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19 Days of Bliss on Self-drive Safari


Ritsgaai

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michael-ibk

Congratulation on becoming a grandmother! I'm looking forward to the continuation of this splendid report but of course it's understandable that this has not been your main focus recently. :)

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A sincere and big thank you to everybody reading the TR and showing your interest.    From Lekhubu/Kubu Island we followed the track across the pans in a north-westerly directions as indicat

The next booked stop was in Nxai Pan National Park. We decided to visit Lekhubu Island en-route en then approach Nxai Pan NP via the track crossing the Makgadigadi  Pans southeast of the park. We

The afternoon drive through Khama Rhino Sanctuary was very productive and we counted 12 white rhinos - the only rhino sightings for the entire trip.    These were also spotted - the wa

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Peter Connan

Baie geluk! I wish your granddaghter a happy and prosperous life!

 

When you are ready, we will enjoy contnueing the yourney.

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Ritsgaai


Day 18  (continues)

 

We spent the rest of the afternoon close to the river and were spoiled with incredible sightings once again.

 

Pod of hipposIMG_7922.thumb.JPG.4c47dbe96a2633d7b4919f586ae42ac1.JPG

 

Lazy baby

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Beware!

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Big PapaIMG_7951.thumb.JPG.58a73b46fa6d3e4600a0af6f835c2359.JPG

 

 

Sable - such proud and majestic looking antelope

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We felt very sorry for this poor giraffe covered in warts, that attracted many red-billed oxpeckers

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Greater KuduIMG_7999.thumb.JPG.16d16d39357f74576674160d973723b3.JPG

 

2 Young Kudu bulls testing their fighting skills

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Elephant families came from all directions to drink and play down at the river.

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Two lionesses were resting on the bank of the river. They were lazily watching a herd of elephants in the distance.

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All of a sudden a young elephant calf were startled by something and started to run for the bushes, trumpeting all the way.

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Suddenly the lionesses were wide awake and watched the calf intently until it disappeared.

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We read somewhere that the Serondela Pride often hunt young elephant. Maybe somebody on the Forum can confirm this story. 

 

 

Just before sunset and approximately 1 kilometer before reaching camp, we spotted a vast number of animals on the flood plain. It was the same huge herd of buffalo that passed our camp that morning, but were now also joined by multiple herds of elephant families and zebra! The sight felt absolutely surreal.

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We thought that this might be what the Garden of Eden once looked like.

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We were overwhelmed with the vast number of game - a sight that no single photo can capture or truly do justice.

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Sunset at the end of a breathtakingly beautiful day.

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That evening, next to the campfire, it was quiet - words were few and felt inappropriate. We were literally left speechless by the spectacle we were privileged and fortunate to see... 

a spectacle to behold for the rest of our lives...  

 

 

Edited by Ritsgaai
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michael-ibk

Just wow, what an incredible sight. Simply beautiful.

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Large herds on the plains must have been an amazing sighting! As is your sunset with mother and calf!

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Peter Connan

Wow, what an incredible sighting and experience!

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Ratdcoops

Great report so impressive to do self drives I think. I would love to attempt one myself one day, but my wife doesn't share the same enthusiasm. Eventually I hope to win her over.

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Ritsgaai

Thank you @michael-ibk, @Peter Connan, @xelas and @Ratdcoops.

 

@Ratdcoops, I don't know what the reason/s are that your wife feel uncomfortable with self drive trips. If it is about comfort (I know that is a big obstacle for many ladies),  my husband has a piece of advice that he always gives to the guys. That is to equip your rig as comfortable and practical as possible. In other words, things must work easy and smooth for the wife. It must not be a big schlep e.g. to get to the stove or fridge, etc.

 

Personally we think it is very important to sleep well at night, but has never find the mattresses supplied with tents good enough. In our experience they are too hard and we found that it is impossible to have a good night's rest. So we replaced it with one we prefer.

 

Little things can make a world of difference to the whole camping experience.  And as my husband always say... If his wife is happy, all is happy. :wub:

 

Maybe you can start with short excursions over weekends to find out what works for you. I hope you will be able to realise your dream soon. 

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Ratdcoops

No Ritsgaai my wife is fine with the comfort side of things she loves camping in Australia and we will be in dome tents when we are on safari next year. It is more camping in an environment with predators and other large potentially dangerous animals without an experienced guide.

 

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Game Warden
On 14/12/2017 at 4:28 PM, Ritsgaai said:

We felt very sorry for this poor giraffe covered in warts, that attracted many red-billed oxpeckers

IMG_7970.thumb.JPG.80ab8e623f5d1f148e546f297878a328.JPGIMG_7973.thumb.JPG.3fe4bf6e63d0998be6f6e8b24c2a4680.JPG

 

@Ritsgaai - have a look at this archive topic, it could be one in the same: if you have time, please do add the images to that thread. Thanks, Matt.

