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ZAKOUMA N.P. CHAD. 6-15TH FEBRUARY 2018.


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pault

Brilliant report John and some good context there at the end - it really is a bit of a miracle. Really good haul of sightings and look forward to @Galago rounding it off with he sighting we heard about from a Doug a few weeks later... hopefully a bit more too!

 

Glad you made it once and don’t give up on making it again. 

 

Ha! I know when you arrived back in Scotland - family Whattsapp was full of photos of that lovely “early spring”’weather. Shock to the system but nice neighbor to have! 

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PART ONE. THE BEGINNINGS.    I was fortunate enough to visit Zakouma N.P., Chad in early February of this year. As a wildlife destination it had rapidly moved up my 'wish list' after joining Safa

PART TWO.  THE KILL. Life in camp very much revolved around two game drives per day with some additional activities throughout the week which will be discussed in the appropriate section.These we

PART FOUR. THE BOVIDS OF ZAKOUMA From the moment we left the airstrip en-route to camp it was more than apparent that we were in a very wildlife rich environment, as the week flew by this view wa

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Kitsafari

Thanks John for a such a wonderful report. It really brings back Zakouma memories for me. I love your reflection in the  last post, the Lonely Planet paragraph and what Zakouma is today surely puts the recovery in the park in clear context and makes the recovery even more remarkable. 

 

I'm sure you will return, as will I and many others via Tinga. Even if Tinga prices are rising, they will never match CN's prices - which is great for the rest of us! and experiences by the ST group at Tinga will put to rest that awesome experiences of wildlife (not bushcamp) can be done at a lower cost. 

 

Now, I'm all eyes and ears for the experiences of @Galago. amazing sightings of the red-throated bee-eaters - i can't wait for your photos!

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michael-ibk

Thank you John, it was fantastic reading your report, especially after coming back from this wonderful place ourselves. It is a wonderful place indeed, and I am thankful and feel privileged for having experienced it. And where there's a will there's a way, I would love to return myself one day, I'm sure you will too. That's such an awesome night drive tally for your last evening, exceptional!

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Caracal

An excellent report packed with fascinating information such as the Bovids post.

 

Enjoyed it all including the market visit.

 

The crocodile caves reminded me of Katavi which is the only place I've seen them.

 

Not heard of Tantalus Monkeys - always more to learn which is great.

 

Many Thanks @johnweir.

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johnweir

FOOTNOTE

Thank you to all who have enjoyed my report and just when I felt I had finished I started reading in detail 'Tales from Tinga' which incidentally I am thoroughly enjoying. In the report I came across some great Warthog images. Although in my report I had included the Common Warthog in my 37 mammal species seen it was not included anywhere in the trip report. As lots of species found in Zakouma are slightly different to their "cousins" found elsewhere in Africa that got me thinking about the Warthog which did appear the same as those I have observed in several Southern African countries. I was aware that there are two species of Warthog, the Common and the less common Desert. However apparently there are four generally accepted (IUCN etc.) subspecies of the Common Warthog, the one found in Zakouma is the nominate form (P. a. africanus), the Northern (Nolan) Warthog, so even the Warthogs are slightly different to those found elsewhere.

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The  Northern Warthog, taken near the lion, giraffe kill.

They are common throughout the park in all habitats and were seen on many occasions with their young. What was quite unusual about this sighting was that the lioness was actually feeding and two Warthogs were constantly approaching her before being half heartedly chased away. The lioness was obviously well fed, but never the less the Warthogs were clearly demonstrating a 'death wish', as they had no interest in the kill . I have observed this behaviour before in The Serengeti when an unsuccessful Cheetah chase / hunt was followed by the Gazelle in question following the Cheetah for several hundred metres as she returned to her young.

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The Warthog just visible retreats as the lioness gets up to chase it away. 

