Blog archive

DIA Poaching Group and Kisampa



It all began in February 2017 where a group of Grade 5 students from Dar es Salaam International Academy (DIA) stayed at Kisampa for their 4 days field trip.


The field trip covered topics such as Bush Survival Skills, Forestation, Conflict resolution, Animal Tracking, Bee Keeping and Poaching among other. One particular group of students showed high interest in the Poaching topic. Their interest was because further down in the year, they were required to present on the topic in an exhibition at the school, little did we know at the time.


Forward a month later, Kisampa Bush Retreat gets an email from the Poaching Group (name sounds scary), but we opened the email anyway. We found a meeting request from the Poaching Group asking to meet with Kisampa and get Kisampa's views on the Poaching topic. This was indeed a great honor to get to share our views on the subject and we quickly said YES.


A meeting was set up for sometimes Mid-March and it was amazing to sit with the Poaching Group and their leader Miss Joyce. The group had some interesting questions on poaching as they were preparing for their exhibition. We wrapped the "interview" and Kisampa was invited to their exhibition which was scheduled for May 5th 2017.


It was pleasing to see that the group did not leave it at that verbal invitation, an email invite/reminder was sent about a week before the exhibition, very professional of the group.


On May 5th, Kisampa Bush Retreat represented by Ms. Zaituni attended the exhibition. The Poaching booth was very well researched and presented. As a thank you to Kisampa for our input on their preparations, the poaching group dedicated all the posters made for their exhibition to Kisampa and asked us to put these up at the camp. We will put them up at camp, but we will also share these online for everyone to see, enjoy the posters further down this article.


The group was highly dedicated and very thoughtful in their processes. Congratulations to the DIA staff that supported this lovely Poaching Group. Special thanks to Ms. Joyce for providing guidance to the group, the hard work resulted into a well researched exhibition that was highly educating.


And to finally mention the names of the Poaching Group members, Fatma, Ali, Khairat, and Marcus with the fabulous Ms. Joyce. It was a delight for Kisampa Bush Retreat to be involved and we look forward to another opportunity.







It was an early morning, against all their natural wish to sleep in, Jackie and The Gang were forced to wake up by the strong desire to explore the Hidden Valley.

On the cool winds of 5:30 in the morning, while it was still dark and the almost full moon slowly disappearing from the sky, Jackie and The Gang dragged themselves out of bed and almost sleep walked their way to the restaurant where the coffee was smelling so invitingly.

With their breakfast boxes and torches in front of them, Jackie and The Gang headed in the general direction of Hidden Valley, across the Valley and up the other side to cross what they called "the meadow”.

On the meadow, the sky was getting lighter but the sun had not yet come up. Jackie said to Gang Member No. 1, “Gosh there’s not much here,… is there? I bet you’d like to see a cheetah or a leopard just now,…. Wouldn’t you?  ….Oh look there’s a something,… What is it?  What are THEY?”. Walking in their direction, silhouetted against the sky getting brighter was not one,… not even two, but THREE cheetahs.

Jackie and The Gang stopped the car to have a better look at the cheetahs. Just like the cheetahs, they scanned the surrounding for any sign of antelope or gazelle, but could not see anything. The cheetahs looked sleek and in good condition, but hungry and ready for action, almost like Jackie and The Gang were.

The sun was slowly coming up, and it was as if the sun called upon the gazelles to wake up, some grants gazelle were seen coming up the horizon. They cheetah had seen them too and one of the females was making a serious effort at stalking one of the Grants. The other two cheetahs disappeared from The Gang’s view and as Jackie watched, she thought that was the mum of the family as the cheetah moved in for the hunt.

The cheetah’s movements, deliberate and stealthily, left Jackie feeling slightly nervous, she had never seen a cheetah hunt before. As the cheetah moved in closer, one of the gazelles noticed something was not right and sounded the alarm. The Cheetah aborted her efforts and when the other two joined her they moved on together towards the main valley. Jackie and The Gang followed!

