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Posts Tagged ‘rufous-backed mannikin’

“A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked.” Anais Nin

A rock path took us through the coffee plants to our luxurious suites. -- Photo by Pat Bean

African Safari: A Night Among the Coffee Beans

Our final destination for this our first full day in Africa was a working coffee plantation on the outskirts of Arusha, where we were warmly greeted after our chaotic ride with wet wash rags to wipe the dust from our hands and faces, and a delicious glass of iced coffee to soothe our parched throats. .

I immediately became addicted to African coffee, so much so that I usually drink nothing but whenever possible. In fact, as I’m writing this recap of my days in Africa – while also watching a pair of magpies investigating the picnic table beside my RV here at Lake Walcott in Idaho – I’m drinking a cup of it, generously laced with cream, right now.

Vervet monkey mom with hitchhiking baby -- Photo by Kim Perrin

Life is good.

Back in Africa, meanwhile, after the greeting and the refreshment offered by our coffee plantation hosts, Kim and I were led to our assigned sleeping quarters, a large, bedroom, bath and sitting room duplex suite reached by a rock path that wound through the coffee plants.

Ours was No. 18, the last one to be reached. Beyond it was a dirt path that led to employee quarters for the coffee plantation, which, we were told, is the largest one in Tanzania. Our driver, before letting us off, said the operation was owned by Greeks, who once had a large community in the area.

Our six-course dinner that evening, served in the main lodge, was a formal affair. I can’t recall what we had, but I do remember it was delicious

Kim set the timer on her camera so she could get a photo of the two of us on the porch of our lodge accommodations.

Afterward, Kim and I walked among the plants – and the vervet monkeys. The black-faced agile climbers were delightful to watch as they scampered around on the roof tops. Our favorite was a mom carrying a youngster beneath her belly as she gadded about.

Back at our suite, we sat on its porch together watching birds, listening to what sounded like party noises from the employee quarters,  and then watching the sky for the stars to come out. While we were sitting there, quite enamored with our present state of being, a lodge employee came and sprayed our room for mosquitoes and arranged the insect netting around our beds.

Black-headed oriole -- Wikipedia photo

I don’t know about Kim, but once I got beneath its filtered walls, I slept deeply. Life was really good.

Rufous-backed mannikin -- Photo by Alan Manson

Bird Log of new lifers for the day: hadada ibis, baglaflecht weaver, pied crow, black kite, rufous-backed mannikin and black-headed oriole.

Next Episode: Our Native Driver/Guide, Bilal

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