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Safari of a different kind...


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#1 Game Warden

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 02:42 PM

gallery_1_930_113613.jpg


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#2 Game Warden

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 02:58 PM

Itinerary:

 

Arrived Monday. 5 nights 5 star lodge in a widerness area a long way from London. (Note, despite Safaritalk never accepting freebies or backhanders, certain members take note... this was indeed a freebie. I did not even have to tip.) To be honest I did find the food disappointing and the wine list lacking in choice - the manager insisted on sitting with me at mealtimes. Luckily I was the only guest and could escape from the table when needed. However freedom to use the kitchens and make my own tea and coffees was a bonus. I would have prefered a solar heated bucket shower which I feel to be more sustainable on water resources, but, after a hard day on safari a warm shower was appreciated. I found that the manager's accomodation was located too close to that of the guests and what I thought to be lions somewhere out in the wilds I now realise was her snoring...

 

I was not impressed by breakfast, which in fact at 6 am was a quickly gulped black coffee and that I had to make myself...

 

Game drives began early when still dark, I had insisted on this and my private vehicle collected me at 6.15 sharpish but there was little of interest to see close to the lodge and it was only after 5 minutes did I see any signs of life. Alas it was cold and wet every morning which I believe caused the wildlife to remain hidden for the first part of each drive... The driver/guide was talkative but did not enthuse me much and I was expected to tip everyday day. Which, I thought unfair as the first drive of the morning lasted but five minutes but what else could I do?

 

What I had not expected was that I was to join guests from a number of other lodges on the main game drive of the morning. I had requested a private vehicle but instead found that there were too many clients crammed into the vehicle which meant that photographic opportunities were limited. The driver drove very fast and any commentary the guide provided was garbled and made no sense. In fact there were a few points when we stopped in which I looked desperately for any signs of wildlife but as more guests from other lodges crammed onboard I gave up and let the swaying movement lull me to sleep...


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#3 Tdgraves

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 03:05 PM

hehehe :D



#4 marg

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 05:10 PM

good TR thus far!  Eagerly waiting the next installment......



#5 Game Warden

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 06:06 PM

As a repeat customer, everything seemed most familiar to me and the walking part of the safari was not as strenuous as some I've read about here. Alas, safari headwear is no longer a popular fashion accessory, and neither did I see a single bowler. My grandfather who did many walking safaris in this location pre and post war would be turning in his grave that no one wears them anymore. It was incredible how popular walking safaris are in this area, to be honest I think it is being oversold as a walking destination and I could see the looks of frustration on many faces. However, I could tell the real enthusiasts among the crowd, the sparkle in their eyes when they saw me, they knew. They got it...

 

Back in the real heydey of safaris there were many hirsuite explorers, alas now, I saw few others who were keeping this adventurous tradition alive. You could feel the kinmanship amongst us though upon passing by someone with a moustache but I feel that most are pretenders just growing for Movember. Don't they realise a beard is not just for Christmas? If I had the money I'd sponsor them not to shave at the end of the month in preparation for Decembeard...


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"Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you." - African proverb.

 

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#6 Game Warden

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 11:42 PM

To see the changes which have occured in eastern area of the large concession known as London were impressive. I'd known this in the mid 80s when there was little sign of human encroachment and even in the year between this and last the new tracks which have been cut through the undergrowth were obvious signs of increasing pressure on the environment... The draw of the Excel center and the World Travel Market brings tourists from around the world though few respect the safari dress code. Unlike myself of course, but heavy jacket was mandatory in the chill early morning. It was obvious to me who was up for the earliest of game drives, those who don't get what safari is all about were still tucked in their beds and missed all the early action...

 

gallery_1_930_417905.jpg


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#7 Pangolin

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 12:55 AM

One of the better trip reports I've read. Excellent primate viewing I presume.
One pangolin to rule them all......

#8 twaffle

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 01:49 AM

Fabulous, entertaining, takes us to a new safari location. So tired of Mara, Mana et al! :D

… clarity in thought comes after challenge …


#9 Anita

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 05:29 AM

What a start...sorry you were squashed in the vehicle with these overlanders but I hope you still had some unique sightings to yourself ;) look forward to more!



#10 pault

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 07:03 AM

Shame about the game drives but that's what you get with freebies I suppose. Accommodation sounds okay, but not sure about that manager. Doesn't sound like a good place for honeymooners.

Waiting again... for the next time again


#11 Kitsafari

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 09:17 AM

fascinating TR! waiting eagerly for the next instalment, and yet another spot to add to the growing must-go safari places.



#12 Game Warden

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 09:22 AM

Wildlife viewing was limited and I shall proceed with some pictures, but first I must make mention of the excellent breakfasts everyday. They were excellent. (There, that's my mention.)


"Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you." - African proverb.

 

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#13 Anita

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 09:33 AM

Chocolate covered strawberries and champagne excellent?

#14 ice

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 09:40 AM

why does your ID label locate you in Portugal?



#15 Game Warden

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 09:42 AM

Because that is where I'm from and ST HQ is located.


"Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you." - African proverb.

 

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#16 Soukous

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 12:00 PM

top report @Game Warden

original perspective too

you should get out and about more often


"if you think you're too small to make a difference, try spending the night in a closed room with a mosquito."

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#17 Safari Cal

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 05:01 PM

Great stuff, can't wait to see what 'wildlife pictures' you come up with!  :D


Cal Kerr

 

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#18 Sangeeta

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 06:22 PM

Great stuff, can't wait to see what 'wildlife pictures' you come up with!  :D


Ask @samburumags - Lesser bearded Game Warden :D
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Zindagi na milegi dobara... Chalo Africa
You only live once...Go To Africa

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#19 Game Warden

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 08:57 PM

Forgot to slip in: the first aircraft on stand that I saw landing at Gatwick was Norwegian.com's Karen Blixen :) No photos but here's a link - you will understand why it is has relevence to the report a little later...


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#20 Atravelynn

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 04:57 AM

Enjoying your safari in the large concession known as London!  Quite funny, the words and your photo!


When you think of a rhino, think of a tree (African proverb)





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