Tomeslice

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About Tomeslice

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

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  • Category 1
    Conservationist/Naturalist
  • Category 2
    Tourist (regular visitor)

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Missouri, USA
  • Interests
    Wildlife, mammals, mammal-watching, birds, bird-watching, reptiles, nature, rare animals
  1. @@Atdahl - that hotel was pretty bad.. the whole drive is pretty terrible (especially on the way back). If you can afford the >2000 euro per person each direction for the flight, I would. If you join a pre-booked flight with some seats left, you may be able to get it for slightly less. I was very excited about the primates there too, as there are some groups I've seen for the very first time, such as "true" guenons, mangabays, and of course gorillas! I think you can also see red colobus downstream from Sangha Lodge and maybe some other monkeys are around too. Also very small chance for chimpanzees along the Sangha River. We didn't even hear any on any day, but others do. I didn't try too hard to find less common primates because I was all about pangolins and otters and the "regular" stuff ;-) @@Sangeeta - it's absolutely my pleasure. I'm happy you enjoyed it :-)
  2. @@wenchy yes, we had some 8-8.5 hour days at the bai (well 3 of those, to be exact). I can't complain really, elephants, buffalos, giant hogs and a servaline genet! Sitatungas of course we only saw in Bai Hoku. If (when) I come back again, I'd spend all my days at the Bai until I found my bongos, and then I'd go straight back to the river for river hogs, that otter and the De Brazza's monkeys again! I would presume you could see Red River hogs if you stay the night inside the park (either at Dzanga Bai or in one of the campsites near Dzanga or Bai Hoku) and start your Bai Walk very very early. Or just at night inside the Bai if you spend the night there. @@Atravelynn - Ha! That's a nice way to put it! Yes, I didn't have the most perfect first impression of Dzanga Bai with all these sweat bees, but if you asked me before this trip I would definitely have agreed to pull a bee out of my eye any day if I was told of all the amazing stuff I was going to see. Effing Wow. (still excited over it, and it's been 2 months now )
  3. @@wenchy that's great! I'm definitely jealous that you got to see the bongos! But having said that, for me personally seeing a pangolin was higher on the "wish list" than the bongos, so having seen 2 species was just incredible! Also, being a "mammal watcher" I really enjoy some of the weird creatures that others may not appreciate as much, such as the potto, the anomalures, and the african palm civet.. not to mention the surprise visits by the servaline genet, congo clawless otter and Da Brazza's monkeys!! I feel so lucky for having seen such a diversity of animals, that not seeing the bongos, while slightly disappointing, did not make me feel like my trip wasn't complete. Of course bongos and red river hogs would have been the extra icing on top of the already thick icing on the cake. But now I have a reason to visit the region again in the future :-) @@Kitsafari - it's definitely my pleasure! I hope people are encouraged to go there and experience this amazing place. If anybody is interested, I put up over 300 pictures on my Flickr Account of my journey, the wildlife, the people, the scenes, and definitely more birds than in the "mammal watching" trip report. It can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/benyehuda/zR2H42 Cheers!
  4. @@Paolo - Very intersting! Well, before I go back to Africa I will have to hit up India (as Tiger remains the last big cat I haven't seen yet.. and then there's indian rhino, dhole, sloth bear, and many more friends). But I will strongly consider Chad when I plan another trip to Africa :-) @@optig - either way you'll have an amazing time when you go! I'm sure of it :-) Try to bring a powerful torch/flashlight for night walks. @@gatoratlarge - That's awesome! Well done. Oh, you were there when Oko was brought in? Yeah, for some reason they haven't had as much luck with white-bellied ones as much as they have with Black-bellied ones. But at least they give it their genuine best. And about the hotel in Yokadouma - OH MY GOD. I don't even know what i would do if I woke up to this situation. I think it's less likely now since there are musquito nets and I tucked mine under the mattress all around the perimeter so nothing could get in. And in all honesty, on the way back my room was generally cleaner, had soap and a clean towel (things they DIDN'T have the first time we visited, on the way from Yaounde to Libongo) and had a slightly better feel. I still wouldn't use the toilet there though. Lol.
  5. @@optig Wow that does sound amazing! What do yo mean by "the most fruitful"? The next time I go to Africa I will try to research where I'm most likely to see serval, caracal and wild dogs... These are my top 3 "most wanted" species. The little google search I did on that park did show a serval, but I wonder how often they're seen... like in some places they're considered "very rare" and in other places such as the ngorongoro almost everyone sees them (though we missed them). I read one trip report from Northern Tanzania + Kenya during the dry season where they saw 9 servals and 1 caracal!!!! :-D Living in Israel, we also have caracals here, but I've yet to run into one. I also haven't tried hard enough yet.. only a few times in the right places. But anyway - Dzanga-Sangha is also definitely spectacular. Just amazing, doesn't fall short of anything I've ever seen, from the snow leopards of the himalayas, to the rain forests of the Amazon and Central America, or the incredible forests of South-East Asia (Borneo + Sumatra). Highly recommended. And since you're already going in 2018, you should tell Rod which animals you're most interested in seeing, so he can hook you up with one of their great, knowledgable staff to try to find them for you. Pottos and palm civets are common , as are galagos. Otters, pangolins, porcupines are a little trickier. They also have many many other animals that we didn't see, of course. Good luck :-)
