Bush Breakfast at Siwandu
Sarah Walker, one of our guests, describes her incredibly special experience at Siwandu. Filled with brilliant sightings and a surprise bush breakfast, Siwandu exceeded all expectations and created an extremely memorable trip.
We had arranged for a wake up call at 06.00. Our butler, Mohammed, arrived punctually with a cheery “Jambo” and tray of piping hot coffee and Rooibos tea which we enjoyed on the veranda as dawn broke and melodious bird songs filled the cool early morning air.
A bush walk had been planned for Penny and myself and so it was with high expectation that we set off from the main lodge at 06.30, festooned with hats, binoculars and cameras, sandwiched single file between an armed game ranger and our experienced guide Mohamedi.
The surrounding vegetation at Siwandu is perfect for guided walks. The flat carpet-like grass was short beneath the knob thorn (Acacia nigrescens) trees and although covered with a light dew, allowed comfortable passage as we scoured the ground for the smaller, less obvious insects. We came across an intricately marked kite spider that was busily constructing his web with engineering precision. We stood and watched this marvel of nature for quite a while as the spider prepared his trap for an unsuspecting insect that would fly into it and becomes kite spider’s breakfast.
Butterflies and dragonflies littered the sky before being snapped up in mid-air by Little, White fronted and Böhms bee-eaters, forked tailed drongos as well as lilac breasted and purple (rufous crowned) rollers.
Our guide explained to us the purpose of the thickened thorns on the vicious Bastard Whistling Thorn (Acacia zanzibarica) which are not typically thin thorns but a swollen softish growth that the cocktail ants use to lay their eggs in and which, when the larvae hatch, feed off the inside of the bulb.
After many other fascinating sightings and after about a two and a half hour walk, we came to the edge of Lake Nzerakera, the main lake in the Selous and which runs into the famous Rufiji River. Doum, Borassus and Ilala palms grow at the water’s edge and give shade to the many hippo and crocodiles. Our guide cautioned us on breeding hippo and so we were to be extra quiet as we approached an enormous tamarind tree under which had been prepared our surprise bush breakfast! Of course there was no danger but it was his little joke which we appreciated and enjoyed.
Once again, nothing was too much trouble for the chef, Edmund, and his team who prepared delicious fresh fruit skewers and a large cooked breakfast served on piping hot plates too! Toast accompanied by an assortment of preserves and jams, tea and coffee to complete a scrumptious meal. The element of surprise and eating al fresco was really special and an experience I will remember with fondness.
What a way to start another amazing day at Siwandu. Thank you. Asante sana.