Thursday, 25 February 2010

Coastal safari

With no further news on the crime and punishment theme it seemed like an opportunity to sort a few photos from the beach trip. So, a few pictoral highlights from two nights in Mkomazi National Park and four on the beach at Pangani.

Mkomazi was incredibly picturesque and had plenty of birds (including one new one for me - red-winged lark. Sorry, no pictures...) but not as full as the other places we've been in terms of mammals. Or visitors for that matter - just one other tourist car in the whole place whilst we were there! So we settled for quality, rather than quantity.

The family of mother plus three large cheetahs cubs was just spectacular - all to ourselves and just sitting on the road next to us, despite noisy children, etc. Wow!

But Caracal is something special - a new mammal for us all. Although it has a massive distribution across Africa, the middle east and into India and is apparently fairly abundant in many places it's extremely rarely seen, so to see this one hunting along the road both evenings was great and certainly justified the trip for us. Babu's camp is also a very nice place to stay if you want to do it in style.

And there were reptilian highlights too (tiny leopard tortoises and huge white-throated savannah monitors), plus Grandma was very brave with a number of invertebrates too, such as this stick insect. Not so brave about the giant millipede I'm afraid (though the mancub had one in each hand very happily...) and we've got a fantastic photo of her expression when it uncurled and started to crawl off her fingers. But she's told me not to post it. So I thought some blackmail might be in order - what am I offered to post it? If you can offer more than she does the world will see a lovely picture...

Then it was straight down the hill (well, several hills really, it's a fairly long way to the coast...) to Pangani and into the sea (that's me in the shade on our own personal beach)...

The coast was, predictably, absolutely roasting and we did little but play in the sea,

cool off with lollies

eat huge fish

and then spend a day on a dhow

sailing via some beautiful reefs for snorkling, to a deserted sand island chock full of the most amazing shells ever (if Kitty ever finishes aranging her collection I'll provide some photos - it was just incredible!).

So, all in all a lovely time for all, tempered only by the extreme heat on the coast and Grandma getting something nasty to come back with (possibly just sunstroke). She seems better now at least (and provided some photos for here too). She even survived a snake in her bed on the last night.... Just waiting for the Mancub's heatrash to subside now and we'll be ready for more adventures... Now it's all systems go for party time tomorrow (Kitty's 5th birthday) and then off again on saturday for adventures in Ngorongoro crater!


  1. Beats our holiday! Looks lovely and now I want to eat fish. Think I'll skip the wee beasties though.

  2. Happy birthday, sweet Emma!

    Heather, Darren, Lucy & Christopher