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Duba Plains : the Tsaro pride, elephants and some others


Bush dog

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Bush dog

I was coming from Selinda. As my stay in Great Plains two camps exceeded six days, I had the advantage of a helicopter transfer, a thirty-five minutes flight at very low altitude, with some showers on the way.

 

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Duba was the fourth and last stopping place of a three weeks trip in Zimbabwe and Botswana. It was my first trip since October 2014 and after a year 2015 to forget, due to serious health problems. Thus far, I had never been in Africa in March, it was my first green season safari and my first visit to Duba . Throughout the trip, thunder storms and rains were present until they abruptly stop the day after I arrived in Duba. I was one of the last guests. Indeed, at the moment, the full demolition of the camp is in progress and construction of a new, that will open on April 10, is nearing completion a few hundred meters further.

 

The priority concern of Great Plains is the Guest. He is king. In this context, game drive times are extremely flexible. Secondly, their policy is to allocate , to the extent possible, a vehicle by visiting entity (family, small group or individual). In fact, it is almost a private vehicle included in the daily rate. I was lucky, the guide that was allocated to me was Vundi. Indeed he was by far the best of all those present during my stay. The first two days, Dereck and Beverly Joubert were in the camp and as, at mealtimes, it is communal dining, it was an opportunity to discuss with them about many issues related to wildlife conservation.

 

Duba is a unique place, the scenery like nowhere else. Despite the absence, of the fact that it is an island, of a number of species, this place is really mesmerizing. On the island, there are no cheetahs, or wild dogs, or zebras, or wildebeests, or black-backed jackals, or elands, or giraffes, or roan and sable antelopes, or ostriches. It was the first time that I visited a place without impalas and that was rather disconcerting. Red lechwes and warthogs are in great number and lions and elephants, the stars. There are also, in broad daylight, a lot of hippos on the ground, as many as in the water. It was a moment question of introducing white rhinos but the project was canceled, perhaps because all the guarantees of their safety and protection were not met.

 

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I was coming from Selinda. As my stay in Great Plains two camps exceeded six days, I had the advantage of a helicopter transfer, a thirty-five minutes flight at very low altitude, with some showers o

The Tsaro pride   Sixth sighting (eighth game drive)   We spotted them, in the early morning, on the plains. The blonde mane had joined them. This time they decided, at least the cubs, that it

The Tsaro pride     Eighth sighting (last game drive continuation)

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Game Warden

Hope you mentioned you were from Safaritalk :)

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Mike

The first of the hopefully many courses in the tasting menu was great. Getting to meet and eat with the Jouberts. That's a Gru Cru Burgundy as the first wine pairing.

 

PS: on a serious note I hope your health issues are behind you and the three weeks n the bush was invigorating.

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Bush dog

@@AKR1

 

Thanks a lot!

 

Health issues seems to be behind me. I feel even better than before but with those issues, you never know? I still have to make tests every 4 months until 2018.

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madaboutcheetah

Mike, super start!!! Glad Vundi was your guide and more so ......... So Happy to hear about your health and your re-connection with Botswana!!!

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michael-ibk

Great aerials, and super start to your report. What is the antelope in post 3? Interesting about the "missing" animals, I guess it would be weird indeed not seeing any Impalas in the Delta.

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What is the antelope in post 3?

 

I would assume red lechwes

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Marks

Great report so far. Duba is way outside of my price range for the foreseeable future - please keep the photos coming so I can experience it vicariously. :)

 

 

 

It was a moment question of introducing white rhinos but the project was canceled, perhaps because all the guarantees of their safety and protection were not met.

 

Wonder if this was related to the rhino initiative Dereck Joubert talked about in this interview on ST? (Forgive my ignorance if unrelated!)

Regardless, a very cool opportunity to speak with them.

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Neeners815

I love these photos - awesome! Thanks so much for sharing. We are going to Duba, so I really appreciate it.

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Bush dog

Wonder if this was related to the rhino initiative Dereck Joubert talked about in this interview on ST? (Forgive my ignorance if unrelated!)

