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kittykat23uk posted a topic in AfricaHi All this is my and my Mum's trip itinerary to South Africa in Mid Sept. Please help us to plan our stay, especially the first few days where we are doing more of the touristy things. We are looking for suggestions on, how to structure our first few days to see as much as possible and any inside knowledge on the best places to cover to see birds and mammals. are there any bat roosts, roosting owls, good spots for small mammals etc. good places to hike to see special mammals and birds? We will have a guide but he'll probably want us to have a fair idea of what we want to cover. 15 Sept- arrive 2120 overnight at Road Lodge Cape Town International Airport 16-18 The Cape Peninsula. Simonstad Seadeville BB (Simonstown) http://www.seadevilla.co.za/simonstown-activities.php Pick up on Saturday 16 Morning 0830 from Road Lodge... Visiting some of the main botanical and natural history destinations such as Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Cape Point and the south-western tip of the African Continent, Betty’s Bay, Stony Point, Boulder’s Beach and others. possibly Table Mountain, depending on weather. Staying in Simon’s Town. This is the section we need most advice on. does anyone have good recommendations for how to structure our 3 night stay? Mum is keen to see flowers so we have to include Kirstenbosch. I've been to Betty's bay, and Cape Point. has anyone got any up to date info on where to find cape rockjumper? 19 and 20 Swellendam and the Agulhas Plain. Swellendam BB Aan de Oewer BB http://www.aandeoever.com Moving on from the Peninsula our next port-of-call is Swellendam, the third oldest town in the country, which will provide a base from which to explore Bontebok National Park (named after the endemic ‘Pied Buck’) and De Hoop Nature Reserve, another gem of a wildlife destination, and a good place to see Whales.- as well as whales we hope to have a chance to see zorilla and possibly caracal here. Has anyone got any tips on visiting either of these parks? 21 Karoo National Park. Karoo NP chalet https://www.sanparks.org/parks/karoo/tourism/accommodation.php Has anyone got any tips on visiting either of these parks? From Swellendam we’ll begin our long northward journey, with a stopover at Karoo National Park, which can provide some great mammal watching and birding. Has anyone got any tips on visiting this park? 22-24 Dunedin Farm (double room on this farm) Moving on, our next stop will be at Dunedin Farm, where we’ll spend three nights in total, with the extremely rare Riverine Rabbit at the top of our want list here. we also hope to pick up a lot of the smaller mammals here, sengis etc and bat eared foxes with nightly spotlighting excursions. I have some good notes for this site so should be okay. 25-27 Marrick safari camp After Dunedin we’ll have a long drive to Kimberley, We will have two night drives at Marrick (booked, possibility of a 3rd on night of arrival), where we hope to find species such as Black-footed Cat, Aardvark, Aardwolf, Southern African Hedgehog, Springhare and others . On one of our full days here we will have a day visit to Mokala National Park, where we may get lucky with mammals such as Black and White Rhinos, Sable and Roan Antelope, and perhaps a Sengi or two. Having read a report from Royle Safaris we should also look to cover Benfontein Game farm from this base to increase chances of black footed cat. Should we spend the second full day at Mokala as well or are there other options? Do you know whether the flamingos at Kamfers dam will be present in September? We'll have guided night drives here but any tips on where to go during the daytime would be good. 28 – 29 Augrabies Falls National Park. From Kimberley we’ll drive through to Upington and then Augrabies Falls National Park, our base for the next two nights. look out for birds such as Verreaux’s Eagle, Bradfield’s Swift and Short-toed Rock-Thrush, while drives in the park will give us a chance to see species such as Namaqua Warbler, Rosy-faced Lovebird and Sociable Weaver, among others. Mammals to be seen include the Springbok, South Africa’s national antelope, as well as Klipspringer in the rocky areas, Southern Giraffe, Hartman’s Mountain Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Cape Clawless Otter and others, while a night drive may produce a Leopard with some luck. Has anyone got any tips on visiting this park? 30 Sept - 5 Oct