Grasshopper_Club

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  1. @Raelond, I've used a Nikon D500 and a D750.
  2. Day 10 (part 2) Here we go again. Just went on with our drive up north on the spinal road back to the northern loop . When we had this nice encounter of a waterbuck family. Nice fluffy hairs they tend to have. Symmetrical heads... A bushbuck again, in the thick biush. Male Impala watching us. The track was getting throuhg some very thick bush on both sides of the road on the loop. We suddenly heard some branches cracking and realized that a large famlily group of Elephants is passing by. So we waited there a few minutes and give them way. After a few minuted we passed on and as we get out of the bush on a clearance, we saw them from a distanace lined up in a row... So we went further on and this was the only time I saw another vehicle at my whole stay at Kaingu Lodge. It was another Safari vehicle from Mukambi Lodge and they were looking down to a gully where they saw a lioness going down some time ago. After a while without seeing anything they left and we made our luck and were driving into the gully (which was very wide). We didn't saw the lioness but behind some bushes and trees in it, straigt ahead was this fantastic paradise fycatcher on our eye level. Great sighting and very relaxed, we were able to watch the flycatcher for several minutes. African paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) cheep cheep... Once the flycatcher was flying away we got on. We had then our tea break, near a pond from which we could spot a lone Elephant Bull grazing. knob-billed duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos) After our tea brake we went on with our game drive and went into an area similar like the one where we saw the flycatcher. A dried out riverbeed with a colony of bee-eaters was just in front of us. Very close sighting and very nice shoots. I was just so impressed, how many bugs as well were flying around and how easy it was for the bee-eaters to get their lunch ready. To watch them "hunting" their pray was just another highlight of that day and the entire Safari! white-fronted bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) Get ready! Another smaller family group of Elepahnts, this time with a tiny one as well.. They were heading into another directon. A Bull on the back of the treck, taking his time.. So this was a very nice game/bird drive on my last day..
  3. @Raelond, Oh nice! I will arrive on the 22nd so we will see us there for a day. @madaboutcheetah, The Kafue is indeed amazing. The Roans have been very relaxed and take didn't much notice out of us, after we stopped the car in front of them.
  4. Day 10 (1st part) Today we started early as it was my last full day on Safari. There is a hide nearby on a muddy bowl, where you can see the Meyers parrot in huge numbers. We decided to be there on time. We tried it on Day 9, but we were just a little bit late the day before, as you have to bee there before the sun is coming up. The parrots are coming down to the mudd only once and and that very early. There must be something in the mudd on that place, a particular nutrition, as you could also see other animals traces as well the ones from elephants who must have been there over night. It was a very enjoyable sighting and we spent about 20-30 minutes there as the parrots are very skittish and sitting on the treetops around, until they find it's safe to go onto the ground. Once done, they stayed for a few minutes and at the slightest suspicion they tended to fly away. Some impressions: Meyers parrot (Poicephalus meyeri) The parrots left after a while, same did we. Back on the vehicle and getting up north. Some Kudus.. Impalas mixing up under a tree with a group of baboons.. As there was a huge bushire on the day before, we crossed the area and could see all surrounding turned black and the heat could still felt on the open vehicle. Nevertheless life came back....common duiker Near the bridge over the Lwansanza river, a nice sighting of this little bee eater... little bee-eater (Merops pusillus) I think a banded mongoose. More to come..
