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Antee

Linyanti/Kwara concession in green season

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So...the time has come. My first trip report in here.
I do not now where this is taken us but we start and we'll see.

As writing in english isn´t my best sport, I will pretty much let the pictures speak for itself.
I am going to put both good and bad pictures, just to show the diversity of wildlife you can find in this area even during the rainy season.

Anyway, I stay 2 nights in Lebala Camp and 2 nights in Kwara camp. I used their off-season deal. Quite short trip but better than nothing :)
I chose these two camps to maximum chance of wild dogs as I have never seen them.

So this is basically a story what is going on in these two camps at the moment and and the things I found there...

We start with Linyanti Concession and some photos from the air.
It had not rained much in the area but enough to at least form some pools beyond the river.
There were large amounts of elephants out there.

In the first photo i counted them to 37 in the picture but it was way over 100 in that single herd.

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Here is some other landscape photos of the area between Lebala and Kwara.

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Good start with very cool aerials - the area looks quite dry for the Green Season. What were your dates?

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Linyanti area (Kwara as well) is very dry at the moment.
I was there 28 Dec- 01 Jan

Had a big shower first night for 30 minutes but then nothing and when I left a few days ago not a single cloud was present in the sky.
So yeah it´s dry! Which is good for me but really bad for the animals.

As you see there is some small pools scattered in the area from the showers but they can easily dry out if nothing more comes.

Some animals had left the immediate vicinity of Linyanti river because of these pools and it was a little hard to find them...

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Good start @@Antee - looks a bit greener than what it was end of September when I was there ......... Look forward to details and especially your thoughts on Kwara as I have not been there in a few years.

 

oh - I'm hoping you saw "drop the pilot" while at Lebala ;)

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@@Antee

Great start - fascinating view from the air. Dried up pools with lots of animal tracks leading to them

It does look very dry.

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One of the benefits of the green season (Besides it´s alot cheaper) is the bird life.
The beautiful seasonal Carmine Bee-eater was everywhere.

This, together with a friend who was also looking at dinner...

 

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Hippos and Elephants was present close to the Linyanti river.

The elephants in the area was so angry. Especially teenagers.
I do not know how many times we had to push full throttle and hurry away.
I do not know what it was with them. Maybe it was me that was wrong ...

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Also the big brothers was close to the river this afternoon. This was the first glimpse of the brothers named pilot and Drop-the-pilot.
So yes @@madaboutcheetah they were here :)

They have recently fighted over a female so this afternoon was very quite.
Actually they were both hurted.
Both had damaged the right paw and could barely walk.
All this for a female, is it really worth it? :)

More from these guys later on...

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More Hippos...

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Hey, and don´t forget the Impala. Numbers in thousands but still graceful.

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One more angry Elephant.

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No sightings of the Wild Dogs and with two hurted brothers it was really quite from the Predators. At the moment...




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I'm one of those who appreciate even the small animals.
I think they are just as fascinating and so it was fun to see different species of mongooses. We saw them on each game drive and they run around and do what mongooses are now doing ...

They are difficult to photograph, but some of them I managed to fool.

A group of around ten Dwarf Mongooses.

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And the lonely quite shy Yellow Mongoose

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Not the most sought after species on safari might
After the first evening downpour came the frogs and toads up.
A Ranger´s Toad.

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The rarest bird I saw was the Wattled Crane. Only about 7700 individuals remain on earth and I saw 3 of them.

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And the beautiful Verraux eagle owl.

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The brothers was still mostly laying down and they were now separated some distance apart. The fight between them has made it´s mark.

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But the sun always goes up again and a new day over Linyanti Concession dawns

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Like the lion portraits.

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Very nice, indeed.

 

I'm glad you got to see the Wattled Crane. I've never seen one. Nice photo of the Verreaux's Eagle Owl as well. Lovely sunset -- what a nice way to end the day.

 

You are to be congratulated for going, even if you had only four nights there. It's better than just staying at home!

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Wow - it's turned green with just a few cloud bursts....... beautiful skies too!

 

Who were the guide/tracker duo assigned to you?

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Posted (edited)

Actually, I don´t remember the guides name in Lebala. Sorry about that but me and names...
Maybe it´s something like...Jack...

In Kwara it was George. I am 100% about that :)

This is the tracker in Lebala. Who got a mission to find me the Wild Dogs but still no sucess.

Yes, it´s green in many places and it´s quite nice to have some green enviroment compare to the usually yellow.

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Edited by Antee
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Posted (edited)

The Blue Wildebeest was present in the whole Linyanti area from the river into the dry forest.
Small herds with newborns and lonely bulls who sees his life's work to defend his territory.

This is the time when the herbivores have their young and it was babys pretty much everywhere.

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Suddenly I understand why they are called BLUE Wildebeest.

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For the moment, it's a big elephant carcass in the area.
No one knows how this big Elephant has died but they have discovered an injury, a hole in the abdomen.
So it is suspected that it´s shot illegally in Namibia and then ran across the border.
It had observed completely crazy and wild just before his death.
The second explanation is simply that the injury caused by a fight with another bull and the injury of the abdomen is made of elephant tusks.
No one really knows.

