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Everything posted by Treepol

  1. @Towlersonsafariwhat a fabulous Christmas present and how interesting to see so many birds of prey. I enjoyed the story of the brainy raven, but please tell me, what is a dishmop?
  2. @kittykat23uk Just remembered, there used to be roost for a pair of spotted eagle owls in Kirstenbosch - not sure if they are still there. It seemed to be a well known location so the people o the gate or in the gift shop may be able to direct you.
  3. @AnteeI'm very much looking forward to following your TR, as I will be at Marrick for 3 nights next July. Excellent teaser photos of the black-footed cat and aardvark!
  4. @pault your story of Bibi and the genet is very funny, and I do hope that it really was just the genet! How lucky for you to have a zorilla sighting as this species has managed to elude me, maybe next year... The photo of the golden-breasted starling is amazing, what a stunning bird.
  5. @johnweirthanks for this detailed report of the work and activities at Desert Rhino Camp. Your photos capture the spirit of the Palmwag area which I found so scenic - I particularly like the photo of the 4 running oryx.
  6. @kittykat23uk no, sorry I don't know of anywhere for eles on your itinerary. I was just wondering if they were going to be important for your Mum to see.
  7. @kittykat23uk I am visiting Cape Point and Swellendam area with Lawsons next August-September (2018). We have 3 days to explore Cape Point area based in the village of Noordhoek. You might like to check out Strandfontein - I think there is a TR here somewhere for this place, possibly from Peter Connan. The first few days of the detailed itinerary may have some ideas for you and is available online. Trevor at Marrick Farm has a local guy who does very reasonably priced day tours to Kamfers Dam for flamingos and into Mokala NP. I've heard that otter sightings at Warrenton are possible but don't have anything definite on this. If you are stuck for acommodation in KTP, the Kalahari Farmstall about 5-10 minutes drive from Mata Mata in Namibia is a comfortable and well-priced option, however it does put you in the western part of the park. It might be worthwhile spending an hour or so around the Orange River in Upington, having travelled through the drylands this lush oasis and very green town came as quite a surprise to me. I think you have a fabulous itinerary and your Mum should see a fantastic selection of wildlife - is there a place for eles in this trip?
  8. @ImSA84 thanks for continuing with your detailed South African TR. The bird photos are fantastic, especially the Knysna Turaco. Its great to hear about these little visited corners of RSA at a slow pace - Oifantsbos Cottage, Wilderness NP and Robberg. Good stuff!
  9. @pault gosh that first lioness in the post was remarkably well camouflaged. She must have had a hungry day. Lovely photo of the vulturine guinea fowl, such an elegant bird and one of my all time favourites.
  10. @busylizI like your way of making the most of your retirement!
  11. @busylizlovely stories of your first lion and game drives in Botswana. Who was your operator for your 4 countries in 5 weeks safari, just wondering how it was all stitched together.
  12. @xelas I would second @Janzin suggestion of the Pantanal - a wonderful destination, both north and south or preferably both. Of course, you could always come to northern Australia or perhaps PNG.
  13. @busyliz welcome to Safaritalk, and your 4 countries in 5 weeks TR is an impressive debut. Looking forward to more when you have time,.
  14. @pault I'm really enjoying your TR. Wonderful photos of the Aberdares, Bibi with the Samburu women, the gerenuk and bush babies - I've only ever seen the bush babies at night mostly just eye shine.
  15. @xelas, the guys at Hemingways 4X4 seem to be well organised for Zambia self-drive, I'm sure there are others offering similar services. @Geoff, apologies for going off-piste in your thread!
  16. @arcticfly congratulations on your forthcoming wedding. I'm not sure what you are budgeting for the 2018 safari, however I am currently booking a mid-range safari for Tanzania next year. This up-to-date information may be useful to you, although I don't know if any of these parks are better for leopards than others. Its possible to stay at the Tan Swiss Inn for about $100 US B&B and travel the short distance into Mikumi NP each day - park fees apply; The only budget acommodations I could find around Ruaha were outside the park and sounded quite basic - Foxes Hilltop Camp and there was another property also outside the park, and now I can't remember the name sorry; Accommodation at Msembe Cottages is a very good deal and in a great location. It may be best to contact an operator based in Dar and enquire about a road trip that includes Mikumi and travelling with a cook, a vehile that has a fridge and using the accommodation at Msembe. There are a number of well-priced options such as Saivilla for an overnight in Iringa where you would need to buy provisions; and Lake Manze Camp is probably the best value accomodation in Selous, although I didn't look closely at this park for our 2018 trip. Camping is a great way to save money on safari, although I don't know what alternaties there are to dome tents. @africalover may have some tips for you as he is a frequent visitor.
  17. @Dave Williamsthanks for this interesting and entertaining read - never read a TR from Bulgaria before! Excellent choice of a holiday in the sun, with wildlife an added extra.
