Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

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polardude1
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Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:56 am

I spent 13 days in Zambia witha side trip to Chobe National Park in Botswana

I started the trip at Victoria Falls, viewing them on the Zambia side.
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Flying over the fall on a Microlitete

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Chobe National Park, Botswana

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Canoeing on the lower Zambezi River

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Kafue National Park

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Hyena pup

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Crowned Cranes

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South Luangwa National Park

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Wild dogs

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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Homerj » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:33 pm

Great stuff...did u self organize or was this part of tour?
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:55 pm

Thanks! I used a Lusaka based tour company. In the end , it was the better option seeing as distances were great and my time was limited. it's a very good company. They went beyond what was on the itinerary.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Moethebartender » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:05 pm

Damn dude, great photos as always. Looks like an awesome trip.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:08 pm

Thanks! My camera out performed itself as long as I stayed within the optical zoom vs the digital zoom. It was a great trip and top notch safari. South Luangwa in particular was brilliant
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Shavenhead » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:38 pm

That's a great leopard shot.

Leopard is definitely my favourite beast.

The last time I saw Crowned Cranes were on the shores of Lake Kivu in The Congo.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:45 pm

The last time I saw Crowned Cranes were on the shores of Lake Kivu in The Congo.

Thanks!

I found the Crowned Cranes in Kafue NP. The birding was incredible.

Leopards are elegant
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Shavenhead » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:49 pm

Elegant and elusive.

Striking and very powerful for their size.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:00 pm

I saw a small flock of them. Kafue was not great for animal viewing because the grass was still high and the water holes were full, but the birding made it worth the visit. I spent 2 nights in a very nice bush camp
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Shavenhead » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:05 pm

I don't think I've ever seen a flock of leopards. They're mostly solitary creatures.

I once saw two together bolting through a swamp in Kwazulu Natal, which is quite rare. They hook up to shag and then go their separate ways. Makes a lot of sense if you think about it.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:12 pm

I don't think I've ever seen a flock of leopards

I meant Crowned Cranes.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Shavenhead » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:27 am

Is this the first trip you've ever done to Africa Polar?
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:35 am

It was my 1st trip to sub-Saharan African. Ive been o Morocco and Egypt
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Shavenhead » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:44 am

Good to know. It worries me that a lot of posters on this forum haven't experienced the grande sweep of Africa.

The Zambezi's an epic river. Starts in Barotseland in Zambia, then flows through Moxico in Angola, touches the tip of the Caprivi strip in Namibia and then separates Zambia and Zimbabwe. This stretch includes the falls and Lake Kariba, then continues through the pristine wilderness where you were. Finally reaches the Indian ocean in the vicinity of Quelimane, some way up the coast from where I am now.

How was that Zambezi trip?

That sunset pic is classic lower Zambezi.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by northern_goddess » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:30 pm

Great pictures! It's makes want to get back to that part of the world.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:42 pm

How was that Zambezi trip?


It was one of my highlights. I realized that the animals were not going to be so numerous because it was still green season, but the trip w fantastic. We camped on an island. My guide told me that an elephant came ashore and stood very close to my tent for a few moments. I was asleep by then. At lunch on the Zambia side of the river we watched as a group of 7 elephants emerged from the forest down to the inlet. On the way back to our starting point, we saw a pack of wild dogs. Honestly, I did not realize how close we could get to wild life. I thought the whole Zambia experience was great but I have nothing else to compare to it to in Africa. i did a few safaris in India, but obviously this was much better. I'm hoping to return next year some time.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Shavenhead » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:55 pm

That's the problem when the bush is thick.

Next year go in the dry season.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Stan In Maryland » Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:19 pm

Polar,

Great pictures of a great B-day trip. It does make me long to go back to that part of the world but we don't get to travel all that often and there as still a lot of "firsts" we want to see.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by VinnyD » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:45 pm

Those are great pictures, polardude.

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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:25 am

Great pictures of a great B-day trip. It does make me long to go back to that part of the world but we don't get to travel all that often and there as still a lot of "firsts" we want to see.


Thanks!. Everthing in sub-Saharan is a 1st for me
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by cuchulainn » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:35 am

Great pictures!
What kind of camera did you use?
How far were you from the Cape Buffalo?

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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:05 pm

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I was around 30 yards from the buffalo, I think. The birds wee the greatest challenge.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by avalon_ » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:50 pm

Looks like a great trip! Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by lolasf » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:45 pm

Really great photos, thanks for sharing.

