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Another 5 days at Camp Hwange and more

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Bush dog



Thanks a lot for your pictorial comments!

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As last year, I left Selinda in the middle of the morning and landed at Kasane at noon. A driver was waiting for me. The formalities at the two border posts were carried out, as usual, without problem

More birds, still a lot of migratory blue-cheeked bee-eaters,     And little bee-eaters.  

Now, something different that I had never seen before, a carnivorous species, but also, depending on the circumstances and it seems to be quite common, cannibalistic, at work, the African bullfrog.

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Bush dog

@@Game Warden


I was sitting on the seat near the driver, so not really lying on the ground. The camera is a EOS 7D Mk II and the lens, 600 mm.


I must have seen the original War of the Worlds but that was a very long time ago. I do not really recall the scene you mention. However, it reminds me some scenes of D. Lynch's Dune.

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Bush dog

Second sighting of the martial eagle.




Abdim’s stork.




Open-billed stork.




Red-billed wood hoopoe feeding its fledglings.



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More superb martial eagle photos @@Bush dog and what beautiful markings on the red-billed wood hoopoe.

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Lawdy so many good ones, the bee eaters, that bull frog sighting, young hippo, all very nice Mike.

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oh boy I felt a gag in my throat watching that carnivorous bullfrog. gulp. but great shot of a kill!


and that 5th shot of martial eagle in post 28, it looked menacing with its awesome wings and equally deadly claws. now I can see how they can pick up an impala lamb!


as usual, enjoying your pictures a lot @bushdog

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Bush dog

And more birds.


Red-backed shrike.




Lesser kestrel.




This one must be a widow ?




Three-banded courser.




African golden oriole.




Secretary bird with a catch.




Whiskered tern.




Namaqua dove.




Grey-hooded kingfisher.



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Bush dog

Last birds.


Spotted dikkop.




Ring-necked dove.




Rufous-naped lark.




To close part one of this report, a young leopard we saw twice along and on the road to Main Camp, a few kilometers after Shumba near a place called Roan. The first time it was in daylight. It was not really uncomfortable with the car but still cautious.




The second time, it was at night and there its behavior was a bit different. Indeed, although still careful, it was very inquisitive. It came very close to the car and slowly made it round. When it heard the other car of the camp coming, it was obviously one too much and it left the road and disappeared in the bushes.




End of part one!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great stuff, as always. I really love that wider angle shot of the open-billed stork and the red-billed wood hoopoe at its tree cavity nest.


Oh, and then there's that leopard, too. :)


Edit: I forgot to mention the owls. I still struggle with the night shots. On those, was it just a matter of increasing the ISO and taking advantage of the spotlight?

Edited by Alexander33
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@Bushdog you have improved my poor knowledge of birds. I particularly like your photos of the red-billed wood hoopoe as well as the grey hooded kingfisher.

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Is that a frog that the secretary bird has? That would pair well with your frog series on the last page, haha.


Great captures of some truly colossal elephants at the top of the page here.

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Bush dog



Thanks a lot!


Regarding the night shots, it's indeed just a matter of increasing the ISO and taking advantage of the spotlight with after a Lightroom processing, mainly on sharpness, noise reduction and clearness.

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Bush dog



@Bushdog you have improved my poor knowledge of birds.


I'm glad I did!

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Bush dog





Is that a frog that the secretary bird has?


Yes, probably and more precisely a platana.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Bush dog

One more picture (courtesy of Zim pro guide Adam Jones) of your servant and one of the spotted eagle owl, before going to part two (“and more”).




On the day of my departure in March, I had witnessed the arrival, in Vic Falls, of the first Ethiopian Airlines flight, watered by the airport firefighters, and its first passengers, welcomed by officials, dancers and company staff.


So, when I came back last month, I did it through Addis Ababa.  Not passing through Joburg shortens the trip from 4 to 5 hours in the outward journey and from 2 to 3 hours on the way back, as it stops in Gaborone.  This flight might also interest travelers to the delta and to the north of Botswana.  There is just over an hour between Vic Falls airport and Kasane.


This time, I was for nine nights at Camp Hwange and two in Vic Falls, one on arrival and one on departure.  Washington Sibindi was my guide again. 


Most of the plains and roads had, in the meantime, dried up but the large pans, like Dwarf goose, Muddy Teak, Big Shumba or Ebony, were still full and the grass was still high.  There were not yet any large wildlife concentrations around the large artificial water holes as it is sometimes to wait for this time of year.  For comparison, here are two photos taken in Masuma, the first one in May 1998 and the other one last month.






This shows that the risk of being disappointed is well present, especially for first timers, to book well in advance outside the peak season.


The migratory birds were of course gone.  There were still some crowned cranes that had decided to stay because the conditions of subsistence were excellent following the heavy summer rains.




Concerning the elephants, a few breeding herds were already back as well as many solitary bulls.






Zebras were also slowly coming back (saw a herd of eighteen), as well as sables and roans.










And twelve hippos had moved from Shumba Pan to the water hole in front of camp.



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Love your photos as always, Mike - but that Bullfrogo sequence is something else. Fascinating stuff!

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Bush dog

Hi Michael, thank you for your comments.  That bull frogs behaviour is indeed something you don't see everyday.  

By the way, did you already start a report on your trip to Ethiopia?  I'm interested to hear about it.

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No not yet - but hope to get started soon!

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Excellent photos @Bush dogand very interesting trip report. The bullfrog kill, while not very tasty (for me :D) is a special sighting!

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Bush dog

For my first game drive, I was, as in March, welcomed by the Super Models, for the record, four lions, two adult females and two sub-adult males.  And again as in March, I will not see them anymore during my stay.





















The concession is part of the territory controlled By Liam and Mandla, the two big males who rule over the Masuma pride.  Their territory extends, north and south (to Bumbumutsa Pan) of the main road Sinamatella/Main Camp, from a little before Shumba until a little after Masuma. The distance between the two pans is around fifteen kilometers.  When they do not sleep, they spend the majority of their time patrolling over the whole extent of it.  We heard them roar continuously for several nights and tried to find them in the early morning, without success unfortunately.  As they have to cover long distances, they are extremely mobile.  They are aware of the presence of the two sub-adults and probably looking for them to kick them out.  That is probably the reason why the Super Models are regularly seen but not too often.  There is another lion, a male older than the two Super Models that appeared on the concession a few months ago.  In the beginning as soon as it saw a car, it scampered away.  Now, it got habituated and tolerates, to a certain distance, the presence of a vehicle but it’s very difficult to find it.  Because of Liam and Mandla, it is extremely cautious, staying during the day in thick bushes and tall grass.  But during the night, it shows signs of territoriality and roars when Liam and Mandla are on the other side of their territory.  I’m sure that they are also looking for it when they are on the concession.  On one occasion, however, Washington managed to find it but its mistrust prevented me from making a suitable photo of it.

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Beautiful work, as ever.

Those eyes are really something.

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Bush dog



My first full day was not too busy but nevertheless interesting.


A couple of girafes.

































Encounter of two bulls challenging each other.








Southern white-crowned shrike.




The first zebras.








The night drive was great.  I managed to take some decent photos of springhares.








Then a hyena emerged from the darkness and approached the vehicle. It had had to take part in a violent battle, perhaps with one or more lions. The right side of its skull was only a large healed area. No more hairs grew there and the ear had disappeared.







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A very ork-like looking Hyena. :)

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