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basto

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  1. Hello all Safaritalkers, I ust have to post this trip report that shows just how fantastic green season can be... Trip Report – Unlimited Tours and Safaris March 23 – April 10, 2017 We have just returned from 18 nights in the bush with Unlimited Tours and Safaris and file this trip report. • Unlimited Dream Team: Moses, Joster, Eddie, Bucks • Camps: 6 nights in Nxai Pan at BOCA #1, 3 nights at Kugama Pan CKGR (an old campsite we used to explore around Kugama Pan), 4 nights in DV5 Deception Valley 5 nights in BOCA Reserve Deception Valley • We completed 36 game drives with the following results: o Cat sightings on 31 of 36 drives (86% “cat bat”) o 57 total cat sightings (34 lion sightings, 14 cheetah sightings, 3 leopard sightings, 4 caracol sightings, 2 wildcat sightings) o Predator counts are: Lions (33 total – 7 pride males, 13 lionesses, 5 cubs, 8 sub adults (5 male, 3 female)), Cheetah (9 total – 1 male, 3 females all with cubs, 5 cubs (3 female, 2 male)), Leopard (2 total both males), caracal (5 total, unsure of sex), wildcat (3 total, unsure of sex, one dead wild cat runover by a self driver), brown hyena (1 total, unsure of sex) o Two cheetah kills on springbok; one aborted lion stalk on oryx; one leopard kill of steenbok (missed kill) eating in tree • “Firsts” on this our 11th safari: o Rare brown hyena sighting in Nxai Pan o Lions and cheetahs with cubs on the same game drive (twice) o Broke record for “cat bat” at 86% o Broke records for number of cat sightings at 57 (previous record was 45 sightings on a 38 game drive safari) o Broke record for average cat sightings per day of 3.2 sightings / day o First ever earthquake while in the bush (a 6.5 quake 100km away in the Kalahari) o 5 caracol sightings record (previous was 1) o 2 cheetah kills (previous record was 1) o Cheetah kill on springbok under a full moon in the dark Lekubu, CKGR o Record number of cheetah sightings at 14 (previous record was 9 sightings) o Seeing a male leopard eating a steenbok in a tree o Discovering and exploring two new large pans in CKGR that have not been visited in many, many years. Discovered two bore holes near Kugama Pan from the 70’s that park officials were not aware of and shared location info with them • Nxai Pan o Lions – we found one of the lionesses from the Nxai Pan pride that we filmed last year (he had two female cubs a year old at the time) andthis year she just gave birth to 3 cubs while having her two sub adult females nearby. All the Nxai Pan lions were healthy. Another Nxai Pan female was preggars and look to give birth any day. o Cheetah – we found a single male and a female with two cubs (one male, one female) all in great condition; watched female make an unsuccessful stalk and pursuit of a springbok. o Brown hyena – a rare sighting just after sunrise where the hyena was scavenging the remains of a cheetah kill • Deception Valley/Leopard Pan/Lekubu/Kugama Pan areas o The Kugama Pan pride has a lioness with two cubs; we tracked a largegroup of cats (5-7) in the area but did not make contact; did make contact with two lioness, the two cubs and one pride male in the area between the first opening and Kugama pan. Found evidence of lion kill in the Kugama secret pan along with a springbok kill suggesting cheetah activity in this area. o We have not solved the mystery surrounding the pride structure in the DV area; the Owens Boys were not found this year but we heard they were near Kalahari Plains camp; the area from the waterhole north of DV down to Deception Pan is not being patrolled by any pride males; We did find a lioness with two sub adults (one male, onefemale) making kills from DV to Deception Pan. We believe she is from the pride formerly ruled by the Owens Boys. o The coalition of three sub adult males we found in January were not seen on this safari in the DV area. o Sunday Pan pride was seen in DV on two occasions looking skinny with 5 sub adults (3 boys, 2 girls) coming of age. Male lion looked healthy but lioness was needing to eat. o The big news in the DV area is what is happening with the Lekubu pride, lead by two blondie boys and several females. These