Malawi Part 3: The Wildlife

So in this final part I am focussing on the wildlife seen in Malawi. I have split this up into the three areas that I think make this easier to look through.

Insects, Reptiles and Amphibians

The range of insects and reptiles is amazing, I particularly enjoyed the Geckos and the Chameleons. Although being on safari and having a dung beetle land on me was not as enjoyable, even if it was the first time I had seen one.

A lot of the insects are quite bright, I will have to do more research as to whether they are dangerous. I always assume that they are poisonous with that amount of colour, but it could be any reason I suppose.

From the back garden of the house we were calling base I managed to snap these:

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This is probably the highlight for bugs, I couldn’t believe when I was told about this one. The bug is about 1.5″ long.

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The following were snapped during outings in Blantyre and Zomba:

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These were snapped near lake Malawi not a clue what most are technically called:

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A fly being munched by a load of ants, it was a little disconcerting that the ants had managed to reach this as this was a part of a lampshade outside.

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This next guy was incredible, the first chameleon I have ever seen and it was just chilling on the fence!

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It was being tormented by the local kids so we liberated it from the fence and put it in a tree away from poking sticks and kids.

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This massive grasshopper was chilling in the cottage we stayed at on lake Malawi.

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This was a very giving lampshade, this leaf bug was amazing.

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There was always lots of butterflies, but credit to my girlfriend for this photo on safari:

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Also on safari where enormous spider webs, this one was about 7 foot long.

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Bird Life

The birds of Malawi are amazing, incredibly beautiful colours. Again the variety was awesome and although not all the birds were captured I would really like to go back at another time of the year to see the different  birds of that season.

One of the most incredible eagles we saw a glimpse of was the Martial Eagle, which is enormous. Would love to see this a little closer, given its 2m wingspan I have no doubt it is very impressive.

The eagles I did manage to capture included the Long-crested Eagle

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The African fish eagle, we were very lucky to see the eagles feeding. I did notice a number around the lake during our kayaking trip. They are apparently quite common, however I think I saw 3 or 4 in the 2 weeks. The 2 below where close enough to use my 50mm.

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As well as the impressive eagles we also saw a number of smaller birds.

Near lake Malawi I was able to see a Hamerkop

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Also near lake Malawi where a couple of smaller birds which I am yet to identify.

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While out one day at a small Italian restaurant near Zomba we spotted this beautiful sunbird.

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While on safari we also saw some of the storks of Malawi, we did see the
African Openbill stork (although I couldn’t get a picture worth showing). I did manage to get a photo of the Marabou Stork in flight though.

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Unfortunately on safari the jeep is extremely bumpy, often by the time you have stopped the birds are gone. I think if bird life is your thing you would have to stay at one of the camps for a few days to get a better chance of great images.

I did enjoy taking photos of the kingfishers from a boat. I believe these are the Pied Kingfisher

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I also noticed a lot of birds we get in the UK. By the lake there were sandpipers. By the house we had large crows, pied wagtails and sparrows.

Large Animals

One of the highlights of any trip is seeing the large mammals and animals of the area you are in. While some are more elusive than others I felt privileged that I was able to witness some of the most incredible animals in the wild.

Ill start with the Impala, of which there are plenty. I love the delicate legs on these animals, while my photos didn’t come out exactly as I wanted they are incredible animals.

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Another common animal on safari was the water buck.

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Another animal I really enjoyed seeing, much to other peoples surprise was the warthogs! They are brilliant animals, almost like wild boar but with a slightly more demonic look. Getting images of these guys was hard, they were much more skittish than the Impala.

Still everytime we saw one our guide simply shouted “Pumba, Pumba”, I started to question if he knew the word for Warthog.

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The elephants here are 2 bulls, they were very quiet and simply interacted with each other.

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A little further into our safari and these two cows with their calves had other ideas. We had the largest faux charge the jeep a couple of times. We had to stay deadly still to ensure the elephant continued to see the vehicle we were in as one large object, it was a little nerve racking at the time. We survived of course, but it is definitely one of the stand out moments of the trip for me.

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After being on safari for around 3 hours we headed to a boat to tour a lake full of hippos.

Our guides were very talented spotters, pointing out the tiny dots which were the hippos. Luckily they maneuvered us closer, meaning I got some shots I was really happy with.

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One of the highlights of the hippo watching ended up not even being the hippos, but a small group of elephants which had come to the water to bathe. This was a really special moment, and something I did not expect to see on the day.

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Malawi Part 1: The People
Malawi Part 2: The Landscape