Reasons I will miss Tanzania #4

Our house guests:

The white throated savanna monitor lizard that lives in our roof makes an appearance once in a while

Old boys Charles and Andrew pass by most days

Dwarf mongoose outside the kitchen door

The smallest gecko I have seen so far

A vervet monkey making himself at home











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Reasons I will miss Tanzania #3

The landscapes:

Even better when these guys are walking across it

Dramatic skies at the start of the rains

Smouldering after the burning

An evening view from the back door



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This week 5/11/12

It has been an eventful few weeks here in Mikumi. Our first downpour finally arrived on the first day of the month! 47mm of rain fell overnight prompting lush green grass to spring up all over the park, much to the delight of all, including this adorable family of warthogs!

The road to the more forested southern part of the park has recently been cleared so we took a drive down last week. It was stunning weaving through woodland and forest, seeing some amazing wildlife. I have been wanting to see the rather elusive sable antelope for over a year now and got a glimpse on this trip! There were around 30 in the herd; females, young and the striking jet black males visible through the open woodland.  Other wildlife included; black and white colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys, bush duiker, dikdik and an ele mama and her offspring.

Sable antelope found in open woodland

Black and white colobus monkey, in the forested southern part of Mikumi


Surprisingly, both the mother and sub-adult elephant threatened and charged the car unlike anything I have experienced in the north of the park. Even after backing away both seemed particularly stressed and kept charging. One reason could be that this area has been visited a lot less by tourists than the north and so the elephants here are not as used to the noise/smell of cars and humans.   There is also the possibility that poaching could be worse in this area, leading to more stressed eles. Either way, we will be monitoring this behaviour more in the future.

Tuskless adult female and sub-adult threaten our car


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The end is nigh

It is a month to the day that I will be stepping onto the aeroplane that will return me back to the UK. I cannot really put into words how that makes me feel. I have been extremely homesick over the past couple of months, feeling rundown and in desperate need of a break. Plus I am  missing my beautiful family and friends beyond measure, having never been separated from them for so long. My heart is overcome with joy when I think about seeing them again and waking up in my own bed in the cold..
On the other hand though, I have been lucky enough to have found a wonderful family here who have made me feel completely at home since day one. I have had the time of my life, living close to the land, seeing wildlife everyday, being woken up by lion or elephant and watching sunset after sunset of the most amazing colours, every night new combinations.
It is definitely time for some familiarity though, after 16 months I will welcome it with open arms. I have numerous half-written blog posts and even more still in my head, but for now I am trying to make the most of every minute left here so I may not get round to writing as much as I’d like. I will spend my time making sure I have plenty of experiences to continue writing about long after I am back in the UK to fill some of those chilly winter evenings!

White faced whistling ducks in flight

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Reasons I will miss Tanzania #2

My troop:

Our bigger troop Viramba six ready to start their day having just descended from their sleep tree


Manyoya and new infant Mang’amung’amu

One of my favourite baboons – sub-adult male Ufaransa, nephew of Manyoya and Chelewa

Chelewa, sister of Manyoya and dominant female of our smaller troop Viramba 5

I feel honoured to have been able to spend the year with these amazingly adaptive and strong creatures.  They have given me both some of the toughest and yet most rewarding times here. The insights I have learned from them will stay with me forever.

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Reasons I will miss Tanzania #1

Well, you do not find these in your compost heap back home:

Kinky Kevin the compost raider



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Birds, birds, birds

Crowned lapwing

Common sandpiper

Crowned hornbill

Juvenile scarlet chested sunbird

Spotted morning thrush


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