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Zambia June 2016. No noise. Only sounds.

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@@Hads - many thanks; it could perhaps be a bit better...aardvarks wrestling with bush pigs?


@@martywilddog - glad you like them and looking forward to seeing yours with new GoPro; working on the next one now.


kind regards



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Day 2 in the bush (Luwi Bush Camp):   We like bush camps because of their remoteness and the fact that you are immersed in the sights, smells and sounds of the bush and Luwi is about as remote as it

Day 4 Luwi Bush Camp sleep out   It was bitterly cold last night and we had the sleep out planned for tonight. My wife had not fancied it last year because she really does not like the cold and I ha

Hello Safaritalkers and guests.   Welcome to this my second trip report and this time I have not left it six months to present. What follows could maybe be tacked on to that first report as it invol


Day 8 Kakuli, South Luangwa:


Quite warm through the night but we're used to that and that didn't disturb us but the ever present grunting hippos and a pride of lions roaring in the hours before dawn definitely did. Still, bush sounds are way better than city noise any day.




Just the two of us again this morning and another walk. We had not done much walking in the immediate area around Kakuli so it was nice to have Z and Julius lead us out of camp knowing that we were headed to the Luangwa river. Not 1 minute out of the driveway and Z sees a spotted hyena just heading away from us and into thick bush. We followed for a while then detoured and walked onto a plain of sorts that bordered the Luangwa. Puku, impala, hippo, storks, eagles and elephants in all directions - some near and some far - and we were loving it.














We walked downstream and Julius pointed out a small herd of 5 elephants getting ready to cross from the GMA back into the park. They were a long way off from our position but we wandered closer and set up so that we could watch and photograph.
















Moments after the first group crossed we watched another 6 do the same thing. This group had more bulls and they had that swagger that lets you know who they are. We lost track of time as we watched them cross then throw dust about before climbing up the bank on a hippo path that I am guessing these elephants use a lot.


















In all of our trips to Africa that was one of the best sightings we have ever had. I did manage to capture it on the GoPro but being wide angle/POV they are not exactly filling the frame. My Nikon D750 with 80-400 did okay and these images are a few of the ones from the trip that I will process in RAW and print and off.


We waited for the elephants to get out of the area and then proceeded on our walk with Julius asking us questions about various plants and animals to see if we had been paying attention over the last few walks. Luckily, we had and we passed his test. I am sure that the guides do appreciate it when guests learn from them.


Our tea stop today was on the edge of a wet area and we watched all sorts of birds as they went about their daily routines as we sipped our tea and ate our biscuits. The runny nose that I had picked up was now in full flow and Julius suggested that I use a bush remedy of sniffing crushed wild basil - I am eager to try these type of things and was soon sneezing like my life depended on it. Julius had a good laugh and I wondered if I'd been set up (I hadn't, the tea porter was using it to sort out his cold and his was clearing up nicely).










We walked back to camp and had a nice cold drink with Claire and updated her with our sightings. After a shower and a bit of packing, we had another guest join us for lunch and another coming in after lunch for the evening activity. Mick, a tour guide from Australia and Monica a solo traveller from Germany (who had just come from Lower Zambezi and Old Mondoro...our next camp on this trip).


Mick was easy to get on with and we had a good natter about where he had been etc. and soon found out that we had something in common - Ironman Triathlon. Mick had done a couple and I have done...well a few more than that. I think the lunchtime conversation ended with an invite to Australia for me and an invite out to us for Mick!


We met for afternoon tea and I tried a few variations of GoPro/monopod to see if I could catch the swallows feeding the chicks; version 4 (monopod with GoPro and head torch) worked and I was able to dangle the camera over the nest and see that there were 3 hungry chicks (on the video at end of this post).






Monica joined us for tea - lovely lady and also easy to get along with - and informed us that she was a bit nervous about walking so we asked Julius if we could do a short walk before our planned night drive and he was more than happy to do so. We drove a short way, stopping to watch warthogs and an elephant and thenparked by the river and then proceeded to walk a circular route.






Monica was soon put at ease when within a few minutes we were watching a giraffe and her calf as they ventured out of the trees into an open area.




















The light was very nice and we stayed with them for quite a while before continuing our walk back to the vehicle for our last South Luangwa sundowner.






