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Delta, Chobe, Delta: Botswana Nov. 2018


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Wild Dogger

The Corona madness gets me to do another trip report.
This is from our November 2018 trip organized by Pangolin Photo Safaris.
3 nights Mapula Camp in the Sekwana concession in the far north of the Okavango Delta
3 nights Pangolin Chobe Hotel in Kasane
4 nights Khwai Pangolin Camp (which is nor Jackal & Hide Camp)

Mapula camp is in the far north of the Okavango Delta, just north of Duba and north west of Vumbura.
The camp lies outside the Veterinary fence, which is still in place but not really functional anymore.
Besides the Mapula vehicles we did see vehicles of Duba Explorers camp and Bushman Plains Camp.
We arrive late and my wife decides to stay in the camp while I join a quick but uneventful drive.
Nonetheless I was able to get this nice atmospheric shot:
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The second day was Cheetah day, as well in the morning as in the afternoon we were able to follow this little Cheetah family:

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There were also for sure other animals as the ever present Red Lechwe:

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Cheetah again:

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In the night we saw an African Wild Cat but I was not able to get a picture of it.

 

Edited by Wild Dogger
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The Corona madness gets me to do another trip report. This is from our November 2018 trip organized by Pangolin Photo Safaris. 3 nights Mapula Camp in the Sekwana concession in the far north of th

While the last day was Cheetah day, we were curios, what this day should have to offer for us. The first we got to see was an Impala enjoying to have survived the night: A warthog was posing i

Last morning at Mapula. We´ve benn doing good so far in leopards and cheetah, but where are the lions? Where the elephants, we only always saw one close to camp? First animal in the morning is an

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Wild Dogger

While the last day was Cheetah day, we were curios, what this day should have to offer for us.

The first we got to see was an Impala enjoying to have survived the night:

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A warthog was posing in beautiful light:

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and then we found two subadult Leopard cubs, whom we could follow some time:

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They then jumped up a tree (as usual not visual 4 us), where they were feeding on a warthog. Maybe Mom had supplied them with this food.

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We leave the beautiful cats and proceed on our mission.
Next stop: Sable antelopes

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This was a phantastic morning with sightings of my favorite cat and my favorite antelope.
And there was still more in stock in this great concession.

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Safaridude

@Wild Dogger

 

Mapula has intrigued me in the past.  A long time ago, I went to the border of Mapula from Kwedi (Vumbura).  Mapula looked like a continuation of the same environment (as Kwedi) at a much reduced price (lodging).  How did you like it overall?

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Wild Dogger

@Safaridude We have been to Mapula years ago when it not was under Natural Selection. We lied it that time and did so this time. NS said there would have been major makeup of the place, which we did not see, to be honest. The "cabins" were the same.
It´s a rustic place, in the best meaning of the word. If I remind right the food arrangement was different to for example Kwando. They served a full breakfast before the game drive, which we don´t really need. Rather go out earlier.
Biggest problem with the camp is that it is "outside" the veterinary fence. Although the fence is not really functional, the core wildlife was "inside", which meant that there was always a 15-20 minute drive to get to this area.
I´d go to this concession within a minute, but then I would stay at Bushmans Plains Camp which is inside. It seems to be a very simple camp, which is run by local Setswana people. One of the owners (Dix) was guiding us years ago at Kwara as well as in Mapula, when we stayed there about 10 years ago. He´s a fun guy. I´d like to support their project and wish them all the luck, which they really need in these times.

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Peter Connan

Lovely sightings and photos @Wild Dogger!

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Wild Dogger

In the afternoon 2 guys from Austria are joining us and they are really fun guys. Good company!

We first visit a Giraffe carcass which is also visited by a vulture.

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Redcrested Korhan

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Next fun thing was a Carmine Bee-Eater, who was following us while we were driving and catching insects which were whirled up by the vehicle. I tried to get some shots but it was to bumpy.
At least the bird rested on a tree so I was able to get this shot.

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Then it´s Leopard again, the same cats as in the morning.

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Reedbucks are nervously watching the cat walk to a water hole.

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Ready to drink

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Unfortunately the cat decided to drink directly behind a little muddy spot, which blocked the sighting.

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I find it amazing how long the whiskers of Leopards are.

