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Everything posted by Sangeeta

  1. You’ve a very distinct photo style now, Hari. Both you & Michael - I can tell without knowing whose images are being shown Big league now!
  2. Thanks @Zim Girl - sounds like a wonderful trip, any which way you look at it! Thank you for sharing in such good detail!
  3. A cicada of some type? A giant cicada 😄 And a logistics question for you - in retrospect, do you think it makes sense to take the ferry both ways to reduce time at those annoying police stops? Was there a reason to do it by car one way? thanks @Zim Girl
  4. What a feast literally for all the senses, @Zim Girl - thank you so so much for taking the time to do this! I know I’ll def be following in your footsteps on this one
  5. If you don't mind my interjecting here, @Zim Girl I just got a newsletter from Virunga NP with their new offers. They have a new Short Stay package, with 2 nights at the new Kibumba Camp, 1 gorilla trek and 1 Nyiragongo hike for less than the cost of 1 Rwanda permit! For those of you interested in supporting the park, do consider this. They had elections slated for Dec 2017 but it looks like they may not happen after all and you can do this very, very reasonably.
  6. So sorry to hear about Ben, @Zim Girl. Stay strong. Our SImba is getting frailer by the day too, and my heart really goes out to you.
  7. Thanks @offshorebirder - it wasn't that one actually, but your WP article is just as informative. Trying again with the NY Times one:
  8. @ice - clearly nefarious and underhanded, if one reads between your lines It might surprise you to know that camp owners and travel agents can be wildlife enthusiasts & conservation-minded too. The two are not mutually exclusive. I suggest you re-read what Annabelle said (quoted in its original by @IamFisheye above) and what I paraphrased - and do that with a non-prejudiced eye. Does it really sound to you like either of us is suggesting that Laikipia is a wonderful place right now for dog sightings? She was simply trying to say that she thinks there may be a remnant population left over in the area. And I see no reason to doubt her because such a thing is not unusual in cases of distemper, and because she probably has better info than any of us right now, considering how closely they track dogs at LWC. If you are concerned about the number and quality of sightings, perhaps you should simply ask for clarification? And if you want to clarify who Annabelle is, perhaps you should simply state that. As for me, the quality of guiding and wildlife, as well as the overall safari experience (especially for families), is of such high quality at LWC that I would continue to encourage people to go there, provided they are not going there only for dogs. That's not so hard to understand.
  9. @modleskiYour photos & videos are lovely! Did you go out on the canoe at all at SEC?
  10. http://Chad’s Inclusion in Travel Ban Could Jeopardize American Interests, Officials Say - The New York Times hmmmm, my link's not working. Maybe someone else could repost this?
  11. @ice, I think that's a very cynical comment on your part. If there are no dogs, it isn't as if people wouldn't get to know eventually. As Annabelle says, these dogs have suffered from distemper outbreaks before, but they have bounced back. Why should that not be the case again? It's easy to attribute motives to people. But it is not nice to make these types of subjective comments on a public forum.
  12. Very excited to follow along, @Zim Girl - this promises to be a real treat. I love the juxtaposed pics too
  13. Annabelle said on FB that there have been some sightings, so fingers crossed that there is a core population still remaining or at least enough individuals to form a core. What heartbreaking news this is And this was such a success story...
  14. This never ends. Here's more of the same... Not sure if posting this here will help these animals, but the PH mentoned below is a member of the 'ethics is everything' association (ZPHSA) who thinks it is okay to bait & call out animals from a protected area to then kill them in a hunting area. It is my hope some of the Zim Pro Photo Guides on ST will read this and take some action - at least bring it to the attention of their board, or tell us why it is okay to do this. I don't mean to put you guys in a spot but @Doug Macdonald, @Ant Kaschula, and the other photo guides who belong to the association, please could you all follow up on this? Posted today (Sept 21, 2018) on FB. Below is the quoted content from Save Big Cats: "Word coming out from Hwange that a Lion hunt is in progress on the forestry boundary of Hwange & that hunters have set up several bait sites to try and lure out 2 well known lions called "Mopane" & "Sidule". They are apparently doing call-ups & bait to lure them out of the protection of the photographic concessions in the forestry area. It has not been confirmed whether this is a "legal" or "illegal" hunt but there is suspiscion of a "quota transfer". The PH on this hunt - apparently Tim Schultz was also the PH involved in the incident outside Hwange where a South African client was killed by an elephant when shooting into a breeding herd. These lions have become well known photographically & have frequented Hwange Main Camp, Nyamandlovu & forestry areas which are regularly visited by tourists to the park. Time to do what you all do best & fight!!!! Share the hell out of this to bring as much attention as possible.... NOTE - This image is not of the males #SaveBigCats #LionStrong #Lion"
  15. Started on this today, @Caracal - thanks so much for sharing these. It makes for fascinating reading.
  16. Our pleasure, @AandA Definitely Kwara/Selinda for June! No question about that. Kadizora/Sable Alley are good options for peak season at good rates. I am sure they will be wonderful in June too, but Kwara and Selinda are known entities and have reliably excellent wildlife in June, I never quite know what to think of any SA option when you're going to Bots immediately afterwards. But definitely, you'll be ending at a high in Botswana Good luck and do keep posting, including your somewhat disappointing sightings in May. Every report is so helpful.
