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Atravelynn

Kafue—RETURN TO MY ROOTS—Musekese & Ntemwa, Oct 4-14

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Atravelynn

This was a RETURN safari to Kafue. The most recent visit was Oct 2017 with @AndMic, @Kitsafari  and  @michael-ibk, a most enjoyable visit indeed.  On this this trip I spent a lot of time on the Kafue River admiring the ROOTS along the shore.  So RETURN TO MY ROOTS seemed appropriate.

 

Here’s the joint trip report to Kafue from the Oct 2017 trip with 4 safaritalkers, led by Doug Macdonald that got me hooked:

http://www.safaritalk.net/topic/18138-the-many-faces-of-wild-kafue/

 

Coincidentally, the city where I grew up and where my actual roots were first planted, is the French word for root—Racine—named for the Root River that runs through this Wisconsin city.   Adding to the coincidence, the first Westerners to document their visit to the Root River were a party of French explorers. They canoed into the Root River on Oct 10, 1699 and Oct 10 was during my Kafue visit.  Of course, the Potawatomi and Miami tribes had lived near the river long before the French showed up. The Potawatomi word for root is Chippecotton.

 

Sometimes wildlife was nestled within the roots/”chippecottons.”

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Half-collared Kingfisher, along the Kafue River, 4:42 pm

 

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There is a mother vervet with her baby in the photo, along the Kafue River

 

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Leopard along the Kafue River

 

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9:54 am  On my private root tour.  African Finfoot along the Kafue River.

 

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8:55 am  Elephant on my private root tour.  Not a stellar photo.

 

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9:01 am   Lion on my private root tour. Not a stellar photo, but this seemed to be a new lioness to the area.

 

Sometimes roots alone were the subject.

 

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6:36 am  On my private root tour

 

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6:36 am  On my private root tour

 

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4:24 pm

 

I underestimated the effect of boat engine shake on the root photos.  To compensate I should have used a higher shutter speed, heeded more of the offers to turn off the motor, and not taken so many shots as we were throttling along the river just to cover ground.

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Roots viewed from land, at the “harbor” where the transfer boat was kept, therefore engine shake was not an issue.

 

Why return to Kafue?  It was more than the allure of tree roots that drew me back.  Kafue and the fine operation by Phil Jeffery and Tyrone McKeith have a way of beckoning one back.  I’m not alone in that feeling.  I encountered one lady on her 3rd visit and a gentleman on his 6th visit to Musekese and Ntemwa. 

 

I also met a woman on her very first safari ever and we all agreed that she had started at the pinnacle.  A self-described “travel agent for CEOs and their families” breezed into camp for a few hours and told us he sends his clients only to Zambia now, and is especially fond of Kafue.  Interestingly, he is also adding Malawi to his destination portfolio.  Musekese blew him away, along with another pair of travel agents who stayed for a night rather than merely a couple of hours at camp.

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11:14 am  On the trails at Musekese Camp – Red-throated Twinspot (male)

 

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11:59 am  Dragonfly on bushbuck fawn right in front of camp.   There is a children’s book waiting to happen with that combination.

 

The banter in camp among guests and agents very often centered around how amazing the whole operation was from location to food to guiding.   We all hoped this level of excellence will be maintained into the future. Several things bolstered our hopes. First, there is Musekese Conservation, an initiative established by Jeffery & McKeith Safaris to develop protective zones free of poaching in Kafue and guests can contribute to this effort with cash or buy items such as T-shirts where 100% of the profits go to Musekese Conservation. Second, due to this anti-poaching initiative and also just because of the continued presence of Musekese Camp, wildlife in the area has increased.  I could tell the difference between my two visits (two years apart) both in and around camp as well as on drives. This trip, there was more wildlife, and the cats were much more relaxed.  Third, more tourism and more camps in Kafue can help reduce poaching, and there is more and more interest of operators to locate in Kafue. While more tourists might seem to be a threat to the vibe of remoteness and seclusion, Phil actually said he thought Kafue could easily handle an increase in tourism of even up to tenfold without being compromised.  That’s because Kafue is so huge at 22,400 sq km or about 8,650 sq miles, larger than Massachusetts or Belize or Wales.

