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Hippo two #250352
06/10/18 07:20 PM
06/10/18 07:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Ngaire  Offline OP
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Thought we should start a new thread for Hippo Two.

So great to see everyone. Want to go out with everyone right away. We decided to go with family today and let everyone have time together.

First afternoon drive. Jacque our ranger decided to focus on lions that were seen this morning. During the hunt we saw a bull elephant, a hyena, giraffe, wonderful multiple sighting of the great eagle owl. Plus saddle bill storks in a tree on theit nest and then flying. Just before sundown he said I give up on those lions. We drove to another area.

Then the call came in Lions on the move. Exactly where we had driven all afternoon. We raced at speed to the area and saw the two females and one male on the move. We followed and it was getting pretty dark. Quickly they came to an area with a herd of impala. Shining light on lions is fine but you cannot shine on impala it blinds them for a while. We sat there for at least 30 minutes in the dark. Nothing but a few impala alarm calls.

Then the impala were running and we went crashing through the bush and found the lions on the impala kill. Fantastic viewing the male lion and one female were fighting over a piece of the meat. The third female gave up the main carcass and was happily eating on the smaller part. Absolutely great sightings.

What a way to start roar two.


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250353
06/11/18 01:49 AM
06/11/18 01:49 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
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North Carolina
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Sorry that we aren't able to be with all of you, but we will travel along with you thru posts and pictures.

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250356
06/11/18 10:26 AM
06/11/18 10:26 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Morning drive.

Started fast with a male and female lion on the road. We followed them for a while then they stopped for a little “hanky panky” We saw a lot today including a leopard calling for her cub. Impalas acting crazy, elephants, giraffe, baboons and some great kingfisher shots.

Towards the end of the drive a huge impala herd came running to the river. This was right where the leopard had been earlier in a heavily weeded area. Then the impala started alarm calling and racing away at top speed up the bank. Our ranger Liam think she got an impala. So this afternoon we will be searching that area and looking in trees for a kill. For group one same leopard, the Piccadilly female that had the impala kill in a tree with the single cub.



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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250357
06/11/18 11:00 AM
06/11/18 11:00 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,197
Bucks Co, PA
adrenn Offline
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We are having a great time. Yesterday included finding a unicorn kudu. Today, love is in the air. It also brings new meaning to 'turn a blind eye' - a mother leopard who still has 3 healthy cubs between 6 and 7 months (a first .. two eyed leopard moms are lucky to get one cub surviving at that age). One cub was chomping on a fresh kill, one does not like tourists, and the third stalked towards mom, who embraced, cuddled, rolled and licked her not so little offspring. Talk about 'cub love'! We heard another of our vehicles stopped to share in 'vulture reproduction culture '. We stopped for coffee, and out pops the amarula bottle. Requests were quickly changed to mocha or hot chocolate with the secret sauce. We tried to let the sleeping rhino lay, but the oxpeckers got a little anxious so the rhino rumbled up on all 4 feet. Can't wait for this afternoon's adventures. Cheers, Anne

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250360
06/11/18 07:18 PM
06/11/18 07:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Afternoon drive. Highlights:

A flat necked camelion was on the road. We all got out of the vehicle to see it. Connor put his hand in front of the camelion, they move in slow motion. The camelion climbed right up Connors arm. Then Connor put him on a tree. Lots of fun. Sent julie a picture for the KLT Facebook page.

Watching a leopard with three cubs they had an impala kill under a bush. Suddenly there was a ton of noise and a hyena dashed in and grabbed the kill. The little cubs scattered in all directions. The leopards were all fine all the hyena wanted was the kill. Totally took us all by surprise.


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250370
06/12/18 07:02 PM
06/12/18 07:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Today all of the group except my family decided to do a full day drive. They all had a full breakfast first and then went out. We went out to the south at the normal time with the hopes of wild dog. No dogs to be found. But we had a fantastic leopard encounter. I was SURE we were going to see a kill.

