Sounds of Chilo Gorge Soundscape


This recording was made from the Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge deck on the edge of the cliff face and includes hippo, Chacma baboon and an array of birds.

Duration: 42 mins 21 sec

Listen to a Sample

The magnificent Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge perches high up on a cliff overlooking the Save River and Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe (see Well known for the huge numbers of Elephant, the park is home to a spectacular array of wildlife, much of which can be viewed and recorded from the deck on the edge of the cliff face.

It is dawn and an early rainstorm has increased the river flow so it can now be head from the deck. There are still sand banks where a variety of birds including Egyptian Geese and White-crowned Lapwings are noisily interacting and a Hadeda Ibis joins in on the chorus.

A Hippo calls loudly from the river below and Chacma Baboons are busy feeding on fruits hanging from various trees growing on the cliff face, grunting as they communicate with each other. A Ring-necked Dove gives its repetitive ‘work harder’ song (1.56).

After 2 minutes a family of huge Southern Ground Hornbills start their deep booming dawn chorus from the opposite back. A Rock Hyrax gives a shrill whistle (2.08) while the baboons grunt noisily. Something has upset the lapwings and they scream incessantly. A Natal Spurfowl gives its harsh crowning call (2.27) while the hippos splash in the river. The baboons are shaking, and often breaking, branches as they search for food. An Emerald-spotted Wood Dove gives its mournful call (8.46) competing softly with the Ring-necked Doves.

Suddenly a Lion roars loudly from the dense vegetation on the opposite bank (9.06) the sound echoing up and down the river. A family of Helmeted Guineafowl can be heard as the lion stops calling (9.47). In the background the baboons are particularly noisy as they feed. Then a Red-eyed Dove gives its cooing call (10.25).

The lion has now moved deep into the park and calls again but from a long distance (11.33) and then an African Fish Eagle gives its loud ringing call (11.43) and one of the male baboons gives a loud bark followed by several grunts and then a series of warning barks. The geese and lapwings continue calling from the sandbank below the lodge. A flock of Hadeda Ibis circle above the lodge calling loudly (13.20) setting off the Egyptian Geese, followed by the soft chattering of a Terrestrial Brownbul (14.08). The spurfowl also gives a loud alarm call as it flies away. All of this has probably been caused by the African Fish Eagle flying past the cliff face; a Red-eye Dove calls loudly (14.43). Eventually everyone settles down and the baboons continue feeding, grunting quietly amongst themselves; and distant fishermen can be

A Terrestrial Brownbul starts calling, a chattering churring sound (18.40) soon drowned out by the loud Ring-neck Dove and the geese below. A Dark-capped Bulbul gives a series of cheerful, liquid notes (19.29) and the brownbul chatters again.

A vigilant male baboon spots a possible predator on the opposite bank and gives a loud series of warning calls (22.24). A pair of Egyptian Geese suddenly fly past the microphones (25.07), the male giving the harsh chatter, the female a honking call. The Red-eyed Dove calls again (25.52) and a Puffback (small shrike) gives its double click call (26.00) while the baboons continue to drop fruit as they feed. The Brownbul is now very vocal (26.08) while the Puffback makes a variety of trills.

Egyptian Geese are highly territorial and the pair below the deck protect their patch of sandbank from intruders by calling incessantly. At 30.57 the Fish Eagle announces its presence while the various doves are calling from the trees above the deck, calling again at 33.43. A bright yellow Black-headed Oriole gives several melodious single whistles in the background (32.06).

A Tropical Boubou gives a low-pitched whistle (33.55). Something startles one of the young baboons and it gives a squawk and a brief scream (35.00). The Tropical Boubou calls again, this time giving a harsh grating sound (37.20) followed by the Fish Eagle.

Several Rock Hyraxes give a different call this time, a weird series of grating calls (38.12) while a brightly coloured Purple-crested Turaco calls in the middle, a series of very loud crowing notes (34.24) followed by the Red-eyed Dove. Then the oriole calls again (39.33) while the baboons continue to shake the tree branches as they feed.

An Emerald-spotted Wood Dove brings the chorus to an end with its mournful call (41.15).

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