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My second longest safari ever: Botswana,Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia


optig

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AfricIan

Great sighting of the dogs @optig.  How many were in the pack? I wonder if it was one of the packs we saw (~8 in one & ~20 in the other)

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@Africlan I don't clearly remember how many they were in the pack,but I can assure you that they were a good number of about 20.

Edited by optig
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At Bilimungwe Alex a lovely Australian lady was the manager. I was guided by Manda who has garnered numerous awards for his superb guiding.I thoroughly enjoyed going on walking safaris with him.The chalets were beautifully decorated and furnished with leadwood. They were also super comfortable. The food was fresh, delicious and plentiful.  There were elephants and a lovely male bushbuck in camp. On my last night there I saw 3 leopards and 5 hyenas !This was in addition to the 3 leopards I had seen earlier. 

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I then went to Chamilandu which has a lovely location on the river. As you can see the sightings of lions were just awesome. I saw a pride at night tracking puku and then on the way back to camp saw yet another leopard. There were also plenty of Thornicroft giraffes. I heard the lions outside my chalet at night. Chamilandu was just a fabulous camp in every way, shape and form.  I highly recommend it. 

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I then went to Lusaka where I stayed at the Laitude 15 Hotel. I was amazed by the sophistication, and positive vibe of it. It sets new standards for urban hotels in Africa outside of Cape Town, It was just so beautifully furnished and decorated. However, I felt let down by the poor service at breakfast. I then flew to Nyika National Park via Ullendo Airlines. Nyika National Park whilst certainly pleasant and pretty isn't one of the best in Africa I stayed here for three nights. I can't compare it to Bale National Park in Ethiopia which is far more interesting in terms of wildlife,scenery,birdlife and of course the atmosphere. In fact, I would urge those like myself who have been to Bale National Park that they might as well just skip Nyika. The birdwatching is excellent but isn't it everywhere in Africa including Nairobi and Johannesburg? 

 

I then went to Liwonde where I stayed at the Mvuu Camp four nights where I was very pleasantly surprised by the wildlife, scenery, bush vibe and birdlife. I did not expect much but then I was utterly surprised by the population of wildlife in the park.I saw a number of elephants,sable,eland,,buffalos, common duiker, eland,and greater kudu, hippos and hartebeest.The birdlife is exceptionally varied.I took boat rides and game drives through the park which I can say were exciting. I did see two families of bush pigs close up as well as two new species of mongoose: Meller's and Water. 

 

I do think that African Parks and or Robin Pope Safaris need to put in tsetse fly traps. There was a terrible problem with them in the miombo forest. I had to put on my fly suit which of course makes me look like an alien from another planet!

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Edited by optig
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madaboutcheetah

@optig - Did you return to SLNP to go to Tafika then from Malawi? or have you missed it in the report? ;) 

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AfricIan

Good to hear you enjoyed Liwonde @optig, we did last year.  When were you there as we didn't have a problem with Tsetse at all, we were there in the first 2 weeks of June.

 

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Unfortunately I don't have many photos of the last part of my safari which was in Kafue. I stayed a whole week in Kafue at Musekese Camp where I was guided by James and got to know Tyrone and his partner Alex.I have to say that James is one of the finest guides in all of my many safaris.  I did enjoy the wilderness vibe in the camp.I could hear lions roaring,elephants trumpeting and hippos croaking  through the night.I also got to see a three legged hyena running through the camp.I also got see bush pigs,sable antelope,roan antelope,greater kudu,baboons,monkeys,zebras and a leopard. I totally enjoyed my two boat trips on the river. The birding was superb and I saw so many new species. 

 

I then went to Mukambi Plains Camp for four nights. Of course the herds of red lechwe at Busanga Plains were simply beautiful. There were also lions,hippos and buffalo. I only have these two photos of the Plains. 

 

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Last but by no means least I wish to thank @Peter Connan for taking me birdwatching at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve. I throughly enjoyed his company and birdwatching skills. He is such a kind gentleman. The Rietvlei Nature Reserve is a great place for birdwatching and light game viewing. 

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Peter Connan

Thank you very much for the kind words @optig.

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  • 2 weeks later...
penolva

@optig Welcome back Owen from your amazing safari. At one point I was worried you had 'gone missing!' but dear @Sangeeta was able to reassure me you were not lost in the bush. You had such a varied trip and stayed in some very interesting places. I do envy you the serval sighting in particular. That is number one on our upcoming trip to the Masai Mara and South Africa. You do have some very exciting safari's planned for next year. One, in particular, caught my eye. Pen

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@penolva  As you know too well I can't wait to meet  you and your husband in Nairobi.Your kind words mean everything to me.I am doing just fantastic.

I am looking forward to our safari next year.

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@optig, to see a Pel’s Fishing Owl is on my wish list, the wife and l are enjoying your report. Your mode of transfer at Little Vamburu, brought back memories of boat transfers at Kwetsani.

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@CDL111 Thank you so much for your kind words. I was fortunate enough to see a Pel's Fishing Owl again at South Luangwa National Park on a night drive.

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Earthian

Seems you had a wonderful time. And i understand what you mean when you say that sometimes you just sit back and relax and not go on a game drive. It is great to bond with the environment.

 

I have never been able to do it though-sit back and relax, that is-Always impatient to go on drives.

 

Great report and thank you for sharing. Inspired me.

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@optig

Excellent report and what an amazing long safari with so much wildlife.

 

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