my trip - this features the photographs taken at the incredible camps run by Great Plains Conservation. (Will do Part 1 later when I get to editing photos) .......

 

I've been very impressed by the Great Plains camps and their ethos in Kenya - so, the hospitality and flexibility in operations at Duba Plains and Selinda (all too brief a stop over) was no surprise. With that regard, Many Thanks to Vundi Kashamba my guide along with the wonderful hospitality at both camps (Connie/Gee and their team in Duba; Moxy/Gobo/Maggie and their team in Selinda). Overall, I was super impressed with everything - right from the small touches in the room; right down to minute details; incredible flexibility on game drives; AMAZING food and wine (menus 80% gluten free and feature Ostrich and Turkey along with incredible varieties of biltong for snacks)...... What can I say? No surprises - they are a CLASSY operator.

 

The East African model of hot coffee with wake up call is a refreshing touch - ala Mara plains/Toto - In brief, they do not fall into the category of the Wildernessization of Botswana ;) ....... Thank Heavens!!! and I highly endorse their wonderful camps!

 

First segment features some scenics from the air - Many thanks to Richard from Blue Horizons for an amazing experience. It was amazing to fly over the okavango delta.

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Dear All,   Here's my recent Green season expedition (part 2) of my trip - this features the photographs taken at the incredible camps run by Great Plains Conservation. (Will do Part 1 later when I

More scenics............... (will update this thread as and when i have some time to edit photos) .....

My final morning of the safari was pure magic ............ OB had discovered the Leopard den about a week prior and I had heard amazing stories from guests i met at Duba. Unfortunately, every time we

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madaboutcheetah

A handful of scenics ..... (I'm not sure if this report is going to be lost below a heap of outdated threads :) ) ????? It's not easy to upload stuff onto safari talk!

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madaboutcheetah

More scenics............... (will update this thread as and when i have some time to edit photos) .....

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Kitsafari

@@madaboutcheetah WOw. incredible aerial photos - too many to single out but maybe a couple? the elephant shaking his ears at you - the father, mum and baby lion, the trails and streams radiating out of the circle island.

 

no worries about this thread getting lost in the pile.....already clicked follow.

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Awesome pics...Lion cubs from the air!
What made you stray from Kwando also?

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Wow Hari... What a start. Fantastic aerial pictures. Reminds me of Michael Poliza's work! I am a big fan of GPC and Duba Plains is arguably their finest camp. I absolutely love the Duba concession one of the most beautiful safari locations I have been fortunate enough to experience.

I understand the camp is being rebuilt in a new location a couple of km away. Did you see any buffalo lion interaction?

Look forward to more.

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks a lot @@vishal @@Kitsafari

 

@@Big_Dog - Kwando Lagoon is Part 1 of the trip ........ too many wild dog photos to edit :) ...... Stray away from Kwando? Why will I? Will get to that section of the report eventually - 4 wild dog kills (3 in one morning).

 

@@AKR1 - How you been? I agree - loved Duba. Indeed, I think they should be ready with Duba explorer camp (couple KMS away) by April/May prior to Duba being re-done from scratch (same location i think) ........ Unfortunately, no Buff vs Lion during my trip. The Lionesses are with cubs at the moment (not sure if that's part of the reason why). I still had a fantastic time.

 

Btw, I hear the Selinda pride of Lion number 19 at the moment. They aren't going into Kwando or Duma Tau because of other prides in that area (I missed them, but, heard plenty of dry season stories about Lion vs Buffalo). Drop the Pilot/Sebastian are both on patrol right around Lebala all the time - they are beasts!!!

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Atravelynn

You've provided a wonderful wildlife-packed aerial safari! As many good sightings as from a vehicle. From the air is a gripping perspective.

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I must say I'm happy folks on ST have come to terms with helicopter safaris. I recall when I went to Duba and mentioned we were going to use a helicopter to see game from the air, there was a surprising amount of pushback on disturbing animals. Just 4 years ago!

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madaboutcheetah

@@AKR1 - I think that part of the delta is the best for any helicopter scenic flights - Duba/Vumbura/Jao etc etc., ...... there is a lot on offer and you aren't wasting time trying to fly over mopane etc etc.,

 

PS - also, if you book both Duba and Selinda - the transfer between the two camps is via helicopter. Still, not as good as a scenic flight as you fly over a lot of mopane closer to Selinda.

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Love your aerials, as usual!

Almost seems like the male lion is looking at you (well, at least on my little screen!).

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ZaminOz

Awesome photos Hari!

Did you take these from a plane or a microlight?

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michael-ibk

Fantastic shots - especially like the Buffalo herd and the Giraffes!

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SafariChick

Amazing to see even the little lion cub from the air :wub:

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What a fantastic set of photos from the air - really stunning.

