LarsS

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About LarsS

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  1. And Botswana will happen too! This has been a great week with one surprise safari and one planned safari falling through Botswana will roughly be: day 1: arrival Maun day 2: mokoro trip day 3: pickup 4x4 and prepare camping day 4: going to khwai community camp for 4 nights day 8: going to third bridge for 2 nights day 10: return to Maun We managed to book probably all the last camping spots that were available. It took a while to find a place to stay for the night halfway the 6 nights camping, but in the end I believe a spot became free which meant the whole trip is on! Yesterday I thought it wasn't going to happen, but last night availability was confirmed Very excited to go camping for 6 nights! A little doubt about renting a rooftop tent or a ground tent. It seems comfortable to setup the tent just twice when you hire a ground tent. On the other hand, a rooftop tent feels it should be part of the experience, so probably go for that option. I'll soon dive into the 4x4 forum for best advice.
  2. Thanks! I'm planning to make one or more videos of this trip. Not sure yet if I'll make the same kind of videos or try a different format. Still thinking about that. Also, I'm planning to buy a lense with a bit more reach/zoom. The last trip my maximum was 55mm, now looking at 16-300 / 18-270. So hopefully that will help to make more close-up shots. The preparation has already started in my mind!
  3. Interesting to have read all the travel plans (and changes) of all of you. Some of you have been waiting for a while now, but the good news is that 2018 is here now (for a while). We are no planners at all, at least not to much in advance. Besides SA we are thinking about Botswana for May/June. That should be a 4x4 rooftop camping selfdrive to moremi, khwai and savuti for approx 9 nights. Really excited about this as we never done something like this before; 4x4 and camping. Now hoping for a few available campsites. Fingers crossed!
  4. Yesterday was my birthday and what better present than a safari? My wife really surprised me with a 'quick' safari to South Africa in a few weeks. Will be flying in to Jo'burg. Next day a flight to Skukuza where we'll be spending 2 nights at Ulusaba Rock Lodge and 2 nights at Ulusaba Safari Lodge before back to Jo'burg. Really looking forward to staying in the Sabie Sands area. I just love my wife!
  5. We almost met each other But I think our camps were just too far away. It took quite a while to drive directly from Mukambi to Shumba, let alone on a gamedrive. We wouldn't have been able to drive a lot around the area passed the Wilderness camps. For you probably the same the other way around.
  6. I'm now going to tell a little story about expectations, which may be make me sound like I'm whining, but I'm not. I just want to share an experience, but find it hard to describe it. So, if you think I'm whining, please realise that's because I couldn't find the right words to say it. This was the first time we visited the same national park for a second time. The first time we had some very good sightings. Add to that that we've been on several safaris on which you've seen a lot of things, and it will spoil you. This time we we're travelling in peak season instead of just after the rains. That made expectations pretty high, and actually too high. After the first evening drive we realised we had to reset our mind again, realise this is Kafue, a park where you need to put in some effort sometimes to see great things instead of the zoo-like parks of serengeti and kruger. Our expectations were so high that we just expected to see leopard and elephant all the time. That was the case the previous time, so now probably even better. This, ofcourse, is a totally unrealistic approach. For us, a good lesson for the future if we decide to go back to one of the parks we've been before. We didn't see a leopard until the last evening. But what made me worry more, was the low number of elephants. I was really afraid poaching had become so significant it was way harder to find elephants in the park. We did see a few around the main lodge and Fig Tree camp, but 'last time it was better'. As ellies are (one of) my favourite animals, this felt disappointing the first one or two days. Luckily, they were around Busanga Plains camp, coming closer to camp every day and eventually walking by our tent about 25 meters. (in hindsight a bit strange, as I realised the trampled people near livingstone were about the same distance from the elephants...) Still, we didn't see a breeding herd on the plains and all the talking about poaching kept me worrying. Although it was just a couple of hours after we left the plains, I was really happy to see an update with pictures from the staff of a HUGE elephant herd on the plains. Ofcourse it was a pitty not to see it my self, but I was so happy and relieved they are out there in good numbers. The staff of Mukambi estimated this was a herd of 196!! elephants coming for a drink at the river. So these pics aren't mine, but shared by Mukambi on their facebook page. I thought it was so special and because of how I felt, this is also bit part of my TR.
