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Botzwana, Namibia & Zambia late April 2010


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ZaminOz

enjoying the report - and some very nice photos! Thanks. :D

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Thursday afternoon April 22nd

 

Current weather: Rain, 25C (77F)

 

Landing in Kasane, we went through customs and took a water transfer to Impalila Island, Namibia.

Arriving on the island there was a muddy washed-out, 100 meter, uphill path to a small customs building to enter Namibia. With the rain and all, it had the appearance of an illegal border crossing somewhere.

After a very wet, 30 minute boat ride, we arrived on the other side of the island at Impalila lodge.

 

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Educational poster inside customs!

 

For those who don't know; Impalila Island is in the Caprivi strip of Namibia where the Zambezi and Chobe rivers meet and the four countries of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe come together.

 

Here everything is done by boat (in the green season anyway) unless you were to visit a near by village by foot. There is no game on the island to speak of, way too much water. There are approximately 1500 people on the island and all from the same tribe of people with one chief. Each extended family lives together in separate thatched roof huts and each families set of huts are considered a village.

 

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The lodge has eight detached suites; we were told by Gant & Doreen (managers) they were to up-date the suites in the coming months.

 

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By afternoon the rain had subsided with the sun breaking out. We took our first boat safari pretty much around the island channels. This is a great location for birding with some nice sighting of egrets, bee eaters, herons, storks and plenty of insects.

 

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twaffle

The educational poster would never pass our 'customs'! :huh:

 

Lovely photos, looks like good birding country.

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The educational poster would never pass our 'customs'! :huh:

 

Lovely photos, looks like good birding country.

 

I can't say it's any worse than the mug shots we see in the US, at our post offices!

But certainly a different side of sex education or abstinence.

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samburumags

Oh WOW, those pics were not taken by a box Brownie!!

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I'm enjoying your report and the terrific photos. Glad you had a good time!

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Thank You! Samburumags, Leely and everyone else for your warm thoughts on our memorable trip. I'm making my best effort to make it interesting for everyone to follow.

Tracker

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Friday April 23rd

 

Weather: Mostly sunny, breezy, warmer 26C (80F)

 

We took our guide and boat to visit the famous Baobab tree that is said to be 2000 years old in the middle of the island. Other than the children that came to greet us at the shore, the village we passed through was quiet.

 

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When returning to camp, they mentioned we were the only ones in camp for the day and that brunch was going to be special. We were served lunch in the tree hide which made for a special meal, the women were quite impressed along with their favorite wines.

 

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The afternoon the gals went with Theddius down the Chobe and I took Robert birding locally near the island. I had Robert put the boat in the reeds to be entertained by the bee-eaters for what must have been an hour. It was one bird after another, we checked out a nesting sight of the darters, a great place for Carmines, a dead tree that had seven monitor lizards that we saw and with all of the rest of the sightings, lastly another sunset.

 

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Giving Mrs. "T" all the credit that is due, these are a few of the shots she caught on the Chobe. One she says she took for me with a boat full of those long lenses.

 

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samburumags

I am sick of saying Oh wow and I HATE Mrs T !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :huh:

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Tracker - I'm really enjoying your trip report, and your pictures. Sounds like you've had a great trip.

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Atravelynn
I am sick of saying Oh wow and I HATE Mrs T !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :P

:P

 

I had been waiting for this stop! Outstanding bird photos, sunsets, spiders and much bigger creatures. The boatload of photographers was humorous too.

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Sun. April 25th

 

Weather: Mostly cloudy, warm 28C (83F)

 

Saying our good-byes to everyone at Impalila Lodge in the morning, we again took our transfers through customs back to Kasane airport. With our short, private flight to Livingstone, Zambia, we circled the falls for pictures (not the greatest with the cloud cover).

 

Impalila Lodge might be ready for an up-date, but for us it was plenty comfortable and is a great location for birding (not so much with the animals). Again the managers were very accommodating and the two guides (Robert & Theddius) were very knowledgeable and friendly. And yes the food was more than I would normally eat in any given 24 hour period.

