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Found 62 results

  1. A: Everyone! My daughter has been the punniest person around while on safari. Who knew became who gnu? Likewise, the lions laying under a bush were waiting to AMbush.... Many thanks to the SafariTalk community for endless recommendations. Our two week trip was beyond measure.
  2. Hi SafariTalk! My first Post here (sorry if there is a Topic about Lion vs. Rhino already). Been guiding 20 years in +10 countries and happy to share memories/photos. Rare sighting couple of years ago when I got good pictures of young male Lion hunting a Rhino in SA next to us. Lion not even close to succeed but great sighting for my guests. Would be great to see more pictures Lions vs Rhino... All the best! /Johan
  3. Here is a really interesting article. It was verified a rare sighting by the President of Luke Panthera Hunter. The photos were taken inside the Ngorongoro Crater near the Ndutu Lodge. Leopard cub was seen suckling on lioness who had cubs of her own. http://www.newsweek.com/photos-wild-lion-adopts-leopard-cub-unprecedented-sight-636182
  4. We recently returned from a 9 day/8 night trip to Tanzania in February 2017. We have had the pleasure and good fortune for this to be our 8th trip to the continent, starting with our honeymoon years ago. Our honeymoon was both a blessing and a curse. A curse in the sense that once we visited we found out we are like the many people who talked about how it gets into your blood, and how no trip will ever compare. When planning every subsequent vacation, we ask ourselves, will this live up to Africa?? In most cases we believe the answer is no, and we find ourselves facing the large expense to return. I can say, however, that we have never returned and thought that it wasn't worth every penny. Retirement is going to have to wait!! As many of you also know, the blessing of visiting Africa takes many forms. Starting with the obvious, the beautiful landscapes, the amazing wildlife that never fails to amazing and bewilder, exposure to new and wonderful foods. The understanding of new cultures, viewpoints, ways of life. Making new friends, experiencing the mishaps that inevitably occur and somehow surviving without your "stuff" for a few days. Learning to appreciate how lucky you are to have the things you have and how random life is that you were born where you were. Noticing the subtle and larger changes you make to your life after returning- maybe wasting less, helping more, just appreciating the natural world. But always returning home wondering how, when, and where we'll be able to get back!
  5. On June 22, I received a notification from the Cheetah and Wild Dog Carnivore project about a survey that ended in two Angolan protected areas located in the South of the country called Bicuar and Mupa national parks. The notification was saying that they will be starting shortly another survey in Kissama, located in the North West of the country. The surveys is a large mammal survey based on spoor (tracks) counts, direct observations, questionnaires/interviews and camera trapping. The first and last techniques helped them to make some estimation of densities and populations when the number of spoors where sufficient. Lion: in both parks, lions are absent, excepted some vagrant animals. Its main prey the buffalo is absent of both protected areas. Leopard: present. Cheetah: absent since ages (1970's). Wild dogs: present in both parks with many sightings on camera traps in Bicuar. Abundance estimated at 0,65/100km2 in Bicuar which is very relevant. The state of Mupa is very bad, the Northern part of the park is invaded by people. The authors of the report consider that the park should be re-gazetted but should not be declassified as wild dogs are still present. The authors also report that the management of Bicuar was good, which is a good surprise for me. Such a park should receive help from international donors as it might protect an important stronghold for wild dogs in Angola. Here is the link of the report: https://cheetahandwilddog.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/bicuarmupafinalreport_march2017.pdf The cheetah and wild dog National Action Plan for Angola has been updated in October 2016 to include the last results in the previous report (which execution is part of the Action Plan). Important is to notice that cheetah is reported present Iona National Park from a 2010 survey led by the Cheetah Conservation Fund (based in Namibia) and from South East Angola in Luengue-Luiana and Mavinga National Parks. I do not know if Iona will be included in the current survey. http://www.cheetahandwilddog.org/WP/staging/9849/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/National-Conservation-Strategy-for-Cheetah-and-Wild-Dogs-in-Angola_English_FINAL.pdf
  6. I am currently reading dozens of scientific papers and reviews from Central and West Africa, and I recently found this article from Bauer: http://www.rocal-lion.org/documents/Rapport Carnivores Benoue.pdf The report deals with the estimation of lions in the Faro-Benoue-Boubandjida complex in Northern Cameroon, which is considered as the stronghold of lions in the country and in Central Africa. The other population is located in Waza. It is much smaller and has reduced a lot in the last decades for various reasons: reduction of prey densities because of the construction of the Maga dam (which does not allow the Logone river to flood the Waza plains during the rainy season as before), severe drought, livestock encroachment, poaching, Boko Haram issue. Except for elephants, all large mammals population are now very reduced compared to the seventies. