Home from the green season of Botswana.

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Apr 7th, 2006, 04:09 PM
  #1
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Home from the green season of Botswana.

Hi......... This trip was very exciting. We exclusivly used Sanctuary Lodges. Our fist stop was Baine's Camp. This is a new camp with five first class thatched Cottages. You have the option of having the staff move your four poster bed under the stars of your verandah.......This sounded great so why not.... It was a beautiful night, the stars were bright and you could hear the hippos grunting and splashing in the Boro River. In the middle of the night my wife kept brushing the sheet thinking there was a hole in the mosquito nettting bringing in debree. She would not stop brushing the sheet. I told her it was her imagination. When dawn came we wook up to a layer of black ants on our sheets and comforter. My advise to anyone who wants this experience is to make sure they spray before they put your bed outside. We survived this and all in all we enjoyed it.
Now lets talk about their guide and game drives. I rate the guides at Baines as fair to poor . This made game viewing poor. The grass in the area was lush 6-7 feet high .... This area is noted for Leopards and Lions but our guide had no ideas where to find them. They must of been around because of fresh footprints. We did manage to see Cape Buffalo, Giraffe, Warthog, Baboon, Hippos, Mongoose, Zebra and plenty of Impala and all kinds of Birds.......but no Cats, lets face it we all want to see Carnivores............It gets a lot better, next stop Stanley's Camp.
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Apr 7th, 2006, 04:42 PM
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Hello,

Sorry to hear about the ants -- I had an ant invasion when I was on the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga, but fortunately have escaped being 'bugged' while on safari.

Cheers,
Julian
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Apr 7th, 2006, 04:57 PM
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I was told the ant problem was from the rising water in the area... It seems odd managment didn't tell us this till the next morning.....Thanks for your concern
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Apr 7th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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santharamhari
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Daddog,

Hi! Sorry, you didnt see the predators....however, Mid december thru the end of the green season is really hard to track and find the animals. Although, i hvnt been to these camps, it isnt necessarily poor guiding.....

Hari
 
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Apr 7th, 2006, 05:09 PM
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Hi Hari.......I realize that it is the green season and it is not easy to spot the predators. Stanley's is in the same area, about 20 miles away........and believe me the guide over their was excellant.....4th genaration tracker what a diffrence. I will explain in my Stanley's report. Regards, Daddog
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Apr 8th, 2006, 12:23 AM
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Daddog,

These guides switch from time to time between camps. So you can be unlucky sometimes. When I was there in June 2005 gameviewing was fantastic.

How about Chief's camp? Was the gameviewing good or rather poor? Where you still able to reach all the places or were you limited by the water due to the heavy rainfalls. Where Simon, Jonathan, Stanley and Comic still there?

I still hope you got a wonderful trip but this time of year it's always a bit tricky because you don't know how the rains are gonna be when you book your trip.

Greetings,

Johan

 
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Apr 8th, 2006, 04:26 AM
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Hi Johan.......Our guide at Baine's was Martin, a rather young man. We got around ok. When we got their most of the hard rains had stopped. The weather wes great. Yes Chief's was great STANLEY SENDS HIS REGARDS..he was our guide at Chiefs a terrific guide and very pleasent with much knowlwedge. Comic is still their also Rogers...they are finishing up with a renivation the tents are larger with more amenities.....I think they are going for the Mombo Clients.
Regards, Daddog
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Apr 8th, 2006, 05:43 AM
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Daddog,

Thanks for sending my regards to the guides. Stanley was my guide in March 2004 and I had a hell of time with him. Did he tell you the story about the leopard in the tree?

The only problem Chief's got is that the area around Mombo is more productive. But at certain times of year, it's still an excellent place to go to.

Looking forward to hear what you've seen at Chief's camp. And by the way, who was managing the camp?

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Apr 8th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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Johan,
The camp manager of Chief's was Ron and Gail who were camp owners from Zimbabwe....forced to give up their 2 million dollar investment to the government due to political unrest.
Regards, Daddog
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Apr 8th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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Johan,
I am sorry.....He did not mention the story of the leopard in the tree. I did hear lots of stories of his close encounters.
Regards, Daddog
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Apr 8th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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Ants in the bed - yikes - one way to get out of bed quickly. Not such a good way to wake up .
I look forward to the rest of your report - it's very informative so far.
question:
What were the dates of your trip, daddog?
Thanks for sharing;
Sherry
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Apr 8th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Hi Sherry,
We started our trip March 25th.....got home on April 4........still a little jet lagged ...I am not very good a writing reports....but I will continue tonight. Thanks for the encouragement.
Daddog
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Apr 8th, 2006, 08:21 AM
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daddog:
Thanks for the report--looking forward to your next segment--after you get a little rest.
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Apr 8th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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Welcome back! Awaiting your next report. I was in Zambia last month and saw more cats than in October, but no dogs. Luck of the draw I guess.
Dennis
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Apr 8th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Daddog,

Let me tell you what happened when I was there?

