Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 4.00 average.
Old Tuesday 30th August 2011, 15:44   #1
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
Tanzania August September 2011

26th to 30th of August

After a very long trip from Siem Reap via Phnom Penh, Bangkok, and Dubai we arrived in Dar es Salaam last Friday, almost at the end of Ramadan. Immigration was reasonably fast and getting the visa was no big deal.

We checked into the Moevenpick Palm Garden, a reasonable hotel though the price (USD 245.00) is in no relation to the services offered. My Kiswahili is coming back quickly (I went to school in Kenya) and it is great to be in Africa.

Not much birding the last few days as we waited for my father to join, but lots of good food and the odd cold Kilimanjaro beer.

There are actually not many birds, the introduced Indian House Crows saw to that; they are everywhere. Around the hotel grounds we have managed to see a few common specie: Purple-banded Sunbird, Mangrove Kingfisher, a single Palm-nut Vulture, a pair of White-browed Robin-chats, plenty of Sacred Ibises, and Red-fronte Tinkerbirds.

A nearby creek is a high tide roost for 50 or so Greater Flamingos, a few Yellow-billed Storks and lots of Dimorphic Egrets.

Ha, my lovely wife, is beginning to pick up "lifers", this will be a lot harder for me to do as I have seen a lot of birds in Kenya.

Tomorrow is when the real fun begins: we will be heading for Moshi and then on to Ngoro Ngoro. Keep tuned in.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	MangroveKingfisher.JPG
Views:	48
Size:	81.9 KB
ID:	344595  Click image for larger version

Name:	IbisandEgret.JPG
Views:	48
Size:	131.7 KB
ID:	344596  Click image for larger version

Name:	Housecrow.JPG
Views:	41
Size:	57.6 KB
ID:	344597  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 31st August 2011, 12:57   #2
MKinHK
Mike Kilburn
 
MKinHK's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 3,055
Looking forward to reading more no holds barred birding and hotel insight Hanno

Cheers
Mike
__________________
Latest HK Airport Magic Roundabout: Northern Lapwing, Common Kingfisher, Verditer Flycatcher(134)
Latest Hong Kong: Pallas's Reed Bunting, Pine Bunting (452)
Latest Greater China: Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, White-browed Crake (958)
Latest Lifer: Indian Pitta, Spot-billed Pelican
MKinHK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 1st September 2011, 18:20   #3
Dryocopus
Was Eagle before...still am in life!
 
Dryocopus's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: London
Posts: 820
Hey Hanno
We were out in Tanzania July 27th - August 9th (26th night in Nairobi and night 9th in Dar travelling bavk to uk on 10th)
I shall be following your journey with interest! We went MKA - Arusha- Lake Manyara(2nights) Serengeti(4 nts) Ngorongoro(2 nts)- Pemba Island -Arusha- Dar.
I had birded in South Africa before.
Corinna
__________________
Eagles Rule!

C


http://eagles-eye-on-life.blogspot.com/
Dryocopus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd September 2011, 16:04   #4
viator
Registered User
 
viator's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 2,035
Looking forward to this with not only the birds but the hotel, food and beer reviews not to mention the "Bird of the Day" insights of your typical trip reports
__________________
Last Lifer: Rusty-tailed Flycatcher (#2720, Dec 9, '14)
Top 3 Countries: China (552), Thailand (544), Malaysia (519)
Last 2014 Bird: Crested Bunting (#921, Dec 9)
www.viatorphoto.com/wildlife_galleries/birds
viator is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 3rd September 2011, 21:02   #5
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
31st of August

31st of August:

We had an excellent dinner the previous evening at the “Addis in Dar”, a popular Ethiopian restaurant. A great way to eat, where the food comes on an edible plate (saves time on the dish washing), a sourdough pancake called Injera. Dump the curries called Wot on the Injera and eat with your fingers; fantastic.

Today, a seven o’ clock start had us on the 565-kilometer drive to Moshi, at the foot of the Kilimanjaro. Traffic was not too bad as it is “Eid”, a public holiday to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan. We did not manage to get much birding in as the goal was to be off the road before it got dark. There were plenty of birds once we had left the coast and its bloody House Crows, but we only managed to identify the larger, more obvious ones.

Soon after leaving Dar, a small flock of African Openbilled Stork circled near the road. Black Kites (or Yellow-billed, if you are in favor of splitting) were pretty common and Pied Crows where everywhere. Perched on top of bushes and small trees were the odd Grey Hornbill and White-bellied Go-away-birds. Ha completely missed the single Pale Chanting Goshawk as she was looking the other way; seeing Zanzibar Red Bishops instead.

We had initially planned to fly to Moshi but changed this at the last minute as we all wanted to see a little of the countryside. This saw us booking a hotel at the last minute, the “Bristol Cottages Kilimanjaro”. This turned out to be quite a dump and only the fact that we did not feel like re-packing prevented us from moving to another hotel. The little garden did however have Spotted Doves, lots of Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Little Swifts flying overhead. As the sun set, raucous Hadada Ibises were heading home to roost.

We walked to a nearby restaurant, the “IndoItaliano”. As the name promised, they served both Indian and Italian food that was generally decent. The walk there was less so; a lot of hustlers, drunkards, and touts. One guy accosted us and when I declined to talk to him, let fly with a whole barrage of abuse which, inevitably led to the usual “this is Africa, my brother. You @%$# Mzungu (whte person) go back to your %#@#! Country”. I had encountered this in Kenya before, but had forgotten after all these years in Asia. Ah well, just another idiot and I soon forgot the incident over a couple of cold Kilis.

