Raelond

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About Raelond

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    British Columbia, Canada

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  1. We leave for Argentina and Chile mid February for a month and our second trip to Alaska with our RV in June and July. Even though I would love another trip to Africa I don’t think it will happen.
  2. November 28 we left our campsite in Liuwa Plains at 7:00am for our two day drive to Livingston. It took us 21/2 hours to drive through the park and cross the river. Once we got to Mongu and headed south the road got progressively worse. Doug was forced to drive on the side in the grass in order to avoid the potholes. We have driven on bad roads in the Yukon and Alaska, but those roads were good compared to this road. Apparently this area of Zambia doesn’t support the government and as a result the road is left in disrepair. After about seventy kilometres we were on a new highway. The scenery along the way was beautiful with lots of small villages, cattle grazing and ponds dotted along the highway. We turned off the highway and arrived at Kabul’s Lodge where we stayed the night. This is a fishing lodge on the Zambezi River with very comfortable huts but no food provided. Doug cooked us our last dinner and we spent the evening sitting by the fire overlooking the river. Doug surprised us in the morning with a huge breakfast and then off we went for the 250km drive to Livingston. After saying our goodbyes to Doug we spent our last night in Africa at David Livingston hotel. A excellent place to end a wonderful trip.
  3. We didn’t mind spending an extra day in Hwange as we knew the weather wasn’t great in Mana. We were disappointed that we couldn’t go to Chitake as planned.
  4. @Atravelynn thank you for the information. There will be six of them and I suggested they stay at Olakira Ndutu.
  5. I am helping a a group of six friends put together a first safari next February and I need some help as it has been nine years since I have been to Tanzania. Unfortunately I can’t join them as my funds are deplete after my recent trip to Zimbabwe and Zambia. They want to drive in and fly back to Arusha and are looking at mid to high end camps. They are thinking of two nights at Nomad Entamanu Camp for the crater and another eight or nine nights on safari. Seeing the migration is important to them. They have considering Olakira Ndutu, Dunia Camp, Namiri Plains, Serian Kakessio and Serian Kusini. What combination of these camps and how many days at each? Any other camps suggestions would be appreciated.
  6. @Atravelynn I am doing research for friends who are going on their first safari in February, 2019. Would you recommend Kimondo Camp for a first safari?
  7. Finally found time to read your report. Great pictures.
  8. @Grasshopper_Club we did get lucky with the weather, but no luck with the lions. Did you see them when you were there. I think you had a week at Musekese. How was it? @wilddog thank you. I wish Doug’s magic would have worked in Mana Pools as the dogs eluded us.
  9. We spent the morning looking unsuccessfully for the pride of 5 lions which were seen the day before. We came across hyhenas at a water hole and Doug had us crawl towards them for a better photo op. Doug also encouraged me that day to sit on the ground while wildebeest ran by (see photo above). Doing things like this and tracking lions in Mana Pools by foot, along with being able to spend as much time as you want watching the wildlife, are some of the many reasons having a private guide was worth the extra money. After dinner the evening was spent drinking wine by the fire with Doug and our travel mate from the UK. Our days at Liuwa were very similar, seeing lots of wildebeest with babies, side striped jackals and beautiful flowers blooming on the Plains. We only saw three other vehicles during our stay. I knew when I booked this trip that I wouldn’t see a wide variety of animals here, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this park.
  10. In my opinion Liuwa Plains is not a park for first time visitors, nor is it a place to visit if you want to see a large variety of animals. But if you are a bird lover and want to see large herds of wildebeest, zebra, hyhena and enjoy remote locations Liuwa is worth a visit. Liuwa did not disappoint, even though we didn’t see any lions or cheetah. On arrival at the camp we got settled in, had lunch and enjoyed watching a thunder storm from our tent. As we had driven a long distance that day we spend the rest of the day in camp. Each day we went out in the vehicle we saw wildebeest, zebra, oribi and too many different species of birds to count. A highlight was finding a hyhena den with lots of babies. As it was a good distance from the road we watched the interactions between the young and their parents through binoculars. The sunsets here were breathtaking because of the cloud formations and sundowners were often spent watching thunder storms in the distance.
