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About vikramghanekar

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    Chiplun, India
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  1. Hi I have not used a monopod much. I somehow find it very restricting when following quick action. I use either a bean bag or I handhold the lens. I use a 500 f/4 now and used to use the 200-400 f/4. Never had a problem. 200-500 f5.6 is a light lens and can be easily handheld. Many times I use my knee to support my hand that is holding the lens. Works well for me. Use a bean bag when you need it. They work even for open vehicles. Shooting low also helps in getting a different perspective than shooting from open roof.
  2. Hi Seems to be quite a lot of movement back and forth between Kenya and Tanzania. e.g. Flying from Entebbe to Nairobi and then just 2 nights in the Mara. Back to Nairobi. Nairobi-Kilimanjaro airport (Tanzania). Then onto Serengeti/Ngorongoro. Back to Kili to Nairobi, Nairobi to Amboseli for 1 night? . Back to Nairobi and then onto Zanzibar (Tanzania). Looks very jumbled up. I would recommend that after entering Kenya spend at least 3 nights in the mara. Get back to Nairobi and then fly to Kilimanjaro airport. Spend a 3 nights in Serengeti and 1 N in Ngorongoro. Fly directly to Zanzibar from Kilimanjaro. Drop Amboseli. Or Masai Mara (4 nights) + Amboseli (3 nights) and then to Zanzibar dropping Serengeti/Ngorongoro. Since you have 70+ year old parents and one 3.5 year old child, you are in exactly the same situation as I am :-). If I were travelling with my parents, my wife and my son, I would just stick to one country. If Uganda is a must, then after Uganda I would probably do Mara + Laikipia +/- Amboseli. Laikipia would provide some child friendly activities and some relaxation (for you and your parents) apart from wildlife watching. Last would be Zanzibar or even some beach on Kenyan coast. I would strongly recommend visiting Elephant orphanage at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. Your son would enjoy the feeding time of baby elephants immensely. For a small donation you can go for private viewing in the evening when you will be able to get real close to baby elephants. Instead of staying at Giraffe manor, you can visit the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi (close to Giraffe Manor) and hand feed Rothschild's Giraffes. (Very enjoyable for a 3 1/2 year old) Just my 2 cents. Hope this helps.
  3. For a stay in the reserve I would absolutely recommend Rekero. I was guided by Jackson Looseiya. He is one of the founders of Rekero (now it's been sold to Asilia). He was outstanding. He has now established a new camp. It's called Tangulia Mara. I wonder if anyone has been there. I also loved Kicheche Valley Camp in Naboisho (2010).
  4. My favourite lodges for safari in India: 1. Tadoba: Svasara Resort 2. Bandhavgarh: Mahua Kothi (Taj Safaris) Naturalist/Guide: Rajkishore, Karan. Both are superb. 3. Kanha: Banjar Tola (Taj Safaris) , Flame of the forest 4. Pench: Baghvan (Taj Safaris), Jamtara Wilderness Camp (Different gate, low density of lodges, almost exclusive access) 5. Satpura: Forsyth's Lodge. 6. Ranthambhore: Ranthambhore Bagh (Mid Range, Opt for rooms avoid "tents", Owner- Aditya Singh is a friend), Get them to book your safaris. Guides: Rajkumar or Salim, Drivers: Best is Himmat Singh (You do not need guide for full day safaris, just driver is sufficient. With HImmat Singh, you won't miss the guide) 7. Corbett: Stay in the park- One of the forest bungalows. Contact Ritesh Suri, He will take care of bookings and will guide you. Superb guide. 8. Kabini: Kabini River Lodge. Avoid weekends. Lodge is too big for my taste but safaris are the sole purview of Kabini River Lodge. All other lodges have to go through Kabini River Lodge. Naturalists are poor. Safari experience is really poor. But if you want to see Black (Melanistic) Leopard, this is your best bet. I would also recommend Harsha J as a private guide. He has guided me in Pench and Kanha when he used to work for Taj Safaris. He is now a freelance guide. You can email him on
  5. I stayed at 3 Bushcamp properties in September 2014. Bilimungwe was excellent. A lot of elephants around. The guide Manda Chisanga was outstanding. Walking was pretty good. Kapamba was ok. Much more solidly built with stone cottages. Fanuel Banda was the guide. He was ok, but upto the standards of Manda. Location excellent on the banks of Kapamba river. The best was Kuyenda. Hosted by Phil and Babette, it was great fun. Phil didn't lead safaris thanks to his age and Parkinson's. But the guide Suzyo was very good. On this weeklong trip, barring 2 nights at Kapamba, I saw leopard on every night drive. A mating pair of leopards with Manda in Bilimungwe. Kapamba however delivered on Lion front with sighting of 2 dominant males on both days. Wild dogs made a kill (a bushbuck) about 100 metres from my tent at Kuyenda. They were denning nearby. So saw them everyday, including my last morning when they treed a leopard. All sightings had precisely 1 vehicle at the sighting. No sharing of sightings in this very quiet area of the park. I would recommend Bushcamp company without hesitation. The only downside is only one guide at each camp. So all guests have to agree on the activity (walking vs driving). Hope this helps.
  6. Bushcamp Company, South Luangwa, Zambia. I stayed with them in September 2014. They had no single supplement. Robin Pope Safaris, South Luangwa, Zambia. They did not have a single supplement as well.
  7. @Safaridude Captivating words accompanied by outstanding photographs. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Did you book your KTP accommodation yourself or did Benson do it for you and handled the logistics (vehicle/catering) as well?
  8. @madaboutcheetah Thank you! I will make sure that I check my luggage through to Maun. I won't be able collect it in Jo'burg anyway (without SA visa). :-) .
  9. @zimproguide I really enjoyed your essay on lion dynamics in Hwange. Would love to see the reigning kings myself. Hopefully not too far in future.
  10. Wonderful photographs! Thank you for sharing! As you have mentioned on numerous occasions, Botswana visa is tedious process. I am leaving for a photo tour to Botswana with Theo Allofs (a German -American wildlife photographer) on 21st August, it took 1 month and 5 days to get Botswana visa. Have you faced any transit problems at Johannesburg airport while transferring to Maun? Thank you Vikram
  11. @Sangeeta, @Geoff Thank you!
  12. Thank you @Marks
  13. Absolutely loved this! Kenya has so much to offer than the Masai Mara!

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