Bird of the day: Zanzibar Redf Bishop for Ha, Asian Openbills for me.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	PiedCrow.jpg
Views:	33
Size:	142.9 KB
ID:	345311  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Saturday 3rd September 2011, 21:08   #6
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
1st of September

The bed was much better than I expected and after a good nights sleep we were off to Arusha, 80 kilometers away. As we had gained some time by driving a day early, instead of flying, my mom proposed that we pass Lake Manyara. A good decision indeed as it was a great place to visit. On the way we came across one scavenger feeding on another, a Marabou Stork wolfing down what was left of a Spotted Hyena that had gotten clobbered by a car. Arriving at the gate, we were greeted by Blue Monkeys as well as Trumpeter Hornbills. Once inside, the first stop was at the Hippo Pools which did indeed have plenty of Hippos. Sadly, one of them had obviously been entangled in a snare and looked pretty poorly; one of the wardens told us that it would be shot as there were plenty of Hippos and tranquilizing and treating it would cost too much. On a brighter note, we saw our first African Fish Eagle as well as one of my favorite birds, Crowned Crane.

One of the highlights was an adult and a juvenile Lion chilling out in a tree; Lake Manyara is one of the few places were Lions will, for unknown reasons, habitually climb trees.

This trip is by no means a birding trip, my parents are not avid birders, but there were still plenty of birds we nailed. Ha, my lovely wife, got her head spinning with all the “lifers” she saw, starting with the really big, Ostrich, to the really small, Red cheeked Cordon Bleu. Animals were plentiful too, apart from the afore mentioned Lions we saw Elephants, Giraffes , lots of rather stupid looking Wildebeest, Banded Mongoose, and a pair of Klipspringers, the latter not by any means common.

We were running late and sweating it a little bit to the Nogorongoro as the the gates close at 18:00. We arrived way after that, regrettably hitting a dog in the process, but luckily some sweet talking got as through and onto our domicile for the next two nights, the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge. A huge place and certainly lacking in service and food quality, but with great views over the crater.

Ha obviously went for the Crowned Crane as “Bird-of-the-Day”, I took the bird that for me carries the sound of Africa, African Fish Eagle.

2nd of September:

We woke up to an undecidedly un-African 13 degrees, but then the rim is at 2,200 meters. Right outside our window a couple of Eastern Double-collared Sunbirds were singing away whilst Red-winged Starlings were raiding the breakfast buffet.

Suitably fortified, we took the very steep road into the crater itself. I had decidedly mixed feelings about this place, expecting some sort of zoo with vehicle parked after vehicle parked around a single lion. There were certainly plenty of people present but the crater is large enough to give everybody plenty of room. When we came up to a pride of lions gathered around a recently killed Zebra, there were only 3 other cars there, not a crowd by any means. The lions looked thoroughly content and basked in the sun, which was quite a sight. The mammalian highlight however was a Cheetah which I actually managed to spot first. The place was teeming with Wildebeest, less common were Hartebeest and Eland.

Birds were not bad at all either, with about 400 Crowned Cranes gathered in one place quite a spectacle. Black Kites cost us our lunch at the picnic place where everybody stopped; they are quite adept at unwrapping any cheese sandwich left in the open for a second too long. There were also an amazing number of Kori Bustards around, but Ha’s bird of the day was a solitary Secretary Bird.

Vultures were all over the place, with White-backed, Lappet-faced, and White-headed all present and accounted for. One of my favorite raptors, Bataleur, were also around in good numbers. I think no other bird makes flying seem quite as effortless as this bird; they just seem to float on the wind like a feather.

We did manage a good 90 species of birds even though our focus was more on the mammals.

“Bird-of-the-Day” for Ha was Secretary Bird with its regal gait. A little harder for me but I will take the Rufous-tailed Weaver, one of the few “lifers” I will probably see on this trip.

Plenty of torrid sex too: first an Ostrich doing its thing, and then a lion. In both cases the females seemed decidedly unimpressed, I guess much like in the real world.

A hair-raising trip back to the lodge got us back to the lodge and to a dinner that was somewhat better than the previous night.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Giraffe.jpg
Views:	38
Size:	60.4 KB
ID:	345312  Click image for larger version

Name:	Lion.JPG
Views:	54
Size:	161.9 KB
ID:	345314  Click image for larger version

Name:	Marabou.JPG
Views:	40
Size:	36.5 KB
ID:	345316  Click image for larger version

Name:	Sleepy.JPG
Views:	57
Size:	98.7 KB
ID:	345319  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Saturday 3rd September 2011, 21:09   #7
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
3rd of September

I missed breakfast, hoping to spot the Rhino that eluded us the previous day. Alas, no luck. A long drive today, covering 450 kilometers to Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania in the middle of the country. Over 250 kilometers were on dirt roads and my eyes still water from all the dust as I type. Not much birding, but we did see plenty of Emerald-spotted Wood Pigeons, a couple of Swahili Sparrows, a lot of Common and Long-tailed Fiscals and lots and lot of lots of smalls birds that were impossible to identify as we blew by on atrocious roads, We did have to stop to pick up an armed escort with a very dodgy looking AK47 for safety reasons??? It was nevertheless a rewarding trip, driving through an ever-changing landscape. The Chinese are busy constructing a big highway, I fear it will just not be the same in the future.

