Jump to content




See all Safaritalk Special Offers

Message to Guests.

Welcome to Safaritalk where we have been talking Safaris and wildlife conservation since 2006. As a guest you're welcome to read through certain areas of the forum, but to access all the facilities and to contribute your experience, ask questions and get involved, you'll need to be a member - so register here: it's quick, free and easy and I look forward to having you as a Safaritalker soon. Matt.


Photo

Safari Virginity --- Gone.

Mana Pools Kanga Camp Chitake Chikwenya

  • Please log in to reply
178 replies to this topic

#1 Big Andy

Big Andy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Wales UK.
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 04 November 2015 - 06:42 PM

Well I promised a trip report from my first safari and although I still feel a little punch drunk from the experience I'm going to start it now while it's still reasonably clear in my head. To say it was the the best holiday of my life is like saying the arctic is a bit chilly, it was an awesome experience that I now know I will have to repeat as often as possible whenever the bank manager allows.

 

We booked the trip through Doug Macdonald although he had a previous booking and was unable to guide us himself he did arrange for Andrew Smith to do the guiding and I can't fault that choice in any way, he was great to be with and share the experience the whole time.

The itinerary was as follows,

 

Leave London on the Friday evening with Ethiopian Airways stopping at Addis Ababa on route to Harare, then overnight at the Guinea Fowl Lodge before our flight into Mana the next morning.

 

Two nights at Chikwenya Lodge, a private concession on the banks of the Zambezi.

 

Three nights at Chitake Spring in a Nature Ways mobile camp.

 

Four nights on the Mana Pools flood plane also with Nature Ways.

 

Two nights at Kanga Camp before our return flight to Harare and back to a wet, cold, miserable British day.  :(

 

I'll try to keep this report ticking along without to many breaks between postings but as I have over 6500 images to sort through there may be the odd hiccup. Be back soon.  :)

Andy.


Edited by Big Andy, 04 November 2015 - 06:43 PM.

  • PT123, twaffle, Sangeeta and 17 others like this

#2 wilddog

wilddog

    Order of the Pith

  • Moderators
  • 2,393 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:East Midlands, UK
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 04 November 2015 - 07:06 PM

@Big Andy So pleased it went so well. Will look forward to hearing all about it once you have sorted your pictures etc.
  • Big Andy likes this

#3 Big Andy

Big Andy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Wales UK.
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 04 November 2015 - 07:29 PM

I will repeat what others have said before, Doug Macdonald arranges a great safari and is great company to be with. Although he wasn't our guide we did share camps with his guests then went our own way during the day which I thought was a great arrangement as having two guides in camp meant they could compare notes when planning the next days itinerary. But that's getting ahead of myself and I should start with the Guinea Fowl Lodge.

 

We were met at the airport by Doug and his driver and were driven to GFL along with Doug's guests @michael-ibk and his companion Andreas (spelling?). The GFL was very pleasant, clean and friendly with a pool for a refreshing dip before an excellent dinner. The only down side was the rugby on the TV had the wrong result for me and I had to suffer watching Wales leave the world cup, a very sad moment. :(

Following a good nights sleep Shirley and I were picked up for our return to the airport and our flight into Mana pools. Mean while Michael and Andreas were picked up by Doug as they had opted to be driven to the park to see more of the country on the way. This was to be my forth take off in a Cessna aircraft but only the first landing as on other occasions I had parachuted back to terra firma although that was many years ago and I was happy to stick with a conventional return to earth this time.

 

After just over an hour we flew in over the Chikwenya airstrip and the Zambezi river to be met by our hosts for the next two nights.

 

The Zambezi on our approach to Chikwenya.

 

22209001354_e1567ee044_b.jpg

 

 

 

The Chikwenya airstrip with another aircraft already down and our lift waiting for us. In the background is the Sapi river although just sand at this time of year.

22643734830_a538828636_b.jpg


Edited by Big Andy, 29 March 2016 - 08:05 AM.
Photo fix

  • Atravelynn, twaffle, Sangeeta and 8 others like this

#4 marg

marg

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 959 posts
  • Local time: 09:11 PM
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:California
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:Tourist (regular visitor)

Posted 04 November 2015 - 07:47 PM

@Big Andy...welcome back home.  With the bad weather you will have more time to work on your trip report!  And, like the rest of us you are most likely thinking about your next trip.



