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Which wild animals have you seen while hiking?

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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Scott » Wed Oct 15, 2003 10:28 pm

>Scott: where would you recommend doing a hiking trip in >Africa? Kenya, Tanz, Zimbabwe, Botswana? Specific >parks?

If you don't like crowds, you will probably want to avoid Kilimanjaro, and to a lesser extent Mt. Kenya. If you want peaks that are fairly easy to get to and not too crowded, try Mt. Elgon or maybe Mt. Meru. I posted a page on Mt. Elgon, but our film was lost on this trip, so if anyone has photos, please post them. Check the page out. The Simien Mountains in Ethiopia are also great. One of the best mountain areas in East Africa is the Mulanje in Malawi. The Rwenzori and Virunga are also great if the area is politically stable. The Rwenzori was closed when we were there in Dec 1997.

For technical difficulty, the only difficult peaks you will find are Mt. Kenya and the Rwenzori.

I have guidebook information on a few peaks in Zimbabwe and Tanzania that I have not climbed. Botwana dosn't seem to have any real mountains, but there are facinating game parks.

As long as you don't book your trip through a US travel agent, expect to pay $1500-$2200 on a 3 week trip to Africa depending on where you live in the US. This should be enough to cover round-trip airfare, a 5-7 day climb, a 3-4 day safari, all hotels, food, transport, misc travel, etc.
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Craig Peer » Wed Oct 15, 2003 10:42 pm

" But some of the best birds I've seen have been double-breasted hip-twitchers " -

those are more frequently sighted in warm weather and at the beach, aren't they ( and at the Lost Arrow )?
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Nelson » Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:48 pm

Yeah, the hip-twitchers are common on warm beaches, will sometimes congregate in flocks.

I have seen a picture of one on Lost Arrow. That photographer had a lucky sighting, extremely rare. The field guides don't mention them in places like that.
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Nelson » Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:50 pm

Scott: thanks for Africa mountain info. WIll file that away for future reference.

What about a walking wildlife-viewing safari? It could be totally flat country. Any recommendations?
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Diego Sahagún » Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:25 am

Marc, that counts as an animal
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Finley » Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:29 am

saw a few bighorn sheep in Red Rock on Saturday (Oct. 11)
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Frostbite » Thu Oct 16, 2003 4:45 am

I saw the all elusive black lab on the summit of Mt Hood.
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Scott » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:01 pm

"What about a walking wildlife-viewing safari? It could be totally flat country. Any recommendations?"

There are several companies that do these in the Crater Highlands and Serengetti. Check Lonly Planet's Trekking in East Africa or East Africa books. Also the hike to Mt. Meru could be considered a walking safari as you will likely see several animals. You can also walk through Hells Gate National Park in Kenya guided or un-guided. This place has many, many animals and you are likely to see them.
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Sam Mills » Thu Oct 16, 2003 3:34 pm

Hey Misha,

You didn't list the little Pika we saw at Mid Pal high camp.
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby flechenbones » Thu Oct 16, 2003 4:07 pm

Watching animals is also one of my biggest hobbies. While I've seen many animals in N. America and Europe, little compares to a trip to Africa. I recently returned from my 3rd trip to southern Africa and I can recommend some places. Tourism is booming in S. Africa and it seems like private preserves are popping up all over the place. They are expensive and too cushy for my tastes, plus I would feel like I'm in a driving zoo of sorts.

For an easy do it yourself driving safari in S. Africa one of the best places is Kruger National Park. It is a very large park (~ 2 million hectares) with an abundance of wildlife (elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, white rhino, buffalo, hyaena, baboons, etc.) including endangered species that are difficult to find in many African parks (black rhino, African hunting dog). The birdlife in Kruger is also superb.

In terms of walking safaris, you do not typically see as much as when driving , but they are a completely different experience and much more exciting. They are still relatively affordable in Kruger compared to other parks.. They last 3 days and are quite amazing. We saw a hyaena eating an impala (after stealing it from a leopard), elephants, giraffe, white rhino, lions, wildebeest, crocodiles, and a variety of bovids (impala, kudu, etc.). The highlight, however, was getting charged by a black rhino. Thankfully, the guides deterred the rhino from finishing the charge with a warning shot. The entire incident got my blood pumping.

S. Africa also has fantastic backpacking and peakbagging opportunities in the Drakensberg Mtns - the inspiration for the mountains in Lord of the Rings. I went on a 4 day backpacking trip there to visit 5 caves full of Bushmen rock art and I will definitely head back to the area next time I'm in S. Africa. Although I have only climbed a bit near Johannesburg, good rock climbing exists in S. Africa, especially the longer routes down near Cape Town.

Otherwise, if you would like a more remote safari I would recommend heading to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. It is a much more private experience and there is nothing like knowing that there are hyaenas and lions outside the tent (bring a pee bottle!). We had a territorial battle at our tent site between 2 hyaena packs. Three lions eating a Cape Buffalo was a great sight there as well. You will see many of the same species as at Kruger, but with Homo sapiens sightings much more rarely.

You will see fewer people on safari in southern Africa than in E. Africa based on my conversations with people that have traveled to both areas.
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby marcminish » Thu Oct 16, 2003 6:20 pm

Sorry guys, didn't get any pics of the beast, but I did manage to catagorize it. Without a doubt, I spotted the infamous "UFIT" species. In layman's terms, this stands for "Ugly Friend In Tow."

Of course, preceeding the monster was a variety of the double breasted hip twitchers, otherwise I would have tried to chase the ufit away with a stick... as in to throw the stick and see if the ufit would go and fetch it.
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Diego Sahagún » Thu Oct 16, 2003 11:45 pm

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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby marcminish » Sun Oct 19, 2003 7:32 pm

Diego- Yeah, your's is definitely prettier and more interesting, but they probably have same bite. Do you guys in Spain have the expression "coyote ugly?" It means if you wake up in the morning and find a hideously ugly girl asleep on your arm that you chew your arm off (like a coyote in a bear trap) rather than risk waking her up by moving your arm.
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Diego Sahagún » Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:06 am

No Marc, neither we have coyotes
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Re: Wich wild animals have you seen while hiking?

Postby Scott » Mon Oct 20, 2003 1:56 pm

"hideously ugly girl asleep on your arm "

Very shallow, guys judging a girl by the way she looks. You should be judging girls on the things that really matter such as how much gear she has, how well she can lead a climb, how many peaks she has done, etc. These are the inner qualities that really matter.
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