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LarsS

Musekese, Kafue - A dream come true

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wilddog

Lovely video and report, thank you. Musekese is one of my favorite camps. 

 

@LarsS is there still a monitor lizard that lurks around the camp near the track to the tenytd

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BRACQUENE

I can definitely tell you he is still there like @LarsS showed us on page 1 of this report and to add another sighting @wilddog !

DSCF8998.jpg

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wilddog

Sorry @LarsS missed the pictures somehow. :huh:

 

 I too have photos from a few years ago, but will not be posting them in Lars TR @BRACQUENE

Edited by wilddog

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Atravelynn

page 1

"As impalas are synchronous breeders, that means a lot of newborn impalas at the same time. Which we noticed on our gamedrives."  Great that you saw the little ones.  Apparently the first  newborn impala of the season was sighted during my visit.

 

I want to jump right into that video.  And maybe write on the sightings blackboard. Cool beginning with the zippy zoom.  I realized after seeing all of your vultures that we saw only a couple this trip.  Nice to see Ason again.

 

Bush pig--way to go!  I was looking for them each day, whether in the danbo (where they are often seen I was told on both visits) or on drives.  Seems it was hiding out until you arrived!

 

Some guests said you'd see no elephants?  Too bad they did not offer to wager a bet on that.  I can't imagine you would see no eles if you are at Musekese a few days.

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LarsS

Thanks everybody for the nice words. Glad you like the story, pics and vid so far. Hope I can bring more of Musekese back to you.

 

23 hours ago, wilddog said:

Sorry @LarsS missed the pictures somehow. :huh:

No problem. The pics were at our tent. We also saw them both in the tree. No pictures though. I realised at home there were several things I didn't film of photograph properly. Realised it was because I was living in the moment more than I did before, which ofcourse it not a bad thing at all :) 

 

13 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

Apparently the first  newborn impala of the season was sighted during my visit.

I remmeber that was still on the board when we arrived at camp. Being rewarded with a grade of 10 out of 10. At that moment I wasn't aware why that was such a special sighting, but now I do.

 

 

13 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

Cool beginning with the zippy zoom.

 

Thanks! It's actually quite easy to do, I discovered when I had the idea. Google Earth Pro creates a video based on your waypoints.

 

 

13 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

I realized after seeing all of your vultures that we saw only a couple this trip.

 

I think it's not usual to see this many vultures in Kafue. Gareth said he had not seen so many vultures in one sighting before in Kafue.

 

13 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

Bush pig--way to go!

 

Yeah, I was really excited about that one. Knew they exist, but never thought I would see them. Wasn't aware they were around at Musekese either. Spotting them within 30mins after waking up, made it a special morning.

 

 

13 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

I can't imagine you would see no eles if you are at Musekese a few days.

 

No, me neither now I've been there. Thought I might have understood them wrong, but wife was sure they meant seeing ellies is not likely. Apart from the day of arrival, when we only went on the boat, we saw them everyday. So more ellies to come.

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Galago

Oh my this has taken me right back, especially the video. Looking forward to seeing more!

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LarsS

In camp I caught some more sleep, as the first night was really hot and we were not adjusted to that yet. Actually all nights were pretty hot, for people that sleep with the big window wide open even when it freezes, that was something we had to adapt to. Still enough time to enjoy the views, among this puku and these saddle billed storks.

 

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We were keen on going on another drive in the afternoon. Wondered if there might have been even more vultures than in the morning. When we left there were 65 on the ground and looked like others were still coming in. One of the other guests had a particular interest in vultures and even made a book about them. She wasn't in the car in the morning and ofcourse had to check it out herself in the afternoon after hearing our stories.

 

Luck wasn't with her though. The vultures had abonded the scene... There was actually so little to see compared to the morning drive, I don't have any picture of video of it. We did see a few lone vultures in treetops pretty far, but we had already captured the best. I felt sorry for the lady, as it was clear she had missed out on a special sighting which would have really interested her.

