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michael-ibk

Breathtaking! Incredibly beautiful.

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Like many on their first safari I visited Tanzania's iconic Serengeti and the northern circuit, but my second safari was to be very different. I did a deep dive into African wildlife conservation, com

ZAKOUMA - DAY 2    morning - enroute back to Tinga Camp   I have also included a couple photos from the morning after Riguiek Pan on the way back to Tinga Camp. We came across a mu

ZAKOUMA - DAY 4   full day safari - continued   Zakouma's elephants   And here are photos of the big 300+ herd of Zakouma elephants!   You will see some big bul

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Zarek Cockar

@RC88CORThanks for doing this trip report! And thank you for all your VERY kind praise!  I'm fairly certain Touge spotted the cheetah first, not me.  I think I saw I saw it right after him, but I remember thinking that if he hadn't have said something, I might have missed it.

 

Also, I believe our Monitors were Savannah Monitors (Varanus exanthematicus) rather than Nile Monitors.  The head shape and body markings are indicative of Savannah.

 

Lots of great memories here.  That full day with the elephants was one of the most magical I've had on safari anywhere.  Here's what I wrote to Sangeeta about that day:

"6th : Spent a full day out to allow for the long drive down to where the big breeding herd of elephants were.
We found a few elephants, watched them cross a river, waited, found saw some more. We heard more on the
other side of the river, so we assumed most of the rest of the herd had already crossed before we got there.
But Togi and Ibrahim (one of the rangers), felt we should wait. Watched about 30 cross total. Then waited
some more. Eventually a few more started to appear downstream. After about 45 min, all 300 or so of the
bulk of the herd had crossed the river. It was a completely magical experience. The sound of the elephants
trumpeting, splashing, sloshing, rumbling…. RC88COR cried. Everyone agreed it was absolutely fantastic. 
After the elephants, we moved on, found a few mega herds of buffalo, and eventually started on our way
back to camp. VERY long, hot drive.  We eventually got back to Tinga around 4 pm. Everyone was exhausted and we all just wanted to shower and
relax for the rest of the afternoon."

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Botswanadreams

Hi Zarek seeing the big Elephant herd of Zakouma in the river bed is an unforgettable experience. We were lucky the year before. I hope next year you will have the chance to see your beloved dessert - Ennedi and the Lakes of Ounianga.

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Zarek Cockar

Thanks Christa. A trip was supposed to happen this year, but COVID laid those plans to rest.  Fingers crossed for next year!

I hope you're well!

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RC88COR
Posted (edited)
On 3/5/2021 at 5:07 AM, Zarek Cockar said:

@RC88CORThanks for doing this trip report! And thank you for all your VERY kind praise!  I'm fairly certain Touge spotted the cheetah first, not me.  I think I saw I saw it right after him, but I remember thinking that if he hadn't have said something, I might have missed it.

 

Also, I believe our Monitors were Savannah Monitors (Varanus exanthematicus) rather than Nile Monitors.  The head shape and body markings are indicative of Savannah.

 

Lots of great memories here.  That full day with the elephants was one of the most magical I've had on safari anywhere.  Here's what I wrote to Sangeeta about that day:

"6th : Spent a full day out to allow for the long drive down to where the big breeding herd of elephants were.
We found a few elephants, watched them cross a river, waited, found saw some more. We heard more on the
other side of the river, so we assumed most of the rest of the herd had already crossed before we got there.
But Togi and Ibrahim (one of the rangers), felt we should wait. Watched about 30 cross total. Then waited
some more. Eventually a few more started to appear downstream. After about 45 min, all 300 or so of the
bulk of the herd had crossed the river. It was a completely magical experience. The sound of the elephants
trumpeting, splashing, sloshing, rumbling…. RC88COR cried. Everyone agreed it was absolutely fantastic. 
After the elephants, we moved on, found a few mega herds of buffalo, and eventually started on our way
back to camp. VERY long, hot drive.  We eventually got back to Tinga around 4 pm. Everyone was exhausted and we all just wanted to shower and
relax for the rest of the afternoon."

 

@Zarek CockarHi Zarek! Hope you are well. So great to get your input on these posts - well noted on the cheetah sighting and the savannah monitor. Let me know, If you see anything else that needs to be adjusted. 

