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Botswana Safari May 29th 2016 to June 14th 2016


magsterone

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magsterone

Hi Everyone,

 

Chobe Bakwena Lodge was fantastic and the Pangolin Camera Safari exceeded our expectations. Sabina and Kim (?) were fantastic guides. We saw an African Wildcat fighting a Puff Adder!! I was never a Big 5 fan, I just wanted to see an unspoiled Africa, but the African Wildcat was something I was hoping to see even though I knew it was rare to see. A funny experience was flying out of Kasane. My daughters (16yo and 13yo) were very anxious until the pilot showed up. It was like having Brad Pitt as your pilot. Young, handsome, killer smile and extremely competent. Needless to say the girls could not hide their delight. I told them afterwards that Angelina Jolie needs to be our next pilot to even things out. ;)

Selinda Explorers Camp was incredible. We were not accustomed to that level of service. We are strictly a working class family who loves to travel and the service there was amazing! Victor was our guide and he was amazing! The food was amazing and their attention to detail is unparalled. The first time we saw lions was two lionesses and six cubs. We sat there for about an hour just watching them. We also saw a Honey Badger, male lion with three lionesses and the their cubs. We came across a herd of 300 Cape Buffalo around a waterhole. We saw too many elephants, zebras, giraffes, baboons and hippos to count. Definitely a rush.

The mobile camp by Safari Life Africa at Khwai Community Concession was great. Nando was our guide and he was amazing! He asked if there was anything we would like to see and we said it would be nice if possible to see African Wild Dogs and Leopards. We told him it was not imperative but would be nice if it was possible. Nando delivered!! On the drive from the airstrip to the camp he found a pack of wild dogs! We saw leopards every time we went out. In fact one afternoon we sat and watched a leopard chasing a baboon from tree to tree for about an hour. Baboon escaped, fortunately for him. ;) The food was great and living in the bush with the animals coming through the camp was indescribable. Had elephants and hyenas around the tents. Something else for sure. It was quite a culture shock coming from Selinda. ;) I would do it again and my girls said two days would have been enough but we saw a Leopard on the last day again and wild dogs again so it was worth it. The girls were not fans of the long drop or bag showers. If it was possible I would see if there was a larger tent but overall the girls (including my wife) and myself had a great time there.

Kanana Camp was a great way to finish. We had not had laundry service since Chobe and the showers at Kanana was fantastic! We did not see much wildlife there as the water was high but we went fishing, boat tour, walking tour and the canoe ride was great. The mosquitos were fierce though. We were embarrassed when we showed how much laundry we had. We had accumulated quite a bit. I will say on the ride to the airstrip we came across a pack of Wild Dogs on the hunt. Incredible! The only change we would have made was adding a day to Selinda or Bakwena Lodge and subtracting one from Kanana.

Overall, the camps were aware of Katie’s peanut allergy and did everything to make sure she was protected. The Mobile camp took care of her also, in fact the Nutella was a huge hit with our guide Nando in the mobile camp. The flights were great.

 

We used Safari Specialists to be our travel agent and they were fantastic. Highly recommend them.

 

Joe in Mobile, Al

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magsterone

Malachite Bee-eater in Chobe

 

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marg

@@magsterone I think that you have a Malachite Kingfisher there.

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optig

@@magsterone I'm planning to stay at Selinda Explorer's camp in 2018. I've only heard the most extraordinary things about it; It will already be my 4th visit to Botswana. I wish to welcome you to Safaritalk. I have to stress that this single site has changed my whole life.

Edited by optig
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magsterone

African Wildcat stalking a Puff Adder!

 

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magsterone

Elephant feeding in Chobe River. We were riding in a boat with Pangolin Camera Safari. They were fantastic.

 

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magsterone

Male Cape Buffalos trying to establish dominance along Chobe river.

 

 

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magsterone

Elephant Breeding herd walking along river's edge.

 

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magsterone

Winter morning with a Lilac Breasted Roller and a Kingfisher on the hunt.

 

 

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magsterone

Hippos we saw while doing boat camera safari with Pangolin Camera Safari.

 

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magsterone

A tower of giraffes. We saw these during an evening safari drive in Chobe Reserve with Pangolin Safaris.

 

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magsterone

Little Bee eaters. It was chilly that morning on the boat.

 

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magsterone

Best sunsets we have ever seen. This was along the Chobe river with the elephants on the far side from us.

 

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Peter Connan

Welcome to ST!

 

Some great photos, thanks for sharing!

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magsterone

My pleasure. I am not a photographer, y wife is the pro. Pangolin provided my two daughters and myself a Nikon dslr and a 150-450 zoom and gave pointers to us during the two boat and one evening game drives we took with them. I did not do any editing to the pics.

 

Joe in Mobile, AL

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Neeners815

Wonderful trip report and pics! I am especially excited to read about your time at Selinda, as we will be there for this first time later this year. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your story and your photos!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great Photo,s thus far @@magsterone, Love the Hippo's shots.

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Kitsafari

Welcome to ST!

 

The African wildcat shots were fascinating, and what a standoff between the cat and snake - did you stay long enough to find out who won?

Edited by Kitsafari
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magsterone

No, sunset was coming and we had to leave the park. We all figured (incl. the guides) the wildcat was tiring the snake and as it cooled down quickly once the sun went down (winter time there) the snake being reptile would be an easy dinner. We watched for about 15-20 minutes. It was really something to watch.

 

Joe in Mobile, AL

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Atravelynn

No, sunset was coming and we had to leave the park. We all figured (incl. the guides) the wildcat was tiring the snake and as it cooled down quickly once the sun went down (winter time there) the snake being reptile would be an easy dinner. We watched for about 15-20 minutes. It was really something to watch.

 

Joe in Mobile, AL

This commentary is most interesting to go along with your wildcat and puff adder shot. Some amazing stuff. The fighting buffaloes and baby ele are among your other excellent sightings. No photo of the Brad Pitt pilot? I bet your girls snapped some.

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  • 2 weeks later...
hannahcat

Hi Joe! Welcome to SafariTalk! I am originally from Baton Rouge, LA, so not too far from where you're living.

 

What amazing sightings you had! I am particularly captivated by the wildcat sighting -- in the day! And hunting! Absolutely incredible. I also love the buffalo battle and of course the tiny elephant, who is just adorable. Glad that Botswana came through for you, and thanks for sharing.

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