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Even a Better Sequel? A Pictorial Zakouma TR


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Safaridude

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Black (northern) crowned crane

 

 

So it turns out that you can go home again.  In February/March of 2017, I was left utterly speechless by the raw wilderness called Zakouma National Park (the trip described in this outstanding report from @kitsafari http://www.safaritalk.net/topic/17282-paradise-regained-–-parc-national-zakouma-tchad/).  In returning to this privileged place in February of this year, I prepared myself for a bit of a letdown.  Boy, was I wrong!  (It may be a while before I am able to talk again!)  Despite coming off an extremely wet rainy season, Zakouma seemed to deliver even more this time.  The profusion of life at Zakouma is truly remarkable. 

 

 

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A herd of tiang and a red-necked (or North African) ostrich in typical mid-day Zakouma light.  Thousands of tiang move into the park during the dry season.

 

 

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Abyssinian roller.  In Central and West Africa, this roller replaces the better-known lilac-breasted roller of Southern and East Africa.

 

 

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Buffalos from the air.  These buffalos are hybrid savanna/forest buffalos.  Some individuals obtain reddish coats.

 

 

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Indeed a red-coated individual on a night drive.

 

 

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Kordofan giraffe, a giraffe subspecies that is reduced to perhaps 2,000 individuals.  Zakouma harbors about half of the entire Kordofan giraffe population.

 

 

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A typical scene at a typical pan, with black crowned cranes and spur-winged geese, among others.

 

 

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Two roan antelope bulls circling each other and sizing each other up (Game of Roans?).  This behavior frequently precedes a fight.

 

 

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Lions at play.  Zakouma has a very healthy lion population.

 

 

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Lions from a different pride found near camp at night.

 

 

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Weirdly, these vultures and the marabou stork remind me of a sugar swizzle stick for tea.

 

 

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A "fishing party" breaks out at one of the pools near the Salamat River.  Little egrets, intermediate egrets and hamerkops gather in one big congregation and swoop down for fish.

 

 

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An attempt...

 

 

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... and success!

 

 

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A crocodile gets into the act, catching a catfish.

 

 

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A hamerkop joins the party.

 

 

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Pied kingfisher

 

 

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Pelican at last light

 

 

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Kordofan giraffe

 

 

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Civet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Safaridude
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michael-ibk

Great stuff @Safaridude, this make me very Zakoumasick. More please!

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Safaridude

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A spur-winged goose showing off his wings.

 

 

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Elephants from the air.  Zakouma's elephants have been protected from the rampant poaching and are now breeding once again.

 

 

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A pan in the north of the park on the way to Tororo.

 

 

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A beast of a roan antelope.

 

 

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Members of the elite "Mamba Team" that conducts anti-poaching activities under the management of African Parks.

 

 

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A Beaudoin's snake-eagle.  Or is it a short-toed snake-eagle?  Two renowned safari guides and I went back and forth on this.  Right now, the money is on it being the Beaudoin's.  Either case, both Beaudoin's and short-toed are characteristic snake-eagles of the Sudano-Sahelian biome.

 

 

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Pied kingfisher again.

 

 

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A stunning concentration of great white pelicans at a bend of the Salamat River.

 

 

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Pelicans, pelicans, pelicans...

 

 

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A beautiful lioness in soft morning light...

 

 

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... and this bad boy is crossing the channel to join her.  That is an impressive mane for a Chadian lion.

 

 

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A group of tiang moving through a floodplain.

 

 

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Yellow-billed storks at dusk...

 

 

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... snatching a bed-time snack.

 

 

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Dreamy pelicans

 

 

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Red-billed queleas drinking in the morning.

 

 

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Red-billed queleas going in for a quick drink before heading off to roost for the night.

 

 

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Heading for the roosting spot.

 

 

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A half-hearted hunt goes wrong... as the buffalo charges these young lions.

 

 

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Zakouma!

Edited by Safaridude
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ForWildlife

Fantastic!

I'd vote for Beaudouin's as well, I would expect more spots/mottledness on the forewings of a short-toed (which isn't endemic to Sahel, it's migratory from Europe).

Did you find those elephants through radio-tracking? I can see two of them are collared.