 

This is definitely my final comment on Zakouma knowing full well that taxonomy is not to everyone's taste, the African Wildcat seen commonly in Zakouma is also a different subspecies to that found elsewhere in southern Africa. (IUCN Cat Specialist Group, Revised Taxonomy of the Felidae. 2017). 

 

 

 

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SafariChick

Thank you for the wonderful report @johnweir - thoroughly enjoyed it! From the last parts, especially loved the excellent crowned crane photo and the wildcat kit! The bit about the Lonely Planet write-up is interesting - this park has certainly come such a long way!

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inyathi

@johnweir 

 

I’m so glad that you made it to Zakouma and that you had such an amazing time, it’s very pleasing to know that I helped inspire you to visit somewhere you would likely never have seriously considered going to.

It’s a little sad to see a giraffe taken down as they’re such beautiful animals but still a great sight to see lions on a giraffe kill and I think thankfully Zakouma can spare the occasional giraffe. It also gave you a good view of spotted hyenas, the impression from my two visits was the same as yours that they are really not very common.

 

Great to see a large number of vultures, it looks like there are fair number of Rueppell’s in amongst the white-backed, the Rueppell’s nest and roost on cliffs and there aren’t any cliffs in the park, I wondered when I saw them where they commute from. I assumed that they must come from the nearest mountains somewhere in southern Chad, interestingly though some of them may have at least originally come from much further afield as birds ringed in Kenya have been recorded in Chad. They can’t be commuting that distance so I wonder why they fly so far and whether they just stay in Chad for a short while and then fly back to Kenya.

 

Not sure about the eagle in post 25, I might be inclined to agree with @michael-ibk And suggest that it’s a tawny, but it looks just a bit small of course but that could just be the way that it’s sat, however, I wonder if it could be a Wahlberg’s eagle. Although Wahlberg’s has a bit of a crest you can’t always see this.

 

The owl in post 49 I would certainly agree is a greyish eagle owl they seem quite common in Zakouma.

 

All of your other sightings bring back very fond memories of my time in Zakouma and it looks like you didn’t miss out on too much.

 

More recent memories of arriving back into the snow although not after returning from Chad aren’t quite so fond.

 

Many thanks for contributing another Zakouma report it looks like we’re up to 7 now, I wouldn’t have believed that we would reach that number so soon when I was writing my first report.:)

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pault

@johnweir I don’t want you to contradict yourself but one more post please and it sort of concerns taxonomy - and my laziness. Since you seem to have had a look at this, do you khow offhand how the wildcats are different and whether there is only the one type in Zakouma? The difference was something I thought I noticed but there is always the consideration of breeding with domestic cats so I didn’t think much more of it. 

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johnweir

@inyathi Thank you for your meaningful contribution to my report and yes your early report on Zakouma was influential in my decision to visit Chad. But more importantly your detailed reply to my PM 'steadied the ship' when I was wavering, so thank you again I ended up doing a trip I will never forget and which will be very difficult to equal.

Thank you also for your comments on some of my bird ID's, I had not included Ruppell's Vulture in my bird list so that now stands at 138 for the park. They are clearly visible on my carcass image. The added information about their movement was also very interesting. Interestingly AP's own Zakouma N.P. bird list does not include Ruppells Vulture, whilst ABC's Checklist of the birds of Chad does, as do all the field guides. Can you suggest where I need to go next, Uganda looks good!  

@Paul T, decided to come out of retirement to try to answer your query regarding the Wildcats in Zakouma. To set cat taxonomy in context the classification previously used by the IUCN Cat Specialist Group was published in 1996 and was based on research in the early 1990's, advances in scientific techniques since then suggested that several important changes with regard to species and subspecies status needed to be considered. The Cat Specialist Group initiated a review by an expert group and published 'A revised taxonomy of the Felidae' in 2017. (Cat News. Special issue 11). Generally their proposals have been accepted although as with all change there has been some disagreement. However I personally have adopted this revision for my own sightings records, although I was upset as you would expect, to see the Scottish Wildcat, in it's pure form one of the rarest cats in the world, lose it's subspecies status. The impact this report has on the taxonomy of the cats found in Zakouma are listed below.

