Antee

Among Aardvarks and cats

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What a great first drive - wonderful sightings.

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, lmonmm said:

I was so looking forward to this report then came across your advocacy for killing hybrid species. Sorry Antee- that did it for me....your desire for purity is loathsome to me.


Okey, fine. Your post is very ignorant and I think you don´t know what youre talking about...at all. 

Feral cats/ crossbreed cats is the most dangerous invasive species on our planet. It is alone the reason for the last 19 of 20 exterminations in Australia. Yes, they are in many places more dangerous than humans (If you don´t consider that the humans bring them in, in the first place).
In Australia there is a huge project of killing 2 millions!! feral cats because of this. 

So YES, they should be taken away from Marrick and everywhere else. 

If you don´t think so, it´s up to you. But then you are a part of exterminate species. And THAT is loathsome.

 

My guide Johnny completely agreed with me that they would be killed from Marrick. In fact it was his suggestion in the first place. Otherwise there will be no African wildcats left anymore. 
 

Edited by Antee
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16 hours ago, janzin said:

WOW! Amazing for one drive! Now I have to get to this place!

 

I'm really impressed at how well the D500 did at these super-high ISOs (I see one cat image at 51,200!)  Did you do any noise reduction?

 

Also, are you using the Sigma or the Tamron 150-600? And I noticed that for some (like the first cat and first Aardvark) you weren't all the way zoomed to 600, was this just because you were too excited to zoom all the way and in a hurry to grab anything first (I've done that!)?

 

I'll be (hopefully) doing a lot of night photos in Zambia so just interested in how well you did with the D500 for these type of shots!

 

 

 

There is a noise reduction built in the camera. It's the only one I used.
But yes D500 is a fantastic camera with high ISOs.
And I really needed it because of big distances sometimes, spotlighting and also because my Sigma 150-600 lens. 

However I do think I made a bit of an overkill. I think I could have reduce the ISO a bit if I did it manually but I choose to have Auto-ISO with a maximum 51 200. Could also maybe have reduced the maximum ISO number on my settings.


I used much Auto in darkness simply because of lack of time and that the spotlight always change the lights and also sometimes fast moving animals where you need quite fast shutter speed. There is no time to test ISO, shutter speed... or something else for that matter. if you see something, shoot! :) Before the Aardvark is in the tall grass again. 

Therefore I have most settings on AUTO when photographing in darkness and then process them thru Lightroom instead. 

I tried a bit to adjust things manually but ended up with too many blurry pictures. Not worth it when the D500 do so good on Auto-mode in dark conditions.

 

I also need to say that I am a very much amateur when it comes to photographing. 


I´m using the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary lens.

 

The first Black footed cat picture was so close. So no need to zoom anymore.

The second picture of Aardvark was probably just shoot as fast as possible before it´s gone :) They don´t stand still very long... you will notice when you get here. Because you really have to go to Marrick if you are in to see some rare nocturnal animals. 

 

If you going to South Luangwa in Zambia you will have ALOT of good spotlighting photo possibilities. Beside Marrick this is the place where nightdrives are outstanding if you ask me. 

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Posted (edited)

MARRICK DAY 2

 

Mokala NP is 1½ hour away from Marrick and this is wehere I spent this morning and afternoon.

Mokala NP is South Africa´s newest nationalpark established in 2007. 

A beautiful park with different environments from rocky areas, to plains, forest and lowland bushes. A great potential for a wide range of species. No big cats in the park... so far. They do talk about introduce Cheetah...

They are also in a process to expand the park even more. 

 

Also very quite. It seems like Mokala NP lies off the radar for most people.

 

Trevor at Marrick easily organize a trip here if you want to go. He have a retired friend, an enthusiastic birder with a great knowledge of the park, who is more than happy to bring you here. 

 

Tsessebe´s walking away in the morning light. 

 

Tsessebe.thumb.jpg.42c07e5bd10065e2dd70b01dee52b841.jpg

 

 

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Black wildebeest´s thriving in this park. Actually they were a lifer for me so I gave them some extra notice.

