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Wild Dog Pups and Brown Hyenas: A Volunteer Adventure in South Africa

Wild Dog Pups and Brown Hyenas: A Volunteer Adventure in South Africa

Feb 23rd, 2010, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
And now the photos. That first brown hyena is a stunning shot. Way to go! That "wild" cat in the tree really is a lovely photo too and captures moment. I have not seen the inside of a hornbill's nest before. How did you get those night shots of the brown hyenas? The photos appeared to be from a scientific camera. Were you all given copies?

I went on one safari with the drummer from Bryan Adam's earlier band, before he became famous. I still keep in contact with him and his wife about once a year.

If anybody reads the above paragraph without looking at your photos they'll think I'm nuts.

A fantastic adventure. Thanks for sharing it with us and spreading the good Earth Watch word.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 11:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 788
tockoloshe, thank you so much! As a librarian, I'm toasting your reading fortitude.

Lynn, I really wish I could take credit for that first brown hyena photo, but it's not mine -- it's Lynne's . I included it in my album because I love that photo, and because I know many people are not familiar with what brown hyenas look like. Unfortunately we didn't see any during the day (as you know that would be unusual anyway!), and we didn't get photos of the one we saw at night because we were trying to call him in and could not use flash.

The night shots of brown hyenas are from the camera traps at Mankwe; Lynne and Louis e-mailed these to all of us who were interested in seeing them. I wish I had more of the camera trap shots, especially the ones from Louisa's study in Madikwe -- you can see parts of those on the hyena ID cards we're making, like the card for "Kyle" the hyena. We never saw the results of the camera traps we placed in Pilanesberg, since those were film cameras. I'll have to ask Lynne if those were ever digitized.

You should tell the drummer about Bryan Adams the hyena! That hyena has since passed away, but his skull is still in the classroom at Mankwe. He sure was a beautiful animal. I'm one of those people who is completely mystified whenever somebody says that hyenas are "ugly." I adore them, and I think their babies are among the cutest baby animals in the world.
MyDogKyle is offline  
Mar 20th, 2010, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 72

What a thoughtful and evocative report! I really enjoyed the pics of the pups, too.

I had signed up for the November 2010 EW Brown Hyena trip and your account of the daily activities convinced me that that's trip I want to be going on. I had tried to get onto the Jan. trip but it was full!

Shenandoah, which one did you join?

You know, I had looked at EW a few years ago and also thought the trips were expensive. Nothing like spending money on a safari to make EW expeditions look less expensive! I set up an Expedition Fund and convinced my relatives to contribute instead of giving gifts at Christmas and that helped make it more affordable. "Elephants of Tsavo" looks very interesting; I hope the research project lasts a couple of more years so I can go on that one too.

MDK, I'll be sure to say hello to everyone at Mankwe.
ccipups is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Thanks for the background on all the pics. We are in complete agreement about hyenas, both grown up and pups.

Have you started the Mongolia countdown?
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2010, 03:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 788
Yes, we have started the Mongolia countdown! We're trying to get some friends we made on our Africa travels to join us, and we're also stopping to visit a friend in Seoul en route (as well as family in Honolulu), so it promises to be a real party. (And -- shocking confession! -- we're already quite deep in the midst of planning a return to southern Africa in 2011, this time with my parents. Much more complicated than just signing up for an EW trip! Sometimes it hurts my head to try to think about both of these trips at once... but it's a good problem to have, right?)

ccipups, thanks for your post (and your nice e-mail, too)! I can't even tell you guys how thrilled I am to see that my report ends with the news of 2 more Fodorites heading off to join Project Phiri in the field. That's fantastic. I'm sure you'll have an incredible experience, and hopefully you'll see lots and lots of our very special study animal. I hope you'll both post trip reports when you come back, so I can share in your fun!
MyDogKyle is offline  
Apr 20th, 2015, 11:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1
It feels like Christmas! I stumbled on your post while searching the Net for trip reports and reviews on Earthwatch trips in South Africa. I hit the motherload with your mini book and stayed up late reveling in it. Thank you!

I'm headed to Mankwe in a few months for Earthwatch too - my first volunteer trip with them and my third trip to Africa (I've been to Tunisia and Tanzania). It will be my second trip this year to Africa. Like you, I'm addicted - perhaps to the adrenaline of being surrounded by animals? Anyway, your report was hugely helpful. Now I know what to expect and have ideas for the few days I added to the end of the Earthwatch experience. I know you wrote this years ago - just know it continues to be inspirational.
Experience_the_World is offline  

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