 

LION. West/Central African. Pantera leo leo. Revised. details appear in 'Paradise Revisited' @Kitsafari#72. Common in Zakouma.

 

LEOPARD. African. Panthera pardus pardus. Unchanged. Not commonly seen in Zakouma.

 

CHEETAH. West/Central African. Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii. Unchanged, a very rare subspecies, occasionally seen in Zakouma by the very lucky.

 

SERVAL. West/Central. Leptailurus serval constantina. Revised. 3 subspecies accepted now, there has been up to 18. Relatively common in Zakouma.

 

WILDCAT. Northern (includes east & west). Felis lybica lybica. Revised. 3 subspecies in this species., F. l. cafra The Southern African Wildcat, the 3rd is found in Asia. The border for the two subspecies found in Africa appears to occur in the region of Tanzania/Mozambique, Zakouma can therefore only have the one subspecies, the Northern form. Very common on night drives in Zakouma. Around 2005, 22 different subspecies were described. In this particular genus four cats occur in Africa, the two described, the Sand Cat and the Black-footed Cat.

 

CARACAL. Nubian. Caracal caracal nubicus. Unchanged although number of subspecies has been significantly reduced. Rarely seen in Zakouma. 

 

 

 

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offshorebirder

@johnweir - there are more of us than you may suspect who like hearing about taxonomy, subspecies ranges, etc.  After all, today's subspecies might be tomorrow's 'species'.

 

Thanks again for this Trip Report with its fine photos and text.

 

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madaboutcheetah

@johnweir - I suppose with more and more people going to Zakouma and more groups making the trek ..........  Those elusive sightings of the Predators will eventually happen?  I mean that area isn't short of Prey species by any stretch .......

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inyathi

@johnweir 

 

I’m sure I can probably persuade you to visit Uganda I might have to work on that, I wonder if I’ve got some photos of Uganda I’ll have to have a look. Certainly, if you want to see some rainforest and especially if you want to see both chimps and gorillas then Uganda is the place to go. If you are looking for somewhere of that’s really pretty off the beaten track then you might look at Odzala-Kokoua in the Rep of Congo I’ve not been but it looks pretty amazing and a good place to see western lowland gorillas. Another place I’ve not been to but would also be a fantastic place to visit is Dzangha Sangha in CAR, I’ve just seen some photos of herds lowland bongos in the Dzangha Bai with the forest elephants, I’ve always wanted to see bongos but haven’t yet got around to visiting Dzangha Sangha. Or of course there’s Gabon where I have been, Gabon as it were put in a brief appearance on the tourist map and then seemed to disappear again but will I’m sure now reappear and hopefully establish itself as a wildlife destination. When I visited the gorillas in Loango NP on the coast were being habituated for tourism, it’s taken the best part of 10 years but they are now offering gorilla trekking in Loango, the other day I came across a video on YouTube that someone had taken of the gorillas. I don’t know how the cost compares to seeing the mountain gorillas but I would imagine it’s quite a lot cheaper than Uganda and certainly is compared to Rwanda and in Loango you are right on the Atlantic Ocean so there are no steep hills to climb. There’s a variety of other animals to be seen there also like forest elephants, forest buffalos, red river hogs, sitatungas and various monkeys. You can I understand also visit Langoue Bai again, the tourist operation closed soon after my trip making it difficult to go there.

 

Otherwise there’s Katavi in western Tanzania I went there long before going to Zakouma parts of Zakouma reminded quite a lot of Katavi, the park has changed a bit since I last went but I don’t think too much, is still very wild and beautiful with plenty of wildlife. From there you can go on to Mahale Mts to see some chimps, in my view I would think Mahale must be about the most beautiful place to see chimps.