Dodoma is the much hated capital in the geographic center of Tanzania. Not much to see here, and the New Dodoma Hotel is not much to write home about either. The best hotel in town, it is just not worth the USD 130.00 they are charging a night. Supply and demand I guess. Mind you, the Chinese Restaurant was considerably better than the food we had at Ngorngoro. And I do think that everyone is so knackered after the dirt road that they don’t care; actually my family is all in bed whilst I toil over this report (my excuse for being incoherent at times).

Not many birds, Ha takes the Pin-tailed Whydah we saw this morning and I will go for the 200 or so Emerald-spotted Doves we saw; a bird that normally tends to be on the solitary side,

Sorry, no photos today; I am to knackered.
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Saturday 3rd September 2011, 21:13   #8
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
2nd of September

We woke up to an undecidedly un-African 13 degrees, but then the rim is at 2,200 meters. Right outside our window a couple of Eastern Double-collared Sunbirds were singing away whilst Red-winged Starlings were raiding the breakfast buffet.

Suitably fortified, we took the very steep road into the crater itself. I had decidedly mixed feelings about this place, expecting some sort of zoo with vehicle parked after vehicle parked around a single lion. There were certainly plenty of people present but the crater is large enough to give everybody plenty of room. When we came up to a pride of lions gathered around a recently killed Zebra, there were only 3 other cars there, not a crowd by any means. The lions looked thoroughly content and basked in the sun, which was quite a sight. The mammalian highlight however was a Cheetah which I actually managed to spot first. The place was teeming with Wildebeest, less common were Hartebeest and Eland.

Birds were not bad at all either, with about 400 Crowned Cranes gathered in one place quite a spectacle. Black Kites cost us our lunch at the picnic place where everybody stopped; they are quite adept at unwrapping any cheese sandwich left in the open for a second too long. There were also an amazing number of Kori Bustards around, but Ha’s bird of the day was a solitary Secretary Bird.

Vultures were all over the place, with White-backed, Lappet-faced, and White-headed all present and accounted for. One of my favorite raptors, Bataleur, were also around in good numbers. I think no other bird makes flying seem quite as effortless as this bird; they just seem to float on the wind like a feather.

We did manage a good 90 species of birds even though our focus was more on the mammals.

“Bird-of-the-Day” for Ha was Secretary Bird with its regal gait. A little harder for me but I will take the Rufous-tailed Weaver, one of the few “lifers” I will probably see on this trip.

Plenty of torrid sex too: first an Ostrich doing its thing, and then a lion. In both cases the females seemed decidedly unimpressed, I guess much like in the real world.

A hair-raising trip up a dirt road got us back to the lodge and to a dinner that was somewhat better than the previous night.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	CrownedCrane.JPG
Views:	45
Size:	166.9 KB
ID:	345321  Click image for larger version

Name:	Elephants.JPG
Views:	39
Size:	259.0 KB
ID:	345323  Click image for larger version

Name:	Ngorongoro.JPG
Views:	51
Size:	57.8 KB
ID:	345324  Click image for larger version

Name:	Ngorongoro2.JPG
Views:	48
Size:	124.7 KB
ID:	345325  Click image for larger version

Name:	OstrichSex.JPG
Views:	44
Size:	128.0 KB
ID:	345328  

__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:05   #9
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
Well, we spent the last 16 days in "THE BUSH". Would be easier to say that we were traveling, but it seems that everyone just calls it "THE BUSH". Guess it sounds more hardcore that way. Whatever, no Internet, no mobile phone; just lots of animals and lots of excitement.


4th of September:

After a lousy breakfast, we were all glad to leave the New Dodoma Hotel and head for Iringa. We emptied Dodoma of bottled water, all seven bottles of it. The area is obviously very religious, whilst Dodoma has zilch to offer, it is not lacking in churches, all packed to the rafters on this Sunday. Another grueling drive on 250 kilometers of dirt roads but through some fantastic scenery. A pit stop en route had us scatter a flock of Ashy Starlings, a Tanzanian endemic.

For lunch we stopped by Mtara Reservoir. The lunch box provided by the New Dodoma Hotel was as expected: lousy. Who the hell thinks that putting oily French Fries in a lunch box is a good idea has no idea about food. On the bright side we were greeted by 40+ African Spoonbills as well as an African Skimmer, a fantastic bird to see. Both Gull-billed and White-winged Terns were all over the place, the former plodding along and easily outclassed by the graceful latter. Even the Hamerkops put on quite an aerial display in a steady wind that helped keeping temperatures manageable. I have to say that the hot but dry weather makes a nice change from the also hot but very humid Cambodia. If anyone out there is looking for an experienced hotel manager with a passion for wildlife to run a lodge in Tanzania…….

There were plenty of Lilac-breasted Rollers along the way but Charles, our driver, managed to pick out a much less common Rufous-crowned Roller. Hornbills were also aplenty and I finally managed to connect with Von der Decken’s Hornbill.

Tanzania appears much poorer than Kenya and the landscape, whilst breathtakingly beautiful, appears a very tough place to eke out a living. What a change from Vietnam where every house seems to have electricity and a TV; the only entertainment here is a billiard table in every village’ The locals are probably all pool sharks; there is not really much else to do.

We flew through Iringa and drove another 50 kilometers to the Kisolanza Farm or The Old Farm House. A great place dating back to German rule with simple but lovingly decorated rooms and great food prepared by a French Chef; a marked change from the previous days. The restaurant is set in the style of a local house, with mud walls and a thatched roof, certainly a little different. Some of the local hotels should take note; it does not take much to make a place welcoming and “warm”. The whole place is a huge working farm and Ha and I cannot wait to do some birding tomorrow morning; even though the place is freezing at night; lying at 2,000 meters. But what bliss: there is a real African sky above me, with the whole sky wall-papered in stars; it does not get better than that.