Jackie and The Gang had a short debate whether to stay with the cheetahs or stick with the objective of exploring “Hidden Valley”. Unanimously they decided that hidden valley could stay hidden from them for another day, they’d stick with the cheetahs! They started driving back the very same way they had come earlier in pursuit of the cheetahs.

Taking a wide loop, Jackie and The Gang overtook the cheetahs and took a high vantage point on the other side of the meadow where they could see a Black Backed Jackal trotting up to where they were positioned. The Jackal, holding its head high was carrying a baby Dikdik in its mouth. It had no idea that it was walking straight toward three hungry cheetahs

The cheetahs came over the rise of the valley while the Jackal was in the bottom of the valley. There must have been a moment of surprise and then shock when the Jackal realised the predicament it had walked into. The Jackal broke into a run. The run became a sprint for its life as one of the cheetahs gave chase. The jackal dropped the Dikdik which must have distracted the cheetah enough to let the Jackal get away.

The poor Dikdik, was not yet dead, but had been picked up by one of the two Cheetah who seemed slightly confused as to what to do with this small little creature. The cheetah siblings were trying to decide what to do with the dikdik while the other cheetah moved into the valley and out of our view. Brother and sister walked around with the dikdik, put it down, picked it back up again, until eventually the young male settled down to eat the dikdik.

As Jackie and the Gang watched the two youngsters eat this tiny meal, they saw the mother cheetah down in the valley. She had spotted a herd of Grants gazelle grazing in the bottom of the valley. She was still a good 300 meters away from the gazelles and it was obvious to Jackie and The Gang that the cheetah’s pursuit from such a distance would be unsuccessful, and Jackie and The Gang decided to stay with the two youngsters who had by now just about eaten the measly snack they had stolen off the jackal.

After a while, Jackie and The Gang decided to go and have a look to see where the cheetah might be. Sitting up under a bush, panting but calling for her cubs because lying in the shade next to her was a dead baby Grants gazelle.

Hidden Valley was therefore kept on Jackie and The Gang’s wish list to explore another day, but for that morning they were content to have had the most amazing Cheetah experience,… and all of this only about 2km from the camp they were staying, Ndutu Safari Lodge.


Original story by Jackie Barbour, edited by Zaituni Ituja.

Photos Courtesy of Sarah Barbour. 


The family stayed at Ndutu Safari Lodge in July 2014



Brian Keating at Kigelia Camp

During this past month, we at Kigelia Camp had the honour of hosting a group of fourteen guests being guided by Brian Keating from Canada. Brian is a very well known broadcaster in Canada, hosting a weekly nature show with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Furthermore he often appears on the Discovery Channel, lectures at the University and fund raises passionately for Conservation.  

He was a wonderful guide, very knowledgeable with a store of fascinating facts about every creature the group saw in the Ruaha National Park. During their short stay the group saw a total of 28 different mammals and 80 bird species.

He will be bringing another group later this month and we are really looking forward to having him in the camp again.


