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chui71

Nambiti GR and Sabi Sands

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chui71
Posted (edited)

Hi everybody. 

I'm a safaritalk member since a couple of years and I love to read the trip reports of other  ST members. I think that it's not fair only to profit from other persons so it is now time to try to contribute a little bit with  my own Trip Report. 

 My first safari dates back to 2006 (Zambia) and since than I visited Africa every year till 2018. I was in Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda. The reason I didn't post till yet is above all the lack of time and laziness :-) . With 2 children isn't always easy. I can't promise to be very fast on finishing my TR but I will try. 

Since this is my first TR I'm open to every suggestions everybody feels to make.

This TR relates of my trip to South Africa in 2016 with my daughter (at the time 4 years old).

I spent 3 nights at Ndaka Lodge in Nambiti GR and 3 nights at Elephant Plains in Sabi Sands.

I was at Ndaka already the year before and since I found it the most childfriendly Lodge I ever visited, i wanted to spend some days there. Than I choosed EP since I wanted to visit Sabi Sands and experience some predators close encounters. I'm a predator lover and I find that there's nothing better than to experience a real live hunt. It's not easy at all, but I'm always looking for it. 

I'm not a birds lover and even if sometimes I do to take pictures of some of them, I didn't know the names.

Ok , let's go with some picture.

Our tent

 

1743330049_SUDAFRICA2016(2463).JPG.5db43f3d6e540efc6bcfc1c3f1493a80.JPG1866027818_SUDAFRICA2016(2528).JPG.b2093f088369715b6b60447d13eea8bb.JPG

 

And the view from our tent

826506536_SUDAFRICA2016(2549).JPG.19e24935d3ccf610d9663df818463eae.JPG867537166_SUDAFRICA2016(2529).JPG.d0b13410a5d358b585d6234cc705b728.JPG365809958_SUDAFRICA2016(2090).JPG.3a2fb5daa475b6b00db9b9cd93132005.JPG434325171_SUDAFRICA2016(2097).JPG.6d971ab6c432fce5e4be7443ab6e9be9.JPG2058603594_SUDAFRICA2016(2542).JPG.d0022bbc549e8ab3d11077fbaef9ac84.JPG

 

with something to spot on the ridge :-)

 

409735974_SUDAFRICA2016(2548).JPG.d9c120d3f00bd1278b3cc4977b21099d.JPG

 

Afternoon Game Drive Day 1

The first game drive wasn't really exciting, but we touched base with Africa and got a nice sunset

 

1109089448_SUDAFRICA2016(2100).JPG.86aa894fc990c094103587f3d73d8494.JPG321322162_SUDAFRICA2016(2105).JPG.53d921c4af0084494c4bd391dad9bfe3.JPG783870508_SUDAFRICA2016(2107).JPG.a326a5ce584a52284ddc41e2fc4bade3.JPG2018484075_SUDAFRICA2016(2110).JPG.795de56c0a46adeee951b47fee25dc2f.JPG727520952_SUDAFRICA2016(2115).JPG.f1c6770cf07f2a863a16977093faf902.JPG

 

I forgot to say that my photographic skills are very basic. Jpeg format and no postproduction at all. Hope the experienced photographers will not be angry  :-)

Edited by chui71

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chui71

Morning Drive day 2

Cheetah quick sighthing1368357788_SUDAFRICA2016(2128).JPG.9c30af5ca60bf091210d7ce74f6491a7.JPG151403724_SUDAFRICA2016(2130).JPG.081bc1ae7a09af42950818e0c99090a8.JPG1874582315_SUDAFRICA2016(2131).JPG.468ac2ea60cf17f1b438632ef773aa86.JPG

 

The cheetah went quite far away. we tried to follow him but since in Nambiti offroad is no more permitted we had to stay away. we watched him trying to follow a wildebeast in the woods with no luck. I have no pictures because it wasn't worth and i decided to only watch the action. 

After that we spotted a lioness and soon she went on hunting mode

673192865_SUDAFRICA2016(2144).JPG.df12198e9ac77230cdc82c15d40aa954.JPG1571666908_SUDAFRICA2016(2147).JPG.d962b4c3dbc7ed522e973fc9d281931b.JPG1939134839_SUDAFRICA2016(2151).JPG.4eeda372a9a1301ca687450f9ab41450.JPG

 

There was a tree line and than a clearing. She stopped and waited and soon appeared some wildebeasts. She crouched and waited

 

1184725785_SUDAFRICA2016(2154).JPG.7ea964f95a639ea69861bae29d2efcfc.JPG

 

And she than went for them

 

1234472305_SUDAFRICA2016(2158).JPG.8f0b6811a9ad5aa552af23b881a4ff07.JPG1617434106_SUDAFRICA2016(2160).JPG.0a4f98b16ccaba3dd89e94cdb9300b6f.JPG

