Question of the week: Best Safari Experience

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Feb 3rd, 2006, 09:38 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 524
Wow this is a great post!!! loved reading everybody's experiences. My most memorable experiences were

The first trip to africa in 2002 nov which just made me fall in love with the wildlife that I return again and again.

Seeing the migration between kirawira and seronera in serengeti(fantastic sight)

Just a few inches away from a lioness in an open vehicle, and she was looking at me.

Lion cub separated from the pride in serengeti, and the next day seeing it with the whole pride

Cheetah trying to hunt masai mara

conflict between male lion and cheetah ngorogoro crater

Seeing two leopards in a span of 1 hour twice in serengeti.

flamingoes at lake nakuru

polar bears,seals, walruses at svalbard.

Whales/porpoises/dolphins in alaska

I can go on and on, thanks for this post I almost felt as if I had redone my trips.....

Sonali.

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Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:32 AM
  #22
 
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Some of my favourites in no particular order:

Coming across 300 buffaloes while wading through the June grass of the Mara.

Seeing an elephant family walking past 10 metres from my tent in Tsavo Ė several times.

In Tsavo, watching a big buffalo grazing less than 2 metres from my chair Ė until the askari told me to get back into my tent.

A big spider and a small frog on the floor of my banda outside L. Nakuru NP.

A pack of 7 wild dogs trotting along the Ewaso Nyiro.

Having my cookies and sugar snatched by vervet monkeys in Samburu.

Solo walks among impalas, elands and warthogs outside L. Nakuru NP - and giraffes and zebras south of Nairobi.

An angry buffalo in the bushes while walking back up from Sheldrick Falls, Shimba Hills.

Bathroom bats in the Mara and Tsavo.

A lioness hunting warthogs unsuccessfully and then lying down I metre from the vehicle on my first game drive ever.

Rhino chasing hartebeests in Nairobi NP.

All lion cubs Iíve seen.

All the lions Iíve heard at night.






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Feb 3rd, 2006, 02:52 PM
  #23
 
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What I wouldn't give to see the film of that whole baby topi incident.

Any chance of a quicktime file of it?
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 02:58 PM
  #24
 
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I didn't even think about including my first safari in India!

I am not sure where to fit it. We drove around for HOURS looking for a tiger. They are so elusive. We were just about ready to give up. We were bummed. Suddenly we heard the birds SCREAM their alarm code. We knew a tiger was close by.

They spun the jeep around drove to a clearing and a male and female tiger walking across the field. Probably the greatest most concentrated sixty seconds I've ever had
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 03:10 PM
  #25
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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If I change 'best' safari experience to 'most exhilirating':

1) Outrunning lions and cape buffalo while we were on horseback in the Okavango Delta

2) Surviving a mock charge by a bull elephant while on a ranger walk in Sabi Sands

3) Spending an hour with six wild dog pups and three adult wild dogs in the Delta.

4) Following a mother leopard and her four cubs for almost a week in the Sabi Sands. The cubs would approach the vehicle quite often and we would have to back away.

5) Galloping across the Okavango Delta with fish eagles soaring above and elephants grazing on the banks.

I've loved reading the many responses posted. Thanks for sharing!
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 03:22 PM
  #26
 
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Kimburu, seeing a mother giant forest hog (one of my favorites) in action would be great!

Schlegal, hope you and your friend have celebrated many happy birthdays since.

Nyamera, By solo walks do you mean just you or you and your guide? Can you walk alone in Nakuru? Tell me more.

Johan, With all your trips to Africa and wonderful photos, I find it interesting that one of your top experiences is almost getting hurt by a piece of wood. Or were you just feeling very lucky to escape without injury?

Africa, Great topi story. Talk about 9 lives!
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:28 PM
  #27
johan_belgium
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Lynn,

I was of course very lucky to escape without injury.

The thing is that some people put to much pressure on the guides sometimes ... and due to that they sometimes take unnecessary risks (which shouldn't be the case) and then there is that other thing: most of the guides are so excited when they see the dogs hunting ...

In a former thread I mentioned that the area around Duma Tau or Chitabe is not that ideal to follow the dogs ...
And this opinion is formed by my own experiences.

