Weather and Landscape
These days, misty mornings and evenings are accompanied by cool winds which bring some nice fresh air – refreshing after last month’s hot and dry conditions. The humidity has been higher than last month, and usually culminates in an evening shower of rain, averaging around 30mm of rain per storm.
Lango Bai still holds many secrets which we are yet to discover. This month we were blown away with different sightings of bongo from the camp deck! There seems to be a resident breeding herd of twelve to fourteen individuals, one big healthy male, a sub-adult male and the rest females. To our surprise there is also an old lone male that often visited the bai as well; he has been encountered twice while walking - what a beauty!
Forest buffalo, blue duiker, marsh mongoose and a couple of bull elephants visited the Lango Bai during most evenings, and we were able to view them at sunrise before they moved back into the forests.
In the Ngaga area we had wonderful sightings of the elusive chimpanzee. The chimps were attracted to the fallen fruits, and we were attracted to them by their vocalisations to one another. This particular troop of chimps is not habituated but they were quite relaxed in our presence. The primates slowly made their way back into the marantaceae thickets but not before having a good look at us. To our surprise, a curious youngster climbed up a tree not too far from us to have a further peek for a minute or two. He then proceeded to ‘whoop’ at us before disappearing into the forest undergrowth.
On the gorilla side, we enjoyed very interesting sightings of the Jupiter Group as they spent much time around Dr Bermejo’s old camp which was called Ndzehi. This group is quite large in size and there are quite a number of youngsters which is great news for the conservation of this species. Watching the youngsters boisterously playing with each other is quite a heart-warming experience to say the least.
Birds and Birding
Fiery-breasted bushshrikes are always a highlight when seen, and this month we enjoyed a number of sightings of these beautiful birds around the Ngaga area.
Stephanie, our new guide, has been spending lots of time birding in the area since she arrived two weeks ago, and these were her birding highlights so far: shinning-blue kingfisher, Hartlaub’s duck, black-collared lovebird, great-blue turaco, black bee-eater, black-casqued wattled hornbill, streaky throated barbet, black and white flycatcher, shining drongo and banded prinia.