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A few Botswana and Namibia pics, 2010


tonypark

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So, herewith, again with thanks to Twaffle for showing me how to upload pics, are some more shots from my recent Zim/Botswana/Namibia trip. It's raining here in the Kruger Park - perfect weather for posting pics of animals - since there's no point going out and looking for them...

 

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This wild dog was one of a pack of 17 we saw in the Khwai Community Deveopment conservancy, on the edge of Moremi in the Okavango Delta. The pack was less than a kilometre from our lovely campsite. In fact, we never strayed more than 2km from camp on any of our game drives.

 

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Game such as elephant, impala, giraffe (and hyena and a grunting leopard at night) came very close to our campsite at Khwai. The people in this pic were from a tented safari camp across from our campsite. Look, the elephant were pretty relaxed, but what really cheesed me off was the safari guide's decision to take his clients as close as possible to them. They had a perfectly good view of them from their campsite, but by walking closer to them, the elephants veered off away from us. I would rather we'd all sat quietly and let the elephants decide to walk a bit closer. My rule withe elephants (from experience) is simple: if they want to come close to you, let them, as you'll be fine, but if you go walking or driving after them, things may get nasty.

 

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My friend Annelien took this great pic of a lioness passing beside Broomas, our most excellent 300Tdi Land Rover Defender. Again, this was only about a kilometre from our camp at Khwai.

 

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And here we are in Etosha. Even though the camps in Etosha were very crowded (to capacitiy in fact) it never felt too busy in the park. The people in front of us drove right past the pride that this lady belonged to. We spent a good 20 minutes with her and her four sisters before the next car showed up.

 

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Driving near Okerfontein waterhole I saw an elephant. Mrs P yelled out, "STOP" which I thought was odd, as she doesn't even really like elephants. It was only when she pointed that I noticed this little fluff ball in the tree, and his mum and siblings close by.

 

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I'm loving this guy (or maybe girl - it was quite a small one). He/she is now my computer desktop background. Shot it at Reitfontein, near Okukuejo.

 

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And here he/she is again, this time in the ruins of an old stone house near the waterhole

 

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Love, love, love these little guys. There were two of them in Halali, patrolling the campsite in daylight, in the afternoon. Absolutely fearless. The german tourist camped next to us was walking up very close to the honey badger (I took this shot from way off with my Canon 100-400mm). I had to explain to my neighhour that the honey badger was a dangerous animal, with a preference for bringing down its prey by the scrotum. He backed off.

 

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And here's one for Twaffle, with thanks for the tutorial.

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ZaminOz
Look, the elephant were pretty relaxed, but what really cheesed me off was the safari guide's decision to take his clients as close as possible to them. They had a perfectly good view of them from their campsite, but by walking closer to them, the elephants veered off away from us. I would rather we'd all sat quietly and let the elephants decide to walk a bit closer. My rule withe elephants (from experience) is simple: if they want to come close to you, let them, as you'll be fine, but if you go walking or driving after them, things may get nasty.

Totally agree!

 

Again, nice pics - especially the leopard.

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Thanks Zam.

 

I've been sitting in Mana Pools under a tree with an elephant picking seed pods from it. It looked like those elephants in the pic were heading right for us until Big Bwana decided to show off to his clients. He wasn't reckless or anything - it was just... unnecessary.

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks, Tony. Lovely report again and awesome luck!!!

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Game Warden
I had to explain to my neighhour that the honey badger was a dangerous animal, with a preference for bringing down its prey by the scrotum.

Especially if freshly warmed by over use of a laptop. Great images.

 

BTW LandRover anarok questions. That's not a factory station wagon with those windows is it? And roof top tent? How do you find that for camping, comfort etc? (or is it just storage up on top?)

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twaffle

Tony, I agree with you totally regarding the elephants. Not much more to say really.

 

I love your photos. The lion at Etosha is wonderful, such beautiful tonal range. Thanks for the zebra, I appreciate it. I must say that Kwai Community sounds and looks pretty special.

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I know that badgers like eggs and snakes - but I never imagined.

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The captions are nice to read, you ahd some great sightings, and your pictures are very good - what could be better? Hope you have (a lot) more.

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Tony, I love your photos and the explanations with them. Thankyou.

 

Jan

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Thanks all... nice one, Dik Dik.

 

GW, thanks for the anorak question... but don't get me started. I could talk about my Land Rover forever. Perhaps I should start a 'pimp my ride' thread under self drive where we can all talk about our vehicles?