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twaffle

You have excelled yourself Hari with these aerials, just beautiful. Composition and interest all there. Can't wait to see more.

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madaboutcheetah

You guys are all much too kind and generous with your comments - Thank You!!!!

 

Will have some updates tomorrow - been swamped with work this week.

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks @@Safaridude - that horizon picture is actually the view from the lounge (not from the air) .......

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Tom Kellie

I must say I'm happy folks on ST have come to terms with helicopter safaris. I recall when I went to Duba and mentioned we were going to use a helicopter to see game from the air, there was a surprising amount of pushback on disturbing animals. Just 4 years ago!

 

~ @@AKR1

 

Helicopter safaris are a concept which I'd never heard of until last week. That reflects how much more I have to learn.

Accordingly, I have no feelings about them, one way or another, as I've never reflected on them.

Following is how I came to learn that helicopter safaris exist.

While staying at Porini Lion last week, in Kenya's Olare Motorogi Conservancy adjacent to Masai Mara National Reserve, there was a self-described “highly professional international wildlife photography guide”.

He was from the country where I presently work and live, traveling with his girlfriend and a single client, who he frequently described as being “the most famous female wildlife photographer in...”, naming the country where I live.

The young lady was the very high maintenance daughter of a mogul near Hong Kong, obsessed with near round-the-clock blogging and uploading of images to her many fans back home.

The “highly professional international wildlife photography guide” used flamboyant gestures and oft-repeated loud comments to make his points to all within earshot.

All of this I mention because he made sure that all other Porini Lion guests were aware that the three in his party had just come from Lake Bogoria where, as he put it: “We rented a luxury helicopter to shoot flamingoes flying. By telling the pilot to get in close, the flamingoes fly away so beautifully. Our photos are much superior (sic) to flamingo photos taken on the ground.”

The quote is taken from my safari notebook entry after hearing his brash comment.

Certainly Safaritalk members wouldn't provoke helicopter pilots to take such reckless and inconsiderate actions to disturb feeding flamingoes.

Nonetheless, when I read your comment I thought it might be worth mentioning this, as it was a jolting first encounter with the concept of helicopter safaris, reflecting that not all share the same consideration for wildlife which is the norm in Safaritalk.

Having written this, I should add that @@madaboutcheetah's aerial images are absolutely lovely!

As it happens, several past comments by @@madaboutcheetah about the strong points of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy had a powerfully persuasive effect on my sudden decision to throw together a visit to Porini Lion immediately after returning from Sabi Sands, South Africa.

Tom K.

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madaboutcheetah

@@Tom Kellie - Be assured, helicopter safaris in the Delta are a common daily occurrence and the pilots are very professional in everything they do!

 

and I hope you liked your stay in the OMC. Porini Lion has a great location there .......

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Tom Kellie

@@Tom Kellie - Be assured, helicopter safaris in the Delta are a common daily occurrence and the pilots are very professional in everything they do!

 

and I hope you liked your stay in the OMC. Porini Lion has a great location there .......

 

~ @@madaboutcheetah

 

Thanks so much for telling me that.

I had a hunch that most wildlife helicopter pilots — who I didn't even know existed until last week — would be responsible.

My sense was that the guests in question, both the “highly professional international wildlife photography guide” and his pampered client, had badgered their pilot, possibly with financial enticements, to do what oughtn't to have been done.

Living in their culture for 17 years, over and over and over I've observed firsthand how rules are blithely ignored, common sense consideration is brushed aside, and reasonable guidelines are flouted all in pursuit of grandiose “gaining face” by doing anything which is deemed to be “much superior” (sic) to others.

Very Big SIGH...

As African tourism shifts to accommodate newly wealthy visitors from here, there may be an increase in less-than-desirable behavior based on deep-set attitudes here which show no signs of adjusting to international norms.

To be frank, I visited Porini Lion to be as far away as possible from the prevailing cultural values where I work and live.

Gentleness, kindness, consideration for others — including wildlife —, sincerity, and sound common sense are in such short supply here that one might even think that they're extinct!

Thanks to you, Hari, and @@amybatt, I had a marvelous week in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, with far more high quality sightings than I would ever have imagined.

Birds, birds and more birds, not to mention reptiles, insects and wildflowers...as well as all major cats. Lovely cheetah sightings all over, which made me think of you.

While nothing especially extraordinary, I saw my first suni (in Nairobi National Park), first springhares, and first aardwolf. Babies of all sorts, the most charming of which was a newly hatched Kori Bustard strolling beside its towering mother.

I owe you a debt for having written how much you liked the quality of sightings in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy. I'm pleased that @@bettel is there now, enjoying the beauty and hospitality.

Thank you so much!

Tom K.

Edited by Tom Kellie
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