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Gilgamesh posted a topic in KenyaIntroduction: This was our first safari ever, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Easily the best vacation we've ever had. I will try to keep this trip report as short as possible and mostly let the photographs speak for themselves. We are in our late 40's. We chose All Seasons Safari to organize our trip. Our trip involved both flying and driving between camps. It also involved lodges and tents, Mara reserve and the conservancy. This allowed us to experience different options and I will give my opinion on how they compared. Itinerary: 1N Nairobi 2N Amboseli 2N Ol Pejeta 1N Naivasha 4N Masai Mara Warning: This is not necessarily a safari report, but rather a report of our entire trip. Although it was purely a safari trip, we witnessed a lot more than animals and I will be posting a variety of photographs. I prefer landscapes, still life, people more than close up of animals. However, there is plenty of the latter too. The report is primarily catered to the beginners, but I will try to keep it entertaining for the regulars as well. But, I can guarantee even the hardened safari goers, an image I will post will be very interesting to even them. In fact I'd like to know whether anyone has ever witnessed it before...it was an image taken at ISO 16,000 at f4 and a shutter speed of just 1/30 at 250mm...so, its beauty is not in its image quality but rather what it depicts...but, alas it happened on day 9 and everyone will have to wait to see it. It is worth the wait Camera gear: I wanted it to be a compact package, all fitting inside my Lowpro Fastpack 200. We only took two backpacks for our other things. Pentax K5, K7 Pentax 60-250/4, Sigma 50-500/4.5-6.3 Pentax 12-24/4, Pentax 21/3.2, Pentax 43/1.9, Volna 9 50/2.8 1:2 macro
Well, maybe the foolishst title for a trip report about a safari to South Luangwa. As my business was supposed to be very low in July, we decided to do a Safari to South Luangwa. We never been on Safari in Southern Africa in the so called high season, so I was very eager to see how it is compared to November, when we normally go. We flew from Germany via Dubai directly to Lusaka, from there to Mfuwe, closed to SLNP. Arriving at late afternoon a guide of Lion Camp awaited us. It turned out, that he should not be our guide, he was just the „taxi driver“ to Camp. The drive to Lion Camp was unspectacular and as it was already getting dark, it was quit chilly. Arriving at Lion Camp we were welcomed by a young lady who showed us our chalet, which was the furthest away from the public area. The chalet was a bit dark, but that was no problem. The walk ways of the camp are raised wooden walkways, which are also „roofed“ by branches. In the beginning we were sceptical about the camp, but in the end it turned out, that this was maybe the best camp (for our needs) we ever stayed in. Best food we ever had on Safari! At dinner time we were introduced to our guide Isaac. He turned out to be a good guide, nothing to complain about. As well we were introduced to our „car mates“ Gary and Kit, a nice couple from New Jersey, USA. Dinner at Lion Camp is not as we were used to served as buffet style. There is real table service. All guests sit at a long table which we always enjoy very much. 15. July day 1 as always on Safari we go out early, here it is 6. It is still very cold and the animals seem to hide from the cold. We later think, that there is no need to go out before 7 (besides the golden light), we rarely have seen anything in the first 90 minutes of the drives besides Puku and Impala. We found that strange compared to our November trips. Well, this morning we see a taxi hippo shutteling a Grey Heron. After a while we come close to a Grey-hooded Kingsfisher. Yellow Baboons in the forest It is a quite drive that morning and I begin to think about the myth of high season Safari. Gary and Kit tell us, that they had seen a Leopard with cub the other day, something you don´t want to hear, but hear often arriving at a camp. As the sun is warming up, we meet a nice little herd of tuskless tuskers. Close to camp we also see our first Leopard, far, far away. Back in Camp we have our brunch before Siesta. The lagoon in front of the camp is frequented by all kinds of critters. The number of animals increased day by day. Maybe because water got more sparse elsewhere. We saw elephants, lots of Zebra, crocs, Kudu, Puku, Impala and Bushbuck. In the afternoon we first visit a pool with hippos and lots of birds. Isaac spotes a Malachite Kingfisher somewhere there. We spent about 20 minutes without seeing what he sees. In the end we say, yes we can see it, so that we can proceed ) . There is African Spoonbill Sacred Ibis Openbilled Stork and a Great White Egret. For the remaining of the afternoon there is not a lot to be seen. After sundowner we slowly go back to camp. And then there is, why we came here: Leopard a young female Leopard is posing for us in a tree. She´s relaxed and allows us to take a couple of shots before she decides that it is enough, climbs down and walks her way. This was it for day one. One day, one Leopard (don´t count the one in the faaaaaaar distance) and still counting.
1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Lion Camp, South Luangwa NP, Zambia 2) Website address if known: www.lioncamp.com 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). 14. - 19.07.2015, High season 4) Length of stay: 5 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? We wanted to stay in the northern part of SLNP this time and the rates were excellent (stay 5 pay 4) and also the reputation sounded good 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Agent, ATR, yes and yes 7) How many times have you been on Safari? Don´t count anymore 8) To which countries? Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? Kwando, Botswana 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 9 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? Don´t know the numbers. First we were in one chalet (# 7 or 8) on the far side of the communal area. After 2 nights we were settled in the honeymoon chalet, which is no. 1. Both chalets overlooked the lagoon. The honeymoon chalet had more view to the left. Private enough 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Comfortable enough with fans 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Can´t rave enough about the food! Best food ever on Safari! Very tasty! 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Lunch was served buffet style There is a set menu for dinner, which was served plated. I am sure you could get vegetarion food. Don´t if you had to ask for it in advance. At least I guess at check-in. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Communal dining, long table, just perfect for us. Guides and maagers host (not all, but at least one from manaegement and a couple of the guides) One day lunch was served as a bush lunch on the banks of the Luangwa, which was nice! 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? N/A 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Land Cruisers 19) How many guests per row? 2 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? About 3,5 – 4 hrs in the morning, same in the afternoon 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? 6.30 – 10.00 16.00 – 19.30 Did not ask for that, because the suggested itinerary suited our needs perfectly. Only one night I would have liked to stay out longer as a Leopard was hunting. The other cars still drove earlier than us, but we could easily have stayed 15 minutes longer, as we were really close to camp. I am no fan of all day outings. But I am sure, they would offer that, if you ask, because the management is over the top and extremely helpful! 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? National Park 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? Very low traffic, no public vehicles in the area, only Lion Camp and I think we have seen 1 or 2 Norman Carr (?) vehicles, almost like private concession 24) Are you able to off-road? It is not allowed, but …. 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. We had this only once, but that was because we were somewhere were we should not have been (see question 24 ) 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Leopards, lions and Cookson´s Wildebeest Yes, we had 27) How was the standard of guiding? Guiding was good, not exceptionell, but nothing to complain about 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: ./. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Yes! I only want to point out one occasion, that comes in mind directly: I had a chat with Emma, the manager, one night. I told her how much I like this Camp and that the only thing I miss was an outside shower. The other day, she moved us into the only chalet with outside shower! 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Don´t know 32) Safaritalk trip report link: http://safaritalk.net/topic/15359-are-there-any-leopards-in-south-luangwa/ 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: For us, this was the perfect camp. Best we´ve ever stayed in. Chalets are a bit heavily built, not like most camps in the northern part of SLNP. No outside bathroom, bathroom totally enclosed, which is a must for my wife. We chose it because of that. Might not suite the more bush camp fraction. Really loved the hospitality. And the food! 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings. Will follow
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