  5. Day 9 So today was my first full day at Kaingu Lodge and I was excited to explore the new area. A little glimpse to my very nice chalet at Kaingu Lodge. They are very spacious and luxurious, even with an indoor and outdoor shower! After our breakfast we went on the boat quick to the car park, as we started with a game drive on that day. First sighting that morning, group of Impalas standing on the track and looking at us. In this part of the park Impalas are the major antelope species around, compared to the Pukus in the northern part at Musekese and the Red Lechwe in the Busanga Plains. An Elephant in the early morning bushfire mist. There was a big bushfire ongoing further up north coming down to our direction. Further down on the turn of the loop, we spotted a family of Oribi. A young one which gets my attention, they are so cute really nice sighting. Actually to see the young one 20-30 meters separated for a while and then reunited with his parents. Bambi... Getting back to the parents... Flying Oribis 1,2,3.... Any idea? I'm lost with that one.. We had very good sightings of Liechtensteins hartebeest down here at Kaingu, especially the numbers and that on several occasions. Bigger groups of 10-25 animals. The ones we have seen at Musekese, were in smaller groups of about 2&3-10 animals. Crossing our way... Later on another sighting of a bigger group that one stretched about 25 animals. A very nice sigthting but as we further followd the tsetses get an issue there as described in a comment before. But very nice sighting and an new and different area to the ones I've known in the Kafue. A sounder... Pukus are seen here as well, but they are outnumbered by Impalas. I think the terrain here is better for Impalas and less grassy/dambo like as in the northern part where Pukus dominate . A Bushbuck says hello... So this was a very nice morning drive on a loop north of Kaingu and some pleasant sightings. Heading back this time as well with the boat to camp and had some wonderful lunch here as well. Enjoyed my siesta and went on with the afternoon activity, which was on me to decide, as I was the only guest that day. After tea time we went on the boat an explored more of the river and had a nice sundowner and Kaley showed me a nice colony of cormorants in great numbers on the river. A pleasure to watch them. I would say Long-tailed Cormorant? They always started to fly to another rock further away and again and again. Funny to see their technique at the start of the flight. Afterward we had the sundowners at a little island which was very cool! And with the Hippo sighting at the end of day, another wonderful day on Safari comes to an end. Cheers
  6. i agree with @wilddog, the reaction on the first bites is much harsher and the irritation later on with new bites is minor. So after a few days i'll get accustomised to it. @Kitsafari, I will go back next month the first time this year and later on in November. In August 15 days: Nanzhila Plains, Musekese and Ntemwa-Busanage (each one 5 nights) In November 11 days: Pioneer Camp 1night, Liuwa Plains 5 nights and Musekese 5 nights
  7. @Kitsafari The one sighting of the lioness with the 2 cubs was indeed the only one upthere, but don't forget we just had a full day excursion up there and stayed in the northern plains only for a few hours and on the second day we toured more on the southern edge of the plains and that day was more quiet of game in general, as several bushfires were ongoing around the whole surrounding at the plains. Tsetses: Tsetse flies are an issue in the Kafue. So you're entering the Park by car from Lusaka in a closed vehicle as the tracks up to Musekese are going through thick bushes. So you definitely don't wanna do this in an open vehicle. Around Musekese the tsetse flies are more or less a non issue, the same on the Kafue River (water in general). But as soon as you get into areas where the bush is getting thick on both sides of the road, it can be quite annoying and sometimes as stated with the blue duicker sighting in such an area, you're happy to leave as quick as possible at some point. On the Plains and around the Mobile Camp, there as well not a big issue. But sometimes on the vehicle a spray to kill them is the only answer. As they can actually bite you even with clothes one. I must admit I'm not a fan of long trousers on a safari, that probably will help and closed shoes and socks. But yeah, some bites are guaranted. I also think that the reaction of each person is different. So I was heavily bitten around my ankles but as long as you don't care no problem... At Kaingu Lodge on one drive they were angry as hell. Also a bushfire around on one loop and a sighting of Liechtensteins Hartebeest in big numbers. We lset up elephant dung on fire behind the car, it helped a litle bit I thought so. But at one point I was more or less fighting the tsetses, instead of watching the wildlife. But to be fair that kind of incident happend on 3 short sequences at 3 different spots within an 11 day stay in the Kafue. So it didn't bothered me that much overall and will not keep me staying away from the park....(as I will go back there this year twice again....) The tsetses are also one of the big plus factor for the park, not overcrowded and keeping the pressure away from cattle breeding on the grounds and surroundings. So overall If I wouldn't be to lazy to fight the insects with proper clothing and treat the clothes with (Nobite a spay/liquid I own to prepar your clothing at home, but too lazy to use...), I definitely wouldn't have to complain. Yes indeed I was very lucky and very nice to see both Roan and Sable up on the Busange Plains. Cheers
