Monthly Archives: December 2015

Unreasonable Burden

We see a lot of overladen vehicles here but this one probably ‘takes the biscuit’.

  
On a narrow rutted track two Pikpikis between them transporting a heavy piece of iron work strapped at each end to their vehicles, very heavy, very wide, very slow.  

    
   
Not the easiest thing to get around!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now (at the beach)

A submission to this week’s photo challenge: Now

So here we on 28th December at almost 6pm -sitting on the beach by Lake Victoria in the warm breeze, under blue skies watching the waves crash into silver sands. It’s lovely here at St Dominic’s Annex Beach near Igombe, Tanzania

   
  

   

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now (at the beach)

A submission to this week’s photo challenge: Now

So here we on 28th December at almost 6pm -sitting on the beach by Lake Victoria in the warm breeze, under blue skies watching the waves crash into silver sands. It’s lovely here at St Dominic’s Annex Beach near Igombe, Tanzania

   
  

   

The Boy by the Lights

I sat there at the traffic lights waiting for red to become green.

All of a sudden he appeared by my car cloth in hand, two cups.

I started to say no thank you in Kiswahili but stopped. The boy pulled out the cloth and proceeded to wipe the window and the bonnet, patiently raising the wipers and dislodge the trapped twigs from the grating beneath. 

I was first in the queue as the lights remained red, he obviously knew the timing well as he patiently worked his way across to the passenger side with a few seconds to spare. I gave him some coins. Not much by my standards but a token of appreciation. 

I did not ask for my windows to be wiped, but this disheveled boy was doing something to earn something.

There are many street children in Mwanza. Most beg. “Give Me My Money”, grates on the ears far too often. I don’t give to these beggars, the local charities urge us not to as it discourages them to find real help and often monies given are stolen by older boys. 

At least this boy was doing something, not just relying on handouts, from Mzungu.

Marabou

They are probably the ugliest birds in Africa – if not the world. Marabou Storks.

They are common in Mwanza -digging through the rubbish tips. They also hang around Bismarck Rocks, sitting in the trees. 

  

 

We saw them too in their more natural habitat, in the Serengeti.   

Generally here by waterholes or gathering in trees near to a kill, waiting their turn. 

As ugly as they are on the ground they are graceful in the air, whirling and soaring in the thermals in the clear blue skies.     

Serengeti Review: Birds of Prey

We returned last weekend from a fabulous three days in the Serengeti, including a great balloon trip.

This is the second of a series of posts outlining the creatures we encountered – this time birds of prey

Vultures

Last occasion we saw no vultures – so it was a real treat to see two species this time

Lappet-faced Vulture   
  

Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture  
    
    
 

Goshawks

We saw these birds in the Ngorogoro and Serengeti 

Eastern Chanting Goshawk  

Dark Chanting Goshawk



Kestrel

A Greater Kestrel at the entrance to the Serengeti  

Buzzard

This Steppe Buzzard aka Common Buzzard  

Eagles

 African Fish Eagle

We caught this bird drying it’s wings in the sun.

  
Martial Eagle 

Flying high in the sky above the rim of the Ngorogoro crater

  Tawny Eagle  

Batleur  

Kite

Black shouldered kites were common throughout the Seronera and this juvenile was seen in a tree 

  

Serengeti Revisited: Big Cats

We returned last weekend from a fabulous three days in the Serengeti, including a great balloon trip.

This is the first of a series of posts outlining the creatures we encountered staring with Big Cats

Cheetah

Having missed out on a cheetah last time we were able to see one early on this time.

    
Lions

Ever present top predators we encountered several prides and single lions.

   
   
 

  Leopards

We came across leopards on three occasions, the first was the most memorable as the hidden beast rushed out vehicles, the other two were little more relaxed.  

    
 

Other mammalian predators were scarcer and our views of Hyena and Javkels were restricted to views high up from balloon or brief glimpses as we drove along the road. 

This safari however, was dominated by the three big cats which more than made up for the lack of other carnivores.