We followed a leopard who was obviously hunting. Lots of rough off reading. A bush buck was in the bushes and he did not see the leopard. The leopard was absolutely still and the bush buck walked toward the leopard. Then the bush buck obviously sensed something. His body language was telling the story. Stretching his neck to see better, a very obvious tremble, and some confusion. No alarm call he did not see the leopard but was obviously uneasy.

So he walked in the other direction. The leopard moved very slowly circling around and she went right behind our car. The staking leopard was great to see. She would freeze with a foot in the air and stayed that way for a long time. We lost total visual but we saw the leopard chasing the bush buck but she failed to bring down the bush buck.

Leaving the leopard Clay realized he had lost his phone. Jacque said let me retrace our steps. We all said how can you do that. We were in VERY THICK bush for quite some time. While they were trying to figure it all out on their iPhones and we are in deep brush Jacque said. “There’s the phone”. Unbelievable he got that back.

We also saw two honey badgers right at the side of the road that hissed at us, looked pretty menacing. We also had a adolescent elephant within in arms length of the vehicle. He was relaxed and wonderful to be that close.


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250371
06/12/18 07:05 PM
06/12/18 07:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Afternoon drive = lions, leopards, more leopards and other things in between. Connor dropped his phone right in front of a leopard. He has a new vest and he put it in the inside pocket but the pocket had no seam to seal the pocket. I think the maker failed to hem the pocket. However we blocked the phone position with the vehicle and retrieved the phone.

One vehicle on the full day safari got stuck in the sand and a rescue had to be made. All normal safari experiences. A car gets stuck or has a flat tire on every safari it seems.


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250372
06/12/18 07:08 PM
06/12/18 07:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Mala Mala - Group Two:

[Linked Image]
Baboons.

[Linked Image]
This baboon could not figure out how to get to the top side of the bridge.
He eventually let go and fell to the ground and walked off.

[Linked Image]
Saddle-billed Storks on their nest.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250374
06/13/18 09:55 AM
06/13/18 09:55 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Morning drive. Started with two male lions coming together. The hugging greeting as usual. Then they walked towards the mating pair of lions but stopped short and laid down. It just about five minutes until they did the deed.

We had a great day saw lots of fun things. Birds were super. Green pigeons - 1 on a branch then 2 on a other branch, the 3 on a branch. All in row. Then two stunning red billed storks, bee eaters, Marshall eagle.

We also saw klipspringers on the ground. They are usually far away they are really lovely antelope. We topped that off with a python laying in the road and General game.

We met up with Clay, Brooke and Connor for coffee. We took the advantage and had some family photos taken.

Only two game drives here left. Been wonderful sightings.


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250376
06/13/18 10:45 AM
06/13/18 10:45 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,197
Bucks Co, PA
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The elephants are staying close to camp. Lots of their favorite leaves line the sandy riverbed. All day safari was amazing. Gail and i got to ride with Ranger Bruce. We took off for Mala Mala's southernmost border in search of black rhino. (I digress .. wish I could embed sound - vervet monkeys pounding on our roof to get to the other trees. Where is Yosemite Sam when you need him?) The landscape and terrain are distinctly different from the north end. No rhinos to be found, lots of crashing through the bush. We circled north to rendevous with the other hippos and hipettes coffee hour. Leopards were our breakfast treat. From there, we tracked new birds on my checklist, lions, and slowly rode and stopped in the elephant herd for a good hour. That was magic. But wait - there is more. Group lunch on the edge of a sand river bed. The 3 second rule for picking up spilled food went right out the window; some lucky bird or small mammal got those remains of the day. Did i mention the homemade seasoned potato chips are divine? Time to get back to scouting new sightings. Bruce has found a hyena den recently. We went back to see if it was still in use. To say it was well concealed is an understatement. Lots of ducking and leaning to avoid branches and thorns resulted in a pinpoint accuracy. Den was not active: it reminds me how careful the wild animals must be to raise their young. Post sundowners and the action picked up - leaping leopards and vultures, Daddy Warbucks! A male leopard killed a maribou stork and was chomping on it as darkness overtook the sky. He could not resist trying to eat the wings. (I am a bird fan. That said, one less maribou stork in the world is OK by me). We got back to camp around 6 pm - missed the memo we were due in around 4. Kudos to Bruce for making two friends have one of the best safari drives ever. As we say in accounting, first out last in. Both of us had sea legs when we got out of the vehicle .. to go with the grins on our faces.

