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Green Season in Botswana - CATS, CATS & Wild Dogs


graceland

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graceland

As Gl would say as we stepped into the Rover every day, CALL OUT THE HOUNDS! Neither one of us had spent much time with the dogs in previous safaris. We saw them but at the time did not realize how Wild and Rare they were..We just thought, Aw..cute dogs in the wild.

 

Being able to spend time observing their behaviour was amazing. The interactions between the pups and adults - esp. the wake-up from a snooze, play time and eventually adults going on to find them their meal was a highlight.

 

Here is a night time kill from our first night at Chitabe; and we were such newbies watching in awe..

LOST THAT PHOTO IN THIS PROCESS...Beginning to hate my MAC,

but just because.~~I like the Golden Colors

 

here are some pups in the tall grasses

 

 

gallery_5364_754_8161.jpg

 

there was a wild sundowner ride following a kill, maybe I can get Greenlantern to post a pic and his video of the ride. I was too busy watching.

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Returning full of exuberance from the Sundowner Lion Encounter we are asked to proceed to the Boma. I normally do not like the fact the staff feels they need to entertain, but after this show and chat

Thank you for reading Pangolin! There was not a LARGE concentration of game as Chitabe and VP, but plenty to keep us occupied happily in the rover...No dogs though!   But so glad we got to experienc

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Great TR - good to read your honest impressions - warts and all is better than glossing over the bad stuff that can occasionally happen on safari.

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graceland

Frustrating.....why is that blue box where my lion should be? and where is the edit button? Can I go back to that particular page and hit edit (somewhere?) and add the pic again?

guess this will not only be a TR; but a newbie learning curve....

 

Thanks if anyone can answer this for me. I had thought i conquered this darn TR/Gallery composite thing. grrrrrrrrr]

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SafariChick

Frustrating.....why is that blue box where my lion should be? and where is the edit button? Can I go back to that particular page and hit edit (somewhere?) and add the pic again?

guess this will not only be a TR; but a newbie learning curve....

 

Thanks if anyone can answer this for me. I had thought i conquered this darn TR/Gallery composite thing. grrrrrrrrr]

 

I don't see a blue box - but you should be able to edit any post you make and I assume then try to add in the picture?

 

How old did the pups seem to be, did Molemi say? They should be quite young if it's the new pups from the new alpha female that was chosen after the other one was killed as she denned later than the dogs usually do from what we've been told ...

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Game Warden

Editing limit is 1 hour, so to prevent what has occurred in the past where disgruntled members have gone back and changed/deleted content in their posts etc.

 

That missing pic is a dead link...

 

If you can perform the Safaritalk handshake, I'll permit you some editing time...

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graceland

Editing limit is 1 hour, so to prevent what has occurred in the past where disgruntled members have gone back and changed/deleted content in their posts etc.

 

That missing pic is a dead link...

 

 

If you can perform the Safaritalk handshake, I'll permit you some editing time...

 

Well I have performed in the past, but I don't think a handshake was involved :rolleyes:

 

How about just telling me where I find an edit button ~~( I also type incorrectly!) -- - I don't see any litte "E" as I am typing this so it must be ~ I got to figure out the handshake or the code. This is Jeopardy on Postings.

 

Ok I am going to post this and see if it pops up; if it does I'll try an edit!

 

aha! I got it...I shook correctly didn't I...See some people learn by READING; SOME (like MOI) need to SEE it. Thx, back to the tasks at hand!

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graceland

Frustrating.....why is that blue box where my lion should be? and where is the edit button? Can I go back to that particular page and hit edit (somewhere?) and add the pic again?

guess this will not only be a TR; but a newbie learning curve....

 

Thanks if anyone can answer this for me. I had thought i conquered this darn TR/Gallery composite thing. grrrrrrrrr]

 

I don't see a blue box - but you should be able to edit any post you make and I assume then try to add in the picture?

 

How old did the pups seem to be, did Molemi say? They should be quite young if it's the new pups from the new alpha female that was chosen after the other one was killed as she denned later than the dogs usually do from what we've been told ...

 

Safarichick, I really don't know how old - several months I'd guess....they were big enough to chow down on a few impala!!

Maybe someone can guess from the photos; but i am thinking Molemi said a few months; not new pups by any means.

 

By the time you get there they'll be leading the pack!

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graceland

BACK TO TASK AT HAND:

 

We have moved on to Chitabe; a WS camp that just feels right. Alex the manager picks us up at airstrip; a crisp South African who tells us tales of the area and goes on leave. They seem to do that quite a bit here and there at the camps so it can be quite disorienting to know who is who and what their tasks might be.

However, the woman who is left in charge is "TINY, a mite of a lady with a large prescence. We immediately take to her.

 

Chitabe is a classic camp and we love it; little touches of an older camp; worn leather sofas, old pictures, trunks, lamps, and very comfortable whereever you may end up. THe common area is centered around a bar which is fully stocked and we are told to help ourselves if no one is around. But there is always a nice barman ready to hand you whatever you may want. Conversation too as we like to "chat it up" with everyone, but mostly staff. Here they are happy to interact and it shows they do love their camp and jobs.

