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Atravelynn

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

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BRACQUENE

@Atravelynn

 

Well let's do a bit of " Tandem " work : same hippo pool two weeks before : And should I add I can't get enough of those Sable !!

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Towlersonsafari

some lovely photos @Atravelynn I particularly like the line of sable that looks like it could be the edging to a table cloth or wall paper, the pleasantly posing puku and the lovely light. And of course the fact that you were able to monitor the monitor

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Zubbie15

Interesting how the light changed on the hippos between 523 and 528, such a difference over a short period of time. 

 

You mention not rolling down the windows site to the flies. Maybe I missed it, but what type of vehicle were they using? 

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Atravelynn
8 hours ago, Towlersonsafari said:

some lovely photos @Atravelynn I particularly like the line of sable that looks like it could be the edging to a table cloth  I knew in the back of my mind those galloping sable looked somehow familiar and that's it--a table runner--not that I own a sable table runner but I've seen things that look like that!  or wall paper, the pleasantly posing puku and the lovely light. And of course the fact that you were able to monitor the monitor--I wish I had thought of that.

 

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Atravelynn
1 hour ago, Zubbie15 said:

Interesting how the light changed on the hippos between 523 and 528, such a difference over a short period of time.   Light was everything with the hippos.  It was more a matter of where we were placed than the light fading or going behind a cloud.  We started out in a spot that was not the best angle of light and then carefully walked to more favorable conditions.  At the hippo pool the #1 priority was not light or photos, but minimizing the disturbance to the hippos, so we moved strategically and slowly and did not linger long.  Excellent observation on the light!

 

You mention not rolling down the windows site to the flies. Maybe I missed it, but what type of vehicle were they using? 

This report suffers from vehicle neglect.  I took no vehicle photos! :wacko:  So I am glad you asked.  The drive from Lusaka to Musekese was in an enclosed vehicle.  I forget what kind, but it was a vehicle suited for the busy highways of Lusaka and would fit in with your streets at home.  That's all that vehicle did was make transfers.  In 2017, Doug Macdonald's transfer vehicle from Lusaka to Kafue was similar.  I think his was a Landrover where we kept the windows tightly shut.  But I do recall one quick pit stop back in 2017 on the transfer to or from Kafue, requested by @michael-ibk, when we were in the woodlands,  He left the vehicle briefly and was severely tormented by hoards of  tse tse flies as he heeded nature's call.  During Doug's transfer, we did roll down the windows a few times for photos and the tse tses swarmed in.  We then had the difficult task of trying to swat and kill them inside the vehicle as we drove along.

 

Now, on to the vehicles at Musekese, Ntemwa, and the transfer between.  Those were all open vehicles with a shade over the top.  They even had substantial screw-on-and-off bean bags. Tse tses were only a problem for some stretches of the transfer and in the woodlands looking for sable and bush pigs.  No bush pigs found.  Ason was such a good sport about spending time near the woodlands, which could be very uncomfortable due to tse tses.

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Atravelynn

Transfer from Ntemwa in Busanga Plains to Musekese

Morning of Oct 12 (6:15 am to 11:00 am)

 

 

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The Ntemwa Hostess (whose name I did not write down and sadly cannot remember) and I made the return transfer back to Musekese.  About 30 minutes into our trip we got a puncture.  I found the driver/hostess’s initial reaction amusing, “First thing is essential oils for both positivity and insects.”  Maybe every vehicle should be equipped with essential oils because it worked!  Together we changed the tire, with the me doing well under 50% of the work.  We sustained very few tse tse bites.  The bug suit helped me.  Between the sightings we stopped for and the  drama added by the flat tire, it was a successful and also adventurous transfer and I’ll always fondly remember the Kafue puncture when anyone mentions essential oils.

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6:29 am  Seen on the drive departing Busanga Plains, 3 sable bulls

 

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6:38 am   On the drive departing Busanga Plains

 

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7:51 am   Departing Busanga Plains

 

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9:22 am  On the way out of Busanga Plains, Lichtenstein's Hartbeest

 

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9:53 am   Saddle-billed Stork pair.  The male has a dark eye and yellow wattle.  The wattle is barely visible here.  The female has a yellow eye.