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Botswanadreams

Beautiful Zakouma pics @Safaridude. Thanks for showing. I'm just copied my own pics from our 3 1/2 weeks Chad trip from the saving cards to my laptop.  

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Zubbie15

Stunning images, really like the IR shots. Definitely somewhere that’s on my bucket list, for someday...

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Safaridude

Thanks Everyone.

 

Thanks @ForWildlife  Yes, you are right.  What I meant to say is that the short-toed snake-eagle, when visiting Africa, stays within the Sudano-Sahelian biome.  I have made a minor edit to my post.  Thanks for pointing that out.

 

No, the plane wasn't following the collared elephant.  There is really one large breeding herd (600-700) that usually stays together at Zakouma, and the pilot just happened to come across it.

 

 

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inyathi

Another Zakouma report is always a good thing:) and I have to say you've put in some fantastic photos so far.

 

Having seen a couple of Beaudouin's snake eagles and after checking my books, I would say that's most probably an adult male Beaudouin's, nice shot of it.

 

Looking forward to more of this. :)

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Atravelynn

The variety of your exquisite shots and your placement of them has given me whiplash!  That's great #2 equaled or surpassed #1!

Edited by Atravelynn
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AfricIan

Stunning images @Safaridude.  Like @Botswanadreams, I'm still wading through all my photo's from March's visit - between us we should be able to keep all the Zakoumaphiles happy :D

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Peter Connan

Wow wow wow and WOW again!

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Kitsafari

Woohoo - a PR  (Pictorial Report) from the Dude!

 

Superb photos from a spectacular place. Your photos are making me homesick for inspirational Zakouma. 

 

More, more please!

Edited by Kitsafari
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optig

@Safaridude I'm going again next year with @Sangeeta. I'll also be going to Ennedi,hopefully I'll be going to Zakouma for a full two weeks and staying for a week at Tinga and a week at Nomade.

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Julian

Wonderful selection of photos.

 

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Finally, after a long drought, an @Safaridude trip report for us to savor. Stunning pictures of a truly spectacular safari destination presented in your unique style. The Zakouma queleas are a signature of this magnificent place. But there is so much more as you show us. Thanks for sharing. 

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Safaridude

Thank you all.

 

@inyathi and @ForWildlife, Beaudoin's it shall be then.  What gave us some doubt was that (1) the underwing coverts have enough mottled patterns to confuse; and (2) Sinclair/Ryan suggests that some short-toed snake-eagle males have white streaks on the chest (as this individual in the photo does).

 

@optig, you shall have a fantastic time.

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Safaridude

Here is proof that getting old sucks...

 

This roan antelope bull hangs around near Camp Nomade.  You can ID him by the broken horn, the marks on his bum, the nicked ear, etc.

 

 

February 2017...

 

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February 2019

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Peter Connan

That roan looks skinnier than a racing snake! Do you think it hangs around the camp as protection?

Edited by Peter Connan
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Safaridude

@Peter Connan

 

He wasn't that close to camp.  Each time, he was seen about 3-4km away from camp.

 

I have heard of or seen herbivores seek the protection of camp areas and such, but I have never heard of or seen strongly territorial species such as roan do that.

 

Pretty much all other animals were in good condition.  I think that old guy just happens to be on his last legs.

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Peter Connan

Thanks @Safaridude

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Safaridude

Some characteristic birds of the Sudano-Sahelian biome (which runs roughly from western Ethiopia and parts of Uganda all the way west to Senegal) -- found in Zakouma:

 

 

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Vinaceous Dove

 

 

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Clapperton's francolin (spurfowl) - confined to the eastern portion of the Sudano-Sahelian biome.

 

 

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Abyssinian Ground Hornbill 

 

 

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Red-throated Bee-eater

 

 

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Piapiac (juvenile -- with a pink bill)

 

 

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Little Green Bee-eater

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gatoratlarge

Wonderful photos!  Takes me back!  Keep em coming!

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Galago

Takes me back too! Hoping to return in 2020. Looking forward to seeing more of your photos. I love the photos of the pelicans on a bend of the Salamat, the density is astounding.

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Amazing photo's @Safaridude - the croc and the catfish is an awesome shot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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