On one afternoon in March 2004,we were surprised by a serious storm and while it was raining cats and dogs Stanley had to drive back to camp without seeing five meters far. We were quite far away from camp (+/- 30-45 minutes away from camp) and I was very worried about my camera gear but luckily everything was still functioning when we arrived at Chief's. I was only wet to the bone and this for the second consecutive day. It was a wonder that he managed to drive if you take into account the difficult terrain and the heavy rainfall.

So next day in the morning, I didn't take that much film with me (I didn't have a digital camera yet) in case we would be surprised again by some heavy downpours. The first two hours of the drive we hadn't seen anything special yet (just some zebra, wildebeest, impala ...). Then the guys from Mombo spotted 3 white rhinos. It was quite far from where we were but we decided to give it a go. And suddenly everything was waking up. We saw lots of lechwe, several hyenas, magnificent kudu bulls,two secretary birds in a tree, jackals,...

Finally we arrived at the scene and saw the rhino. It was our lucky morning because five minutes later we saw a beautiful leopard and its cub coming to drink after the mother killed an impala. At that moment I had shot so many pictures that I runned out of film.

And on our way back to camp everything kept poppin' up: lots of lions, a jackal sitting still two meters from the car,... and I couldn't take a single picture...

At that time I learnt an important lesson: make sure to have enough spare film with you no matter what it takes and what happened before.

So in the afternoon, a new storm was brewing and I decided to stay in camp after being wet for two consecutive times and seeing so much in the morning. Another vehicle still decided to go out. And like I expected we had some heavy rainfall once again. I was having some drinks at the bar while chatting with Stanley.

At a certain time it stopped raining and Eddie, who did the meet and greet at that time was telling us the other vehicle found a very relaxed leopard in a tree (45 minutes away from camp) but unlucky for them they got stuck under that tree. So it was already late and nights drives were not allowed on Chief's island. What should I do? I couldn't resist to go with Stanley on a rescue mission.

We drove quite fast otherwise we would arrive after sunset. We had to drive through some very deep crossings and luckily we didn't get stuck ourselves.

Finally, we arrived just before sunset at the scene.I took some quick shots of the leopard. We had a look at the situation and the only thing we could do was to pull them out. But for that, Stanley had to jump out of its car.

Would that be a good idea??? The leopard could be agitated and jump into the car?

We saw no other option so ...
And at the very moment he did, the leopard saw the movement, stood up and jumped out of the tree and disappeared into the night. You could see, she wasn't pleased with Stanley stepping out its vehicle. I took a fantastic shot of the leopard when it came down (this one can be seen in my living room).

After two attempts, we managed to pull them out and it was the perfect end of a very exciting day and luckily no one got hurt.

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Apr 8th, 2006, 11:25 AM
  #16
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Johan,
WOW........ I bet you wish you had a video of that event.... It sure is unpredictable of the things that goes on while on Safari. Sort of like what happened to us after we left Baine's Camp.
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Apr 8th, 2006, 01:01 PM
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I just love reading these threads! I am getting very excited to go to Africa for the first time in Oct. I am picking up lots of tips.

momofmany
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Apr 8th, 2006, 01:03 PM
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Daddog,

I am very curious to hear what happened after you left Baines.

By the way, was Patrick still at Stanley's and did you meet Doug.

Greetings,

Johan

 
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Apr 8th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Baine's Camp to Stanley's Camp Road Transfer..... We were met buy our driver
who introduced his name as TT. We were picked up in the early afternoon after a pretty hard shower in the AM. I explained to him that we were not having much luck finding any Cats. He looked a little puzzled, when about 500 yards from Baine's camp he noticed a Vervet Monkey in a tree acting strange . He told us that the Monkey is looking a certain way,which signaled to TT that there was a predator near. To be honest with you we could not see the monkey. We could only hear him. I looked at him as he angled his eyes on a certain tree. He asked if we would prefer to go to Stanley's or investigate the tree. So naturally I wanted to investigate the tree. We couldn't believe our eyes A beautiful female Leopard in the tree......We bonded after that moment with TT. We circled that tree for every possible angle so I could get the best photos. I insisted that TT be our guide...He smiled and said it would be his pleasure. Stanley's by the way is the same concession as Baine's. Just south of Moremi Game Reserve. Anyway, on our way down their He noticed some of the grass flattned down...We spotted a Big Male lion very nervous and out of his territory.........we followed him for a while and he finally moved into the Moremi Reseve.
We arrived at Stanley's and greeted by the whole staff singing and chanting.Stanley's was our favorite as far as Staff, Food and Tents. We were introduced to the Camp Manager and Chef. My wife was not feeling well and asked if she could have some soup. No problem....Let us fix you up with some Pumpkin soup...Since your wife is not feelin well would you like to have dinner on your verandah....This sounded great to us as we were exhausted from all the excitment of the day. They had a staff of 5 set up our table with crystal and china . We had a delicious Dinner, I must say Botswana Beef is great. That night we slept like babys,as we heard beautiful sound of the african bush
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Apr 8th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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Johan,
Sorry .....I don't remember a Patrick or Doug at Stanley's.....John and Colin were the Camp Managers. I did meet a Doug at Chobe Chilwero.
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