There is a copy of Rattray's business ledgers and in the library from the early to late 1900's. Fascinating reading. Conservation of leopard a d lion populations came up as early as 1950, resulting in restrictions for hunting parties.

For those of us who should eat less, move around more and lack motivation, consider a range rover safari. Gail's fit bit gave her credit for 32 flights of stairs and 4000 steps. She even earned a badge for an exceedingly large amount of exercise.

Re: Hippo two [Re: adrenn] #250378
06/13/18 12:33 PM
06/13/18 12:33 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,052
Santa Fe
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Always love your recaps, Anne. That's funny about the Fitbit - we took an ATV adventure in Arizona a couple of years ago - my Fitbit credited me with lots of miles that day too.


Leslie

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250383
06/13/18 03:12 PM
06/13/18 03:12 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 9,734
Fullerton, CA
petlover Offline
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Anne, I love your writing style...always makes me smile.


Marcie

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250386
06/14/18 10:45 AM
06/14/18 10:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Ngaire  Offline OP
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Last game drive female leopard (named Piccadilly) and her cub playing together. Absolutely delightful.
Now at Leopard Hills. They have made improvements and it looks great. Supposed to have 12 week old lion cubs here. That will be great.


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250387
06/14/18 01:15 PM
06/14/18 01:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 9,734
Fullerton, CA
petlover Offline
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Hmm, I give up....what is a Piccadilly ?


Marcie

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250390
06/14/18 07:52 PM
06/14/18 07:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,551
seadog Online
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Marcie -
Edit to say, "leopard".
That's her name: The Piccadilly female. Her sister is the Sibuye female. We saw the sisters three years ago during ZEBRA. They were young and still with their mother, the Kikelezi female. Her father was the Airstrip male. So, it was very cool to see her all grown up now and with her cub!


Kim
Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250391
06/14/18 09:03 PM
06/14/18 09:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 928
Ohio
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Wondering if that struck anyone else as funny.....all of these exotic sounding names, and then the Airstrip male! Really enjoying all the safari mail - thank you all! (Anne I've missed your writing...always so descriptive and fun to read!)


Kathy
Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250392
06/15/18 04:19 AM
06/15/18 04:19 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,551
seadog Online
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Kathy -
It wasn't something that was lost on me! I was thinking of adding that we also saw the Split Rock male, as he also is lacking a very exotic name! But, I didn't want to carry on too much. So, now, I'm adding it!


Kim
Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250395
06/15/18 09:52 AM
06/15/18 09:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Great lion at Leopard Hills. First three lion cubs about three months old playing on a termite mound and rolling down from the top of the mound. Then a different pride of eight male Lions and one female lion. Aged between 18 and 30 months. If these males survive that will be the dominate coalition and impact Lion dynamics for years. We saw a really dark giraffe almost black never seen anything like that before. We called him blackie. Plus a young giraffe with the umbilical cord still attached so under six weeks old. The last sighting was a cheetah on a termite mound.

Ken is working on pictures hope to get some up today.


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250396
06/15/18 10:59 AM
06/15/18 10:59 AM
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Dallas, Texas
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Ken Offline
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Still Mala Mala - had to show these photos:

[Linked Image]
The Piccadilly Leopard sees Impala drinking in the river.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
The Impala know the know there is danger in the reeds.

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The Impala get spooked and run for safety.

[Linked Image]
Pair of mating lions looking for a good spot.

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Egyptian Geese.

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Malachite Kingfisher.

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From our room.

