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Antee last won the day on January 11 2016

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  1. DAY 6 This was the day to leave Khwai for the 4-5 hour drive back to Maun. Therefore it was only time for a short morning drive before leaving. As the Wild dog den was close to my campsite and we were short of time, then this was a nice ending to finish here. It was empty... But when the first rays of the sun hit the ground they came back from an obviously very succesful hunt. Have never seen such a fat dog as this Alpha male with blood on his face. He searched for the sun to warm up in the chilly morning. Then it was time for all of the puppys to come out and feed. Yesterday only a single brave one came out but this morning, for the first time, the whole den went out. I counted them to at least seven puppys. The Alpha male regurgitate some food for his offsprings... First taste of meat? Our patience gave results in the end and we got some amazing Wild dog interaction. One of the goals of why I choosed Khwai at all. End of time and it was time for us to go back. Very surprisingly I got a quick look at some Sable Antelopes crossing the road on the way back to camp. We hadn´t seen them or the Roan´s for the whole time even though we searched for them. No wonder why they are called "Ghost antelope". They totally disappeared even though we went of in the bush to search for this guys, and I managed to only get a "proof picture"... Just before camp, a Dwarf Bittern had fished with great success. To summarize khwai, the following can be said: + If you love Botswana like I do and want to see Okavango in the very high season there is not much options if you are not willing to spend a fortune on it. Khwai is one of those places were you can go and not being ruined. You don´t need the cost of flights for example. + Very good and reliable Wild dog area. If you are into dogs, this is prime area. + Beautiful. Khwai is as beautiful as the rest of the Okavango. There is something special with the water, all the dead trees and the combination of dry and wet. This is true wilderness. + Beautiful campsites. Both community and private. - Can be crowded with self drives and other vehicles during certain sightings in the very high season. On the other hand you can also spend your own time the whole morning with Leopards. - If you want big herds of animals this is not the place to go. Instead you get a great biodiversity in a smaller scale. With better predator sightings than general game sightings. Oh yes... this trip report is not finished yet... I have one more place to go...
  2. @wilddog Yes, she was obviously unaware what was going on. Maybe some inexperience as well, as it took so long for her to notice all the noise outside the den. @iceI was there between 15-20 July. I stayed in a private un-named campsite totally alone so I didn´t stayed in one of the community campsites. Did you liked Khwai?
  3. DAY 5 During the night, the resident Lion pack had crossed the creek and managed to kill a Wildebeest. Not much left of it when we arrived but cubs with different ages was still feasting. The Lionesses was already full and they seemed only interested in protecting the cubs. But why don´t have some dessert, Wildebeest stomach... The Lionesses, I think they were three, wanted to leave but the cubs was really into feeding. They always eats last and this is there time. Why leave when you finally got your own carcass? Okey, time to leave! For both the Lions and me. But remember to never ever leave a hoof behind... There were more kills from other creatures today. Tawny eagle with a Francolin breakfast. We decided to go to the Leopard area. No one had seen them for a while so we started tracking them. Listening to the Francolins calling, tracks in the sand etc. etc. A male Red lechwe watched us and probably wonder what in the world are they doing... Leopards should be avioded, not approached! It took around 45 minutes to track them down and then we had a fantastic morning together with this old female Leopard and her cub. They were suckling when we found them. We kept a good distance not to disturb their intimate time together and we could witness some fantastic interaction between this old female Leopard and her last cub in her existence. Lets hope he/she will make it to adulthood. The 3 months old cub is like all other youngsters, very curious about the surroundings and loved to explore the area. They had killed some kind of bird earlier and it's just a pile of feathers left. The cub directed his/her attention to a squirrel who jumped at some dead branches close by. The hunting instinct took over immediately. Hey, where