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Sharing a campsite with lions (Botswana, Zimbabwe, September-October 2021)


ElenaH
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20 hours ago, Towlersonsafari said:

wonderful if spine tingling stuff @ElenaHthe roaring lion with the night sky is very evocative 

thank you, @Towlersonsafari.

I knew the place and knew what expected me. However, I felt the best when 4 nights were over ;-)

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17 hours ago, Africalover said:

Me my wife are staying at MPA1 in Oct.

I would recommend to sleep in a roof-tent if you have a choice.

Yes, lions in Mabua are very special. I read a lot of Safari stuff to learn the animal behaviour. Theoretically they behave like domestic cats. But we should never underestimate their size and the fact that they are wild (big) cats. According their body-language we know how they feel and what they are going to do. They are not aggressive but even their curiosity can turn badly if we behave wrong.

Stay safe!

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23 hours ago, Whyone? said:

Great stuff @ElenaH ..... you'll do just fine at Mana!

thank you, @Whyone?

I hope, it will be OK in Chitake! I've read that even in Mucheni the lions walked through your campsite! 

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22 minutes ago, Zim Girl said:

What make is your trailcam?  The quality is very good.

thank you, @Zim Girl

I have Nikon D5300+Tamron 17-50/2.8 in a box with inexpensive flash from Yongnuo (+wireless trigger-set) and a sensor from camtraptions. https://www.camtraptions.com/

Earlier I used a cheap motion-sensor for DSLR but they are not on the market anymore. The flash must have an option to stay awake (not go to sleep). However for new PIR-Sensors it is not a problem, they have a wake up option.

As I can see they (camtraptions) have also flashes on the website. I preferred the cheap ones becasue mine were taken by animals. So, you have to be aware that you can loose your setup any time ;-)

I mix red chili paper with sand and water and put that mix on the box and around. It helps against the elepants but not against the lions! The will sneeze and take your stuff.

The trapcam is not good only during the night but also during the day by the way. For example, by a bird-pool. 

The other technic is camera controlled remotely or tethering-photography.  I use remote control of my Z7 for bird-photography with wide angle lens, for example. It works with Snapbridge (you pair the camera and press the shutter on your smart-phone). You can also use a Camranger 2 with motorized tripod head. But I think, the more sofisticated it will be the less you will use it...

 

 

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Africalover
1 hour ago, ElenaH said:

I would recommend to sleep in a roof-tent if you have a choice.

Yes, lions in Mabua are very special. I read a lot of Safari stuff to learn the animal behaviour. Theoretically they behave like domestic cats. But we should never underestimate their size and the fact that they are wild (big) cats. According their body-language we know how they feel and what they are going to do. They are not aggressive but even their curiosity can turn badly if we behave wrong.

Stay safe!

I have been to Mabua before and had lions around my tent at night. I am not afraid of sleeping in a ground tent, done it many times. It is safe. But on this trip we have rented a Landcruiser bush camper and sleep on the top, not because we are afraid, but it’s on the bush camper.  

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Whyone?
3 hours ago, ElenaH said:

thank you, @Whyone?

I hope, it will be OK in Chitake! I've read that even in Mucheni the lions walked through your campsite! 

 

Yes, lions frequently amble through the Mucheni's, I have plenty of trail-cam images to prove it! You'll have read my story about the buffalo's lying against our tent and lions visiting one night.

 

Chitake is somewhere to take great care - I will spare you that story.

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mtanenbaum

Thanks so much for making this terrific video! I have to say I like to hear the lions roar but your experience is a little too close for me!!!

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Thanks for sharing! What absolutely gorgeous animals. I would love this experience but only from a roof top tent. 
We had a 5 male lion visit on Sero 4 in the Serengeti and watched their antics form the safety of the roof top tent at first light. They played with our camping chair! It was so exhilarating but I can imagine that it’s quite exhausting and scary to have them so near at night. 

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23 hours ago, Africalover said:

But on this trip we have rented a Landcruiser bush camper

I thought you are living in SA but you are from Denmark, I am impressed that you have quite an experience as a self-driver! There are no many people who drive to Mabuasehube ;-) I am corious about your next trip, hopefully, you will share your impressions. By the way the lions have cubs already. I saw them in Facebook group. You will be a baby-sitter ;-)

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21 hours ago, Whyone? said:

You'll have read my story about the buffalo's lying against our tent

I've read it and I cannot forget that picture of buffalo lying against your tent!  Actually, I head the story before I joined the ST!! Perhaps, I even met you in Mana between 2017-2019 and forgot the face... but not the story!! ;)

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13 hours ago, mtanenbaum said:

Thanks so much for making this terrific video! I have to say I like to hear the lions roar but your experience is a little too close for me!!!

Thank you @mtanenbaum!  It was a little too close for me, too ;-)

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12 hours ago, KaliCA said:

I would love this experience but only from a roof top tent.

it's definitely a better idea than a ground -tent! ;-)  thank you, @KaliCA!

