Biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s First Trimester 2017 Report with photos of Angola’s Cangandala Park and Luando Reserve, in English and Portuguese, now on our Giant Sable page.

              Camping under the stars in the Luando Reserve.

A skillful drone pilot accompanied Pedro to the Luando Reserve which allowed for a careful survey of some herds. For example, they were able to count a total of 41 animal in Herd 5, see two videos below: 

“A most spectacular experience was flying a drone over a few sable herds. I confess that I had been sceptical about the feasibility of filming wild herds with a drone in the remoteness of Luando reserve, but I was proved wrong, indeed very wrong. I travelled to Luando with my good friend and professional photographer Kostadin Louchanski. We were able to film amazing behavioural scenes, including hierarchical interactions among three master bulls and pre-mating behaviour with females. Pretty unique stuff!”

“In Cangandala the breeding signs have been excellent with plenty of calving, and also with a notably increase of many young bachelor males.”

    Plenty of calves suggest a very successful breeding season in Cangandala.

 Yearling sable males.

And a look at some of the insects inhabiting the park:

               A hunting spider preys on a grasshopper.

                     Unidentified flying insect.

                   Unidentified insect.

Visit our Giant Sable page to read Pedro Vaz Pinto’s full report. 

 Luanda, Angola (photo courtesy R. Koning)

The Viking Club will be visited on Thursday 24 May, 2018 at 19.45 by two Angolan architects: the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Land Management and Housing Ângela Mingas, and Regional and Urban Planning Architect Cristina Cãmara, who will talk about “Urbanization in AngolaChallenges and the Roads Forward”.

Presently Angola is more than ever up for very deep challenges in its political and macroeconomic system, which is strongly influencing all segments of the Angolan society. Where and how people will live and work are fundamental questions and constantly of existential importance for each individual, private and public companies and governmental institutions. The two architects Ãngela Mingas and Cristina Cãmara will give us their thoughts about the present and future of Urbanization in Angola and discuss these urgent questions with the Viking Club audience.

Everybody is welcome. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar, which opens at 19.15. Coupons must be purchased. The Viking Club has its premises on the main floor of the Maianga building, Rua Marien N’Gouabi No.118 in Maianga, across the street from Ambassador/Agencia de Viagens/Turismo. Visit our Join Us page to see a map.

Biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s Third Trimester 2016 Report with photos of Angola’s Cangandala Park and Luando Reserve, in English and Portuguese, now on our Giant Sable page.

Between July and August 2016 an ambitious aerial census and capture operation was carried out in Luando and Cangandala.

“The objective for the 2016 capture operation would be, over the course of three weeks, to make an updated sable population census in Luando Reserve and place up to 16 GPS collars and 5 VHF collars on giant sable, both in Cangandala and Luando. A complementing objective was to survey as many as possible of previously identified (from satellite imagery) sable hotspots in Luando, including water holes, critical anharas, while assessing and acting against poaching whenever justified.”

The Angolan military participated and provided critical support. In Luando Reserve the operation was a huge success. The three known herds were located and then the two “missing” groups were also found, bringing the total of confirmed herds up to five.

The largest giant sable herd finally located in Luando Reserve.

Ngola, “arguably the most powerfully built, strongest and well proportioned bull we ever handled”,  was found escorting the largest herd in Luando.

 

In Cangandala National Park there was no need for counting the sable population as it is regularly well monitored on the ground. Also the poaching situation isn’t brilliant in Cangandala but at least it is fairly under control, besides the fact that with a couple exceptions all giant sables are contained inside the fenced sanctuary. Therefore the flights in Cangandala were done mainly with the purpose of capturing at least a couple young males and put them VHF collars.

A big surprise in Cangandala was coming across a young male forest buffalo which was clearly  seen and photographed.

Another big surprise, Ivan the Terrible was found and darted outside the fence in Cangangdala!

The slide show below shows evidence of snare-type poaching being carried out especially in the Luando Reserve.

“An important aspect of the operation involved some preventive anti-poaching measures, as a joint effort between our team, the Ministry of Environment, the local political Administrations and the Army from the Northern Military Region. An awareness campaign was carried out and the military made it clear that the giant sable antelope is a national symbol that deserves full protection and they are prepared to endorse the efforts and enforce the law if necessary. As result and over the period of a few weeks, it was possible for the local administration to collect dozens of shotguns that were being used for poaching inside the reserve.”

