Jump to content




See all Safaritalk Special Offers

Message to Guests.

Welcome to Safaritalk where we have been talking Safaris and wildlife conservation since 2006. As a guest you're welcome to read through certain areas of the forum, but to access all the facilities and to contribute your experience, ask questions and get involved, you'll need to be a member - so register here: it's quick, free and easy and I look forward to having you as a Safaritalker soon. Matt.


Photo

Let's talk Chobe National Park. (Botswana)


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#21 Michael Lorentz

Michael Lorentz

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Local time: 03:05 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Africa
  • Category 1:Safari Guide
  • Category 2:Tour Operator

Posted 28 May 2014 - 11:27 AM

To be honest, its quite difficult to determine the real reason for the decline as many aspects are little understood.  There is no doubt that a number of factors have played a role:

  • Trophy hunting - yes, commercial hunting has had an impact, especially on predator populations in some areas. There were also a number of unscrupulous hunting companies that overshot quotas and abused the system.
  • Citizen hunting - although not a recent factor, this had a massive impact in the past
  • Poaching - this has been rife for many years, especially in hunting concessions where there was very little human footprint or management
  • Fences - devastating
  • Fire - this has had a very real impact on habitat degradation and therefore carrying capacity. The Okavango is a very nutrient poor environment, so any depletion at the lower level of the trophic pyramid will have a massive effect higher up.
  • Human / wildlife conflict has had some role, although not massive
  • Fluctuations in flood levels - these are natural cycles but relevant to some extent.
  • Poor management - considering the wealth of the country and the value of tourism to the private sector it is surprising how badly the greater Okavango Delta has been managed over the last 30 years. Both government and the private sector are to blame for this.

So, in a nutshell we do not have enough historical data to fully understand the decline - what we need to focus on is ensuring that it now stops and hopefully reverses! 


  • madaboutcheetah, Paolo, Anita and 3 others like this
Passage to AfricaSafarious I Facebook I Twitter I Linkedin
 
Sign up for the Passage to Africa Newsletter here.

#22 Big_Dog

Big_Dog

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 685 posts
  • Local time: 02:05 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Great Britain
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 28 May 2014 - 06:14 PM

Thanks for the indetail (albeit morbid) summary @Michael Lorentz .

I didn't realise fire would be so prevalent? Is it natural or man made?
Between the Okavango, Savuti & Concessions, and Kalahari, has any area done better than the others or from what you know would you suggest it's equally bad?


"What, no hyaena pictures?"


#23 Michael Lorentz

Michael Lorentz

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Local time: 03:05 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Africa
  • Category 1:Safari Guide
  • Category 2:Tour Operator

Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:31 AM

Thanks @Big_Dog

 

Some fires are certainly natural, but the majority are man made.

 

The one great thing about Northern Botswana is that it is a single large ecosystem - the down side is that negative effects are therefore felt across the ecosystem. This is particularly true when you look at the impact of fences. The general decline in population density is sadly a trend across the region. 


  • Big_Dog likes this
Passage to AfricaSafarious I Facebook I Twitter I Linkedin
 
Sign up for the Passage to Africa Newsletter here.

#24 Jamesinchobe

Jamesinchobe

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Local time: 03:05 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Botswana
  • Category 1:Lodge Owner/Manager
  • Category 2:Travel Marketing

Posted 11 December 2014 - 08:46 AM

I travel regularly to the Savute Marsh area and the game viewing overall has been incredible.

There is a film crew based out there (Natural History Film Unit Botswana) following the pride of lion that operate in that northern area of the marsh.

Indeed with the water flowing into the marsh again and the long dry season that we had again over 2012/13 resulted in huge elephant numbers around that area and as a result some easy pickings for these lions who became bolder and stronger as the season continued. Look out for it on BBC iPlayer (Africa’s Giant Killers). Nat Geo have also commissioned them to stick around for another two-years following these lions.

Simultaneously we’ve been lucky to see leopards fishing in the channel. What we thought was luck and pure opportunistic behaviour became quite a regular occurrence. Remarkable the amount of leopard sightings reported in Savute whereas in the past (‘83-2011) I don’t think they were seen regularly. In addition there appears to be three packs of wild dog operating in the area with one pack of 9 operating often around wild dog pan and near the lodges and public campsite.

 

No doubt there are more vehicles than in the past but the marsh and pans and other areas are well spread out with open areas making sharing of sightings not too onerous. 6 – 8 vehicles can be common. Occasionally a few more but nothing close to what I understand goes on in Kruger etc.

(Chobe Riverfront can be a bit more challenging due to proximity to Vic Falls/Kasane). If you don’t like the idea of sharing sightings then private concessions are for you. But areas like the Chobe Riverfront and Savute marsh are unique biomes and with it some special sightings.

 

Department of wildlife are setting about a new road which will hopefully be in operation next year linking Savute with Nogaatsa and then up to Chobe riverfront. Nogaatsa is relatively unvisited at the moment and has incredible pans out there with some interesting game. Big herds of eland, roan, sable etc. Game still a little skittish there but this will change in time. 


  • Game Warden, Soukous and Big_Dog like this

James Wilson

Chobe National Park Resident 

Business Development Manager Chobe Game Lodge 

 

@JamesInChobe

@ChobeGameLodge

http://www.facebook.com/chobegamelodge

 

http://www.chobegamelodge.com

 

james.wilson@chobegamelodge.co.bw 


#25 Big_Dog

Big_Dog

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 685 posts
  • Local time: 02:05 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Great Britain
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 11 December 2014 - 02:40 PM

That sounds great @Jamesinchobe - do you think the leopards are just less shy or may have actually increased in number? The wild dogs too?

Very cool the elephant-hunters are still being filmed, the Natural World on them was great. Though with nat geo's recent documentaries we'll have to see how it turns out...


"What, no hyaena pictures?"






© 2006 - 2016 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.

Welcome guest to Safaritalk.
Please Register or Login to use the full facilities.