 

597c7f45e8c20_Blackwildebeest2.thumb.jpg.429f43bd1a5197c9f12f93c3a24700c7.jpg

 

 

Walking in gold...

 

597c7f34b5fe1_Blackwildebeest.thumb.jpg.eafea41e522316231002e0a6d5b85032.jpg

 

 

Red Hartebeest and Zebra also thriving here.

 

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My guide showed me a Barn owl nest with some youngsters inside. Barn owl, also a lifer for me... very strange when I think about it. 

 

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Roan Antelopes are also introduced here. Even though it´s outside their natural habitat.

 

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Both White and Black Rhinos exists in Mokala, the latter is very rarely seen though. I saw a few White Rhino´s this day.

 

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Nyala Family drinking...

 

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I asked my guide if there is any Meerkats around this park and I barely open my mouth before he said.... "there they are!" 

A quite skittish Meerkat colony looked at us as we watched them.

 

Meerkats2.thumb.jpg.e19a3e38e57e67e016f94c15995935b1.jpg

 

 

As in Marrick, Bat eared foxes were very cooperative. 

We stumbled upon two different couples during my day.

 

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Funny looking when they leans back their ears like this...

 

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Some other small carnivores...

Black backed jackal lurking around a waterhole.

 

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Yellow mongoose´s on the hunt...

 

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The beautiful Oryx and the "stand still like a stone"-Steenbok were in the area as well.

 

oryx.thumb.jpg.9384aecc006785689fea2128d7fcc49c.jpg

 

 

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There is some +150 species of birds in Mokala but probably more than that as the birdlist is very much incomplete due to the fact that the park is only 10 years old. 

We looked a bit for the Pygme Falcon as they are quite common here but unfortunately didn´t find it.

 

The world´s most numerous bird, Red billed quelea was however present in very good numbers... 

Here sipping for a drink.

 

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In some sort of a bird-mayhem they went back and forward to drink.

 

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Three banded plover was not very happy with their low numbers compared to the Quelea and started to make more...

 

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Didn´t had any expectations at all about Mokala as it was a blank paper for me. But it was a very pleasant day with a great guide and a beautiful, quiet park.

If you are in Marrick I do recommend a visit here. 

 

Now time to go back for my second nightdrive. I still have some species to tick off. Especially Aardwolf.

 

 

 

Edited by Antee
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great photos - that rhino looks so much like a black rhino from the side view - shows how the camera angle can be misleading!

 

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Posted (edited)

MARRICK DAY 2 NIGHTDRIVE

 

Oh man, this night was even more chilly. A cold wind swept across the grass plains.

The animals seemed not to care about it as much as I did though...

 

No Smith´s red rock hares today on the rocky outcrops close to lodge. Yesterday they were many and today none. Maybe they didn´t like the cold wind after all.

 

The first creature was an Spotted eagle owl.

 

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The second creature of the night was an Aardwolf. The one we missed yesterday.

Only very brief sighting of it as it run away on a big distance back into the darkness.

 

Only 10 minutes afterwards there was another Aardwolf! 

This time much better sighting. Still big distance and a skittish animal who just wanted to escape in the grass but it was a satisfying lifer for me. 

Unfortunately no pictures worth posting of it. 

 

Then we stumbled on probably the same male Black footed cat as yesterday.

This time we approached it. To see if it were cooperative. 

 

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It was very relaxed and I got the pictures I so much wanted.

 

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Couldn´t wish for a better Black footed cat sighting than this. 

A beautiful creature.

 

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It was so relaxed that it eventually started to sneak for prey in the grass instead of looking at us. 

 

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Maybe for prey like this one, a Gerbil mouse or Large eared mouse as it is also called. We saw a couple of them this second night. 

 

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A "stone" was moving in the grass. That means Aardvark.

Jonnhy, my guide, spotted another one for me this night. 

First in the high grass, but we saw it was moving towards the road and waited for him to come out...

 

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...Which it did.

 

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Another great Aardvark sighting!

