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Green Season in Botswana - CATS, CATS & Wild Dogs


graceland

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graceland

.... and Safarichick -Most of all THAnK you for following me along on this very long -and at times" frustrating "journey (in storytelling!)


We went into this trip last minute, about 6 weeks prior, expecting very little, but hoping for a look at Botswana -at a price we would be comforable spending.

 

BLOWN away totally by the amount of ACTIVITY... Having been to Africa previously we had many sightings, but not the "interactions" we experienced daily with our guides and the closeness one is able to achieve in Bots (in a jeep) ` ~ I can't imagine a walkng safari and the close up and personal....so I imagine that is our next goal!

Zim/Zam?

but anywhere in Africa is perfect to me :D

 

The days are not over; we still have our afternoon drive with our amazing guide and friends. Looking back I'd just say every trip just gets better and better as you become more educated, more particular (or wiser) in choices away from the ordinary - I know .... would agree with that...and I have followed her every journey.

 

I have also learned in three trips, the guides are the most crucial element to a successful trip; we've had guides.....and we've had guides..but for US....the best guides we've had have been here in Botswana...the enthusiasm, care, dedication, LOVE of Africa - makes my heart sing. I want to go back tomorrow!

 

Here are the lions after being run off by Big Ego Male - they wandered down to a waterhole that we were privy to see......thirsty after being run off by Male and losing the Buffalo kill

 

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Though still wondering and lookng.....

 

I guess they decided to just give up and have a sip

 

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Can you tell I love Botswana ( by now a retorical question)??? But so true....

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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

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graceland

Our last afternoon at Vumbura; the thought makes me jittery ,so I spend as much time as I can wandering the camp, taking it all in one last time.

 

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The afternoon game drive begins at 4pm but I always arrive early to the lounge in order to soak up the view; a lushness that fills this city girl's soul. I am not ready to go tomorrow; so I sit and watch, etching this world into my brain.

 

As the staff begins to set up their High Tea nibbles and drinks we hang out in the lounge, with Greenlantern in the background, hard at work on his next novel....

 

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The swing is the most perfect spot ever for a gin and tonic; I am going to miss that too. Nothing like being spoiled for a few days!

 

 

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graceland

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Richard, one of the Wilderness Guides who takes guests on private safaris throughtout all WS properties, and a few staff members preparing for tea....

 

Some other guests at VP

 

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It is going to be a beautiful afternoon for our game drive.....Always a high level of anticipation as we ready for the rover and the day is glorious

 

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I definitely do not want this coming to an end.....

 

And it won't - at least while in camp for as we are sitting in the lounge, visitors arrive....gallery_5364_778_1317817.jpg

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Everyone is thrilled to have this in our own backyard and we grab cameras, set down drinks, gleefully watch and think oh no, they are leaving, and everyone is not here....to enjoy the moment with us

It looks like they may be leaving after having a sip and a splash,

 

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But to our absolute joy and delight, they turn, meet another herd and decide to join us for tea.....

 

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We are all just giddy, this our last afternoon; this is a good size herd and they just keep coming! One of Wilderness' photogs was in camp and could see this from his tent; he has his hands full of cameras, tripods running the boards... his wife with notebooks in hand following behind him; he is stumbling around trying to get the best shot for the camp (new brochures) so of course I follow him hoping to get a bit of an education on this..but watching the ellies was way more fun than watching him.

 

Especially the Little Ones!

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graceland

Walking by "Loo with a View" - can't imagine the reaction if someone had actually been using it!

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They are now just about to the deck where we are standing; so happy we came out early for afternoon tea....with the Ellies.

 

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You just cannot imagine how excited we are; I now realize how walking amongst the giants could be so totally awesome. I've never been so close ""outside" a vehicle and I want to stay and just watch and enjoy; tears well up in my eyes...If I remember anything this will be it...how on our last full day we had a huge family and their friends come to say good-bye.

 

I just knew it was true.

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Pennyanne

 

Graceland - I've been reading your report with delight. It's made me seriously consider going to Botswana in the green season. We also had an amazing elephant in camp experience in SLNP where a whole family with some very little ones walked right up to us as we were sitting outside our tent. We sat very quietly as they went by within touching distance. It was an emotional experience and I still remember it with awe. Your whole trip was full of outstanding experiences which you have captured on wonderful photos. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Atravelynn

What a special elephant farewell. Or was it a see you next time?

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twaffle

What a beautiful moment with the elephants, I can just imagine your delight.

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graceland

Pennyanne, thank you so much for enjoying and commenting on my TR; I have to admit I was very reluctant to even post it as I am NOT a good photographer and this forum is so full of the BEST. But,I got over that and just "spilled my guts" over my love of Botswana-- and what we saw and experienced. We went in with very little expectation - omg were we surprised.

