highest lion density

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Jan 12th, 2008, 07:06 PM
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highest lion density

Hi alll...... well as usual this is the lion lover...

Which areas in africa have the highest density of lions per sq km....

If I am not mistaken.... it is the mara serengeti eco-system...

Well other than that which areas have the same lion density....or more...or slightly less and what time of the year should one visit when the density and sightings peak......

Sonali
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Jan 12th, 2008, 07:53 PM
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Hi all,

I am not only interested in lion density... but also areas where there are large prides/pride of lions, where you can off-road and also maybe track them on night game drives......

Sonali
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Jan 12th, 2008, 08:03 PM
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I made some good night drives with lion tracking on Lion Plains, South Luangwa. Stayed at Kaingo (www.kaingo.com), Patrick Njobvu was the guide. Although the prides are rather small there, it's a fantastic experience. Offroad is allowed up to 30 (?) metres in South Luangwa, but sometimes you just loose the track...
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Jan 12th, 2008, 08:30 PM
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Which areas in africa have the highest density of lions per sq km....

In his book "The Serengeti Lion" George Schaller studied lion density in five parks and found the highest density in Lake Manyara (2.6 km**2 per lion) and Ngorongoro Crater (3.7 km**2/lion). But because Manyara is so brushy you'll actually SEE many more in the crater. These are 1970's numbers, with 35 lions counted in Manyara and 70 in the crater (I think it's now 100 in the crater).

For comparison, during his study in Serengeti there were 2,000 - 2,400 lions or 10.6-12.7 km**2/lion and in Kruger 1,120 lions or 17 km**2/lion. Again, Serengeti is much more open than Kruger so you'll see more there.

For sure you should see a LOT of lions in Serengeti and Ngorongoro at certain times. January 2007 when conditions were near-perfect we had 170 lion sightings the last 9 days of our trip to Ndutu and Ngorongoro, and guys running photo tours like Joe McDonald report as many as 215 sightings on a two week trip to either Serengeti or Kenya.

Bill
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Jan 12th, 2008, 08:38 PM
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Sonali asked: "thanks for chobe.... where should one stay and what season should one go..."

I've never been to Savuti. I don't like the two permanent lodges/camps there (www.savute-safari-lodge.com, www.orient-express-safaris.co.za) and I'm not the typical Savuti Under Canvas client (www.ccafrica.com/reserve-1-id-2-25), so I would try to join a mobile safari of one of the smaller outfits in Kasane (or Maun). However, I made no further research into this so far and can't recommend an operator. I also like to combine this with a stay in Chobe's remote and rarely visited Nogatsaa/Tchinga area. Best time to visit is certainly towards end of dry season (Sep/Oct) when game concentration at the waterholes reaches its peak.

High on my destination list for this year is the Chitake area in Mana Pools, but this is not for the faint-hearted. People told me that in the evening the lions will even run between you and the campfire, only 1-2 metres away. This requires a mobile expedition and I would do this either with Nick Murray (www.bushlifesafaris.com) or James Varden (www.natureways.com). (But I've made no decision yet where to go this year.)
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Jan 12th, 2008, 08:42 PM
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Thanks Bill, that is great info.... any recent figures.... last year how many did you see in ngorogoro, were your sightings crowded as is the case with ngorogoro and serengeti...... when do you leave?? really envy you.....though i had a great trip to bandhavgarh to see tigers.... was very lucky with my sightings....Sonali
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Jan 12th, 2008, 08:44 PM
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You've read the 'yellow book', Bill? It reminded me on my study years when I once read it as preparation for a safari...
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Jan 12th, 2008, 08:48 PM
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Wow nyama.... this chitake area at mana pools sounds fantastic.... would you recommend this mobile safari for a single person....I would like to go so much..... just saw kaingo and it too looks excellent, thanks keep in info flowing....Sonali
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Jan 12th, 2008, 08:50 PM
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nyama-- Nick Murray. What made you think he is a guide to recommend?
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Jan 12th, 2008, 08:54 PM
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luangwablondes - I spent 5 days with Nick last October and I like his a little bit unconventional style.
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Jan 12th, 2008, 08:55 PM
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any recent figures.... last year how many did you see in ngorogoro

Sonali, last year we didn't see a single lion at Manyara (on other trips we always saw 4 - 8 in the trees but not last year), at Ndutu we saw 71 unique lions with 56 repeat sightings (as close as we could tell) and at Ngorongoro we saw 29 unique lions and 14 repeaters. Many people saw as many as 40 lions at Ngorongoro in 2 game drives so we were actually slackers there.

Twice at Ngorongoro the guys in our second jeep saw a pride of 12 and told us on the radio but we didn't go over because the lions weren't active, so we could easily have had 112 lions with 194 sightings And we only went specifically after lions a few times ... there are a LOT of lions at these places. Here's a link to the trip report with a day-by-day summary of what we saw: http://www.hiltonphotography.net/afr...ania/index.htm

were your sightings crowded as is the case with ngorogoro and serengeti

Almost never more than one other jeep because we go out early when the lions are active. Most people have breakfast at the lodge and get out about 2 hours after we do, so don't see as many animals but see more people. We usually left Ngorongoro by 10 AM. We weren't in central Serengeti, where the crowds are, but at Ndutu where there are a fraction as many people.

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Jan 12th, 2008, 08:59 PM
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Well, that's not an answer for recommending him to other people. Let's say it this way: it was the only white guide during my recent safaris who absolutely didn't need a local tracker. I also saw John Stevens tracking, and I'm not sure who's better in this.
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Jan 12th, 2008, 09:00 PM
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You've read the 'yellow book', Bill?

Just pulled it off the shelf to answer this thread ... Table 72 has the lion density info.

Any book by Schaller is a good book!

Bill
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Jan 12th, 2008, 09:00 PM
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My last post was meant to luangwablondes.
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Jan 12th, 2008, 09:04 PM
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"Any book by Schaller is a good book!"

That's true. Also have several in my personal library.
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Jan 12th, 2008, 09:14 PM
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Sonali said: "would you recommend this mobile safari for a single person..."

Why not? I'm always traveling single. Chitake was already planned with Nick for last October, but suddenly ZimParks said that the operator campsite was booked out. So I made a short adventure into chocolate-covered-strawberries land instead...
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Jan 12th, 2008, 09:22 PM
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nyama and Bill..... how do you have such wonderful books.... can I get them on the net(amazon) which books do you recommend buying....also there are wonderful books on the indian jungle, by jim corbett... have u read them...

nyama the chitake camp looks appealing.... would it be suitable and safe for a single traveller....Sonali
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Jan 12th, 2008, 09:23 PM
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nyama our chitake post crossed....thanks....when should one go...Sonali
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Jan 12th, 2008, 09:27 PM
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like chobe sept/oct would be the best time nyama ??

Sonali
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Jan 12th, 2008, 09:32 PM
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Sonali,

Books? I could recommend hundreds of them, depends on the topic. Since nearly all of them are out of print I bought them through www.abebooks.com.

Chitake. Same time as Savuti, end of dry season. Though Mana Pools is a big dust bowl then. Maybe our Chitake expert can contribute some words on this - luangwablondes?
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