 

Sadly for her and for me :rolleyes: to no avail

 

118727566_SUDAFRICA2016(2161).JPG.245c10613e7a2949f52a311bac36d76f.JPG

 

I really thought she would make it, since the conditions were very favorable fot her. the wildebeasts were offering her the flank and were looking forward while she were coming from the side in good cover given from the trees. I think she was spotted from a wildbeast on her left side who started running. No kill but it really doesn't matter, I was very happy. The kill isn't the part of the hunt I mostly like, to me it's interesting to witness what comes before so I was really satisfied. We were now ready to come back to lodge to have lunch and prepare ourselves for the afternoon game drive....

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chui71
Posted (edited)

Afternoon Game drive day 2

 

Close to our lodge  we saw some sleeping hippos and a dehorned male giraffe.296159623_SUDAFRICA2016(2195).JPG.93f91c984bdb4c5463b1cbf1b670863f.JPG1664713528_SUDAFRICA2016(2196).JPG.87cab10f0236f58894779ac350378c91.JPG

 

Our ranger got a call that a pride of lions was spotted close to a lodge in the central area of the GR.

We went for them and we found them very easily.

 

1672758196_SUDAFRICA2016(2239).JPG.e65b9b3f628d4c9d526b2abf2e3b6d5b.JPG

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The clients of the lodge were on game drive and they were called back. Sometimes you don't need to go far away :-)

 

607911365_SUDAFRICA2016(2213).JPG.30229883218fa0d72ed2e2d0fa85c6de.JPG224873502_SUDAFRICA2016(2259).JPG.a1c26c7d23b1bcfa7748c1616bbcbaed.JPG1093554908_SUDAFRICA2016(2265).JPG.2710cc6e243e37d06e5aa585b3107ee4.JPG

 

some interactions...1985638915_SUDAFRICA2016(2271).JPG.64cb018d55767a4becf53b0d83e17e7b.JPG958839449_SUDAFRICA2016(2281).JPG.e7ce25dc9b605d04828ce0fd1b913b5f.JPG1721688224_SUDAFRICA2016(2285).JPG.c13cda0351391228dc9cc68448dfe735.JPG650611613_SUDAFRICA2016(2286).JPG.b6d1de523dd53c2c6a73923301c4647b.JPG911732864_SUDAFRICA2016(2297).JPG.f99f312f3e7bdb5cac6b0935b038c170.JPG706083862_SUDAFRICA2016(2301).JPG.aa071249edca2bbfc47be419a3b91bb0.JPG

 

Interesting to see how a tower of giraffes spend the whole time not loosing the sight of them from a far ridge. I called them "the seven summits"1255498293_SUDAFRICA2016(2315).JPG.015bea67d99f6888051008e0339e9b18.JPG

 

We then spotted a family of white rhinos and than sundowner

 

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Edited by chui71

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Biko

@chui71 great experience for a 4 year old girl, was it her first time on safari?

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chui71
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Biko said:

@chui71 great experience for a 4 year old girl, was it her first time on safari?

 

Ehmmmmm no.... Since she was born we went with her on safari..She started when she was 9 months old and than year after year since she was 6...last year  we didn't go on safari and this year too.  The first 2 years we were all together (daughter, my wife and me)  she made a stop in 2014 (I was with a friend in Kenya), than she got a sister and I started to go back to Africa alone with her,  leaving my wife and the small one at home.

To make it easier she was 6 times in Africa...4 times South Africa (2012,2013, 2015, 2016) and 2 times Kenya (2017,2018).

I really got some interesting anedctotes about going on safari with a small child :D:D. Maybe a will tell some of them in the future if you like.

Edited by chui71

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chui71
Posted (edited)

Morning game drive Day 3

During the night i heard lions roaring close to our lodge. I wasn't the only one, so we tried to locate them. It wasn't a hard work. We found them after only 3 minutes drive from our lodge. 

812805755_SUDAFRICA2016(2342).JPG.5746a155dbdbe82db75227577d7b6bb9.JPG

984802077_SUDAFRICA2016(2336).JPG.a720a9ca88679bd21798da6d0c0fa908.JPG1600825852_SUDAFRICA2016(2337).JPG.10595ff7740e2002d65bd86f3f74a721.JPG697936979_SUDAFRICA2016(2339).JPG.6c9bf32b3a59bbe12e0027b500018604.JPG1570301650_SUDAFRICA2016(2340).JPG.d7921e343837054b7ca588d2e2c06fc5.JPG

961223262_SUDAFRICA2016(2341).JPG.636251799ad91225be42dbfb1a765e5e.JPG

 

After that we drove to a high plain in the western area and we spotted some other big fives in the morning fog. The black rhino was very skittish and always moving, but the open plains game me the chance to take some pics.