Bird-of-the-Day has to be the Ashy Starlings, Ha goes for the Von der Decken’s Hornbill.

Right, well shaken from the rough roads, it is time to stoke up the fireplace in our room and hit the, hopefully, warm sack.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Baobabs.JPG
Views:	38
Size:	112.2 KB
ID:	348262  Click image for larger version

Name:	Spoonbills.JPG
Views:	46
Size:	69.4 KB
ID:	348263  Click image for larger version

Name:	Vinyard.JPG
Views:	45
Size:	163.7 KB
ID:	348264  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:08   #10
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
5th of September:

Ha did not get out of bed so I walked around on my own a little. Not many birds, I guess with the temperature at only 9 Celsius, they were still frozen to the branches. I joined everyone else for an excellent breakfast and we regrettably bode the Old Farmhouse goodbye to head for Ruaha National Park. An easy drive on an excellent, recently graded dirt road that would put many national roads in Cambodia to shame.

Procedure at the entrance gate were long and I walked up to the gate to see what was happening. Good thing I did as there was a plate about a Ruaha endemic: Ruaha Red-billed Hornbill. Within minutes of entering the park proper, we had nailed this species which turned out to be one of the most common birds around.

We slowly drove through the park, seeing lots of Elephants, Giraffes, Impalas, and a few Greater Kudus. Stopping by a river for our picnic lunch, we had a group of Hippos nearby, mingling with massive Crocodiles unconcernedly. It was here as well that we saw our first Goliath Herons as well as Giant Kingfisher.

We checked in at the Ruaha River Lodge. The reception is on a hill and gives great views of the amazing surroundings; the receptionist also kindly pointed out two male Lions near the cottage we would stay in. The cottages are well spaced out and nothing is fenced in; walking around I could not help but feel just a little bit. Our cottages were the last in a row along the Ruaha River, with Hippos a few meters away. The Cottage and bathroom are absolutely massive and we enjoyed the sunset from our verandah. As the sun set, we counted more than 50 Pied Kingfishers heading home to roost.

Dinner is on a knoll and one is required to walk with a Massai “Askari” in case of any encounters with the local wildlife. During dinner a Common Genet joined us; shy and retiring we did not feel threatened☺. Regrettably, the food is not up to the high standards of the rest of the lodge; truth be told it is actually pretty dire. Ah well, after being on the road all day it was at least filling.

I slept very well that night whilst Ha was listening to Lions roaring nearby, Hippos feeding on one side of our Banda and Elephants on the other.

“Bird-of-the-Day” is a no-brainer: Ruaha Red-billed Hornbill, an endemic known so far only from this park.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	RuahaRedbilledHornbill.JPG
Views:	45
Size:	159.2 KB
ID:	348265  Click image for larger version

Name:	SpeckledPigeon.JPG
Views:	47
Size:	138.4 KB
ID:	348266  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:13   #11
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
6th of September:

We were supposed to leave for our game drive at 06:00 but got delayed by a couple of lions prowling near our Banda. We did not fancy stumbling through the dark with them around and waited 20 minutes until it was light enough to actually see something. We were all pretty glad when we had made it inside the car.

We spent the whole morning driving around. Animals were aplenty as they all stay close to the river with the other water sources having dried up. We must have seen hundreds of elephants, all causing havoc on the Baobabs and Acacias along the river. We did see a few more lions from the distance as well as a handful of quite shy Grant’s Gazelles. Eland were easy enough to identify by their sheer size, they are the largest East African Antelope.

Ostriches are not common in this park and we only saw a male with two females in attendance. A lot of other birds were extremely common and included Magpie Shrike, Ring-necked, Namaqua, and Mourning Doves, Yellow-collared Lovebirds and Brown Parrots, and lots of Bare-faced Go-away Birds.

We headed back for another mediocre lunch and took a little rest before heading out for another drive. As it got cooler, we saw quite a few Buff-crested Bustards, Red-necked Spurfowl, Helmeted Guineafowl and Black-faced Sandgrouse on the road.

Not much new for dinner: lousy food but the pleasant company of the Ganet again. That night an elephant was eating right outside our bedroom window, spooking Ha a little.

Bird-of-the-Day was Malachite Kingfisher for Ha and Orange-winged Pytilia for me.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	CommonGanet.JPG
Views:	55
Size:	135.6 KB
ID:	348267  Click image for larger version

Name:	RockHyrax.JPG
Views:	39
Size:	116.5 KB
ID:	348268  Click image for larger version

Name:	SouthernGroundHornbill.JPG
Views:	36
Size:	129.7 KB
ID:	348269  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:21   #12
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
7th of September:

We opted not to join our parents this morning, instead striking out with one of the Camp’s open-sided cars. Straight out of the lodge we came across Speckle-fronted and Grey-capped Social-Weavers, the smallest in the weaver family. The real excitement started when we came across 5 female Lions with 10 cubs. I tell you, sitting within touching distance of 15 lions in a car that offers no protections is a better kick than a strong cup of coffee. We stayed a little while, watching the cubs playing and checking us out.

Breakfast was a picnic in close proximity to a male Lion; good thing he had obviously already eaten and was not interested in my jam sandwich. I listened to our guide talking to other guides and telling them about the lion; the guides decided not to pass on this tidbit of information to their huests milling about.

