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Atravelynn
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Recollections of our Final Morning in the Floodplains, 4th day in Floodplains

A cool 80°F, 27°C at 5:30 am departure.

 

Discussion of some of the formidable cameras seen the night before at the waterhole led to Doug’s weaponry and photography mixed metaphor, “No matter how good your gun is, it’s the nut behind the butt.”

 

Our journey to try to locate the dogs was only 6 km, as they were heading back toward the floodplains. The excitement from following them on foot last night continued into this morning.

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Dogs on the move and also standing very still

 

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Dogs in the dawn’s early light - breakfast run

 

The dogs were wreaking havoc on the area.

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Impala were fleeing for their lives.

 

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Elephants were stampeding through the bush.

 

A few dagga boys darted out from the thicket and took off. No photos of the buffalo, as we made sure we scurried well out of their path.

 

To keep up with the swiftly moving pack and out of the way of the mayhem it was causing, we too had to move quickly. I recall following Doug at a jog to keep the pack in view and just to keep up.

 

I was once told by a guide that one advantage of wild dogs in an area is that they scatter the genes of prey species by flushing out the prey and chasing them into new territories, where they might meet up with members of the opposite sex from across town.

Edited by Atravelynn
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A lovely, expressive and funny recounting of your trip. Safaris with Doug really are lots of fun. You are both bringing back many happy memories.

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This morning seeing the dogs running and hunting and following them on foot was maybe the most exciting and rewarding. There were only a couple of other professional photogs and us, and I too was running to keep up with Doug and the dogs. It really felt like we'd been let into their world and were just with them as they went about their lives happily. And seeing the elephants trumpeting and the buffalo running, all the animals scattering - it was quite amazing! I just have one photo I like from that part of the morning - mostly I was just watching and trying to keep up!

 

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Edited by SafariChick
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"It really felt like we'd been let into their world"

 

The perfect description!

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And thank you for letting us into your very own Mana Pools. I love this report, such fun to read, I want to be there right now.

 

Some great sightings, 100#s of Buffaloes in Chitake, Leopard(!) on day 2, Boswell performing, and dogs over dogs. Just awesome, and it seems you had a lot of fun. Love the Lynn/SafariChick photo. And I´m relieved, the adapter is back. Lynn, it must have been painful for you not being able to include it in your canoe report. :P

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Thanks @@michael-ibk for the comments and likes, and thanks to everyone for liking and commenting! Will be back with another installment soon!

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After we lost the dogs hunting in the woods, Doug suggested we head over to the water as he thought it was possible they would end up there. As is usually the case, Doug was right! I'm not sure how long we spent running after them in the woods, but the photo of them I posted above was taken at 6:49 a.m. and my next good photo of them was at 7:09 a.m. so we didn't have too long to wait. The professional photogs and some other folks with guides had also gathered at this spot by now, all with the same idea, so when you see my videos, you'll hear a bunch of cameras clicking. This was a really magical sighting as it was pure playing and when the dogs went down by the water, it made for a lovely background.

 

To get to where we were sitting and waiting on the 'beach' area near the water, they had to come up over a hill. It was great to see them coming! Apologies in advance for posting quite a few photos - I think this bunch turned out the best of any I got of the dogs on this trip so forgive me for going a little crazy!

 

After checking out the scene, they all did a little drinking:

 

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and then it was time to play

 

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This is the alpha female standing over her brood, identifiable by the collar - it was very sweet, she came over the hill to play with the kids!

 

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After a call from Mom, the pups all headed back over the hill to rejoin there rest of the pack

 

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And a few videos:

 

 

 

 

and some of the photogs with the big lenses:

 

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By the way: you may not be surprised by this point to learn that when the dogs had left and we all got up and were smiling about what a great time that had been, I reached up on my head and in my pocket ... yup, sunglasses missing again! Luckily, this time I remembered that I'd started in one spot and Doug had beckoned us to come closer to the dogs so I had sort of crept over staying low ... when I returned to the area from which we had started, voila, there were the sunglasses! I think this was the last time I lost something on the trip.

Edited by SafariChick
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And thank you for letting us into your very own Mana Pools. I love this report, such fun to read, I want to be there right now.

 

Some great sightings, 100#s of Buffaloes in Chitake, Leopard(!) on day 2, Boswell performing, and dogs over dogs. Just awesome, and it seems you had a lot of fun. Love the Lynn/SafariChick photo. And I´m relieved, the adapter is back. Lynn, it must have been painful for you not being able to include it in your canoe report. :P

 

No adapter, no chocolate, that canoe trip was grueling!

