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Julian

South Luangwa (Tafika and Kaingo) and Lower Zambezi (Old Mondoro and Chiawa)- 15th July to 28th July 2018

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Julian

Arrived back home a week ago from our seventh safari, but our first safari to Zambia.

 

So... how was it..... Amazing! .............Easily our best ever safari. All our guides were superb, never more than four guests in a vehicle when they had to put groups together, and the night drives lasted up to two hours everyday.

 

Bad points...... there were none.

 

Not quite so good things..... only the weather for some of the time.  It was unusually cold. It rained one afternoon in Tafika.

Hot water bottles in beds were standard every night at 3 of the 4 camps and at Old Mondoro we even had hot water bottles on the morning game drives.

So pleased we had each packed a thermal vest, a thermal pair of socks and a fleecy/wollen hat. 

 

So what did we see......... Sixteen leopards ( including two seven months old cubs), 39 lions, wild dogs, and many elephants and plenty of very young elephant calves.

 

Some of the new species for us included 7 porcupines, 3 honey badgers, about 6 civets, 3 elephant shrews,  several new species of mongoose including bushy-tailed and Selous mongoose,  carmine bee eaters and .......... two Pel's fishing owls.

 

Our room at Old Mondoro provided us with the best game viewing we have ever had from a room  - elephants visited every day as well as other game.

 

With 4 days at Chiawa we did all the water options there - sunset cruise, fishing and canoeing - all were excellent . On our last full day there it was the total eclipse of the moon (clear skies) and after the evening game drive they took all the guests (and an armed ranger)  to a tiny island in the middle of the Lower Zambezi river, where they had a large circle of lanterns, camp fire , food being cooked, etc, and we ate our meal while watching the eclipse progress.

 

South Luangwa was as we expected - a beautiful unspoilt park,  with the night drives, the luangwa river, many leopards, elephants, lions, hippos and wild dogs being the major highlights. 

 

However lower Zambezi is probably the most beautiful of all the parks and reserves we have been to in Africa. The density of game is considerably lower than in South Luangwa, and although the game drives at both Old Mondoro and Chiawa  were a little disappointing initially, they both ended really well in the last 24  hours at each.

 

Our last full day of the whole safari was at Chiawa where  in the morning we witnessed a complete spectacular lion versus buffalo encounter............. but you will have to wait sometime to hear more about that as I have 5400 photos to sort out and a detailed trip report to write........

I currently have lots to do so I wont be starting the trip report for a few weeks.

 

I will post a few photos over  the next few days, and in the meantime here is a video of lions having breakfast from our last morning drive at Old Mondoro camp:

 

[youtube]

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Edited by Julian

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offshorebirder

Wow @Julian, what a teaser!   Sounds like your safari ended with a bang.

 

Looking forward to following along.  

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amybatt

Can’t wait!  What a great teaser!  So glad you had a wonderful safari!

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madaboutcheetah

Sounds like an amazing  time @Julian 

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Towlersonsafari

Hurrah! looking forward to the report on two of our favourite places-and we agree that the Lower Zambezi is beautiful @Julian did you have the chalet at the river channel at Old Mondoro?

Edited by Towlersonsafari

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Julian
27 minutes ago, Towlersonsafari said:

Hurrah! looking forward to the report on two of our favourite places-and we agree that the Lower Zambezi is beautiful @Julian did you have the chalet at the river channel at Old Mondoro?

 

@Towlersonsafari

 

we we had room number 4, the one furthest from the camp centre and furthest along the river channel, so plenty of photos and videos taken from our verandah

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Towlersonsafari

a beautiful spot-we saw elephants and  an old buufalo who liked to wallow in the channel, as well as a snake and waterbucks etc-looking forward to finding out what you saw @Julian!

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bluebird

I’ve been thinking about you the last couple of weeks and wondering how it all went. So glad it was an amazing trip and can’t wait to read the full report!

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janzin

glad you had an amazing time! And that you loved Lower Zambezi. I guess the tses-tses (which you were worried about) weren't bad, maybe due to the cold weather.

 

Looking forward to more!

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Julian
On 8/8/2018 at 4:12 AM, janzin said:

glad you had an amazing time! And that you loved Lower Zambezi. I guess the tses-tses (which you were worried about) weren't bad, maybe due to the cold weather.

 

Looking forward to more!