Our guide, Mr. Josepheat, and his trainee, Hussein, had amazing eyes and put us on quite a few good birds. One of the highlights was a Martial Eagle, the most powerful eagle in Africa. A lifer for me was Abyssinian Scimitarbill, red-billed as opposed to the black-billed Common Scimitarbills which we also saw.

The day was more of a lion than a bird day; by the end of it we had seen 34 lions in total. One group was snacking of a Water Buffalo which they had killed by a small pond, attracting the unwanted attention of a massive croc which must have measured about 5 meters. A lot of splashing, growling and snapping ensued before things were settled and the lions munched on one end and the croc on the other.

We still had plenty of time though to square away some of the smaller stuff: Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, African Firefinch, Common Waxbill, Cut-throat Finch, and Broad-tailed Paradise-Whydah. All in all we saw 99 species of birds today, not bad for the dry season.

Big stuff too: Ha was very excited when we saw 3 Verreaux’s Eagle-owls being mobbed by Bare-faced Go-away Birds. Great owls though their pink eyelids make them look like a cheap hooker with too much make-up

We got back in around 17:00 and headed for a cold Kilimanjaro (me) and a Campari-Soda (Ha) and watched the antics of Smith’s Bush-squirrels at our feet. My parents returned a bit later and got us quite jealous when they told us that they had seen two Leopards and taken excellent photos, too…..

The chicken at dinner was pretty bad, but the Ganets liked it, turns out that there are actually 2 Ganets patrolling the dining room.

Verreaux’s Eagle-owl were “Bird-of-the-Day” for Ha; I opted for the Martial Eagle.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	BuffcrestedBustard.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	217.3 KB
ID:	348270  Click image for larger version

Name:	Lions.JPG
Views:	38
Size:	194.8 KB
ID:	348271  Click image for larger version

Name:	MagpieShrike.JPG
Views:	43
Size:	107.0 KB
ID:	348272  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:25   #13
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
8th of September:

Ha and I stayed behind this morning to do our bird lists and trip reports. The day started with coffee being served on our verandah at 06:30. Quite a way to sip coffee: Helmeted Guineafowl coming in to drink, a lion roaring nearby; a gang of Arrow-marked Babblers checking us out, and a red dawn over the hill in front of us. Hard life indeed!

We eventually made it for breakfast and are currently sitting here, typing, drinking more coffee, and generally feeling good.

And I could slap myself: after repeating to Ha again and again how she needs to be careful; I just walked into an elephant on the way to the restroom!!!! Not a good idea to get careless, a tourist was killed in this camp last year; getting stepped on by an elephant.

After breakfast we walked back to our far-away Banda, skirting an Elephant on the way. They apparently lie in wait for the camps Tuk-tuk to take the left-over food to the composter, raiding it on occasion. They have also wisened up to the staff taking the salad from the main kitchen to the restaurant; a little charge, the staff drop the salad, and said elephants snack on potato salad….

Ha and I walked the kilometer or so to the restaurant to meet our parents for lunch, luckily without any further incidents. Ha was getting a little spooked by now and had had enough wildlife encounters for a day. But more was to come.

As we relaxed on our verandah, I spotted a big male lion with a female in tow coming out of some trees near us, chased out of hiding by a group of elephants. We all rushed out to take photos but when the lions crossed the stream and disappeared in the bush near us, we thought it wise to retreat. No orderly retreat either, I have never seen Ha run that fast. She was faster than on her usual Honda Dream actually.

We headed out for an afternoon game drive to the area where my parents had seen two Leopards the previous day. No luck for us, but at least we did see a Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, a lifer for both of us.

Coming back, the ladies did not fancy walking to the Bandas in the dark and we headed straight for the restaurant to drink down some courage. Dinner was the best at the Lodge so far, but that is not really saying much. We were entertained by a very graceful Tiger Snake though, something missed by all the other tourists again. I do not understand this fixation with the “Big Five”, these people are missing out on so much.

We had dropped Charles so I took the car. My mother and Ha wanted to take the Massai guard with us, but my dad and I convinced them that they would be perfectly safe. There was quite a bit of apprehension in the car as we had seen a big group of elephants coming in. I made sure to try and check out the immediate area with the car headlights and escorted everybody in; there was a collective sigh of relief once everyone had made it back.

Not many new birds, so the Swallow-tailed Bee-eater was “Bird-of-the-Day” for both of us.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	BarefacedGoawayBird.JPG
Views:	38
Size:	162.3 KB
ID:	348273  Click image for larger version

Name:	Elephant.JPG
Views:	33
Size:	152.7 KB
ID:	348274  Click image for larger version

Name:	Sunrise.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	87.9 KB
ID:	348275  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:32   #14
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
9th of September:

We had breakfast at the camp, watching Ruaha Red-billed Hornbills raiding the egg station and Smith’s Groundsquirrels deftly opening the sugar containers and digging in. We did do a short game drive looking for Sable Antelope, but no joy; just more lions. Tedious really;-)

Lunch was OK’ish but once again not really what one would expect in a lodge that charges an arm and a leg. They certainly have the ingredients, Iringa is only 2.5 hours away; someone just needs to teach the cook how to actually cook.

After lunch, we bade farewell to the River Lodge and headed for the Magusi Safari Lodge. This lodge is by the Magusi River; completely dry at this time of the year. Less birds and animals therefore; though lions did come through the camp at night, but the tents are absolutely beautiful. Large, well maintained, and the sort of place one does not want to leave. Driving there, we had the luck to come across a sleeping Cheetah, giving much better views than the one we had seen in the Ngorongoro a few days earlier. The cat was not bothered by us at all, like the lions it was fast asleep and hardly managed to open an eye to cast a baleful glance into our direction. What is really nice in Ruaha is that it is a huge park and there are relatively few visitors; unlike in say Masai Mara, there are not 25 cars surrounding any animal of interest.

