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Sketches of Our Safari Year - 2016

#500elephants #ManaPools #Tswalu #Malawi #AfricanParks #Botswana #Zimbabwe #BPCT #Virunga #DRC

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#161 Paolo

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 09:20 AM

@Paolo amongst all your other talents: lawyer, chronicler of your safaris, photographer I had no idea that you were also a gourmet chef. I also know that you're a great aficionado of fine wines.


Haha, thanks @optig.

I might argue that I have even more qualities considering that (1) during our Botswana safari both @Michael Lorentz and Dr. Tico McNutt appointed me as their "memory bank for life" and (2) more importantly, one night when we were going back to camp from visiting a wild dog den and we had an issue with the vehicle's engine, they entrusted me to operate the accelerator by pulling and releasing a rope (which was a makeshift solution in lieu of the pedal....) and we made it safely home in spite of the very treacherous tracks! ;-)
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#162 optig

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 10:30 AM

@Paolo as you know very well you enjoy the full respect and admiration of all of us. It's incredible that such old safari hands as @Michael Lorentz and Dr. Tico McNutt would entrust you to help them drive home.


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#163 Kitsafari

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 10:38 AM

I've been so behind catching up with ST in the past few months, but I'm pleased I caught up with your photos in one seating, and what a sumptious array of gorgeous portrayals of the wildlife and landscapes you both have offered. 

 

I too love that pic of the gorilla with the hands on his head and chin, looking like a brooding Hamlet. what an incredible privilege to be part of the relocation in Malawi; i had wanted to ask how the elephants were doing in their new homes and knowing they now have babies really warms the heart. 

 

Thanks for sharing. hoping there are more to come? :)


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#164 Paolo

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:00 AM

 
hoping there are more to come? :)


@Kitsafari

Yes, some more photos from Mana and then a couple of "final shots".

Thanks for your comments.
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#165 Paolo

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:17 AM

More elephant magic, literally at our camp's doorstep....and just in one afternoon.....
 


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We stayed with Boswell, till the sun was almost disappearing...a mere 150 metres from our camp and then walked back to a beautiful dusk with a lone Greater Kudu bull munching against a backdrop of the Zambian Escarpment, the Zambezi, guineafowls and more elephants... Bliss....

 

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Edited by Paolo, 19 March 2017 - 07:02 AM.

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#166 pault

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:20 AM

Great idea to add pasta making to the activities. A step up from the ubiquitous pasta station. A memorable experience and no doubt great.fun, especially as the result was apparently edible.

Frying chillis is probably not an effective way to keep lions out of camp... just a thought.
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Waiting again... for the next time again


#167 Paolo

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:04 AM

A day with Nyakasanga pack of wild dogs and the "Karina Bull" (see post #144 for the full story).......
 


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Edited by Paolo, 19 March 2017 - 09:09 AM.

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#168 Game Warden

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:47 AM

@Paolo @Anita - A lovely way to start my Sunday morning. Thank you.

 

Matt


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

 

How to create your gallery album and upload images.

 

How to post images in the text.

Want to tag another member in a post? Use @ before their display name, eg @game warden


#169 Africalover

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:54 AM

@Paolo and @Anita - words cannot describe how incredible your photos are. Thanks for making my Sunday better.
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#170 Africalover

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:14 PM

@Paolo - Maybe you have the answer. Boswell has some very impressive tusks - how far away from Mana pools does he roam. As far as I know, elephant hunting is still allowed in Zimbabwe - some moron with a lot of money might kill him, if he wanderers into a hunting concession.
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#171 Paolo

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:19 PM

@Paolo - Maybe you have the answer. Boswell has some very impressive tusks - how far away from Mana pools does he roam. As far as I know, elephant hunting is still allowed in Zimbabwe - some moron with a lot of money might kill him, if he wanderers into a hunting concession.

@Africalover

Difficult question.

My feeling is that Boswell and several other bulls are quite territorial, and do not roam that much compared to other elephants in other protected areas (there is plenty of food and water on the floodpkain and the immediate interior, so no real need to cover vast distances), but Mana Pools is not really a big park, and Boswell could indeed stray into a nearby hunting concession, like Nyakasanga.

There are rumours that another well known Mana bull, "Big Vic" or "Curly" (which donated me some great memories on several occasions) was hunted around August 2016. As you say, elephant hunting is perfectly legal in Zimbabwe, and some hunts are organized by the same Zimparks (Zimparks has a PH to this effect - how those hunts are marketed or through which channels are sold I do not know).

