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Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa AKA Durbs, Joburg, Ellies and The Nellie: A Trip Report

Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa AKA Durbs, Joburg, Ellies and The Nellie: A Trip Report

Oct 4th, 2007, 12:06 PM
  #41  
 
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A fantastic time at Chitabe! Even ostrich eggs.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 03:05 PM
  #42  
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The ostrich eggs were such a thrill!! We had a couple of guides who just called the wildebeest 'gnus', so I would burst into song at that point: 'I am a gnu, I live in a zoo' much to the amusement of anyone within hearing distance (especially when I don't know the rest of the song)!!!!
I can't recall the 'rrrs', Ann.
So glad some of you are reading this. I have to try to speed it up!!!
Philbill is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 09:03 AM
  #43  
 
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hi, philbill,

if you google "gnu song lyrics" you'll find them easily.

but your version sounds pretty good too.

keep it coming,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 01:27 PM
  #44  
 
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Hi Philbill,
I am really enjoying your trip report. Sounds like you had a great time at LV, and the Chitabe report is bringing back memories for me as I was there in July. Keep it coming.

Dana
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Oct 5th, 2007, 10:41 PM
  #45  
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Thanks /Dana will do!!!
Philbill is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 06:27 PM
  #46  
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SELINDA 3 nights
We arrived at the airstrip for Selinda and waited for two passengers who flew in a few minutes later. By the way, another couple at CT had LLBean duffles on wheels and reported that there had been no problem with them on the light aircraft. I was a little green at this point as we had read definitely no wheels so had bought the LLBean without wheels. It wasn't that much of a deal as of course your luggage is carried for you everywhere in the camps! The passengers arrived from Zambia after having been at the River Club. We saw a tremendous amount of game on the drive to Selinda camp, mostly drinking at the water. We were met by the staff who sang. Has anyone experienced the same as us which was that the staff seemed to be embarrassed about singing (this was noticed at the two camps who had singing staff awaiting us!) and did not seem to want to have their photoes taken? Actually this was the only camp out of five at which we had any camp entertainment by the staff at night. It was limited (a short time after dinner one night) but very enjoyable. We had the welcome drink and met the managers. We were informed that we had to 'wash our own smalls'. The other two guys, father and son, looked so puzzled until I translated for them that smalls were underwear. The other couple whom the four of us were to join in the jeep left for their drive in another vehicle and we met up with them about 15 minutes later. Overall the guides here were not as memorable and we could often see a couple of other vehicles when we were driving which we had not seen at the last camps. That evening we were following jeeps for the first part of our drive and I commented on that. We saw the lion cubs playing and were they cute!!! Several of them playing tag and rolling over each other. Of course a couple of other jeeps were there too with a couple waiting in the distance. I inquired about this and was told that several camps were situated in the area. The couple which the four of us joined had come from Chitabe Main Camp (and they had also seen the lions that morning), and I heard the bad news that the food was not that great at Selinda as compared to Chitabe Main!! The guides here were not memorable but were not bad by any means. We did seem to traverse the same roads more than we had at the first two camps, and I was disappointed to hear that we were not likely to see wild dogs as they were denning. Then I heard later that they had been seen about three days before so go figure! We were told on our second or third day that dogs had been seen that morning, so that evening we literally just drove on towards the area where they had been sighted and just kind of drove aimlessly until our guide said that he could not see any! I felt that the guides we had (two) did not have a feel for the area nor the excitement when spotting game and just sat listlessly when we did spot something. I still talked and asked a lot about their lives and their homes etc., as if people are willing to talk I find out such a lot and our experience is enhanced. It was a job to them and not an avocation. That brings me to the point of tipping. We always tipped the amount recommended by Wilderness, and on occasion extra. However, we know that many people do not tip the camp employees, and if one had not read the literature (and obviously many people had not from their clothing, overall knowledge on how camp life/safaris worked etc.) then you were unlikely to see the staff tip box which was usually in the bar area but not very prominenet. It still irks me that we pay a small fortune to go to Botswana and they don't pay their employees and guides a living wage. I looked at threads on Fodor's and this is an explosive topic. Yes, I gave the amount even when the guide performed satisfactorily but not great, even though that is not the premise of gratuities in my opinion, but when I thought of AIDS and poverty in the towns and villages I had to. I would have felt guilty had I not. Certainly we gave people from Zimbabwe money to send home as life there is pretty terrible..more on that later. BTW I just read an article in CNN Traveller which states that, "A 2006 UNAIDS report found that 24 per cent of Botswana's adult population is HIV positive....This gives Botswana, with a population of less than two million, the second highest per-capita level of adult HIV infection in the world. Only Swaziland has a higher rate of infection.".
To digress, in Zimbabwe we were told that the antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) enable a person who is HIV positive to recover so well (temporarily) that this is leading to an increase in the epidemic.
PS Ann..how great to see the actual lyrics of the song..thanks for the link!!
Philbill is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 06:38 AM
  #47  
 
