Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Take advantage of the April 2011 bank holidays for great value


The combination of Easter bank holidays, The Royal wedding and May bank holidays in April mean that just 3 days leave from work allows you to take a 10 days holiday, saving the valuable leave days for more trips later in the year.! with the added bonus of low cost safari ideas to take advantage of visiting the bush at this special time of year.

Spend between a 7 to 10 days or longer if you wish in Zambia
EG: South Luangwa at Nkwali Camp (£1950) or combine the Luangwa with the Lower Zambezi for a comprehensive safari (£3100)(see below). Click here for full details We have some excellent idea's for safaris in Botswana which can be tailored around these dates and which combine the Okavango Delta with Linyanti - Chobe - Savuti etc Click for Botswana idea's
Please contact us early to be sure to take advantage of the limited space and great value . tel: 01628 621685

Example.
Emerald season is so called due to the extraordinary colour of the bush once the rain starts to fall. Spend a week at Robin Pope safaris flagship Nkwali Camp - boating (mid Dec-March), walking and game viewing - in this most wonderful time of the year. Although there is a rumour about saying the game is not at its peak - this is just not true.
The game in the central area of the park, where Nkwali operates, is resident. The cats are territorial and we see them throughout the year. There are plenty of open areas and high ground that does not get wet. The game mostly congregates on the high ground and, of course, this is where the roads have been built! Another false rumour is that it rains all day. The mornings usually have beautiful blue skies with clouds building throughout the day leading to evening storms.
Extend your Green Season safari to the Lower Zambezi:
The Lower Zambezi reopens in April, after the peak of the rains, to glorious blue skies. The bush is still fresh although already starting to dry out. Many of the birds are coming to the end of the breeding cycle - with the youngsters following the parents around! The wildlife is in peak conditions after months of lush grazing.
The combination of the South Luangwa with the Lower Zambezi is always excellent. The South Luangwa is a larger park with more game diversity. But the Lower Zambezi has the extra dimension of the Zambezi River - a spectacular, clear wide river. Although there is some boating at Nkwali during April it is limited and does not compare to boating on the Zambezi.
Chongwe River Camp is perfectly situated on the confluence of the peaceful Chongwe River and the mighty Zambezi. The massive grove of winterthorns provide a superb backdrop for this relaxed camp with views of the rivers and the Zambezi escarpment.

Notes:

Includes. Domestic flights, transfers, meals, drinks, activities, park fees
Excludes. Airport tax, Visas, items of personal nature.

Friday, 17 December 2010

WILD DOG - Sighted on Masai Mara. At camp used by Busanga safaris.


The Mara is a spectacular wildlife destination and we are all familiar with the Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs from a myriad wildlife documentaries or if you have been lucky enough to visit the Mara already. But never seen on TV or otherwise since the 80s,s were its wild dog. These animals need huge ranges and the vast plains were ideal hunting grounds. Sadly, distemper, encroachment, domestic animals and ignorance led to their extirpation from the Mara ecosystem.
In 2008 there were rumours of a return of Wild dogs to the Masai Mara. Kicheche Mara Camp's manager, Jarrod Kyte, does not go in for rumour and hearsay, and nor do his guides, but after spending an afternoon in the Lemek Hills they were astonished to find a pack. The pack appear to have been transient animals and they were not seen again, although there was little doubt that a small number had returned permanently, though they were holed up in the close cover of the hills and escarpments of the Northern Mara and were highly elusive. This find had a remarkable effect on Kicheche's Masai staff, many of whom had grown up with the Wild dogs and were enchanted by them. Sadly though, there were no other sightings for over a year, until December 2010.

Wild dog kill
Kicheche Mara's head guide, Daniel Ntoyian, was returning from a local airstrip transfer. Right outside Kicheche camp he spotted two dogs. Hunting. Wild dogs do not ambush their prey like the other principal predators; they are coursing animals, like jackals and hyenas, and will chase prey for many miles to exhaust them. In this case they had singled out a Thomson's gazelle fawn and ran it down in quick time.
Daniel and his two now breathless passengers witnessed the hunt start to Finnish.

For some reason the Mara is not very busy in November and early December, although we always say it is worth a visit at any time, the dogs may know this which might explain why they were on the open grasslands. But to find them in hunting,is astonishing and pretty much the hardest wildlife currency anywhere. Many said it would never be seen again - they've clearly never stayed at Kicheche.Another of Busanga safaris recommended camps and the base for our Mara Bush camp Safari.

African Wild dogs, also sometimes called African Hunting dogs or Painted dogs, are pack animals. Each pack has male and female hierarchies; the oldest females are the alpha dogs, but for the males, the situation is more variable. Only the alpha female will produce litters, sometimes very large ones, with as many as 15 or even more sometimes recorded, though 10 is a more usual number. The whole pack is tasked with feeding and protecting the litter.

Why not visit our kenya safaris page and discover what great safaris can be had on the Mara.

This news was brought to us by our friends at Wildlife Extra and Kicheche Safari camp

Friday, 3 December 2010

REALLY WILD PLACES Special offers to Botswana 20% Off the cost off your nights on safari in July




From the beginning, the aim of Busanga Safaris is to provide our guests with access to the very best wildlife and to use best camps to balance levels comfort (often very high), Botswana offers a great range of opportunities to achieve both. As a promotion at the start of the key time to visit Botswana (July) , Busanga safaris are offering this incentive which drives the cost of a really high quality safari down.

The Okavango Delta, Kwando Linyanti wetlands, Nxai Pan National Park and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve are all highlights of Botswana’s wilderness areas. The Kwando family of camps offers a full and extraordinary range of places, people and activities that will complete an unforgettable safari. This variety in a safari destination achieves the perfect balance of wildlife, culture and adventure
• Lagoon and Lebala - The Kwando Linyanti wetlands, Botswana
• Kwara - The Okavango Delta, Botswana
• Tau Pan - The Kalahari Desert, Botswana
• Nxai Pan - Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana

Kwando Linyanti Wetlands & Okavango Delta
Kwando Safaris has two extensive concessions in these areas offering a true wilderness experience. The original Kwando concession consists of 232,000 ha (550 000 acres) of remote African wilderness, while the Kwara concession in the Okavango Delta is 175,000 ha (430,000 acres).

The wildlife areas of northern Botswana are unfenced, creating a vast expanse of pristine wilderness and natural animal movement. The large concentrations of wild animals in northern Botswana are typical of what is often referred to as ‘old Africa,’ and written about by the early African explorers such as Dr. David Livingstone. Botswana offers us a chance to glimpse this Africa of history.

Kalahari Desert and Salt Pans
Kwando Safaris operates camps in both Nxai Pan National Park and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Nxai Pan and Tau Pan were the first safari camps to be built in their respective areas and offer an unprecedented opportunity to experience truly pristine wilderness areas and a complete contrast to the lush wetlands of the Okavango Delta.

Nxai Pan forms part of the great fossil pan system which includes the vast Makgadikgadi salt pans. These pans were once the bed of a super lake fed by the Okavango, Zambezi and Kwando rivers.

As at Nxai Pan – despite the arid environment – the Kalahari desert (Tau Pan) is home to an surprisingly diverse number of flora and fauna perfectly adapted to their surroundings.

Please call or email our UK office Tel ; 01628 621685 and we will be happy to provide more info on the individual camps and put together an itinerary just for you.

