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Trip Report Trip Report: Botswana 2014 Green Season With Moses Ntema-Unlimited Safaris

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We are just back from a green season mobile safari to The Central Kalahari and Moremi Game Reserve with Moses Ntema, owner of Unlimited Tours (www.unlimitedsafari.com) and Safaris in Maun, Botswana (https://www.facebook.com/UnlimitedSafari). We had met Moses in Duba Plains several years ago before he struck out on his own by developing Unlimited Tours as an owner/head guide for this mobile safari company. He is one of the most impressive guides we have met in 4 safaris. Tracking and game knowledge are without peer - - plus he makes a proper Gin and Tonic in the bush. We booked 12 days in the field with Moses (6 nights in The Kalahari and 6 nights in the Moremi) using 3 very private campsites...the campsite in the Moremi was literally in the deep woods under a sprawling sausage tree right at Second Bridge. First the Kalahari -- as we were cleared the Matswere Gate an hour later right at dusk we came on very fresh lion spoor and around a corner were 4 sub-adults playing by the road. We later determined that this was a pride of 13 individuals with 2 mature, black maned Kalahari brothers in charge. Over the next 3 days Moses found this pride 5 times...the sub-adults were very curious and we could coo to them and get a response back...very intimate and very thrilling...we were on a photo safari with Moses (just 2 photographers and Moses as our guide) and if you want to see a 5 minute video of our experience the link is at the bottom of this trip report. This year The Kalahari had record rainfall and we put on the ponchos almost every day. The upside was the explosion of grasses meant the springbok and oryx were fat and sassy. We stayed near Owens Camp in Deception Valley. We later encountered a total of 11 different cheetah (6 in the Kalahari and 5 in the Moremi) and were able to get very close to them. Up in the Moremi everything was green with very tall grass. We were able to find another pride of lions with 2 big males dominating a wildebeest kill. And we had 2 different sightings of leopards, one a mature huge male and another mama and 6 month old cub in a tree and hunting. The leopards Moses found by some very exact tracking and we got very close to them. Of course we saw big herds of elephant, red lechwe, African buffalo and many birds as the rare migrating ones were in full sight (the endangered Wattled Crane was seen frequently along with all the eagles). We tracked a nice family of wild dogs near 4th bridge in Moremi but they were elusive in the tall grass. I was so impressed by the value received from Moses and Unlimited I have booked 3 more safari's with him (Dry season 2014, Green season 2015 and Dry Season 2015). He had 2 boys in camp (OT the cook and Boxie the assistant) who prepared wonderful meals and field lunches. At night the air was filled with the sounds of lions roaring, hippos grunting nearby and leopards calling...I will never be in a lodge setting again as this totally feels like the real, unexplored and intimate Africa of my dreams...All at about $400/day per person...what an incredible deal! While some say the green season is not the time to experience Botswana I found the exact opposite based on my 3 green season trips taken so far. In the Kalahari it is the only real time to go where you can see the big herds of springbok and oryx with all the predators following. In the green season you also get see all the babies as they have all dropped in the last 45 days or so. Very memorable time of year to go. Here are a few links for you to enjoy: 5 minute video on this safari: http://vimeo.com/89720984 and a few images from the trip are here: http://stevelumpkin.smugmug.com/Other/Botswana-Green-Season-2014/. Cheers! Steve Lumpkin www.underprairieskies.com

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