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Thanks for your game and guide comments regarding Selinda.

I'll have to review the song versions.

Are you comfortable mentioning any of the guides'names? I had BB at Zibalianja in Selinda and enjoyed him.

I was just looking at a colleague's Botswana pictures and when she pointed to a picture of their young, vibrant guide, she mentioned, "He died of AIDs." I think Botswana has one of the worst survival rates.

I am sure your tip was appreciated and used.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 08:22 AM
  #48  
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atravelynn: I don't like mentioning guides' names as they might just have been having an off day or two. It's also possible that some guides have the same name and I wouldn't want to say anything less than positive and have a person confused with another! In Durban our white SA guide told us that say three years' ago she would know people who knew people dying of AIDS, but now she knows people who have AIDS and in fact went to a funeral of one of her co-workers this year. She told of the three day ceremony and the vast cost involved with a funeral. The traditions are still strong, and this person had left a letter stating that his wife had not to wear black for the prescribed time (I think it was for a year??) and also that she had to return to work and not observe the traditional period of mourning. Life is celebrated, however! One of the most graphic moments to her, and also to us when she described it, was seeing the vast numbers of newly covered graves at the ceremony and the numbers being dug. this really brought home the reality of the epidemic.

We had some great sightings at Selinda. We saw several hyaenas picking at an elephant carcass and of course the lion cubs scampering around which we could have watched for hours! We learned even more about the termites and how the queen reproduces the appropriate type of termite needed (soldier or worker) which was yet another example of awesome nature! We also had some excellent viewings of elephants taking dust baths by the water at sunset...wonderful. By now I had acclimated so well to bush breaks, picking the flowers, checking out the bush, making a technical stop, checking the tyres or whatever euphemism you would like! There were only four of us in the jeep after the first day (this was a plus; the fact that we rarely had more than four and in three camps we had days with just the two of us) and the timing of the drives was fine. I have to say the night drives (after sunset) were not my favourite. Depending on the guide and mother nature we did have some good sightings I have to say, but again I would rather have left earlier on occasion and returned earlier. Thereagain, the first time we saw the rhino in Zim was on our first night drive!!! Well, true to what we had been told the dinner that first night was pretty mediocre and I contemplated starting my diet as why eat food that is not great. We did get a choice of dinner entrees here which we selected at tea. Brunch the next day was not the best, and I really don't enjoy eating breakfast off my lap around the fire. In fact I ate very little breakfast most days, just my rooibos tea and maybe some dried fruit and nuts. However, little did I know that the diet was to be put on hold. That afternoon a CEO of Selinda arrived who was great fun and a blast! He brought 15 bottles of South African wine which he had been given as samples from which to place his next wine order. Not that the previous wine was not good, but we had some great wines in this selection, and he was anxious to get the input of clients. He asked how things were going and I told him that the food was below average and not what I had expected. After several bottles had been opened (this was the camp where we had the most people and we sat around a huge oval table) the food was served and my husband and I looked at each other and by the time the main course came I leaned across and told the CEO that I had to take back all I had said to him about the food!
