Safari Pics - Mala Mala/ Timbavati/ Vic Falls

Old Dec 10th, 2007, 07:04 AM
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Safari Pics - Mala Mala/ Timbavati/ Vic Falls

I am back from an outstanding trip!! I am not great at following through on trip reports, so I will quickly say that the sightings as well as overall trip was amazing!! At Mala Mala we saw the Eyrefield pride and all cubs several times as well as the Styx pride. The very first thing we saw on the first game drive was the Rollercoaster male napping in the grass. We also had a leopard kill happen right in front of our vehicle on the way back to the lodge one night. The leopard leaped on the impala right in front of us. We missed two cheetah brothers make a kill by about 5 minutes, but watched them feed for quite some time. We also had the luck to see wild dogs on our last morning feeding on an impala.

These are just a few of the exciting events among many! Our ranger was Anthony and our tracker was Inyati. They were both excellent and took very good care of us. We were also lucky enough to have the vehicle to ourselves for the entire stay!

I am ready to go back!!

I will be happy to answer any questions, but wanted to post my pictures! I am NOT a great photographer, but was pleased with some of my shots!! Here is the link.

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AZNWTdu2cNWSj

Enjoy!

Ann
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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A leopard kill and wild dogs, among everything else. Sounds like you had a great time. Enjoyed your photos.

Besides Mala Mala, where did you stay?

CW
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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We stayed at the Royal Legend Safari Lodge in Timbavati. The staff was very friendly and tried their hardest, but we just didn't care for our ranger. We felt like he and the tracker spent more time chatting with each other than looking for game. I think we spotted more game than they did. The lodge was very nice with a lovely atmosphere. The grounds were left very natural. We talked to some others staying that loved it, but I think it came down to the ranger. The game was also not as plentiful there (especially since it was two ladies from South Georgia doing the game spotting) This was not our fist choice, but King's Camp was full and we had to make do with what was available. We stayed at the Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe and loved it. I didn't find it as stuffy as I was prepared for. I thought the staff was very friendly and accommodating.
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Ann,

The quality of the guiding makes all the difference. If you went to Timbavati after Mala Mala, the difference was all the more glaring, I assume. Thanks for the information.

CW
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 10:50 AM
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Nice photos. Thanks for posting

-GrannyJoan
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 10:54 AM
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Wow, that's a lot of cats! Nice to see the Eyrefield Pride with cubs, Cheetah, and Dogs, as none were seen when I visited 6 weeks ago. Looks like you got a lot of quality time with Leopards too - I love seeing Leopards draped across branches like that, the very definition of insouciant!
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 10:59 AM
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Wow great photos! Thanks for sharing.
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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You saw it all! The lions drinking at night had a magical glow. Some nice posing by the male kudu and then later a beautiful female and young male kudu. You caught the cheetahs mid meal. So many lions. The piggy back shot of the cubs was adorable. The portrait of the leopard in the tree was exceptional. Then the dog action.

How long were you at MM?
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Those are great -- I've never seen cheetah feasting on a zebra. You really saw lots of cats! Thanks for sharing, Michael
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Excellent sightings and wonderful photos! You were so lucky to see all of that in one trip. Leopards, lions, baby lions, good kudu sighting, elephants and baby elephants, cheetahs and dogs - Wow! Not to mention petting the lions! It seems this is a good time of year to go. That sure looked like a baby zebra the cheetahs were eating.

How many days did you spend in each place? The photos of the falls are great, too.
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 03:40 PM
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Grrreat photos, I cannot believe how big those cubs have gotten since late October. I have so many cute pictures of them, but I love #99 and am going to buy it!

Also, really awesome leopard, cheetah and wild dog photos!

Where were you at with the last lion cubs? The ones you are petting. Looks like a fun place to visit!

I would leave tomorrow in baggage class if someone was giving trips away to Mala Mala.

LynnM-hope you saw these photos.

ShellCat
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 05:23 PM
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Ann,

What an AMAZING trip ....... that cheetah sighting of the young zebra is a once in a life time!!!

No surprises, really ..... the larger the game drive area, the more the rewards. You certainly have good gameviewing luck!!!

Best rgds,
Hari
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 05:25 PM
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Pardon the typos ..... above
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 08:18 PM
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Enjoyed your photos Ann. Cats and ellies are my FAVS .I read another post you were at MM for 3 days, wow, you really saw alot in a short time. Were there just the two of you and did you stay at Main Camp? Your own vehicle..good for you!

Those lion cubs have really grown alot. I keep reading on the MM cyberdiary about the Rollercoaster Male. I hope I get to see him this summer along with the Styx pride. I wonder if the dogs are the same pups that were born in May/June? #99 photo is a winner, look at those claws!! And the little ellie is adorable. Did you do the lion encounter in Vic Falls?

I would love to hear more about your trip if you have time. Thanks! <)

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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 08:38 PM
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Ann,

At MM, did you get the chance to stay at sightings example., the cheetah with zebra kill for as long as you wanted to?

Thks
Hari
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 09:46 PM
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Great photos. What lenses did you use?
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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I had to go check out #99 again. It could be sent with the Christmas card--either yours or the lion pride's. I remember having to pose like that at Sears for the Christmas photo. Great catch on your part!
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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Gosh - thanks everyone for such nice comments.

Shellcat - #99 is one of my favorites too. I think the claws are really cool looking. Yes, it was just my mom and me on this trip. It was sort of a last minute deal. My dad and brother went to Argentina hunting dove, so mom and I decided to take a trip too. Here is itinerary:

11/24 fly ATL to JNB (coach - ughhh)
11/25 JNB overnight (southern sun)
11/26 Mala Mala (3 nights)
11/29 charter to Royal Legend Safari Lodge (2 nights)
12/1 overnight JNB (southern sun)
12/2 Vic Falls Hotel (2 nights)
12/4 Fly home

The flight from ATL to JNB wasn't bad at all the flight was wide open so mom had 2 seats on the side and I had 3 in the middle so we were able to stretch out and sleep and swap off. The return however was miserable, but I agree with Shellcat as I would basically ride on the wing to go back tomorrow!!

CarlaM - I think this is a slow time of year for them. We were in main camp in a suite, but ate at sable for the first night and next day since there was only one couple in that camp. Then we switched over to main camp for meals etc. Our ranger said it was going to be quiet for the next few days and pick back up around the 5th of December. All vehicles had only people that came together in them. I didn't see anyone sharing a vehicle with other people that weren't in their party.

Hari - We stayed as long as we wanted at all sightings. Sometimes over an hour just watching. Our ranger left it up to us as to when we moved on. We didn't get back to camp before 8:30 pm any night. We had to bring in the gate guard with us every night as we were the last ones back. I don't know if we were able to stay so long because camp wasn't that full, so there were never too many vehicles trying to see the same things or what. I do know there was lots going on at the same time, so people were spread out. As we were watching one leopard take a kill away from another leopard, there was a group way south watching two male leopards squabble over territory. It was like that the whole time. So much going on constantly. When we had the leopard kill right in front of our vehicle, two other groups were watching a leopard stalk and kill a little ways away.

Michael and Hari - When the ranger said there were two cheetah stalking a zebra, I laughed. While we were driving he told us they took down the zebra. I was shocked. When I got there, I realized it was a bitty baby!! I never thought I would see cheetah killing a zebra!! (not that I saw the actual kill)

CarlaM - Yes, we did the lion encounter in Vic Falls. It was fun, but I know there is alot of controversy about it and whether or not it is a good thing. There have been several posts on this board about it. Also, as I recall there were 11 pups in the pack of dogs and they were about six months old, so probably the same group you are referring to from May/June.

Pattyroth - I use a Lumix FZ30 and love it!! I am not a great photographer and really didn't want to deal with multiple lenses. I felt like if I could learn how to handle the FZ30, it would do fine. I have been pleased with my pictures and heck - if more people like shellcat want to buy my pics maybe I can start a new career and buy that big expensive camera with all those lenses!!! (ha ha) But then I'd have to learn to use the thing!!!
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 07:56 AM
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Hi aowens, fantastic sightings, leopard kill WOW, seeing the LION pride, and finally the wild dogs

Sorry you missed the cheetah kill,

Wonderful,

Sonali
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 09:09 AM
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This thread has been so much fun to read-and hopefully reminds us all what this site is really about. Thanks for the info where the lion encounter was located at. That is not something that is promoted very much-guess I will have to go back to Vic Falls.

Again, great photos. Too bad the camera equipment is so expensive or we could all quit our day jobs and go become photo professionals at Mala Mala. That's what I really want for Christmas!
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