Friday, September 12, 2008

Kiambi and the Lower Zambezi River

Above, the Lower Zambezi River from Kiambi -
in the distance, on the right, is the confluence of the
Kafue River and the Zambezi River
In no particular order: all creatures wild and wonderful, all creatures great and small, some creatures from the Lower Zambezi, we did not see them all! Above and below, African (duh) Elephant - from the boat it was relatively safe to get quite close to the elephans and hippos
Below, Hippos! Wikipedia tells us: Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, their closest living relatives are cetaceans (whales, porpoise, etc.). The common ancestor of whales and hippos split from other even-toed ungulates around 60 million years ago. hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive animals in the world, and are often regarded as the most dangerous animal in Africa. There are an estimated 125,000 to 150,000 hippos remaining throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, of which Zambia (40,000) and Tanzania (20,000-30,000) have the largest populations. They are still threatened by poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth, and by habitat loss.

Above, bouganvilla, showing off. I believe the bouganvilla is a native of South America - how it got here, one never knows but it is everywhere. The actual flower of the plant is small usually white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colors associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow.
Below, the Lilac Breasted Roller Coracias caudataus - one of our favorite birds. It is usually found alone or in pairs; it perches at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from so it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, frogs, small birds and rodents moving about at ground level.
Above, Tourists in their habitat. Below, A white-fronted (?) bee-eater, something I had last seen in 1994 at the Bronx Zoo - much nicer to see them (and their cliff nests) in Zambia.

Above, crocs. They are there one minute and then...disappear underwater. There was absolutely NO temptation to go for a swim. Besids the crocs and the hippos there are also 'tiger fish' which we might like to eat but I would not want to be eaten by.
Below, The African Openbill Anastomus lamelligerus, with its 'wide, rather nutcracker-like gap between the mandibles.' We saw many birds: storks, egrets, herons, cormorants, geese, ducks (even there is the Mallard Duck in Zambia), hawks, vultures, kingfishers, hornbills, plovers and the massive fish eagle.

Above, two Egyptian Geese Alopochen aegyptiacus.

Below, two fisherman in a carved canoe

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