Channelling Barry White on the plains of Africa 

Elephant for lunch? It wasn't on the Kigelia camp menu but that's Africa for you; always throwing up surprises. "Grab your plate and head into the tent if he comes any closer," said Rob Barbour, the camp owner, with a firm eye on the wild elephant standing four metres away from the outdoor dining table where we'd just sat down to eat. We were in Tanzania's Ruaha National Park, a reserve of baobab and acacia trees, dry river beds and shrub savannah, littered with wildlife. Kigelia was a bush camp of six or seven tents perched on the bank of a dry Great Ruaha River tributary, a natural thoroughfare for the larger animals and a great place to watch them go by. It also meant they sometimes dropped in. "This one often invites himself into camp, which is why we call him Samahani," Rob advised. "It means 'excuse me' in Swahili." The 20 year old elephant of around 5,000 kilograms didn't stay for long but it was enough to have us soon talking about what might come for tea. Lion? Surely not the pair I'd heard overnight. They'd be too exhausted. I first heard the roar just before dawn, and it sounded like the big cat was just outside my tent (as was the toilet – my full bladder would have to wait). In fact, there were two big cats, and the roar was one of pleasure, not pique or authority. It would start with gusto and wind down to a whimper. Someone at camp had said that lions mate every 15 minutes for seven days; that’s 674 times a week! On safari later that day in one of Rob’s open-air jeeps, we spotted what seemed to be an exhausted lioness and her mate resting in the shade of an acacia. They looked shattered. But no sooner had we pulled up for a closer look, than the male got to his paws and began rubbing himself against the lioness. Was he whispering in her ear? I was channelling American soul singer, Barry White. Uh-huh, right there, you like it like that? Closer, come here, closer, close, oh, baby, oh, baby… When finally he mounted his belle and did what they do on Discovery Channel, at the risk of being branded a voyeur, it was mesmerizing. The power and raw energy. Think James Brown. Whoa-oa-oa! I feel good, I knew that I would, now… To be honest, I felt slightly uncomfortable watching this mighty beast, the king of the jungle, in such a private act. But neither lion seemed to care. They were in the zone, although the whole thing didn’t last long. The roar promptly wound down to a final moan and before you could think of England, both lions were on their backs, legs in the air, grunting sighs of completion. My mind's eye had them reaching for cigarettes. And to think, in a quarter of an hour, they’d be at it again! I'm gonna love you, love you, love you just a little more, baby…For all my discomfort at watching two fellow mammals on the job, the spectacle had been a privilege.

I had the same sensation a few days earlier at Rob's camp in the Serengeti, the only Tanzanian bush camp north of the Mara River. We'd been scouring the open plain for cheetah when one of the ever-present hyena started running towards a destination out of sight. Others began to follow, so we too joined the rush. Something was obviously up. We arrived in time to witness the savage stripping of flesh from a Topi, a type of antelope, which we surmised had died naturally only minutes before. The hyenas poured in, squealing sinisterly, snatching at the warm meat, ripping it from the bones, fighting each other for some of the rapidly disappearing carcass. Vultures stood patiently nearby, waiting their turn. Within minutes, the Topi had been converted to little more than blood and manure-stained savannah grass. It was a breathtaking display of life and death on the African plain, and a stunning contrast to the vista of the Serengeti we'd enjoyed only moments before, where herds of different animals comingled in apparent harmony within metres of each other. Topi, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, zebra, wildebeest, warthog and ostrich; even hyena and jackal were amongst the throng. Archaeologists fancy Mount Ararat in Turkey as the final resting place of Noah’s Ark but my money’s on the Serengeti. Yet, the friendly serenity quickly comes to an end at the sniff of death. Stunning; but that’s life, I guess.

This article was written by Tom Baddeley.


Nudibranchs of Mafia Island - report from Sea Point Diving 

" I am sure some of you have noticed down at the centre we are Nudibranch maniacs. We have decided to create an album dedicated to the different species found here. We invite you all to help us identify them as well as posting your own discoveries of nudi's here. We hope to compile a comprehensive internet 'nudi guide' of Mafian waters. "

To find out more about this dive centre.


Baobabs and Elephants

Ruaha! Intoxicating, pristine, untouched!  The grandeur of the Baobab and the wandering herds of elephants harmonzse perfectly with the magnificent landscapes - enormous trees and beasts in an equally expansive setting.  Wherever Baobabs grow there were probably elephants, these two giants are linked together in the evolution of East Africa - the elephants shaping the life of the trees, and in some cases, the trees shaping the lives of the elephants. 

An excerpt from a book by Sue Stolberger.


Luca Pozzi at Kisampa to study the bushbabies...