 

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After that we got our bush breakfast, some pics at the hippos on a nearby dam and the back to the lodge to have some fun with my daughter

 

1713844893_SUDAFRICA2016(2355).JPG.51597635d84d53b846a1790e53d53442.JPG772503730_SUDAFRICA2016(2360).JPG.cd3aad645299343d7a25c6f053ee1a54.JPG143263312_SUDAFRICA2016(2363).JPG.e931ae413cff37f04970fbf786d53c42.JPG1477928988_SUDAFRICA2016(2444).JPG.e8eb0f2fd20c11c3da5785b906f5ece8.JPG

 

 

 

Edited by chui71

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mtanenbaum

I'm loving your report! Please continue!

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chui71
Posted (edited)

Afternoon game drive day 3

 

It was very quiet, no predators so I gave me the time to try to take some different pictures1593726969_SUDAFRICA2016(2475).JPG.dad7e99a6de97f2889a5d69ccce2c10f.JPG209398387_SUDAFRICA2016(2476).JPG.b4cb15ff995180952b27f8b62461a0a8.JPG2002009644_SUDAFRICA2016(2478).JPG.cc0ae75aa1e47e3ba4a0b2a030e1dc3d.JPG1760242124_SUDAFRICA2016(2497).JPG.d0250df9fc1c919da34e0ea944039eeb.JPG

 

The time was gone. The day after I choosed to skip the morning drive to let my daughter sleep longer. During the drive the guests located the lion pride . It seemed that they wanted to follow some wildebeasts but after a while the lions went a different way, so nothing happened.

In the late morning we packed and drove to Sabi Sands spending the night on the road on a Protea Motel close to Nelspruit.

Tomorrow I will start with the Elephant Plains TR.

 

 

 

SUDAFRICA 2016 (2492).JPG

 

SUDAFRICA 2016 (2499).JPG

 

 

 

 

Edited by chui71

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Biko

@chui71 very nice portraits

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chui71
Posted (edited)

In the late morning we arrived aT Elephant Plains.

I was planning to visit Sabi Sand since many years. As already said I'm a predator lover and above all a Leopard fan (since chui means leopard in swahili, my nick name is a clear clue I suppose). I was now in one of the best place on earth to spot leopards and I was very excited about it. Sabi sands is also well known of being a predator mecca, so let's begin to see if we will find some of them.

Our guide was Dawie Jacobs, a very good guide (he was working at EP since 6 years and knew the GR like the back of his hand) and a very keen photographer (he is now working for Tusk Safari Photography).

 

Let's go for the Afternoon Game drive of Day 1

 

1326332871_SUDAFRICA2016(2564).JPG.3509bbddbe591cc8ee0178164388db51.JPG993918926_SUDAFRICA2016(2563).JPG.cedab696962f38fb1256ff4707a00ecc.JPG194314515_SUDAFRICA2016(2550).JPG.ce8ee5d39df824973a67abd5dfd16a0b.JPG

 

This was just outside the lodge. We than drove just a little bit further to take a look at a pair of leopards who was mating the night before

 

1156639206_SUDAFRICA2016(2567).JPG.2d6e93a2a95e3655d55b5c68863b7bca.JPG6261920_SUDAFRICA2016(2577).JPG.6515347483d4339f4ce7154f8d17df24.JPG1965420851_SUDAFRICA2016(2578).JPG.273b8a568ec71e0a67b2cd7c584ec337.JPG

 

The male hosted also an unwanted guest

 

507396100_SUDAFRICA2016(2579).JPG.b2cf4b1bc9a09cb3842d1bbfda02e7eb.JPG

 

We spen with them 10 minutes but there was no action. it was also too early in the afternoon (too hot) . In the meanwhile Dawie got a radio call, started the engine and told us that we will be back in the evening to the leopards, since they will surely keep staying there.

We moved and as Dawie started to drive faster we all knew we were heading to an interesting sighting.

We were all very excited........

 

We arrived at a small dam and we discovered the reason of the fast drive....

 

 

 

468793528_SUDAFRICA2016(2584).JPG.ee5596de0e75400be70413352fb63800.JPG1817266943_SUDAFRICA2016(2588).JPG.e489cc4bd3436a45e4030a4566fbcd7a.JPG1340204648_SUDAFRICA2016(2591).JPG.244689fdeaaf9cb436c20b4d470e1791.JPG

 

The wild dogs were on the move, they just stopped some minutes at the dam to drink and cool themselves, and than they started to move again.

