Jump to content

Tales from Tinga: A Safaritalkers Safari to Zakouma


michael-ibk
 Share

Recommended Posts

michael-ibk

large.TR419.JPG.8d9148d97689402e6c2b58c8

 

large.TR346.JPG.279b21aaf591a0c0700d3234

 

Paul is always complaining this report is too linear so I´m going back in time now - just have to add some pictures from our wonderful flycamp experience. I am really thankful that Nam Wan said that she would love to stay longer and even more thankful to Doug that he took her up on that and simply asked if it would be possible - I guess it would have occurred to none of us that it would even be an option. And I´m sure he did more than just "asking", he can be very convincing - just ask the Elephants he made stop in their tracks. :)

 

It would have been such a shame just coming to this wonderful place after sunset and leaving before sunrise and not having a chance to appreciate and enjoy it, and that´s what we did on our afternoon here. Napping, sitting by the waterline, watching Crocs and birds, soaking in the atmosphere - it was beautiful.

 

large.TR410.JPG.0b4c7e4130e0c8d1f67426f5

 

large.TR418.JPG.af7aa805e6ce8c56d68aece0

 

What can be better than looking right up to the stars from your "bed"?

 

large.TR342.JPG.d1b44f27fd2cecac9f6f033a

 

There´s been a severe shortage of birds so I am amending that - White-Faced Whistling Duck

 

large.TR411.JPG.df21d02fc3f8a8b38555d395

 

Tinga Camp brought lunch and dinner down to us by car.

 

large.TR358.JPG.af98d54ce63662bdf3e181cf

 

A different angle on camp from our afternoon walk.

 

large.TR356.JPG.bd59d55cac265a70681615db

 

Squacco Heron

 

large.TR416.JPG.ff0d2d8f16627f6af74668d0

 

large.TR347.JPG.823f28721a07e8543279ef72

 

Pied & friend.

 

large.TR355.JPG.3411b80c9e6773452016140d

 

large.TR352.JPG.b15acb84647ccabacdd35fc0

 

The Kingfishers were provoking me - this one was hovering right in front of me before 06:00 in the morning. Wonderful ISO 8000 shot. ;-)

 

large.TR372.JPG.744746f6fb5eef25b48b7607

 

Fortunately it gave me much better opportunities later in the afternoon.

 

large.TR349.JPG.ff56327ac3dcdf614d7059ac

 

large.TR357.JPG.a5a89c2a6a7adbbb957b34f5

 

Croc doing siesta in front of his "house".

 

large.TR341.JPG.f2ea60f1e86929ba5b37d6e0

 

large.TR373.JPG.02233ea1b8f71e2cae734c06

 

large.TR348.JPG.ba3ef2a8ec00f302ebf12129

 

Pin-Tailed Whydah

 

large.TR343.JPG.dc9090dbd005a15cf2d12ddb

 

Even with these neighbours ...

 

large.TR413.JPG.8d2e2104c4d049a2f49be9bb

 

... life is just good on safari!

 

large.TR345.JPG.3e13feacb0cf9792b10c7d18

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

Our short walk in the afternoon was not too full of action as the others have already remarked but still enjoyable. It´s always nice to do a proper bush walk, even without charging Elephants, Lions killing something or Dogs fighting Hyenas.

 

large.TR360.JPG.5e422e43cf3b160278137bb7

 

We were all politely listening to highly fascinating details Doug was telling about some tree and plant stuff (and immediately forgot all about it 10 minutes later).

 

large.TR359.JPG.5af7e8eaeaec0815261d2b0f

 

We even tried these fruits - a bit sour but I quite liked them (a bit).

 

large.TR363.JPG.3cb137bf0e1d07a780391053

 

The dry riverbed we were walking in.

 

large.TR362.JPG.ed226373ac65cc1bd5d40e6d

 

Cool pose, Doug and Joe!

 

large.TR366.JPG.b5b2432b954ed04ffc2aa3d8

 

This is where we were watching the Buffalo from. Actually Doug had us retreat quite quickly when we were approaching the water and he saw the Daggaboy there but up there we were quite safe. And of course best place ever - this is where my favourite monkey decided to firmly join my team and made it clear in no uncertain terms what he thought of Paul. :P

 

large.TR365.JPG.0fcb29ab1e4e368682e55a0d

 

Buffalo stomping away after he realized we were watching him.

 

large.TR367.JPG.1fffa9eb657c93036b613fc4

 

A colony of Red-Throated Bee-Eaters - apparently they had already gone to sleep.

 

Our night drive was comparably unremarkable indeed, I did not say that just to make Paul feel better. At least it gave us a closer sighting of the Patas Monkeys.

 

large.TR369.JPG.ce553afc4b070783b0c9a48c

 

An African Savanna Hare (formerly known as Scrub Hare):

 

large.TR370.JPG.418cce7e23533f1bc5804fd6

 

And Genets of course - never seen so many of them like here in Zakouma.

 

large.TR371.JPG.9de33af66192ae62fe984a41

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

And some more photos from our first lion morning - as you have already seen a much better sighting was to come but it was still quite cool that all of Doug´s tracking paid off and we did find them. 

 

large.TR374.JPG.2014717aae8578ccfd46e51b

 

Early morning in Zakouma.

