Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016





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    Default Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Wonderful 6 nights in Mana Pools and Chitake. Trip report attached.
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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Thanks for your report, it brought back great memories.

    It would seem that I am more afraid of the Chitake lion pride than you were!
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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Awesome trip report thanks for sharing

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Thanks for your trip report. Brings back memories and makes me want to go back.

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Super trip report. Made me feel like I was with you there in the bush.
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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    OMG, you are crazy men. Do lions, buffaloes and elephants recognise your FGASA qualification ?

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by schwott View Post
    OMG, you are crazy men. Do lions, buffaloes and elephants recognise your FGASA qualification ?
    Schwott, the beauty and attraction of Chitake and Mana is in the walking. One cannot go to these parks if you want to stay in the car or the campsite - a park like the Kruger is far better suited to driving or staying in camp.

    At Chitake, no game was seen from the camp, only the lions at night. There are no roads to drive, so it is a mecca for walking.Mana has a good road network, but the real magic is walking and experiencing big game on foot.

    The experience in these places would not be the same if you were confined to a vehicle or a campsite. I don't advocate doing what we did if you have not got the experience - that would be nuts! As an ex guide and having a current guide with us, I felt confident enough to walk like we did without pushing any boundaries. It all boils down to personal preferences.

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Brilliant report, thanks GT.

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    I thoroughly enjoyed you report and writing style, thank you.
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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by global traveller View Post
    Schwott, the beauty and attraction of Chitake and Mana is in the walking. One cannot go to these parks if you want to stay in the car or the campsite - a park like the Kruger is far better suited to driving or staying in camp.

    At Chitake, no game was seen from the camp, only the lions at night. There are no roads to drive, so it is a mecca for walking.Mana has a good road network, but the real magic is walking and experiencing big game on foot.

    The experience in these places would not be the same if you were confined to a vehicle or a campsite. I don't advocate doing what we did if you have not got the experience - that would be nuts! As an ex guide and having a current guide with us, I felt confident enough to walk like we did without pushing any boundaries. It all boils down to personal preferences.
    Very nice trip report Global Traveller but you're overstating the necessity of the walking experience IMO. I'm in a wheelchair so I'm not in a position to share the experiences and magic that you and others who go walk-about encounter. I've recently returned from my 2nd trip to Mana though and I can assure you that the magic is still there even though my viewing was from our camp (Mucheni #3) or car. Kruger with it's confined campsites and peak hour type traffic cannot compare! :-)

    I'll post a brief trip report and photos sometime soon.

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Excellent detailed report and pics of a wonderful trip!
    Many thanks for posting.

    I have great respect for the big cats!

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by Davesg View Post
    Very nice trip report Global Traveller but you're overstating the necessity of the walking experience IMO. I'm in a wheelchair so I'm not in a position to share the experiences and magic that you and others who go walk-about encounter. I've recently returned from my 2nd trip to Mana though and I can assure you that the magic is still there even though my viewing was from our camp (Mucheni #3) or car. Kruger with it's confined campsites and peak hour type traffic cannot compare! :-)

    I'll post a brief trip report and photos sometime soon.
    Hi Dave,

    You raise a very valid point and one I never considered. I look forward to reading it.

    Best
    Ryan

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    I love the trip report, drool at the experience ... I would love to see more pics of the camping environment and general environment.

    One day when I am big I will also visit the pools
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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Thank you GT, a fantastic report. Most informative and impressive.
    When an author holds his audience from beginning to end, as you have, he's certainly a gifted writer.
    We're heading to Mana and Chitake in August 2017, three couples, three vehicles. I doubt we'll be as bold as you and your group re the walks but most certainly looking forward

    On a point of interest, how did you learn your tracking skills?
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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Thanks Global Traveller, got to get back to Mana soon. Kinda like the idea of flying in.

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    Unhappy Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Hi Globaltraveller,

    Thanks, I very much enjoyed your report. Last year, I spent a week in Mana Pools, including 2 nights at Chitake 1. You're right about the skittishness of the game and that it's caused by man rather than 4 legged predators. I suspected poaching. We did see evidence of Zimparks ranger patrols and the landrover track they use but the area is so remote that it needs more than the occasional patrol. Hopefully the use of remote sensing technology provides additional early warning.

    Like you, we went on several walks but we had our own Zimbo guide armed with rifle and hand gun. The place does cause the hairs in the back of your neck to rise but hey this is all part of what makes Mana Pools so special.

    As you say the main event starts at nightfall with the buffalo charging to the spring and the lions following close behind. We were lucky to witness a dust-up between the resident pride and some female interlopers. Also had wild dog running through the dried-up river bed in the early morning but sadly I didn't see these myself.

    You're also right in that Chitake doesn't suit everyone and especially the exposed camp 2 where you were. It's very exposed to the sun and wind. More importantly, if you yourself are skittish and haven't arranged a guide, it's not the place to be-better at one of the tour camps or at Nyamepi. From here there are several miles of track and loops although the private operators get snotty if you approach their camps. Fair enough I suppose since they're paying a fair wad for the privelege as is their guests.

    The riverfront is fantastic, not only for the wildlife but for the views and just chilling out armed with a cool one.

    I'm glad you had time with the ellies. Your party obviously knows how to behave around them. It was this lack of respect that saw the new guidelines introduced and we were lucky not to lose the opportunity to walk unaccompanied that again makes this place so special. I felt at the time that Zimparks kinda overreacted by introducing the ban but thank goodness common sense prevailed. Hopefully we don't mess up and the ban is reintroduced.

    Thanks again for your report.
    Last edited by ronpon; 2016/07/29 at 10:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
    Thank you GT, a fantastic report. Most informative and impressive.
    When an author holds his audience from beginning to end, as you have, he's certainly a gifted writer.
    We're heading to Mana and Chitake in August 2017, three couples, three vehicles. I doubt we'll be as bold as you and your group re the walks but most certainly looking forward

    On a point of interest, how did you learn your tracking skills?
    Many thanks John,

    I had the pleasure of working at Mala Mala in the Sabi Sands, and Grant Telfer is one of the head training guides at And Beyond. Nothing like time in the bush to hone your skills.

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by ronpon View Post
    Hi Globaltraveller,

    Thanks, I very much enjoyed your report. Last year, I spent a week in Mana Pools, including 2 nights at Chitake 1. You're right about the skittishness of the game and that it's caused by man rather than 4 legged predators. I suspected poaching. We did see evidence of Zimparks ranger patrols and the landrover track they use but the area is so remote that it needs more than the occasional patrol. Hopefully the use of remote sensing technology provides additional early warning.

    Like you, we went on several walks but we had our own Zimbo guide armed with rifle and hand gun. The place does cause the hairs in the back of your neck to rise but hey this is all part of what makes Mana Pools so special.

    As you say the main event starts at nightfall with the buffalo charging to the spring and the lions following close behind. We were lucky to witness a dust-up between the resident pride and some female interlopers. Also had wild dog running through the dried-up river bed in the early morning but sadly I didn't see these myself.

    You're also right in that Chitake doesn't suit everyone and especially the exposed camp 2 where you were. It's very exposed to the sun and wind. More importantly, if you yourself are skittish and haven't arranged a guide, it's not the place to be-better at one of the tour camps or at Nyamepi. From here there are several miles of track and loops although the private operators get snotty if you approach their camps. Fair enough I suppose since they're paying a fair wad for the privelege as is their guests.

    The riverfront is fantastic, not only for the wildlife but for the views and just chilling out armed with a cool one.

    I'm glad you had time with the ellies. Your party obviously knows how to behave around them. It was this lack of respect that saw the new guidelines introduced and we were lucky not to lose the opportunity to walk unaccompanied that again makes this place so special. I felt at the time that Zimparks kinda overreacted by introducing the ban but thank goodness common sense prevailed. Hopefully we don't mess up and the ban is reintroduced.

    Thanks again for your report.
    Hi ronpon,

    Thank you. Both places are exceptional and Chitake is extra special.

    How was the lion behaviour when you were there? Did you manage to find them during the day on foot? How was the quality of the guide while you were there?

    Best regards
    Ryan

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    Default Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    A great trip report and very informative info you shared on the area. Thanks very much!

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    Cool Re: Chitake and Mana Pools Trip report July 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by global traveller View Post
    Hi ronpon,

    Thank you. Both places are exceptional and Chitake is extra special.

    How was the lion behaviour when you were there? Did you manage to find them during the day on foot? How was the quality of the guide while you were there?

    Best regards
    Ryan
    Hi Ryan

    We didn't come across lions during the day. There's a lot of dense bush in the area so we suspected they were holed up there.

    Steve Barrie from Harare was our guide and he was great. Not only. Eashe expert on game back also great company.

    In terms of cost, Chitake 1 was expensive and there were only 2 of us to share this and Steve's time. If there is maybe 4/5 splitting the cost it is easier on the pocket. But heck it's was once in a lifetime experience for me so content to bear the cost. After all its only money.

    Ron
    Last edited by ronpon; 2016/08/03 at 12:50 PM.

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