 

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Also around 10 Bat eared foxes and 30-50 Springhares this night. 

Another creature who seemed to like the cold night was porcupines. Three of them showed themselves this night. Only brief sightings when they quickly moved into the grass and disappeared. No pictures.

 

The last eyeshine of this night was another Black footed cat!

This time a smaller female. 

She was on her lookout point over the plains. They are almost like mini-cheetahs. Very much like to get up on termite mounds for better visibility.

 

Quite big distance and we did not do an attempt to approach as we were more than happy with our first sighting of them.

 

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The 3 hour nightdrive session was over and the summary this night were:

 

2 Black footed cat (1 Male and 1 Female)

1 Aardvark

2 Aardwolf

3 Porcupine

2 Gerbil mouse (Large eared mouse) 

10 Bat eared foxe

30-50 Springhare

 

One nightdrive left and the only missing thing now was a decent photo of the Aardwolf...

Edited by Antee
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stunning night photos. I have never previously heard of the park and was unaware that it had such an usual mammal population!

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Just exceptionally good night drives, and you ended up with some fantastic photos. So glad to know about Mokala NP. I'd never heard of it until now -- or Marrick until just a few months ago. Thank you Safaritalk -- and @antee. 

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Amazing little cats!

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Posted (edited)

MARRICK DAY 3

 

Last installment about Marrick.

My third and last chance for a decent picture of Aardwolf.

I thought back and forth if I would do the last nightdrive or not. The fact is that I was so satisfied with my sightings so far that a quiet evening crossed my mind...

But only for a very brief period. 

I wanted to go out there.

 

But first, in the morning a look at the land in daylight. 

Some Springboks in the distance...

 

Marrick2.thumb.jpg.1a21e2be3094a87ce47192eb37abbd55.jpg

 

 

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Some beautiful Sable Antelopes. Please note that this is introduced animals outside their natural habitat.

 

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Then I spent the day with the Meerkats who lives close by. 

Very fun and interesting to follow them. See them hunting and collecting food for their youngsters.

 

Meerkat2.thumb.jpg.44c78d18daeeb475bf51f70e855c5f57.jpg

 

 

Meerkat18.thumb.jpg.475a79d246b8f8fe0b03d0465c92398b.jpg

 

 

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Always one on the guard when the others collect food. Here he is.

 

Meerkat21.thumb.jpg.fa3a560c8f3b9752fe05773a37bbb772.jpg

 

 

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This night was unexpected much warmer than the others. 

A much warmer breeze over the grass plains.

We started out with another Smith´s red rock hare on a great distance close to the lodge.

 

Then we met the same female Black footed cat as yesterday. Much closer this time. She was looking for rodents.

 

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I don´t know if it was because of the warmer wind or not but this night we counted to 23 Bat eared foxes! 

One Aardwolf as well. Unfortunateley on very big distance and running away. 

For some reason, they seem to be always shy and running away.

 

Then something very weird happened.

 

We saw an Aardvark... 

Well, that is not so weird in Marrick as you now understand. But 150 meters further on we came across another one!

And just beside that one, ANOTHER one! 

 

We now had 3 Aardvarks within 150 meters of eachother. Very, very unusual even for Marrick. 

 

Aardvark-6.thumb.jpg.211574fb580781ccbf50095658f10182.jpg

 

 

Johnny spotted a small eyeshine pretty far away. We approached gently.

At first we thought another Black footed cat but it was not.

It turned out to be a Small spotted genet. 

 

It couldn´t sit still for a second but we got a nice look at it. 

 

A Scrub hare got to be the last thing I saw.

By the way, I found it strange that people generally say they have seen one "Scrub hare" wherever you are in Africa. When in fact the Scrub hare is endemic to South Africa. 

So stop calling every Hare you see for a Scrub hare. Because it´s not. 

