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Bush dog

Kafue : a first visit

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Bush dog
25 minutes ago, CDL111 said:

@Bush dog, to take 40 shots of the elephant is for me impressive, l certainly need some practice, but more important was that Powell did not drive away. Possibly the adrenaline was pumping a little.

 

Adrenaline was not pumping at all, both of us extremely relax.  It was not my first experience of this kind.

 

Though, I must admit it is quite impressive, we both knew that it was a mock charge.  Why?  Body language :  the position of the head straight, slightly up and the ears widely spreaded.

 

 

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ForWildlife

And a young bull too, with them it's usually bluff, still impressive though to see such an animal run at you! Great sequence of shots!

 

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Bush dog
1 hour ago, ForWildlife said:

And a young bull too, with them it's usually bluff, still impressive though to see such an animal run at you! Great sequence of shots!

 

 

Thanks a lot for your comments!

 

This solitary bull was not that young anymore, have a look at the thickness of its trunk.  It was not even trumpeting when it charged or making a lot of show off before charging, it just charged without any warning.

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Bush dog

 First let's start the chapter Busanga Plains by an overview.

 

Ballooning above the plains.  In his free time, the owner of it puts his person and his vehicle at the disposal of Scouts to patrol in search of poachers.  One more proof that the control organs of the park are very poorly equipped.

 

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Very relaxed roans, part of a herd of more than thirty head.  Roans were seen every day.

 

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Morning mist mixed with smoke from bush fires.  The latter often gave the impression that the blue sky was grey.

 

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Couple of lions on burned ground.  Lions were seen on every game drive.

 

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View of Plains Camp.

 

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Male lions (one of the two dominant males) on burned ground close to Shumba (Wilderness camp).  The flames threatened it seriously to the extent that the fire spread to its limits. They had a narrow escape.

 

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Wattled cranes display.

 

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Herd of elephants.

 

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Crowned cranes display.

 

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Small hill near BBC (the other Wilderness camp).

 

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CDL111

Do you think that the scouting will improve if Africa Parks takes Control? Your photographs really do make it a place to want to go to and see it for live.

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marg

@Bush dog...We were at Shumba when the fires were burning.  The camp staff with the balloon crew did a back burn one evening.  One of these days I will do a TR...unfortunately my photos will be similar but not as good as yours.  We left to come home on the 20th.

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Bush dog
2 hours ago, CDL111 said:

Do you think that the scouting will improve if Africa Parks takes Control? Your photographs really do make it a place to want to go to and see it for live.

 

Yes, without a doubt, just look at what AP did in Zakouma.

 

And thanks a lot for your kind words!

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Bush dog

@marg

 

Sorry to hear that you where there when the flames threatened Shumba.

 

Our vehicles went probably past each other, I arrived at Plains Camp on the 18th.  I was alone with my guide and was sitting near him.

 

I look forward to you TR.

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Bush dog

A first batch of roans…..

 

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….. and also lions.

 

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Bush dog

Batch of shots of the two dominant males.

 

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Collared female and its two young sons seen for the first time in the area close to Kapinga.

 

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Bush dog

Hippos are quite numerous on the plains.

 

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And as on the Duba plains, one can often see them out of the water.

 

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Perilous encounter?  Not really.  Indeed, the lion completely ignored the hippo, which was clearly not comfortable and manifested it continuously by half-opening and closing its mouth.  I do not think it was in great danger because the lion was not going to take unnecessary risks, while it had within its reach many easy and non-dangerous prey such as pukus and lechwes.

 

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Here, the hippo seems very intrigued by the presence of a long-toed lapwing.

 

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The same hippo with Plains Camp in the background.

 

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Plains Camp with tent 1 (where I spent 7 nights) on the right and the small pool between it and the main area.

 

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Dagga boys crossing a stream.

 

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Oribis seen not far away from the plains during the long road transfer to Fig Tree.

 

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CDL111

Great photographs of the lions and females. Stayed at Duma many years ago, when 35mm film was mainly used. 

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Big_Dog

You may be interested to hear recently published research from the ZCP has found Kafue lions prey on hippo more than you may think, due to a decrease in buffalo numbers from poaching and the lion penchant for big game. Your photos provide a captivating glimpse into their relationship in the swamps.

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marg

@Big_Dog...we were in the Busanga Plains at the same time as @Bush dog.  Your comments are interesting.  We heard no reference of lions hunting large animals.  There is a gold mine of of smaller prey,  puku and red lechwe.  I went to the ZCP 2017 report that stated that large prey have become less important  to the lions diet in this area.  I might be wrong..please correct if I am.

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ForWildlife

One of their latest publications goes a step further. They compared recent and historic diet data of lions, and current prey data and conclude that lions have shifted their diet to smaller prey because of lack of larger prey. This also causes the lion diet to overlap more with the diet of the other carnivores (wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards) which therefor face more competition from lions.

 

https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1365-2664.13227

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Big_Dog

No you are right, the discussion and graphs in the recent publication posted by ForWildlife show that hippos are taken more often than expected and other lion populations. But for the mainstay of heads of game taken, you're right in that's mainly smaller prey. Sorry I simplified things a bit too much! @marg

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Bush dog

@CDL111  @ForWildlife

 

Thanks for your comments!

 

@Big_Dog

 

Many thanks for your comments also.  My remark was related to the Busanga Plains only and not the whole park.

 

@marg

 

Your comments are very interesting.  It's a pity that we could not exchange a few words during a game drive.  It's my fault, before departure, I should have post on ST that I was about to go to the plains. 

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Bush dog

Wattled cranes

 

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And crowned cranes.

 

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CDL111

Never seen a wattled crane before, just looked it up in Sasol birds of Southern Africa, which says it is an endangered species, so thank you @Bush dog.

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Bush dog
31 minutes ago, CDL111 said:

Never seen a wattled crane before, just looked it up in Sasol birds of Southern Africa, which says it is an endangered species, so thank you @Bush dog.

 

Their situation was worse some years ago.  I think that now it's better but it needs confirmation.

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Bush dog

More lions.

 

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marg

@Bush dog....I have been studying my photos of the two male lions.  I believe that the one mating with Queen in your photos is not the one that we saw mating with her.  She's about ten years old and there was some discussion that she might be in a false estrus.  We saw them mating on the 18th which is the day you arrived in the area.  There was a self drive white truck that got stuck in the water beyond the right of us.  John, my hubby, and I remember seeing you.  Yes, it is a shame that we did not meet.  I also did not post an itinerary of our trip...only made a small comment that we were heading to Zambia.

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Bush dog

Yes, I remember the truck that got stuck.  It was indeed on the 18th in the afternoon.  If I remember quite well, there was also in the distance, from where I was, on the other side of a ditch, the lioness they call the Machine playing with a baby puku.  We probably "met" when I was looking at the couple lying, with taller grass behind them.

 

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It’s possible that it’s not the same one, those two lions are very similar but unless there is a third thief in the area, it can only be one of those two.  Interesting the false estrus possibility.  It means then that there are cubs that have been taken to a safe place by another lioness.  

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Game Warden
15 hours ago, marg said:

I also did not post an itinerary of our trip

 

@marg @Bush dog that's what the Trip Planning subforum is for, just in case you do get the opportunity to share a sighting or dinner table with other Safaritalkers... (unless of course you'd rather not).

 

Matt

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Bush dog

The next pictures are showing red lechwes and pukus. 

 

Leaping in midday light.

 

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With a papyrus background.

 

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Suckling.

 

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Rams.

 

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Kindergarten.  Unlike many grazers, puku females give birth all year long.

 

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Last pictures of the balloon.

 

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