Back to Panga and the lake. We visited the scar in the earth, and the cliff behind the school at panga village.
We headed straight for a geological formation the large mammal team had found awhile ago. I meant to visit it yesterday but we did not have the time. Its in the forest of Panga and we explored a bit in the hopes of finding some animals.
We found some old buffalo horns but no other animals.
We headed back to my favorite lake again for an hour.
The rest of the day was spent exploring the hills of Panga. Ghislain can drive anywhere with his landcruiser so that helped speed things up. The area has been heavily logged, we heard chainsaws in the distance and throughout the day found old logs and logging roads off the main road.
At the end of the day we ran into the small mammal team again and I photographed them setting up their final station in the village. A nice change of background for those small mammal photos.
*Better late than never! I continued to write in my blog/journal for the rest of the trip but never found the time to load the text and photos*
I’ve got my own team now, we are gonna canvas the area and take photos of everything, but focused on landscapes and any large mammals we see. Its me, Guillaumier and Ghislain, and the awesome jeep landcruiser. Its basically a landcruiser cut in 1/2 so it has all the power but is small and agile.
We headed to the beach near the Boume Boume, I had no idea it was so easy to get to the beach from there, the small mammal team had scooped it out while I was in Gamba. We walked north and south along the beach.
There was an interesting spot to the south were an old mangrove forest had died. I guess it was due to the fresh water no longer exiting at that spot, and the salt water taking over, but I am not sure. But I was sure that it was dead, none of the trees were alive except for a few on the edges. Kind of erie.
To the north we hit the Boume Boume where it exits, not as dynamic but we did find more lagoons and mangroves that were alive. A nice pair of hippo tracks too.
Afterwards we headed to Panga and I took photos along the road. I had not been to Panga much so I was kept busy with new things to photograph. We ran into the small mammal team and they mentioned some ducks in a lake near the road, so off we went.
The lake is the flush with life and I could sit and fire away. The ducks are hunting fish, and there are some other birds that hang out in the area in addition to insects. I spent the rest of the day here until it was time to head back to camp.
The last day with the large mammal team was one of the hardest. We went to Panga, which is hilly, a stark contrast to the flatness of the areas we’ve recently been in. The forest has been logged and is heavily hunted so we did not see many animal signs, it was very quiet except for birds.
It is tick infested, much like the previous area with the small mammal team. The forest is a lot of sharp ups and downs. The toughest area so far, one minute you are walking on level ground and the next it’s a straight drop into a ravine and then a straight climb up out of the ravine.
In the afternoon I headed back to Gamba for a break. I am in the home stretch and after 3 weeks I will be back home. I have had a great time on this trip but I am starting to fade a bit. I will go all out on this last segment and I will be happy to be home in August.
The small mammal team had a lot of captures today, most of them were the Mus’s (small mice) but we had a few of the larger praomyas. The video went exceptionally well, it surprised me in fact. Of all the teams the small mammals have been the most sedentary and repetitive so that might be why the video went so well.
The praomyas at the new site have all had ticks in the mouth, ugh, talk about painful looking. We weren’t sure what they were at first, but zooming into the photo in Aperture showed the little white legs of the ticks.
I went to the coastal forest today with the large mammal team. Hadrien had told me it was a beautiful place, plus I need photos and video of them working in the forest and with the camera traps they are using.
Wow, I really had no idea how pretty it is! An open forest with cool gnarly trees, and spots where all the trees are leaning one way, I assume because of the wind from the beach. I realized back at camp that the sound of the beach in the background that I thought would be nice, isn’t so nice in the video. But it may be the crappy headphones I have, back home I can listen to the audio with nice headphones and maybe it will be different.
Lots of traffic on the team’s camera traps. We also ran into a few monkeys, and I smelled that musky smell again, not sure if its chimps or the larger monkeys. It brings back memories of Goualougo, so I am thinking it’s chimps. It’s not the strong body odor smell you get with gorillas. I’ll ask around in camp, Chris (on the small mammal team) might know, he was also noticing it when we were in the forest.
I am reminded whenever I go into the forest how much Goualougo boot camp really taught me a lot. An amazing forest, pygmies, and Dave and Crickette, cannot really do better then that for teachers.