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10:17 am  Viewed from the Musekese deck – elephants in the danbo

 

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8:59 am. Sable on game drive in Busanga Plains

 

Color codes

Brown = Land activities from Musekese – Drives, walks, drive/walk combo

 

Blue = Boat outings along the Kafue River from Musekese

 

Green = Happenings right at Musekese Camp – Of all the photos kept during my 6 nights at Musekese, a whopping 20% were right at the camp, either the danbo (wetland) in front of the camp’s viewing deck or the forested grounds where guests could wander at will.  If I had spent more time in camp or if we had returned earlier from the morning outings, that percentage would have been even higher.  I had a whole lot of root shots from the boat, increasing the total number of photos, so 20% at camp is a good indication of the tremendous wildlife activity around the camp.

 

After lunch, which was usually about 11:00 am, wildlife viewing quieted down in the danbo in front of camp because the temperatures rose to about 95º F / 35º C or more.  But elephant herds could stroll in at any time.

 

All of the photos from camp were taken between the morning and afternoon game drives, except one frog and one snake at night.  None were taken before our 6 am departure.

 

Orange = Game drives in Busanga Plains.

 

1068063851_nocameratouse.jpg.2ca1e1c23d997bddacdbbf5c3149f585.jpg= No photos, just a memory

 

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Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest on drive from Musekese -  The black patches on the hartebeests’ sides are from dark fluid in the preorbital glands near the eyes.  When they rub their heads on each other’s flanks, the sticky black fluid remains on the hide and attracts dust and dirt that adheres.

 

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Wattled Crane along the Kafue River

 

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Viewed from the Musekese deck – puku and elephants in the danbo, 10:14 am

 

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Roan on Busanga Plains game drive

 

Kafue Itinerary

 

6 nights in Musekese.   3 nights in Ntemwa in Busanga Plains.  1 night Pioneer Lodge, Lusaka upon arrival.

 

Schedule that time of year:

Musekese 6 am departure for 4-ish hours & 4 pm departure for 3-ish hours, ending in a night drive.  Options are game drive, walk, combo drive/walk, boat, remain at camp and view from the deck and around camp.

 

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Along the Kafue River while staying at Musekese

 

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Game drive from Musekese

 

There may be expanded options in the future at Musekese such as boating across the river for a walk and doing a several-day walk between yet-to-be-erected bush camps.  Exciting possibilities

 

Ntemwa6 am departure for 4-ish hours & 4 pm departure for 3-ish hours, ending in a night drive.  Usually one full day is devoted to spending time with lechwe, which is the most likely spot to find lions.  Options are just game drives (no walks) but we observed a hippo pool briefly on foot, walking a few meters from the vehicle.

 

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Hippo Pool at Busanga Plains

 

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8:58 am   Sable on Busanga Plains game drive

 

2  Oct Depart Chicago at 8:45 pm on Emirates.

 

3  Oct – Overnight Dubai International Terminal Hotel (met and escorted to hotel from arrival gate as part of the routine, standard service).

 

4  Oct – Arrive Lusaka at 2:35 pm, 30-minute road transfer to Pioneer Lodge.

 

5  Oct – Depart Pioneer Lodge 6:15 am.  Road transfer to Musekese.  Arrive 12:30 pm.  30 minutes of stops. Afternoon Kafue River by boat, night drive.  O/nt Musekese.

 

6  OctMorning drive, afternoon Kafue River by boat, night drive. O/nt Musekese.

 

7  OctMorning drive, afternoon Kafue River by boat, night drive. O/nt Musekese.

 

8  OctMorning drive, afternoon Kafue River by boat, night drive. O/nt Musekese.

 

9 OctMorning drive, afternoon boat & road transfer from Musekese to Ntemwa in Busanga Plains, 3 hours.  Arrive for sundowners.  O/nt Ntemwa.

