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How many till date have been lucky to see a big predator hunt succesfully ?

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Feb 21st, 2010, 08:26 AM
  #1
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How many till date have been lucky to see a big predator hunt succesfully ?

Hi... all

In all my wildlife trips, never been lucky to see a real succesful hunt by a top predator, live

How many have seen this rare glimpse and how many have it on camera ?

Would be really interesting to know........

thanks, Sonali
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Feb 21st, 2010, 10:00 AM
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It was not until my 6th trip to Africa that I saw a kill. A cheetah killed a wildebeast calf in the Mara. Ironically, the 3 ladies I was with told the guide that morning, "We've seen everything else, so today we want to see a kill." And we saw one so they went home thinking ask and you receive--it's a simple system.

Duba Plains is a good place for lion hunts, and I know that species is your favorite. If you spent 4+ nts there, it is likely you'd see a lion kill. That was my experience, seeing one on the 3rd day of a 4-night stay. But I had the added advantage (at a cost) of a private vehicle to stay out 12+ hours straight to observe all the activity. Actually the lion-buffalo interactions that left everybody standing were at least as interesting as the successful hunt.

Next door to Duba is Vumbura where the lions also hunt during the day. We watched an unsuccessful hunt in the morning and then stayed with the pride until they tried again and brought down a buffalo calf. Again, I was alone in the vehicle (this time by luck or compliments of Wilderness) which made the sighting possible at about 2:30 pm.

All the above resulted in photos.

The best bet for a predator kill is probably Duba Plains. Recent reports of pride activity and dynamics would be helpful in making a decision on going there. Just be prepared to wait for many hours in midday sun watching primarily napping cats and grazing buffalo.
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Feb 21st, 2010, 11:12 AM
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It was our 3th trip when we saw our first kill by a large predator.We spent around one hour with the 2 cheetah while they where stalking a Grant gazelles herd.A few cars came and go but we where the only ones when suddenly a well grown solitary wildebeest calf came running completely lost towards our position.It was very easy meal for the 2 cheetahs.This happens in Ndutu,Serengeti.

Two years later we saw another cheetah kill.This one was in the Mara and we where very lucky.Some vehicles had spent around 3 hours with a mother cheetah trying to hunt. 30 minutes after our arrival we saw her at full speed taking down and adult female Tommy. In this case there where about 20 vehicles watching the action.

In our seven safaris we also have seen 3 cheetah and 2 lions unsuccessful hunts but, like Lynn says, the interactions and tension of the previous moments are amazing to watch and we have enjoyed them as much as the successful ones.

The good thing is that there are so many other great things of which to enjoy that the success of ours safari no longer depends on this . Watching a hunt is the Icing on the Cake.

A private vehicle,a very good guide,lots of patience and choosing the right place will increase your chances to see a hunt but IMO luck is 90 % of the equation.

Paco
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Feb 21st, 2010, 01:41 PM
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A few times the other people with whom I shared a vehicle were rather squeamish about being witness to kills. I suspect the guides may have taken extra precautions to ensure we were shielded from that aspect of the safari.
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Feb 21st, 2010, 01:42 PM
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...That being said, we've managed to arrive on scene only minutes after the prey was caught.
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Feb 21st, 2010, 02:34 PM
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On my recent Mara safari of 6 nights I saw a successful lion hunt, 2 unsuccessful cheetah hunts, unsuccessful leopard hunt, these were all in the first 3 days. You just have to be in the right place at the right time and a bit of luck … having a good guide and a vehicle which can stay out longer and go where you want helps increase your luck.
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Feb 21st, 2010, 02:38 PM
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Nope - 14 nights on safari, and no kill yet. Missed one at Duba - they changed the rules just for us and hunted at night. It's OK in my book, but DH is disappointed. We saw a raptor catch a fish!! Maybe next time - 3 times a charm? At Duba we did get to watch a lioness try to hunt while one of the Duba Boys (unfortunately no longer alive) try to "have his way with her". It was hysterical.
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Feb 21st, 2010, 02:41 PM
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Oops- 20 nights!!
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Feb 21st, 2010, 04:28 PM
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Does it count if the hunt ended just out of range of the lights (it was at night) and you didn't care if you saw it or not?!

If so, I saw one on my 11th on safari, first night at Etosha at the Okaukejo water hole. A springbok walked by the water hole earlier in the night with a big gash on its side, and lions had been roaring all around the camp, so we figured it had just escaped an attack. Later, 3 young male lions came into view at the water hole and soon split up. Suddenly, the injured springbok appeared and was walking toward one of the lions. It gave chase, and the springbok ran straight into the other two lions, but the kill occurred just a tad outside the range of the lights at the water hole. I'll never forget the sounds those lions made as they fought over the kill!
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Feb 21st, 2010, 05:02 PM
  #10
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Hi

One may go on ten safaris without seeing a kill, on the other hand, i've been with lots of people who saw a kill on their first safari.

in one of my first safaris (a 23-day-camping) i saw 10 hunts, both cheetah & lions, but no kill!
my last miss was about a year ago when meeting in Ngorongoro a friend, who guided another tour, when i came out of the caldera i heard they have witnessed a buffalo kill by lions.