Our night drive was actually pretty quiet although we did have a very unusual sighting of a crocodile a long way from water and Julius had told us that he had seen them hunting puku and impala at night before. I had no idea.


This pic is the best of 3 that I got as the croc moved out of the grass and across the road back towards the river.




As it was our last night in SLNP we had slightly more alcohol than usual but I did have a runny nose and Jamesons is medicinal I think? We were sad to know that this was our last night in the area but we knew that we were likely to return and we also had Lower Zambezi to go to next. And we still had a full morning of activities tomorrow.


GoPro video compilation of the day for those that have the time to watch.



kind regards




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Excellent ellie sightings and very cute giraffe.

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The only thing wriong with booking your next safari before you even get home is that you just have longer to wait for it.


You're really enjoying this, and it is very enjoyable to read too.

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@@Geoff - thank you; It looks like part of the umbilical cord is still visible so this was a very young and cute giraffe.


@@pault - thank you also; the trick with holidays is to book two a year - six months apart and then you always have one coming soon! Now I just have to deal with a nagging wife moaning that we will have no savings or pension funds for our future....


And thank you to everyone for the reads and likes!


kind regards



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I love all your photos of the leopards. I can't wait to return to South Luangwa in 2018.

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Great photos @@deano - especially the elephant crossings and the late afternoon giraffe & baby.

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Looking forward to the next chapter@@deano!

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@@optig - many thanks; we might well be back in South Luangwa 2018 too.


@@ZaminOz - thank you too; we really enjoyed both sightings and more so because we were on foot.


@@Hads - thank you also; next installment coming and its a shorter one as it is transfer day.


kind regards



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Day 9 transfer from Kakuli, South Luangwa to Old Mondoro, Lower Zambezi:


We knew that this morning would be either a short walk and then a game drive to Mfuwe Airport for the transfer to LZNP or just a longer game drive. Being that we were on a walking safari we were happy to do the short walk and Monica joined us while Mick set out on his own walk to Mchenja - another NCS camp further upstream.


We headed out upstream and dropped down across the confluence of the dry Luwi and the Luangwa and watched and listened to hippos from the river bank. The hippos are generally okay with your presence if they have quick access to deep water so we were able to get quite close and observe them for a while. We then headed into the park and through a forest of raintrees and then out onto a large open plain.










We were all surprised to see a lone puku youngster just laid out looking sorry for itself and then even more surprised when we saw a distant hyena (or rather Julius saw it...we saw it after he pointed to it!) that was still out in the late morning.





Z then found the remains of a puku - all that left was the lower part of one leg and it was speculated that a leopard had probably made the kill and been robbed by the hyena. We spent the next 30 minutes with heads pointed up into the trees looking hopefully for a leopard but no luck. We'll never know what happened but the next picture I took was of the Kakuli camp sign and it is always exciting to know that the life and death struggles of the bush happen whenever and wherever the animals decide.






As is now common for us on walks, a buffalo caused a detour just before our arrival back in camp but not enough to spoil that extra time we had to get ready for the drive to the airport.








Another guide would be driving us today - Adam - and after saying goodbye to staff and guests and in particular Claire, Julius and Z, we were off on the drive back along the Luangwa and across the bridge out of the park.


We were seeing a lot of animals on the drive and Adam stopped often for us to watch and photograph. One such stop was the lagoon at Mfuwe Lodge just before the park exit. We spent a good amount of time there photographing baboons, a monitor lizard, a pied kingfisher and a malachite kingfisher who had caught lunch.




































Funny how all that happens in close proximity and within about 15 minutes. Have I mentioned that I love Africa? That was actually the last photo that I took today so a fairly short report except for words to describe the rest of the journey to LZNP just for the sake of completeness.


Not far to the park exit now and the sightings continued all the way with a few elephants crossing the road just before the bridge and even giving us a bit of a head shake for good measure.


But eventually we had to leave South Luangwa so that the next phase of our journey could begin and so we exited over the bridge and were soon on the main road through Mfuwe. I find that piece of road almost as interesting as the park itself. Everyday Zambian folk going about their everyday life while strangers in open sided vehicles wave at them.


