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Duba Plains : the Tsaro pride, elephants and some others


Bush dog

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PersonalPangea

Superb description and photos of your stay at Duba, Bush Dog, thank you and glad to hear you are in much better health. I hope you enjoyed your stay at Duba and Selinda, as well as the complimentary helicopter transfer between the reserves (we include this on all stays of 6 nights or more between Duba and Selinda or Zarafa camps).

 

There were a couple of observations that you and others have made in the report and I hope I can answer some of them. The new Duba Expedition Camp (1 km away from the old camp) of six tents will open on 5th April (2 days time!) and will be the same rate as the old Duba Plains Camp, which has now closed at the end of March. I will post new images of Duba Expedition Camp as soon as the photographer has completed the shoot.

The new Duba Plains Camp will then be built on the site of the old camp with six tents on a level comparable to Great Plains' Zarafa Camp and will be pitched at a price just below that of Zarafa, of which these two camps will be an ultimate two-centre Botswana experience. The new Duba Plains Camp is scheduled to open 10 January 2017, or sooner.

 

In reference to species present or not present, I can assure you that giraffe and impala are found in the concession. The giraffe are often seen on the island where the two camps and airstrip is located, although impala are nowhere near as plentiful as other antelope species. Whenever I've stayed I'm staggered at the number of kudu, red lechwe, tssesbe and warthogs I see as well as the variety of bird life. Leopard have moved into the area and have established territories, side-striped jackal and hyena are commonly seen, as are bat-eared fox. Duba has so much more variety to offer than just the famed buffalo and lion that often take the lime-light, as your elephant photos attest.

 

We look forward to welcoming you and other Safaritalk members back to a new-look Duba soon.

Edited by PersonalPangea
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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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Bush dog

@@PersonalPangea

 

Your marketing literature is very interesting.

 

In reference to species not present, I mentioned that giraffe and impala were absent from the main island, the one where most of the game drives are taking place. I did see giraffes near the air strip and perhaps it's possible to see impalas there also. As far as I am concerned, during my five days stay, I did not see any impala at all. If hyena is commonly seen, I am sorry, I did not see one at all. Concerning the other species you mentioned, lechwe, kudu, tsessebe, warthog, leopard, side-striped jackal, bat-eared foxes and birdlife, as well as reedbuck and bushbuck, I was about to mention their presence in the course of this report, that is far to be finished. I still have 350 pictures to post.

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Marks

Really nice elephant group shots. Love the flecks of "avian white" against all that green.

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Game Warden

I still have 350 pictures to post.

 

@@Bush dog I'm looking forward to them. You will be bringing a bit of Botswana into my life.

 

Matt

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Bush dog

Buffaloes

 

The concession made its reputation on buffaloes and lions. For lions, I was more than satisfied. By cons, regarding the buffaloes, I had every reason to be disappointed. I did not see any herd, only five dagga boys in all and for all.

 

One solitary.

 

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Shortly after, a group of three, invaded by buffalo flies. Everything was good to try to get rid of them - a big scratch against a bush, roll in a pond, a little help of a friend - , vainly they returned each time to the load. I can’t imagine their sufferings.

 

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And on the last game drive, another solitary.

 

post-48450-0-67824900-1459756681_thumb.jpg

 
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madaboutcheetah

Mike, where did the herds disappear to? Paradise island?

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Bush dog

@@madaboutcheetah

 

Don't know, Hari. Yes, perhaps on Paradise Island. That would confirm Vundi's assumption concerning the presence of the Skimmer pride on Paradise Island?

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Big_Dog

Lovely dagga boy shots. I think they make better photography subjects than a sprawling herd anyway, especially the lone one and his egret companion.

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Geoff

..and I thought Australia was the fly capital of the world. That would drive you nuts.

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TonyQ

@@Bush dog

Lovely pictures of the elephants and the buffalo - the number of flies is amazing!

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Bush dog

The Tsaro pride

 

Third sighting (third game drive)

 

They were still at the same place we saw them during the first game drive but this time, out of the thick bush.

 

post-48450-0-89864700-1459832105_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-11716200-1459832113_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-90893400-1459832121_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-54457300-1459832133_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-89407500-1459832159_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-79193600-1459832179_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-97677300-1459832192_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-87988800-1459832208_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-75306200-1459832226_thumb.jpg

 

Fourth sighting (fourth game drive)

 

Like the previous morning, it was still dark when we saw, and still close to the camp, the male with the short mane but this time, it was joined by its partner.

 

post-48450-0-99768700-1459832240_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-91103500-1459832254_thumb.jpg

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Tom Kellie

post-49296-0-65149000-1459833372_thumb.jpg

~ @@Bush dog

 

You hooked my attention with this exceptional image.

It's the very essence of my childhood daydreams — to be eye-to-eye with a lion cub.