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264429209_Population_trends_of_antelopes_in_Waza_National_Park_Cameroon_show_escalating_effects_of_poaching_and_livestock_intrusion https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul_Scholte2/publication/262678828_Population_trends_of_antelopes_in_Waza_National_Park_Cameroon_from_1960_to_2001_the_interacting_effects_of_rainfall_flooding_and_human_interventions/links/02e7e5386e03ad9552000000/Population-trends-of-antelopes-in-Waza-National-Park-Cameroon-from-1960-to-2001-the-interacting-effects-of-rainfall-flooding-and-human-interventions.pdf http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/AJEST/article-full-text-pdf/41A70FC13114 The method used is spoor count (Funston formula method) and was implemented in the central hunting blocks and the three national park, in an area covering 24.500 km2. The 55 transects chosen in this study cover a total length larger than 800 km. Lions were found in all the areas surveyed and results proved to be statistically significant, which means that the confidence interval is very reduced and thus that the estimation resulted of high precision. It is considered that cheetah and wild dogs disapeared from the area in the last two decades and this study confirms this assertion, with no footprint detected for these two species. The study results show that lion is present in the study area at a density of 1 lion per 100 km2, leopards are present at a density of 1,3/100km2, and hyena are present at a density of 5,7/100km2. This gives a total lion population of 250 (243-258), a total leopard population of 316 (307-325), and a total hyena population of 1376 (1352-1400). Highest lion densities are to be found in Faro National Park, followed by Benoué National Park. Boubandjida densities are twice lower than in the hunting blocks, which are around 1 lion per 100 km2. I am surprised to know that lion densities at Boubandjida are much lower than around Benoué, as preys were found in high densities in the 2008 aerial count (0,75 animals/km2 at Boubandjida, 0,4/km2 at Benoué, 0,2/km2 at Faro) http://www.elephantdatabase.org/system/population_submission_attachments/files/000/000/060/original/svyFCCMNOR2008AT.pdf http://papaco.org/fr/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/METT-BENOUE.pdf The authors report that the main threat is that livestock is omnipresent in the study area, which represents an increase compared to the results of the 2008 aerial count. The study is integrated in the Cameroun Conservation Action Plan for lion. One of its objective was to define lions trophy quota in each areas. http://www.catsg.org/fileadmin/filesharing/3.Conservation_Center/3.4._Strategies___Action_Plans/African_lion/MINFOF_2007_Conservation_Action_Plan_for_the_lion_Cameroon.pdf
  7. Here is the link of a very complete study about lions, focusing on performance of protected areas. The study aims in comparing all the large protected areas of Africa performance, depending on diferent parameters. It appears that if correctly financed and managed, these protected areas has the potencial to host a population of lions 4 times higher than the current population. So my conclusion is simple: To save the lion, we should focus on these PAs, identify those with the higher potential of recovery, don't waste time and money with other areas (even if they can be considered very valuable or worth). https://www.panthera.org/cms/sites/default/files/Lindsey_2017_performance_lions_biol_cons_0.pdf
  8. Back in July/August 2008 an usual lion was born in South Luangwa NP. He was one of 5 cubs born around the same time in the Luwi pride. Some of the others drew the attention of some lion experts because of their unusual high amount of spots (one can be seen in the lower left hand of the photo), but they ignored this lion which I think is much more special! He was very lightly colored, making him stand out immediately. What was up with this lion. Some thought he was an albino, but he clearly has pigment (orange colored, not white, no red eyes). So what is it? Clearly there's a reduction or even complete absence of dark/black pigments. A condition caused by erythrism, which is either an increase in the production of red pigments, or a reduction of it (and anerythristic when there is a complete absence of it). A rare condition in lions, this is the only lion I know of which has this condition. However, Robin Pope mentioned seeing a lioness like that in 80's in the same region of South Luangwa. In his case it meant that the black behind the ears and on the tailtip appears orange, and his toe pads are pink, as can be seen in the following picture. More on this condition, with a leopard as example, can be read here. He grew up well, and turned out to stand his ground quite well, seen swiping and growling at the adults whenever they were feeding on a carcass. However, he did seem to have some trouble with his eyes, possibly caused by the fact that the skin around his eyes is lighter than usual, causing more light to enter his eyes. But he did well, and out of the 5 cubs born in the same period in the pride, him and his brother survived the first year and grew up into good looking sub-adults. But in the second half of 2011 he did what most 3 year old male lion do, he dispersed from his natal pride. I last saw him in June 2011, in those pictures you can clearly see how different he looks. After he dispersed sightings of him became rare and far in between. In 2012 there was one sighting, and there were a few other sightings from walking safaris mentioning seeing a very shy pale male lion. But in the second half of 2015 he showed up again in the main game area of South Luangwa, however, still very few sightings. But yesterday somebody posted pictures of him in the facebook group Wildlife of Zambia. Seen over Christmas, mating with a female, in the area he was born in (but which is now held by another pride). I've asked permission to post the pictures here, but until I get the permission I will just link to the facebook page here. Wildlife of Zambia Wildlife Extra also reported a few times on him in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
  9. I've about finished editing a few hundred images from my 15 days in the Kalahari and will shortly begin my trip report. Meanwhile, this video is a short 'tease' of the trip. https://youtu.be/6FfiXWzteEY I hope you enjoy this 3 minute overview. I promise to begin the tale shortly.
