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Geoff

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Geoff last won the day on January 23 2014

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About Geoff

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  1. Some birds. All species that you are likely to see in SLNP. White-fronted Bee-eater. Watching this species bathing in the midday heat I noticed that there was a reflection as well as a shadow. Trying to capture all three was not easy. The obligatory Lilac-breasted Roller image (nothing special about this shot IMO). The beautiful Lillian's Lovebird a regular visitor to the Mwamba waterhole Giant Eagle Owl Southern Ground Hornbill (I love watching them foraging for prey) Marabou Stork ~ cooling itself in the 40 degree heat Yellow-billed Oxpeckers riding a buffalos back Hooded vultures always seemed to be the first to arrive at a kill. White-backed vulture on buffalo carcass
  2. 1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Kaingo Camp, SLNP, Zambia 2) Website address if known: here 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). September 2016, High Season 4) Length of stay: 3 Nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? A previous visit in 2008 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? A friend who is a travel agent 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 15 times 8) To which countries? Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? Comparable to Kafunta River lodge in accommodation comfort 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 6 chalets 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? Unsure of chalet number, all chalets have view of Luangwa River and private. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Very comfortable, well furnished, ensuite bathroom 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Yes, excellent food 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Yes. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Communal dining for brunch & dinner, pre-morning activity coffee around campfire. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Adequate snacks & drinks for morning tea & sundowners 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Modified modern landcruisers 19) How many guests per row? 2 per row 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? 3 - 4 hours on varied routes 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Morning drives begin after sunrise, afternoon drives around 16:00. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? No. The camp is one of the few permanent camps inside SLNP. At least 3 vehicles 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? With the sister camp (Mwamba) and Lion camp nearby at times there can be a few vehicles at a sighting. 24) Are you able to off-road? Yes. 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. Possibly but rotation did not occur at any sightings whilst I stayed there. 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Excellent leopard and lion viewing. Good elephant numbers and general plains game with diverse variety of antelope 27) How was the standard of guiding? Excellent. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: Tried his utmost to position the vehicle for a good photography perspectives. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Yes. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes. Both community & conservation projects. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: here 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: Very comfortable and informal camp (more like a lodge) with nice outlook over the Luangwa river with each chalet having a private viewing deck. Other activities such as walks and game viewing from the Hippo & Carmine Bee-eater hides are available. A good place to finish off with a bit more comfort after some time at Mwamba camp.
  3. Please note there is an earlier review of Mwamba Bush camp by Optig which can be found here 1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Mwamba Bush camp, SLNP, Zambia 2) Website address if known: here 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). September 2016, High Season 4) Length of stay: 5 Nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? A previous stay at this camp in 2008 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Via a friend who is a travel agent 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 15 Times 8) To which countries? Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? None. 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 4 thatched grass Chalets 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? I think chalet #1 closest to the communal dining area and bar though still private. The view from this tent looks across the small ephemeral Mwamba river. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Very comfortable bed and adequately furnished. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Yes, excellent food. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Varied menu for brunch and dinner. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Communal brunch and dinner, pre morning game drive coffee & muffin around the campfire. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Adequate drinks & snacks for both morning tea and sundowners 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. modified Land Cruisers 19) How many guests per row? 2 guests per row 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Varied game routes taken. Most drives were longer than 4 hours. 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Morning drives 6:00 - 11:00, Afternoon drives 16:00 - 20:00 but times are flexible. If something is happening you stay out longer. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? No. The camp is inside the National Park. At least two vehicles, though I remember 3 in use on a few days to cater for smaller groups. 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? Vehicle density can be high at times due to the sister camp Kaingo and Lion camp in the vicinity but usually this is well managed and you can find an isolated area to yourself. 24) Are you able to off-road? Yes, though the extensive road network is excellent and well graded / maintained and this allows for very smooth driving. 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. This might be an issue but was not a problem whilst I was in camp. 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Excellent leopard sightings and big lion prides. Elephant often in camp along with a few antelope species that frequent the waterhole behind camp. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Exceptionally high standard. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: Excellent rapport, knowledge and enthusiasm made for stellar company and great sightings. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Very attentive, especially the waiters. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes, A few community and conservation based programs. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: here 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: The authentic Zambian bush camp, rough and ready though with a level of comfort. Situated in a superb game viewing area known for its predator concentrations. Enjoyable hot showers in open air bathrooms after a long dusty day. The camp waterhole allows for exceptional game viewing between game drives and access to Kaingo camps Hippo and Carmine bee-eater hides can be organised. A top notch safari experience.