Luca Pozzi is a PhD student in Physical Anthropology at NYU. He graduated in Biology from University of Torino (Italy) and finished a Master in Animal Biodiversity and Conservation (curriculum Evolutionary Biology) in 2006. He is most interested in evolutionary biology, molecular phylogenetics and evolution, biogeography and primate behavior, especially in Strepsirrhines. During his master thesis he worked in the reconstruction of lemur phylogeny using a multidisciplinary approach (molecular and bioacoustic) and he developed a computational system to recognize vocal signals using Artificial Neural Networks.

His dissertation work will be focused on exploring mechanisms of speciation in nocturnal cryptic primates, such as bushbabies. His research involves an integration of morphological, bioacoustic, and genetic data to test species boundaries within this cryptic complex and to estimate the amount of ongoing gene flow between recently diverged species. The main goal of this project is to contribute to a better understanding of mechanisms of speciation and isolation between cryptic species and to better clarify the systematics and phylogeny of these poorly known primates. In a broader perspective, his work will provide new information about the biodiversity within these primates, with obvious consequences for conservation.

Luca came to Kisampa this June to trap and perform a varitry of tests on the bush babies which live there.  With great pleasure we helped him as much as possible to ensure that his time with us was fruitful. For more info on Luca .


World Sea Turtle Day

Saturday 16th June was WORLD SEA TURTLE DAY - and the Tanzanian NGO Sea Sense - whose endevours we very much support - hosted a community event in Juani on Mafia Island to celebrate.

The event included a variety of activities including football and netball matches, fun races and challenges, drama displays, music and dancing and opportunities to purchase handicrafts made by the womens group in Juani.  Groups from several villages in Mafia took part to enjoy the fun and to raise awareness of the plight of sea turtles and the wider marine environment. We do hope this lovely event helped to raise the profile of Sea Sense and their sea turtle conservation work on Mafia.

Want to adopt your very own sea turtle nest?  or support the cause and go watch a sea turtle nest hatch...


The amazing lion feast - Opening of Kigelia Camp for the season

In early June I went down to our Kigelia Camp to celebrate the opening of another season at our lovely mobile camp.  During the very first game drive of the season we were incredibly lucky to spot a fresh giraffe kill by a group of what we eventually counted to being 2 large males and 6 females.  We were able to park our car only meters away, with our mugs of morning coffee in our hands and hot water bottles in our laps.... we savoured the moment all on our own for several hours.        Anna Jonsson. Marketing Manager


New mangers at Chole Mjini Lodge opens the doors for a new season

Through the love of diving, Elena was introduced to East Africa.  Having been brought up in Austria, Elena did her first dives in the Adricatic Sea of Croatia.  Seeking warmer waters, she moved to work in Nungwi, Zanzibar and acheived her PADI Divemaster certification.  Then in 2012, she went on to become a PADI SCUBA Instructor in Mombasa, Kenya, where while working she met Calvin.  Calvin was born and raised in Mombasa, and grew up in and around the Indian Ocean.  Calvin became a dive instructor in 2007 and has worked in the industry in Zanzibar, Grand Cayman, and finally Mafia.  Needless to say, these two beach goers felt right at home in the Marine Park of Chole Bay.


My baby squirrel

I found my baby squirrel on the 17th of February 2012. He was about 5 weeks old and very small. He was about 16 centimeters long including the tail. I should tell you how it all started.

My mom had just come home from a ride on her bike. She was listening to music when we heard the alarm call of a squirrel. I thought nothing of it until i went into the bathroom to drink some water. When I was walking out I saw a strange thing sitting on the floor very still. I thought it was one of my brother’s toys and walked straight passed it. Then something caught my eye because it was wriggling its whiskers. I walked back to it and took a closer look. Then it clicked and I shouted to mom that there was a baby squirrel on the floor.

We caught it and calmed it down. We looked everywhere for the mom but we couldn’t find it. Then I remembered that the day before a squirrel had been taken by a bird and guessed that that was its mom and that it had been abandoned. I took it in and looked after it. Not knowing what a baby squirrel eats I went onto the internet and looked it up. I found a milk recipe and how to feed it. We fed it with a syringe which had the needle removed and put a bit of small pipe on the end to let it suckle it. It worked like a charm. We started feeding him other stuff like banana, carrot in small pieces, and brand flakes. He loved all those things.

