birdandhike logo
Home | Postcards | Tanzania Trip

Tanzania Trip -- Friday, July 20, 2012

July 20
Rural farms in the highlands south of Mbulu

Day 14. Friday, July 20. Mbulu, TZ.

Day 7 in Tanzania.

I got up eager for a hot shower, and after letting the cold water run on my feet for 10 minutes, I gave up. It's a good thing that I brought a big package of wet wipes.

After a good breakfast, we tried to deal with banking. However, the ATM here doesn't accept Visa-network cards, and the only bank in town will not exchange dollars. We had to get money back from Tano (the driver) that we already paid him for fuel, and Lydia is helping until we get back to Babati or somewhere where we can get more local currency (Tanzanian Shillings).

Link to trip map.

July 20
Pied Crow

We also tried to visit the internet cafe, which is associated with the Catholic Church, but they don't open until 9:30 AM (after morning prayers?), and they closed soon after we returned from town. Perhaps tomorrow...

Cathy and Lydia conducted research in the farming areas around Mbulu, and I tagged along. First we visited officials north of town, but most of the day was spent in the mountains south of town. The farms were interesting to see, and the birding wasn't too bad. Common Stonechat, White-browed Scrub-Robin, and Black-backed Puffbirds were the highlights of the identified birds. A spectacular, gray-banded forest hawk was the bird of the day, but it is unlikely I can identify it.

July 20
Banana plantation at edge of Mbulu

In the evening, I went out in front of the hotel to send a Spot message and look for birds, and I was set upon by a pack of some 20 school kids on their way home from school. They all wanted to look through my binoculars, especially looking at their friends with the binos held backwards, which looks very funny. We had lots of fun, but eventually a gentleman from across the street came over to restore a bit of order. Surprisingly, he is a local official intimately familiar with Cathy's issues. He joined us for dinner, speaking good English, and was an additional "data point" in Cathy's research.

After dinner, the ring-leader of the binocular pack, a cute kid who lives next to the hotel, invited me to his yard to meet his brothers, sisters, and mother. The mother wasn't too sure about my presence, standing in the shadows of the doorway of her home to avoid being seen, but she soon joined the binocular party and seemed to be very nice. For me, it was an interesting glimpse into the lives of subsistence farmers. One of the sisters was tossing corn kernels into the air to separate the chaff, a brother was feeding the pigs, and the goats were loudly protesting being confined to their pen. In the end, the little boy and his accomplice got a granola bar for a treat.

July 20
Sanu Inn Restaurant and chef (Vincent)
July 20
Coffee, hot milk, and brown sugar
July 20
Breakfast: Spanish eggs, sausage, and toast
July 20
Locally grown Kilimanjaro Coffee
July 20
Visiting government offices
July 20
Driving into the countryside
July 20
Driving into the mountains
July 20
Big house among mountain farm fields
July 20
Official building in the mountains
July 20
Toilets at the official building
July 20
Storage building adjacent to the official building
July 20
Details of building construction: plaster over sticks and mud
July 20
Zainabu Restaurant in Mbulu
July 20
Afternoon coffee and a snack (rice dumpling)
July 20
Back at the Sanu Park Inn Lodge
July 20
Black-headed Oriole (Oriolus larvatus)
July 20
Farm field and housing beside the Sanu Park Inn Lodge
July 20
Farm field and housing beside the Sanu Park Inn Lodge

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120818

Tanzania Trip Postcards   Copyright, Conditions, Disclaimer Home

 

Google Ads