 

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Africalover
4 hours ago, ElenaH said:

I thought you are living in SA but you are from Denmark, I am impressed that you have quite an experience as a self-driver! There are no many people who drive to Mabuasehube ;-) I am corious about your next trip, hopefully, you will share your impressions. By the way the lions have cubs already. I saw them in Facebook group. You will be a baby-sitter ;-)

My wife and I drive from Joburg to Kgalagadi, Mabua, Moremi and Khwai. 3 weeks.

I hope to see the cubs, bit it is the vastness and solitude that really attracts us. Your don’t find that in Denmark.

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@ElenaHThank you for sharing, you really created a great video. Took me right back to Mabuasehube.  Mabuasehube is a wonderful place. I also camped twice at Mpaya 1. On my last visit in January 2022 we captured lion, leopard and brown hyena on my camera trap during the evening and night. But your footage are just a lot better .... And we had lions walking through the campsite early morning as well ( we were in the car like you ;) ). We didn´t see a single lioness during our stay, but we saw 5 male lions in two coalitions. The 3 of them we had for our selves for 3 days. That is just magic!

 

PS: I am also from Denmark ;) 

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Atravelynn

Loved that video and your narration.  You really bonded with those lions.  I spied a bat too at night.  The roaring lions and the night sky are a magical combination.  The bottle with no holes in it was a touching and surprising highlight of your clip, especially with your comment about the future cubs of the lioness.  Your video is a treasure!

Edited by Atravelynn
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WOW...I too would be sleeping in the car....thanks for sharing this .

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On 4/13/2022 at 7:34 PM, Africalover said:

the vastness and solitude that really attracts us

oh, that also attracts us! and there are not so many places like that...

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On 4/14/2022 at 4:41 PM, JayRon said:

On my last visit in January 2022

oh, I am so happy you had such excellent sightings! Looks like people from Denmark have courage and like the sulitude ;) ;)

Thank you, @JayRon

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On 4/16/2022 at 4:47 AM, Atravelynn said:

The bottle with no holes in it was a touching and surprising highlight

When I saw that bottle in the mouth of the lioness I thought: "Good bye, water ...!" and actually I was surprised she didn't bite it through!

It was a toy for her but she didn't behave devasteting and remind me a domestic cat rather than domestic dog. I wanted to show how tender and caring a lioness can be. On the other hand she is a huntress, a killer, a protector of the cubs who can show her teeth-pressure differently in the other situation. But we understand her behaviour and feel sympathy for her, feel that she herself needs our protection. That scene makes a curious playful future-mother from a simple predator and brings her closer to us emotionally.

Thank you, @Atravelynn!

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18 hours ago, Jil said:

.I too would be sleeping in the car

actually, me - too! :lol:

thank you, @Jil!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/8/2022 at 9:57 PM, ElenaH said:

Sharing a campsite with lions.

Botswana, Zimbabwe.  19.09.2021-10.10.2021.

 

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Firstly, I'd like to thank to all Safari Talkers, especially @JPS, @ice, @Illi and other film-makers who inspired me to make again the videos. 

It was also my first time when I make a voice-over by myself. I didn't want to put some "speech-to-voice" automatic and spoke myself to give it a personal note. Sorry, for my horrible accent, English is not my mother tongue. But well.. it is a personal note ;-)

 

I'll start from the end and post a link to my video as a teaser.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Elena,

What a great video and what an intense experience with the well-known mabua/mpaya lions. It does concern me that they get more and more used to people with the time, which also worries me for the future, should there ever be a conflict between the people and the lions, I'm afraid that the lions will be shot. During my trip, I have seen some "brave" men standing 5 meters from them taking pictures on foot?!
But on the positive site, your sighting was a very nice experience and let's hope they don't get too used to people and get their natural fear of us back so that no accidents can happen in the future.

 

We have just returned from a trip from Kgalagai NP with similar experiences, as soon as my October Moremi/Chobe film is ready I will start to work on this one and will share our experiences with the forum again.

 

 

Great film and very nice voiced with an inspiring southern accent.

 

Thanks for sharing

 

Johan Seekles

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Food for the soul! Gorgeous photo and the footage in the video is incredible! Love the narration. Thanks so much for sharing. Hope I can set up a trail camera on our next trip. Tried night vision goggles on our last trip but they did not work well unfortunately.

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  • 3 weeks later...
ElenaH

@JPS, Johan, thank you very much for kind words. I am also concerned about those lions but during our stay they never came during the day to the campsite. As far as they are in a good condition and can hunt they will probably do any trouble. The 2problematic" lions are rather old, who cannot hunt anymore. 

I am very curious about your Kgalagadi trip as well as Moremi! And actually, it was you who inspired me to make the videos again. Now I am awaiting my Nikon Z9 and hopefully, it will be even easier to make good videos! 

However, I need to proceed with my photos as well... ;-)

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ElenaH
On 5/1/2022 at 10:14 AM, JCC said:

Hope I can set up a trail camera on our next trip

you, sure, will get it and we can see your footage soon :D

Thank you very much for comment!

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  • 1 month later...
TravelMore

Wow! What a fantastic experience!  Well done on the video!:D

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