Little findings

When we travel, we’re looking for the little things that tell us the story of the new place we’re in. If we told you we were in Africa for a safari, you might think we came to see the Big Five (African elephant, rhino, leopard, lion, African buffalo). Sure, that would be nice, but our goal was to see the little things too.

We scheduled time for some walking on our safari and our guides – Mika, Chagamba, and the Maasai – knew just where to help us look.



Our Maasai guide climbed a termite mound and with his spear, broke away a small section of the mound for us to see. These mounds can be active up to 70-80 years. Dwarf mongoose colonies choose abandoned termite mounds for their homes. It’s all about recycling.


Maasai guide by termite mound

Among other insects that we saw were harvester ants, ant lions, numerous grasshoppers, and (new to us) funnel-web spiders.



Funnel spider web

We had asked to see birds as well as animals on the safari – a request more common than we realized. In our 9-day safari, we saw over 170 species.

Lilac breasted roller

Lilac breasted roller

Two-banded courser

Two-banded courser

Fan-tailed widow bird

Fan-tailed widow bird

When we asked Chagamba how many people come to Africa to see the Big Five, he also told us about Africa’s “Little Five”: elephant shrew, rhinoceros beetle, leopard tortoise, ant lion, and buffalo weaver. We saw three of those five. Not bad!


June 2014



About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Around-the World - 2013-14, Tanzania and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Little findings

  1. The lilac breasted roller is gorgeous. Such vibrant colours.

  2. bernice rowe says:

    I have actually seen mongooses (mongeese?) in St. Thomas and on the big island of Hawaii…brought in to kill rats….oops, one species is diurnal, one nocturnal! Haha Mother Nature wins again! Bernice

    Sent from my iPad

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