That meal was fabulous and so were all the meals to come for the remainder of our stay. He was there for two nights and we were too as we had already been there one night. The portions were small, but we could always have seconds. There was so little soup in the bowls, for example, but I was told that a consultant had recommended small servings as that was typical of gourmet restaurants!! We had seconds and my husband had both entrees both nights. Delicious! It was expected here that everyone go around the fire for after dinner drinks and that was a nice touch. We had our first 'impala' and 'steenbok' drinks (combinations of amarula and other liqueurs, and one of our jeep-mates invented 'Robin's Dirty Smalls' which if I recall correctly was cointreau with amarula. It was Robin's last night as a temporary manager and it was after midnight when we finally made it to our tent after an evening of much hilarity. Our tent...bliss. We had the honeymoon tent with a HUGE bathroom with a tub in the middle. Bath salts and a soak...delightful! There was also a foot scrubber implement which they told me was sterilized after clients departed (I am so suspicious I had to check) for use by the next clients. The tent had two cut glass decanters of sherry and port and two sherry stem glasses placed on the desk. All of the camps had beautiful ways of folding towels and decorating with local plants and berries. We had to request hot water bottles and one leaked very slightly!
Crocodiles mating awaited us the following day and we saw a hippo on our walk. More to come....
Philbill is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 03:51 PM
  #49  
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And so to our last day at Selinda. I have to say that all the flights were perfectly timed so that we still got two game drives in even on flight days. We were so glad Julian had recommended three nights at each camp as there was time to get to know staff and not feel as if we were packing and unpacking all the time. I was so proud of myself in terms of packing!! It was my most successful trip as I did not pack too many clothes (well, I could have done with less for South Africa but for safari not bad at all). I would have liked a scarf. I did have gloves and wore those, but a scarf for the early morning and after sundown would have beeen great. We are Purell nuts when travelling so kept that with us all the time and used it. No need for the decongestants and Dayquil etc. which was great for over 5 weeks! We did not use any of our own insect repellent as there was a can in the jeeps (except Selinda). It worked well, and we put it on after dusk especially. We took our Malarone and did finish the cycle a little early as Hwange staff insisted there were no mosquitoes at that time of year, and that if we were careful in the airport at Vic Falls and used repellent, then we could probably finish our course of 7 days after the last possible exposure early.
On our last morning off we went and came across 3 female lions and about 8 cubs. They were scampering around the Land Cruiser and disappeared into the long grass. We followed, driving through the grass, and saw the cubs playing around whilst their mothers went forth. The lionesses eventually came to a mound, and we have some beautiful photoes of them standing on the mound actively searching with their eyes to try to locate the cubs. We were watching all this in the jeep and spotted one cub then a couple of others, but they were playing hide and seek while the moms were trying to keep track! Oops..it was getting close to the time for getting back to camp so we returned (saw a hippo standing out of the water so stopped, came across a jeep with a flat tyre, stopped again) arriving late at the camp, but leaving after a few minutes at 10:15am, for the 10:55am plane. Packed lunches and snacks had been prepared and off we went. The plane flew in, two disembarked and two people remained together with their two large suitcases which took up one seat. I assumed they booked a seat for luggage ahead of time. We arrived at Kasane (guess I did this flight with no prescription drugs or drink!) and were met and taken to an open vehicle with a canopy. It was so amazing to be surprised at seeing paved roads again! We had only been gone 9 days but we had become accustomed to dirt and sand. I think we must adapt fairly easily!! After picking up a couple from a hotel, we drove to the border and went across with no difficulty or wait. We paid our visa fee and noted that the quite impressive embossed visas were duplicated with carbon paper! There were three receipts for the fees on a page, and when all three had been filled, the last person was responsible for handing the receipts to whomever had been in front of them! Luckily I recognized one person and the other was my husband. A mini bus took about 5 of us to Victoria Falls. It was a pleasant drive, and so to Ilala Falls Lodge.
Philbill is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 09:23 AM
  #50  
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Just in case anyone is reading this, I don't want you to think I've fallen off the edge of the earth.