Friday, 26 November 2010

John Coppinger recounts an incredible story of Nature in the Raw





"The Killing Fields"
- 11 November 2010 00:00

This is the driest and hottest November I can recall in the Valley. Usually by now we would have had a few showers to bring some welcome relief from the relentless October heat, but this year there has been just a few small showers in far flung places.

One of the happy consequences of this is remarkable wildlife spectacles.

This is always a tough time of year for the large herbivores: buffalo, elephant and hippo. Buffalo in particular really battle with the lack of food and water - and in this heat they need to drink at least twice a day. My heart goes out to them when they trudge slowly and weakly towards the river and of course the lions loll about at the water’s edge waiting for their next meal to be self-delivered.

As the sun rose a few days ago I set off to track the wild dogs from the air. I had promised Matt from ZCP (Zambian Carnivore Programme…they are doing great work here – check out their website: http://www.zambiacarnivores.org/ ) to do this on a regular basis. We have had great viewing of this pack of 18 dogs but the one distressing fact was that one of the males (suspected alpha male) had a nasty snare. Rachel from SLCS and the ZCP team had tried on several occasions to dart him but he was extremely skittish and they had not been able to get anywhere near him. After many aborted attempts we managed to track them and Rachel successfully darted him and removed the snare – a very difficult job extremely well done.

So on this beautifully clear and still morning, perfect for flying, we felt no anxiety as we head off in a SE direction and picked up their signal within the first 5 minutes – our only objective was to get a fix on them for ZCP records. We found them finishing off a kill (either impala or bushbuck) after which they rushed off and eventually intercepted the road to Kauluzi Gate. They followed the road for some while which provided us with an opportunity to count them and ensure that they were all present and correct. There is a wonderfully descriptive Zambian word which describes Wild Dogs perfectly: ‘movious’. They never stop moving about and cover ground incredibly fast.

Reluctant to return to earth too soon, we diverted slightly to fly over the Tafika walking area where we found a pride of 8 lions (members of the Hollywood pride I believe), having just killed a young buffalo. There was a herd of buffalo not far away and it was apparent that the lions had separated a small group of them and killed one of them. Exciting stuff….but this was only the beginning. Whilst some of the lions began feeding on the downed buffalo, a large male strode purposefully towards the remaining group of 7 buffalo: 4 cows with 3 calves. One of the cows collapsed with exhaustion but managed to rouse herself again as the lion approached. However it was not long before the lion had leapt on the back of another cow and brought her down….support arrived in the form of 2 other lions and the male latched onto the buffalo’s snout to prevent her from defending herself with her lethal horns. This was not enough for the lions and they went in hot pursuit after the remaining 6 buffaloes; in very short order they had the weak cow down, followed by two of the calves. One of these was hit with a dramatic head-on attack by the male lion which resulted in a mercifully quick death for the calf. A lioness persisted in chasing the surviving 3 buffaloes, 2 cows and a calf. She chased them into the dry Chankanga River where one of the cows turned on her and kept her at bay whilst the other cow and last surviving calf scurried up the bank to freedom. We watched in absolute horror as the cow then made a dash for it and tried to follow them up a steep hippo gully, only to be caught and trapped in the gully from the rear by the lioness who latched on mercilessly; she appeared to pierce an artery because soon a river of bright red blood flowed down the gully into the sandy bank below.

A mere 20 minutes had elapsed since our arrival on the scene of death. We were just a few minutes from Tafika and we landed in a daze, barely able to believe what we had seen. Incredible, amazing, horrible…..nature in the raw!

You can vist John Coppingers Safari camps in the Luangwa and share in his knowledge and passion for the bush. Either on our suggested safari idea or we can put something together just for you. Please contact us .

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Romantics and honeymooners can follow William and Kate to Kenya, and stay at Lewa


PRINCE WILLIAM & KATE MIDDLETON ENGAGED -
ON SAFARI AT LEWA KENYA
Prince William and Kate Middleton have just announced their engagement and will marry next year. The couple got engaged on the Lewa Conservancy in Kenya in October.

Romantics and honeymooners can follow William and Kate to Kenya, and stay at Lewa Safari... Camp on the Lewa Conservancy and may be head to the coast after ?

Busanga safaris are one of just a few safari companies who offer Lewa as a safari destination, this is a pristine swathe of Kenyan bush full of Elephant, Rhino, Giraffe, Lion and so much more.

Click here to visit Lewa Safari Camp

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Visit us at the Destinations Travel Show 2011


We hope you can visit us at the Destinations Travel show 2011.

It will be great to say hello and to talk to you about our plans for 2011, which see's us offering more of our very popular set date safaris to Zambia and beyond.
Both Tony and Tyrone will be on stand along with Linda Lee all of whom have been busy on safari this year and will be taking set date departures Africa in 2011. Come and share our enthusiasm for safari.
Both Tony and Tyrone will be on stand along with Linda Lee all of whom have been busy on safari this year and will be taking set date departures Africa in 2011. Come and share our enthusiasm for safari

We will have our new highlights brochure available on stand.

You can find out how we, strive to avoid the single Supplement charges for solo travelers.

Learn about our latest safari ideas in: Botswana - Zambia - Zimbabwe - Kenya - Tanzania.

We have some unique idea's if you want to try a different safari experience: Walking & Bush camping - Photography & art in the bush - Specific Species (Lion , / Wild dog / Gorilla) or very special places (Liuwa Plain / Banweulu / The Okavango).
Or may be you would like some inspiration

looking forward to seeing our old friends / clients and chatting to new clients who would like some real advise from the people who know the bush and the camps.

If you would like complimentary tickets please just get in touch letting us know your address and we will do the rest.

Click here to reqest tickets

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

17th October Day of the Lions





17th October

The Kafue turns up yet another day of interest and surprise.

Having been met at Luaska airport and been driven by out trusty driver the 3 or 4 hours in to the bush my latest guests duly arrived at Mukambi , the starting point of there first safari in to the Kafue. After a spot of lunch and a rest I suggested to my new guests (a Lord and Lady from the UK, no less!) we head to the Shishamba area not far from Mukambi Lodge. At first it seemed we would being seeing little more than the tsteste flies which were particularly prevalent that afternoon, that was until we spotted in a dry river bed some interesting little shapes. As we got closer we saw one, then two, then three, little lions cubs! In total we counted 9 small cubs, plus 3 Lionesses on close guard not far away. We sat and watched the pride into darkness, by which time it was time to head back to camp. Along the way we found a Honey Badger ( a big favorite of mine ) and just as we reached Mukambi we found our selves following 2 more Lionesses meandering along the track in no hurry for anything. What a drive!

The next morning we rose early for the drive across the Kafue to the Busanga Plains and my camp/home , a favorite journey of mine as it takes you through some fantastic different habitats always lots of wildlife around and plus a good chance to catch a Leopard or even a Lion before the heat of the day gets too much. As we reached the gate to the park some 7kms from camp Mukambi we spotted in the rising sun 2 very large male lions, feeding on what looked like a baby Impala. What a start! We watched for a while before carrying on following the by know very dusty track across the bush, about 1 hour later we encountered another huge male lion plus a second male and female not far behind. We couldn’t believe our luck and it wasn’t even 08:00 yet!

As we pushed on towards Lufupa rougly 1/3rd of the way , something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I slammed on the breaks and decided to reverse to see what I may have seen, this was a wise move as sitting on a termite mound was a pack of 5 Wild Dog! We quickly rattled of some pictures before they headed off into the thicket. Wow!

