Bush dog

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  1. Before my visit to Hwange and after spending two to three days visiting some wine estates, I went for about ten days to De Hoop Nature Reserve and along the coast between Hermanus and Gansbaai. De Hoop Nature Reserve De Hoop Nature Reserve is a fabulous site that deserves to be better known, especially for its enormous diversity of plant species and for its Marine reserve which is regarded as an important calving place for the southern right whale. My cottage, the Dassie Suite. View on the Vlei from my cottage. Kelp gulls on the rocky shores at Koppie Alleen Grey heron along the Vlei.
  2. Whales at Pearly Beach. Flowers at Pearly Beach Kelp seagulls at Gansbaai. Cape cormorants at Gansbaai. Aerial pictures around Walker Bay.
  3. Out to sea to try to find the great white shark. While waiting for it, some shots of kelp seagulls, in flight, looking for some food. Eventually only some copper sharks appeared but no great white. It was said to me that, in the first part of the year, a couple of killer whales came in the area and they appeared to also be killer sharks. As a consequence, all the great whites disappeared until the killer whales decided to move away. Since then it’s not easy to see one.
  4. @Towlersonsafari It's indeed a nice lodge. Each chalet is connected to the others and the dining/bar building by a boardwalk network. It has been built under milkwood trees.
  5. Here are some thoughts: In my opinion, 3 nights in Cape Town are enough. Do not take any accomodation in Franschoek itself, it's more expensive than anywhere else. Hire a car like for example a Hyundai Tucson, it's amply enough. Most of the time you will be driving on tarred roads. If you have time, why not going to Tulbagh, it's picturesque and off the beaten track. I will put some pictures of it at the end of my actual topic in progress on the Photography Talk.
  6. Some pictures taken around the lodge. Speckled mousebird. Fiscal Flycatchers. Cape canaries. Pin-tailed whydah. Cape weaver. And a caterpillar.
  7. @Peter Connan @TonyQ And thank you to both of you! I'm happy to read that you enjoyed it.
  8. Having spent two weeks, last month, in the Western Cape, on the way back home, I made a stop-over of eight days in Zimbabwe, at Camp Hwange again. This time, it was very hot (around 42° C) and dry, as we will see on the pictures, but not as it should normally be at this time of the year. Indeed, some trees, mostly teaks, were already covered with leaves. Is it because of the last rainy season, which had been extremely wet, and late rains in June? The two days before my arrival, there had also been a few heavy showers. The large natural pans were not yet completely dry as they should have been, but apart from Salt Pan and Dwarf Goose Pan, they were only good for mud baths. Salt Pan Dwarf Goose Pan But as far as wildlife is concerned, everything was as it should be at this time of the year, namely: A lot of elephants, Large herds of buffaloes, Many lions (I’ve seen about 35 different lions and most of them several times), A few leopards, And many active scavengers. I unfortunately did not see the male cheetah which regularly visits the concession (there are several marking spots). This male covers a large territory and had been seen during several days before the day of my arrival. As for wild dogs, they had been seen at Mandavu. Twice, we went to Little Toms and Big Toms to see the Toms pride, but in fact it was not necessary to go so far to see anything as there was always activity around the waterhole in front of the camp.
  9. @xelas I can count on the fingers of both hands the snakes I saw during my trips in Africa, thus just a few but at De Hoop, I saw two puff adders in three days, one crossing the path to the beach, just after the parking area, at Koppie Alleen and the other one, the main road. In the fynbos, snakes are in large numbers but it's so thick that you will only be allowed to walk on the paths and on the roads. So, normally, there is no real danger at all but it's good to know it. Enjoy your stay at De Hoop.
  10. The other important stop of this trip was the Walker bay Nature Reserve, between Hermanus and Gansbaai. I stayed four full days (five nights) at Lagoon Lodge in The Mosaic private sanctuary near Stanford. There are only five spacious chalets and the food is really excellent as well as the staff. Several activities are on offer : walks, quad bike, excursions to the beach, boat on the lagoon. Some pictures of a chalet (outside and inside). View of the Klein Rivier, from the chalet. The Kein Rivier lagoon, from the sky. I visited Hermanus and the coastal little towns. Apart from the whale museum, Hermanus is not really exciting. I also visited the beautiful Hemel-and-Aarde valley, known for its fine wines.
  11. @xelas I'm afraid the whales will already be gone but there might be more species in bloom in the fynbos. Already, I wish you a safe and rewarding trip. Beware of the snakes at De Hoop.
  12. @xelas Thank you for having followed this report. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
  13. @madaboutcheetah Thanks Hari! All the new flights into Vic Falls might also be an easier alternative for your trips to Kwando. Here is the name of a reliable company that makes road transfers from Vic Falls to Kasane, Africa Travel Tours based in Vic Falls.
  14. @Geoff Beautiful sighting and pictures, Geoff! The frogmouth is also related to the South-American potoos.
  15. To close this topic, two last pictures taken on the road to Mbala gate. Queleas at Masuma. Pratincole, let’s say a red-winged? That’s all folks! Many thanks to everybody!
  16. Departure morning The lions roared all night long. While we were packing, we could see them going up and down near the waterhole. Apart from Liam and Mandla, all those, that were regularly seen on the concession, were present. The two sons of one of the Super Models eventually came to drink and rest at the waterhole after they finished the buffalo calf carcass. The Super Models were some distance away. Toy boy was busy courting the non-pregnant one. And cherry on the cake, there was a newcomer that had never been seen before, a young male and that also seemed very interested in the one that Toy Boy was trying to seduce, while still low profile. It did not seem to bother Toy Boy too much. I wondered then if I did not attend the beginnings of the birth of a new coalition that would bring together Toy Boy, the Super Models’ sons and the newcomer. Who knows?
  17. @TonyQ @michael-ibk Thanks to both of you. I was, indeed, expecting some difficulties to spot the grey rhebok but perhaps, was I lucky because I saw it several times during the three fuill days I was there. The pictures are from two of those sightings when it was not far at all from the road and quite relaxed. They are still offering the boat cruise on the Vlei. I did it once and not liked it, probably because it was quite cold and I was frozen. So, I did not make a lot of pictures. The greater flamingoes images were taken from the boat.
  18. Continuation of the sixth day Now back at the camp waterhole. In the meanwhile, a lot of buffaloes arrived. And a few zebras also. Leaving the waterhole, we came across this big bull that did not want to give us the passage.
  19. De Hoop Nature Reserve Cape mountain zebras. Those are the last pictures taken at De Hoop.
  20. @Peter Connan These kind words make me very happy. Thank you so much!
  21. De Hoop Nature Reserve Grey rhebok. African black oystercatcher. Periwinkles on the rocks.
  22. @TonyQ Thanks! Continuation of the sixth day Here is the third page of the aventures of the jackal and the vultures. The jackal came back . As well as a lappet-faced later on. After this, we went back to the camp waterhole.
  23. @Peter Connan Thanks, Peter! Continuation of the sixth day Some more jackal and vultures pictures. Then came two lappet-faced to take the dominant place.
  24. De Hoop Nature Reserve During my stay, I made a long walk in the fynbos. Here is a very small sample of the 1.500 species that can be found at De Hoop. Proteas pictures are in a previous post. Here the white dunes are visible in the distance. And here, the buildings of De Hoop Collection.
  25. @Peter Connan @Kitsafari Thanks a lot for your kind words!

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