 

Really it all depends where you’ve already been and what you want to see, tracking black rhinos in the desert in Damaraland in Namibia is a pretty special experience. Then there’s always Botswana, the Central Kalahari is amazing if you haven’t been or Zim the Chilojo Cliffs in Gonarezhou NP are stunning or the Matobo Hills. In Zambia there’s Kafue which I have been to and would be keen to revisit and Liuwa Plains which I’ve not been to. Or another place I’ve never been Gorongosa NP in Mozambique I’m not entirely sure what the situation is there as far as tourism is concerned but I have read that they have just flown in two packs of wild dogs from South Africa which is good news for dogs and for the park.

 

This is quite a difficult question, because I always worry after I’ve been on a really amazing safari to somewhere such as Zakouma that my next safari will be a bit of disappointment, because I’ll end up going somewhere where you have to slum it with other tourists, where you have to put up with having to actually share a lion pride with another car. But, then you go somewhere very different and still have a great time even if it isn’t necessarily quite as wild and unspoilt and there are a few other tourists there. However, if you haven’t been to see either gorillas or chimps then I would recommend doing that somewhere and perhaps try and see some other rainforest wildlife, Uganda is a pretty good place to do this.

 

Alternatively, there’s really nowhere quite like Zakouma and you did miss out on the pale fox, so maybe you should just go back for another look and try and get up to the OROA FR to see the scimitar-horned oryx and maybe go on up into the Ennedi. Mind you the one safari I looked at being offered by a US company that combined Zakouma with Ennedi to create a two week trip had a rather eye-watering price tag, but then it did involve 3 charter flights so it could never be cheap.

 

First scimitar horned oryx released in OROUA, Central Chad

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pault
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WILDCAT. Northern (includes east & west). Felis lybica lybica. Revised. 3 subspecies in this species., F. l. cafra The Southern African Wildcat, the 3rd is found in Asia. The border for the two subspecies found in Africa appears to occur in the region of Tanzania/Mozambique, Zakouma can therefore only have the one subspecies, the Northern form. Very common on night drives in Zakouma. Around 2005, 22 different subspecies were described. In this particular genus four cats occur in Africa, the two described, the Sand Cat and the Black-footed Cat.

 

Ah with that many former subspecies there is no wonder there are quite significant variations. So it is not really notable at all the ones we saw in Chad had fewer stripes (although they were present, especially on tail and legs) than what I have seen in East Africa, and even in pictures of southern African ones - which looked otherwise relatively similar.  

 

Thanks. I'll not ask you to name the 22 subspecies of the past.

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Galago

In post #35 @johnweir recounted the flight over Zakouma and the fact that, as aviation fuel was in very short supply, only one flight would be possible and so we had to draw lots. He was one of the lucky three and, while they went off, the rest of us went on a game drive - trying not to feel disappointed. We stopped by the giraffe kill that we'd found a couple of days previously and, as it turned out, we were treated to a wonderful interaction. My pics are nowhere near the quality of John's, plus I was so weak from illness that it was hard to hold the camera steady - well, that's my excuse anyway :P

 

This is a tale of dominance and subversion. Of the two males we'd seen before, probably brothers and aged about 3 years, only one was present, asleep in the long grass some distance away (and I'll call him Older Male/ OM). A younger male, around 18 months old (and referred to here as YM) was feeding on the carcass. Shortly after we arrived YM stopped feeding and, with a very full belly, walked leisurely past our vehicle and lay down about ten metres behind us.

 

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After a few minutes OM stirred from his snooze and, although some distance away, spotted YM who was directly in his sightline. Immediately OM was totally focused, stood up and started stalking. I hate to anthropomorphise, but that was one very cross and indignant lion!

 

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As OM steadily approached, YM saw him. His expression can only be described as 'Oh s**t!'.

 

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And OM clearly meant business as he cut a direct path to the interloper, walking straight past us without even a glance in our direction.

 

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Suddenly there was snarling, yelping and dust flying up everywhere.

 

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YM's immediate response was to put up a fight, but this lasted for just a few seconds and he was beaten into submission, with the added indignity of pooing himself (enlarge the pic below and you'll see the evidence).

