Category Archives: Mwanza

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: 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

Slipping Right Back In?

I am not sure what I expected upon our return visit to the UK this summer but I’m pleasantly surprised that for me at least it is very much a case of picking up where I left off in 2014. I imagined that there might be a greater discontinuity or even culture shock but it hasn’t as yet been manifest.

Perhaps the effects of Social Media, FaceTime, the BBC News App on my phone and a 4G has meant that a tenuous link to the UK remained even though I was well off the beaten track in Mwanza.
We are in the midst of a week long return to MK and yesterday had a great time catching up with old friends at St Mary’s Bletchley. Whilst much had changed in the Church Yard, it seemed to us that it was very much the same SMB we left in 2014. It was good to be part of that community again.  MK itself seems little different – a few new buildings in this ever changing new city but familiar nonetheless. 
We have all got older of course and the changes are most apparent in the friends of our children and in the older folk we have met. Even so most people are as they were. Here lies the most obvious difference. 

I suppose the past two years for us have opened us to a very different way of life and a plethora of experiences. Yet perhaps outwardly we have changed little too other than a slight tan and the use of a few expat colloquialisms. Yet sitting here in MK, we are visitors, curious onlookers no longer residents.

I wonder whether the longer we are away from Britain, the bigger the differences will become.

WPC – Look Up To The Skies

A submission to this week’s photo challenge :Look Up – looking up to see the birdlife around us in Tanzania and across Africa.

Back to ‘Blighty’

I sit here in the lounge of my parents-in law watching Wimbledon – the Ladies Semi-Finals (Kerber vs Williams). It’s almost like we’ve never been away.

It’s our first day back in England (Blighty is an old-fashioned term for Britain / England). It was a long and somewhat stressful trip back with Turkish Air / Fast Jet.

It all started back in Mwanza with a lengthy conversation  with a ‘jobsworth’  Fast Jet official who insisted that although on weight – we were only allowed one bag each on the plane – this was neither on the ticket or clearly described in the small print – we almost missed our flight!

In Dar Es Salaam – we discovered our 3 am flight was delayed by six hours – resulting in a sleepless night in the Airport. The reason for the delay was never fully explained though attributed to technical difficulties. The result of all this delay was that we would miss our connecting flight from Istanbul to London. Thankfully but after a hour long, 1 – 2am wait in the airport we were re-scheduled for a later flight.

The delay was almost 7 hours in the end and got us into Istanbul with a little over an hour to spare before check-in. So a quick taste of European culture (Café Nero) before boarding our Heathrow flight. Arriving back in the UK about 9pm we realised that of our 7 bags, 3 were still in Istanbul. One of the three belonged to Anita who had no clothes, one to me who had no other shoes but sandals, the other to my daughter.
These were subsequently put on another flight – but one bag only has arrived thus far – the others having taken an even later flight back and expected late this evening. Although all these will be couriered across – things are still very frustrating.

I’m told this is the perils of long-haul travel – just hoping our journey back to Mwanza will be less of an ordeal.

 

I’ll Miss…. The Birdlife

Term’s over, school’s out and soon we’ll be out of Africa.

Not for ever ….. but for a couple months whilst we return to the UK. Here is a short series on some of the things I’ll miss whilst we’re gone.

It may not be a surprise to those who follow this blog regularly that the birdlife has been a major part of the experience here. You can find out more by clicking on the link below and working forward. A Bird a Day in June