The main reason why Boswell was collared was to prevent him from being hunted - I am not sure in point of law whether collaring an elephant makes it legally "un-huntable" or it is just a moral persuasion factor which comes with making official the iconic status of a certain specimen. I have heard different versions, and I guess that the answer depends on the administrative status of the land where the elephant happens to be. Craig participated to the collaring of Boswell, as documented in "The Last Great Tuskers" (and to the following softening of the collar) and told me that the Park management was adamant that either Boswell was collared or he might soon be gone. So I guess that the collaring must indeed have a protecting effect for Boswell.

Edited by Paolo, 20 March 2017 - 08:25 PM.

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#172 Africalover

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:33 PM

Thanks Paolo - It would be an honor to meet him one day - what a magnificent animal he is.
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#173 Paolo

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:40 PM

what a magnificent animal he is.


Assuming everything goes well, he will become even more magnificent. He is not that old (I think he is about 40 - @Anita please correct me if my recollection is wrong), so he has a good chance of becoming an even bigger tusker.
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#174 AKR1

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:01 PM

@Paolo @Anita - A lovely way to start my Sunday morning. Thank you.
 
Matt

+1 except it's my Monday afternoon :)
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#175 Paolo

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:58 AM

Assuming everything goes well, he will become even more magnificent. He is not that old (I think he is about 40 - @Anita please correct me if my recollection is wrong), so he has a good chance of becoming an even bigger tusker.


@Africalover

I double-checked with Craig, and he reckons that Boswell is 40 to 45 years old. Hence, there could be potential for further growth in his tusks for the next 10 - 15 years (if he keeps well). He will never be a massive "Super Tusker" like, say, Satao, but will in any case be a mightily impressive sight.
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#176 Paolo

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 12:05 PM

Some more pictures from Mana......

 


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#177 Botswanadreams

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 12:18 PM

@Paolo it is always a big gift to look at this wonderful pics. Thanks to you and @Anita


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#178 Paolo

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 01:33 PM

The penultimate afternoon saw more cloud build up and our last day in Mana coincided with the first rains of the season. In a befitting goodbye, the last afternoon was spent surrounded by the Nyakasanga pack of wild dogs as the pups played non-stop.  Lightning, thunder and the camp bull visiting us one last time, marked off an end to a wonderful 9 days in Mana.
 

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Edited by Paolo, 26 March 2017 - 01:37 PM.

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#179 Paolo

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 02:05 PM


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#180 Paolo

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 02:08 PM

Final Sketches and a warm nostalgic goodbye to our 2016

 
I want to conclude this overview of our safaris in 2016 with a simple photo. but very dear to me and @Anita: the two of us with Michael and Tico in the morning of the departure from our little mobile camp - our temporary home and our base to immerse ourselves in the lives of the local wild dog packs and to get precious insights about what research and conservation on the ground are all about. It is so special as far as we are concerned because it depicts us in the company of great and inspirational people, and it really shows the happiness in our faces - the same happiness that has pervaded all our safaris last year.
 


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One evening as we were bouncing around some diabolical thick sandy track, Michael came out with a sentence that has stuck in my brain ever since:"This is not a manicured safari". Extrapolating from it, I would love to think that all our safari year has not been a "manicured" one - even Tswalu, which may sound counter intuitive.
 
But really, throughout our travels we have been exposed to such multi-faceted and complex realities and stories - several of them uplifting  (like the terrific job performed by African Parks), some of them depressing (like the steep rise in bush meat poaching and human/wildlife conflict)  - and the variety of landscapes, wildlife, conservation challenges we have been witnessing has been so amazing and eye-opening that I would consider all these trips as a whole as very much "out of the box" and authentic journeys of discovery - in essence, "not manicured".
 
For me, sharing those experiences with @Anita has made it all even more extra-special.
 


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I confess that when we started to post this thread, we both were thinking it would be far shorter than it has turned out to be, that the number of photos would have been fairly limited, just showcasing bits and pieces of our trips. But then, as it often happens, trip reports or the like start to get a life of their own, and become long and winding (and the editing of photos a real chore).

But now Zakouma is beckoning, and I know Michael is going to work us very hard. Hence, some rest is absolutely mandatory....see you later!
 


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Edited by Paolo, 26 March 2017 - 02:32 PM.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: #500elephants, #ManaPools, #Tswalu, #Malawi, #AfricanParks, #Botswana, #Zimbabwe, #BPCT, #Virunga, #DRC


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