KafueTyrone

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KafueTyrone last won the day on September 26 2012

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About KafueTyrone

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Previous Fields

  • Category 1
    Conservationist/Naturalist
  • Category 2
    Safari Guide

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  • Website URL
    http://www.jefferymckeith.com
  • Skype
    tyrone.mckeith

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Kafue National Park, Zambia
  • Interests
    Wildlife<br />Guiding<br />Conservation<br />Photography<br />Football<br />Beer
  1. To clarify on the Hartebeest saga! My explanation/suggestion (which was a personal view/thought provoker!) was that of the impact of botfly larvae in the nasal cavity of the hartebeest, the causatory irritation and production of nasal mucus or 'snot'. When Hartebeest feed in burnt areas (as they very much tend to in the Kafue) their lips collect the ash and dust from the bush, in mixture with the 'snot'. The irritation of the nasal 'parasite' causes the animal to rub its flanks to try and dislodge the intruders (in the same way horses scratch their flanks) and this may be why we see the black patches on the flanks.... I try to justify this idea by observations, that in the rainy season the Hartebeest lack these patches, as there is no longer dry ash/dust but rather lush grass, etc. Now! I am also very aware of the pre-orbital gland story (studied by Dowsett, 1966), and I am very happy to accept this as 'the reason', I just like to give other ideas and make our guests think outside the box and question what we think we know as fact...
  2. As far as I am aware he was never seen again...
  3. This once in a lifetime sighting happened towards the end of last season. I had award winning film maker Mirra Bank and her husband with me, guiding them for a week from Musekese Camp. They were busy filming this remarkable sighting on their film cameras whilst I managed to keep steady enough to shoot a few shots with my stills camera (all be it with a 200m lens, hence the grainy crop factor of the images). The story and background to this sighting as follows: It was whilst on an afternoon drive from Musekese Camp, Jeffery & McKeith Safaris in north central Kafue National Park, Zambia that we witnessed the most unexpected and as far a we know, as yet photographically un-documented, sighting ever… We had just had the first brief rain storm of the season and the wildlife was noticeably excited and full of energy, with young animals running around merrily and the migratory birds in their hundreds picking off the newly hatching ants and termites. As we rounded a bend in a very attractive stretch of miombo woodland our guide Tyrone heard the frantic alarm calls of a herd of impala. Putting his binoculars to his eyes he shouted almost immediately, let’s go! As we moved further along the track to get a better look at what the commotion was all about he was explaining that he had seen a grey shape tussling with what looked to be an young impala, Tyrone assumed it was a baboon snatching an easy kill (as sometimes happens at this time of year of plenty). What we found however was absolutely not a baboon, but a lone, single warthog acting rather franticly, but what was it doing exactly? The other guests in the vehicle were asked to use their camcorders to record this moment, which they did. We sat and watched as a still very much alive and kicking young impala was set upon, attacked and gored to death by the warthog. In what seemed to be a frantic rage the warthog would tusk and stab and throw the kicking body of the impala around the woodland, all the time the mother of the baby was alarm calling and frantically running to and fro in an attempt to distract the killer warthog. It was so very strange to watch this unfold, it was a typical scene and setting, one that you might expect to find from a 'typical’ predator. Tyrone explained that it was not wholly uncommon to find warthog (and a number of other unexpected species) feeding on carcasses or carrion, especially at this time of year (the end of the dry season, when wildlife is a little more stressed and certain minerals and salts may not be so ready available in the bush). But to witness a warthog actively catch, kill and consume a baby impala was something that was very hard to explain away. One wonders how often this may actually happen but we simply do not see it? We did feel sorry for the impala mother however as who needs enemies when you’ve got friends like the warthog! Larger than Kruger, Kafue National Park is the largest National Park in Zambia as well as being relatively unknown and unexplored. It is one of the last real wilderness areas left in Africa, home to vital global carnivore population including wild dog, lion, leopard and cheetah as well as one of Southern Africa’s most important elephant populations.
  4. For anyone interested in a safari to the Kafue National Park in Zambia check out our new video which should hopefully give those of you who have always wondered what it might actually look or feel like a glimpse in to what is on offer in this truly wild, truly world class wildlife destination... We still have space have space for the 2016 season (although September/October is all but full) and as such if you need a little nudge to get away on safari this year and are looking for something a little different to the 'norm' then feel free to contact me for more information and for special offers... With warm regards from the Kafue! Tyrone McKeith info@jefferymckeith.com www.jefferymckeith.com +26 0974173403 tyrone.mckeith (skype)
  5. @@Caracal We spent 7 nights in Zakouma, with 1 night out from Camp Nomade on fly-camp. Basically there is no 'set' itinerary for Zakouma. Each guide who leads trips to Zakouma does so to suit themselves and their particular guests. For example guests who I would take to Zakouma I would encourage to do 2 nights on the fly-camp, not just 1, and this and many other factors are all flexible and dependent on the guide and his/her interests.
  6. Big_dog I certainly hope people do visit Zakouma! You could almost go for a weekend from Paris! A lot of people show interest in these lesser known areas but in my experience there is a big difference between people that show interest and those who actually go through with it and book. If I had a $ for everyone who said they would love to go to x,y and z but never actually went there, I'd be a wealthy man! But, to be fair, Chad and Islamic North Africa do conjure up images that are a little scary, but the unknown is always a little scary and arguably this is half the excitement in visiting such areas, for me at least...
