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A Safari of Returns (part 2): Mashatu, Tuli Block, September 2015


Tdgraves

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Day 2 Evening drive 6/9/15   Now I am going to blame the horrible head cold that I currently have, however, the intervening 5 months may also have a significant part to play. The two couples mention

Day 3 Morning drive, 7/9/15   Our first proper morning drive and Richard was aiming for the cheetah family that we had seen last year as the last time that they were seen, they were very close to th

Day 2 "morning drive" elephant hide visit, 6/9/15   Due to the standing water, we thought that our hide visit may be a bust, but what could we do? It turns out we were the only people booked and it

Marks

That Verreaux's looks like it is winking at you...hmm...

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Tdgraves

@@Tdgraves

 

Superb low-angle bird images!

Thanks @@Safaridude but they were a lot better/more numerous the first time.....

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xelas

@@Tdgraves

 

Ahhhh, more excellent views to study ... and to adopt on our next field trip(s)!

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Tdgraves

@@Tdgraves

 

Ahhhh, more excellent views to study ... and to adopt on our next field trip(s)!

 

@@xelas I am confused....

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TonyQ

@@Tdgraves

Thank you for a really enjoyable report with great photos - an excellent read!

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xelas

@@Tdgraves

 

I was talking about the very low/ground level photography of birds (I know one need a hide for such, but anyway) and of many awesome close-ups (and I also know one need a private game drive to reach closer ...).

Or I have confused you with something else?

BTW is it possible for you to leave the exif data with the photo? it helps a lot to understand settings in different light situations.

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Tdgraves

@@xelas Ah - now I understand.

I haven't deleted the EXIF data, so you should see it if you open the file....

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  • 2 weeks later...
Atravelynn

52mm of rain overnight --wow!

 

I think that the star of the first drive was the lion claws. They were very accentuated on many of your cat poses, and subtly menacing.

 

That's an ugly wheel injury and hints at all that goes on behind the scenes to make our days in the bush productive with working vehicles.

 

That moody tone with the eland kill is perfect. The cold front conspired to contribute to those shots. But the beautiful golden light is a nice contrast for the lion pics on the next page. You don't want moody the whole trip if you can help it.

 

Ele fight or leopard, leopard or ele fight. What a decision and what a place!

 

What is the story behind all those cheetah? Could the mother have raised 7 cubs? I once saw 6 cubs with one adopted (actually stolen I think). Do you think this is some kind of blended cheetah family?

Black dots encompass your entire photo with all those cheetah. They are everywhere. Almost an abstract mosaic. Nice job placing all those active subjects for beautiful results. It is hard to have a nice looking scene with so many moving parts. You certainly made up for missing the cheetah last year. Cheetah Mayhem is the right term, @@michael-ibk.

 

I like your middle blur best.

 

 

"Now, our American vehicle mates had been scheming and plotting since their arrival, about how to delay their pre-booked hide visit, as it was abundantly clear that it would remain quiet until the surface water evaporated. I'm sure that if they had just asked, it would have been sorted out, however, we had to endure comments about bathrooms and dodgy stomachs, to give the impression of illness as an excuse."

 

Did they think you had not figured them out? Just suggest some Diet Coke with ice to settle their stomachs, the stereotypical request from Americans. (For the record I partake in neither.)

 

Bush baby, no flash needed! Terrific. Then a cute little spring hare with the flash.

 

It's not a real safari unless someone gets whacked in the face by a branch or similar. Hope you recovered quickly. It appears you were in good enough shape to find the pearl spotted owl.

 

All this and prime ele action too! Mashatu came through! Excellent report!

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Tdgraves

Thanks for your kind comments @@Atravelynn

 

The cheetah mum had 5 cubs (see my previous TR) of which 4 survived. The other 3 were a coalition of males trying to mate

 

People can be very stupid. We shared three meals a day with them and there were no issues with food and they were certainly tucking into the sundowners!

 

I was ok with the branch - luckily no broken glasses or camera equipment!

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madaboutcheetah

@@Tdgraves - would you know if Mashatu will be able to organize for a transfer from Gaborone? and/or what would the other logistics options be? Thanks.........

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Tdgraves

@@madaboutcheetah it looks like they expect their visitors come via Johannesburg. They offer road transfers from joburg or polokwane (to meet the SAA flight) or they have their own daily charter flights from joburg. There is an airstrip, but I imagine a charter from Gaborone would be $$$$

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks! It is better combined with SA then - no so well with the Delta.

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Tdgraves

Yes, that was the impression I got. It is really easy to drive there from joburg, but much more difficult from the Botswana side. But you fly to the delta from arriving in joburg on an international flight don't' you.....?

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madaboutcheetah

Yes - that's true; although will need to factor an extra overnight in JNB

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  • 3 weeks later...
hannahcat

Sorry to be so late to the party, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your trip report. I've never seen a picture of a bush baby in the middle of the day before, and I can't even imagine what it would be like to see so many cheetahs all at once. I think my favorite pictures have to be the ones of the jackals waiting for the lions to finish, though -- really great shots, full of tension. Thanks for sharing!

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