Saturday, 21 February 2015

SATURDAY CRITTERS - Sunrise walk on the Wild Side in Malawi

Well I hope you are up bright and early today for our armed guard has arrived and we are leaving for the Nkhota – Kota Wildlife Reserve.  Before we left we saw this dung crawling with small insects and also saw this yellow butterfly below.

We passed through the gate to the Reserve and then parked the car and started our walk on foot. 

All ready then?  Off we go.

It was extremely hot and Judith was lucky she had brought her African cloth to cover her head.  My camera and binoculars weighed heavy round my neck in this heat.

This bird was quite a distance away so the shot below is cropped so that you can see it better.  It is Arnot’s Chat Arnot's Chat - Myrmecocichla arnoti 
17 cm; 36–44 g and was the only one I saw in Malawi.

A striking, black-and-white chat, most similar to Mountain Wheatear (but ranges nonoverlapping). Male all-black with white cap and shoulders; female lacks white cap, but has conspicuous white throat and upper breast, often scaled with black. Juv. is duller, with a mainly black head and throat, but has white shoulder patches. Voice: Song is a varied series of canary-like, warbling whistles; ; call is a quiet, whistled ‘fick' or ‘feee'.

It is restricted to mature miombo, mopane and teak woodlands with an open understorey. Occurs in pairs or family groups; lively and conspicuous birds, moving frequently from tree to tree, dropping onto the ground at intervals to forage.

You can see the type of terrain we were walking through. 

There were very few birds and this one is a Black eyed Bulbul.

                    We had been walking for about an hour then we came 
             to enormous rocks which at times were quite challenging to climb.

We had to be very careful we didn’t fall in the river as the guide said there were Crocodiles in it!

Passed a Laughing Dove and I have to say I was really struggling in the heat.  How are you all doing?

When we reached the top of some rocks, we stopped as Judith had brought some refreshments. You can see Annika scoffing the crisps below.

Off we go again.  These are my feet and I was amazed at the wonderful patterns on some of the rocks.

We came across a number of Helmeted Guineafowl and you can just see the last one disappearing into the bush.

At last we came to a larger river where there were a lot of Crocodiles and one solitary Green-backed Heron.

There was a lot of Crocodiles just moving beneath the water and some out of the water!  I was very reassured  to have the armed guard with us.

These were huge Crocodiles.  I have a short video of them below.

CLICK HERE if the video does not appear below.

I hope you enjoyed this post and are not exhausted from the walk and great heat. 

I am linking with SATURDAY CRITTERS.

Thanks for visiting and enjoy your weekend.

Many thanks for all your comments on this post.


  1. Oh, I do feel for you in that heat and having your camera AND binoculars around your neck! The terrain looks like it was quite challenging, too. The river looked so nice and refreshing by the big rocks; had there not been crocs in there, it would have been nice to splash a bit to cool off.

    Thanks for stopping by to see my Saturday Critters. :-)


  2. Wonderful exploration of the wild life sanctuary. There is so much to see.

  3. What a fantastic post. The dung had me scratching and the crocs whincing. The heat had me exhausted but there were some great birds in there too. Have a great weekend.

  4. What a wonderful series.
    Must have been exciting to meet a crocodile.
    Have a nice weekend..

  5. I felt like I was on this trek with you. I can relate to the heat having been in East African desert areas. I'm so glad you didn't fall into the river!

  6. Hi Margaret,
    Beautiful series of images of the hike in the African country.
    Also nice to see a picture of you, you can see that it is very hot.
    Beautiful crocodiles, be happy you did not fall into the river.
    I wish you a very good weekend.
    Best regards, Irma

  7. A challenging but very interesting walk. No hat Margaret ..tut..tut!!

  8. hot day, rugged terrain, and crocodiles! what could go wrong? :)

  9. Great walk! I loved the rocks, the river and the crocodiles. I'm glad you didn't fall into the river though. Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. A beautiful trek! Those crocs would make me nervous too.

  11. Interesting area,but certainly not an easy walk.

  12. Wonderful walk Margaret. I love that the three generations all did it together.... That's so great. Carrying the camera and gear in that heat is hard work! And yeah, as I said yesterday I really love alligators and I would really love your crocs I know, but have no desire to go swimming with them. I'm very glad none of you fell in!

  13. A fabulous post - not one bit exhausted here, but quite exhilarated by the things you saw and the areas you covered. Thanks for sharing.

  14. a day rich of everything. I hope you did not get burned.

  15. Fascinating shots! So interesting that the very first photo of the sign of the preserve says no walking allowed in the Reserve, and then it is followed by all of you walking in the area. Quite a crocodile.... and what a great video. Something to stay your distance from!