I have no idea how you photographed this, but the result is easily one of the most appealing images I've ever seen in Safaritalk.

Thank you so much for posting it, and the other lion photographs.

Tom K.

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madaboutcheetah

Mike, those the two coalition males of the Tsaro pride?

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks, Mike - the Short mane fellow was always asleep when I saw him. I only got a good look at the Blonde mane dude!

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Bush dog

@@madaboutcheetah

 

Same scenario for me, Hari. I had excellent looks of the blonde mane during the last three game drives when he joined the rest of the pride. There will be only one more sighting of the short mane and it was so deeply asleep that it did not even heard the car when we arrived and stopped a few meters from it.

Did Vundi tell you that the short mane nearly died about half a year ago. Males, was it from the Skimmer pride, I do not remember, beat it almost to dead. Vundi found it agonizing. The day after, he went back to see if it was dead. O surprise, it was feeding on a lechwe and looking much more better. As it could not have killed it itself, being too weak, Vundi suspected that it had stolen it from a leopard.

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madaboutcheetah

Yes, Mike - he did mention that story ........... We looked long and hard, didn't find the Skimmer pride (who Vundi assumed were in Paradise island) - but, we stumbled across two nomadic males that were so shy of vehicles that they bolted the moment they saw our landcruiser. I think Kops saw them too the previous day!

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Kitsafari

the two pride males look pretty young. @@Bush dog, do u know their estimated ages?

 

good capture of those cub's eyes - they look mature beyond his/her years.

 

I felt so sorry for the buffaloes - to be blighted by so many flies! no wonder the herd has escaped, not from you of course, but from those flies!

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Bush dog

@@Kitsafari

 

I do not know their age, but I guess they must be 6 or 7?

 

The cub's eyes are indeed full of determination. It's the male that was already showing signs of dominance. As you certainly noticed, it was my favorite, already 8 pictures in this report and more to come.

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Marks

Absurd number of flies! Great buffalo series, though. I've really come to like these animals - so much character.

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Atravelynn

@@PersonalPangea

 

Your marketing literature is very interesting.

 

In reference to species not present, I mentioned that giraffe and impala were absent from the main island, the one where most of the game drives are taking place. I did see giraffes near the air strip and perhaps it's possible to see impalas there also. As far as I am concerned, during my five days stay, I did not see any impala at all. If hyena is commonly seen, I am sorry, I did not see one at all. Concerning the other species you mentioned, lechwe, kudu, tsessebe, warthog, leopard, side-striped jackal, bat-eared foxes and birdlife, as well as reedbuck and bushbuck, I was about to mention their presence in the course of this report, that is far to be finished. I still have 350 pictures to post.

One more absent species that I did see, and 4 of them. Wildebeest. They were on their migration across the air strip. It was funny what a stir they caused, simply because they were uncommon.

 

Interesting on the absence of buffalo. I have been told that Feb/Mar is a good time for seeing herds and for lions hunting calves. I guess it is such a big place that the herds can be gone for a while. But you made full use of the daga boys that were around, and all the little fleas around them. Glad the lions were out and about. Also glad you are doing safaris again now.

 

This short little vignette is heavy on the intensity of wild Africa:

 

"Did Vundi tell you that the short mane nearly died about half a year ago. Males, was it from the Skimmer pride, I do not remember, beat it almost to dead. Vundi found it agonizing. The day after, he went back to see if it was dead. O surprise, it was feeding on a lechwe and looking much more better. As it could not have killed it itself, being too weak, Vundi suspected that it had stolen it from a leopard."

Edited by Atravelynn
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Bush dog

Birds

 

Here is a first selection of species present on and above the plains.

 

 

 

 

Spur-winged geese.

 

 

 

post-48450-0-84396200-1459941839_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-79571500-1459941862_thumb.jpg

 

 

African fish-eagle subadult.

 

 

 

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Denham’s bustard.

 

 

 

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Woodland kingfisher.

 

 

 

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Squacco Heron.

 

 

 

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Little bee-eater.

 

 

 

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Double-banded sandgrouse.

 

 

 

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African hoopoe.

 

post-48450-0-45241000-1459942020_thumb.jpg

 

Blacksmith Plover.

 

post-48450-0-86655000-1459942038_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tom Kellie

~ @@Bush dog

 

Greatly admire the bird images.

Must add that the hoopoe portrait is just about as good as it gets.

Superb composition and luminosity.

Nothing too much...nothing left out.

Such a fine bird photo inspires me.

Thank you.

Tom K.

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@@Bush dog great TR so far. Wining and dining with the Jouberts, what a awesome experience.

That young male Lion cub on page 1 has some serious swagger to him.

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@@Geoff , as far as Fly capitals go you should come here to the Pilbara (WA) in summer time. They come out in good numbers. :(

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