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monalisa last won the day on February 19 2017

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About monalisa

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  1. @Towlersonsafari Everything was great! We actually stayed in a Standard Safari Tent for a few days and then a Luxury Safari Tent for a few. They are almost the same except that the luxury one is slightly more spacious and has more of a view. We would have been more than happy to have stayed in the standard one for the whole time. The one thing I didn't really like was that the bathroom was outside (still covered), but it means at night time if you go to the loo, the mozzies are gonna getcha! Food wise, couldn't fault it. They have an ala carte menu that changes daily. Your package includes your choice for starter, main and dessert. I liked pretty much everything. I try not to be one of those people that takes pictures of their meals, but with this I just had to This was one of the best things I have ever eaten! Berry ice cream in a chocolate cup This was the Luxury Safari Tent. Sorry I don't have a ton of pictures, nor any of the Standard Safari Tent, but both were very comfortable.
  2. @janzin I'll be super keen to read your trip report and see what difference a few months makes! The carmine bee eater colonies sound lovely. I don't think I've ever seen a carmine bee eater before as I've never been in the right season. I'll also be keen to check out what other areas of the park look like. We pretty much stayed in the Mfuwe area only, bar one day. And please remember to include Vic Falls photos in your TR too! I would love to see them. I was told that visually it's actually much better to have less water. @amybatt Both. Always both. I hope your annual review goes well! I'll be waiting for your trip report too, lol. @Marks Oh for sure they did! SLNP was the first place I got a proper look at any wild dogs too, so very happy with that!!
  3. There have been some fantastic new additions since I last checked this TR. Especially the closeups of the baby. Such an adorable little thing. Love the hairdo!! Gosh your heart must have been pumping when the silverback came towards you. Not sure how you "don't fall down" but glad you all got through it! Also, your birding pics are crazy. They look like they're 3D! I don't know how you do it. Amazing.
  4. Well, may as well tack on the Vic Falls component to this TR.. If you're going to Zambia I think a side visit to the Victoria Falls is almost compulsory. We stayed at the AVANI Victoria Falls Resort for 2 nights which I highly recommend. It's a beautiful resort that is only a 5 minute walk to the Falls. You can walk back and forth from the hotel as many times as you like, you just need to sign in and out. We stayed exclusively on the Zambia side but did take a lovely helicopter flight over the Falls. Due to cost we opted for the short ride which was 15 minutes. It wasn't cheap but coming all this way we figured we had to. It was definitely amazing and offers a whole different perspective than being at ground level! Victoria Falls Bridge You will get wet I recommend ponchos, double bagging all your electronics/valuables and grippy shoes/crocs. All of this is available for hire when you get there if you prefer, but if you come prepared you'll be fine. This is in June. It feels like torrential rain when you cross this bridge. View from the air At the resort there were zebras and antelope freely wandering around which was pretty cool, as well as baboons. At the entrance to the Falls, baboons were running around everywhere and very habituated to people. It wasn't like baboons in the national parks but still fascinating to observe their behaviours nonetheless. We must have spent a good hour following them and watching them which we enjoyed very much. Baboon hanging out in the carpark. Check out those teeth!! Just chilling Fighting in the middle of the path Youngster biting someone's tail For goodness' sake, control your child! I just need some peace and quiet My favourite. Look at that smile Mmm feet Grooming the kids Youngsters play fighting Mama trying to catch a break during lunch time Adults trying to get grooming done. Look at these kids.. I think we all have that long lost uncle this guy reminds us of I don't know what this guy is doing.........................................
  5. @amybatt Have you locked in your Jun18 trip yet?? I think you would be very happy with SLNP. Lots of leopards and genets around
  6. Apologies if this has already been posted.. I was just sent the following about some white giraffes in Kenya which I thought was pretty interesting. Has anyone here actually seen them before or know much about them?
