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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
9 hours ago, Hads said:

Loving your TR thanks @Julian.

Is the dove a namaqualand dove?

@Hads

Thanks, I’ve looked up the species you suggest in my East African Birds book and I believe you are correct.   

Its obviously a female as the males are  differently coloured.

 

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lmonmm

As always loving this TR. I had been "hoarding" it.....kind of watching but not reading as I like to sit down and read through several pages. Ok @Julian  you have ......(oh gosh- going to start crying again at the thought of this place not being here and before everyone thinks I'm a big crybaby- ok, well, I am-  it's been a big year of losses for me- lost my dad in May and I'm still trying to figure that all out and it's not going well- then I lost one of my favorite cats a couple months later and now my last cat (she's 16) has a tumor so it's "watch and wait"- don't get me wrong, she's doing great and she doesn't know the tumor is there-  but I do---- so to sum it up- a shit year for losses and now this- ugh). So, @Julian  I have always loved your reports so could you maybe?- maybe?- finish it so at least I have that?  "Sigh"  Sorry to sound so demanding  :)

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Julian

@lmonmm

I originally hoped I would finish this report by Christmas but that obviously won’t happen. 

I do intend to finish the Tafika part by 19th - there are two more game drives to write about and photos are already edited.

However I still need to edit sort and reduce in number all the photos for the rest of trip - that’s about 80 % of the photos, so no way I could do this in the next few days. Most of my time right now is taken up with Christmas preparations as it’s always a big thing for us and we have family staying for four days this year.

I’m optimistic that this forum will continue as there are plenty of us who are interested in helping to run it.

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Tom Kellie

~ @Julian

 

Thank you so much for having tipped me off to this travel report.

 

It would have been a shame to have overlooked it.

 

Where possible, I've added “likes”. Many times I tried, but was unable to do so.

 

I'm also unable to view any of the images, due to unknown factors.

 

It may be because the YouTube links contained herein trigger the automated censorship mechanism in the area where I work and live.

 

No matter, your words and description are pleasure enough.

 

As I'm unfamiliar with Zambia, your comments are enlightening.

 

I'm so pleased that you and Rachel enjoyed a splendid safari.

 

Tom K.

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Julian
On 1/11/2019 at 1:07 PM, Tom Kellie said:

~ @Julian

 

Thank you so much for having tipped me off to this travel report.

 

It would have been a shame to have overlooked it.

 

Where possible, I've added “likes”. Many times I tried, but was unable to do so.

 

I'm also unable to view any of the images, due to unknown factors.

 

It may be because the YouTube links contained herein trigger the automated censorship mechanism in the area where I work and live.

 

No matter, your words and description are pleasure enough.

 

As I'm unfamiliar with Zambia, your comments are enlightening.

 

I'm so pleased that you and Rachel enjoyed a splendid safari.

 

Tom K.

@Tom Kellie

I'm pleased that you liked it, there will be a lot more in this trip report - as soon as I can find the time to continue - I intend to update it starting this weekend.

Edited by kittykat23uk

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Julian

Fortunately the rain had stopped by the time we were ready to head out on our afternoon/evening game drive. Penelope was still with us and we were also joined by a new arrival Kelly, an accountant who is fanatical about wildlife photography. Kelly has been going to a specific location in the Masai Mara once or twice a year for the past ten years, so Zambia is a big change for her.

 

At first the afternoon was very quiet, the very cold weather the previous day and the rain today seemed to have caused the wildlife to disappear. However by the time we arrived back at camp we were buzzing, having seen three more different leopards and, just before we got back to camp, a honey badger – our first ever sighting.

 

The first sighting in the afternoon was a solitary male reedbuck and very little then until we found a leopard just before it was time for our sundowners.

 

IMG_5855.JPG.632a22655eb190cc8bcf362020396286.JPG

IMG_5856.JPG.56d011526eb49b015afa21700ceb399c.JPGIMG_0222.JPG.7d9956fcb5a656bcf3fe9f2c9419d34e.JPG

 

IMG_0233.JPG.b32228dacfd4d984dd0f10c135a40d79.JPG

 

Our second leopard sighting came at dusk as the light was fading rapidly.