  10. Some of the top sightings of the 22 Days Big Cats of India Feb trip. The success of the trip was incredible with 9 tigers, 8 leopards and 4 lions all together. Other than the big cats we saw tons of other wildlife as well, like jungle cats, deer, wild boar, gaur, antelope etc. The overwhelming success of the trip is very encouraging and we are already looking forward to the next departure: 5th Dec, 2017 http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=13&tour=22%20Days%20Big%20cats%20of%20India Asiatic lion - Gir national park Cob of mahaveer tigress - Kanha national park Umarpani male - Kanha national park One of the cubs of mahaveer female Leopard sitting on tree top Leopard - Bera More pictures will be posted soon.........
  11. Last summer I went on safari to Tanzania with my family and was excited to see Serengeti. It was incredible to say the least, but one thing that bothered me was the lack of certain animals.. How come greater kudus and sable antelopes dont exist in this environment? I looked over photos of African animals after coming back and was disappointed to find out I never got to see them in SNP cause they don't exist there. I think they are the most elegant of the antelopes. Also, white rhinos were introduced into some parts of Kenya and Uganda from South Africa; why don't they do the same in serengeti? After all the animal is a grazer and there being lots of grass in serengeti it would thrive, and this would increase the overall rhino population there as currently there are only a few black rhinos.
  12. Our recent trip to the Mara (December 2016) was again magical. Every day was jam-packed with outstanding sightings. We are novice videographers and put much more effort into photography. I just haven't had a chance yet to start processing any photos from the trip. Heck, I'm still processing videos; I have about 4 or more videos I have yet to upload, including our final compilation of each place we visited in Kenya. Here's some lengthy video of each day in the Mara. Most video capture is a bit raw and shaky, but hopefully you can enjoy the animals despite our lack of skill. All thumbnails for the videos are my unedited photos from that day. Day 1 (just a short evening drive; not too much to see in this video: Day 2 (good action! Lion kill and Malaika hunting with cubs): Day 3 (more great action!): Day 4 (outstanding elephant river crossing): All the rest of our videos are here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6QF9c_66AVy2c58fdZ8AnQ/videos
  13. Akagera National Park under APN management, will soon receive a pride of 7 lions. Lions were extirpated in Rwanda during the genocide in 1994, it is now time to recover the amazing biodiversity of the Akagera. Lions were donated by South African protected areas (Phinda and Tembe). 5 adult and sub-adult females and 2 sub-adult males will travel on the 30th of June and then released after a 26 hours to trip to a bona in the North of the park. Here is the oficial press release from the NGO: http://www.african-parks.org/Blog_183_African+Parks+to+translocate+and+reintroduce+lions+into+Akagera+National+Park%2C+Rwanda.html APN is also working on reintroducing black rhinos in the Akagera.