 

large.TR376.JPG.f3b27ac3a07cbcae8c8ef9ee

 

Red-Billed Quelea

 

large.TR377.JPG.c02c471e70de7d7b60613a6c

 

The area where Doug suspected the lions would be - and rightly so.

 

large.TR380.JPG.5e7e1b0b9624fc88543d6c5a

 

Almost all of the Vultures we saw here were White-Backed - not a single Rüppel´s, and just two Hooded and one Lappet-Faced were around.

 

large.TR381.JPG.3b457f7e21434fc6df5d1fbb

 

large.TR382.JPG.1253e81823c3c5d9db1f2f90

 

large.TR385.JPG.24ebc4f5ff65d1ff6e830713

 

large.TR386.JPG.9d5179d57863e19418235e3a

 

How do you find lions in here? Definitely not on foot we were all getting back into the car for locating them.

 

large.TR388.JPG.2b065aa37b4ddc690ff2a76b

 

large.TR389.JPG.bcd771c0d49163e3812ba5b8

 

large.TR390.JPG.abecc0d6be76af7043fda343

 

The light was definitely better today - less dust in the air.

 

large.TR392.JPG.b206d9a8c72151ca2ac9e2a6

 

Grey-Backed Fiscal

 

large.TR393.JPG.fbe0d7dc7d4a4a474b3e7627

 

Roan running away - this herd numbered more than 40 but they were very shy. The drive from the lion site back to Tinga was actually pretty slow, there was a long stretch where we did not see a single animal.

 

large.TR395.JPG.ff5669169ce94b8b5956678e

 

large.TR397.JPG.979cb3d1561406140ae84ac1

 

Female Saddle-Billed Stork at the waterhole close to Tinga.

 

large.TR404.JPG.5ef2d9603c26ccc4520a5896

 

large.TR401.JPG.d8be8fb28ae2942b5e15ebaf

 

Quelea fun.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

Nothing much to add for our afternoon, the others have already perfectly covered that. Paul, love your pictures of the bloody cubs - great stuff! (I think it was right here that we were discussing the ancient "Does size matter" question - regarding sensors!).

 

large.TR425.JPG.153abee2cc619c53c893497d

 

A cute litte Green Bee-Eater who apparently likes to hang out around Zakouma HQs.

 

While the others were taking photos of lions (how boring!) I of course focused on waders. B)

 

large.TR430.JPG.b4c4c5735488d478dbffff41

 

Black-Winged Stilt

 

large.TR434.JPG.cdc8069b09d987e3ef5885b8

 

Common Sandpiper

 

large.TR432.JPG.6aa0856a4db8d09b6f9e25c8

 

Nonsense of course, we were just trying to pass time while we were waiting. Doug had made sure we were in a good spot - much to the despair of our poor driver Suleman who was unsure how to get us to here but our fearless leader did not care - he likes to challenge people. B)

 

It was a great relief when the lions finally popped up. All logic dictated they would return to the kill but you never know, maybe they´d find a better snack on the way? And it was a race against time, we were quickly losing the light now.

 

large.TR435.JPG.02ca24a6c8c1edc54e0668b4

 

large.TR436.JPG.216c1d87bb6d46679233a63e

 

large.TR437.JPG.125a1c9ee0df7a3ac196e94b

 

large.TR438.JPG.acba68d2b9438ce2200e2b44

 

large.TR439.JPG.5f598dbdc87bf1c328b7aace

 

large.TR442.JPG.2558bf382f5760bd4257816e

 

large.TR444.JPG.2396432798b59c9592288e0c

 

large.TR446.JPG.0f8a7aa6afcf03e8c2ddb424

 

large.TR447.JPG.716b4067ccb89f86bc623722

 

large.TR452.JPG.37ef163b1b86aff395a7cc7c

 

These Giraffes were apparently part of the local suicide squad - they were approaching quite closely, apparently checking out what was going on, and we were holding our breath if maybe the lions would try to go after the calf.

 

large.TR453.JPG.b789dcabe87898f44b756bcd

 

large.TR456.JPG.4927cd99c5d3ac92455b6066

 

But nothing ever came of that, the peaceful Hartebeest massacre continued without any unduly interruption.

 

 

 

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

gatoratlarge

My night drive photos are non-existent or not good at all but suffice to say after seeing the lion pride in the fading light as per usual we began a night drive...in fact, the 2nd to last night drive of our trip, under a brilliant sky full of stars, we headed back to Tinga Camp...we bagged another SERVAL---I had been 0 for 15 in previous safaris, but the final tally would be SIX servals so for that reason alone Zakouma will always be special to me, we also saw another African wild cat (these were getting to be a nightly ritual along with the spotted genets, the white tailed mongoose, the galagos and the civet cats which we saw almost every evening) somewhere along the way we added a side striped jackal (earlier we had seen what used to be a golden jackal, now called a golden wolf...)

 

What would we do on the final full day of safari?  Doug left it up to us, but we opted to follow his suggestion of driving to the far north of the park to some pans in an area called Tororo.  But first we would stop off at the hartebeest kill to see if anything exciting was happening...turns out a little ole hartebeest is an evenings work for three lionesses and their cubs!  There was speculation a male had joined in sometime in the night and dragged the carcass further into the bush but all we found were bones!

