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Share your favourite self drive experiences

28 posts in this topic

And photos and videos too...

 

Where have you been, what have you seen? What have been your highlights? Likewise, what were the worst things to happen to you?

 

Looking forward to reading them. Matt

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Posted (edited)

This is noy my story,but someone at Lewa Safari Camp tells of just having arrived at night in a smallish town in Northern Kenya with a reasonable mechanical workshop when the drive shaft of his car collasped.

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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I think this was a case from Marsabit.

 

storiesd from a extended camping trip orgised by Bushbush Adventures (1) the accelarator became disconnected from the motor and was reconnected by the guide and camp hand around Eldoret (2) the guide got confused and filled the motor from the drinking water container and not the diesel around Lake Turkana.

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When I arrived in Mabuasehube I was directed to a campsite at a pan and told how to get there. Even though there was no one else camping in the park he was very careful to explain exactly which camping spot was mine. The description include a large tree as part of my spot. What the ranger failed to tell me about was the very large, mature, black maned Kalahari Lion sleeping under said tree. The lion woke up and stared at me for 15 minutes or so before he decided to walk off down the road, leaving me to wonder how far down the road he went and exactly when he would return. I can't wait to go back!

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I regularly self-drive in Kenya and have had the odd hairy scary moment and some absolutely golden moments too.

 

In June/July 2008, we were having a big road trip, covering both Tsavos, the Mara Triangle, Lake Nakuru, Kisumu and Kakamega. The country had suffered some horrendous violence after the disputed election of December 2007 and tourists had virtually abandoned the country. Some of the tracks in the reserves were overgrown, as they had seen several months without a vehicle. One of those was the track from Lugard's Falls along the Mbololo Stream, one of my personal favourite trails.

 

We had a friend with us on his first ever safari and he had that wide-eyed look of amazement we love to see on new travelling companions when they first experience Africa.

 

It was late afternoon and we were heading back to the Ndololo Campsite. There had been some good rain a few weeks earlier, so the bush on either side of the trail was thick and green. The twisting, turning track made seeing far ahead tricky and we had a few close moments with Elephants who were suddenly surprised to see a little white RAV4 appear.

 

At one spot, we stopped to allow a family of Elephants cross and they moved up the hill to our right. Once I had decided they were far enough away that we could drive past without upsetting them, I edged forward. As we drew level with where they had crossed, one of the older females turned back towards us, shook her head and trumpeted. I soon discovered why she had got such a scare. A little boy Elephant burst out of the thick bush on our left and found his path to the family blocked by us.

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Posted (edited)

Continued:

The wee fellow got the fright of his life, as did my wife when she came eye to eye at 2ft with a terrified baby Elephant. The safest thing for me to do at that time was to accelerate away, before Mum got really mad but as I did so, the panicked youngster tried to run round the front of the vehicle and got even more scared when it moved forward and blocked his route. For a brief moment we moved parallel until we overtook him and moved away. I glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw Mum put a comforting trunk around him and no doubt told him off too for lagging behind.

A little further on we came across another family in the bush beside a dipped bend in the track. They also had a young baby and the baby noticed there was something unusual about and started to threaten and charge the bushes. This agitated the adults, who began to search the bushes for whatever was upsetting the youngster. I decided it would be prudent to reverse back behind the crest of the hill and turn the engine off until they had passed but they took ages to move on and it was getting close to dark. 45 minutes later they finally moved on, by which time our companion had lost the wide-eyed innocence and replaced it with wide-eyed fear.

We had no further incidents and got back to the campsite just before 7pm. That night we could hear Lions roaring nearby as we lay down to sleep. We awoke with a start in the night to the sound of silence. All the sounds of the African night, owls, frogs and insects ceased suddenly, meaning only one thing: a large predator was about. We listened carefully but although we were aware of something outside the tent, we could not make out any specific sounds. Suddenly something rattled off the tent, then it went silint again. A few moments later the night sounds started again anc we went back to sleep.

