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Bush dog

Hwange, past and present

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@@Bush dog

Again: superb pictures! I like the gaze of the buffalo a lot.

I never have seen a knob-billed duck and in 2010 only one roan, crossing the road in the Caprivi (the result is a very blurred picture)

Roan AND sable would be too much to hope for, but as one never knows...

I know I will be happy with everything and I have a passion for the "small things" too, so I won't be disappointed.Never was.

 

The camp looks great, very nice tents!

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I continue to love your photos. I stayed at Somalisa in 2011,and see that it has been substantially renovated and upgraded since I stayed there. Thus I can see that a fine camp has been even better.

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Great Roan photos!

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One more picture of the camp, forgotten previously.

 

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The afternoon game drive of the seventh day was conducted mainly on the concession in the rain and grisaille. Yet, we saw a herd of elephants, zebras and kudus.

 

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In order to compensate all this grey, a few pictures taken, under the sun, in 2000.

 

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The next day (the eighth) the rain stopped early in the morning. Gweshla was almost deserted but the elands were always present.

 

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Around Gweshla, we found many birds, amongst them, several couples of three-banded coursers.

 

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Very pretty birds! Interesting you saw so many Elands - none at all in the dry season last October.

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@@michael-ibk

 

Thanks, Michael

 

I'm very surprised you did not see any elands last October. Indeed, In September 2000, I saw a lot of them, mainly on the Wilderness concession, even a huge herd of about 200 individuals. What struck me, was the fact that all the babies and young ones were gathered in a separate group, a kind of kindergarten, surrounded by several adults.

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@@michael-ibk @@Bush dog

 

I believe in that part of Hwange, one is more likely to encounter large herds of eland in the rainy season, as they are attracted by the herbs on the plains.

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@@Bush dog, terrific photos and stories. "Son of Cecil" yoga master, ha ha, he's also carrying a few wounds so maybe enjoys a bit of sparring too. So many Sable, how beautiful. Just thinking about those young Rangers being dropped out there for three weeks, can't imagine what a job they've got ahead of them. Great photo of the Amur Falcon, a quick Google search tells me it is one of the great migrations, and one of the most perilous. Even more to admire.

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@@elefromoz

 

Thanks a lot for your comments!

 

The young Rangers are out for 10 days, not 3 weeks. Concerning Xanda, I will introduce soon one of its sparring partners.

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Continuation of the morning game drive of the eighth day

 

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Couple of red-billed francolins.

 

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Spotted thick-knee

 

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Spotted thick-knee in 2000.

 

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A dung beetle at work..

 

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Pearl-spotted owlet.

 

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Fawn-coloured lark.

 

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Dead tree at Gray’s Pan.

 

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Posted (edited)

Love the eland running through water impersonating a lechwe. Your many ostrich shots make this ostrich-o-rama! The flying crowned crane is a beaut! If not Billy Idol, what is going on with that zebra? How very unusual!!

Nice mix of the old and the new.

The mushrooms made the sandpiper shot! Great baboon silhouettes.

 

Nice you could provide an update to the solo pelican tale.

Edited by Atravelynn
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If not Billy Idol, what is going on with that zebra? How very unusual!!

 

Lack of melanin.

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The afternoon game drive led us first to Gweshla and then on the road to Main Camp. On our way, we found a beautiful striped cuckoo and an Abdim’s storck (I did not see them a lot at Gweshla).

 

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Along the road to Main Camp, kudus and a knob-billed duck (comb duck) around a pond.

 

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The day ending, we decided to have our sundowners at Gweshla, where we found the usual suspects, elands, zebras, wildebeests, …

 

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But first, we went to see Vincent who was the attendant on duty at the Gweshla picnic and camp site. By the position he occupies, he is, for the guides, an important source of information. We had found, on the road to Main Camp, tracks of one lion, a male, heading to Gweshla. He (Vincent not the lion) told us that he had seen it around noon. As we suspected it was still lying somewhere in the area, we sought it, unfortunately without success. After the sundowners, it was time to set out for camp. It was just this short time at dusk where you can litteraly hear the silence when the diurnal wildlife is no longer active and the nocturnal not yet. We had not done hundred meters that the silence was suddenly broken by a mighty roar but very close, as if that lion was telling us : OK guys, you were not able to find me, well here I am ! It was a few hundred meters from the sundowners spot, on the Wilderness concession line, hidden behind a termit mound.