We had asked if we had time for a stop at Tribal Textiles and Adam was happy enough to oblige and that made Mrs deano very happy and she bought gifts for friends at work, new cushion covers for us (I refuse to redecorate again!) and some jewelry made from confiscated snare wires. The Jewelry is a much better use of wire if you ask me. We only had 20 minutes available before we had to leave for the airport but that was just enough time for Mrs deano to spend some money and get her fix of retail therapy. I was happy to sit and relax and take a bit of GoPro footage before we headed to the airport.


We got to Mfuwe just in time for the flight to Lusaka and even though Mfuwe is very small and both our bags were checked together and put on the same cart, one of them did not make it to Lusaka. Thankfully it was mine and we were assured that it would follow us to Lower Zambezi tomorrow.


After we had given all the details to Proflight we had time to eat before we checked in for the short flight to Jeki. I do like Lusaka Airport and the new one being built by the Chinese will likely not have the same charm but perhaps it will serve as a new memory for us on future trips and maybe become as familiar and charming as the current one has.


The flight to Jeki was a little bit late but we still got to see the Zambezi Escarpment and then the river and it was as beautiful and fantastic as I had remembered it to be. A few other passengers got off at Jeki but we were the only ones for Old Mondoro and after a few minutes to collect our one bag that had made it onto the flight we were on our way across Jeki Plain.


It was great to be back in Lower Zambezi and on our way to Old Mondoro. We arrived to a warm welcome from stand in hosts Jake and Shelley who proved to be very capable hosts and great company and like Ryan and Pam last year, extremely good at making sure all of the guests got to do the activities they wanted. It was just about dark by the time we got "checked-in" and we had the chance of a short night drive before dinner but the wife wanted a soak in the bath and since I had only one set of clothes until sometime tomorrow I decided that I should do my best to make them last so I reluctantly declined and instead took stock of my batteries and cards. Jake was kind enough to offer me spare clothes as was Pete - half of Pete and Maria fellow guests who we met over dinner. A very friendly and well travelled Swedish couple and we had great fun with them in the couple of nights we spent with them.


We spent the evening chatting with Jake and Pete and Maria and ended up telling the stories of how we all met our respective partners and ended up together, married or whatever. Some very funny stories there with Jake and Shelley being the clear winner (a new guy on his first week - borrows a vehicle - reverses into a car - smashes window - offers to buy a drink to make up for it...and Shelley confirmed it was all true).


A great meal, great company, great place and of course they had Jamesons here too. My cold was lingering and I had no fresh clothes but I didn't care. Roll on tomorrow and our first LZNP activity.


GoPro video summarizes the day; really glad we bought that gadget as it is easy to use and hardly takes up any space.



kind regards



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Day 10 Old Mondoro, Lower Zambezi (Part 1):


A view of the Zambezi was a great way to start today and we were happy to be back in one of our favorite places.


First picture was of a buffalo - one of a few that hangs around in the open area next to camp and we had seen a group of 5 last year and wondered if he might be one of those. Like all of the places we stayed in Zambia you really have to keep your head on a swivel and be on the lookout for large game. The camps next to rivers were a magnet for hippo, elephant and buffalo and we saw them all often wherever we stayed but Old Mondoro seemed to be busy at all times.




My cold was in full stream now so I decided that Amarula in my porridge was in order - purely medicinal - and since we would be going out on a game drive and not walking I would not be a danger to anyone if I had more than "2 units". We opted to drive since I was still in the clothes I had on from yesterday although I did have a spare shirt and undies so not too bad! Jake had agreed to drive back to the airstrip this afternoon to collect my bag (Proflight had been contacted and assured us the bag was in Lusaka already).






We were teamed up with a guide from last year - Sebastian who we had really liked and got along well with. Actually, we've never met a guide we didn't like but Sebastian just seemed to be our cup of tea. We had done a game drive on our first morning last year with Sebastian and were lucky enough to find a lioness and three cubs so imagine our surprise when we go out this year in search of a different lioness also with three cubs. These cubs were younger though and the lioness unsurprisingly a little more cautious but sure enough, thanks to Sebastian's amazing hearing, we soon saw one cub and caught a glimpse of the mother. We could hear soft contact calls and Sebastian thought he could hear a male approaching and that the lioness was telling the cubs to stay close. We were the only vehicle in the immediate area and since we were the only two guests we were happy to wait to see if the other cubs would come out. It took half an hour but we were rewarded when all three cubs came out and started playing and being inquisitive around us.






























