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AfricIan

Thanks for that @CDL111, it's great that we can get access to so much help & advice on SafariTalk.

 

At the end(ish) of the “wildlife” part of this trip, how was it?  In short, great and many thanks to @Tony Busanga for setting it up and dealing with all our disparate questions/requests.  There was probably a bit too much “zipping about” but as you’ll see below we did have our reasons for wanting to include VF in the trip so although we spent the best part of 2½ days just moving around within Zambia that was always going to be the case.


It was great to catch up with Phil & Tyrone and see what they’ve done at Musekese – seeing Wild Dogs whilst we were on foot was definitely the highlight of the trip.


The three Norman Carr (or Time + Tide as they’re called now.  I’m not convinced this is a good move as the “Norman Carr Safaris” brand is so well known & respected but then, what do I know about marketing?) were also excellent and we had some great encounters there.  Whilst it’s clear the three camps are part of the same “family” but are all different and we really liked Luwi.  Moving around between the 3 camps wasn’t an issue but if we hadn’t wanted to include VF in the trip then I’d probably have added an extra day at each camp (so 4, 3, 3 rather than 3, 2, 2). Guiding at all three was excellent, both in vehicle and on foot.  


We’ve added two new antelopes (Grysbok & Reedbuck) to our list, seen so many more animals than I’ve mentioned and seen some fascinating animal behaviours so all-in-all a very productive & enjoyable safari.

 

 

So finally, why Victoria Falls? This goes back to 1997 when, with the two children in tow (aged 13 & 11), our plan was to “have a look at the falls” then go to the Victoria Falls Hotel for a drink and piece of cake.  In our naivety we'd not taken any waterproofs other than a couple of plastic bags for cameras etc. so needless to say, after a couple of hours exploring the length of the falls we were absolutely drenched.  As we squelched away from the falls we looked at each other, looking like crosses between drowned rats and the finalist in the wettest of wetT-Shirt competitions and said “Victoria Falls Hotel  - perhaps not!”.  Roll on 21 years and we’re back

 

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We were well prepared this time and Waterberry also provided us with ponchos so we could enjoy the magnificence of the falls in full flow and be suitably attired for the gentile old-school grandness of the hotel.

 

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Cheers, isn’t Africa wonderful!


A word on Waterberry – “terrific” sums the place up – from arranging our visit to the falls straight from the airport to our lunchtime Zambezi cruise, nothing was too much trouble.  Our visit to Tukongote village & school was guided by “Webby”, a local from the village whose “day job” is as a carpenter at the lodge and it was heartening to see how much Waterberry were putting back into the community.  
The lodge is about 45min drive from Livingstone so you probably don’t want to make that trip every day but there are lots of options on offer at the lodge including guided pre-breakfast birding walks or half day visits to the nearby Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park if you want another wildlife fix.  It’s easy to see why it’s so popular.

Edited by AfricIan
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amybatt

Some excellent shots here and great coverage of the camps you stayed at.  Thank you for sharing.  I too love the lions, but what really caught my eye was the way the sun highlights around the puku (the shot before misty/foggy morning shot) in #4!

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AfricIan

Thanks @amybatt that puku image is particularly "atmospheric".  The trouble is I don't quite know how I got it :unsure:.  The timestamp says 5:25pm so the sun was very low hence the "fur corona" but where the "light spots" come from is a mystery.

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How nice to see that big familiar dog at Pioneer! A bit grayer around the muzzle but looking quite content.

The Kafue sundown is gorgeous, and your owlet photos are mesmerizing (those eyes!). Also a special mention of the spotlit little hyenas is certainly warranted.

 

I also rather love the towel folded like an elephant.

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AfricIan

Thanks @Marks, that old softee at Pioneer hasn't changed much since we saw him in 2005!  Thanks also for the complementary words on the photo's.

 

It's always a nice anticipation when arriving at a new camp to see what they've done with the towels, elephants was a first

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  • 5 months later...

@africlan  I've come very late to your report but enjoyed it immensely. I am also totally envious of your dog sightings! Great photos all the way through and also so interesting to see how the NC camps have changed since I was there many years ago. My favourite was Luwi too, but it was much simpler then. 

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AfricIan

Thanks @Galago, that dog sighting whilst we were walking on our first morning at Musekese was so unexpected and a clear "best moment of the trip".

 

If you get bored & want to go back to 2015, this our trip report from that visit.  I think they've moved the tents from "old Musekese" to their Ntemwa-Busanga camp, rather than the dome tent we had.

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@Africlan Thanks for the link to your 2015 TR. It was very interesting reading about the previous incarnation of Musekese. You certainly did well with sightings. Some lovely leopard shots and the lunging hippo is extraordinary.

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AfricIan

Thanks @Galago, it was a great trip & the Busanga Plains certainly delivered for us. That Hippo fight and the "crunching" as they knocked seven bells out of each other will live long in our memories, & the only time I've regretted not having a video camera - though whether even that would have truly captured the moment is debatable

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