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The night is dark and (sometimes) full of animals!

We’re in the Western Sahara searching for a Sand Cat. You can read more about that here. The way to see it is to drive the road between Dakhla and Aousserd up and down at night and then spotlight in the desert hoping to encounter a Sand Cat or another nocturnal animal.

LennartVerheuvel

Birds of the Western Sahara

A little while ago I was in the Western Sahara looking for a new cat species: Sand Cat! Although searching for the cat mostly means going out at night, naturally we also went out during the day. Birding is namely mostly done during the day and less during the night. There aren’t a lot of birds in the Sahara but the birds that do live here are top notch! Many birders get very happy when they see these birds and I was no different.

LennartVerheuvel

A visit to the Western Sahara

I was in the Western Sahara for a week in order to search for a sand cat. You can read about that search here. The best place at the moment to find a sand cat is the piece of Western Sahara between the city of Dakhla and the small town of Aousserd. That’s why we flew from Paris Orly to Dakhla, after we arrived there with the Thalys via Gare du Nord at the airport. That turned out to be slightly more exciting than we initially thought because we had the last (!) train from Gare du Nord to Orly (which we didn’t know) and we slept on the floor of the airport (which we did know beforehand). We had an apartment in Dakhla and drove each day the long asphalt road up and down between Dakhla and Aousserd.

LennartVerheuvel

The Sahara: a bit more than just sand!

In January I drove around in the Western Sahara for a week searching for a Sand Cat. When I thought of the Sahara I had an image in my mind of endless rolling sandhills, but I turned out to look a bit differently. The landscape is quite monotonous, but has also some big rock formations. With a low sun every landscape looks better anyway. So I also wanted to share a few pictures of the landscape of the Western Sahara.

LennartVerheuvel

Sweating for a Sand Cat

My worldcatlist has after my visit of Botswana, Namibia and South-Africa reached the impressive number of four! So there is still enough room for improvement! A cat on which I’ve had my eye  for quite some time, is the Sand Cat. This is an animal about the size of a house cat with a preference for desert like areas. For some years the most reliable place of seeing it has been the Western Sahara near the town of Dakhla. Together with a fellow Dutchman who also has a special interest in cats, I went over there in early January.

LennartVerheuvel

Birds of the African swamp

The Okavango Delta is the largest delta in the world that is not connected to a sea. A number of bird species feel right at home in that kind of area. During my trip through Africa I’ve also sailed through the Okavango and spent the night there. You can read more about that over here. Of course along the way I didn’t just have a look at the (very) nice scenery but also at the birds that can be found over here. You can encounter a lot of different birds that either like to stay very close to the water or not that close to the water, but not that far away either. I would like to share the pictures of the more conspicuous of those, there are some interesting birds among them!

LennartVerheuvel

Birds of the African garden

Although the average Dutch garden does contain more birds than one might initially think, the African garden is something else. Here no Blackbirds or Finches but very different birds. In some ways the basis stays the same, they also have doves here, but there is a lot of stuff  on top of that.

LennartVerheuvel

Birds of the savannah

If someone talks about the savannah, most people will probably think about lions and elephants. Those species do indeed live there and they certainly are nice to look at! Still I can recommend everyone to pay also some attention in the birds around the pile of mammals. Of course there is the Ostrich, the largest bird in the world although it can’t fly. That’s a bird most people will still recognize and probably have on their Wishlist when they go on safari. And, to be fair, they are worth the trouble.

LennartVerheuvel

Ungulates of Africa

Africa has many kinds of ungulates, ranging from the prehistoric like rhino’s to the tiny steenbok. That’s why I wanted to give them some special attention in a separate blog and give you an idea of the kinds of ungulates you could encounter in Africa, which I’ve indeed encountered during my trip through South-Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

LennartVerheuvel

Elephants: fascinating beasts!

Before I went to Africa, elephants didn’t do much for me. Of course it’s a colossal animal with a trunk and tusks and that all points in its favour, but I just wasn’t feeling so excited about them. The first elephant I ever saw was a worn out female that was spending the last years of her life in Okavango. Pretty cool of course, to see your first elephant, but still it didn’t really change my mind about elephants. Till I saw them together.

LennartVerheuvel