 

1008529405_SUDAFRICA2016(2581).JPG.97b623923925394208ee358243981b6f.JPG1371011136_SUDAFRICA2016(2619).JPG.0a1e63c37cf4129af3ae86522774ad80.JPG1654224954_SUDAFRICA2016(2615).JPG.cd029b482fa167e5c2a5e8c8751a0c65.JPG436372611_SUDAFRICA2016(2607).JPG.412de88645f173633d64337d7fe4daa8.JPG95323720_SUDAFRICA2016(2596).JPG.2dd3cc8b3f3233d3cae1cb12c9045ad4.JPG320068091_SUDAFRICA2016(2604).JPG.0d4381645d17dc72746c96d93e5c1312.JPG

 

They were walking on the road, so it was quite easy to follow them. For a moment it seemed they had spotted something and they went on hunting mode, but it was a false alarm and after a while all became quiet and they started to walk again...we followed them for a while and then we headed back to the same dam .....

 

1118291403_SUDAFRICA2016(2645).JPG.e5506c7331eeb85a8cf38aa41859bb27.JPG1493120070_SUDAFRICA2016(2649).JPG.c737c81bb6d8cd8bc63d8af4d0914bf7.JPG1430194105_SUDAFRICA2016(2651).JPG.38acd1b901dbbc8ae2a0700b2a2fcbf8.JPG

 

While taking the Ellies pics we all heared very clearly an impala alarm call, so Dawie started the engine and went for it.......

On the way we saw a dehorned daggaboy

 

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We stopped a second just to take this single shot and then we continued driving to the alarm calls....

 

TO BE CONTINUED......AS SOON AS I HAVE SOME MORE FREE TIME....

Edited by chui71

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Biko

@chui71 productive gamedrive so far, leopards and dogs. The picture of the dehorned daggaboy  deserves a frame, I think. I am fascinatedby the look in his eyes. And thanks for teaching me a bit of Swahili, I’m still planning to learn a bit of the language and use the Covid19 travel ban to go to East Africa next time better prepared.

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chui71
Posted (edited)

SEQUEL OF AFTERNOON MORNING DRIVE DAY 1

 

All that happened before occurred  in less than an hour and now we were following the impala alarm calls...... After a couple of minutes we saw an impala running away (not really fast) to our right, we drove 50 meters and we spotted a female leopard on our left. The impala wasn't running away from a attempted hunt, was just putting a safe distance inbetween him and the spotted predator. the female was moving slowly in the typical felid way.1576272813_SUDAFRICA2016(2669).JPG.bf8d5cf993158aa77cafe7950a9d8e63.JPG905050223_SUDAFRICA2016(2672).JPG.8c0f7c8484a9d42e88f0b665e96f6f1c.JPG1920340611_SUDAFRICA2016(2673).JPG.ee6495c1822a359028e013de7b62050c.JPG1659798129_SUDAFRICA2016(2681).JPG.ead193f97b794c8a3580e8f765545685.JPG505958620_SUDAFRICA2016(2683).JPG.4d87251cb83eef45f6f7e7178fb844bc.JPG1084149505_SUDAFRICA2016(2686).JPG.06c73235ccf3082fa0f38407b7409aef.JPG

 

She  then stopped and took a seat in a clearing....It's amazing to see how good she can be camouflaged behind one single branch. 2043179398_SUDAFRICA2016(2688).JPG.be8a07decd15257cfa2a67e3b1cb9ed4.JPG

 

And then she started to move again


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38848397_SUDAFRICA2016(2706).JPG.d0e79ff96e702d424a3088e324d4dd42.JPG

 

While drinking at the dam a couple of hyenas passed by but i stayed focused on the leopard. It was pretty dark by now and my poor photographic skills didn't permit me to try to catch both subjects together.

After that we got our sundowner. On the way to the lodge we spotted a couple of white rhinos ad since it was on the way (very close to the lodge) Dawie took us to the pair of mating leopards, to see if they wanted to deliver a little show for us

754882377_SUDAFRICA2016(2709).JPG.d3ec3e14bf47bea334945991527fcd5b.JPG

 

After a couple of minutes the male started to mounting the female.

I didn't get any pics of that since I didn't want  to miss a maybe one in a lifetime experience.

It was very similar to lions mating only the roaring were different.

After that we went to the lodge to have Dinner.

Arrived at the lodge I told Dawie that he wasn't a good guide.