  7. Indeed the AP staff do a great job and the Camp Nomade is easily on par in terms of quality of camp, hosting and food (which is arguably the best I have ever had on safari) with Zambian bush camps. I would liken it somewhat to an RPS Mobile Camp in terms of quality and style. The safari experience in January we were told is not quite what it is later in the season, but in all honesty we saw loads! I am sure it is very impressive later in the season, especially the massive quelea flocks but it certainly is pretty impressive in January already. Plus the weather was perfect, not too hot at all, in fact we were wrapped up warm for morning drives... And, Ian, in my opinion other than the rarity; you get a safari experience that I have never experienced before and that I very much doubt exists in many other places. I expected to see bits and bobs and hoped to see some of the unusual 'specials' in Zakouma, but what I was not expecting is the sheer number of game, everywhere you look there are herds of Tiang, Hartebeast, Roan, Giraffe and Buffalo. This is a national park in North Central Africa, 5 hours flight from Paris that has the most remarkable history which is very much an ongoing conservation project. The mix of the north african/arab/Islamic/Nomadic cultural interest is also fascinating and adds a whole new angle to this safari. In fact what we expect of a 'safari' goes out the window here, there is no culture of international tourism at all in Chad, the whole experience is something special itself, but combined with genuine quality in terms of sheer wildlife numbers, added to the plethora of rarities, makes it totally unique and worthwhile destination.
  8. And finally, some aerial shots of Zakouma...
  9. I have recently returned from a fascinating safari to Zakouma NP in Chad, staying at Camp Nomade. Here I have attached some of my images which I hope give you an indication of the wildlife on offer in this truly remote, wild and most intriguing of wildlife destinations. Feel free to fire away with any questions about the place, there is almost too much to say on here! The trip started and ended in N'Djamena (the capital) where we flew into and out of via Paris on Air France. It was amazing that in just over 5 hours you can be looking at the Eiffel Tower and then Hippos (a small pod can be found in N'Djamena, right outside the new Hilton Hotel). A 2 hour long internal flight the next morning took us from N'Djamena to Zakouma airstrip, a fascinating (if expensive) little flight where terrain changed from the a-typical dessert/sandy soils around N'Djamena to the acacia scrub and pan/wetland systems of Zakouma. Overall feelings were that this is a truly quality wildlife destination with genuinely plenty to see. Buffalo were particularly numerous, with herds of hundreds up to thousands being common. Other notable species of interest were Lelwel's Hartebeast, Tiang, Buffon's Kob and Roan (who seemed to be a rather dark fore-legged morph of what we see in the Kafue). Night drives were the best I have had anywhere with Honey Badger and Serval particularly evident, plus a sighting of the apparently relatively common melanistic White-tailed mongoose. Lion were in good number, seen almost daily, generally a little flighty on average. Cheetah and dogs in theory exist in Zakouma but sightings are sporadic at best for Cheetah (last sighting in the main tourism area was 2014) and dogs are seen sporadically outside the park in the more peripheral habitats, they have never been sighted inside the park (neither has their spoor). Leopard are seen from time to time but not very often. The Elephant of Zakouma are well documented and we saw them well from air and fortuitously on one game drive. The Elephant tend to spend time in the denser acacia thickets which is pretty much impossible to get in to, however they did come out to the core of the park when we were there after a poaching incident the day previous made them head towards the relative sanctity of the park headquarters. I was impressed with both the sheer number of game and birdlife but also by the variety of habit types, something I hadn't come to expect. Although I am not a fan of comparing any one place to another it was very hard to not drive around Zakouma and see areas which reminded me of the South Luangwa and other areas just like the Busanga Plains in the Kafue (particularly with the large flocks of Crowned Crane on the open plains, flanked by Roan antelope and lion). On the face of it the wildlife seemed very familiar in many ways, but when you had a closer look, everything was actually slightly different, from the Abysinnian Roller's pretending to be LB Rollers, to the Buffon's Kob pretending to be Puku... Overall a fascinating place, well worth a visit for those who are up for adventure, and have around 9 to 10K$ to spend!
  10. A very rare sighting a month or so ago at Musekese Camp, Kafue National Park. How many folk have seen or heard of a Melanistic Genet before? What strikes me about this sighting is that most of what we know or understand about the prevalence of melanism is from relatively closed populations of wildlife (think Aberdares or Mt. Kenya). Smaller populations with little to no migration to maintain genetic diversity in theory means that rarer genes, expressing things like melanism are proportionally more likely to be expressed in small populations, especially if there is a selection pressure on them (i.e. being black is favourable in dark forests, etc.) The Kafue NP is arguably the largest unfenced and 'open' wildlife area and as such the population of genet as an example is very unlikely to be a 'closed' population, in fact it is arguably going to be the complete opposite of what we understand are the ideal scenarios for melanism to be expressed? Anyway, just my thoughts!
  11. Taken on foot in the 'Eden' area close to Musekese Camp in the Kafue National Parkl. We stalked this particular group who are almost always available to be photographed and very often active throughout the daylight hours.
  12. Indeed very tragic. The Elephants in the Kafue are certainly no more targeted by poachers than anywhere else in Africa at the moment, in fact we are arguably better off than places such as Tanzania. We also regularly conduct walking safaris in the Kafue and I (and many other visitors to the Kafue) will be able to testify to some very well behaved Elephant. I really do not feel this awful incident was anything other than an unfortunate set of circumstances. I also understand than the 'supposed' Elephant was seen a few days after the incident not too far away, as part of a batchelor group of males, and he was eating bushes and browsing very peacefully not 50m from a campsite with guests watching undisturbed. I certainly do not want to speculate as to exactly what happened, as I was not there, but when one is in the bush without armed supervision of someone with knowledge of the area then you are putting yourself in a potentially dangerous scenario. I can confirm that 'an' Elephant has been shot by ZAWA, nobody will ever know if it was the correct one. I wonder what the Elephant, the culprit or not, was thinking when ZAWA decided to rain down on it with bullets? Did it know it had done something wrong? I did not know Margarita but I am sure she wouldn't have wanted the comeuppance the Elephant received. Overall a sad day and a sad story.

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