  6. Thanks guys! Yes, @@pault , I think that most people who go to Sangha Lodge will experience most of the great sightings that I had. But of course you have to dedicate your time to being out in the field. We spent almost no time at the restaurant and bar area except for the meals. And of course we didn't do things like reading a book or watching a movie on our laptops.. I actually never heard of Zakouma before. Is it better than Kruger or the Serengeti?
  7. Thank you @@gatoratlarge ! Yes it was so awesome, I felt so lucky and I was excited about each and every species! Especially the white-bellied pangolins, gorillas, otter and de brazza's monkey - I think that those moments were the peaks for me :-) I'm not sure if visitors are "picking up" but there's definitely a steady flow... since February there have been at least 5-7 groups, some stayed 7-8 nights and some only 1-2 nights. But I'm pretty sure Rod is going to renew the lease on his land concession for another 10 years, so you'll probably be able to go back in the future :-) When were you there that you saw bongos? I was under the impression that Mid-March would be the best time to go, but apparently April/May is actually better. I have to say, in defense of the Elephant Hotel, that on the way back the rooms we got were **slightly** better, and there wasn't as much mold and my bed was larger. But I did have a tarantula-like creature in the bathroom and still the toilets had no seats, etc... Yeah. Lol
  8. Trip report to CAR and Cameroon.pdf I just returned from a very special trips to one of the most amazing places I've ever visited: Dzangha-Sangha Special Reserve in the Central African Republic. It's a long report because it has a LOT of info about the animals we saw, and some about animals we missed. It's totally different from your typical Eastern/Southern African Safari, and there is almost no overlap in the species you see. What an amazing place. I just have to note something very important for anyone considering going to Dzanga-Sangha: It's SAFE! Yes, the Central African Republic is considered a War Zone, but it's only in the North, 100s of miles from this reserve, and from the amazing Sangha Lodge. You should get there via flight from Bangui or Yaounde, or by driving the long and turtourous road from Yaounde to Libongo. But once you get there, it's more safe than the USA has been over the past few years, with all the shootings etc... Enjoy :-)
  9. Thank you @@offshorebirder, Indeed Rod has been extremely helpful. We've been in touch and even talked about meeting, but just missed each other in South Africa last October. I'm hoping Sangha Is available that extra night, but if not, I will contact WWF as you suggested. Cheers!
  10. Thank you for your concern :-) I've been wanting to go to the CAR since about 2013, but Rod, the owner of Sangha Lodge advised me against it because it was indeed unsafe. Since then, things have calmed down in THAT part of the country. Sure, traveling overland from Bangui is not ideal anymore, but we're flying into Cameroon and then transferring into the CAR directly into Dzangha-Sangha National Park. Rod, who lives there and who is always current on the situation and very upfront about the local safety, has deemed the area safe, especially for the past few months. Sure, the CAR as a country is not recommended. But like I said D-Z NP is considered safe for a while now. I have also corresponded with several individuals who have visited Sangha Lodge in the past year and a half or so, coming in from Cameroon, and they told me they had no problems at any point. (It reminds me of how St. Louis, MO is considered to be the most dangerous city in the USA, but really it's only a couple blocks in the Northern Downtown area that are unsafe, and then the rest of the city and its suburbs are extremely safe :-) ) Let me just mention that I will be staying at Sangha Lodge, with whom I have constant communication via email, facebook and even Skype. Just wanted to maybe include an extra night at a different lodge in the vicinity (hence, Doli). So again, thank you for your concern, I'm trying to convince you that we'll be OK ;-)
  11. Hi Everyone! I'm going with a friend (and maybe 2 more) to Dzangha Sangha National Park for 9 nights, staying at least 8 in the famous Sangha Lodge! I'm very excited of course, as the wildlife possibilities there for gorillas, forest elephants, bongons, 2 species of pangolin, several duikers, monkeys, forest and river hogs etc. are endless! But since we will most likely be arriving a day early, I wanted to inquire about booking a single night at Doli Lodge, because Sangha may not have a room for that extra night. The only problem is - the only contact info I found for Doli is info@dolilodge.com and reservations@dolilodge.com but the email to both addresses came back as "failed". Does anyone have a phone number or an updated email address to Doli Lodge? Thanks in advance!!! ~Tomes
  12. Thanks @@michael-ibk ! Yes, I spent long long hours at night and early morning to try to find all the animals. I would just add that not seeing the clawless otters was a huge miss because at least 80% of the "mammal watching" reports have seen them at De Hoop early morning (before most people wake up) and at least 50% of the reports also see Caracals either at De Hoop or West Coast National Park. My had 3 sightings one morning at West Coast.
  13. Hey @@ice, they don't really have "roads" at Marrick, it's not like Kruger. They have kind of paths they follow, but it's private property, so they can do whatever they want. Of course they keep a safe distance from animals, mostly because animals would just ran away if you try to get close with the jeep. But sometimes you're lucky, when you spot an animal from 200m away (like we did with the aardvark) and the animal decices to wonder in your direction until it's not that far away from you. Cheers, Tomes
  14. Hey again.. Sorry I just wanted to mention that porcupine is the easiest of the nocturnal species. I saw at least 1 individual on pretty much every night drive I attended, from Satara, Skukuza and Crocodile bridge in Kruger, to Marrick both nights, to my self-drive in De Hoop. I don't remember if we also saw one in Mountain Zebra or not. Cheers and good luck! I'll be happy to read your report in 2018 :-)

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