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Did you have a "National Georgraphic" moment on safari? I did!!!

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Oct 13th, 2005, 05:35 AM
  #1
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Did you have a "National Georgraphic" moment on safari? I did!!!

I'm wondering if experiencing a "National Georgraphic" moment on safari is truly rare (and therefore I was really blessed!) or if this is a quite common experience!

It was our very last game drive before we headed for Victoria Falls. We had been to three other lodges in Botswana and Namibia and I had really expected to see much larger numbers and varieties of animals. However, I was still very happy with my safari because I had had two sightings of a leopard - one at night and one during the day (he was in a tree!) This last game drive was in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. It was around 6:30am and we were sitting at a watering hole. A large herd of cape buffalo as well as zebra were at this watering hole. Then the lone man in our group of nine said "I see lions!" Sure enough, 2 lionesses and 6 large cubs were headed for the watering hole. And then it happened - our "National Geographic" moment which lasted for at least 30 minutes! Two of the cape buffalo decided that they did not want to share the watering hole with lions. They charged toward the lions and the lions retreated. Each time that the lions would try to advance, the cape buffalo would charge. At this point our guide, Belinda whispered with awe in her voice "This is a National Geographic moment!" A shiver went up my spine!!! Belinda moved the vehicle so that we had front row seats to this continuing drama. It was a literal standoff between the lions and the cape buffalo. We weren't the only witnesses to this drama. I looked around and saw zebra, impala and kudu literally in frozen positions as they watched! After each charge, additional cape buffalo would join in until finally the entire herd, including a very tiny calf, was charging the lions. Occasionally one of the lion cubs would bravely rush the cape buffalo, but would immediately retreat! The cape buffalo eventually forced the lions to retreat into the grass. However, the lions were determined to drink from the watering hole so they decided to "skirt the perimeter". They walked right by us - they were approximately 15-20 feet from our vehicle! We were all clicking away - I have a picture of one of the cubs looking straight into my camera! Thinking back, I was surprised that I felt no fear - just a sense of joy at having this wonderful experience. The lions ignored us and walked around our vehicle and proceeded to the watering hole. I have wonderful pictures of them crouched down, contently lapping at the water - just like big housecats. I love Africa and I could spend every morning for the rest of my life at a watering hole in Africa! Please share your "National Geographic" moments with me! And do not skip any game drives - you might miss a "National Geographic" moment!!!

Glynda (solo traveler who at times was a little scared!)
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Oct 13th, 2005, 06:01 AM
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How cool! I'll be soloing next year in Zambia. So glad you had a good experience - and a National Geographic moment!!

Thanks for sharing!
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Oct 13th, 2005, 06:13 AM
  #3
bwanamitch
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I had a lot of 'NG moments' during my stay at South Luangwa NP in Zambia last week, however some of a more different kind - renowned photographer Frans Lanting is currently there, making photos for an upcoming NG feature on South Luangwa. We met Frans' vehicle during nearly every game drive, and it was very interesting to observe a top wildlife photographer at work.

Last Sunday Frans asked me to pose for some indoor shots at the bar of Kaingo Camp (so maybe I will be become famous ;-)).

Since I don't read NG magazine, please let me know if the South Luangwa feature is published.

Mitch
 
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Oct 13th, 2005, 06:26 AM
  #4
 
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Mitch - a model!!! Can't wait for that!

How did you like Kaingo, Mitch? It was on my list as well. Would you have chosen kaingo over tafika? (Just asking for opinions, that's all.)

Sorry to have digressed from the OP!
Sharon
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Oct 13th, 2005, 06:35 AM
  #5
bwanamitch
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Sharon, I would prefer Tafika over Kaingo.

After visiting now nearly all areas of South Luangwa I would recommend Nsefu and Tena Tena as best luxury options, and Mwamba as best bush camp option.

Mitch
 
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Oct 13th, 2005, 07:22 AM
  #6
 
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http://home.comcast.net/~gardyloo2/825JS%20066.jpg
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Oct 13th, 2005, 08:50 AM
  #7
benidormaardvark
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Looks like one of those 'typical' postcard motives from Kenya...
 
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Oct 13th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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Mitch - I think that's Gardyloo's "National Geographic Moment!"
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Oct 13th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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You had a National Geographic moment indeed. What is so amazing about Africa is that such moments are not that rare. That's why so many of us keep going back. You never know what spectacular events may unfold before your eyes and odds are that at least once in a trip there will be such a National Geographic moment.

Congrats on yours.
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Oct 26th, 2005, 12:01 AM
  #10
mv
 
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During my last trip to Kwando I had several moments (Wild Dog kills and a Water Monitor killing a Frog)
However I just heard about a sighting my guide at Kwando (Steve) had.
Wild Dogs chasing and killing one Impala, second Impala ran into the water only to be taken by a huge Crocodile, third Impala got taken by 2 Cheetah that in turn lost the kill to Hyenas. Talk about a NG moment!
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