Jan 13 – AM Boat ride on Shire River and tributaries: Have only me in the vehicle and boat rides. Don’t have to share so I can take all the time I want to take photos and decide what I want to stop for.
Brown throated Weaver, Water Monitor, Malachite KF, Greenbacked Heron, Woodland KF, Malachite KF, African Jacana, lots of swallows, Great White Egret (I think this is what we call Great White Heron!), Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret on Hippo back, Mother and baby hippo with Cattle Egret on top of mother, Great White Egred, Hippos, Purple Heron, Blue Cheecked Bee-eater, Nile Crocs (6 of them), Hippos, Open Billed Stork, Malachite KF, Giant KF, male Elephant, Spur winged Lapwing and Blacksmith Lapwing,
Have now seen 5 KF’s–Giant, Woodland, Pied, Malachite, and Striped, of which Woodland and Striped are new for me. Love the snorfling grunt type noises the hippos make!
Age of Baobab trees is measure the circumference. For each meter, assume 80-100 years old. Some of the trees have an amazing girth so they have to be thousand or more years old.
Evening Game Drive through Mopani Woodland (other has been Mopani Woodand and scrub) : LBR, Striped KF, baby impalas about 1 mo and 1 1/2 months old, AFE, Woodland KF, Red Billed HB, AFE Grey Lourie, Red Squirrel, Sable Antelope in the wild–not in Sanctuary, 8 Sable females and 2-3 young plus 2 young males, Elephant family, another herd of Sable Antelope consisting of 17 females, 2 males and then one solitary male for a total of 43!!!! After dark: Elephant shrew, 2 genets, and 4 hares.
There is noise all day and all night in the bush–frogs, birds, crocs, hippos, insects, etc.
It is the beginning of their rainy season, but I have been dry!
First day there were 6 others, 2nd day there were 5 others, and last day there were only two others.
Had dinner at my lodge last night. Was supposed to be on the porch but it was too buggy so I brought it inside.
14 JANUARY Transfer to Lilongwe International Airport and fly to Nairobi where you connect onwards to Kilimanjaro. Transfer by road to the Arusha Hotel to meet with your group and stay for one night.
Have seen no tractors or farming equipment. Everything is done by hand–hoeing, harvesting, taking to mkt. And about half of the people walk barefoot on the black tar highway or by the side of the road. Water is from pumps in the villages, where they go each day for their daily water. Many also wash their clothes at the well.
Today was travel day; 4 hrs by car back to Lilongwe to fly to Nairobi and on to Kilamanjaro in Tanzania. Had a bit of excitement on the Lilongwe to Nairobi flight. The captain flashed the seat belt sign — mine was on — and almost immediately the plane dropped. I had a coke on the way to my mouth and my had went down all the while trying to keep the coke in the glass. The plane bounced up and my arm with up. When the plane went down again my glass came down with about half of the coke still up in the air flying all over the two seats beside me. That happened twice. I had no coke left in the glass after that! Luckily there was no one sitting beside me or in front of me. The coke was still dripping from the ceiling of the overhead bins for another minute or so! You know that photo where something is dropped in milk and the ring forms with droplets. That’s what my coke sorta looked like as it was leaving the glass!
Caroline, Steve, and their friend and my roommate Ellen, will be here sometime tonight. It is now 11 p.m. and I am going to bed shortly.