I leave in a few hours for the airport. Off to London (as Ann knows) and won't be back until the 23rd October. Leaving my husband here so am still in my nightgown, I've done a load of wash, put the dishwasher on (don't think he knows how) and am drinking my Airbourne (swear by it) wondering whether to have lunch at the lounge at LAX (not too great as they are still in the temporary building in the middle of the runway) or whether to eat at home. Decisions, decisions.....I have lost 6.8 of those 10 lbs, but England will probably help me gain those back. AAGGHH.
Philbill is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 12:19 PM
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hi, philbill,

if you're still there, have a good trip.

if not, welcome!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2007, 05:39 PM
  #52  
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Wow, got back and a few days later went on a 4 night Royal Caribbean cruiseout of LA which is less than what you can live on at home!!!!! Got back yesterday so will post Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Philbill is offline  
Nov 4th, 2007, 05:13 AM
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Welcome back!
Kavey is offline  
Nov 4th, 2007, 08:12 AM
  #54  
 
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Liked your bush stop euphemisms. Ha Ha.

3 days at each location is a good move. Glad the CEO arrived in time for you to enjoy the improved cuisine.

Lions and cubs-a great finale!

Enjoy the haitus.
atravelynn is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 01:35 PM
  #55  
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ZIMBABWE: VICTORIA FALLS
I'm back from England and a cruise so have to continue!!!!!
The lodge was fine and in a great location so we could walk to the Falls. We had booked a sunset river cruise but found out it departed at 4:30pm! I assumed (didn't do my homework) that the cruise would take in views of the Falls (dear, dear, dense Philbill I can hear you all saying!!). But no! We never expected such an early departure and going on it would have meant that we would not have been able to go to the Falls due to lack of time. We cancelled and were told we would get a refund which we have yet to see. We plugged in the mosquito repellent device which we had brought along just for this hotel (and we were very glad we had as mosquitoes abound) and went off to the Falls. They were wonderful to see...quite an impressive sight. Locals said to come back when the Falls were at the fullest, but others said that this was a good time to visit, as when the Falls have an abundance of water the mist is so heavy that it is hard to appreciate their natural beauty. I think the admission was $20 per person so the government must be raking in a fortune! The rainbows were magnificent! Returning from the Falls we were harrassed continuously by hawkers with very poor merchandise. We went over to the flea market and the first thing vendors asked for were 'pens so that their little sisters could go to school'. The whole town is so depressed; no food in the shops, stifling body odour and everyone so desperate to make a buck. We did not feel in danger, however, and bought a few trinkets (which were not that great at all once we got them home!). We felt so badly for the Zimbabweans and that feeling increased as the days progressed. The dinner at the hotel was so-so but the breakfast (included) was wonderful. My husband got up early to see the Falls at sunrise (another $20!! but worth it). We bought a couple of things at the hotel shop including a lovely calendar. We had been warned never to use our credit card in Zimbabawe as the exchange rate changes by the minute but dollars were perfectly acceptable. Noone wants the local currency!! There is literally an expiration date printed on the bills!! I have a 100,000 note for a souvenir. That would maybe buy two loaves of bread in Botswana. Everyone goes to Botswana and Zambia for their groceries as there is nothing to buy in Zimbabwe. The shop owners cannot afford to stock their shelves as they would literally lose money due to government price fixing. Another walk around town, and then we were picked up at 10:00am by a taxi (whose company bought fuel from the government ) who drove us to Hwange National Park. We were a little hesitant about driving, but it turned out that it was such an interesting drive with the scenery and villages that it was preferable to flying! The car was comfortable (although it did have a cracked windscreen) and the driver opened up a little as we drove. We saw people walking home from church and the road was excellent. Our driver asked us if we wanted to stop about half way there, in order to stretch. We answered yes and he pulled into a petrol station. I then made an inane statement, 'Oh, you probably need to fill up the car with petrol', and he looked at me so oddly. Immediately I remembered that none of the gas stations have gas. There was a fairly modern '7-11' type of store next to the office of the gas station and I went inside. There was a man behind the counter. All the shelves were empty, there was nothing in the modern oven warmers and the only things available for purchase were bags of ice from the freezer. On to the park, outside of which was a police roadblock. An officer circled our car several times and then waved us through. Our driver said he was looking for anomalies with the car so that he could issue a citation and fine if he found any. I inquired (I told you I ask a lot of questions!!) why he wouldn't be cited for a large crack in the windscreen. The driver evaded giving a straightforward answer, but intimated that the police are more lenient when a local taxi is bringing foreign visitors to the park!
Philbill is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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The loss on your sunset cruise is a small price to pay for getting to see the falls.
atravelynn is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 01:38 PM
  #57  
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Actually it departed at 3:30pm (which was even earlier) but Atravelynn,yes, you are so right.

