Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lake Manyara

Hornbill Feeding Its Young
I start my tanzanian safari with a visit to Lake Manyara. I have a Toyota Landcruiser all to myself. Feel bad about being the lone passenger in a huge vehicle but secretly appreciate the freedom too, because folks - even friends - don't take too kindly to stopping for every bird. Nasibu, my driver and guide, tells me that they picked him because he is the most knowledgeable about birds. He uses our journey time to give me an introduction to Tanzanian culture. He is very proud that 120 tribes live in perfect harmony. I like that; it's harder to be fiercely proud of  being peaceful than , say, of being a courageous warrior clan.

Manyara offers me good practice for the biggies that I am scheduled to visit over the next four days. On the way out of the park we come across a Silvery Cheeked Hornbill feeding her "captive" female through a narrow slit in the nest. I had always heard about their strange nesting/breeding habits, and this time I got to experience it from up close.
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