Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017 - Page 2





Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 41
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Age
    46
    Posts
    670
    Thanked: 224

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    We ill be staying at the same sites at the beginning of Nov.
    Thanks for sharing this great report

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to sylvia000 For This Useful Post:


  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Age
    46
    Posts
    670
    Thanked: 224

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    We ill be staying at the same sites at the beginning of Nov.
    Thanks for sharing this great report

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    68
    Posts
    259
    Thanked: 159

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Hi Stan.
    Chitake three is the "tour operators camp" and is situated on the left hand side just before you go downhill towards Chitake one. When you turn left, there is a "bushy clearing" with a big tree on your left hand side. Just go around the bush on the right hand side and there is a downhill towards the river. Beautifull bushy campsite. Stayed there twice and I prefer it to one, but there should be no tour operator's booking and will need some "skilled" negotiations at the second gate, just past the bridge. They will get in contact with the main office, and if not occupied, your luck might just be in. I stayed there twice, mainly one night each as I had arrived to early. No bribes, but good convincing and not taking no for an answer, within limits, did the trick for me.
    Boabab site is not being used for a long time, only saw campers there on one occasion and after speaking to them, it was due to the bees at sit nr two. I will be there October, should you want some more answers.
    Rudy

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Rudy Roodbol For This Useful Post:


  6. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Port Elizabeth
    Age
    58
    Posts
    2,011
    Thanked: 449

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Thanks very much Don.
    Also need to go back but need to think about planning around the 23 July to 21 August 2018 Elections
    So wait till that's over and then plan

    Will refer to this thread often, thanks Again

  7. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    66
    Posts
    4,451
    Thanked: 2750

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Thanks Rudy I forgot that 3 was the operators site and did not realize with Kissinger skills the public could use it if empty.

    Just a warning, although you are probably already aware, in October you can expect the tsetse flies to be hyperactive in October at Chitake. How to combat them is a topic on its own. It will be great to get feedback on Chitake and Mana when you return.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Stan Weakley For This Useful Post:


  9. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Age
    46
    Posts
    670
    Thanked: 224

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Hello Stan,

    We wil report when we are back
    Hope the tsetse are not so bad as in the Serengeti
    We slept 1 night at the baobab site on the hill, july 2015
    Paid directly at the office
    Did not sleep because off the baboons all over the car ( roof tent )

  10. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    66
    Posts
    4,451
    Thanked: 2750

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia000 View Post
    Hope the tsetse are not so bad as in the Serengeti
    Hi Sylvia, sad to say they will almost certainly be worse in November, the summer. Search this forum for tsetse flies. Burning elephant dung works the best, I am serious. We were nearly eaten alive one October at Chitake but they can be worse some years than others.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Stan Weakley For This Useful Post:


  12. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Shanghai
    Age
    47
    Posts
    230
    Thanked: 132

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Hi Donlux

    Great report.

    Thanks for sharring
    Last edited by jpseekles; 2017/08/19 at 01:30 AM.

  13. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Tokai
    Age
    64
    Posts
    256
    Thanked: 155

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Thanks for the report Don. Brought back some great memories of our time at Mucheni #3 last year.

  14. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Fourways
    Age
    39
    Posts
    538
    Thanked: 188

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Don thanks for being true to form and coming back to the forum with this trip report and excellent pics. I am sure your credit rating has been significantly raised and forum members will be queuing up to help you with any queries in the future.
    I don't remember when last we had a detailed trip report, especially on Zim and Mana Pools.
    I am pleased to hear that Beit Bridge was not too much of a sweat and that the police in Zim were fine. We have never had problems with officials in Zim.

    Some questions and remarks if I may:
    Are they still taking the 2US$ tolls at the road blocks or has this fallen away?
    I cannot recall there being a Chitake 3 campsite. Could you provide a little info on its location and quality? Is it up on Baobab Hill?
    When we were last there the water from the spring was always seeping well past Chitake 1, by some 300m probably. This meant that plenty of the animals where drinking right in front of the camp. From your pics and descriptions the flow is well short of that now?
    I wonder if you or any members can suggest why the animals are so skittish at Chitake now, this was not the case in my experience?
    Chitake remains the wildest campsite of all in any national park anywhere in my experience. It sounds like the nights are still just as noisy?

