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madaboutcheetah

Brownies at Lagoon; Splash "special"; From Twin Pools to Kwena Lagoon and beyond - A Kwando Safari Oct/Nov 2018

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madaboutcheetah

Dear All,

 

Back to reality having just returned from Kwando ..... As always, Many Thanks to my friends and guides Spencer and Mr.Moe for all the fabulous adventures that continue to this day and beyond..... Thanks to AT and his superb tracking skills at Splash.  Thanks to camp management and staff at lagoon, Lebala and Splash who were fabulous as always ..... Here's the first bunch of images from Splash.

 

The wild dogs had a successful year with their den by the now closed Little Kwara.  9 puppies at the moment running wild and strong.

 

In this instalment - the nomadic male Lions "Big man and Puffy" .... who we found in a new area close to Splash that they call "Ngorongoro".

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madaboutcheetah

With sincere condolences, I have to say that Hobbs will be immensely missed by the many of us who have known him from over the years.  His fantastic guiding skills, and heroic acts of bravery will be remembered forever!!!....... RIP Hobbs, the Cowboy!!!  

 

We were truly gutted and emotional during our drive in Tsum Tsum; where all the old memories came pouring back/ 

 

Here's a photo from my last visit of him at a "special" sighting.  RIP, Hobbs!!! You will always be a legend!!!! 

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optig

@madaboutcheetah I can't wait to see more. I remember Spencer and Mr Moe most fondly. Since I was in Botswana earlier this year I would wish to know how the staff feels about the proposal to bring back big game hunting to Botswana. I'm so sorry to hear that Hobbs died because he was a superb guide.I can still remember the river cruise and his explanation of the ecology of the Okavango Delta.

Edited by optig

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madaboutcheetah

@optig - I don't think they know what the current president has in store.  They do have nothing but respect for President Masisi.  I did have some discussions about hunting, but, I'd not wish to speculate on this forum most of which I'd think has been discussed endlessly anyways.

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CDL111

@madaboutcheetah, looking forward to your report, good to know that the dogs have been successful in their breeding. 

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Bush dog

So sorry to hear that a great and reliable guide is too early gone.  As you said, Hari, RIP Hobbs. 

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AKR1

Very sorry to hear about Hobbs. He was a relatively young man. Remembering the good times with him on Safari. RIP. 

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wilddog

Sad news about Hobbs.

 

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madaboutcheetah

I travelled with 3 others on this trip; one of them a first time safari goer ......... It was awesome to see Botswana through the eyes of a first timer! Very refreshing!!! 

 

A bit of this and that - flew into Kasane airport from JNB on the SAA Airlink.  Wow what a delightful experience it was! No crowds, nice infrastructure and very quick to get through immigration.

 

The Botswana visa, now seems to be easy ........ Again approx 5 working days!  I bumped into an Indian couple at Lagoon who also had a similar experience ....... Fingers crossed!!!! 

 

In this instalment - a female cheetah we bumped into while tracking the territory holder "Special" ..... She meant business!!! and unlike "Special" ;  whacked a Reedbuck in no time at all in the dried up marsh right next to the new Mekoro station at Splash.

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Game Warden

@madaboutcheetah or @madaboutwilddogs...? Some wonderful and atmospheric photos already in this trip report Hari :)

 

 

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Big_Dog

Sorry to hear about Hobbs, a man who sounds like a true, blue professional in his life. :(

Onto your pics...these are some of your best wild dogs ones yet. The one of them in dappled sunlight against the dead leaves and branches really make the coat patterns come out brilliantly! Your title has me very intrigued too...

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xelas

Great sightings and even better photography ... but now we are already spoiled for quality when your photos are concerned. The lion looks like he just came out of a beuty saloon. 

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Ratdcoops

Beautiful shots @madaboutcheetah, I have only begun along my photographic journey and am happy with my progress but it always a pleasure to see images by others with greater skill. It gives something to aspire to.

I second that thought about the lion he is too perfect.

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madaboutcheetah

You guys are much too kind with your comments ..... Thank You!!! 

 

In this instalment, here's "Special"; the cheetah most often viewed in the Kwara concession.  I'm told by the guides that a duo of brothers are starting to venture into the concession from the Khwai side on the East (?) ......... So, hopefully there will be better cheetah action in the concession on the lines of the old Tsum Tsum trio of boys who were simply the best!  

 

Zebra in good light right outside camp is not to be missed i suppose .... 

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madaboutcheetah

Interlude: Kwando concession ...... The Home of Lions at the moment.  Phew! Lions everywhere from Kwena Lagoon all the way down to Twin Pools - up and down the concession!!!

 

In this segment, a pair of Lions(from Namibia, supposedly)  pushed out Old Gunn / Sebastian and their big pride of Lions out of the Lagoon area towards the Lebala end down South.  Here they are on a morning walk, when we could hear more Lions calling from the Kalahari apple Leaf woodland.

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CDL111

@madaboutcheetah, it looks like the is a good view of the savannah from Splash camp. Your usual quality photographs makes it a an additional pleasure when reading your report.

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madaboutcheetah

@CDL111 - not great Iphone photos - but view from camp is a large pan in front that's the main view....  pan dry now at the end of dry season, but, should hold water for most of the year.  The zebra photos show the back of the rooms on the other side. 

 

dogs hunt in camp frequently; we were too far to respond when the camp called the game drives about a pack of 4 dogs killing impala in the parking area. 

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madaboutcheetah

Random images from Splash...... 

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shouldbewriting

Thanks for the great info and photography. We’ll be there next October, so extra interested.

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Atravelynn

I'm sure Hobbs was on your mind throughout your trip. 

Nine pups, at least at this point, is encouraging.  Your photos of the big guys are excellent as always.

You'll have to share some of the observations of your safarimates.

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Kitsafari

BRilliant images as always, @madaboutcheetah although I see more photos of lions and dogs than cheetahs at this point! so sorry to hear about Hobbs. 

 

the first pair of male lions look young and unscathed but that male with the full flowing locks look magnificent in the latest set of photos. 

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks a lot, @Atravelynn and @Kitsafari - Lynn, will share random observations in my posts.... Quote from one of my friends who was on a second Kwando Safari, "I've never had a slow game drive at Lebala" ....... Yes, indeed - not the best safari for cheetah, but, brilliant for wild dogs and Lions.

 

Random bits and pieces from Lagoon ....... 

 

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madaboutcheetah

Just when you think you've figured out the Massive Kwando concession ........ There's yet another surprise!!! 

 

This year a BROWN HYENA den - with two puppies.  About a KM from camp... the den was found following the dogs earlier in the winter.  The puppies are accustomed to vehicles now.  I hear that researchers have been visiting the den and are amazed of their presence this far up North.  There are stories of trackers during the night drives just dismiss a fleeting glimpse as a funny looking Hyena that's running away from the vehicle.  Now I guess we know who they are!!!! The adults are being super elusive so no sighting of them.  We had quite a few cracks of a visit to this den.  Had only this one sighting ...... 

 

Still awaiting my first Aardvark at Lagoon - Checked off Pangolin, Aardwolf and Brown Hyena ........ Just saying ;)

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CDL111

Thanks for the photos of the views from the camp fire at Splash, reminiscent of Little Kwara many years ago before the water level increased. Brown hyena, the wife and l do need to revisit Kwando.

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Zim Girl

Fabulous shots of the Brown hyena pups and how amazing to have seen them.

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