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Paradise Regained – Parc National Zakouma Tchad


Kitsafari
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i'm not sure why the youtube link didn't work...

 

let me try again :

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjKampo44

 

 

 

edited to say : it's the same link but not sure why it doesn't work. :(

Edited by Game Warden
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@@Kitsafari

A continuing delight. I think you would do well in the "Big Year" for birds just on this trip - sometimes even in one photo! The ROller is stunning.

 

 

@@TonyQ you are much too kind!

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@@Kitsafari

 

Loving this report.

Amazing to see the elephants with the water hose, and love the picture of the tree lined road

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@@Kitsafari I've had a look at the link, as above with no joy. What is your Youtube channel, I'll see if I can find it there.

 

Matt

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Page 1: What a beautiful and eloquent start and what a huge mess at the airport. I have not heard of that particular mixup before. I wonder what would have happened if you had booked the flights on your own and did not have a travel agent go to bat for you?

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I am up to wrestling match. Fascinating! You ended up with some great quelea shots from your angle. Good hints on finding a good viewing spot! The report continues to provide a beautiful portrayal of Zakouma.

 

Very funny about photography at the race track and of the race track photographers, @@twaffle!

 

Caught up right to the ele episode. Very touching, given the cruel history the elephants have endured at the hands of humans. But the human element in this encounter with the local people and children is quite moving.

 

A gem of a report!

Edited by Atravelynn
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@@Zim Girl i made Squack stop the vehicle for me to take a shot of the boulevard, and I'm so glad I did.

Edited by Kitsafari
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@@Game Warden

@@Kitsafari I've had a look at the link, as above with no joy. What is your Youtube channel, I'll see if I can find it there.

 

Matt

Ok I am clueless - what is a YouTube channel please?

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Page 1: What a beautiful and eloquent start and what a huge mess at the airport. I have not heard of that particular mixup before. I wonder what would have happened if you had booked the flights on your own and did not have a travel agent go to bat for you?

I thought about that on that day, and I didnt want to even think more about it!

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@@Kitsafari What is the Youtube account where you upload your videos to? I'll send you a PM...

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Edit: thanks @@Kitsafari, was able to pop in the right link. Here it is...

 

Matt

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@GameWarden thanks for sorting the video link

 

@@Kitsafari What an extraordinary video. Loved it!

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@@Game Warden thank you Matt - you are a life saver! I dont know what I did wrong but im not surprised becuase im clueless about such technical stuff...

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Here are some of the wildlife we saw on the way back to camp for lunch, a North African or red-necked ostrich and a red-fronted gazelle, both species a first for me and both are vulnerable species.


The ostriches were very timid. Also known as the North African ostriches or the Barbary ostrich, these flightless birds are the largest of the ostrich family. They used to be widespread in northern Africa but are becoming in danger of extinction in the northern region of the continent. Zakouma has a good size of them, in fact i think the park houses the largest number.


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This guy was in a far distance and my bridge could only zoom so much. so sadly, not the best pic from me but you can certainly make out that bright red neck of his!


The gazelles are listed as vulnerable in the ICUN list. They look similar to the Thomson's gazelles, but their faces feature thinner white strips on the sides, and somehow they look prettier than the tommies.


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curious of us as we were of it


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Another species that is rare in Africa is the Kordofan giraffe. Indeed, the Zakouma park was created in the 1950s in part as a response to the sharp declines in the number of the beautiful giraffe. Since then the population has bounced back (current estimates at over 1000), such that Zakouma now shelters half of Africa's Kordofan giraffes. Interestingly, the subspecies of the giraffe was originally thought to be West African giraffe but was corrected sometime in the late 2000s.


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a young giraffe - I just love how all giraffes have this curiousity about them, often just standing watching and figuring us out.


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Others seen:

 

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weavers?

 

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cordon bleu waxbill with red cheeks - i'm not sure what the red-beaked/red-tailed is - a female waxbill?

 

 

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what is the bush without a warthog or four?

 

bJTsqYdOP6jDiJrSmVvL3457sHWEik6AefH3clGjBohor reedbuck

 

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making time

 

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and then a Roan! we stayed very quiet for him and Safaridude

 

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And a few more minutes, yet another! We were on the Roll with Roans! yay.

 

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Edited by Kitsafari
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@@Kitsafari Another fascinating episode - thank you. I love the gazelle photos. Is it Red-fronted gazelle?

 

The wader is a Black-winged stilt, immature so a bit 'smudgy' looking. I think the birds with the seed-cracking bills like weapons of mass destruction are African Silverbill. And the other one with the Red-cheeked Cordonbleu is, I think, one of the Firefinches. But I haven't birded anywhere in central Africa and I haven't got the field guide yet, so I'll look forward to seeing what others think.

 

And looking forward to the next instalment too!