boys are very healthy and have found a secret spot (where we found them) that still had water as of end of March, 2017. They are the new power in the area with pride males in their prime (6-7 years old) and enforcing their territory. These are two of the best looking pride males we haveseen in The Kalahari. o We are seeing more leopards than ever in the area than we ever have this year with the sighting of a golden leopard male in Kugama secret pan. He had made a kill on a steenbok. o Cheetah action was outstanding with hunting cheetahs in bothLeopard Pan (one female with one male cub) and our Diana in DV (with two female cubs); we watched Diana make two kills while with her on 4 separate sightings. Her two female cubs are looking great and will be with her this dry season. o We tracked two male cheetahs near Lekubu but did not make contact. Others saw this pair during our safari. o Moses estimates there are about 15-20 cheetahs from Sunday Pan to Letiahau in the DV area. We saw or tracked 7 of them. SK Lumpkin 4/14/17 For more pictures and films pls visit www.enlesstreasuresofbotswana.com
  2. Hi @@madaboutcheetah - I am doing well, I hope you are also fine! From what I have seen so far there is not spectacular amounts of water coming down from Angola, but hopefully we will see a substantial one. Savuti, well I guess we are all hoping that the river will flow again, but we really do not know yet. At the moment there is water in Savuti and the area is green and beautiful, really needed.
  3. Hi all, Just wanted to share a picture from Moremi last week - Moremi driving The water situation is really difficult and we would advise all to be very careful at the moment. Nevertheless wildlife seems to be thriving and despite all the water we continue to have really good sightings. We have stopped Moremi trips at the moment but are still able to access Khwai, Savuti and Chobe so we can continue our Northern parks safaris. We would advise however if you plan of going to focus on Kalahari instead, the park is absolutely teeming with animals at the moment and we are having great sigthings.
  4. Please check out our last newsletter here: Unlimited Bush News #17. Some great news about a new award and also a fresh trip report from last week with fantastic sightings. Enjoy.
  5. Let us introduce another key player in our Unlimited team. Our fantastic guide Salani! A real nature lover with lots of experience from all over Botswana. Salani has guided in Okavango, Chobe, Kalahari and Moremi, with Wilderness and other companies. His full name is Tibabili Salani and he is 35 years. Salani was born in Kasane and grew up in Nata village.He is from the Kalanga tribe, mostly found in the eastern side of Botswana. From childhood Salani has loved nature and spent all his time out in the bush. His favourite animal is an elephant, "its amazing to watch it and its behavior". Salani loves both guests and bush because its exciting and it´s different everyday, especially reading the Bush newspaper in the morning. "The best bush experience is when I get the animal tracks then we follow them while engaging all senses til we get it...." This is the Unlimited way of guiding, where tracking is an essential part of the experience!
  6. New safari destination! We are extremely happy to be able to offer you a new safari destination for Unlimited. We have decided to venture into Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to offer you a really authentic safari expedition. The red dunes and scrub fade into infinity and herds of gemsbok, springbok, eland and blue wildebeest follow the seasons, where imposing camel thorn trees provide shade for huge black-mane lions and vantage points for leopard and many raptors... this is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This is the ultimate adventure for the seasoned safari-goer who wants a really authentic and special experience. Visiting Kgalagadi on the Botswana side is a like going back in time, you are going to experience real wilderness, just the way it has been for thousands of years. We are extremely happy to be able to offer this very special safari. Learn all about this fantastic park on our website, or send us an email and we will be happy to help you!