They were in and out of the shade and all over the place but it was a really nice sighting and one that we felt very privileged to have seen. It felt like the lioness was trusting of us and allowed the cubs to come up to the vehicle before she took them away before the male or anything else got any closer. A great start to the day.


Next up was a large herd of buffalo on their way for a drink; Well over 200 of them and although we were looking directly into the sun it was still worth rattling off a few images. A great scene with the buffalo, the dust and the birds that follow them.












Sebastian drove us back up onto the plains and after a short stop to repair a flat tire we stopped for tea.


Shortly after resuming the drive we see a lot of large birds landing in the bush (by we I of course mean our guide) and we proceeded to investigate. It was a fresh kill - a kudu by the looks of it - but no predators around just a lot of storks and vultures. Sebastian drove around towards a few likely spots where he thought something might be resting and sure enough we spot a lone male drinking in a small waterhole. He was very nervous - I would be if I lived out there on my own - and I had to be really slow and deliberate with my movements in the vehicle as I maneuvered to get a better angle.






I didn't get off many pictures before he was on the move. He went slowly back to claim his kill but after a brief attempt to frighten off the new diners he decided that he was full enough and that since it was getting hot that he should probably look for somewhere to sleep for the rest of the day. We followed him for a short time with Sebastian positioning the vehicle so that we got a good view of him walking directly at us which made me very happy as the one thing I do like to see on every trip above all else is a lion walking straight at us with those big heavy paws slapping the ground. Have I mentioned that I love Africa?
















A very pleasant drive back to camp with baboons, impala, waterbuck, kudu and elephants everywhere.












Part 2 to follow

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Day 10 Old Mondoro (part 2):


And then back to camp with time for a shower and a nice lunch and a catch up with Pete and Maria. Spent the rest of the afternoon watching the river and the life around it before dozing off only to be woken by the sound of snapping branches. If you've heard an elephant feeding then you would recognize the sound and I carefully opened the door to the chalet to find him not far from us and about half way down to the main dining area. He moved off in good time though so our walk to afternoon tea did not require use of the radio to request either the game vehicle to collect us nor an escort.


















Our plan this afternoon was a spot of fishing on the Zambezi and since I am not really a fisherman I get the chance to set up the GoPro and take photos and drink Jamesons. Tough gig eh? After meeting some new guests - Jane and Hiddo from California; more great folks - we hopped aboard HMS Old Mondoro and headed off upstream. It was absolutely gorgeous on the river and there were hippos, elephants, herons and all types of birds to keep me busy with the binoculars. I did try some fishing and we both got a few bites but no fish this time. I think Mrs deano was a bit miffed as I know that she likes to catch fish to show her dad who is a keen fisherman but we had 3 more nights so maybe we could try again. I would be happy to just go out on that river as I think would anybody if they got the chance. It is magical when the sun starts to dip and the hippos start shouting as the water turns an orange pink color.








Just after the sun had set we met up with a game vehicle upstream and joined Pete and Maria who had gone out on an afternoon drive. They had already seen 2 leopards and the male lion we had watched earlier. I wasn't bothered....really I wasn't. We had had a beautiful time on the Zambezi and we had about 2 hours of night drive to come.


The red filters were put on the lights and off we went and would you believe it the first thing we see is...another leopard. She didn't appear to be hunting and so for a brief while the normal lights were put on so we could get a more regular view. It doesn't matter to me - red light, yellow light, white light or no light; we were watching a leopard at night.






Next up was a porcupine. This creature was sniffing around not far from the leopard but she didn't seem to realize it was there.




We drove on a short distance and would you believe it there was another leopard. That's 4 for the drive and 2 for us. (Sebastian said that was commonplace and his record was 7 in one drive with 4 in one sighting!). She was clearly watching the same porcupine and with a look that said more than she was just keeping an eye on it.














We stayed for a while but the leopard probably knew better and showed no further interest and so we got the chance to see her in normal light before she moved off and we did the same. Fantastic.


The rest of there drive was just as exciting with civets, genets, a possible missed leopard cub when "...something small..." disappeared around the base of a tree and we also caught a glimpse of 2 honey badgers but they were way off and just at the edge of the light.




