The Self-Isolating "I Miss Africa" Thread

Old Apr 25th, 2020, 03:10 PM
  #121  
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The more the merrier, Tenix. Post away!
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Old Apr 26th, 2020, 10:32 AM
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Few photos from the Okavango Delta


Elephants in the beautiful Delta


More ellies !


Beautiful little black and white bird (anyone know the species?)


Contrast betwden the dry landape and the greenery next to the Delta's water
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Old Apr 26th, 2020, 11:55 AM
  #123  
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I am not a birder but Google told me it could be a magpie shrike.

Betty's Bay SA . . .




"Hiding" in the mopane trees. Near Mopani Camp Kruger.



Who knew that elephants have such lustrous eyelashes?



A baboon posing nicely in the morning sun. Letaba River Kruger


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Old Apr 26th, 2020, 02:41 PM
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I'm loving all the photos. But that baboon is my current fave! Wow.

For those who haven't seen my thread, Gamewatchers is offering to reschedule all safaris planned in the next six months with no added fees. Whew.

How about your trip, Amyb?
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Old Apr 26th, 2020, 03:57 PM
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I don't like baboons. They always tell on the leopards.



I love all the new photos!

And, Nelson, what a great story!

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Old Apr 26th, 2020, 04:47 PM
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I'll post a few more from the same trip most of the others are from. Botswana. Oct 2005

Nick was our guide on this trip (30 years guiding in Bots) and he was very happy to see this kori bustard displaying. He had never seen it before. I know they take the feathers higher to where they are almost flat on the back and the feathers show all white. But this is the only time I've seen it at all.



These are just pretty red lechwe in the Okavango Delta.




These were my compadres on this trip. Mostly camping at the hottest time of the year. Here we're at a hippo pool trying to get them to yawn at us. Charles Glatzer "Chas" of Shoot the Light is on the left.



We were in a small aluminum boat when this young male mock charged us. Scary until I realized the boat driver didn't even start the motor. He wasn't scared.




You don't always see lions next to elephants but this really shows the scale. These elephants were bossing the lions around a little. This was the evening of the night the lions got their revenge.





This pride of 30+ horrible lions in Savute killed a baby elephant overnight. We were told it was horrendous for the people in camps near where it happened because they could hear the elephants screaming. I wish they would stick with impalas and leave elephants and giraffes alone.




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Old Apr 27th, 2020, 05:00 AM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
How about your trip, Amyb?
Long story. I'm sort of waiting to see what happens in May but in my head I'm not going. The rest of my payment is due 5/24 for travel 8/24. Since trip insurance won't cover my not wanting to go even if things have opened up a bit (which is doubtful) I will likely cancel and lose the deposit. I just don't see myself wanting to travel that far and be in a third world country if I get sick. I may consider postponing, but it would be another year (I'll only go in August-September, and the camps are only open June-October) and I just don't want to wait that long, I've already waited 18 months! Two of my camps don't even exist right now. They build them fresh every year in May, so I'm waiting to see if they even bother to build them next month. I'm just trying to cut my losses in the event travel has reopened somewhat but I'm leery of traveling.

Editing to add: what I'm hoping for in the end is that the camps don't open this season and my safari is cancelled for me, rather than me having to make the decision.

Last edited by amyb; Apr 27th, 2020 at 05:24 AM.
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Old Apr 27th, 2020, 09:22 AM
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What stories! What photos! I just love the colours, the detail, the rarities, the everything. Well-done all.
Amy, it is sooooo hard to be objective about such travel decisions, isn't it? Fingers crossed for you.
I am done. The end.
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Old Apr 27th, 2020, 02:39 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by sundowner View Post
These were my compadres on this trip. Mostly camping at the hottest time of the year. Here we're at a hippo pool trying to get them to yawn at us. Charles Glatzer "Chas" of Shoot the Light is on the left.
Whoa. Some serious camera hardware there.

As you mentioned, the real kitty food is . . . the ubiquitous impala (at least it is in Kruger). They are everywhere.



Sticking with antelope, a male nyala by the Letaba River. Unfortunately, they are popular with the trophy crowd.



A waterbuck gives a pose.



And last but not least one of the cutest animals in the bush . . . a steenbok, creeping around very cautiously.



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Old Apr 27th, 2020, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by amyb View Post
Editing to add: what I'm hoping for in the end is that the camps don't open this season and my safari is cancelled for me, rather than me having to make the decision.
I'm so sorry, Amy. It's sad you can't go especially after so much planning and waiting, waiting, waiting. The hard part - waiting. I would probably do the same thing you are planning and I'm surprised they haven't already cancelled.
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Old Apr 27th, 2020, 05:44 PM
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Birds of Botswana 2005

There was a guy on this trip that must have had a photographic memory. He studied the Southern Africa bird book on the flight over and memorized every bird. He also could spot them very far away much to the annoyance of a couple of the other guys.

He said we saw over 200 species of birds on the trip and he marked them all in his book. Don't worry. I won't bore you with 200 bird photos.

Many of the birds were on their perches with their beaks open. I asked Nick, our guide, and he said it's because they're hot.

This is a Giant Eagle Owl. The last camp we were in in the Okavango Delta was Xaro Lodge, sister camp to Drotsky's Cabins. The camp mgr was very excited to take us to see this owl, high in a tree.



One of my faves - guinea fowl



Magpie Shrike



Black koraan bird is what Nick called this bird in Botswana. I saw one in Kenya and they called it a black bellied bustard. And they looked at me like I was crazy when I called it a koraan. I did look when I got home and it's the same bird.




A Lilac Breasted Roller eating a bug. He would fly away from this stump, catch a bug and fly back. The stump itself has been used by the elephants as a scratching post and is quite polished and shiny.



Glossy starling. There are many types of starlings and they are everywhere. They are quite beautiful when the sun hits them.



Zazu from The Lion King. This is the Red Billed Hornbill. I have never seen so many many hornbills on a trip as this one.



You often see the kingfishers near the water and this is the Pied Kingfisher


I first saw these bird in South Africa and then in Botswana. And I've seen them in Kenya - maybe Samburu.

They are Gray Lourie birds aka Go Away birds. They are another bird that warns everyone a predator is nearby.




These are Carmine Bee-eaters and they nest in deep holes that they dig in the soft dirt on the banks of dry streams.






Here are some bee-eaters with bugs. I remember my first trip to Botswana in 2003. My guide and his wife spent over an hour combing through their bird books trying to ID one of the bee-eaters we saw on that trip. I'm happy to just know it's a bee-eater.



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Old Apr 28th, 2020, 08:01 PM
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Sundowner: OMG. Those bird photos are INCREDIBLE!!! That glossy starling is killing me! Bravo.

Amyb: It's possible that even if the camps open they might still let you apply your deposit to the following year. That's what Gamewatchers is doing. I feel for you.
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Old Apr 29th, 2020, 02:52 AM
  #133  
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On a hot day last April, we pulled over on the bluff above the Shingwidzi River & watched a group of elephants at play. This one was trying to climb on top of his sibling & shove him under the water. Teenagers, y’know . . .



Later that evening, we watched this herd of elephants come to drink at a nearby waterhole. When they realized that they weren’t alone, a few older elephants ringed the threat, until it got the hint & slipped into the water a few minutes later.



This scene looked like a mother teaching its young one to dig a hole. She scratched at the wet earth & went down on her knees & then let the young one in to try the same spot.



One last elephant story. This large bull elephant decided that he didn’t like us. We had just arrived into southern Kruger after a grueling 44 hour journey to get there. It was raining, we were exhausted & eagerly wanted to get to camp. He was munching a roadside tree but came out after us when we slowed to take a picture. So I pulled ahead a bit, but he kept coming at us. This stop/charge routine went on for about ½ a kilometre before I called it quits & drove off.



A grizzled lion in the Mluwati Concession in Kruger. He was wild but very, very used to seeing Toyota safari jeeps filled with gawking tourists from the three camps that drove this space. Our guide was able to drive in between it & its mate & they barely glanced at us. We decided that for future trips, we would forego the luxury & stay in Kruger Park proper, where only luck would determine what we saw. And besides, I discovered that braaiing by flashlight with hyenas calling in the dark is kind of fun.



And speaking of being used to tourists . . . an apple thief with his prize.


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Old Apr 29th, 2020, 01:00 PM
  #134  
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You know bird pictures are good when they make me look! ha!!

Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
Amyb: It's possible that even if the camps open they might still let you apply your deposit to the following year. That's what Gamewatchers is doing. I feel for you.
They will but I already have plans for 2021 that clash with when I can go to Zambia. Not sure if they'd consider pushing it off another year. They have said that they won't make me pay the rest of this year's trip (or make a decision otherwise) until the end of July now, so I should definitely have a better idea of what is going on there 30 days before the trip, so the pressure is off for May now.
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Old May 2nd, 2020, 07:32 AM
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I can close my eyes and see this. When I think Mara, it's usually the lone acacia and the clouds.


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Old May 7th, 2020, 08:33 AM
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It's been a few days so I'll upload a couple more...












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Old May 7th, 2020, 10:55 AM
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All these great photos---can't you just smell the earthy African soil?
I am done. The end.
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Old May 7th, 2020, 09:09 PM
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Gardyloo: Your photos are FANTASTIC!
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Old May 15th, 2020, 06:35 AM
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These are great photos of the Africa that is rarely seen in the media. It is a lovely way to break the out of the lockdown
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