  11. Thank you @Alexander33 and @Imonmm. The morning brought a downpour as we were leaving Mongu. We drove through many small villages for about two hours when we reached a village with the park head quarters. Doug registered and got directions to our camp. We had to cross the river on a barge and was pulled across by rope. Weather was cool and cloudy as we continued towards our campsite using the gps as there was very little signage. It was a beautiful drive reminding me of the Serengeti but without the vehicles or people. The vast feeling of remoteness of this park is overwhelming. We saw a grove of trees ahead with nothing else around and Doug said our camp had to be in the trees. We arrived and was met by John who looked after the camp and helped Doug for the next four days. Originally Doug was to bring tents, cots and everything needed for camping in Liuwa and we were to help set up camp, but the Zambian parks opened up a fully equipped campsite for November and December as an experiment to see how popular it would be. Doug booked the entire site which consisted of four tents, dining area, enclosed kitchen area with hot plate, flushing loo and shower area with hot and cold water. All that Doug had to bring was the food and food he brought. We ate very well and Doug is a great cook, especially his steak and mashed potatoes. We didn’t have to do anything but enjoy the beautiful camp looking out onto the Liuwa Plains. The tents were new with double beds and wonderful bedding and a battery powered overhead light. Quite a surprise for camping.
  12. Liuwa Plains - November 23 we left Kafue at 6:00am for the drive to Mongu, Zambia to overnight and get provisions for our four nights of camping in Liuwa Plains. Up until now we had driven from the Zimbabwe/Zambia border to Lusaka and then to Kafue. Both drivers were fairly long, but interesting. Doug was familiar with the territory we had covered up to now, but once we were outside Kafue and heading west it was as new to him as it was to us. Doug seemed on a mission and would stop reluctantly when we needed a break. Fortunately the weather wasn’t too hot, but we still seemed to consume a lot of water and Doug drank only the occasional sip. Seven hours later we arrived in Mongu, a town much bigger than I expected. After checking into Mongu Country Lodge (love the name), Doug went to get gas and groceries. The three of us went to a huge local market which was very interesting and then watched a soccer match played in the sand by men in bare feet. We then visited the grocery store which was surprisingly modern with a deli and everything you could want. To our amazement there was an electronic store in town that had a Black Friday sale going on. Doug joined us for beers and a great steak dinner at the lodge which was very inexpensive.
  13. @Alexander33 I understand your dilemma. We may have seen less wildlife than we would have if we had gone in the dry season, but the beauty and the feeling of having Mana to ourselves made up for it. Anyone interested in reading the rest of my report can look for it under Zambia.
  14. A few pictures from Kafue.
  15. I have posted the Mana Pools section of this report under Zimbabwe and will now continue my report of Kafue and Liuwa Plains here. We took a two hour boat ride from our camp in Mana Pools and met up with Doug at the border for the drive to Lusaka. We met our travelling companion for the next leg of our trip at Pioneer Inn and enjoyed drinks and a steak dinner together. A greater bushbaby greeted us as we walked back to our room. We were up early the next morning for our long drive to Musekese Camp. We encountered the only tsetse flies of our entire trip on the way to the camp. We had to stop for a loo break and few got into the vehicle and we were kept busy trying to kill them before we got bitten. I was amazed at how much blood they hold. As there is a recent report about this camp and my experiences were similiar, I will limit what I write. We arrived at camp just as a thunder storm started which fortunately didn't last long. The highlight was seeing a large herd of sable which apparently is unusual. We took two boats rides on the river and spent some time watching crocodiles eating a partly submerged dead hippo. The weather during our three days was lovely and warm. Along with Doug, we had a guide who was filling in while the owners of the camp were away at Liuwa Plains. Kevin proved to be delightful and very knowledgeable, with a Vancouver (my hometown) connection.

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