 

10 OctExtended morning drive that also served as a transfer for vehicle-mates, afternoon drive, night drive. O/nt Ntemwa.

 

11 OctMorning drive, afternoon drive & hippo pool visit, night drive.  O/nt Ntemwa.

 

12 OctMorning road & boat transfer from Ntemwa in Busanga Plains to Musekese.  4.75 hours (we did some off-the-path meandering, pausing for photos & also a flat tire took about 1 hour).  Afternoon Kafue River by boat, night drive.  O/nt Musekese.

 

13 OctMorning drive & walk, afternoon Kafue River by boat, night drive, O/nt Musekese.

 

14 OctMorning Kafue River by boat.  Afternoon departure about 2 pm that required 35 minutes total boat and road transfer to the airstrip. 1 hour, 40 minute flight to Lusaka.  9:25 pm depart Lusaka on Emirates.

 

15 Oct – Fly through Dubai to Chicago, arriving 3;45 pm.

 

In scanning the itinerary, it may seem as though there were a whole lot of boat trips from Musekese.  There were because it was on the river where I found “MY ROOTS.”

 

Here is the fleet, two vessels that were unnamed.  I fixed that omission for them in this report.

 

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MV Root Seeker #1

 

 

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MV Root Seeker #2

 

For guides I had Ason, Gareth and Phil.  Jeffrey and McKeith Safaris are known for excellent guiding and it absolutely was.  Tyrone was with a photo group at Ntemwa for much of my trip but I did get to see him around camp and he joined me for my first lunch.

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Warthog on drive from Musekse

 

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10:19 am  Sable on drive in Busanga Plains

 

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8:33 am  Roots along Kafue River

 

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10:38 am  Elephants in front of Musekese Camp

 

Edited by Atravelynn

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TonyQ

Excellent start!

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Galago

Memories! I was there just a year before you - and how I'd love to go back. I'm curious about the two young lions feeding. They look like the two brothers I spent some time watching and photographing. At the time they were 8 months old, which would make these two 20 months when you saw them. Does that sound right?

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Atravelynn
33 minutes ago, Galago said:

Memories! I was there just a year before you - and how I'd love to go back.  You're another one!  I'm curious about the two young lions feeding. They look like the two brothers I spent some time watching and photographing. At the time they were 8 months old, which would make these two 20 months when you saw them. Does that sound right?

 

If one of the brothers had a floppy ear, then that's them!

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Caracal

I've been looking forward to this TR.

Like the intriguing title and the colour coding.

Great variety of sightings - that leopard looks so relaxed amongst the roots and that splendid roan in the golden light takes me way back. 

 

 

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Zubbie15

Great start to a report about one of the many places on my list to get to eventually. As always, full of useful info. 

Edited by Zubbie15

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pault

Hooked? Clearly, seeing as you are back so soon. I look forward to hearing all about it.

 

Your colour coding is very ambitious. 

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BRACQUENE

@Atravelynn

 

I woke up this morning to see the start of your report about returning to your safari " roots" and indeed the roots of the Kafue river are incredible !!

As I travelled only one month before you to the same camps , I see so many things I remember and loved deeply almost bringing tears in the eyes ; Even if my safari roots are  in the Luangwa , my first safari in 2015 to the Remote Africa Safaris camps , where I will go back to in july 2020 , Kafue is and  will always be  in my heart .

It is so exciting to see that great park climb the ladder of success and that the efforts of people like Phil and Tony pay off,  but let us hope with them that the remoteness it is famous for  can be maintained !

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Atravelynn
On 12/15/2019 at 4:37 PM, TonyQ said:

Excellent start!  Thank you and before it is finished, there will be an appearance by The Gap Band, frog phobia and the death of Audrey Hepburn!

 

On 12/15/2019 at 7:07 PM, Caracal said:

that splendid roan in the golden light takes me way back. 

Me too, to 2017 when the Doug Macdonald led group I was with had his best roan sighting ever, and of course our best.