  14. For anyone interested in a safari to the Kafue National Park in Zambia check out our new video which should hopefully give those of you who have always wondered what it might actually look or feel like a glimpse in to what is on offer in this truly wild, truly world class wildlife destination... We still have space have space for the 2016 season (although September/October is all but full) and as such if you need a little nudge to get away on safari this year and are looking for something a little different to the 'norm' then feel free to contact me for more information and for special offers... With warm regards from the Kafue! Tyrone McKeith info@jefferymckeith.com www.jefferymckeith.com +26 0974173403 tyrone.mckeith (skype)
  15. As anticipated in my last trip report ( http://safaritalk.net/topic/14528-road-trip-2015-the-hunt-for-red-dune/ ) we have decided to return to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park even before we have exited it! Not a difficult decision; the park is awesome, with only a handful of cars driving around, and booking early gave us the opportunity to stay at several wilderness camps. In fact, we stayed at every wilderness camp but at Urikaruus. As we have had plenty of time for preparations, we were adamant not to repeat our “food crisis diet”. Both @@penolva and @@Tdgraves were gracious and sent us their grocery lists. Zvezda did the final selection; I have rolled my eyes when I saw the final list but as a good husband (and the lousy cook from the last trip), I did not comment too loudly. In retrospective: we have bought too much food! Specially meat portions in South Africa are double the size of European portions. And three times better! So we have indulged in "proteins mostly diet" this time. One thing that we did not want to repeat was the long drive to, and specially from the Munchen airport. Thus the airline of our choice that flies from Ljubljana (with connection to JNB) was Turkish Airlines. The price was right, and the connecting times in Istanbul airport also not too bad. Easy decision here. In retrospective: both flights were reasonably comfortable, the food was good, and they were both on time. We will fly Turkish Airlines more often. Decision to fly from JNB to Upington was not so easy, but it proved to be an excellent one. It gave us two days in Johannesburg which we used to the maximum thanks to @@Peter Connan and his friend Marnus, and all members of their families. Mrs.Gemma Dry from Discover Namibia was again our travel agent. Not that I am getting “soft” but really, her services were impeccable, so why not enjoy them also this time?! The Itinerary: 29 Jan flight LJU-IST-JNB 30 Jan arrival JNB, overnight Jo’burg 31 Jan flight JNB-UPN, overnight Upington 01 Feb Nossob Camp 02 Feb Nossob Camp 03 Feb Grootkolk Wilderness Camp 04 Feb Gharagab Wilderness Camp 05 Feb Gharagab Wilderness Camp 06 Feb Bitterpan Wilderness Camp 07 Feb Kielikrankie Wilderness Camp 08 Feb Kielikrankie Wilderness Camp 09 Feb Kalahari Tented Camp 10 Feb Kalahari Tented Camp 11 Feb Kalahari tented Camp 12 Feb drive to Upington, overnight Upington 13 Feb flight UPN-JNB, overnight Jo’burg 14 Feb evening flight JNB-IST-LJU Photo equipment (all Nikon): Bodies: D610 and D7100 Lenses: 20mm f1.8, 24-120mm f4, 70-200mm f4, 300mm f4 Teleconverters: TC14II and TC17II Gear strategy: to use TCs on both bodies all the time to enable lens switching and to prevent sensor dusting. D610 + TC14 for best IQ D7100 + TC17 for longest reach SD cards to last 8000 shots without deleting any. Both cameras were set to RAW+JPEG; JPEG is Zvezda's request as she wants to check out the photos each evening on her iPad. RAW were 12-bit lossless compressed, JPEG were Small with Medium compression. I have discussed my options ad infinitum with @@Peter Connan; he was a great listener (OK, reader) and expert photographer and eventually I have decided for the above combinations. I was also very close to buying 200-500mm f5.6 zoom, but at last moment decided to skip it (this time around). In retrospective: next time I will come with a 200-500 (or similar)!! We have switched lenses too many times. If not for the TC’s both sensors would be dirty by the mid of the trip! And it was not always easy to decide which focal length and which sensor (body) combination to use at a particular moment. Self driving a Toyota Hilux 2.5D Double Cab supplied by Kalahari 4x4. It was equipped with a fridge and a cooler box. But boy, that were “professor fridge” and “professor cooler”!! Huge, they swallowed all our provisions with ease. Car and fridge worked flawlessly during entire trip. In the park tires were deflated to 1.4 bars. It will be a long trip report! Buckle your seatbelts and enjoy the ride!
