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Whyone? last won the day on August 27 2015

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About Whyone?

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  1. Another Bornean kingfisher...this time the Stork-billed version... 2R4C1098 by Whyone, on Flickr
  2. Does the Blue-eared Kingfisher merit a place amongst these beauties? (Kinabatangan River, Sabah.) 2R4C1317 by Whyone, on Flickr 2R4C1084 by Whyone, on Flickr
  3. Well, you (or at least I) learn something new everyday - my keeping cool technique works with a pith helmet.... The pith, or cork, of certain trees lent itself as the basis of a headgear that was strong and protective and at the same time lightweight and comfortable. Furthermore, the absorbing property of this natural material provided the bonus feature of allowing the wearer to immerse the pith helmet in water keeping him or her cool during evaporation. When dry, the pith helmet does not lose its stiffness or shape. Today, for all the same reasons, the pith helmet is a great choice for outdoors use.
  4. As this thread has been resurrected.... I once tried on a pith helmet in a shop on Harare. My wife prohibited me from buying it on the basis I might actually wear it in public....she knows me so well!!! The are still quite easy to come by and I have a hankering for one so maybe one day. However, when in the bush my much needed headwear is driven by practicality rather than appearance. O wear a beige cricket 'beanie' - i find anything with a stiff brim, including baseball caps, gets in the way of using a camera. Also the beanie recovers well to being dunked in any available water and used to cool me down on long walks.
  5. A second hand 'scary story'. A few years ago, whilst camping at Mana we visited the (unoccupied) exclusive camp at Mucheni 3 one afternoon with the intention of having a drink and watching the world go by. As we approached, it was apparent that there was someone in camp...a bedraggled looking fellow with a small pile of sodden bags. He turned out to have been guiding a 4 canoe group down the river which had been attacked by a disgruntled hippo. The hippo had bitten down on the boat, its jaws closing across the legs of a female guest. Extremely fortunately, this did no great harm to the lady, though inevitably, the occupants and contents of this boat ended up in the Zambezi. In the melee which ensued, the other 3 canoes capsized, leaving every one and everything variously splashing, shouting and floating in the river. The guide was quite convincing when he explained to us that this was not really ideal and had messed his day up somewhat. The good news is, no-one was any the worse (physically at least!) for the experience.
  6. @janzin I think the main danger of walking is that it will make you very reluctant to go back to viewing the wonders of the African bush from the confines of a vehicle.
  7. I would repectfully suggested that very much depends on the animal. Angry aardvard, hyrax with he hump or pissed-off porcupine, my money is on Usain.
  8. I have spent little time with professional guides, so am not in a position to comment on this with any authority. However my understanding is that whilst you are correct in that you are unlikely to be able to outrun the animal, there are instances where running is the best option. For example if you find yourself between hippo and water and the hippo charges - move as far as possible away from its direct line to water. With ele's, and based on the animals demeanour - head up, ears out and flapping, lots of noise - likely to be a mock charge, stand your ground; head down, ears folded flat - run! I also believe there are occasions when running is the preferred option with buffalo (and I admit to having taken this approach a couple of times and have lived to type the tale!) There is also the old adage you don't need to be able to outrun the animal, just at least one of your companions.......
  9. @COSMIC RHINO Are you quite sure about that advice 'not to run' being universal?
  10. I'd suggest taking every precaution to ensure you don't find yourself in that position - by that I mean contacting both airport and airline (and travel agent should you use one) close to your date of travel (and then again the day before travel) and seek clear, unequivocal guidance on the situation.
  11. As with others here, when camping lion, elephant, hippo and hyena have been frequent and close camp visitors after dark, though rarely showing any interest in our netting domed tents. However, recounted here before so apologies to those who have read this before. 2011 in self-driving in mana and staying at Mana, at Mucheni 3. When we arrived late afternoon to set up camp 3 large, old male buffalo were under one of the large trees where we usually pitch tents. They moved off as we parked and we didn't think much more of this. However, after dark, the buffalo returned and settled down next to the tents. With a little clapping and shoooing and shouting, they reluctantly moved off again and we were able to retire for the night. However, after about 10 minutes it was clear that the buff's were returning. This became particularly apparent when they settled down against the tents - causing the tent walls to bulge inwards and encroaching into the sleeping area. Our first night was a little unsettled, but this routine was repeated nightly for the rest of the week and we got quite used to the noises of the buffalo's digestive systems, and awakening each morning to one of these huge creatures staring at us, face only a foot or two away. Things got especially interesting on the fourth night. We had all gone to bed, and had been joined shortly after 'lights-out' by 'our' buffalo as usual. At about 2am I woke to the unmistakable sound of lions calling. They were clearly walking in our direction. The buffalo started to get agitated, shifting and snorting, causing the tent to bulge ever inwards. It is always difficult to judge how close lions are in the stillness of an African night - but they sounded very close - eventually blood curdlingly close! Their proximity was confirmed when I was able to hear their footfall. I was variously thinking 'what the hell am I doing here?'; 'this tent is really not going to provide a whole lot of protection if the lions attack' and 'how on earth can I get out of here quickly'. Whilst I was too scared to so much as move, I did open my pocket knife in the hope I would be able to cut my way out of the tent if the worst happened. Thankfully it didn't, and the lions just kept moving through, but this is almost certainly as scared as I have ever been in the bush and I didn't get too much more sleep that night. I think it was the darkness and not being able to see precisely what was gong on which I found especially unsettling....that along with what seemed like a very real possibility of becoming an integral part of a lion / buffalo squabble! In 2015, camping at Mucheni 2, completely unbeknown to me until I returned home to Sussex and was reviewing trail cam footage, a female leopard cam and sat on the boot-mat outside of my tent - so about 3' from sleeping and oblivious me. Shame, that would have been well worth waking for.
  12. I'm quite sure the Disney Corporation with have nothing to do with this agreement or development whatsoever.
  13. Not influential for me personally, but then I'm set in my ways! I do direct people to this site (esp. from Tripadvisor) and know a number of them have gone on to book trips to Africa as a consequence of the information here, so ST can most certainly help and influence.
  14. ZamSoc, as ever, doing a sterling job lobbying the authorities: http://mailchi.mp/dfa3501cdbe8/zambezi-society-response-to-the-proposed-tourism-development-at-nkupe-camp-mana-pools?e=aca42bae12
  15. I have strong views about this, but in the interest of fairness, I'll just post the link to the Zambezi Society article and survey on this proposal. I trust this is OK @Game Warden ? (they do say 'distribute widely,!) http://mailchi.mp/86bc3eca2a12/zambezi-society-public-consultation-tourism-development-of-nkupe-camp-mana-pools?e=aca42bae12

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