Jump to content

My very special Safari - in loving memories

Wild Dogger

Recommended Posts

9 hours ago, madaboutcheetah said:

What a fantastic sighting, Thomas - A Kwando safari indeed!!!! 


Quick question - where is Matt based at these days?  I'm glad you met up with him in Maun.  in July 2014 he had found a Pangolin one afternoon.  My flight from Maun arrived late into Lagoon and the first thing BK (then manager) told me and Spencer was, to stop wasting time and rush to the pangolin.


What can I say about Mr.Special - one of the laziest Cheetahs i've ever seen!!! Always nice to see him though :) 

Matt is not working due to Covid since 2020.
Last he was working for Natural Selection in the Khwai Private Reserve (the Camp is now called "Little Sable").
I suggested he should join Dix on Bushmans Plains, they are building up their business together with the here wellknown Bill Given, or go back to Kwando.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 3

In the morning we tried to find the lioness with the cubs.
At least we found the cubs, close to camp.
No sign of the lioness.








We spend some time with these guys (3 boys).
Then it was time for the coffee break.
Dolly enjoyed that.

Dolly needs her coffee and she needs him black! She gets obnoxious when the break is delayed.


But then she cannot wait until the journey proceeds and rushes everybody.



The rest of the morning drive was quiet although there were lots of plains game around.




After brunch Dolly and her best pal Brian decide to explore camp.
First stop:
the bar

and it is hot!


So they decide to go to the pool.




Next post back to serious game viewing:
in the afternoon it´s time for a boat ride into Moremi National Park, hopefully up to the Heronry at Gadikwe Island.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So sorry to hear about this huge loss! Please accept my condolences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Wild Doggersuch beautiful photos.  The jackal/wild dog sequence looks like a breathtaking moment and those sweet lion cubs above you have captured so perfectly! Thanks again for sharing this with us.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 3, the afternoon
as I told above we were going on a boat trip into Moremi NP to Gadikwe Island.
We were unsure if we could make it that far as clouds were building up and it´s not nice to be on a boat in an African thunderstorm.


Josiah pointed a new bird for me:
the Lesser Jacana.


in the moment, this is my favorite shot of the trip!


Luckily we got to see a Malachite Kingfisher and I managed to take that shot.


Also Dolly enjoyed the boat cruise very much and the weather was still very nice.



For my surprise there was a colony of Carmine Bee-Eaters.


You don´t see a lot of mammals in these channels, mainly Elephants and Hippos.



We make to the heronry at Gadikwe Island.
The funny thing is they call it a heronry, but there are only storks, so I ended up calling it a storkery ;)


I tried my luck with some bird in flight shots.


Yellowbilled Stork




Cattle Egret in breeding plumage



Openbilled Stork








Yellowbilled Stork on the nest





We quickly get our sundowner drinks as the clouds are getting darker and darker.


Taken by Dolly with a mobile phone ;)


Luckily we just make it to the jetty before the storm breaks out.
It rains heavily and we head back to camp quickly.

Edited by Wild Dogger
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave Williams

More magnificent photos!  

I have to question your liberal attitude in allowing Dolly and Brian to spend time at the bar though unless of course they were not drinking. Neither look old enough to me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

More magnificent photos!  

I have to question your liberal attitude in allowing Dolly and Brian to spend time at the bar though unless of course they were not drinking. Neither look old enough to me!

They look younger than they are.
Good care and healthy lifestyle.

Vegetarian diet, preferably grapes and hops, mostly in liquid form. :D


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are amazing shots of the jackals and tsessebe calf, then the dogs.  Good cropping job!  You've described a brutal act almost poetically. "But then rumor in the bush and the baby´s life was sealed in a minute."  Poor little thing, the umbilical cord is still visible.


Who can argue with the advice to the guide to leave the python where it was?  Beautiful night time shot of it.


You found the cubs and they are adorable.


I would agree with the favorite shot comment, though there are lots of excellent ones.