  16. I just signed the petition: "STOP GOVERNMENT WHO IS LIFTING BAN ON THE HUNTING OF LIONS AND LEOPARDS IN ZAMBIA'S GAME PARKS" Will you join me in supporting this issue? http://www.thepetitionsite.com/840/418/945/stop-government-who-is-lifting-ban-on-the-hunting-of-lions-and-leopards-in-zambias-game-parks/
  17. In January 2002 a sensational story broke regarding a Lioness who had adopted a Oryx calf. This astonishing event happened in Samburu Kenya. The local Samburu had named the lioness Kamunyak, the blessed one. By the time we arrived in Samburu in October she had adopted four calves and since the fourth calf there had been no more news on any further adoptions, so we arrived without expectation, just a little disappointed of having missed such a sensational event. Samburu is our favourite park. It's scenic beauty sets it apart from others, though Meru comes a close second, and we always feel at home when we are here. The whole reserve area actually comprises of Samburu & Buffalo springs reserves, one separated from the other by the Uwaso nyiro river (Brown water), but connected by a bridge near to Samburu Serena lodge where we were staying. Our first few days were very rewarding with good sightings of Samburu's famous northern species, Grevy Zebra, Gerenuk, Somali Ostrich, Beisa Oryx and the most beautiful of Africa's Giraffe, the reticulated. Birdlife was prolific, as it often is in dry country, with a good selection of eagles and even an Egyptian Vulture, and Elephant sightings were also very good. Our forth morning continued in the same vein with Elephant crossing the Ewaso Nyiro river, but then we came across one of Samburu's many Leopards and it was only 7.15am. We left the leopard resting in an Acacia tree up along the ridge and headed down onto the plain which once was home to black Rhino who fed on the Croton bushes when we first came here. As we ambled along enjoying the beautiful scenery reflecting on what a lovely morning it had been, Leonard our driver stopped the vehicle and reaching for his binoculars said "Alan, look at the small Acacia tree ahead, then to the left, there is something at the bottom of the bush". I found the bush and yes, there was a Lion. "yes, I see it Leonard" I said, and he replied "not the Lion, to the right of it". Looking again I saw something move and thought it must be a cub and said "yes she has a cub". "No" came the reply, "look again". This time it stood up, turned around and laid down again, this time clear of the bush. By now my wife had found it and in a whispered breath said "oh my goodness it's a baby Oryx". Yes, it really was. We sat there for what seemed like an age in total disbelief, then reality sank in and with camera at the ready we move as close as the road would allow us, and although with binoculars we could see perfectly, it was not ideal for the camera, but this was not a time for regrets. When we left the UK it was with our usual expectation of, you see what you see, and with no thought of seeing such an incredible moment in nature, especially as there had been no more news since the adoptions earlier in the year. This would be her fifth adoption and if I am honest, there were times I could so easily have cried with the sheer joy of being so blessed in witnessing something so monumental. I asked Leonard if he knew the Lioness had adopted another baby Oryx? "No, no" he said, "I am as amazed at seeing this as you are". I only took a few photos as it seemed to make more sense to try and take in every minute detail of what was before us, and to enjoy what would surely be a once in a life time event. When we arrived back at the lodge our good friend June Kyula (manager) was in reception and asked us if we had had a good drive?..... She contacted the ranger station and passed on what we had told her, Leonard gave them the approximate position and we spent the whole of breakfast going over & over every detail. We checked on them during each game drive we took, and June was there that afternoon as was everyone else. Thankfully the lodges were not to busy so disturbance was kept to a minimum, and the rangers made sure it stayed that way. On our last evening Leonard drove to a high point in the Buffalo springs reserve which over looked Samburu. It was a beautiful spot with views of the Ewaso Nyiro river lined with Doum palm's which cast their long shadows towards the hills with Mount Longonot in the distance and the sun setting behind us. We were totally mesmerised by the scene that lay before us, and it was the clinking of glasses that brought us back to reality. June had arranged a sundowner for us on our last night at Samburu Serena before we moved on to Ol Pejeta conservancy. It was the perfect finish to what will always be our most memorable safari moment
  18. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/25/opinion/la-oe-packer-how-to-save-lions-20130425 love the ending: "we need a latter-day Marshall Plan that integrates the true costs of park management into the economic priorities of international development agencies. Lions are too valuable to take for granted."