The end of the day

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in the dark: Genet

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Wild Dogger

Last morning at Mapula.
We´ve benn doing good so far in leopards and cheetah, but where are the lions? Where the elephants, we only always saw one close to camp?
First animal in the morning is an African Buffalo. We did not have to go far to see him. Still "outside" the fence.

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And here comes the lions. We don´t have to cross the fence this morning as it seems. Our guide is afraid that the lions are walking towards the villages. Please, no human/lion conflict!

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The lions reach a flooded dirt road, anxious passing it.

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They circle around the waters, don´t know if or where to cross.
Then one is overcoming himself and starts chasing through the water. It´s always the same, if someone starts the rest follows.

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Once they passed, they disappear in the tall grasses.
At least we also find a male lion.

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and here´s our elephant:

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This was another nice morning in the Sekwana concession, an area which I can highly recommend. 
Now we are heading to the Chobe, where we start our photo guided safari organized by Pangolin Photo Safaris.

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Athene

@wilddogger

Thanks for sharing. I very much like the sequence of lions crossing the stream.

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Peter Connan
1 hour ago, Athene said:

@wilddogger

Thanks for sharing. I very much like the sequence of lions crossing the stream.

 

I completely agree!

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Wild Dogger

In Kasane we are picked up by our photo host Aubrey, who is taking us to the Pangolin Chobe Hotel.
The hotel has an interesting, industrial design, unexpected for Safari IMHO, but pleasant. Huge pictures taken by the several photo hosts are on display in the lobby.
The food was good, although we thought that the quality was not stable throughout our stay.
Food times were enforced quite rigid with a bell or something like that calling. 
The meployees were really helpful and nice.
My wife had a hard time as she is a smoker. Smoking is neither allowed in the rooms (which is no problem), nor on the balcony, not even outside on the lawns or the poolside. She had to smoke out on the parking lot about 20 m from the entrance.
Hey guys, she smokes, she does not carry Corona! To be honest, that affected her stay (and in the end mine as well).

Activities are either game drives or boat trips on the Chobe. Boat trips were great while I did not like the drives that much.

Of this portion of the trip, I will not do a day by day report.
I will post by subject.

I start with A, like

African Jacana:
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Do you see the little legs of the chicken under his belly?

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Wild Dogger
Posted (edited)

Being on the specially for photography equipped boat brought great opportunities for bird photography.
Here are the kingfishers:

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This beautiful Half-collared Kingfisher was sitting on a branch just at the mooring. Never saw one of those before.

Here´s the Giant Kingfisher. We watched this specimen for some time, hoping he would catch some fish, but it did not work out.

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Pied Kingfishers:

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Luckily we also got a chance to see a Malachite Kingfisher:

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as well as a Grey-hooded Kingfisher.
 

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I loved the rides on the boat, it´s only tough, when you need to mark your territory ...

Edited by Wild Dogger
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Peter Connan

That Woodland is a Grey-hooded! Much scarcer! 

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Wild Dogger
29 minutes ago, Peter Connan said:

That Woodland is a Grey-hooded! Much scarcer! 

Thank you

 

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Sangeeta

Lovely lion in water photos,  @Wild Dogger

The jacana pics are also very nice, and that happy impala :)

Interesting, we too had heard that Mapula had been fully refurbed, but apparently not?

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Wild Dogger
15 hours ago, Sangeeta said:

Interesting, we too had heard that Mapula had been fully refurbed, but apparently not?

Maybe they had refurbed (it was about 10 years ago that we stayed there), but when, it was made in a way, that it did not stand out.
Just one small episode:
We had a small mouse in our chalet, which absolutely was no problem for us. But: there were so many holes in the walls and between wall and door or window that it was only consequent that we had an animal in the room.
I just did  a bit of small talk to one of the managers telling about the mouse, not complaining. She said, we just should leave the doors closed, which made me smile.

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Wild Dogger

Next installment is about the stars of Chobe: the Elephants

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Sniffing the river ;)

Wet painting (that´s what I´m doing in my house in the moment ;) ):

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Silver edition 

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Special editing:

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xelas

Very artistic photos of ellies!

