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Everything posted by Geoff

  1. @pedro maia I can see an excellent photographer in the making.
  2. This is Part Two of my 2016 African trip to the Masai Mara during October. Part One ~ The South Luangwa N.P., Zambia during September can be found here. Preamble ~ I had not been to the Masai Mara for decades. Whilst no one can argue that the abundance of wildlife is astonishing and the scenery beautiful I struggle with the number of vehicles jostling for position at many of the sightings. For me, who prefers a feeling of isolation in the wilderness, this degrades the experience considerably and I often wonder whether I am actually witnessing natural animal behaviour. Peter, my travelling companion, had said that if I could put up with the crowds in the main reserve it should be quieter in the conservancies and mostly that was true though there were some sightings (mainly of leopards) in the conservancies where there were in excess of 10 vehicles present. The itinerary for this portion of the trip consisted of; 1 night Nairobi (after arriving on a flight from Lusaka @ 9:00 PM) 7 nights Entim Camp 5 nights Kicheche Bush Camp 2 nights Kicheche Valley Camp Entim camp within the main reserve sits on the edge of a forest with a private outlook over one of the crossing points on the Mara River. This was the rationale for staying here but unfortunately the number of wildebeeste I saw investigate the crossing point was a grand total of four. Kicheche Bush Camp situated in the Olare Motogori Conservancy has long been a favourite of Peter’s and he has stayed there many times, often a few times a year. From reading many other TR’s I note that quite a few members of ST have also stayed here.The current hosts Darren & Emma are a delight and the tents are spacious, extremely comfortable and private. Whilst my tent and I suspect all others looked out onto the bush there is nothing in the way of what I would call fabulous views. We had hoped to stay here for 7 nights but the owner was hosting a photographic tour and the camp was booked for the last 2 nights of our intended stay so we decided on Kicheche Valley Camp for those 2 nights. Kicheche Valley Camp (as the name describes) is in a valley in the Naboisho Conservancy. The area around the camp comprises of acacia woodland & rocky (granite?) outcrops with permanent water in the river system at the bottom of the valley. As such the area in the immediate vicinity of the camp provides a slightly different game viewing experience to other areas of the Mara. Though the open plains that typify the Mara are a short drive to the north of camp. When the first wildebeeste takes the plunge the others will follow A lioness surveying the plains passes extremely close to the vehicle A Griffon vulture arriving at a carcass A confiding Little Bee-eater at morning tea. Buffalo with Red-billed Oxpecker.
  3. @mapumbo I wondered whether the leopard would eat the mongoose too. Maybe it just chased them when they started running (as a cat is want to do). The guide was surprised too. Banded Mongoose frequently urinate and defecate on each other. I've been downwind from a large family group of Banded Mongoose and there was an almighty stench.
  4. @AandA Whilst I haven't been to the Linyanti since 2005 I was a frequent visitor to that region for many years. I would agree with @madaboutcheetah 's assessment of the light in June and the game viewing was always very good to exceptional. So if you can get cheaper rates it is worth considering. Ownership of the Selinda has changed since I last ventured there and I have no opinion / experience with the Great Plains company. @Bush dog would have a more upto date opinion. What do you think Mike?
  5. I haven't got any images handy at the moment. I'll have to search some external hard drives. Until then here's 3 views of a Sacred Kingfisher.
  6. In the afternoon we spotted this guy quietly sitting under a bush out on the plains. We spent a considerable amount of time with him as he strolled towards a distant lugga. During sundowners I played around with some silhouettes
  7. Second largest @Dave Williams I'll let you guess which is larger.
  8. Some incidental bird images from the morning. Giant Eagle Owl fledgling These two vultures species were perched on the same tree limb which was good for comparison shots. Ruppell's Vulture (upper image) & White-backed Vulture (lower image) African Fish Eagle cruising past low overhead Someone's had a big meal. Tawny Eagle? with full crop. The eagle from the above image in a dispute with two Tawny eagles Tawny Eagles Secretary bird Yellow-throated Long claw back at camp for lunch and I spotted this Silverbird in a tree near the dining tent and a Red-headed Rock Agama
  9. At first look I'm guessing a White-browed Coucal EDIT: Nice image too.
  10. Yum, mouthwatering stuff. I think I'll pass on the 'pepperwortol sos' though. Fantastic reading. Another helping please.
  11. Just down the road from the mating lions two Black-backed Jackals were enjoying breakfast. I have no idea what they were eating. Perhaps a hare. A tug of war ensued and the carcass split neatly in two. One jackal ran off with their portion. The other jackal stayed put. A family of Banded Mongoose were busy foraging with their sentries on duty. Unfortunately they did not spot the Leopard walking across the plain until it was too late. The leopard gave a leisurely chase when they started to run and for one of them it was all over very quickly. I presume the leopard ate the mongoose but I suspect it would be a rather smelly meal.
  12. Some excellent sightings on this trip.
  13. We arrived at Kicheche Bush Camp in time for lunch. On our first afternoon game drive in the Olare Motogori concession it was more lions. The light was again dull with a few brief moments when the sun broke through the clouds. Even so I enjoyed watching a lion pride especially as the cubs were so active. Amazing how a splash of sunlight can brighten up a scene. The lioness noticed a warthog and began stalking. Catching a meal is hard enough at the best of times and with a playful cub hanging off her rump this hunt was doomed to fail. As sunset approached the clouds cleared just in time to produce a lovely silhouette of two elephant play fighting on the hill. The next morning and there were more lions close to camp with a magnificent mating pair roaring their heads off between couplings.
  14. Wow, @LizW a nasty scratch but I would think that a lens hood would have saved the lens from that scratch in the first place. In a vehicle a cheap shower cap suffices as a good dust cover that can be used with a lens hood and is quicker to remove than a lens cap and you don't worry about misplacing or losing the lens cap. Also without using the hood you're possibly letting stray light into the lens and I'm loathe to use a UV filter with an expensive lens. Just my 2 cents worth...
  15. Nice work @JohnR
  16. Yes they do look similar but Fischer's Lovebirds have a brown eye mask and a bright orange nuchal collar (nape area of the neck). Two features that Lilian's Lovebirds lack.
  17. @monalisa You're doing well with the birds. The heron is a Grey Heron and I hate to bring you back down to earth but they are Lilian's Lovebirds. Fischer's Lovebirds are endemic to East Africa. EDIT. Excellent dog sighting too. Like you I also enjoy spending a lot of time with individual or the same group of animals too.
  18. @vikramghanekar I'm confused by the dates. Was this safari in 2016?
  19. Before moving on to the conservancies. A few lion images. Cubs from Long Face's pride. The cute side of lions I was told this is Lolparpit and a few odds & sods.
  20. @modleski My opinion of many camps is different to ATR. It is (perhaps) one person's view of their experience at that camp. I've never been to a Porini camp and don't have an opinion about their camps but I do have an opinion about some of their guides (unfortunately I don't know which ones) and it is less than favourable.
  21. @Caracal 3 weeks in South Luangwa. Kaingo & Mwamba camps then crossing the river for some time at Nsefu camp before a few days at Luangwa River lodge.
  22. We passed a hyaena den daily. One morning we watched an individual carrying a reedbuck carcass across the plain and then submerge the carcass in a waterhole near the den site.

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