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Musekese 3 + Lower Zambesi


AfricIan

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Part 6: Kutali Camp

 

The transfer to Kutali is a short boat ride & the tents are pretty much a mirror of those at Chula with the “bathroom” on the other side of the tent.  The only real differences between the two camps are the trees, with Natal Mahogany at Chula and Winter-thorn at Kutali.  In both camps, the tents have great views out over a small channel, the Zambezi to Zimbabwe.

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We elected for a short boat ride before sundowners & dinner,

 

White-fronted Bee-eater

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Fascinating spiders web "complex"

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Pied Kingfisher

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Zambezi sunset

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Next morning, after coming across a waterbuck in “normal mode” we came across a very relaxed male leopard that appeared to be contemplating whether or not to bother making an attempt on some impala across a small gully whilst behind us an African Harrier-hawk was poking about in a dead tree.

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African Harrier-hawk (Gymnogene)

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Senegal Coucal

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Once the leopard had headed down into the gully, we moved up onto the plain for coffee & a lone jackal

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when Wilton got a call from Josh in a Chula vehicle to say that some lions had got a buffalo so we jumped back in the vehicle and after a couple of false turns arrived to find 4 young lions with an old “Dagga boy”. 

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This wasn’t a particularly pleasant watch as the buffalo had a broken rear leg and the lions, which appeared to be well-fed, seem to be aware that the buffalo wasn’t going anywhere and were content to make occasional half-hearted attempts on the rear of the buffalo, weaken it and wait for nature to take its course.

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As we headed back for lunch, a lone ele made a nice reflection in a channel, a couple of red-billed hornbill & starlings were tucking into some termites and a pair of White Helmetshrikes were also looking for lunch.

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Red-billed Hornbill

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White Helmetshrike

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Next: More Kutali

Edited by AfricIan
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Oh that dog sighting! Just wonderful! And how lucky you were - a few days later and they may have moved off to the den. You really have a great collection of pics.

And the Vervet's decision making face is a picture! 

 

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More Kutali

 

On 8/23/2022 at 12:34 PM, Galago said:

Oh that dog sighting! Just wonderful! And how lucky you were


Accompanying them on their hunt was a fabulous experience Annie and Given did a great job of keeping up, especially once they’d dropped off the plain & into the woodlands. Definitely Right Place, Right Time, I don’t think they were seen again before we left!


The plan for the afternoon was for Richard to take us for a leisurely canoe trip down the channels that run parallel to the main Zambezi. This is a definite lazy option as you just sit back & enjoy the ride although being in the 2nd canoe meant that most of the wildlife had been scared off before I could get a semi-decent photograph :(

 

Why is Richard the only happy canoeist?

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Pied Wagtail

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Don't think about coming down our channel!!

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Black-winged Stilt

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Don't think you're landing here, just go back the way you came!!

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Then after sundowners we headed back to the lions/buffalo where the old boy was still pitifully hanging on to life

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We didn’t hang around too long and managed to find a genet then, quite close to camp, a young female leopard that was determined not to get herself into a photo!

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Next morning we were walking and judging from all the alarm calls, got very close to a leopard – probably the young female from the previous evening but despite Richard’s best efforts she was much quicker than we were.
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Lilian's Lovebirds

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A mid afternoon “game-drive” back to Jeki, where Vernon was waiting for us,  bought our time in Lower Zambezi to an end 

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After a bit of a scare at KKIA check-in when son’s passport wouldn’t scan we settled back to wait for our flights back to London.  Rather bizarrely, the business lounge at KKIA was very busy, in sharp contrast to the main departure areas which were almost deserted.

 

“Chillin” at Doha
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In summary then, another great trip courtesy of Busanga Safaris, the “Classic Zambia” combo worked very well and the “one shop” nature of the booking meant things were quickly resolved when weather intervened. The one significant disappointment we had was that whilst the “Classic Zambia” marketing emphasises the “owner run” nature of the camps, only Phil was actually in camp during our stays and it was fortuitous that our paths crossed with Tyrone & Kyle on the Lupufa airstrip for an all-too-brief chat. Having said that, we couldn’t fault any of the guides we had and everyone made sure we at least tried hard to see what we wanted to see.