    I think our revisit is overdue! I just love that park!
    Hi Stan,

    All tolls are still 2USD$. they aren't taking the 2USD$ at the roadblocks it seems. We never encountered this.
    As per reply from the other guys, 3 is "supposedly" a tour operators site and is exactly as mentioned already, just to the left before you go down the small steep incline to Chitake 1. In terms of Quality, I am almost tempted to say it is better than 1. I would say Chitake 1 wins for a nice camp area - big round clearing with a lovely huge shady tree and a great opening/view onto the dry river bed as well as acres of space to manoeuvre vehicles and even trailers if need be.. Chitake 3 is a long narrow cam site, I would probably 6m wide and around 20/30m long. This would be difficult to manoeuvre vehicles and I would almost say impossible if you have a trailer. there is a nice round clearing at the top which could work, but then you aren't on the river and don't get views... Once you drop down the steep little incline to the lower part of camp 3 it is lovely and shady and right on the edge of the river bank as per number 1. The reason I say it is probably better is that the water runs right past the edge of Chitake 3, and on the side closest to camp. The Ozzie/SA couples who stayed there the last night we were there said they loved it and after 3 nights at 1 also said they preferred camp 3. They had more game and action as the water is right in front of them.

    With regards to the water levels, What I found a bit weird, was that it seemed the water was almost tidal? Perhaps you ould help shed one light on this, or anyone else who might know. Early mornings the water would come to just over the track almost inline with the start of Chitake 1, but by 10h00 or 11h00 the water had receded all the way back to edge inline with camp 3, some 50 meters back. So to answer your question Stan, the water wasn't reaching camp 1 and most of the action was higher up the river.

    I would also love to here why the animals are so skittish now as this was the last thing i was expecting at Chitake. I kept telling our whole party how they must be careful because this place we going to is extremely wild and at least one of us will probably be eaten on the trip.... just kidding.... but, it really wasn't what we expected, so would be curious to hear any views....

    The nights were noisy, but not extremely noisy... one night was quite noisy with 3 lion calling, 2 on one side of river bed and one on the other, very close to our camp... a few distant hyena calls, but thats it pretty much. I would say Mucheni 3 was WAY noisier, but more from Hippo's and baboons than anything else. Mucheni 3 was so noisy we actually battled to sleep both nights...

    One thing I can say for sure is that, we will most definitely be back at both Chitake & Mucheni! This time I would say we would do 5 nights at Chitake 3 (some persistent persuading hopefully) and 5 nights at Mucheni 3 again.
    2017 Fortuner 2.8 GD6 4x4 Auto

  15. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Fourways
    Age
    39
    Posts
    538
    Thanked: 188

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia000 View Post
    We ill be staying at the same sites at the beginning of Nov.
    Thanks for sharing this great report
    Enjoy your trip Sylvia, It truly is a magical place. One thing we couldn't get over was the amount of game constantly at Mucheni / main Mana side. Everywhere you look there is game... Impala, Waterbuck, baboon, ellies - hundreds of them, eland, Kudu, amazing birdlife, it was simply magical!

    From the questions we asked the rangers during our trip now, they say Oct to Feb the Tetse's will be out, and worst from Nov-Jan. Something I heard from a local Zim resident which we never tried as we weren't there in tsetse season, was to take an empty spray bottle and mix 1/3rd Dettol with 2/3rds water... so I think it is def worth a try!

    I enquired about the wild dog during my stay as this is one animal I was secretly hoping to see! Apparently June/July/Aug they are denning as it's their breeding season. They are hiding deep in the bush away from people and predators in order to keep their pups safe. He did however say, if you want to see wild dog hunting and busy, then October & November is the best time to visit the park as they hunt constantly during this period to feed their new pups...