 

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10:06 am   Sharpe's Grysbok, 2 of 4 seen on the transfer; 2 on the way up and 2 on the way back.  This is the only one I photographed.  Even on the transfer, “Have your cameras ready, folks!”

 

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10:47 am   Me becoming one with the roots, after the river crossing part of the transfer. 

 

The “harbor” where the boat is parked is about a 15- minute drive from camp.

 

 

Afternoon of Oct 12 Boat

Going north or right in the Kafue River.

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Puku at water’s edge on Kafue River

 

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Open-billed Stork showing surprisingly colorful feathers

 

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African darter

 

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African darter with something to say

 

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African darter

 

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Croc on the bank of Kafue River

 

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African Finfoot

 

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Wattled Crane

 

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Fish Eagle

 

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Adult and juvenile Spurwing Goose

 

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5:37 pm  Skimming  -  Taken in low light with Sony RX10.  The only series of skimmer shots not using Canon 7D Mark II.

 

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5:37 pm  Sony RX10 again

 

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5:37 pm  another Sony RX10 shot

 

 

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5:42 pm   Back to the Canon 7D Mark II for the aerial dogfight

 

 

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5:42 pm   Canon

 

Another exciting afternoon on the river.  I had to persuade my reluctant boatmates to try for the skimmers this afternoon, which was surprising because they had gigantic lenses.  Afterward two of the guys high-fived each other over their skimmer shots. 

 

Edited by Atravelynn

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Caracal

Have been enjoying more of your excellent photos and engaging commentary.

Loved your photos of the sable and as I'm fond of the small antelopes special mention for the oribi family under their own tree and for the Sharpes Grysbok.

Also the jumping puku.

Special mention too for that hippo at 5.33pm in the hippo pool fitting in with your title by displaying in front of the roots.

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Atravelynn

Morning of Oct 13 Drive/Walk combo

 

I put the radio used for communicating from the room to use this morning.  I could make out the figures of a couple of lionesses walking in the danbo just outside my tent about 5:15 am. I had gotten my 5:00 am wakeup call  at my tent and the rules were:  If you get the wakeup, you can depart your tent and head for breakfast around 5:30 am.  But if you do not get a morning wake up, remain in your tent until someone gets you.

 

I was not sure if there might be cubs or males along with the lionesses, so I made the radio call. Turns out the lionesses and a couple of cubs passed by camp without incident after the wakeup call, but I appreciated my escort to breakfast that morning.  By the way, the radio is new since 2017.

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6:01 am  No lurking animals that I am aware of

 

One of the more amazing things about the next leopard siting is that in addition to the leopard in the photo, we could also see elephants in the distance, a few lions, plus many grazing species, a veritable menagerie from horizon to horizon.   1738606190_nocameratouse.jpg.b18871ecadddaf9c8b4bf3f1e1d1f2f9.jpg

 

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Lion, leopard, elephant in one panoramic view is impressive, though only the leopard is photographed, here.

 

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Leopard on Musekese game drive

 

We drove away from the leopard and began our walk about 7:45 am, three guests and Phil.  I had wanted to do walking this trip because two years ago a broken ankle hampered bush walking for me.  The typical walk starts from camp in the morning and lasts about three hours.  Every morning of my stay it seemed there was always something exciting to follow up on by vehicle, so no one at Musekese every opted to walk for fear of missing out.  This abbreviated walk turned out to be the only one I did and I am glad I was able to sneak it in between all the wildlife viewing by vehicle.

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Beehive, taken during Musekese walk

 

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Striped Kingfisher during Musekese walk

 

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A leopard dashed out from under brush about 15 meters away from us and ran. When we checked where it had been hidden, we were pleased to see a kill that was nothing but bones.  We would not have wanted to scare it off a hearty meal with lots of meat left.

 

Our walk took us near a breeding herd of elephants and we climbed up a termite mound to observe them by peeking through brush.

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Elephants seen while we were atop a termite mound during Musekese walk

 

When the elephants moved off, we walked back to camp. 

