Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Besia Oryx Facts

Males and females appear very similar.  In profile, the Oryxs
straight horns gave way to the “unicorn” story and legend.
     One Oryx calf is born after a gestation period of 8 ½ months.
They can survive for up to 22 years.
     Have an extraordinary ability to survive in water less areas, possessing a better water turnover rate than the camel.

     They graze on grasses and browse on acacia during the dry season. Tubers and roots are also dug out, with hooves, to obtain hard to find moisture.
     Allows body temperature to safely rise to 113 degree F, without harm, before beginning cooling down process by panting and sweating.   This temperature would be deadly to many other mammal species.
     The sharp horns of the Oryx are formidable weapons against the attack of lions, hyena and wild dog.
     Herds may number up to 200 animals.

JBA- Safari in Kenya

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria covers an area of 26,828 square miles (69,472 sq km) and the largest fresh water lake in Africa and second largest in the world. It is a shallow water lake. Named after former British Queen Victoria, the lake known for its colorful fishing villages, papyrus lined shore, numerous bays and islands. At an elevation of 3,718 feet above sea level, the lake shares itself with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.  It is one of the major sources of the Nile River.

Rusinga Island along the Lake is the site of the famous 17 million year old fossil skull of  Proconsul  Africans’  found by  renowned anthropologist, Mary Leakey. Once, an important source for tilapia and ciclid fish species, the lake has experienced a dramatic decline in vital commercial fishing harvests. Over fishing and the ill advised introduction, in the1960s of the voracious and very large Nile perch has effectively reduced the lakes once very productive output of fish for food.

Nile perch are common in Lake Victoria weighing between 60 and 100 pounds. Large adults are big enough to damage and break through fishing nets and eat massive quantities of smaller native fish species. It is also home to a wide variety of birds, such as cormorant, pelican, stork, ibis, heron, egret, duck and the majestic fish eagle. Hippopotamus and Nile crocodile are occasionally still found along the lakes extensive shore lines.

JBA- Kenya Safaris

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Kenya Tour at a Glance

Safari! The word that evokes magical intrigues in the world of travel. So theatrical is the word that its mention stirs a systematic allure of destinations whose experiences are beyond the wildest imaginations. Whether it’s your first safari or a recap of safari experiences, each safari presents unique features with lifelong memories.

You often rise at dawn to savor the pink clouds of tropical sunrise and after a hot cup of tea, grab your camera ready for that best moment in the wilds of Africa. The animals are on move and the wilderness is live with robust activities. The cats are vigilant while the ungulates munch the soft foliage sauced by the morning dew in the vast savannah plains. The bird songs fill the air as the still morning breeze whistle gently through the thickets.

From a distance, a cheetah stalks a young gazelle and suddenly sprints at top speed and after moments of dramatic swerves both gazelle and the cheetah roll and are covered by a thick cloud of white dust beneath the long grass. And when the dust settles, the cheetah emerges with the young gazelle hanging lifelessly on the strong jaws. On the swampy plains, a baby elephant trying to keep up with the herd will make you smile. This they call, ‘an early morning game drive’.
Lake Nakuru National Park

A hearty late breakfast or early lunch awaits you at your lodge or camp followed by an afternoon at leisure as you wait the ideal time for the evening game drive. A hot afternoon in the jungle, the animals rest while the landscape shimmers with a haze of heat.

Over the years, people have been on safari with Kenya Safaris Holiday and they return home with wonderful memories. The golden glance from the eyes of large cats remains with you for a long time and beckon you back to Africa, to live the legend of safari life.

In this spirit, we have prepared this journal with information about the people, places and animals that you may encounter.  There are also blank pages for you to record memories of spectacular sunsets, great stories told around the campfire, and nature as it was meant to be seen.

JBA- Tours in Kenya

Monday, 5 August 2013

Kenya photography safari

Birding in kenya
Kenya is known as being the best end destination for adventure safaris in the World.....Truly these are some of the features that makes it to be the outstanding destination. This happened during a full day  birding safari with some of my clients.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Dung beetle

Chasing them …..playing with them….singing for them for they  can fly……and sometimes watering their underground homes……..was our daily chores when were young  boys .A daily event when at the grazing fields .Beetle make up the largest order in the whole animal kingdom, approximately 300,000 species have been discovered. Dung beetle belongs to the family scarabaeidae together with rhino beetles. In Africa there are about 2000 species of dung beetles.
Dung beetles were associated with resurrection in ancient Egypt, due to their behavior of burying dung and themselves and reemerging a couple of months later. Symbols of dung beetle were therefore placed in tombs in the belief that the deceased will be resurrected. Males carry horns, which serve the function of impressing females. The front part of the tooth is toothless; this serrated edge is used to cut out dung. The front arms are toothed and used as digging instruments.
The thorax is well developed to aid in flying and digging. Dung beetle have antennae, which are covered with sensory organs, these are fanned out are used by beetle to smell the air for dung. The mount parts are highly adapted to feeding on dung, they act like a filtering brush when feeding, discarding the unwanted bits. The hind legs are bowed and longer for ball rolling.Males usually initiate ball rolling in the ball rolling type. After cutting the ball away, he moves away from the pile of dung and secrets a pheromone to attract the female.

Once a female have been attracted by the scent ,she will make some adjustments to the dung ball and then either follow the  follow the male, or perch on top of the ball.  In doing so the female, conserves much needed energy for the brood stage .a suitable site is located, often under a bush and the dung ball is buried. At this stage, mating takes places over a period of two to three days. The male then abandons the brood and then returns to normal activities. The females takes the ball apart and removes the sticks ,stones ,etc and rebuilds it, leaving  a chimney in the top of the ball vents for the larvae, which digs down into the ball and breathe through  the event .larvae emerges and remain  in the dung ball for four to five months until the dung beetle finally emerges.
The female’s feeds on fungus growing on the dung ball, this serves to clean the ball. The larvae do not defecate in the ball, they store their feaces in a fermentation chamber and use the fermented dung to plaster their ball as it begins to show signs of weakness.Next time when you go for a safari in kenya savannah remember to have a look at them.

Join us in the next episode as we share more about these beautiful creature....for now 'Kwaheri".....bye bye

JBA- Safari in Kenya

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Rwanda Tours and Safaris

The Albertine Eco-Region
Comprising a chain of mountains formed through upliftment and volcanic activity, the Albertine Eco-region stretches across six countries and is regarded as the center of the Afromontane habitat. It is also a belt of exceptional faunal and floral endemism: over 40 bird species, 34 mammals, 117 butterflies, 34 amphibians and 16 reptiles are not found. It’s no wonder why it’s the most celebrated destination of ecological importance.

Around Kigali
The Nyarutarama Lake, or ‘Lover’s Lake’ bordering the Kigali Golf Course, is surrounded by a track which offers excellent nature walks and bird watching opportunities.
The Nyabarongo Wetlands also offer walking paths and good bird watching. This protected area covers 142.62 km2 with two lakes – Lake Mirayi in the south and Lake Rumira in the north. The wetlands are fed by the Nyabarongo River, a tributary of the Nile, which empties into Akagera River which, in turn, flows into River Victoria.

Volcanoes National Park
To the north lies the Volcanoes National Park, this protects the Rwandan portion of the Virunga Mountains, a Transforntier Conservation Area that includes protected areas in Uganda and the DRC. Forming a complex of mostly dormant volcanoes, it includes Rwanda’s highest point, Mount Karisimbi (4,507m), and the two active ones, Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamuragira. While more famous for its mountain gorillas and other primates, volcanoes boast almost 165 bird species, 17 Endemic to the area.

Nyungwe National Park
The Nyungwe National Park, a tropical mountain rainforest and one of the Rwanda main protected areas, and lies on the south western slopes of the highland region that forms the great divide between the Congo and Nile drainage system. The park protects one of the region’s largest and oldest remaining patches of montane rainforest and is home to 310 species of birds.
The forests Rwanda are increasingly being sought out for the incredible birding opportunities, particularly the numerous Albertine Rift endemics; 27 to be found in Nyungwe, the highest concentration to be found in any park in Africa.
Amongst them are the; Regal Sunbird, Cinnyris regius, Red-Collared Babbler, Kupeornis rufocinctus, Rwenzori Turaco, Gallirex johnstoni, handsome spurfowl, pternistis nobilis, rwenzori Batis, Batis diops, Grauer’s Swamp Wabler, Bradypterus graueri, blue-headed Sunbird, Cyanomitra oritis, possibly the rarest of all endemic birds would be the Albertine Owlet, Glaucidium albertinium, known from only five records in the area.

The Akagera National Park
The Akagera National Park in the north east covers a sizeable chunk of savannah. A mix of rolling grassland interspersed with broad-leafed and acacia woodland, these lower-lying lands are dissected b the Akagera River.
The sought after species here would be; red-faced barbet, lybius rubrifacies, lanius souzae, and white-collared oliveback, nesocharis ansorgei, amongst others. The park has a mosaic of wetlands and lakes, along the course of the Akagera River and the eastern boundary.
Amidst the papyrus and reed beds some of the prized species to be found are; carruthers’s cisticola, cisticola carruthersi, papyrus canary, serinus koliensis and more

Wetlands and Marshes
Covering up to just over 10% of the country, they include Rugezi, the fourth of the main protected areas, as well as two other locations, Akanyaru Wetlands and Nyabarongo Wetlands, that have been declared Important Birding Areas by Birdlife International.
‘Any serious birding expedition should incorporate both the wetter forested and more mountainous western regions, the drier savannahs of the east and the many wetlands and marshes.’

JBA- Kenya Safari