i've been compensated since that ten-hunts-no-kull-safari with kills by Cheetah, Lions and even 2 kills by Leopard.
in the first, i was photographing a big and healthy territorial Grant Gazelle, when suddenly, something came into my frame and grabbed the Grant by the throat... a leopard

aby
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Feb 21st, 2010, 06:52 PM
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I've seen two cheetah kills, but wasn't able to catch them on video because the drivers took off, spoiling any chance of capturing them on film. In the Serengeti, we saw a lone wildebeest wandering around. Our guide said, "He'll be lion food soon!" Sure enough, we saw a pride of lions a couple of minutes later. They spotted the wildebeest, took off after it and brought it down. A few minutes after that, a herd of elephants showed up and chased the lions all around... quite exciting! One of the most interesting 'kills' I ever saw was seeing a jackal grab a stork just as it took flight.
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Feb 21st, 2010, 07:29 PM
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Several years ago,on our very first safari to Tanzania,we saw a cheetah take down a juvenile Grant's gazelle in the crater-What a chase it was!Fortunately,on that morning,the vehicle presence was not too heavy , did not impede the hunt,and we were one of only a few cars close enough to witness the entire drama unfolding before us.I have seen many hunts since,but none successful.
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 12:47 AM
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On our first Kenya trip, we saw a lioness hunt a baby (?) thomson gazelle in the Masai Mara. It was actually our fault. Our safari vehicle was at some distance driving beside the walking lioness on the open plains, as suddenly a little thomson gazelle jumped out of the tall grass in front of our car. I guess it had been resting/hiding in the grass. The big cat was extremely quickly at its reflexes, jumped a few metres towards us and killed the little thing in front of our eyes. It all happened in just a few seconds and it was really strange for us, because it was partly our fault.


Then we saw a "real" hunt and kill (not our fault this time) in the Serengeti, Tanzania on our 3rd East Africa trip. We had followed a female leopard, that had been walking/stalking around the bushes and streams area in the Seronera area for quite some time, when suddenly a reedbuck jumped out of a bush and the leopard flew on it. We could hear a terrible death-scream and the leopard dragged its kill into the bushes and out of sight. Three hours later, when we returned to the same place to hope for some more action, we saw the female leopard came back with its little leopard cub to eat, but didn`t get to see the eating-scene, as the dead reedbuck was well tucked away into a bush. Still, really amazing to witness!

Have also seen several cheetah hunts in both Samburu/Kenya and Serengeti/Tanzania, but not successful.
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 02:07 AM
  #14
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Thanks all for pitching in... sure is interesting to know that most kills were of cheetahs and lions,

lynn... duba plains must hv been really interesting !!!

aby u really lucky to see 2 leopard kills !!!!!!!!

christabir, your duba boy.... trying... is pretty humourous.........

gritty.... etosha sounds interesting, which is the best season to go, where there are plenty of lions

danny1, sorry for that mishap with the thomson gazelle calf, but it must hv happened soooo fast

thanks, Sonali
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 06:28 AM
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Cheetah hunting down a Thommy baby in the Massai Mara a couple of years ago and recently the Leopardess BINTI catching a shrub hare "accidentally" - not really a "kill".

So 2 kills in almost 20 years safari............
and I don't miss it!

I love seeing the hunt - but don't need to see the kill.

SV
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 09:15 AM
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Sonali

If you mean everything from start to finsih with an unimpeded view of stalk, chase, take down and eat then just a couple. If you you allow for some part of the action being obscured then many more.

Cheetah (Kirkmans)- Impala, saw 2 hour hunt, final take down was slightly obscured.
Wild Dogs (Mala Mala) - Bushbuck, saw chase, take down was behind a bush, saw <1 minute complete destruction of carcass!
Lions (Mala Mala) - baby Warthog. Saw stalk, chase and take down at a distance on the airstrip.
Cheetah (Kwando) - Impala, saw hunt, chase, take down, it would have happened at our feet, if our guide wasn't such a ****.
Lions (Kings Pool) - Baby Elephant. Being strangled(!) at the airstrip and eaten alive. Mercifully no one saw the actual take down.
Lions (Mala Mala) - 6 males and 1 female in the open, stalking, chasing and taking down a Buffalo (see video on MM website)
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 02:26 PM
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Over our three safaris (of 2 weeks each) we have seen two cheetah hunt/kills. We had front row seats at both - a clear view with only 2 or 3 other vehicles around each time. Both were in the Mara.

The first one we saw (on our second safari) was a successful hunt, a cheetah mom teaching her three cubs to stalk & bring down an imapala.

The second was an 'almost' successful lone cheetah & Thompson's gazelle. He pinned the tommy, but right at that point a baboon interfered and chased the cheetah away.

Both were captured on camera by my husband, and the latter was captured on camera by my son as well.
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 04:28 PM
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I didn't see a successful hunt but was lucky enough to see an unsuccessful one. It was truly a breathtaking experience, one of my best safari memories. I took some shots that aren't great (http://picasaweb.google.com/sbrynes1...mI8sSbkJy5pwE# ), but, heck, I was trying to manage a long, heavy lens and keep track of the cheetah as she blazed (sometimes with all 4 legs off the ground) diagonally away from me across my field of vision. The whole thing took about 15 secs. As you can see, the cheetah was so focused on its prey that it by-passed near-by gazelles.
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 06:17 PM
  #19
 
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Chased a pack of dogs at Kwando chasing an impala. Mr Toad's Wild Ride through the bush, but they were too fast for the Uris and we got there mere seconds after the take-down. Like napamatt, the deer carcass practically evaporated in the blink of an eye. The tracker was more excited than the toruists!

Saw a cheetah hunt and chase a kudu, all a blur, one of the most amazing sights of my life, even though she missed.
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 06:25 PM
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First safari, lion vs. Tommie. The lion won. It wasn't particularly gory.

I've also seen an unsuccessful-but-exciting cheetah hunt.
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