Edited by RC88COR
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RC88COR
Posted (edited)
On 3/4/2021 at 10:07 PM, gatoratlarge said:

This is the part I've been most curious about!  Awesome photos!  Why did they cover the car in canvas?  The tents look pretty comfortable, did it get chilly at night?  Were you on roads in Ennedi or did the guides just drive on the sand/dunes?  So curious about this area...

 

@gatoratlargeThank you!

They covered the vehicles with canvas to create a wind/sand shield in order to prepare the food and create a sleeping area for the crew. The tents were definitely comfortable. We brought sleeping bags, but I only used it tentatively one night; the nights were not too cool, and I found the comforters and sheets they provided were sufficient. There are no roads in Ennedi, it was all off-road driving through the rock and sand, and around and over the sand dunes. It takes a lifetime of experience to drive through this area; the drivers were from the region and knew how to navigate the terrain. We did get stuck in the sand for a bit a couple of times, but that was all part of the adventure.

Edited by RC88COR
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RC88COR
8 hours ago, michael-ibk said:

Breathtaking! Incredibly beautiful.

 

@michael-ibkthank you! 

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RC88COR

ENNEDI - DAY 3 - continued

 

 I must say, Day 3 was EPIC!  After Bachikele we continued on.

 

At some point on Day 3 I ran out of superlatives to describe what I was seeing. It is an experience that is just so beyond words; something you just have to experience.

 

The rock formations are astounding! I have an interest in geology and being immersed in such magnificent rock formations shaped by the sand and wind over time was awesome!

 

We had a delicious lunch overlooking the Aloba Arch which is massive - span 75m x height 120m  (250 ft x 395 ft)

 

Here are more photos from Day 3. I will let the photos speak for themselves. 

 

Arch of Julia 

Aloba Arch

Elephant Arch 

 

 

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Botswanadreams

@RC88COR Thanks very much for nice memories. As we traveled through Ennedi I could stop everywhere to take pictures because I new that I never get a missed opportunity again. One of my pics from Arch de Julia is now my Google desktop background. So it reminds me every day of this wonders of the Sahara. It is a bit shame that your time was limited. There are so many rock paintings in Ennedi. 

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RC88COR
Posted (edited)

ENNEDI - DAY 3 - continued

 

Day 3 was a busy day. We were moving faster than normal trying to make up for the lost days due to the flight cancellations and still see everything on our original itinerary. Nevertheless, t it was amazing!

 

For context, the Ennedi Plateau is approx. 40,000 square kilometers, about the size of Switzerland. And the rock formations are sandstone.

 

We headed onwards to an area that was truly phenomenal and one of my most anticipated trip sights ...

 

Labyrinthe d'Oyo

 

I spent some time wandering throught the labyrinth - so great!

 

 

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Edited by RC88COR
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RC88COR
Posted (edited)

ENNEDI - DAY 3 - continued

 

We then continued on to a see our first rock paintings (sorry, can't recall the name of the site) and then to our camp for the night which was on the edge of the Guelta d'Archei.

 

We travelled in 3 vehicles, 2 for us (with driver and guide), and the other was for the crew who would go ahead of us to set up lunch/dinner and the nightly campsite. By the time we arrived at the campsite in the evenings the tents were already set up, the campfire was going, and dinner was being prepared. 

 

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Edited by RC88COR
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RC88COR
1 hour ago, Botswanadreams said:

@RC88COR Thanks very much for nice memories. As we traveled through Ennedi I could stop everywhere to take pictures because I new that I never get a missed opportunity again. One of my pics from Arch de Julia is now my Google desktop background. So it reminds me every day of this wonders of the Sahara. It is a bit shame that your time was limited. There are so many rock paintings in Ennedi. 

 

@Botswanadreams I know the feeling of wanting to stop everywhere. We did see many rock paintings, so that was pretty special. Even though we had to move faster than normal, I would not change a thing. And hopefully I will be able to return to Chad and spend more time focused on Ennedi.

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AfricIan

 What stunning scenes @RC88COR, absolutely amazing

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RC88COR

@AfricIan thank you! 