 

For the afternoon game drive we are introduced to quite a character, Wayne and his "partner" Giselle from Capetown. He is on a roll and the 4 of us climb in the rover with Molemi and off we go. We find out Wayne is an agent and is checking out camps - we think he is really checking out the best bar scene in the bush.

 

Molemi knows there are a pack of Wild dogs and their pups nearby so we drive around for a look. On the way we pass

a couple of Zebras out for a late afternoon stroll:

 

gallery_5364_754_32033.jpg

gallery_5364_754_8780.jpg

 

and a leopard finding its place for the afternoon -

 

gallery_5364_754_52407.jpg

 

But we are still roving around looking for the last place the dogs were found early that morning.

 

There is a vote to stop and have a drink so the 4 of us along with Molemi are pulling the cooler out when he gets a call that the dogs are found. The question is - keep the drink or toss it and go. Wayne comes up with a Brilliant idea to do both - so he finds cups and pours our wine into it and off we speed.... coming across the pack led by 2 adults and many pups; we follow them and as we do we see another rover with everyone out of the car having a s'downer. Molemi blows to horn to warn them to get back in the car as the dogs are heading their way....in they jump and we all take off following this fast, incredibly fast blur as they run through the thicket and naturally we follow. Now this is a chase I can enjoy!

 

 

!

 

 

(As I am editing this Jan 1 to replace the disappearing snaps; the race with the dogs is in cyberspace..

so here is a photo as we watched them BEFORE the chase'

but not to worry, there is an even bigger and better chase at Vumbura Plains later on in the week...

 

 

gallery_5364_754_4025.jpg

 

 

The cars are after the dogs who are after the impalas...who will win?

 

This is all new to me and I am just captivated by the smells, the adrenalin, the excitement of our guide and his expertise at maneuvering through the dense thicket. Since I am in the front seat now (after my inital injury at LK) my head is literally on his glove box inbetween us most of the time. He advises me when to duck and when I can look, and by the 2nd day I am quite the expert on ducking and peeking. Not the best seat in the house, but I needed the "relative" stability it provided for my aching rib.

 

The dogs dive into the bush; and come out with the impala. I close my eyes initially, but after a while the realization that it is Africa and a natural occurance in the wild so it becomes second nature to me, such an animal lover and a no-kill advocate.

 

The dogs are in a frenzy -

 

it is dark, but we manage this shot...

 

 

 

High on excitement and a bit of S. African wine, we congratulate Molemi on a safe landing at the kill. We're thrilled to see our first and wait to watch the adults step back and allow the pups, including a lame pup tear at the impala -somewhat like Dexter had been there with his buzzsaw.

Back to camp; terrific communal talk and dinner. Love this place!

Edited by graceland
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SafariChick

Ok, don't stop now, keep going, please!

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graceland

Day 2, morning Game Drive; Molemi says he we need to go back and find the Leopard we left the previous evening for the wild dogs; since I am a "Cat" gal, I readily agree. The 5 of us set out fortified by caffine and a beautiul day ahead of us....Molemi is very upbeat; I like that. He is also very camera savvy; I am not...since I am sitting Next to Him he constantly tells me to "ready the lens - What the hell does that mean????

 

So I keep the camera close to me, looking for an opportunity -

 

and there she is!

 

gallery_5364_775_333467.jpg

 

Molemi is a photographer at heart and is teaching me as we drive along - "content; the framing of an image (!); make sure I don't get a Telephone pole behind...all new to me but really appreciated HE knew so much"

 

He says keep your eye on here...she is going to jump into the tree.....What? No way, off that termite mound. I thought for sure she was scoping out a kill...Ok that is one reason I'd never make Guide Staus

 

Making a Plan

 

gallery_5364_775_234653.jpg

 

gallery_5364_775_480960.jpg

 

gallery_5364_775_689915.jpg

Edited by graceland
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graceland

Continuing the excitement for me of just watching.....Isn't it amazing how one can focus in the bush, but not in the real world ~ time means nothing here..it actually goes too quickly for me..

 

She ends up behind another tree, scoping out the landscape...where to? I am wondering what in the world this plan is....

 

but I'm not a leopard.gallery_5364_775_429322.jpg

 

though totally fascinated by this game....

 

She ends up on a Termite Mound for a better viewgallery_5364_775_305983.jpg

 

And Like Me, Totally Frustrated

 

gallery_5364_775_125556.jpg

Edited by graceland
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graceland

With the process constantly frustrating me, but getting better -

 

Making lemonade here you know.... :rolleyes:

 

 

 

Back to Leopard...Molemi says we will stay put as she is going to jump. How does he know that I think; she is on the mound, frustrated and I think she smells or hears something and will go hunting.

But my guiding skills lack and sure enough - Molemi read her mind.....

 

 

He tells me to keep the camera on her and catch the upcoming jump

 

Ready.....

 

gallery_5364_775_24617.jpg

 

Off she goes - OH Man, I chopped her head off....such an amateur

 

gallery_5364_775_191923.jpg

 

Not too embarrasing, but I'll share anyway.....

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Game Warden

I always found Vodka a great ingredient when making lemonade...

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graceland

Ha Ha; I add white wine to my lemonade; kind of makes a spanish fruit drink you may have had in Portugal; you throw in a ton of fruit, some wine and a splash of lemonade - I believe you refer to it as SANGRIA in Euro.

 

We just call it sweet and fruity stuff we drink when we are out of the real deal!

 

BTW where is the delte button for a "double" posting???

 

G.

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graceland

HMM. double post - tried to delete it; haven't found that button either. OH, but the end of my 12 days I am going to be an EXPERT on a ST trip report

 

So if will force me to go back..

 

Making lemonade here you know.... :rolleyes:

 

Well some cute guy with a long beard must have deleted it for me; thanks Matt. I'm sure I'll be keeping you busy for a few more days......

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graceland

Her body - along with the head I cropped out of the frame, lands safely on the branch. The absolute QUICKNESS (you had to be there) and DEXTERITY just amaze me. I am so impressed and naturally estatic to be watching this.gallery_5364_775_602551.jpg

 

She creeps along and finds her branch...gallery_5364_775_586930.jpg

 

 

 

Very nimble cat; why did I give up on ballet lessons....gallery_5364_775_394015.jpg.

 

I think she is Incredibly Beautiful; we leave happy to have the opportunity to watch this wonderous creature out in the wild....

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graceland

Delete button is only for me...

 

Ah, You are the Man!!

Sangria all around.......

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graceland

Ok, Deep Breath - let's keep going.....

 

 

 

 

Molemi keeps checking my camera to see what I am doing...poor thing he is dealing with me, wanting to watch, and the me, wanting to capture the moment,

and never the two shall meet.....

 

 

gallery_5364_755_12823.jpg

 

 

and.....we wait for a while; But it is still early-- and hours to go......

 

We head out - it is early and there is more game to find...

 

This is Moelmi, the "Man" of Chitabe for us -Smart, Witty, Knowledgable and PATIENT; a cat whisperer and we miss him still.... Oh, and very funny...(he worked at Disney World and this looks like a DW experience:

 

gallery_5364_755_23885.jpg

Edited by graceland
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Game Warden

Yes, we quite often do Sangria here too :)

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graceland

It is STILL l morning and we head to see some ellies - I'm a pretty easy guest - I love cats, ellies (Now Wild Dogs) Zebra, Giraffe, and in particular the way the greening of the season is lighting up the brown grasses and shrubs of the bush. I am mesmerzied by the flourescent light of everything we pass - I say ( to no one in particular) LOOK at that BUSH; LOOK at the Grass - can you believe how bright and green and lovely it all is.....everyone is ignoring me.

 

This is when I could use the camera....but i am only one, and everyone is after GAME...

 

We come upon a herd of ellies (well who doesn't love an ellie - not close enought for pics, but Molemi says they hang around and we can see them later; we have LIONS to see

A pride of female male and two adults have been spotted..I am in cat heaven ......

gallery_5364_754_35815.jpg

 

 

And the morning is still young.......

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graceland

Please send your wishes, prayers, karma, whatever you believe to the parents of the 20plus Young children VIOLENTLY killled today at Sandy Hook Elementry School, in Connecticut ...along with the six adults trying to protect them. The killer was only 20 years old; another sad story in itself.

 

In my "own world" today as in "Africa mode" I was not aware until JUST now catching up on news; .and I would never be joking around knowing this had happened ~~ USA is once again in mourning...

 

Very sad day ... for so many

 

Who does this.....

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SafariChick

Please send your wishes, prayers, karma, whatever you believe to the parents of the 20plus Young children VIOLENTLY killled today at Sandy Hook Elementry School, in Connecticut ...along with the six adults trying to protect them. The killer was only 20 years old; another sad story in itself.

 

In my "own world" today as in "Africa mode" I was not aware until JUST now catching up on news; .and I would never be joking around knowing this had happened ~~ USA is once again in mourning...

 

Very sad day ... for so many

 

Who does this.....

 

I've been crying on and off all day about it. It's horrific.

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graceland

Please send your wishes, prayers, karma, whatever you believe to the parents of the 20plus Young children VIOLENTLY killled today at Sandy Hook Elementry School, in Connecticut ...along with the six adults trying to protect them. The killer was only 20 years old; another sad story in itself.

 

In my "own world" today as in "Africa mode" I was not aware until JUST now catching up on news; .and I would never be joking around knowing this had happened ~~ USA is once again in mourning...

 

Very sad day ... for so many

 

Who does this.....

 

I've been crying on and off all day about it. It's horrific.

 

Life put into perspective... agonizing to see on tv. (sorry it is off - topic but relevant to me)

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