Edited by Atravelynn
Link to comment
Share on other sites


So brave to make the trip in the face of your loss. Deepest condolences. Love the pictures. We were so lucky to get to Botswana in October of 2019, what was likely our last trip to Africa. Like Claudia, I love Kwando!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very moving and stunning and funny all together, Thomas. Thank you for posting and hope it does help - it makes excellent sense to me. I can only imagine the fear before the trip, but as another with a presence always beside me on these trips even though my face is stuck hard to the back of a camera I can begin to imagine. xxx Thomas


Great photos as always. Lesser Jacana and python shots are just special. You may never get those chances again. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It´s time for day 4, morning drive.

As everybody now  knew where the lion cubs were located, which was not far from camp, the first stop was there again.





We spent maybe 30 minutes with them before we proceeded.
It was one of those more or less quiet hours, where you drive around looking for tracks without finding something special.
That were also the moments, when I thought of Claudia and the special habits she had.
For example, she always had one leg positioned on the chassis of the vehicle and wrapped her trouser up on that side to catch up some sun on her leg.
Or, when we were driving and driving and the coffee break was delayed more and more for what reasons ever.
She was silently "shouting", so that only I could hear it: "Coffee, coffee, coffee!"
These moments made me feel sad and in the same time they putted a smile on my face for the unforgettable memory. Small, little things.

On the water side we stopped for some Hippos, Crocs and African Jacanas.



At least we found a male Cheetah called Mr. Pig.
He´s in his ages and had something happened on his jaw.






Not far from him:
2 male lions
the morning came into swing


Dagmar and Dieter were leaving that morning and we were a bit far from camp and out of reach of the radio.
So the coffee break was delayed (you know, what happened in my mind and I was smiling) until we got within reach of a signal (just in case there was a change of flight times).

But at least we got our coffee.


After the break we found the Elephants on our way to the airstrip.







The last sighting that morning was a Tawney Eagle against the sun, so I had to do a High Key (not really sure, if I like that picture)


Then it was time to say goodbye to my new won friends Dagmar and Dieter, we had a good time together and I was hoping for pleasant companions in the next days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

beautiful shots, and i love the one with the three elephants are stacked up as one. 

Dolly is a fashionista! love her fashion sense. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Playtime in the tree--adorable.

Lovely photos and lovely memories you've shared of Day 4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the afternoon I get new friends in the vehicle.
Mavis and John from England are joining me.
They are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
They are really cool people, I like them very much.
John is almost deaf, so he asks if he can sit behind Josiah, so that he can read lips.
Later he changes his mind as the seat behind the driver is noisy for his ears.

The afternoon again is not too spectacular, still lots of animals.
We spend some time with Lechwe running and jumping.






Then we come to a hippo pool in backlit.
Josiah says, the light is not good, you can´t get a good picture!
Yes, I can (at least for my skills, I´m happy).


To finish the day up we find some Elephants with a Youngster running wild.




and a Wildebeest


Zebra in last light


So, day 4 ist history and I could bet, we first go to the lion cubs the next morning ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beautiful shots yet again @Wild Dogger- much like Kitsafari called out, those elephant photos are stunning.  

Edited by Toxic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So sorry to hear about your loss @Wild Dogger- I think it was the right thing to do to go to Botswana again and visit all the places your wife Klaudia loved so much. Your report is very moving and your pictures are beautiful. Thanks you for sharing.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, it´s day 5 now.
As expected, we go to the cubs first.
To my surprise we find another 3 cubs, even younger, together with their mom.
1 of them them is seriously injured. It is bleeding, the jaw seemed to be broken and one eye was lost.
I don´t have a picture of that.


Here are the other two going back to see where the 3rd one and mom is.


The rest of the morning is mainly spend looking for Cheetah but no success.
Instead we find a dazzle of Zebra drinking.


Tsessebees are all over the place.
As I said before plains game was plenty.



Red Lechwe





Mavis and John are very happy with the sightings.
Sometimes it is nice to have newbies with you, I for myself found out, that I honor the "normal" sightings more in the presence of people whose first safari this is.
At the end we find the Wild Dogs again but it is time to get back to camp for break.
As my english friends are going on the boat in the afternoon I have the car on my own, so I decide to go back to the wild dogs to see what they are doing.

As we get there the light is already almost gone when they decide to run wild.



