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Lady Lee, Princess C and friends go 'dogging'- a Mana TR


wilddog

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wilddog

The afternoon was spent down on the alluvial plains checking out the elephants and to see if we could find Boswell, whom I have seen on many occasions previously. 

 

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The weather was rather overcast and the wind was picking up the dust which made for some interesting photographs. 

 

We did not find Boswell but another collared bull who was certainly good at stretching but whether he was hand stander or not , who knows

 

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So tranquil and beautiful here. 
 

I took a group picture during our last  sundowner in Mana. PC can be seen assisting Doug by sorting out the drinks. A good job she did too. :)

 

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Introduction   As many of you know I am a true ‘Manatic’ having visited several times since 2006. So this trip was a welcome return to my spiritual home after 4 years, the last, travelling w

Originally our plan had been to fly in and out of Mana but the other three were driving up, and for many it was the first time going by road, which is an interesting trip. It transpired that PC had no

It was now about 2pm. En route to camp we stopped at Marongara where Doug needed to complete some paper work and pay any fees that might still be required.        

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michael-ibk

Wow, what a terrific sighting with the Python - great stuff Linda. And to think this was your second one. In just a year? Or was this last year?

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wilddog

Actually I think they are both within the last 12 months @michael-ibk.The porini sighting was mid October 2018 (around 11th I think) and this one , the 2nd October 2019. 

I do feel amazingly lucky, in that respect

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Seniortraveller

@wilddog, brilliant pictures of the python, brought back lots of memories. I had never seen a python before, so a really special sighting for me. We did track the lioness for a while, but she disappeared into some thickets. I think Doug saw two juveniles briefly, but none of us saw them.

 

Our sundowners  that evening were to have been at Long Pool, but when we arrived there an elephant was trapped in the mud. @wilddog mentioned this earlier in the report I think.

 

Our final night at this camp was a ‘duvet night’. For a brief period in time temperatures dropped. A great relief to me and I am sure, everybody else.

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Caracal

Special enough to see a python on your last 2 safaris @wilddog but to see both at a kill is amazing!

 

Have been thoroughly enjoying this joint report with @Seniortraveller and I'm impressed with the eland sightings - they look very stately and placid - the ones I see always seem to turn tail and belt away.

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Alexander33

Maybe you are the python whisperer?

 

What an amazing sighting!  A python-lion battle — that’s a new one for me, for sure.

 

Thanks for sharing this report. Continuing to enjoy following along. 

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The python-lion encounter was quite something. From the video I assume you retreated when you realized the lion was coming and sort of half hid behind the bush?

 

So that is 3 nights in Mana and 1 in Harare? Surely that is not it? Or is the rest the part that "stays on safari"? :P

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Your report is bringing back memories of my trip to Mana with Doug in November, 2017.  We took the boat in the opposite direction and meet up with Doug who drove and then we continued on to Zambia.

 

Could that be Caroline in the picture? Looks like same hat.  

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wilddog

It could well be @Raelond. In fact it almost certainly is. I beleive she did a trip with Doug to Zambia a couple of years ago.

 

@Princess c are you out there somewhere? 

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@wilddog my husband and I were on that trip with Caroline.  I took the above picture.

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@wilddog didn’t mean to hijack your thread.

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Atravelynn

That sash of yours should read "Queen of Python Sightings."  Truly amazing stuff!

 

It's a small world in Mana Pools as we are confirming with the photos.  Hope we can keep it small.

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  • 3 weeks later...
wilddog
On 12/17/2019 at 5:23 AM, pault said:

So that is 3 nights in Mana and 1 in Harare? Surely that is not it? Or is the rest the part that "stays on safari"? :P

 Hi @pault no that is not 'it', fortunately.... Just preparing the post about our final morning in Mana and then off to Chitake for 3 nights. So more to follow :)

 

 

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wilddog

October 3rd

 

Our final morning in Mana we had a trundle around and did some walking. We found some members of the lion pride who had been resting in a dip, sadly when they saw us they got up and moved off. Pictures purely as evidence!

 

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Whilst out walking Amanda suddenly pointed to her right and there, running in the open at some considerable distance, was a honey badger moving, at a good speed across the open plain. Amanda had proved again that she was a great spotter!

 

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Amongst other sightings......we found this cigar chewing (Sausage tree fruit) eland,

 

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...................a herd of buffalo coming down to drink

 

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...................and female elephant, with tiny calf who, a little later was tussling with a dead tree to get the bark off whilst the little one was also trying to get a few bits of dead grass.

 

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Our final noted sighting that morning was this ground hornbill.