One more story,

Last year in June, we had a private vehicle at our disposal in Duba Plains.

On one afternoon we got out early in the afternoon and came across the Jouberts. They told us they lost the lions because they couldn't follow them through deep water. Our guide thought he knew were those lions could be... and he told us he knew an alternative route - after driving (or was is floating) to very deep water we found them and they had made their second buffalo kill that day (we witnessed the first kill in the morning). We made some beautiful shots of the one-eyed lioness (of the Tsaro pride I think) dragging the carcass.

The other guests just got out at that time and their guide was asking us if we had seen something interesting. Of course we mentioned that we found some members of the Tsaro pride on a island but we told them that it was extremely difficult to reach.

Of course, they gave it a try but unfortunately, at the last crossing they got seriously stuck. They asked for our assistance to pull them out. At first, we were not successful at all so one of the guides asked everyone to jump out of the car. So we did. At that time, Chief (one of the guides) was working with his jack. And at that very moment, one of the lionesses was swimming towards us...

They can easily distinguish you from the car. It's a total different experience seeing lions from the safety of a car or on foot.

She was a very inquisitive lady, luckily at the last moment she decided that she was not that hungry anymore or was more scared of us than we of her.

I made some very nice shots of it and I will bring them to Duba Plains in October 2006.

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Feb 4th, 2006, 08:30 AM
  #28
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Johan-how exciting! Can you share those pics? (or what is the link if you already have?)
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Feb 4th, 2006, 09:40 AM
  #29
 
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hi, of the places i had visited. people i have met, plans i had made. still this is the one. please forgive me. it was much easier to put the link here. instead of trying to put the story in.besides, you would need the whole thing to get the effect of that certain day.
thanks, david
http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/3bd7b/#TL
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Feb 4th, 2006, 10:50 AM
  #30
johan_belgium
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It will be a bit difficult at the moment because those pictures are in my safety deposit at a bank abroad.

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Feb 4th, 2006, 01:05 PM
  #31
 
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Atravelynn, by solo walks I mean just me Ė no guide, no honey badgers. You canít do it inside Lake Nakuru NP. I was at a camp just outside the fence on a private conservancy. I asked if I could go for a walk and it was OK if I signed a disclaimer and kept away from areas with lots of trees where buffaloes could be lurking. There were lots of plainís game and a man who was mending the fence told me the lions went through the fence whenever they felt like it. I think he exaggerated, but he also told me there were lots of poachers and later I understood I was supposed to go for a short walk around camp. In the countryside south of Nairobi there was ďnothing dangerous Ė not even the peopleĒ only thousands of zebras and some giraffes and tommies. I donít know why the lions and buffaloes from Nairobi NP donít go there. I suppose they want to avoid people outside the park. The lions are having serious problems with people and there were some farms, but mostly grazing lands on the soft hills dotted with whistling thorns and the south side of Ngong Hills in the background. There must be thousands of places in the Kenyan countryside where you can go for solo walks Ė for free. And some are almost like wildlife areas. I suppose itís more difficult outside the Mara where the group ranches know how to make money from people who want to be there and where wildlife sometimes is as good as inside the reserve. There I paid a lot of money for a game walk together with three Maasai guides with spears. To encounter an impala on your own is comparable to a big pride of buffalo hunting lions together with a guide.

Did you walk with a pair of tame honey badgers? They must be better protection than a pair of Rotweilers.

Africa, Iíd bet that topi is still alive. My driver on my first trip to Kenya told me about the lifespan of the topi: ďthe topi Ė he can stay for 15 years Ė then he has to goĒ. Your topi will live until heís at least 20.

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Feb 4th, 2006, 01:14 PM
  #32
 
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Nyamera: how much do you give the masai guys you walked with? i had 3 masai also in june. we walked about 30miles that day. i gave them each $25.00. i was never told what to give-i just figured 25 was a good number for each of them-it was no problem. also felt was not much at all. for an all day hike,it was well worth it.
cheers, d
ps, the walk was along the outside of the mara.
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Feb 4th, 2006, 02:03 PM
  #33
 
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Tuskerdave, I donít remember what I paid Ė the walk was in 2003 - but I remember it was expensive. The game walk was an activity with a fixed price at Basecamp. A solo walk would have been so much cheaper, but then maybe I wouldnít be here today. That would be even cheaper, especially if the lions hadnít left anything even for a cheap funeral.

If the Maasais were happy with $ 25 each itís probably OK. It doesnít seem like much, but if they were teachers with 200 pupils they would have to work for over a week for that money. On the other hand, a day with you is probably worse than a week with 200 kids. Everything would be so much easier if people had pricelists.

Sometimes when I read about some village or small town where people are complaining that the children canít go to school because of aggressive elephants I think about taking a matatu there, stay at an inexpensive hotel Ė the problem is it has to have a bathroom Ė and then go for solo walks for absolutely nothing. Another problem is that, in Kenya, people want to know where you are going and why and then they want to accompany you as a friend and you give cash gifts to friends. Now I have to go to bed.
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Feb 4th, 2006, 02:25 PM
  #34
 
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Like Dennis I have to say the entire first experience was incredible. From the moment we got off the plane in Nairobi I was awestruck: "Oh my god, I'm in Africa!"

But probably the cheetah on the hood of the Land Rover, which I now know is not really particularly uncommon. My heart was a-thumping. And asking our guide afterward, "Adrian, weren't you worried?" He replied with a chuckle, "Oh, no. Cheetah a polite cat."
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Feb 4th, 2006, 03:23 PM
  #35
 
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Geez............some terrific responses!

Some of my best times was the whole 6 month Overland Expedition in Sth/East/Central Africa in'93 where I experienced being stalked by 2 batchelor Lions (while answering the call of nature) in the Serengeti to having a Female and baby Gorilla (Verunga Mts- Zaire)landing on me from above after the branch overhead snapped and all 3 of us rolled away somewhat in shock but unharmed AND captured on video by myself to only have the camera AND TAPE stolen on route out of Zimbabwe!!.....that really hurt!!
To more recent times with my wife and I on our Honeymoon in the SSGR (Sept '04) where we witness at night the stalking and killing by a female Leopard of an Impala where she used the Landrover to her advantage. For almost 2 hrs hardly a word was spoken (apart from where is she?....where is she?)I managed to capture this on film & video AND keep hold of it long enough to bring back home to Australia!
Thanks for bringing back such vivid memories of Africa that will remain with me forever!
We're off again in '07 to Zambia!
Cheers
Marc
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Feb 4th, 2006, 03:35 PM
  #36
 
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Nyamera: hey only 200 kids!!!!! i am insulted haha. but you know you would have a good adventure and a lot of laughs going with us. no puff-lodges or cozy buses here. i also stayed at base camp-i think it was 2001. it was called dream camp back then. i believe the walk was like $30.00
but as you might guess now. kashu and i are like brothers. the masai guys love having me visit-you can guess why. yes, because i am such a naughty american hehe. so, what ever i wanted to give them-they were cool with it.
this past oct,when they visited our camp-we were already talking about next oct walk. i want to do what they do to get close to the animals and video tape it. they said no problem. you have kashu set it up with us, we will do that with you! c'mon oct!!!!! altough i am going over there again march 10th.have to get done with that first.
talk soon, d
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Feb 5th, 2006, 06:31 AM
  #37
 
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Nyamera,

Thanks for the Nakuru walking details. Must have been great but glad you did not encounter the lions. The honey badgers were just a pair in the Lower Zambezi that were out for a morning stroll looking for grubs and such while we were out for a morning stroll looking at them.
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Feb 5th, 2006, 06:38 AM
  #38
 
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Atravelynn, Iím still jealous. Iíve never seen honey badgers.
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Feb 5th, 2006, 05:35 PM
  #39
 
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Nyamera,

I had never seen a honey badger either. Then on my 7th trip I saw 11, all in various parts of Zambia. On night drives, during the day, on the walk. You just never know!
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Feb 5th, 2006, 05:42 PM
  #40
 
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Thit cho, and aardwolf and caracal in 24 hours!

Johan, I'll keep your Duba story in mind and try to stay out of water that requires pushes the vehicle.

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