  7. Have a look at this newly released mini-documentary by Steve Lumpkin (Endless Treasures of Botswana) on the nine new lion cubs of the Xinii pride. This pride one of the dominant ones in the Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana and this film places you inside the pride as the lionesses care for the cubs and hunt for the family. To our knowledge, this is the first time these cubs are captured on film and it shows the success of Botswana’s conservation efforts. This exclusive filming of nine new cubs in the Xinii Pride, Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana was done in the late dry season 2016. This pride dominates the area between Xinii and Third Bridge, lead by a coalitiion of 7 male lions. See the group of four lionesses hunt zebra and the cubs interact with the pride. Enjoy this… https://vimeo.com/195664692
  8. We have compiled some amazing videos and photos from our safaris together with Steve Lumpkin, please have a look at our website http://www.unlimitedsafari.com/videos or go to Steves site for both video and photos: http://www.endlesstr...swana.com. This is a ongoing project to promote Botswana as a destination and pay tribute to the conservation effort done in Botswana. We are really proud to be a part of this project, and very thankful to the government of Botswana and Steve Lumpkin for making this possible!
  9. Kalahari Bushman Survival Skills - as part of our project, Endless Treasures of Botswana, we did a film on three essential survival skills of the Kalahari Bushmen - making fire by friction, using snares to catch game and extracting water from underground tubers. Enjoy this video featuring Moses Ntema and Bojosi Joster Mokgwaphe our bushman tracker and good friend. ​It is really fascinating to see the old way of doing things and how the bushman excelled in this very tough environment by living in harmony with nature. https://vimeo.com/189702140
  10. Unlimited Tours & Safari September Trip report 4 nights Moremi, Khwai and Chobe By professional safari guide Jack Ntema I had the fantastic opportunity to go on Safari with three guests from Bulgaria. Fantastic people that were happy and easy going, a real pleasure to spend a few days with them showing them the beauty of our country. Safari was excellent as our guests loved birds so life was easy for me ;-) In mammals they loved hippos,hyena,giraffes and wild dogs and we saw all this in our safari. We saw the wilddogs in Xakanaka (Jesse pools) our guests and I were busy focused on a grey hornbill trying by all means to swallow a chameleon as we continued a drive Maria said to me; "Jack I saw something..." and I reversed the vehicle and scanned the ground for something interesting and suddenly 1 wilddog lifted it's head after hearing the vehicle and we drove closer and watched this endangered species with excitement. We left the wilddogs and drove about 100 meters and saw 3 old male lions... Sometimes everything happens at once when on safari. That is the beauty you never know what the bush will give you… Lions, crocodiles and lots of buffaloes was the bonus of our safari And we were fortunate on our way from Chobe to Kasane we met 3 lions - two young males and 1 lioness...We were on our own,no traffic at all, which made it a private and special sighting And what a final last morning, on the drive through khwai before finally heading to Chobe we found a Honey badger, immidiately when we joined the main route,this fearless little creature joined the road from the other side and started his search for morning meal by scrapping the ground here and there....and about 5 minutes after leaving honey badger...The spotted hyena also crossed the road...lovely morning Thanks for a great safari, hope to see you again soon ;-)
  11. @@madaboutcheetah - thanks! I hope you have a trip planned soon, great times at the moment! Savuti is very dry, not too much activity there. Lions, wildebeest and elephants are in the area, but is not like when you have water in the area. We will have to wait and see what happens now.