 

Anyway to answer your questions, this model's a hard top - ie three doors only, not five, but you';re right, the side windows are not factory standard. When we bought it, it had been fitted out with seats for six people in the back - must have been a real pain for the passengers shuffling in and out through the back door. Because of the people, though, the normally 'solid' side windows have been replaced with sliding jobbies. This is OK, sort of, in that it allows us to run a power lead through any window, but a pain in other ways. The windows tend to judder open when on dirt roads (letting in even more dust than would normally enter a land rover), and they're probably not all that secure.

 

On top is a South African Ezi-Awn 'T top' roof tent. It's a beauty. I'm 6'6" and held off buying a factory made roof tent for years as I couldn't find one long enough for me. We had a home made job on the old Series III. However, the T-Top is a whopper of a tent - long and wide. It's called a 'T' top because it has an extension that pulls out over the ladder area, meaning that you're sheltered when climbing in and out.

 

There are lots of other toys we've fitted and added.

 

Should I start a separate thread on my 'ride'? Would anybody be even remotely interested? (Dik Dik has loads of gadgets on his truck and trailer so I suspect he's itching to show off as well).

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Game Warden
Should I start a separate thread on my 'ride'?

Mate, yes. And get that laptop off your lap...

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Safaridude

Tony, a nice trip... What is up with the Khwai community now? Is it the same one that houses Wilderness Safari's new lodge (Banoka)? Does Khwai River Lodge share that concession? Just trying to get the landscape of the operators... I stayed at the now defunct Tsaro Camp a long, long time ago, and I recall it was lovely on the concession side (except for a very busy village) and very crowded inside the Moremi Reserve...

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Atravelynn

Agree about the proximity of the walkers to the ele. Inquisitive honey badger! Thanks for the array of great shots.

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Tony, a nice trip... What is up with the Khwai community now? Is it the same one that houses Wilderness Safari's new lodge (Banoka)? Does Khwai River Lodge share that concession? Just trying to get the landscape of the operators... I stayed at the now defunct Tsaro Camp a long, long time ago, and I recall it was lovely on the concession side (except for a very busy village) and very crowded inside the Moremi Reserve...

 

Safaridude, I'm no expert on the layout of Moremi, but I'm pretty sure the Khwai River Lodge you're talking about is the one inside the actual Moremi Game Reserve - ditto Banoka, I guess (though I haven't heard of that one).

 

The Khwai Community Development conservancy is actually outside the boundary of the Moremi Game Reserver - the national park bit of the Okavango Delta.

 

It's located on the north-eastern border of the reserve, up near Khwai Village. We entered it via the Mbabe Gate coming out of Savuti.

 

The good thing about the community development campsite is that because it's outside the national park you don't pay park entry fees. The money you pay per person to camp - Pula140 - goes straight to the community. This makes it much cheaper than camping in Moremi.

 

The private operators I saw on sites in the conservancy tended to be mobile or semi-permanent affairs, either in small bell tents, or walk-in tents with bush showers and latrines etc. Nothing permanent there.

 

If you self drive, as we do, the place is a paradise, though you have to come fully equipped. We dug our own loos and showered with water we took out of the river. We took plenty of drinking water in, and all our food and drinks for the three days we were there.

 

Hope that helps.

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Very nice pictures, Tony. I especially like the zebras.

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twaffle
Should I start a separate thread on my 'ride'?

Mate, yes. And get that laptop off your lap...

 

Another big yes please to a separate thread. We are looking at setting up our 4x4 with a roof top (the neighbour maybe selling his) tent so I now find this subject really fascinating. If it all works in the outback, then I'll be ready for Southern Africa.

 

 

Eish this thing's like a braai for honey badgers!

 

 

You crack me up!

 

BTW, am taking at least one of your books to leave at one of the camps we use in Kenya. Big problems is that I've lent them to friends who don't appear to be ready to relinquish them yet. Perhaps I will end up at the local 2nd hand shop trying to get cheapies. Stretching the bounds of friendship (be it ever so tenuous) to buy new copies … not that I'm mean or anything! :(

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Banoka is also situated outside Moremi. It will most probably be used for their luxurious overland safaris.

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Will do re the 4x4 thread Twaff - I took some more pics yesterday in preparation - Mrs P showing off her new four-box slider (all will be revealed soon).

 

Thanks re the book promo!

 

.... thanks for the clarification there. Like I said, I'm no expert on the geography of Moremi and surrounds, but I do know that campsite is a winner and that I'm going back next year.

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