Grey-necked Rockfowl in Campo Maan National Park / Cameroon

One of the reasons for a 2-week tour to Cameroon was to take much better shots of the Grey-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes oreas). Called also the Red-headed Picathartes, the very primitive-looking rainforest dwellers were already the main reason to visit Campo Maan National Park in April 2017.

The drive to Campo Maan National Park was tedious but ultimately successful. Now only the way through the jungle to the large granite rocks in the breeding area of ​​the Grey-necked Rockfowlhad needed to be mastered. The path has grown pretty much. The local guide must therefore run ahead with the machete and cut it free. In the mud you can see but also footprints, which cannot be so long ago. Thus a certain tourist frequency seems to exist. Unlike in April, we do not see any other of the forest birds along the way. In fact it is really quite in the shade of the trees. Then the impressive collection of giant pebbles appears in the darkness of the forest. Like a dark castle, the blocks of stone wedged together emerge from the dim light of the primary forest. Meter-thick tree giants surround the boulders. High board roots seem to keep the blocks in shape. A fantastic scenery. We walk around the main pebble standing like a cold and repellent wall. Behind the giant a cool shadow welcomes us. An oblique wall is threatening us. To the further rising hill, however, the view is free – if you can talk of a free view in a jungle. More rocks pile up, in between some low shrubs or small trees with a lot of dry leaves. Above it the green roof of the jungle.

As if placed specially for us, there are laying some smaller rocks in this rock-cut cathedral. The ensemble instills respect and awe. This feeling is reinforced by the hundreds of large bats passing by, which come to dozens sometimes out of this depression or another cave. Not loud but with a noticeable breeze they fly partly in less than a meter over. Quickly the eye gets used to the dark. Of course, the visit is a reminder of the stay with Rockjumper in April 2017. Only this time I have not the accompaniment of 11 other voyeurs, but this time only 3. What a difference!

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