How close were you to the hippos? A safari has long been on my list, if I can get over my almost paralyzing fear of hippos (and save up enough money).
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:19 pm

How close were you to the hippos? A safari has long been on my list, if I can get over my almost paralyzing fear of hippos (and save up enough money).

at times very close. I stayed at a place called Breezers camp on the Zambezi River and a adult hippo came up on shore at night to graze on the front lawn. The owner called it her lawn service. The same thing occurred at the other lodge and bush camps. Hippos are not dangerous on land unless you get in their routine path to and from the river. They only graze at night. In the river, hippos can be very dangerous if you get close to the pod. We canoes for 2 days and the guide would knock on the canoe with his paddle and hippos would pop their heads out of the water. The guide knew how to get around the pod leaving plenty of space. I was nervous on the river at 1st, but I eventually felt fine. That said, the big MFers
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Homerj » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:33 pm

If you don't mind me asking how much did the trip set u back?
Mind your own business is a suitable answer, but I am curious.
Also did u do it solo or with someone?
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:37 pm

Everything, flight included from JFK in: $3300-3500. But I'll break it down a bit later
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by leela » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:53 pm

Great photos! Thanks for sharing.

I had a great encounter with a leopard in South Luangwa. It strolled right next to our truck, turned its head slightly and gave me full eye contact. I used to have it as my avatar.

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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Shavenhead » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:00 pm

The best story ever written about a leopard is "In the Withaak's shade" by Herman Charles Bosman. Very sad though.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:48 pm

Leela
I had a great encounter with a leopard in South Luangwa. It strolled right next to our truck, turned its head slightly and gave me full eye contact. I used to have it as my avatar.



That happened on our night game drive. The leopard sat right alongside the vehicle
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@Homer,

The base price of the 3 tour was $1500. It took me to Victoria Falls, 2.5 days of canoeing the Zambezi River , Kafue and South Luangwa NP's. I added a trip to Chobe NP in Botswana, the microlite flight over Victoria Falls and a few game drives. The Lusaka based operator actually aded to internal flights to Mafwe for South Luangwa. It saved me a 12 hour drive. All in all it was great deal. Admittedly it was a lower price because the trip was right before the peak season. The accomodations were all modest, but very cofortable. I tented most of the time. Marula Lodge at South Luangwa wa fantastic. That was fine with me, less crowds and great birding. I arrived a few days early, giving me extra time at Victoria Falls
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:46 am

Leela, i love the photo
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by DCComic » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:03 am

Nice work.
And Leela's leopard.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Homerj » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:22 pm

polardude1 wrote:Leela
I had a great encounter with a leopard in South Luangwa. It strolled right next to our truck, turned its head slightly and gave me full eye contact. I used to have it as my avatar.



That happened on our night game drive. The leopard sat right alongside the vehicle
Image

@Homer,

The base price of the 3 tour was $1500. It took me to Victoria Falls, 2.5 days of canoeing the Zambezi River , Kafue and South Luangwa NP's. I added a trip to Chobe NP in Botswana, the microlite flight over Victoria Falls and a few game drives. The Lusaka based operator actually aded to internal flights to Mafwe for South Luangwa. It saved me a 12 hour drive. All in all it was great deal. Admittedly it was a lower price because the trip was right before the peak season. The accomodations were all modest, but very cofortable. I tented most of the time. Marula Lodge at South Luangwa wa fantastic. That was fine with me, less crowds and great birding. I arrived a few days early, giving me extra time at Victoria Falls


Merci beaucoup P/D.
Great pics and a very reasonable price for having done so much.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:44 pm

Merci beaucoup P/D.
Great pics and a very reasonable price for having done so much

Thanks .

it was a very reasonable price.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Steve_in_Exile » Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:09 am

Nice pictures, Polar. Looks like Vic Falls was roaring pretty good!

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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:00 am

They had a hefty rainy season that ended later than usual.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by rezuar » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:37 am

Great pics, polar.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:55 am

Thank you! I want to return.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:53 pm

Postby Shavenhead » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:55 pm

That's the problem when the bush is thick.

Next year go in the dry season.


I was thinking about this. Obviously the bst animal viewing is deep into the dry season, but that's also a time when animals are most under stress with limited food and water.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Bastet » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:45 am

Amazing pics!

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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by simon_in_exile » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:53 am

Just seen this thread.
1. Wow, photos are brilliant!
2. Very much appreciate you taking the time to share details on logistics and cost breakdown. Generous as always, polar.
3. Where's your 2018 big trip going to be?!
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:18 pm

Thanks! My next trips are up in the air. I have a wedding in Israel come August, 2018 and I am also going also next week . Add the fact that there is someone new my life. If we're together next year, which I hope, the I can turn into we. But I'm thinking Ireland, Azores, and possibly SW US. Too early to tell, but I do want to return to Africa- Ethiopia or Namibia- both very different ideas.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by Scrubb » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:42 am

Wild dogs!! Wow. In 3 separate trips to sub-Saharan Africa and at least a dozen different game parks visited, I've never seen them.

Looks like an awesome trip.
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Re: Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana

Post by polardude1 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:53 pm

Wild dogs!! Wow. In 3 separate trips to sub-Saharan Africa and at least a dozen different game parks visited, I've never seen them.

Looks like an awesome trip
.

I had 2 sightings. ONe was just off the Zambezi River and the other in South Luangwa Reserve. They are endangered du to the spread of Rabies from domesticated dogs
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