In fact he showed us to much things on a single game drive and since it was also our first one I told him

that it will be very hard for him to keep up in the next drives :-):D

 

Edited by chui71

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chui71
Posted (edited)

MORNING GAME DRIVE DAY 2

 

The morning drive was  quiet. I was sure we couldn't keep up the pace we had the drive before. We spent a little bit of our  time with some lazy lions. The highlight of the morning was to spot many lizards on a rock during hour tea break. Since we spotted them while on foot, my daughter had really some fun.757708283_SUDAFRICA2016(2711).JPG.62a1bd610394977b55f64c06c129465b.JPG1839296953_SUDAFRICA2016(2714).JPG.0206433d4921801d466c62b50db3ccfc.JPG853642424_SUDAFRICA2016(2720).JPG.d0dd65d6e644b28fc201d91f9fe8e1fe.JPG228182593_SUDAFRICA2016(2721).JPG.9ac16726a31150910dcc598d64bdc2af.JPG1716455355_SUDAFRICA2016(2723).JPG.fa8fc9530e7b2ff56cc8fe164bdeb7eb.JPG1457648160_SUDAFRICA2016(2725).JPG.6550d6c8fb52c977cc8786dda1a3ab53.JPG716864163_SUDAFRICA2016(2727).JPG.25669491a75341760939bf67bfa612b1.JPG1003960861_SUDAFRICA2016(2728).JPG.12dc4d3fa1e8211267c44b96a466a972.JPG1189713257_SUDAFRICA2016(2729).JPG.6adc5f5455f90468dd05789b0f142a3b.JPG2001972259_SUDAFRICA2016(2731).JPG.a1e62c83c3a3b094c58627e894d8ab8a.JPG1985972409_SUDAFRICA2016(2733).JPG.8633de6a1fa8ad2f4327ff3719d924ba.JPG687386882_SUDAFRICA2016(2735).JPG.fcf0ae6eae59ae2b94cd161152b4f389.JPG803966602_SUDAFRICA2016(2737).JPG.b5994a5577334eb2a15954a8818165a5.JPG203515129_SUDAFRICA2016(2738).JPG.d8b159ca20be4b445dc9c9c667b2e979.JPG316973144_SUDAFRICA2016(2739).JPG.6991c80cbf034b9ca6649285cfe6b3a5.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by chui71

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chui71
Posted (edited)

AFTERNOON GAME DRIVE DAY 2

This also was a quiet game drive. Dawie told me that it was really quiet in the all GR since also the vehicle from other lodges didn't spot any leopard. It turned out that it was a no predator game drive but we still got some nice encounters.

 

Red bill oxpeackers festing...

 

1045413236_SUDAFRICA2016(2760).JPG.d97e81db6f2268a460fcb0fa52f87acc.JPG1688390597_SUDAFRICA2016(2761).JPG.a39e6171ef0dbb7df2adc2f6186d9e46.JPG800649128_SUDAFRICA2016(2764).JPG.fd78e5372fc9720b846f40338044765e.JPG1948793629_SUDAFRICA2016(2771).JPG.6729316f90b766a29532f634d1bf3bfa.JPG2144843128_SUDAFRICA2016(2772).JPG.4ee0b456e8f00458d137f6cba6c532ca.JPG854422704_SUDAFRICA2016(2774).JPG.39336c8670bbd7b742bfb735505f9a5a.JPG

 

And then suddenly a kill in the bush :D

It is really hard to spot, but the saddled bill stork has a small snake in the peak.

 

1266591747_SUDAFRICA2016(2779).JPG.1a8ad4de641daa56781f2af349fdb9a0.JPG

 

we drove to a hyena den to spot some puppies but to no avail

 

2127831520_SUDAFRICA2016(2790).JPG.cfe78272187ffba42efdfa2f149a9dd1.JPG

 

And while we were having  our sundowner a hyena visited us. my daughter was very excited of seeing a hyena while on foot :D

 

223750073_SUDAFRICA2016(2791).JPG.72610234142d6f955b0f9adb776ff695.JPG

 

Edited by chui71

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chui71
Posted (edited)

MORNING DRIVE DAY 3

 

The morning was not so quiet as the day before, but no chance to find a leopard.

We started watching a pride of lions trying to waking up but still too sleepy to move on.

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We left the lions to find some ellies

 

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This picture is very bad , but I think it's worth to post it to give an  idea how close our tracker was to the Ellie.

I didn' t get the time to widen my lens....so out of focus....

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And then a Big Tusker 

 

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than the drive went on to find a male lion on a waterbuck kill

 

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I was told some years ago that predators don't like waterbucks because of their oily and smelly skin and because of their disgusting meat....I don't think that this lion ever heard the same story :D

 

we headed to the lodge to have breakfast and we observed a giraffe trying to send away an oxpeacker....

 

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Edited by chui71

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chui71
Posted (edited)

AFTERNOON DRIVE DAY 3

 

After lunch we spent some time watching the lodge waterhole from the pool terrace.336145397_SUDAFRICA2016(2870).JPG.79b4ff11c7b19bf52f761dac85eb7dc7.JPG

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Enough is enough....this what Our guide Dawie and Tracker Rufus  must have thought. We had no leopards at all in the last 3 game drives and it is not usual in Sabi Sands. The focus of this drive was to locate a leopard at all costs, so Dawie and Rufus started tracking very intensively.....