 

The lions for the most part were gorged and sleeping...but some of the cubs were working off a little excess energy which was great fun to watch...29186906_10156657542658488_675044769798764951_n.jpg.d01429c0ae9e10b5e73adda187f03ace.jpg29136650_10156657542618488_1213921419360911220_n.thumb.jpg.2901c17d55e85e1543e60c761410333b.jpg29136764_10156657542583488_2651770109352363367_n.thumb.jpg.daff55edb8389f6ce400f705be33de24.jpg29196389_10156657542533488_1726464959291269615_n.jpg.51ca955d08b129a90913810678bcf206.jpg29196532_10156657542573488_1040116283787533837_n.jpg.c76bc78a48787ec24d7ba82ae9ca76e5.jpg

 We pulled off at one pan and just marveled at the diversity of wildlife: in this pic a Kordofan giraffe drinks, tiang too, ostriches look on, a saddle-billed stork, woolly necked storks, egrets and herons, ducks, a sacred ibis and Abyssinian roller are just some of the species I can pick out...29196275_10156657541693488_3721849816142397535_n.jpg.33145427aec201f20981f51b2c0b5e73.jpg

 

We wound up at Tororo pan and a great plain opened up in front of us...we laid out mats under a tree along the pan's edge and had a cold drink and later lunch and tried to nap (it was pretty hot even in the shade).  It was clear that wildlife was very abundant but fairly far off, lingering in the more inaccessible areas of the pan...Doug thought something may have spooked them (not us) as giraffe and roan began to run...never-the-less, it was a good spot to watch birds and dust tornadoes seemingly springing out of nowhere and watch the mirages of giraffe, ostrich and roan on the other side of the pan against the tree line...

 

5ae116a95762a_29103715_10156657541848488_3540483002970640917_n(1).thumb.jpg.d56eff68dfb90fd8270446cb5b52ac09.jpg29133554_10156657541808488_3941251209797454619_n.jpg.97383d546d52fd1e3d1b9e483b9bf0ff.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by gatoratlarge
forgot to add
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Doug is running a very tight ship indeed." Just as expected.  I remember Doug telling us about a group he took somewhere and the lodge/camp would not serve breakfast early.  So he had his group up and underway when the breakfast buffet was just being set up.  Doug said he yelled at his group to grab something and keep moving so they could make their early start.  Doug understands it is not about "having fun." And I mean that in a very complimentary way.

 

Nice views and photos of all the patas.

Video to show the abundance is a good approach, @SafariChick

That red-throated bee eater is sheer opulence.  Does @AndMic have a new favorite kind of bee eater after this trip?

In focus or blurred the flocks are overwhelming!

The kite with the catch IS a tremendous catch!  You are getting better every trip with the birds @michael-ibk

On 4/18/2018 at 4:27 PM, ld1 said:

@pault I dream of affording this trip http://backcountryjourneys.com/great-walk-africa/

 

Tsavo was my very first Safari experience 29 years ago and I haven’t been back since. This trip might scratch that itch! 

What a way to start!

@pault I was going to ask if your wife helped you on with the wussy knee pads, when I read that she also helped you acquire your hat for the trip. Dressing Paul.  Looking forward to the photo of you in the rapper hat.  I am so, so sorry about the photo problem and the impending disasters that have not occurred as of page 2.  I was relieved to learn they did not drastically detract from the enjoyment of this very special trip.

@gatoratlarge that is quite a weather report.  It was great to hear Doug's voice explain porcupine togetherness on your video.  Love the silhouettes.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SafariChick

I will add some of my favorite shots of the lions from the morning of our last full day. As @gatoratlarge mentioned, we went back to see them and there was pretty nothing left of the carcass! I took a photo of it for evidence:

 

40827484275_4037b58b5d_c.jpg

 

So the lions were just lying around and the cubs were playing. We came over to the side of the water that they were on this time, so we were a lot closer. I apologize for an inundation of lion photos - but they are just so cute! Believe it or not, this is me restraining myself :-) Note the nice full bellies on the cubs compared to the day before!

 

27253161028_f63f4be229_c.jpg

 

41082823532_2f119d2c64_c.jpg

 

41082821212_624bf81536_c.jpg

 

41082819312_e131621689_c.jpg

 

27253158638_34d7982e92_c.jpg

 

27253157318_c89846578e_c.jpg

 

27253156728_6a2ac7e898_c.jpg

 

41082815772_a3532be3ac_c.jpg

 

The next three are what I call the ballet series - one cub stepping not very gracefully over the other:

 

41082811142_896a7dac0e_c.jpg

 

41082811972_4105c6c6a7_c.jpg

 

41082810492_8202987ba0_c.jpg

 

41082808812_029656d19b_c.jpg

 

40231229755_18b1d94f6f_c.jpg

 

40231230435_f5b3930c37_c.jpg

 

40231229215_5d6538b820_c.jpg

 

40231228465_0e812d167e_c.jpg

Edited by SafariChick
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have just caught up on this wonderful trip report. Thanks to all for sharing!

Its really fascinating to hear the different memories everyone has taken away from the experiences.

 

The elephant encounters were great to read about, and the amount of roan you saw was unbelievable!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phew! This TR is relentless.

Whereas people usualy have to be prodded to complete their TRs in this case you guys are all queueing up to post your instalments. I guess as soon as a post goes live it stirs your creative juices.

Whatever the reason it is probably the most complete (intense) TR I've encountered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

offshorebirder
6 hours ago, Soukous said:

Phew! This TR is relentless.