 

5984771c29096_Scrubhare.thumb.jpg.2da0a2946030fadab810f65dbed4a430.jpg

 

 

Summary for my last nightdrive:

 

1 Smith´s red rock hare

1 Scrub hare

3 Aardvark

1 Black footed cat (female) 

23 Bat eared fox

30-50 Springhare

1 Small spotted genet

1 Aardwolf

 

Maybe some of you planning to come here for the shy nocturnal animals and I can very much recommend this place.

Marrick is a peaceful place. 

Fantastic food if you choose to let the kitchen cook for you. Otherwise you can also do self catering. 

 

Trevor and his staff are really wonderful and helpful. They can fix pretty much everything you want. And if you don´t want anything... you have your free time. Just strolling around the land on your own, follow the Meerkats or read a book in the garden. 

They also pick you up and drop off at the airport if you want.

Great people and you will not regret it if you come here. 

 

To give you a hint about what and how much you see in three nightdrives, maybe it helps you decide how many nights you want to spend here, I think 3 nights is pretty much perfect. 

My total summary of this 3 nightdrives:

 

5 Smiths red rock hare -- Were lucky the first night as we saw 4. Can be a hit or miss. 

4 Black footed cats -- 2 different individuals. One male and one female. 

6 Aardvark -- At least 4 different individuals.

3 Porcupine -- Only saw them one night.

3 Aardwolf -- Only distant and brief sighting. Very shy and running away. 

2 Large eared field mouse -- Didn´t look for rodents but came across this two. 

1 African Wildcat -- Seen on the first night only.

2 Scrub hare -- One at the lodge and one on the grass fields

1 Small spotted genet -- Not that common here. They seeing them on 40-50% of the nightdrives.

1 Hybrid cat -- Not very good sighting. Should be killed to save the pure African wild cats. 

+33 Bat eared fox -- Well, they are more or less everywhere. 

+100 Springhare -- Everywhere, jumping around.

 

Time for me to change position. Change country. 

The story will continue in Khwai concession, Okavango delta, Botswana. For some bigger cats and alot of other things.

 

To be continued... (with this White bellied sunbird)

 

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Edited by Antee
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well you've definitely put Marrick on top of my list for the next time I return to South Africa! And I'd never even heard of it before this year...!

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3 minutes ago, janzin said:

well you've definitely put Marrick on top of my list for the next time I return to South Africa! And I'd never even heard of it before this year...!


Good choice. Very easy to combine with other "Big game" parks. Cheap flights between Johannesburg - Kimberley. And only 15-20 minutes from the airport, you are at Marrick. 

 

You won´t be disappointed.

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Magnificent so far! Thank you very much.

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Wow! @Antee you have certainly whet my appetite for Marrick! We are heading out to south Africa middle of next month and we have three nights here as you did! I hope we see as much as you! Everything you saw is on my list! From the aardvark to the red rock rabbits and spring hares! 

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Thanks @Antee for this informative trip report so far.    

 

Now I am definitely planning a visit to Marrick (and Makola NP) when I am in South Africa.   Kimberly will make a nice stop when flying from Cape Town to the Kruger NP area.

 

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Oh that is a very nice list of night sightings, Only missing honey badgers! Pretty good in the daytime too!!!

 

And I really like the Nyala family shot - maybe because I have never seen them in the flesh, but I like it. ^_^

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Posted (edited)

That first night drive summary is indeed a fairy tale.  Good thing you have the pics to prove it! 

"I asked my guide if there is any Meerkats around this park and I barely open my mouth before he said.... "there they are!"  Straight out of a fairy tale!

Now I have read about night drive #2 and #3 and seen the shots.  Equally amazing.  The aardvarks are popping up everywhere.

 

It is encouraging to read that even a change in the weather, such as the cold wind, does not stifle the sightings.  That increases the odds for visitors.

 

Sorry if I missed it in your report, but WHY is Marrick such a good place for these rare species?  Do you think the whole region supports this rarity and diversity? 

 

Marrick really did live up to its reputation.

Edited by Atravelynn
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Posted (edited)

17 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

That first night drive summary is indeed a fairy tale.  Good thing you have the pics to prove it! 

"I asked my guide if there is any Meerkats around this park and I barely open my mouth before he said.... "there they are!"  Straight out of a fairy tale!

