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We were welcomed at the Vumbura Plains airstrip by Speedy, saw a herd of +2000 buffalo as we landed, and then went straight on safari. Afternoon tea setup and saw our first elephants with a gin and tonic in hand.
Other amazing sights included:
– 3 wild dogs hunting that flushed a honey badger and a wild cat.
– Male sable antelope.
– 2 lionesses and 5 cubs hunting reedbuck.
– Leopard on reedbuck kill on the ground.
Shirts and caps were made for Kim’s 60th birthday by Bob. Said Kim@60 #sofine which became the catch phrase of the trip. Bob kept leaving his bags at places and was named ‘Bag Bobby and the Travelling Dingleberries.’
We had an awesome private bush brunch setup for Kim’s birthday, and a boat ride – really fishing trip – till a hook caught in Steph’s bum and sent Speedy to the rescue. Our boma night had Kim dancing amazingly, obviously lots of practice from Bruce Springsteen concerts. 🙂
Some other great sighting to note:
– Golden pack – 13 dogs – 11 initially then joined up with other 2 – awesome to see greeting process.
– 3 huge male lions with pride (2 lionesses and 5 cubs)
Off to Little Mombo, and as usual, it never disappoints. Dead zebra as we came into camp close to our rooms – natural causes – and that night lots of hyena activity and nothing left at all in the morning. Awesome sounds! Leopard with her 2 cubs in tree feeding on an impala kill, and was then interrupted by a black rhino cow and calf running at high speed through sighting! More craziness continued as the skull fell from the tree and she came down, crushed it and ate the brains. Amazing warthogs came to eat remains of the kill later when leopards had gone.
3 male lions stalking alone younger male from another pride, young male realized at the last second and ran away. The 3 males gave chase across floodplains for about 3kms, roaring continuously, but did not catch him!
We also saw the Western pride at sunset and as well as the Matatha pride with their cubs. We were hoping for a cool interaction, but the Matatha pride ran away obviously more concerned with protecting their 4 month old cubs.
The following day we had a full day drive. The morning started with surprise 1 hour heli scenic for the family and saw 2 sitatunga from air. After landing we went to the wild dog den to see if there was any action. 3 adults and 5 pupswere there but 8 were away and we waited but no luck on their return. Bush brunch was organised for us at the Simbira channel. Was epic as 3 white rhinos – bull, cow and calf – calf was begging for milk and then they all went to the mud to wallow. We then went back to dog den but no luck again on the adults returning… great playful behaviour from pups thought!
After an amazing ‘all day’ safari, we managed to see 3 honey badgers on our way home! 🙂
Mombo for a night and had a day old hyena cub out of den squealing, eyes still closed. Viewed very odd behaviour from the mother. Then saw a lioness with fresh blood on her face found walking and calling for her cubs. Stopped for coffee and saw male and female lioness running from top of termite mound, decided to followed to find whole Mathata pride of 10 on fresh adult zebra carcass… the whole carcass finished in 45 minutes!
We arrived at the ‘improved’ Abu to experience an awesome experience now – no riding of elephants! All handlers operate on the on ground as well. Two new calves in the herd now which was incredible. Shamiso and Mathutu, 6 months and 4 months old, amazing last night bush dinner around fire with canapés and lots of wine!
“Just over a week into my safari and I wonder how I’ve changed, if at all. Certainly the experiences I’ve had and things I’ve seen have shaped me in someway. But then, as if by some ancient, unspeakable memory, I remember… it’s in my blood.”