Liz's Tanzanian safari pages Selous
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African Painted Hunting Dog, stretching

Selous Game Reserve: Wildlife

Selous has the largest known concentration of African Painted Hunting Dog in East Africa. When we arrived at our camp (now called Selous Safari Camp) they told us that a pack of dogs had been seen and would we like to go to see them? Would we?
Duncan's Wild Dog sketches

We saw our cases safely into our tents and dropped our hand baggage, grabbed the camera gear and sketch book and ran to the vehicle to make sure we saw them. However, the female was pregnant, and the pack stayed around for our entire five-night visit.
African Painted Hunting Dogs (fka African Wild Dogs) are not closely related to domestic dogs, but they are susceptible to pet dog diseases such as canine distemper, and this is one of the reasons why they have declined so much in recent years, together with direct persecution and being pushed out of land wanted for livestock rearing.

African Painted Hunting Dog

They feed exclusively on mammals, and live and hunt as a pack. Nowadays packs average about ten adults. Only one pair breeds, with the subordinate adults helping to bring up the puppies.

Greater Kudu females Greater Kudu male
Greater Kudu are very shy - in the Selous booklet one is shown hiding behind a tree, so no problems with the Trades Descriptions Act there! They are found in the wooded areas near the river in Selous, but in other areas they can survive without water if their browse is sufficiently moist. The males seemed particularly shy. I was always keen to get a nice portrait of a male to show off the beautiful corkscrew horns, but they weren't playing! They were always walking rapidly away, or peeking out from behind bushes.
The Greater Kudu in Etosha, Namibia seemed much less shy.
The females don't have horns, and vary quite a bit in colour, though all all seemed to be less grey than the males. It seems that they may be influenced in their choice of mate by the size of their horns, which may be symbols of rank, since the males use their horns in wrestling.
Large Monitor Lizards can be seen at the sides of the river, easily viewabe from the boats, which are surprisingly manoeverable, and can be taken right up to the edge of the water. Nile Monitor
African Skimmers standing African Skimmers have longer lower mandibles for its special feeding technique of skimming over the water 'fishing'.
Brindled Gnu (15K*)

The Brindled Wildebeest (Gnu) of Selous
is a different sub-species to the White-bearded Wildebeest of northern Tanzania and Kenya.

African Spoonbill (12K)

African Spoonbill, which feeds by wading slowly into water with its spatulate bill immersed, then sweeping its bill from side to side

Hooded Vulture

Hooded Vulture

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All text and images © Liz Leyden, 2008
Email: liz [at] v-liz [dot] com
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