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Tuludi Camp, Khwai private reserve : dry green season

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Bush dog

@Wild Dogger

 

Yes, it might be the same family that I saw several times.  There were four of them.

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Bush dog

This day was the most exciting and the most interesting in number of sightings.


Early in the morning we had our attention drawn to the alarm calls from the impalas and the kudus.  Arrived at the scene we saw two hyenas.  One was devouring the remains of an impala and the other watching it from a distance.  It was not, however, these that captured the attention of the impalas and the kudus.  Their gaze was fixed on a fairly large and extremely dense thicket.  We therefore deduced that the impala had been killed by a leopard, that the hyena(s) had stolen its prey, as it often happens in this type of situation, and that it had to retreat and seek refuge in the dense vegetation.  We tried to spot it, in vain.

 

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Peter Connan

I love the elephants drinking at dusk!

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Ritsgaai

Outstanding photos. 

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xelas

Great photography, specially the ellies in sunset light!

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Bush dog

Fifth day

 


Then, very quickly, we spotted this pair of ostriches that we saw again the following days.

 

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Our next sighting was the small herd of sables seen previously.  Barely time to see them when Matt let us know that he had spotted two male lions, different from the two big boys (Black & Red) seen on the second day.  So we immediately opted to go see these two lions right away.  They were two nomads who have not yet fully completed their growth (between 3 1/2 and 4 years).  I'm going to call them the Intruders.  You could barely see them because they weren't comfortable at all.  The appearance of a second vehicle, in this case ours, made them retreat and finally disappear.  It is an attitude that I have already seen a few times with shy cats.  They tolerate the presence of a single vehicle and flee as soon as a second appears. 

 

The presence of these two intruders made me understand why I had still not seen lionesses.  Aware of this presence which put their offspring in danger, they had no doubt decided not to show up.  One of these lionesses was last seen on the morning of my arrival at the camp.  In the end, I will not see them at all for the duration of my stay.

 

The presence of wild dogs was then reported to us by a lady who had recently arrived at Tau Camp to carry out research on leopards.  Tau Camp is a research camp which also houses the team of trackers employed by the camps to help the guides.

 

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Bush dog

@Peter Connan

@Ritsgaai

@xelas

 

Thanks a lot for following this report and also for your kind words.

 

 

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BRACQUENE

@Bush dog

 

Until now I have only seen a pair of ostriches on a drive in Ruaha NP and I didn’t even realize they are commonly seen in the Khwai area and NG 18 and 19 ,so that is  a nice surprise! 

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Bush dog

@BRACQUENE

 

Ostriches can be seen in a lot of places in Botswana.

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Peter Connan

When the photos are this good, it's hardly a chore!

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marg

@Bush dog...with all of the bad news out there it is nice to read your report and to see your great photos.  You are very fortunate to have traveled when you did.  And, the ostriches.  On our first trip on the transfer from Selinda we saw some.  First trip and not smart enough to always have a camera ready.  No photos.

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madaboutcheetah

Mike, enjoying your report - and as @marg says ..... it's nice to escape to "botswana" for a few minutes a day via this report.  

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Bush dog

 @marg

 

I'm very happy to hear that this report is a little of a consolation for you in these uncertain times.  Keep well !

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Bush dog

@madaboutcheetah

 

Thanks, Hari!  

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Bush dog

Fifth day

 

The problem with finding these dogs, apart from the fact that they were mobile, was that the researcher, having only been on the reserve for a few days and therefore not yet knowing all the names of places used by the guides to communicate between them, had enormous difficulty in making clear, also to the trackers, where she was.  When we finally found her, the dogs had disappeared.  We have for a while been trying to find them, their motala (tracks in setswana) were everywhere, in vain.  So we went for tea at a place I really like, Jackal Pan.

 

Barely enough time to take it when Matt called us to report an interesting sighting again.  This time, a young leopard (less than a year), Nicky's daughter.  It was not far from the camp on a leadwood.  Its mother had killed a young kudu and had hoisted it on another nearby tree in order to leave it some supplies before leaving it on its own, probably for a few days.

 

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A busy morning, right?

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BRACQUENE

 

The leopard of the year ( so far) for me ! Don’t stop please @Bush dog for in these difficult times we need to dream a bit more than usual 

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Bush dog

@BRACQUENE

 

Thank you for your comments.  No, worries, I will not stop until my stock of images is exhausted.

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Bush dog

Fifth day

 

In the afternoon, the first thing we did was to check if the young leopard was still on its perch and it was.

 

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Then, we decided to try to find the wild dogs spotted in the morning by the researcher.  KG thought that they might still be in the same area.  On our way, we saw several baboons.

 

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NancyS

I LOVE your leopard photos! My favorite is the 3rd one in your last post, love it!!

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Alexander33

Really enjoying this report. Gorgeous photo in post #29 of the three wattled cranes against the dramatic sunrise. Don’t tell me that one also was taken with your cellphone?

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janzin

just catching up with this report. Wonderful photos, but especially these last leopard shots! What a beautiful cat! I think my favorite is also that 3rd image in post 68.

 

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Bush dog

@NancyS

@janzin

 

Thanks a lot for your much appreciated comments.  I think this 3rd picture on #68 is very appealing because it's more looking like a domesrtic cat than a wild one?

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Bush dog

@Alexander33

 

Thanks also for your comments.  Indeed that one was not taken with my cellphone. 

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Bush dog

Fifth day

 

We started to despair a little not to find them when in an open space, we spotted three.  The rest of the pack was already in front of them and couldn't anymore be spotted at all.  Thirty seconds later, we would have missed them again.  With these guys, when they are mobile, you have to be where they are at the right time.  It is often only a matter of seconds.  So we tried to follow them.  This sometimes required a bit of "Mad Max" driving, but this time we succeeded.  After stopping briefly several times, they settled on the edge of a wide floodplain, not yet flooded, where the grasses were very tall.

 

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KG then explained to me that it was not the same pack as the one seen two days earlier.  Their number was similar (16 individuals) but these had darker coats and some bluish spots.  He also told me that they came from Kwara and more specifically from Splash like sometimes the cheetahs seen on the reserve.


After about twenty minutes, they began to disperse in the tall grass.  KG then explained to me that they were going to try to flush out a reedbuck.  It didn't take them more than a minute to succeed with the consequences that everyone can guess.

 

This one taken with the cellphone.

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These giraffes were not far from the kill.

 

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It was time to slowly go back to the camp but it was not yet finished.  We found Nicky on a tree before it disappeared in the grass.

 

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What a day it was !!!!!!

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BRACQUENE

@Bush dog

 

It certainly was a fantastic day and by now you know my " obsession " for  wild dogs  ; stunning pictures like the last two with that beautiful light on the leopard !

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