 

Around camp on Oct 13

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10:18 am in front of camp

 

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10:18 am

 

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10:18 am

 

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10:19 am

 

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10:19 am

 

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10:19 am

 

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10:20 am

 

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10:21 am

 

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10:21 am

 

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10:39 am

 

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10:43 am

 

This 30-minute elephant show that started about 10:15 am offered views and photos with much less heat distortion than other times later in the day.  It made me consider spending a morning in camp sometime instead of a game drive.  The 6-time Musekese visitor said he did sometimes opt out of game drives to view the goings-on in front of camp.

 

And there were “elephants” inside the tents as well as outside.

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Some of the staff added the tiny eyes and others did not.  I added the eyeballs post processing on the upper ele.

 

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3:10 pm Leader of the 7-bushbuck herd that lived in camp

 

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3:10 pm

 

 Afternoon & Eve of Oct 13 Boat

On the boat we went left/south for a while and then turned back north.

 

Walking from camp to the vehicle that would drive us to the boat, we saw this good luck charm, illuminated perfectly to bring out all the rich colors.  A serious bunch, dedicated to their hobby, nobody even giggled, but there were a few “Oh My’s” and we all jostled for a good angle and snapped, snapped, snapped.

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3:51 pm, male vervet

 

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Banded mongoose on the drive on the way to the boat

 

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Banded mongoose on the drive on the way to the boat

 

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4:38 pm  Malachite Kingfisher, while going south on the Kafue

 

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4:39 pm  Malachite Kingfisher, while going south on the Kafue

 

 

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4:39 pm  Malachite Kingfisher, while going south on the Kafue

 

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4:40 pm  Roots along the Kafue River, heading south

 

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4:44 pm  Roots

 

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5:07 pm  Half-collared Kingfisher, heading north again on the Kafue River

 

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5:09 pm  Half-collared Kingfisher – We floated to just a meter or two away.

 

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5:09 pm  Half-collared Kingfisher

 

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5:11 pm  Half-collared Kingfisher

 

 

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5:11 pm Half-collared Kingfisher

 

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5:34 pm Elephants along the Kafue River

 

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5:36 pm

 

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5:53 pm

 

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6:02 pm sunset, Kafue River

 

The excitement continued back in camp with a black cobra by spotlight.

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7:31 pm

 

Edited by Atravelynn

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BRACQUENE

@Atravelynn

 

Whaw I am impressed ! That Black Cobra at night and the Malachite Kingfisher at 4.39 PM and the Half-Collared at 5.09 ; to continue with our teamwork the Beehive from a different angle DSCF8340.JPG.d5be477a4ebcfa6ce9cb6a62060a5654.JPG

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Kitsafari

awesome report, as always, @Atravelynn 

 

you had far better luck and with leopards than we in 2017! great shots of the twinspots and the finfoot too! so sad to hear about the male lion's foot being caught in the snare but amazing how resilient they canbe. i still recall how we first saw them in 2017, and they had just newly moved into the area too. 

 

 

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Biko

Great pictures, thanks for your TR, amazing bug suit you are using. I will remember that whenever I go to visit Kafue ( no fixed plan yet). Do you think the RX10 works well for game drives?

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TonyQ

Superb kingfisher shots, really beautiful. Lovely elephants in front of camp.

 

You May have said this already- if so apologies. How many people typically share the vehicle in the camps - and how is it decided if you will walk or drive?

When you do a boat trip, does everyone have to choose it, or is there a choice of boat trip or game drive?

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Atravelynn
13 hours ago, BRACQUENE said:

@Atravelynn

 

Whaw I am impressed ! That Black Cobra at night and the Malachite Kingfisher at 4.39 PM and the Half-Collared at 5.09 ; to continue with our teamwork the Beehive from a different angle DSCF8340.JPG.d5be477a4ebcfa6ce9cb6a62060a5654.JPG

Hope the hive is still buzzing!  The cobra, as well as the black mamba we saw, plus another snake or two that did not make the report were likely present because of the impending rain.  The afternoon sky often looked like we'd have rain, but only a few drops, just enough to stir up the snakes.  Do you remember the name of the hostess at Ntemwa?  It was not a name I am familiar with so I forgot it.:(

18 hours ago, Caracal said:

Have been enjoying more of your excellent photos and engaging commentary.

