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Trip Report - Mombo, Vumbura Plains and Duma Tau, June 2006

Trip Report - Mombo, Vumbura Plains and Duma Tau, June 2006

Old Jun 29th, 2006, 09:09 PM
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Matt: that's cool that Grant tried with the broadcast call. It's real hit & miss with the owls. Often times they come near and get a peek of you but never respond vocally -- may well have happened to you guys since you found the wood owl the next morning. Many times too you get a different species that comes out of curiosity and most bizzare some of the small owl species are ventriluquists, somehow they throw their call to another spot to avoid getting nailed by bigger owls.

Glad you found your target!
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 01:20 AM
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PB,

Well...after looking too long at the brochure the last couple days, chances are that I may drop Chobe Chilwero in favor of Mateya in Madikwe. It would only be for a couple nights, but that may be well enough to see wild dogs there. Between a couple nights at Mateya and 14 nights in Botswana, I absolutely MUST see wild dogs at long last!

Speaking of coyotes, I just got back from a most interesting walking safari in my development...after being chased by two killer chihuahuas, my dogs and I then spotted a very large coyote. I gave chase to the coyote and not realizing that I just wanted a little elbow room and had no ambition to actually engage in battle with the coyote, one of my two dogs, the one who remains leashless on walks caught all the way up to the coyote and despite being outsized by the coyote, my dog had her say in the matter. Fortunately, the coyote was probably more worried about the lunatic human walking around at 2AM more than my dog and retreated, although by about now may be enjoying a couple chihuahua sandwiches!
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 01:21 AM
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One of the things we found amazing about Grant was how many bird calls he could <i>accurately</i> mimick himself to bring the birds to us or at the very least to have nearby ones turn towards us!!
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 04:34 AM
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Napamatt,
Although I don't believe in devils and such, I will heed your advice and try to not get too big of an ego or forget the main objective .

Off subject and sorry for the hijack Matt;
PB and Rocco - I just had a very healthy looking coyote come into my yard for the first time. We live on Aquidneck Island in RI so it's expected but surprising. I fear for my 13&quot; inquisitive and friendly beagle. The animal control folks are pretty useless around here - any advice? Do dogs realise that this is a different species to be avoided, sounds like Rocco's dogs took on the challenge.
Sherry
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 05:09 AM
  #25  
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Some other sightings I forgot to mention.

Wild cat and kitten at Vumbura
Genet climbing the tree outside our tent at Mombo during the day.
Whiteheaded Vuture nest at Mombo.
Dead elephant (natural causes) at Duma Tau, we followed what appeared to be a new road in the dark, and got a very nasty surprise!
Hyena cubs at Mombo.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 05:48 AM
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Hi Matt,

Sounds as though you have had a fantastic gameviewing experience. Hope mine is the same, as I am currently in Hong Kong waiting for my flight to Johannesburg.

I suppose you have already seen the new MM special on the Magnificient 7, made in 2006 or maybe 2005 and finished in 2006. Am trying to find out the lions and leopards in it?

Kind regards,

Kaye

I would love to see a serval and kitten, I would be happy with just the serval!
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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Sherry: being a hunting breed I think your beagle is more apt to be inquisitive. Sometimes the coyotes are equally inquisitive and other times they eat the dogs -- the coyotes are very intelligent which gives them an edge.

I would recommend that you don't leave your dog out at night and he will most likely be fine. The ironic thing is the elimination of wolves is why you now have a coyote in R.I. Coyotes were orignially found in only around 13 states west of the Mississippi but since the extermination of the wolves the coyotes have spread to 49 states. The only really effective control on them is wolves. When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone the coyote population got cut in half. When people start shooting or poisoning coyotes the ones who avoid the trouble double their litter sizes producing more 'super coyotes'.

It sounds like the Rocco Pack of Southern California though could be a wolf substitute!
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 06:09 AM
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PB,

Yes, and if not controlled, the Rocco pack could surpass even the coyote by spreading to all 50 states!

Sadly, however, it is snip snip time for two of my males who cannot get along with each other. Hopefully this helps their aggression, but if not, then hopefully it at least helps protect them later against any prostate problems.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 07:38 AM
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Kaye

Have a great trip. I have not seen the special.
I've seen Serval three times now at MM. Grant our guide actually saw a Serval while scanning for something else, then it disappeared, before anyone else could spot it.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 07:56 AM
  #30  
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Napamatt,

How are the floods this year? both mombo area and vumbura. Do you think, the water levels limited your drive areas. For instance, i read a couple reports from fellow fodorites visiting other concessions in the delta, felt that the water levels severely hampered their drive areas.

Hari
 
Old Jun 30th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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Hari

The flood did not seem that big this year. But at any level it will affect the ability to drive an entire property. About 25% of Mombo was not being used, which is fairly standard.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 06:01 PM
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Thanks, Napamatt........

Hari
 
Old Jul 1st, 2006, 06:54 AM
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Couple of other things I had forgotten to mention.

We saw a baby giraffe about twenty minutes after it was born.
Melanistic Gabar Goshawk at Mombo.
Last but not least, at Vumbura instead of a blanket they have a kind of poncho to keep you warm at dinner, its brown with a hood and so resembled either a monk or a Jedi. your choice.

I was thinking about the last two new camps I have been to, and the contrast was quite amazing. At Vumbura it was easy to find problems in a camp a year old, whilst at Rattrays we were invited to be as critical as possible, to help them refine things. That camp was two months old and virtually perfect, kudos to the team at Mala Mala and Rattrays - only 7 months until I'm back there.
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Old Jul 1st, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Matt: glad to hear you found your targeted melanistic Gabar goshawk!

It sounds like you really found everything you could desire -- looking forward to photos.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 09:43 AM
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hi matt,
great to hear about the dogs at mombo and the savuti channel being prime for great game. i am heading to both places the end of aug early sept. it's also good to hear that you got to see burnt ebony. awesome leopard. also, did the guides at mombo mention if legidima (relatively young female leopard) is still around? and are the bob marley bros still teh dominant male lions in the area? thx in advance and hopefully we can see some of your pics soon.

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Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 07:52 AM
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Big

Legidima is still around, though not much around camp. The best chance to see her is when mum and dad (The Jouberts are around!). We saw her mom, the Tortilis female with three very young cubs, though a week later apparently they only saw two. The Wailers are still in charge and the Mathata pride is a formidable machine.
The Savuti channel will probably be awesome because of the good grazing caused by the water and the sediment, in addition there will probabbly be some fish traps, which will be great for photography.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 07:04 PM
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Napamatt,

I guess the same thing holds true for Kwando/selinda also? That the banks have overflown or whatever and there will be good grazing?

Hari
 
Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 08:54 PM
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Dont know. It wasn't that banks had overflown, it was simply that for whatever reason the water had pushed out of Zib lagoon and on up the channel.
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Old Jul 4th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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Napamatt,

Brother, can you spare some photos???

There must be some incredible photos that you or your DW took at these prime camps.

Although I have not yet graduated to Mombo (babysteps, babysteps), I am getting very excited about my own upcoming trip to Botswana and would love to see some of what you saw!
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Old Jul 4th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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DW has almost finished uploading to Kodak. Tomorrow I promise.
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