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@@Kitsafari I just love all of your photos especially of the roans. I consider myself fortunate that for a variety of reasons I can visit such a magnificient and unspoiled place. I'm very lucky.

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@@Kitsafari Nice shots of the red-fronted gazelles, seeing the roan at the water brings back fond memories. I didn't see silverbills on either of my visits but I would agree with @@Galago that that is what the birds with the large bills are and there should be plenty of them in Zakouma. The bird with the red bill is a female red-billed firefinch it's the only firefinch on the park list, of course that doesn't absolutely guarantee it's the only one in the park but the red bill gives it away.

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@@Galago yes that's a red fronted gazelle. a very good looking gazelle. we hardly saw them in a group like what Tommies or grant's would be in.

 

thanks for the IDs!

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@@inyathi thanks much for the IDs. those beaks on the silverbills look formidable!

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Day 2 Part 3
As usual, we wasted little time on tea and snacks and were out of camp quick. @@Safaridude was very excited to be out and on the drive double time. so he said let's leave 15 mins earlier. and being such nice agreeable people, we nodded and followed Captain Dude, who said Engage, and we warped at light speed mark 1, making a circuitous route around the eastern side of Riegueik Pans to get to the roosting nests of the million and one queleas.
Once again, the pans showed why it was such a prime spot. there were hordes of birds, including the black crowned cranes that would pack into the middle of the pans every day, honking incessantly while we had our lunch, took our midday showers, took our siestas, and had our afternoon teas. Why do such beautiful birds have such awful sounding voices?
Just a simple reminder that nothing is born perfect, I replied to myself. That is why it is perfect.
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Have I said how amazed I was - at how much life there was in this park - one of the last vestiges of the semi-arid world up in the north and west of the continent that can still contain the density of wild life that kept me saying silently Wow.
as we moved and stopped, moved and stopped, it was like watching a movie - scene by scene. My limited camera could not capture the entire vista, only snapshots of each frame. and in each frame the variety of species continued to astound.

 

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look at those crowned cranes in the background - sorry my photo isn't sharp enough to see in detail.

 

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so much to take in - the birds in the water, the birds in the background, the birds in the air and giraffes at the treeline if you can make them out.

 

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abyssinian ground hornbill

 

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then it was the antelopes' turn

 

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And a Roan framed by birds to round up a riveting evening

 

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the largest wildlife to fill the frame was the three bi-coloured lions and their bulging bellies. They had obviously been in the mud but now was just lying horizontally for the meal to digest and also to cool in the shade. We would meet again these cats, which included a male sub-adult.

 

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Born to be wild, and dozing

 

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i hope this youtube link works! please let me know if it doesn't? you will hear some of the bird names as Squack rattles the names off.

 

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we reached the quelea roosting place, and what a location. front row to a beautiful pan with a gorgeous sunset to boot. the queleas were noisily flying back, stopping for a sip or two and then rushing from bush to tree to bush and across to the another batch of bushes and trees, each crowding together and sharing the latest news with each other. that made for one sensory experience , especially if you are nuts enough to get into the bushes and try to share a spot on the branches with them.

 

I didn't have good pictures of the queleas. my camera isn't hot on twilight and night shots. It's quite incredible that for such tiny birds, as a collective whole, they could drown out all other noises and you could certainly feel the heat generated from the gathered bodies. The guys ventured bravely close to and into the vegetation where the noises emitted. I chose not to go - if I had, my sinuses would have sung along with them and kept me wide awake that night.
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and a video - sorry for the shakes....
and then into the night just a couple of pix. I'm sure we saw more but only two decent pix came out
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Day 3 part 1 East of Camp
“To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is, you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived.”
Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
The sunrises and sunsets at Zakouma didn't seem to be as spectacular as you would get in east africa, at least you don't get an unobstructed clear view as in Mara, and you don't get those shades of rainbow hues that colour the skies in pinks and yellows and golds and purples. But the rise of the sun here casts beautiful soft light, infused with tones of matte gold that shine through a layer of mist that clings to the grasses in the early hours and shrouds the animals that plodded softly and gently on the fragile earth.
The awakening of the baboons that sat high in the trees to welcome the warmth of the reluctant sun told us that they had lived through the dark night and were waiting for the sun to receive them and warm them for a start to yet another day.
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We had seen a buffalo or two but still not in the massive herds that we had heard about. In addition to the elephants and giraffes, buffaloes were the other species that were hammered badly during the dark days. But the resilient beasts, under safe shelter from AP, have bounced back. back in 1986 there were only about 220 of them. Now they number over 10,000. A resounding success.


In the distance we saw them - at first, crossing the shallow waters of a pan. The vapours that rose from their feet were thrown into the air, adding to the mist that made them ghostly shadows that were quietly wading across. Those who crossed joined the tail-end of a thick line of buffaloes that stretched into the trees till we could see no more. still, they lingered, long enough for us to snatch glances at their hefty bodies.


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Edited by Kitsafari
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