Now I have read about night drive #2 and #3 and seen the shots.  Equally amazing.  The aardvarks are popping up everywhere.

 

It is encouraging to read that even a change in the weather, such as the cold wind, does not stifle the sightings.  That increases the odds for visitors.

 

Sorry if I missed it in your report, but WHY is Marrick such a good place for these rare species?  Do you think the whole region supports this rarity and diversity? 

 

Marrick really did live up to its reputation.


It seems like the best sightings is when it´s windy. No matter if it´s cold or warm wind. Just wind... 
My guide told me this. But it´s not that Marrick is bad without wind either :) 

In fact I believe this whole region supports this rarity and diversity but no one really cares and have discovered that you can make money on this. There is equal places close by with the same good amount of Black footed cat, Aardwolf and Aardvarks but not this organized as in Marrick Lodge, and the landscape is very similar in this Northern cape area so I put my money on that many farmers and land in this area supports the same amount of nocturnal diversity. 

Farmers and Lodges in the area seems to gathering towards trophy hunting instead. I guess it´s more money. Even Marrick do hunting on their land to support their lodge and the land. 
They do have a desire that one day (if it´s possible) only do photography tourism. But I guess it´s quite hard in this area. 
 

Edited by Antee

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On 2017-08-16 at 8:24 PM, offshorebirder said:

Thanks @Antee for this informative trip report so far.    

 

Now I am definitely planning a visit to Marrick (and Makola NP) when I am in South Africa.   Kimberly will make a nice stop when flying from Cape Town to the Kruger NP area.

 


Yes, Kimberley would be a perfect stop for you. And like I said. Marrick is only 15-20 minutes drive from the airport. 

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21 hours ago, Antee said:


It seems like the best sightings is when it´s windy. No matter if it´s cold or warm wind. Just wind... 
My guide told me this. But it´s not that Marrick is bad without wind either :) 

Interesting response from your guide.  Many species seek shelter in thicker foliage for wind, which would make them harder to find.  But I have experienced more rodent prey running about during wind because their main predator, the fox, could not hear as well with the wind.  Hearing the rodents both underground in their holes and scurrying in brush was harder for foxes in the wind.

In fact I believe this whole region supports this rarity and diversity but no one really cares and have discovered that you can make money on this. There is equal places close by with the same good amount of Black footed cat, Aardwolf and Aardvarks but not this organized as in Marrick Lodge, and the landscape is very similar in this Northern cape area so I put my money on that many farmers and land in this area supports the same amount of nocturnal diversity.   That's kind of what I thought.  It could offer more opportunities for neighboring areas to salvage the habitat.  Even if some hunting is allowed, the habitat must be there for the hunted species to live in.  The trend toward photo tourism and away from hunting is wide spread.  You're right that it's money.  As the more lucrative hunting business diminishes, then photography tourism becomes more attractive.

Farmers and Lodges in the area seems to gathering towards trophy hunting instead. I guess it´s more money. Even Marrick do hunting on their land to support their lodge and the land. 
They do have a desire that one day (if it´s possible) only do photography tourism. But I guess it´s quite hard in this area.   Thanks for these responses.
 

 

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On 7/27/2017 at 6:27 PM, lmonmm said:

I was so looking forward to this report then came across your advocacy for killing hybrid species. Sorry Antee- that did it for me....your desire for purity is loathsome to me.

Better than killing would be trapping and sterilizing and removing from the area.  But are there funds for that?    I see @offshorebirder also made that same suggestion.  Invasive feral species are such a hard call.  I don't have to look a world away for the debate, just outside my door in my local park where feral cats pose a threat to local "special concern species"  like the Boblink and to bi-annual migrating warblers from Central/South America.  As a cat lover, I curse those who don't neuter their pets and dump unwanted animals rather than take them to a shelter.

 

On with the report....

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Posted (edited)

KHWAI CONCESSION , OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA

 

Day 1.