After three or four day we decided he would be ok. We named him Tiger because his colors where like a tiger’s. He has been very happy with us and is growing up fast. He is now 7 weeks old and still going. When he is hungry he gets all frisky and runs around and when he has had his milk he goes straight to sleep. He sleeps in a box with a scarf in it. I put it at the end of my bed so that I know when he is making a noise or awake and hungry. He needs plenty of play time because he gets very bored. He loves it when you scratch his tummy. In school he always sits on my lap. My dad says he is very proud of me.

Sarah Barbour, Kisampa


Gongo Village has a water system

With the help of a very generous donation from friends in Ireland, our charity - Tuende Pamoja - has now change the lives of the people of Gongo village, near Matipwili in the Bagamoyo District.  This little village is totally landlocked with no water supply at all, until now when we have been able to install a pump and a generator so that water is now available to everyone in Gongo.

No longer do they have to walk or cycle 6 kilometres to a marshy puddle to get water for drinking, washing clothes and bathing....they now go to the pump and merely turn on a tap to fill their buckets!!

The community are to be congratulated and can be really proud of their achievement....they designed the project and have built it without exceeding their budget...and the project is a success....water is available in quantity for all to enjoy for a small payment per bucket.


The remarkable Chole village

One of the highlights of many guests’ stays at Chole Mjini Lodge is a wander through Chole village.  Even though the island is only 500m by 800m there is plenty of opportunity to get lost in the island’s many winding paths so we always recommend to get one of our English speaking guides and they can also acquaint you with Swahili life, and more likely than not introduce you to their mother, show you their house and meet their friends on the way – this also ensures there’s a cultural engagement; an exchange of ideas which both the guide and guests enjoy.
The best time to amble through the village is in the morning, before it gets too hot and while there’s plenty of community activity.  There’s so much to see a tour can take anything from an hour to four!  Not only are guests able to visit 2000 roosting fruit bats at Popo Park, a bat sanctuary developed by the villagers to protect this endangered animal, but also hear about the history of the island and walk through the ruins from the days of the Mashatiri Arabs as well as visit the boat yard, where they build bespoke dhows with no power tools or even measuring tapes – its fascinating to watch this age-old tradition and talk to the fundis.  There is also the wonderful work achieved by the Chole Mjini Trust Fund – the Primary School, Chole Hospital, Adult Learning Centre and my favourite project the Kindergarten.  When you arrive at the Kindergarten you are welcomed with open arms…in fact 60 open arms…wonderful happy faces smile up at you, and you are able to see the real benefit of the project – allowing these children not only to receive one nutritious meal a day and checked for childhood diseases but also learn that education can be fun and teaching the Montessori principles from such a young age ensures when they get to Primary School they are ready to learn.  As a Chole Women’s Society project the initiative was also designed to allow the women on Chole some much needed time off from motherhood and even develop their own sources of revenue.
As well as the good work done by the Chole Mjini Trust Fund, all Chole Mjini Lodge guests pay $10 per person per night which is donated to the village, in 2011 that was just under $12,000.  Guests frequently hear of the charitable work done on Chole before they arrive and kindly bring pencils, pens, colouring books, educational aids and toys for the village – which is received with great appreciation.  And here is a photo of such a guest – Lygery with her new Chole friends, the photo was taken by Yiannis Orfandis.  We cannot thank guests enough for this kindness and especially considering the 15kg weight limit on aircraft in Tanzania it means even more.  Lygery & Yiannis also took the opportunity to send me photos of their stay, I print these photos out and give them to the people – Choleans love having their photo taken – so I encourage as many guests as possible to do this.
Chole is a wonderful community which offers a fascinating insight into Swahili life – we had a guest stay recently who we called “Nick The Lost” because every day he would wander into the village and inevitably get lost but everyday he made another new friend who helped him find his way back to the Lodge – I think that says it all!

