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1 minute ago, Towlersonsafari said:

I ma really enjoying your report @Wild Dogger- weoften think baout a mobile safari and then think again1- will we like the other guests- more importantly will they like us? what about the loos? -your photos' are wonderful-the Zebra's the leopard in the tree- and the impala foal- did the leopard manage to kill it?

When we left, the foal was still alive.
The other day it was dead.

I was lucky, that there were only the two of us, Gary and me. We had a very good relationship.
But the groups can go up to 6 pax and than it can get difficult at times, I suppose. You only need one person ...

Concerning the loo, I was more afraid, that it would rain cats and dogs and then using an outdoor bathroom, I don´t know. I think you would have to use it naked then and shock the monkeys, as Peter Gabriel sings.

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Amazing shots of the leopard and impala. It's kind of awful but I have to say the first one could be in an Animal Friends calendar (if you have ever seen one). It was worth waiting for.


The problem with the loo I found was it getting too hot to sit on at times. That really annoyed my wife in Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Naked in a raincoat would work for rain I thought - but I haven't had to try it yet.  

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2 minutes ago, pault said:

The problem with the loo I found was it getting too hot to sit on at times.

That´s what I experienced on my own a ahhhm body.
But it was possible to remove the seat and i did put it in the shadow, when I left.

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Extraordinary Leopard sighting, extraordinary photos!

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we were lucky enough to do a walking safari  at Selinda many years ago where the outside loo was flushing but because of a lack of water filled with bees! we had to spray the pan with repellent  and then go very quickly 

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Catching up with this report - Thanks @Wild Doggerfor all the lovely photography ...... 

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The last evening there was a discussion breaking loose about the noise ability of the R5.

Daniel was absolutely unhappy, while I thought for those high ISO numbers we were shooting that Leopard cub (I was up to 10.000) the noise was more than acceptable.

Nonetheless, Daniel irritated me that much, that I decided to use the R6 instead.

Noise should be much better with that body, due to the much lower Megapixel.

I used this body than for 2 days and then switched back to the R5 for some handling reason.

I think that the R5 has too many MP, while the R6 could use some more especially if you have to crop, 20MP might be a bit low.


It really was hot these November days, but nothing was as hot as this coffee-pot.



Before going out, we discuss, where to go.

Back to the Leopard or another area?

We decide to stay with the Leopard, maybe we can find the male also.


First we find this little Squirrel high up on a tree.

The light illuminated this little fellow nicely.



Then again turmoil on a tree.

We get out to observe closely (in the Khwai community area you can leave your car, also night drives are allowed):

Another Python.

This was a Leopards & Snakes Safari.




This shot is taken on the R6 with ISO 12800, nothing to complain about. It is only slightly cropped (10%).

Unfortunately I did not get one shot with the tongue out.

My arms got heavier and heavier photographing with the long lens free hand.


The obvious LBR in flight shot.




Needless to say, that we found the cub.

The Impala remainings where lying under a dead tree.




In the afternoon we tried our luck with some low angle goose and ducks shots.



Egyptian goose and White-faced Whistling Ducks 






Our effort is to try and find that cub again.

And we try hard.

In the end we find her, where she left the carcass.

She drags the carcass up into a green tree.




This was it for the day.


Next day is moving day again.

From Khwai to Savuti.



Edited by Wild Dogger
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On moving days we first did our normal game drive in the area just up to 10 or so and then head towards the next destination, in this case to the north to the Savuti area.

We quickly looked for the Leopard but did not find it.

We found this beautiful Reed Buck ram. I like the soft background colors.






A Yellow-billed Hornbill made for a beautiful low key picture with the sun almost glowing through its beak.



Sometimes even an Open-billed Stork gives you nice opportunities.



Great Egret nicely framed



At the coffee break we stepped again over Hannes Lochner, so we had the break with them together.

After the break we slowly proceeded to Savuti.


But first we saw these Lechwe.
We were keen to photograph them jumping through the water, but they only gave us butt-shots of that.




We left the Khwai area towards the Mababe depression.

On that day the drive should be everything but fun.
It was unbearably hot, I suppose up to 45° Celsius maybe.
Even the headwind did not bring any cooling, it even felt hotter while driving.
Poor Bate.


We stopped for some Elephants on the way and Dan made me go out of the car to get some low angle shots.



We carried packed lunch and at about 2 we stopped for our break at Marabou Pan.



There were Ellies all over joined by a few Zebras and Warthogs.





It was hot, so Dolly enjoys her juice!

Normally I always take photographs of the guides, don´t know, why I didn´t take any on this trip.
These are screenshots from small videos I took with the mobile





After lunch we slowly headed further north.


At Savuti I was hoping to get to see this big Lion pride over there.
Maybe some Lion/Elephant action.

Who knows?


Black Korhan (Helicopter bird)


Luckily we found this male Cheetah.
He was extremely thin and calling for his brother.






On the way to the camp site we saw a few more birds.


Kori Bustard




Red-Crested Korhan (Kamikaze Bird)


Tawney Eagle


We were happy to arrive at the camp site.
This was a hot and exhausting day.
It ended with a well-deserved GT and a great dinner in good company.



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Lovely pictures again @Wild Dogger

It is a small world; we have been on a photographic safari together with Hannes Lochner to the Kgalagadi a few years ago 😊

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Bate is an incredible person .... Over 10 years ago he was tracker extraordinaire at LK trying to find us the famous cheetah brothers in tsum tsum and subsequent to that I’ve enjoyed his company at the dinner table in lebala.  Hope to meet him again one day.


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I especially like the Reedbuck and Lechwe images.

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The only time before I was in Savuti was in October 2003, almost 20 years ago.
It was on our first trip to Botswana.
We got 40 that year and this was what we gave each other as a present.
It was supposed to be a once in a lifetime trip (apparently, it was not).
We did Chobe, Savuti and Moremi Game Reserve.
Funny enough, almost the same trip but in the opposite direction.
I don´t have too many memories of that trip.
What I do remind, the landscape felt totally different. In October 2003 it was totally dry, everything in this sandy, african color.
This year, it was November and it had already rained, it was much greener.
I did remind several places (the dry channel f.e.), but now they looked completely different.


In the morning we found two male lions on a waterhole close to the lodges.



The light was beautiful, the cats lazy.

So we proceeded.


I was very keen in taking shots of Fireball Lilies and there were many around.
On the beginning of the trip, Danny pointed out, that we would go out of the vehicle as often as possible.
He said, that this would be most likely not possible in Savuti because of the rangers there.
Nonetheless we got out to photograph this beautiful flower




Dolly loves flowers!


and also walked in a field of Kalahari Crinum Lilies.





Okay, photographing flowers was not the main goal of this trip, so we moved on.


We heard the beautiful call of a very familiar bird:
The Rufous-naped Lark.





Gary complains, that there is no "rufous" color. I don´t care.


We tried to find the Cheetah, success-less.
We saw a Kori Bustard.
Somehow, I forgot to push the shutter, I was only focussing all of the time.
I don´t know, what I had in mind.


I don´t forget to shoot on this Tawney Eagle.




So this was it for the morning.


Over midday it is unbelievable hot.
We decide to rest under a big Camelthorne Acacia, we used to call it Californacacia.
It´s better than in the tent but less comfortable.
We definitely start thinking about taking the beds out for the next day´s lunch break.


Writing this trip report I start now thinking, if that was all, we saw.
Just scanning the pictures I took, it appears that it was not much.
But as I said in the beginning, we did not stop or take pictures, if the situation (be it light, behaviour or action) was not appealing.
And those fantastic Leopard sighting did not help in seeing many different species.
In my mind, I was very happy with the sightings. Maybe I should also take notes of what I saw next time.


The afternoon starts with a nice sighting of a male Steenbok.
I again got out of the vehicle to get nicely low.





On a waterhole we are lucky to find a beautiful Roan ram.



Next waterhole: Elephants.
Danny does his best to get us in a nice position.

Gary, like often, does not like to take pictures.



Then we drive in the dry Savuti channel.
We are 4 in the car and you could hear 4 saying one word at the same time:




A nice Tomcat was walking on the channel´s rim.

He was on a romantic mission; looking for girls.
We were able to follow him for more than 30 minutes.
He crosses the channel.







Bate called the other guys from the lodges and a sister vehicle of Letaka.
In the very moment the Lodge´s cars arrived it was done with the nice sighting.
They rush into the sighting, which was at that time already in the bushes.
I don´t know, what these guys think. They just drive right into the eye.


If they gave the cat a bit more space, maybe they could have seen more than just a tail and a butt.

We back up and Danny and Bate try to anticipate, where the cat would go.
But he disappeared.
But, what a great sighting of my favourite animal again.
This was the 9th sighting of this spotted cat.
I think, I did not see as many lions on this trip, wrong world.


What better way to finish this day as with a beautiful sunset.
A G&T on the fire, delicious food and good company!
I love Mobile Safaris!




Edited by Wild Dogger
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Old Dog Learns New Tricks (or maybe Old Leopard Learns New Tricks) would be a very appropriate title for this report. The lily (both types) and elephant shots really work beautifully and a couple of the lark shots are as good as a lark gets.


So many leopards!

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Beautiful flora in the green desert! and Dolly is enjoying herself. 


your camera is working wonders (as is your eye for images) and the low angle shots are stunning. I found to hard to watch the leopard cub-impala foal series, but so many leopards!


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The last evening I suggested to go back to Marabou Pan, hoping to get to see some Elephants there.
The waterholes nearby were not so productive.
We decide to first scan around the open plains for Cheetah and then have our coffee break at the pan.


First we see a Slender Mongoose (I hope I am right).


We did not have any success with the Cheetah.
There were tracks but no other sign. We checked the marking points of the cat, nothing.


On the open plains we saw another Black Korhan.
I like them.





So it is time for the coffee break.
And it was a great time!


Dolly´s slogan of life: eet-sum-more


Elephants all over the place.
We get out of the car, sitting very close to it, our camera ready for action, the coffee cup ready to drink.
There were also cars of the Lodges around.
I don´t know, what their guests were thinking, what we were doing there.














the famous black Elephant of Savuti ;)


As a family with small calves arrives, Bates decides not to stay outside the vehicle:
“I don´t trust these guys.”