 

Some quick flights from Kimberley, South Africa and suddenly I were in the dusty town of Maun in Botswana. The gate-town to Okavango.

I had booked 5 nights mobile camping in Khwai concession. Not very much inside here from this concession so maybe it will draw some attention. 

 

I struggled alot to find something that I could afford in Okavango during peak season. As usual I contacted the excellent http://www.safarispecialists.net/ and after many thoughts and mail back and forth they couldn´t help me and sent me too http://walkbotswanasafaris.com/ , which was an excellent choice for me. 
Only me in the car, wild camping in the bush, as much time out there as possible, no bullshitting with sunset drink (Why spend time with drinks at the best time of the day regarding animal activity and photo light?? I will never undertand this... I can drink at home but I can for sure never ever photograph Leopards in the sunset at home) and also affordable! 
At last I found what I was looking for. 

I opted for Khwai concession because I knew it´s a good area for Wild dogs. That was the bottom line for my choice. What I didn´t knew and which I would soon be aware of was that it is also very good habitat for Leopards. Extraordinary good. 
Not that high density of Lions and very good habitat with large trees and alot of prey make this an heaven for Leopards. 

Cheetahs are very rare here. Not much open space for them and alot of other predators. The ones they see here is always individuals passing by.

 

Khwai is as the rest of Okavango very very beautiful and peaceful. ALOT of water this year because of the heavy rainfall earlier this year. In some parts it was more water than anyone had ever seen before. 
Khwai is also open for selfdrivers. I wouldn´t recommend it though as I saw many drowned cars during these days. One of them was completely drowned and they needed to change the whole engine...

If you go here by yourself you should be an experienced driver. This is not like Etosha or Kruger. This is wilderness. This is wilderness for real. People have died here because of car breakdown and lack of water and no one to contact.

And of course a guide will help alot to find the spectacular sightings this area can provide.

Khwai is like 5 hours drive from Maun.

 

Well, this is the background of my choice and why I ended up in this vast wilderness. 

This is my home for the next five nights. Beautiful setting along the river. 

The tent had also a small bed and attached shower and toilet. Real luxury wild camping. Far better than a lodge! 

 

Khwai-3.thumb.jpg.9e0b3ddd0c569ceb183ddfd3f368bb45.jpg

 

 

Alot of water this year!

 

Khwai-2.thumb.jpg.256d170d8c83b864f156ccd4973bdbae.jpg

 

What is normally a small stream is now a big river :) 

 

elephant-11.thumb.jpg.b301d560b44dd78b56d8ae741b29da46.jpg

 

 

Immediately on our first drive we went to an old Wilddog den. Maybe they would be denning here this year as well.

Jackpot!! 

They did! 

It took us 15 minutes to find the Wilddog I came for and my guide was as happy as me for this. 

This would mean we could follow them all my time here and the best of all... they probably had very, very small puppies inside their den which with some luck maybe would crawl out and see the daylight for the first time in their life during my stay here. 

 

This evening not much happening though. Some of them started their socializing ritual but not everyone was into hunting and they laid down to rest again. We left them and would be back tomorrow again to maybe see the puppies or some other action. 

 

5998748bd03c8_Africanwilddog-3.thumb.jpg.9c1df6474be54189c747156b2372e4fc.jpg

 

 

59987492e71f5_Africanwilddog-5.thumb.jpg.7a0a27434ff711abc5a3d7af61195418.jpg

 

59987476986ee_Africanwilddog2.thumb.jpg.14b3546dfb6e7e033a25038c5779bb4e.jpg

 

Here you can see the den. The hole behind the sand wall. 

 

5998758d44898_Africanwilddog-2.thumb.jpg.48a730ca468cc66e1cf61a3d072d703a.jpg

 

 

This story is also about a Leopard cub and his/her mother.

We came across them on our first evening and like the Wilddogs we would bump into them more or less every day from now on. 

 

This time the Leopard cub was alone. No sign of the mother. He/she is around 3 month old and the surviving cub of two from the start. 

The mother is very old. Around 11 years old which is very old to raise cubs. She will have one or two year left before Leopard-heaven.