The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. After Augrabies we’ll stop off in Upington to pick up supplies before heading on to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The exact camps we use will depend on availability, 30 Kalahari trails (morning walk with meerkats) . KTP Our routine will include morning and afternoon drives, and no doubt we’ll get to know the Kalahari very well indeed during our time spent here. Mammals to be seen include an exciting array of predators such as Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, African Wild Cat, Honey Badger, Spotted and Brown Hyenas. Raptors can be prolific as well, and there plenty of general game along the Auob and Nossob Riverbeds to keep you occupied between predator sightings. Booked: 1 Oct Twee Riv 2 Oct Mata Mata riverfront lux chalet- Pieter to provide spotlight. 3 Oct Kalahari tented camp unfenced 3 km from Mata Mata 4 Oct TBC Hopefully Nossob 5 Oct tbc 6 Oct Jo & Mum depart on the 17:10 flight from Upington to Johannesburg SA8770 to connect with the 2315 from Johannesburg KLM 592. Any good spots for dens, roosts etc would be welcome, I'm interested in seeing all mammals and birds we can find! Any advice on places to stop off en route to break up the longer journeys that are good for flowers, birds and mammals, or maybe even a nice vineyard or two, would be nice. Thanks, Jo
https://retrieverman.net/tag/zorilla/ http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/0118/Zorrilla-not-a-cross-between-a-zebra-and-a-gorilla-unfortunately http://www.jukani.co.za/index.php?comp=content&id=6 http://zoeyzorilla.com ~ In the interest of diversity, the above links are provided with information about Ictonyx striatus, Zorilla, or Striped Polecat. They include assertions that Zorillas are the “world's smelliest animal” and reactions to a Zorilla appearing as a guest on a U.S. television talk show. Most surprisingly, a developer of on-line learn-to-read material for children has released “Zoey the Zorilla” telling of the cross-African travels of a displaced Zorilla with friends Lenny the Lycaon and Germain the Giraffe. Who knew? Tom K.
kittykat23uk posted a topic in AfricaHi all, I mentioned a little while ago that I had come across some interesting articles about where to see one of the most endangered mammals in the world, the Riverine rabbit. http://blog.sa-venues.com/provinces/western-cape/rare-riverine-rabbit Well I have contacted the Endangered Wildlife Trust and they have responded with the following advice: "Hi Jo Many thanks for your email 28 March and your interest in Riverine Rabbit conservation. The list of places to see Riverine Rabbits in the link you sent is quite complete. My suggestions would be to try the Sanbona Reserve as we have done quite a bit of research with them and they have an excellent idea of where their rabbits are, and also offer night drives. In terms of a farmland experience in the Karoo, the Dunedin Riverine Rabbit Retreat is an excellent option as well, we have worked with the landowner who is an avid Riverine Rabbit conservationist and a member of the Sak River Conservancy. With regards to accompanying a researcher, if you contact us nearer to the time when you are in SA again, we could see what our schedule is and maybe try arrange a day out in the field if we have field work on the go then. However, this would strictly be determined on our time and availability. Note also that our home base is mostly in Loxton in the Northern Cape (+-7hrs from Cape Town) - although we do also work out of Cape Town in Sanbona from time to time. Please feel free to contact me on this email address once you have travel plans, and let's see what we can do. In the meantime, in case you have not already viewed our website, our news page has links to archive newsletters with lots of information in them on the habitat restoration work and camera trap studies work we do. https://www.ewt.org.za/DCP/news.html Kind Regards Bonnie Schumann Senior Field Officer Endangered Wildlife Trust So I have sent an enquiry to Sanbona as a first step. Has anyone visited this reserve? They are part of the shamwari group. They are a big five reserve and seems cheetah are seen quite often along with all the usual game and some dry ecosystem game like gemsbok and springbok too which I haven't seen in the wild before. They do also have white lions. Not that this is a draw for me! More interesting is that they say they have aardvark, aardwolf and brown hyena on their reserve. My enquiry to them also asks about frequency of sightings. I haven't looked into the other place mentioned yet. Does anyone have any suggestions for other places to look into nearby to either of these suggested areas nd/or an comment as having visited either, for any of the other mammals of interest that I have tagged in the post? I know some other members have expressed an interest in this potential trip. So please let me know if you might like to join me and what would be on your list? I have no particular dates in mind for this trip but it won't be any time within the next few months I wouldn't think.. Regards Jo
