• Click CONTACT US in the footer if you have any problems registering for the forums.

A beginner's guide to safari holidays

GDB

100+ Posts
#22
Elephants can be seen in Africa and Asia, but I am afraid that despite the efforts of many charities, NGOs and governments, there is still an ivory trade to the far east..... it beggars belief that these wonderful creatures are gradually but surely wiped out. It is estimated that there is an elephant murdered every 25 minutes in Africa... yes , between 50 -60 a day !!
Here is part of a family we saw in the Serengeti, just having fun. We also visited the neighbouring national park of Tarangire which is famous for its elephants and lost count of the numbers we saw after 150. Fortunately there are still places where they are being protected quite well, and Tanzania is one of them.
TAN2017(744).JPG
 

GDB

100+ Posts
#24
These figures are from one of the most reputable charities, Born Free. I know that I witter on about what we can do about it, but the main thing is to just go to these places if you can, have wonderful experiences of seeing these beautiful creatures in their own world behaving naturally, and knowing that you are contributing to the local economy and to their protection.

This next image was taken quite close up and we were very privileged to see this young one happily chomping away and completely oblivious to us...
INDIA - 2016.JPG
 

GDB

100+ Posts
#26
Baboons are everywhere in Africa... just watching them in family groups, behaving naturally is just a joy.
It seemed as though this little fellow was being ignored while mum chatted with her chums....
TAN2017(1367).JPG
 

GDB

100+ Posts
#28
In Tanzania and most parts of Africa, you will see bustards.... this is a large one often seen on the ground and sometimes quite close by.... he is the Corey Bustard
TAN2017(1215).JPG TAN2017(1226).JPG
 

GDB

100+ Posts
#30
I have checked and it is actually the Kori Bustard...... He is in the same bustard family and certainly has the similar head and beak shape, but the Kori is definitely bigger than the Great. The male, who is considerably larger than the female, will stand well over 4' ht. and weigh up to 30lbs. or more. It is said that this species is probably the heaviest animal to fly. The Jabiru Stork, which we have seen before, is definitely taller but is only half the weight of the Kori Bustard.

I read that there is a contingent of Great Bustards resident now on Salisbury Plains ??
 
Last edited:

GDB

100+ Posts
#32
Yes Eleanor, I am just trying to picture a gaggle of 40 Bustards swarming down, wings flapping furiously, upon some unsuspecting squaddie have a quiet smoke behind a big rock......
 

GDB

100+ Posts
#33
Still at the feathered end of the spectrum, one of the most colourful and beautiful of all small birds is the African Lilac Breasted Roller..... this one was spotted in Northern Tanzania and whilst they are not common we saw it on one of our first safaris...
Tanzania GB 103.JPG
 

GDB

100+ Posts
#34
Of course an African safari wouldn't be complete without seeing lions. Generally lions are quite habituated with humans and will tolerate you staring at them at quite close range. One must not abuse that privilege.... this time however we did feel just a little in the way; it was clear that these two youngsters were very fond of each other.... we called this shot.... Young Love. I hope you agree.
TAN2017(1330).JPG
 

GDB

100+ Posts
#36
You cheeky thing..... but you are quite right, he does look somewhat orange. My initial check back to the original image and it is no different. To my knowledge there is not an orange breasted version, but |I stand to be corrected. All the other colours on this image seem to correlate to a Lilac Breasted Roller, so it's possible that he is an immature adult..? I will do some further checks.

My apologies that standards are dropping.

Did you like the lions though ?
 

GDB

100+ Posts
#39
The spotted Hyena is a fairly common sight in most parts of Africa. This one stared at us for some time... we were a little too close. They do have very strong family units, and are amongst the most formidable when hunting together. They are renowned for stealing kills from other animals, quite often the big cats. One to one, a hyena would not stand a chance against a full grown lioness for example. Even two would be very wary, but three or even four will make the lioness back off and leave her kill for these arch scavengers..
TAN2017 (289).JPG
 
#40
One needs to be careful, as a first timer to India, in choosing a Tiger reserve. GDB is spot on while suggesting Bandhavgarh, Ranthambhore, and Kanha. The density of tigers in these parks is very healthy. One is reasonably sure of seeing one, in 3 to 6 game drives. Some other Indian parks have numbers which is merely a statistical data!
The visibility in these parks is greater than say in the Corbett where the dense undergrowth helps camouflaging a tiger though he may just be no more than 10 feet away. I have personally known instances when the tiger was right in the middle, and not a bird or animal called to announce his presence, totally oblivious. The langur, monkeys and the barking deer has a very keen eye.
The Indian jungles are very productive during the evening drives, which should not be missed. Although, in the Central Indian Parks there is more time in the mornings. The reason is that the herbivores leave the lengthening shadows of the tree jungle and come out in the open areas to feed. These are followed by the tiger for he has rubbed off his slumber, had a drink at a pool and is ready to hunt. Anyone of us who have had the privilege of sitting out on a moonlit night will know how the hunted move in the lit up areas and the hunter cling to shadows.
These are very gentle animals. The only time he may get aggressive is during the mating season when the male likes to show-off. I see a lot of videos shot and what is no more than a playful charge (if it could be called one), dubbed as a tiger-attack! An elephant in close proximity is frightening but not a tiger…he induces immense excitement…if followed closely on an elephant he will warn you by a deep throated growl…lay-off!!
Some very enlightening books can be read on this subject, by Dunbar Brander, Burton, Schaller, Arjan Singh, Kesri Singh & Corbett.
Ladies & gents, one gets hooked to this form of sport, it is a magnet that will draw you back time and again to an Indian jungle!
Happy travels!!
 

Sponsors

Booking.com Hotels in Europe
AutoEurope.com Car Rentals

Latest posts

New resources

Top