 

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YM adopted submissive body language with much whimpering and yelping. OM stalked off leaving the youngster utterly defeated and lying in his own mess (and we were close enough for it to be rather pongy!).

 

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OM walked past us and up to the kill, standing there for a moment as if to assert his ownership before he strolled over to a shady tree full of vultures, lay down and, after looking around, went to sleep.

 

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We thought that was that and expected YM to at least stay put or even slink off in ignominious defeat. But once it was clear that OM was sleeping, he snuck back towards the carcass, a few little steps and stop, a few more steps and hunch down. I could almost hear the theme music of the Pink Panther accompanying him.

 

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He had a good look round and started to feed and then, obviously feeling more confident, or perhaps greed outweighed caution, he put his head into the stomach cavity and got stuck in.

 

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We left them all in peace, really chuffed to have witnessed this little drama.

 

 

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michael-ibk

A very cool sequence, @Galago, the young lad´s expression in the fourth picture is priceless! Hope to read more from you. :)

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Galago

Thank you @michael-ibk  Glaring sun and dust meant that is not a very good photo, technically, speaking, but I think it's my favourite of the whole sequence!

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Kitsafari

What a cool interaction you'd witnessed @Galago.  I can imagine the noise of the snarls n whimpering and growls that accompanied it. The young male seems very young as he doesn't spot any obvious mane. Were they a coalition , do you think?

Thanks for sharing  - hope there is more too!

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johnweir

Great images @Galago, never saw the young male lion in your sequence. Yes I was very lucky to be away on the 'Elephant Survey Flight' when you and the other guests left behind enjoyed this remarkable sequence of events, which I hope went some way to soothing your disappointment. However for you personally keeping both feet on the ground may well have been a god-send, as you were only just starting to show some signs of recovery after your severe illness. The flight could well have been a bad idea at that particular time.

When we got back and I saw your images, as a cat enthusiast, I was very impressed with them and remain so now I have seen them posted. 

Image 4, "Oh s**t, is very apt as this certainly comes to fruition in image 7, however a fantastic spirited young male. I personally don't think he was  part of a wider coalition, hence the reaction of the older male, possibly a good job his brother hadn't been in the area as well, also a good job OM was a sound sleeper.

Image 6, a truly great action shot which I would have been proud to have taken.

Please post some of your other images which you kindly shared with me a few weeks ago. Regards.

 

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Galago

Thank you very much @johnweir You covered it all very well but I'll add a few bird photos, especially the ones I took when I was 'confined to barracks'.

 

@Kitsafari Thank you and, yes, the young male was about 18 months old. We thought the giraffe had been killed by the older male and another, possibly his brother, and then they had been joined by a pregnant female about 5 years old who was feeding on the kill as well. It seems that the lions form very small groups in Zakouma and it looked as though the young male was an 'interloper'. Like everything in Zakouma, it's all a bit different to what we're used to seeing in other areas!

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Galago

In the spirit of adding a few bits and pieces to @johnweirs report, I'll recount a couple of occasions when illness meant that I was 'confined to barracks'. This had some advantages as I had the camp all to myself, not so much as to satisfy misanthropic tendencies, but more to be able to do some slow birding close to my tent. I was in the tent on the left, looking straight out across the pan but also surrounded by trees and scrub, so I could birdwatch without moving far. In addition, I had an Orange-flanked skink as permanent resident and a Multimammate rat feeding close by, although photographs of the rat were impossible as it moved at the speed of light.

