Jump to content

Hwange NP (March 2016)


Grasshopper_Club
 Share

Recommended Posts

After heading back home from a fantastic and very productive Green Season Safari in Zimbabwe I would like to share my trip here, as I did so often noticed and enjoyed reading trip reports from others.

 

The Trip was quite easy and clear, Hwange NP! When going only for about 10 days to a Safari, I like to concentrate to 1 Single Park.

 

It was planned not to stay in Vic Falls, but due to heavy rains at arrival, my light flight airplane to Hwange NP couldn't take of. So I missed 1 Day @ Davisons, but was able to enjoy the beatiful Vic Fall Hotel :D

 

My itinerary looked like this after the 1st night amendment.

 

Day 1 (Victoria Falls Hotel)

Day 2 (Davisons Camp)

Day 3 (Davisons Camp)

Day 4 (Little Makalolo)

Day 5 (Little Makalolo)

Day 6 (Little Makalolo)

Day 7 (Camp Hwange)

Day 8 (Camp Hwange)

Day 9 (Camp Hwange)

 

 

Overall I must say it was a very good combination and it was absolutely stunning to see so many animals during a complete different time of the year. The sighthings were definately stunning.

 

I jumped one a BA plane on Wednesday afternoon directly heading out of the office and went to Zuerich airport, straight to London Heathrow were I enjoyed the newly set up Fortnum & Mason Bar.....very fine indeed.

 

post-50455-0-02551800-1459797674_thumb.jpg

 

After that short interruption the flight to Johannesburg was ready for me. Arrived in Johannesburg in time, so connecting flights were ready to Victoria Falls. The weather in SA was still nice, coming closer to Victoria Falls more and more clouds are in the sky. Arrived in Victoria Falls and seeing the first Thunderstorms in the near...

 

After arrival greetings we were informed that we have had to stay overnight in Victoria Falls, as the fligt into the park wouldn't be possible in heavy rains like this.

 

So enjoyed 1 night @ Victoria Falls Hotel :D

 

post-50455-0-45159000-1459798524_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-50511300-1459798536_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-84414700-1459798544_thumb.jpg

 

The next day started early at 6.00 AM, as the drive down to the Main Camp would take about 3h and the Drive on a Safari Vehicle for another 3h Game Drive in the Park, so that we should arrive at 12.00 AM @ Davisons.

 

First sightings on the way!

 

post-50455-0-20240400-1459798900_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-85551900-1459798913_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-14784000-1459798930_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-30786500-1459798946_thumb.jpg

 

During that transfers we were hit by a thunderstrom on the open vehicle, jumped into the Poncho, but after 20min heavy rains, we were soaked up with water and very happy to arrive at Camp and have a hot shower.

 

Davisons is a very nice Camp, its standards are very high and it was a very nice stay there.

 

post-50455-0-35975400-1459799581_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-92381900-1459799603_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-74572200-1459799591_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-23870900-1459799632_thumb.jpg

 

after Lunch the heavy rains started again...

 

post-50455-0-39941200-1459799621_thumb.jpg

 

They've told us that the rains in Zimabwe arrived very late this year and that they just experienced rains for about 10 days before the arrival. But I can tell you folks, that this was the first and and only time to get wet by the rains. Mostly the showers in the next 10 days were in the afternoon at Siesta Time, but never again in that harsh extent. The last few days of the trip were even without any rains and the most beautiful weather...

 

So let us start with the Safari:

 

Day 1 (Davisons)

 

A lot of Lions, in the Wilderness Concessions we've spoted every day some Lions...

 

Goliath Heron in front of the Camp at the Waterhole.

post-50455-0-24028600-1459799865_thumb.jpg

 

Finally I've seen my first Sable!

post-50455-0-13902200-1459799871_thumb.jpg

 

The first of a lot of Lion interactions began...a group of 4 Lions coming out to the track after the rains..

 

post-50455-0-14592800-1459799880_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-51905500-1459799886_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-47475700-1459799896_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-18284300-1459799913_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-95912700-1459799927_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-41702800-1459799933_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-71177200-1459799941_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-54855200-1459799953_thumb.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Grasshopper_Club Following along already. I have great memories of Hwange NP and would love to return.

