Category Archives: Africa

Lakeside Living – Part 2

Lake Victoria is an amazing place. Even though you’d never want to swim in it, nonetheless it provides some stunning scenery.

We are lucky that within ten minutes by car we can be on the lakeside for an afternoon stroll or a sundowner.

Over the past few months we have been fortunate to see some hidden places on the lake in the company of a colleague we have hiked the back roads of Mwanza and seen some hitherto unvisisited beaches. We have also had a couple of recent boat trips and a follow up visit to a little area of parkland.

So here is part 2 of  a summary are some of the experiences of the past few months in Mwanza.

Part 1 is here.

Riding the Waves

A couple of times this holiday we have ventured out onto the waters of Lake Victoria. The first time was a boat trip organised by some friends. We took a speed boat out from Mwanza, passing by the many islands which dot the lake, including Senane Island – home to a small safari park, then returning for a glorious sunset. It got a bit wet too as the waves crashed over the speeding boat.

 

Ferry Cross the Strait

Our second boat trip took us across the Mwanza Strait to Kamanga, followed by a walk up a hill to watch the sunset. At 1000TzS (37p) each way, a bargain!

Kingfisher Collection

Kingfishers are rare in the UK – I only saw my first Kingfisher back in the UK last summer.

Here in Tanzania they are much more common. Last week I saw a Woodland Kingfisher – thus completing the set of all those which can be seen in this part of Tanzania. All of these have been seen in our garden, apart from the Giant Kingfisher (seen in Kigoma) but resident here. However, not all of the photos were taken in the garden.

So here is the collection…..

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Woodland Kingfisher

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Grey-headed Kingfisher

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Pygmy Kingfisher

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Malachite Kingfisher

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Pied Kingfisher

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Giant Kingfisher

Beautiful Bougainvillea

The rains are imminent – in fact three storms have come and gone – nothing on the scale that is to come, but a sign things are changing.

Even so the ground remains parched and yellow, dusty and dry – the exception being the Bougainvillea which is in bloom at this time and throughout the dryest time of the year and provides a welcome splash of colour to the garden.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Crater’s) Edge

A submission to the latest Weekly Photo Challenge :Edge

Taken on our trip to Ngorogoro Crater in October 2014.

Four Become Three

Today we leave the UK and return to Tanzania. We’ve spent a fabulous time in the UK for just about seven weeks. In that time we have travelled the length and breadth of England, visiting friends and relatives along the way, but now our time here is coming to an end. Perhaps because our stay has been fragmented between different locations (our longest stay in any one place was 13 days) time has flown quickly. We have taken a lot in and caught up with most (though sadly not all) of the people we wanted too. Being a visitor in our former homelands has been strange but friends and family have been generous and kind, we have had many meals and shared good times across the land.




One of our purposes here was to prepare our eldest for University. In just over three weeks from now he will start at his favoured University to study a degree in English Literature, History and Drama Studies. The next phase of his life is starting and so will ours. 

Our family has been four for almost 16 years, since our youngest was born. It’s difficult to remember a time when we were three, but even then he was there as a toddler – a part of our family for 18+ years. Now our family must change, readjust, re-balance to reflect the changing dynamic of daily life. It’s going to be wierd, disconcerting, challenging even.

Our son does not cease to be part of the family, but the relationship will change. New experiences for him and for us will undoubtedly separate us a little. This was always going to happen, it’s inevitability established on the timeline from the moment he was born. We have brought our son up from baby to toddler to child to teenager and now to a young adult. We have done our bit and set him up for the next phase of his life. 

The fact we are 4000 miles away rather than 400 miles  or 40 miles (the distance I moved away from my parents) makes this departure more geographically stark, but in truth when you leave home, you never quite return the same person. The next few years are going to be exciting and life changing. We must embrace it and look on the positive side. For today there will be sadness as four become three but we look forward to our reunion in time to come and the stories we will be able to share.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare Skies

Our trip across Africa last summer took us to the Island of Likoma in the middle of Lake Malawi/Nyassa. These Islands are close to the Mozambique coast, surrounded by Mozambican waters but part of Malawi nonetheless. We had three great days at Mango Drift, a Backpacker resort.

One of the best things about our time on Likoma were the night skies – devoid of light pollution it gave us an unrivalled view of the night sky. At this time there was a conjunction of Venus and Mars ( the planets appeared close to one another in the night sky), which doesn’t happen all the time. This and the low light gave me a great picture – on a long exposure the two planets shine brightly. Mars appears a deep red and venus white – so bright it casts a reflection on the water – ‘venus light’.

My submission to this week’s photo challenge: Rare.

Likoma (212)

Likoma (215)

Those same skies – later gave the best view of the Milky Way I have ever seen – the pictures don’t do it justice.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning (on the Road)

A contribution to this week’s photo challenge  on the theme Morning.

A year ago we had just completed a month long tour through from Lake Victoria to Victoria Falls via Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana (including a brief excursion into Zimbabwe and a travel through Mozambique waters). All the photos below were taken during the mornings as we travelled across the continent. You can find out more by checking the link