is that Squirrel? The female noticed that something was going on and followed her cub and while the cub started to climb the dead trees and went off after the Squirrel, she laid down just under the tree. The Squirrel was att the end of the branch and cornered. He jumped... ...only to land right on the female Leopard under the tree. A quick move with the paw and the Squirrel was trapped and the cub got his first kill! He/she was so proud and ran away with it in the bushes and started to play with the poor Squirrel. Very cool hunt to witness and it´s not always about hunting big Antelopes. It was almost midday and we left them and started to go back to the camp. On the way back nothing spectacular happend. Nice male Reedbuck. Some birds as well. The ever present Great white pelican. Spur winged goose with a good view point. And the always beautiful and powerful Bateleur eagle. In the afternoon we went to the Wilddog den again. At first everything was as calm as always but then some movements inside the den made everyone very overexcited. Something was really going on... Could we be so lucky that for the first time ever the puppies would come out? The reason for the overexcited pack you can see if you look very close half a meter behind the dog. One brave guy saw the world for the first time. The Dogs went totally crazy. They were apparently as excited as me to see the puppies for the first time. Only 10-12 days old with barely open eyes and still wrinkled ears he got a rough start with all the attention from the rest of the pack. The strange thing is that he was alone. The Alpha female was unaware of what´s going on here and she were inside the den with the rest. He got some rest at last. Obviously very disorientated and unable to find his way back inside the den on his own. Say hello to your fellow pack member. You are going to spend alot of time together in the struggling to survive. Then it started to get out of control. The pack was so overexcited about this. Where is the Alpha female?? Everyone started to tear him, run over him, drag him... The puppy was now in big danger for his life. Everything was out of control and the puppy totally finished and exhausted. He hadn´t the strength to move anymore and the pack was still throwing him around... Very weird that the Alpha female didn´t react on this. She must have heard what was going on outside. After a very long time the Alpha female came out and barked out the members. Took the little guy in her mouth and brought him down inside the den again. At this point, he was not moving but I hope he will recover with some love from his mother. I do wonder what he really was thinking about the world he saw for the first time? Quite rough start in life... The calm again prevails around the den and we left for some nightdrive. Zebras in nice light. Big Kudu male in not such a good light Fishing Yellowbilled Storks. The nightdrive was pretty calm. We knew about an Elephant carcass and there were some Hyena action around it. Very cool and exciting day in Khwai Concession was over!
  4. First of all. When you hear an Agent saying that Tripadvisor should be taken with a "grain of salt" you know that THIS IS what you should do with this agent... As far as I know Porini camps gives lesser percent to agents than many other camps. Simply because they don´t need them. So of course they talking bullshit and want to send you somewhere else. Where they do more money. This is also why Porini can lower the price a bit I think. Porini support the private concessions around Mara instead of giving greedy agents alot of money. A reason as good as anything to choose Porini. Tripadvisor is by far the best source out there together with Safaritalk. Better than any agent in the world. Here, you got real reviews from real people. Porini camps is WAY OVER backpacking standard and believe me, I have backpacked alot This is once again a false statement from your agent. They have everything you can expect out in the bush. But what is more important than the camp is the overall value of the money you pay. If you consider camps, food, guiding, price, wildlife, private concessions, hospitality, nightdrives (real ones after dinner) etc etc. And I can´t see anything who beats Porini when it comes to this. You get ALOT for a fair amount of money. I also find Porini camps very relaxed with different kind of people. If you want luxury lodge and don´t care about the money then choose something else. If you want great value and wants to benefit the private concessions, choose Porini. Kicheche also have good reputation and support the private concessions which is good! By the way, I have never understood why so many choose safari depending on lodge instead of wildlife and guiding? Very weird to me... But then I remember this Indian gentlemen I met this summer in Khwai , Okavango. In a car next to me he told his guide: "Why are we looking at these dogs? I have millions of them at home..." When we were watching a Wild dog den. They leaved after one second... So I guess people are different