In the morning I was packing up the tent and commented to my wife that it stank of cat urine. She replied: "I'm not surprised, have you seen the footprints?". I looked and right beside the tent were the largest Lion prints I have ever seen. We had been "marked" in the night!

 

35003_413286072301_5777992_n.jpg?lvh=1

The tent that got marked by a Lion - my wife Karen and our friend Jason

Edited by safaripics
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We are newbies to self-drive safari adventures, having done our first trip through parks in Namibia, Chobe, and Moremi and last year, Kruger Park.

One of my most memorable moments came when I found "my" three male lions under a bush in Savuti. We had been told that Savuti has many lion prides, but they had eluded us in our three- day stay. Then, after having scanned and checked every bush, hill and gully, my eyes came to rest on three magnificent male lions resting in the shade of a bush somewhere around Rhino vlei, not 10 meters from the track. All I could whisper was OMG, OMG while the golden eyes of the nearest male seemed to be looking straight at me, changing me forever, and making me fall in love with African cats. Too much drama? well this is how it felt at that moment. No other cars were around and I had spotted them first! How cool is that? Probably one of my most thrilling moments in my life! (My husband had spotted a trio of lions, our first ever lion sighting in Etosha) Then a small Ellie came out of nearby bush, not 8 meters away from the three lions. Oh, no, is there going to be trouble? One of the males stood up and sniffed into the air, but did not make another move. Then a bigger auntie Ellie appeared after the little Ellie, again, some sniffing, but no moves by my lions. One of them streched, relocated a few feet away and plopped down on his back, lying there in all his glory.

After a few minutes alone with my lions, a SA family pulled up and the man ventured to say that the chance of them getting up would be small to nil, since their bellies were very full and heavy and they would have no reason to get up. Phew, that was rather disappointing news, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. Well, not three minutes later, the first male got up, walked in front of our Hilux, and mozied to a small waterhole to lap water for what seemed like many minutes. The second one got up, gave us the same show, but proceeded to pee and poop and grimacing because he had a hard time going. Quite comical. The last male, too, got up, meandered to the water, then flopped down too close to his compadre who snarled viciously at him. Then it was all quiet again and all three lions went back to snoozing, their manes lit up by the golden African evening light.. We had to say good-night to my lions and while returning to Savuti campsite we congratulated ourselves for having found lions ON OUR OWN in Savuti. Well, this is my memorable first....I am sure many of you have stories to share of your first ever sighting of a .........

Will you share your memories of firsts?

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I'm flying to Australia for a 3 week self drive safari through the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Not sure how much wildlife we'll encounter but I'm hoping for some breathtaking scenery and a few exotic birds.

 

How deep is it? Let's wait until they've gone first.

post-43899-0-98837800-1401541587_thumb.jpg

 

what a great place to hang my hammock

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The rich colours of the Outback

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and of course we'll have to camp by a billabong or a river

post-43899-0-30295400-1401541582_thumb.jpg

 

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I got married on Kubu Island during a self-drive trip through Botswana. The logistics were quite interesting...

 

post-24763-0-04321800-1401622533_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-77377600-1401622553_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-36396200-1401622567_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-02129100-1401622586_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-52893200-1401622601_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-14353100-1401622620_thumb.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Hi

Done a few self drives:

Plus lots of other buggering about in Zimbabwe since then inc. Binga, Hwange, Matobo etc!

 

Some of the data is very historic and record of my logistics a bit sparse but if anyone has any questions, please fire away.

 

enzo

Edited by bundu

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post-49296-0-92129800-1435354458_thumb.jpg

~ @@Peter Connan

 

What a setting!

WOW! It's as dramatic as any wedding venue I've ever seen.

Kubu Island?

Another new place for me — any visual evidence of your love of the outdoors.

Your bride must have felt enchanted to have a wedding dinner by lantern-light under a tree.

