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Wild Dogger

Delta, Chobe, Delta: Botswana Nov. 2018

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Bush dog

@Wild Dogger

 

Excellent so far.  I like the dark darter.  

The thick-knees are water thick-knees and the coucal is a white-browded.

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Wild Dogger
Posted (edited)

Mammals are often seen on the river banks coming to drink:
Buffalos
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Kudu:

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Impala:

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Baboon:

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Puku:

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Giraffe:

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My favorite shot:

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That was it from the Chobe. Unfortunately we only had short views on predators (lions) far away and out if reach due to the fact that offroading is not allowed in the National Park.
Next will be Pangolin Khwai Camp which is now "Jackal & Hide Camp" in the Khwai Private Reserve.

 

Edited by Wild Dogger

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Bush dog

So far, it's also my favorite.

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Hads

@Wild Dogger so many great photo's.

I love the Elephants at sunset and Kudu bull drinking.

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Atravelynn

Another good plug for Pangolin.  Love the jacana and lily pad interaction shots.  You really got close, at least with your lens.  I feel  like I went up the ele's trunk and into the croc's mouth!

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Wild Dogger

Aubrey takes us to the Kasane Airport. This place is really new and, from my opinion, oversized. It looked like airports look nowadays in the times of Corona madness.
Our flight takes us to the Khwai Private Reserve with some stopovers on our way. It seemed to me, that the flight companies are using bigger aircrafts and therefor stop on several strips, something which makes sense from the economic as well the ecological side. 
But if you are supposed to be on the last strip of this roundtrip there´s a lot of flight time.
We arrive at Khwai and are expected by our guide Wax.
Our camp is the Pangolin Khwai Camp. We were a bit confused by the fact that a car of Khwai Private Reserve awaited us, we did not know, that Pangolin was only some kind of subtenant in this reserve. The camp itself was run by Natural Selection, who also run Mapula Lodge. In the Reserve there are at that time 2 more Camps: Hyena Pan and Sable Alley. For us it seemed that the place was really quiet, not a lot guests. We only saw maybe 2 or 3 vehicles from the other camp. Pangolin camp was just occupied by us and in the beginning by an australian lady.
On our way to the camp we get to meet one of the managers, Thomas. He and his wife Barbara, both from Austria, manage the camp together. Thomas was raised in South Africa and Botswana. Over the time being there we become good friends, one of the reasons, why we visited the then "Jackal & Hide Camp" called place in November 2019 again.
They have some problems with their employees as they tell us. They´ve been stealing petrol and such things. 
The land is rented by Natural Selection from the local Khwai Village. Most of their employees are from that village. The village give the money to their people, which is normally a good thing. But it seemed, that now some villagers are not willed to work anymore as the administration gives them what they need.
The other thing was being European they were not really accepted by the local workers.

Enough of these problems.

On this part of the trip we were blessed with predator sightings. As we were on a photographic trip, we also had a photo host: Dan Myburgh. He´s a professional film maker. He was doing a documentary about Khwai at that time, something about human wildlife conflict.

He was very keen in extremely artistic pictures. He always wanted to do something arty, like high key, zoom burst and panning. Some of his pictures looked not at all anymore like nature, just colours. Nonetheless, I learned a bit about these techniques.

 

So Wax was our driver/guide, Dan the photo host, the 2 of us and the australian lady.
In the morning they had found a pride of lions close to a small river. The pride seemed to be split of by the water, so we expected to maybe see them cross.

But we were not in a rush (which honestly, I did not understand, I was keen to see the crossing) and cruised around.

So we found a Buffalo:

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To my surprise we arrived right in time for the lion crossing.
The youngsters were calling those on the other side (older lionesses) and those answered. 
Before the crossing: drink for courage

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Then one slowly starts, really unhappy and scared (maybe there are some monster frogs?)

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slowly the others follow

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and then: the race is on

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Lion torpedo

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Made it

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What a great start in this fabulous reserve!

After the reunion we proceed.
Wax had heard about a pack of Wild Dogs and luckily we found them quickly:

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What an exciting afternoon.
We take our sundowners on a nice hippo pool and look forward what the next day will bring.

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Peter Connan

Lovely shots of the lions and the dogs!

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Hads

Cracking sightings once again @Wild Dogger

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mtanenbaum

Thanks for your report--I look forward to hearing more about the Pangolin camp--I have spent a lot of time on their website looking at both their camps. I love the idea of having the extra photo instruction that they offer.

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Wild Dogger
4 hours ago, mtanenbaum said:

Thanks for your report--I look forward to hearing more about the Pangolin camp--I have spent a lot of time on their website looking at both their camps. I love the idea of having the extra photo instruction that they offer.