  7. This is an absolutely phenomenal trip report!! Thank you so much for posting it. Gorillas are one of my dreams too but it's looking less and less likely for me, so I am happy to live vicariously through your photos The gorillas are just amazing and you have captured some very intriguing expressions. Also, interesting note about your friends associating Rwanda with the genocide. Mine would offer a similar negative reaction but automatically think "poverty" (and thus danger).
  8. There was so much activity all around us it was hard to know where to look! Alpha says MOVE Just a little bit longer.. Some dogs are so lazy We must have missed all the sneezing, but the consensus was to go and chase down one of the nearby pukus. Off they went at lightning speed. Once they started running, there was no way we were catching up to them even in the vehicle. We lost them within seconds. Figuring that even if we found them, because it was night time we should now let them be. If they had a successful kill we likely wouldn't have been able to see much by torchlight anyway. Nearby we had been hearing some baboons making a commotion. Kennedy had told us oh, it's probably just a leopard that they're annoyed at. As this was the last game drive of our entire trip I was a little bit antsy and busting to see one last leopard. Well, my wish came true! I was so happy. This leopard was stalking puku as well. As soon as we saw what the leopard was going for we killed the engine and killed the lights. Now this was an amazing moment. I'll always remember sitting in total darkness for that 2 minutes and waiting for a sound that would signal the outcome. We sat quietly with bated breath not knowing what to expect. Admittedly we were Team Leopard, but it was still heart stopping when from the darkness we heard the unmistakable puku alarm call and knew the leopard's chance was over. While an unsuccessful hunt, this still rates amongst my top safari moments, which is ironic as I never thought I would say that about a "sighting" I couldn't see. We were relieved that we ended our big month-long wildlife trip on a high note. It was a fantastic day and overall we really loved South Luangwa NP. It had a great variety of wildlife and is a must for anyone looking for leopards! We ended up seeing 10 in 5 days, so pretty much 1 every drive which was more than we could have ever hoped for. Leaving the park.. our last genet. Found this one just sitting in the middle of the road. Hippo and hyena crossing paths in the night We will miss our little tent friends too Thanks SLNP, you've been great
  9. @Geoff HAHAHAHAHA oh no!!! I thought I was acing it by Googling lovebirds How can you tell the difference? They are green and have the red face and red beak. Now I have the red face!! Hahahahaa. Thanks for the correction!
  10. Excited leaping Naww they're besties!! Yawn. Still not sure I want to get involved yet.. This is how close some of them were. I had to remind Kennedy that there was one resting in front of our wheels in case we ran over it! Checking us out. This was the only acknowledgement we got.
  11. In the evening we looked for the same pack of dogs in the same general area and luckily they hadn't moved too far. We parked and just watched them. More jeeps came, and because we were first, we had to move off the sighting and wait to the side as per the rules. Our jeep mate predicted many would get bored again because the dogs were asleep and would leave. This proved mostly correct. Many came and went in that first 10-15 minute window. From a distance we laughed at the other jeeps jostling around the sleeping dogs, taking their selfies and getting disappointed quickly due to the lack of movement. We planned to resume our prime position once the sun went down and the dogs started to become active. Our patience really paid off. Once most of the jeeps had gone and the sun started to dip, the dogs started to move around and change position. Suddenly they were everywhere around the car and we were totally immersed in the experience. It was amazing!! They yawned, rolled, scratched and then began their little greeting ceremony. They nudged each other, jumped over each other.. there was an overall sense of excitement in the air. It was a truly great privilege to witness and be in the thick of. Sleeping Nearby kudu Checking out my foot Baboon babies! Greeting each other So happy to see each other WARNING - The following series is not for anyone eating their breakfast right now WHY?! Too excited perhaps
