Archives for category: Wildlife

Black-Crowned-Crane-flying-700x3501.jpgJust arrived home after a three day safari at the Pendjari game park in the north of Benin. Lions, elephants, hippos, crocs yes, but the highlight for me was seeing a flock of 97 black crowned cranes – a threatened species – soaring overhead.


African pied wagtail.jpg

Just me and an African pied wagtail at the pool this afternoon.

The Buddhist principle of not killing any sentient being is all very well, but what do you do when you have a coordinated quadruple invasion of ants, termites, stink bugs and scorpions?


A Western Grey Plantain Eater perched on the top of a nearby Neem tree this morning. One of our noisiest and most conspicuous neighbours.

This evening, made the mistake of brushing my teeth in the dark. Didn’t spot the green stink bug perched on the toothbrush bristles until it was actually in my mouth. Suddenly the all too familiar, nauseating odor became a taste. Stopped short of swallowing it fortunately, but spent the next five minutes rinsing my mouth with copious amounts of water.

We killed two scorpions and two snakes in the house over Christmas. The scorpions are old friends, we’re used to them, but the snakes are extremely unusual. Oh yes, and a couple of hedgehogs as well. The boys roast them over an open fire and eat them.

We often get scorpions in the house at this time of year, but this is unheard of: seven in one weekend!


Two bearded barbets appeared today, sitting together on a tree right in front of my house. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen them up here on the mountain.


Pandja, one of the guys who lodges at my place, is on the final day of a malaria treatment. He must be feeling bettter: he caught this black-crowned tchagra with his bare hands this morning. Then came the usual debate about whether or not to give it to the cat… but in the end it escaped of its own accord.

Seven hooded vultures flap by, slowly, menacingly, in the direction of the abattoir.
Hooded vultures