Past Lufupa camp we headed, stopping for some drinks and at the famous ‘Rocks’, some ½ hour from Lufupa camp a beautiful area wherev giant boldours are scattered close to a shrinking oxbow laggon that attrracts all kinds of animals and birds. On rising over a small gully dead ahead of us lying under a tree was a large… pride of Lions! We counted 2 cubs, 5 Lionesses and 2 sub adult males. This safari was getting better, we couldn’t believe it!
Onwards we drove still awestruck at the game we had seen.
As we approached the turn off for Moshi Camp I once again spotted something under a shaded bush, but what was it? We went to investigate and found, you guessed it! 2 more Lionesses! This was madness!
Again off we headed! We reached the Musanza area, at the base of the Plains, on our final leg to camp. We could not believe what we had been seeing! It hadn’t stopped there though as we rounded a corner a saw 1 young male lion trotting off into the thicket (no pictures of him but we didn’t mind!).
We finally arrived at camp after stopping to enjoy a fantastic herd of Sable in the middle of the plains but with all of us in disbelief at all the Lions we had seen!
The afternoon came after a few hours rest and a nice hearty lunch. It was time for the evening drive! We set off and found some wonderful birds and spectacular Roan antelope. As the sun was setting we reached a small pool of water in the south of the plains, but what was that inside it? Out came the binoculars and what did we find but a dead Hippo! Not only a dead Hippo, but one with 5 Lions feeding off it!
This was an exceptional days sighting by anybodies standards. Over 40 different Lions in 24 hours… oh and don’t forget the Wild Dogs!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Tyrone at home with the Busanga Lions




When Tyrone was around 10 I took him on safari to Zambia and we visited the Kafue for a week or two and we spent some wonderful days on the Busanga
plains following herds of Buffalo and watching the Lions,in awe of the drama that is the Busanga. 12 years later with Busanga Safaris help our clients to experience the best wildlife encounters and Tyrone with a university degree under his belt,he is managing a simply beautiful bush camp in the heart of the plains, where his deceptivly hard work keeping camp running smoothly for the guest lucky enough to have chosen the Busanga as a safari destination. His work also alows for a great deal of wildlife encounters from vehichle and often on foot as some of the local resident Lions use camp as a base during teritorial patrols or even you camp as a place from which to ambush passing Lechwe antelope. (see previous blog about Comedy Dave). As the season goes on so the Lions and Tyrone become used to each other and so it was not surprising to hear that Tyrone recntly found two young Lions had run amock in his office/radio room turning over tables and chairs and re wireing the radio! Now it appears they use the raised wooden walk way which crosses a swamp river to avoid getting wet feet ! A recent game drive ended as usual with guests about to step down and begin the walk to camp when in the beam of the Landrovers lights Tyrone noticed several univited guests already on the way to camp, yep you guessed it!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A DAY IN THE LIFE AND POSSIBLE DEATH OF


We love taking our clients on safari ! Here is a great message from Lesley Pritt who joined us on a Kafue safari. Priceless!!

If you love people watching, then the Plains Camp is definitely the place for you. Although, you’ll need to replace “people” with “puku” and “lechwe” as you’ll barely see another soul outside of the camp, which makes it a rather special place to spend some time.

There are many great things about this camp. One of them is whiling away an afternoon, watching the herds grazing, as you sit around camp sipping a cool drink.

It was one such afternoon, when Tony and I were engaged in an unusually intellectual debate about a bachelor herd of lechwe; were they forming a lek?

Quick editorial note: Breeding males compete for central positions on a lek (breeding ground) where females come to breed. Up to 90% of females in a local population visit the leks and mate with centrally placed males.

If you are anything like me, then part of the entertainment of people watching is creating stories about those you are observing. Let me tell you, at first glance a herd of 100 lechwe may seem pretty similar. After an afternoon’s observation, you will soon start to see some personalities emerging….

It was while we were scanning around with the binos, we spotted another male at some distance. We wanted to know whether he would join the other males. We watched as he chose a position some way away from the rest and started scent marking by rubbing each side of his face on the ground. The area he selected for this was somewhat unfortunate in that the ground consisted of very dry hay; this became stuck to his face. The effort of trying to remove this was in vain, he sat down to contemplate his next move. (See photo)

Tony and I surmised that he had decided on a different strategy to other males. Perhaps he was not as smart or as good looking as the others; perhaps his foot stamping was not as emphatic…. But what is a female really after? Of course, a male with a GSOH! So we named him “Comedy Dave” (hail his alter ego on the Chris Moyles breakfast show)

Let’s now fast forward our story to the evening. Back at the camp with drinks before dinner, you’ll find yourself sitting around a fire, mulling over the day’s events. It’s very dark so you see nothing on the plains around you. We heard an alarm call, and then very quickly, another. Tony and Tyrone switched on their torches to sweep the surrounding area – now we were all alert.
Suddenly the air was thick with the sound of thundering hooves running past and in the torchlight we spotted the eyes of a lioness chasing the lechwe right across us. In a moment with a classic set piece of lion hunting, another lioness moved in from the other direction and without a sound; a lechwe was brought down and killed, only 100 mtrs from our fire. A male lechwe….. you may see where I’m going with this.

This was a totally unexpected addition to the evening and the boys at the camp quickly sprang into action to move us to the safety of the veranda and set up lights so we could see what was happening. We watched while a lion and a third lioness with cubs moved in on the kill and settled down to eat. We also decided to have our own dinner and left them to it. After dinner, we took our coffee and watched the progress of the lions’ feast.

In the morning the lions had moved on (although we saw a footprint by the fire, so clearly they came to have a nose around). Not a lot of lechwe was left, apart from a pair of horns. It would make a better story, although much more tragic for Dave, if I could say there was a pathetic twist of hay around the horns, but this is not true. So not every story can have a happy ending in life and death on the Busanga Plains, but I hear there’s a lechwe moral that Dave might have done well to remember…. It doesn’t pay to stand out from the herd.

Was it Dave? Who knows? He had a 1 in a 100 chance. I really hope not as I’d grown rather fond of him and Tyrone has promised he’ll look out for him (he may just be humouring me – he’s a nice guy). We will never forget our evening and we are amazed to have had the fantastic privilege to witness to an event like this.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

SIGHTINGS REPORT AND PHOTOS FROM BUSANGA KAFUE GUIDED SAFARI




Well what a couple of weeks we have been enjoying out here in the Zambian Bush. Our first guided trip in to the Kafue was simply fantastic not just because the guests all had a great time enjoying our
informal style of safari and staying in the camps which we carefully choose as our bases but because the wildlife sightings were varied and interesting. From Ants to Elephants the Kafue did not disappoint. The first afternoon in the bush we took a gentle boat trip on the Kafue and immediately the camera's were clicking as Elephants
crossed the river in front of us, of course Hippos were everywhere and the birding was spectacular, with the sun low in sky as we approached camp we spotted a Leopard at the river side.
The Kafue is a beautiful place.
The antelope species sightings alone included : Roan both in breeding herds and bachelor's sparring , Red Lechwe in vast numbers on the Busanga plains, Puku, Oribi, Impala, Sable, Hartebeest, Wildebeest who were giving birth all over the place, Kudu, Common duiker and Sharpe's Grysbok. A highlight for me and the guests was an encounter with a large herd of Elephants on the plains as for many years Ele's would only cross at night to avoid human contact but now with careful approaches they remain on the plains, sightings were exciting and interesting with a number of mock charges as we approached from protective family members but when dust settled we saw family ties being reinforced and sat quietly listening to the low rumbles as they communicated with each other.
Whilst staying with Tyrone at his camp on the Plains we had one of those special nights, which started with an encounter with the Elephants, then a great sighting of Serval, then back in camp for a bucket shower and drinks around the camp fire as we chatted I noticed a Lechwe alarm call in the darkness close by as i reached for my torch a Puku alarm and as the beam reached the plain we could see antelope running passed just 20 mtrs away Add Imagewith a Lioness in chase I just had time to turn to see another Lion spring from the grass ahead of the stampede taking down a poor Lechwe, we retreated a little way to out dinning room from where we ate dinner with a spotlight
on the Lions as the feed very close by. The week ended with days at Hippo Lodge where the riverine woodland provided a contrast to the plains and where we encountered not just Lions (from landrover & on walking safaris) but Buffalo and a huge Croc on her way back to river from her nest site. The birds here are always varied from raptors to finches another highlight was a spectacular pennant winged nightjar.
If you would like to know more about this safari or join one of our safaris to the Kafue please feel free to get in touch
Regards Tony McKeith