@mtanenbaumPangolin is not running the Khwai Camp anymore since last year. Their photo tution is very much focussed on the Chobe activities now. I don´t know, if they are now working together with another camp in the Delta, might be they cooperate with Bushmans Plains Camp nowadays. That´s what I read on their website. But I don´t know, if they offer tution there.

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Athene

Lovely photos. My favourites are the lions again!

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AKR1

Thanks for this report @Wild Dogger. The lions crossing water shots and the beautiful elephant family mono chromatics are my favorites. 

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Wild Dogger
Posted (edited)

The next morning. We had Lions and Wild Dogs, so the mission was Leopards.

But first I snap a beautiful Lilac Breasted Roller:

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Baboons in rimlight

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We find a herd of Zebra and I try some high key shots:

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Dan tries some ultracolorful - I don`t know whatever - shots. Sometimes I did not really understand what he was doing.

 

Then we receive a call, that a Leopard was seen.

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This beauty is called Delta, one of her canines are missing, and she had at that time 2 cubs.
She was hiding the cubs and as they were very young, the guides left them in peace.

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on the move

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The plan for the afternoon drive, is to try to get some panning shots.
Dan has a nice idea how to  practise. This supposed to be fun.

 

 

Edited by Wild Dogger

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Wild Dogger
Posted (edited)

The afternoon drive was supposed to practice panning photography with the goal to then photograph Lechwe antelopes in that technique.
Therefor Wax found us an open space. Dan told him to drive with his Land Cruiser in the speed of a Red Lechwe Antelope . We shot a few frames but Dan was not really happy with the results.
So he asked Wax, if he was willed to run for us in the speed of this antelope. 
So there was Dan, my wife Claudia, Barbara (who joined us on that drive), the Australian lady and myself standing in line watching and shooting Wax running through the savannnah. We had a hell of fun and even Wax looked like he was enjoying it by the max.
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After that we tried to find some Lechwe but they were a bit uncooperative.
I only managed to get 2 shots.

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Nonetheless we had the hell of fun on this afternoon!

We took our sundowner on a beautiful spot and Dan showed his talent by taking sundowner shots of me and Claudia.

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What a fun evening!

Edited by Wild Dogger

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Wild Dogger

Next morning.

Wax heard about three male lions, who´ve been feeding on a  buffalo.
As we find them they´ve been busy resting.
Kinda boring thing, so I practice some zoomburst shots, Dan had showed me. Very difficult technique with a lot of failed attempts.

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Then the elephants join us and the lions.
This was some kind of a noisy thing. The elephants were passing the small river while the lions were resting very close to there and we´ve been in between the ellies and the cats.
There was a lot of trumpeting and mock charging signs. The lions were rather unimpressed by the giants, maybe because we were buffering in between.



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As the lions don´t show any signs of getting up, we proceed to find something else.
And lucky we are: another Leopard
It is moving through the high gras. While all others in the vehicle see it jumping over the river I miss it completely as I am messing around with the adjustment of my camera.

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We can follow the cat up to the bushes were it rests.

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Time for another zoomburst attemot

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We leave the Leopard.
On out way, time for LBR.
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Wax finds some Giraffes on a waterhole and we want to get some shots of the animal spraying water when it had drunken.
But it is not cooperative.

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That was it for the morning.
Afternoon drive´s next.
 

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Wild Dogger

In the afternoon our goal was visiting the male lions on the buffalo carcass, maybe also catch up with some Vultures or Kites on the sight.

But first I try my next panning attempt on a speedy Impala

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A lonely Buffalo

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Before we get to the lions, we find some Red Lechwe on a funeral: it seemed that a crocodile had caught an Openbilled Stork and now they were curiously watching the scene (just like us ;) )

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Here are the lions

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3 lions:

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It´s hard to be a lion

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Unfortunately the vultures and kites did not show up.

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Wild Dogger
Posted (edited)

Next morning. The sky is very cloudy, it had rained a bit in the night.
We want to go and see if something happened at the dead buffalo.
We (which means our guide Wax) quickly find one lion.
It´s the one with the bad eye.
We at first thought there might be some action with the Giraffe, but there was plenty food from yesterday waiting for him in the bushes.
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It was really early in the morning.

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Sun breaking thru the clouds.

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Still following.

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We leave this lion to look for the Buffalo carcass. Maybe now some Vultures?
No, just another Lion.

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I don´t know, why he was digging like that. Any ideas?

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At least, he looked inside, if somebody´s home.

