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Africa Safari Blog






Walk on the Wild Side Safari - Botswana Wrap-up

Friday, 23 October 2009 14:20 by BillGiven

Final update from Bill as he was sitting in an airport in South Africa. Bill is now back in the U.S. - but I wanted to share his last emails as he left Johannesburg.

photo of an african cape buffalo
On a Mapula Lodge Hunt, Cape Buffalo Were Able to Evade Hungry Lions. This Time.
Photo © Bill Given


Mapula Lodge

At Mapula Lodge, we followed a coalition of 3 lion for quite some time on an unsuccessful (for them) nighttime buffalo hunt. Lots of unusual stories, met bushmen elders and discussed my research - was invited to live in their village and was actually in the village when a friend of one of my guide's won reelection as district councilman.

A Lion Named Bill!

I was honored to know that the guides at Mapula Lodge had named one of the lions in the Mapula concession Bill! I have great pics and video of Bill and look forward to sharing all of it on my blog upon my return.

Python Relocation from Mapula Lodge Kitchen

A very interesting wildlife experience happened on the grounds of Mapula Lodge. I was able to catch and remove a Python as he was heading towards the Mapula Lodge Kitchen. Extricating the Python was tough as he was climbing a wall in a tight spot and the head was more than a foot behind me when I yanked him out. I had some nerves but took him out Croc hunter style and controlled him by tail before pinning the head to move him safely. I earned a bit of respect from the guides on this one.

Swedish Newspaper

Also interesting while at Mapula - I was photographed and interviewed by a Swedish newspaper whiled in the Mapula pool. Should be interesting to see if we can find this article online - and if we can translate it :).

Sandibe

At Sandibe I saw a dog pack with 14 pups, and many other great wildlife observations.

Savute Under Canvas

This morning on my last drive at Savuti all hell broke loose with impala running straight at us with flying leaps and then came an 8 dog pack in mad pursuit. I had camera in hand with some great action shots, really wish I could video and photo at same time! Did shoot some social behavior vid after hunt failed then followed another hunt but they lost us.

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Walk on the Wild Side Safari - Savute Under Canvas

Tuesday, 20 October 2009 07:12 by BillGiven

Savute Under Canvas is the next safari stop during Bill's Walk on the Wild Side Safari. Savute Under Canvas is located in Chobe National Park in Botswana and represents the very last destination on this current safari. For a bit more information about Savute Under Canvas, be sure to check out the description underneath the itinerary and map below.

Please see the itinerary and map below for details on Bill's current Walk on the Wild Side Safari.

Walk on the Wildside Safari Key


Savute Under Canvas Overview

Savute Under Canvas is located in Botswana's Chobe National Park. More details about Savute Under Canvas will be posted after Bill's return from the current safari in late October.

Savute Under Canvas Game Viewing

Savute Under Canvas has access to Chobe National Park. Chobe National Park is the second largest national park in Botswana. Chobe features one of the highest concentrations of game on the African Continent. The Park features roughly four distinct geographical ecosystems. Savute Under Canvas provides access to the Savuti Marsh ecosystem. Within this portion of Chobe National Park, Bill will likely see the following species (to name just a few):



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Walk on the Wild Side Safari - Sandibe Lodge

Monday, 19 October 2009 11:41 by BillGiven

Photo of an African Fish Eagle
Sandibe has Access to Moremi Game Reserve's Great Game Viewing
Photo © Bill Given


Sandibe Lodge is the next safari stop during Bill's Walk on the Wild Side Safari. Sandibe Lodge is also located in the Okavango Delta Region of Botswana not too far away from the previous stop on this safari - Mapula Lodge. I'll be providing more information about Sandibe Lodge beneath the itinerary and map presented below.

Please see the itinerary and map below for details on Bill's current Walk on the Wild Side Safari.

Walk on the Wildside Safari Key


Sandibe Lodge Overview

Sandibe Lodge is located in Botswana's Okavango Delta, adjacent to the Moremi Game Reserve. Sandibe features eight guest cottages - I believe that this is Bill's first visit to Sandibe, and he'll have Sandibe photos and details to share upon his return in late October.

Sandibe Lodge Game Viewing

Sandibe Lodge's location adjacent to Moremi Game Reserve. Moremi Game Reserve offers very similar wildlife viewing to that offered by Mapula Lodge. Bill can expect to once again have the opportunity to view the following (to name just a few notable species):



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Walk on the Wild Side Safari - Mapula Lodge

Friday, 16 October 2009 22:11 by BillGiven

Photo of Mapula Lodge Bar
Mapula Lodge Bar - Overlooking Hippo-Filled Waterhole
Photo © Bill Given


Mapula Lodge in Botswana is where the group is currently staying. This is their second safari location after spending a little over a week at various camps in Zambia. Mapula Lodge is one of Bill's absolute favorite safari destinations - and I'll be providing a lot of information on Mapula Lodge after you have a chance to review the itinerary and map below.

