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Botswana March 2010


LynneB
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March 2010 – Selinda (3 nights) and Tau Pan (4 nights)

 

Selinda

Travelled overnight from London (after a day at work) arriving at Selinda at 3pm. Out on a game drive at 4pm.

 

Met at the airstrip by Ishmael who was my guide for the next 3 nights. I was lucky enough to have the vehicle to myself for the first 4 game drives and he was a great guide and good company.

 

Accommodation, food and staff were all fantastic – all much more than I need really.

View from room at Selinda

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Highlights of the game viewing at Selinda were lion cubs, wild dogs and lion/hyena interaction.

 

1st am drive, Ishmael found a group of lions with x3 cubs who were 2.5months old. We were lucky enough to have this sighting to ourselves with just one other vehicle joining us later. Watched them chewing on what looked like the remaining bones of a young wildebeest. The cubs were fighting over the bones and learning to chew – it was fantastic to watch and there was a lot of squeaking, squealing and growling going on. This is the first time I’ve had the chance to watch cubs without lots of vehicles around so a great sighting for me.

 

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2nd pm drive we spent some time with a small group of wild dogs – should have been six of them but we only found four. Watched them wake and perform their wonderful greetings, then followed them for a little as we got the feeling they were trying to find the other two from their pack but we got stuck down an Aardwolf hole (balanced on one wheel) so lost them. We also spotted a nervous hyena hiding in the bushes late afternoon. Behaviour was strange so we drove around the area trying to find out what was going on but couldn’t find anything.

 

Much later we found a male lion who we followed for a few minutes until he started stalking something. We couldn’t see what happened as he pounced but heard a huge commotion coming from the under bushes which turned out to be the nervous hyena. Another vehicle told us that the lion chased the hyena out from the bushes and towards another male lion who chased it into the water. As darkness fell, one of the two lions treated us to some great vocals.

 

Overall, not a lot of general game around: elephant, some surprisingly curious hippo who came quite close during sundowners, wildebeest, zebra, ostrich, no red lechwe (we searched). Some huge storms while I was there but luckily not during game drives. Beautiful scenery and hardly any vehicles.

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Tau Pan

Stunning camp with amazing views of the Pan, great accommodation, food and staff – again all more than I need.

View from room at Tau Pan

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Highlights were wild dogs, aardwolf, honey badger and scenery.

 

My guides were Hector, followed by Eddie (both excellent).

 

1st pm game drive came up with my first ever aardwolf. It kept poking its head out of the den to look at us and eventually climbed out and let us have a proper look. Hector told us that it has become used to the vehicles now so makes a good sighting.

 

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First am game drive: wild dogs on the Pan! My favourite animal so this was fantastic for me. There were 4 dogs (one alpha female who was collared). We were able to follow the dogs around the Pan for 90 minutes as it was easy to see them but boy did they move! They were pretty much running for 80 of the 90 minutes, back and forth across the pan, together and individually. They spotted a large herd of springbok and once they’d seen them they just ran straight for them and split the herd into four. The behaviour of the springbok was something I’ve never experienced - each smaller group started to move in unison – it looked choreographed and they all raised the white fur on their backsides and along the top of their backs. Each dog was trying to get one Springbok to split away and a couple of the dogs were successful in this and then tried to outrun their prey. They weren’t successful in catching anything but I was astounded by how long they kept up the chase and by the stamina of both the dogs and the springbok.

 

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For my 2nd day I took the all day drive option. This is very long day but I really enjoyed it as I love the CKGR scenery. I would have taken another all-dayer but other vehicle mates weren’t so keen. The drive took us through the other pans south of Tau Pan, through Letihau and to Deception, we then took the long straight road (the cut) back to camp (1.5hrs to get back). We did spot 3 cheetah (just for a few minutes), 3 eland, large group of giraffe (I think probably the same group that others have described), kudu with a youngster, a beautiful group of lions lazing around under some trees and then just as we were leaving Deception a lone male lion wandering along the road close to some campsites.

 

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Third day pm game drive delivered a busy honey badger with a very dirty face who dug two large holes in less than 5 minutes. I’ve never seen one close up so this was fantastic.

 

General game: oryx, red hartebeest, wildebeest, steenbok, duiker, bat eared fox, ostrich (big groups but with babies), loads of jackal (with great noises at night), couple of disappearing leopard (can’t say I really saw them though). Not forgetting the stunning scenery, thunderstorms, and of course, the sky...

 

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Wow, wonderful, especially those images of the aardwolf! Have only seen one from distance, at Wolwedans. Your sighting looks terrific.

And the wild dogs and lion cubs.

All sounds great!

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LynneB,

 

Thanks for the lovely trip report. Much appreciated!!!

 

Were the Aardwolf at the Tau pan itself? or might it have been at sunday pan?

 

Very lucky with dogs at Tau pan.

 

Lucky at Selinda too with those Lions and dogs.

 

Regards

Hari

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Hi Hari, the Aaardfwolf is at Tau Pan, just a yard from the side of the road. We checked him every evening and saw him/her on two separate occasions.

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Great report and photos.

 

Congratulations on your first aardwolf and the dogs.

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I would love to see an Aardwolf, you lucky thing.

 

The skies are beautiful. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I'm not sure why the photos are appearing so small, perhaps GW can let us know.

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Way to go on your first aardwolf! The springbok photo is a work of antelope art. Those lion cubs looked like they were just several weeks old. How adorable.

 

Thanks for posting these great sightings.

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LynneB,

I love your Oryx pic - the one with the pan setting with rainbow! Thanks for the info!!!

 

Hari

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Nothing to complain about on that trip! Aardwolf, lucky you...! Nice sighting and nice photos. I also liked the lion "family picnic" and wild dogs, of course.

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Thanks everyone. I don't know how to make the photos appear full size, perhaps someone can assist?

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Hi LynneB, Great report and photos. I put my photos on photobucket and then cut and paste the link on to the ST page. :(

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To make big photos, first make a gallery, then insert them into your report. I believe there are instructions on this forum or email my at my screen name at hotmail.

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