  8. Day 8 So this would be the last morning at the Busanga Plains and Musekese as well...I was a little bit sad to leave and astonished how quick these days passed. So after getting ourselves ready for departure, we said goodbye to the camp staff and went on with our trip/drive back to the boat, close to Lufupa Lodge. The way down would be a full morning activity and we had enough time to watch intersting things on our way. First of the sightings were these 2 owlets.....I'm not sue but I would say an African Barred Owlet? And as usual my friends the Pukus... a flying Kudu on the track.. A solitary Lichtensteins Hartebeest.. wattled crane (Grus carunculata) So at around 11 a.m. we arrived back at the boat. As I went on to Kaingu Lodge, It was time to say goodbye...The others went on the boat to get back to Musekese for a night. I was driven to Hook Bridge by Stan were the meeting point was with Kaingu. So my drive down was on the "other" side of the river. Quite a drive and very different terrain again from the other places known to me in the Kafue. Also nice to notice as on this riverside 1-2 new camps were built at the time, so the parks looks quite thriving. After about 1.5 -2 h we arrived a Hook Bridge were I was picked up by Kaley my guide down there for the next days. On our way down we were behind the time schedule but nevertheless we stopped for the bigger sightings... An Elephant saying hello.. On our drive down I experienced the first flat tyre on Safari. Quickly fixed and went on, but again after 20minutes that one was gone as well..haha...bad luck. But as the camp was close now (only 15min away.) The sent us a second vehicle to pick me up. So after a short while the journey went on and we arrived at the car park of the camp, which is on the other side of the Kafue River. So you always have take the boat to get to camp and to the cars or vice versa. Which is very nice especially during the different daytimes. I'ts just a short stroll of 5-10minutes. The view and and the river shoreline itself is completely different from the river up north at Musekese around. Here you can see a lot of picturesque rocks around and as seen sometimes the rivers gets quite narrow, The rocks are also under the waterline, so the boat driver has to know exactly where the rocks are, as the water can be quite shallow at some places. After a hearty welcome at the Lodge and lunch on the main deck, I had a little nap before we went on with our afteroon activity which I've decided to take place on the river. As the driving was enough for me on that day. Getting along with Kaley on the boat we just made some turns in front of the camp as we spotted a Bushbuck just under my chalet. Just on the other side 15m away Kaley spotted some birds and we went over there as well. Green-backed heron (Butorides striata) And then, we spotted my most sought after bird. The brown-hooded kingfisher (Halcyon albiventris) . I've seen that one before but was never able to get a picture. So this time just in front of the camp a wonderful sighting and this for some time. We watched him for about 10 minutes flying a little bit around under the mangroves and resting on tree branches above the water level. A colony of white-fronted bee-eaters (Merops bullockoides). The hole in the ground just above the waterlevel an a tiny little island. Great start here as well and I was very happy to put this camp, located more in the southern/central sector of the park, in my itinerary. More to follow...
  9. Day 7 So to give a little overview about the mobile Camp, the camp uses as far I can remember the old Musanza site from Wilderness Safaris. There are 3, maybe 4 tents, nicely separated under some bushes/trees. So the tents are from the old Musekese site and are very comfortable and spacious enough. There are several shower/toilets around which are not ensuite. So the facilities here were shared. More rustic than the Musekese Camp, but everything you need. This year the are undergoing a big upgrade here and the camp ist now called Ntemwa-Busanga Camp. In the new camp, everycamp will have an own bathroom behind each tent. So they told us that the food there would be simpler than the one at Musekese, as the logistics out there in the bush would be less. But It was as always very delicious and of the same standards, great job here as well! My tent..you can see the washing bag on the left, which was filled up every monrning once you get up. Tents 2+3 , well hidden.. View from my tent into the open grassland in front of the camp. Main area, which we used only for tea-time, to get some shade in the heat...Most of the time we spent the time in camp around the firesite for drinks and dinner...which was always on the same spot. Toilet facility with a bucket shower...less capacity of water then the ones back at