Thursday, August 23, 2012

Elephant Tea Party

The sun had cast its last few rays over Kiba and the mighty Rufiji River and all that could be heard was the last of the Ibis travelling back their nests and the 'laugh' of the Hippo as the time for their emergence from the water crept even closer.

Our guests arrived and discussions started. And suddenly, whithout warning, a thunderous crash came from the right which made us stop in our tracks. Torches in hand we slowly arose from the table (like a leopard from its slumber) and crept towards the pools edge in time to see a huge head and ears emerge from the tree line. The elephants had come to join us for dinner.

One by one they crashed through the trees and into the clearing by the pool. There were ten in total including one very cute little baby who kept trying to dodge his own shadow. One even had the cheek to knock over our newly built barbeque, but having these magnificent creatures no more then 10 meters away was enough to let that one slide.

They stayed with us for the enitre duration of our meal, what a view to have whilst eating. As the elephants ate their supper of bark and green thorn fruit for dessert, we ate ours of pork and chocolate oblivion. Our own little elephants tea party and what a tea party it was!!!!

            The barbeque was definitely not the same after this stunning elephant clumsily walked into it.

               This little cutie couldn't stand the sight of its own shadow, dodging this way and that way.

Mum was hungry and happily fed from this tree for most of the evening, allowing us to sit in total silence  
                                                      5 meters away and watch her in awe.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Day Of The Beasts

A hot sunny afternoon was blazing beauty over the camp. Our guests had left in the morning and our next were eagerly expected the following day. Camp was ready and raring to go - our workday had finished.

Oh, what to do? We knew exactly what to do....a little staff outing to the river side.

With the sun beating down on us and a cool breeze fluttering by we all scrambled down to the banks of the Rufiji River, fishing rods in hand. We took our places, cast the lines and waited with baited breath - even the hippos were watching from the cool flow of the river's rapids.

We were unlucky to begin with, with a couple of beauties biting but not taking, but then, the Rufiji was kind and blessed Thom with a stunning catfish. After this our luck had changed. Tiger fish were taking the bait left right and center.

What a glorious day the Selous and the Rufiji presented us with. Let's just hope that the fruitfulness can continue for staff and guests alike.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Five New Faces....

As another day shattered the darkness that the night brings we were on full alert, ready to capture all that the Selous through at us. Heading on our first venture alone we crawled along taking in every breathtaking view that we saw. As we cleared the first ridge and dropped down towards what is known as 'The Garden' we discovered the tracks of what we knew was a rather large feline!

As we looked East across the ridge we saw four females and one scruffy male (who had a dashing mohican as his mane) bathing in the morning sun. We edged ever closer, leaving the road slightly behind, carefully picking our route through the gullies and tall grass to get a better look at these magnificent creatures.

Our route eventually brought us out into a clearing to have a perfect view of all and yet there were still more suprises to come....

We looked into a thicket of tall grass and noticed ten pairs of little eyes looking in our direction. One by one those pairsof eyes turned into the cutest little Lion cub faces you ever did see. Nomore than a month old tey had curiosity written all over their faces.

It will be a fascinating journey to follow these youngsters as they go through the challenges that life as a young lion in an unfamiliar world

Monday, June 11, 2012

When One Chapter Ends A New One Begins.

When we first arrived and looked out at the Rufiji gently flowing by we thought, what a magnificent and peaceful place to be responsible for maintaining.Whilst setting up camp and meeting all of the friendly staff we have also had time to explore our beautiful surroundings. We were suprised to find the amount of game that we did in and around the lodge considering that it is such a large expanse of pure wilderness. From the small unknowns to the larger greats the Selous seems full of both big and small suprises.

From the shock of a lone male Elephant right infront of us as we turned a corner, the enchanting call of the Hyena in the evenings, a classic Buffalo charge (still unsure of who had the biggest fright - us or the Buff as it emerged some what ungracefully from the tall grass), to the most stunning sighting of two Leopards and their kill in a Tagalala tree twenty minutes from camp.

The Selous Will Keep You Wondering!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dogged Behavior

We continue to have excellent luck with a pack of wild dogs hanging out near Kiba. Wild dogs sightings are among the most exciting in the east African bush. It's not just because they are the rarest of all the large carnivores; it's also because they exhibit so much behavior that even when they're resting, there is almost always something to watch.

Dogs live in very tight-knit packs and the interaction of pack members is critical to their survival. The packs are led by an alpha male and an alpha female, who monopolizes breeding rights within the pack. Dogs scent mark prodigiously with their urine, especially the alpha pair who often mark together as a form of bonding. Sometimes they even get a bit acrobatic about it, such as this alpha male who marked while doing a handstand.

Dogs also have oversized ears that can move independently of each other, enabling them to pick up the slightest sounds. In this sequence of pictures, you can see the radial mobility of the ears.

As I mentioned in my last post, dogs are the best hunters. They are coursers, which means that they give chase until the prey is too worn out to continue. But they still will do their best to close the gap before they begin the chase. As demonstrated in this picture, dogs stalk prey shoulder to shoulder with their heads low, which helps them to avoid being spotted by antelope by hiding the most recognizable part of their silhouette.