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First timers safari - Mana Pools Sept 2017


Feliz

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Better late a late trip report than no trip report, right?

 

Africa has always been somewhere I’ve wanted to go. It has an extraordinary history, vast areas of wilderness and incredible wildlife. But where in Africa? We’d already settled on going to Botswana, starting from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, so it seemed daft to be travelling all that way and not do a little bit more . . .  Budget?  What budget?

 

Zimbabwe wasn’t on the consideration list until I stumbled into safaritalk. I poured over trip reports, full of beautiful photos of people walking in Mana Pools National Park. This was what I wanted to do and Ben, my husband, wasn’t going to say no!

 

New Zealand to Zimbabwe is not a speedy journey, but three international flights and one brief hotel airport night later and we had finally arrived in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. On arrival we were met by Peter, our pilot for the next leg, and went straight back through security to get on the little safari charter flight. Two Australian women, who we started chatting to while waiting for our delayed flight from Johannesburg to Harare, were also coming with us.

 

I was pretty happy to get to sit in the front

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Visibility was poor, due to the nearly constant fires in the dry season in Zimbabwe. Slash and burn is very common here. However, it was still an enjoyable flight, despite the building heat. I got to sit in the co-pilot’s seat and had a great time chatting with Peter about Zimbabwe, Mana Pools and travel in general.

 

The haze was so thick that the Zambezi river was hard to make out until we were almost over it. The vultures were the same - Peter had to swerve to avoid them as, in his words: “you don’t want to hit 25kg of bird.”

 

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The Mana Pools airstrip was just a strip of cleared dirt with two guys in a jeep to keep the animals off. Kevin Linforth & Alex Naert from Camp Dhumukwa were there to meet us, but the Natureways team picking up the Australians was nowhere to be seen. We repacked to get out suncream and hats and change our shoes to sandals. When we’d landed, about 10am, the temperature was 36C.

 

A vehicle arrived to pick up the Aussies, but there was a lot of confusion as the driver didn’t know where they were going. Much later it was figured out that the pickup had gone to the wrong airstrip!

 

Anyway, we were off - finally we had made it to our safari.

 

Alex had already pointed out a Bateleur eagle at the airstrip, but our first sighting once underway was a fast strike out of the bushes by a small raptor - probably a sparrowhawk. He was just as quickly gone.

 

It was thrilling, bouncing down the red dirt road, waiting to see something, anything.

 

A loud rustling caused Kevin to stop and back up - a group of crested guinea fowl, which are rare to see here and don’t live on the Mana floodplains. They were quite beautiful, but no photos as there were hiding under their bush.  The animals started coming thick and fast once we got onto the floodplains proper. Impala, waterbuck, zebra and then elephants.

 

The elephants were incredible. A small group of three adults and two youngsters, browsing on the albida tree pods. They were so relaxed, even with a few other vehicles passing.

 

First elephant sighting!  So exciting for safari newbies:

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The albida trees have no leaves in the rainy season - instead they have pods in the dry season, which all the herbivores eat. It’s amazing to think that these little pods sustain enormous elephants.

 

We saw the famous elephant Bosco in the distance, resting from the heat of the day. By now it was pretty hot, but not too bad in the moving vehicle or in the shade.

 

Camp Dhumukwa was set slightly inshore of the Zambezi River, a peaceful spot with no roads or other camps visible on the Zimbabwe side. It was gorgeous and rustic, with no running water or electricity.  By this time it was swelteringly hot, so we had lunch and rested in our tent.

 

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Basic but comfortable

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Sitting in the camp chairs in front of the tent we could see a vast array of wildlife. Elephants in the far distance, hippos, zebras, waterbuck and of course impalas and baboons.

 

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At 3:30 we set off for an afternoon walk along the river. Alex gave us a safety briefing (essentially to do exactly as instructed) and walked with his rifle loaded.

 

Not only were we surrounded by animals but there were birds everywhere. Three different kinds of bee eaters, lilac breasted rollers, fish eagles and so many others.

 

Even though it was hot, the breeze and the incredible distraction of so much to see made me forget the heat.

 

Ben spent a lot of time photographing the Little Bee Eaters and then the Carmine Bee Eaters. Both have burrows along the riverbank.

 

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The adorable Little Bee-eaters - my favourite

 

 

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Lots of Carmine Bee-eater heads poking out of their nests in the river bank

 

 

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Suspicious hippo is suspicious

 

 

Turning inland, we saw elephants in the distance, moving slowly away from us.