  5. The hard thing with Caracal is that you don´t really have a certain place to look for them. There is a couple of places in South Africa with more or less regular sightings but not really reliable. They have a huge distribution but despite this, very hard to find. It took me 9 Safaris... Only 2 species of cats left in Africa now after this trip. Sand cat and African golden cat. Going for the Sand cat in December... I´m sure you will find a Caracal if your are like me and never stop going
  6. DAY 4 This morning we took a big drive to another part of Khwai. In alot drier area, far away from the water with the hope to see Roan or Sable Antelope. There were still water ponds from the heavy rains earlier this year so it would hopefully be animals around... But it was very slow. Great white Pelican waking up in the early sunbeams. We did see some creatures on this long drive in the dry area but unfortunateley no Roan and no Sable. I got another lifer, I do not know how I could have missed them before but I have managed to... Slender mongoose. Also a couple of Steenbok´s They love drier areas so no surprise they were here. The only Giraffe´s of the trip was also in this area. No pics of them as all of you have seen them before Very nice to explore the area and a new environment but slow in wildlife. When we turned around, then the animals started coming back as we approached the water again and we immediateley bumped into another pack of Wilddogs. Smaller pack with only males. They were shaking of the dirt, looking around, and did what Wilddogs use to do in the middle of the day...absolutely nothing. Wildebeest´s in typical Khwai habitat. These Zebra youngsters looked and learned... After some visit from a group of Banded mongoose´s outside my tent i fell asleep... Just to wake upp for another visit to the Wild dog den. They were at home. No signs of the puppies but we could hear them. They were just behind the sand wall. Probably not enough power in the legs to climb above it yet. But any day now... The problem is that I only got 1½ day left after this... The pack did the greeting ceremony and went out to hunt. We followed. The Zebras was safe and they knew it. We lost the dogs somewhere in the thick bush. Well, No Wild dogs eating Impalas but an Elephant eating a stick. You have to be happy even with the small things... The Pelicans in the morning were still around and took off for the nightly sleep... ...and so did we. But first a nightdrive which gave us a few Side striped jackals, Bushbaby and Springhare. For the second time we also saw the same three Honey badger´s as we saw a couple of nights ago. Once again they were too quick to disappear in the bush before I even thought of the word camera.
  7. I guess they also have acess to Ol kinyei concession right? Otherwise I would say its a couple of nights too long. I stayed 4 nights in Ol kinyei with also access to Naboisho and could easily stayed some more. If you have access to them both you are fine. Otherwise it´s going to be too much the same same... if you know what I mean
  8. I have waited long enough now More pics...
  9. Adorable Lion cubs and great sighting of Honey badger! And of course alot more! Great!
  10. DAY 3 Today we skipped the Wilddog den. We concluded that the wilddog puppies is still too small to come out. We drove to the Leopard territory instead. Halfway we noticed some vultures and yes, the wilddogs had make a kill in the very early morning. Nothing was left, only some blood on the ground. However, one of the Hooded vultures had a tag on him. Like all stars he had number 10... Does anyone know where I can send the picture to get some info? Obviously I am not the only one who like to watch Lilac breasted rollers... Red Lechwes also adore them. I didn´t know... Then we met the Female Leopard again. She was patrolling her territory and we followed her... She has a rather big area and it as fun to follow her. Amazing how they exactly know their borders. We left her when she stopped in the shadow under a bush. Nothing more would happend here for a while. We spent some time with a group of Chacma baboons when they took advantage of the extraordinary waterflow in Khwai this year. They are a bit anxious about the water but I guess the water lilies is so damn good that it´s worth getting soaking wet The big boy had a presence of