  18. @Jochen welcome back, its so good to hear from you. I can't wait to hear your news from RSA!
  19. @bluebird thats a lovely itinerary, I'm sure that you will have a fabulous time. I dream of staying at Mwamba, maybe one day!
  20. @bluebird where are you going in South Luangwa and Kafue? I'm looking forward to KaingU as we plan to do some river trips there.
  21. @bluebird I have just paid deposits on this itinerary for a group of 7 The safari will be operated by Doug Macdonald Safaris and guided by Johnny Russell. 9 July - pickup Iringa, overnight Utengele Coffee Lodge 10-11 July - Kapishya/Shiwa N'gandu 12-13 July - Mutinondo Wilderness 14 July - Lusaka 15-17 July - Kafue, Hippo Bay Campsite 18-19 July - Kafue, KaingU Lodge 20 July - Kafue, Nanzhilla Plains Lodge 21-22 July - Vic Falls, Lokathula Lodge I have wanted to see Shiwa N'gandu for many years, as well as returning to Ruaha NP so 2018 I get to do both of these. Actually I am excited about all of this itinerary, and am looking forward to visiting kafue and staying in the reed huts at Hippo Bay. I am working on finalizing the Southern Tanzania itinerary today (she types hopefully).
  22. @xyz99 now that I think about it, we did MP from Ollantaytambo which together with MP is at a lower altitude than Cusco. Our guide walked us slowly around a few of the sights in Cusco before deciding that we wouldn't have any problems with high altitude. I enjoyed Cusco and would recommend at least a one night stay unless you have problems with altitude sickness. We stayed at Manu Wildlife Center in 2013 and would recommend it as a comfortable place with very good food. However, I would be having a close look at the new Manu Birding Lodge before deciding between the 2. The maps on this link show the relative locations of the Manu Lodges, and there was another place near Cocha Blanco and Cocha Camungo, however I can't remember the name right now. Peru Birding Tours may be a viable alternative to Manu Expeditions and Inkanatura for booking these lodges. Cesar Bollaty was out guide tin 2010 and I would highly recommend him for his exceptional knowledge of all living things in Manu, his gentle nature and good-humoured company. Have fun with all the planning!
  23. @xyz99 gosh, your Peru trip is certainly very varied and I am sure you will enjoy every day of this trip. I think you are trying to do a lot in just 2 weeks and I'd suggest that you stay around the Cusco area for both culture and wildlife rather than flying down to Iquitos. The trip to Iquitos will cost you about 2 days in travel time alone as it is a connection thru' Lima and after arriving in Iquitos its a trip up or downriver to whichever lodge you choose. I stayed at Explorama in 2010 and whilst we enjoyed this, we saw much more wildlife in Manu. I would recommend an extra night in Cusco and doing MP from there as we did in 2010, this will save a day. Unless you have a particular interest in the Sacred Valley, I would think that 2-3 nights there were enough. So, potentially you could have 8 nights for wildlife... I didn't think that either Tambopata or Manu were similar to the Pantanal. Manu is very wild with much denser forest than I have seen in either the north or south Pantanal. I was very disappointed with Tambopata, although we may have chosen the wrong company for this reserve in Rainforest Expeditions. I don't think that we saw very much in Tambopata compared to the Pantanal and Manu. Its true that you may see peccaries, macaws, some bird species and jaguar if you are lucky in Peru, however we had much better and more varied sightings in the Pantanal. I would definitely choose Manu over Tambopata, however getting to the Manu Biosphere could take longer than your time permits. In order to maximise wildlife viewing time, I would spend time in the Sacred Valley, Cusco and MP and then travel as far as you can from Cusco down the Manu Road to Cock of the Rock Lodge and then see how far you can get downriver from Atalya. Amazonia and Pantiacolla Lodges aren't too far from Atalya. This TR has useful travel times, booking contacts and a good write-up of Manu Birding Lodge for those venturing downriver. I have heard that Spectacled Bears can be seen around Cock of the Rock Lodge, although there had been no recent sightings when I stayed in either 2010 and 2013. Chaparri in northern Peru is very reliable for these bears as they have some that can't be released back into the wild that are housed on the property. I gather that wild spectacled bears are often seen in the vicinity of Chaparri Reserve. I'd suggest contacting Metropolitan Touring for a quote for Cusco, Sacred Valley and MP as I found their pricing to be very good and the service was prompt. If you are heading into Manu, Barry Walker at Manu Expeditions has great infrastructure at a very high price. The contacts in the above TR may be a better bet and I think that the folks at both Amazonia and Pantiacolla Lodges can also arrange transport, although I'm not sure what the accommodation is like at these properties.
  24. @Geoff what a great sequence. That feisty cub will be a great leader one day - if he lives long enough!
  25. @TonyQ thanks for posting this report - I am thinking of a Scotland safari for 2019 so am keen to see how this worked out for you. Lovely photos, and yes puffins are a big drawcard for me too.

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