Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Lope National Park

On 19th August we all took the night train from Franceville to Lope arriving at 1.30 am! Groan! The train was surprisingly good, travelling first class was actually OK!

The Lope Lodge

My bungalow

Red-headed Rock Agama.
Photo courtesy of Glen Valentine.

The view from the Lodge.

The river is the boundary of the national park.

Wonderful scenery.

Palm Nut Vulture.

Blue breasted Bee-eater

African Thrush
Long legged Pipit
Common around the lodge.
The legs really are very long!

Orange cheeked Waxbills & Bronze Manakins.

Orange cheeked Waxbill
Photo courtesy of Glen Valentine

Violet-tailed Sunbird.
Photo courtesy of Glen Valentine.

Village (Spotted backed) Weaver
A very different race from the one in southern Africa.

The Lope Lodge was in a great position next to the river & it was a great place to stay for the exploration of the nearby national park.

Gallery forest & grassland inside the national park.
Exploring the park.
Grasslands are regularly burned
 by the park authorities.
This is to keep the forest in check for the benefit
 of large grazing mammals.
Forest Buffalo
They really are very different from the Cape Buffalo.
Head shape  & ears are unique.

Some animals are dark, but most are russet brown.
Very small.


Forest Elephant.

Much smaller & more Asian Elephant like.

They are also shy of humans.

Black Colobus
This is quite a rare species.

The Lope National Park is huge! A mixture of gallery forest, grasslands & lowland forest. However it didn’t prove possible to explore all the areas due to local politics! We did have a great time here though, exploring the place in a four by four vehicle & on foot.

Best birds included:

Birding the forest edge.

The leaves are to stop the flies! And it worked!
A tiny frog hitch hiker!
African Wood Owl.
Bates's Nightjar
Rarely seen, or photographed!
This was a tremendous sighting!

Cassin's Flycatcher was found on 
fast flowing streams.

A new species for me.
Green headed Sunbird.
Photo courtesy of Glen Valentine.
Olive bellied Sunbird.
Photo courtesy of Glen Valentine.

Latham’s Forest Francolin; Bat Hawk; Crowned Eagle; Long tailed Hawk; African Finfoot; Guinea Turaco; African Wood Owl; Red chested Owlet; Bates’s Nightjar; Black Bee-eater; Black casqued Hornbill; Spotted Honeyguide; Red fronted Parrot; Rufous bellied Helmetshrike; Shining Drongo; Red bellied Paradise Flycatcher; Chestnut capped Flycatcher; Ja River Scrub Warbler & Cassin’s Flycatcher. 

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