 

To make up for it, we saw a lot of baby impalas again :) 

 

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This mother has already a play date over for dinner

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And a few more just before the night fell

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We were happy to spot a small dazzle of zebras. They were a bit skittish though and didn't stay around too long with us nearby in the car.

 

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One for the birders:

 

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The big male lion hadn't left the confluence, and still relaxing at almost the same spot.

 

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On this pic you can see really well how full his belly is. I guess if you're that full, you just wanna lie down and digest your meal.

 

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His brother, Tripod wasn't far away. We discovered him in the middle of the open area. Too far to get close, but an amazing image with Tripod, pukus and a small elephant herd all in one shot.

 

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We also drove in a few areas where we hadn't been and where it was a bit quiet. All wildlife seemed to be at or near the confluence during our stay. When driving in another area, slowly the dusk fell and I didn't expect to see anything as we were stopping for our sundowner. Ofcourse, that's when we had another sighting: hartebeest with young ones. Had been a while since I had last seen them. The herd was a bit spread out and on the move. In total I think there were almost 20 hartebeest around.

 

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After the hartebeest sighting we stopped for drinks until it got dark. With the spotlight turned on, we continued in search of nocturnal animals. Hopefully a predator. But there wasn't a lot to be seen.

 

Ofcourse you'll almost always see a scrub hare. Usually they run away as they notice the car. But this one didn't mind and just sat there, giving us enough time to take a proper picture.

 

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One that didn't feel like posing, was this mongoose. Really blurry, I know. He disappeared quickly.

 

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We returned to camp for another lovely dinner. I thought all meals at Musekese were great and looked forward to what they would be serving us every time.

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BRACQUENE

@LarsS

 

Thanks again for sharing your amazing report ; it is pity that we missed each other by a few weeks like with @Atravelynn but who knows what the future will bring ? And you are absolutely wright about the quality of the food ! 

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michael-ibk

Great report Lars, brings me right back - you even had our tent. Love the video (really impressed about that one) - the next best thing to being there! The Hippo thing is very similar to what we experienced two years ago - also a lot of Vultures there then. 

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offshorebirder

This is  a very  nice trip report @LarsS.   Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

 

Did the guide mention what kind of Mongoose that is in your last post?    It looks very dark and  uniform in color and I am wondering if it is a Marsh Mongoose.   That would  be  a very cool sighting!

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LarsS
17 hours ago, offshorebirder said:

This is  a very  nice trip report @LarsS.   Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

 

Did the guide mention what kind of Mongoose that is in your last post?    It looks very dark and  uniform in color and I am wondering if it is a Marsh Mongoose.   That would  be  a very cool sighting!

 

 

No, Ason didn't. He didn't have a good view of it from his lower seat, so thought it was a genet at first.

 

I do have a short clip which didn't make the video. Maybe this helps for ID-ing the mongoose?

 

 

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BRACQUENE

@LarsS

 

I was trying to identify the voices in the video of the mongoose  ; certainly not Gareth , Phil or Tyrone as guides or drivers ?

Thanks for sharing it with us !

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offshorebirder
Posted (edited)

Thanks for sharing the video @LarsS.   It certainly looks like a Marsh Mongoose (also known as Water Mongoose) to me.   Scientific name Atilax paludinosus.  When the light briefly glances across it, you can see brown color.  And your photo has brownish tones as well.

 

The uniform very dark brown color seems to narrow down the list of potential mongoose species.   Your mongoose did not seem gray and was not striped in any way.  Which would seem to only leave Marsh Mongoose and Dwarf Mongoose as possibilities for Kafue NP.  Small Grey  Mongoose  are dark gray-brown but only found in southern South  Africa and a little of southern Namibia.  Large Grey Mongoose are huge, more gray in tone and have different head, tail, etc. proportions than the  mongoose in your video.

 

The proportions to me do not seem quite right for Dwarf Mongoose.   And my Stuarts SA mammals app says Dwarf Mongoose are strictly diurnal which seems to argue against the possibility of a night sighting.