 

On 12/15/2019 at 7:30 PM, Zubbie15 said:

Great start to a report about one of the many places on my list to get to eventually. As always, full of useful info.  Thanks, the cats should be so habituated that they relax in the lounge by the time you get there.  Wait, one young leopard already does that, sleeping on the couches at night.

 

21 hours ago, pault said:

Your colour coding is very ambitious.   I wish I had used the cool British spelling of colour.  It could even have added another coloured letter.

 

18 hours ago, BRACQUENE said:

@Atravelynn

 

I woke up this morning to see the start of your report about returning to your safari " roots" and indeed the roots of the Kafue river are incredible !!

As I travelled only one month before you to the same camps , I see so many things I remember and loved deeply almost bringing tears in the eyes ; Even if my safari roots are  in the Luangwa ,

 

Your comment reminded me of a comment I made about roots in South Luangwa from a decade-old trip report.

Shortly after entering the park, the trademark scenery of dry season South Luangwa appeared—sandy river beds with concave banks, trees and root systems left dangling, testament to the force of the Luangwa’s rushing water during the rains. I came because I was missing pukus, but I realized that I had been missing this classic landscape as well.

 

my first safari in 2015 to the Remote Africa Safaris camps , where I will go back to in july 2020 , Kafue is and  will always be  in my heart .

It is so exciting to see that great park climb the ladder of success and that the efforts of people like Phil and Tony pay off,  but let us hope with them that the remoteness it is famous for  can be maintained !  Agreed!

 

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Atravelynn

4 Oct

Sighting #1 was a kill at Pioneer Lodge, compliments of a Kurrichane Thrush. 

large.1872349164_a1DSCN1647KurrichaneThrushportraitwithkill.jpg.e2b63e8acd54951ec5fe727dfa02c4be.jpg

Kurrichane Thrush and prey, along the wooded walkways at Pioneer Lodge

 

 

Morning of 5 Oct

Adjusting to the new time zone had me up at 4:00 am, roosters crowing in the distance.  I decided to listen to the playlist on my phone as I emerged into the reality of morning from the haze of sleep that had been impaired by jet lag. The first song on my shuffled list was (appropriately) The Gap Band’s Early in the Morning.  For R&B funk fans, you may recall the song starts with the crow of a rooster.  In my hazy state, I panicked for a moment, thinking a chicken had slipped into my cottage.  Then I came to my senses and realized, “Everything will gonna be alright.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aobIboK_z34

The Gap Band’s official video, Early in the Morning, including the cock-a-doodle-do intro.

 

Depart Pioneer Lodge 6:15 am for the road transfer to Musekese.  Arrive 12:30 pm, with 30 minutes’ worth of stops along the way.  One of the stops was to pick up Guide Ason. Oct 5 was a Saturday and I was told that traffic is much lighter on the weekends, something to consider when planning a road transfer.

 

In the woodlands on the way in to Musekese we saw a skittish herd of about 20 roan. 

 

The other guests had already finished lunch when I arrived, so Tyrone kindly joined me. The first lunch and every meal at both Musekese and Ntemwa in Busanga Plains was excellent.  We met and thanked the chef at Ntemwa.  The chef at Musekese was a bit shyer and preferred to have our accolades relayed to him while he remained in the confines of his kitchen.

 

Right after lunch we were sequestered in the main lounge for about 45 minutes due to elephant activity.

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Bottom left is Phil and friend, just before we said good-bye at the end of our trip.  The other 3 shots are within minutes of arriving, resulting in all guests being sequestered in the lounge.

 

 

Afternoon of Oct 5Boat

 Everyone at camp opted for a boat ride so the fleet of two went out.  Our boat went left or south on the river.

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Serrated Hinged Terrapin

 

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Serrated Hinged Terrapin behind the dragon fly

 

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Giant Kingfisher with catch

 

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Striated Heron eyeing a small croc

 

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Striated Heron

 

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Fish Eagle

 

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Pied Kingfisher and spider web

 

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Yellow-billed Kites

 

 We had some nice light on the river that first evening.  The root photos started on our very first outing.