Tuesday, 31 August 2010

NEWS ! Wild Black Rhino Sighted In Zambia


We are so happy to be able to pass on a report of a sighting of truly wild Black Rhino in Zambia's remote North Luangwa, spotted by a guide from Mwaleshi and guests , they first thought they were looking at Elephants in the distance but soon realised they were looking at a mother & Calf, naturally they were massively excited and reported the sighting immediately.
These rare Black Rhino were last seen in Zambia in the very early 1980's when they were poached to extinction. Since 2003 a re introduction program was set up by the Frankfurt Zoological Society who brought back Rhino to a 300 km sq boma in the north, north Luangwa. Living wild the Rhino suffered some natural deaths but also 3 completely wild calves have been born, monitored closely in the boma the Rhino now appear to have moved out in to the great wilderness and this sighting marks a change for the north , safaris will not be the same again. We have always promoted the north as one of the last great wilderness destinations, an achingly wild place with hardly any visitors yet dramatic wildlife. We have lots of experience of safari in Zambia and the Luangwa valley as a whole, we often use Mwaleshi camp as our base in the North and also the few small camps which operate here, so please feel free to get in touch to discuss a safari to the North & South Luangwa.

This photo was taken by Tony on a visit to the Boma in 2005

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Amazing safari facts and a quiz to test your self.


Did you know:

We know Lions mate often and for a (relatively!) long time. But why ? Well it turns out that the Lioness has evolved a strategy which requires her to mate continuously for a several days before she is able to actually conceive. The reason is that for the Lioness to be sure the male Lion is suitably strong and dominant to pass on his genes and so to produce equally strong healthy cubs, the male lion effectively proves his worth by being able to physically mate for a long period and also during that period his dominance is proven by his ability to fend of the attentions of other males who may also be attracted to the Lioness in season.

Why not test yourself with a fun and informative safari bush quiz click here to visit our friends at Remote Africa with who we offer some fantastic walking and bush camp safaris in remote parts of Zambia. click here http://www.remoteafrica.com/quiz.asp
Let us know how well you do.!

Monday, 16 August 2010

WE HAVE ADDED VIDEOS


We have added some interesting video features to bring you
even more info that may help you decide on a destination for your next safari.

Visit our Kenya - Lewa Conservancy safaris and our featured Norman Carr safaris in Zambia and

enjoy the sights and sounds of these two great safari destinations.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

NEW CHOICE OF SET DATE & GUIDED SAFARIS

http://www.busangasafari.co.uk/categories/set-date-guided-safaris-in-zambia.html
With so much interest in our guided/escorted safaris we have decided to add a few more to the list to give our guests more choice. We sticking to only offering safaris that provide something unusual and special. Our guests can expect great wildlife in some wonderfully remote and wild places, like the North Luangwa and the Kafue in Zambia.

Each safari is escorted from the moment you arrive iat destination by one of our very experienced team who will ensure everything goes to plan but to also to help you get the most from your safari and be able to relax and concerntrate on enjoying the wilderness and varied wildlife we hope to encounter.

Please visit our website and we look forward to having you along on one of our set date escorted safaris.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

LATEST NEWS & WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS


Hello and welcome to our short news update. We plan to try to add news and interesting sightings to this link on a regular basis.
There is a lot happening
at the moment. The safaris which I am guiding in September are attracting a lot of bookings and are nearly all full but we are looking at adding new dates for this season and will certainly be adding more dates for next year, Set date & Guided safaris will be a big part of our future plans including Green season safaris in Zambia. We will continue to add carefully picked and arranged new safaris which give our guests the opportunity to enjoy only really interesting and varied wildlife safaris.
Our very latest safari ideas include A safari to see the Great Wildebeest Migration staying in a temporary bush camp operated for us by the same team who provide camps to the film crews and photographers that come to the Mara and need good guides and access to the heart of the action. Also great value offered for a 10 night safari staying at 5 camps to explore the South Luangwa in Zambia, our guests rave about this safari and we think that doing this at the end of the dry season as the bush cries out for rain is an exceptional experience.

Have a look around our website for inspiration but do feel free to call to speak to us we are around 7 days a week and always happy to hear from you.

With the dry season beginning to settle in and more guests heading of on safari the reports of interesting and unusual sightings are starting to come in. Tyrone (our man in the Kafue) has been keeping us updated " Set off with guest for game drive in late afternoon, we spotted 3 Cheetah hunting Impala and watching close by were 2 Lionesses probably hoping to steal a kill and not far away Hyena watching the Lions !. Later I spotted a family of Bush Pigs these guys are usually so hard to find. Soon after we found a pair of mating Lions. Later with the spotlight I picked up a Leopard hunting a Puku he was relaxed but we kept distance and left him to it. Back to camp and amazingly we had Leopards mating outside Chalet 3 and if that was not enough 2 Lionesses passed right through camp after dinner for all to see..."
In Botswana The consistently high flood waters have helped to caused the Savute channel to continue to flow. This will mean game and predators will move into the drier areas adjacent to water as the dry season goes on and drama will unfold. Wild dog were the main focus of excitement this month. The guides in the Kwando concession have discovered the den site of a pack of four dogs, and nine puppies. The three adults were seen regularly on Kudu kills as they constantly hunted to feed the alpha female and her young. Guests have been lucky to have been able to visit and observe the interaction between dogs and puppies throughout the month. Lion were also extremely active in the region, and among individual sightings, a pride of 5 Lions and 2 cubs killed Warthog, Zebra and a Giraffe all within the space of three days! The first Buffalo herds have also begun to arrive from the wetlands to the north as the rainwater filled pans begin to dry out.

Good bye for now.

Tony

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The Migration has arrived in Kenya. Stay in a real bush camp as used by film/TV crews .

The crossing points on the Mara river have already started to see the first zebra and wildebeest herds push across drawn by the promise of fresh grazing. The noise and movement on the banks immediately alerted the crocs who wasting no time are taking there annual toll and the Cats are also beginning to see the start of the time of plenty. This is early for the migration to occur and very exciting time for visitors. This year we at Busanga are teaming up with a specialist mobile camping safari outfit who usually provide facilities for film crews (BBC ) visiting the Mara , and will be offering safaris for those who wants to avoid the crowds, staying in a real bush camp which will be built in a key location and will operate for just one month (Aug) before being dismantled , leaving no trace. We will keep you updated with a featured safari on our website and we will also be sending a news letter .
If you would like details sooner please call Tony +44 (0)1628 621685

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

EXTRAORDINARY THREE TUSK ELEPHANT SIGHTING


While staying at Kwando's Nxai Pan camp, Stuart Arnold, a Botswana based professional photographer was amazed to spot an unusual elephant drinking at the waterhole at the front of the camp. Upon closer inspection it was discovered that the elephant carried an amazing 3 tusks!!