@wilddog, @Galago@Zim Girl, @CaroleE, @Seniortraveller -  have a fabulous time at Musekese and finally, a big thank-you to everyone who’s made it through to the end :)

Edited by AfricIan
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Thank you for an excellent report. The camps look like they make a really good combination 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the TR Ian, really enjoyed it. Your comment about 'owner run' but owner not very present is interesting. That was my experience last time (2018) and I'd assumed it was just my timing but.....

Two weeks today I'll be half way through the first of three flights on the way to the Kafue - yippee!

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On 9/2/2022 at 7:25 PM, Galago said:

That was my experience last time (2018) and I'd assumed it was just my timing but.....

 

Interesting indeed Annie, was 2018 at Musekese, Tusk & Mane or elsewhere?  Perhaps we've been spoilt on previous visits to Musekese when we've had Phil guiding us (just the two for our first visit when we "went mobile" upto the Busanga Plains) and again in 2018.  This time around, although he didn't guide us, Phil was in camp for 3 1\2 of our 5 days and happy to take us for a tour of their solar power systems.  The "absence" of either of the owners was much more noticeable in Lower Zambezi where there did seem to be a certain "lack of direction" and it was something we fed back to Lesley when we had an after-trip zoom chat.

 

I'm sure you'll have a great trip, whoever your guide is and please give our regards to Phil, Tyrone, Gilly, Roy and, of course, Tony if he's there.

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It was at Musekese, Ian.  I will certainly pass on your good wishes. Am hoping to catch Tony at Busanga.  12 more sleeps + a sleepless one in the air #countingthedays!

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On 8/23/2022 at 3:53 PM, AfricIan said:

@wilddog, @Galago@Zim Girl, @CaroleE, @Seniortraveller -  have a fabulous time at Musekese

Thank you! Not very long to go now. 5 work days (I don't count days off and weekends, makes it seem even shorter:))

You had a fantastic time in the Lower Zanbezi. Maybe next visit I can combine this with the Kafue. I like the camp set ups.

What terrific wild dogs sightings! 

''What to do in the afternoon was quickly resolved – back to the dogs!'' Was there really any other choice!

Many thanks for the trip report. So pleased you and your family had a great trip.

 

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We were also at Musekese in 2018 and had the same situation, not so good.  So, for those of you going soon hope your guiding and sightings are fabulous!

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Aweseome report Ian, thank you for sharing. Outstanding sightings, especially swimming Puffy, the Serval and the Buffalo drama. Really love the photo of Lions, Buffalo and Elephant in the background, great stuff! Lower Zambezi is still on my list - next time!

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23 hours ago, michael-ibk said:

Really love the photo of Lions, Buffalo and Elephant in the background

 

Thanks Michael, we thoroughly enjoyed the trip - the elephant "photobombing" the lion/buffalo was fascinating as we could see the elephant approaching and were wondering what would happen, especially as the female was at the top of the bank when we first noticed the ele.

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As the ele got closer the lioness dropped down into the gulley & the ele ambled closer before appearing to be taken by surprise when it spotted what was going on

 

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Before making a sharp right turn and moving quite quickly off

 

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Make sure you do get to Lower Zambezi & I hope your sightings are as good as ours were

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  • 4 weeks later...
gatoratlarge

Wow!  Great safari!  Love the "little" things, servals, porcupines...the puff adder...and what drama!  The lions and the buff and the elephant interloper!

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  • 1 year later...
africaaddict

Very nice TR Ian.  And yes, I'm 18 months late in replying. :D

 

Sooooo looking forward to my 20 night trip @ both Kutali for 10, then Mukese for 10 next OCT/NOV, and will be keen to see what's changed in Kafue since my last visit 30 years ago! :o

 

Cheers

Marc

 

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AfricIan

Never too late Marc & thanks for the nice comments. 20 nights, wow 😯 that’s a fantastic time to really get to know the camps and all the folk there. 

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