 

And GS specials,

Why not? if it draws more people in, and perhaps gets them to ANYWHERE in Africa, my most favorite continent ever.( And we've been to a few in our 35 years together).

 

I've loved all the Tr's I've read, and I hoped some would enjoy mine. Your comments makes it so worthwhile. Thank you for boosting my ego.

 

If you've read the OTHER Green Season Reports (hey, we're all family!) I think you will find it is an amazing time to go; it is (I hate to use this word but true)

"Affordable" (ie. less than what we spent in Kenya and South Africa) and much more bang for the buck ,imo. I would NOT pay high season prices, even with the experience we had. Just would not. Some folks can-- and will - good for them; I have a limit as there are other places I go yearly. And don't want to stop.

 

Unfortunately if WS and their marketing people read this, who knows if they will continue. ALTHOUGH I will say on the first week of December, the camp was emptying out...so if they took OUT November as a GS deal, I'd still go first of December!

 

The rain definitely did not matter to me, nor it seems to any other Green Season client.

 

Lynn, most definitely there IS another...we are planning Tanzania. I'd go back to Bots, but there are just too many other places we have not been in Africa. Don't need the migration (saw so much in Kenya) but do want to experience another country. Oh-- and Zim and Zam...forgot I had CHANGED my mind, after all the latest Zam reports....geez I need a month! AND I want to do a MOBILE camp experience. And walk. So, I need to age better, longer~ win the lottery and be able to take my lab with me... so I don't feel so guiilty. Oh, and have a private plane at my disposal.

 

But, I will work it all out!

 

And, we have NOT even left for the game drive yet....Still more to come. :D

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graceland

Oh Twaffle, glad you are still here! And of course envying your upcoming trip! I was hoping to get this finished one way or another, but actually finishing means the safari is REALLY over...

 

Therefore I must go back.

 

Do you have room in your tent next week? :)

 

I keep getting all these credit card offers in the mail; perhaps they will send me back....LOL B)

really

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SafariChick

Yes, please finish it before Twaffle and I leave - we both leave Saturday - though her Saturday is not quite the same as my Saturday - so just finish by my Friday <_<

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graceland

:lol: Only a game drive left.....

 

After the amazing elephant encounter in camp, Mike and Marion (shooting pics for WS new brochure/website) asked us if we'd like to join them in their rover; which normally I would have jumped in OBVIOUSLY ~ to be with a pro and a fun one at that...BUT ~

 

We had been at two camps with our "new" friends we met from the West Coast and that day at lunch we decided to have a farewell sundowner party and we had become close; no way I was leaving without our farewell together.

 

Plus, don't professional photogs spend hrs at one sighting? I have to move on....(is that ADD?)

 

We reluctantly leave the camp. Those ellies were a definite star in our book....Oh, and I did not mention the HIPPO fight that was going on the same time ~ well maybe one of our friends will chime in with that one; I cannot do it all. :wacko:

 

The six of us (4 from West coast), Zee our guide take off.....within a minute Zee stops and says, "Do you see that?" we say WHAT, Where?

 

Do you see?

 

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We did not either. Zee, the man - CAT WHISPERER

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graceland

What goes around comes around...

 

When Z picked us up the first day from the airstrip he (our cat whisperer) spots a leopard "stalking" her tree; as we leave on our last game drive, he stops...

 

and there she is, sleeping in a tree (could it be the same tree?)

 

We recognized her tail.....

 

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Now we are all feeling a bit nostalgic for the past three days, as the huge family of elephants came to us at camp today, we see our first leopard again; what else on an afternoon game drive could we possibly come upon ~ as we all know, the afternoons are not known for productivity; rather an excuse to end up with Sundowners.

 

Not on this voyage of ours; every morning and every afternoon have been a splendor of riches, a wealth of surprises with sightings and discoveries I'd never imagine, since the first day we arrived at the Wilderness Camps.

 

We are all happy, as the four from the west coast, and us two from the east celebrate our amazing time together with Ron and Z at VP; none of us want it to end; we laugh and tell tales all the afternoon, pledging to share pictures, get together, reunite in US...just to relive the times we've had.

 

We then come upon the pride of lions that the dominant male had run off the day before, stealing their buffalo kill, bellowing and chasing them away. They did not leave; but perhaps hoping to have another round of luck, they lie in wait...

 

Contemplative:

 

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Frustrated:

 

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and as usual lazing about:

 

 

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We stop; admire; reminisce and feel so fortunate for the experience. As Z says,"TIA"

 

This Is Africa

 

 

We decide to stretch out our Sundowners and find a spot to really spend some time with Z.....