 

But in a very good way!

 

Thanks for the team effort everyone, this is lots of fun to follow and educational as well.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@SafariChick, @AndMic, @michael-ibk, @pault, @gatoratlarge

 

I’m so enjoying reading this report I get a real sense of de ja vu, so many familiar places and sights, that look just as I remember except for the market visit which is fascinating as I’ve not done it, well and that rather over exciting encounter with the elephants, I’m quite glad that when we followed them on foot on our first safari that they charged away from us and not towards us.

 

Even after my own two trips I’m quite envious reading this, you certainly saw some amazing things and seeing so many elephants in the river like that, cows, calves and bulls is just fantastic, that should certainly count as a once in a lifetime wildlife experience, one that only a few parks like Zakouma can deliver.

 

Interesting sighting of the lions, I wonder if the fact that they left the kill unguarded is further sign of how relatively uncommon spotted hyenas are in Zakouma. 

 

@michael-ibk You saw some nice birds, glad to see photos of Egyptian plover and Viellot’s barbet, black-headed lapwing is a bird I’d hoped to see in Zakouma but didn’t, but I have seen it since elsewhere. That masked shrike was nice and a good sighting, I have seen this bird in Israel but not in Africa and certainly not in Zakouma. I’ve just checked on the West African Bird Database website, the first and only record for Zakouma was made by Lorna Labuschagne in 2015, if you have time I’m sure WABDab would be very grateful to have your record (and photo) and records of other birds you saw in Chad.

 

Just coincidentally while reading this report and @johnweir's report I saw that one of my Flickr followers has just been to Zakouma as well and is in middle uploading photos, I’ve no idea if my photos inspired him to visit Zakouma, I’m actually slightly more envious of his trip purely because before going to Zakouma he went to the OROA FR and saw the recently reintroduced scimitar-horned oryx. That for anyone thinking about going to Chad would be something well worth doing, at the moment most of the oryx have got collars on, in the future when the numbers have built up then there should be a lot more without collars which would certainly make for better photos. Great to see these animals in their proper habitat, I've only seen them grazing in bright green English fields in a couple of zoos which just doesn't look right, although if it wasn't for those zoo animals there would have been no oryx to return to the wild. I thought I’d include a link to his Flickr album

 

Chad album

 

Looking forward to reading about Tororo I’ve not been there, keep up the good work I had a quick count up and this is the 7th Zakouma trip report.:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Game Warden

I want to say that it is amazing that Safaritalkers have been inspired to go to Zakouma and are inspiring others to go too: you all deserve a hearty pat on the back and thank you for helping Chad, in a small way, through tourism and your follow up reports here and elsewhere.

 

Matt 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

offshorebirder

@michael-ibk - superb portrait of the Green Bee-eater!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SafariChick

Thanks for all the nice comments, everyone!  @Soukous there was a little bit of planning and discussion behind the scenes between us as to who would write what but then it just kind of took on a life of its own and kept rolling, gathering steam as it went!  

 

Regarding Tororo, I had mixed feelings on it. It was a long drive to get there and it was a great idea to take a packed lunch. We were initially planning to stay there all day or at least until the heat of the afternoon passed. However, I felt that while we had some nice sightings on the way there (photos to come below) once we were there, as @gatoratlarge the animals were really far away. It was frustrating because we could see there were a lot of them but we couldn't get closer as the road only went so far, and it would have been hard to walk closer as it was very hot and we would have been very exposed and far from the vehicle if any predators were out there (just my thoughts - I don't think we talked about trying to walk closer). We stayed until maybe 1 pm I think? I think some people would have been happy to stay, and we WERE in the shade but it was still hot and I personally felt the animals were not going to come closer if they hadn't in the several hours we'd been there, so at that stage I felt I'd rather go back and have a shower and regroup. I think it was at least 50-50 on the decision but I can't recall exactly, and it might be that we settled it with a duel (I did have the knife from the market and Joel his whip) but in any event, we did end up going back sooner than Doug had initially planned.

 

Here are some photos I took but I think they were along the way, not right at the Tororo plains.

 

40231227885_6808b56bba_c.jpg

 

40231227095_e79f428d6e_c.jpg

 

40231226105_41654af0a7_c.jpg

 

40231225435_e8fccdc969_c.jpg

 

40231224505_31884f7f3a_c.jpg

 

40231224185_7ea2fbf42a_c.jpg

 

41082798852_ea42c29f94_c.jpg

 

41082798302_72e08e9128_c.jpg

 

41082796752_111f7affe9_c.jpg

 

Finally got a group of roan to stand still and look at me!

 

41082795642_c1640b45cf_c.jpg

 

39317313430_d1262eccf2_c.jpg

 

These ostrich running along the road in front of the car reminded me of how guinea fowl do the same thing

 

39317313210_44bc94057d_c.jpg

 

26254729957_1eb327b88a_c.jpg

 

39317312530_f26cdb2a87_c.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 26/04/2018 at 3:42 AM, michael-ibk said:

 

large.TR362.JPG.ed226373ac65cc1bd5d40e6d

 

 

I can see Doug's influence rubbing off on @gatoratlarge.

"Get a move on guys" and joel all ready to whip out his whip to crack at the slackers.