mind to eat on dry land. Another guy who was soaking wet and drying up... African darter. While another fished... Grey heron. Then we ended up in a Hyena den. My guide knew the den from early years but was not sure if it was active or not. But it was. 4-5 Spotted hyenas spent their days here and we were welcomed with a cup of coffee... What more this day? Well, in the afternoon we came across another Leopard. This is a young male, offspring from the old Female Leopard. He still hang around quite close to his birth territory and the female is often forced to chase him away. Life is though when you are forced to move but don´t want to He stalked some geese in the water... Alot of vegetation around so it was hard to see it. Attack! He was sentenced to fail, as he did. He ended up soaking wet in a tree instead. When you are a cat then you have to clean yourself for half a day when you got wet so that what´s he did... Then went even higher... For a new lookout point. We left him as the sun went down and the light disappeared. The nighdrive was a success. First a quick glimpse of an African civet and then my first ever Caracal! My 11th cat species in the world. I couldn´t believe my eyes how relaxed she was. Yes, it´s a she which you can see on the size. In fact we almost drove over it... Such a beautiful cat! I have searched for them (if you can by any means search for Caracals...) for so long and finally, there it was. Just beside us. It was not that hard, right? My guide use to see them 1 or 2 times a year in different parks/concessions in Botswana. Most common in Central kalahari. So we were lucky, no doubt about it. I was the one who did the spotlighting so some cred to myself as well We spent maybe 5 minutes with her before she moved inside the bush. YES, don´t need to look for them anymore. Well, not that i don´t want to see another one but the first one is always the most important We were close to our camp and a great day was over.
  11. Okey, then use a phone and call if you don´t have answer. Send the mail again and they will answer you. I am glad you are going to see the shy nocturnal animals! You will have a great time in a peaceful area with great hosts! Of course no one will stop hunting if you don´t have an alternative. And if people don´t visit for photo-safari then there is no alternative... More photo-tourists means less hunters and the opposite. But people don´t realise this and for real think that they do something good and help stop hunting with boycotte. But it doesn´t work that way and have never worked that way and will never worked that way in the future either. It´s totally the opposite. For the record. Marrick don´t hunt big game such as Elephants, Lions etc etc. They breeding Springboks, Nyala, Sable and some other common Antelopes.
  12. Oh man oh man oh man... First of all. Marrick can be a little slow in responding E-mails but their contact sheet worked for me. You can also contact Trevor Datnow or Marrick thru Facebook. Second. Yes, Marrick do hunting. As many others in this region. Photosafari is more or less non existence here. That is the only way for them to support and be able to pay for their land, earn some money and have workers. The thing with Marrick, which difference them from others is that they have a vision of other income and that´s why they are alone of offering this world class nightdrives. No, you won´t be seeing it at all and you wont be hearing it as it is in another area from where you going to be if you want it to be so. Trevor meets your needs, I am sure. If there is someone there at all. When I was there, I was the only guest... and that is why they need hunting clients. Trevor Datnow, the owner of the lodge have a vision of one day only have photo safari. No more hunting. He don´t like it. He is a keen birder and a photograph by himself. And so are some of his friends I met. My excellent guide on nightdrives, Johnny complained to me about the next guest´s because they were hunters and he didn´t like to guide hunters and don´t want to do it. He love guiding photo safaris though. But that´s their only way to earn money. For me it seems like a very small scale thing. Like I said. No one att all was there during my stay and you won´t notice it at all. If people don´t go there because they do hunting you also support hunting and Trevor´s and Johnny´s whish of only having photosafari will never ever be true. One less photosafri means they need to bring in another hunter instead... So think about it, and do it carefully. It´s way more hunting in other areas you happily going to safari so once again, don´t support hunters and go to Marrick for photo safari! You won´t regret it. It´s a fantastic place!
