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Paolo last won the day on April 3

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  1. @plambers Another vote for Lewa. There are various options there - Sirikoi, Wilderness Trails and Lewa House are all great, each different from the other. Lewa Safari Camp is a more budget option. i find it quite difficult to advise on Laikipia at the moment - I have been to a few places there, and (wild dogs experience apart) I thought that there were areas with higher game density and better general game viewing than LWC (which I did enjoy in any case); now what is the situation in some of those ranches is quite uncertain (a point in case is Mugie - one of the most wildlife rich, but also one of the most affected by the invasions). Lewa however is a very safe bet - scenery is beautiful, and wildlife numbers are at an all time high (in particular elephants, rhinos and buffalos).
  2. @Geoff i am not sure. In 1989, my guide in Chobe was a lady called Pam. I need to go and find her surname, but I recall that she and her husband had been guarding over Chobe Game Lodge during the years when the lodge was closed due to insecurity caused by the warfare in nearby Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) - in the late 1970s. I do not know what kind of qualifications for guides were in place in 1989, but she and her husband were definitely considered senior guides.
  3. @Africalover I am glad I visited Kidepo at the time I did. Even then, you could subtly feel in the air that the place was on the edge of changes bound to happen in the near future, and already different from a few years earlier. When Michael Lorentz visited it for the first time (in 2003, I think - anyway, well before the building of Apoka Lodge), he and his party were the the first visitors the park had seen in a few years. I know someone who trekked to the Ik some years ago, and indeed the Ik were generally not wearing clothes back then. "Getting less and less remote"....familiar story, eh?
  4. They are centrally located, of course, but - if I am honest - I found the entire complex not very attractive. I never understood why Apoka Lodge was built so close to the HQ, with all the marvellous possible sites in the Narus Valley....(f.e. our camp was located on the edge of a hill with views on the valley and the passing buffalo herds...). FWIW, at the time of my visit (February 2013) wildlife was more concentrated in the southern part of the Narus Valley (from Apoka to Nga'moru, so to speak), so Apoka's location was not really an advantage from a game viewing perspective. Things might be obviously different at other times. We did not do any night drive. I am trying to recall if we took it into consideration, but memory is failing me. I remember some wonderful nights around the campfire though!
  5. @FlyTraveler I am not sure if I can be of help on this. In Kidepo I used a private mobile camp which, whilst not "basic camping" in the sense @Botswanadreams mentions (we had proper beds, detached toilets, a few people as camp staff etc...) would probably not fit your requirements. Nga'moru Wilderness Camp is indeed outside of the park, in the Karenga Community Conservation Area. Depending on rains, the area adjacent to Nga'moru can be pretty good for wildlife - at the time of my visit to Kidepo, there was a flush of short green grass close to Nga',oru attracting many grazers. I think this was also due to regular burning (unlike in the park). Karenga is (or at least was back in 2013) a hunting area (hence a reason for the burning) and there was a hunting camp just a few km from the lodge. i never heard of Kidepo Savannah Lodge, but I have not really followed the developments in Kidepo for the past five years, so I guess that several things have changed. I assume that Buffalo Base must bethe same as Buffalo Rocks, a place aimed at overlanders that I think was under construction in 2013. if memory serves me well, I recall some other self-catering bandas to the north of Apoka. They seemed quite in disarray, so I do not know whether they are operational. Re Murchison Falls. Pakuba Lodge was a very popular lodge in the 1960s, and - assuming the "new"'Pakuba Lodge is on the same site (not sures, I think the old Pakuba was inside the park; anyway I suppose it should be close-by) - it is in a good location, not too far from the Albert Nile track from which you can access the Delta. I agree that avoiding the Paraa ferry is an advantage. I never heard of Bwana Tembo.
  6. @Zarek Cockar Thank you very much for a very thorough and helpful review of Lentorre, which has really whetted my appetite for my forthcoming stay there in a little more than one month. Lots of things to do and look for. We will also be using Lentorre as a base for helicopter trips into Lake Natron and adjacent areas in northern Tanzania. As to the local wildlife, I had read somewhere that also Greater Kudu is present in the area (besides obviously Lesser Kudu as you mention) - do you think that information is correct?
  7. @pault Well, things do not seem that rosy in the Mara either. Besides the usual illegal grazing inside the Reserve and the excessive pressure from tourists and tourism establishments, there is now this:[1571903072851030]&action_type_map=["news.publishes"]&action_ref_map=[]
  8. @jeremie i am not very optimistic on the lion population in the Omo either. There is very little prey left for a healrhy lion popultion on the eastern side of the river. The western side is definitely faring better, but I guess that the big buffalo and eland herds for which the area was once famed are a thing of the past (I hope I am wrong).
  9. @michael-ibk, Excellent report and photos as usual, and glad of having been of some limited help. Very sad to see that the situation in Awash has further deteriorated since my visit in 2013 (it was very bleak then already). As to the lions, I recall that the rangers got really excited during our second morning, since apparently lions were heard calling close to the Filwoha Hot Springs. Even if we made a dash, obviously it took us some time to get there, and by the time we reached we could only see Afar and their livestock. Somehow I have always been doubtful as to the genuiness of those lion vocalization we had been told had been heard, but who knows? The rangers escorting us in Ali Deghe also told us that lions were present in the area - but again no more evidence than that.
  10. @jeremie The first proper survey of Garamba was conducted in 1976. The results were 22,000 elephants, 500 Northern White Rhino, 350 giraffes and, if memory serves me well, 40 -50,000 buffalos. I think that in the early 1960s, before the Simba rebellion, the number of Northern White Rhino amounted to 2,000 individuals. Scary, eh?
  11. Not sure if any of their projects may be more difficult than Garamba...
  12. @@optig This is incorrect. Hunting plays quite an important role in Bangweulu as far as I know. I also believe hunting will be re-instated in Chinko if and when conditions will allow.
  13. @@inyathi Of course it all adds up in the end and the more money the better. No one is disputing this. I was just indicating some figures closer to the reality. As to the fundraising strategy of AP (or others) I am no expert in that field, though I know AP has some dedicated professionals who surely know better than me.
  14. @@inyathi Unfortunately, African Parks has been forced by certain circumstances to discontinue its involvement in Gambella towards the end of last year. As to the Emmanuel de Merode fundraising in connection with the London Marathon, in total as you say 3400 people donated but half the $1 million as Paul Leander-Engström, though his organisation, The World We Want Foundation,doubled the donated amount (with a match dollar for dollar scheme ) to bring it to the USD1,080,000 number. Of the 3400, 1255 donated on the Virgin Giving site a total of USD121K at an average of USD 100 and since there were a number of of USD 25-40 donations, some people must have donated much more than the average. Balance people donated offline and would have definitely had some bigger donations to bring it. Its usually a 90/10 ppprtion in crowd donations like this.
  15. Haha, yes. A few days back I received out of the blue a message on FB by the lady of this nice British couple - she apologized for not having had the chance to tell me face to face, but she attributed to my writings (so she said) their decision to take the jump and visiting Zakouma, a place she had longed to see for a long time. Now I understand why she seemed so star-struck when she recognized Michael at the airport....

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