[Linked Image]
Anne, Gail & Bruce

[Linked Image]
Another beautiful leopard.

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250398
06/15/18 02:02 PM
06/15/18 02:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
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Fullerton, CA
petlover Offline
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More fabulous pictures Ken !
I laughed at the mating lions looking for a spot....looks more like they're interested in going for a swim.


Marcie

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250399
06/15/18 02:09 PM
06/15/18 02:09 PM
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seadog Online
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Awesome photos Ken!! I think that gorgeous bird is a malachite kingfisher?


Kim
Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250401
06/15/18 07:00 PM
06/15/18 07:00 PM
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Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Fantastic afternoon. Mating leopards. The female flirts and entices the male who finally gives in and does the deed. He is so big and impressive and she was so small, light colored and feminine. Beautiful sighting. Followed up by a wonderful amount of time with the small cubs. Just magical.


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250404
06/15/18 08:24 PM
06/15/18 08:24 PM
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Posts: 4,197
Bucks Co, PA
adrenn Offline
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That gorgeous bird IS the malachite kingfisher, Kim. S/he succeeded in swallowing a crab for a delightful meal.

Ngaire had a kill at her breakfast table. A bee was after a spider .. a grim outcome seemed certain. Instead, the spider was delicately dropping silk all over the bee. By the time the bee realized it had to give the spider the slip, it was hopelessly entangled and made a nice meal for the spider. Lesson for the day? The smarter survives.

Fresh chocolate muffins were on offer and disappeared in no time. Time to take our seats for another episode of the greatest show on earth. We were reeling from 8 male lions and their sister curled up in a pile, followed by CHEETAH! Giraffe,zebras and wildebeest took their place on center stage.

After breakfast, Gail, Barb and I took the walking safari. The weather here is very temperate. We hit close to 90 degrees today, making the safari both interesting and sweaty. This called for a trip to plunge pool for a flash cool. It was freezing cold, but after we acclimated, we were ready to brave the lunch menu. Gail pointed out, as we were leaving, it sounded like the mating leopards were getting procreation underway directly below our balcony. Veggie curry was great. Time for afternoon rides. Range rover has discontinued the defender model, workhorse of the safari camps. Ford stepped up with a new model. The transmission and ride is certainly more comfortable. Announcement was wild dogs may be headed our way. We rolled out about 100 meters, then reversed course. Yep, those mating leopards were procreating very close to camp. Gail's tracking skills are getting better each ride. Afterwards, it was baby lion cubs all the way. Just before we returned to camp, a genet cat was spotted in a tree. We missed the sighting as the cat fled from the spotlight. I've only seen it once before in Botswana.

Our rangers and trackers are really good. I mentioned the near miss on the genet cat to Ranger Stewart. He replied a genet cat regularly waits outside the kitchen at Leopard Hills. Next thing i know, the genet cat has arrived. I jumped up to get a good look. This is just crazy good for sightings.

Cheers, Anne


Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250406
06/16/18 11:27 AM
06/16/18 11:27 AM
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Posts: 795
Dallas, Texas
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Ken Offline
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Last photos from Mala Mala:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Clay, Connor, Ken, Ngaire, Brooke & Liam our Ranger.

[Linked Image]
Lion Cubs from the Styx Pride.

[Linked Image]
Young Klip Springer.

[Linked Image]
Black-collared Barbet.

[Linked Image]
Our Rangers at Mala Mala - Bruce, Garry, Liam, Jacques & Anne our Tracker In Training in the back row.

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ken] #250407
06/16/18 05:15 PM
06/16/18 05:15 PM
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June Offline
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What fab fotos!!! We have thoroughly enjoyed all the pix and posts.
Seeing the photo of the rangers at Mala Mala brought back wonderful memories of both the lodge and the interactive experiences we have had with the very same rangers.
Ngaire that is a really lovely family picture.
But hey, Connor, what have your parents been feeding you??? You have certainly shot up since we last saw you in the desert. You look really good. Love the hair!
Enjoy the rest of your safari. We wish we could have been there with you all. That would have been fun!