On our drive back to camp we saw what Sebastian and I thought was a large male leopard on the edge of the plain looking down into the woodlands. When we got to that position there was nothing there and up on the plain itself a distant jackal running away from us so maybe that is what we saw but exciting all the same.


Back at camp a great meal and conversation after I had been reunited with my missing bag. My cold was starting to ease up but I had some more medicine anyway before an early night. Pete and Maria leaving tomorrow and we would be sorry to see them go but Jane and Hiddo were equally good fun with Hiddo (fire-fighter) and Mrs deano (Paramedic) hitting it off straight away.


GoPro video - all of these are a bit longer than I would like but I know that friends and family like to see what we get up to in a bit more detail. This one is quite long at 4 1/2 minutes but with lion cubs in the morning, a fishing trip in the afternoon and 2 leopards on a night drive it its tough to squeeze that into a shorter time.



kind regards



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Very cute Lion cubs! And a White-Headed Vulture, never seen one of these. Your Leopard sightings are extraordinary, quality and quantity-wise. About your Honey Badger, that looks more like a Civet to me?

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thanks @michael-ibk; I think there are 3 types of vulture there. We got lucky with the cubs and extra lucky with leopards. That is a civet that we saw earlier (in between leopards!) but...I should have been clearer with my text - the honey badgers were too far away to photograph but isn't that always the case?


kind regards



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Wow, amazing pictures. The Lion Cubs are absolutely stunning. As the other pictures as well.


Great Trip Report as well or as usual from your side. What's really nice, is the fact, that I've visited all the Camps as well as you did. I was on the Norman Carr Circuit in October 2014. Nice to see the camps and area in a completely different time of the year.


Old Mondoro and Chiawa last year, also in June. Definitely worthwile to go back there, in my opinion one of the finest Safari experience Africa has to offer.


Waiting for your next updates!







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@@deano - great report! It has really kicked into high gear for me now with those beautifully framed giraffe photos, the lion cubs, the porcupine, civet and that shot of the leopard in the headlights. Thanks

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Wow, @@deano, that is one heck of a first day!!


Serious cute-ness alarm with those cubs! They are so young and fuzzy still. Unbelievable that you got that sighting all to yourself as well!


The fierce lion stare gave me goose bumps! That is one mighty animal!


I love your leopard in black and white photo's! They deserve an honorary spot in your living room, pure art!

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@@deano thanks for a classic trip Report.

Amarula on your cereal - awesome.

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lovely lovely lovely @@deano

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@@Grasshopper_Club - thanks but you are too kind. I prefer think of my pictures as being pictures of something amazing rather than amazing pictures (but that might be what you meant!); I can see another trip to Zambia in our future and since we know that Norman Carr and Old Mondoro are top level operators then we see no reason to try anyone else. I'd like to see it a bit later in the year but we are restricted travel wise in our hurricane season which peaks about September.


@@lmSA84 - thank you also; glad you are following along.


@@martywilddog - agreed it was a great day; thanks for your comments. Leopard pic will be reprocessed and printed as large as I can get it.


@@Hads - classic trip report is the best compliment anyone could pay me so thank you; I like to document the whole thing and not just the big game. Have I mentioned that I love Africa? Doesn't everyone put Amarula in their porridge? Like Jimmy Buffet said..."its 5 o'clock somewhere..."


@@Towlersonsafari -hello again; lovely to have you following along.

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Day 11 Old Mondoro:


​We were losing Pete and Maria today so it was nice that we were able to join them on their final activity - a short(er) walk AM so that they could get back and pack before departing. So, after Amarula porridge and fresh muffins Sebastian drove us out towards the plains where before we stopped I eventually managed to photograph baboons without them showing me their backsides (they always do that don't they?). After ditching the outer layers of clothing we then set off us on our walk in an anti-clockwise (ish) loop through the woodlands just below the plains where we stopped often to chat about tracks, plants, insects and a good story about Sebastian's mother who used to live in the area before it was a park and was able to educate him as to real uses of plants for cooking. A personal touch to routine information for him and it just meant a bit more to hear it that way.