That was another great morning!


In the afternoon, we decide first to cruise around the channel, looking for that spotted cat again.
It rains a bit.
No signs of the cat.


Tawney Eagle


We come across Impalas on the rim.







A beautiful Yellow-billed Hornbill displaying.


Danny says, this is some kind of a communication thing. I first thought the bird would dry his feathers.

When we came across this sighting, we could have taken shots from the bird facing us.
On every Safari this would have been it.
Instead Danny told Bate to drive to his left side. I first did not quite understand why.
Then I realized that the background was further away from that side, so the bird would nicely be separated from the background.
And I also think, that profile shots are nicer.

Being guided by Danny and Bate was just perfect. They complemented eacj other perfectly. Bate, for me he´s one of the best (if not the best) guides I ever had, in finding the animals and Danny in getting us in a as good as possible position.


We get a radio call:
Cheetah on the plains hunting Wildebeests.
As we arrive on the scene, we realize, that the 2 boys were together again.
They try to separate a calf from the herd.
We keep our distance, hoping the chase would be directed towards us.
But they fail. Still some good action. No good pictures (no: only bad pictures).

We still spend some time with them, before it´s getting late and we have to go back.





This was the last evening on this mobile safari.
The next day we are driving up to Kasane.
As it is a long distance, there will be no game drive in Savuti anymore.
I really loved it here. So varied landscape. Open plains, the small hills and the dry channel. Just great.



Edited by Wild Dogger
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You have some really spectacular sightings and photos.  Even the Rufous-naped Lark is a standout.  The leopard shot that is blurred green foliage whiskers is wonderful in its own way.  Such young impala.  Glad to see Dolly staying hydrated in 45 C temps.  What a great safari.  Worth the high temps.

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The eles put up a grand show! You must have had such a great time there, just watching the elephants drink, bathe and play in those waters and everywhere around just calm and tranquility. 



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The drive from Savuti to Kasane is, well just a drive from Savuti to Kasane.
We were supposed to do a boat cruise on the Chobe but skip that as we are doing a boat with Pangolin in the afternoon.
I am happy, that Gary is also staying 3 nights in the Hotel.
We are a good team now.

Daniel has checked with Pangolin, that we only want to do the photoboat.
I am no big fan of the landbased safari in Chobe.

A few words about the Hotel. Well, it´s a Hotel.
It´s my second time there.
First time I did not like it that much.
It lacks the wild feeling. But it´s a nice change to have AC after 10 hot days on the mobile.
The food is very good. All guests have dinner on a long table, which will be outside (weather permitted). The last evening we were inside in the big hall as it was not clear, if it would rain.


Our photo host was Danielle (@dcwildlifephotography). She´s a young south african lady.
She was very good in explaining what she would do and, this is important, why she would shoot that way.

I really enjoyed her tips.

At siesta time it was possible to discuss your own pictures with her, which was very informative.

Gary and I, we were always discussing that sometimes strange noise performance of our cameras.
Sometimes ISO 8000 came out without almost any noise and then there were pics with ISO 1600 and they were so noisy.
Danielle explained why. The noise is most visible in dark parts of the picture. So if your picture is dark, noise is much more visible.
She said, that it might be better to maybe even overexpose and take a high ISO than to underexpose to reduce your ISO.
Made sense to me and at home checking my pictures, I realized that she was completely right.
Bright pictures with ISO8000 almost had no noise.

She also said, that I should get Topaz Denoise AI.

I bought it at home and this is really a game changer. Highly recommended.


I will just add pictures here. The days were all the same routine.
Sleep, boat, shoot, eat, boat, shoot, eat, sleep.


Juvenile Water Monitor Lizard




Non-skimming Skimmer



The voice of Africa



Impalas on the banks of the Chobe


Wire-tailed Swallows



Blue-cheeked Bee-Eaters




High Key Hippo




Low Key Hippo



Miss Dolly wants to be a pro-photographer now.




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Fearless Dolly



African Darter



Great Egret
















Water Thick-knee

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Some fabulous pictures in the last 2 posts.  Love the high key hippo and B&W pics and the blue cheeked bee eaters look just like a painting, really lovely!

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One morning we came across this crocodile and Danielle said, that this would make a perfect low key shot.
I said to her:”I don´t like it.”
There are sometimes pictures, which I find to abstract and I don´t get the idea behind it.
The same happened to this sighting at first.
After a while Danielle asked: ”Are you shooting, Thomas?”
I answered: “No”, but I did give it a try.
And I am happy that I did. This is my absolute favourite shot of the whole trip.
After lunch I surprised her with that shot and we discussed how to develop it nicely.


Some more low keys:





Pied Kingfisher

and a High Key crocodile



I am off to Tanzania tomorrow, so I will finish this trip report (maybe just pictures) when I come back.



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What beautiful pictures, I particularly love the photo of the bee-eaters! I will make a mental note to experiment with low angle shots whenever possible. :) 

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