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250408
06/16/18 07:15 PM
06/16/18 07:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Wild dogs. Yes we saw them today. After much tracking on the roads and time spent we figured out where they would be and sent our trackers out into the bush to stalk them on foot.

These fearless “crocodile dundee” types did not let us down. They tracked the dogs in the bush and found them. The dogs jumped up and started running, fortunately away from our trackers. The word went out. WILD DOGS.

We turned around and went at high speed to the dogs location. On the way we picked up the trackers. Three of them hanging onto the sides of the vehicles and riding on the steps outside of the vehicle. The life of a trackers hangs in the balance in many ways.

The dogs were at the dam we had passed about 15 minutes earlier. We followed them as they crossed an open field. Then as usual they went into some thick bush. Still wonderful to see them.

All our vehicles saw the dogs at varying stages. One vehicle had a baby day seeing babies of many species including young twin elephants. We were at a river with an unhappy mother elephant in front of us and an unhappy hippo leaving the water to the right of us. All ended well as the elephant moved to our left and the hippo moved to the right. We ran the gauntlet of the angry elephant and angry hippo with great finesse.

Sighting have been terrific here and now four days at Makanyi to look forward to coming up.


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250412
06/17/18 11:03 AM
06/17/18 11:03 AM
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Bucks Co, PA
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Apologies to charlie brown: it was a dark and stormy morning. Rangers were perched on deck, scouting for rain. A light rain commenced, sending the rangers running for the roof coverings for the vehicles. Meanwhile, monkey swung in on a branch, plotting strategy to capture the goods on the breakfast buffet. Janice, our acting alpha female, took up the front line, bobbing and cutting off monkey's path. She swiftly closed the doors so monkey was out of luck .. or not. Monkey found the back entrance, slipping past the bar, gaining speed when Ken stepped in to guard the buffet. Monkey rebuffed Ken, pushing past him and throwing Ken off balance. Monkey's prize was a shiny apple .. or not. Monkey ran straight into a bigger badder group of monkeys who quickly stole the prize.

Ranger Nigel burst in, shouting the wild dogs were just inside of the lodge, so hustle down carefully, sit down and roar on out into the grasses to track those maa-dash-ies (shaagan for wild dogs). Ngaire flew out of the lodge and off we went. Meanwhile, back at the lodge, two couples opted to skip the morning festivities. The doggies were even faster than the monkeys. The faster we drove, the further we got behind. Ngaire asked: where were the doggies? Nigel said the doggies were past the DND line. What the heck is the DND line? Umm ..the do not disturb line at leopard hills lodge! What a visual .. the two couples skipping the rides instead had the best view of the doggies - if looking out the windows was on their agenda.

We turned to slip back towards the doggies, when what to our wandering eyes should appear but the male leopard who was mating a few days ago. No sooner does Ranger Nigel say if they are still mating, the female will make sure the male does not stray until she is done with his services, so out pops the female. We learned the difference between mating and proper mating. They strolled, she hit the ground, he assumed the position, serious growling and biting commenced, ending with her slapping him in the face. Times 4 within the space of 20 minutes.

We voted to finish our ride with lion cubs in the pride whose development contradicts normal pride progression. 3.5 year male lion who is not the father of the cubs, lets them play and cuddle with him. Inclusive is rare and good. Cubs are 12 weeks, + or - and beyond cute as can be.

We exchanged fond wishes with Christine and Paul, who are headed off today for the USA. They are fantastic company!. Next up, with a heavy heart, we drove to the airstrip awaiting the Kodiac prop plane. Kodiac? In Africa? Really? Some things will never meet the test of logic.

As an aside, for those who were at Lion Sands with us several years ago, we had a ranger spotting of Branden from our pair of rangers (Branden and Trevor). Branden is at ullusaba - richard branson's lodge. You can't miss it - next door to leopard hills, up the hill and look for massive communication towers.