  7. I promised to update this TR with some additional info about my trip and Kafue. It took a while, but here I am again. Yesterday I visited a travel event in Amsterdam which Edjan, the owner of Mukambi, attended as well. I hadn't met him before, but still it felt a bit like catching up and he told me about some developments in Kafue which I thought might be interesting to share with you. First of all, he told about a self started anti-poaching team of which Eric of NamibSky Ballooning is part of. When I flew with Eric, we talked about it afterwards as well. Edjan explained they're doing a pretty good job in their area. They have spotters on the ground and if they see something, they try to get people there by car (or even heli if I'm correct) as soon as possible. It's quite successful as poachers are coming less and less into the region. However, it's only a small area they can cover, so the problem moves to other areas. At least some areas are becoming more safe than others for the animals. As you might know, Kafue is pretty big, almost as large of the entire country of Belgium. So to protect all of the national park against poachers, professional protection is needed. Therefore it is very good news it's as good as certain African Parks will come to Kafue National Park. I heard about it when I was there, but wasn't quite sure to talk about it as things weren't decided yet and they didn't want to much attention for it until it was final. They were hoping African Parks would be operating starting the 1st of January, but some bureaucratic formalities has yet to be completed. Hopefully it won't take too long and African Parks can take over. Edjan was pretty excited about it as Kafue has great potential, but nowadays some areas of the park are a bit abandoned wildlife-wise. A succesful operation could give the park a great boost. In addition to this, I thought it might be interesting to share some pictures of poachers Eric and his team (not sure if it's his team or he's part of a team, but let's call it this way) helped arresting. Obviously the pictures aren't pretty, but I did found them interesting as it gives you an image instead of only talking about it. If you think these pictures are inappropriate, just let me know and I'll remove them. Eric and his team patrol the area and sometimes they discover some poachers. They try to catch them and call in the authorities to make an arrest. Poachers are coming into the park with bikes. They catch all kinds of animals (warthog, baboon, antilope) by shooting them or using snares. They dry smoke the meat and push their bikes back to the village on poachers tracks, sometimes carrying over 100kg on each bike. This is Eric of NamibSky:
  8. I can imagine how you felt flying first class for the first time, so no need to say sorry for posting pics about it. Last year I flew business class for the first (and may be last?) time and I did the same. It's so much better travelling that way. Skipping all the lines, a waiting area which is basically a restaurant you can get anything and ofcourse a flat bed in the plane. It's the kind of comfort/luxury you want again, but pricewise it's out of my league unfortunately. Great cheetah sighting, curious about your next posts regarding the teaser. I hadn't seen any cheetahs, but I was there just after the green season which probably makes it harder. I spotted 3 cheetahs in your pic, did I see them all? The lions look great too, on top of that hill.
  9. Not sure what you're planning to do in Tanzania, safari, climbing the Kilimanjaro? If you want some good advice, give some more details about your trip and people here will be able to help you better. General advice when working with an agency: - make sure you know what's included and not, don't get surprised by extra costs - ask for a detailed itinerary which states accommodation, activities, meals (included or not), transport, private/group tour, etc) - don't be shy asking for adjustments if you prefer changes to their proposed itinerary, make sure they know your wishes
  10. Great report so far @AmyT! Fun to see so many young ostriches together. Also great lion shots. Hopefully the little one survived. The male having dinner looks funny. It looks like he has buffalo feet and a big piece of meat on his lap How did you do the drives? Separated drives in morning and afternoon or all day gamedrives?
  11. Great trip report! Takes me right back to Namibia. The long empty roads, great landscapes. Sorry to hear you were not very lucky with the weather. But I do also think it gave you an opportunity to make some unique pictures. The fog looks a bit unreal, but also pretty amazing and unlike many other photos taken there. The photo of the lion in the wind is also pretty stunning, it really shows the harsh conditions the animals have to deal with. As Johan Cruijff (legendary Dutch soccer player for those who dont know him) would have said: every disadvantage has it's advantage.
  12. Always great when patience pays off. Did it feel as a little 'victory' for you too as you knew the guide had given up and left without seeing the leopard? It is how I sometimes feel, as I think some people are just too impatient on gamedrives. It's not that I want for those people to miss sightings, I hope everybody sees great stuff on safari, but if you yourself take the time and it pays off, great feeling. Great pictures of all the birds! I'm not that much into birds, but think your pics are really interesting and make me appreciate them more.
  13. Pretty impressive performance of these giants. Great capture @CarolAnnDenverCO! Interesting to hear the sounds ans see the behaviour of the herd.
  14. Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year to all of you! Looking forward to more travel stories and pictures in 2018, hopefully be able to add some my own as well.
  15. @Kitsafari I noticed we might have overlapped in Kafue yes. I was in Kafue from October 9 to 16. On the Busanga Plains specifically from October 12 to 15. The tse tse were nowhere on the plains, which actually was a great relieve from other parts of Kafue. Had to fight them from time to time. Only at the treeline there were some flies, but we didn't go there on the gamedrives. On our way in to the plains we found a few sables already, so on our drives we focussed on other parts of Busanga. We didn't see too much vehicles either on our drives. Only from the Wilderness camps and even then only at the lioness on a kill sighting I believe. You stayed at Musekese right? How were the tse tse over there? It looked like there camp was more in the bush and may be more tse tse were around there?

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