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Loliondo Controlled Area, Tanzania

14 September 2007

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During my too-brief two days at Suyan with my Swiss-soon-to-be-Tanzanian guide Gian we explored the northwest of the Serengeti, parts of the Loliondo (a buffer area partially controlled by the Masai) and visited a Masai village (see next article). Despite a relative dearth of game in the area we had a fascinating encounter with some Vervet Monkey mothers and their young and then had tremendous luck to come upon a Lioness stalking a pair of Warthogs. Getting unbelievably low she got closer and closer until the Warthogs suddenly became nervous of our vehicle (odd given our distance away) and strolled straight into her path. Amazingly enough, she did not pounce when they were only a few yards away, and shortly she lost her chance. It was nevertheless fascinating to watch her hunt

But the main photographic opportunities came within the confines of Suyan camp itself. First we maniacally took shots of a Flap-necked Chameleon we had found and then had the extreme luck to get within 10 feet of a Narina Trogon, a very shy bird that is nearly infamous for being hard to find, especially odd given it’s bright plumage (in fact, just before the encounter I had been reading an article in which a known South African ornithologist had jokingly proclaimed it a mythical bird given that he never seen one in 20 years of birding).

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