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Jack's Camp, Meno a Kwena, then home!


Jan

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Thanks,Hari.

 

Yes, we have some snow today, just a dusting really. Twenty miles away they've had 12 inches or more. We just

 

can't manage snow, people have been stuck on motorways and in trains overnight, airports closed and general traffic

 

chaos. Meno a Kwena is just the right place for me to end my safari, a really relaxed place to spend a couple of nights

 

after driving down from Jack's and before catching the plane home.

 

I'm just confirming my next October trip, and all the bookings are just fixed. I can't have a diary without a safari in it !

 

My 1011 diary is on the hall table, beckoning!

 

 

Jan

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Jack's Camp,   28 October 2010.   I flew into Jack's airstrip- Super was late to meet me as usual! We drove to the camp for lunch and I met the two new hostesses, Astrid and Simone. I was

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I'm just confirming my next October trip, and all the bookings are just fixed. I can't have a diary without a safari in it !

I want my calendar to look like Jan's!

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I want my calendar to look like Jan's!

 

 

Pangolin, with me it's a case of ' if it's October it must be Botswana'! My children know that I'll always be away for my

 

birthday. I hope that you are deep into planning your next safari?

 

 

Jan

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Pangolin, with me it's a case of ' if it's October it must be Botswana'! My children know that I'll always be away for my birthday. I hope that you are deep into planning your next safari?

Jan

Not even close :)

Available discretionary funds were just spent on a new car to replace the old one that met an untimely (and mildly violent) demise. No pangolins were seriously injured in the unfortunate event.

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Hi Jan,

 

OK so these are real wild animals. :)

 

Well... please (!) don't take this personally but I think this totally wrong then.

 

I can easily see why that lodge and it's rangers "take advantage" of the flat terrain to offer the meerkats a lookout point in the form of a human being. I guess it will bring in some customers who hope to get the same experience. And customers mean money.

But I think there's at least two serious risks by doing this:

1) the meerkats get too used to humans. And not all humans may have the same good intentions as a tourist.

2) the "lookout point" may (unknowingly) transmit diseases to the meerkats (influenza etc)

 

I am actually surprised that this is allowed.

 

( Sorry, just expressing an opinion *blush* )

 

Ciao,

 

J.

 

I think you should ask the researchers and Jack's owners about this, J. Whether the "tourist potential" came first or the research project is something that would be a fact that could be checked. I understood the research came first, but guess (perhaps wrongly) that it is now funded by the tourism. Intention is important. Do they keep the research going to justify the toursim or do they keep the tourism going to fund the research? I would have assumed that the questions you raised would be something the researchers would care about, especially the disease issue - good to ask them.

 

No feeding or petting or so on is permitted, and so I would think the principle is the same as for many research projects of this nature - the animals are habituated by the long-term research process. Does it then matter if it is two people or five or five hundred? Is this fundamentally different from the fact that most animals in most game parks are habituated to vehicles with people in them? They are all sitting ducks for hunters within the area they consider to be safe. Is it wrong to allow cheetahs to jump on cars in the Serengeti/Mara?

 

Anyway,these are all interesting questions but this isn't really the place to be discussing them. A good topic for a new thread, as there are some real researchers hanging around here who could give you the lowdown on the ethics involved. Most of them probably don't read the trip reports!

Edited by pault
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Well... please (!) don't take this personally but I think this totally wrong then.

 

Ciao,

 

J.

 

You are welcome to your opinion.

Edited by twaffle
Please refrain from personal insults
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Jochen, it may not be the first time I made that error. Sorry about that! So avert or not as you see fit.

 

Hey Lynn,

 

I am the one who should say sorry! My message came across like I was annoyed by the identity mistake. But plz note I'm not. I actually find it a bit funny! :)

 

B.regs,

 

J.

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I think you should ask the researchers and Jack's owners about this, J. Whether the "tourist potential" came first or the research project is something that would be a fact that could be checked. I understood the research came first, but guess (perhaps wrongly) that it is now funded by the tourism. Intention is important. Do they keep the research going to justify the toursim or do they keep the tourism going to fund the research? I would have assumed that the questions you raised would be something the researchers would care about, especially the disease issue - good to ask them.