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250413
06/17/18 03:59 PM
06/17/18 03:59 PM
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Posts: 1,501
Any Regent ship will do....
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Any Regent ship will do....
Oh Ann how we have all missed your lively posts and are so happy you are back to make us laugh out loud. You really should publish these posts!


Arlene
I LOVE flying... I've been to almost as many places as my luggage
Re: Hippo two [Re: Mrs. Marc] #250414
06/17/18 07:17 PM
06/17/18 07:17 PM
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Bucks Co, PA
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adrenn  Offline
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Thank you all for your comments - much appreciated!

We arrived at Makanyi around 11:30 am. This camp is 15 minutes away from Royal Malawane, who took down some of their fencing to open more terrain, particularly to encourage wildebeest and zebra roaming in the Timvabati and thornybrook concessions. This lodge has is a contemporary environment set with a large watering hole. Hippos arrived at the watering hole a few years ago and haven't looked back. Grounds are secured with wiring to keep the hippos out of the guest space and vice versa. Darn good idea!

There's a special range rover for the camera club. The little lens contingent have the other two range rovers. Guides and rangers are excellent.

I must say i have learned more interesting factoids on this safari than any other. Did you know the hip area on a giraffe is actually a knee joint, and what looks like the knee joint on said giraffe is the ankle joint? Me neither. Did you also know tree squirrels have the largest testicles of all mammals, adjusting for their % of overall body weight? If humans had that same situation, men would be dragging, if you get the drift. We were schooled in the finer points of male giraffe reproduction strategies when an eligible bachelorette saunters by. If you are closely matched by size and condition, get in there and fight to advance to the next round. If the difference is too large, fallback and search out a more attainable female.

Wild dogs are the second most threatened predators in Africa (ethiopian wolves top the list). There is something quite wrong about this situation, given fossils related to wild dog date back 500,000 years while wolf fossils date back only about 270,000 years. No, you cannot mate wild dogs with dogs or with wolves.

On the healthy eating front, we learned the baobab fruit is a superfood for mammals of all types. For humans, it is being pulverized into powder as the nutrient composition is superfood worthy. Just think - 3 or 4 pieces go for upwards of $30. A great profit opportunity possibility, except for the fines you face from us customs, upwards of $500.

Drinks and dinner were cozy. Food came out quickly and was hot and tasty. All in all, another wonderful day.

Re: Hippo two [Re: adrenn] #250417
06/18/18 02:21 PM
06/18/18 02:21 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 9,734
Fullerton, CA
petlover Offline
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petlover  Offline
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Fullerton, CA
Wow Anne, you are definitely a walking book of knowledge (but I've always known that !) With your brain and keene wit...you definitely need to write and publish. I'd be the first one to buy an autographed copy !

Keep having a great time !! Thanks for keeping us smiling and LOL. clap


Marcie

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250418
06/18/18 07:05 PM
06/18/18 07:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Ngaire  Offline OP
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Been here for a couple of nights now. Highlight so far for us was zebras walking off the bush onto to the road and waking down the road directly toward us within feet of the vehicle. Then they veered off back into the bush. Really interesting behavior. Never seen anything like it.

We have seen lions and general game. One vehicle saw a pangolin tonight. We could have gone but it was getting dark and a good 45 minutes away. Another saw a black rhino.

This is a lovely lodge. Good food, great setting with lovely views of the watering hole, nice rooms, fantastic staff. Really good flexible management. Just a pleasure to stay here.



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Re: Hippo two [Re: petlover] #250419
06/18/18 07:23 PM
06/18/18 07:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,197
Bucks Co, PA
adrenn Offline
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adrenn  Offline
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Today was animals on alert day. We started with white rhino mom and young calf. She hustled that baby into the weeds, then flipped us the horn. We were looking for lion. They too were moving at a fast clip and we never did catch up. Back to the elephants. Matriarch was minus both tusks. She was displaying with head shaking while a younger one let loose with a loud trumpet call. We discussed it might sweeten her disposition if she were to get tusk implants, as impractical as it may be. The grasses opened up and the herd magically doubled in size. We spotted 3 tiny babies before their minders surrounded them as the herd pushed onward in the juicy leaf, grass and fruit hunt.