 

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5:15 pm. Only hippo photo from the Kafue River and roots

 

 

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5:10 pm

 

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5:19 pm

 

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5:26 pm

 

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5:29 pm

 

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5:30 pm

 

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5:32 pm

 

 

Morning of Oct 6 – Game Drive

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Puku seen just outside of camp on game drive from Musekese

 

 

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Pukus sitting sweetly

 

Around camp on Oct 6

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10:28 am   Danbo wetland in front of camp, viewed from the Musekese deck

 

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Two monitor lizards make their home in camp and have since its inception.  I saw them in 2017.  This is either Timothy or Tabitha.

 

 

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Two monitors are visible, so both Timothy and Tabitha are on the scene.  They were often together.  Anthropomorphizing, I found it to be an endearing and enduring love story at Musekese.  What a privilege that the monitors choose to live on the camp grounds.

 

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Blue waxbill at camp

 

Afternoon of Oct 6 – Boat

We headed right, meaning north, on the Kafue River.

 

The 15-minute drive to the boat had some interesting bird activity.

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Drongo attacking a Western Banded Snake Eagle, seen on the drive from Musekese to the boat

 

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Drongo attacking a Western Banded Snake Eagle, seen on the drive from Musekese to the boat

 

 

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Jacana, from the boat, along the Kafue River

 

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Ason pointed out that the baby baboon was albino and we got some quick shots. Documentation over quality was the goal.

 

 

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Baboon jump root to root

 

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Baboon and roots

 

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Just roots

 

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This fish eagle was often in the exact same spot 2 years ago.  It was often in that very spot on the several boat trips this visit.  (I assumed it is the same fish eagle, but they do look alike.)  The croc is a newcomer, though.

 

We tried for some skimmer action that afternoon.  Windy conditions that came on later in the day during most my stay made skimming more of a challenge for the birds and made photographing the skimming more of a challenge as well.

 

I was told African Skimmers inhabit 5 islands that can be reached, if the river levels cooperate, from Musekese in the Kafue River. The first island is the one guests usually visit and is referred to as “Skimmer Island.”  It is the only island we visited this trip and in 2017.

 

In past years there were about 24 skimmers nesting on Skimmer Island.  This year only about 12-14 Skimmers had been counted as of my visit.  If the reduced numbers become the norm going forward, that could be a bad sign for the African Skimmers.  This year’s drought may have altered the skimmers’ normal behavior. It is also possible that the skimmers have relocated to the other more distant islands, preferring them to “Skimmer Island.” 

 

There had been no expeditions to the other islands this season to check African Skimmer numbers.  In part, low water levels may have made that journey too difficult, plus it would take longer than a normal outing.  Just getting to the first “Skimmer Island” at times required poling through very shallow parts.  I don’t recall any poling on the Kafue River in Oct of 2017, but that year was wetter than normal.

 

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5:15 pm  African Skimmers

 

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5:15 pm

 

 

 

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5:31 pm  African Skimmer and Blacksmith Plover

 

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5:24 pm  Skimming

 

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6:03 pm Kafue River sunset

 

Edited by Atravelynn

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pault

I think the albino baby deserved some exclamation marks.... so here are three!!!!    

(And I donate a cute "mark" in place of the point since I don't have any extra letters today)

 

Some very nice roots - I particularly like 5.26 p.m. = obviously  an ideal time for pictures in Kafue at that time of year.

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BRACQUENE

@Atravelynn

 

Woke up again and the dream goes on ; two magnificent Yellow-billed Kites ( no confusion with the Brown Snake - Eagle this time ) , a great Blue Waxbill we didn't see and the Elephant in front of the lunch deck with Phil ( did remind me of  the Lake Itezhi-Tezhi were I was surrounded by them ) 

I read your quote about "the Fish Eagle in the exact same spot as 2 years ago" : I join a photo taken from some distance  three weeks before you went ,  where the eagle is a bit further than  the tree trunk but without the croc ! DSCF8763.jpg.e8db5557963c5c8bc4f1acb20f5705bb.jpg

 

 

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TonyQ

The boat trip looks amazing- such beautiful light. Shows the roots really well.

