Canadian Robin

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About Canadian Robin

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  1. Is anyone able to tell me the current (June 2017) cost of diesel in Arusha, the crater rim, Mto-wa-Mbu, and/or Seronera? Thx!
  2. “We came specifically to Halali first in order to meet up with my Canadian forum friend and Africa self-drive mentor and her family.” …and we are most grateful and happy that you did. It was a great pleasure to meet you both and share a lovely evening with you. Given that we were in Etosha at the same time, I guess that it should come as no surprise that our experiences were very similar. The evidence of the drought was everywhere – we thought that Etosha looked rather sad. We hated seeing the animals suffer – and those being kept away from the waterholes by lions were clearly suffering. While the sightings and number of animals at the waterholes were amazing, there was nothing to be seen between waterholes. Our days were spent driving from one waterhole to the next – not much challenge in that. Love those white elephants! We spent a long time at that waterhole. So lucky! There were no lions under the Salvadora tree when we were there. Love the baby elephant! #80 – the ellie and lion shot is amazing - great timing! I agree entirely about the food at the three main camps – poor quality and overpriced! Dolomite was far better. I had not thought about it but, now that you mention it, we have met very few American self-drivers – in fact, perhaps not any – other than you, of course. Why do people insist on telling us what we have missed – so annoying! The did dik looks as though it is on the moon. Amazing that the wildebeests missed the lions – that doesn’t happen often. The light on the lion (the last photo of 88) is lovely. Thank you again for this wonderful trip report. It brought back many fond memories.
  3. Well, it took me a while, but I am finally caught up with parts 1 and 2. Here are my thoughts... We originally had Khumaga in our August itinerary and took it out. Obviously, a mistake - the number of zebras is amazing. Next time! Next visit to Nxai Pan ask for South Gate #2 - private, overlooking the pan, and a great shade tree. It is also a favourite with the ellies that pass through #2 campsite on their way to the grey water at the ablutions. Lots of close encounters! Love the photo of the cavalry at Nxai Pan waterhole - we have almost the identical photo. Probably the same three elephants. You had much better sightings at Nxai Pan - interesting the difference between August and October. We saw no lions and virtually no game other than at the waterhole. Driving around was pointless - the only action was at the waterhole. (I don't count the ellies at the grey water ). That road from Maun to Moremi was terrible. I read that they graded it shortly after our August visit, so I am surprised that it was so poor in October when you were there. The ablutions at South Gate (Moremi) were spotless when we were there in August, so presumably the October holiday led to the neglect. The Xini Lagoon and Black Pools area were both dry when we were there in August, so I am not at all surprised that you found them dry in October. We missed the Xini lion pride. According to the rangers. the lions had been around the week previously but not when we were there. There was no water at 1st or 2nd bridge (in Moremi) even in August, but we did enjoy that adventurous crossing at Third Bridge - thank goodness we had at least one water crossing! Funny, we also got lost on the Bodumatau Loop and ended up at Jesse's Pool. At least our efforts (of finding our way back to camp) were rewarded with crested barbets and ground hornbills . I swear the hippo in #26 is smiling at you! Wow - Dombo Hippo pool looks even drier than when we were there, with the hide even further from the water. We had never seen Dombo so dry. Lovely hippo shot in #36. We cook at midday if we are not moving from one location to another, and shower just before bed - like you, I like to crawl into bed clean (free of sunscreen). There was no sign of the Marsh Pride at Savuti in August - nor the other pride, for that matter. It was very dry, and we were happy that we had only elected to stay one night. Apart from the lack of game and birds, we had very noisy neighbours, who ran their Hilux for two hours in the evening - presumably charging batteries. So inconsiderate! Isn't a boat trip on the Chobe a treat after weeks of dusty, rough roads? We have never appreciated a boat trip more than when we set out for three nights on a Chobe houseboat after three weeks of Botswana dirt tracks. Heaven on Earth! We spent much time with the "Ihaha Pride" in August - such a treat. There were no night patrols when we stayed at Ihaha in August. However, I read that there was another armed robbery after our visit in August, so perhaps they had reinstated the patrols by your visit in October. We also had no visits from any rangers. Lovely leopard photos, although I am with your DH - the buffaloes in the pinkish light are lovely. Thank you for a most enjoyable read - and your photos are, as always, stunning. On to Etosha.....
