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Uganda 2014

Discussion in 'Events & Meetups' started by Hix, 23 Dec 2013.

  1. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    As I eluded to towards the end of this thread

    https://www.zoochat.com/community/posts/734960


    I plan to return to Uganda in August 2014. It would be one hell-of-a-get-together if a few ZooChatters come over aswell.

    If anyone is interested, please let me know.

    :p

    Hix
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 21 Oct 2016
  2. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Anybody?

    :p

    Hix
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm interested, but I won't have any money left. Do you want to pay for me? In return I will identify birds for you.
     
  4. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Same here, but I can't ID the birds for you. :D
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    zooboy28 can provide the comic relief....
     
  6. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    As an example: "Uganda at the birds Hix, while I update ZooChat and make Chlidonias jealous about the shoebill we just saw again."
     
  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    ....until Chlidonias points out that it was in fact a saddlebill stork.

    Meanwhile Chlidonias had just seen a tree full of albino baby ostriches.
     
  8. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    If you can provide me with a subject for an MSc thesis and/or a flight ticket from some nice mystery island (not Madagascar :p) then I am all in :) I really like Africa, but I am afraid it will not work, so no guide for the (smaller) mammals :p
     
  9. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Well, due to unavailability of anyone to join me, I have changed my itinerary drastically, and will now be spending about 5 weeks in Tanzania, three of which will be on a birdwatching safari.

    I'll start a thread in the Africa forums shortly.

    :p

    Hix
     
  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    oh, shame about Uganda but good news with Tanzania! And five weeks is a good amount of time. I shall expect you to be nipping at my heels for the Big Year!!
     
  11. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    I hope so - I'll be visiting 9 different national parks or conservation areas covering a wide range of habitats and altitudinal ranges. Hopefully I'll also see some endemics or endangered/threatened species too!

    And don't rule out Uganda just yet!

    :p

    Hix
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't really know anything about Tanzania. Do you have a ball-park figure of the number of bird and mammal species you might reasonably expect to see? Are there shoebills there?
     
  13. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Tanzania has a little over 1108 species, but many are found in the south or west and I'll only be in the north. I expect to see at least two hundred species, hopefully closer to three hundred.

    There are around 370 mammal species, but 23 are cetaceans (plus Dugongs) and I won't be visiting the coast, 81 species of bats of which I would be lucky to see (or identify) half-a-dozen, 76 species of rodent, and 32 shrews. If you ignore other things I won't see because I won't be in their area or are cryptic (like Otter-shrew or Golden Mole), and I've probably only got 100-120 species available or less.

    There are more than 400 reptiles in Tanzania - last year I saw nine species in Uganda, one species of crocodile, six lizards and two snakes, but I hope to see a few more this year. In one area, I've been told, I should have no trouble finding a Black Mamba.

    Tanzania does have Shoebills, but way over in the west near the border with Uganda and Rwanda. One of my books describes it as a vagrant.

    :p

    Hix
     
  14. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    is the three week birdwatching safari an organised commercial one? You should be able to gather a nice haul if so (I randomly checked a birding website for the country and it said "a two weeks trip in East Africa should be able to give an average of 400 Species of Birds and most of Africa’s Big Game") -- the benefit of doing organised trips is that the guides know where everything is likely to be and can identify most things quickly.
     
  15. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Yes, not only with a commercial company (run by an Aussie who's been living in TZ for the last 20-odd years and started the company 18 years ago) but he's giving me a Bird Guide. And, according to their website, I'll be staying at some accommodation that they set up in conservation areas they lobbied for in conjunction with the local community. It might not be luxury lodges, but it's away from most of the tourists. And one national park we're visiting is not only a new park (gazetted in 2009 I think) and usually not-visited by the tourists, but the camp in the park is the only accommodation in the park. Hopefully I'll see both Vulturine Guineafowl and Gerenuk there.

    :p

    Hix
     
  16. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    I'm delighted to hear that you'll be heading to Tanzania. I lived there for two years, and as far as I'm concerned it's the greatest country on earth (despite its lack of zoos, and the fact that it is truly appalling at football).

    I'm presuming you'll be based mainly in the 'real' north, but will you head down to Mikumi and Ruaha? If so, the opportunity to head to Udzungwa should not be missed: it's right off the highway, and you've got a great chance of seeing some truly extraordinary primates.

    I think your birding fetish will be satisfied, wherever you are. Serengeti may be famed for its herds of zebras and wildebeests, and its lions and cheetahs, but the birds are extraordinary too - and if you have a guide who knows what he's doing on the avian front, so much the better (most of them focus on the glamorous mammals, which is fair enough).

    I'll be very interested to hear how you think Tanzania compares to Uganda. I've not been to Uganda (but have been lose to the border, in TZ), but have Ugandan friends. TZ is undoubtedly less economically developed, and a lot sleepier as a country. It is also a great deal more socially conservative, particularly away from the cities (I presume you'll be spending some time in Arusha). Compared to Kenya, it is a wholly different land: the frenetic, energetic, edgy nature of the northern neighbour is largely absent in Tanzania.

    My main travel advice for visiting the place: make the effort to learn a little bit of Kiswahili before you go. Just the greetings would be excellent: the number one beef that Tanzanians have with wazungu (foreigners) is that they don't take the time to greet people politely. Just being able to run through a few polite greetings will take you a very long way, with your guide, i restaurants, with people you meet.

    I'm looking forward to following your journey!
     
  17. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Unfortunately I won't be getting down to the Udzungwas; on my next visit to TZ (whenever that will be) I'll be looking at Udzungwas, Ruaha, Selous, Mikumi, Zanzibar and maybe Pemba.

    However, this trip I will be spending a few days in the Usambaras. :)

    :p

    Hix
     
  18. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    In addition to my responses earlier regarding this question, I have just acquired a newly published book "Larger mammals of Tanzania" and they state that a tourist on a ten day safari through three or four of the National Parks can reasonably expect to see 35 mammal species or more. Based on that figure I expect to see 50 and hope to see 60 or more.

    :p

    Hix
     
  19. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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  20. Mikezoo12

    Mikezoo12 Well-Known Member

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    Do you know Africa's big 5? If you do I challenge you to photograph all 5