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Cheetah tracking expeditions; Lagoon's Pride; Sweating it out in the heat of October....... A Kwando Safari. October 2017


madaboutcheetah

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wilddog

Lovely series of images of all the big cats, as always Hari. Some really gorgeous portraits in there.

 

Loved the sable.....

 

I liked the shot of the elephant where when the central figure has the ears in full flow............ Where normally they look all powerful, when the ears are flapping away they look faintly ridiculous and yes, I know head shaking is often threat behaviour but still............................ it amused me :)

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Dear All,   Happy Diwali ........ First of all, back home after another amazing trip to the Kwando concession.  A million laughs, the joys of cheetah tracking through the heat of suicide mon

The new "boys in town" .........  Have they done enough to take over this prime territory? They move about all the time scent marking and it's usually a task to track them down every day ..... They ev

Before I dive into the rest of the report......... A bit of this and that~ It's no secret that the Botswana visa is a gigantic goose chase with a lot of heart burn right until the final days prior to

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SafariChick

Lovely leopard @madaboutcheetah and great to see the cubs from last year.  The male lions certainly has a glorious mane and you got some super shots of it!  Sweet bonding photos of the lionesses as well.

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madaboutcheetah

Same Script ........ Different Cast!!! (This is the 6th Cheetah male Coalition that I've seen in the concession over the years)

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michael-ibk

Great stuff as always Hari - Kwando always delivers big time for you! But I´m starting to doubt your madness - it took you until post # 15 to show us some Cheetahs? :P

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Fantastic photos Hari--as always! But you've outdone yourself with these cats. Wonderful lighting too. Its making me really want to return to Botswana...

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks so much @janzin and @michael-ibk 

 

The boys move so much, that tracking every day to find them is quite a mission - however, on this particular day we found them for a glorious Sunrise ....... (we estimated that they will move through the night to be around the Zebra Pan area in Lagoon - any self respecting cheetah coalition will have to pass through those grounds) ........ 

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Great pics of cheetah, are these to please Michael?

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks @CDL111 - Yes,  to show him that I didn't slack off on the cheetah editing ........

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Oh Botswana, Botswana! 
Nothing like it.

Great stuff!

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks @Antee ......

 

More cheetah from that morning ...... Once they were done for the morning, so were we ...... Nice Sable on our way to camp.  More cheetah from that afternoon ...... Stay tuned!

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Great pics of the sable and cheetah, especially the black and white.

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks @CDL111

 

We left camp at 2:30 PM with the knowledge of their whereabouts and the fact that it was possibly hunting day (they had whacked a young Lechwe two days prior in front of us - photos to be edited) ........ We did dilly dally with some elephant photos on our way to them - who would have thought????  They had vacated already and made us track an extra 45 minutes before we caught up with them ...... Here goes!

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madaboutcheetah

We stayed with the boys for a glorious Sunset ..........

 

During this awesome Cheetah day - Murphy's Law was to strike...........   Damn Murphy!  We left them laying in the sand for a short rest near the Kalahari Apple Leaf and looking at them, we knew they would continue to move through the night and that tracking them the next day possibly could be more of a challenge .......

 

Gosh - the next morning turned out to be one of the toughest tracking missions we've endured ever (and we've had our fair share of those) ......... Tracks had them moving over several KMS from the Zebra Pan area all the way to second Lagoon for drink (north of Lagoon camp) and then had then moving back south to an island near the airstrip where suddenly there was a lot of grass and had the tracks run over by the large elephant herds, strong howling winds etc etc., ..........  At one point in the morning, other guides (Josiah, Poster and Mr.T) along with their trackers got in the mix too to drive up and down looking for tracks and across prominent marking posts and termite mounds ....... Absolutely no sign of the boys!  They were sure to have made a kill and possibly sleeping it off super early in the morning (possibly just prior to sun rise).  We had to throw our hands up and quit eventually in the scorching heat of October -  Phew!

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Zubbie15

Fantastic photos as always @madaboutcheetah, the cats really came out for you.  I don’t think Michael had to worry about the lack of cheetah photos...

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks @Zubbie15

 

Let's take a break from those Cheetah ....... Here's a variety of stuff on our way to the Carmine Colony in Kwena Lagoon.  It's North of Lagoon Camp and a bit far in distance ........  Beyond Kwena, There's just a single track all the way to the awesome Muvumbi Valley.... So, some of the animals that come to drink out of the woodland are skittish.

 

I'd love to know where the Collared Elephant came from?

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Lots of southern carmine, your second photo of the zebra appears to show how spooky they are.

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madaboutcheetah

Next batch of photos ........ New life in the concession; Mating Waterbuck;  Lions at the Carmine Colony etc etc.,

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madaboutcheetah

Next batch of images ...... One particular afternoon, we literally had between 500-600 Elephant between First and Second Lagoon, North of Camp.  

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Hari, would I be right in assuming that Kwena Lagoon and Muvumbi is not a location that guests would normally be taken to from Lagoon camp?

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madaboutcheetah

@CDL111 - Kwena  Lagoon everyone goes to ....... It's about an hour north of Lagoon camp.  Usually done in the morning for a longer drive and a Tea stop right there at the Lagoon.  You could go there in the afternoon too - right now they are doing afternoon trips as the Carmine Colony is at it's best towards sunset. Very often, they drive up there to look for the dogs that love it up there!  If your question was related to the spooky Zebra at Kwena?  Well ...... there is mostly limited road network there and a lot of woodland - so, not really sure where those Zebra might be coming from?  

 

Muvumbi Valley - Not many guides have been there themselves ;)   ...........  It's 2-3 hours (one way) north of Lagoon camp literally the very Northern Tip of Botswana borders with Namibia.  

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madaboutcheetah

Next bunch of images .......

 

The Lions - That's the sign of Lions that have possibly moved into the concession from Namibia(?) and are skittish .........


We would later see another set of 4 in the dark which would also bolt from the vehicle ....... 

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madaboutcheetah

The easiest Leopard to find is one that the Camp Mechanic finds ............  It really was hilarious;  We were setting out for our afternoon drive when Phet (the manager) mentioned that the Mechanic had found a female Leopard on a tree near the camp.

 

Last picture of a Leopard cub after sunset (sorry - just one viewable image as I wasn't ready for this sighting and don't really do night drives) ...... the cub disappeared before I could readjust the settings in my camera.  Apparently, a mother with two cubs have been seen regularly.  At least, we saw one of them - even if just a glimpse!

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madaboutcheetah

Curiosity killed the Cat? ...... What's up????

 

One of the ladies tries to find them a meal ....... Alas, no bacon for breakfast!

Business as usual ...... Siesta time! 

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madaboutcheetah

Cheetah Tracking usually is hard hard work ......... But, every now and then brings up something unexpected and out of the ordinary ........ A Curious Aardwolf as in this case.  


We did wait to see if he'd come out for a full view (and I think we went again to the spot later on) ...... No such luck!

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