 

Matt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So nice of you to post a preview as I'm heading out to Zim this Saturday. Looking forward to the rest of your TR, but so far it looks like a great start of your trip!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 2 (Davisons)

 

The Day started with dry weather which was very nice. Our Guide Dixon showed us on a nice map, to which direction we are heading to this Day.

 

The Destination was Ngamo Pan, a very game riche area of the Concession and the Park as well.

 

Way down...

 

post-50455-0-32895300-1459803000_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-17304700-1459803012_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-93117200-1459804899_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-17264400-1459803028_thumb.jpg

 

 

Arriving at Ngamo:

 

We spoted a lot of blue wildebeests, split up in several groups, but definatly several hundreds a total spread over this huge Pan.

 

post-50455-0-20619400-1459803125_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-31910000-1459803145_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-94083500-1459803134_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-61131600-1459803170_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-99295000-1459803179_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-49617200-1459803200_thumb.jpg

 

Zebras have been there as well..

 

 

post-50455-0-15260500-1459803708_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-55764200-1459803720_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-02728900-1459803739_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-38680000-1459803754_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-35302700-1459803770_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-35302700-1459803770_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-83435700-1459803786_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-11037500-1459803803_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-88922100-1459803818_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-91318300-1459803833_thumb.jpg

 

 

post-50455-0-08272100-1459804916_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-24737000-1459804937_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-62837000-1459804951_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-64854800-1459805162_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-60892900-1459804971_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-67914000-1459804982_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-07637800-1459804991_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-55251700-1459805001_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-98212700-1459805012_thumb.jpg

 

 

post-50455-0-44488100-1459804960_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-64854800-1459805162_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-19193900-1459805168_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-78933100-1459805177_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-25669400-1459805182_thumb.jpg

 

First Eland....saw 4 on that Day....but definately more to follow..

post-50455-0-89139000-1459805188_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-81660800-1459805205_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-92786900-1459805222_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-50452700-1459805226_thumb.jpg

 

Something very nice this time was that a lot of different animals grouped up together, so it was easy to have 3 different mammals on 1 picture. Crowned Cranes were spoted in several different areas of the pan....even after that day, crowned cranes were easily seen every day also on the North of the Park.

 

post-50455-0-41984600-1459806922_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-28937800-1459806932_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-28937800-1459806932_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-01363400-1459806946_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-33533100-1459806949_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-37897100-1459806957_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-34726700-1459806961_thumb.jpg

 

After Lunch, I was heading back to my tent to rest, but was awaken suddenly after I heard I quite unusal noise in front of my tent, I saw a Roller trying to open up somithing very hard (sounds like a nut to me in the first place), but after I went closer, I see it....tries to open a Dung beetle...and opend it..

 

 

post-50455-0-97989500-1459807228_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-04762300-1459807239_thumb.jpg

 

 

Our Afternoon activity was heading towards the Back Pan area.

 

post-50455-0-85048700-1459807173_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-30722100-1459807191_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-00120800-1459807212_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-82681900-1459807165_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

Some nice Black Baked Jackal interactions...tries to catch some Guinea Fowls..

 

post-50455-0-84468800-1459807742_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-09380400-1459807749_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-23444900-1459807752_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-73545900-1459807755_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-84813100-1459807759_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-95227200-1459807768_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-85577700-1459807773_thumb.jpg

 

and some Lions for the ende of the day...and quite a lot of water in the tracks...

 

post-50455-0-79578600-1459807934_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-84633900-1459807944_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-10092000-1459807958_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-20737500-1459807976_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-61200300-1459807991_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-51695300-1459808000_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-86693400-1459807984_thumb.jpg

 

 

More to follow....with Day 3 and the following days....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking forward to your upcoming posts. Great photos! So glad to hear there are March rains.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

~ @@Grasshopper_Club

 

The first jackal running image is terrific!

It looks as if it's about to fly.

Thank you for posting such a rich assortment of photographs.

There's so much to look at and enjoy.

Tom K.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really enjoying your report - great photos! Especially love the running jackal, the baby zebra, the two wildebeest nursing babies next to each other, the first lion group with the lion resting its head on its pride-mate, and the roller catching the dung beetle!

Edited by SafariChick
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Grasshopper_Club - as @@Tom Kellie said - thank you for presenting a variety of images. Really like the jackal in full call; and the wildebeest calves in identical poses is brilliant. The roller sighting and pics - amazing that you heard it, saw it and managed to get such well composed and sharp pictures. Great stuff.