#5 Big Andy

Big Andy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Wales UK.
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 04 November 2015 - 08:15 PM

Our two nights at Chikwenya were (in theory) to gently get into the Safari way of life after the traveling and chill out. It was not to be, thoughts of swimming in the pool and relaxing at the bar were sunk before we even reached the lodge. Talk was of drop of the luggage, a quick change of clothes then meet by the bar with our guide to plan the days events. For this part of the trip we didn't have a private guide but would be using the lodge resident Kaz Dube along with the other guests. I didn't think that would be to much of a problem for a couple of days, then was informed that as all the other guests were leaving that afternoon and we would have the whole camp to our selves apart from a couple there for the fishing who we didn't even see for the whole stay. Now that's what I call a result.

 

We had a chat with Kaz and he suggested we had a drive out around the area rather than walk as it was now getting on (about 9AM) and the heat would be building soon towards the middle of the day highs of around 40C which seemed a sensible plan to me so quickly finished our drinks and set out loaded with cameras and binoculars to see the real Africa for the first time in my life. To say I was excited would be a major understatement, I was like a kid at Christmas. Kaz asked if we had any preferences as to what to look for, but what could I say, it was all totally new to me and all equally wonderful so would be happy to see anything. We ticked off Impala, Elephant, Hippo, Eland, Kudu, waterbuck, baboon, vervet monkey and a few others I can't remember at the moment and we still hadn't left the camp. Some of you Mana regulars won't be suprised at that but it took my breath away, what a great start.

 

 

Water Buck

 

22439635949_f93a26596c_b.jpg

 

 

 

Impala, do you think we've been spotted?

 

22842941631_f2ea7c1c4b_b.jpg

 

 

 

Eland.

 

22413399507_12441f9d3d_b.jpg

 

 

More to follow.


Edited by Big Andy, 29 March 2016 - 08:09 AM.
photo fix

  • Atravelynn, PT123, twaffle and 20 others like this

#6 Big Andy

Big Andy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Wales UK.
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 04 November 2015 - 08:22 PM

@wilddog I'll keep plugging away at it, it's a labour of love really.

 

@marg As said above I'm enjoying it really and yes your right about planning the next one. I just have to find a way of blackmailing the bank manager then I'll be gone.



#7 Whyone?

Whyone?

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 817 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Beautiful South, UK
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 04 November 2015 - 08:38 PM

Hey @Big Andy - welcome back and I am delighted (and more than a little relived!) to hear you had a tremendous time!

 

I especially like your picture of the braided Zambezi channel systems.

 

I did make it to Mana after all, but (as you probably noticed!) sadly not over to Trichelia to meet up with yourself and @michael-ibk.......we had a slight (!!!!) mechanical issue.

 

Greatly looking forward to the rest of your trip report....I guess you bumped into the BBC film crews at time or whilst you were on the flood plain?


  • Big Andy likes this

#8 Big Andy

Big Andy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Wales UK.
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 04 November 2015 - 08:56 PM

@Whyone? Hi Ian, yes it was a wonderful experience as I may have mentioned above. Good to hear that you got to Mana after all the trials and triblations of working for a living. I've got to say I'm relieved you didn't look for us at Trichelia as we didn't get there either, something to do with a double booking or some such problem. We ended up at Mucheni 1 and had a great time there. We did look into the other Mucheni sites but you weren't there and didn't know where else you might be. Not a problem it'll just have to be another time.

Andy.



#9 Whyone?

Whyone?

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 817 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Beautiful South, UK
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 04 November 2015 - 10:08 PM

Ah!

 

That (sort off) ties in with a conversation we had with a Mana regular - a fantastic Belgian lady called Carol.  She was staying at Trichelia and later in the week she was saying that she was the only guest staying in camp - this is when I understood you and Michael were supposed to be there.  I say 'sort off' as it doesn't explain the double booking explanation you received.  Was Mucheni 3 completely empty when you visited or was our kit there (trailer, 2 tents, tables & chairs) but we were out and about?  We noticed Mucheni 1 becoming occupied ~Wednesday 21st, I guess that would have been you guys?



#10 Sangeeta

Sangeeta

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,710 posts
  • Local time: 11:11 PM
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Washington DC metro area
  • Category 1:Tour Operator
  • Category 2:Tourist (regular visitor)

Posted 04 November 2015 - 11:39 PM

@Big Andy - oh what fun it is to be reading TWO concurrent Mana reports at the same time! But try as I might, I can't see the pictures :( Sounds like others are not having this issue. Is it because I'm reading this on an IPhone?

Edited by Sangeeta, 04 November 2015 - 11:40 PM.