 

356121621_SUDAFRICA2016(2881).JPG.5b4e98c627570d2302a0356cf153d002.JPG

 

All the efforts were vain, we got no luck and we found no leopards. After the sundowner we moved to continue our search......more than the half of our drive was already  gone and the chances to find a leopard were becoming slighter....suddenly the radio crackled, Dawie listened to and then told us that other guides had located a male leopard. We weren't too far but we had to respect the line, so there was no need to hurry (we were told that the leopard was very relaxed and seemed to have no intention to move). In Sabi Sands there's the rule that there can't be more than 3 vehicles at a sighting.  We stopped a couple of minutes to wait our turn.  As soon as we got the radio call that gave us green light we drove to the leopard. Unfortunately we got no chance to  take good pictures because the leopard started to move before we stopped the car. Since we were the new arrival the other vehicles gave us the chance to follow the leopard offroad not to loose the contact with him. In the following minutes I got one of the most funny and extreme offroad of my life. We never lost contact and got some chances to take some quick shots. 

 

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The Prince of Darkness

 

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As soon we finished offroading we were joined by 2 other vehicles....

The leopard started walking in a big clearing and we followed him. At the very end of the clearing there was a herd of impala. The leopard was heading slowly to them so we all hoped that something could happen. When he was in the middle of the clearing, some 60 meters from the herd the leopard  crouched. We waited a little bit but the he gave no signs to start a hunt. The other vehicles left because was time to have dinner so we were now alone. We gave us some time before leaving ourselves too. After a couple of minutes the leopard started finally to  move to the impalas. We followed him and whenwe were some 30 meters from the impalas he crouched again. We positioned our vehicle between the leopard and the impalas with the front of the vehicle facing the leopard. After a while the leopard walked straight to our vehicle and than stopped very close to the right rear tire. Since I was sitting on the rear row the leopard was right under my seat. It was amazing to have my favorite african predator on the hunt less than 2 meters from me. Dawie reversed very slowly  a couple of meters (with all the lights switched off) to go closer to the impalas. The leopard didn't loose time and crawled beside the vehicle using it as cover. That was spectacular to have a leopard crawling right under my seat. Dawie stopped the vehicle because he told us that it would be unfair to drive closer to the impalas because the leopard would have had the chance to benefit too much from the cover of our vehicle. At the moment the rear of our vehicle was  7-8 meters from the closest impalas. The leopard waited a couple of minutes and then ran for them. When he was very close, the impalas ran away and he failed to catch them. He stopped immediately and didn't follow them. Then some impalas stopped too, so the leopard ran for them again, failing this time too. After that the leopard disappeared walking in the bush leaving the impalas go to the opposite direction. Game over.    

We were all very excited and it was now time to go back at the lodge to have dinner.

From all the hunts I have witnessed in my safaris, this was perhaps the best one. I had the chance to assist the most dramatic part of the hunt from a privileged position, having the predator just under my seat and having the chance to observe all the minimal details, from the panting breath of the leopard to the movement of his body. Actually I was a little bit surprised by the leopard run. He didn't sprint, it was more a trot than a full speed run, even if the distance from the target was just around 7 meters.

The kill I witnessed In Kenya in 2014 was very different. There the leopard sprinted at full speed to catch the jackal. 

Anyway, that was really a great moment. As already said, during the hunt all the lights of the vehicle were switched off and we didn't use any torch not to affect the hunt. It was handsome to witness a moonlight hunt being the only vehicle on the spot.

The downside was that we got no chance to take some pics of the action but on the other hand, we got the chance to observe it not having to think about the camera settings. 

Maybe I'm just finding some excuses, but maybe is it for that reason that even if it occurred 4 years ago it is still very clear in my mind :D

After that it was dinner time at the boma. We really got a good reason to drink (if somebody need one) :D1509934758_SUDAFRICA2016(2887).JPG.a7601fb9456f5d2ad6316674f1746931.JPG920554403_SUDAFRICA2016(2888).JPG.82c92f6aacf80b4328f7a305d504ca26.JPG

 

 

 

 

Edited by chui71

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Hads

Lovely report thanks @chui71.Great photo's of lion pride walking down the road at Nambiti.

I stayed there a few years backand never finished my report but loved the little reserve, we also stayed at Ndaka.

EP put on a show for you :) 

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mtanenbaum

Great story about your witnessing the leopard hunt! Was your daughter able to stay quiet during this time?

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chui71
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, mtanenbaum said:

Great story about your witnessing the leopard hunt! Was your daughter able to stay quiet during this time?