 

Love all the photos of the group together. all the smiles and happy faces. and great camaraderie going on in all the posts - yes even those barbs betw @michael-ibk and @pault. It makes me wish that I was there to enjoy the spirit of friendship with you guys as well. 

 

Those lionesses and cubs looked like they really needed a good meal - and how great that you got to watch them have their first meal in probably many days. the cubs appeared to be in different ages - I assume they belong to all three lionesses ?

 

I'm with you @SafariChick - I could watch the hunt, but it'll be tough to watch the kill. 

 

@michael-ibk - love your bird photos, esp that pied with the morning sun behind - i thought that was such an artistic photo with the light coming through its wings. it looks like an angel.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SafariChick

 I don't honestly remember the afternoon that well - but I will just put what I have in here and maybe some of the others can supplement and recall what else we saw!

 

Here's a few photos at the place we ate all our meals and relaxed - I think others have been posted but I will put in a few

 

26254728927_e6bac375d9_c.jpg

 

Two of the camp staff and our driver, Sulemon - he is on the viewer's right:

 

39317311820_1f1a56bbc9_c.jpg

 

our very own @michael-ibk taking a turn behind the bar:

 

41747177512_47600a8298_c.jpg

 

and a few photos from the afternoon drive 

 

26254727937_ddb96651cf_c.jpg

 

39317311320_3401569b5c_c.jpg

 

26254726847_e53c74b662_c.jpg

 

39317310770_a8053ab398_c.jpg

 

We were at a pan with many birds at around 5:30 and also giraffes - this brief video shows it nicely

 

 

The afternoon drive continued into our last night drive. Sadly we still found no honey badger, which @pault and I had been anxious to see, and also no pale fox on the whole trip which is odd as they are seen reasonably often at night there. We did see more serval (was it one or two? I can't remember but someone will!) and a hyena, the only one of the trip that I remember! My photos are poor but here is a little video of each.

 

 

 

I am sure my colleagues will add more 

Edited by SafariChick
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very late with my contributions here again due to........ stuff......... and trying to post as soon as I can after Jane because I won't say much. 

 

One thing I don't think anyone mentioned from the evening the lions killed the hartebeest was the noise and action later on. As the light faded a flock of quelas came down to drink. There was only one smallish tree right next to the water and it was suddenly full of quelas. The lions were still feeding but I couldn't help but be distracted. Compared to some other days, and certainly to the megaflocks we'd seen pictures of, it was a smallish flock but they are always impressive and I thought it was quite idyllic  - lions feeding, quelas drinking (eyes left-eyes right). 

 

A blurrier style picture was the only choice given the light levels. 

i-dhJG7rH-X2.jpg

 

 

I might have though nobody mentioning this was due to intense contemplation of the lions by the others - after all we had barely seen any lions to date and now here we were with a glut of them - but that seemed very unlikely as the quelas kept on flying over the lions as they swapped to another tree before coming back to the best one for the water.

 

i-CCk4VdS-XL.jpg

 

And I don't know exactly how it happened but at one point quelas started flitting to another tree nearby and flew right by the lions, which caught the attention of some the lions, who would stare at the noisy, squeaking balls flying past for a while with more than passing interest, before returning to their messy eating. I remember one of the cubs being quite fascinated.

 

Obviously I don't have an accurate picture of this in the post-sunset light, but in the following picture those are not huge dust bunnies on my camera's sensor.

 

i-CFLS2FV-XL.jpg

 

And very shortly after, quela forgotten, scrapping for a morsel - since there was still a lot of meat left, I assume this was a matter of both starting on opposite ends and nobody being willing to let go when the inevitable meeting occurred.

 

i-GH5tnf9-XL.jpg

 

That wasn't much....... will try to post a bit more later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going back even further, remember the photo Michael posted in his official intro? Don;t look now if you don't - I'll post it again in a moment. Why and how? might have been questions. Not how as in "Wow! How did you do that?" But why and how as in "Why did you take it like that and how did you end up with that as your only photo of the whole group Paul?" 

 

"Because it was me and the photo gods were having a laugh in Chad." would be the short answer. The long one is that I took a rather unusual Fisheye attachment for a Sony 28mm lens I have. The unusual thing is not the attachment (such things are widely available and I recommend they be avoided) but that it is actually rather good- see the photo - the quality really is not bad at all, although it fades rapidly towards the far edges (few fisheyes don't). Anyway, I planned to use it for some wacky portraits in Chad, although it was actually along for Ethiopia afterwards. My card, drive and battery issues (and nearly 3 days away from my gear) had meant that I hadn't even got it out, so i took it to HQ because they have that fort like building and it seemed like a good candidate for a fisheye shot. I don't remember how the whole group ended up in front of that building - I may well have suggested it and then everyone thought that was a jolly idea, or it could have coincidentally been suggested by someone else (a fairly obvious choice I think). Anyway, there everyone was and I was lining up a shot when along came Linny (I am ashamed to say I honestly don't remember her name so I'll take others' word for it) and decided she's do everyone's shots - and it turns out she is a more than decent photographer so although I tried to put her off taking one with mine, she would not be dissuaded. I would be in my photo! I tried to set it up as carefully as I could because a fisheye is a lens that can turn a small change in angle into a massive distortion but of course there wasn;t much time, so I just got it as good as I could and told her not to move - take it from right there. I tried to get Doug on the end so we had bookends too, but for some reason it didn't work out - I think Doug wanted to be central for obviously fair reasons. And of course despite my pleas both Linny and the group moved and Joel got even larger while my wife got even smaller, and of course Linny was not the same height as me and......... well, there we are. I'm not saying a bad shot (slimming and heightening for some!)  but frankly it would have been a better shot without the fisheye adaptor. And then I never got a change to use ti again, so I can't show you just how good it would have been. 

