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A trip for the dogs...and kats! Atravelynn to San and Chitabe

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Oct 14th, 2005, 12:16 PM
  #21
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so descriptive--I almost feel as if I watched those pups myself. thanks.
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Oct 14th, 2005, 12:51 PM
  #22
 
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Wow. How very cool this sounds. Since you have been to Africa before, it must have been really something to be able to see the dogs like that. I love Relax's quote. I also love his name! Thanks again for the report and photos!
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Oct 14th, 2005, 12:58 PM
  #23
 
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Oooh wonderful, wonderful, all wonderful! And kudos to WS on their flexibility - all credit to them for taking on the additional administrative burden in order to give their guests the best experience possible.

Just wonderful!
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Oct 14th, 2005, 02:29 PM
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Relax was also our guide at Chitabe Trails and I fondly remember the women working there also-one named Beauty especially! It was my favorite camp of the 3 we stayed at(all WS) although we saw the dogs at Duma Tau. Thanks for the report.
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Oct 14th, 2005, 02:43 PM
  #25
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moremiles,

I certainly remember Beauty! Relax was an appropriate name for him.

When were you there?
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Oct 14th, 2005, 03:05 PM
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Awesome, could I be more jealous? I thought seeing the pups would get it out of my system, here I am trying to figure how to sepnd three weeks at a den site.
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Oct 14th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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Hi Lynn,

Thanks for a great trip report -- you now have me wondering if I should have tried to fit Chitabe into my 2006 itinerary!

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 14th, 2005, 04:14 PM
  #28
 
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hi lynn,
great to hear you had such a good good time at chitabe. we are heading their next aug and duma tau afterward. i would really like to see wild dog pups.
what made tent #1 at chitabe your favorite? maybe i can request it for our trip. i have also heard that chitabe borders a hunting concession. is this true? and if so did you go near their concession. thx in advance.

oh and by the way, our trip to hallo bay was fantastic in aug and i wanted to thank you for answering questions i had about it.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 12:02 AM
  #29
 
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Excellent trip report, Lynn. Air Bots were certainly having trouble around that time...we had bad delays going both in and out, which forced some of us to miss our homeward connections. I don't know if they're continuing to experience difficulty, but I do know that one safari operator was prompted to tell Air Bots that the airline seemed to be in crisis and should pull up its socks. I've seen a copy of the letter.

Your Chitabe experience is interesting. Our friends were there just before you (before they joined us at Selinda) and gave the impression that it was rather ordinary. Goes to show that luck can play a big role. Similarly, reports indicate that Kwando improved after we left. You can't win all the time.

Your photo collection is a beaut, especially the meerkats. They're such lovable and fascinating little creatures. I'd love to see them in the wild. I hope you'll take this in the right spirit, but I couldn't help noticing the difference in sharpness between many of your wildlife shots and your tent images. There's no reason why both should not be equally sharp, but I suspect the excitement of the moment affects technique. It doesn't matter whether you use a point 'n' shoot or a top pro camera, support for the camera is absolutely vital. This could be tripod, monopod, beanbag or the correct positioning and bracing of the body when hand-holding...and of course, how you press the shutter button (allied to the fastest shutter speed you can select for the lighting conditions). I'm sure you've heard the advice given to newbie pistol-shooters: don't pull the trigger, squeeze it! Many safari snap-shooters would notice a big difference in their pics if they worked on their technique.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 04:17 AM
  #30
 
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atravelynn:

Great report and pictures. I loved seeing the wild dogs which brings up a question perhaps some of you can answer.

Do wild dogs have the same health problems as domestic dogs, i.e. mange, etc.

A lion researcher friend of mine in Samburu said that some of the lions and leopards in Samburu had developed mange. When I asked how they developed it, since one usually hears of mange in dogs, she said the Samburu people had dogs to assist with their herds. Occasionally those dogs got loose in the reserve and if they had mange and rubbed their bodies against bushes, trees, etc. the mange could then be picked up by the cats rubbing on the same bush/tree at a later time. Thus I wondered if wild dogs also had the same problem.

