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pault last won the day on July 12

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About pault

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  1. Just starting to catch up but some weeks behind and it'll take a while as I don't seem to have any time for forums recently. Really nice report as usual and expected. @michael-ibkYou got some really lovely BIF shots - excellent - and Doug was quite right to get you out of the vehicle, even if it did nearly open up a space for Bibi on the Zakouma trip! The first shot is fantastic - special!!! Why don't you give it just a little more light? Marmite te is perfect safari food if you can stomach it - very filling straight from the jar. When poor at university we'd eat it like that to keep away the hunger caused by having spent our food money on beer again. Good for hangovers too and Bibi swears a spoonful a day keeps the Mosquitos away too! Love the balaclava @Atravelynn - you carry off ski lifts very well. Hope you and @Kitsafari keep on popping up with posts like this. More than happy to hear about this 2-3 times - you know I love that Rashomon thing!
  2. No wonder you didn't see any cats - they'd have heard those gurgling tummies from a kilometre away!
  3. Great idea - especially adding in the campsite in the south-west of the Mara for some variety, while still (it seems) avoiding the August masses. Really nice photos. I am sure you won't be the last family group doing this now. Zarek's a good man. I see Job there too. For others thinking of doing this, I believe opportunities are limited - you should probbaly find a guide with the necessary permissions (probably to a specific conservancy only too I think) before planning anything more - a bit different from the way you might normally plan a trip.
  4. Your guide and manager were spouting buffalo scat. Don't take seriously a word you were told. Always be clear about game drive norms wherever you go. These game drives are timed for airstrip departures and pick-ups. You should have asked to go to the airstrip every day as you'd have got an extra 2 hours out!!!
  5. They never actually closed for any length of time, although they were certainly targeted and invaded. They still are subject to occasional incursions, but not extraordinary ones for the area. Mugie was/is an area known for good wildlife, but wildlife populations throughout Laikipia are currently in recovery and whether recovering populations will migrate towards the same locations would be impossible to say I guess. Not sure what that would mean in reality - basically I think you should look upon it as a promising but completely new destination and not rely on any reports originating before September 2017 (expect of course for the topography, managers and other things unchanged). Although hey seem to have good water their, much of It was over-grazed to dust early this year.. One eccentricity was that they had a small golf course. on the property. According to @twaffle and @Paolo it didn;t appear to be a distraction or problem - but again I would approach it as a completely new property.
  6. Excellent stuff Geoff. Croc action stands out for me, but the close up of the terrapin was a nice surprise. I am catching up from a long way back so I will stop at the end of page one, although I am totally intrigued that this is "just a prelude" Great!
  7. Google translating today less effectively is, but the photos more than make up for it.
  8. @Botswanadreams Looks like a red-billed firefinch to me, (maybe a younger bird and with the picture having a colour tint that makes everything a bit orange rather than red maybe?) but I am not among the experts. It is just an opinion. The red bill is a big clue for me!!! Something for you to consider if you have other angles to look at. Would be really helpful I am sure to know what colour he chest was.
  9. Your photos from the markets are great. I love this trip. And how did you visit so many markets? Was this planned? You seem to be arriving everywhere on market day! But I love it!
  10. Brilliant additions @kittykat23uk What a collection of poses. @johnweir More species than currently recognised? I wouldn't be surprised. And I am so impressed you even found these people, never mind corresponded with them. I hope you pointed them to this thread. Fantastic!!
  11. Good story. All I could think of is how lucky it was your last night. Really!
  12. I think, generally, making a provisional booking through someone implies a fairly firm commitment - or at least a strong intention, which could be why people were disappointed you didn't at least come back to them to give them a chance to price match. Agents may be able to use another quote to drive down the prices they are being charged - you are not the onlty one negotiating prices so you can say "this is great but X is just a bit too expensive for me - can you see if they can come down a bit?".Obviously that doesn't apply if prices are far, far apart. At different times I've both haggled and genuinely tried this from a "take it or leave it" position due to budget. I've personally never agreed to a provisional booking until I have pretty much decided on the agent/ operator. I've even stopped communicating with people who pushed (what I felt was) too hard to get me to do that. However, most of the agents I have used have tended to be unwilling to make bookings until they feel I am firm - a number have even inisited on getting the itinerary sorted before making any provisonal bookings. In a couple of cases I (or my agent) have booked with two or more operators - usually one is the owner of the property though - in order to make a particular booking early, without any commitment to book the rest of my trip through them. If anyone made a provisional booking without asking me, I feel no responsibility at all. But that is all from my perspective.There are certainly different "cultures". I wouldn't take it too seriously.Everyone is going to have a different point of view on this. @Tulips You could maybe try planning your trip with an African-based operator and then just let your friend add a bit to the cost and/or negotiate a bit off the operator's cost to get the coverage you are looking for. She can put her feet up and just enjoy the commision. If that suggestion makes her throw her hands up in horror, you can do better - although understand you might need to pay a little more (probably not). Also, some operators will not accept that. They don't want to "waste their time". My be best to look into separate trip insurance. That is my only option anyway. It is certainly going to be a lot more hassle if you have to make a claim, but maybe that is highly unlikely enough you can live with it?
  13. I'm coming @Botswanadreams After last time I am kind of used to the English and enjoyed the first secton very much. Love all the photos too - you were very trusting of the hyena man!
  14. @wildcatfan In my experience this is very approximate as there is a "but" and an "unless in many cases, and it tends to be a bit out of date as weather patterns change (and local weather patterns can vary more than you'd expect) but if you know little it is also approximately correct so a decent starting point to identify parks of interest. Look at it by park though. Note the best time for the Kalahari (e.g. Kgalagadi TP) differs from the norm. Otherwise tell us where and when you are going and someone'll tell you if that is a good time of year.
  15. Does this mean that idea is out, or does it mean that you want people to say things that will make your poor, limping husband feel guilty for not encouraging his wife's artisitic leanings at any cost? I won;t answer your other question - these choices are already good and any more will only distract you. Note there is quite a bit of walking to do at Saruni even if you are in the closest villa (Family villa #1) but you can get all your meals delivered to your room there I think and your vehicle can collect you from Villa #1 (only that one I believe).

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