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Mashatu, Kgalagadi to Caprivi and a Moremi mobile with Masson Safaris

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Nov 15th, 2014, 11:39 PM
  #1
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Mashatu, Kgalagadi to Caprivi and a Moremi mobile with Masson Safaris

This year we were a party of 5 on a soft adventure safari followed by a 6 day Moremi mobile with Masson Safaris. The trip treport is available at http://safaritalk.net/topic/13263-ma...n-africa-2014/

Photo galleries, including accommodation for 2014 are online at https://picasaweb.google.com/Treepol

The highlights were:

5 cheetah cubs at Mashatu

Leopard and baboon antics at Mashatu

Owls

Male lion stalking in Kgalagadi, lions everywhere including the Caprivi

African Wildcat and honey badger in Kgalagadi

Brown hyena at Okaukuejo

Village and kraal life along the Angolan border and through the Caprivi

Carmine bee-eaters at Mazambala Lodge

An impromptu visit to a Caprivi mission

The stunning scenery and bewitching colours of Namibia from the Kalahari to the Caprivi

Sable and roan in Mahango Game Reserve

Serval and Black Mamba in Moremi

The final itinerary was:

Mashatu Tent Camp (4 nights)

Twee Riverien (3 nights)

Kalahari Farmstall (3 nights)

Anib Kalahari Lodge (1 night)

Desert Breeze, Swakopmund (2 nights)

Erongo Wilderness Lodge (1 night)

Palmwag (2 nights)

Okaukuejo (2 nights)

Halali (1 night)

Mushara Bush Camp (2 nights)

Hakusembe River Lodge (1 night)

Mazambala Lodge (2 nights)

Nunda Lodge (2 nights)

The Kraal, Maun (1 night)

Masson Safaris Mobile 6 nights in Moremi Game reserve

The Kraal, Maun (1 night)

The itinerary was designed to visit a variety of environments to maximise wildlife viewing opportunities in the varied environs of the Tuli Block, the deserts of Kgalagadi (KTP) and Etosha, the coast at Swakopmund and the Caprivi and Moremi wetlands. KTP delivered for us with lion, owls and a honey badger. We travelled from the coast to the Caprivi via Etosha to see the full gamut of Namibia’s wildlife. And what a grand drive it was for awe-inspiring scenery, colourful birds and wishlist rarities of brown hyena, sable herds and roan. Moremi delivered longed for sights of serval and a black egret hooding together with wetland scenery, mud-wrestling ele style, owls and black mamba. The final itinerary included more one night stays than I originally planned, however we sacrificed some 3 night stays to keep travel to less than 400 km most days.
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Nov 16th, 2014, 06:48 AM
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Lovely pics - the bee-eaters are beautiful! We also stayed at Mazambala Lodge a few years ago and enjoyed our stay there very much.
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Nov 16th, 2014, 12:47 PM
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Mashatu Tent Camp still remains my all time favourite!

The large herds of elephants there are amazing!

Great photos!
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Nov 16th, 2014, 01:08 PM
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Sounds like another great trip! Were those your first brown hyena? I think our next safari might be all about seeing them and dogs (and rhino just in case). I will have to look into Namibia as you and atravelynn just posted such great reports.

Thanks! Where are you going next?!
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Nov 18th, 2014, 12:40 AM
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Thanks Elizabeth_S, Christabir and Kath BC for reading along.

Christabir, I saw brown hyena pups at San Camp back in 2008, so it had been a while between sightings. Thoroughly recommend Namibia - wonderful destination.

Next year its probably a couple of weeks in Hokkaido and a week around Cairns when we get back to Australia. Just a short trip next year in preparation for 6-7 weeks in India in early 2016. This will be a mix of culture and wildlife with a strong focus on the wildlife. Looking for tigers, lion, rhino, eles, dhole, lots of birds, everything really.
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Nov 19th, 2014, 10:42 AM
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Thanks pol. India has been on my bucket list for a long time. I just can't seem to figure out the logistics for a shortish trip to make it work for us. 6-7 weeks is just enough time to scratch the surface.