main camp. So, you'll have to hurry up... The toilet run on sand... instead of water... So we went down south at the beginning of the day and had a stop at Treetops School Camp. A camp were schoolchildren mostly from Lusaka can have a week of a field trip into a NP with their class, but still having their lessons in the camp as an example in the morning or afteroon and then the rest of the day on excursion. On the ground of the Camp we were standing in front of this stunning Baobab tree which was gigantic. Velvet monkeys watching us from the distance.. On the way down we passed an area with very thick bush and even more tsetse fly. We passed that area already on arrival day and the tsetse there were a plague, which was'nt the case around Musekese or also the Mobile Camp and the Busanga Plains. In the Kafue you'll have them but some areas are definitely more affected than others. But on places with thick bush and no grassland around, they can give you a unpleasant treat. Usually you wouldn't stop there a car, but as it happens...we spotted a tiny little duiker under the thick bushes....a blue duicker! WOW what a sighting unfortunately no picture, as I was to busy watching the duicker and killing some tsetses..But a great sighting anyway...they are so tiny, more of the size of a rabbit than an antelope.. But thats fine for me, as this gives me a good reason to come back Further down south on the Lufupa we were watching the Pukus as they were making some alarm calls. As it was time to get to the water for a drink into the morning, most probably a predator was somewhere going down to the river as there is no water source on that part of the park elsewhre than the Lufupa. We waited quite a time but the Pukus relaxed after a while, so did we and let them in peace and turned our car and went back to the camp for lunch. Close to the Lufupa, but under some bushes...a big hippo which was chased off the pond most probably.. Sleeping under the shade... waking up....He left us then and went back into the river... On the afternoon we went back up north, to the southern parts of the Busanga plains. Here a watersource from the plains, which heads into the Lufupa. A lot of bird action here, especially the Pied Kingfishers. Yellow-billed stork (Mycteria ibis), on the branches 2 Pied Kingfishers. Some young Pukus as well... Later on and due to some bushfires around, the skies were getting a little bit of a mixed bag....grey n foggy like... Group of Red Lechwe. We parked our car in the middle of the southern plains and ejoyed a nice sundowner with a big G&T! Impressive how massive the sun looks compared to a tree on the right hand side. On our way back to camp, which was becoming a night safari. We went back with some nice sigthings, as suddenly on track an abrupt noise and some action stopped our drive! A leopard was chasing a genet just in front of us! The genet managed to get up to a small mopane tree after a few seconds, where the leopard couldn't follow. But that was extremly tight as the head of the leopard and the tail of the genet were sometimes only half a meter apart or even less. WOW. After that charge, the Leopard lied down for a few mintes, so easy for us to enjoy him. Here we go... As said, he then went off and we did the same and went back to camp for dinner and some treasures to remeber!
  10. @Geoff Thanks for your appreciation and thoughts about the Sables. I just realised that i have the big copy of Mammals of Africa of Kingdon, if there is one place who it could be discbred then probably there. According to that: There are 4 different subspecies of Sable. The ones in Zim or south of the Zambezi are (Hippotragus niger niger) the ones in Zambia (Hippotragus niger kirkii). It state's that the females in the species south of the Zambezi are the only ones getting nearly full black.That explains the difference in beteween the Sable at the Kafue NP and Hwange NP. I remember that we were thinking about at the time that due to the close border with Angola, there might by a chance of some kind of a relatedness with the Giant Sable. But according to the book, a recent study (2010) showed that the Western Zambian Sable is not referable to the Giant Sable (Hippotragus niger variani), despite the close resemblance of some individuals. Also nice go get more information about a Safari even if that one is nearly 1 year passed. Another nice aspect of Safarigoing, to learn and to understand and more important to arouse an interest in learning of new stuff. @pault, Thank you very much. Nice that you'll enjoy it. @TonyQ, Thank you very much for your nice comment, yes that's one of the main reasons of attraction to the park the diversity. Anelope diversity is the most for any park in Africa! I've recorded 15 different species on this trip. Fantastic! @AfricIan Thanks for your comment. Yes sometimes, it's just luck.I'ts just incredible how such large numbers can hide. But the area is so huge and so remote. Cheers