Interesting to see the albino baboon baby.

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Bush dog

@Atravelynn

 

Hi Lynn, congratulations, I am really impressed by your sense of creativity.  Indeed, who would have thought that making these roots the backbone of your report was possible.  But, beyond all expectations, it works tremandously well to the point that rootless photos are a bit relegated to the background.  Beautiful, especially the one with the terrapin and 5:26 p.m.

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wilddog

Interesting there was a pair of fish eagles there 3 years ago. Must be prime territory. 

 

I, too, love the roots images. 😊

Edited by wilddog

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refox3488

Great start to your report, it was a joy to read, looking forward to hearing about the rest of your adventure. 

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ForWildlife

Great story!

The baby baboon however isn't an albino. It's a trait which gets more and more prominent the further north you go, and in fact, in Kinda baboons further north (Kasanka) most (all?) babies are born white. In the Luangwa valley you sometimes see white babies, again, more frequently going north in the Valley. I saw some babies in Nsumbu in October and they appeared white too. They might be pure kinda baboons up in Nsumbu.

In Kafue in the south it's predominantly chacma baboons I believe and further north the proportion of yellow baboon increases. Mixed groups do seem to exist. Interesting to see that there are also white babies, which would mean there is some Kinda-influence as well.

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Atravelynn

Book your boat trips for 5:26 pm, as @Bush dog and @pault suggest.  That's root time!

 

Thanks for the coloration lesson, @ForWildlife which might remove the need for the exclamations suggested by @pault@TonyQ, did you see that, it is not albino, just Kinda-influenced, which I find interesting as well.

 

That fish eagle is famous based on the recollections of @wilddog and the photo from @BRACQUENE.  If I were a  fish eagle, that's where I'd want to sit.

 

Thank you, @refox3488, the adventure will continue, roots and all.

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TonyQ

Interesting about the white babies. Some of the Leaf Monkeys in Borneo have babies that are very pale compared to the adults and some have orange babies even though the adults are dark grey.

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Atravelynn
41 minutes ago, TonyQ said:

Interesting about the white babies. Some of the Leaf Monkeys in Borneo have babies that are very pale compared to the adults and some have orange babies even though the adults are dark grey.

Colobus monkey babies are white.  And wild dog and hyena pups are black.

Edited by Atravelynn

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BRACQUENE

@Atravelynn

 

I honestly think that our recent reports have given the rising popularity of the Kafue an enormous boost amongst our members  and deservedly so ;  some day I will be going back and I would love to meet some people active on this forum : with Queen I would say to you  " carry on , carry on "

 

 

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Atravelynn

Morning of Oct 7 Game Drive

large.1396809241_d2DSC06598malelion.jpg.72702fe88f0033611143726f1a6fe817.jpg

One of the two dominant brothers that we had seen 2 years ago. Kafue River in background.

 

One of the two dominant brothers in the area had gotten into a snare about a year ago and was badly wounded, losing the use of one of his legs, thereby earning him the name of “Tripod.”  His injuries weakened him to the point of losing his mane.  Tripod would likely not have lived without his healthy brother’s intervention.  The two seemed to have a very close bond and were often seen together.  Although Tripod still limped, and likely will forever, his brother’s and his pride’s willingness to share food likely saved him.

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Tripod, one of two dominant brothers, hobbled by a snare wound to his leg, but surviving within his pride.

 

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Both brothers.  Tripod has very little mane.

 

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large.429816909_d6DSC06894maleliondrinkwithKafueRiverandwildlifebehind.jpg.f7c96159b1ee43743e2fc3ae60edd3ab.jpg

 

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Crowned crane in for a landing

 

Sometimes it is the small stuff that can be the highlight of an outing or an entire trip.  I recall more intriguing small stuff 2 years ago than on this trip.  I wonder if the wetter conditions in 2017 vs. the drought of 2019 account for any difference.