 

kind regards

 

deano.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lovely to see Hwange so lush and green. I was there last October, and it was very, very dry. Great you saw Sable straight away, and that Zebra foal is ube-cute. Looking forward to more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a place I would love to go one day, so i'll read your report with great interest. you saw your first kill! (LBR killing the dung beetle). didn't realise it could make so much noise.

 

Love the babies too, especially the zebra baby trying to stand up straight. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Grasshopper_Club, Lovely Sable looking down the track at you, something I hope to see one day, for now Ill just enjoy others experiences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Grasshopper_Club

 

Was it March, 10, the day you arrived in Hwange? I was also in Hwange. I remember that day, it rained non stop during 20 hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roads underwater in Hwange certainly makes it look very different, with of course all the greenery.

 

Nice you managed to get some more shots of a Sable antelope.

 

As with others, I have enjoyed the range of images particularly the jackal and the zebra foal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Bush dog

That's correct. Arrived @ the 10th in Vic Falls. Thus, arrived in Hwange at the 11th. I've read some newspapers that there was a drought 3-4 weeks before we left and I saw a lot of Cornfields, where evything was lush an green, but the Crops were unfortunately in a different condition.

 

@wilddog

@SafariChick

@Tom Kellie

@panamaleo

Thanks for your kind comments, and yes, more to follow...

 

@elefromoz

I can assure you, there will be more and more Sable.. :D

 

@deano

Yes exactly, the Roller sighting was definitely a highlight...but again after this trip I must confess that some of my most loved pictures are some extraordinary bird shoots, even I'm not a Birder at all...but getting more and more intersted.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 3

 

This was the day I've left Davisons in the direction of Little Makalolo Camp. We started early as usual and had some nice sightings around Camp, the weather was much nicer than in the days prior.

 

post-50455-0-08433900-1459880047_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-61630500-1459880054_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-06870200-1459880064_thumb.jpg

 

 

Then we spotted the first Elephant, I have to admit that we didn't seen a single Elephant on Day 2. The rains in the days before, let them disappear. But now they've been back...and with 2 trunks..

 

post-50455-0-34366800-1459880074_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-40838900-1459880120_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-52261600-1459880134_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-08917200-1459880304_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-22851500-1459880320_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-19906500-1459880335_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-73568000-1459880348_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-26360800-1459880362_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-75520300-1459880370_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-34497100-1459880382_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-95419700-1459880392_thumb.jpg

 

 

Lilac Breasted Roller

post-50455-0-52493200-1459880396_thumb.jpg

 

Kudus

post-50455-0-30746500-1459880407_thumb.jpg

 

 

On the way to Makalolo and Linkwasha Pan, our Guide stopped on the track quit harsh and we were able to see these little creatures in the track just 2m infront of our front tires...what a luck! And absolutely brilliant from the Guide to spot them, otherwise...

 

A Kurrichane (Small) Buttonquail with 4 tiny chicks maybe (2cm each in size terms), we watched them about for more than 20 minutes as they tried to get over the sandy edge of the track...when we left 2 of them managed to get above to mother..

 

post-50455-0-02983300-1459880425_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-79830600-1459880502_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-33055400-1459880506_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-49264900-1459880514_thumb.jpg

 

The mother went back always after a few minutes and when the chicks need her, she went down and take them under her plumage to warm them up again for a next effort..

 

post-50455-0-55210900-1459880526_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-40434100-1459880529_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-72551300-1459880531_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-53984800-1459880539_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-10041200-1459880543_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-65177100-1459880547_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-35971700-1459880545_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-81972100-1459880549_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-59136200-1459880562_thumb.jpg

 

That was a great sighting and one of my personal favourites.

 

So drive went on after that in direction of Makalolo Plains and spotted again some nice bird action..

 

Shaft Tailed Whydah

post-50455-0-38873300-1459881058_thumb.jpg

 

African Hoopoe...catched a worm

post-50455-0-26455300-1459881062_thumb.jpg

 

 

post-50455-0-52492600-1459881064_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-81993600-1459881074_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-93435100-1459881103_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-53995700-1459881087_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-39343400-1459881114_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-98164100-1459881091_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-05620000-1459882705_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-91118200-1459882711_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-63400000-1459882740_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-40306700-1459882722_thumb.jpg

 

After that nice drive we arrived at Little Makalolo at the right time...Lunch.