Back at the lodge, the hippos were noisy in the watering hole. The birds were riled up, flitting from tree to tree. Even the impala were twitchy, having lost their male. Not much joy in the animal equivalent of Mudville.

I tested out the spa and left my lactic acid and worries behind. A power cat nap took us up to lunch. Burgers and batter fried king klip with friench fries, vegetables and ketchup for all. The afternoon drive was more of the same-though one of the rovers was in the right place at the right time to see the back half of a pangolin and some rhino.

If you are interested, we learned ever more about termites. Preliminary conclusion: termites preceded mankind and will succeed mankind. While it sounds glamorous to be the queen termite, keep in mind you have to replenish the colony every day to keep the proper balance of soldiers and workers .. laying between 20k eggs on a good day and 50k if an aardvark or other breach of termite mound security occurs. You don't even get Christmas or your birthday off work.

Speaking of birthdays, we celebrated two of them today with a lovely chocolate cake ... and ice cream to gild the lily. Food is excellent here. Signs of wild dog were part of radio chatter .. so Ngaire and the rest of us have a chance for good sightings tomorrow. Cheers, Anne

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250420
06/18/18 07:38 PM
06/18/18 07:38 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 795
Dallas, Texas
K
Ken Offline
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Ken  Offline
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K

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 795
Dallas, Texas
Leopard Hills:

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Male Warthog guarding his home.

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Male Cheetah.

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Very large male Giraffe.

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250421
06/18/18 07:47 PM
06/18/18 07:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 795
Dallas, Texas
K
Ken Offline
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Ken  Offline
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K

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 795
Dallas, Texas
[Linked Image]

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Female enticing the male to mate.

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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250422
06/19/18 08:11 PM
06/19/18 08:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 795
Dallas, Texas
K
Ken Offline
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Ken  Offline
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K

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 795
Dallas, Texas
Makanyi Private Game Lodge:

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Yellow Billed Horn Bill joined us after breakfast.

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Tug of war over a bush.

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Ground Horn-Bill.


Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250423
06/19/18 11:34 PM
06/19/18 11:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,483
Sydney, Australia
Lee Offline
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Lee  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,483
Sydney, Australia
Absolutely brilliant coverage - congratulations to you both!!

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250424
06/20/18 07:12 PM
06/20/18 07:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 795
Dallas, Texas
K
Ken Offline
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Ken  Offline
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K

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 795
Dallas, Texas
[Linked Image]

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The black part of this termite mound is being repaired.

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The bottom left are soldier termites and top right is a worker termite.

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Processionary Hairy Caterpillars.

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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ken] #250425
06/21/18 06:04 AM
06/21/18 06:04 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,197
Bucks Co, PA
adrenn Offline
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adrenn  Offline
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Posts: 4,197
Bucks Co, PA
Ken .. you have outdone yourself! Giraffe drinking and slurping up the last drops. Thank you for all the fantastic photos.

Two days ago, SAA changed their flight schedule from Hoedspruit to Cape Town, jeopardizing the international connection i booked for today. The only sensible choice was to cut Makanyi a day short and overnight in cape town. Makanyi staff were brilliant in using local knowledge to effect the change of flight. Two hours later, we had a confirmed change ... except SAA having bungled server problems and reservationists who could not get the ticket reissued.

I rechecked email after the game drive - the inbox and spam folders were bare. If at first you do not succeed, try, try again. We finally got the golden email with revised ticket and -glory be!- a boarding pass. Whew! Clay, brooke, connor joined me in the transfer vehicle. They headed to Joburg. I found an empty table at hoedspruit airport (HDS abbreviation for all you fellow flying aficionados) and finished a book, breathing in the lovely air of Africa. Sure enough, the capetown flight was further delayed. No way to run an airline, and no feasible alternative.