  4. So, did your DH have to endure the road safety talk because he was speeding or was every driver being subjected to it? Isn't Delta Meat Deli great? Their kudu goulash is amazing. Pity about the Spar - we found it quite good when we were there in August. We always travel with duct tape, but I have to say that we have never had to use it on a windshield. Yikes! Was that snag #4? A great read as always - thanks!
  5. Lovely shot of the Brownie! I like the two red hartebeest acting as bookends for the tree. I can't believe you both got into Grootkolk. When did they add the canvas roof over the outside cooking/dining area? Love the Urikaruus-at night-shot. Smart to take advantage of J's expertise. The other photo that caught my eye was the one of the wildebeests in the dust - wonderful! I am off to your Bots post! Thanks for the armchair Kgalagadi visit.
  6. As always, your photos are lovely - especially the shots of the dunes and Dead Vlei. I always admire your ability to accept the snags and carry on - hopefully, there were not many more after the first two. Wonderful photo of the two of you at the start of the trip. Looking forward to more!
  7. I'll be up on the roof with Pen - great view from there!
  8. I am not able to comment on the camps because my DH and I self-drive and camp. However, I will say that the boat trip is fantastic and I would highly recommend it. It is a Namibian registered vessel, so the crew is able to take you away from the crowds at Kasane. We stayed on the boat for three nights and found that just about right, although we would have been happy to stay longer. One tip, if I may...see if it is possible to do the boat trip at the end of your safari. After five weeks of self-driving on dusty, corrugated, and generally appalling roads, the cruise on the Chobe felt absolutely wonderful - so smooth, dust-free, and quiet. It was a very memorable way to end our safari. At the time of booking the boat, be certain to mention that you are celebrating your anniversary. They will book you into the bigger room at the back, which has a private balcony. Sorry - one further detail - the Chobe Princesses consist of three boats. Request one of the smaller boats (known formerly as the Ichobezi) as opposed to the larger boat (known formerly as the Pride of the Zambezi).
  9. The closure of eight camps in the Mara is mentioned in the most recent newsletter on the Mara Conservancy website. Go to then "Connect" on the main page and then "February 2016" - look in the third paragraph under "General", and you will find the reference to the camp closures.
  10. @Cheetah80: Kware in Tarangire is a spectacular campsite - one of our favourites. Apart from the baobabs, there is usually some good action around the campsite. On one visit, after dark, a herd of zebras came stampeding through the campsite. The noise was amazing, and it took ages for the dust to settle. In the dark, we couldn't see what was chasing them, but the pounding of the hooves was impressive. Never a dull moment on that campsite, and some wonderful photo opportunities.
  11. just to be precise: at Ndutu Lodge July and August were Low Season until 2016 but will be Peak Season starting 2017 This is worrisome (July/August having been changed to high season for Ndutu Lodge.) We are in the process of booking two nights in July at Ndutu, and we are hoping to encounter few other vehicles. Ndutu Lodge must be getting enough bookings at that time of year to cause them to change the status (to high season), increase the rates, and refuse to give @@ice a discount. @@ice: Quite correct - we have never tried to book Ndutu Lodge - we will be camping.
  12. @@ice I guess I sound more desperate than you.
  13. Sorry - meant to write, you may pay the park fees at the small ranger station at Ndutu.
  14. @ Cheetah: It is later in some parks - 7pm in Tarangire, for example. Where you must return to your campsite by 6pm, the special campsites are usually in such spectacular locations, that there is plenty of opportunity for amazing "golden hour" photos after curfew. I'll try to insert a couple of examples - never posted photos before, so patience may be needed! If it works, the two photos will be from Tarangire - Kware SC.
  15. Have you tried emailing the lodge directly? When I email a lodge or tented camp directly (not through a TO), mention that it will be our 2nd/3rd visit, and how much we look forward to returning, and then ask for the rate, we always (I think without exception) receive a discount - and often a very generous discount - because we are returning guests. I have often being very surprised by the discount offered. Might be worth a try!

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