 

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The incredible Mana Pools scenery and light with elephants (I took this one, not Ben!)

 

 

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Walking back towards camp, the sun was a red, glowing disk as it sank slowly down to the Zambian mountains across the river.

 

By the time we got back to camp twilight was falling. Alex agreed a time to pick us up from our tent for dinner, as it was too dangerous to walk around in the dark alone.

 

The shower was a hanging bucket which let out a slow trickle of lukewarm water - very welcome after such a hot and dusty day.

 

It was fully dark but still very hot by dinner time. The camp staff had set up the tables outside around a little fire pit. Due to being so dry, there were no insects and it was very pleasant sitting around chatting with a drink and a snack.

 

Dinner was mostly eaten when we had three unexpected guest - an elephant, her young calf and another young one. We were alerted to their presence by leaves rustling, but the noise was nothing like the size of the animals.

 

Being pitch dark we could just see their path when they came in front of the little lights on the tents. Every so often Alex would shine his torch near, but not on them.

 

Eventually the elephants worked their way to the dining tent, picking up albida pods off the ground. They came around the tent and approached the Dutch group that was dining across the firepit, giving us an amazing perspective as they came closer and closer.

 

Everyone was totally, utterly silent. I think the Dutch group had stopped breathing.

 

The big elephant picked up all the pods and slowly moved away, her calf waiting a little further back for her return. Truly incredible.

 

Before the elephants had come through we’d heard lions calling from the Zambian side of the river. Later on a leopard called from the south. About 15min later he called again, this time to the east. Kevin said the next day that his tracks were so big he initially thought it was lion tracks.

 

Alex walked us back to our tent, shining his torch on hippos, out of the river to graze for the night, and other herbivores. It had been a brilliant first day.

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Thanks for another trip report to read. As you say the dust and smog does reduce the visibility but it gives a great atmosphere to some of the photo opportunities.  What were the dates of your safari?

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@Big Andy - I had to go back through some emails to figure that out - it really was a while ago :) - 15 Sept to 20 Sept

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Thanks @Feliz for another TR. 

Really looking forward to reading more - Mana pools in high on my wish list of places to visit on foot.

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That sounds like a great start! First time safari and straight to Mana Pools. Based on the TR's here, that must have been amazing! Mana Pools is high on my list, really hope to go there one day... For now, I'm really looking forward to your TR! :)

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Day 2 - walking and elephants

 

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The wakeup call came at 5am, with a light breakfast at 5:30. Alex suggested we hang around camp for a while, just in case the wild dogs came through on a hunt.

 

No sign of the dogs so we set off on foot. It was such a beautiful place to walk - a mix of dry browns and greys with bright green leaves, red kigelia flowers, yellow wild mangos and the bright red of a tree top creeper.

 

Gradually we wandered on, stopping to learn about the different plants as we came across them. A very pleasant hour or so was spent at Ndundugu pan quietly watching baboons, impala, banded mongoose and so many birds.

 

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Yellow Billed Stork

 

 

A male Giant African Kingfisher was spotted very close to where we were sitting. Just as Ben was getting ready for a shot the male was chased off by a female. She very obliging posed on the branch for a long time, then dived into the water right in front of us, completely submerging. No photo, but it was a beautiful thing to watch.

 

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The beautiful female Giant Kingfisher, keeping a sharp eye out for fish

 

Moving on we came across more elephants. We sat with Alex on the ground under some little trees and watched them approach and notice us.

 

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Waiting for elephants to come closer

 

Faith in the guide felt pretty important with a large female elephant approaching. She came fairly close with her ears flared and Alex tossed his hat gently to one side to distract her. She backed off and peacefully walked away.

 

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Moving off 

 

We wandered our way toward the river, passing zebra and impala and pausing to watch baboons. The male baboons will carry the babies if the mother is far away when danger threatens.

 

A warthog burrow prompted Alex to tell us how aardvark dig all the tunnels when foraging, then other animals, including wild dog and warthog, turn them into dens. Aardvark are nomadic and nocturnal and, as you cannot do night drives in the park, virtually impossible to see.

 

Down to the river bank again, to make our way slowly back towards camp. The sun was so high that photos were tricky, but we still spent a happy time watching the bee eaters.

