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optig

It's True-Chada Katavi and Greystoke Mahale are best possible combination

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This is  a crowned eagle and please correct me if I'm wrong.

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This is a saddle billed stork which as I remember very well is one of Patrick Njobuvu's favorite birds. He was my guide twice at Mwamba Camp and Kaingo Lodge in South Luangawa National Park

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I believe this is a hooded vulture and please correct me if it's not. I am certainly far from being an ornithologist!!

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The Eagle in 26 is a Bateleur. They did try to rename it recently, but there were huge protests about it. I cannot remember what they wanted to call it instead.

 

Your vulture is not a hooded vulture but in my opinion it could be  a Juvenile Whitebacked but it is difficult to see.

 

@michael-ibk  @Peter Connan Can you comment/correct the above.

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On 8/31/2017 at 0:06 PM, optig said:

And of course there's Africa's imitation of the American bald Eagle, the lovely fish Eagle. 

 

 

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I'm pretty sure it's the other way around...

:D

 

I agree with @wilddog on both counts.

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Agreed despite the leaves obscuring the head the vulture is an African white-backed (Gyps africanus

 

@wilddog I think that the proposed new name for the bateleur was probably short-tailed eagle or maybe short-tailed snake eagle as they are a type of snake eagle, the problem with this name is it would lead to confusion with their relative the short-toed eagle, and bateleur which comes from an old French word for a tight rope walker is in any case a much better name. I'm glad that the name hasn't changed, when they fly a lot of the time they just soar without flapping and the way they tilt the wings is reminiscent of how a tightrope walker uses their arms to maintain their balance on the highwire. However short-tailed is an apt description, the tail of a bateleur is shorter than any other African eagle, when you see one flying you can identify it very easily just from the shape of the wings and the almost nonexistent tail, when perched the adults are normally unmistakable but immature birds are all brown and could be confused with other eagles, so if you're not quite sure the tail if you can see it is the absolute give away.

 

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Ballerinas to Buffaloes, to Birds of varied names, Katavi had it all.

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Posted (edited)

Take a look at this monitor lizard video.

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Edited by optig

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Posted (edited)

Of course all of us love the small things on safari. This lizards are just fascinating. Can someone identify them for me? I only know they are not agama lizards. 

 

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Edited by optig
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1 hour ago, optig said:

I only know they are not agama lizards. 

 

Actually I think that they are agama lizards but then there are a few different species, I don't have a reptiles book so I'm not 100% certain of the species in this case, but from looking online I think they are probably blue-headed tree agamas (Acanthocercus atricollis) this is a different genus from the more familiar agamas.

 

Searching the Reptile Database website produced 8 Agamidae lizards for Tanzania I haven't had a proper look at all of them because they don't have a lot of photos of each of them. A Google image search for the blue-headed produced some reasonable matches for your lizards so that's my best guess, the colour will obviously vary with age and whether they're breeding or not, so you need to look at a lot of different pictures to get a good match. 

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No trip report would ever be complete without the most glorious sunrises and sunsets in the world. They never cease to be anything other than mind blowing both in their beauty and intensity. I also have to say that it isn't true that Kati's scenery is boring and monotonous, it's only the area where the 3 camps are located which is flat. There  are beautiful groves, forests and mountains in the distance. 

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Posted (edited)

I went fly camping twice in two different locations. This was first location. I have to say that since April I lost more of my belly. 

The location overlooking the hippo pod was just outstanding. Don't we all love listening to the chorus of hippos at night? What could be a better way to experience the bush?

 

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Edited by optig
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Posted (edited)

This was the second fly camping site. It was just as wonderful as the first location. There is me and there is Joe in the second photo. This location overlooked a plane that was full of buffalo and topi. I had the whole entire camp to myself which meant besides Joe, there was also a TANAPA ranger, a chef and two other staff members. 

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Edited by optig
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The tents were very comfortable and preserved a superb bush atmosphere.The Tanzanian manager Moanza couldn't have been kinder, more courteous or more attentive. My other guests just loved him as well. This camp has a lovely and intimate atmosphere because there are only 6 tents for guests as well as the dining tent and one which serves as lounge. 

 

I also have to say that all the food was excellent. It was light, filling and quite healthy. Everything  was so fresh. The service was just superb. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

This are my photos before my departure to Mahale National park. There I am and my guide Joe. Joe is a superb guide.