    So hopefully you have a great trip and some amazing sightings! Look forward to the trip report upon your return.
    Last edited by Donlux; 2017/08/21 at 09:42 PM.
    2017 Fortuner 2.8 GD6 4x4 Auto

  16. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    66
    Posts
    4,451
    Thanked: 2750

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Thanks Don.
    Chitake's water is from a spring as we know and the flow varies from season to season and year to year. When we have been there the water reach would recede during the heat of day. I'm not sure why. The one year the water flow was so strong that it went quite a distance beyond the place where the game viewing track past Chitake 2 crossed the river bed.
    We were last there in October and this spring was the only water for many a mile. The herds of elephant and huge herds of hundreds of buffalo were forced to visit there to drink by day and night. The Chitake lion pride were strong then, in large numbers and a buffalo was killed in the river bed every second night. You can imagine the noise with the buffalo stampeding, elephant trumpeting and the lions roaring. You couldn't really sleep at night.
    Not my story but I have read about the buffalo herd stampeding right through Chitake 1.
    I hope Sylvia reads this as it could be very wild and exciting in November.

    Sylvia for tsetses there are various repellents none of which are perfect. Avoid black or dark clothing as they attract the tsetse flies as you probably know. These tsetses can be bad in the campsite at Chitake and if not combated could drive you out.
    • Burning very dry elephant dung in tin cans with holes in the side is the most effective in my experience. I would burn a few cans in camp hanging from the vehicles and trees and let the smoke drift downwind to you. Luckily the flies go to sleep as evening approaches.
    • Diluting Dettol concentrate 1:3 with water in a spray bottle also works but you have to spray yourself every hour or so. Some add citronella oil to this as well. I think it is the oiliness that keeps them away.
    • There is an Australian product, an insect repellent named Rid that is the most effective I have used.
    • Then there is also the cosmetic oil from the Avon company known as "Skin so soft" that many swear by. This once again mainly repels because of its oiliness I think and has to be applied almost hourly.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  17. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Age
    46
    Posts
    670
    Thanked: 224

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Hello Donlux, thank you fort the kind words.

    We have been in 2014 and 2015 to Mana /Mucheni 3
    We loved it but did not see a lot of wildlifeover there, so when I read your review you can see how different it can be fromyear to year. But still we loved the Magic of Mana and keep on coming back
    Both times we were there at the end of July,beginning of August.
    They told us that the best time for a lot of wildlifeat the river front is October.
    We thought we will give it another try thisyear we start booking in januari but soon we were told that the secialcampsites were full in October.
    That s why we turned our trip around and now Mana is at the end, soit will be the beginning of November. ( the hot suicide month )
    We know there is a change that the first rainsstarted allready, hope we have some luck.
    We have stayed at Chitake 2 and the reservesite at the hill before but now finally there was space at Chitake 1 ( maybenobody want s in the tsetse high season )
    We also did not see much wildlife over there exept for all the buffalo, thatwas stunning and we could hear the lion roars in the night

    We have had lunch at Chitake 1 and it looks reallygood but also a lot of bush around.
    I ve read and seen pictures from the dangerousgreen snake in the tree in the middle of the campsite, did you see it??
    I hope so that it is true and we have someluck with the wild dogs, would be great ( saw them 2 times in South Luangwa andChobe but both times they we re gone in2 seconds

    Hello Stan, thank you u so much for explainingthe elephant dung thing a little better.
    I think on our way from Chewore to Chitake were gone collect some dung and give it a serious try ( hope you are not joking, haha )
    I ve tried the Avon spray a couple of years ago and I think it did not domuch.
    The dettol Is a new one for me, I will givethis also a try
    2 years agoI got a tip from someone about the RID product from Australia.
    We could not order it online so a friend of us who was in Australia bought 10of these for us.