Arriving at Magusi, we had enough time to have a drink and tick off Collared Palm Thrush before heading for dinner. This was set up in the Magusi River bed and was absolutely fantastic, both as far as food and surroundings went. Not even the very loud Texan lady sitting on our table could spoil that.

Ha’s “Bird-of-the-Day” was Red-headed Weaver whilst I finally managed to get to grips with Southern Cordon-bleu.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ArrowmarkedBabbler.JPG
Views:	34
Size:	76.5 KB
ID:	348276  Click image for larger version

Name:	BandedMongoose.JPG
Views:	32
Size:	171.0 KB
ID:	348277  Click image for larger version

Name:	Cheetah.JPG
Views:	34
Size:	222.2 KB
ID:	348278  Click image for larger version

Name:	SugarThief.JPG
Views:	39
Size:	113.3 KB
ID:	348279  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:38   #15
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
10th of September:

The decadent life-style continued with coffee being served at 06:30 on the dot on our tent terrace. Somewhat awake, we drove off for another game drive, spotting yet another pride of lions just outside our camp. Much less animals in this part of the camp though elephants were still very much in evidence, wrecking havoc on every tree.

We had our packed breakfast under a fruiting fig tree and managed to see our first African Green Pigeons as well as Spotted Morning-thrush (Palm-thrush); the latter was very keen on our excellent cinnamon rolls that came with the breakfast. We did not see very much else that morning, but an African Harrier-Hawk did pose for us briefly.

Lunch was excellent, we all ate too much, and finding the energy to go for another game drive was not easy work. My parents stayed behind and it was only me and Ha that went. Good thing we did too, as we found yet another sleepy cat, a Leopard this time round. He did not even manage to open his eyes bu it was still great to see it; Leopard is certainly my favorite carnivore.

We continued a little further, seeing our first Woodpecker, Nubian, as well as African Hawk-Eagle snacking on a young Bush Hyrax.

Dinner tonight was set up in the bush and, once again, was excellent. Considering that both the River Lodge and the Magusi Camp are operated by members of the same family it is surprising how different the levels of service and food quality are; maybe they should contemplate some sort of staff exchange.

“Bird-of-the-Day” was the Green Pigeon for Ha and the African Hawk Eagle for me.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Hippos.JPG
Views:	24
Size:	153.3 KB
ID:	348280  Click image for larger version

Name:	Leopard.JPG
Views:	45
Size:	146.3 KB
ID:	348284  Click image for larger version

Name:	SpottedPalmThrush.JPG
Views:	30
Size:	165.3 KB
ID:	348293  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:40   #16
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
11th of September:

We regrettably had to leave Ruaha behind and start the 450-kilometer trip to Mororogoro and the Mbuyuni Farm; home for the next three nights. Most of the trip was on an excellent highway which scared the living crap out of me. It is a major transit way between Dar es Salaam and Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe and was thick with trucks driving at high speed and heavily overloaded. Passing through the hills, we saw 7 trucks that had crashed, I certainly did not feel good passing an overturned petrol tanker, especially as people were busy siphoning the petrol (all under the watchful eye of a policeman that demanded payment for each bucket of petrol taken), I had read a few times about one of the thieves lighting a cigarette and a few dozen people being turned into ash. The poor safety record was also brought home by news that day of a ferry off Zanzibar sinking, the count at the moment is over 200 dead.

Anyway, we made it safely, passing Mikumi National Park en route. The highway goes right through it, much like the proposed highway that will cut the Serengeti in half. Absolute disgrace, but then we heard that the Chinese want to mine Uranium in Selous National Park and drill for oil in Lake Tanganyika. I am pretty happy to be in Tanzania before all that happens as the future doers not bode well.

Lunch was a picnic provided by the Magusi Camp and was a real let-down considering how good their food was. Yet another oily piece of chicken (I will probably never eat chicken again), a dull bread roll, and carrot sticks that were so limpid you could tie a knot in them! It gave us the regrettable feeling that they do not care so much about their guests once they have left, this from a lodge that charges mega bucks.

Not really any time for birding though we did see White-naped Raven in the hills, waiting, no doubt, for the next truck loaded with food to crash. We were welcomed by a Grey-headed Kingfisher when we got to the farm and did see a Brush Hare after dinner. We also managed to sort out our Firefinches enough to recognize a couple of Jameson’s Firefinches creeping about.


Dinner was excellent, as are the rooms, and was served on the terrace of my parents cottage. Excellent stew and some really good potatoes and veggies from the farm.

I guess “Bird-of-the-Day” was the Jameson’s Firefinch for both of us.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Kids.JPG
Views:	22
Size:	160.8 KB
ID:	348296  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:46   #17
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
12th of September:

Ha and I had ordered coffee at 06:30 and, once I had pried Ha out of bed, we walked around the farm a little. There were plenty of swallows around our cottage, including Mosque and Wire-tailed Swallows. We also managed to safely identify a bird in a group of nightmarish birds, Rattling Cisticola. Ha was very pleased with a Chinspot Batis as well as a couple of Tropical Boubous creeping about.

We headed to Morogoro for lunch, an Indian Restaurant inside the Oasis Hotel. Neither hotel nor restaurant will ever win any design awards but the food was outstanding and probably cost a fraction of what we paid for our meals in some of the lodges.