Wonderful!

Thank you so much for sharing this!

Tom K.

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@@Tom Kellie, I think mostly she was thinking "what the hell have I let myself in for now". But to her credit, she has never said it out loud.

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@@Tom Kellie, I think mostly she was thinking "what the hell have I let myself in for now". But to her credit, she has never said it out loud.

 

~ @@Peter Connan

 

The title of Osa Johnson's best-selling book comes to mind:

I Married Adventure”.

To a certain degree, your bride may have felt likewise on Kubu Island.

Really great night illumination, by the way!

Tom K.

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Thank you Tom

 

I am blessed with a very creative wife, and the illumination was to a very large extent her brainchild (I just sorted out some of the practical aspects). And it was very simple too! The lights on the ground are simply brown paper bags 1/4-filled with sand and with a candle stuck in the middle. The hanging lights were Chinese lanterns, with a twist of bailing wire bent to hold a candle hanging from the top. These were either hung from the Baobab tree itself, or from a cargo net suspended on four poles.

 

As I mentioned, the logistics were a bit challenging. For one thing, this was the start of a 2-week self-drive, self-catering, self-camping exploration through Botswana (starting at Kubu, then on to the Moremi, Savuti and Chobe/Kasane) so space was at a premium for everybody. Then consider that we we had "proper" plates, glasses, side plates, mugs, serving dishes and even silverware.

 

Now consider that the meat and most of the vegetables, both for the reception and for the rest of the trip, could not be imported but had to be bought locally due to vetiranary restrictions.

 

The cake (a proper chockolate cake and cupcakes for everybody) was baked at home but decorated on-site, to prevent it from being damaged on-route.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you Tom

 

I am blessed with a very creative wife, and the illumination was to a very large extent her brainchild (I just sorted out some of the practical aspects). And it was very simple too! The lights on the ground are simply brown paper bags 1/4-filled with sand and with a candle stuck in the middle. The hanging lights were Chinese lanterns, with a twist of bailing wire bent to hold a candle hanging from the top. These were either hung from the Baobab tree itself, or from a cargo net suspended on four poles.

 

As I mentioned, the logistics were a bit challenging. For one thing, this was the start of a 2-week self-drive, self-catering, self-camping exploration through Botswana (starting at Kubu, then on to the Moremi, Savuti and Chobe/Kasane) so space was at a premium for everybody. Then consider that we we had "proper" plates, glasses, side plates, mugs, serving dishes and even silverware.

 

Now consider that the meat and most of the vegetables, both for the reception and for the rest of the trip, could not be imported but had to be bought locally due to vetiranary restrictions.

 

The cake (a proper chockolate cake and cupcakes for everybody) was baked at home but decorated on-site, to prevent it from being damaged on-route.

 

~ @@Peter Connan

 

Would you please do me the kindness of telling your wife that I highly admire her creativity, ingenuity and flexibility?

She's super, to have worked all that out, resulting in the truly lovely “safari wedding” photos.

As this is appropriately in “favourite self drive experiences” the story and the photos may be missed by @@Atravelynn, @@graceland, @@SafariChick, @@twaffle, @@Tdgraves, @@wilddog, @@kittykat23uk, @@JohnR and others.

The final result — a genuine safari wedding complete with all the trimmings — is so beguiling in the photos that it deserves to be highlighted for all Safaritalk members and visitors to enjoy.

The logistics, when combined with a 2-week self-drive safari, are nothing short of remarkable.

You've married well...as has she!

Thank you very much for the detailed backstory, which enhances the terrific photo series.

With Admiration,

Tom K.

Edited by Tom Kellie
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Thank you for the kind words Tom. Maybe one day somebody will manage to recover the photos from the damaged hard drive they are on, in which case I may do a TR here.

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@@Tom Kellie thanks for bringing this to my attention - I had missed it and I love it! @@Peter Connan what a lovely and memorable wedding it must have been. So sorry to hear your photos were damaged but glad you have at least a few!