 

We would soon be setting off for Chitake………………..

 

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michael-ibk

Very cool, a Honey Badger in Mana! Really looking forward to Chitake, one of the coolest places I´ve ever been to!

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Just caught up with this and enjoying it very much. Love the shot through the trees with all the antelope feeding in your last post.

 

It's a trip I'd like to do and, when I see Doug in March (Zakouma), I'll speak to him and see what's possible.

 

Looking forward to reading more.

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  • 1 month later...
panamaleo

Best TR for a long time re: a favorite place Mana Pools. Thank you! Looking forward to reading more.  Going back in May on a month-long Botswana-Zim safari. The thing that struck me about Mana Pools in 2016 was the light; the almost park-like atmosphere, and, of course, the mighty Zambezi defining the border.

 

Must say, I LOVE you ladies taking fun style to safari! I'm a carry-on only traveler, but I will tuck-in a special item. Being a solo female, it can either make me look like an eccentric fool, or help me bond with others who appreciate creativity.   

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Kitsafari

finally caught up @wilddog - is chitake a separate report? or more to come in this TR? get cracking!

 

I never realised that pythons would drag its kill into the bush to hide it - ignorant me. thanks for taking the video - fascinating to watch it. pity that darn bush got into the way of watching the lion steal the kill. 

 

sigh - i don't know when I will ever get to Mana Pools, not at least for another couple of years. 

 

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wilddog

@panamaleo thanks for reading along and glad you have enjoyed it so far. Like you, Mana pools is my favorite place on earth., so I go pretty regularly, when I  can afford it. Yes, the light there is pretty stunning, (I call it ethereal) and this time slightly different as more sand/smoke seemed to be hanging in the air a lot of the time.

 

Yes, the outfits were fun and as those dresses were crunchable took very little space in our bags and certainly amused our fellow guests. Laughter is such a good ice breaker.

 

You may be pleased to know that there was a bit more frivolity at Chitake, but as @Kitsafari has pointed out I am a bit slow getting that portion up, but is on it's way. No doubt @pault is getting impatient too.

 

Enjoy your trip in May and I look forward to reading about it when you get time. It seems that the rains have picked up of late and of course May is a very different season, so still nice and green

 

Apologies to everyone :)

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@wilddog You know me turning up on the conservation threads is a sure sign I am getting antsy. Yes, come on. 

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wilddog

So to Chitake…………………..

 

Firstly, a bit of explanation about Chitake for those that do not know about it. It is inland of the Zambezi and is on the Chitake River.

 

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The latter map was created by me with some added guidance from Doug to show the camp site and other points of interest. These are near enough accurate to give an overview

 

The source of the spring is in the wide section to the bottom right of the marked Google earth map.

 

When ever I have been there, in the late season, the river is not flowing down from the escarpment ( although it does so during the rains). When I have visited the only water there is sourced by a natural spring – the Chitake Spring. The spring emerges in the wide lower right of the above map. ‘Buffalo Butt’ which I will explain fully later in this report is sited in this section.

 

On previous visits the spring has provided sufficient water to actually reach the operator camp site, so one can sit at camp and watch the world go by, (which I had to 4 years ago as I had injured my back). Levels of water have varied and on that last occasion you could see the level reduce when the buffalo had come in down stream and consuming gallons of water. @Atravelynnand @Blue Bird will remember this.

 

This time there was no water at camp.

 

You can see the same trees each shot, although taken in different years and at very different times of the day

 

 

2015

 

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2019 - No water

 

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However, this lack of water at camp would mean that the wildlife would be focussed very much around the spring source. No need to go very far.

 

Driving is very limited in Chitake it really is a walking destination. You can cross the river bed at one point just to the west of the adjacent public camp site and drive to the area at the edge of this map.

 

I have in the past walked up through the river bed where the spring is, as have others, but this time given the shortage of water and the need for wildlife to drink undisturbed we did not do that

 

It is possible to drive a bit further to the Cathedral (a stand of boababs) to the South but that is it.

 

Given the limited camps it is blissfully quiet and very wild.

 

Edited by wilddog
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wilddog
1 hour ago, pault said:

@wilddog You know me turning up on the conservation threads is a sure sign I am getting antsy. Yes, come on. 

 

very valuable input though!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Atravelynn

I'm sitting on the edge of the Chitake River with you!

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wilddog
1 minute ago, Atravelynn said:

I'm sitting on the edge of the Chitake River with you!

I think you probably took the 2015 photograph too @Atravelynn. Sorry😕

 

Hoping to finish this TR soon.......

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