Chobe National Park

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Flutterby
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Re: Chobe National Park

Post by Flutterby » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:58 am

Lovely pics. \O

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Re: Chobe National Park

Post by Lisbeth » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:55 am

Giving right of way to elephants

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BY DON PINNOCK - 19 OCTOBER 2016 - AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC

Some cities have good bicycle lanes, some towns have excellent footpaths, but Kasane in Botswana has well-stomped elephant corridors. Of course they’re also used by warthogs, impala and any other wild animals that need to amble down to the Chobe River for a drink.

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It’s not uncommon to see traffic on the town’s main road backed up as a family of tuskers plod unconcernedly across the tarmac. If a lion pride happens to be on the prowl or the weather is inclement, warthogs take refuge in the town’s culverts.

Of course some locals – who don’t seem to realise that Kasane’s existence depends on the surrounding Chobe National Park – don’t approve of the wild traffic. But an NGO appropriately called Elephants Without Borders (EWB), is holding firm. For many years it has been fighting for the sanctity of the corridors and putting up warning signs in case visitors get spooked or have the temerity to hoot.

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“If we want to maintain our environment in the future, we have to work out how people and wildlife can co-exist.” said Tempe Adams, who’s been monitoring the corridors for EWB. “That’s true for small areas like Kasane, entire countries and transnational migration routes.”

Right then we were sitting in her vehicle watching elephants peacefully munching mopane leaves next to a quarry. Later we paused to let a large cow and her floppy-trunked calf cross the road to an area called The Seep, which appeared to be an evening gathering spot for tuskers, slurping water and throwing sand over their shoulders.

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People were fishing in the river, their backs turned towards the elephants not 50 metres behind them and some mango-tree mechanics had their heads under a jalopy bonnet, ignoring the large wild creatures plodding past them.

People from Kasane must be among the most chilled in the world about having wildlife around them. In a survey Tempe did among Botswana residents, 90% said they liked seeing elephants and one in three went so far as to they loved and appreciated them in the natural world.

There were some (11%) – ‘probably outsiders’ according to Tempe – who didn’t like elephants and said they posed a danger and caused damage. Those who liked them around listed their reasons, including the wildlife being a national heritage, interesting, aesthetically pleasing, good for tourism and because they were ‘here first.’

“Most responses were really interesting,” said Tempe. “They said they enjoyed seeing elephants. When I asked them why, they told me they could relate to them because they lived in families like us, were here before people and belonged to the ecosystem.”

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However, the large number of elephants in Botswana did worry respondents, who said this needed to be managed. This is an increasing problem for the country which is becoming an ‘elephant refuge’ as massive poaching in neighbouring states dives the animals into areas of greatest protection.

Kasane corridors are a microcosm of a much greater issue related to migratory corridors within and between countries in the Southern and Central African region. One of the main goals of the Kavango Zambezi Conservation Area development (KAZA) which was established between Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola and Botswana, was to facilitate and protect these corridors. But with poaching and problematic cooperation between its member countries, it is failing to do this. The result has been a steady migration of elephants into Botswana, where they are well protected by the Botswana Defense Force.

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The results of EWB’s just-released Great Elephant Survey are a wake-up call. Elephant numbers in all but a few Southern African states are declining, some alarmingly. In Tanzania the population has crashed by 60% in five years, in Mozambique by 53% over the same period. The survey found that between 2010 and 2014, savanna elephants died at the rate of one every two hours. The population now stands at an estimated 363,057, a drop over eight years of 144,000. With this decline, the areas surveyed will lose half their elephant population every nine years. Elephant deaths are exceeding the birthrate.

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Human population increase in Africa is also causing fragmentation of wildlife habitats and increasing conflict with rural and urban communities. “We need to know where wildlife is moving, and where likely conflict points will be,” said Tempe. “As armed struggle recedes, people are moving towards resources such as rivers and nutrient-rich soils which are used by wildlife. And in urban areas such as Kasane populations are growing.”

Elephants seem equally keen to avoid confrontations. Along the Chobe River they avoid daily traffic times, restricting road crossings to night journeys. Acknowledged corridors and human willingness to share space with wild animals are key principles towards which Elephants Without Borders has been working for many years. In Kasane – and in much of Botswana – people seem to understand that elephants are a far older species that we.