 

Leopard-2.thumb.jpg.ee1742d0a45db9079d88b29921f8bb10.jpg

 

 

The cub was quite curious at us.

 

Leopard-5.thumb.jpg.15ae22d3407924d0addb0de3b3b02c3e.jpg

 

 

Leopard-18.thumb.jpg.d9cc5f8b7bd0d1563c2d04aa4b6196c6.jpg

 

 

The sun went down and we changed position for some silhouette pictures.

 

Leopard-3.thumb.jpg.713f4d5cb31bcf5c5136b96656dd7515.jpg

 

 

Leopard2.thumb.jpg.423a08ade1d5af621d86a02a0f70d2d1.jpg

 

 

Some other things around this first evening...

...an Elephant watching the sunset.

 

Elephant.thumb.jpg.ed91e4cd9ce874fbe1c0a840779254c8.jpg

 

 

Red Lechwe´s always alert in the late evening. 

 

599874d924431_RedLechwe-2.thumb.jpg.377b4351c949c3d661f8ab0bdf349058.jpg

 

 

599874c857db3_RedLechwe.thumb.jpg.e039abdc26db8d9cc0f5d028d1407767.jpg

 

 

Yellow billed stork strolling around in the last light.

 

599874a990c36_Yellowbilledstork.thumb.jpg.0b14f4929a1c679858906ba7e4211b0f.jpg

 

 

Tomorrow morning we will check out the Wilddog den again.

Edited by Antee
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Nice start to Bots- and that little camp does look very nice indeed - what more do you need in a gorgeous setting like the Delta?

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Excellent safari.  

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Posted (edited)

DAY 2.

 

Early morning and we checked the Wilddog den again for the puppies. 
Our camp was really close to this den so we could go there and check whenever we wanted. So we did not have to go a detour to get here. Very good. 

 

The Alpha male was outside the den with a bloody face. The pack had obviously killed in the night. 

 

599d0f444c232_Africanwilddog-13.thumb.jpg.42c52ff926ea6253b416f848dcd95b3c.jpg

 

Not every member was at home and a few dogs looked anxious at the forest... waiting for the rest of the pack to get home.

 

599d0f2dcc838_Africanwilddog-12.thumb.jpg.a5660848be89bb6395dee1bc33f78e7e.jpg

 

 

We could hear some action inside the den. We could hear the puppies but nothing really happend and the dogs outside went to sleeping mode.

 

599d0f25d68e7_Africanwilddog-9.thumb.jpg.b0d374ace2ae0cd3ffb28d7cd7938a76.jpg

 

 

We left them and my guide told me... "we will see the puppies, just be patience. They have to come out soon."

 

Over to the Leopard-story :)

 

Today the mother and cub was together!

The 3 month old cub was a little bit worried about us but not that bad. The mother is a very relaxed Leopard.

 

Leopard-24.thumb.jpg.f73a02fc346ee2cd98183454b81991cf.jpg

 

 

Leopard-27.thumb.jpg.8906ce87b4b9013f6b9b8eef39589375.jpg

 

 

599d0fe11e583_DSC_2058(2).thumb.JPG.f97f344b68aee9d6fa780a394cad7e10.JPG

 

 

Like I said, she is an old beauty and only have a year or two left on this earth. 
She´s struggling the last years as she hurt her back-leg a few years ago. And after that no one have seen her drag up a kill in a tree anymore. This results in very much stolen kills from Hyenas. So she is really struggling to raise this cub. 

 

Leopard-29.thumb.jpg.cc059dc05e5374dd23707f010ff1f17a.jpg

 

 

They didn´t do much and laid down in the high grass. We left. 

 

We encountered one of the Lion packs in Khwai. Actually they were on the other side of the river, on the Moremi NP side. 
We waited for them to possibly cross which would be really cool to see.
Unfortunately the grown up Lions were interesting in a totally different thing.

 

Lion-3.thumb.jpg.7e3e4c103329f2ffe800444df676208a.jpg

 

 

Alot of cubs in this pack and more on the way.