 

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A divine Little Bee-eater living up to his name

 

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Ben in the scorching sun taking photos of Bee-eater on the banks of the Zambezi River

 

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The food of Mana - the albida pod

 

By this stage the heat was intense, camp was in sight and icy cold drinks were on my mind when I thought I could see something, or several somethings, moving amongst the tents.

 

Turned out there was a small herd of elephants in camp. We hot footed it back to the dining tent and were delighted to spend time watching the elephants so close that Ben's lens was too big ?

 

Here's some video of our first elephant encounter of the morning and the elephants in camp.

 

 

 

 

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Up close shot from the safety of the dining tent

 

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It was a whole family group, including some adorable babies

 

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Thoughtful elephant - possibly trying to remember where lunch is

 

A short cold shower was a welcome relief after lunch, even if the effects wore off rather fast!   Followed by a short nap - it was hard work being on holiday :D

 

The other guests who we would spend the rest of our stay with turned up about 3pm.  Lennart, Martin & Frode were all keen photographers and came equipped with an immense array of camera gear.

 

Eventually we all got organised and climbed in the Landy for the afternoon drive.  The light was gorgeous and we spent quite a bit of time at another pan with more elephants.

 

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Majestic male Kudu

 

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Not so majestic but often very entertaining baboon

 

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Some of the small herd

 

 

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The photographers in their natural environment

 

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The drive finished with sundowners on the riverbank.  Hippos in the water, the red sun sinking over the mountains - a perfect Mana Pools moment.

 

Dinner was not interrupted by any unexpected guest, but was very enjoyable with great conversation. It was hard to leave the table and go to bed but there would be more wonderful things to see in the morning and 5am would come all too soon.

 

There were more noises in the night, but I barely noticed.

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Day 3 

 

Everyone was very eager to get going so we were loaded in the Land rover and driving out of camp at 6am.  We headed up river in the hopes of seeing wild dogs but the scientists tracking them said they were 2km into the bush.

 

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The African Wild Dog tracking team


Reversing direction we headed back to the lion tracks we'd seen earlier.  Alex found where they'd left the road but the tracks looked to be from last night.

 

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White Fronted Bee-eater

 

On we went, to find the remarkable Boswell at Mucheni Camp.  Boswell was very obliging and stood on his hind legs not long after we'd got out of the Landy.  What wasn't quite so obliging was the somewhat distracting surroundings of vehicles and tents.  However, it was interesting to see how the little herd of elephants were just going about their business, regardless of where humans had chosen to put up tents.

 

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Boswell looking for the next tree

 

 

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Pulling down a big branch next to Mucheni camp

 

 

Kevin and Alex suggested we walk parallel to the elephants and see what happened.  It was so incredible to just spend time with these tremendous animals.

 

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Alex and Kevin

 

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Elephants in Mucheni

 

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They came closer and closer as we waited under a tree.  So close!  Then Boswell had a nap - right in front of us.  So all the others did too - they all follow Boswell's lead.

 

Slowly the elephants moved away from camp, giving us wonderful scenery full of elephants just being themselves.

 

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"Can I join in?"

 

 

Another bull, Fred Astaire, did a lot of stretching, but didn't stand up on his hind legs.  He's called Fred Astaire because he's very good at standing on his hind legs and can even move a little like that - just like he's dancing.

 

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Fred Astaire doing some beautiful yoga poses

 

 

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The incredible Boswell

 

Slowly they approached the river and spent some time on the bank before crossing the river to an island.

 

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Down to the river for a drink

 

A short video 

 

 

 

A brilliant morning, that wasn't quite finished.  We had climbed back into the Landy and started rolling away, but stopped to look at an elephant and her calf, known as Floppy Ear.  Alex the guide and one of the others got out and lay down right next the the vehicle to get some low angle shots.  Suddenly the elephant saw them a got a fright.  She backed off and seemed ok so they stayed there.

 

She changed her mind and rushed at them again, coming close to Alex with her foot.  Alex threw his hat and they both quickly got up and back in the vehicle.  Both of them looked a little shocked.  Kevin and Alex had both talked about being very safe and not going for crazy, dramatic shots but this just happened very fast.  It was no different from other times that elephants approached us, but this elephant clearly wasn't happy.  Fortunately nothing happened other than a slightly tense moment.  Back to camp for some lunch.

 

 

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Synchronised stripes

 

 

We had a special treat after lunch - Alex, Kevin, Ben and I went for a "swim" in the Zambezi river.  The same river that's full of crocodiles and hippos.  The swimming spot is a very shallow channel, maybe 50cm at the deepest.  Therefore you can see any crocs coming towards you.