  19. Hi Safaritalkers ! Time for another trip report. This time I went my self, and the trip was a combined trip with four days in Ol Pejeta and four days in Samburu. I booked it all including private car/guide through Bush Adventure, and in Ol Pejeta I stayed in Sweetwaters and in Samburu I stayed in Sopa lodge. I left Stockholm, Sweden friday evening and had an uneventful flight with Ethiopian via Addis and landed in Nairobi in the morning. There I was picked up by my guide David and we left for Ol Pejeta. I brought my "standard" equipment kit: 2x Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm f/4, Nikon 300 mm f/4 PF, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, Nikon 24-70mm f/2,8, Ricoh GR and a bean bag. Day 1, 5th March 2016 After a long drive we arrived in the afternoon in Ol Pejeta. Wasting no time, after a quick check in, we continued with a "game drive". I don´t really like that expression, but I use it because of lack of a better term. First off we were greeted by an reticulated giraff. Next thing we bumped in to a family of white Rhinos. Here is one of the adults. Wonderful sighting, and something I got used to as rhinos both black and white is seen frequently at Ol Pejeta. Another strong and impressive animal is the Buffalo. They are easy to forget as they are so common. We were still at the "Elephant Dam" and it did also offer some birdlife. A pair of Grey Crowned Cranes with chicks. And of course the Herons, Black-headed Heron and Grey Heron We turned back out to the plain and had some nice sightings of Jackson´s Hartebeest and a trio of Thomson´s Gazell. . The light was falling fast, and a pair of Impalas made beautiful posé. Common animal, but with the background and light, I was very happy with this. Heading back and just outside the lodge a couple of lionesses found a interest in a warthog in the distance. I got a couple of shots before it was to dark and we had do leave the scene. Serena Sweetwaters is a really nice lodge. Everything is well organized, very good food and good service. This was a very good first day. Good sightings, good light, and a very nice lodge. What I also like with Ol Pejete is the grass. It has a small crown (not as big as in Lake Nakuru) which I think is beautiful for photos and easier to work with than normal plains grass (like in Masai Mara).
  20. A study led in Zambia, shows that some parameters should be changed to continue with trophy hunting of lions on a sustainable way. Here is the press release: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/trophy-hunting-african-lions/ First, they recommend to only take lions from 8 years old instead of 6 years old. Second, they recommend to increase fees. Last, they recommend to take only 1 lion per 1000 km2 per year. 2-3 years no hunting periods should be adopted after 6 years free hunting periods.
  21. Hi everyone, Something a little special came to our team at Captured In Africa recently, namely a gentleman by the name of Herbert Brauer. Of course many of you will have heard of Herbert, having filmed Lady Liuwa for the acclaimed documentary The Last Lioness in Liuwa Plain. Herbert is running his own private safari tour to Liuwa, not only to spend time with Lady Liuwa (who is getting on in age now) and her new resident pride, but to spend time with ourselves, to spend time with nature and in appreciation of what special lands we are fortunately enough to travel and what precious wildlife we are privileged to see. My colleague Drew Abrahamson and I feel privileged and honoured to work with Herbert on this tour. Equally so, a pleasure to listen to his words of wisdom from his experience in filming, but also his philosophy on our self, nature and wildlife. The safari to Liuwa plans to be truly special.... personally, I'd love to join this one The below was a quick Q&A I did with Herbert recently, so I hope you enjoy reading Herbert; Lady Liuwa Filmmaker Herbert Brauer Takes You on Safari Every so often, a film comes along which we connect with. A documentary which uncovers and explores not just a story, but a moment in time that is so emotionally driven, that we cannot help but fall in love with nature & wildlife - The Last Lioness, the story of a single lone lioness in Zambia’s Liuwa Plain - is one of those defining moments in wildlife film. Herbert Brauer filmed the Last Lioness on Liuwa Plain when Lady Liuwa was the sole remnant of lions in this area. Wildlife cameraman Herbert Brauer, who filmed THE LAST LIONESS in Liuwa National Park, now offers a unique, fully serviced 7 night safari program in Liuwa National Park in November 2016. He guides participants to authentically expand their awareness, and consciously connect deeply with Nature. This remote wilderness area in western Zambia truly captures one's heart and supports personal growth to those who seek it. Captured In Africa spoke with Herbert in the build up to announcing this one-off itinerary; Q: How did you first become aware of Lady Liuwa and what made you want to film her and the situation in Liuwa? “We were told by the parks manager at the time, Tom Turner, that there was one single lioness in Liuwa National Park who had survived the poaching massacre and that IF we'd see her, could try our luck filming her. The manager preceding Tom has only seen her the first time two days before his two year contract ended.... So it was unexpected that we not only found her on my first day of my very first assignment as professional cameraman, but also filmed her for an extended period which forms part of an important sequence in ‘THE LAST LIONESS’.” Q: Were you ever in serious doubt of Lady Liuwa's (and future lion inhabitants) survival in Liuwa Plain? “African Park Networks' approach, commitment and tenacity has ensured that I never doubted Lady Liuwa's survival on the plains. They are supported by much forward thinking donors and local people who recognise their work. I was and am concerned about lion's future survival, especially in large unfenced wilderness areas. It is in these areas where lions should be able to manifest everything that makes them a truly wild species on every level. This counts for all species that we do not consciously