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Squirrel, one of the small stuff pleasant surprises

 

Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest are a Kafue Special.  We saw about 3 herds (numbering 6-15 each) around Musekese, along with a few singly, in Busanga Plains.  The herds seemed to be less skittish and more photographable, even when they had calves, this trip vs. two years ago.

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Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest – 1st herd seen

 

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Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest – 1st herd seen

 

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One member of the 2nd Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest herd seen about an hour after the 1st herd

Around camp on Oct 7

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Monitor Lizard at Musekese Camp

 

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Monitor Lizard at Musekese Camp 

 

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Monitor Lizard at Musekese Camp

 

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Monitor Lizard at Musekese Camp

 

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Monitor Lizard at Musekese Camp

 

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Routinely, 7 bushbuck were seen along the tree-covered paths at Musekese Camp.  Here are a mother and fawn. 

Such a privilege that his herd choses to live within the camp.

 

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Bushbuck at Musekese Camp

 

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Red-billed Firefinch at Musekese Camp

 

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12:01 pm  Herds of puku were a standard fixture in the danbo in front of camp. 

 

 Puku can withstand the relentless noon sun of the “Suicide Month” of October because their hair is tubular and the top layer absorbs the heat.  Waterbuck and Lechwe, also part of the same Kobus genus as puku, have the same type of hair structure and can graze unprotected in the heat of the day.

 

Guests often take a nap during midday heat.  But it’s a good idea to check the danbo in front of camp periodically between winks because the eles may march in at any time.  I missed the herd my first day.

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1:03 pm

 

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1:04 pm  Eles in the danbo in front of camp

 

Afternoon of Oct 7 – Boat

We headed right, meaning north, on the Kafue River.

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4:23 pm

 

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4:34 pm

 

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4:39 pm

 

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4:42 pm

 

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Giant Kingfisher along the Kafue River

 

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Giant Kingfisher

 

Crayfish have become a problematic invasive species in the Kafue River we were told.  But the native species are starting to consume the crayfish, reducing their numbers.  We observed this Giant Kingfisher rejecting a crayfish in this instance.  Interesting and I wonder if some of the natives cannot eat or have not yet learned to like crayfish.

large.1328286082_f73M7A0763GiantKFspitsoutcrayfish.jpg.1b8afb6b155001b053436dadb5802b8b.jpg

Giant Kingfisher regurgitating a crayfish

 

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Giant Kingfisher

 

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Giant Kingfisher

 

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Brown-headed Kingfisher

 

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5:02 pm

 

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5:03 pm

 

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5:03 pm

 

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5:54 pm African Skimmers

 

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5:55 pm Skimming

 

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6:06 pm, sunset on Kafue River

 

On the night drive 2 new young males to the area were spotted and their calls made their presence known.  The last time they had been seen was almost one year ago to the day, when they were still young.  Their return to the area generated a lot of excitement amongst the staff.  But it was tempered by the realization that Tripod and even his brother, along with cubs, may be threatened by these new very healthy males.  Harsh drama of the bush.

 

Edited by Atravelynn

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BRACQUENE

@Atravelynn

 

I never take a nap at midday on safari and remember that some of my best shots were actually taken at that time especially on the walking camps in South Luangwa and in the Kafue at Musekese and Nanzilha Plains ; thanks for your inspiring trip report!

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marg

@Atravelynn...in post 22 puku is maybe bushbuck?  Looking at your roots I had to look back at my photos from last year.  My roots are not the same as yours.  It is great to see that Tripod is still with us.  Thanks for the report!

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Atravelynn
1 hour ago, BRACQUENE said:

@Atravelynn

 

I never take a nap at midday I admire your energy level! on safari and remember that some of my best shots were actually taken at that time especially on the walking camps in South Luangwa and in the Kafue at Musekese and Nanzilha Plains ; thanks for your inspiring trip report!

 

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