Thursday, June 14, 2012

May 28, 2012: The Lost World of Niassa & Farewell to Africa

Greetings All,
The last chapter in our Southern African odyssey was a quick trip to Mozambique. We flew from Johannesburg to Pemba in northern Mozambique. We spent one night on the Indian Ocean (photo 1)

before heading inland. A one and a half hour charter flight the next morning took us to Niassa Reserve close to the border with Tanzania. The Reserve is a large (42,000 square kilometer) expanse of wilderness containing rivers cutting through Miambo woodland. Palm, Acacia and Baobab trees grow in the floodplains along the rivers. The most unusual features in the landscape are rock formations called inselbergs. They loom above the plain in a variety of shapes (photo 2).

Some are virtually bare containing resurrection grass while others have trees growing on their slopes. Some contain caves with ancient rock art 4000 years old (photo 3).

Wildlife viewing this time of year is difficult with plenty of tall grass for the animals to hide in. We did get some nice sightings of Waterbuck (photo 4), Elephants (photo 5) and 3 Klipspringers climbing up an inselberg covered in Resurrection grass (photo 6).

On our second night we were treated to dinner on top of an inselberg overlooking the Lugenda River (photo 7).

It was a magical spot, right out of Jurassic Park. On our last night in the Reserve we went to a Hippo Pool on the Lugenda River to watch the sunset. We're still smiling after nearly 3 and a half months in Africa (photo 8).

Tomorrow we head home. We're looking forward to seeing everyone!
Marc and Peggy

      Southern Africa Mammal List: February 23 - May 30, 2012

 No. Species Scientific Name Notes
  1 African Bush Elephant Loxodonta africana Okavango, Tuli, Kruger, Niassa,  Pilanesberg 
  2 Cape Buffalo Syncerus caffer caffer Moremi 
  3 Southern White Rhino Ceratotherium simum simum Hluhluwe, Greater Kudulands,  Pilanesberg 
  4 Southern African Lion Panthera leo melanochaita Okavango, Kalahari, Kruger 
  5 Angolan Giraffe Giraffa giraffa angolensis Maun
  6 Eland Tragelaphus oryx  Tuli
  7 Black-backed Jackal  Canis mesomelas  Kalahari, Tuli
  8 Spotted Hyena Crocuta crocuta Kruger
  9 Small Spotted Genet Genetta genetta Maun
 10 Hippopotamus  Hippopotamus amphibius Okavango, Pilanesberg 
 11 Spotted-necked Otter Hydrictis maculicollis Okavango
 12 Southern Greater Kudu Tragelaphus  strepsiceros strepsiceros  Makgadikgadi, Tuli, Pilanesberg 
 13 Side-striped Jackal Canis adustus Niassa Reserve
 14 Plains Zebra Equus quagga Maun, Makgadikgadi 
 15 Red Lechwe Kobus leche leche Okavango
 16 South African Ground  Squirrel  Xerus inauris Kalahari 
 17 Chacma Baboon Papio ursinus Greater Kudulands, Kruger 
 18 Springbok Antidorcas marsupialis  Maun, Kalahari 
 19 Common Impala Aepyceros  melampus melampus Moremi, Pilanesberg 
 20 Klipspringer  Oreotragus oreotragus  Niassa Reserve
 21 Gemsbok  Oryx gazella Kalahari 
 22 African Wild Dog Lycaon pictus Moremi, Tuli, Hluhluwe, Kruger 
 23 Rock Hyrax Procavia capensis Greater Kudulands 
 24 Nyala Tragelaphus angasii Greater Kudulands 
 25 Blue Wildebeest Connochaetes  taurinus taurinus Okavango, Moremi, Pilanesberg 
 26 Red Hartebeest Alcelaphus  buselaphus caama Pilanesberg 
 27 Honey Badger Mellivora capensis Kalahari 
 28 Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus Okavango 
 29 South African Giraffe  Giraffa camelopardalis  giraffa Makgadikgadi, Greater  Kudulands 
 30 Bat-eared Fox Otocyon megalotis Kalahari 
 31 African Leopard Panthera pardus pardus Tuli, Kruger
 32 Sloggett’s Vlei Rat Otomys sloggetti Drakensberg
 33 Sable Antelope Hippotragus niger Greater Kudulands
 34 Serval Leptailurus serval Kruger
 35 Nyasaland Wildebeest Connochaetes tauranus  johnstoni Niassa Reserve
 36 African Civet Civettictis civetta Niassa Reserve
 37 Common Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus  ellipsiprymnus Niassa Reserve
 38 Blue Monkey Cercopithecus mitis Niassa Reserve

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