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


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What a memory! You are correct. That was our first ever Botswana trip. 

Thanks for your advice re Splash. Yes I think the days of putting all your eggs in the same basket to see the dogs at Lagoon have passed.

Do you know if that larger portrait of the dog is the Alpha male? But it if not it sounds like you are saying he was one of the pale 3 from 2013?

We should have asked for Spencer too, as there is nothing about the animals histories that he does not know. This just adds another layer to the sighting.

Looking forward to the next batch of pics

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@darcy -ah! I'm glad I got that right!!!! I clearly remember that trip ..... 


no no that's not the alpha male. Will post a picture of him later this evening. He's orange colour ( non painted wolf) ;) - there were 4 of them that took over the pack in 2013. 


@philw - thanks 

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@darcy - That's the alpha ...... There were four of them who took over the lagoon pack in 2013.  Eventually, the pack after two successful den seasons (2014, 2015) got to about approx 30 in number towards the end of 2015.  In 2016, the pack split in two and they had two dens (one in Lagoon, the other on the boundary with Selinda).  I think eventually there have been further splinter packs ...... 3 of the other males moved out of the original lagoon pack.


Spencer and the guides always believed that the 4 males came from Muvumbi (extreme north of the concession) - but, I've seen the packs on film from the recent Nat Geo series ( Savage Kingdom, filmed in the Savute marsh) ..... where the markings are similar to the orange coat (unpainted) dogs So I think there might be a connection?. Also, the original Lagoon pack were master hunters of big game (Including Buffalo) .... Certainly these 4 males were/ are the most useless!!! 


(Second Picture of the pack at Kwena Lagoon in September 2015 )......... 


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Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Oh thanks very much. I now know who is who. It just makes so much more interesting knowing the packs history. Lets hope they can hold on for a bit longer, but its going to be a while before behold such a sight at the Kwena lagoon again.

I love seeing all the different coat variation, I thought those lagoon males were pale, but this one was really quite white. Please forgive the quality of the photo - it was taken with a small compact camera, the light was fading and I took it! Not a good combination I must say. So you can really see why I enjoy your photos now.


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 A very interesting trip report which brought back some very pleasant memories. Your images are superb. I visited Little Kwara and Lebala in July 2014 and at both camps had wonderful Wild Dog sightings, including following a successful hunt.

Both packs I saw had cubs and on my return home using Kwando Safaris monthly newsletters I was was able to follow the progress of the cubs in each pack for about 12 months before they split. Mortality was amazingly low during that period. It is possible that some of the 'dogs' in your images may well have been from the two litters I observed, it would be great to think so.

As for the Brown Hyaena images, they are just magical, a very special and rare sighting. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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It appeared the dogs adopted you into the pack.  You were eye level with them.  The drinking giraffe with the bird was rather whimsical. Baby ostriches, always a treat.  It may have been hot, but well worth it. 

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Thanks a lot @darcy @johnweir and @Atravelynn


Transfer to Lebala ..........  We took a slow drive south to Lebala doing general game as well as checking all the cheetah marking posts along the route South ...... Bate was with the Bonga Pride and he invited us to the sighting.  We had no idea we'd be there until sunset with Lions (more to come) ;)  

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Soon it became apparent that the Bonga's had parked themselves strategically in a small cluster of Kalahari apple leaf close enough to the water where a lot of animals would come to quench their thirst in the heat of the day (Boy! was it HOT!!!!) ......


They made a couple of attempts during the heat of the day - making it worthwhile to spend the day out with them (Whole day with Lions???? Another first! ) ........... Okie and her lovely Lebala team  staff set up a lovely picnic lunch for us and the French Party with Bate  who also opted to take a chance at the waiting game ........ I think it was quite worth the effort to watch Lions not sleeping for once! 



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Well, that was worth the wait! That is an exciting sequence of photos.

We hung around with this pride a few weeks before you, but only for about 30 minutes. We did see a lioness open her eyes, and yawn though. So the proof is in the pudding - you get out what you put in (well most of the time).

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Really interesting to hear of the history of the painted wolf packs. Despite the males uselessness, the pack have certainly been good breeders and done well to make so many more!

And WOW those lion hunting photos! fantastic, crisp action shots! Seriously good stuff.

(I also hope to get my Karnataka trip report done before Christmas...things going slow with work aha!)

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After all the near missed hunts, a siesta, our own picnic lunch (Thanks, Okie!!!) ......... The pride made their march ....... Yes, hazy light (not the best)


In the meanwhile, a serious storm seemed to be in the horizon!  Here we were debating where the rains were headed to?  Was it Khwai?  Was it Savute?  Then a serious wind storm started to take over !!!! (Oh S#!t ....... Let's rush back to camp!!!!) ........ There was one of the first serious storms for the 2018 season! A fabulous thunder and lightning display for about a half hour that we witnessed from the Lebala lounge.  

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On 11/11/2018 at 10:31 AM, madaboutcheetah said:

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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We are very sad to hear about Hobbs death. He guided us for three days on our first trip to Botswana. A brilliant guide and a lovely man. R.I.P Hobbs. Pen

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This particular morning, we were lucky to find Old Gunn (he's one savage beast) one of the two pride males who has managed to hang on to his territory through these years and fend off the Bonga pride from intruding males ............ 


Thank You, Spence!!!  We heard him calling early morning and we knew it had to be Old Gunn! 

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Here's his coalition mate - Sebastian!!! (the lazy one!) ...... 



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Last of the posts .......... Thank you all for your interest in this report.  Much appreciated!!!


Lagoon pack down Lebala Way!!!!  Think the photos describe the sighting ..... Another Lebala epic! 


THE END!!!!!! 


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That must have been an incredible sighting. I am so jealous I am sorry to say, but glad to see they are doing OK. Was there just one hyena? He or she looks like they bit off more than they can chew in more ways than one.

I cannot say how much I have enjoyed reading your report over the last few weeks, next time you will have to go for a few more weeks so it can be a bit longer :D

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Thanks @Zubbie15 and @darcy


thanks so much for reading the report and keeping me motivated to complete it. Yes, just the one hyena. He got his backside bitten - but got a bit to eat since the dogs whacked two impala by lechwe corner .....

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Thanks so much Mike - looking back There is a few things I didn't do too well and room for improvement..... and I left my 70-200 in camp which will have come in handy with the dogs at lebala. Much appreciate your kind words!

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Thank you so much for all the effort! Wonderful photographs!

Now truly excited for our trip next year, though I’ll just be looking not recording. Now I have a very good idea of what we’re likely to see. Glad you had such a great trip!

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Hari, thanks so much for sharing all this - even by your exceptionally high standards this was an extra awesome report. Brilliant photography, the last sequence with the hunting lions is terrific! Where to next for you?

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Thanks @shouldbewriting And @michael-ibk .....


michael, short Trip to central India for tigers early Jan with friends visiting from overseas. Nothing planned yet for Africa 2019 as I have to sort out my work schedule for the year still....

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Thanks for a very enjoyable report together with exceptional photographs. 

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Indeed another beautiful report of an excellent adventure!

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