Regardless, a very cool opportunity to speak with them.

 

It is!

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Kitsafari

@@Bush dog so glad you've recovered from your health issues and hope they are well behind you. and glad you picked duba plains to enjoy the last days of the old camp. i wonder if the new camp will be more lux, and hence even more expensive when it's completed?

 

very nice indeed to meet and eat with the jouberts. icing on the cake!

 

love those red lechwes. my guide on my Mombo trip couldnt understand why I needed to take good shots of them since they are just like what impalas are in the east african plains.

 

that's a lot of elephants in the pictures!

 

can't wait for the rest of the trip!

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Bush dog

@@Kitsafari

 

Thank you so much for your comments!

 

The new camp will be more luxury and I guess it will be more expensive.

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Bush dog

The Tsaro pride

 

Almost fifty percent of the pictures of this report are dedicated to lions, exclusively to the Tsaro pride. Indeed, I did not see the Skimmer pride at all. Vundi saw them two days before my arrival. He assumed that they were, north west of the main island, on Paradise Island (not reachable by car) and they had made a kill there. Seventy five percent of the lions pictures were taken during the last three game drives and more than forty five percent during the last one.

 

First sighting (first game drive)

We only saw one female and one cub (a male). This young male was already showing clear signs of dominance. Its gaze is determined. I guess that when it will reach adulthood, it will be a tough guy ? The other female and the five other cubs (three males and two females) stayed inside a thick bush. No dominant males so far, just heard the roar of one of them at night.

 

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Second sighting (second game drive)

It was still dark, in the early morning, when we saw, close to the camp, the male (the one with the short mane) that was roaring during the night. For the record, the camp and the airstrip are not on the main island, which is accessed by a wooden bridge.

 

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Big_Dog

Wow! First off, very glad your health concerns are now behind you. :)
Secondly...dinner with the Jouberts! Outstanding stuff, must have been great. Wonder if they'd ever allow another Safaritalk interview...
Really interesting to hear of how Duba has none of certain species. but it explains why the lions are so prevalent in taking buffalo after all. Also perhaps why hyaena aren't as common. Also great to hear how flexible great plains are.
Lovely lion shots too, awesome stuff including the final night shot.

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Game Warden

@@Big_Dog Dereck and Beverly have always seemed pleased to see me when we've met and have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome and comfortable in their company so I wouldn't think it would be a problem. If you want to do a new interview I'll contact them and ask if they'd mind Safaritalk members asking them a few questions again.

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TonyQ

@@Bush dog

Great that you are able to go back to Africa and are reporting to us! Excellent start with lovely pictures

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SafariChick

@@Bush dog Super start to the report - Duba is a place I'd love to see some day. Really glad you are doing well with the health and were able to go - and how cool to eat with the Jouberts! Looking forward to more!

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Bush dog

@Big_Dog@SafariChick@TonyQ

 

Thank you so much for your kind words!

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Bush dog

Elephants

 

They are seen on the island and in the vast swampy area around, escorted by flocks of cattle egrets. They are usually very comfortable with the camp’s vehicles to which they are habituated and as there are none other,……

 

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Tom Kellie

~ @@Bush dog

 

The final image, i.e. face-on with an elephant, plants in the mouth, is striking.

Lighting, composition, framing, focus — all work together to produce one of the finest elephant portraits I've seen.

The number of sharp details is impressive, ranging from scratch marks on the tusks to the long eyelashes to the sparse hair on top.

The plant's chlorophyll-green stands out against the deep charcoal tones of the elephant hide.

Your image is an inspiration for me, were my plans for another safari in Kenya to be finalized.

Thank you so much for posting it.

Tom K.

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Big_Dog

Well, Tom already stole everything I could have said about the elephant portrait! Also fascinating to see elephants with such history. Torn ears, one missing a tail...wonder what is responsible for that...

@@Game Warden - That would be very cool! Only if convenient and others are up for more questions though!

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