Loved your photos of the sable and as I'm fond of the small antelopes special mention for the oribi family under their own tree and for the Sharpes Grysbok.

Also the jumping puku.  And the non-jumping one impersonating a bushbuck.  Thanks for catching that!  I have had puku on the brain instead of bushbuck, even though these very different looking species.

Special mention too for that hippo at 5.33pm in the hippo pool fitting in with your title by displaying in front of the roots.

 

12 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

awesome report, as always, @Atravelynn 

 

you had far better luck and with leopards than we in 2017!  I think they are moving into the area and feeling comfortable.  The elephants were more relaxed too.  It is was rewarding to notice the change. great shots of the twinspots and the finfoot too! so sad to hear about the male lion's foot being caught in the snare but amazing how resilient they canbe. If it had been a solitary leopard, the story might have ended quickly.  But the pride has sustained him.  i still recall how we first saw them in 2017, and they had just newly moved into the area too.   Yes, thanks for your comments!

 

 

 

6 hours ago, Biko said:

Great pictures, thanks for your TR, amazing bug suit you are using. I will remember that whenever I go to visit Kafue ( no fixed plan yet). Do you think the RX10 works well for game drives?  Yes and it is more compact than a Digital SLR.  I did use the Canon 7d Mark ii (DSLR) in lower light and with moving animals.  But that RX10 is really good.  One of its noted features is the video, which I don't really use.

 

I'll put in some albums and if you scroll through them you can compare the Sony Rx10 Bridge camera to the Digital SLR, at least at my level of taking photos.  The Sony RX10x all have DSC with a number for the name of each photo.  The Canon is 3M7A with a number.  The Nikon Coolpix P900 are  DSCN and a number, so there is an extra N for Nikon.

 

 

 

In this album, you can skip all the sharks which are all Canon

 

 

A friend of mine put away his DSLR for the Sony RX10.  He's the one who convinced me to buy it.  It is really good.  For most of the "action" shots I used the sports mode but sometimes I actually used the manual settings to increase shutter speed.  When I used the RX10 for some fast flying swallows here at home and showed the guy at the camera store, he was amazed at the quality.

3 hours ago, TonyQ said:

Superb kingfisher shots, really beautiful. Lovely elephants in front of camp.

 

You May have said this already- if so apologies. How many people typically share the vehicle in the camps - and how is it decided if you will walk or drive? 

When you do a boat trip, does everyone have to choose it, or is there a choice of boat trip or game drive?

Very good question.  With only 4 tents, so not that many  people, and 2-3 guides on site,  2 vehicles, and 2 boats, they were very flexible.  The night before we were asked what we wanted to do the next morning. Same thing at lunch for the pm activities.  In general, it was drives in the morning and boat or drives in the afternoon.  Any walking would almost always be done in the morning.  So each person decided what they wanted to do based on what was happening with the wildlife and suggestions from the staff.   We definitely had a choice so that it was not all in the boat or all in the vehicle.  But sometimes that happened, so 2 boats or 2 vehicles were used.  The most number of guests in the vehicle or in the boat that I saw was 4.  The flexibility is a big plus for Musekese.  In Ntemwa the only choices would be regular game drive or an extended drive or full day in the area with the lechwe.

Edited by Atravelynn

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BRACQUENE

@Atravelynn

Actually when I was in Ntemwa Gareth was the only host so no woman in the camp and we saw him back in Musekese two days later to be reunited with his girlfriend Frederike ! Or was it Frederike a Dutch girl who was your hostess?

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Galago

Lovely photos and the Half-collared kingfisher is amazing. I'm curious about the essential oils. Like you I have a bug suit but tsetses still got me and I react badly so I'd be interested to know which oil you used and how effective you reckon it was.

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Atravelynn
3 hours ago, BRACQUENE said:

@Atravelynn

Actually when I was in Ntemwa Gareth was the only host so no woman in the camp and we saw him back in Musekese two days later to be reunited with his girlfriend Frederike ! Or was it Frederike a Dutch girl who was your hostess?  No, Frederike was just at Musekese.  But thanks for trying to help me out.