 

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Here we stayed at the Stanley Safari Lodge; this property was by far the most over the top lodge we visited.

We scheduled our days here not to be so hectic so we could enjoy ourselves, the lodge, unwind and relax.

We did a evening river cruise (booze cruise) the first day, visited the village of Mukuni - just the four of us - the second day, and went to the falls during the day on the third day.

 

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Sunset cruise - with what else, but another sunset!gallery_6136_297_7135.jpg

 

Mon, April 26

 

The village of Mukuni has a population of about seven thousand, with most of their income coming from tourism by selling their crafts. The village has 4 wells for their fresh water supply (no running water or electric) in their huts.

 

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One of four wells in the village.

 

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Tues. April 27

Weather: Mostly sunny

 

Visiting the Falls on the Zambia side in the green season means one is going to get wet. After talking with people, we didn't even try wearing rain gear, we just got wet. It was like being in a heavy rain storm with the water coming from all directions. The only thing that didn't get wet was the one camera and one lenses that was triple wrapped.

 

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Our last night we had a driver from the lodge take us back to the Falls as it was one day from being a full moon (another a $25.00 entrance fee).

If anyone recalls, several months ago I started a thread to see who knew what a "lunar rainbow" was and if anyone has seen this at Vic. Falls. From my knowledge, there are only a couple of places in the world that this occurs. It occurs with a full moon and the high water from the green season.

I think seeing it in person with the naked eye is far less impressive than what the camera caught. In person, it just has a pinkish glow to it, whereas the camera shows many more colors of a rainbow.

 

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As I mentioned earlier, the Stanley is more of a destination lodge in my eyes with large, more than comfortable suites/cottages. Seven out of ten suite are open, facing the Falls with only the mist cloud from the falls visible from the rooms. The only thing between you and the outside was the mosquito netting around the bed.

The grounds are totally fenced to keep unwanted guests/animals out. The service here was also over the top; you could have diner/lunch set up anywhere on the grounds, including your own suite. Peter, our server would bring coffee, fruit and cookies to our suite for the wake-up time in the morning and our favorite cocktails last thing at night.

 

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Morning coffee visitor looking for his share of the cookies!

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This was a great last stop for our trip but one night would have been sufficient. Originally we tried to add nights to the first camps we were at with no luck.

 

All-in all, the green season was a wonderful surprise from my expectations of the animals. Far more than I ever thought we would see, definitely no regrets!

The only regret is that I had to come home!

 

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Everyone has been gracious with their comments, thank you again,

 

Tracker

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twaffle

Tracker, that lunar rainbow looked great as an image and I liked to see some of the surrounding villages and roads. You have some wonderful photographs.

 

So, big question is … where to next on the big continent??

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Sangeeta

Amazing photos, Tracker. I blew right through dinner reading your report. Especially loved the dragonfly (?), spider & birds. Wow.

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samburumags

No I will not say WOW, there I have. That last tent would do me fine especially if it comes equiped with ice cold Tusker and large Gin & Tonic's :P We all want to know when and where the next trip will be. Thank you T for a fabulous report

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I loved the report, Tracker. And especially the photos. I know, leaving Africa is always painful.

 

 

Jan

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Being my first report I'm sure I made more work out of it than necessary but I'm thankful it appears everyone enjoyed it!

 

Where to next....

 

Another unforgettable African trip with no job offers....... which means waiting a year or more to return. With that being said; early 2009 we canceled a gorilla trek in Uganda for personal reasons and now I read Lynn's report of her primate trek which certainly rekindles that desire.

Possibly back to Kenya, Mara, Samburu or a G.W. Killie climb!

..........................not sure

Tracker :)

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early 2009 we canceled a gorilla trek in Uganda for personal reasons and now I read Lynn's report of her primate trek which certainly rekindles that desire.

Possibly back to Kenya, Mara, Samburu or a G.W. Killie climb!

..........................not sure

Tracker :)

 

Lynn's report got me hustling to gorilla trek, that's for sure.

 

Thanks again for the report. I hope you get back to Africa soon.

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What a great trip! I particularly enjoyed the cheetah pictures with the reflection.

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