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JayRon

Wow... So many good photos of ellies. But my favorite is the lions running through water, brilliant! :) 

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Wild Dogger

It´s about time for another star of Chobe:
the sunrises and sunsets:

sunrise:

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sunsets:

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On our first outing Aubrey asked me what I would like to photograph especially. My answer was: Elephants in the sunset/sunrise.
So his goal was to find us some Ellies in the sunset. The giants were not cooperative in the beginning. But then we found a small herd on one of the little islands. But it was not possible to photograph them from the boat because of the angle.
So we landed on the island and committed a crime by walking cautiously on the islands edge.
And that´s what we´ve got:

 

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If there´s a hell and if there are Elephants, I think it will look like that ;)
 

 

Some more Elephant sunset shots from the boat:

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Stay safe!



 

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madaboutcheetah

Superb!!!! Thanks a lot @Wild Dogger

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Peter Connan

@Wild Dogger, I doubt a hell could be that beautiful and still be called a hell! 

Edited by Peter Connan
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Athene

@Wild Dogger your sunset/sunrise elephant pictures are very beautiful!

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michael-ibk

Indeed, very special pictures - awesome!

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Wild Dogger
Posted (edited)

Now it´s time for those animals spending much time in the river:

Hippos:
the first two I followed Aubreys suggestion to underexpose, in fact we were looking for one of the hippos to spray water, which none of them did.

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Speedy Hippo

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of course, we all know, that they are often found on land

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then Aubrey suggested to overexpose, which made nice pictures out of otherwise maybe boring ones:

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it took me some effort to follow Aubrey´s suggestions as that was totally something I was not used to. I always tried to expose correct and now someone told me to do the opposite, but it paid.

Let´s proceed to the crocs:

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wait for the teeth looking out, Aubrey suggested.

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How close can you get?

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focus on the teeth (@f4)

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focus on the eye (@f11)

181118-Chobe-1505.jpg.59a67afa03c891e96ab8cf844f54a295.jpg

181118-Chobe-1609-2.jpg.ee7b2ab713de671e1e36d7272fe2765a.jpg

 

 

Edited by Wild Dogger
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Wild Dogger
Posted (edited)

The Chobe is also excellent for African Fish Eagles.

181118-Chobe-1390.jpg.f995aa3ee173b1c5f8e80443c93c6cdd.jpg

181118-Chobe-1380.jpg.82f9bcbb906eabf924aecf6f05006265.jpg

The voice of Africa at his business:'

181118-Chobe-1581.jpg.7bcf77676b1f4024025a99b5d155bd45.jpg

High Key Juvenile Fish Eagle:

181119-Chobe-1849.jpg.36767a3f680a99f17e6c72e046ee57f4.jpg

181119-Chobe-1850.jpg.5dd60f2a3a9f772326180b41c3159bee.jpg

Birdlife itself is excellent:

Coucal:

181117-Chobe-1100.jpg.434d502b848389e429a0adab09499945.jpg

Yellowbilled Stork:

181117-Chobe-1110.jpg.453bee64ec2a0a3b9c0fa998578d515d.jpg

181118-Chobe-1480.jpg.a46122b1cb379cba5f95d803cf0b200c.jpg

181118-Chobe-1617.jpg.12f98fec43bbcd650d7aa1cd4f80869a.jpg

African Darter:

181118-Chobe-1338.jpg.667caf5d88acb248cc46355341fe1878.jpg

181118-Chobe-1566.jpg.012798dca23050e560bf039b7464f468.jpg

181118-Chobe-1567.jpg.f470cbc98e7e074de5dc49956f51497b.jpg

181118-Chobe-1573.jpg.6dcf79d360c0dc5970360ca254874649.jpg

low key edition:

181118-Chobe-1563.jpg.53decd3e2aad1049dcf9556c9c11752e.jpg

Spotted Thick-knee with chick (hope I am right with this one):
181118-Chobe-1489.jpg.5f57bd8a6d6675348eca47f7ba5e90bf.jpg

181118-Chobe-1490.jpg.812a84d05f3f03b879b455352cb83222.jpg

Little Bee-Eater:

181119-Chobe-1785.jpg.8cb6b7622bd9bc361f07d27ef4881d8a.jpg


Great White Egret:

181119-Chobe-1836.jpg.e7b810056d32aa4a327f9fb20fa83527.jpg

Long toed Lapwing (??)

181119-Chobe-1829.jpg.4a49de4e6de75770988c7cc1116552e1.jpg

 

Edited by Wild Dogger
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