Malawi : Photos

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Variable sunbird (Cinnyris venustus) perched on a slender branch

Variable sunbird (Cinnyris venustus) perched on a slender branch

I have been spending a lot of time the past week waiting for sunbirds to come for the flowers in bloom. This is a nice example of a male Variable sunbird (formerly Yellow-bellied sunbird) that frequents my garden.

It is almost always overcast, and while it does make flight shots near impossible (I refuse to bump the ISO enough), the lack of direct sunlight really allows the vibrant colours of these birds to stand out.

Copyright 2017 Dave Montreuil




Elephants playing

Two young african bush elephants playing, Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi, Africa

The African elephant is the largest animal walking the Earth. Their herds wander through 37 countries in Africa.

Numbering three to five million in the last century, African elephant populations were severely reduced to its current levels because of the surge in poaching for the illegal ivory trade.
In the 1980s, an estimated 100,000 elephants were killed each year and up to 80% of herds were lost in some regions. In recent years, growing demand for ivory, particularly from Asia, has led to a surge in poaching.

www.myplanetexperience.com




Moth

In the hotel room on our last day in Malawi, in Blantyre.




Mitchell's Flat Lizards

On the hike down from the final hut we passed a patch of open rock where a bunch of interesting lizards were sunning themselves. The one in front here was the most impressively colored, but they were all the same species.
This species is endemic to Malawi.




Mulanje Cedar

We got to the third and final hut of the trek in the mid-afternoon, with some time to rest and bird around the hut before it got dark.
Right near the hut there were a few Mulanje Cedars still standing, which probably get some protection from the hut being right there.




African kiddos on a boat

Kande beach, Lake Malawi. These kids were super friendly and very curious of the camera sticking out of the water! They are having an afternoon boat adventure heading to an island to the left of the image.




Skipper sp.

A little skipper species seen on the hike away from the second hut.




Mousebird clinging to the branches

Mousebird clinging to the branches in the tree.




Mousebird sitting between the branches

Mousebird sitting between the branches in the tree.




Beetle

An interesting little yellow-and-black beetle I caught near the very end of our hike down from Mt. Mulanje.




Olive Bee-eater

The next morning a flock of ten or twelve Olive Bee-eaters appeared and spent a while perching in a tall dead tree right by the hut.




Lanner Falcon

A bit later, just before we headed out from hut 3, I looked up into the same bare tree and there was a Lanner Falcon perched there, surveying his domain!




Cape Batis - male

In one of the forest patches we came across a pair of batises foraging by the trail. When I pished at them they came out of the foliage to see what was going on, allowing for good looks and photos.




Cape Batis - male

In one of the forest patches we came across a pair of batises foraging by the trail. When I pished at them they came out of the foliage to see what was going on, allowing for good looks and photos.




Cape Batis - female

The female Cape Batis is much more rusty on the wings and flanks than the male.




Woodcutter, Mt. Mulanje

The timber of the Mulanje Cedar, which is endemic to the mountain, is highly prized, and that is what many of the woodcutters are after.
The cedar is Malawi's national tree, and is protected by law, but there's no enforcement.
Our guide told us that the woodcutter who actually cuts the trees and carries the boards down from the mountain only makes a handful of dollars for each ~12 foot plank. The people who buy the planks and resell them are the ones who make the real money.




Mulanje

A typical scene hiking across the massif.




Livingstone's Turaco

In the ravines where there were forest fragments, we frequently heard (but rarely saw) the Livingstone's Turaco.




Cape Dwarf Gecko

There were several of these cute little speckled geckos around the second hut, sunning themselves on the deck.




Mulanje

Mount Mulanje was quite beautiful, at least once we got away from the burning areas... this view is looking up from the second hut toward some of the mountains around Sapitwa, Malawi's highest peak.





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