Reasons #493 – #514 I love living in Tanzania

Good morning. I’m back at school today after a fantastic break from classes, planning, and grading student work. It’s a bit tough to be here after the week I’ve had, which exemplifies exactly what’s kept me in Tanzania for six and a half years and counting.

My secret beach!

My secret beach!

The first 5 days of the break I spent with my family at what is unquestionably my favorite beach in the world, and in order to maintain its status, its location shall remain secret. Suffice it to say that it’s an amazing and deserted beach with good surf and spectacularly dark skies for observing the stars.  I followed up the beach trip with 3 days of camping in Mikumi National Park, where my daughter and I were able to observe over a dozen species of large mammals, including a pride of lions stalking and ultimately killing a cape buffalo, as well as a lengthy list of birds. Check out all the cool birds we saw:

  • palm-nut vulture (Gypohierax angolensis)
  • black-headed heron (Ardea melanocephala)
  • hadeda ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)
  • blacksmith lapwing or blacksmith plover (Vanellus armatus)
  • Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
  • red-cheeked cordon bleu (Uraeginthus bengalus)
  • southern ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri)
  • pied crow (Corvus albus)
  • white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus)
  • yellow-billed stork (Mycteria ibis)
  • African openbill stork (Anastomus lamelligerus)
  • Jackson’s hornbill (Tockus jacksoni)
  • helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris)
  • wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
  • red-necked spurfowl or red-necked francolin (Pternistis afer)
  • lilac-breasted roller (Coracias caudatus)
  • greater blue-eared glossy-starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus)
  • squacco heron (Ardeola ralloides)
  • African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)
  • malachite kingfisher (Alcedo cristata)
  • pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)

If you’ve never visited, I highly recommend coming to Tanzania. The people here are warm, friendly, helpful, and welcoming. The landscapes are quintessentially African, the beaches and diving are world-class, and in my opinion, birding and safari opportunities are unrivaled on the continent.

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