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Trip Report: Makololo Plains (Zimbabwe) and Mombo camp (Botswana) Part 2

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After 3 days at Makololo we headed off to Mombo camp. upon arrival it took us some time to adjust to having other guests at the camp and especially to having other guests in teh vehicle with us. it really made us realize just how special our trip to makololo was. u become jaded having the entire camp to yourselves!! after the transition period though it turned out the people we shared the vehicle with were very nice and our guide tsile is a great friend. we had him the yr before and requested him again. he has such a good memory and could even recall sightings we had the yr before. amazing. anyway highlights from mombo included:

buffalo sleeping under the tent

spotting the female leopard that the jouberts are filming for their national geographic movie twice and being able to radio to them that we had found her. 1 of the 2 times we found her was from our tent. my wife and i were getting ready to head to afternoon tea when she said "whats that?" i saw out of the corner of my eye what i knew to be a leopard about 10yds from our tent and i hurried outside to take some pics. i actually startled the cat and she proceeded to head over under my father's tent. i tried frantically to call out his name but he was sound asleep. i slowly walked toward the common area of the camp and waved the staff over. shortly thereafter the jouberts were radioed in. then we follwed her by car on teh hunt for impala. pretty cool.

watching 3 of the 4 new dominate male lions in the Mombo area

saw 2 nomadic males eating buffalo, and a pride with cubs feeding on a zebra kill

saw a very large male leopard for a long time. he's the father of the before mentioned nat geographic female. and saw another more skittish male leopard that semi mock charged us and tehn scampered off into the brush.

had an elephant block in camp and block us being able to get to the game vehicles.

and best of all i want to describe the most eventful game drive i've ever had. it started off with tsile seeing a pack of 7 or so hyenas sitting in teh shade of a lareg bush. we wathched them for a while and 1 of them headed over to another nearby bush. we saw movement in the the bush and thought it was more hyenas taht we hadnt noticed but it turned out to be 2 wild dogs. i couldnt believe it. i thought the hyena would attack them but he just marked his territory on the bush and teh dogs stood up. apparently hyenas will only attack other predators if the have a kill, not just because like lions do. we drove over and watched the dogs for a couple minutes when suddenly we heard baboons giving off their distinct alarm barks. we left teh dogs/hyenas to check it out and sure enough we quickly came across a pride of lions tearing apart a newly killed baboon. pretty gross. we watched tehm for a while and radioed to another vehicle of our find. the lions finished off their treat and started moving in teh direction of a waterhole taht was just around the corner. the other vehicle was approaching teh water hole from the oppsoite dircetion when we were radioed by them saying taht 2 rhinos were drinking at the hole. we couldnt believe it. we pulled ahead of the lions and settle next to the waterhole to watch the 2 rhinos as the lions came strolling in. both species were weary o each other and the rhinos started to move away from the area. pretty amazing to see how they would react to lions. we sat at the waterhole watching teh lions drink and eventually settle into teh shade. we headed back to check on teh wilddogs and sure enough as it was nearing dusk they were up and beginning to hunt. we could see impala far off in teh distance and tsile did an amazing job keeping up with the dogs as they charged through the brush. we follwed those dogs for several kilometers until finally they exploded form a fast run to a sprint into teh thicket after teh impala and we couldnt follow bc it was too thick. teh chase was amazing. we never saw the final result but teh process was incredible none the less. so on 1 game drive we saw hyenas interact with wild dog, lions intearcting with baboon, lions with rhinos and wild dogs hunting impala. this is what makes Mombo so unique. The amazing interactions.

all in all, the 6 days on safari couldnt have been better and we left more than satisfied with our choice to visit tehse 2 wonderful places in january. the combination of the 2 was incredible.

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