  11. After we left the Roans, we were able to detect a little black point near the horzion on the plains more nort-eastwards. Getting closer and it was the biggest buffalo herd I've ever seen. It was the big Busanga Plains Buffalo herd, consist about 500 animals. It was so huge and widespread that I was not able to get them all on the picture, maybe 30% but not more. Buffalos... At one point we made a little breakthrough to get to the other side of the little water source seen on the above picture, was quite an interaction. One part of the buffalso were spreading on to the left the other on to the right. As we crossed them they flocked again together and the whole looked like a zip fastener system getting opened and closed again. A litte bit more of the landscape.. As we were heading further north we crossed the Wilderness Section with their camps and the first vehicle since beginning of my Safari 6 days ago. They told us that they were watching a lioness with 2 cubs on a red lechwe pray up north in the plains. So we decided to have a look... But before we would arrive we would have to cross huge numbers of Red Lechwe. Another highlight for me on this trip and day in particular, first sighting and absolutely stunning to see them in such numbers. One of my favourite! They look so graceful with their horns. Hundreds! So we were on the move north as we left the Lechwes on their side, but we saw that there are even more north but more randomly distributed and not concentrated in such numbers. Another goodie just shortly after the Lechwes... Rosy-breasted Longclaw (Macronyx ameliae) Can't remember which bird of prey this one was....i didn't think it was a Brown Snake-eagle We just paused for a litte stop so everyone could have a short bush-toilet and a cup of tea....As I went on a little lookout and watched a single roan in the near distance, also looking up north. So getting in the car quick not to miss the lioness with her prey.... And here they are. Easy to spot as there was quite some action in the air with some vultures around and on a nearby solitary tree in the middle of the grassland. So the head was still on of the Lechwe... Must be a pain to have his legs over the head that way round...In the back one of the cubs (2). There was a source of water which the cubs enjoyed as they were fully up with enough food and the temperatures were getting hot without any shade... The mother wouldn't drink and would not get away from the rest of the meal. In the back as seen on the first picture the other Lechwes were placidly grazing. It's always interesting to see that kind of behaviour...just 1-2 hours ago one of their group was killed and is now eaten up in front of them. After a few minutes of alarm calls and a shock condition, they just go on with business as usual. But to live in such a dangerous environment, what else should they do, I suppose. Something on the left gets her attention and within a second she's on her legs to stand her ground. But it was a false alarm. Heads... The little cuties looks like they are in great condition. Both saturated.. After about half an hour with the lions we left them to get back a bit and have lunch under some trees near the Wilderness Camps. A very nice lunch under the trees and some very good tuna sandwiches, which I really enjoyed. On the other side of the track where we had lunch...another head, but this time alive..another Oribi on that day. So after a relaxing short siesta we went on about at 1 p.m. to the other side of the plains slowly backwards to our Camp. About 1 hour after we didn't encountered much, as it was now getting very hot on the plains....but then....a big herd of Sable was moving from the plains into the bush... Wow great! a group of about 30 Sables and some youngster as well! My favourite one. Something that I've noticed was the difference in color from the Sable in Zimbabwe vs. Zambia...the ones in Zim were all fully black only the young ones had the same color variaton. The ones here in the Kafue tended to bee on the brown side. Only 1 or 2 of them were fully black, the fully grown males I suppose. A lone bull on the left hand side a little bit further down, you can see there was already a fire in the plains as the ground was burnt. We encounterd that day some more and later in the afternoon the skye above the plains was quite cloudy from several fires. Waterbucks on our way back... And some Kudu, probably the only sighting. Back at Camp we arrived for a nice sundowner after this long and very fascinating day of abundance and variety of game. Just on the tracks in the camp, where the carpark is situated, there were some burrows of a colony of Böhm's Bee-eater (Merops boehmi). Very Nice! Tried to get a picture once the moving in and out of the burrows, but no chance..haha Here's one observing me close to his little hous under the earth, on a tree in the near distance. Sundowner from our chairs around the campfire, enjoying ourselves with a G&T.. End of Day 6....Cheers
