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Shinde dogs and Selinda cats


Bush dog

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Bush dog

Botswana, where I spent ten days last November, and more particularly Selinda, again provided a series of extraordinary sightings. Indeed, at Selinda, we did not even have time, during the four afternoon game drives, to take the sundowners as there were so many interesting things to see. On the other hand, at Shinde, all was well gone so that it was going to be a hit and miss…… until the dogs !

 

 

Here are some opening pictures.

 

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michael-ibk

Glad to hear you had a good time at Selinda, and found the Dogs. Great photos as always. What a weird sighting, lion with an axe. :blink:

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madaboutcheetah

Sounds like a great trip, Mike - look forward to seeing the images and particularly from Selinda ...... Great opening post!

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@mikebailey I love all your photos,but I have to say that your photo of the lion carrying an axe in it's mouth is just priceless-it's one of a kind.

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Bush dog

@@michael-ibk

@@optig

 

Thanks a lot for your comments!

 

The story of the lion and the axe will be told later in due time but I can already say it caused the occupants of the three vehicles present to laugh heartily.

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Bush dog

@@madaboutcheetah

 

Thanks Hari!

 

The two young male leopards are the one you saw last February when they were only tiny cubs. Their sister was killed in June by a hyena.

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what a great start! Can't wait to see the photo of the lion chopping down a tree :rolleyes:

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Bush dog

@@janzin

 

Perhaps, it also thought that it might be usefull to kill buffaloes :rolleyes:

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Game Warden

@@Bush dog Looks like the lion has an "axe to grind" with someone, hoping it wasn't you...

 

Matt

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Seems like a good decision to use the axe instead of the hard work to suffocate...

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Kitsafari

@@Bush dog whoopie! Another @bushdog adventure. All i see are various predators eating or tearing the carcasses or carrying off axes. You didnt have that many hunts or cats or dogs eating kills in your trip, did you?

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Bush dog

@@Kitsafari

 

 

@@Bush dog whoopie! Another @bushdog adventure. All i see are various predators eating or tearing the carcasses or carrying off axes. You didnt have that many cats or dogs eating kills in your trip, did you?

 

Yes, I did!

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Bush dog

Let’s start chronologically by Shinde.

 

Shinde (tree squirrel in Setswana) is a beautiful camp built around and in the shade of tall trees. There is thus in it an intense birds activity all day long.

 

Chin-spot batis

 

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Black-eyed bulbul (I think?)

 

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There is a bit like a feeling of being in a tree-house when you are in the central area. The tents are large and spacious and have a huge bathroom.

The camp is surrounded by an electric fence used mainly to keep the elephants away, and some of them must feel enormous frustrations that they can not enter it in order to feast on the foliage of many trees.

 

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Its wide floodplains lie alongside a large lagoon and its waterways, allowing for the widest possible range of land and water activities.

 

Shinde’s people are extremely nice and are very attentive to the wishes and demands of the guests and the guiding team is very experienced, my guide, Bee, was close to retirement, having thirty years of experience.

 

We can say that it is an excellent hotel in the bush, an ideal place for honeymooners, first timers or once in a lifetime visitors but not the one for regular travelers. Indeed, I clearly had the impression that the operating rules are quite strict and that decisions taken at general management level, regarding minor matters, can be badly thought out and put, needlessly, both guest and camp management in the embarassment. I experienced a similar situation which, after a brief discussion but also receiving the approval of general management, was resolved in the guests interest. On the other hand, though they do their job in a very professional way, I did not find in the guides the same motivation and the same passion that animate some, in other concessions, in the search and tracking of animals that, I believe, have a preponderant part in the success of a good safari experience.

 

The vegetation is almost untouched to the extent that there are no mopanes, there are very few elephants herds, only solitary bulls. Breeding herds can, of course, from time to time, be seen when they pass in transit through the concession.

 

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The temperature was, during those six mid-November days, extremely high with almost no rain at all. The day before our arrival, there was a dry storm accompanied by very fierce winds. At Maun airport, two small planes had been lifted by the wind and turned over like pancakes to get upside down. During our stay, the wind was sometimes strong.