 

IMG_5864.JPG.182b62c70b9672afc5366e9ff13502d0.JPGIMG_5865.JPG.d30f8e8f29c22c6e49a5125461794180.JPG

 

 

 

Our third leopard on this drive was a young adult female, who barely seemed old enough to be hunting on her own, but she was clearly very confident and we were able to follow her for a while. She managed to quickly get close to some impala but couldn’t get close enough to catch one, although she did try. We also noticed at this point that she had a hyena following her closely, which clearly annoyed her.

 

IMG_0243.JPG.aa10bffe714225abae67758d22a2ac22.JPGIMG_0244.JPG.39d8da93d4dd869babc7288361ed5adb.JPG

 

IMG_0241.JPG.af6e68e9d741cae98025ef6b6717506e.JPG

 

When we were not far from the camp I asked Lloyd if there were any honey badgers around Tafika, and less than five minutes later he found one for us. Back at camp we had another very sociable dinner with excellent food again.

 

 

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Tom Kellie
On 1/16/2019 at 5:41 PM, Julian said:

When we were not far from the camp I asked Lloyd if there were any honey badgers around Tafika, and less than five minutes later he found one for us

 

~ @Julian

 

What did I just read ?!?!?!

 

Woooooooooow !!!!!!!!!!!

Tom K.

Edited by kittykat23uk

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Tom Kellie

IMG_5855.JPG.632a22655eb190cc8bcf362020396286.JPG.af6688092c9494e01f7e3bb04d258a11.JPG

 

IMG_5864.JPG.182b62c70b9672afc5366e9ff13502d0.JPG.a3a98a1efa1a9f77a5ad7a49a6067c29.JPG

 

 

~ @Julian

 

As if the evening honey badger-on-demand sighting wasn't more than enough, the two outstanding images above show what fine sightings you had.

 

The reedbuck image encompasses the setting so well. I like the richly saturated color.

 

The crouching leopard has almost attained the slinking mode. What a great action shot in diminished light.

 

Thank you for continuing to prepare and post this trip report.

 

Tom K.

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Julian
2 hours ago, Tom Kellie said:

 

~ @Julian

 

What did I just read ?!?!?!

 

Woooooooooow !!!!!!!!!!!

Tom K.

@Tom Kellie

Hi Tom, I think this was just pure luck, honey badgers are seen relatively frequently at night on drives in South Luangwa NP. I think it was only the very unusual weather - a cold front had moved north from South Africa causing grey skies, some rain and unusually cold temperatures across the whole of Zambia for much of the second half of July. So it was one of those pure coincidences - which were however great for our guide as well as for us.

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Julian
1 hour ago, Tom Kellie said:

IMG_5855.JPG.632a22655eb190cc8bcf362020396286.JPG.af6688092c9494e01f7e3bb04d258a11.JPG

 

IMG_5864.JPG.182b62c70b9672afc5366e9ff13502d0.JPG.a3a98a1efa1a9f77a5ad7a49a6067c29.JPG

 

 

~ @Julian

 

As if the evening honey badger-on-demand sighting wasn't more than enough, the two outstanding images above show what fine sightings you had.

 

The reedbuck image encompasses the setting so well. I like the richly saturated color.

 

The crouching leopard has almost attained the slinking mode. What a great action shot in diminished light.

 

Thank you for continuing to prepare and post this trip report.

 

Tom K.

@Tom Kellie

Thanks so much for your kind comments on these photos. I will be posting the next section of this trip report tomorrow, which is the final morning at Tafika - lots of wildlife and another leopard, then we transferred to Kaingo where the wildlife viewing steps up a gear or two - painted wolves and many lions.............

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marg

@Julian...are you sure that it is a reedbuck?  It looks like a bushbuck.

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Julian
1 hour ago, marg said:

@Julian...are you sure that it is a reedbuck?  It looks like a bushbuck.

@marg

yes, you are of course correct, it is a bushbuck, my mistake - I’ll remember in future - the spots  - too many different deer/ antelopes/ etc......

 

 

 

 

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Julian

 Morning game drive at Tafika then transfer to Kaingo Camp

 

For our last morning at Tafika we had the vehicle to ourselves and it would be a shortened morning game viewing as we were due to transfer to Kaingo around 10.30am.

