Sunday, November 04, 2012

Nature...from creepy to graceful.

Things have gotten batty around Ndola.  The annual fruit bat migration began about 2 weeks ago, and upwards of 8 million bats are making their way from the Congo to Kasanka National Park in Zambia.  Fruit trees are now in season - so for these huge fruit bats (with wingspans up to 3 feet across) it's like tucking into a Thanksgiving dinner.  And like unwelcome guests - they over stay their welcome.

My friend Yvonne, who has been my tour guide, brought me to a friend's house to show how her trees have been taken over by these creepily interesting flying rodents.
When I first saw the trees, I thought they had large nests hanging from them.  Turns out they are thousands of bats hanging upside down.
The bats take off every night at 6:15 p.m. and return around 3 a.m.   They make a racket and the sky is blackened when they all take off.  Their wings are translucent and when the moon is full and they are flying you can see right through them.

Since arriving in Ndola, we've been told we should visit Nsobe Game Camp just south of us.  I told Roger he needed to take a day off, so we went to check it out.
The camp has a variety of accommodations including chalets and tents.  These tents are raised on wooden platforms with a full bathroom.  Price is about $80 per person a night with dinner and full breakfast.
We followed the rules
Having another "pinch myself" day realizing I'm living in Zambia!
The game camp also raises cattle, fish, chickens, etc for the restaurant and a shop on the property. Next time we'll bring a cooler with us and stock up on meat as it was absolutely delicious
After lunch, we went on a game drive with a guide.  The camp covers 1500 hectares with 15 types of antelopes, zebras, giraffes, monkeys, and a multitude of birds.  We saw them all.

Water buck
Huge termite mound

The butt ends of zebras

We saw 5 giraffes - one of my favorite African animals, but this was the only one that was easily seen. 
Not sure what kind of tree this was, but the roots climbed the outside of the trunk
Fish farming is done here as well
We will definitely return to Nsobe Game Camp for a weekend.  What better place to eat great food, relax by the water in a lovely tent..and maybe see a giraffe wander by.

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.



AfriBats said...

Would you add your bat photos as a citizen-science observation to the AfriBats project on iNaturalist ( AfriBats will use your observations to better understand bat distributions and help protect bats in Africa.

If you decide to share your observations, please locate your picture on the map as precisely as possible to maximise the scientific value of your records.

Many thanks!

Madalene Kinley said...

The bats look simaler to the ones in Tonga. They smell terrible. We
are fine just got new false teeth in Mexico last week so much faster than at home, far less money
We are going back to Yuma Thursday
having dinner with Myrna & Charlie,
my cousin. Jim Holtom phoned the other evening so are having coffee
with him on the 23 of Nov.
Talk to you later.
Love Mom & Herb

AfriBats said...

Many thanks for sharing your observation with AfriBats! On iNaturalist, could you please log in and add your observation to the project (there should be a message on the dashboard).

All the best, and please share additional bat observations from Africa.

AfriBats said...

Sorry to bother you again, but could you please login at iNaturalist and add your observation to the AfriBat-project? There should be a message pending on the dashboard of your profile. Many thanks.