 

Congrats on what seems to be a very cool sighting - Marsh Mongoose are pretty shy and retiring.   Stuarts SA mammals says "Extremely difficult to observe".

 

Edited by offshorebirder

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BRACQUENE

@LarsS @offshorebirder

We were rather lucky in september to see  Banded, Large Grey, Marsh, Slender and  White-Tailed in the Kafue as a whole as you can see in my son Willem's list ; I am still hesitating because of the color which is very dark and the Dwarf are generally darker than the Marsh but Dwarf are diurnal so ....

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Atravelynn
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, BRACQUENE said:

@LarsS

 

I was trying to identify the voices in the video of the mongoose  ; certainly not Gareth , Phil or Tyrone as guides or drivers ?

Thanks for sharing it with us !

Ason in the mongoose video?  I should correct that to Marsh Mongoose video.  Very cool!

Edited by Atravelynn

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Biko

Thanks for the great video and your inspiring TR, would love to go there one day.

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LarsS

First of all; sorry for the lack of updates. I knew I would be busy a few days, but forgot I had a very full weekend too. Back on the TR now!

 

 

On 1/2/2020 at 3:50 PM, BRACQUENE said:

I was trying to identify the voices in the video of the mongoose  ; certainly not Gareth , Phil or Tyrone as guides or drivers ?

 

On 1/3/2020 at 4:17 AM, Atravelynn said:

Ason in the mongoose video?

 

Yes! That's Ason, the guide on this drive. The second voice is one of the other guests - George from the US, in case you know him ;) 

 

 

 

 

On 1/1/2020 at 9:43 PM, offshorebirder said:

I am wondering if it is a Marsh Mongoose.

 

On 1/2/2020 at 4:19 PM, offshorebirder said:

It certainly looks like a Marsh Mongoose (also known as Water Mongoose) to me.

 

On 1/2/2020 at 4:19 PM, offshorebirder said:

Congrats on what seems to be a very cool sighting - Marsh Mongoose are pretty shy and retiring.   Stuarts SA mammals says "Extremely difficult to observe".

 

On 1/2/2020 at 4:47 PM, BRACQUENE said:

We were rather lucky in september to see  Banded, Large Grey, Marsh, Slender and  White-Tailed in the Kafue as a whole as you can see in my son Willem's list ; I am still hesitating because of the color which is very dark and the Dwarf are generally darker than the Marsh but Dwarf are diurnal so ....

That was really a successful mongoose safari then! Well done!

 

On 1/3/2020 at 4:17 AM, Atravelynn said:

I should correct that to Marsh Mongoose video. 

 

Well, I think we can conclude it's most likely a Marsh mongoose and therefore an extra special sighting. I've sent the video to Musekese as well, see what Phil/Tyrone think of it. Thanks everybody for helping ID the mongoose despite the video/photo not being of the best quality.

 

 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:49 AM, Biko said:

Thanks for the great video and your inspiring TR, would love to go there one day.

Thanks! Hope you get the chance to go there, it's a great experience!

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LarsS
Posted (edited)

A new day, so another early rise to see what the day would bring us. And it wouldn't disappoint!

 

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It took us less then 10 minutes to find a pride of lions on a kill. From the road they were actually pretty hard to spot. But their sounds gave away they were closeby. Hiding in the high grass and underneath some bush, you could easily have passed them without knowing. The pride exists of a few females, one which was collared, and some younger lions as well. The kill was almost gone, but there was enough to chew on and worth an arguement at one point.

 

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That tasted really well!

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Also this was the sighting where we saw the lion with the floppy ear. Only time we would see these lions.

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I don't think the meal satisfied everybody. One of them got up and looked in the mood for hunting. In the end, nothing happened and eventually she lied down again.

 

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At one point this youngster did an attempt of roaring. He wasn't very good at it, as some people in the car were confused what that sound was. It was cute though, but that was probably not what he was aiming for :) 

 

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Catching the first rays of the sun

 

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We stayed almost an hour with these lions. As they didn't just sleep, but changed positions all the time, they entertained us very well.