SOMALISA
We were met at the main camp by a wonderful man from Somalisa who, thankfully, had brought along food and some beer and Stoneys. Maybe I haven't mentioned that by now I am hooked on calorie ridden Stoneys! I don't drink sodas except maybe a maximum of three diet Sprites a year. I grew up with home made ginger beer, and Stoneys is the closest thing to it that I have ever tasted. I haven't found anything similar in the US, but then I haven't researched it as sugar filled drinks are all I need!!!! We stopped for lunch by a man-made water hole. Oh dear. Many questions over the next five days. Hwange National Park has several man-made water holes with pumps. I am summarizing all the information I gleaned from black and white Zimbabweans. If I am wrong please feel free to add to this, but as I said all of the following was confirmed by different people. The water holes, which have noisy pumps attached, (and to me they really negatively affect the feeling of undisturbed nature), were built in 1932 when Hwange was established. At this time there were no animals because there was no natural river bed. Thirteen dams and 52 boreholes were introduced to encourage game to settle here and to make the National Park more viable. At this point in time the water holes have led to such an increase in game, notably the elephants, that the park cannot sustain the herds. This area of the park can support 10,000 ellies and there were 40,000 at the end of August. Consequently, we were told by a guide, significant numbers of ellies would face death in the park starting around October. Not only has the whole natural sequence been knocked out of whack, but to confuse the situation the pumps often break down and sometimes are not repaired for days or even weeks. This area has some of the heaviest elephants who need enormous amounts of food and water each day. I was totally shocked, and so when an animal we spotted had been tagged (more questions) and was monitored by means of a GPS system I almost freaked out. At this point I was wondering out loud whether Hwange was so desperate for tourists that they were tagging the rhinos etc. so that they could guarantee sightings!! I was assured they were tagged for research purposes only, but I am not convinced. So many negatives to Hwange but later so many, many wonderful positives. We wouldn't have missed it (well yes we would have missed Makalolo Plains in a heartbeat but not Somalisa ......whetting your appetite for later maybe??). As we ate lunch (mmmmm) watching the croc dozing for his afternoon nap, we talked about Bulaweyo. We had read the newspaper the day before concerning the lack of water. Our driver was from Bulaweyo so he knew first hand what was happening. Yes, the government (or should I say Mugabe) has refused aid from foreign governments who have offered to run the pipes to carry water to the 'second capital', and there is only sporadic water which may not be available one day and only 4am the next day. Noone knew when water would 'appear' and the situation was appalling. We were told by another person that the government opposition party was based in Bulaweyo, so it was politically motivated. The answer to my question as to why the people tolerate such a dictator was a heartrending, 'We would rather have economic problems than war', and we were to hear this sentiment again from Zimbabweans we met in South Africa later. He told us you just learn to live with hunger. It is basically a fact of life. We had a lovely drive to Somalisa, spotting my husband's favourite Secretary Bird!!!! He was thrilled.
Philbill is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 07:27 PM
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Wonderful trip report. Just a small note, the rhino's in Hwange do have GPS trackers for research though primarily it as a deterrent against poaching.

They have the same system in place with the Mombo released Rhino too. When two rhinos were poached in the Delta following their release, the gentleman concerned was quickly located with the loot in hand.

In Hwange, a black rhino was poached a few years back and the rhino horn tracked to a local village. It then went to the police station. The same horn kept going missing, and different police officers were found with it and arrested. It took about three times until they realised there was a tracking device somewhere.