The tusks of an African Elephant grow continuously throughout their life - a bull elephant's tusks can grow up to 18 cm in a year. Tusks are an elephant's tool and they are used for a variety of tasks including digging for water and roots or to strip bark from trees.
All elephant's, like humans are either right- or left-handed, favouring a right or left tusk. The most often used tusk, is generally shorter due to wear and tear. While the majority of elephants have two tusks, occasionally individual elephants exhibit abnormal growth which can include additional tusks. Such examples are extremely rare. As one can see from the images, the elephant is a mature bull and therefore has managed to live a long life despite his unusual third tusk.

Friday, 4 June 2010

AFFORDABLE AFRICA. Refreshingly good value

Now That is Refreshing.....
We have put together a selection of more affordable safaris, which use carefully chosen camps in key wildlife areas and like all of our safaris includes pretty much everything in the cost.

These are not budget discount or poor quality, just well planned and using slightly less upmarket camps, although some are what we call premier camps the others extremely comfortable but more , Real!


All En suite, comfortable accommodation- Adventurous, nature-orientated, fun, cultural, historical focus- Supports wildlife research, embraces sustainability & local communities.

Very good value with no compomises, expect great camps and guides and wildlife etc etc....


You will find each safari on our website in the respective country / region but just click on these links to go direct.


This is why we do it. Our Guest Comments...

"...Where next ?"
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HI TONY - WE'RE HOME !!!!! Well , once again, a fantastic time was had by all....
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I wanted to send my thanks to you for the brilliant time we had atKafunta, the Bush Camp and Kasaka. It exceeded my wildest dreams and Icannot stop talking about my experiences there. Absolutely everything youhad arranged for us ran so smoothly and the staff in the camps wereexcellent. Brilliant organisation and attention to detail and I cantwait for my next safari!!!! Many thanks again.
Patricia Richardson
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Tony, wow what can i say?
You listened and got it spot on... what an adventure, an adventure of a life time... still finding it hard to adjust to normal life, i.e. electrics and the bloody phone... all 3 camps were as you said, very different from each other, but all still as interesting and friendly... still couldn't believe just how awesome it was and the best experience ever!... and yes we will be returning without a doubt.
Thanks a million and hope to speak soon.
Barry & Netty
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Our visit to Tafika was a joy. We had the camp to ourselves for the first five nights and lived like kingsThe guiding and game viewing were superbIt was bad luck John Coppinger had gone to Durban - but at least I was spared the decision about the microlight flight - and it's a great excuse to go back again another time.I will keep an eye on your website for ideas for our next holidayMany thanks for organising our trip.Best wishes
The Stewarts
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" Back safe and sound after an amazing trip. Nkwali was magic – probably the best weeks wildlife I have ever experienced anywhere in the world. 7 leopard sightings in 7 days, including a male and a female on a kill in a tree, 15 lion, buffalo, hippo, crocs etc etc. The staff were amazingly helpful, professional, the food and service superb,and we didn’t really want to leave. The transfer flights were excellent and what a treat to be wafted through African airports and to have your own pilot. Overall an excellent experience and one which I would recommend without hesitation to anyone who will listen (and they are probably fed up with listening already). We look forward to planning our next trip – please keep in touch."
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"A massive thanks to you and all at Busanga for the most incredible trip... I'm back but actually not back really, all the time it's flashbacks and looking at people in the street and thinking they know NOTHING. What have you done to me? The wildlife was amazing, the people wonderful. Shall contact you again with regard to going somewhere else when I get my head round being back here.Thank you again.."
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Well Tony!
as you can tell we had the most wonderful time and we thank you so much for organizing it. Everything worked exactly to your planning, and the minor adjustments were easily made enroute. Cant wait to start looking into what we will be planning for next year.
Thank you once again, I will definitely recommend you to anyone else who is thinking of taking "the Africa Experience".
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Hi Busanga,
The Luangwa was just great , just as you said it would be "lion, lion everywhere and 100% addictive."
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Just to let you know that my family and I have returned safely from our safari to North Kafue with lots of photos and video. The staff everywhere were excellent . We saw 9 species new to us including oribi, spitting cobra, black mamba, bushbaby and porcupine.
Regards,
Robin
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Hi Tony,
I arrived there and back safely and the tour was fantastic. Saw loads of Lions and Black Rhino, Was a nice cool 41c on Sunday too! The scenery was out of this world and so hard to explain what it's like. I haven't sorted my pics yet but will hopefully do that later today. All the best Tel of Namibia !
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Hi,
I just wanted to say, MEGA THANKS... wow what a holiday... i'm still sorting out photos... we had a fantastic time... it was all that you promised an more... flight was ok too!
Thanks again guys,
Mel and Jade
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This is just to say how much I enjoyed my Busanga safari to Zambia.It was my Seventh African safari and it was equal to the best. The staff at camp were wonderfull and I got a few firsts , Pels fishing Owl -White backed night Heron, Penanet wingned nightjar. A memory remains of a female Ratel and young on a night drive.
Many thanks for organizing everything so well, it was much appreciated.
Best wishes,
Graham
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From the Newman family - seasoned Kenyan adventurers!
What can we say - that holiday you sorted for us was absolutely fantastic. Even on the drive from the airstrip to Lewa camp we were amazed at the number and variety of animals we saw - and it only got better and better. By day 2 we had seen the big 5 and all CLOSE UP - very close. We didn't believe it would get any better but it did - it just kept getting better. The walk in the wilderness was fantastic 12 masai warriors and 24 camels all to look after just us. Tracking 3 or 4 lions. we didn't get to see them but had an absorbing 2 hour hike through a gorge following their footprints.
Il Ngwesi was beautiful and the staff were so friendly, even moving us on the second evening so we could sleep in the poster under the stars - very romantic. Watching a family group of 9 lions in the headlights of the jeep in the dark is a very moving experience. All in all a truly wonderful and unforgettable holiday/experience which was beyond our dreams, and which we cant wait to repeat.
Thank you!
The Newman family

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Wildlife Tracking Course, Botswana


For the rawest, most exciting bush experience that one could wish for. . . We at Busanga are really excited about this safari as we feel it offers something special in the way of wildlife experiences and encounters. Tracking wildlife on foot is for most of us what dreams are made off, spending hours in the bush watching and listening, walking quietly, picking up hints that lead you with luck and patience to encounters with wildlife that you will remember for ever. This two-week experience does that, in a way that takes you back to the raw basics of life in the wild and provides you with a really in-depth understanding of the bush which is so hard to achieve on a shorter and more expensive safari holiday
This unique safari experience takes you in to the bush of Southern Botswana to learn the skills of the bush tracker on a two week safari amongst the big game and smaller creatures of this beautiful and wonderfully wild region. Aimed primarily at teaching you tracking skills whilst allowing you to spend time in the vast wilderness of the Tuli Block in Botswana; along similar lines as explorers once did in a bygone era. You will be constantly learning and you will have the opportunity to practice and test your skills as this is a very pro active experience, no sitting back you will be involved. You will be tested along the way but there are no exam papers or pressure to achieve , rather you are encouraged to enjoy the experience and learn as you go. The first week is orientated predominantly around track identifications as this is the first step in tracking. The second week sees every participant given the opportunity to lead the group in an attempt to track down a high-profile animal (elephant, leopard, lion, cheetah or hyaena). Coaching will be given to the tracker of the day assisted by our highly-skilled course leaders. You will be accompanied through out by a very well qualified professional guide with simply years of experience in Tuli and who will also be your tutor, these guys know so much it is amazing, they want to impart there knowledge and you can not fail to absorb there interest and enthusiasm for wildlife and the bush.