Please see the itinerary and map below for details on Bill's current Walk on the Wild Side Safari.

Walk on the Wildside Safari Key

Mapula Lodge Overview

Mapula Lodge is located in the far north of the Okavango Delta making Mapula one of the most remote camps in Botswana. Mapula Lodge is one of Bill's favorite camps for many reasons:

  • Tremendous Community that Staffs the Lodge
  • Scenic Location of the Camp
  • Very comfortable - but not over the top accommodations
  • The Camp is Focused on Game Viewing
  • Outstanding guides and trackers

Mapula Lodge Game Viewing


Photo of Endangered African Wild Dogs at Mapula
Endangered African Wild Dogs Call the Mapula Concession Home
Photo © Bill Given


Bill is a huge fan of Mapula lodge for many reasons, including great the great game viewing Mapula Lodge provides in this remote part of the Okavango Delta. After historic floods peaked a few months back, the region has been drying out ever since. With this October visit, Bill and his group are fortunate enough to be there at the height of the dry season. Game viewing is at its best as animals congregate at permanent water resources.

Lions and African wild dogs are commonly seen from Mapula Lodge and the presence of large numbers of buffalo and elephants makes this an exciting time. Smaller cats, serval and caracal are much rarer sightings but seem to be spotted with a fair frequency at Mapula. The area is well known for the elegant sable antelope that is rarely seen in other areas as well as the highly endangered African wild dog that has a history of denning near Mapula Lodge. At this time of year lions are focused on hunting buffalo providing tremendous drama for those fortunate enough to witness the action.

Mapula Lodge Activities

Bill and his group will be partaking in many of the fantastic activities that Mapula Lodge offers, including:

  • Game Drives
  • Night Drives
  • Bush Walks
  • Mokoro (dugout canoe)
  • Village Visit (River Bushmen)

Mapula Lodge Accommodations

Photo of the inside of a Mapula Lodge Chalet
Photo of the Inside of a Chalet at Mapula Lodge


The chalets at Mapula Lodge are unique - combining the feel of a chalet structure with a tent as the entire back of the chalet is screened mesh letting in the wild sounds and allowing private views out to the lagoon at Mapula and the hippos, elephants, fish eagles and multitude of other species that are commonly seen.


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Walk on the Wild Side Safari - Zambia Safari Update!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009 13:07 by BillGiven

Fantastic News! Bill is currently at Victoria Falls and was able to provide me some text message updates of his Zambia safari up until this point. I have provided Bill's update after the itinerary and map below. Enjoy!

Bill's next stop is Mapula Lodge in Botswana - where he'll be staying tomorrow and for the next three days after that. Details of the current Walk on the Wild Side safari can be found below.

Walk on the Wildside Safari Key

South Luangwa National Park Safari Game Drives

Photo of a Leopard Taken on a Previous Safari
Bill was fortunate enough to come across the elusive leopard
multiple times in South Luangwa National Park
Photo © Bill Given (From a Previous Safari)


Amazing Night Time Lion Hunt

Watching 6 lions hunt impala in the dark. Failed on 1st attempt and then started a second hunt. Could see lions flanking out to the side of the herd while "catchers" set up down wind and we were positioned where the herd would be forced. We turned out the spotlight to not interfere and then the thundering hooves came our way and we spotlit at the sound of a collision and found the kill taking place 25 feet behind our vehicle followed by an amazing feeding frenzy leaving no remains in just 13 minutes.

Webmaster Note:Bill mentioned to me in the text messages that he has some truly amazing video of this experience from the initial capture until the feeding was completed. I look forward to getting this video processed and put out to the website.

Other Notable Sightings

Saw three leopards together with one in a tree eating a baboon. I also received a special invite to accompany the Zambian predator project biologists for a predator census. The census involved playing sounds at night to call in predators. We had two hyena and a three year old male lion respond - all came into the location. We also saw African Wild Dogs in South Luangwa National Park.

Walking Safari Highlights

Photo of Safari goers doing a bush walk
Bill was able to see amazing sights that you just
can't see from a vehicle while on his walking safari
Photo © Bill Given (From a Previous Safari)


  • Sleeping Lioness - Walking through cover came upon a sleeping lioness just ten feet in front of us. When she realized it, she jumped up and then ran away. Then we watched her at a distance.
  • Elephants - Great elephants that we carefully observed an manuevered around.
  • Leopard - Startled a leopard from a tree about 20 feet in front of us - then we found its impala kill on the ground close by.
  • Other - Sensational walks and night drives, lots of animals including those of the nocturnal variety like civets and genets. Camps were terrific. Full reports, photos, and video on my return.

Safari Planning Requests

With my limited email access, I have already contacted all of the people who requested that I get in touch with them. I look forward to providing personal calls/e-mails/meetings to the many people who have wanted to talk to me when I return on October 23rd.

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The Wild Source's Africa Video Channel - safari videos taken by The Wild Source founder Bill Given

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