 

 

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Thorough check of the swimming hole - no crocodiles found

 

 

It was blissful, wallowing in the fast flowing cool water.  We watched the Bee-eaters on the bank and talked about Zimbabwe.

 

 

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Carmine Bee-eaters

 

The afternoon drive wasn't especially fruitful.  But the light through the forest at sunset was sublime.

 

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The extraordinary Mana Pools

 

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Driving back to camp we had a quick hyena sighting, followed by a small genet (too fast for a photo)

 

 

I had just got out of the shower back at camp when there was a bit of a ruckus - "lion!"  I threw on my clothes, Ben grabbed his camera and torch and we ran to meet Alex.

 

The lions had walked right through the camp, just meters from our tent.

 

It was pitch dark of course, but we were able to see them with a powerful spotlight.  The national park doesn't allow night drives or spotlighting - but they were in the camp.  It was a group of four lionesses called The Spice Girls.  They were clearly on a mission, heading parallel to the river.  We watched them for a few minutes as they moved quickly on, completely disdainful of our presence.  We were happy to head to dinner, very pleased to have seen our first lions.

 

 
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Really enjoying your TR with pics and videos. The ellie in the video has some impressive tusks!

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Boswell is a star - amazing effort and pic.

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The elephants really were very special.  I can't adequately describe how incredible it was to just be there, sharing their world with them, in such a beautiful environment.

 

We saw plenty when we headed through to Botswana, but it truly was different seeing them from a vehicle.

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Day 4 - would we finally see Wild Dogs?

 

A huge part of the draw for Mana Pools for me was the chance to see Wild Dogs.  They had been rather elusive so far, and with only 5 nights here I did feel like time was running out a bit!

 

The morning drive was fairly slow to start, a few eagles in distant treetops but not much else.  A short walk was tried in the hopes of finding lion tracks but no bueno.  We did see a giant eagle owl fly past extremely briefly.

 

 

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Of course even if there isn't anything "exciting" there is always something beautiful - like waterbuck

 

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Driving on - "lions!"  The same four lionesses that had walked through camp last night.  Lounging on a little rise, very relaxed in the morning sun.  We spent a long time watching them, with a photographer from National Geographic.  He was doing a lot of filming of the lionesses and was hoping that they'd bring out a cub.

 

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Lounging lioness

 

 

Once the lionesses had moved off over the hill we moved on as well, stopping at Long Pool.

 

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Photographers getting ready . . .

 

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. . . for this.

 

After that we drove through the open plains for a while - quite different from the bush and forest we'd been in up until now.

 

 

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A pregnant hyena was rudely disturbed from her post breakfast bath

 

A happy hour or two was spent at Lung Fish Pan - a gorgeous pond covered in green and inhabited by three hippos.  A large herd of buffalo kept a wary eye on us from well back in the trees.

 

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A lot of yawning went on . . .

 

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. . . and not all from the hippos.  I did eventually have to ask Ben & Kevin if they were done taking photos of this dragonfly.

 

Heading back to camp we saw a large herd of buffalo.  Back to camp at 12 - a 6hr drive.

 

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My daily view.  The little gaiters over the boot tops were fantastic - helped keep out debris and the little thorny prickles that were everywhere.  Almost every time we sat down there'd be a quiet chorus of "Ow, ow, ow."

 

 

Ben and I wondered about staying in camp for the afternoon but decided if the others saw something amazing without us we'd suffer from some serious FOMO.  This turned out to be the right call . . .

 

The wild dogs turned out to be 15min drive from camp - just relaxing in the shade near the road.  There were quite a few people around, but none close to the dogs.

 

Alex had us all follow him very quietly and keeping low.  The area around them was covered in Apple Tree leaves - so called because they crunch loudly when you step on them.  Even though the seven of us were quite noisy getting settled the dogs weren't concerned.

 

 

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Checking us out, but not worried about us sitting down by some bushes

 

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Some pack members lazing about.  The pack consisted of ten adults and six pups.

 

Ben did find the grass a bit frustrating for photography purposes.  But again, like with the elephants, being in their world with them made up for any little issues like some inconvenient grass!  I think the ground level perspective is lovely.

 

There were a lot of prickles in the grass though - just little ones, but every time you moved you'd sit on more of them!