A short nap was in order after that before Ha and I walked around the farm. Not many birds but we did add Spot-flanked Barbet and Dark Chanting-Goshawk. Just before it got dark, we heard some serious hammering and tracked down a female Cardinal Woodpecker busy excavating a nest hole. Ha remarked that it was typical: the woman slaving away whilst the hubby was out for a beer with the boys. Cannot argue with that…..

Dinner was excellent and I managed to get a good few pictures of the Scrub Hares that like to feed on the lawn in front of our cottage.

Ha picks the Spot-flanked Barbet as “Bird-of-the-Day”. Nothing new for me so I’ll settle for the Chinspot Batis.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ScrubHare.JPG
Views:	31
Size:	103.7 KB
ID:	348297  Click image for larger version

Name:	StripedSwallow.JPG
Views:	34
Size:	80.0 KB
ID:	348298  Click image for larger version

Name:	Sunrise.JPG
Views:	30
Size:	43.9 KB
ID:	348299  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:47   #18
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
13th of September:

We had arranged for a local guide to take us to the Uluguru Mountains. Charles duly picked us up after an early breakfast and we headed up a pretty rough road. It got worse once we started walking, the paths were extremely steep and narrow. We did not even see many birds as we never entered the forest proper, stopping at the edge. Really a bit of wasted time and effort, though we did get good views of Livingstone’s Turaco. We never even got close to the two Uluguru endemics, Uluguru Bush-shrike and Loveridge’s Sunbird.

We returned just in time for another excellent lunch, grace of the German owner of the farm. Nothing like a good German “Kartoffelsalat und Bulletten” to get over the mornings disappointment; the Apple Pie for dessert did not hurt either. The idea was to go for a little nap after lunch, but my mom had prepared a coffee that could wake the dead, so I headed out to take a walk around the farm whilst Ha sorted out her photos.

Not much new really: the mystery raptor of the previous day was still hanging around, but it was windy as hell and all the birds had taken cover. I headed back soon enough as I was beginning to feel sore from the morning’s hike. A couple of cold beers and a hot shower later and it is time to what I am sure will be another excellent dinner.

“Bird-of-the-Day” was the Livingstone’s Turaco for both of us.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Habeinghelped.JPG
Views:	44
Size:	195.4 KB
ID:	348303  Click image for larger version

Name:	Tchagra.JPG
Views:	42
Size:	106.5 KB
ID:	348304  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.

Last edited by Hanno : Wednesday 21st September 2011 at 15:59.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 15:49   #19
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
14th of September:

A very long, rough, road took us from Morogoro to the edge of Selous Game Reserve. We stayed at the Sable Mountain Lodge. Not very birdy, but we did see Black-fronted Bush-shrike on the way. Black-and-white Colobus performed well and we did add Tanzanian Mountain-squirrel to out mammal list. Once there, I got stuck into a few cold ones with my parents whilst Ha picked up a few lifers: Dark-backed Weaver, Amethyst Sunbird, and Livingstone’s Flycatcher. Damn!

The lodge is not quite up to the same standards as the ones we had been to so far, but it was nice enough and certainly the food was decent.

Ha’s “Bird-of-the-Day” was Livingstone’s Flycatcher; I guess I will have to do with the Black-headed Bush-shrike.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	MotorbikeTaxi.JPG
Views:	32
Size:	77.0 KB
ID:	348305  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.

Last edited by Hanno : Wednesday 21st September 2011 at 16:02.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 21st September 2011, 23:58   #20
MKinHK
Mike Kilburn
 
MKinHK's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 3,055
Nice reports Hanno.

Loved the pix of the lions in the tree.

Ever thought about a "Stam Guide" to birding hotels and restaurants of the world?

Cheers
Mike
__________________
Latest HK Airport Magic Roundabout: Northern Lapwing, Common Kingfisher, Verditer Flycatcher(134)
Latest Hong Kong: Pallas's Reed Bunting, Pine Bunting (452)
Latest Greater China: Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, White-browed Crake (958)
Latest Lifer: Indian Pitta, Spot-billed Pelican
MKinHK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 22nd September 2011, 04:06   #21
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
Now there is an idea, Mike!
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 23rd September 2011, 14:52   #22
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
15th of September:

After a breakfast that was good enough, and with very good coffee under the belt (and a serious hang-over), we headed into Selous proper. One of the largest game reserves, and much of it open to hunting, this is THE strong hold of Wild Hunting Dog. The area around the entrance also has a healthy population of Tsetse flies. These bastards pack a heck of a bite but luckily they disappeared a few kilometers into the park. No joy for us, though we did come across a big pride of lions doing the usual thing: sleep. Driving along the river we came across our first African Jacanas. The swamps along the river were heaving with Openbills and Sacred Ibises, and we watched a Cattle Egret hitch a ride on a Hippo. Black Herons were doing their usual umbrella thingy; sweeping their wings over their heads to, and this one is open to debate, either provide shade to attract fish or cut out the glare. Either way, they are fun to watch. The packed lunch was not roasted chicken for a change but some pretty decent fish. Even better than the fish was a Purple-crested Turaco that gave as good but brief views.

Arriving at the Lake Manze Camp, we got the usual spiel about the dangers of the place being in the bush when, right on cue, a very pissed-off Elephant walked by, seemingly in two minds about whether it should wreck the tables set up for dinner.