The thing I always find frustrating in visiting various countries is how the poaching is always leveled at the guy neighbouring country. When 9/10 times it is the guy from the local village. This is based on a number of years working in the area wildlife/human conflict.
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Nov 9th, 2007, 08:42 AM
  #59  
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Thanks Shumba, for that interesting commentary. We did see other animals tagged including lions. Oh, and we viewed a wonderful, unbelievable staging of the lions ambushing a zebra. WOW. But later..must get something constructive done this morning!! Yes, the poaching is unbelievable, and anything to prevent that is a plus.
Philbill is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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Somalisa continued:
Yet another LA Times article this week on the plight of Zimbabwe. Inflation is even higher than when we were there a few weeks' ago. We drove on to camp and oh what a wonderful experience we had at Somalisa. They are quick to point out that this is a 'bush camp'. It is the only camp we were at which had a zip -up tent flap. The interior was lovely, but all of the bathroom was outside. We were lucky that the weather was warmer as they told us that at the beginning of August it had still been extremely cold. The water had to be ladled into the copper sink, and there was a bucket shower. The toilet flushed. Personally I like running hot water so this was a great adaptation for me and I must say that the lack of running water was a drawback for me though not at all for my husband. We had a couple of thermoses of hot water placed in our tent at night. The furnishings all over the camp were beautiful, the staff was fabulous and the food was the absolute best we had on our entire trip. Dinner was gourmet, and we were by ourselves apart from that first night when two ladies were also in camp. We gathered around the camp fire for pre-dinner drinks, and food was served in the dining area of the camp with lovely table decorations and folded napkins (different for every meal). Afterwards we went back to the fire. The bathroom in the communal area of the camp was up a tiny pathway, and one had to place the dried elephant dung ball, which was on the end of a sturdy wire, in the middle of the path to signify occupancy. At this camp we had a spotter as well as our guide and both Nyeti and Terry were so enthusiastic on every drive and obviously loved the bush. We visited the tiny kitchen (how do they possibly produce such wonderful meals?). There is a small pool and a water hole so elephants visited at all times of the day and night. We found that in Zimbabwe the drivers were extremely careful with their vehicles..no raucous off-roading as in Botswana. The park is divided into areas 'belonging' to each camp plus general areas. At Somalisa we drove on their land plus the general area, but learned that the other camps tend not to want to communicate with each other and don't share information on sightings. As our Makalolo Plains guide put it, there were enough animals to view on their concession so each concession keeps to itself in the main part. We found Makalolo Plains to be very repetitive in terms of the drives and they stayed solely in their concession so we would not agree. We awoke at 6:15am and after coffee and homemade biscotti by the fire, we left to track the lions which had been in camp during the night. Later we walked back to camp with our guide whilst the tracker drove the car back. We carefully circumvented two herds of elephants when we were suddenly surprised by another herd which trumpeted loudly when we disturbed their resting in the bush about 25 feet away. Our guide hand signalled us to retreat and we walked backwards to a large bush which we stepped behind. Thankfully they walked off in a different direction and we continued on. Brunch was a delight with shepherd's pie, cooked to order full breakfast, fruits, rolls etc. etc.. I had a bucket shower and ambled down to lie by the pool. Newboy appeared to ask what I would like to drink (this is the life; pool, book, animals and my own personal butler...what could be better?). Sometime later, in a matter of moments, elephants appeared to my left. I had learned in Botswana how fast ellies can move, but suddenly I counted 15 elephants drinking from the pool barely 6 feet away from my lounge. I had been warned by our guide, Terry, that if elephants appeared I was to stay where I was and not get up and move. I took that so literally that I froze and found myself holding my breath!! A soft voice came from behind, and I heard Newboy, behind the roughly hewn small fence which was on the camp side of the pool, asking about what animals I had seen on our game drive. He used a calm, soothing tone and said to just stay there. I told him I was fine but didn't intend to move a fraction of an inch!! I asked him to stay there, which he did, as two more herds came with now 30 elephants jostling for access to the swimming pool water. I relaxed and started to enjoy counting their eyelashes and noting the different lengths and thickness of the lashes, as well as the whiskers and the wonderful view of the trunks lifting up and the water being poured down their throats. The viewpoint from lying on the lounge was unbelievable. The amazing revelation to me at this point was that ellies can extend their trunks quite significantly, which was most obvious when observing the baby ellie struggling to reach the water level as the water rapidly diminished. After quite some time I heard more voices. My husband had been woken by one of the staff as they were sure he would want to see me surrounded on three sides by ellies, and there he was taking photoes. He slid thecamera through the fence and I took some more. What an experience. It is not unusual for the ellies to drink from the pool, although there is a waterhole that is readily observable from camp. That was a definite hightlight of a trip!
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