Jan
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Oct 15th, 2005, 07:39 AM
  #31
 
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Jan

I did some reading on wild dogs before our last trip and found lots of info on the net.

Wild dogs are indeed susceptible to diseases carried by domestic canines and this has been one of a number of causes that has lead to their decline in areas such as the Maasai Mara where domestic dogs are common.

http://www.canids.org/PUBLICAT/AWDACTPL/wldogtoc.htm

This document has tonnes of info, probably more than you want; though I found some parts quite interesting I did skim large chunks of it.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 08:07 AM
  #32
 
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Oooh! The pups!!! And the meerkats arenít exactly ugly either. Atrevelynn, thanks for sharing your pictures and the wonderful trip report packed with great wildlife sightings.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 10:04 AM
  #33
 
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We were at CT mid-Aug. 2003 and unfortunately, it's where my husband became quite ill but Kenny took very good care of him with instructions from the Dr. in Maun-he even had to give him an injection and of course, I was wishing I had brought those syringes that our travel Dr. talked me out of! It was my favorite camp though, even with our problems.
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Oct 16th, 2005, 11:53 AM
  #34
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On the difference in photo clarity... All of the dog shots were with a traditional camera that required scanning photos to put them online. I don't have the greatest scanner. The tent shots, and some of the meerkat shots were with a point and shoot digital. It is the first time I have used digital and for online display of photos it is far superior.

Also the dogs are always moving. Unlike other animals, such as the meerkats that often stand still and pose, the pups were in constant motion. I'm glad you mentioned the subject of focus because I wanted to bring that up.

Photographing wild dog puppies can as frustrating as photographing a room full of 2-year olds. Never a still moment. I'm just glad the shots were not all blurs.

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Oct 16th, 2005, 11:59 AM
  #35
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Big country,

Tent #1 is on the end so there is a slightly better more open view and less people traffic. Even better is Tent #8, on the other end. I think it is the honeymoon suite.

I'd love to hear more about your Hallo Bay trip. You could email with some comments or a link if you did a report.

NapaMatt,

I know what you mean about the dogs being addicting, just like Africa itself is addicting.

But another time I would not cancel the rest of my trip to stay with the dogs. So I may have gotten some of it out of my system.
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Oct 16th, 2005, 01:43 PM
  #36
 
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Lynn,

A poor scanner would help explain the fuzziness of many of your pics. You should get some scanned professionally. It will cost, but it'll be worth it if you prize any of them. Technique still plays a big role, though, especially with wildlife which won't sit still for you, as you'll find when you either get a good scanner or a more suitable digital camera for wildlife.

All other things being equal, there should be little if any difference in image quality between film and digital cameras. I use pro and semi-pro cameras of both types, and the image quality of the latest digital models has only recently matched that of my main 10-year-old film camera. I use my wife's digital cameras when helping her with such things as wedding shoots, but won't use anything other than film for nature photography. Photographers jokingly use a road crash analogy when discussing equipment: "It was the nut behind the wheel, not the car".

I agree about the wild dog pups. They're about the most difficult wildlife I've ever photographed. I always ready myself for that fleeting moment when they stop moving! And often when they stop, it's only to huddle in a heap, almost indistinguishable from each other. Most other furry animals are a piece of cake.
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Oct 16th, 2005, 02:54 PM
  #37
 
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We stayed in the tent at the end(don't know the number) and it was a family tent since there were 3 of us-don't know if they somehow rig that up to be the honeymoon tent also. It was really two tents connected by the bathroom and our tent had the large bed and our son's tent had two twins.
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Oct 16th, 2005, 05:46 PM
  #38
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About the hunting concession, Bigcountry,
yes it was there. Only on one drive in Chitabe did we get near enough to hear shots, but we did and it was disturbing.
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Oct 17th, 2005, 12:22 AM
  #39
 
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Worse than hearing shots is seeing microlights used by hunting parties to spot their potential trophies from the air. I'd like to see these brave 'hunters' unarmed and without support confronted by dangerous animals. I know who I would cheer for. The unfortunate thing is that in some areas, the dollars these people pay for their pleasure subsidises the rest of us(forget 'conservation', it just doesn't figure in the hunters' thinking despite what they say).
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