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Pre-sunrise departures meant that dawn was seen elsewhere in the park, but our tents faced east and so, on the mornings I had to stay there, I was treated to a lovely and ever changing scene. During the night I could hear buffalo snorting and sloshing around out there but, as the sky lightened, they would disappear leaving an almost empty landscape. At sunrise the million plus Red-billed Quelea were moving in small groups (as opposed to the great clouds in the evening) from roost to feeding grounds, but the pan itself was relatively empty at this time of the morning.Then the cranes, storks and pelicans would arrive in group after group until the pan was full of them - and it was extremely noisy! The Black-crowned Crane's fabulously stylish appearance is not matched by its voice and collectively their constant honking reminded me of the so-called 'Barmy Army', the very noisy group of fans who support the England cricket team at test matches around the world. The photograph of just a few of the hundreds of birds out on the pan isn't too great as the air was getting progressively dustier and my little bridge camera was stretched to its limit. Anyway, this should give you an idea of what a stunning sight I could see from my tent.

 

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Close to the kitchen/ laundry/ staff area the ground was favoured by small seed eaters like Red-billed quelea and Red-billed firefinch with a few Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu.

 

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At the back of the tents is a rough path that runs from the entrance to the last tent, so I walked along there to check the birds. All the staff were in the working area and I was completely alone, trying to bird but keeping eyes in the back of my head as a lion had walked along there in the night. A Beautiful Sunbird caught the light so perfectly I gasped and then it shot away in a nano-second. More obliging were the usual suspects who hung around long enough for a few snaps: Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Vinaceous Dove, Senegal Coucal, Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin, Abyssinian Roller and, looking like only its mother could love it, an immature Gymnogene (or African Harrier Hawk as it is now rather boringly named). Note for fellow bird-geeks: the Scrub-robin confused me and @KafueTyrone so he sent the photo to the Zambian Ornithological Society who told us that the form in the Sahel is minor, and has a plainer tail than in the Borrow & Demey illustration.

 

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Galago

I was determined not to miss the fly-camping night but the others were going on an all day game drive before getting to camp and that was out for me. Matthieu, manager at Camp Nomade, kindly offered to drive me there directly and we arrived late afternoon. The fly camp was beautifully set out on a bend in the Salamat river - a row of dome tents, two loos and a shower, plus a nice seating/ dining area. Opposite this was a colony of Red-throated Bee-eaters. I'd always reckoned that Southern Carmine Bee-eaters were my favourite, darting around in their sari-silk colours, but the Red-throated stole my heart. They sport a wonderful paint-by-numbers plumage in emerald green, deep blue, black, chestnut and, of course, scarlet. Such impossibly coloured birds - and all gathered in the shadiest part of the opposite river bank so that photos were almost impossible. I did get one shot as a couple nipped over to a sunnier spot though.

 

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The next morning everyone went off on a bush walk accompanied by Mamba guards and, with all the staff tucked away up the slope behind camp, once again I was in splendid isolation. This was when the river became alive with birds fishing and, judging by the continual flash/ splosh of fish, there was plenty of food to go around. 

 

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The river and its banks were teeming with crocodiles. I started walking just above the river bank, the sort of activity that would be crazy, if not suicidal, in other areas of Africa with crocs, but the staff had told us that these crocodiles were safe. It seems utterly counter-intuitive; after all, you don't put 'croc' and 'safe' in the same sentence, do you? However, this West African Nile croc (crocdylus suchus - is that right @johnweir?) feed on fish which we'd seen and heard them doing the previous night. Also the birds were feeding right next to them without so much as a sideways glance. 

 

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It was Egret (Little and Intermediate with an occasional Great) and Hammerkop central; I've never seen so many of them in one place. I sat down and watched them hunting and occasionally squabbling over the best perch. Pied Kingfishers were doing their hover and dive act looking like flying crosswords, a Marsh Sandpiper flew in to the opposite bank, a Yellow-billed Stork and African Fish-eagle sat high above the scene overseeing it all and five immature Black-crowned Night Herons flew over.

 

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On the way back to Camp Nomade we came across a male Defassa Waterbuck with his two young males. He was a magnificent creature with enormous horns, the youngsters must have been brothers, both the same size with smallish horns. 

 

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While Dad had a drink, almost in the jaws of a couple of crocs, the youngsters started sparring.