 

No feeding or petting or so on is permitted, and so I would think the principle is the same as for many research projects of this nature - the animals are habituated by the long-term research process. Does it then matter if it is two people or five or five hundred? Is this fundamentally different from the fact that most animals in most game parks are habituated to vehicles with people in them? They are all sitting ducks for hunters within the area they consider to be safe. Is it wrong to allow cheetahs to jump on cars in the Serengeti/Mara?

 

Anyway,these are all interesting questions but this isn't really the place to be discussing them. A good topic for a new thread, as there are some real researchers hanging around here who could give you the lowdown on the ethics involved. Most of them probably don't read the trip reports!

 

Hey Pault,

 

You raised some good points.

 

I admit I may have been too fast to judge this type of encounter with meerkats. My opinion is based on one of those rules that so far seemed "incontournable", wherever I went on safari. Of course I am prepared to change my opinion, if the people who provide these sort of encounters can show that it is absolutely safe to do so.

 

So indeed, if I would go there I would make 100% sure that everything I do (and am allowed to do) is perfectly safe for the wild animals that I am watching. So yes, I would ask the lodge & researches some direct questions about this.

 

And indeed I guess I would not be the first to ask these questions. As you say; they must expect such questions. Certainly when tourists go home with pics of meerkats on their heads. :)

 

I assume Jan must have had the same questions. Jan, perhaps you can shed a light on this?

 

B.regs,

 

Jochen

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You are welcome to your opinion.

 

There is probably very little that you will find right. In fact the mere fact that you are still breathing out carbon di-oxide is wrong.

 

Basically you are saying I would be better off dead for you. That is a disgusting reply, and I don't know why I deserve it. For voicing an opinion?

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Jan

 

Lovely pic,s we saw quite a few Meerkats last year in the KTP, none as humanised as the ones you are friends with…

 

Brown Hyena and cubs ..awesome animals. One of my best sighting at Bitterpan KTP

 

Thanks for sharing

PS Happy Belated Birthday!!

 

bushwalker

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You are welcome to your opinion.

 

There is probably very little that you will find right. In fact the mere fact that you are still breathing out carbon di-oxide is wrong.

 

Basically you are saying I would be better off dead for you. That is a disgusting reply, and I don't know why I deserve it. For voicing an opinion?

 

DikDik,

 

Perhaps your reaction was because you confuse me with Johan as well?

 

Ciao,

 

J.

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Atravelynn

Jochen,

 

This is like a masquerade party with plenty of drama and high jinx! If the Internet had been around for the Patty Duke show, this might have been an episode. Now it is my turn to apologize because that Patty Duke reference may be meaningless depending on your degree of youthfulness and the TV programs you watched long ago.

 

Now back to the show--Jan's show that is and her trip report. I'd like to read about Meno a Kwena.

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Lynn... You now think poor Jochen is like someone on the Patty Duke show? Could this be a side effect of all the vehicle counting?

 

Anyway, you can be Hoghead Lynn at the masquerade party (Buffalo Bob's long-suffering sidekick. Character: heart of gold but can be a little pig-headed. Running gag is when people offer to take her ever-present Tilly hat she responds "No thanks, I'll just hang it on my tusks." to roars of 60s canned laughter).

 

1120202315_p8rog-L.jpg

 

Sorry, just a quickie, Lynn - hopefully make Jan laugh enough to come back and continue, if there is any left... and if not.... well, I got the monkey off my back! :(

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I'm beginning to regret writing a trip report, brief though it was. Perhaps in future I shall say ' I'm going', and then

 

'I'm back', and leave it at that. We all have different opinions on things, and I have been going to Jack's since long

 

before research work with the meerkats started. I don't feel that I have done anything wrong, and don't interfere

 

with the meerkats in any way. I just, and walk, and observe.

 

 

Jan

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I'm with you, Jan. I've been there, and if the meerkats want to climb all over you, that is their perogative.

 

I'm glad you had a great trip, and please don't give up on the reports because a couple of people get side-tracked onto issues that should be discussed in a separate thread.

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Thanks for your support, Pangolin. You are right about the separate thread.