 

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Mostly they lay around, but occasionally one would have a sniff and look about

 

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Alpha female and some of the pups - they were ridiculously cute!

 

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More adorable pups

 

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Finally, after a few false alarms and with the light fading fast, they started moving more purposefully.  Alex told us to drop down into the little valley so we could see them coming down the hill.

 

Much to our surprise there was a tiny waterhole the dogs were drinking at. Alex said that this meant that they wouldn't have to go to the river to drink, which would be much safer for them.

 

All the adults and pups came down and played and drank.  

 

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My what big ears you have

 

 

 

The adults left the pups with a baby sitter and headed off to try hunting down the valley.  They spooked the impala too soon so headed back towards us.  As it was nearly dark we headed back to the car for a belated sundowner.  Then I noticed that the dogs were headed back to the road that lead to camp so we jumped in the Landy and headed off.  It was pretty much pitch dark by this stage, but we could make out the dogs and a hyena for quite a while.

 

Everyone was very happy with the day when we got back to camp.  Being able to spend time in the bush, seeing the world from the dogs point of view was just magical.

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  • 2 weeks later...
michael-ibk

Glad to read you finally found the Dogs - mission accomplished, well done! Really enjoying your report, hopefully more to come!

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twaffle

This is a wonderful first safari, Mana Pools is so fabulous and I love the photos, just brilliant.  I'm particularly envious of your crested guinea fowl sighting, I have looked and looked for them but to no avail.

 

 

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Atravelynn

The lag time between safari and report is an inspiration to me.  You saw all the MP "biggies."  What a fabulous first safari!  Not everyone is brave or knowledgeable enough to choose Mana Pools as their first destination.  You were well rewarded for that decision!

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Happy for you you found the dogs! And with pups! Wonderful!

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wilddog

Lovely trip report of a special place.....and you got the dogs and Boswell. My goodness those tusks are growing; let's hope that collar continues to help him keep safe.

 

Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

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Thanks for the lovely comments.  Of course no pictures or words can capture truly special places, but we can but try!

 

On 2/27/2019 at 2:48 PM, Atravelynn said:

The lag time between safari and report is an inspiration to me.  You saw all the MP "biggies."  What a fabulous first safari!  Not everyone is brave or knowledgeable enough to choose Mana Pools as their first destination.  You were well rewarded for that decision!

 

It was purely thanks to this site that we did - everyone else's brilliant trip reports were such an inspiration.  

 

(The lag time was due to a lot of life changes including moving jobs to a new city, a very long commute, buying a house, moving to the new house to cut down the commute, then renovating said house.  We headed to Botswana after Mana Pools and I'm afraid that it might take another year to sort through those photos! :lol:)

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The last day in Mana - would we see the wild dogs again?

 

Somehow four days had flown past and already it was our last day.  I couldn't believe how fast the time had flown.

 

Mana seems to offer something new every day and this morning it was a very large bull elephant, flat out asleep behind the cook tents.  We watched from a distance, reluctant to disturb him and speculating if he was ok - it's very unusual behaviour.  We were pleased to see him wandering around like normal when we drove out of camp.

 

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Very unusual pose for an elephant

 

 

 

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Cooking facilities are interesting when there isn't any power - the termite mound pizza oven!  Delivered great pizzas and the termites are still happily living in the top part.

 

Everyone was very quiet on the morning drive.  It seemed to be all about birds, with virtually no game. 

 

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"Squirrel!"

 

 

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Slender mongoose who posed nicely for us and didn't just disappear instantly

 

 

 

 

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Soaring juvenile bateleur eagle

 

 

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Bateleur boogie - a fully grown one

 

 

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Angry hippo did not like us disturbing his nap

 

 

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Hmm, eagle of some kind?

 

All was not lost, though of course no time is wasted in Mana, as someone called out "Cat!"  And there was a Civet!  (Not a member of the cat family)  They are very hard to see during the day.  He had jumped down into a ditch and hidden as soon as the Landy stopped, so Alex walked up a bit and in behind him.  He broke for the forest and gave us a lovely view.

 

 

 

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Civet exiting stage left

 

 

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Not the most graceful creature - he gallumphed along, not particularly fast

 

The drive finished through the beautiful mopane forest and to Nudu (?) point on the river.  It was very clear so the mountains were the sharpest we'd seen.

 

Lunch entertainment was a troop of baboons and two vervet monkeys in camp.