We are people in an over-peopled planet but are, in truth, the strangers in their strange land. In terms of biological seniority, they deserve the right of way. For more information on this topic, a research paper on Kasane corridors can be found here!
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Lisbeth
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Re: Chobe National Park

Post by Lisbeth » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:57 am

I will tell you my personal impression, when I have been there in January 2017 \O
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Re: Chobe National Park

Post by nan » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:50 am

good idea \O
if... big trucks are ok to decrease speed O-/
Kgalagadi lover… for ever

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Flutterby
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Re: Chobe National Park

Post by Flutterby » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:29 pm

I think it's great...if they can all live happily together. \O

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Mel
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Re: Chobe National Park

Post by Mel » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:29 pm

I agree with you, Flutts :-)



Somehow I got the idea to just sit in your car at night and wait for the animals to come. No need for expensive camps with waterholes then ..0..
God put me on earth to accomplish a certain amount of things. Right now I'm so far behind that I'll never die.

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Re: Chobe National Park

Post by Flutterby » Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:21 pm

:yes:

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Re: Chobe National Park

Post by Flutterby » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:45 am

PRESS RELEASE- MASS DROWNING OF BUFFALOES IN CHOBE RIVER

The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism wishes to inform the public of a mass drowning of Buffaloes in the Chobe River along the border of the Chobe National Park, on the edge of the Kabulabula Peninsula.

Initial investigations by authorities on both sides of the Botswana / Namibia Border suggest that an exceptionally large buffalo herd was grazing in Namibia when they stampeded into the Chobe river.

The cause of the stampede is still uncertain and under investigation, however initial indications are that they were being chased by a pride of lions. It is estimated that more than 400 animals drowned due to the massive movement of buffalo trampling, and falling from steep river banks.

Carcasses have largely been removed, most being harvested by community members who live along the river in Namibia.

This is not an unusual occurrence as mass drownings have occurred before in the Chobe River notably off Sedudu Island.

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Re: Chobe National Park

Post by Flutterby » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:49 am

bush 24Like Page
9 hrs ·
500 buffaloes drown!?!

In an incredible scene lions chased a huge herd of over a 1000 buffaloes into the Chobe river with a disastrous outcome for the poor bovines.

In fact we had been sitting with the herd just yesterday morning as they made their way up the banks on the Botswana side of the river after feeding off the fresh flush of green grass left on the floodplains of the Chobe river's receding waters, typical for this time of year.

As the mid day temperature increased they sought shade and then made their way back to the river for a drink opposite the Serondela Lodge area later on. We didn't realise that this was the beginning of a really sad incident.

To their west was the large pride of 25 lions that had split in to 2 groups while to their east we counted 11 lions with 2 big males that have been taking over the area. (There were also 2 brown hyenas in the area)! The lions were hungry and we had just watched them miss catching a zebra.

As the buffaloes made their way to the water and the lions looked for food a frightening scene played out last night. A scene which actually plays out like this most years but just not usually on this sort of scale. I have seen 40 dead buffalo which died like this before but not 400-500 (not official figures but the estimate).

What happened is that the lions chased the buffalo which panicked and ran. Although they were in good condition compared to normal they are weaker at this time of year because of it being the end of the dry season so they panicked and ran into the water and so many drowned. The banks were also high in this area and the night so dark that it was just the worst set of circumstances that meant they had no escape route and thus so many died.

Its raw nature and nothing to do with humans. It's a scene that has no doubt played out like this over the centuries in an area which has such huge numbers of wildlife.

This will make a serious dent in the buffalo of the area but they should be able to bounce back from this over time. I do have one thought and one question though and not an argument but something to discuss. It is interesting when Botswana do all the protecting of wildlife that the Namibians come and claim all the meat? The buffalo only live in Botswana and died in no-mans land.

I'm happy a lot of the meat was used this time though and that it didn't all rot (and even pollute the river). The same scene plays out almost every year where animals die here in the river and the meat is always taken from nature. It's something that probably needs to be looked into as if the animals die in nature then the dead animals should provide food for the predators and not just humans as usually happens. In this case though everyone will reap the rewards of a dramatic incident: both man and beast!

Thanks a lot to Simon Micheletti of Serondela Lodge for allowing me to share these images. I have a lot of shots of the herd just before disaster struck but have a look at one of Simon's images of the huge herd in the plain to get an idea of how big it was. This is one of Africa's last true wild areas!

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Re: Chobe National Park

Post by Richprins » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:54 am

Very interesting indeed! :yes: :ty:
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