  13. I am now going to put another perspective on this. Personally, I prefer guides with few words. I don´t need them to say that "there is an elephant", "and here we have an Wildebeest who is 5 years old which you can see on the right angle..." etc etc. I prefer to ask questions instead of being flooded by words when I instead want´s it silent and just take pictures and absorb the nature. I also loves guides who is as much into photography as me and I don´t bother at all that we take pictures at the same time or even him before me. We (clients) are all different. What I am interesting in is that they take me to interesting sightings and put the car in a good position for photo opportunities and good sightings. If they do this, then they can do whatever they like for me. Sleep, read a book, look at their phone, whatever. Which I have also told some of my guides during the years If phones help them doing this, of course you should continue with it! I know people are different and the best is of course that everyone have the same entry point and a routine to not use phones for personal use for example. Oh man, it can´t be easy to be in the guiding-industy with all this customers complaining over different things and that we are in fact all different with different needs. I am one of those who will use Porini again as I love their way of doing it. Great concessions, great guides, good prices and good rating more or less everywhere. I am thinking of going in March actually. We will see what happens.
  14. @inyathi No worry. You are more than welcome to give your opinion regarding hybrid/feral cats. You also know what you are talking about and that is always interesting. Actually I don´t care at all that some ignorant people have left the Trip report. They don´t know what they talking about and probably don´t even like the wilderness nor the animals in it. They can play with their domestic cats or whatever. I like wilderness and species conservation and if you do that you also know about the feral cats/hybrid problems. Like you said, areas close to humans is more exposed to this Feral cat -problem and Marrick is one of those places. There will be no African wildcats left if no one take the Feral cats/hybrids away. It's no coincidence that Australia has a project that is about to kill 2 million Feral cats... I have only the Sand cat and African golden cat left amongst cats in Africa. I will give a try in December for Sand cat. In Western Sahara. Hopefully I will only have the Golden cat left for next year Then I have to go to Gabon...
  15. DAY 2. Early morning and we checked the Wilddog den again for the puppies. Our camp was really close to this den so we could go there and check whenever we wanted. So we did not have to go a detour to get here. Very good. The Alpha male was outside the den with a bloody face. The pack had obviously killed in the night. Not every member was at home and a few dogs looked anxious at the forest... waiting for the rest of the pack to get home. We could hear some action inside the den. We could hear the puppies but nothing really happend and the dogs outside went to sleeping mode. We left them and my guide told me... "we will see the puppies, just be patience. They have to come out soon." Over to the Leopard-story Today the mother and cub was together! The 3 month old cub was a little bit worried about us but not that bad. The mother is a very relaxed Leopard. Like I said, she is an old beauty and only have a year or two left on this earth. She´s struggling the last years as she hurt her back-leg a few years ago. And after that no one have seen her drag up a kill in a tree anymore. This results in very much stolen kills from Hyenas. So she is really struggling to raise this cub. They didn´t do much and laid down in the high grass. We left. We encountered one of the Lion packs in Khwai. Actually they were on the other side of the river, on the Moremi NP side. We waited for them to possibly cross which would be really cool to see. Unfortunately the grown up Lions were interesting in a totally different thing. Alot of cubs in this pack and more on the way. Say hello to daddy... Other things worth notice this day. Elephants thriving in the water. No lack of water here Not so much Kudus around in Khwai, just a few per day. Some lovely males digging for salts in the mud. More Waterbucks around than Kudus. I guess it´s simply because that Waterbucks loves water and Kudus don´t Vervet monkey is on Safari looking for Humans. With all this water, of course the crocs were around. We found plenty of them close to a dead Elephant laying in the water. They had been feeding there for weeks. Saddle billed stork youngsters were harassed big time from Lapwings who probably had a nest close by. The Lapwings hit the Storks time after time after time... So many times that at last the Storks got tired of them and told them to fuck off... Who is hazy now your piece of shit... The African darter took advantage of the overflow. Some other birds around today... Meyers Parrot. Red billed Francolin with chicks. Red billed hornbill. Glossy Ibis. Well, of course alot of other things as well but this was worth mentioning from day 2 in Khwai concession. Also a couple of Honey badgers and an African Civet on the nightdrive. Plus alot of Bushbabys and Springhares. No pictures though. Let´s see what happens tomorrow. Just a boring night in between...

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