    In theSerengeti it worked 100 % against the TSE TSE ( but you need to spray everything also your clothes and after a couplehours you have to do it again)
    We have 2,5bottle left so I hope it also works for the Mana Tsetse, will let you know

    ( see photo s for the product )

    So when I mback I can write product reviews, lol.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	rid, tsetse 1.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	56.4 KB 
ID:	458349   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Rid, tsetse 2.jpg 
Views:	39 
Size:	51.6 KB 
ID:	458350  

  18. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Age
    46
    Posts
    670
    Thanked: 224

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Sorry for the interval problem, there is something wrong with my computer keyboard, hope you still can read it. Greetings Syl

  19. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    66
    Posts
    4,451
    Thanked: 2750

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Sylvia, pleased you read the info about tsetses. The problem about Chitake is that they will not only pester you on game drives in the tree lines but in a bad year in Oct Nov can actually be present in the campsite. I am absolutely serious about the elephant dung. You can see the lodge game viewing vehicles driving around with it burning in a tin can suspended from the vehicle.

    Let us know how your trip goes, as you say experiences can vary.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to Stan Weakley For This Useful Post:


  21. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fourways
    Age
    46
    Posts
    148
    Thanked: 46

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Hey Don,

    Great report and magic that you had a great time in a very special place.

    Chitake has changed wrt the animals. They are definitely more skittish and the lion pride behaviour is completely different to how it used to be. During the day they bolt when they see you - rumour has it that the game scouts who are there for 7 days around full moon every month take pot shots at them as they were scared of them.

    Besides the lion, the rest of the game were pretty skittish too.

    Best
    Ryan

  22. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    66
    Posts
    4,451
    Thanked: 2750

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Thanks Ryan, makes sense and it is a great pity.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  23. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Fourways
    Age
    39
    Posts
    538
    Thanked: 188

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by global traveller View Post
    Hey Don,

    Great report and magic that you had a great time in a very special place.

    Chitake has changed wrt the animals. They are definitely more skittish and the lion pride behaviour is completely different to how it used to be. During the day they bolt when they see you - rumour has it that the game scouts who are there for 7 days around full moon every month take pot shots at them as they were scared of them.

    Besides the lion, the rest of the game were pretty skittish too.

    Best
    Ryan
    Thanks Ryan - We actually discussed that it was more than likely the rangers taking shots or firing warning shots etc... During our stay at Chitake (3 Days) on 2 of the 3 days we saw 2 separate groups of rangers walking up the river bed from the opposite side of the spring towards the Chitake 1 and the direction of spring source.. All of these groups of rangers then crossed over to opposite chi take 1 and walked up the bank towards Chitake 2 side.

    We couldn't help but notice how every single animal we encountered were EXTREMELY skittish. Even the Hyena which is not normally an issue in any camp. The first day we saw the buffalo we drove across to Chitake 2 and further north of the bend in the river bed to emerge about 200/300m north of where you see the buff come down the bank to drink, and at the first sign/smell of us hundreds of meters away they bolted off into the bush and never came down the next 2 mornings...

    After this experience at Chitake I would gladly walk around there without a ranger/guide. Naturally still be very wary and careful, but if my experience was anything to go by, I doubt you would walk into any animals as they would be long gone before you even got close.

    Don
    2017 Fortuner 2.8 GD6 4x4 Auto

  24. The Following User Says Thank You to Donlux For This Useful Post:


  25. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fourways
    Age
    46
    Posts
    148
    Thanked: 46

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    That's exactly what we experienced.

    We walked into the bush line off the big game trail that leads to the source of the spring - loads of game there but they vanish as soon as they see you.

    On one of our days there we set up chairs outside the source of the spring under the big Fig Tree and out of sight of the approaching animals. We were there from 0600 and stayed until 18h00. Elephants only game down at 1730 - otherwise not an animal in sight.

  26. #40
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Umdloti, KZN
    Age
    61
    Posts
    97
    Thanked: 3

    Default Re: Mana Magic - Trip Report Aug 2017

    Don

    Thanks for an informative and entertaining trip report. Making plans for Mana next year so very useful info.

    Thanks for taking the time to write it

    sarah

  27. The Following User Says Thank You to saudisarah For This Useful Post:


Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •