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Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 52: Selous Walking Safari

22 October 2009.
The last morning in Selous. Had an interesting night with sounds of bushbabies and a big elephant bull that plundered our kitchen - 20 meters from my tent. After breakfast we left with our Landcruiser fully packed to Mtemere Gate of the Selous Game Reserve.

Time for a walking safari with the 3 British lads, our guide Tende and an armed ranger. That ranger is mandatory. They don't want any tourists to get attacked by a piece of wildlife. Guide Tende does not like guns. He rather gets eaten than shoot an animal. And if you know how to read the tracks, signs and behaviour of animals, there is little danger you and up as a lion's hors d'oevre or practice some circus acts with raging elephants.

We did not encounter any predators. Unfortunately actually. But it was nice enough. We saw the tracks of various animals, including the less than 2 hours old fresh tracks of a hippo, giraffe and a hyena. The toilet spot of impalas. Interesting trees like ebony with its dark core. Also saw yellow baboons, a giraffe, trumpetter hornbill and a banded mongoose and a dwarf mongoose.

And a squirrel. Who - of course - ran off when it noticed us. Walking through the miombo woodlands is great. You are so much more part of nature than in the train of 4x4's in Ngorongoro Crater. And yes, you see less wildlife out there. It's not a zoo. The squirrel is not the rarest of species: a Striped Bush Squirrel (Gestreepte Boseekhoorn). But still, not everybody has the luck of actually spotting one.

I really have to get back to Africa...

For those who like the biological details:
Click a link and you'll go to the Flickr photo page for that rank in the biological classification. Or have a look in the 'Find wildlife photos' menu item on the left.

Phylum: Chordata; Vertebrates / Gewervelden
Class: Mammalia; Mammals / Zoogdieren
Order: Rodentia; Rodents / Knaagdieren
Family: Sciuridae; Squirrels / Eekhoorns
Subfamily: Xerinae; Marmots, Ground Squirrels, Afrian Tree Squirrels / Marmotten, Aardeekhoorns, Palmeekhoorns
Genus: Paraxerus; Bush Squirrels / Afrikaanse Boseekhoorns
Species: Paraxerus flavovittis; Striped Bush Squirrel / Gestreepte Boseekhoorn

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