 

2 hours ago, Galago said:

Lovely photos and the Half-collared kingfisher is amazing. I'm curious about the essential oils. Like you I have a bug suit but tsetses still got me and I react badly so I'd be interested to know which oil you used and how effective you reckon it was.  I do not know which essential oil was used and I did not use it myself.   The hostess/driver/tire changer stated that she was not badly bitten at all after our 4-hour trip.

 

It might be worth emailing

info@jefferymckeith.com

and they might be able to track down the essential oil she used.

 

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Atravelynn

Morning of Oct 14 Boat

 

Going north on the river, to the right.  What a nice bonus that the afternoon scheduled charter flight out of Kafue allowed for a full morning activity.  I was the only taker for a roots and skimmer tour.  I suggested this unusual outing and appreciate that the staff could accommodate me.  No one else wanted to sign on for this fascinating combination excursion.  But there were lions wandering about, so I can understand they wanted to seek them out instead of tree roots in the sun.

 

By the end of our boat trip, according to Garreth, we had racked up a record number of sightings from the boat:  lion, elephant and leopard on the Kafue riverbanks, plus African Skimmers skimming (just briefly), an African Finfoot in and out of the water, and of course roots.  The early morning provided the least amount of wind of any outing, allowing for nice root reflections.  The lion and elephant photos on the bank were back in post #1 and were not great shots.

large.1841513692_3M7A4778roots.jpg.37a2d1ff8f023d755a71d3f4bccc18fa.jpg

6:20 am

 

large.910748990_3M7A4799roots.jpg.8e5209026c82ca327f514a2ecff82970.jpg

6:23 am

 

large.2137169681_3M7A4824roots.jpg.519c7a3cb9f9dedb1822abef6b4bba1c.jpg

6:27 am

 

large.2068418655_3M7A4853roots.jpg.93506190bb1e443b7337d135b28ab72e.jpg

6:37 am

 

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6:38 am

 

large.260404057_3M7A4867roots.jpg.03b57a27d97e6322362b9ecc6c04b350.jpg

6:38 am

 

large.788258664_3M7A4870ROOTS.jpg.1dc29c972ba110cc9f56e68d8c2d8ccd.jpg

6:39 am

 

large.1598608014_r9k3M7A4856ReedCormorantKafueRiver.jpg.1752bb4ba6915b12c5abc8b4abbc56f6.jpg

Reed Cormorant

 

large.817282628_r9l3M7A4873litterpicking.jpg.a7483ef527f34a33131d260d008bfedf.jpg

Keeping the roots and the riverbank litter-free

 

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7:31 am

 

large.1415677903_r9m3M7A4897Thick-kneeKafueRivertighter.jpg.4600a25becd4822aa7cc4fe05cf3d07a.jpg

Thick-knees

 

large.1725573915_r9nDSC06784RockPratincoleKafueRiver.jpg.cf0b93a2e918f807546bb4d5ea12b9b1.jpg

Rock Pratincoles

 

large.388983858_r9o3M7A4982wiredtailswallow.jpg.260ba37679cd97d17ae3d3f55631374e.jpg

Wire-tailed Swallow that tried to nest in our boat

 

 

large.637077591_r9p3M7A5008skimmingwithbackground.jpg.e1e585b974aea0e22706712eba60e494.jpg

7:37 am Skimmers

 

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7:37 am

 

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7:37 am

 

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7:46 am

 

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7:47 am

 

large.1110166855_r9u3M7A51902flyingskimmers.jpg.a77a9e3fc760f93441f9db56d519424a.jpg

7:47 am

 

large.1836860809_r9v3M7A5208portraitskimmerstighter.jpg.c650d8fed88218345d52cb1b9c2ae9b2.jpg

7:50 am

 

large.1706028663_r9w3M7A5252skimming2.jp

8:09 am

 

large.941333248_3M7A5301roots.jpg.64d3d08c5b4ff2caf38ed420c014204e.jpg

8:32 am

 

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8:33 am

 