  4. 1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Kafunta River Lodge, South Luangwa N.P., Zambia 2) Website address if known: here 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). September, 2016 , High Season 4) Length of stay: 3 Nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? Chosen as a quick stop over after lengthy travel before proceeding to more remote areas of the park 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Via a friend who is an agent 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 15 times 8) To which countries? Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe. 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? None 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 8 chalets on raised platforms 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? All chalets are reasonably private with views over floodplain 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Well appointed and very comfortable. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Excellent food. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Yes a varied menu was on offer. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Communal dining, Guides and Managers join the meals, one lunch for occupants of my vehicle was on a secluded raised platform with wait staff and guide. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Snacks & drinks offered (which is ample) for morning tea and sundowners 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Modified Landcrusiers 19) How many guests per row? Two to a row 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? 4 hours + with varied routes 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Supposedly 6:15 - 10:30 morning and 16:00- 19:30 afternoon but I suspect it is flexible if there is a lot of game viewing action. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? No. The Lodge is situated just out side the park. Unsure of vehicle numbers. 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? The lodge is opposite the southern area of the central game viewing section which is accessed via a pontoon. Hence vehicle density is low until vehicles using the main access route into the park drive down to that area. 24) Are you able to off-road? Yes, to some degree 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. Unsure, perhaps 3 vehicles to a sighting but this was never a problem during my game drives. 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? 27) How was the standard of guiding? Very good. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: N/A 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Yes. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes. A few community & conservation programs. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: here 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: Extremely good value for money & a bit more than a basic safari experience. A superb lodge overlooking an amazing floodplain. Bird life is prolific and mammals are often in view. For some one who is used to basic camps it is extremely comfortable with swimming pool and hot tub spa. Massages are also offered. Unfortunately for bird photographers the floodplain is under-utilised. There is a hide underneath the main deck but it faces the wrong direction for light and is next to useless unless an elephant is nearby. A better solution would be for a mobile hide on the flood plain where you can be escorted by an armed game scout. Dislike ~ A full sit down breakfast is served rather than a coffee or tea with muffin etc. This slows the process of starting the morning game drive and during the high season the nice light is quickly lost. If you are not the 1st vehicle in line at the pontoon more game viewing time is lost. Advantages/Disadvantages ~ The lodges's location is a 30 minute drive to the main access gate. If the park is inaccessible via the pontoon then a lot of game viewing time is lost. Conversely there can be some advantage to getting quieter game viewing before other vehicles get to the area. Of course if other vehicles do not arrive you are probably missing something closer to the main gate.
  5. @Tom Kellie That's a tough day. I think the Drongo was your reward.
  6. I forgot to mention that one of my friends from the local field naturalists club is a frequent business traveller. Often he is stuck in a city for the weekend, Singapore & Houston, Texas readily come to mind. He found lots of lists and locations for Singapore but very few for Houston so he started creating them. Apparently he has now created the most lists for that city.
  7. So @Tom Kellie what did you spot for me?
  8. So far I've pretty much ignored the general game. A post of what you're likely to see and then a few birds before moving onto lots of lions and a leopard cameo. The endemic Thornicroft's Giraffe is usually not hard to find. A warthog enjoys a scratch after a mudbath. Impala at the waterhole My favourite antelope the bushbuck. Such a beautiful graceful creature even in harsh midday light The stately kudu Waterbuck Plenty of zebra on the plains. Cape Buffalo
  9. @michael-ibk Thanks for your interest Michael.
  10. @Peter Connan Yep, the same in Australia, the best way to identify snakes is from scale patterns and number of scales.
  11. @Tom Kellie i've liked your post but sometimes I wish there was a 'Dislike' button. People living in the free world don't know how good they have it.
  12. From the Hides. The Mwamba camp hide is at the back of camp and is a short walk within the camp environs. It is available all day when you're in camp. Where as the Hippo & Carmine bee-eater hides are used as an extension to a game drive and a visit is usually organised a day or so in advance. Carmine Bee-eaters Zebra can be amazingly wary. These 3 stood looking at the waterhole for over 2 hours and then walked away without having a drink. Another full frame buffalo shot. The only thing that separates you from them is a few metres of shallow water and a grass thatch panel Yellow baboons are never far away from the Mwamba waterhole. Impala Bushbuck. Often visit the Mwamba waterhole during the heat of the day.
  13. I've decided I better put more than 5 images in a post or I'll never finish this TR. Maybe I should do the Mara TR concurrently.
  14. @Tom Kellie Can you access eBird in China? I use it all the time to check on what's happening in my neck of the woods. Not only for a location say 5 minutes away but for the whole of my state (and country if I wish). Many of my birding friends use eBird and its easy to create lists for a location. Many have set up backyard lists. If you feel so inclined you can setup one for where you live.
  15. Eek. A very short life.

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