habituate. We as humans became the single largest force on our planet. Most of us don't know that. I guess it's difficult to quantify but it can certainly be experienced consciously. That doesn't mean we have developed into a species that can function disconnected from the natural flow of the forces on our planet, and of the universe. We are in a situation where a critical mass of twenty first century humans needs to consciously recognise that the fundamental building blocks and elements of Nature outside of us are also inside of us, and what we do to Nature we do physically and energetically to ourselves. The stress we put on our environment is the stress we feel inside ourselves. So my view is that as humans we collectively need to once again recognise that BECAUSE we are human, we have a relationship with Nature. We absolutely have to take individual responsibility for that if we don't want to learn lessons much harder than our imaginations can create!!! We cannot leave the wellbeing and conservation of everything we call "wild nature" in the hands of a few concerned citizens acting as conservationists, filmmakers, educators etc. We cannot dump our responsibilities with regards to our environment in the hands of our minister of environmental affairs as little as we'd relinquish our relationships with family and friends in the hands of the minister of social affairs.” The new generation of lions in Liuwa Plain © Will Burrard-Lucas Q: Captured In Africa are deeply involved in conservation efforts and responsible tourism, so respecting boundaries between man and wildlife is important to us when on safari. You yourself showed this in the film when Lady Liuwa seemed to court your attention, yet you kept a respectful distance and didn't cross that boundary - how important is this for you and for responsible safaris/travel in general? “Often our love for nature can overwhelm us. We are feeling the freedom and good energy in the wild to the point that we need to make sure we still recognise and respect everything, including wild nature and her species for WHO THEY REALLY are. I never came across any other lion to whom I felt intuitively connected as deeply as Lady Liuwa. My interaction with her was unique and yet I had to make sure I respect her wild instincts. After all, that's what we wanted for her: To live life as a completely wild predator in Africa. It is really important to allow wild animals their space. How much that distance is, is is a matter of being educated and trained, and one's intuition if well developed.” Q: What has been the highlight for you, following your years in Liuwa and what is your hope for Lions in the wild? “My understanding of what has happened in Liuwa keeps deepening. Right now I must admit that one of my highlights happened when I was interviewed for THE LAST LIONESS. I became emotionally overwhelmed and recognised in that moment how Lady Liuwa is not merely the amazing individual she is. She humbly, strongly and convincingly reveals the essence of our Mother Earth's intelligence. Although much harm was done to her when her pride was killed barbarically by our human species who regard ourselves as the apex of intelligence on this planet, she never retaliated. We witnessed her lying in high grass, never attacking the local children walking past her a few metres away. Instead she followed me around camp at night, like our Mother Earth does each and every moment: forgiving, wanting to reconnect with a human, and to be respected for who she really is if I wanted to fully embrace, if not merely survive our special, profound relationship. That changed my understanding of what we call "Life" or "Nature" and my Vision forever.” Herbert filming Lady Liuwa, careful to not cross that invisible ethical boundary of becoming too close to wild animals Herbert, in partnership with Captured In Africa and Norman Carr Safaris, are offering an amazing opportunity to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime safari and journey of self-discovery to Liuwa Plain. In Herbert's own words: "My fundamental intention for this safari is that we expand our awareness to develop a deeper connection to our natural environment and at the same time, with our true selves. We create a better understanding of who we essentially are. The process is never ending. What is important for me is that our experiences and growth are authentic. We'll search for Lady and her new pride and spend quality time with them. We won't recreate the physical companionship I've had with Lady as documented in THE LAST LIONESS, but connect with her and different kinds of life forms and manifestations in Nature.” View this limited safari and enquire, by clicking below; THE LAST LIONESS SAFARI WITH CAPTURED IN AFRICA Captured In Africa give thanks to Herbert Brauer, Norman Carr Safaris and Will Burrard-Lucas. Any questions, you can drop me an email: paul@capturedinafrica.co.za
  22. Opening Days Special - 10% Off Regular rates From May 15, 2016 to June 15, 2016 take 10% off our regular low rates by mentioning the Promo Code: Billy The Elephant. Reservations must be booked directly.http://www.zikomosafari.com/contact/ See our new video: https://youtu.be/J3NB-zOXGBs
  23. Here are the last quarterly reports of WCS Nigeria. WCS Took over management of Yankari. Reports available from Okwangwo section of Cross River National Park, Yankari, and Mbe. http://www.wcsnigeria.org