Zindagi na milegi dobara... Chalo Africa
You only live once...Go To Africa

www.chaloafrica.com


#11 offshorebirder

offshorebirder

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,146 posts
  • Local time: 05:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Charleston, South Carolina
  • Category 1:Wildlife Photographer/Artist
  • Category 2:Conservationist/Naturalist

Posted 04 November 2015 - 11:55 PM

@Sangeeta -

I cannot see images in this post either - I am using an iPad and neither Chrome nor Safari web browsers are displaying images...
  • Sangeeta likes this
https://www.flickr.c...offshorebirder2

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'
John Keats - Ode on a Grecian Urn

#12 pault

pault

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 4,067 posts
  • Local time: 11:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bangkok
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 05 November 2015 - 12:33 AM

@offshorebirder@Sangeeta. You can click through to see them so it's not the photo storage site down. Same problem for me, but sometimes these thigns resolve themselves.

Good start @Big Andy and good luck with the bank manager. Invite him along next time.

Waiting again... for the next time again


#13 SafariChick

SafariChick

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,589 posts
  • Local time: 09:11 PM
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:California
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 05 November 2015 - 12:49 AM

Ditto - on my Mac in Chrome and can't see the photos IN the report but can see them when I click.  Hopefully it will resolve so we can see them directly in the report but in any case, can still see them when clicking on them.

 

LOVE the title of the report and love your excitement - looking forward to more!



#14 johnkok

johnkok

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 408 posts
  • Local time: 12:11 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 05 November 2015 - 02:30 AM

Your excitement is infectious. Living vicariously through your TR  :)



#15 michael-ibk

michael-ibk

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 3,825 posts
  • Local time: 05:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austria
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:Tourist (first-time visitor)

Posted 05 November 2015 - 06:35 AM

Hi Andy, good to see you and Shirley have arrived back home safely. Great start to the report. Pictures do show up for me, and brilliant pics they are. Looking forward to more, especially our "shared" parts.

 

@Whyone?

 

Sorry the Mana GTG didn´t work out, but very glad you did get to Mana after all. :)


  • screentraveller likes this

#16 Big Andy

Big Andy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Wales UK.
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 05 November 2015 - 07:16 AM

@Sangeeta @offshorebirder @pault @SafariChick Sorry to hear you are unable to see the images and I'm at a loss to know why  :unsure: ?? I hope it will resolve it's self as these things sometimes do. One possibility is to try clearing your cache memory this has worked for me in the past when I've had similar issues, although I'm not an expert in these matters. If all else fails you can try going direct to www.pix.ie/bigandy to view them there.

 

@michael-ibk Yes we're back safe and sound if a little shell shocked from the experience, in a good way that is. I'll stepping onto the shared bits shortly. Glad you're both home safe and sound and will be following your report closely as it's interesting to see another point of view on the same things.

Andy

 

Thanks to all for the kind comments above.


  • screentraveller likes this

#17 Zim Girl

Zim Girl

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 642 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Lancashire
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 05 November 2015 - 07:49 AM

@Big Andy

 

Welcome back and I am really pleased you loved Mana.  I can click through to your pictures which are great by the way.



#18 Sverker

Sverker

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 537 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Leksand, Sweden
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 05 November 2015 - 08:50 AM

Big Andy - I do not see your pictures, just a rectangle with blue-and-white question mark in it.

 

Why is that, anyone? 


Edited by Sverker, 05 November 2015 - 08:53 AM.

Slower is better!

#19 xelas

xelas

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,212 posts
  • Local time: 05:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Slovenia
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 05 November 2015 - 10:16 AM

@Big Andy

 

First to report I have no problems with visibility of photos, using Windows 7 and Chrome browser. Will test later home how it goes with iMac.

 

Next what a treat to have not concurrent but complimentary TRs. Its like listening to a great music on a high-end HI-FI in stereo !


  • screentraveller likes this

#20 Sverker

Sverker

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 537 posts
  • Local time: 04:11 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Leksand, Sweden
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 05 November 2015 - 11:15 AM

I do no see the photos in Chrome on Mac, either. 

 

Clicking the question mark takes me to PIX and the photo.

 

But that is not how it should work ... :angry:

 

And on Chrome there is no "Reply to this topic".  :angry:  :angry:


Slower is better!





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Mana Pools, Kanga Camp, Chitake, Chikwenya


© 2006 - 2016 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.

Welcome guest to Safaritalk.
Please Register or Login to use the full facilities.