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Ritsgaai

@Ratdcoops - that is totally understandable. 

Enjoy the trip. :)

 

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Ritsgaai

 

8 hours ago, Game Warden said:

 

@Ritsgaai - have a look at this archive topic, it could be one in the same: if you have time, please do add the images to that thread. Thanks, Matt.

 

Done. Very interesting to read more about this.

 

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Ritsgaai

Day 19

Our very last day on safari...

 

Last farewell to the locals in front of our campsite at Ihaha - Chobe National Park.

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Once again meeting our famous herd of buffalo.

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We caught a glimpse again of the 2 lionesses resting in thick bush, but couldn't get a decent photo.

We then proceeded to Kasane and booked in at Chobe Safari Lodge where we were scheduled for a sunset cruise in the afternoon.

 

We enjoyed an hour or two watching birds in the campsite.

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Back in civilization - Chobe Safari Lodge... where we celebrated my husband's 60th birthday with a buffet on the veranda that evening.

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On the boat cruise we had a totally different perspective of the animal kingdom.

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Buffalo swimming through...stealing the limelight ;)

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Enjoying a late afternoon dust bath...
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Breeding herd of elephant heading to the water.

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Cute little baby in the middle.

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After quenching their thirst, it was time to take a mud bath...

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Seeing a fish eagle hunt and then devouring the fish was my personal highlight for the cruise.

 

Taking off for the hunt (sorry...I just had to post this :blink::wacko::lol:) This is my very best of the take-off...well - the one and only!!! :P

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Landed with fish in claw.

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Started feeding.

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Almost finished...

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Off I go again... That was real good...

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After 19 days of bliss, this was the ending of a memorable safari through some of the most iconic parks of Botswana.

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A big thank you to all of you who took the time to read this, posted likes and comments and sharing your love for nature with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ritsgaai
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A fantastic trip report, and you have planted a seed ... I wonder if it will grow into my own self-driving journey through Botswana. Those Fish Eagle photos are perfect, and you last sunset photos makes me wanting to get back to Africa ASAP.

Edited by xelas
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ForWildlife

Fantastic report! The 'observers' of the buffalo on the Namibian side look like hunters. It seems really hard there to stalk up close to buffalo...

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Towlersonsafari

Hurrah! A splendid report thank you @Ritsgaai it was great fun

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Peter Connan

Baie dankie, that was a great report on a fabulous report!

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Ritsgaai
On 12/16/2017 at 3:27 PM, xelas said:

A fantastic trip report, and you have planted a seed ... I wonder if it will grow into my own self-driving journey through Botswana. Those Fish Eagle photos are perfect, and you last sunset photos makes me wanting to get back to Africa ASAP.

 

Thank you for your kind comments. 

 

@xelas - you are a man who knows how nature works... seeds that are planted normally grow :D

 

When is your journey to Botswana planned for? 

 

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1 hour ago, Ritsgaai said:

When is your journey to Botswana planned for? 

End of March 2018, a passenger in @Peter Connan's vehicle. Really looking forward to this trip, it will be a hard core off-road and if I will "survive" this one for sure I will gathered plenty of useful knowledge. 

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michael-ibk

Thank you again, I really enjoyed this report. Convinced me that I just have to get back to Botswana in 2019!

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Ritsgaai
13 hours ago, xelas said:

End of March 2018, a passenger in @Peter Connan's vehicle. Really looking forward to this trip, it will be a hard core off-road and if I will "survive" this one for sure I will gathered plenty of useful knowledge. 

 

Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun and good company. I am looking forward to hear more about it. Enjoy!

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Ritsgaai
12 hours ago, michael-ibk said:

Thank you again, I really enjoyed this report. Convinced me that I just have to get back to Botswana in 2019!

 

It was a pleasure to share and yes, for us it is a place of such diversity in the different parks that we will go back easily year after year. Hope you can visit soon again.

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  • 1 month later...
alanymarce

Thank you for sharing your experience and excellent photos.

 

Your management of "squatters" on campsites is laudable - they are the ones whose behaviour is unacceptable, so it's best not to act as they do, frustrating though it is. We have generally been fortunate with this annoyance, however a suggestion is to take a photograph of them, preferably with licence plate visible, and post it on the forum (and other fora as well), as well as sending it to the people who book the campsites, in the hope that this may result in their behaviour being noted. 

 

We miss rusks with coffee in the morning - not available anywhere north of Zambia!

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Ritsgaai

Thank you for taking the time to read and your kind comments, @alanymarce!

 

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