  24. We just got back on Wednesday from 12 nights in Tanzania (it was supposed to be 13, but we missed our connection in Amsterdam due to snow delays) followed by 4 nights in Rwanda. I think we had a very successful trip, despite some tough game viewing where the grass was long. There were cats everywhere in Ndutu, our final trip totals were ~80-90 lions, 22 cheetahs, 5 leopards and 1 (distant) Serval. A couple of quick thoughts for now: I was impressed at how well, in general, the guides acted in Ndutu, with no major crowding of the animals and sticking to a semi-circle to give them room to move. We did have a couple instances of stupid guide behavior though. The first was at a lion sighting, where 4 vehicles were waiting with a group of 5 lions, hoping they'd decide to hunt some wildebeest that were about 75 meters away from them. We had all been with them about 75 minutes, and they were just starting to show signs of life, when a new car arrived, and parked immediately between the lions and the wildebeest. It completely stopped any movement by the lions. Secondly, again 4 or 5 vehicles were waiting with a mother cheetah and three relatively large cubs, all of whom were eyeing some antelopes not too far away. One car got tired of waiting, and decided to leave by driving right through the herd, scattering them and ruining any chance of a hunt. There was so much prey around I doubted either incident greatly affected the animals, but neither was very considerate of the fellow safari travelers. Conversely, guides were really bending/breaking the rules in the Serengeti. Off-roading like crazy in the Gol Kopjes area (although our guide told us it was normal behavior, and in fact a vehicle with some researchers arrived at one point and suggested it was ok if there was no harassment of the cheetahs); a vehicle from a company that's well-known on this site driving up a rock face of a Kopje to get a close look at a cheetah (to be fair, once they did that we followed...); and some serious off-roading in the Seronera area to get to a leopard located in a tree 50-75 meters from the road. This was definitely a change from when we were there 2.5 years ago, and if the rangers start cracking down, a lot of guides are going to be in trouble. The grasses were high in Tarangire and around Seronera, making game viewing very difficult. In Tarangire we essentially turned into birdwatchers, the mammals were so rare. We traveled out to the Namiri Plains area while in Seronera, and saw almost nothing. Very different from other reports recently on here! Anyway, that's all for now, I'll start a real trip report once I get through all the pics. I'll just start with a couple of straight out of the camera JPEGs, of a couple of characters that will play major roles once I get going.
  25. ------------------------------- 1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Offbeat Mara Camp, Mara North Conservancy, Kenya 2) Website address if known: www.offbeatsafaris.com 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). January 21 to January 25, 2016 Shoulder season 4) Length of stay: 4 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? We were staying in two other Offbeat properties and they were having a nice special… stay 4 pay for 3. Also we wanted to visit the Mara but stay where there was not so much traffic like one of the conservancies. The added part of that is we could do walks and night drives. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? We used Expert Africa and Ellie Dunkels. Everything was handled quickly and efficiently. 7) How many times have you been on Safari? This was safari number six. 8) To which countries? SA, Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Kenya 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? Nairobi Tented Camp, Offbeat Meru, Sosian, Rufigi River Lodge 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No fence. 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 6 tents 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? We stayed in tent number 5. Tent 5 and 2 have the best view out on the plains. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Very nice. King size bed. Two chairs, a desk, tables, night stands, The bathroom area has a curtain for privacy. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Food was very good. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) The menu was varied and tasty. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? There is communal dining with the managers eating with the guests. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? The breakfasts were fresh and varied. Pancakes, sausages, eggs, bacon, muesli, fruit. 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Toyota Cruisers 19) How many guests per row? Three rows of seats, two guests per row. We had a vehicle to ourselves all but three drives. 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Morning game drives were at least 5 hours. Evening drives were 3 to 4 hours. Varied routes. 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? They are flexible. You can do whatever you want as long as the guests in the vehicle agree. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? This is a private conservancy. There are 12 camps in Mara North. The location of the Offbeat Camp is on the southern edge where there are only a couple of other camps so the game viewing early and late in the day is less busy since the other camps on the North have to do the road time back to camp. The location of the camp seems to be in a really good spot for cats. 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? Light 24) Are you able to off-road? A little when you see a good sighting. 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. Don’t know we never had many vehicles at any sighting. 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? All three cats. We saw all three cat species two different days. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Excellent, David as the guide and Kapen as the spotter were great. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: They tried to get us where the action was on the cats. They took plenty of time on other animal sightings that we were able to watch the interaction between the animals. They were good on the birds as well. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Yes, they were great. The managers Kyle and Lara are fun and do a good job. Kyle took us for a walk. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes, we took a visit to a local village and they also support a school. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: http://safaritalk.net/topic/15790-the-offbeat-circuit-safari-in-kenya-january-2016/ 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: The location of the camp, the quality people, the conservancy, all make this a top notch camp. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.

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