(Photos by: Yiannis Orfandis)


Narina Trogon couple spotted at Kisampa


A beautiful Mr. and Mrs. Narina Trogon spotted from one of our stunning open aired showers at Kisampa. Narina Trogon Apaloderma narina is just one of almost 40 trogon species that inhabit forested regions of the world, and unfortunately Africa is poorly represented by this particularly beautiful family of birds with only 3 representatives. Both sexes have vivid, gingery green upperpart plumage. The tail feathers have a metallic blue-green gloss. The male especially, has bright amaranth red underside plumage and bare, green gape and eye flanges. The female has brown face and chest plumage, blue skin orbiting the eyes and duller red plumage below.

Narina Trogons are essentially large forest leaf-gleaners that feed mainly on invertebrates and to a lesser extent on small vertebrates. A high percentage of prey brought to nests are smooth-skinned caterpillars from the moth, and not butterfly family. Their hunting strategy is to perch in the mid-canopy and scan the nearby leaves and branches for prey, which apart from caterpillars may include spiders, dragonflies, moths, preying mantises, cicadas and small dwarf chameleons.  They make a very distinctive noise when they chit chat and call to one another.

What a wonderful view to start your day with!


Post Safari Retreat

If you're after a tropical retreat, then Chole Mjini's thatched tree-houses – elevated between jungle and beach – are the perfect place to play Tarzan and Jane. High up in the ancient Baobab trees that line the shores of Chole island – which is just off the larger Mafia island and south of the Tanzanian capital, Dar Es Salaam – the rooms here are reached via sandy walkways, wooden platforms and ladders, and contain giant King size beds where you are lulled to sleep by the sound of the sea and awoken (hopefully not too early) by birdsong. There's no electricity or mobile phone reception here, so it's a real back-to-Eden experience. All the tree-houses are sea-facing and some even feature a separate elevated room with 360-degree views out over the water.  The resort is dedicated to responsible tourism, so there's a feel-good factor here that goes deeper than diving with whales and snorkelling with turtles – but you can totally do that too.


Lucky's first birthday!

We are very happy to report that Kisampa's little red duiker - Lucky - has miraculously survived and it has now been a year since he was rescued from being killed by a baboon at our camp.  The little sweetheart was in a bad state and to be honest....we really did not think he would make it! After two days of struggling he finally drank some milk from a syringe given my Sarah.

And since that day our little "pet" has been growing up strong....and look at him now with his stunning pair of horns and shine coat!  Healthy as can be!  Lucky is free and lives out in the wild but comes into camp each morning for some cuddling and milk and I think company.  He likes hanging out in our pavillion as we all have breakfast.

Last bit of news.....and we shall keep you all posted.... is that Lucky has a friend.... or can we even hope that it might be a girl friend???


YOGA MAGAZINE - October 2011



Yoge retreat at relaxing Kisampa

During the last weekend on September Kisampa was the host of its first yoga retreat.  The goal was to spend three days to unwind, rediscover one’s self and to detox with healthy food and yoga asanas.  The weekend was filled with lots of yoga, meditation and pranayama along with meditative bush walks, relaxation, and an opportunity to fully emerge into nature. The mornings focussed on the asanas part of the practice going through the ashtanga sequence with specific adjustments and groundings, while the afternoons were spent in a softer practice concentrating on meditation and specific pranayama exercises.  When in Kisampa you are like no where else in the world and find your pace slowing down dramatically and your mind finds ultimate relaxation as the body falls in tune with the wild surroundings. Kisampa is the perfect camp to come and relax and find your deep inner self as there is no disturbance from any kind and only the soothing sounds of wildlife.

