Life in the Selous Game Reserve
Hi. We live and work in the Selous Game Reserve, overlooking a wide bend in the Rufiji River. People from all over the world visit us, and tell us how lucky we are to live here. We're inclined to believe them.
Sat, Mar 9, 2013
It's two weeks on since our last blog on the cubs, we have been seeing them regularly in a long drainage line scattered with Doum plams and Long pod cassias, both providing good shade and hiding places for the cubs. Yesterday after a big storm we found the adults out in the open enjoying lying in the cool water drenched sand. Under a little bush we spotted the cubs looking very tired but in good condition. It still looks like their mother is doing a good job of looking after them.
Sun, Mar 3, 2013
|A jealous croc wishing he could fly!|
|Surveying its surroundings!|
Approaching the lake we saw at least 50 fish eagles flying above the lake, swooping low across the water's surface showing exemplary hunting skills, most of the birds were adults but there were a few juvenile birds trying to learn the tricks of survival from their elders. Their large and strong talons are equipped with a rough surface in order to keep a good grip on their mostly slippery aquatic prey, from capture in the water or land to the branch of a tree which is where they normally go to eat, if the prey is not too big or misshapen to sit comfortably on a branch, once we saw a fish eagle trying to eat a young terrapin on a tree branch and the bird was having a lot of difficulty keeping it on one place on the branch!
Even though fish eagles are spectacular hunters they are also well known for displaying a behaviour called kleptoparasitism, meaning they steal prey off other birds and wildlife, especially the Goliath heron who gets very upset when it happens, the fish eagles spend far less time hunting than other birds of prey because they are successful opportunists! We didn't see the Humblot's on this particular trip as we were too busy trying to capture the fish eagles in flight with our cameras! But the heron is around the lake somewhere, having been blown over here from Madagascar in a cyclone, at least he has plenty of other bird life on the lake to keep him company.
As well as having the highest density of crocodiles in any body of water in Africa we think lake Tagalala might also be in the running for the highest density of fish eagles!
Mon, Feb 25, 2013
One of the Lionesses from the Tagalala pride has had two cubs, they are around 3 months old now, the cubs provide excellent photo opportunities as they are so active compared to their tired mother, biting her ears while she is trying to sleep.
The odds are stacked against their survival, only 80% of cubs will not make the first two years, Buffalo, Hyenas, Jackel, Martial Eagles, Snakes and Leopards are all enemies. If a new male takes over the pride, he will kill all the cubs.
We will be keeping a watchful eye on these two and keep you updated.
Sun, Feb 17, 2013
|Even a mud cap will do to stay cool in the afternoons!|
|Great white pelicans in the lake|
|Keeping hydrated, this fish eagle was enjoying a drink from the lake in between fishing|
|That face looks familiar...wild dogs enjoying their reflections in the water|
|Splashing around in the local hot springs|
Already in the water to keep cool this crocodile has even given himself a covering of mud to try and keep cool!
We found this wild dog with 5 other members of his pack around this small puddle of water the other day, as well as bathing in the puddle they were also mesmerized by their own reflections in the puddle.
It's not just the animals who enjoy the water, we like to have a dip ourselves and our local hot springs are a highlight of a safari here in the Selous, even though these are very hot springs they are remarkably refreshing! The swimming pool back at camp is also a great spot to cool off in the afternoons!
Thu, Feb 7, 2013
|Elephants enjoying a morning drink|
|Spotted Hyena enjoying an afternoon dip.|
Wed, Jan 30, 2013
John and Ursula Mihopulos recently came tovisit us, one of John's lifelong dreams has been to see wild dogs and he was not disappointed when he came to Sand Rivers! After 3 nights in another part of the reserve, he and Ursula came to join us in Sand Rivers for another 3 nights, the afternoon they arrived we were greeted by the heavens with one of the most spectacular rain storms of the season, but this did not deter them as they duly left on their afternoon game drive in pursuit of the dogs. To our delight, after only 15 minutes their guide Mussa radioed in with the news that they had found the dogs in our 'garden,' an open area close to the camp which resembles an English country garden, until a giraffe or an elephant pops up, or in this case wild dogs on the hunt! Mussa and his guests watched on as the dogs ran down an impala and ate their kill within meters of the landrover!
The dogs were also recently spotted chasing a leopard up a tree not far from camp!
With thanks to John Mihopulos for this photo.
Wed, Jan 9, 2013
|Engaging auto pilot|
|Landing gear ready|
|Landing lights on|
|Please return to your seats and fasten your seat belts.|
|Thank you for flying Air Impala|
Undoubtedly one of the most common sightings on safari the ubiquitous Impala never ceases to amaze us with their beauty and gracefulness. It's easy to drive past them and say 'just another impala' but stopping and taking time to observe them can bring rewarding sightings, while out the other day we stopped to watch these impalas, then something spooked them in the bushes behind making them start to scarper away, not just by running but by their famous jumps. Jumping 3 meters high and covering distances of up to 10 meters in a single jump, it was a magnificent display.
Not long to go until the rutting season and it will be Impala mayhem all over the Selous!!
Wed, Dec 5, 2012
|This is how they found the Impala and Crocodile|
|The Impala was unable to free itself.|
|The second crocodile arriving on the scene behind the Impala|
|Delivering a decisive blow.|
Thank you very much Thierry Thomann for letting us share these amazing pictures.
Thu, Nov 22, 2012
Guests at Sand Rivers often comment on how the lodge blends in with the surroundings, this became all the more apparent yesterday when a herd of Elephants was passing though the camp. At first we spotted them to the right along the bank from the lodge, as the breeding herd came closer one of the elephants approached what we call the bush baby deck, oblivious to our presence just a few feet above her she proceeded to feed. After a while she moved up and stepped over the wall to our front garden, had a drink from our little pool with fish in it, walked past our shop through the archway to our pool along the edge of that and down the steps to where our boats leave from! After we picked our jaws off the ground in amazement, we went to finish our lunch.
It was almost as if the camp was not there.
|Standing in our garden.|
|Having a drink from the little pool with fish in it.|
|In between the main area and the shop.|
|Walking along the edge of the pool, after passing through the archway.|
|Then off down the steps to the boats!|
Mon, Oct 29, 2012
"We liked the way the Hippos always laughed at our jokes, though they were a bit slow on the uptake!
1. What do you call a long haired hippo? - A hippy
2. What's a hippos favourite type of music? - Hip-hop
3. And what does he listen to it on? - His Hi-Pod
4. How do you give a hippo an injection? - With a hippodermic needle
5. What does an old hippo need? - A hippoperation
6. How does a hippo say hello? - Hi-po!
7. What is a hippos favourite dance? - The hippo hippo shake
8. What do you call a one legged hippo? - A hoppo
9. What do you call a hippo with wings? - Hippothetical
10. What do you call a lying hippo? - A hippocrite
11. What do you call a hippo who thinks he is ill? - A hippochndriac
12. What is a hippos favourite dessert? - Hippo - pot - o'mousse
13. What does Dr Hippo take? - The hippocratic oath
14. What do you call a jolly hippo? - Happo!
15. What's a Hippopotamus's favourite word? - HIPPOPOTAMUS!"
With thanks to The Good Family
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