 

It felt a little bittersweet to head out on our last drive in Mana Pools.  How could 5 nights have gone so quickly?  Lennart suggested we leave at 2:30 so we could go all the way to Mana Mouth, so off we went.

 

The first excitement was a small grey goshawk, showing off his incredible aerobatic skills.  Followed by more gorgeous elephants, zebra, kudu, vervet monkeys, impala & baboons.

 

We drove past the Wild Dogs napping in the same shady spot as yesterday - Alex promised that they wouldn't move until much later in the day.  I hoped he was right . . . 

 

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Another mystery bird

 

 

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There's always one . . .

 

 

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Quite close . . .

 

Mana Mouth was a beautiful green area where a tributary joins the Zambezi River.  Parked there was a little Datsun Go - we'd joked about it every time we saw it - so funny to see it amongst the serious bush vehicles!  But "Go" it did - it seemed to have no problems getting around.  Both Alex and I regretted not taking a photo of its incongruousness.

 

Turning back in the direction of camp the light was beautiful but we were all focused on getting back to the dogs.  They were still there - along with crowds of people.  We watched from quite a distance as Alex said there were a lot of people around and we'd been so close to them the previous night.  He hoped we would be able to follow them when they started hunting.

 

People started to leave and Alex thought and thought, then positioned us close to the dogs but not far from the Landy. We watched the pups play and some of the adults dig a little at the waterhole, which looked quite dry.

 

 

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Wild Dogs contemplating their evening.  What would they do next?  Would we be able to keep up?

 

Then they were off and moving.  Two zebra were just over a rise and the pack split right around them.  Zebra are too big and dangerous and they knew it - the zebra looked very relaxed.

 

The dogs headed up towards the road so we ran back towards the Landy & jumped in.  The dogs had spotted some impala but the impala were busy watching us.

 

Suddenly the hunt started, the dogs "bomb shelled" out, the impala scattered and we were following!  We flew down the road, cries of "There!" and "Up ahead!" from our team.  It was so fast and far, we'd lost sight of them and I was sure we'd gone too far or the hunted impala had turned away from the road.

 

Alex stopped the car and there was nothing to be seen or heard in the twilight.  Then I saw two white tail tips!  About 100m back down the road - we'd driven right past them!

 

The Landy coasted up to them - dead silent except for the hectic clicking of cameras.  It was the alpha male, Patrick, with one of the other males.

 

 

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In a matter of minutes the two dogs had ripped the carcass apart

 

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All the good parts were devoured with lightning speed

 

As soon as the two males had eaten as much as they possibly could they headed off to find the pack.  They won't call out as it will bring other predators like hyena & lions.

 

At this stage Kevin turned up with his parents & boat in tow.  He thought the dogs probably wouldn't come back to the kill so headed off towards camp while we had a celebratory drink.  Just then the pack returned, yipping and calling, overshooting the kill in their enthusiasm but quickly circling back to it.  It wasn't long until it was truly finished.

 

Finally we headed back to camp, tired, hot, dusty and elated.  The words and photos here just cannot capture what these few brief minutes in the dogs' lives was really like.

 

But Mana was not quite done and we saw two little genets and another big civet on the way back to camp.

 

One last dinner, out under the beautiful stars, surrounded by the noises of the African night.  Good conversation made it so hard to go to bed . .

 

 

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wilddog

How wonderful to witness a hunt on your last evening. 

 

The sleeping bull is extraordinary. Perhaps it indicates they feel safe around humans and the camps. As you know they wander in and out of camp with few qualms. 

 

And a daylight sighting of a civet. Impressive. 

 

 

Edited by wilddog
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I do not have a bird book for Zimbabwe, but looking at the one for Kenya and one for Southern Africa, it looks like your eagle is a juvenile Tawny Eagle. A superb last day as @wilddoghas said.

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Peter Connan

Lovely photos and sightings again!

 

The mystery bird in the last photo is a Brown Snake-eagle. The bare (un-feathered) legs are diagnostic of the Snake-eagles and the yellow eye seals the deal. 

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michael-ibk

How immensely cool to finish a Mana trip with a dog hunt, fantastic!

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Atravelynn

The dogs wasted no time devouring their meal.  How wonderful you were there to see it.  You have more justified excuses for the lag time.  Botswana will be such a lovely contrast in safaris for you!

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LarsS

What a superb sighting of the wild dogs! Must be so exciting to see them in action.

 

Also, the civet in daylight is very nice as well.

 

Great TR!

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