Visit our website for more info and available dates .http://www.busangasafari.co.uk/wildlife-tracking-course-botswana-.html

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

NEWS.. Busanga can arrange the best value bonded flights to fit with your safari

NEWS... Best value fully bonded international flights available from Busanga safaris

Busanga safaris have built a great working relationship with Eton Travel one of the UK's leading independent travel agents and are able to arrange all of your international flights to coincide with your safari or wildlife tour using the very latest flight search and reservation systems and with complete financial security.
Giving you the best value from negotiated airline rates that only a top agent can offer, backed up with complete professional organisation and the financial security of using a fully bonded company.

Please let us know if you would like us to provide a quote for the International flights associated with your safari and we will be happy to help.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Tyrone's Plains Trip (Funny!)





Hellooo,

Busanga yesterday, wow!

So we set off at 05:00 with supplies for the team looking after 'Plains Camp' during the rainy season. I took Ferrison and Botson along for support and for Botsons knowledge of the bush west of the plains, as I usually approach from the south and during the dry season. We took the western boundary road past tatayoyo gate and north to the plains. We had one broken fan belt to fix on route. We reached a point on the edge of the plains where the flood waters prevented any more progress by vehicle apprx 09:30. I Ask Ferrison how far to walk to camp, he points at Kapinga Island (about 5kms away) and says just past there a few kms. So we decide to leave our lunch on the vehicle as we have to get out and start wading. So off come the shoes and trousers, and after what felt like the longest 5km's ever and we reach Kapinga Island with water up to our chest in places. We see Lechwe (water loving antelope) practically swimming from us, toward the the tree line, that was our first clue!. We proceed past Kapinga Island into the next plain, following the 'road' which is a good 3/4 feet under water. Ferrison points at a very distant ant hill and says our camp is just a km past that. So we struggle on (with our 3 bottles of water), I have left my watch in the Landy (Land rover) as did not want it to get wet so not sure of time (all day). After a another couple of hours and with cuts to my legs from the grass starting to show we reach the last large plain to cross before camp (which was about 5km not 1km from the last ant hill!!) We try and shout to the guys in camp to come to us... they dont hear us. Between us and camp is a set of small rivers/gullies of flowing water. Ferrison decides this is to much and admits now that he doesn't swim, Botson does and I can and as we have taken literally hours to get to this point turning back is no option so we strip off to just our shorts and proceed to swim across these channels. We reach the other side of the channel expecting firm grass to walk on, we find floating grass, on top of more water. So what was meant to be a 2km walk to camp from there a war as we have to wade through some seriously sharp grasses. We finally reach 2 Fig Island, next to our camp. As we drag ourselves up on to the first bit of dry land far hours we hear a rustle in the long grass... A hippo!!! it is 10 meters from us and decides to charge, Botson and I run in different directions, luckily he goes for Botson (not lucky for Botson) and gets about 2 mtrs feet from him, Botson makes himself big and we are both now shouting to try and scare this thing... luckily it works and the Hippo trudges off in to the water... We are finally spotted by one of the staff at camp who sends a canoe for us to get to the boardwalk to camp. We get to the boardwalk, but it has suffered with being under flood water for months and so we fall through it, with only an agonizingly short distance to camp we have to wade once more through even sharper reeds and grasses (mixed with Hippo shit). We get to camp!! All this effort to tell the guys we have 4 bags of maize in our vehicle for them, which we will leave in the bush for them to collect. Turns out the other 3 workers were not even there, gone fishing in a dugout , well they are traditional fishermen!... The one chap who is around called Peter, wants me to see the camp, I feel like I need a doctor not a guided tour of my own camp but he is so nice and keen that I should see it I cant really just sit down as I want, now covered with cuts and insect bites on my bare white/red body (remember no clothes bar my pants since the swim). Camp is in a mess but that is to be expected after floods but what a spot, and I cant wait to get it set up for the season and make it home. I love this place (usually).... So now the small task of getting back to the vehicle! Now I am feeling fairly strong at this point in time, not bad considering its taken a good 5/6 hours to get here and the energy expended trying to do so, with no food all day and one bottle of water. So back in to the water and we trudge back past the Hippo and swam back across the rivers we get on to the plain towards Kapinga Island. It is here where my body decides to punish me for the lack of exercise over the last few months with muscle cramps and only(!) some 12 or so kms from the vehicle. Now my nakedness mixed with lack of food, energy and cramps are making life very hard (not to mention leeches ). After a very long and slow struggle back, we finally make it back to the vehicle around 17:00. I have never ever been so relieved to see a Land Rover, food or water in my life! and only another 4 hours drive to camp.

Next time will be to start building camp and Yes I will take a boat....

Pictures of my legs will come shortly.

Hope all is good with you.

Ciao for now,
Magoo

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Roan Antelope- Smart but not that smart...



Roan antelope are a specialist species that are highly selective feeders. For this exact reason the roan has never been an abundant species, even though their numbers are today greatly reduced due to poaching and habitat degradation. They are generally not seen in large numbers anywhere and in fact are declining in many parts of their former wide range as a result of increased competition from other antelope species that are not as selective when it comes to feeding, and a variety of other factors.

Two exceptions to this are the Busanga Plains in Zambia's Kafue National Park and the plateau of the Nyika National Park in northern Malawi.

Some visitors to the Nyika plateau where we offer some guided safaris. Observed what was either smart feeding or a moment of experimentation?
you decide...
When a small herd was seen feeding close to camp. Two of the cows in the herd waded into the water of a dam and one of the animals actually lowered its head and the bulk of its neck under the water until even the horns were almost completely submerged!

After a few seconds the cow emerged from the water and then jumped out onto the adjacent bank before wandering away with the herd. I guess that she had been attempting to get at some underwater vegetation to eat. The Roan only tried once and having got a nose full of water,looking bedraggled and rather forlorn with her long Eeyore-like ears they herd ambled off for a more conventional feed.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

WE HATE SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS!!.


With some times 40% being added to the cost of a safari for people who travel alone . We think it's unfair and often unnecessary. We already have loads of safari idea's on our website that dont charge single sup's and often arrange tailored trips where it can be avoided. We avoid single sup's when others charge it for the same property, How? because we can negotiate with camps and pass on the benefits.
So make sure that you dont pay more than you need and tell your friends you could be saving them a fortune and may be making it affordable.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

JUST RELEASED: A set date safari, for max 6 guests, to the Luangwa valley, with Tony McKeith


Departing London on the 15th September 2010, you will be met on arrival in Lusaka by Tony Mckeith who will escort you on an 8 night * safari to the game rich Luangwa valley where you will uncover the great diversity and populations of wildlife and birds that the valley is famed for. You will stay in two camps in two very different environments from where you will enjoy game drives during the day and at night in open vehicles with skilled guides. The Luangwa is the home of the walking safari and you will be taken of exciting and interesting walking safaris (gentle walks) in the company of expert guides and armed scouts.

