Finally! I have been waiting to see some wild life here! I have been in Angola for almost a year now, and to be totally honest, I have been quite disappointed to not be able to see any wild life. What I mean is, I realise that Luanda is a huge capital and one doesn't tend to see wild animals in cities, but since we live a bit on the south side I thought I would have seen something by now. Or in one of our travels to the other cities. But no. African wildlife is in danger, it must be protected, hence the national parks.
Now we all know Angola is war ripped and only now starting to build itself in different areas, this includes the animal preservation. One such a park in Angola is Quicama (Kissama) National Park.
We did a short half day tour to Kissama. Our "guide" was the director himself. South African, has been in Angola for over 10 years, managing the park and maintaining animals, capturing from the wild and bringing into the park for protection. Listening to him was fantastic, you can truly hear the passion in his voice for these animals.
He drove us around explaining the state of the park; current and past, the politics in Angola regarding national parks and animal conservation and about the Palanca Negra Gigante; Giant Sable Antelope: Angola’s national icon. They are considered to be the most beautiful living antelopes in the world. And this species is found nowhere else in the world but in the miombo woodlands of Malanje.
We saw a lot antelopes and gnus (yes, you'll be pleased to see some deer ass since they were mostly running away from me), saw a giraffe! And monkeys and huge birds. In this park there are no lions, due to the lack of "proper" food for them, not sure what that means, but there are hyenas and leopards. We didn't get to see them because it was not hot enough. Which was also the reason we didn't see elephants although we went to their drinking and bathing spot at the right time of the day.
Here are some photos from our trip. Unfortunately I was using only a 70-200mm lens so its a bit like playing "where's Wally" in my photos...
|on our way|
|and off they go|
|unfortunately I don't know what this is, but impressive size it was|
|looks like paintings on his side|
|bungalows to stay overnight, with aircon of course...|
|Look closely- you'll see a pair of amazing twisted horns|
|The variation of vegetation is bewildering|
|He was a curious giraffe, checking us out for ages|
|what a beauty|
|this is the elephants watering hole|
|on a hot hot day this pond would be filled with elephants|
I must admit, I was a little disappointed to not see any elephants, but according to our guide, it was not hot enough for them to come down to drink. I couldn't see why not since there were five of us in the jeep and the smell was not pleasant at all.. Not hot enough you say..
He said they are roughly 10 meters from us in the bush. But there is not point trying to see them because the bush is really thick and dangerous. He did say that if the wind would change now, we could see trunks rising about the bush. How funny that would have been!
|We didn't catch the elephants but here's what they left behind|
|Our South African guide|
|majestic looking animal|
|not afraid of us at all|
|curious little thing|
|male in heat|
|he was performing a dance for us|
|and on his way|
I had a wonderful time, and it definitely left me yearning for more! The guide said the best would be an overnight stay and a really early ride. So I'm trying to lobby my boyfriend for a long weekend at the park!
|last for the best eh?|