 

After a couple of days of mostly grey skies and cold weather, with a noticeable absence of wildlife much of the time, this morning started with the skies clearing followed by bright sunshine and definitely noticeably warmer, and the significantly increased presence of wildlife for our remaining few hours at Tafika made it a fine finale to our time here.

 

 We left the camp after saying our farewells to John and Carol and the rest of the staff just before 7.00am and within a couple of minutes found some elephants.

 

IMG_5867.JPG.888848638035a79acfd93b165fc2773e.JPGIMG_5868.JPG.a02cc7c03aeb40747aa2a84ae2ce7695.JPGIMG_5869.JPG.4a76a3a10db163bce5830dfe4f824a0b.JPGIMG_5870.JPG.e4bbfef81e498dc36dbff89e9d1a7220.JPGIMG_0258.JPG.ffe32bba327da3b98ded3c73a07c35bb.JPG

 

There was a brighter fresher feel to the day and the rapidly clearing skies created beautiful morning light for some landscape photos opportunities.

 

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After moving on we spotted a solitary elephant and then a Smiths bush squirrel.

 

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A few minutes later as we approached a flat open expanse of land by the river, we noticed a large herd of grazing puku. It created a tranquil setting in the early morning light.

 

IMG_9054.JPG.efaf671db5f7b452dcc1d444e8eebc5e.JPGIMG_5876.JPG.ba0f0b0f64f9dc4c3d83bc7eebf78d38.JPGIMG_5877.JPG.600145baa039e9c1ba3652ffdbd3144c.JPGIMG_5878.JPG.4561c8b01551d195748e0bcf8ce859bd.JPGIMG_0276.JPG.a0d0f185c71c4c8581fd28eae89eda0d.JPG

 

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Julian

Moving on again we came upon a solitary resting hyena and then a few giraffe, next we spotted a lilac breasted roller and then a close-up view of a white-browed coucal.

 

IMG_5881.JPG.3bd8b961e5c3ee9f8602fe332e81f091.JPGIMG_0277.JPG.7c1ad23d88ee35de88db1379c84d7325.JPGIMG_0280.JPG.0e20a504a486c55bbf65cb764a51960d.JPGIMG_5885.JPG.dc2ddfac67ade5cb16f399e2aff489c1.JPGIMG_5886.JPG.326ec6a307371aa7bccf1fc1a5b045e4.JPGIMG_0283.JPG.78c5800ec57fcbd947ac43efbe1b2ea2.JPGIMG_0286.JPG.79b1915cd4b027bddea65d644e077fcd.JPGIMG_0282.JPG.d4ceb711700bf9b70c2c7477079e3ed7.JPGIMG_0288.JPG.f59fe8bf46bb59fca90948fd52518c98.JPGIMG_5924.JPG.03c76bbb0f880fb725f95ecd5b719568.JPG

 

As we approached the river edge some hippos and crocodiles appeared to be enjoying the sunshine.

 

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A few minutes later we found another group of giraffes browsing.

 

IMG_5900.JPG.530ce123c5e116d365da883340438c81.JPGIMG_0296.JPG.a7bfe88b34b4eb6704a9ac1e220c2090.JPG

 

A little further on a family of elephants were casually heading towards the river.

 

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Julian

After watching the elephants for a while Lloyd said it was time to drive us to where we would be transferring on the river to Kaingo. However a few minutes into the journey he had a call on the radio from Bryan and changed direction. (Bryan was guiding today, taking Kelly out as she had booked a private vehicle for the rest of her stay).

 

A few minutes later we noticed two other vehicles close together, which was really unusual as for most of our game viewing at Tafika there were no other vehicles around, or only one other at a couple of leopard sitings.

 

 Lloyd said they had found a leopard but we would only have time for a quick look as we needed to head off for the transfer. As we approached the vehicles we spotted the leopard in a gully with an impala kill, still being gripped firmly around its throat, and I believe it was still alive for a few more seconds – so we had missed the hunt by only a few minutes. However the setting and the light enabled us to quickly take some very clear photos of the leopard with its kill.