 

This is Bubhesi, the sole survivor of the Dynamite Boys, a coalition of four males, the three others having been killed by hunters when they went north of the railway line. Bubhesi is also collared. The three first pictures were taken at 32.000 ISO and the last one at 40.000 ISO.

 

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I would be remiss not to say a word about Vincent who is just a humble worker but extremely dedicated to his job. I have rarely seen such a clean camp site. So if someone is planning a self-drive and camping trip to Hwange, do not forget to ask where Vincent is because he might also be in another of the Hwange camp sites. I will tell a bit more about him further.

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Very impressive quality for that ISO level! Good to see Bubeshi again. Has the pride split by now? When I was there there were numbering something like 30 members!

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@@Bush dog And here was I making a fuss elsewhere on ST about taking photos at ISO12800! Lovely images and a restful report. Thank-you.

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@@michael-ibk

 

Thanks, Michael!

 

I was myself the first one to be surprised by the quality. In fact, it was the first time I was in the situation where I could use my Eos1 DX at high ISO.

 

Concerning the pride, I can't tell you if they split or not. I only see a few (only five) members of the pride and only once.

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The ninth day, we began the morning game drive on the concession.

 

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Then, we reached the road to Main Camp.

 

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This cheetah was close to the road, not far from Gweshla. We had already seen tracks the day before and Vincent had seen it heading to Main Camp. So, we knew it was around.

 

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After having been to Gweshla, we came back to see if the cheetah was still there. It had just moved to another termit mound, this one a little more away from the road.

 

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Thanks for a great report @@Bush dog with sensational photo's.

The photo of the dung beetle has awesome detail - you can even see 3 flies getting in on the act.

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The afternoon was extremely quiet.

 

Gweshla.

 

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Zebras at Gweshla.

 

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Broad-bordered grass yellows.

 

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Bradfield’s hornbill.

 

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Southern ground hornbill.

 

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The last day was uneventful, except perhaps for the following anecdote. We just had tea and were ready to start the afternoon game drive when we saw two pedestrians going down the road to the camp. One of them was Vincent and the other one, a not very young man. After a great welcome teacup,he told us what had happened to him. His vehicle got stuck in the mud at Gweshla, fortunately at only hundred meters from the picnic site. So, his wife and him walked to the site where they related their misadventure to Vincent. I said fortunately because if it had happened somewhere else in the park, they might have stayed a long time in their car before being rescued. Indeed, their vehicle was the only vehicle I saw in the afternoon. There is no radio and no car at the site. The only way to reach Somalisa was on foot, a twelve kilometers walk. So, Vincent, knowing the way to it, kindly offered the man to escort him.

 

Morning game drive

 

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Yellow pansy.

 

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Zebras at Manga Pan.

 

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Blacksmith plover’s chick at the waterhole in front of camp.

 

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In the camp, on the balustrade of the boardwalk leading to my tent.

 

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Afternoon game drive

 

At and around Gweshla.

 

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Love the zebra bums! all of three and four of it. the yellow butterflies really popped, and i love the details on the bill of the southern yellow billed hornbill - it looks like the skin is peeling off, if there is such a thing as skin on a bill.

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I really like the landscape @@Bush dog and I am seriously thinking of not going to Africa in August always but choose another time if it's compatible with my job!

I like the Red-billed Francolin - such a beauty!

And I totally agree with @@Kitsafari concerning the details of the Yellow-billed Hornbill. Very good shots (they all are)!

Hopefully I will be able to achieve a little improvement to my pics this year - I'm trying to learn s.th. from the details in adjustments given by some of the Safaritalkers :) but I'm still learning to getting to know my (new) camera and I'm not much of a good technician... We will see.

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That was the end of the report .

 

I would like to thank all those who have shown interest for it and more particularly those who added one or more comments : @@Atravelynn, @@michael-ibk, @@madaboutcheetah, @@Big Andy, @id1, @@SafariChick, @@optig, @@elefromoz, @@Safaridude, @Alexander33, @@AfricanQueen, @@pomkiwi, @@Hads, @@Kitsafari,.

 

I would also like to thank my two guides, Honest and Peter, for their guiding competences and knowledges.

 

What better way to conclude this report than the bush bar.

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you, Mike, for another great report. It was really interesting seeing this Green side of Hwange, what a beautiful setting. Lots of fantastic shots, as always. So glad for you you got back to Africa.

Edited by michael-ibk
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