Safely installed, we chilled out a little, getting good views of Dickinson’s Kestrel perched on top of a palm tree; a lifer for both of us. White-browed Sparrow-weavers were causing a racket right around us and Impalas took a good look grazing in front o the tents.

Dinner was a communal affair, not my favorite thing, but certainly livened up by a female lion walking by and causing us to abort dessert in a hurry. Ha was more than a little apprehensive and sure was glad to reach back home with the protection of a Massai guard. She did sing and, trained by years of Vietnamese Karaoke, ensured that their was no living thing within a 20-kilometer radius.

Ha was happy with another Turaco and takes that one as “Bird-of-the-Day”, I go for the Dickinson’s Kestrel.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Elephant.JPG
Views:	33
Size:	206.1 KB
ID:	348673  Click image for larger version

Name:	LazyLions.JPG
Views:	25
Size:	160.1 KB
ID:	348674  Click image for larger version

Name:	LilacbreastedRoller.JPG
Views:	30
Size:	96.0 KB
ID:	348675  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.

Last edited by Hanno : Saturday 24th September 2011 at 07:39.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Saturday 24th September 2011, 08:00   #23
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
16th of September:

Whilst my parents headed out for a game drive, we took the boat trip offered by the camp. The water levels were very low and we only just managed to pass a few spots; scraping over the sand. No way I would have gotten out to push the boat; the place was heaving with both Hippos and Crocodiles.
Good bird-life too with plenty of White-faced Whistling-ducks and all sorts of Egrets and Herons. Ha spotted a strange-looking Heron and we turned back to take a closer look. Good thing we did as it turned out to be a White-backed Night-heron. Great bird but forget photos, he managed to always keep branches between us and him. Good find anyway.

Back for breakfast and some of the worst coffee I have ever had. The same elephant that swung by the previous day was back in attendance, checking out the restaurant and the kitchen. This made getting our eggs and toast quite a challenge as the waiter had to keep dodging the elephant. A beautiful Crested Barbet obviously liked the Mango; the Collared Palm-thrush was more into bread crumbs.

Our parents came back in time for lunch and had obviously seen the Wild Dogs…. Even more disappointing was the lunch; all the lunches are apparently vegetarian and really not good. Thank good that I had cleared the supermarket in Dar of all its Biltong for a much needed dose of proteins.

Selous is stinking hot and we waited until four o’ clock before heading out again. We went back to the same area where my parents had seen the Wild Hunting Dogs and sure enough we came across 5 of them doing pretty much nothing. Still it was great to see as this is the one large mammal I had never managed to see in Kenya.

Dinner was apparently quite good; I was too thirsty and tired to eat and sampled a selection of Tanzanian beers.

“Bird-of-the-Day” was easy; the Night-heron for both of us. A first for Ha and only the second time I had seen it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	SpoonbillBlackEgret.JPG
Views:	33
Size:	94.6 KB
ID:	348676  Click image for larger version

Name:	WhitefacedWhistlingDuck.JPG
Views:	26
Size:	136.7 KB
ID:	348677  Click image for larger version

Name:	YellowbilledStork.JPG
Views:	28
Size:	201.5 KB
ID:	348678  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Sunday 25th September 2011, 14:08   #24
johnjemi
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 100
Hanno,
Gripping stuff. Can't wait for tomorrow's episode.
I agree with Mike K. that it's great to read the views of a "hospitality" professional on the hospitality offered at safari lodges.
johnjemi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 26th September 2011, 07:46   #25
Hanno
Ho Ho Ho
 
Hanno's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Posts: 2,038
After a few days on Zanzibar without Internet, I can finally update again:

17th of September:

A somewhat latish start as we left after breakfast. A Burchell’s Coucal made a brief appearance and then we headed off to see yet more lions. Most of them did absolutely nothing as usual. Only one male was busy working on little baby lions but even that took just seconds, with lots of growling and biting the neck of the female. Not very exiting stuff really.

Selous is not exactly thick in animals and it is mostly Impalas and Wildebeest. The advantage, as far as I am concerned, is that the South is a lot less overrun by tourists than the parks in the North such as Serengeti and Ngorngoro. I would certainly like to come back but then during the rainy season when there are a lot more birds.

Lunch was pretty lousy again; it cannot be that difficult to tech the staff how to cook☹. We spent the afternoon in the camp sorting our photos and fighting the heat with a beer or two.

Not much in the way of birds and it was the Burchell’s Coucal as “Bird-of-the-Day” for both of us.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	BurchellsCoucal.JPG
Views:	35
Size:	76.9 KB
ID:	349036  Click image for larger version

Name:	MassiveBaoabab.JPG
Views:	23
Size:	198.8 KB
ID:	349037  Click image for larger version

Name:	TiredLion.JPG
Views:	37
Size:	254.1 KB
ID:	349038  
__________________
Hanno
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
Catherine Zandonella.
Check out http://www.hannostamm.com/ for birding in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Taiwan, and Northern India.
Hanno is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tanzania 2011 Dryocopus Tanzania including Zanzibar 2 Thursday 11th August 2011 13:48
ID for Tanzania Lark / May 2011 afrikaril Bird Identification Q&A 1 Thursday 12th May 2011 10:22
Family birding on a budget in Tanzania, September 24th – October 8th 2010 TZBirder Vacational Trip Reports 0 Wednesday 3rd November 2010 21:18
Mull - August or September? clarity Scotland 4 Friday 3rd April 2009 23:41
Florida, August/September? Jos Stratford Florida 3 Wednesday 28th May 2008 01:53

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.30972910 seconds with 35 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 05:38.