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Visit our Giant Sable page to read Pedro Vaz Pinto’s full report with more photos, and previous reports. 2017 reports to be posted soon.

On Thursday 28 September 2017 at 19.45 the Viking Club will be visited by the  International Monetary Fund (IMF) Country Director Max Alier, who will talk about Angola’s Economy – Challenges and Outlook. 

Angola’s main economic challenge is to create conditions for a diverse economy to develop and flourish. Achieving this goal has become more difficult after the economy was hit by a sharp decline in oil prices since 2014.

The government has made important efforts to adapt to this new reality,but much remains to be done. During the presentation we will discuss about the reasons,that hinder economic diversification in Angola and the policies to tackle this challenge. We will also discuss the policies needed to address the macroeconomic imbalances,that resulted from the lower oil prices.

Dr. Max Alier became IMF’s Representative in Angola in May 2015. He is also the IMF mission chief for Cabo Verde since March 2017. Dr. Max Alier has over 20 years of experience at IMF following several years of academia.

Everybody is welcome. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar, which opens at 19.15. Coupons must be purchased. Also, the Famous Moxico Honey and Peanut Butter, fresh from the farm, will once again be for sale.

The Viking Club has its premises on the main floor of the Edificio Maianga building, Rua Marien N’Gouabi No. 118 in Maianga, across the street from Ambassador/Agencia de Viagens/Turismo. Visit our Join Us page to see a map.


Hot off the press, a new book published about wild Angola, now available from Protea Publishing and Amazon.

Angola was once one of Africa’s last great wildernesses. Gorillas and chimpanzees shared the pristine rainforests of Cabinda, giant sable antelope roamed the miombo woodlands of Luando, and the enigmatic Welwitschia mirabilis crowded the plains of the Namib. But war, intrigues and arrogance have resulted in the loss and near extinction of most of Angola’s formerly abundant wildlife and the decay and erosion of a once endless Eden.

From 1971 to 1975, author Brian J. Huntley was ecologist for Angola’s five major national parks, surveying the entire country and developing the country’s conservation strategy. Integrating the historical, political, economic and environmental threads that account for Angola’s post-colonial tragedy, Huntley describes in detail the wildlife, wild places and wild personalities that have occupied Angola’s conservation landscape through four decades of war and a decade and a half of peace. Despite the loss of its innocence, Huntley believes that Angola can rebuild its national parks and save much of its wildlife and wilderness.

                         Brian Huntley

Author Brian J. Huntley gave a presentation to the Angola Field Group on December 2011. Following retirement in 2009 as CEO of the South African National Biodiversity Institute, he is currently an independent consultant on conservation research and implementation projects in many African countries for various United Nations agencies. He is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Cape Town.

 

bush baby

Angolan dwarf galago. Photo from AJPA.

A new species of bush baby has been discovered in the Kumbira Forest in Kwanza Sul. The 6 inch mammal is named the Angolan dwarf galago (galago angolano in Portuguese). Kumbira Forest is home to many endemic species in Angola but it continues to be logged rather than protected. The rate of logging in Angola is one of the fastest known in the world.

Read full details in this article, “A giant among dwarfs: a new species of galago (Primates: Galagidae) from Angola” published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (Svensson, Mills et al. 2017). Also see this National Geographic online article.

Wednesday, June 21, at 20:00, singer/guitarist Teofilo Chanter, who composed some of diva Cesaria Evora’s greatest hits, is coming to the Angola Room on the second floor of the Epic Sana Hotel. The Cape Verdean musician will be accompanied by a four piece ensemble. The concert evening will be kicked off by Luanda’s own Banda Maravilha. The six-member group has been around since 1993 and will feature their innovation of Angola’s famous Semba music.

Tickets are on sale at the office of Alliance Française or at the website:
www.ingressopratico.co.ao/pt/concertos/28-festa-da-musica.html
General public: 2500.00 AKZ
Students and seniors over 60: 1500.00 AKZ
The concert is brought to you by Alliance Française in partnership with Air France.

Banda Maravilha, photo Alliance Française

Teofilo Chantre, photo Alliance Française