 

 

Jan

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Sangeeta

Please do not regret writing this report or posting those wonderful pics, Jan. They were fabulous and brought many a smile to many faces! I've been mulling over the Kalahari trip for a couple of years and I must tell you that your pics were a deciding factor for me. So please, keep posting. And I had forgotten to add my birthday wishes to my last comment - a very belated but a very happy birthday to you. Like Lynn, want to hear more about Meno a Kwena as well.

Sangeeta

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madaboutcheetah
I'm beginning to regret writing a trip report, brief though it was. Perhaps in future I shall say ' I'm going', and then

 

'I'm back', and leave it at that. We all have different opinions on things, and I have been going to Jack's since long

 

before research work with the meerkats started. I don't feel that I have done anything wrong, and don't interfere

 

with the meerkats in any way. I just, and walk, and observe.

 

 

Jan

 

 

Jan,

 

Love your reports. Look forward to your report from your next visit in the summer time. I've only been to Jack's once and that was a long time ago - but, loved every moment of it. Your report and pics bring back fond memories and nothing else. Don't ever regret writing a report - I regretted for a very brief moment writing reports, or writing on forums for that matter - but, that moment has passed ........... and don't really care what people think!!! I clearly don't anyways.

 

Lots of best wishes,

Hari

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Jan - I echo the sentiments above. I look forward to your reports and photos. I have lived vicariously through your tales. You have been so helpful with my recent planning - we are booked at Planet Baobab for May with the desert over-nighter (weather permitting). Thank you for sharing the stories of your home away from home.

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Atravelynn

The Hoghead requests the completion of this report! Pretty please.

 

May I apologize for PaulT's denigration of your fine report with that photoshop autrocity that resembles me from the neck down. The drivel that accompanies it does make perfect sense to me based on our previous dialogue so don't be alarmed that he is a mad man running amok on the forum. In fact I'd consider his humorous comments to be welcome comic relief after the sidetrack.

 

On with the report. The Hoghead is waiting. And so is everybody else!

Edited by Atravelynn
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Yes Jan, another echo of sentiments here - I apologise for sidetracking twice and will now behave myself.

 

And thank you Lynn for not considering me a mad man running amok! Of course my drivel makes perfect sense! :(

 

Edit: The "wacko" smiley doesn't look very "wacko"...

Edited by pault
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I apologise for sidetracking twice and will now behave myself.

I don't think this was the side-tracking of primary concern.

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Atravelynn
Edit: The "wacko" smiley doesn't look very "wacko"...

 

It is sufficiently wacko.

 

I apologise for sidetracking twice and will now behave myself.

I don't think this was the side-tracking of primary concern.

Two sidetracks make a straightline, leading directly to Meno a Kwena, so I am sure Jan forgives you.

 

Jan, you are probably busy making those meerkat photos into your Christmas cards, but when you are done, please finish your report for us.

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scruffypuma

Jan: I LOVED the meerkat photos. We were lucky to be upgraded to Jack's last December by default (had booked at Camp Kalahari). We only had one morning with the meerkats, but it was memorable......lots of digital memory was used! Your mention of the birthday and singing brought back fond memories as my daughter celebrated her birthday there as well. Not enough can be said about Super! I can attest to the fact that the brown hyenas were NOT in attendance, lucky you and thank you for sharing.

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scruffypuma, thankyou for your kind words. If you are staying at Jack's for three nights it is usual to have only one

 

visit to the meerkats. I am a regular guest and mostly stay for anything up to a week. In March Super and I were out

 

looking for any sign of a brown hyena because they had been absent for about 18 months. We were driving slowly

 

across a grassy area just by one of the pans when one shot up from an old aardvark hole, right next to Super in the

 

driving seat. He was thrilled to see one back after so long. When I returned in October I was so pleasd to be able to

 

go to the the new den site. There were two adults at separate spots one hundred yards apart. While we were watching

 

two young cubs appeared from one of the holes. Super was excited because Ralph hadn't been sure that there was

 

more than one cub. We took photos and Super e-mailed them to Ralph who wasn't in camp.

 

Birthdays are always good at Jack's. I always find it embarrasing when I get dragged up to dance, they know that I

 

can't dance,but that's no excuse! I haven't put any photos up yet in my gallery, but I'll do it when I next see my son

 

to get his help.

 

 

Jan

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