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About LastChanceSafaris

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  1. Last Chance Safaris has a couple of spaces left for a safari spectacular in July/August 2018. The itinerary includes 6 nights in two 2 separate 'migration camps' in the northern Serengeti to coincide with the dramatic Mara River crossings; 3 nights at Murchison Falls NP, and 3 nights in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with 2 gorilla treks. Click on the brochure for more info on this incredible expedition. Should you be interested, please contact Grant via or
  2. Spot on! Beautiful animal in the flesh. Most amazing thing is he had an interaction with a 'full blood' waterbuck and the two acted just as if there was no difference between them.
  3. @@Bush dog Been off the forum for awhile - mostly safari'ing. Just returned from Selinda where I was guiding a Swiss group. We had excellent viewing which included your hybrid! I had just posted a pic of it hoping to cause some head scratching amongst safaritalkers when I came across this thread..... Interestingly it approached a male waterbuck and displayed typical waterbuck submission/dominance behaviour and the 'thouroughbred' seemed to view the hybrid as a competitor, not another species! It gladdens the heart that you enjoyed your return to Selinda and that you saw another (wet) face of this wonderful reserve. You should check out Explorers - it is Zibadianja Camp reincarnated and a personal favourite. Our viewing over two days included that relaxed family of Roan (3 babies now), lionesses with cubs (3mths), dominant male lion, 13 dogs, and (the proverbial cherry) hyena/leopard interaction over a baby giraffe kill (leopard's). Elephants, beautiful landscapes and that smell of wild sage just rounded it off perfectly.
  4. Here's an identification challenge for SafariTalkers. Recently seen on the Selinda Spillway in northern Botswana.
  5. @@ellenhighwater Since I started as a guide in 1990, it has been considered unprofessional to name wild animals. At my first private reserve in the Sabi Sands it was strictly verboten to refer to an animal by its nickname over the radio or even in conversation that may be overheard by the guest. Did that stop us? Hell no! Territorial animals, in particular the cats, become exceptionally well known as individuals. Their personalities (despite that anthropomorphic connotation) are distinct and one gets to know them rather intimately. It is not only cats, but other distinct individuals attract our propensity to name. Nelson (one eye, one tusk) is an extremely gentle elephant bull that roams across northern Botswana - his tolerance and acceptance belies his enormous and intimidating bulk. Light Bulb (distinct ear notch) was another elephant with a mischievous humour that earned him a rather infamous reputation. He would ambush game drive vehicles and give them a full blooded charge that soiled more than a few trousers of learner guides - never once carrying it through, but I suspect he got a great chuckle out of it. Anthropomorphism is something I feel we should not shy away from. The more we are a part of nature rather than apart from it, the better are the chances for its survival. 'Anthropomorphism' implies that we are separate, unattached, above, etc. and I believe that is the root cause for so many conservation issues. Excuse me now - my resident bushbuck, Droopy Lip and Greylash are staring at me through the kitchen window hoping for some stale bread.
  6. @@douglaswise @@egilio Wow! It seems like a solutions workshop is happening right here in this debate. Go back through the thread and see just how much the discussion has evolved. So glad that Allan's philosophies are starting to make sense. One of the interesting facts about the Dimbangombe system is that there are NO fences. Well trained herders move the cattle at a pace and seemingly random rotation that I suppose could be likened to quick rotation grazing. However, this is not set in stone and is in much the same state of flux as the environmental variables. Kraals aren't permanent and are also rotated weekly to prevent soil denigration from too much urine and faeces. These kraal sites are then later used to grow crops with substantially increased yields - all making local communities more self reliant. Rotating elephants through Hwange???? Why not? Would be easy as they are water dependant and apart from the diminutive Deka river there are no permanent sources of water in Hwange. The obvious implication has already been stated in this thread. As regards % of biomass in any system I think it is important to understand that one elephant equates to 10 buffalo, or 30 kudu, or 100 impala! I think a fairer comparison would be % of species diversity. Did this change markedly in the study? What were the effects of culling in chasing the remaining elephant herds from the area? In 15 years of doing tri-annual aerial counts on Selinda reserve it was clearly evident that the largely homogeneous wooded areas (similar to northern Hwange) had a species diversity of 90%+ elephant (thereby comprising up to 100% biomass) whilst elephants comprised about 50% of the diversity in the mixed grassland/woodland areas, but still with a biomass in the 70+ percentiles. However, up to 70% of the entire elephant population was to be found in the areas with the highest species diversity! It could as easily be argued that high numbers of elephant increases diversity when you look at this scenario. One must also understand that in these counts elephants are easy to spot and count, whilst the antelope aren't! @@Sackrider I am 100% behind your sentiments. Apart from the moral issue you allude to, I still believe that mass culls have never been proven to achieve their ecological goals. There are other 'solutions' to this 'problem', if indeed it is a truly ecological problem at all or just one according to the parameters set out by our species. @@wilddog you are quite right that Hwange needs to be seen in the context of the greater area - KAZA. Any 'solution' needs to take the entire area into consideration.