 

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This was our seventh leopard siting during our three days at Tafika, and all of them were different leopards, a fitting end to our time at Tafika. As we set off quickly heading towards our transfer destination we were looking forward to what we might see on the next stage of our trip, and reflecting on what a great time we had enjoyed at Tafika.  

 

 

 

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Tom Kellie

IMG_5896.JPG.2983ad86d41834eaeec52815de62ced6.JPG.35f4e0f9f0c9e0bf4abd3b190e91af6a.JPG

 

 

IMG_0318.JPG.37e93717071ee79516f874b1896b0ab0.JPG.f886910203ddb35b09104d3a8dad5d0b.JPG

 

 

~ @Julian

 

There's a wealth of top quality images of remarkable sightings in this trip report.

 

I was admiring the seemingly tranquil setting with crocodiles and hippos when the next post appeared.

 

The impala kill by a leopard is outstanding.

 

Thank you for continuing to please with a truly delightful trip report.

 

Tom K.

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Julian
40 minutes ago, Tom Kellie said:

IMG_5896.JPG.2983ad86d41834eaeec52815de62ced6.JPG.35f4e0f9f0c9e0bf4abd3b190e91af6a.JPG

 

 

IMG_0318.JPG.37e93717071ee79516f874b1896b0ab0.JPG.f886910203ddb35b09104d3a8dad5d0b.JPG

 

 

~ @Julian

 

There's a wealth of top quality images of remarkable sightings in this trip report.

 

I was admiring the seemingly tranquil setting with crocodiles and hippos when the next post appeared.

 

The impala kill by a leopard is outstanding.

 

Thank you for continuing to please with a truly delightful trip report.

 

Tom K.

@Tom Kellie

Thank you so much for your praising comments Tom, good to know you are really liking this report.

 

There will be a gap of a week or so before I start posting the Kaingo section of the trip, as I need to reduce the number of Kaingo photos further ( originally we had 1100 from Kaingo, initially reduced to 700, now need to reduce that down to about 300) and then a bit of editing / tidying-up of those followed by writing up that section of the trip.

 

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amybatt

Your last morning light and sightings were wonderful. Beautiful light as you left camp.  You had a good stay at Tafika, it looks like.  I too will be waiting for Kaingo!

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Julian
20 minutes ago, amybatt said:

Your last morning light and sightings were wonderful. Beautiful light as you left camp.  You had a good stay at Tafika, it looks like.  I too will be waiting for Kaingo!

@amybatt

Thank you for your very nice comments.

It’s now 6 months since we were at Kaingo so I am really looking forward to going through the photos and  posting the report as  I have  partly forgotten just how many good sightings and experiences we had on this trip. Fortunately Rachel writes a fairly detailed diary of the trip.

Edited by Julian

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CDL111

@Julian, l think l am fortunate to see a leopard, so to have seen seven, wow! At least we have seen the photographs.

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Julian
26 minutes ago, CDL111 said:

@Julian, l think l am fortunate to see a leopard, so to have seen seven, wow! At least we have seen the photographs.

@CDL111

Thanks, plenty more leopards to see in this report - when I eventually post it all.

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michael-ibk

Julian, that Leopard sighting is outstanding, brilliant stuff!

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Julian
4 hours ago, michael-ibk said:

Julian, that Leopard sighting is outstanding, brilliant stuff!

@michael-ibk

Thanks very much , It was definitely one of the best leopard sittings we have had on any safari, and really made a great ending to the last morning game drive at Tafika.

 

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Alexander33

Fantastic shots of the leopard with impala kill. I haven’t made it to Zambia yet, but you can bet that I’m planning something in my mind!  Enjoying your trip report very much. Thanks for sharing it with us. 

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Julian
2 hours ago, Alexander33 said:

Fantastic shots of the leopard with impala kill. I haven’t made it to Zambia yet, but you can bet that I’m planning something in my mind!  Enjoying your trip report very much. Thanks for sharing it with us. 

@Alexander33

Thanks very much, go to Zambia, it’s beautiful - and don’t overlook Lower Zambezi national park - it’s one of the most beautiful parks I’ve visited with surprisingly excellent wild life viewing ( as you will see when I get to that part of this trip report.)

 

 

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