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.
Tue, Sep 9, 2014
So just shy of one year here in the heart of the Selous Game Reserve and its time to move onto the next adventure...Greystoke Mahale. The year has flown by, each day having many highlights, but there are a select few for us that stick out.
Our first experience with the Selous Dogs, a radio call from not far away and we set off and found the pack of 12 with 6 adults and 6 pups that were a handful for the adults non-stop.
Our first meeting with Forest, the male Leopard we share our territory with. He killed a Zebra foul just outside camp and took it up a Chestnut Tree.
Cheeka, the naughtiest but cutest monkey with an addiction to milk powder...daily raids on the office in the dry season were messy times.
The evening a Brown House Snake (harmless to people) decided to eat a Gecko at Kate's feet in the office.
Daily encounters with what I believe to be the most beautiful bird the Selous has to offer.
Meeting the dominant Lion of the Sand Rivers area.
The lodge hippos have always provided us with great entertainment at a stone's throw away.
The African Golden Weavers came in and gave everyone hours of joy building the nests right in front of the lodge for days on on end.
Our good friend with no ears and one eye gave an insight into the life of a handicapped animal, showing his feistiness among the others.
The first major storm that disrupted lunch with horizontal rain hitting the back wall at the serving station.
The Northern Carmine Bee-eater and its symbiotic relationship with our vehicles, the vehicles ousted insects for the birds to feed on and they gave us a great experience flying in and around the vehicle.
Finding this pack of 21 Wild Dogs in the Beho Beho River bed, this is the biggest pack of Wild Dogs we had ever seen.
Terrence the Terrapin was found along the path to the managers house and moved into his new home, the fish pond at the mess, where you can still see him from time to time.
Hippo fighting can be brutal and leads to a croc feeding frenzy which is a great way to see the power of the Nile Crocodile ripping flesh using it's infamous 'death-roll'
Our guide training with Sacha was a great time to get out in the field and see what we could find, but when a pride of Lions come strolling down the road it really makes a guides job look rather easy.
Getting out onto the newly formed sand banks after the river subsided to see these young African Skimmers was a fantastic experience, showing off their hiding capabilities in bare open ground was amazing.
Baby Hippos are just the cutest little cocktail sausages and when they came out of the river to see the other side of the world they got the attention of many people.
Our final encounter with Forest, having killed and eaten a baby Giraffe then slinking off into a leadwood to let his belly hang out.
Thank you Sand Rivers Selous for the amazing experience, we are sure to return one day.
Im sure that new managers Jeff and Ilze look foreward to welcoming you.
Mon, Aug 25, 2014
On a recent trip to see what the Selous Game Reserve has to offer, we came across something rather special.
A Bateleur was spotted perched atop a tree fast asleep, the Bateleur is an indicating species that guides use to find other animals as they often follow carnivores and will scavenge a meal when they can.
So whilst looking at the Bateleur, something else was noticed by a guest, Henry, in a tree and binoculars were shifted left and there they were, two breakaway leopards that have recently left the safety of mum but still remain within her territory.
They found themselves a great big Mahogany tree with many horizontal broad branches to snooze on.
These two youngsters were kind enough to give us one hour of their time while they slept, stretched, yawned, played and eventually jumped down from the tree and disappeared into the undergrowth.
Hopefully they hang around in their mothers territory for some time more as it is very close to homebase.
Thu, Jul 31, 2014
Well I just have to say ours is Yellow! Have a look and you will see why.
This Grey-headed Bush-shrike is quite impressive in my eyes.
Birds get the colour in their feathers from several sources. Pigment is attained in 3 different manners. Firstly melanin just like we have in our skin give birds darker feathers, a lack of melanin gives feathers a white colour.
The Crested Barbet has one of our favourite designs.
Secondly carotenoids give them the colours of red, orange and yellow, carotenoids are gained from the birds’ diet as they are formed in plants through photosynthesis.
The Lesser Masked Weaver is somewhat of a spectacle in the right light.
Finally porphyrins also give feathers pigment, these are modified amino acids and is the rarest formation of colour, but we do find it here in the red wings of the Turaco species.
The Little Bee-eater has the most amazing yellow throat.
Keratin is another source, keratin is the same substance that makes up your hair, the sheath around the horns of an antelope, the horn of a rhino, the feather of a bird and many other things. This keratin gives colours in a very complicated process of layering and scattering and generally gives that iridescence in the feathers giving colours of greens, violets, purples and blues.
The yellow streaks of this female Black Cuckoo-shrike sets it far apart from the male.
These sources are often combined to form the most wonderful colours that birds display and is just another reason to have a closer look next time you see a bird.
Golden-tailed Woodpecker, gold is better than yellow.
Wed, Jul 23, 2014
Since returning to Sand Rivers Selous in May we have spent many days scanning the waters for our little friend with no ears and one eye.
With an odd chance I spotted this little hippo with very similar facial features up in Lake Segezi which is a fair way away from his home here in front of the lodge. Could it really be that funfilled ugly little hippo, with this being the only picture I managed to snap we were somewhat doubtful.
With the mighty Rufiji in full flow we were somewhat doubtful our friend would ever return to us. Each day the river dropped and a group of Hippo moved closer and closer. Scanning every day for that recognizable face and feisty demeanour. Yet nothing could be seen among the many hippo that made their new home on the bend of the river right in front of us.
Then while enjoying lunch from the deck, a commotion in front of the lodge gained my attention...Hippo were tussling and up popped a familiar shape. Immediately recognising the figure of a bald head, Binoculars were pointed in the right directions, there it was, our favourite little hippo had returned. It had been 2 months of searching every hippo that came passed. As usual the little one was full of muster and having a great time at the peril of adults. Seeming to torment only fully grown hippo's but also pretending to be one, as seen lying among the big four.
On another note a whole batch of new born hippo have also joined the 'house hippo,' here mum shows her new born what a Pied Wagtail is before shooing off a crocodile that really wasn't much of a threat.
Mon, Jul 14, 2014
A little bit of a gap in the morning and we decided to hop on the boat and go for a walk on an island sandbank. We were met by an unhappy African Skimmer who was calling and circling us. We knew there were babies around but where were they.
So we were searching all over but could see absolutely nothing. Until Hamza said, 'look down'...we thought he was joking at first.
Can you see it?
Take a closer look...
They lie extremely flat, digging a small hole into the sand. They even flick sand onto their backs with their wings to cover up even more.
You can see the famous Skimmer bill forming here with the lower mandible extending beyond that of the upper mandible. These little guys were at fledgling stage and have a few developed flight feathers and they can fly for very short distances, but really they are 'sitting ducks' and maybe a change in that saying to sitting Skimmers is a good fit for when you are on Safari here with us.
We were then lucky to spot this little nest right out in the open with 3 Skimmer eggs...hopefully Mum will be back to shade them from the hot sun soon.
- September, 2014
- August, 2014
- July, 2014
- June, 2014
- May, 2014
- March, 2014
- February, 2014
- January, 2014
- December, 2013
- November, 2013
- October, 2013
- September, 2013
- August, 2013
- July, 2013
- June, 2013
- March, 2013
- February, 2013
- January, 2013
- December, 2012
- November, 2012
- October, 2012
- September, 2012
- August, 2012
- July, 2012
- June, 2012
- March, 2012
- February, 2012
- January, 2012
- December, 2011
- November, 2011
- October, 2011
- September, 2011
- August, 2011
- July, 2011
- June, 2011
- May, 2011
- April, 2011
- March, 2011
- February, 2011
- January, 2011