Priceline was groaning with low priced hotel options; the taxi driver mentioned tourism has dried up in Capetown. Good news: capetown had 4 days of showers: reservoir levels rose from14% to 27%. News reports today say cape town is delaying a desalination project in light of the rains.

I booked a lovely room with breakfast included. No baths allowed-showers are ok for as long as one likes. Dinner was spectacular and tv carried the warwrinka querry tennis match at the pre Wimbledon tournament. I am one happy camper!

Today, I woke at 5:21 am. No game drive, though. I cannot make this up - early morning movie is 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective'. My plan is a long walk to reacclimate to life beyond safari before check in time for the flights to JFK.

My heartfelt thanks to ngaire, ken, the weather gods, our safari lodges, Gail - the greatest safari friend you could ever wish for - backed up by my new and longstanding fellow hippos and hippettes with whom we shared laughs, many moments of wonder and the sober side of nature - it takes a lot of impalas and trees to feed the big game.

Cheers,Anne

Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250426
06/21/18 03:01 PM
06/21/18 03:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Ngaire  Offline OP
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Last wonderful dinner last night and last breakfast of eggs Benedict on hash browns. We had to say goodbye to Amos our wonderful chef. Who fulfilled our desire for French fries at lunch and dinner. They ran out of potatoes and had to go to town to get more while we were there.

Our game drives did not have any super sightings like the first group at Makanyi had. However we had good General game and more rhinos and hippos than you can imagine. Hyenas are denning and probably in about a week they will have a very active hyena den.

Makanyi is a beautiful lodge with a wonderful staff. We enjoyed our stay immensely.

So now we are at Jamala. I forget how stunning Jamala is on arrival. At the waterhole were about six giraffes with one baby, zebras and impala. They have expanded the facilities and now have a lovely pool. We had a nice light lunch on the deck with perfect shade. The giraffes left and within about five minutes a very large herd of elephants arrived. They just kept coming. Hard to eat and watch Ellie’s at the same time. They were followed by a big bull elephant.

We decided to just relax, not to leave this beautiful lodge. So we opted out of the afternoon game drive. We can get settled in our rooms ( which are beautiful) and have an extended cocktail hour while we watch the activity at the waterhole. So happy to be back here again.


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Re: Hippo two [Re: Ngaire] #250427
06/22/18 07:06 PM
06/22/18 07:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Ngaire Offline OP
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Ngaire  Offline OP
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Posts: 7,527
Dallas, Texas
Great day at Jamala. Morning drive was a bit slow but we did have two black backed jackets that were outstanding. They were playing, rolling and running around really close to the vehicle.

Returning to the lodge there were elephants at the waterhole while we had breakfast. We were treated to the sight of elephant mating. The Ellie’s left and we went back to our rooms. I washed my hair and it was dripping wet when I saw more elephants in front of our Villa going to the waterhole. I immediately just ran back down to the waterhole, hair dripping wet.

The morning was magical. They were in the water and quite a few came right up to the deck with a few feet of where I was sitting. Pam and Jim turned up and it was 2.00 pm. I could not believe it. I had an idea my hair would not make it into a hair style magazine. Oh well the rule is the woman who looks the worse wins. That would be me.

The elephants continued with the same behavior. Totally different from what you see on a game drive.

We left late for the game drive and we were after cheetah. A female had been seen in the South. It started with fantastic giraffe. About nine giraffe and eating the minerals on the ground. The spread their legs to get low Ken will post some pictures.

Then we found the cheetah. She was yawning and then got up and started walking. The giraffes spotted her and cane straight toward her. We were told the giraffes may actually chase her. As she moved in the bushes the giraffes continued to follow. It was fascinating. After following for about 20 minutes we moved to give another vehicle a chance at the sighting. The drive ended with Barbara and Ken getting fantastic shots of the giraffes silhouetted against the sunset.

The chef here is fantastic. Beautiful gourmet food. Used to be the chef at Birkenhead House.
Takes longer but everything is outstanding.


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