I try my luck practicing panning shots.
At least I get one, which I am almost happy with.
If the head was more in focus I would have been happy.
So I still have to try and try and try.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Magnificent sightings and photos! The Jackal - Tsessebe - Dog sequence is incredible, very intense. Dolly really seems to be a super companion, very eager to see everything it seems to me. Thanks for sharing Thomas - I appreciate it.


Schöne Weihnachten! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 6, last full day in Kwara Camp, somehow the time was flying.

To my surprise, we go to the lion cubs first :)


Lucky lioness, she can have these sunrises every morning.

Those cubs are just fun to watch.










The Guinea Fowls are not really happy with these crazy guys.







Later we find a very pale Kudu cow


We desperately look out for Cheetah but can´t find Mr. Special.
Nonetheless, Dolly enjoys her time on Safari.


2 squirrels occupying a dead tree.


Swainson´s Spurfowl
as you all know, they are all over the safari world, but mostly overseen and hard to photograph.
Most of the time they are in a bad angle, in the scrubs or just too fast.


General game was really good, esp. Zebras were plenty.



This was the morning drive.

After brunch, Dolly decides to take some snaps of the dining area.



and of course her favorite place in camp:
the bar!


and the hang out area


Now it´s time to check out some of the pics



Dolly is not unhappy about the results.

In the afternoon we still try to find a cheetah.
There is a female around, which Josiah tries to locate.
It is a tough business, but luckily there is more game:


Reed Buck




Elephants and a 
Go away Bird


even more ellies


at least in the very low light Josiah finds the Cheetah


She has a bad wound on her back.

So that was day 6 in the beautiful Kwara concession.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 7
the last morning in the beautiful Kwara Camp.


We find the Wild Dogs again.



We search for more predators but can´t find any.
Therefor we do find a herd of Waterbuck.





Glossy Starling


The fire burnt trees down to the ground.


Pied Kingfisher on Kwara bridge


After brunch it´s time to say goodbye to my good friend Charles (I had to convince him to take off the mask just for the shot).


Next stop:
Lagoon Camp 
On the airstrip Matt, my guide, and KB, my tracker, wait for me.
I am happy to see Mayezi Nkwazi, who was our guide at Lebala in good old 2019.
As the Lebala airstrip is being rebuilt, they use the Lagoon strip instead.
Long way to go.
To our surprise, John and Mavis are also going to Lagoon. They were supposed to go 2 nights to Lebala and 2 nights at Lagoon, but there was some kind of african chaos, so they stay at Lagoon first now.

One of the best things of the Lagoon camp is that you have a perfect view from your tent of the Lagoon in front.
And there are always animals on the other side of the water and birds are busy hunting in front.
Makes Siesta time short.


White-fronted Bee-Eater
the good thing with these bee eaters is, they always use the same place from which they start their hunts.
They "always" come back.

I am alone in the vehicle and so are John and Mavis.
I ask, why we could not stay in the same car as we were a good gang.
After discussing with the office in Maun, I was told that there was a german lady, who was also keen in photography, coming the next day.
She also was in Kwando camps before and had been complaining, that she had not enough space for her stuff.
So Kwando thought it would be a good idea to put her with me.
I would have preferred to stay with J&M, but it seemed not to be possible.

On our drive we saw so many warthogs, just unbelievable.
Later on my stay we only called them "Whatelses".


Dolly again explores african ground:


It seems that the tortoise are her favorite photographic subject: they only move slowly.

Elephants are also plenty in the concession.








Happy to be safe in the car.


Wahlberg´s Eagle, Matt said.

We are busy looking out for a pride of lions who wre in the area but can´t find them.


The clouds are building up as we are having sundowner drinks.


Back in camp it turns out that J&M should actually be in Lebala after all.
They now have the option to go to Lebala the next day for one night and then come back to Lagoon for the last 2 nights.
African chaos.
So they decide to stay at Lagoon for the rest of their stay.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it Charles Sebaka?  If it's him, what a change since I met him for the first time twenty years ago.  By the way, excellent pictures as usual.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Bush dog said:

Is it Charles Sebaka?  If it's him, what a change since I met him for the first time twenty years ago.  By the way, excellent pictures as usual.

Yes, he got old, like all of us.
First met him in 2004, not just 20 years ago.
He was guiding us in Lebala.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy