There were 673 Olive Ridley Turtle nests and 2 Leatherback Turtle nests recorded on Kissemba Beach as of mid February, 2015. Pictured is a baby Olive Ridley Turtle. Photo by H. Koning.

There were 673 Olive Ridley Turtle nests and 2 Leatherback Turtle nests recorded on Kissemba Beach as of mid February, 2015.

Last month, the Angola Field Group was invited to visit Project Kitabanga at its location in Zaire province. Here we joined some university students patrol the 3 kilometer stretch of protected beach. There were 673 Olive Ridley Turtle nests and 2 Leatherback Turtle nests recorded on Kissemba Beach fr0m September 2014 to mid-February, 2015. The Science Faculty at Agostinho Neto University has been running its research project at Kissemba Beach since 2011. Project Kitabanga started in 2003 at Palmeirinhas Beach, south of Luanda. The Angola Field Group began its annual Turtle Trips in 2004.

View a video titled “A Weekend Away on a Turtle Research Trip” produced by Robyn Fox, February 2015.

There were 673 Olive Ridley Turtle nests and 2 Leatherback Turtle nests recorded on Kissemba Beach as of mid February, 2015. Pictured is a baby Olive Ridley Turtle. Photo by H. Koning.

Pictured is a baby Olive Ridley Turtle. Photos by H. Koning.

UPDATE: This trip is now full. Angola is known for its vast reserves of diamonds, the greatest part of which remains yet to be discovered. Now you can see for yourself, a working diamond mine. The visit to the Catoca Diamond Mine in Lunda Sul is now confirmed!

Angola´s largest diamond mine, the Catoca Mine, is located 30 km. from Saurimo, capital city of Lunda Sul province. Between 6 to 6.5 million carats are extracted per year  Photo taken 2014, courtesy of Konstantin Grave.

Angola´s largest diamond mine, the Catoca Mine, is located 30 km from Saurimo, capital city of Lunda Sul province. Between 6 to 6.5 million carats are extracted per year Photo taken 2014, courtesy of Konstantin Grave.

Discovered in 1965, it was ´blessed´by the local sobas in 1995. Despite the years of war, work at the mine continued. Taken from Catoca website www.catoca.com/empresa_historia.asp

Discovered in 1965, it was ´blessed´by the local sobas in 1995. Despite the years of war, work at the mine continued. Taken from Catoca website, http://www.catoca.com

Today the Catoca kimberlite pipe is considered the fifth largest diamond-rich rock formation on Earth in terms of surface area. Over 600 Kimberlite pipes, vertical igneous rock tubes of various sizes which can contain diamonds, have been discovered throughout Angola but less than a dozen are commercially viable. Photo 2012, courtesy of Konstantin Grave.

Today the Catoca kimberlite pipe is considered the fifth largest diamond-rich rock formation on Earth in terms of surface area. Over 600 Kimberlite pipes, vertical igneous rock tubes of various sizes which can contain diamonds, have been discovered throughout Angola but less than a dozen are commercially viable. Photo 2012, courtesy of Konstantin Grave.

When: March 14, 2015
How: Catoca’s private plane
Who: Members of the Viking Club and their invited friends
What: One-day-excursion, check-in at the Airport – Domestic Terminal – at 06.00 on Saturday March 14 and back in Luanda by approximately 17.00 the same day.
Costs: AKZ 51k. Mr. Joseph Okito, Treasurer of the Viking Club, will be coordinating the issuing of travel receipts at the Viking Club together with Lena Boniswa Vaz Contreiras and Emelie Sandberg Aparicio.

Signing up: If you are interested, and serious about going,please send an e-mail to: Lena Boniswa Vaz Contreiras (bvazcontreiiras@gmail.com) cell:+244 923485308 and Emelie Sandberg Aparicio (emelie.sandberg.aparicio@gov.se) cell:+244940394360.

Please note that foreigners, including diplomats, MUST have their passport and visa in order because of emigration Controls both in Luanda and Saurimo. Receipts or letters are definitively not acceptable. You cannot go on this trip without proper passport and visa. This Viking Club excursion to Catoca is carried out at your own risk.

The last months of 2014 saw some interesting visitors to Cangandala National Park and the Luando Reserve, the two protected terriitories of Angola’s Giant Sable.

An evening storm visits  Luando Reserve

The storm arrived before sunset; A tempestade chegou antes do por-do-sol.

The storm arrived before sunset; A tempestade chegou antes do por-do-sol.

A python! visits one of the salinas in Cangandala Park

Incredible scene: a python on the ambush, and a very nervous hybrid female!!! Cena incrível: uma jibóia emboscada, e uma fêmea híbrida muito nervosa!!!

Incredible scene: a python on the ambush, and a very nervous hybrid female!!! Cena incrível: uma jibóia emboscada, e uma fêmea híbrida muito nervosa!!!

Two young females visiting together

Two young girl calves; Duas jovens crias fêmeas.

Two young girl calves; Duas jovens crias fêmeas.

It is well known that calves tend to stay most of the day in crèches, but even as they grow a young sable seems to prefer the company of same sex and age individuals than to follow his/her mother.

And a warthog who just visited his favourite mud hole!

Warthog male after his daily mud bath; Macho de facochero depois do seu banho de lama diário.

Warthog male after his daily mud bath; Macho de facochero depois do seu banho de lama diário.

And Mercury came for a visit back home! Now “a mighty imposing black bull with massive horns”, who after one year of adventurous dispersal outside of the sanctuary, has returned.

And Mercury again!; E o Mercúrio novamente!

And Mercury again!; E o Mercúrio novamente!

His (Mercury’s) behavior suggests that he is more interested in establishing a territory inside the sanctuary than escorting females on a permanent basis, leaving that task for the subdominant Eolo. If confirmed this may provide new insights into dominance and territorial behavior of sable bulls.

Read biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s full Fourth Trimester 2014 Report with photos from Angola’s Cangandala Park and Luando Reserve, in English and Portuguese on our Giant Sable page.

Taken from Upstream/Rytus Daukantas.

Taken from Upstream/Rytus Daukantas.

​Some of estimated 200 attendees, Angola Field Group presentation at the Viking Club.

​Some of estimated 200 attendees, Angola Field Group presentation at the Viking Club.

Thursday’s Angola Field Group presentation had a record setting attendance as participants, some fearing loss of jobs, heard Geologist Tako Koning say that the new technology of fracking for oil is a huge game changer in the oil industry and predicted that low oil prices could continue for the next half a decade or so. IMF Country Representative Nicholas Staines talked about the impact of the new technology on Angola’s economy and stated that Angola needs to raise taxes and eliminate fuel subsidies in the wake of the oil shock. He reiterated that Angola has to get away from the boom-bust cycle, spending when oil prices are high and cutting back when prices are low.

Click here to download Nicholas Staines’ presentation PDF or visit his website www.imf.org/luanda.

Click here to download Tako Koning’s presentation PDF.

​Taken from Upstream/Rytus Daukantas.

​Taken from Upstream/Rytus Daukantas.

Fracking operations are typified by tight arrangement of pressure pumping trucks. Shown is fracking of the Eagle Ford shale of South Texas, USA.  Photo courtesy of Halliburton

Fracking operations are typified by tight arrangement of pressure pumping trucks. Shown is fracking of the Eagle Ford shale of South Texas, USA. Photo courtesy of Halliburton

Fracking, the new oil field technology of fracturing shale rock to produce oil, has suddenly propelled the USA into becoming one of the world’s largest producers of oil (and natural gas) and has led to a 60% drop in world oil prices in the last 6 months. The Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation that takes a look at Fracking in the USA and its Impact on Angola’s Economy, at the Viking Club, Thursday February 5th at 7:45 PM. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) Country Director Nicholas Staines will talk about the impact of the low oil prices on Angola’s economy. Senior petroleum geologist Tako Koning will explain the technology behind the new oil boom.