  12. Wild dogs hunting through camp, wild dog puppies at the den, female leopard and cub feeding on impala and lots of other predator interaction I have been saying that game viewing is phenomenal in Botswana at the moment. Here is another report confirming this - pls if you have the chance pls join us now for an unforgettable safari experience on a private mobile safari with Unlimited Tours & Safaris! I am still waiting for photos and will add them in a day or two! July Safari report 10 days safari with Alina x 2 guided by Kane Motswana I met this young couple Alina and Mat from Romania at Back packers; they looked very energetic and more adventurous more especially that they had just finished two nights of kayaking in the Thamalakane River with BackPackers. I knew from the moment I started talking to them that we were going to have fun. We started our journey to Moremi, our first campground was Xakanaxa for 3 nights. We arrived late in the evening to Xakanaka, we saw lots of game on the way, but there was nothing extraordinary though good for arrival day. When we got to Camp we were welcomed by smiling faces of Joster and Eddy the chef. The camp looked great and more welcoming. Eddy and Joster presented a lovely dinner to us that we had and afterwards we went to bed. Our first morning at Xakanaxa was the highlight; we did not expect anything of that sort. Just after our breakfast a pack of 10 wild dogs chased an impala straight through our camp and killed the Impala about 300 meters away. My excitement erupts massively when my day starts like this in the bush, and I guess it excites the guests too, we put on our shoes in the vehicle if we did not have them on. Those guests with experience about the bush and the guides will know what I mean. Usually it becomes one of those moments you can’t just waste for another cup of coffee. We quickly jumped in the vehicle and went to where they were feeding. They finished the Impala within 45 minutes and started looking for another prey, unbelievable. I didn’t believe when I saw them chasing another Impala which we thought they have killed in the bush because the whole pack went into the bush. The morning was fantastic followed by a great afternoon. I got the bush news from one of the guides that there were three male lions in the area; my plan was to go and spend the afternoon with the lions until they wake up. One thing I like about the bush is that you never know what’s coming, during my guiding career my plans have been interrupted many times for the better. A female cheetah walked across the road just few meters away from our vehicle, and we were the only vehicle to see this cheetah. This is what I refer to as a gift from my Gods and I know well that when this kind of a surprise happens it reminds me about the Gods of the San. After the cheetah we quickly rushed to see the lions before the park close, we ended our day with three handsome male lions. Day two was amazing as well, on our morning drive we headed towards Dead Tree Island and further into the floodplains. We explored the beauty of Xakanaxa, wide open floodplains with lots of general game. We continued following the plains and we came across a pack of 4 wild dogs resting under a shade, this was a different pack from the one we saw the previous day. The alpha female looked like she was lactating; I even thought there was a den with puppies somewhere in the island. After the dogs we decided to get back to our camp for lunch. When we got to camp we all thought the morning drive was over and it was great, then suddenly our lunch was interrupted. Just as we dished our lunch a leopard roared about 200 meters away from where we were having our lunch. We quickly jumped in the game drive vehicle and left, as we drove off I told Joster and Eddy that we will be back in a few minutes as we just heard leopard calling a few meters away from our campground. We found the sub adult female leopard up on the tree, we watched her move up and down the tree and she even roared a couple of times while we were there, it looked like she was on heat looking for a male. We left her when she came down the tree and went into the thickets. After all that action we now felt like we needed our lunch, we went back and finished our lunch, the lunch tested better than the first bite we got before we went for the leopard. We ended the afternoon with a short sighting of a shy leopard that was running away from us and left him in peace. Xakanaka was on fire, most of our highlights of the trip more special in animal interaction were from Xakanaxa. We walked away with a score of 2 leopard, 1 cheetah, 14 wild dogs (2 different packs ), 3 hyenas, 3 male lions, a kill ( dogs killing an impala ) and many general game. We left early for Khwai, this was to give Joster and Eddy time to break down the camp and to go ahead and set up in Khwai. These guys are like machines when coming to breaking down the camp and re-building it. We often laugh at other crews when we see how they do the breaking and re-building the camp very late, they have to go for training at Unlimited Tours and Safaris. I know all the time that Joster and Eddy will