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Found 7 results

  1. one of Africa’s most progressive safari destinations, all-female guides are a success with guests from around the world.
  2. We were spending a couple of nights at Mt lodge on the slopes of Mt Kenya. It is primarily a night viewing lodge where you can stay up, all night if you wish, to see the game that comes and goes through-out the night. There are no game drives here, but they do have nature & bird walks. Being relatively keen birders we opted for the latter. It was on our morning bird walk that we had a rather close encounter with Elephants. Escorted by an armed ranger, our guide & we set off on our bird walk which followed the main road from the lodge to the gate. Over a couple of hours we saw a myriad of colourful mountain bird life. It had been quite a long walk so we decided to take a rest, and as we did we noticed our vehicle parked just off the road. The guide had arranged for our driver and some staff to bring tea, coffee & cake down and set it up just of the road in a small clearing. It was a most welcome surprise after what had become a rather hot morning. We sat chatting to the guide about the flora & fauna of the area, when the ranger slowly got to his feet, his head slightly tilted to the side as if straining to hear something. He signalled to us to get up slowly and make our way back to the vehicle. As we did, we heard the sound of bushes rustling with the solitary crack of a breaking twig. It was about 15 meters back to the vehicle, though it seemed more like 1500 in the circumstances. Then, as we set off, a young Elephant went crashing through the bushes just behind where we had been sitting and on into the forest. We now quickened our pace & as we did another young Elephant came through chasing after the other one. Safely back in the vehicle we looked back, the ranger was just approaching the vehicle, and we saw the remainder of the Elephants pass through where we had been only moments earlier sitting having a quite cup of tea. As things calmed down the ranger climbed into the vehicle with a big smile on his face. A few years later; the same walk, the same road: We had walked a lot further this time, and after we had enjoyed our tea & cake, in a more open area next to the road, we prepared to walk back. My wife was not too keen on that so she went with our driver & the staff in the vehicle. As the vehicle left we started walking. The ranger was about 20/30 meters ahead of us, and we were discussing what we would do that afternoon. It never ceases to amaze me how sensitive the rangers are to their surroundings. About half way back to the lodge the ranger stopped, put up his hand, his palm facing us to tell us to do likewise. We starred hard along the road but could not see anything, but after last time I had a healthy respect for the rangers ability to detect danger. Suddenly a big female Elephant stepped out of the bushes ahead of us on the right. She stopped half way across the road starring long and hard in our direction, her trunk raised; taking in all the smells she could muster, trying to discern what was there. A young calf then appeared from the bush and stood beside her. The ranger now raised his rifle pointing it into the air, this was purely precautionary. Satisfied it was safe, the Elephant moved on across the road calf in tow, and letting out a low rumbling sound she signalling to the rest of the herd to follow. Out they came, dozens of them, scampering across the road before us. We waited 15/20 minutes before moving cautiously on. The remainder of our walk back was cautious but mostly uneventful. Don’t you just love Africa.
  3. Maybe this point has been raised before ? Am I alone when sharing a safari vehicle with others in dreading the guides question on the first outing "What would you guys like to see ?" I prey no one will mention leopard,cheetah or anything else,for fear of the trip degenerating into a cross country rally in response to sightings of the requested animals by other cars. Worse still is to be driven past interesting species I have never seen before as we chase to see one I have often seen. Yes I know it is best to pay for a private vehicle but maybe it is worth pointing out to people it is best to take the sightings as they come ,rather than mention any species you would like to see ?
  4. We are planning a trip next April to Madagascar. We have been asked if we want to pay more for an English speaking guide. What have been other people's experiences with guides when English is the spoken language? Any info is appreciated! Specifically Andisabe Reserve.