 

@janzin 

The tsetses were only present in a few locations and there appeared to be very few of them, except in the Mopani forest on our journey back to Tafika camp after visiting the hot springs. Our guide Lloyd drove through the forest very quickly, but we both still got bitten a few times on that route.

Rachel had covered up a lot more this time - long sleeve shirts instead of open neck tops, and long socks instead of bare ankles, plus with it being unusually cold we often had several layers on.

Rachel started taking citirizine a week before we left the UK and put antihistamine cream on the few bites she had,, which seemed to stop them swelling up, so a big improvement on our last two safaris.

 

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janzin

ah yes, the Mopani forest near the hot springs is where I got some bites on top of my bites :) But most of my bites came from the southern section of the park, which you didn't visit. Glad you made out so well with them.

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mopsy

Wow sounds like an awesome time was had @Julian. Really looking forward to hearing all about it!

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CDL111

Waiting patiently for more, hopefully not too long. Couldn't you pull a sickie so you can start your report?

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Julian
3 hours ago, CDL111 said:

Waiting patiently for more, hopefully not too long. Couldn't you pull a sickie so you can start your report?

 

@CDL111

i will be posting a few photos and videos on this, in the next few days.

 

Pulling a sickie is no good as I’m retired. It’s the first time we have returned from a safari in the summertime - so other things I need and want to do currently before the English autumn starts.

 

However I am making a bit of progress with starting to go through and edit and reduce the 5400 photos we took , and uploading a few videos to Youtube so I can post them here as I write the report.

 

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CDL111

We shall be patient. It would be of interest which airport you used and who you flew with. If we go, it will be October 2019.

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Julian
40 minutes ago, CDL111 said:

We shall be patient. It would be of interest which airport you used and who you flew with. If we go, it will be October 2019.

@CDL111

Heathrow - Dubai - Lusaka (Emirates)

 

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CDL111

Many thanks @Julian.

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Julian

Here is a video I filmed from our room at Old Mondoro Bush camp, Lower Zambezi. Every afternoon we spent  some time watching the wildlife from our veranda:

 

[youtube]

[/youtube]

 

Edited by Julian

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Julian

Here is a taster of a highlight of the trip:

 

IMG_7182.JPG.0a22ad9916649d68f62c344bc8ea031d.JPG

 

IMG_2430.JPG.fba9a6b8fb5e91278bd84f7d4e9bec1b.JPG

 

IMG_7188.JPG.e30ebe7a05ee98258bc8c5a770cb7493.JPG

 

 

IMG_2444.JPG.cf55fea8d89f33b7b563507db622e9a5.JPG

 

 

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Alexander33

Wow, from your overall description, it sounds like you had a phenomenal safari. So glad to hear it all worked out well for you.

 

The photos and video you’ve posted so far are great.

 

Looking forward to more when you have the time. 

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safarigirl.se

Nice start, looking forward to read more! :) The elephant video i just great, mindfullness deluxe!

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Julian

@safarigirl.se

Thanks , hope to make a start on the report in about ten days time. Currently going through the 5400 photos and deleting the many  ‘rubbish’ photos. Have uploaded about 15 videos from this safari to our YouTube channel, so if you want to see some more videos go to Jules 54 on Youtube ( note there is a space between  s and the 5 )

 

 

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Game Warden

Publish the "rubbish" ones as teasers in the meantime, and don't forget to embedd some of your Youtube videos in subsequent posts @Julian.

 

Matt

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Julian

@Game Warden

Thanks. Most of the videos will be in the trip report, I like to get them edited and on Youtube, ready for posting, then delete all ‘Rubbish’ photos.

Then I go through the photos from the first camp we stayed at deleting the ones I won’t us, such as lots that are nearly identical, then minor editing any on windows photoeditor any that need things like horizon straightening or adjustment to exposure.

Then I’m ready to post the trip reported to the end of the stay at the first camp.

When I eventually finish posting the trip report my wife uses that as a basis for putting together the photos that go into two photo books. 

Thats what we did for our last two safaris, and although the trip report takes along time to produce I really enjoyed doing the previous two from Tanzania - which still continue  to get plenty of views.

 

I’ll post a few more photos here over the next few days prior to starting the report.

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Julian

Still too busy to start the report yet,  so, in the meantime, heres a few more photos and videos:

 

[youtube]

[/youtube]

 

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