be ready around 12 o’ clock or latest one if our next destination is far. Wonderful team work, we were unbeatable. Just as we got to Khwai, Khwai welcomed us with a beautiful sighting of a young female leopard and 2 male lions. Our three nights at Khwai was fabulous, Khwai never disappoints. We had a wonderful sighting of female leopard with her sub adult cub feeding on an impala kill and we also saw another female leopard with impala kill at Magotho area. The afternoon drives were great with elephants and general game along the Khwai River, there is always something to see. Our highlight at Khwai was seeing the wild dog puppies at the den; they were so cute and seeing them interacting with the adults. Our second highlight was a male lion roaring 2 meters away from our vehicle, he roared so many times. I have heard lion roar so many times and it always impress me when I hear them roaring that close. Khwai contributed with 3 leopards, a pack of wild dogs with puppies, 1 male lion and so many general game. 2 nights at Savuti was exciting as well, we watched the marsh pride trying to take down a buffalo. We saw the whole chase but the take down was far from the road in the bush, we could hear the buffalo bellowing but we couldn’t go there because of the no off-road rule. We also saw Mopane pride 2 females, 4 cubs and 2 males that afternoon closer to Marabou pan. Our stay in Savuti was short but very exciting, the guests enjoyed it. On our last morning we headed to Chobe, Ihaha area. The Chobe river front area can win award when coming to greatest view on safari. We saw hundreds of elephants, buffalos and zebras along the river, wonderful scenery, seing elephants and buffalo heads crossing the chore river is amazing. Our stay in Chobe, Ihaha was just for one night. On our last morning we left early for a boat cruise in Kasane, and then afterwards the guests were crossing over to Victoria Falls. Just before we exited Chobe a big male lion came roaring, crossing the road. Happy ending! The safari was over; the boat cruise was just a bonus experience to the guests. The safari ended and we said our goodbyes, the guests went on with their vacation to see another wonder of the world, the Victoria Falls, and we remained in our beloved Botswana ready for new adventures in the bush. For more info pls visit our website http://www.unlimitedsafari.com or Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/UnlimitedSafari/
  13. For some amazing videos and photos from our safaris together with Steve Lumpkin, please have a look at his website http://www.endlesstreasuresofbotswana.com/index. This is a project to promote Botswana as a destination and pay tribute to the conservation effort done in Botswana. We are really proud to be a part of this project, and very thankful to the government of Botswana and Steve Lumpkin (www.underprarieskies.com) for making this possible! You can see more of his photos and trip reports on our Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/UnlimitedSafari/
  14. 10 days safari June safari with Unlimited Tours & Safaris - a report from guide Kane Motswana. I always ask my gods of the San whenever I start my safaris to give me strength, power, safety and show me the hidden secrets of the bush. On our way to Khwai we stopped for a short moment to ask our gods to join us into their world,I explained to Christine and Graham what this ceremony means to me. This is history that has gone on for years and it works and saved lots of the san people in the bush,this is not just a demonstration, when you do it you have to do it right. The secret that lies behind it is that the ceremony determines your safari, you do it right you get the right result We gathered grass in our hands and called our forefathers and mothers asking for good fortune on their land. I felt the connections right there,we did it right and it was for us now to wait for the results, which came faster than I expected. The ten days safari ended in just five days in the Khwai area, the safari was done and dusted. I have this special connection with Khwai, when my father was alive and I was a small boy we used to walk a couple of days from Xhamoxwii (where I was born) to Khwai to visit our relatives, since then, this area became one of the places that touches my heart. Five nights in Khwai was total drama, we witnessed scaring moments sometimes. Everything started sparking from our first game drive, we saw hundreds of elephants along the Khwai river,they never stopped coming to the river it almost looked like ants. Among the big herds were some bulls following females, it looked like they were 1 or 2 females on oestrus and this bulls were seriously challenging each other. One bull on marsh gave us a full charge, I ended up driving away from him. On our second day we had a beautiful young female leopard and in the afternoon we closed the day with a pack of African Wild dogs feeding on an Impala carcas they killed a couple of minutes ago. Still in Khwai we had hyenas around our campsite every night and elephants passing through. On the third day we had outstanding drama, it started with me suggesting to the guests that we