Luckily she slept all the time during this part of the drive  :D

 

 @Hads 

Yes, EP really delivered for me. Not too much quantity but really good quality. If I consider the leopard sightings (the real reason that brought me in Sabi Sands) I was really satisfied. We got 6 game drives and we managed to see leopards (4 different ones) in 2 game drives (that means that we got 4 drives without spotting any leopards). Even if I know that Sabi Sands may  have higher scores, I can surely not complain at all because they were in very different and  interesting situations (mating, drinking, hunting). 

I was 3 times at Ndaka and always had wonderful time. The first time I was there (2013) the new owners were just arrived and were still bilding the Entrance gate :D

Edited by chui71

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chui71
Posted (edited)

MORNING DRIVE DAY 4

 

The day began with a visit to the hyenas den before sunrise. Once there we saw a Hyena out of the den. We waited a little bit and she started to look inside the den to push the puppies out...120016884_SUDAFRICA2016(2890).JPG.86084ae3fdeafbc0fca024f7035e0364.JPG870563719_SUDAFRICA2016(2891).JPG.051fb5e8e8ace8a45bb7b8ff9522b699.JPG

 

After a while....

 

1577347691_SUDAFRICA2016(2910).JPG.34308edb13c135b0e9b316ec655dee76.JPG2099443459_SUDAFRICA2016(2911).JPG.262b52c71200174c22444ffe542d7e56.JPG13375694_SUDAFRICA2016(2898).JPG.e56f9c7a1d3f57c8c71ab80dbc599e7d.JPG845754834_SUDAFRICA2016(2899).JPG.1f7ae0baea8f9180e375a95541eb37ac.JPG1386755681_SUDAFRICA2016(2901).JPG.ddd2de2cd2c4b5854ecabbfca8f7c088.JPG1982749201_SUDAFRICA2016(2904).JPG.805c97e8c12e029e11f6b34430faab8f.JPG1065423935_SUDAFRICA2016(2906).JPG.b6b94cbcaec061cf01988fdc8c71e305.JPG1023490176_SUDAFRICA2016(2913).JPG.fd2accb4cbdd60dd01701b9d13353404.JPG831240000_SUDAFRICA2016(2915).JPG.c8f66075aa2753061a7cac1c253a7762.JPG

 

we left the den and soon we found a white rhino...

 

1525053609_SUDAFRICA2016(2920).JPG.569c75250b3d249b673030eda14b2f2e.JPG

 

We paused a minute to enjoy the sunrise...

 

 

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and then we moved toward the waterbuck kill of the day before to see if the Birminghan pride was still there.......the sight of a vulture on a tree gave us a clear clue....1596272332_SUDAFRICA2016(2930).JPG.47a667eb4e5b6799d937bfa19a2fc5f5.JPG1761046243_SUDAFRICA2016(2931).JPG.51b1aa1876e9e1be0d972327dfb2bac1.JPG

 

 

We arrived at the kill and the lions were having a little altercation....

 

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Once the hierarchy was reestablished the King started roaring to clear everybody who was the boss...

 

1549391358_SUDAFRICA2016(2936).JPG.1a53871ecf00bf7aba0d847565e151e9.JPG1032290240_SUDAFRICA2016(2938).JPG.3df547921f5a772e8424d8845903d299.JPG1656013928_SUDAFRICA2016(2939).JPG.0e8b3fd75373fcf82c0d4c66a703533d.JPG934376950_SUDAFRICA2016(2940).JPG.ce583ffe230cebf9640a92c911b93a12.JPG

 

and went for a walk close to the other vehicle...

 

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"thank you vey much for the kind offer, but I'm full, no need for tracker's legs" :-) 690162410_SUDAFRICA2016(2978).JPG.cb6ad51ea0444a811b10cb81f99d42c9.JPG347063433_SUDAFRICA2016(2976).JPG.a6a3d838baa860d23ddd31c0ad2b456e.JPG162838109_SUDAFRICA2016(2981).JPG.31678cf59f9f3acbed2bc7be2ef77bfb.JPG300557612_SUDAFRICA2016(2975).JPG.a3a8d59f4404314388bd42d495c4f870.JPG

 

The lion was a little bit far from the kill now and somebody who couldn't subdue the hunger thought it was worth a try........but it isn't easy to trick the King...1580300113_SUDAFRICA2016(2985).JPG.83c55cbe102570f0a17c8f292cfdb0fa.JPG650650159_SUDAFRICA2016(2986).JPG.91b486ffd1d67e612dd39d9b8ca26121.JPG1317447003_SUDAFRICA2016(2987).JPG.8ff0d6667b2cf9a14f26ec2e6bc2037a.JPG2112869806_SUDAFRICA2016(2988).JPG.527967c977e88a7150fed440da93f4fa.JPG765670016_SUDAFRICA2016(2989).JPG.f3b6c7f773fd15c6dc9303f1eb7d6cae.JPG1290047515_SUDAFRICA2016(2990).JPG.c689a037f55a40fe80113110c4a9f444.JPG2121380413_SUDAFRICA2016(2991).JPG.7cc647b3cb54b3ba2a21957b0f8ceb85.JPG