  7. Last Chance Safaris has put some different itineraries together for 2016. Our emphasis is as much on conservation as it is on getting that unique picture in a phenomenal setting. All our trips do more than just search out the big game. Our participants also get to meet and interact with the conservationists who are actively involved in saving many of Africa's most endangered animals. Our Painted Wolves Expedition explores Zimbabwe's best wild dog destinations, including Hwange, and culminates in the magical Chitake Springs of Mana Pools. Remote and unique the chance of footing it with wild dog (and other predators) is high. The Great Apes Expedition is more than just gorillas & chimps. We take a tour of beautiful Uganda off the tourists' beaten track. Starting with Kidepo Valley National Park (voted by CNN as in the top 3 of Africa's national parks!) and ending with a bang high up in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for two gorilla treks. Chimps, forest elephant, shoebill and a variety of primates are all to be seen - not to mention some of Africa's best birding. Want to walk with Rhino? Our Rhino Expedition takes participants on a walking safari that focuses on these critically endangered animals. Hwange, Matusadona, Matopos or Pamushana - all fantastic wildlife locations in their own right, but also the strongholds for Zimbabwe's rhino population. Big cats and elephants your thing? Try out the Africa's Giants Expedition. From the Chobe to the Okavango, we visit the best Botswana destinations to get a fill of lion, leopard, cheetah, and of course elephants. A mix of national park and private concession ensures that the best areas are covered. You can contact us directly through Safaritalk, by emailing, or via our contact form.
  8. @@madaboutcheetah and @@bushbaby August is the best month for gorilla and chimp trekking in Uganda as it is the driest (not always dry though) month. Please visit the Lodge/Operator forum and have a look at our profile. Had a trip going for a group of 6 in August but that cancelled - still holding the space if anyone is interested. Great itin that is off the beaten tourist track. @@inyathi Very comprehensive summary of the gorilla situation. I agree that Odzala is an excellent alternative - we are thinking of putting an itinerary together to include this. Reviews are outstanding
  9. You beat me to it @@Chobe Clive ! This is stock standard comment. Not sure how it explains pollution evidence left at drilling site INSIDE the KTFP.
  10. @@douglaswise Two down, four to go. You can check out our preferred partners in Hwange - Somalisa Camp (Ngweshla area of Hwange) and Camp Hwange in the Shumba pan area. Space may be tough in August, late Sept, but lets see if we have a ball to roll here first.
  11. This is a 'feeler' topic to get an indication of who amongst Safaritalk members would be game to participate (in every sense of the word) in a Holistic Management workshop/safari at Dimbangombe in Zimbabwe (near Vic Falls, Kazuma and Hwange). For those who have followed the Hwange Dilemma and other debates where the subject of Holistic Management and Savory Institute has come up, Last Chance Safaris is considering putting a 'solutions workshop' safari together that will bring a mix of conservationists, safari goers, tour operators etc. together at one place to explore the so-called Hwange Dilemma. TENTATIVELY this will involve a min of 3 nights at Dimbangombe Ranch to: *learn first hand about holistic management and how its success has benefited every aspect of local conservation; * to participate in the process of holistic management as it may be applied to the Hwange Dilemma (which is just a local example of what is repeated across Africa where desertification is apparent); * to explore the local wildlife & sights (Kazuma/Chobe/Vic Falls). Thereafter a 6 day visit for the ST members to two different areas of Hwange National Park. All in all about 10-11 day safari where the emphasis is as much on conservation as it is on great wildlife viewing. A minimum of 6, max of 10 ST participants is required, to which we would want to add 2 media individuals (@@Game Warden being the first in line). The trip will be led throughout by Grant Nel from Last Chance Safaris, and Phil Zappalla if the numbers are good enough to fill two game viewers, along with reptutable Zim pro guides. Once we know there is enough interest we can start the process of costing and enquiries.
  12. @@Tom Kellie I took the liberty of posting your above quote in a comment thread for this blog. Hope I haven't overstepped, but I think your observation is very important in tempering our expectations and hopes for now.
  13. Touche @@Chobe Clive. Glad you have entered the fray. Please have a read of Jonathan Scott's recent blog that shows quite clearly some of the human wildlife conflict issues that resulted in the Marsh pride poisoning. Bit off the topic here, but there are echoes that apply to this subject as well.
  14. And with the arrival of Botswana's rains....... All pics are shot with Panasonic Lumix F28 using the PhD mode (press here dummy)
  15. How about this little guy I saw last year whilst on a MTB ride in Chobe's Lesoma Valley area

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