 

Lion2.thumb.jpg.8d40252b5b4043684d7c930c125f3e60.jpg

 

 

Lion-7.thumb.jpg.ef445ba37be05c08906bc342e00afa21.jpg

 

Say hello to daddy...

 

Lion-8.thumb.jpg.d5608cd4a47400dace77b25494766c0b.jpg

 

 

Lion-12.thumb.jpg.5660287062edf3a2a2719c151b5c281e.jpg

 

 

Other things worth notice this day.

Elephants thriving in the water. No lack of water here :) 

 

Elephant-3.thumb.jpg.b2ccc72e62c06171c85fa7c9df3377a7.jpg

 

 

Elephant-4.thumb.jpg.084905e35af3f28209f1f4d7a4860508.jpg

 

 

Not so much Kudus around in Khwai, just a few per day. Some lovely males digging for salts in the mud.

 

Kudu-2.thumb.jpg.5bb3dbabb6111f37b8e2eca32f38276a.jpg

 

 

More Waterbucks around than Kudus. I guess it´s simply because that Waterbucks loves water and Kudus don´t :) 

 

Waterbuck.thumb.jpg.ef7317249264a78ec40bfaf85c000b23.jpg

 

 

Vervet monkey is on Safari looking for Humans.

 

599d102560f84_Vervetmonkey.thumb.jpg.21f280e404efcc63b1b1786942be9aa3.jpg

 

 

With all this water, of course the crocs were around. We found plenty of them close to a dead Elephant laying in the water. They had been feeding there for weeks.

 

Crocodile-2.thumb.jpg.24e100657cadc56ea432da7f61cde8c9.jpg

 

 

Crocodile-4.thumb.jpg.402bb122343bdccac95f86cf2ed63e32.jpg

 

 

Saddle billed stork youngsters were harassed big time from Lapwings who probably had a nest close by. 
The Lapwings hit the Storks time after time after time...

 

599d0f5f1c913_Saddlebilledstork-3.thumb.jpg.d9b10f5202abafa3ae8f8cbaa5029661.jpg

 

So many times that at last the Storks got tired of them and told them to fuck off...

 

599d0f75bd3fc_Saddlebilledstork-4.thumb.jpg.6620128e64fbf45d9ae96dc9ac542a49.jpg

 

Who is hazy now your piece of shit...

 

599d0f7e57f70_Saddlebilledstork-5.thumb.jpg.57faada9adf327c6a8aed8d0c321bcee.jpg

 

 

The African darter took advantage of the overflow.

 

599d1046cc15e_Africandarter.thumb.jpg.76e452c36af7f831c959ebabce9ac3af.jpg

 

 

599d1c4fa1632_Africandarter-2.thumb.jpg.a703b3dc5e8f523d099d85bd777c5863.jpg

 

 

599d1061437b5_Africandarter-4.thumb.jpg.5f0def19bd75298a395d226ab8933b62.jpg

 

 

Some other birds around today...

 

Meyers Parrot.

 

599d0f8a742cd_Meyersparrot.thumb.jpg.b89459e2ee8c202540d04a9efce329c5.jpg

 

 

Red billed Francolin with chicks.

 

599d0f9880614_Redbilledfrancolin-2.thumb.jpg.99512bf3ce48c70b444a3bf69d938b7f.jpg

 

 

Red billed hornbill.

 

599d104167c27_Redbilledhornbill.thumb.jpg.c843b9c736edaa244be33d4f174f9c97.jpg

 

 

Glossy Ibis.

 

599d109e7db7f_Glossyibis-3.thumb.jpg.f3deb0ffe523fe677902bbb7bef47923.jpg

 

 

Well, of course alot of other things as well but this was worth mentioning from day 2 in Khwai concession. 

Also a couple of Honey badgers and an African Civet on the nightdrive. Plus alot of Bushbabys and Springhares. No pictures though.
 

Let´s see what happens tomorrow.

Just a boring night in between... :) 

Edited by Antee
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