Canadian Nicholas Staines, became the IMF’s Representative in Angola in early 2011. He has been with the IMF for over 15 years, much of it working in Sub-Saharan Africa. He joined the Fund from the private sector as a macroeconomic forecaster following several years in academia. Canadian Tako Koning has over 40 years experience in the oil industry, including 19 years in Angola. He worked with Texaco for 30 years in Canada, Indonesia, Nigeria and Angola. He now works in Angola as an oil consultant.

Fracking spread in the desert of Oman, capable of delivering 50 to 80 barrels of fluid per minute into the well. Photo courtesy BP.

Fracking spread in the desert of Oman, capable of delivering 50 to 80 barrels of fluid per minute into the well. Photo courtesy BP.

More fracking takes place in the USA than any other country in the world.

More fracking takes place in the USA than any other country in the world. Click map to enlarge.

Everybody is welcome to attend. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar which opens at 7:15 PM. Coupons must be purchased. You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club on our Join Us page. The Viking Club is on the main floor of Edificio Maianga, Rua Marien Nguabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the Panela de Barra restaurant.

For Sale: Pure raw honey from the Zambezi Valley in Moxico. Launching a new photo book, “Sonhos Angolanos” as well as other books.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

UPDATE: THIS TRIP IS NOW FULL. Since 2004 the Angola Field Group has joined members of the Agostinho Neto University team of biology students who patrol the beaches of Angola during turtle nesting season, September to March. This year the Kitabanga project has invited us to Praia Kissemba, north of Ambriz. in Zaire Province. Last year we were very fortunate to watch a female leatherback, the largest of all turtles, come ashore to lay her eggs on this beach.

We will leave on January 31, Saturday morning at 6:30 AM and return Sunday afternoon. The location is about 25 KM north of Ambriz. It takes about 4 hours to reach the beach from the outskirts of Luanda.

Requirements – you must be self sufficient in terms of camping and food. 4 wheel drive required. We will be leaving Luanda on Saturday morning at 6:30 AM, with the students who need to get there early. Saturday night we will patrol the beach with the team looking for turtles.

To register for this trip, you must have valid documents since the trip crosses two provincial borders. Email: Henriette Koning at angolafieldgroup@gmail.com and please indicate:
    •    names of participants
    •    cell phone number
    •    do you  have room in your vehicle for an extra passenger?  keeping in mind camping gear takes up space
    •     will you be leaving from the city or from Luanda Sul  

Final trip details including our meeting location will be given once you’ve signed up and are confirmed for this trip. All Angola Field Group trips are at your own risk.

Now available to download, 2014 Annual Report of the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature, in English and in Portuguese.

Click to download PDF.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD PDF.

This year saw good progress with our two main projects: at Mount Moco tree planting was accelerated and the nursery expanded, and 80 fuel efficient stoves were finally delivered to the community at Kanjonde, to reduce their reliance on fire wood.

A highlight of the year was delivering 80 fuel efficient stoves for the families at Kanjonde.

A highlight of the year was delivering 80 fuel efficient stoves for the families at Kanjonde.

At Kumbira, a forest in Kwanza Sul province, seven weeks of field study were undertaken by Aimy Cáceres and colleagues, where a detailed study of Gabela Akalat range sizes and habitat use was undertaken, and tree biomass evaluated.

Aimy Cáceres radio tracking (left) a tagged Gabela Akalat (right).

Aimy Cáceres radio tracking (left) a tagged Gabela Akalat (right).

Additionally, good progress was made with the registration of the Associação Angolana para Aves e Natureza (the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature) with the registration certificate now issued. Other highlights? The bilingual book on The Common Birds of Luanda was completed and will be launched with the launch this year, 2015, of the NGO.  Several peer-reviewed publications were produced.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 331 other followers