It’s Monday 18th September 2006 and the Barking Eland


It’s Monday 18th September 2006 and the Barking Eland

News from Tena Tena – Kerri

I don’t really know where to begin……..I could always start with my walk of the season…… This is what we saw–

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  • 24 Eland (at close quarter – the bull barked at us and the gust almost took out heads off we were so close)….
  • One of our resident female leopards Zero Zero’s ± 6 month old cub (who had not spotted us as it came down to a small lagoon to drink)…..
  • 10 lionesses (until it appeared that they were trying to flank us and then it was time to move on)…..
  • 3 different herds of elephant drinking and playing in the mud
  • a couple of giraffe having a drink (while we had our tea)…….
  • Black-necked Spitting Cobra drinking from a stream (we kept back the required 2 meters spitting distance – some kept a bit more distance than was required).

So all of this in a two and half hour walk and within 1 km of camp the entire walk (if you can even call it that). All in a mornings work and we didn’t even break a sweat.

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Usually in October we can drive across the river instead of using the boat, however this year the river has dropped really quickly so we (all the senior staff at Tena currently in camp: Deb, Rocky, Jo, Chris and myself) decided we should check it out. We went to the usual crossing point but it didn’t look good, mainly because there was a large bull hippo in the way. I spotted some elephant tracks crossing the river further up and said that we should try crossing there as elephants know best! Only problem there was a large pod of hippos nearby, but hey there was serious work to be done so we started walking across. We had large sticks to prod the way, Jo insisted on being in the middle of us and asked if it was safe the whole way (then tried to claim she wasn’t scared). Luckily for Rocky he wears very short shorts, unlucky of the rest of us as we were very quickly thigh deep in the river.

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a We made it to the other side but then had a bright idea that it may be shallower where the large male hippo was after all. So off we set back across. The hippo was now between us, the vehicle and the resident bull of the pod next to us – we had to keep moving though as this section of river was rather deeper than our previous attempt (because elephants really do know best) and there were a number of large crocodiles in the water with us. We finely got back to the other side of the river safely only to turn back and see a large crocodile head appear where we had just crossed. A week later we had to do this all over again with better results this time. Jo decided to remain in the vehicle and take photographs instead.

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Generally sightings have been great recently, with incredible porcupine sighting (we have the tamest porcupine in the history of porcupines). Two Two the performing leopard gave us a brilliant display the other day of wandering down the road and climbing onto a log and collapsing. Rocky also had an incredible morning with Two Two as she stole half of a bushbuck kill from her sister and neighbour. Our lions have continued to show off their lack of tree-climbing skills and how to put their tails between their legs and run from elephants. Great bird sighting too with the carmine bee-eaters in for another season of terrorising the White-fronted Bee-eaters out of their holes; Good sightings of Pels Fishing Owls, Bat-hawk, Long-crested Eagle, etc. etc. The elephants have also taken a liking to the trees in camp and spent the entire night and day in the camp – until guest were unable to come for lunch and then it was our time to encourage them out with some stern words – the lead female trumpeted at us as they went down the bank – We took this as a BIG thank-you for showing them the way out. On a sunrise drive we watched 2 warthogs chase a hyena around Buka buka. And Rocky found 2 brand new pups at our hyena den.

So that is it from us at Tena Tena until next time.

Chau Bweno,

Kerri

P.S. Those of you that have not yet booked for next year – best you get booking (you know who you are!)


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