These safaris are very popular for the great wildlife viewing potential and because the combination of lodge and bush camping makes for a real wilderness safari experience. Suitable for a first time safari or regular safari goers looking to get away from the main tourist routes. You will visit the best game viewing areas of the South Luangwa's Mfuwe and the remote mopane woodlands and drying river heaving with Hippo in the far south. Please feel free to call Tony for a chat about this safari. 01628 621685

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Monday, 26 April 2010

NEW SET DATE & GUIDED SAFARIS AVAILABLE


With a lot of the set date and small group safaris which we arrange filling up this year we have been looking at opportunities to arrange more safaris and very happily we have just made available new safaris which Tony will be lead to The Luangwa valley in Zambia starting on 1st & 16th September. These can be added to our Kafue safari which still has a few spaces left.
The aim is to really explore the South Luangwa to uncover its great numbers of game and especially it's for its Leopards and Wild dogs and ...
We also have 2011 dates available for the new Carnivore Reserch Safari and Liuwa Plains and ........Vist our set date idea's click here
Please visit our website or just get in touch and we can talk you through what to expect.

Friday, 23 April 2010

NEWS... Best value fully bonded international flights available from Busanga safaris




Busanga safaris have built a great working relationship with Eton Travel one of the UK's leading independent travel agents and are able to arrange all of your international flights to coincide with your safari or wildlife tour using the very latest flight search and reservation systems and with complete financial security.
Giving you the best value from negotiated airline rates that only a top agent can offer, backed up with complete professional organisation and the financial security of using a fully bonded company.

Please let us know if you would like us to provide a quote for the International flights associated with your safari and we will be happy to help.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Botswana in March,Here is a sighting report from the camps we use on our Five Rivers Safari

Here is a sighting report from the camps we use on our Five Rivers Safari.
Even in the green season Botswana is special. Contact Tony for more info on when and where to visit Botswana.

Lebala
A great month of game viewing on the savannahs of Lebala has yielded excellent predator viewing for our guests. A large variety of plains games species Is providing ample food for our resident Leopards, Lions, Cheetahs and Wild dogs. There is some concern for the smaller of the three packs of Wild dogs in the Kwando concession. Previously when sighted they had numbered six but now they number merely four individuals. It is not uncommon for skirmishes to break out with larger predators such as lions or hyenas so there is concern that two may have been killed in the fighting. Moreover, one of the remaining four dogs is heavily pregnant and awaiting a new denning site so cannot be an enormous help hunting. Wild dogs rely heavily on numbers for success on their hunts and the less animals the higher the chances of starvation. On one occasion this was highlighted when the four dogs pulled down a sub adult kudu only for one of them to badly sprain its leg and put it out of action for up to a week.
Lion sightings have also been good this month with the two males of the area being followed for several hours following a large herd of buffalo. The morning light revealed a successful hunt on a young buffalo that had been isolated and killed away from the formidable male ‘Dagga Boys’ of the herd.
Elsewhere, there was the unusual sighting of a pangolin. The only one of its kind for several months. Astonished onlookers snapped with their cameras while the shielded ant eater slowly made its way into the bush.

Lagoon Camp
Lagoon has had the glad tidings of new lions moving into the area. Four males and five females appeared late last month from the wilderness and seem to have taken up residence in the area. Guides are unsure as to where exactly they have come from although the likely answer would be from the stunning upper Kwando area or the vast wilderness of the west – western Kwando concession. We will certainly be hoping their residence in the area is a long and successful one!
The three cheetah brothers are still reining supreme through the Kwando and are a regular site stalking impalas in the woodlands. On one such occasion they had brought down an impala close to Lagoon camp and were then chased off by some spotted hyenas who were scavenging in the area.
Guests, guides and trackers alike have been entertained by the strong pack of seventeen wild dogs who are terrorising the neighbourhood at the moment. Almost every evening there is a fair chance that these hungry dogs will be on the move and after some fresh meat.
Away from the predators, we have seen several large herds of buffalo and elephant in the area which is quite unusual for this time of the year with such widespread rains in the woodlands. Many migrant birds have extended their stays due to the excellent rainy season and prolonged availability of food. However, it is likely that such migrants as Paradise Flycatchers, Woodlands kingfishers and Wahlberg’s eagles will be departing within the next month.

Kwara & Little Kwara
There have been vast arrays of wildlife at Kwara recently. Water channels familiar to guests have begun to rise by the boat station and airstrip while Kwara lagoon in front of the camp has already risen. The water levels will continue to rise over the next couple of months as the annual flood pushes through towards Xaxanaka and Khwai. This means that there has been an abundance of wildlife in new areas of Kwara concession including the legendary Tsum Tsum plains that are now home to large numbers of zebras, blue wildebeest, elephant and tssesebe.
The splintered coalition of seven lions have been busy harassing these multitudes of game including an excellent giraffe kill seen by some guests. They have also been busy spreading their seed with the local lionesses and many such mating scenes have been recorded by delighted guests.
The family of six cheetahs are now spending more time apart as the four cubs are now over a year old and will be readying themselves for life without their mother in the next few months. They are a constant terror to the areas smaller antelope like impala, duiker and steenbok.
We have also seen a pack of wild dogs to the northeast. They numbered seven animals and passed away into the Mopane woods to the north after failing to kill a kudu.
Guides picked up the very rare sighting of an aardvark (ant bear) close to the airstrip last week and watched the shy creature for over an hour before it head off into the surrounding thickets.

Tau Pan
Tau Pan’s resident Brown hyena has returned to its routine of an early morning drink at the water hole in front of the main area. Camp guides believe that they time their drinks not to coincide with the two big male lions who are also fond of a similar morning routine. After quenching his thirst the hyena then slips away into the thick bush, usually to the east of the camp.
On Phokuje Pan we have been fortunate to see a family of meercats (surricates) on several occasions. These highly gregarious bands are legendary for their bold approach to humans and fascinating group social structure. So far eight individuals have been identified.
Also on Phokuje Pan there have been excellent views of Cape eland antelopes. A herd of about thirty has been spotted quite a few times moving in and out of the area.
In close proximity we still have a female cheetah living with her two cubs and hunting from the large springbok population in the area.
Closer to the camp the blond and the dark maned lion coalition still rule the roost on Tau Pan. A total of six females have at times been seen in their company and one week three of the females were accompanied by three cubs. The lions in the area seem to single out gemsbok as their favourite prey but have also been seen hunting animals as diverse as the springbok or prickly porcupine!


Nxai Pan
Nxai Pan has witnessed some astounding cat viewing in the Park this March. Firstly, a female leopard has been seen on occasion with a young leopard cub walking from pan to pan and stalking the numerous springbok in the area. The mother is naturally very protective of the newest member of her family but some excellent shots have been taken of the youngster oblivious to the dangers around him!
Additionally, we have also had great sightings of a cheetah mother and her cub close to camp. The mother managed to chase down a springbok antelope right by the large Baobab infront of the camp Nxai Pan.
There are also plenty of lions in the area. One group of seven lions have been seen recently on a zebra kill and they have ventured close to the camp to drink from our water hole. That water has to be shared with some huge resident bull elephants who still dominate the view from the front porch.
Additionally, we have seen some good herds of eland in the area towards Khama-Khama Pan to the North-East. They are fairly shy but provide an excellent spectacle as they leap in front of the safari cars in front of the road.
As well as the excellent migrant birdlife we are still enjoying we have seen two fantastic sightings of a Stanley’s Bustard and Martial’s eagle hunting a White-faced Duck.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

A rare chance to spend time with Ba aka pygmies


Possibly the most unique safari expereince imaginable. I personally visited this region and although I came for the wildlife, which was it's self one of the most profound wildlife experinces of my life, I came away with memories of the beautiful Ba aka pymies, since then I have intended to offer a safari which spend as much time with the Ba baka as the wildlife, although it is hard to seperate the two as they are so closely connected through the hunting and gathering habbits of the Ba aka. This trip will spend time in the tropical rainforests of central Africa with an extraordinary group of people, the Ba'Aka Pygmies and will journey to see some of the planets most incredible wildlife.
You will find details on our website and if you are interested in more detail please feel free to get in touch.

Tony

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Jealous ? me.... no way - not a bit .... well ok, a little

jealous ? me.... no way not a bit .... well ok, a little. Alright yes I am .

Tyrone's latest stint in the office here in Blighty finished on Wednesday when he flew south to Zambia to base himself at the "Plains camp" in the beautiful Kafue National Park up on the Busanga Plains where our company first arranged safaris a decade ago. Tyrone will be managing this small but very comfortable tented bush camp in his enthusiastic way hosting & guiding guests as they explore the dramatic and vast open grasslands, home to great herds of Red Lechwe & Buffalo and their eternal enemies, Lions. For the next month or so it is a waiting game and Tyrone will be found at Mukambi (base camp for the Plains) working hard on his spotting skills for the benefit of guests staying at this all season river lodge. As soon as water levels drop Tyrone will be heading (wading) to the figtree island where camp will be built and although Comms will be hard to establish to begin with we will be adding updates to our blog / website as the season progresses. We already have some set date safaris arranged for September and itineraries which will visit the North Kafue to stay at the Plains camp and which also explore the wood land and rivers of the North Kafue. This is real africa with few other people for miles and great wildlife. Get in touch with Tony or Clare for details of set dates and itineraries.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Busanga Plains with Tyrone McKeith


A safari to the Busanga Plains with Tyrone McKeith.

Special Offer only £1450 5 nights 2 nights Mukambi 3 Nights Plains Camp inc transfers all Inc

Other itineraries available check our website or get in touch for a tailored itinerary.

The Busanga plains is a very special place, for much of the year the vast plains are mostly submerged below seasonal flood waters, dotted with islands of acacia and fan palms like desert islands in an ocean. And then in may / june when the waters subside a vast open grass land plain is revealed , dissected in places by steams and gullies, impossible to navigate with out experience and local knowledge. The lush grazing draws great herds of game on to the plains and now the islands become the home of Lions who scan the plains for game. The variety of wildlife on the Busanga Plains is surprising with opportunities to see some very unusual Antelope including with luck, Sitatunga & Sable. And some wonderful predators, Lion of course but also Wild dog and Leopard, Serval and may be just may be Caracal!. And the Birdlife? Wattled Crane, swirling towers of open billed stork, and in the grass Coucal and rosy throated long claw. And what wont you see? other people ! the plains still only have a small number of camps in the whole 750km2 and the number of visitors are minimal.

This year we at Busanga Safaris are on a mission to encourage you to visit the beautiful Kafue and the Busanga Plains and spend some time just getting to know this place. To add to your safari experience Busanga Safaris very own Tyrone McKeith will be based in what is his "Favourite Place" far up on the Busanga at 'The Plains Camp' this small but very comfortable tented bush camp sits on an island of Figtrees away even from the other camps on the plains and in a prime wildlife location.

Tyrone's enthusiastiasum and passion for wildlife is well known and his period as manager at 'Island Bush camp' in the South Luangwa last year which he took up with in days of graduating from University with a degree in Wildlife Conservation. drew many compliments and the beginning of a recognition which will see him follow in the steps of some of the best known in the safari game.

We have a choice of safari ideas which can include a longer stay (7 days) at the Plains Camp or which incorporate some other hand picked camps in other area's of the Kafue such as Hippo Lodge which provide the visitor with a well rounded Kafue safari experience.

We have space available on our September Kafue Safari. but can arrange dates to suit you, with some periods of August seeing camps in the Kafue/busanga already filling up we would encourage you to enquire early.

Golden Eagles Breeding


Whilst in Spain getting the house ready for our short break walking and birding
visitors escaping the weather in the UK. Clare has been keeping one eye always to the sky above the valley scanning for the resident Golden Eagles who soar on the ridges.
And on the 19th Clare spotted a pair of Eagles display flying with in sight of the house, they then settled on the ridge and were seen mating.
Now that is a rare sighting...!
Tony, Clare or our man in Spain 'Jules' will be happy to host you on short break visits to explore this areas birding and wildlife. You could fit in Golden Eagles and Iberian Lynx in just a week..
Contact Tony who will be happy to help you arrange a trip to the Valley where you can stay in our village house and enjoy the beauty of the area, makes a fantastic base for a Summer holiday away from the crowds.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Availability going fast

What a difference a year makes.
Interest in safari travel is showing
a marked improvement over last year
and some small camps are likely to
fill more quickly in 2010.
With a great choice of suggested safaris
and new itineraries.
If you had thought about a safari in
2010 now is the time to get planning,
there are still savings to be made and
Busanga Safaris will always try to avoid
single supplements. Contact us for more details...

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Meet the Lions


Guides at Porini Lion Camp and Mara Porini Camp who guide our guests during our PORINI WILDLIFE SAFARI have completed training on predator ecology and identification which will provide invaluable information on the lion and cheetah populations in the Olare Orok and Ol Kinyei Conservancies adjacent to the Maasai Mara. Within the safety of the conservancies, lion numbers have increased to 51 in Olare Orok and 19 in Ol Kinyei. These healthy prides of lions with their many cubs appear to have taken up permanent residency within the conservancies. Their food supply is plentiful and they are often seen hunting and socializing a short distance from the Porini Camps.
Profiles on the cheetah families and the individual lions and their prides are available in camp and in each vehicle. PORINI WILDLIFE SAFARI guests now have the opportunity to practice their lion identification skills and gather data regarding the health and habits of these magnificent animals.
Adding an extra dimension to what is a very varied and interesting safari which uses some very comfortable and traditional safari camps.
Have a look at the safari in more detail on our website. These are small camps and so numbers are limited,book early!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

2010 the year of the Set departure & Guided Safari


We are seeing a lot of interest in our set departure and escorted safaris for 2010.
With firm dates set for safaris to Zambia and Zimbabwe we expect to add more dates
and more destinations as the year goes on. Each safari is small group with just a maximum of 6 guests frequently we will go with just 4.
Guided from start to finish, your guide will certainly enhance the safari giving a deeper insight into the areas we visit and maximizing the chance of great wildlife encounters and with your guide handling everything there is nothing to think about apart from enjoying the experience.
Check out the website for our Set date / guided safaris or if you have an idea of where you want to go and would like to be guided why not get in touch and we will put together a guided trip just for you.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Iberian Lynx photo


Hi All
I thought you would like to share in one of my life's unforgettable experiences with the world's rarest cat - Iberian Lynx.
After almost knocking the animal over we watched astonished as it nonchalantly padded it's way parallel to the car (5-6m away) and then dropped down an embankment. We got out and again watched it through binoculars for the next half an hour as it walked slowly away through the undergrowth before coming to rest right out in the open. It was incredible and more so because my camera has been going faulty the last couple of days and I had just two goes to get one shot, which under the circumstances I am extremely proud of - hope you like it too.
Take care and good luck for 2010 to you all.
Cheers Jules