  12. We are now at the last day of our 5 day/6 night stay at Flatdogs. It's 99% wild dogs ahead. Apologies for the lack of variety. We found this group of dogs on the morning drive and stayed with them pretty much the whole time. On the evening drive we went looking for them again, found them and again stayed with them until nightfall. Amazing for us though! We tend to favour staying with a particular animal for as long as we can and observing as many different behaviours as we can as opposed to running around trying to cram more sightings in. Our one jeep mate was like-minded and very keen on the dogs so we were all happy to make this a dog day. We took soooooo many photos, I really had to try hard to whittle them down to just the bunch I'm posting. The pack we found on this final morning was a different one from the previous. This one was larger and we counted 21 members. Many were asleep, full from their earlier hunt we guessed. They were balled up in tall grass. I think if you didn't know they were there you could easily miss them and drive past. Occasionally they would get up and play which was fun to watch. The best part was that we pretty much had them all to ourselves! The other jeeps all took a few snaps and then left after about 10 minutes. Wild dog enjoying playing with a stick My husband loves the patterns so much. He calls them cow-dogs Gorgeous greenery Wiping... or scratching an itch Ahahahahaha Blink and you'll miss them There was a herd of elephants nearby. We hoped for a showdown but the eles weren't in the mood that morning and veered away from the dogs. By this time we were already over time so we had to leave. Kennedy told us we could come back and look for them again that evening. Some more misc pics Crown birds Lone giraffe getting something to drink Puku, the cutest of the antelopes
  13. Some miscellaneous pics Sunset hippo and friends \\ White Crowned Lapwing! (I'm getting good at this ) Paradise Whydah. Wish we could have seen this little dude closer. I love his tail. Saddle billed stork and its hilariously big babies Not trying to parent shame but aren't these kids too big to still be fed by by mama? African hare Hyena Waterbucks Heron Fischer's lovebirds
  14. @wilddog He did look like he was but I could be anthropomorphising him too much here because he looked like the "mean" one @amybatt Neither had I! I wondered if it could have just been dirt, but Garlic definitely had dark fur all over. Of course sitting next to Ginger only served to amplify the difference. @egilio We did indeed! We had them all to ourselves the whole time which was very lucky. Thanks also for the fascinating info about the testorone levels in males with full and dark coloured manes. I love learning new facts like these. @Atravelynn You're blowing my mind. Is the leopard really the one who needs to feel safe from the hyena and not other way around?? In any case, that is an amazing leopard shot you have there! And definitely agree that it's best not to know the specifics of missed sightings. Ignorance is bliss! I still haven't gotten over the lion cubs we were *supposed* to see (according to our guide) in Botswana. @Alexander33 I know, he should have. Ginger looks friendly enough, right? He would have let him... Wouldn't have harmed a soul
  15. On the morning of our second last day we heard lions roaring during breakfast. The sound was coming from across the river behind the camp. Everyone rushed to that side of the camp to try to catch a glimpse of them. Our guide Kennedy had other ideas though and told us all to run to the jeep as fast as we could. We would drive to find them ASAP before other jeeps found them and started crowding them. We were like lightning in the direction of these lions. How Kennedy worked out where to go when we had never sighted them we'll never know. Well, what an amazing find this would turn out to be. The famed Ginger and his brother Garlic were in the area! We were so lucky. These two are the most special looking lions I have ever had the privilege to see in real life. Ginger has the creamy colouring of a teddy bear, with an extremely kind, gentle looking face. No doubt he would still tear us a new one given the chance, but he just looks so sweet and kind Garlic on the other hand is a fiery redhead with darker colouring and a menacing face. Together they looked like Scar and Mufasa, good and evil, except they were the best of friends. We stayed with them for some time before other jeeps arrived. This was definitely a highlight of the trip for us! Without further ado here are the pictures of the handsome boys I've left a corner of the jeep to show how close we were I've never hated grass more for ruining my shot!! Garlic So intense If evil had a face.. Ginger They got up after a while and we tailed them, but not once did they seem bothered by us or even acknowledge us when we followed them down the road. Don't they look just like Scar and Mufasa here?? Garlic Ginger Is this not the sweetest face you ever saw..

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