Why Zorillas? ~ When I joined Safaritalk last year, it was my first-ever experience with social media. It never occurred to me to choose a nom de guerre, therefore I used my own name. Had I been more astute, I would have selected the user name ‘Zorilla’. As many Safaritalk members and regular visitors know, I'm very partial to Ictonyx striatus, the Striped Polecat or Zorilla. So much so that on every game drive I carry a neatly folded U.S. $100 bill to reward any guide/ranger who might ever facilitate a reasonably clear photograph of a Zorilla in the wild. Do I ever expect to pay out that prize for a Zorilla sighting? No. In all candor, I have next to no expectation of ever actually observing, let alone photographing a Zorilla, but feel the need to be prepared on every game drive for the improbable eventuality of a Zorilla sighting. Then...why Zorillas? As a species, they're not at the top of anyone's list of “Most...” or “Nicest...” or “Best...” anything, aside from perhaps the most odoriferous defense against predators, their notorious anal gland stink-spray. Not exactly a charming attribute by any standard. Zorillas aren't in any sense rare or endangered. They're well-known to long-haul truck drivers in Africa who frequently see their carcasses as road-kill. I've talked with researchers who've observed Zorillas in farthest southeastern Egypt and near the Atlantic coast of Mauritania. What fascinates me is that while Ictonyx striatus is a fairly common, even ordinary species, the fact remains that it's seldom photographed in the wild. Nocturnal, solitary and peripatetic, their characteristic fast trot in darkness is such that they're one of the least accommodating subjects for safari photography. Such comparable nocturnal species as honey badgers, porcupines, pangolins and aardvarks have a certain cachet due to their relative scarcity and intriguing lifestyles. By contrast, Zorillas are typically overlooked despite the striking beauty of their white-striped black coats. What I find delightful about Zorillas is that they're ubiquitous yet remain unobserved. My head shakes and I grin at the thought of an organism which exists over a very wide range yet manages to remain little more than an illustration in field guides with a name resembling ‘gorilla’. Our late friend Nancy Money, @@graceland, was exceptionally kind to me when I joined Safaritalk but had difficulty finding my bearings. In on-line posts and in private messages we shared our common perception that safaris were healing. Life's vicissitudes, petty cruelties, setbacks, disappointments and frustrations bruise the soul in ways seen and unseen. Heading out into nature with each game drive an encounter with the unknown is therapeutic, connecting one's heart with life's deepest rhythms. The unseen Zorilla is part and parcel of the healing mystique of safaris for me. I love the reality that Zorillas will almost certainly remain unseen by me, no matter how often I visit Africa or where I go. I admire an animal whose presence can't be bought, which eludes even the most seasoned wildlife observers, going about the business of survival away from peering eyes and intrusive camera lenses. As much as I'd be thrilled to observe and photograph a Zorilla, I'm happy that they remain largely beyond routine observation, such that any Zorilla sighting is truly a special event. Not every species needs to be relentlessly observed. Privacy and a solitary lifestyle make very good sense, as that's what I'd like, despite working and living in one of the globe's largest, most crowded metropolises. If any Safaritalk members photograph and post images of Zorillas I'll rejoice at their good fortune. As for myself, I'll savor having a favorite species which remains out-of-reach, scurrying through each deep night, leaving few traces of its ever having been there.