go on a day trip into Moremi game reserve. We left early that morning and headed towards Xhini area. Just before we got to Xhini we saw about 12 hyenas, they were following a pack of Wild dogs. We didn’t see the wild dogs but we could see their fresh tracks. Suddenly our vehicle was surrounded by hyenas, sniffing our vehicle tyres you would almost touch them, amazing animals. We had enough of the hyenas and carried on with our plan. When we got to Xhini lagoon we found a female cheetah on red lechwe kill, she was a bit shy but we had lovely view of her. We peacefully left her and carried on,then drama started. We found tracks of lions and followed them, about 10 minutes we found them finishing off a carcas, we found 2 big males, 3 females and 2 cubs.We couldn’t identify what they have killed but we suspected something small like Impala because they were not all full. After watching the cubs fighting over the bones we drove closer to the males to take a closer look at them, the males didn’t even blink when we got to them. just when we wanted to carry on and I tried to start the vehicle, it failed to start. We started contemplating whats next, I wanted to jump out of the vehicle to open the bonnet and figure out what could be wrong with vehicle. I’m planning this idea and we are about two meters away from 2 big males lions and a lioness. I thought again, “this is not a good idea”. We now have to wait until the lions move further, but who knows when as they just settled down. At that point our radio cannot reach our back up guys, we were far from camp and there was no other vehicle closer by. I lost patience and tried to come out of the vehicle, then suddenly our friendship and trust with the lions broke. They charged us full on, growling and tails flipping from side to side. I set back fast and they kept watching us and never turn their back on us, they charged at any little movement in the vehicle. We were in some kind of prison for almost 2 hours, starring at one another. Finally the females with cubs started moving away, a sigh of relief, then the males followed. One male kept his eye on us and didn’t go far. I took advantage of that little movement, I crawled down from the vehicle and went to the front to open the bonnet. Christine and Graham did great to do as I told them, they didn’t blink but kept their eyes on the lions while I tried to find out what was wrong with the vehicle. After a while I found a fuel cable that snipped off and was able to put it back. the vehicle started, one kick you should have seen us celebrating, no goodbye to the lions. Day four was good as well, we were at Magotho. We saw a Porcupine scaring 6 lions and ran off. We continued from there and found 2 male lions wrestling over a baby buffalo carcas, this was an amazing sighting to watch, good brothers become enemies. The wrestling went on for about 2 hours until one started a smart technique, he started feeding on the carcas while his brother was holding on, that did not sit well with the brother more so that the carcas was getting less and less. The brother who was eating had enough and left the carcas for his brother. After the wrestling, on our way to camp we saw a female leopard and she did her show as well. She sported a herd of Impala and started stalking, unfortunately she is enemy to many, a tree squirrel saw her and was warning the Impala. The hunt folded as the Impala spotted her. Day five was named the leopard show, a male leopard killed a baboon at night and dragged it up a tree by our campsite, a handsome male. We saw him go up the tree and coming down. A combination of Moremi game Reserve and Khwai Magotho is unbeatable during this dry months, fantastic sightings almost everyday. If we were tickers of predators and big game I would say the safari was over, but that’s not how the bush works, you don’t know what will come next, that makes even more funnier. It is a game that you have to play it smart. We left Khwai and headed off to Savuti for 2 nights and continued to Chobe Ihaha area for one night, we were booked to stay 2 nights at Ihaha but the guests felt they had enough with animals and had seen what they wanted. We left a day earlier to Kasane where we enjoyed wifi at Kwalape lodge. The worst thing on safari is that last day when you have to say goodbye to your friends that you have been travelling with for almost 2 weeks, always hard for guides, especially if the guests were easy going and sweet like Graham and Christine. Incredible moments throughout, a total of 17 lions, 3 leopards,1 cheetah,15 spotted hyenas, 20 wild dogs, hundreds of elephants, buffalo and many other general game and birds. Not only seeing big numbers but quality sightings, experiencing animal behavior at its outmost.
  15. @@Botswanadreams - we always try to use HATAB or BOGA private campsites for our safaris as we feel they give a better experience, but sometimes if they are full we use the public ones as well. We still offer both full-service and participation safaris to our guests, we feel that both are good options depending on what you are looking for in a safari.

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