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As last year, I left Selinda in the middle of the morning and landed at Kasane at noon. A driver was waiting for me. The formalities at the two border posts were carried out, as usual, without problems. Two hours later, we reached Hwange Town where we turned right and quickly arrived at Mbala Gate where my guide of last year, Washington Sibandi, was waiting for me. He was again my guide but only for the three first days. For the two last days, I joined Adam Jones, who was guiding a keen photographer who was in camp for fifty-five days. For information, the journey to the camp is about 2 hours and a half if you do not see anything spectacular on the way.

 

In this year of heavy rains, the situation was similar to that of Selinda ; water everywhere, on the roads and on the plains. Hwange had, moreover, given itself some airs of Okavango.

 

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So apart from hippos, shy elands, solitary elephants and some plains game, we did not see a lot of mammals. No matter what, we were again able to focus on birds and smaller creatures. There were nevertheless some good and interesting sightings of lions, leopard, martial eagle, spotted eagle owls and…… bullfrogs.

 

Concerning the camp itself, nothing more to add to what I wrote in the report on my stay last November : still a great place with great people.

The day of my arrival, between Masuma and Shumba, we found the Masuma pride making its way on the road. Unfortunately, it did not stay there and disappeared very quickly on the left side in the mopanes and the kopjes.

 

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When we arrived at the camp, we were told that four lions, two females and two sub adults, called the Super Models, had been spotted nearby.

 

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Photo taken in the space between the hood of the vehicle and the windscreen, turned down on it.

 

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One of the two dominant males of the Masuma pride, Liam or Mandla, seen near Masuma.

 

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Another lion, this one nomadic, was heard roaring every night and even seen by other guests feeding on a dead elephant.

 

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Mike, how long was the flight to kasane from Selinda? One hour or so? Thanks

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@@madaboutcheetah

 

Indeed, Hari, about one hour.

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Very nice lions, and I also like the heavy clouds in the first two shots.

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@@Marks

 

Welcome back to you and your nice comments!

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As it will be again a lot question of birds, let's start with the first sighting of the most impressive of them, the martial eagle.

 

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Boy that 4th photo dramatically shows the Martial's fierce and deadly talons @@Bush dog.

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@Bushdog Your photos truly convey the fierceness of a Martial Eagle. I can see the determination in it's eyes.

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More birds, still a lot of migratory blue-cheeked bee-eaters,

 

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And little bee-eaters.

 

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@Bushdog I just love your photos of the little bee eaters as well as the blue cheeked bee eaters.

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@@optig

 

Thank you for your comments!

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Now, something different that I had never seen before, a carnivorous species, but also, depending on the circumstances and it seems to be quite common, cannibalistic, at work, the African bullfrog.

 

We stopped for tea. We noticed on the roadside a number of very young bullfrogs, which were still only five or six centimeters. One of them, suddenly, pounced on another, slightly smaller, and began to try to swallow it. This lasted for some time, more than half an hour. The fight was very fierce because the prey was doing all it could to save its skin, even to swell a maximum to prevent the swallowing process but we quickly realized that it was a waste of time, since the victim could not do much against the voracity of its congener. Back at camp, we told everyone that we had seen a kill.

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Brilliant, Mike!!!

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@@Bush dog

 

who was in camp for fifty-five days

 

Appreciate it wasn't your trip Mike, but that sounds like my kind of safari. One wouldn't have to feel the need to rush every day, but one could absorb the atmosphere, see the changes, really get to know the area and the wildlife patterns.

 

Were Ashley and Julian, @@zimproguide in camp?

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As Hari said!

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Thanks Hari

 

Thanks Peter

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@@Game Warden

 

Julian was there but Ashley was absent.

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Back to the birds.

 

Saddle billed storks.

 

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White faced whistling ducks.

 

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Bearded woodpecker.

 

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African hoopoe.

 

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Dwarf bittern.

 

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Spurwing geese.

 

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Great job with the bee-eaters (especially capturing their wings), but that frog set is really something. An impressive feat (eat?), to say the least.

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@@Marks

 

Thank you so much for your comments!

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Some old elephants.

 

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Two spotted eagle owls were seen along the road to Main Camp.

 

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Some pictures taken at Masuma.

 

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Playing hippos.

 

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Egyptian goose and water dikkop.

 

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Here is how crowned cranes express to each other how strong they are bound together by the ties of their couple. While they call, they dance. In fact, they retreat and then advance towards each other in small hops until their breasts come into contact.

 

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Swainson’s francolin, running away after a territorial fight.

 

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Black-headed herons.

 

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Purple roller.

 

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Bullfrog!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D

 

The rest is good too of course.

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@@Bush dog

 

Swainson’s francolin, running away after a territorial fight.

 

Great action capture. What was your shooting angle on that? Were you lying on the ground?

 

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Reminds me of a scene from the original War of the Worlds film...

 

Matt

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