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Edited by optig
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Next I went to Grey stoke Mahale where I stayed for four nights. I personally feel it offers a far better primate interaction than either gorilla or chimp trekking in Uganda. And the beauty of Lake Mahale as well as the beach and forest were nothing less than breathtaking. I loved the fact that there is no other access to either the camp or the chimps than by boat. I have to say that Julian Polet a gentleman from Belgium is one of the finest managers that I've ever seen. He couldn't have tried harder to ensure that I saw the chimps and learned so much about their behavior about the community of chimps. 

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Here are some personal shots of me inside the lodge with Julian and some of my fellow guests. 

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Posted (edited)

Here are all the shots of the chimps.  One gets to do three days of chimp trekking here, however, I was only able to do 2 days due to the fact that on the second chimp trek I hurt the calf of my leg. I wasn't really able to walk on the third day. It doesn't matter even to me because I was happy to simply relax and appreciate the sheer beauty and calmness of the lake. The chimp trekking experience is so intense that I was only able to take in and process a tiny part of it. If I had taken the third trek it wouldn't have made any difference. 

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Edited by optig
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Posted (edited)

I have to stress that I felt that chimp trekking here was much more interactive than either chimp trekking or gorilla trekking had been in Uganda. I was hearing the cries and screams of the chimps even in the camp. It was just awesome to hear them while trekking or when we saw them sitting down. I never felt at all in danger from them. I also saw yellow baboons and red colobus monkeys which are always entertaining. This was the only decent video which I took.

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Edited by optig
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Here I am before leaving Greystoke Mahale. That gentleman is my guide Mwimba. He did a wonderful job assisting me at all times and helping me with my camera. As you can imagine leaving both Chada Katavi and Greystoke Mahale caused me to cry. They were both close to being the finest wildlife experiences which I've ever had while on safari.

 

My only regret  is that I don't have the writing and photography skills of @Kitsafari, @SafariDude, @Atravellyne,@Safarichick and so many others on Safaritalk. 

At least I'm trying and I am improving albeit all too slowly for my own tastes.  I will have 2 more trip reports to write one of which after I return from South Africa and the other after I spend 8 days with @ZarekCockar.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Nice trip report, thanks for sharing. I have a few questions about Mahale. Myself and my friends were considering going to Mahale but ended up opting for Gombe as it was easier to access. I was wondering if you've been to Gombe and how you would compare the different parks if you have? Do you think there's much chance of seeing non-primate species in Mahale? According to Lonely Planet there are lions, elephants, leopards and so on but I think they're in parts of the park that are impossible to reach as a tourist. 

Edited by Csaba

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27 minutes ago, Csaba said:

? Do you think there's much chance of seeing non-primate species in Mahale? According to Lonely Planet there are lions, elephants, leopards and so but I think they're in parts of the park that are impossible to reach as a tourist.  Great warthog activity.  A few years ago we could watch them come out of their dens in the morning.

 

Wonderful chimp shots.  I like the various sizes.  Are the sizes carefully calculated or is it a random approach?  Either way the end result is a very attractive mix.

That's great your 2 chimp treks were so successful that the 3rd was not missed.  Always a good idea to book several because things can happen.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@optig    i hope your calf has made a full recovery and am glad you had such a stunning environment to recover in. Hmm mahale sounds like a wonderful place. As does katavi. 

 

Edited to add those black and white portraits of the chimps are great - that is a softer side to the ape with its pensive and gentler eyes.

Edited by Kitsafari

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@Csaba You can see hippos in the lake but that is about it.  I didn't see the warthogs, but I do know they are there. If you can afford it I urge you to visit Greystoke Mahale because it simply offers what is the finest primate experience in Africa. I have already gone gorilla trekking in Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and chimp trekking in Kibale National Park and frankly felt that this was far more exciting. I have never been to Gombe but I have always heard that the chimp trekking was much better here. Furthermore the Lake and bandas were simply gorgeous. I throughly enjoyed sleeping in the bandas because they contributed so much to the wilderness vibe. 

 

The reasons you visit here is for the chimps, the beauty of the lake, the splendid calm and isolation as well as the astonishing wilderness vibe. I will never forget the sounds of the chimps. The staff was just outstanding,especially the Belgian manager Julian. One of the guides Mwimba was particularly helpful. 

 

This is one place which I couldn't recommend more especially in combination with Chada Katavi. As I said try to spend a full week there because it also time well spent and due to the high cost and isolation one is unlikely to visit the two places more than once. 

 

 

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@Kitsafari Thank you so much as always for your sweet wishes. My calf did recover shortly after I returned to Nairobi. Yes, of course both Katavi and Mahale are two of my favorite safari destinations. Please stay well my buddy.

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