2016 should be a good travel year. Cheers!
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Nov 19th, 2014, 09:37 PM
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Thanks for your excellent trip report and sharing the beautiful photos that go along with the story of your journey. Really enjoyed reading it and also love your thoughtful comment at the end about why we go back on safari. I feel very much the same way about it.
We were right behind you as we started our 40 day self-drive trip in Windhoek in early September, then, Kalahari Anib, KTP for seven nights with 3 nights in chalets and 4 nights camping, then leaving KTP through Kaa Gate into Bots. CKGR, Boteti River, Naxai Pan, Moremi, Mahango, and concluding with in 6 nights in Etosha, then Brandberg and back to Windhoek. We did our own game-spotting and had great animal encounters with 60 lions total and 10 Cubs, 4 leopard sightings, cheetah, brown hyena, etc. and are now trying to decide which photos to keep, which ones to delete and which ones to frame and hang up.
I'm not quite clear about Mashatu camp. Is this a private reserve in the Tuli Block area? How does it compare to nearby Kruger area?
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Nov 20th, 2014, 02:46 AM
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KaliCA thanks for your kind comments.

I like the sound of your itinerary, lots of habitat variety there. I was very impressed with the Caprivi, especially with the large amount of wildlife in the area, particularly Mahango.

I did KTP via Kaa three years ago and thought it was fabulous scenery - all that yellow grass, but not a cheetah in sight. One day I will make it to the Boteti and back to CKGR.

Yes, Mashatu is a private lease in the Tuli Block. Visitors have a good chance of seeing most southern African game there except for rhino and buffalo. Its possible to get close views of lion, leopard and cheetah as the cats are habituated to the vehicles whilst still living wild.
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Nov 21st, 2014, 05:03 PM
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Hi, I like Mahango as well and it was our second visit there. No predators, though. Like you, we saw a few roan and only one sable. Mu husband doesn't like this park as much because of limited accessibility. A lot of the river access spots were barricaded for some reason. So that was quite frustrating. We also saw a group of ellies doing their spa thing at the waterhole in the west of the park.
The Boteti was a big surprise. First off, the tourism bureau clerk in Maun told us that there was a bridge connecting Khumaga gate across the river. NOT! There was a ferry with a ferryman and it was great fun to drive on to the pontoon and crossing the river that way. Because there is a lot of water, there is a lot of game, hundreds for zebra and many ellies frolicking in the river. So the ellies were a big surprise. But again, no predators during the 2plus days we were there. Nxai Pan too we were surprised to see quite a few ellies. Even though there were only 2 waterholes available to them and all the other animals. Two magnificent lions there.
I was wrong about my lion count. It was actually 60 adults and 10 Cubs in Etosha ONLY. We are blown away by our wonderful lion sightings. One highlight was watching a reunion between 10 Cubs in a nursery guarded by two females, and their parents, 2 males and 4 females coming back all pink from a recent kill.
So, lIke you, we caught the Africa virus a few years ago and will go back again in July to Kruger with a lovely couple from your country and then on to a first time to TZ, northern parks, out of 24 days, 10 in the Serengeti, all self-driving. Can't wait.
In KTP we really enjoyed staying at the wilderness chalets between camping stays. Can highly recommend them.
Happy trails!
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Nov 22nd, 2014, 01:00 AM
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60 lion and 1 cubs for Etosha is a mighty record. Thanks for the Boteti info.

The Tanzania self-drive sounds wonderful, have a marvellous time.
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Oct 1st, 2015, 08:39 AM
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What month were you there? Have you ever been in Botswana in July? Was it really cold at night?
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Oct 2nd, 2015, 12:41 AM
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Last year I visited in September but I have been twice in July.

The nights are cold when camping, however the operator gives us hot water bottles at night and lots of blankets for the morning game drive.

The days are warm once the sun comes up - about 16-20C. I live in Tasmania so this is an OK temperature for me, others from warmer climates may disagree!
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