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8:38 am

 

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8:53 am

 

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8:55 am

 

large.177131323_3M7A5382helmetedguineafowlandKafueRiver.jpg.f5a097d7979e4a545ff7b3643ee92798.jpg

8:57 am  Helmeted Guinea Fowl strewn about the roots

 

large.2094807511_3M7A5407roots.jpg.d4443d477cc8e66763229bea5d254af8.jpg

9:04 am

 

large.259942_r9x3M7A5430whitebackednightheronKafueRiver.jpg.451d5cea45fd27a8467c0e4a7ff76c33.jpg

9:33 am White-backed Night Heron along Kafue River

 

large.1972856438_r9y3M7A5436whitebackednightheronKafueRiver.jpg.6994bd3c9b1a621feb2bbbec9177572e.jpg

9:33 am White-backed Night Heron along Kafue River

 

large.239196835_s13M7A5549LeopardKafueRiver.jpg.46b61b79fb0ed6554a7339ad1a29a751.jpg

9:51 am.  The second leopard seen along the river.  The first was several days earlier in the evening.  This one was saved to the camp laptop for identification and reference.

 

large.82149498_3M7A5566finfootandrootsKafueRiver.jpg.8d150c1f9896b3a22b67c72cac282074.jpg

9:54 am African Finfoot on the root

 

large.1724457439_3M7A5586finfootrootsKafueRivertight.jpg.62836da0f5f9f7be1014b306e0232241.jpg

9:54 am

 

This was the only morning boat trip I had done during my two stays in Kafue.  Very productive.

 

Farewells...

 

...from the herd visiting Tent #1

large.1176924099_xxDSCN2108elesnearTent1.jpg.5fbbe40bb8f488eb9a758311052a2fd9.jpg

11:34 am Eles near Tent #1, Musekese Camp

 

...from an elephant in the danbo.

large.1121974362_s2DSCN2182Musekeseeles.jpg.8f1b01027c4330bda7ddc9ae03dc7eb8.jpg

12:10 am  In front of camp.

 

...from the tent skink

large.1810834685_xxMusekeseroommate.jpg.

Inside Musekese Tent #2

 

I got to sit in the cockpit for our departure flight.

large.715449564_DSC06880byebyKafue.JPG.478db6f6ed995ed9d01e33fc8fe91f3e.JPG

3:38 pm from the flight out   The Kafue River

 

large.286258363_DSC06896byebyeKafue.jpg.119c2ac6a5c05cbb74bba2229cbe1cd8.jpg

3:38 pm  The Kafue River

 

With enough zoom, I’m sure I could find some roots down there somewhere.

 

The End

 

 

Edited by Atravelynn

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Galago

Ah I think some of your roots are down there somewhere! The morning light is lovely in your photos. And White-backed Night-heron was a big treat.  Thanks for a great report. It brought back good memories.

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Atravelynn
6 minutes ago, Galago said:

Ah I think some of your roots are down there somewhere! The morning light is lovely in your photos. And White-backed Night-heron was a big treat.   Garreth, the guide, was quite enthused with this guy as well.  It was a cooperative bird.  Thanks for a great report. It brought back good memories.

 

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Caracal

Pleased to see you got a beautiful skimmer farewell on your last morning boat trip.

Am feeling a bit sad that this TR has ended -as you know I'm a Kafue fan -  have enjoyed it all - Many thanks @Atravelynn - for this - another of your special reports.

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BRACQUENE

@Atravelynn  

 

A grand finale and with @Caracal and @Galago I am going to miss the daily morning wake up which brought back so many memories from my recent safari to that stunning and still underestimated park !

Merry Christmas to everybody !

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Towlersonsafari

Hurrah  a splendid report  @Atravelynn thanks very much

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optig

@Atravelynne you are outdoing even yourself. This is just an amazing trip report. You just seem to get better and better with each and every trip report.

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TonyQ

An excellent report, beautiful photos on the morning river trip.

That leopard looks like a very powerful animal

I love the Skimmer shots.

You make Kafue look very appealing!

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Zim Girl

Excellent report, lovely pictures and lots of really useful info as usual.

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