  12. Day 6 So this was our first full day @ the Mobile Camp south of the Busanga Plains. We planned to stay the full day up there, so this time this would be an all day excursion. We started earlier then usual as it was still a drive up there. Our intention was not to miss the early hours game activity. So starting the day at 5 a.m. had a short-short breakfast and went onto the Landy at 5.40 a.m. / It was still a drive of about 1h to get to the southern border of the Busanga plains section. But we would arrive there not later at 6:30 which would be perfect. Our first sighting as we arrived on the southern periphery of the plains was a group of Reedbuck. Nice one, first sighting ever for me. Also the trees in the far distance showed a dramatic change in landscape as the drive before was a lot of bush with some areas/fields of grass. Now the Plains are another world. Group of Reedbuck sighting at the first light.. Nice one with a group of cranes (crowned or wattled) in the backyard flying over the plains. After a short break with the group of Reedbucks we went further north as our goal was the big game which we hoped to see. But first of all we watched these nice little Oribis... I really like the Plains as it gives you a good understanding of the sheer vastness of that part in particular of the Kafue NP. We followed the track near the western part of the extension of the Plains and managed to see just a few minutes later a group of blue wildebeest. Tyrone also had a look onto the righthand side into the wide open grassland. As it already started heating up the view was already quite harsh from the sunglight in the open pan. I couldn't see anything far in the distance but his skilled eyes managed that easily. He just turned the car away from the track and we went on straight to nowhere for me into the bumpy grassy plains. After a while I was able to see them in the distance and here they are, after we made a gentle turn with a great disctance in-between them.....ROAN! Fantastic! I really hoped to see them in the Busanga Plains area, this was my main goal for this trip. Another new species for me. Great Luck and great start of the day....within the first 30 minutes on the Plains. It was quite a nice group widespread over the plain grassland area...25 range somewhere. Roans... I really like their face markings and their floppy ears. A big contrast to the size of the animal. The ears reminded my of the lop ear rabbit breed. Mother with her calf.. The widespread group. More to follow from this day.....
  13. @Bush dog WOW absolutely amazing sightings and photographs...the Sable Bull and the Zebra in the above comment are stunning. Thanks for posting. Camp Hwange is also a favourite of mine, the guiding there is absolutey on of the best experienced!
  14. Day 5 So this was my last day @ Musekese Camp, or better half day. As we went up north to the Mobile Camp south of the the Busanga Plains in the afternoon. So the plan was to spend the morning on an activity again and heading back for lunch and a shorter Siesta time. The transfer to the mobile camp would take about 2.5 hours. We had to cross the river by boat, just at Lufupa. Where the other Land Rovers i detached and from there a 2h drive up north. The dambo in front at about 5:50 a.m. / So the dambo is absolutely empty during that time of the day and the Pukus start to get back to the dambo once the sun is shining in full light. After breakfast we went out with the car for the southern part of the concession for another walk. Watched a lot of Pukus heading to the dambo from their overnight quarter in the forest. They are so cute especially during the golden light hours wenn their fur has this distinguished color. A few minutes later down south of the dambo near the place we wanted to start our walk, these 3 liones were enjoying the first sunbeam. These ar the 3 older lions from the mother with her 4 younger cubs. We saw them all together 2 nights before in front of camp, now the started to separate again. The 3 siblings together again on their own. After a while we let them enyoing their sun or maybe their breakfast as they were laying there well positioned for the Pukus between the dambo and the higher grass in front of the forest. The way the Pukus have to go each day twice! Must be quite a thrill...... On our walk we watched a lot of animals from the distance. Zebras, Impalas and most of the time Liechtensteins Hartebeest, but as you can see on the picture below, there is a l ot of underwood in that area and the animals were more skittish on foot compared to a vehicle. So I focused to watch them with my binos instead of photographing them. Back at camp we enjoyed once more a fantastical meal and our last few hours at Musakese Camp. Before we left I made some last pictures from the view just out of my chalet. So the Pukus were all there to say goodbye. A Pangolin in my room!! What a memorable last sighting At 2.30 p.m. time to say goodbye to the camp and get on to the car for the boat. As stated earlier we had to cross the river and enjoyed a nice little cuise south to Lufupa where the car was waiting on the other side of the river. The Lufupa River where he joins the Kafue River. Some sightings after Lufupa in a dambo similar to the one at Camp, but less animals on that side of the river. Liechtensteins and Pukus again.. The rest of the drive up was quiet but interesting in the difference of landscape patterns, we also went up north quick as our goal was to arrive at the Mobile Camp before darkness for a nice drink.. Nice campfire awaited us and more from the Busanga Plains and the Mobile Camp on Day 6 and the following days. Cheers
  15. Thanks @Geoff , 100%....how I managed not to identify that one...ups..

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