 

Then was time for some marking and flehming224454477_SUDAFRICA2016(2944).JPG.58a2d4d5f5daf58de87d0ae299bbbd8f.JPG245463829_SUDAFRICA2016(2972).JPG.6a3c2e6eefebc5cde5e2db0af2795c21.JPG1749720457_SUDAFRICA2016(2996).JPG.08367d29a9ca20af2ab0bc52e3d5a58d.JPG1741509818_SUDAFRICA2016(2998).JPG.d24957e7e46a5a842391e16b3ed1aef5.JPG1162645922_SUDAFRICA2016(2999).JPG.8ca5095cce36a156424cc98031dfcc25.JPG1439970769_SUDAFRICA2016(3000).JPG.dd6b828f80a19f06be9e30cf1c4dc182.JPG

 

Let's have a drink everybody...

 

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we left them to go back to the lodge and a daggaboy wanted to say us a big goodbye in the name of the all Sabi Sands :D1782540587_SUDAFRICA2016(3023).JPG.fa8bf5d412cb396216f1de6c0e9d4e7c.JPG1147507420_SUDAFRICA2016(3024).JPG.da911f815c354d1609f2095fba8c3e55.JPG

 

Later on I will put my feedbacks about the all trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by chui71

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mtanenbaum

love your lion series! I can hear the roars in my head....

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chui71
Posted (edited)

I will try to resume my safaris leaving some feedbacks.

Ndaka Lodge In Nambiti GR: The tents and the lodge are very good and far from each other. The staff is very kind and attentive to your needs. The lodge is fenced so it is very good for families. Of all the lodges I stayed in it is by far the best one for children. The food is very good and there's really nothing to complain.

they have no waterhole in the main area but from many tents you can watch a nice dam downhill (or you can have a very short walk from the main area to watch it)

Guides were from very good to good  (considering my 3 stays) and always very nice with me and my daughter, no tracker.

One or their best guide (Darryn Gates) is now working for EP. 

Nambiti Game Reserve:

Landscape: it is really unbeatable. It has very different environments: typical bush , hills, open plains, waterfalls, rocky areas, woodlands, many dams. Really really complete. Not far from Tambo Airport (4-5 hours of very good roads).

Malaria free.

Safari: It is a fenced area (around 22000 acres) with only one pride of lions, so interactions with other prides is not possible. The chances to spot the Big 5 are good but not for leopards. Leopard's sightings are very very rare. In 3 years I never saw a hyena. There are no wild dogs. Fair chances for cheetahs. Very good for giraffes. 

Offroad no more permitted.

 

Elephant Plains Sabi Sands: The lodge is nice and fenced. The bungalows are very nice but too close each other. 

Staff very kind. Food good but not special. Nice waterhole. 

Sabi Sands (EP plots): Landscape: typical african bush , it never varies. It is Not Malaria free.

Safari: It is excellent for predators, a real predators Mecca. Their strenght are the leopards sightings, but also other predators are very common. It is not top for cheetahs, wild dogs are unpredictable, but leopard, hyena and lion are almost guaranteed. Since 90% or more of the guests are visitsing Sabi Sands for the predators, the game drives are very focused on them. I wouldn't say it is a good spot for birdwatchers, unless you join a group. 

The guide I got (Dawie Jacobs) was great,  very experienced, very professional and very nice to my daughter. He  was also a keen photographer and positioned us always in a superb way. I'm happy he is now working with Tusk Photography.

Rufus the tracker was quite shy with us, but also very good. 

I was there for the predators and it really delivered for me.

 

Combining the 2 reserves I got a perfect  Safari trip (even if they are quite distant each other).

Pay attention: my feedbacks are referring to June 2016. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by chui71

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adamt123

An exciting and action packed report @chui71

 

And as for this statement...

 

On 4/28/2020 at 9:51 PM, chui71 said:

I forgot to say that my photographic skills are very basic. Jpeg format and no postproduction at all. Hope the experienced photographers will not be angry  :-)

 

... your photos are in fact magnificent and breath-taking, a fact only exemplified by their being in 'Jpeg format and no postproduction at all' :)

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The_Norwegian

this is awesome stuff :-) Don`t sell yourself short on your photography, you have some great pictures in there! And so nice to see pictures of Salayexe again, the female leopard, and Mvula, the dominant male at the time. And the matimbas Ginger and Hairy belly, with the Nkuhumas, what a great thread! 

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