 

Fantastic job of getting the pups running around, @SafariChick They make me tired.

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Wonderful! Such a rewarding sighting and all that interaction among the dogs. Truly a privilege to have a glimpse into their world.

If I went to Mana as a self-driver, would the Rangers there be able to walk around with me?

Do you know anything about group size and fees?

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Seniortraveller

@@Atravelynn and @@SafariChick, I will really miss looking forward to the next part of your adventure with Doug. Thanks for taking us along with you.

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@atravelynn@safarichick I think that packing is a from of art,especially when you go on safari. I have learned to pack at least three pairs of reading glasses because they break easily and get lost. I've also learned to take a spare pair of sunglasses because even Maui Jim's the best brand do break and of course get lost.

 

I'm happy that you saw so many wild dogs,and had so many photos of them. They're simply my favorite animal.

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@@optig I DID have a spare pair of sunglasses but I STILL had problems! First the one pair broke, but I had the spare. Then I lost the spare. Then we did temporary fixes on the original pair but I still managed to lose it again this day - but then found it within a couple of minutes fortunately. As I mentioned earlier in the report, the thing I really need to bring on the next safari is some Croakies to keep those sunglasses hung around my neck when they are not on my face!!

 

@@Seniortraveller we still have an afternoon and two more nights with Doug to report on!

 

@@KaliCA I haven't done that but definitely some people do hire rangers for parts of their stay there. I recall @@hubertj writing about hiring a guide in his recent trip report so check that out. I think you can just hire someone for just you or your party as it seemed that's what he did. His report is here: http://safaritalk.net/topic/16700-two-poles-in-the-pools-mana-pools-august-2016/

Edited by SafariChick
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@@SafariChick thank you for reminding me to buy some croakies when I return to the States tomorrow. There's huge REI just around the corner from my mother's condo in Northbrook,Illinois.I'm going to buy several pairs because I have the same problem as you-I'm terribly absentminded.It would be perfect to hang them around my face.

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@@optig I was thinking I'd need to go to REI to get them too but also just discovered they sell them on Amazon! Still, it's nice to go to REI and pick out exactly what you want in person - I love it there!

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Seniortraveller

@@SafariChick, I will look forward to that. Must have got so caught up in organising Christmas, that I got ahead of myself.

An extra Christmas present for me then!

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@@SafariChick As you can imagine I'm not much of a shopper but I appreciate the vast variety and low prices of everything back in the States. I can buy everything I need at much cheaper prices than here in Nairobi. The other place that I love for shopping is South Africa because you can find anything in the massive malls.

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Similar looking bank from the night before—but this was a different waterhole. Bloodied forequarters.

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double teamed

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Lots of frolicking and antics - Nyakasanga pack

Edited by Atravelynn
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@@Atravelynn ah you got some great shots of the dogs playing! I love the last one with the one on the ground but being fierce showing its teeth!

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I'm only to the end of page 6 as I catch up, and was thinking that this was a great trip... and then the dogs showed up. What an awesome sighting. Definitely putting Mana higher on my list of places to visit, although @@Atravelynn's temperature readings are a little hot for this Canadian.

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Hmmm, upon reaching post #152 - you have reached your quota of positive votes for the day. Guess that's my sign to come back tomorrow to finish catching up. Really amazing wild dog photos, videos and stories.

Edited by Zubbie15
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I'm only to the end of page 6 as I catch up, and was thinking that this was a great trip... and then the dogs showed up. What an awesome sighting. Definitely putting Mana higher on my list of places to visit, although @@Atravelynn's temperature readings are a little hot for this Canadian. Do consider it. I am not Canadian but people say I sound like I am, and I tolerated it well. 4-6 weeks earlier and it would be cooler.

 

And thank you for maxing out your likes on us.

Edited by Atravelynn
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@@Atravelynn ah you got some great shots of the dogs playing! I love the last one with the one on the ground but being fierce showing its teeth!

Thanks, I was trying for some teeth shots. Pearly whites!

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@@Atravelynn and @@SafariChick - continuing to follow on but have been lagging behind (a bit like trying to follow the dogs? :D ). Continuing to really enjoy the journey, stories and images. Looking forward my visit next year. Earlier you mentioned that November is Doug's favourite time in Mana - can you explain why?

Edited by pomkiwi
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