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@@Peter Connan. Missed that too. Tom can be useful! What amazing wedding photos. I thoughts mine were cool but they look very dull now!

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Thanks @@Tom Kellie for flagging this thread up, I had missed it as a non-driver; you're doing a great job giving us a second chance to read fascinating stories we missed.

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Thanks @@pault

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@@Peter Connan. Missed that too. Tom can be useful! What amazing wedding photos. I thoughts mine were cool but they look very dull now!

 

~ @@pault

 

Thank you so much!

It's a new concept to me — a safari wedding!

I like it!

Tom K.

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Thanks @@Tom Kellie for flagging this thread up, I had missed it as a non-driver; you're doing a great job giving us a second chance to read fascinating stories we missed.

 

~ @@JohnR

 

That's so kind of you to say that! Thank you.

@@Peter Connan's safari wedding is so out-of-the-ordinary that it richly merits being seen by Safaritalk members and visitors.

The creativity which went into the wedding resulted in a truly lovely event.

I'm glad that you liked it, too.

Tom K.

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Posted (edited)

I have been with out internet service (holy cow how did i manage) and just now am back on....at least temporarily.

 

Thanks from Graceland as well, @@Tom Kellie, for pulling up this thread front and center. Since I began reading self drives this year, I have become fascinated. However, I realize it is not really for me, but I love reading everyone's adventures. I can't drive a lick here in the states without getting lost, I am not about to try the bush!

 

And @@Peter Connan 's great adventurous wedding is a delight to share. Did all the guests continue on the drive, ie. the Honeymoon? Did the guests bring tents for the night? Where did the bride get dressed for this beautiful occasion. You see, Tom has brought out the inquisitive nature of us ST'ers..

 

He wondered about the lights; I wonder about just about everything to pull off a wedding in the bush, self catered! Delightful.

Edited by graceland
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I have been with out internet service (holy cow how did i manage) and just now am back on....at least temporarily.

 

Thanks from Graceland as well, @@Tom Kellie, for pulling up this thread front and center. Since I began reading self drives this year, I have become fascinated.

 

And @@Peter Connan 's great adventurous wedding is a delight to share. Did all the guests continue on the drive, ie. the Honeymoon? Did the guests bring tents for the night? Where did the bride get dressed for this beautiful occasion. You see, Tom has brought out the inquisitive nature of us ST'ers..

 

He wondered about the lights; I wonder about just about everything to pull off a wedding in the bush, self catered! Delightful.

 

~ @@graceland

 

One of @@Peter Connan's responses mentions the possibility of someday writing a trip report concerning his safari wedding on Kubu Island.

He noted that most images are on a damaged hard disk.

My feeling is that most Safaritalk members would accept and be delighted with a words-only trip report answering the questions that you've raised.

While photos would be a joy, as @@Peter Connan is an especially gifted bird and wildlife photographer in the tradition of his father, we would gladly live without them.

The logistics of such a complex event on Kubu Island — getting the kids there in nice dresses, providing for the clergyman, the meal — and then directly heading out on safari is almost beyond comprehension.

His wife is self-evidently a lady of multiple talents, not to mention flexible to a very high level.

I 100% agree with everything you've eloquently mentioned, hoping that this might encourage the writing of more details of a wonderful safari wedding.

It would be great fun to read without any kudu, leopards, rhinos or even zorillas involved!

Tom K.

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@@Tom Kellie and @@graceland, thank you for the encouragement.

 

The problem is that I need the photos in order to jog my memory a bit. But there is a TR somewhere on another forum, so I will go and read that upi again. Will get cracking on it later today, just need to go and see the quack first.

 

@@graceland, if being worried about getting lost is your most serious concern, I have great news for you. It's called a GPS. The better ones log (and show) where you have been, so you never end up driving in circles!

 

:ph34r:

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