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Anomalure

@RC88COR Really exciting trip report - the Cheetah, Striped Hyena, and Greater Kudu sightings were unexpected and great to see. What an amazing trip this must have been...

 

@jeremieCompletely agree that Chad (for me the combination of Zakouma+OROA) is a top destination in Africa now. It's also #3 on my list, after Sierra Leone and Ethiopia/Somaliland.

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KiwiGran

Really enjoying this trip report. Some of the landscapes remind me of Purnululu World Heritage site in Western Australia. It is an example of Cone Karst and is from the Devonian Period.

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RC88COR
1 hour ago, Anomalure said:

@RC88COR Really exciting trip report - the Cheetah, Striped Hyena, and Greater Kudu sightings were unexpected and great to see. What an amazing trip this must have been...

 

@jeremieCompletely agree that Chad (for me the combination of Zakouma+OROA) is a top destination in Africa now. It's also #3 on my list, after Sierra Leone and Ethiopia/Somaliland.

 

@Anomalurethank you! It was such a great trip - each new day seemed to exceed the previous day. I highly recommend Zakouma and OROA and Ennedi. I think Chalo Africa has another trip planned for March 2022. 

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RC88COR
Posted (edited)
On 3/5/2021 at 5:16 PM, KiwiGran said:

Really enjoying this trip report. Some of the landscapes remind me of Purnululu World Heritage site in Western Australia. It is an example of Cone Karst and is from the Devonian Period.

 

@KiwiGran Glad you are enjoying the TR! Yes, I recall seeing photos of Purnululu and thinking the rock formations/geology was similar to Ennedi. Good to know it is Cone Karst from the Devonian Period. 

 

Edited by RC88COR
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ENNEDI - DAY 4

 

We were heading into the Guelta d'Archei today, and I could not wait! The Archei had taken on mythic proportions in my mind over the last few years, and now I could see it, but we had to wait a bit as there was a specific entry order. First the goats and sheep, then the camels, then the tourists. I waited this long, I could manage to wait a bit longer. 

 

It was early morning, and we had about 1.5 hours before we would be able to enter the Archei, so we went to see another cave painting site that was nearby. Then we headed into the Guelta d'Archei and climbed up into a rock face with more cave paintings and a great view. 

 

My photos of the Guelta d'Archei will be in the next post.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

ENNEDI - DAY 4 - continued

 

Guelta d'Archei

 

We walked deep into the Guelta d'Archei. I was awestruck!

 

We did not see the crocodiles. 

 

Love the camels - they have so much character.

 

I will let the photos speak for themselves - 2 batches.

 

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Edited by RC88COR
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ENNEDI - DAY 4 - continued

 

Guelta d'Archei 

 

And here is the second batch of Guelta d'Archei photos.

 

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Posted (edited)

 

ENNEDI - DAY 4 - continued

 

After the Guelta d'Archei we continued onwards stopping at a water well with lots of cattle, camels, donkeys, sheep and goats quenching their thirst. Then we stopped at two different cave painting areas that were remarkable. And yes, those are giraffes painted onto the cave walls. 

 

 

 

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Edited by RC88COR
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Antee

Any wildlife in this area? 
Addax? Dama gazelles? Fennec foxes? 

Ennedi is a mythical place and such a beautiful one! 

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jeremie

Super site, Gueita d'Archei, Bachikele and Aloba arch are definitely outstanding!

 

I am wondering why you did not climb up to have the eagle viewpoint on the Gueita d'Archei, and only stayed at the ground level. Is it now forbidden to go up?

 

 

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jeremie
54 minutes ago, Antee said:

Any wildlife in this area? 
Addax? Dama gazelles? Fennec foxes? 

Ennedi is a mythical place and such a beautiful one! 

 

Hi Antee! There is wildlife, but it is very hard to spot it. Fennec are there, dorcas gazelles too. But Addax and dama gazelles, as well as Scimitar horned oryx is not present in the Ennedi natural and cultural reserve. The project is now focusing on the red necked ostrich reintroduction (well it must rather be a reinforcement as pug marks where seen in the North East of the area recently). I guess they will then work with the OROAGR to bring back antelopes, and will eventually, probably after a decade, to reintroduce saharan cheetahs if local population engagement is in favor of such a move.

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