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We leave the carcass to find something else and we do.

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A beautiful pair of Wattled Cranes. I always struggle to get a proper focus on the head of birds like Cranes and Storks.

Just around the corner:
Wild Dog action.

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Puppies always play with the head of the prey, I think.

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While I was taking these shots, Dan was busy panning, so I tried my luck again with this technique.

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Especially Wild Dogs are very attractive for this technique as they are so colorful. And as they often get busy when the light gets low, panning is a good option to get nice but different shots of them. 
It is something, in what I really want to improve my skills (was this proper english?)

So the morning was full of action and it was time to get back to Camp for brunch and a nap.

Edited by Wild Dogger

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Wild Dogger

Up to the afternoon drive.
We plan to go and see what the dogs will be doing.

First we see a monitor lizard
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Reaching the dogs they resist in getting up at all.

In the distance a herd of Elephants is passing by.
I try my luck with high key and low key images.

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As the dogs are getting up, it is already too dark for good images. They are running wild and I again do some panning shots.

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Although Dan says that they are good, I for myself think there should be one part (the head) sharper than I managed to get it. This is a really difficult technique.

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Hads

Unique photo's @Wild Dogger - loving your report. The male lion with injured eye is a big guy.

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Wild Dogger

We wake up to our last morning of this Botswanan Safari.
Another beautiful sunrise waits for us.

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Wax tells us about a young male Leopard which was seen closer to the Sable Alley Camp. He´s been told, that the Tomcat seem to be a bit shy, but we try our luck and succeed.
He´s strolling around a termite mound but not that skittish as we supposed him to be.
After a short while he seems to be happy with us aound and decides to take a rest.

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He´s still a bit nervous. He yawns a lot. I think, he was not quite sure what to think about the presence of this metal thing.

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He moves to another spot on the mound and we follow cautiously.

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Time for another yawn.

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He walks to the river.

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And back in the bushes.
 

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One last look before it´s time to go.

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We leave the cat and proceed back to the camp for packing and brunch. 
On our way a female Reed Buck.

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This was our 2018 Safari to Botswana.
It was a really pleasant trip with great sightings and good photographic tuition. Therefor I thank esp. Aubrey Tseleng and Daniel Myburg.
We made good friends in the Camp managers Barbara and Thomas, we came back to see them in November 2019 again. They moved in December to Portugal and are busy building up a travel company specialized in accompaning tourists with special interest in photography. I wish them the best of luck. They will need it in these times.

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chui71
Posted (edited)
On 4/11/2020 at 11:57 AM, Wild Dogger said:
  •  
  • 181115-Mapula-0612.jpg.7e49853721c5ecc02ff1396910808bb5.jpg

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

 

Leopards have the longer whiskers of all cats. It' s said because they move and hunt mostly at night and in bushy enviroment.

In fact the only leopard kill I witnessed was in a clearing by daylight (at 10 am) :D. That's nature :D

One of the very few positive aspects of Corona is your TR. Stunning picture and stunning sightinghs. Well done.

Edited by chui71

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Peter Connan

Thank you for another beautiful trip report @Wild Dogger

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Wild Dogger
Posted (edited)

EPILOG:

After the Safari we flew down to the Western Cape for Dine & Wine Safaris as usual.
3 Nights in Stellenbosch in the Clos Malverne Wineyards enjoying their excellent Wine pairing menu with fabulous views for lunch.
Then up to Robertson via Franshoek for 2 nights with visit of our favorite wineyard Springfield Estate
View on Franshoek:
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On the road to Robertson:

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We had planned to do the Breede river cruise but unfortunately the weather was to bad to do it.

Instead we drove around a bit to McGregor, Bonnievale and then back along the Breede to Robertson stopping on the way at Springfield Estate to order some of their great wines.

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Last stop of our trip then was Camps Bay.
We always have to go there and if only to have great seafood and Sushi at The Codfather.
The perfect sunset over the Atlantic ocean from our appartement:
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On the last evening we had an appointment with Barbara & Thomas at Codfathers. They were on leave and spent that time in Cape Town. Unfortunately my wife got sick and could not join us 😒
The evening before we´d been on Long Street and I got my mobile stolen. Stupid me!

On our way to the airport we take the detour via Boulders Beach for the Penguins:
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and stop for a nice shot close to Muizenberg.

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THE END AND THANKS FOR FOLLOWING

 

Edited by Wild Dogger

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Hads

Reds or white to finish @Wild Dogger - I have loved your report thankyou.

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Peter Connan

Excellent, thank you very much @Wild Dogger

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