 

That's my story and I am sticking to it. ;)

 

Joel, his friends from Austria, and the kids (Doug's growing fast isn't he?). Look at the feet and note how I rotated it right a bit to counteract the effect too!i-t3D43Gz-XL.jpg

 

The night drive after the lions was one of the less exciting ones, although of course it was great to see another wildcat.

 

Next morning it is playing snap with Jane again, and Joel too! But I've got a few extra this time as the lions were much more spread out and we were on the same side of the water as them.

 

A little one while it was still getting light

i-BWqwjjk-XL.jpg

 

Here's the missing next frame of Jane's ballet series...... @michael-ibk or @AndMic may be able to take it on another movement?

 

i-n2QZwsX-XL.jpg

 

 

Mum, Mum... wake up. I've been speared! ( Another way to view the scene of the mother and cubs that Jane posted a really nice photo of)

 

i-w8cwfFs-XL.jpg

 

Eyeing things up

 

i-vdxfwFr-XL.jpg

 

And another shot of the tug of war

 

i-nxWdZjm-XL.jpg

 

I remember looking for Tororo with Andreas on the map. It seemed quite far away and Doug was clear it was an all-dayer (although if we found nothing we would abandon) and I think everyone was on board with that. We had had that great sighting of the lion pride the night before and I guess everyone was (like me) "feeling lucky", so let's go - as long as we could pop in to see if the pride were still there first. Well they were, and if the outpouring of photos above isn't clue enough we stayed rather longer than we probably expected. In fact the clearing sky was not the all positive thing we had expected when complaining about the dust. Without the softening dust the light was getting super bright by maybe 8 am - not much later anyway. First issue with that was blown highlights in photos and heat messing up the bokeh - I like how @gatoratlarge has rolled with that in his giraffe shot! The second issue was it was getting bloody hot by not much after 9, and rising even further from there.  Phew!  This was more like the Chad we had expected. 

 

Some stuff on the way (amazingly the same animals... are you surprised?)

 

i-QP2BBxg-X2.jpg

 

The roan were on the way, while the heat was rising but still quite bearable and just starting to get hazy I think.

 

Floppy-eared youngster.

i-HbCdLcK-XL.jpg

 

 

A little older...

i-RCPMr6X-XL.jpg

 

And full grown...

 

i-54rqtRR-XL.jpg

 

 

I'll try to post my memories of Tororo some time tomorrow (but don't wait for me guys - that's definitely a "maybe"!). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SafariChick

@pault I love your 'missing frame in the cub ballet' to my shots - yours is particularly good as it shows the cub practically standing on the other's head!  The tug of war ones are nice too. And the fisheye lens story is interesting, I don't know if I even realized that's what you used for that shot til now!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk
On 4/27/2018 at 8:56 PM, inyathi said:

I’ve just checked on the West African Bird Database website, the first and only record for Zakouma was made by Lorna Labuschagne in 2015, if you have time I’m sure WABDab would be very grateful to have your record (and photo) and records of other birds you saw in Chad.

 

@inyathi

 

First of all, no, thank you really. After all, none of this trip would have happened without your intrepid frist Zakouma recce trip so we´re really all in your debt. Glad you´re enjoying revisiting Zakouma with us. I will provide a full bird list to WABDab once I´m finished sorting through everything, still have a bit to go - struggling with my Weavers especially (those non-breeding guys are tricky). If you (and other "birdier" folks) are interested I´m in the process of uploading  shot of every species photographed over on my Big Year thread. I´ve not posted all of them here on the report.

 

 

 

 

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

Sorry, my PC and me aren´t friends today. Triple post, don´t know why.

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

Sorry, my PC and me aren´t friends today. Triple post, don´t know why.

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk
On 30.4.2018 at 8:24 AM, pault said:

And I don't know exactly how it happened but at one point quelas started flitting to another tree nearby and flew right by the lions, which caught the attention of some the lions, who would stare at the noisy, squeaking balls flying past for a while with more than passing interest, before returning to their messy eating. I remember one of the cubs being quite fascinated.

 

That was very cool indeed. Light was already a bit too low for my camera but here´s a shot of the lioness watching Quelea.

 

large.TR454.JPG.f4fc69204e761c0804a58d7c

 

I probably enjoyed Tororo more than Jane and Joel - it was a very cool landscape and while it´s true we were on the wrong side of the pan for mammals I loved sitting in this place in the middle of absolute nowhere, being the only human soul near or far (at least that´s how it felt) and I would have happily sat there all day long watching the raptors and the Quelea. But I´m getting ahead of myself.

 

large.TR463.JPG.1380bf6a3aa415ced34ab574

 

We saw Side-Striped Jackal a couple of times - and Golden (Wolf) once as I remember. They were quite shy, and this pretty poor shot taken very early morning is unfortunately my best photo. As Paul has already remarked the dust had settled, and this gave us our first semi-proper African sunrise - Andreas was very happy about that!