 

He puts out quite a spread tonight and we celebrate him and our magical time in Botswana

 

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And the best for last,

 

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This really is Africa...

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Great trip report and very well written.

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wilddog

Wonderful1

Happy planning for the next trip. It is what keeps most of us going on a day to day basis.

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graceland

Thank you all for your patience and perserverance; guiding me through the arduous task of photo uploading and posting :wacko: , along with my ramblings; the first difficult days on safari; and giving me encouragment to share our journey on ST.

 

I read a book that had some phrases I'd like to share; Wilddog you may have read this ~ It was given to me by a Zimbabwe couple we met who were visiting here in the states.

 

Seems to make it worthwhile to live "more vividly".

 

 

 

Maybe that is why you seem to live more vividly in Africa. The drama of life there is amplified by its constant proximity to death. That’s what infuses it with tension. It is the essence of its tragedy too. People love harder there. Love is the way that life forgets that it is terminal. Love is life’s alibi in the face of death. ~~

Peter Godwin, When A Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa.
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wilddog

 

Thank you all for your patience and perserverance; guiding me through the arduous task of photo uploading and posting :wacko: , along with my ramblings; the first difficult days on safari; and giving me encouragment to share our journey on ST.

 

I read a book that had some phrases I'd like to share; Wilddog you may have read this ~ It was given to me by a Zimbabwe couple we met who were visiting here in the states.

 

Seems to make it worthwhile to live "more vividly".

 

 

 

Maybe that is why you seem to live more vividly in Africa. The drama of life there is amplified by its constant proximity to death. That’s what infuses it with tension. It is the essence of its tragedy too. People love harder there. Love is the way that life forgets that it is terminal. Love is life’s alibi in the face of death. ~~

Peter Godwin, When A Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa.

Yes, I have read it and I love the sentence you have selected to summarise Africa and your feelings for it. Life at home sees pale by comparison, but there is always next time.

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Great trip and a great trip report! I miss the green season even though it has only been a little over a year.

 

Thanks.

Edited by Pangolin
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SafariChick

Wow - what a trip and what a report! Thank you for taking the time that I know it took to share it all with us. I love the quote too - that is beautifully put. Thanks for finishing it before I leave on my trip - I'll try to do at least half as good a report when I return!

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graceland

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I had to post this one last photo, I found as I was playing around with posting on FB....one thing I did learn was NOT to rush the TR; which I did....not choosing as wisely as I should have when posting "representative" snaps of the safari (I had over a 1,000!) (Maybe I could do a first person account on what NOT to do as a first time Trip Reporter..)

 

But this one.....I came upon, and loved....her eyes...her gaze.....JUST the way I will be looking at GL, (my loving, ever-giving, tolerant husband of 35 yrs.) when I say,

WHEN are we going back?? AND, I mean it......seriously!

 

Much appreciation for the following and comments. Meant a lot.

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Atravelynn

How not to write a trip report, now that would be a good topic.

 

The writer is always more critical of their own report than any reader is. I thought yours was great. It had factual and humorous elements and showed what we might expect to see if we follow in your footsteps. And for anyone who might complain, you can tell them the price is right.

 

Your final photo and comment are classic. What was the answer?

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graceland

:D Yes,

He is as addicted as I am.....I persuaded him years ago...he got the bug (what else would keep a couple together 35 years!) BUT he won't repeat a country, darn it.

 

So I am always on the READ for the next one (we go every two years if I am lucky - "yearly"is a flyfishing trip to S/America,various other" heres and theres"... where we might find interesting ---Western U.S, we love.

 

May - Went to Greece for my birthday;" Honey, what do you think?" "Okay, but its' not Africa" I KNEW then I could book a trip - Yay!

 

I work it hard... ....Next? ZAM? TZ? We don't throw money away, so we try to research it all. .... Uganda intrigued me. Big time.~ Where is my LOTTO win?

 

Mostly, I live vicariously through youall :rolleyes:

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  • 2 months later...

Great TR Graceland......good pics at great moments.....nice report on the lodges n guides n the drives.....thanks :)

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graceland

Hi Mowgli, thanks for reading my TR ! I truly loved GS in Botswana and am trying to persuade GL that we must return next Nov. However as popular as it has become, we'll see. I have a standing order with my TA to contact me as SOON as WS releases their camps & prices for 2013!

 

Meanswhile I am going on a beach safari to the Caribbean in two weeks and deep into "Blue Water forums". I am missing this one, so came back to your friendly reply. Thanks, it made my day!

 

 

:)

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Hope you have a good trip Graceland and looking forward to the TR......Cheers

 

:)

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