  17. Hi @AandA, sorry if I confused you! I was saying that SEC is fantastic in June (& even in early November), but sadly, in Aug, it will bust the budget So if you want to go in June, def do SEC - it is a brilliant camp. I am completely in agreement with @madaboutcheetah and @modleski on SEC. In June, you should def add in a Kwando camp too. But if you have your heart set on Aug, then you need other reasonably priced alternatives and the K/SA combo is a good option for you. As are also the K&D options.
  18. @AandA, June is reasonable for Botswana. Selinda Explorers have shoulder season rates through June 15, so def worth doing if you can do that. After that, the prices all go up a lot, so then you should visit first week of Nov after that. I am posting here today because I saw some lovely FB images by Colin Bell from Sable Alley. They have a couple of big dog packs there, it seems. Having thought about it a bit more, I would be happy with the Kadizora and Sable Alley combo, I think. That will be an affordable combo for you in high season and with Mashatu tacked on to that, you will have a very well-rounded Botswana experience and I think enough predators to gladden your heart And with that type of pricing, you could potentially splurge on a few more nights on safari.
  19. Aaah, I wish I had an easy answer for you!! Shinde adjoins the Kwara concession and though much smaller, often the animals overlap the concession boundaries. It was refurbed very recently & will be v comfortable. Okuti is inside the Moremi reserve so a little less freedom of movement, perhaps, but very good wildlife also. This is not a private concession, which is the case both for Shinde & Kanana. Kanana - great for ele crossing channels and overall delta/water activities but perhaps not as many predators. Lovely birding and overall a really good Delta feeling. But you've got to manage your predator expectations. Kadizora also great for the Delta experience & feel & that hot air balloon offer is very alluring. Sable Alley, I don't know yet, but if it is anything like the main Khwai area, I am sure it will be brilliant. Another one you should look at is Motswiri. It is at the very southern tip of the Selinda concession. This also used to be a hunting area until GPC took over and is now a photo & riding camp. You can canoe on the Selinda Spillway here. And masses of ungulates too, including roan, sable etc. Not so many easily viewable predators here, but they do have a pack of dogs. This is a relatively affordable way to see some of the Linyanti in high season, though not as prolific as the prime areas along the Namibian border. All happy problems @AandA - with a couple of these places, you'll be taking a chance. But since you are doing Mashatu & hopefully will see a lot of predators there, I think you should plan with a view to an overall balance of experiences.
  20. As a TO/TA myself, let me just jump in and say that Porini does not give a smaller commission to travel agents. That's not the case at all. Their conservation vision and their access to some of the richest wildlife areas of the greater Mara & Amboseli ecosystems makes them a wonderful choice for many people. Their appeal is to hard-core wildlife lovers and to people who like a more 'earthy' safari - and not so much to people looking for a glamping experience, so you do need to make sure that you're a good fit. To me, Ol Kinyei especially is like a private Botswana concession, and stunning to boot.
  21. @AandA I like the K&D package - it is reasonably priced, and in combination with Mashatu, will give you a very good experience. Another good combo for you could be Kadizora plus Sable Alley. I think Kadizora offers a complimentary balloon flight for 3 night stays, and it is in a very nice area of the delta, very close to Duba. I have not been to Sable Alley but it is in a wonderful location and on a huge private concession. Hopefully the wildlife there is settled now & if so, it will be lovely.
  22. Glad to see you get to this post-haste, Vikram! Looks like a fun time being had by all.
  23. This link below is the actual academic paper from the census. Interested readers can find tons of information on the Great Ele Census all over the Internet and it has been discussed here on ST as well.
  24. @douglaswise, thanks for your measured response. I will admit I was being flippant in my reference to your gloom (but only because of that 'ecstasy' jab ) As a matter of fact, I don't disagree with a lot of what you say in your last post at all. But I think we start out at different places when we look for our solutions. Yes, it is indeed my contention that when there are so many African range states with such a paucity of elephants (mainly due to poaching), that I believe we should first be looking for solutions that increase and improve habitat, before we get anywhere near considering lethal solutions. Whereas the 'wildlife management' side of the debate seems to come down immediately in favor of hunting or culling or some other lethal solution. There may come a time when the planet is 'full up' but we're a long way from there. And I don't think we can kill & cull our way out of the problem anyway. As I am sure you know, Dr Chase headed up the Great Elephant Census, and it is thanks to that extraordinary project that we now have some understanding of how eles are faring throughout the continent. The project didn't just produce a bunch of satellite markers and images, but a wealth of data that can be used to tackle the most vexing issues of habitat loss, corridors, poaching etc. It was the abysmal numbers reported by this project about the decimation of the ele population in the Selous & their marked decline in the Rungwa-Ruaha ecosystem that finally prodded the Tanzanian government into some semblance of action. Likewise in Niassa in Mozambique. All of which makes me an unabashed fan & very glad there is someone who can see the forest, and not just the trees. Happy to call it truce for a bit
  25. Possibly, @offshorebirder, but I certainly believe that few people can have the perspective that Dr Mike Chase brings to this discussion. The names you mention are all legends, of course, but their work focuses on ele behaviour and local ele populations. With all due respect, I believe Mike Chase's thoughts are more relevant when we're discussing issues related to pan-African distribution, the problem of 'refugee' elephants, elephant movements, ele corridors etc. I can't think of another person who has a better continent-wide macro understanding of the African elephant. Though open to hearing & reading more if you can suggest some names.

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