 

large.TR465.JPG.2496f5ce49b79a854c993114

 

large.TR464.JPG.150ce83371a694a5f091a0a9

 

The others have already excessively covered the lions so I will resist the urge to post more photos of them.

 

large.TR471.JPG.62f8e20012e391de9f5df2cf

 

I´m sure everybody is much more interested in this Green Sandpiper.

 

large.TR493.JPG.c5b2c673756e59ad2906d94d

 

So it was already very hot indeed once we finally embarked up North!

 

large.TR499.JPG.d4d52dc547183d2fa57ad58a

 

Feeding Kordofan Giraffe

 

large.TR500.JPG.e1df75fa2d4e24a561e9d667

 

Quite fascinating how they manage to enjoy their meals in the middle of all this thorny stuff.

 

large.TR502.JPG.557a4a631ce2443c0ffbb194

 

large.TR497.JPG.3f9f4050117582057157e9c7

 

Greater Blue-Eared Starling

 

A typical Zakouma setting:

 

large.TR507.JPG.3c1ad6a9b5ba4c1b797d1bbe

 

Kob in a pose which cannot be too comfortable.

 

large.TR508.JPG.8a945c448eb1c9f4e3119a48

 

Sorry for another Roan photo of exactly the same bull the others have already posted - it was such a nice specimen.

 

large.TR509.JPG.c2c68376935c8b0c1b50018e

 

One of the pans halfway to Tororo:

 

large.TR511.JPG.3d204e4bc3bad92eadd0513f

 

large.TR513.JPG.25c8c02a4b7881fc68b9f130

 

Sacred Ibis

 

large.TR518.JPG.05de8221955249dbfabaea14

 

Wooly-Necked Stork

 

large.TR516.JPG.99de7b3090a2c28015e93fa9

 

large.TR522.JPG.0f33fd7fc17638c05508ebb0

 

A lot of stuff going on here. Heat haze was already quite a major issue. But a really gorgeous and unique setting - where else in Africa do you get scenes like this?

 

large.TR519.JPG.7715d2def2ce35dae188ce89

 

Lonely Waterbuck

 

large.TR525.JPG.c333d65c1e5a5bd27da2596c

 

Red-Fronted Gazelles again - as the trip progressed we would get better and better sightings.

 

large.TR527.JPG.c27deb7596988426e86a75da

 

Open wetlands in the middle of the dry grass.

 

large.TR528.JPG.e4388839a73b29a566296bcb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                       

 

 

 

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

It was 09:00 when we finally arrived at Tororo - and blistering hot.

 

large.TR530.JPG.56b93e5fdd1a7fa02b66f08e

 

large.TR531.JPG.7b143e0abb320a12389cbd05

 

large.TR547.JPG.bc789971ae2524323cfa48a6

 

If one´s lucky this could be an absolutely spectacular place. We saw hundreds of animals, Roan, Tiang, Kob, Giraffe - problem was they were sticking to the treeline on the other side of the pan, far away from us, and most of the time they only were mirages to us. I´m sure that didn´t have to do anything with us - they were already far away when we arrived, apparently they just liked that side better that day. No roads there, and walking wouldn´t have been possible at all. The pan is a wetland after all, I´m sure we would have some fun stuff happen to us if we had tried. :)

 

large.TR532.JPG.8646338ccad69d356e8e48c6

 

One of the few bigger mammals closer to us - but this Waterbuck definitely did not want to linger.

 

large.TR533.JPG.7162795ad7053b3969548de9

 

large.TR534.JPG.a4ba2f9b13444acc1ab5fd1d

 

Run Forrest Run!

 

large.TR536.JPG.49da466299b53512fb94996a

 

We made ourselves comfortable underneath a tree like this, lying on the mats brought along for us, snacking peanuts, sandwich and enjoying cold drinks - and trying to cool ourselves with the few icecubes in the cooler box. I was fascinated with the amount of raptors up in the sky - Marsh and Pallid Harriers, lots and lots of Kites, Lanner Falcons, Kestrels, dozens and dozens of them. Preybase must be incredibly rich here in Tororo.

 

large.TR545.JPG.a14ca691cd18544b5a03d122

 

A distant shot of a Sahelian specialty - a Grasshopper Buzzard.

 

large.TR537.JPG.aef5d6c2792d5803a7cf53a2

 

This Short-Toed Snake-Eagle was apparently checking if we would have something tasty for him.  I was actually a bit disappointed when I IDed this bird, I had first hoped it would be an Audouin´s Snake Eagle (another special one in the area). These two birds look very similar but Audoin´s underwings are not as barred.

 

large.TR539.JPG.caa67dabae5ee97b2a8337c6

 

Tawny Eagle - this was our only sighting of the trip. This is normally the default Eagle on a safari but not here - as mentioned before Long-Crested Eagle took its place of the most common species.

 

large.TR540.JPG.7f208b5bc41b7e2f11d2d699

 

Again the Quelea made for quite a spectacle.

 

large.TR542.JPG.7519a458d35953eaf35a6d36

 

large.TR544.JPG.1bb7889292a19fb5c7e26a78

 

After 2 1/2 hours of not much happening some of us became a bit twitchy. Jane and Joel thought it would be better to leave while Paul and me (a remarkable alliance indeed) preferred to stay and wait for what would happen here in the afternoon. Andreas and Nam Wan did not have too strong opinions but were more inclined to do something instead of sitting around.