The retreat was lead by Oriane, an ashtanga instructor born in France but currently working and living in Nairobi, Kenya.  Oriane studied law at university, then marketing and finance in Lyon, France. After completing her master degree she left France for Italy, then New York and finally China where she studied Mandarin and worked in garment productions around Asia (China, Taiwan and Hong Kong). She then headed to Sri Lanka and started a production business there. After some years she met her man and married him! From then on she followed to Africa starting with Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and eventually Kenya. She first discovered yoga when living in Sri Lanka and developed her own practice while living in Malawi and Zambia. She discovered ashtanga vinyasa yoga when she just arrived in Tanzania and never looked back! Since then she has been practicing daily first the physical part with the asanas and then started to include pranayama and meditation. She has now been practicing yoga for over 12 years and ashtanga for a full intensive 8. She has been teaching it for 7 years along with organising yoga retreats and safaris.

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is characterized by the practice of a series of yoga poses without stopping and accompanied by vinyasa or riding the breath in order to flow from one pose to another. It is a vigorous exercise that physically and mentally challenges you in order to help you connect to your inner power. Poses are done in a fast pace, and each pose is held for the required five breaths. This practice can increase your physical endurance and ability to focus on any task for a long time without breaking your concentration.


Idyllic Kitutia

Picnic lunch, fish bbq, sandbar and a little light snorkelling were what we were after so Driska and Henk from Holland, Prue from Australia and I embarked on our day trip to Kitutia.  Located outside the bay we sailed for over an hour, past Mafia, Jibondo and a host of small islands in search of paradise and paradise is what we found.  As the reef breakers came into view so did this wonderful snow white sandbar surrounded by azure and turquoise seas – as we approached we were in silence – drinking in this piece of heaven.  While putting up the shade and starting the bbq I suddenly saw this huge form rising up from the water – alerting my island friends – we gazed in amazement as humpback whales were breaching, blowing and catapulting themselves out of the water, barely 1km from the sandbar…Prue even said “I hope we’re snorkelling the other side!”.
As we left Mzee to the job of cooking, we went off to the reef – sadly Kitutia was badly dynamited during the 90s but its slowly, ever so slowly, returning to form with some beautiful soft corals in a spectrum of colours from lime greens, yellows and pinks to blues and purples.  We even saw a turtle having a rest at the bottom, a scorpion fish, some stunning groupers and a rather shy black blotched porcupine fish.
As we returned to the sandy spit – Mzee had laid out a glorious lunch of fresh trevally fish, pasta salad, aubergine crisps, samosas and coconut, with the piece de resistance being a super lobster Prue had found in the village the day before.  All delicious but lazing under the awning sucking at lobster legs smothered in garlic and lemon butter was my highlight.  A quick coffee with freshly made doughnuts and brownies and we were on our return journey to Chole – with the sail up and hearing the lapping waves around Bibi na Babu’s hull was bliss – the sounds that just lull you into a sun-drenched doze…a truly peaceful, magical day for all four of us.


Volunteering in Matipwili

Lucy has come out to Kisampa from England for 8 weeks as part of her gap year. Her aim is to learn about Tanzania, life in the bush and life in a rural African village.  She is spending most of her time in Matipwili teaching the kids in the primary school computer technology. Jordan Satok donated 3 laptops to the primary school a little while back but they haven't been used as no one in the village really had any idea where to start. So Lucy has now been at Kisampa for almost 2 weeks and been going to the school and teaching 'Computer Technology' to Standard 5, 6 and 7 (the last three years of primary school). Before she came the kids had never actually seen a computer in real life but already now they are able to type formal letters, draw the Tanzanian flag, use the inbuilt calculator and create a pie chart or bar graph using Excel.  

Over the next week Lucy hopes to start adult computer classes in the village, for anyone who wants to learn but in particular for the teachers at the school so that after she leaves they are able continue the classes. Akida the librarian is really excited by the project and helps Lucy everyday in class alongside Omary or Kasim who come with her from Kisampa and look after her whilst she is in the village.  Lucy intends to present the idea of buying dongles for each of the computers so the village can get internet access and the tools to make the best use of it by the time she leaves to return to England.