 

A very nice Camp and tents in particular. Extraordinary outfitting, loved it, the guiding we enjoyed from Charles the next 3 Day was absolutely marvelous.

 

post-50455-0-93321600-1459882748_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-48355700-1459882757_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-65355900-1459882767_thumb.jpg

 

The Camp was not fully booked and so we enjoyed the camp in a small group, nice bunch of peoples, nice laughs and nice drinks at the evenings...

 

After Tea Time, we went out again on a drive and were again back with a lot of sightings and pictures especially elephants.

 

post-50455-0-95121900-1459883076_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-34638300-1459883090_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-46511500-1459883124_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-89450100-1459883133_thumb.jpg

post-50455-0-46999100-1459883107_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-96809400-1459883143_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-37439800-1459883152_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-85405300-1459883155_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-85047600-1459883175_thumb.jpg

 

post-50455-0-52819600-1459883184_thumb.jpg

 

We ended up quit late for our sundowners and watched certainly 100 Elephants in different Groups crossing the Pan at Makkalolo, while we were enjoying our G&T..

post-50455-0-12895400-1459880415_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gorgeous buttonquails...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bet you had the place to yourself. The howling jackal was caught mid yelp. I can almost hear it. Your hearing is to be commended for using it to "sight" the roller. It looks like an Eurasian Roller is it just because it is wet? What a cool sighting.

 

The symmetrical wildebeest nursing was well planned by you and the cows.

 

Those buttonquail are exquisite, probably something you'd never see in the dry season. Nice little gems you were lucky to see.

 

You mention large ele herds. Somehow I thought the eles would be all but invisible in Hwange in March. An uncorrect assumption.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonderful pictures. I like the running jackal (as does everyone else!) and the sable, but the hoopoe is a marvel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Grasshopper_Club Would you mind uploading the Buttonquail series with your observations as a new topic in the Africa Birding subforum? As @@Atravelynn says, what an exquisite sighting probably rarely seen and it deserves to be highlighted as a stand alone entry.

 

Many thanks, Matt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great pictures @@Grasshopper_Club! The landscape looks very promising and very interesting to see the NP with that many water in the tracks and around. From your pictures it looks like you had the whole park for yourself. Did you encounter other safari goers during your stay?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Love the Buttonquails, and thanks for showing Little Mak in such detail - loved that camp. Is the lone Pelican in Somavundhla pan still around?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Grasshopper_Club

How great to see the park looking so green and lush. Interesting to see so much water on the trackat the beginning - but you certainly saw a lot of wildlife. Lovely elephants, the sable, the running jackal - but the button quail and chicks is wonderful. What a good guide to spot these- and then to be able to stay and watch their struggle. Small creatures can be just as fascinating as large ones when we take the time to watch them

 

A superb start to your report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@LarsS

Yes indeed, the Park looked like sometimes more Okavango like...especially in the South, where the soil under the grass is Kalahari Sand. In the North completely different, where the soil is more clay like..

Not many, in the Southern Wilderness Concessions only other vehicles from the other Wildernss Camps...probably 2-4 Vehicles a Day. As this is a private Concession within in the Park, no other vehicles are granted entry.

 

In the Northern Part of the Park, again a private Concession @ Camp Hwange. We didn't see any other cars. The only ones that we've seen were some local Zims @ Masuma, camping. But Vehicles from other Camps, never...

 

@Game Warden

Will open a new topic in the birding section asap, whit a bunch of pictures of these buttonquails. :D

 

@Geoff

Thanks for your comment!

 

@Atravelynn

I think the Roller who has opend the dung beetle was a Rufous-Crowned Roller....that's what I think, but I must warn you I'm not a "birder", probaby I'm wrong..

 

The Elepahnts are during that time of the year in the southern parts of the park, so to see them in the Wilderness Concession was sometimes even there tricky, but sometimes you're lucky and they just everywhere...especially the breeding herds.

 

In the North of the Park, only the lone male Bulls stay there during that time...most of them in must.

 

@michael-ibk

Yes, He's definately still around...

 

post-50455-0-62313700-1459972098_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Delighted to see that he's still ok, thank you! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rofous-crowned would be even more exciting. It just didn't look very lilac-y to me. I'm not a birder either. But I like them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy