wild dogs update Botswana

Jul 6th, 2006, 09:08 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Johan,

Not sure exactly. They obviously don't like to talk about these type of unfortunate occurrences.

Story there is similar... staff member walks out of his house to have a pee at night and actually trips over a lion. I guess the whole pride was there including cubs.

Not sure of all details, but you can imagine. Again, lions had to be put down. Apparenty it was awful - BWD came into camp with AK's and fired away with guests in earshot.
jweis is offline  
Jul 6th, 2006, 09:44 PM
  #22  
santharamhari
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Jeez!!! These certainly are nightmarish stories......awful!!!

Don't the same rules apply to the staff??? I think the camp management has a huge responsibility in ensuring that the rules are adhered to!!!

Regardless of guides/staff etc etc., who live in the bush......they must take the same precautions etc etc., maybe an upmarket camp/lodge should take better care of their staff and provide them with all the basic amenities, so that they don't have to wander off in the middle of the night.

This is truly awful!!!

Hari
 
Jul 6th, 2006, 10:37 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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I'm not sure rules would help much, whoever they applied to. You'd have to fence a camp off securely, and that wouldn't appeal to me at all. We camped one night in a transit area in Hwange...surrounded by a high mesh fence. I was able to go out for a pee, so I guess that's an advantage, but I would have done so anyway, just as I did in the Mara when there was a three-metre gap between tent and loo and the latter was open to the world. Mind you, I was really desperate...I had a tummy bug

One night drive at Selinda, we followed a male lion right to the edge of the camp. We knew the camp manager would be waiting for us in the car park so radioed a warning. But what if we hadn't seen the lion on our way in?

That's the way things should be in wilderness areas. Just like swimmers and surfers who get taken by great whites...you take your chances when you go into their environment.
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Jul 6th, 2006, 10:53 PM
  #24  
santharamhari
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I guess so. Last year at Kwara...in fading light, i did hv to go behind a bush to pee (albeit our guide wanted me to go right behind the vehicle).....not even a minute after i got bk into the car, did i see two stalking lionesses!!! (i think there were some impalas around) although i would never know if they were stalking me.

However, john my point being..... for camp staff to hv their own toilet facilities in their own tents or wherever they stay.

Hari
 
Jul 7th, 2006, 01:34 AM
  #25  
africnow
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IMHO Hari is absolutely right. These are working people, not vacationers.

They have a right to the basic safety of indoor facilities be it only a 'night-pot' so that they don't have to go outside and endanger themselves.
 
Jul 7th, 2006, 05:44 AM
  #26  
johan_belgium
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James,

Thanks for the info. It's true they don't like to talk about that kind of incidents. But they happen more than one thinks.

I totally agree with Hari. The sad thing is that most of the tragedies I I heard of happened to members of the working staff.


Best regards,

Johan




 
Jul 7th, 2006, 08:18 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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There seems to be an assumption that the staff are not provided with basic amenities.

Lets face it, we all get complacent when we get comfortable with our surroundings.

At Duma Tau I was amazed every morning when guests showed up to breakfast with their own little flashlights in the dark. Walkway or not, the rule is that you stay in your room until your escort arrives, but some people think the rules don't apply to them, or after a few trips to Africa think they understand what's going on. They don't. If experienced people regularly end up on the wrong end of a mauling, stomping and worse, what makes you think the so-called experienced safari goer will fare any better.

napamatt is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 08:36 AM
  #28  
 
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Unfortunately Johan, I think you are right that this kind of thing happens much more than we will ever know.

I heard a similar story from Sabi Sabi (a few years old, not sure when) with a little better ending. The cook wandered out to grab some supplies and was star gazing a minute when lions arrived behind camp. This guy scaled a tree and the lions just hung out waiting. After a couple of hours the rangers went looking for the missing cook and found him in this predicament. They eliminated the lions and rescued the cook.

I also heard from a camp manager that when she was in Maun she left a party and a lion pursued her. She just made it to her front door and got sandwiched between the screen and the door with the lion right there at the screen, virtually face to face with her. She was able to get in and escape by slowly opening the door while facing the lion.

It would seem that the workers quarters are often fenced serving the dual purpose of protecting work staff and concealing the quarters from guests. That should be a standard practice to protect the workers since they need the freedom to move around after dark. The problem is the behind the scenes staff are moving vehicles and readying the meals in the wee hours and they are always going to be in more danger than guests due to the nature of the operation. Hopefully they are trained and prepared to optimize safety -- I imagine that varies greatly with camp management.

Just an aside -- a couple months ago here in Colorado a mountain lion (cougar) snatched a kid who was holding his dad's hand at the rear of a group on a hiking trail just outside a major town. They were able to throw rocks and get the mountain lion off the kid who had serious head and leg injuries. This cat was also tracked and killed in a matter of hours following the incident. These kind of things can happen anywhere that there are large predators and they are also still very infrequent in the grand scheme of things.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 04:28 PM
  #29  
 
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In my experience, standard amenities for staff have been good and sensible and they are aware of the dangers. But they are at greater risk purely because of what they have to do, even when moving around camp in the daytime while the clients are on drives.

At one of my camps, a staff member went into a tent to clean and found a leopard on the bed. Apparently, the guest hadn't secured the door to the open-air bathroom. The cat obviously was attracted to the bathroom by the water, then found a nice comfy place to snooze out of the sun. On another occasion, a camp manager was cooling off in the plunge pool, and looked up to see the local pride 30 yards away drinking at a water feature next to the path everybody uses to go to and from the vehicles. I once sat facing that water feature at midday taking photos of birds coming to drink, with my back to the world-- and it only occurred to me later that it could have been a very dangerous thing to do.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 05:54 PM
  #30  
santharamhari
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John,

Leopard on the bed.....Wow!!! Unfortunately, people feel over-whelmed with the ambience and sense of security, that they ignore some of the basic rules by oversight.

What i normally do.....i don't ask my guide to make the trip in the morning to my tent to give me my wake up call. I can do it on my own. I just get him to escort me at a fixed time to the main area and then off for the drive!!!

Hari
 
Jul 7th, 2006, 06:26 PM
  #31  
santharamhari
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Pred,

Although, the Maun airport and the shops across the airport are the only parts of Maun i hv experienced......flying over Maun gives me the impression of a small town?

Lion??? Wow!!! I guess, Maun is on the edge of the delta and an older male may make his way in for an easy meal....but, jeez!!!

In 20 plus years, i hope to retire and re-locate to Maun. Heheeehe

Hari
 
Jul 7th, 2006, 08:52 PM
  #32  
 
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Hari,

A small but busy and sprawling town. Have you read a book called "Place of reeds"? It's a very recent autobiog by an Englishwoman, Caitlin Davies, who marries a man from Maun and goes to live with him there. She tells of her life in Maun, the good and the bad, but especially the conflicts she has in that society. I found it intriguing to realise that her experiences in Maun coincided with those times when I and thousands of other people were merely passing through Maun Airport on our way to and from safari camps.

John
afrigalah is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 09:55 PM
  #33  
 
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Hari: My experience in Maun is the same as yours but I believe it sprawls a good bit so wildife on the edge is probably a way of life.

John: leopard on the bed has to be an all-time classic. That would be an incredible sighting to return to. Some guests would probably think it is the camp's tame cat and go in for their interactive experience.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 10:56 PM
  #34  
santharamhari
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John,

I'm going to try and get my hands on that book.

Bill,

I concur.

Hari
 
Jul 8th, 2006, 12:39 AM
  #35  
 
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Hari,

Hari,

The obvious quick 'n' easy starting point is amazon.com. They have it. I don't own a copy myself, one of my Africa-fanatic friends lent it to me...along with another revealing book called 'The Africa House,' the story of Stewart Gore-Brown in Zambia.

John
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Jul 8th, 2006, 01:06 AM
  #36  
 
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Scary stuff with the lions mauling.

The only place I ever feared for my life, and I am not just being dramatic, was during my stay at Mbuzi Mawe. Unless steps are taken to rid the area of its resident dagga boys and lions who follow them, this is an accident waiting to happen...doesn't help that the camp is literally built up against kopjes, which the lions really favor. With the kopjes and dagga boys, what lion could resist?
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Jul 8th, 2006, 01:32 AM
  #37  
santharamhari
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John,

Thanks.....yes, will look there.

Rocco,

Seems like Mbuzi rocks!!!

Hari
 
Jul 8th, 2006, 01:37 AM
  #38  
 
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Hari,

Well, if you can stomach mediocre food, badly decorated bathrooms, sharing the camp with OAT group bookings, being 45 minutes away from the nearest game drive circuits and don't mind constantly looking over your shoulder for lions, Mbuzi Mawe is a great place!
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Jul 8th, 2006, 02:09 AM
  #39  
santharamhari
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Rocco,

On second thought, i'll give it a skip!!! Hopefully, i'll get my chance of looking for lions over my shoulder at Kwando in August.

Hari
 
Jul 8th, 2006, 06:33 AM
  #40  
africnow
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Had to google 'dagga boyus'
Not a word that I have come across before.

But I did find a great photo if anyone is interested:
http://www.grantn.eclipse.co.uk/imag...s/photo15.html
 
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