Friday, September 30, 2011

Tug of War

In the left corner, measuring 8ft long and weighing in at 500 pounds we have Trevor the Crocodile.

In the right corner, measuring 4 1/2 ft long and weighing in at 150 pounds we have Spotty the Leopard.

In the middle, measuring  3 ft long and weighing in at 130 pounds we have Swala "dead weight" the Impala

Ready. Set. PULL!

It was an epic battle that pitted the power house of an ancient dynasty against a smaller, quicker, more agile opponent. Neither could make much headway with the croc keeping his feet well planted while the leopard struggled valiantly to make any sort of progress.

Soon, Lenny the leopard decided to try some different tactics. First came indifference as he pretended to care more about the spectators than the main event.

Next he tried to intimidate his opponent into giving up.

Finally, he decided that if you can't win, sometimes you just have to change the game.

The leopard realized that he had the tasty end of the impala, so he just sat back and started eating.

Eventually, the croc decided there was no reason to watch the leopard eat when he could be basking in the sun downstream.

Flushed with victory, the leopard stood tall over his prize.

Eventually he picked the impala up, dragged it under a palm tree, and noisily devoured his meal.

A couple weeks ago, Mark over at Chada Katavi wrote a blog about how peaceful the leopards are in Katavi national park. I guess they're just made a bit rougher and tougher here in the Selous.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Narina Trogon

We have been very lucky the last two weeks at KP. A Narina Trogon has taken up residence around the mess and swimming pool, and we are seeing it almost every day. These stunning birds are shy, and have a tendency to sit quiet and still in the undercanopy, rendering them very difficult to see. Hopefully it will stick around for a long time to come.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back to the Selous

I am just back from a wonderful three weeks of vacation...hence the hiatus from this blog. Living in the Selous, sometimes it's easy to become focues on your immediate surroundings and forget just how many incredible places there are on this continent. Some time off gave me a chance to visit a couple of these places.

First I stopped off in northern Tanzania for a quick safari. Not too far from Lamai Serengeti, I tracked these cheetah for three days hoping to see a kill. But while they spent plenty of time hunting, I never got so much as a chase out of the brothers.
Without any cheetahs here in the Selous, it was a pleasure for me to spend so much time with these felids.
After that I was off to Ethiopia. The highlight of my time there was a visit to the Simien Mountains, famed for the gelada baboons and incredible topography.
It certainly did not disappoint!
The shaggy, 'bleeding heart' baboons graze on the mountain tops but sleep on the sheer cliffs.
Now I'm happily back amidst the familiar screams of the fish eagles!