 

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We'd already seen so many of these Waterbuck, but this was a really excellent few minutes watching the youngsters practising for the day they'll have to engage in real fights.

 

Edited by Galago
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Galago

The dust was building throughout the week and on departure day the flight bringing the next visitors in and collecting us was delayed leaving N'Djamena. Waiting in airports is never too much fun, but the Zakouma airstrip offers more distractions than most. The runway was complete with hyena droppings, a large male Warthog and a Black-bellied Bustard, while an African Grey Hornbill threw back his head and shouted the odds from a tree top.

 

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A couple of us went over to the park manager's house and sat on the terrace for a spot of birding. Speckled pigeons were showing well.

 

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The real stars of the show were the small birds coming in to drink from the stone basin right next to the terrace. It was a continual flow back and forth between tree and basin of Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu, Black-rumped Waxbill and African Silverbill. Such a lovely finishing touch to the week in Zakouma.

 

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Edited by Galago
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  • 2 weeks later...
johnweir

@Galago, apologies for the delay in responding to your Crocodile taxonomy question in posting #71, but I have been waiting for some some clarification from someone with some expertise in this field. I was confused myself so your question was the catalyst for me to make some enquiries.

In my own notes I had listed them as Nile Crocodile (Western  form), Crocodylus niloticus, which is how they appear on most lists for Zakouma without the (Western form) addition.

I have been corresponding with Dr. Matthew Shirley who is the Chair for the West and Central Africa group of the IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, he is based in Florida and works for the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation. I quote from a recent email:

' The latest taxonomic understanding of Crocodylus in Africa is that there is two valid species, and no recognised subspecies.  Whilst we have not yet analysed samples from Zakouma, the crocodiles you saw should be the West African Crocodile, (C. suchus).'

So I think you were bang on, with the exception of the common name, unlike me that got both wrong. It looks like even the Crocodiles of Zakouma are different to those encountered in most of Eastern and Southern Africa.

I have agreed to send him several close up images so if anything changes I will let you know.

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Just to remind us of what we are talking about.

 

One thing we can be certain about is that Crocodile numbers in the park are at a very healthy level in contrast to the 'dark days' before African Parks became involved, yet another very much understated species recovery success story.

Matt was also saying that there had been some discussion with the group and the previous Park Manager about the possibility of a visit to check out the situation and to see if AP would be interested in incorporating Crocodiles into their biomonitoring or other conservation activities, but that it had 'fallen by the wayside a bit'.

It will also be interesting to see what AP decide to do with regard to safeguarding the relict population of Saharan/Desert Crocodiles now they have agreed with the Chadian government and partners to manage the region around Ennedi. What species are those?, I would be interested to find out.

Incidentally I thoroughly enjoyed your bird images, they brought back wonderful memories. Did we really visit Zakouma? seems a distant memory now but one never to be forgotten. Your passion for birds was infectious, hope you enjoyed my recent Bass Rock report.    

 

 

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Galago

Thanks for this @johnweir How fascinating and just so interesting that you were able to do some fact finding. I hadn't ever thought I'd be especially interested in crocs, beyond the 'ooh scary dinosaur' reactions, but our experience of them was so unexpected. Like many things in Zakouma, it was different from previous experiences. And I still can't quite believe that I walked alone just a few metres from loads of crocs, not to mention that we slept in tiny dome tents close to them!

 

Glad you liked the birdy pics and thank you for the heads up about Bass Rock. 

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Atravelynn

How things can change in a positive way in a relatively short period of time, given a strength of purpose, financial support and strong leadership and management.

 

What an uplifting statement to go with this wonderful report.  Very surprising about the relaxed crocs.  The Tinga report said the same thing.

 

It seems the birds were all sitting on your shoulders or very close.

 

Great aerial shots.  It's important to be aware you might not get the opportunity.  I only hope a hefty refund makes its way to the grounded unlucky one.

 

The snowplow threw me.

 

Thanks for sharing the abundance of Zakouma.

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