T. Enticknap, 2012 (UK)

Hi Edward,

Thank you for the attachment.

No, we didn’t see wild dog, although we spent a morning looking for them, but we saw just about everything else! Lots of lion – in prides with a kill, solitary males, and in small groups. One pride had two cubs and we were really lucky to find a pair of lionesses (with three adorable two-month old cubs) who were in the process of hunting. One continued on her way across the valley to hunt giraffe, whilst the mother lay down in front of us and suckled her cubs. A magical moment! We saw a female cheetah three times, again with three cubs – the first time they were very thin and hungry, the second she was hunting impala but failed to make a kill and the third time they all had full bellies! Add to the list wildebeest, a 300-strong herd of buffalo walking directly towards us, civet cat and, on two separate occasions, serval! Eland, dik-dik, Grant’s gazelle, vervet monkeys, greater and lesser kudu, hippos etc as well as the usual suspects and lots and lots of birds. One very early morning, our guide was hugely excited to spot an ardwolf, but Tony just got a glimpse and I didn’t see anything at all! Oh yes, and we saw a pair of hyena with a young cub sunbathing outside their den as well as a group of three squabbling over the remains of a kill, surrounded by jackals. As for the leopards, we saw our first up a tree between being picked up from the airstrip and taken to Mwagusi – what a welcome! The second slunk across the track in front of us just as it was becoming dark one evening and it was a very brief sighting, but a leopard nonetheless! On the third occasion, we saw two cubs a few months old, each up a separate tree whilst the mother was off hunting. An elephant tried to take off our banda roof one night, and was blocking the doorway on the morning we left! I find it amazing how quickly they can change from placid creatures into raging behemoths when they feel they are being threatened. We had a couple of scary moments, including one afternoon when we were on the lake at Selous, close to the bank, and an elephant got quite stroppy and charged us. We backed off and were lucky enough to see him swimming across the lake to an island, using his trunk as a snorkel. That was quite a moment! By the end of the trip, we were just awestruck by the amount of wildlife we had seen and couldn’t believe our good fortune. Undoubtedly, a lot of this was down to the skill of our brilliant guide at Mwagusi who had a real instinct for knowing where to find the animals, and his knowledge and enthusiasm were outstanding.

Sorry to go on about it – of course you’ve heard it all before, but you did ask!!

Lucky you to have lived in Africa for so long – we can’t wait to return.

Kind regards,
T. Enticknap, 2012 (UK)

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