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Bush dog

More birds.

 

White-faced whistling ducks and glossy ibises

 

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Lilac-breasted roller.

 

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It can be a formidable predator, first for water scorpions.

 

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Then for grasshoppers.

 

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And also for frogs.

 

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More African jacanas.

 

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First of all, more than 25% of the images in this topic show cheetahs (four excellent sightings), hence the title of this one.    Here, in preamble, are some first pictures.  

CAMP HWANGE   Let's get straight to the point, the first encounter with the cheetah.  This solitary male can be qualified as semi-resident.  Indeed one week it’s present, one week it moves e

To close the Linkwasha chapter, some pictures taken on the way back to Main Camp.   Hippos at Little Samavundhla.     Little Samavundhla’s forced resident, the broken win

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deano

Wow @Bush dog - I had to start a list of the photos I really liked as it was tough and the list very long as they are all stunning. The standouts have been mentioned but for me I particularly like the visible claws on your female cheetah in post #13, a baboon that sits with its hands on its knees like the one in post #21 always makes me chuckle (I should not humanize them but they look so....human when they do it), the waterbuck in post #30 in the front and rear groupings are lovely (waterbucks are my favourite) and the images of treetop secretary birds are different and great because of it.

 

But my favourite so far is the simple cheetah portrait. Amazing detail in the face.

 

Your stork images are also fantastic. Please tell me that you always have some type of support under your camera/lens - if not and these are taken hand held then I need to quit drinking coffee and alcohol!

 

Looking forward to the rest - and cheetah in particular.

 

Kind regards

 

deano.

 

 

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Bush dog

@deano

 

Thank you very much for your comments on some of the photos in this report.

 

I sometimes use as a support, when they are available on the vehicle, a beanbag or a blanket but in most cases I photograph hand held.  This may generate more wastage but provides more flexibility and faster reaction.  I have long since abandoned any form of accessories such as tripods, monopods, ....... more bulky than ultimately necessary.  In the end, photography must remain a pleasure rather than a constraint and too bad if I will never be wildlife photographer of the year.:(  I will add that I drink very little coffee but I really like good wine.:)

 

Thank you for following this report.

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Peter Connan

Fabulous cheetah and bird photos! 

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Marks

Great climbing cheetah, though I also enjoyed the murderous rampage of the LBR(s).

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madaboutcheetah

Superb LBR in action shot!  Also the SB Stork! 

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michael-ibk

Great stuff Mike! Hwange looks fantastic in green season. Gorgeous photos of course, especially love that first saddle-billed and the climbing cheetah. Really happy to hear the lone pelican is still alive and kicking, saw  him there almost three years ago and was sure he would soon be a goner. Amazing that he managed to survive. 

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Bush dog

@michael-ibk

 

Thanks Michael!  That pelican, if it survive another five years or more and I hope it will, will become a legend in Hwange

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Bush dog

A post totally devoted to crowned cranes.

 

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And Namaqua dove.

 

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Towlersonsafari

Can I add my admiration for the photo's and say what an enjoyable lunch time i have spent looking at them @Bush dog Can you comment on the difference between Hwange and Selinda? ( We have been to the later a long time ago and to Kwara but never Hwange)

thanks again for a splendid report so far

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TonyQ

Superb bird photos, in particular the Stork sequence and the LBR sequence- beautiful!

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Bush dog

@Towlersonsafari,  thanks a lot for your kind words.

 

Selinda is for me one of the most beautiful natural places in Africa.  I love these vast plains surrounded by ilala palms.  I went there nine times from 1998 to 2007.  I came back in 2016 and have been there four times since.  In the past, this place was extremely dry.  This arid zone extended into the Savute.   Water was present only in the Zib lagoon.  Every day, herds of elephants could be seen coming from the Savute to quench their thirst.  Lions were everywhere, cheetahs and wild dogs could often be seen.  In 2006, following tectonic movements, the inclination of the Selinda spillway slope was changed and the delta water rushed into it, and so on in the Savute channel to the marsh.  There is now water all year long.  As the environment has changed dramatically, some species that were absent, such as lechwe, crocodile, water monitor lizard and water birds, appeared.  However after my last four visits, I had to notice that there are no more or very few cheetahs and wild dogs.  Lions are still present and leopards are more numerous than in the past.  But, although different, it's still as beautiful as in the past. 
I think that currently, and this seems to me confirmed by Hari’s reports, if you want more diversity in the species to see, you have more chances going to the neighbouring concession than to Selinda.

 

Hwange, on the other hand, is a national park on whose territory there are some private concessions, the largest being the one allocated to Wilderness Safaris.  So, theoretically, no game drives off the roads.  In this regard, in my opinion, the network of roads within the park is insufficient.  Except in the north and northwest, dominated by mopane woodland, Hwange is dominated by Kalahari woodland with a lot of teak forests.  Camp Hwange is located at the border of those two zones.   Like any park, Hwange is open, apart from private concessions, to the public.  For the moment, both in the green season and in the dry season, especially in the northwest, the park is not too busy.  But that could change in the future since the tourism industry in Zimbabwe is doing better.  And surely the prices will increase in the future years and new camps will be opened.  So, I think it’s now time to visit Hwange.  Personally, I consider Hwange, during the hot months of September and October, to be a place where, in a few days, there are great chances to see a large diversity of species in a place still relatively preserved and wild.  It's a great place for sables, roans and elands, also for lions, elephants and buffaloes.  For leopards, you'll have to struggle a bit because most of them are shy and with a bit of luck, you can see wild dogs.

 

If you need more information, please ask. 

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Bush dog

@TonyQ

 

Once more, thank you for following this report.

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Bush dog

There was on a ridge a fairly large clump of young mopanes.  Elephants were there, quietly feasting on young green leaves.  Only the tops of their backs were visible.  But as soon as one of them saw the vehicle or rather sniffed it, it was panicked, communicating it to the whole herd, which began to flee with loud trumpets.  It was then that we noticed that the herd was much larger than we thought, more than fifty individuals, which is quite unusual at this time of the year.

   

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They disappeared into the forest but we were able to find them back.

 

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This phenomenon of panic, we had already witnessed a few days earlier with a herd of buffaloes that I had estimated to 150 to 200 heads, number also quite unusual for the season. This happening very early in the morning, under a cloudy sky, so in a lack of sufficient light, I have unfortunately no pictures of it.

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Towlersonsafari

Thanks very much @Bush dog so many places to try to get to!

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madaboutcheetah

@Game Warden - Wasn't able to like the above post?  

 

Lovely series, Mike ........... 

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Game Warden

@madaboutcheetah It's a problem with updated site, see here. Glad you "liked" it though...

 

Matt

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madaboutcheetah
41 minutes ago, Game Warden said:

@madaboutcheetah you can now like it, it's working again...

 

 

Thank You @Game Warden - you are truly a Rock Star!!!! 

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Bush dog

Back to the birds: the courtship display of the cape turtle dove.

 

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This must also be a way to attract females, the rufous naped lark I think, or is it the flappet lark or both ?

 

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Davesg

Too many beautiful photographs to single out any favourites @Bush dog! Stunning photography and what a fantastic variety of animals and birds you've captured.

 

My wife and I will be in Hwange at the beginning of October (5 nights camping at Ngweshla and 2 nights at Deteema). This trip report has certainly stirred the excitement level for our upcoming travels!

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Peter Connan

Hope you have a great trip @Davesg

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Safaridude

@Bush dog

 

Thanks for your kind words.  I am still around... just older and slower, that's all.

 

I guess I just missed you at Hwange last September ("Washy" told me you were due to come).

 

A great trip report with outstanding photographs by the way.

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