 

I wanted to settle this with a good old duel and was ready to battle it out with a good old fistfight, ready to deck Joel, but than Jane unsheathed the dagger and Joel cracked his new best friend, the whip he always carried around now, and that was it then - unarmed as I was I know when I am beaten. (It could have happened like that, or we could possibly also simply have voted like grownups but that would be too boring.;))

 

large.TR548.JPG.bba9c6e50ceb0e09e83ad523

 

Gymnogene on the way back.

 

large.TR550.JPG.b03f2ead43881b6f64cae94f

 

Brown Snake-Eagle

 

large.TR551.JPG.770b530c28dd83be7b943eca

 

This was one of the biggest Roan herds we saw. More than 40 animals (they were streched out quite far so it was impossible to get all of them into one frame). Zakouma is without a doubt one of the very best places to see this magnificent animal.

 

large.TR556.JPG.f56350d239279a31fa5b4946

 

We did worry that Doug was having too little do to given that he was just the front passenger and was getting lazy. So we decided to have fun dropping stuff out of the car so he could get the training to hop off and run back to pick up everything. First Joel lost his hat, then Andreas and then Paul. And let´s not even talk about Jane - I don´t think we had a single drive where she did not drop or lose anything. If she was generous stuff landed just on the floor of the car, if she felt Doug needed some excercise it was out of the car. The way this went she simply could not have just "dropped" stuff, I´m sure she must have deliberately thrown it out. Hats, Bandana, lenscap, even her phone(!), no matter, everything has to go seemed to be her motto. There must be a psychological term for it - philiaresemittendi or something like that. Poor Paul and me were especially traumatized when she chuckled and confessed "Oh please stop, I dropped something out of the car." - "Again? What is it Jane?" - "Oh, just my camera." she said with perfect stoicism. "Your Ca-ME-RA?" We could not believe it, our mouths dropping, our faces long with disbelief, our eyes wide open with terror. And Jane just shut us up with a "Yes, my camera, why are you so shocked?".

 

large.TR557.JPG.27c5128240edeea827c128d0

 

"Her camera? Seriously?"

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

Since we only returned to Tinga at 15:30 we did an abridged afternoon game drive - only got going at 16:00. (Nam Wan decided to sit this one out and relax in camp.)

 

large.TR566.JPG.b4215a563771b3cd08dc3150

 

I was wondering again if I could still feel the G&Ts from last night when I was seeing double.

 

large.TR567.JPG.af9af598d64ffa2599e79d06

 

And again - Red-Fronted Gazelle, our last and best sighting (from a photo point of view).

 

large.TR569.JPG.8a49bc9fae27813112ed910d

 

large.TR570.JPG.c8de0c5156cb6741d429da22

 

large.TR571.JPG.986d85c1f795f09a09a293be

 

We drove to Mashtour, one of the nicest places in the park from what I´ve seen of it.

 

large.TR575.JPG.7306585387945b36c6a1802b

 

large.TR574.JPG.cd132e290ed945d994d14a18

 

This is Spur-Winged central - hundreds of waterfowl were gathering here.

 

large.TR578.JPG.0a34c8a6e1c64a7a7961e8b1

 

large.TR582.JPG.44fe811bec6f6379afabe309

 

large.TR577.JPG.18fc2a4cd0a585e88ab0adbd

 

Spur-Winged Goose

 

large.TR579.JPG.fe6a3b1c9fb0fa69a52a0ce7

 

White-Faced Whistling Duck

 

large.TR581.JPG.dfca3f94cbb9d05a0f2caf65

 

Kordofan trying hard not to be blinded by the Quelea flocks whishing around it.

 

large.TR584.JPG.e6628d90bbeaa235b668cf90

 

large.TR591.JPG.36fb843ce1ace60aa3e11447

 

Our very last (or actually the first) Zakouma "sunset".

 

large.TR593.JPG.d8eaafb5e649b06caf3cebc3

 

Our last nightdrive was really cool. Suleman told Doug that the airstrip would be a good place and indeed it delivered. Lots of White-Tailed Mongoose, Genets of course, probably Civet (not completely sure), and most important - three Servals and a Spotted Hyena. That was just wow!

 

large.TR594.JPG.148c2eb00f2880c815c23ac3

 

large.TR595.JPG.51e6e36a6fc160c9db787e7e

 

large.TR596.JPG.c71ba83517abfeb5d579e45a

 

large.TR598.JPG.2fe3e7fed90da0a5e6726010

 

1 hour ago, michael-ibk said:

The others have already excessively covered the lions so I will resist the urge to post more photos of them.

 

Oh bollocks, I´m such a weak person so here are some more from that morning.B)

 

large.TR467.JPG.d00c65393a3ae765eda04fbd

 

large.TR468.JPG.d48b14e43e86a9df3f835a89

 

large.TR469.JPG.12ef6fa14aaf1cbd9d49ec6e

 

large.TR474.JPG.606c7d48d19b78e43b32abfb

 

large.TR475.JPG.a7b32540443b7f96e6dfa2f1

 

large.TR478.JPG.52c319b14b322df3ddf0a19b

 

large.TR487.JPG.3d999ee221dce253237e6394

 

large.TR490.JPG.71728129e41443502fe33137

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy