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24 hours at Kanga - One Piece of a Perfect Mana Pools Itinerary Puzzle


Atravelynn

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Atravelynn

All the pieces of the puzzle were:

 

1st night in floodplains, Mucheni #4; 3 night canoe safari; then KANGA 1 night; 3 nights Chitake Springs; 4 nights floodplains Mucheni #4; 2 nights Ilala near Chikwenya. 14 nights total in Mana Pools.

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Morning at Kanga Pan

 

Complete Itinerary:

26 Sept Arrive Harare, Guinea Fowl B&B

27 Sept Fly to Mana Pools airstrip, o/nt Natureways Mucheni #4

28, 29, 30 Sept Private Natureways Mana Pools Shoreline Canoe and Island Camping Safari

http://safaritalk.net/topic/16904-innovative-64-km-natureways-mana-pools-shoreline-canoe-camping-safari/

 

1 Oct 1:10 pm - 2 Oct 2:00 pm of at Kanga

 

2, 3, 4, Oct Chitake Springs

5, 6, 7, 8 Oct Floodplains, Mucheni #4

9, 10 Oct Ilala

11 Oct Morning departure out of Mana Pools from Chikwenya airstrip

http://safaritalk.net/topic/16914-hot-times-in-mana-pools-with-safarichick-atravelynn/

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Kanga Pan Morning -- 2 of the major player spieces at the pan

 

The Quote of the Trip was uttered by Kanga guide, Reggie shortly after I met him at Nyakasikana Gate. “I like to arrive early for my guests,” Reggie said. Thank goodness he was 90 minutes!!! early because I was 90 minutes!! early, based on when he was told to expect me coming off the river. With only 24 hours at Kanga, every minute counts. Thank you, thank you Reggie, for your promptness, which resulted in the simple but important quote of the trip. Our drive from the Nyakasikana Gate to Kanga took from noon to 1:10 pm.

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Afternoon at Kanga Pan

 

Why only 24 hours?

(1) Between my canoe trip and meeting up with my walking safari buddies, there was only one spare day. (2) Especially going alone and in high season, Kanga cost can add up for multiple nights. (3) My friends and I had tossed around Kanga when planning the trip with Doug Macdonald but we ended up choosing other alternatives. I wanted to at least see what the waterhole was all about and one day would allow that.

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Afternoon at Kanga Pan-baboons, Morning at Kanga Pan -eles

 

I met people at Kanga who were there for 3-4 nights on repeat trips. Between the beautiful setting and the warm hospitality, I can see why some of the guests based their trip around Kanga. Two nights is more common than a single night.

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Kanga Perspectives

 

The placement of Kanga after the canoeing & island camping part of the trip was perfect. It allowed me to easily wash some clothes that I had worn on the canoe trip, and let them dry in the open air of my giant ensuite bathroom. Kanga of course offers guests laundry service, but my turnaround time would have been too tight. Also the excellent shower and all around luxury was much appreciated after 3 nights on the river where we scooped from a bucket to wash.

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Kanga Pan Morning

 

We had a wonderful lunch upon arrival at Kanga about 1:30 pm. Then I sat on the deck and used the deck rails as a tripod to take photos at the waterhole, where 2,000-3000 liters are pumped per day. All was peaceful bliss until about 3:00 pm when it sounded like a gunshot rang out, within 100-200 meters. It scared all the animals away from the waterhole. Fortunately there was no poacher lurking nearby; it was only an aerosol can that had been accidentally tossed into a fire near the staff quarters. Kaboom!

 

Since there was not much happening at the waterhole after the “shot”, Reggie suggested an afternoon drive that lasted until sundowners. Three of us went. The highlight was pottery from around 300 years ago, and Reggie’s fine guiding.

 

That evening 4 leopards were seen in the spotlight coming to drink at the waterhole. Apparently 4 was not that unusual and they sometimes see 7 in one night.

 

The majority of my photos were from the following morning (70°F, 21°C at 5:00 am, 100°F, 38°C at 11:00 am) until it was time to meet my safarimates and Doug Macdonald at about 2:00 pm. Wouldn't you know, about 20 minutes before they arrived the waterhole cleared out so when they came to check it out there was not much to observe.

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These were the only crested guinea fowl I saw this trip—a large flock early in the morning, around 7 am at the waterhole. The more common helmeted guinea fowl appeared about an hour later.

 

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Kanga Pan Morning

 

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Sharing the Kanga Pan Midmorning

 

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Juvenile Baboon antics Kanga Pan Midmorning

 

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Hammerkop and Western Banded Snake Eagle

 

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Kanga Pan Midmorning

 

One more Kanga installment

Edited by Atravelynn
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A single piece of the puzzle with it's own report! I suppose it is only fair, rather than being an addendum or a prelude to something else.This place looks very, very nice.

 

The highlight of your drive was some old pottery? That won't do, If you don't tell us why the pottery was a highlight or we will assume it was the dullest game drive ever to (almost not) feature in an Atravelynnalog. I will check out the web site in the meantime to see if "old pottery viewing" is listed in the activities.

 

Did you see the leopards? That is a lot of leopard visits!

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Ha! I just looked at the web site. That's quite a step up from washing from a bucket!

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madaboutcheetah

3-4 days? Hmmmmm - I'd use the extra days at Chitake! I'd like to just do that long walk every day and be happy with it.

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Atravelynn

A single piece of the puzzle with it's own report! I suppose it is only fair, rather than being an addendum or a prelude to something else.This place looks very, very nice.

 

The highlight of your drive was some old pottery? I genuinely thought the pottery was very cool because it was so old. I should have taken a photo. But there was not a lot happening that late afternoon-evening. Maybe all the species were laying low due to the "shot" around 3 pm. Earlier that day people had seen some lions, so we were looking for them. The next day Doug, @@SafariChick, @@madaboutcheetah, and our 4th safarimate breezed in and spotted the lions before picking me up. I only heard about them and safarichick's flying sunglasses but never saw any--lions or flying sunglasses. That's ok. They didn't see any pottery. We're even.

 

Actually we did see some pottery pieces together, later in the trip, but more recent than 300 years old! That won't do, If you don't tell us why the pottery was a highlight It was a highlight because it was 300 years old!!! which added to its mystique and the cultural history of the place. Had we seen a pangolin, the pottery would have been long forgotten. or we will assume it was the dullest game drive ever to (almost not) feature in an Atravelynnalog. I call 'em like I see 'em. Overall, Kanga was very rewarding and the pan was a happening spot. I will check out the web site in the meantime to see if "old pottery viewing" is listed in the activities. "Extend your stay for pottery viewing" should be part of their marketing campaign.

 

Did you see the leopards? That is a lot of leopard visits! I saw the 4 leopards, which were visible during very respectable hours. No need to stay up all night. I was walked to my tent about 9:30 pm.

 

 

Ha! I just looked at the web site. That's quite a step up from washing from a bucket! Yes, Kanga is top of the line, but I would not have traded the 3 days with the bucket. Variety is the spice of life.

 

 

3-4 days? Hmmmmm - I'd use the extra days at Chitake! I'd like to just do that long walk every day and be happy with it. It is delightful to see how meaningful that beautiful long walk was to you. Such a special place, Chitake. There were some folks who based themselves in Kanga for 3-4 days and did one single day trip to the floodplain. It took about 2 hours to get there and back, but during their limited time on the floodplains they managed to see wild dogs. They made it seem so easy. The dogs were hanging out at Mucheni #2, just waiting for the Kanga day trip to arrive. I heard all about it from them.

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Atravelynn

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Once the elephants arrived in force about 11:00 am, the other species took to the periphery of the pan and allowed the elephant show to proceed.

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Every so often I read about someone who asks, “Where can I go and just sit and watch the animals?” Kanga is at the top of the list for abundance and variety of wildlife activity in the dry season, proximity to the viewers, and an unsurpassed level of comfort on the observation deck (that is matched throughout the stay).

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The Kanga piece of the puzzle was a perfect fit in my 2-week Mana Pools itinerary.

 

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Fondly reflecting on my 24 hours at Kanga.

 

The End

Edited by Atravelynn
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twaffle

A lovely cameo of the value of Kanga. I left Kanga out of our plans because I thought it would be too early. You timed it perfectly.

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Atravelynn

A lovely cameo of the value of Kanga. I left Kanga out of our plans because I thought it would be too early. You timed it perfectly. Thanks! "Perfectly" timed would have meant the dogs that had not been seen for 3 weeks would have appeared. They did not. But I was very happy with the visit, short as it was. Sitting at a waterhole for a day or two is a nice addition to canoeing and walking.

From talking with the other guests, early in the season made a huge difference in the # of animals hanging around the pan. They kept remarking at the numbers that kept streaming in.

Edited by Atravelynn
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@@Atravelynn I love your photos of crested guinea fowl because I've never seen them on safari before.

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Atravelynn

@@Atravelynn I love your photos of crested guinea fowl because I've never seen them on safari before.

I have a feeling you will see them.

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Peter Connan

Seems like a wonderful place! Thank you.

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  • 2 months later...
panamaleo

Kanga was an unexpected 2 night stay at the end of my month-long Zimbabwe safari in July-August 2016. Unexpected, because I checked-out of Stretch Ferreria's Goliath Camp after 3 days instead of 5 as planned. That's another story.....

 

Kanga's staff coordinated with African Bush Camp's staff at Zambezi Expeditions, where I had spent 3 nights prior to Goliath Both groups got me to Kanga mid-day where the wonderful guide Reggie took charge of my time. So unexpected in many ways!

 

Arrived around post-lunch time, but Reggie and I had a lovely lunch ready when we arrived. I'm thinking, "Well, this is a chill place; I'll just finish-up this amazing safari relaxing." CRASH! The baboons got so aggressive/playful on the main canvas canopy over the reception area that they brought down supporting poles which demolished the camp's wooden curio cabinet. Glass and smashed wood all over the place...Reggie and I just watched and finished lunch. ... Ok, time to get into my luxe tent/cabin for a siesta. NO...there's a big bull elephant blocking the way to Tent #6. So, Reggie and I walked along the edge of the pan and snuck-around Mr. Greyness to Tent #6. WOW! It must be the honeymoon suite, and all to myself for two nights! The delightful hostess said it was the only one available...not true...just the usual ABC expected hospitality.

 

Siesta? No way. CRASH! That big ellie took down the camp's water tank not far from my #6. Amazing how fast the team got things up and running within two hours. I think Reggie's tent got flooded. It was astonishing to see the team working so efficiently, while His Great Greyness stood off to the side observing his mischief!

 

Dinner that night was truly amazing... there were maybe 8 of us including guide Bono.. A pack of wild dogs cornered an impala behind the dining cabinet just below the terrace; not 7 feet from our table! It was quick, shocking, and noisy. Bono (being Bono) simply said, as the main course was being served, "Well, they're eating; we should too." We did. Dessert was being served when Bono shone his torch on a gorgeous leopard drinking at the pan. That's Kanga, The unexpected.

 

The last night of my safari was a braii on the sand river near Kanga Camp. The staff were out of uniform, dancing, singing, joyous....but always professional and caring. What an amazing and beautiful addition to any visit to Mana Pools. The concession is small, about 7km, so spend time along the Zambezi, and then relax and expect the unexpected at Kanga Camp.

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Atravelynn

@@panamaleo, Kanga was the perfect puzzle piece for your itinerary too. Lots of exciting crashing going on during your stay!

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