 

We enjoyed being in their company, but weren't the only ones. A tree full of vultures was hoping they would leave a few bites behind. Not sure if there was a lot to scavenge for the vultures.

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Again, baby impalas were part of the show too. Sometimes you don't stop enough for impalas, I think we made up for it quite well, stopping all the time. They just look to cute, so we kept on taking pictures and videos.

 

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Once we arrived at the confluence, there was some commotion among the pukus. Exciting news, as that would surely be a predator. I kind of expected the male lions to be around. We could see Tripod in the far distance, so surely his brother would be around here somewhere? Then we heard a baboon calling in the distance. We were all staring at the treeline in the distance. It was hard to know where to look, as there were at least two baboons calling and the puku looked in a few directions as well. No movement was to be seen...

 

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And then, a leopard walked out of the bush into the open area. Really far away, but clear for everybody to see. Including the pukus who came even closer to let the leopard know they had seen him and an attack wouldn't surprise them now. Interesting behaviour as you would think you'd rather not come to close to the tree line as it's easier for the leopard to hide and confuse the puku where he went.

 

I love how the leopard walks with his tail curled in the air.

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The last sighting of this morning drive was a new specie for me: the oribi. He really blended in nicely with his colors into the environment.

 

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Back in camp, we were right on time for some waterbuck in the dambo.

 

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Edited by LarsS

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LarsS

@Galago Since we found each other on facebook as well, I looked up the meaning of your handle here, as it clearly isn't a reference to your name. As your handle is another name for bush baby, I thought interesting to share that on one night drive, we saw so many bush babies, it was incredible. We lost count at around 30 I think. It looked like every tree was populated by a bush baby or galago :) 

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LarsS

I'll be updating more soon, but for now, I'll leave you with a riddle. In the picture below, I'm holding the product of an animal.

 

Do you know what it is and to which animal it relates?

 

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Galago

Wow how amazing! That's an insane count! I remember seeing them bouncing like battery operated toys but only a few.

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BRACQUENE

@LarsS

 

I am an early sleeper but also a very early riser so to read the follow up of your Kafue story gives me extra energy for the day Lars ; beautiful lion pictures which take me back to my Ruaha safari and the giraffe kill where we stayed close to a pride for at least an hour ; as for the bush babies we also counted a lot mostly in the Nanzilha Plains if I remember well ; I will not try to answer your riddle but you make me curious !

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LarsS

After having been several times in the direction of the confluence and surroundings, we asked Gareth to take us to a new area. In the direction of the old camp. We were happy with it and enjoyed exploring new grounds. Although halfway we discovered we were in the same area that morning with Ason. Driving the other way around made it look very different :) It didn't bother us, as we still enjoyed the drive. It was more quiet in this area, but sometimes the search and company is already enough to have a great time.

 

Gareth told us all kind of things about the bush, how to do animal tracking, the old camp and why they moved it. And we spent quite some time solving his riddle, as we were determined to find out ourselves without his help. In the end, he did have to help us out though. Coming back to that later...

 

There were a few special birds in the area, but they were constantly flying around. Why can't they be more like lions, that just lie down on the ground and sleep most of the time? ;) 

 

After following the birds from tree to tree, here's the ones we managed to get a decent picture of.

 

Swallow-tailed bee eater

 

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This one was particularly hard to track. There were several bee-eaters around, so more chances to have a good sight of them. This, however, was the only racked-tailed roller we saw. It was continuously hiding between branches. So despite a lot of time, these were the only pictures we took. Although I'm sure if you're more experienced in photographing birds, you could have taken more, especially in flight pictures.

 

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Looking left and right before flying away

 

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And a kori bustard in the high grass.

 

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BRACQUENE

@LarsS

 

Thanks a lot ! I did see all three but for the bustard is it not a Black-bellied one ?

 

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LarsS
On 1/10/2020 at 11:39 AM, BRACQUENE said:

@LarsS

 

Thanks a lot ! I did see all three but for the bustard is it not a Black-bellied one ?

 

 

Not sure, may be someone can confirm which bustard it precisely is?

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