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This was a BIG new year party for the scavengers.
The Hooded Vultures and White backed Vultures have been feasting for weeks.


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There were also more animals than the vultures who want part of the cake..
The smell was disgusting. You could not breathe if the wind was against you.
The worst smell I've ever experienced.

This is the Hyena perfume and they crawled inside the carcass.

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Big clan of Spotted Hyena. Two-digit number.

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Although the hyena are playful when the stomach is full.

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Edited by Antee
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The fastest antelope in Africa, Tsessebe, was as common as the wildebeest

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Two really uncommon species was the eight-legged Giraffe

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And the one-eared Steenbok...

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The beautiful tiny Steenboks (one of my favourite antelope) were quite common as well. We saw them on every gamedrive. Hard to see but they were there.

This male has broken his horn

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Back to the Lions and the brothers, who was now with a group of females
Today they tasted on an baby Elephant. Not much left on it as they have been feeding on it for a few days.

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Really full belly.

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One of the brothers watching in the grass...

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Elephant-foot. YUMMY!

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One brother went up from the grass and start limping. Still hurted from the fight.
He went up and smelled. More interested in the females than in food.
So many flies around them. How they cope with them??
I'd gone mad in 5 seconds...

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The other one was more interesting in the leftovers from the Elephant.

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Beautiful area, lovely photos and interesting sightings Antee.

 

I find it interesting that they left the dead elephant's tusks in place. I thought the rangers usually remove them as soon as possible?

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Very nice report. Brings back fond memories ( much too long ago) of a Green Season safari in the Kwara concession.

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@@Peter Connan

I also thought that they left the elephant tusks.
Because it looks that way.
But it is the bone that you see and not the tusks. They were removed.
That was the response I got when I ask the same thing.

But I still think it's an Elephant tusk lying there.
They have even had armed guards hidden around the carcass to see if anyone came looking for it.
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Wow!

 

Heading to Kwara and Lebala next week and then onto the CKGR. Your trip report is perfectly timed!

 

The anticipation is building and your report is inspirational!!

 

Can't wait now.

 

 

Any tips/tricks/things we should do/know since you were just there?

 

Thanks again for sharing.

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A great report. Really like the fish eagle shot in the first post.

Sure does look like a tusk, at a glance.

 

Great hyenas.

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@@Antee - re the armed guards. The BDF do a tremendous job with their anti poaching unit. I remember very very early one morning turning a corner to find these rangers in fatigues carrying on with their work on patrol.

 

Sorry I don't know your tracker - must be someone new.

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Wow!

 

Heading to Kwara and Lebala next week and then onto the CKGR. Your trip report is perfectly timed!

 

The anticipation is building and your report is inspirational!!

 

Can't wait now.

 

 

Any tips/tricks/things we should do/know since you were just there?

 

Thanks again for sharing.

 

Can not think of something special.
You will be well looked after on both camps.
They know everything that should be known :)

 

There is some amazing action going on ,on both camps. You will not be disappointed

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Thanks for the clarification @@Antee

 

I hope their plan works!

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Still no Wild dogs...
We search for them on every game drive but found nothing more than just prints.
They are in the area, but where ??

 

I can reveal that I did not found some wild dogs here in Linyanti
Most trip reports here ends with that they find wild dogs in the end. So I must be the exception. Despite hours after hours of tracking, they continue to elude me.

Maybe in Kwara?


But well some Zebras in the greenery...

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And the rather unusual ostrich.
Not very common here in the Linyanti. Probably, too much bush for them.

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Warthogs was everywhere. As always...

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A skittish Blacked backed jackal run away into the forest.

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Reedbucks quickly became a favorite (after Steenbok of course) their grayish color is beautiful! Always alone or in pair, sometimes very small groups.

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Near the river dominated Red lechwe...

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...the forest by baby Impalas and Kudus...

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...and pools by a lonely territorial Hippo male.

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The "pilot brothers" was once again separated and today they socialized with each female.
It´s funny. They have been fighting over females to the point that they become injured and can barely walk, but still ended up that they each had a female.

One of them too tired for adult games

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The second one was more successful...

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Looks like it will baby lion soon in Linyanti area!

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It was time for me to change field and camp.
Very much Lions activity in the area, which of course helped that we did not find wild dogs and also no Cheetah. Too much Lions in the area.
Not huge concentrations of animals. They had begun to disperse into the woodlands. But still very nice sightings and alot too see. There is clearly a value to go in the green season.

Must also mention a family of Bat eared foxes that I did not get on photo. Too timid and ran away but a nice sighting as well.

Lets go to KWARA!
Where we will follow this guy...

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By the way, why isn´t this trip report categorized under "trip reports" on the first page?

Am I in wrong subforum maybe...

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@@Antee I suggest you travel when the wild dogs are denning it is much easier to find them. To find them in the Green season requires much more luck.

I've never missed seeing Wild dog in the Linyanti.

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I hope you saw the dogs in Kwara ........... Yes, they are running wild in the green season - super unlucky that your tracking mission was unsuccessful. Where there other vehicles out too trying to help you with the tracking?

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