 

At that time of the year and so on until April, big game viewing can be quite sparse. Indeed, we only saw a few buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, kudus, waterbucks and elephant bulls, some hippos in the lagoon and no leopards or cheetahs. But two leopards had been seen the day before we arrived. The following species were present in higher numbers : tsessebe, impala, lechwe, all three with their newborns, and reedbucks.

 

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We were lucky to spot and follow two packs of wild dogs and we had to wait the fourth day to see a couple of lions.

 

Concerning the bird life, we spotted and identified a bit more than hundred species, some migrants like the woodland kingfisher and the woolly-necked stork being already there.

 

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Bush dog

We saw the first pack of wild dogs the morning of the second day of our stay. We were looking at a couple of side-striped jackals when we heard the alarm calls of the lechwes and tsessebes.

 

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We saw them in the distance, joined them, counted seven and followed them for a while until they found a place in the shade to spend the very hot day.

 

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We came back in the afternoon, they were still there, sitting or rolling in the dust and scratching itselves in the bushes to get rid of the parasites.

 

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The next day, they had disappeared.

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Bush dog

The day of our arrival, as it was already late in the afternoon and we were quite tired from the long journey from home, we decided to only make a short boat excursion on the lagoon, superb stretch of water with hippos and a rich bird fauna.

 

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Reed cormorant

 

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The beautiful purple heron

 

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It was the night of the super moon.

 

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We had our sundowners on the boat, along the reeds, the opportunity to become better acquainted with our companions of excursion. As the atmosphere was very relaxed, it would seem that we had gone beyond the time given to sundowners. Back to the landing stage, although this was done discreetly, we could see, at least had the impression, that Bee was called to order for late return.

 

We made, a few days later, a second boat excursion, a longer one this time. It was nice to be on the water where, due to the freshness, temperatures are less strong.

We went through the maze of waterways where there is an intense bird life.

 

Malachite kingfisher

 

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Dabchik (little grebe)

 

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Pied kingfisher

 

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Waterways can also sometimes turn out to be elephant water highways.

 

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Atravelynn

The lions in Botswana are now employing weapons. That was an axe was it not?

 

Wonderful dogs, and good job on the moon and the malachite KF! The ele on the petal strewn water way is rather enchanting and certainly a different perspective.

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Atravelynn

Show us your axe-wielding lions could be a very short thread.

 

How nice you are doing current reports along with archival reports. No rest whatsoever. Glad this Botswana trip was so productive for you!

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Lovely photos and great details in report. Enough to follow it with great interest (not to mention the axe :) )!

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Bush dog

The morning of the fourth day of our stay, we saw, for the first time, another pack of seven dogs, five adults and two subadults, close to the camp. We did not know if they were part of the one we saw two days before, but we thought that they were all coming from the neighbouring concession, Kwara. They were obviously hunting. We followed them, sometimes not easily, for several kilometers to finally see them return to their starting point, the airstrip. What made me think that they might be part of the first pack is the fact that they made their contact calls, their « hoos », mouth wide open, with their head lower than the shoulders, a bit like red lechwes do when they run away.

 

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We eventually lost them when they decided to continue on the high grass.

 

In the afternoon, we did what we had already done part of the morning, trying to find two leopards, but without success. With the presences of large troops of baboons around, I was not surprised we didn’t find the two cats.

 

Eventually, we found a couple of lions. The male was, apparently, an intruder in that it was not part of the female’s pride. It was not really worried but it regularly watched the area around. The place they were was in the middle of a large open space, so that it could have a good view on the surroundings, just in case it comes to mind of the dominant males to come and beat it.

 

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On the way back, in the dark and close to the camp, we met the dogs again. At that time, we didn’t know that, the next morning, they were still be around and we were going to have a great sighting of them…….

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Bush dog

@@Atravelynn

 

Thanks again, Lynn!

 

 

Show us your axe-wielding lions could be a very short thread.

 

That is a good suggestion. Yes, I'm gonna do that.

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@Bushdog I just love your wild dogs. I also have to say that I love your photos of lions as well. I also have to say that I just love all your bird photos, as well as your photos of elephants. I think that it's safe to say that

the abundance of birdlife made up for the lack of big game.

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Bush dog

@@optig

 

I'm glad you love the pictures. There will be, in the next days, a lot more with wild dogs and lions.

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