  5. I have been a member of ST since 2008 but since all my 7 trips to Southern Africa have been prior to 2008 I have not done any trip reports on ST apart from a brief trip report from Ranthambore. I am eagerly awaiting my first trip to East Africa in December and that has brought back a lot of positive memories from the past. @@Bush dog is doing an excellent report on his past trips to Kwando so I thought I would use a different angle. A guide can make or break a trip. I have had some excellent guides Graham Cooke, Bruce Lawson, Sunday Nilenge and at Kwando Mothusi, Doctor and Spencer. I have also had other guides that I will not name as they did not provide an experience to remember. However of all the guides I have had Steve Kgwatalala (Big Steve) at Kwando stood out for his combination of personality, skills, intuition and tenacity. Steve guided for me at Kwando Lagoon/Lebala in August 2004, September/October 2005 at Kwara, Lagoon and Lebala and in July 2006 at Lebala. In 2007 Steve started working in the Selinda concession and unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to meet him there. Steve died in September 2011 and he is greatly missed. Steve was the head guide at Kwando for many years and was also at one point in time responsible for the guide training. During a visit to Stanley`s Camp in 2002 I was made aware of the Kwando concession and the possibilities of seeing Wild Dogs and Cheetah and was also told about the Steve`s abilities as a guide so for 2004 I chose to stay 4 nights at Lagoon followed by 2 nights at Lebala and subsequently 3 nights at Kwara with a different guide. Actually my trip started at Susuwe Island Lodge which is just North of Lagoon on the Namibian side of the border. First picture from Susuwe brings back memories of Steve as the first thing he said when he saw it was he wanted an enlarged version for his bathroom! From Susuwe you can transfer by land/boat via Lianshulu lodge and a boat trip down the Kwando river doing immigration at the military post next to Lagoon Lodge. Steve picked me up and we immediately got along as my two target species were Wild Dogs and Cheetah. Steves preference in order were Dogs, Dogs, Dogs, Cheetah and all the rest. If he was still alive and a member of ST his screen name would be madaboutdogs. I quickly learned that the dogs had denned successfully and had 8 puppies but that they had moved their den site and the new one had not been located yet so we would try lo locate it as quickly as possible. During the first game drive we did not succeed in finding the Dogs but did find a nice Lion Pride resting at Halfway Lagoon. The adults were just lazing in the sun but the youngsters were playing King of the Hill which was quite amusing to watch. At dusk we spotted a very shy male Cheetah as well as a more relaxed female that we would see again during the following days.
  6. So you've done the luxury lodges and you've decided to self drive Botswana but are not sure of the best places to go or when you get there which are the best routes and areas and perhaps a little worried about the state of the roads and where some of them lead. We can help. At Kingfisher Safaris we have two guides we use for our privately guided safaris who are also available to come with you on your self-drive safari. Pilot Manga - Click here for Pilots' Bio Isaac Serdile - Click here for Isaac's Bio Pilot and Isaac both work for luxury operations in Botswana and work for Kingfisher Safaris when they are on their leave. They are both top quality guides and i know them both personally having worked with them in Botswana and they are enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable. Get in touch for availability and prices. If you have already hired your vehicle you can be joined by either of these guides or we can hire you the vehicle, book your campsites and plan your routes should you want. We can also provide back up staff including a chef and camp hand and even a game drive vehicle if you want one (fully licenced), giving you more opportunities for Game Drives as you will not have to cook and clean yourself. Take the plunge and go where you haven't been before.
  7. So, over the years and months, there have been several discussions regarding ethics of going on safari, game drive etiquette, and driver/guide (and client) behaviour on drives and walks. Earlier this year, I put together a document that I wanted the KPSGA (Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association) to adopt as part of their syllabus that would be tested for both Bronze and Silver level guides. I am under no illusion that passing a test on ethics makes one an ethical person, but I do believe it would go a long way in making people think about their behaviour on game drives. At the moment, the KPSGA and KWS Codes of Conduct are very brief and do not cover all points in great detail, so I thought I would put something together from my training and my personal experience over the years that would be more all-encompassing. I would like to get feedback from ST'ers if anyone thinks there is anything that should be added, subtracted, or changed. keep in mind this document is SPECIFICALLY for Kenya, and for driver/guides, NOT walking guides. I have attached it here. Kenya Safari Guiding Ethics.pdf

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