As well as the information and the stories we were always watching something - be it a bird, a warthog or more often than not a baboon and impala feeding party and we were fortunate this morning as we were able to get up close to two bull elephants feeding on Winter Thorns. We sneaked up behind a termite mound and watched them for a long time and they never even noticed us which made the sighting even nicer.








We were in an area that I recognized as being where we had seen the lion yesterday and also the large herd of buffalo but the area was pretty quiet today - typical Africa - all or nothing but still amazing with plenty of general game such as baboons, impala and tons of my favourite animals - waterbuck. Lower Zambezi must be a hot spot for them and they are everywhere and in large groups.


Next up, we spent a lot of time with an almost complete hippo skeleton and were able to identify some of the larger bones as well as the tusks from the skull. It was interesting to get up close to one of the animals that we had being seeing and hearing a lot of this trip and in particular the tusks which are almost like basic hand tools and very very sharp.






After the hippo skeleton we took a detour across what was left of a lagoon (buffalo in the way....again). We had watched fish eagles and marabou here a few times and now we knew why. The mud appeared to be moving which it was but only because of the cat fish that were in there trying to pull the last of the oxygen out of the remaining liquid. The birds must have been full to bursting as these were big fish and easy pickings. Speaking of birds, it was Southern Ground Hornbill day today. Must have been a convention or something.
















Just before we got back to the vehicle we skirted the edge of that plain that we had driven in the dark last night. Remember that male leopard in the darkness that was not there and could actually have been a jackal? Well, there were tracks of a large male leopard right where Sebastian and I thought was saw leopard. That would have made 5 yesterday.


We had a tea stop back at the vehicle and then headed back to camp slightly early to give Pete and Maria time to pack up, eat and get their flight and that gave us a bit of extra time around camp to just catch our breath and relax. I actually enjoyed that time as there was plenty of animal activity in and around camp including an elephant that crossed the Zambezi while we were having tea (wine for Mrs deano).










For the afternoon activity we were paired up with yesterday's new arrivals Jane and Hiddo and we decided on a game drive. We covered a lot of ground and saw lots of general game (I don't really like that term but you know what I mean) and birds of a all types and we also spent a lot of time with elephants including a lone bull who posed nicely on the edge of the plain and then a small herd that crossed the plain with the escarpment in the background while we had sundowners. We stayed a while as it was just magical with the fading light and it was quite dark when we left.






















On the drive back to camp we saw countless genets and mongoose and again caught a glimpse of a honey badger but sadly nothing that I could photograph. Those critters are crafty.


So, a much quieter day today and very peaceful but still fantastic. There is nowhere like the Lower Zambezi and its Winter Thorn forests for even when the animals are proving hard to spot, the scenery is still amazing and the birdlife outstanding.


GoPro video a bit short today so a bit more of the routine included - I drink a lot of tea it seems...and Jamesons!



kind regards



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Awesome! Looks like Lower Zambezi really delivered for you again!

Would you mind sharing the camera settings for your fantastic night leopard pics (the colour ones). They came out really well for infra red lighting!

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@@deano Great Photo of the waterbuck through the trees.

My wife had family Friends who Lived in the cayman Islands for a for a Few years, 2 years ago they returned back to South Africa. He was an accountant.

I Love Africa Too Along with amarula.

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As said before, great report @@deano!


Awaiting next installement patiently :rolleyes:

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Your pictures bring back (very good) memories@@deano

It's really nice to see pictures and read about a place where you've been yourself!

We liked our stay at Old Mondoro very much - our "tent" with a view not only over the Zambezi but also overlooking the lagoon, the restroom with a view :) in the lounge area, the park with the lovely landscape (loved the trees!) and of course the wildlife we watched. Lion cubs are still on our bucket list!!!


I remember Sebastian as my paddling partner on the Discovery Channel/Zambezi and my husband and I nowadays laugh a lot when thinking of that day .

You know, I took the paddling seriously and was totally exhausted at the end of it! I was so busy with paddling that I couldn't even take more than 2 or 3 pictures!

I didn't want to leave all the work to Sebastian.

When I talked about that at dinner all the other guests laughed at me - they hadn't lifted a finger during that trip, only at a certain area, where we had to paddle past some hippos quickly. And of course to take lots of pics!


Did you really had tea with Amarula? Have to taste that (always Amarula there in our household).

Looking forward to your next installment!

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