Part II is here:Visitors on the Wild Side of Lake Tanganyika – II
Over the years I have enjoyed (or not) the gifting, invasion, or other means of learning about the creatures of this part of central Africa. Wildlife here in Burundi tends to be on the small side – perhaps in keeping with a small, and now densely populated country.
Snakes. Yes, we have many – most poisonous. Snakes like to come into houses if they can find a way, and often end up in the bedroom.
Several years ago I awakened to the cats frantic hissing, to discover a relatively huge (yes, huge) Black Mamba under the bed.
I called Zac, one of the outside staff, to come to the house to see what we could do with it.
Zac says ‘howdy, what’s up?’ (or something like that, knowing I’d not call him to the house at about 3am unless there was an emergency.
Green Mambas are also bad news. Very poisonous; we have had a few that were seen out where the goats are.
Puff Adders are hugely round, a bit short and also a bit sluggish. But a deadly bite. I once ran over one on the road near the compound, by mistake.
Nile Monitor Lizards are another reptile that is very common here – and although they are cranky and can grow up to 9 feet, they are not dangerous (to people) as long as not cornered – and as long as you’re bigger than a 2-year-old. But they do like small livestock, dogs, cats, chickens, etc.
Smaller ones that the above picture have from time to time climbed trees overhanging one of our goat houses, preparing to lunge down for the kill. Usually the dogs announce the presence of a monitor lizard, and the workers then chase it about hoping to catch and kill it – the flesh is very good, according to locals. A bit like chicken.
There are also beautiful colored lizards such as this one:
During the rainy season one sometimes finds very strange frogs – at least not so common, like the following, who actually made it into the house.
Moths and butterflies – not so many. This Night Moth I found inside of the house a while back:
In the past, there were various animals that now have disappeared, or are close to disappearing, including the following -
Throughout the Great Lakes region of central Africa the wearing of leopard skins was so carefully ascribed only to royalty or elite, that Speke records in one of his travel books of the mid-Nineteenth Century that a young fellow appearing at their camp in the area of Lake Victoria wearing a leopard skin was quickly and roundly chastised. He was trying to pass himself off as the son of a local leader – which he was not.
Part II is here: Visitors on the Wild Side of Lake Tanganyika – II
- Discovering the Rusizi River, Did it flow IN or OUT?! Part VI (dianabuja.wordpress.com)
- It’s That Time of the Year Again: Rice Harvesting and Processing (dianabuja.wordpress.com)
- Discovering the Rusizi River, Did it Flow IN or OUT?! Part III (dianabuja.wordpress.com)
- 5 Deepest Freshwater Lakes (5facts.org)
- Lessons in Pasta-making at the Hotel Lac Tanganyika (dianabuja.wordpress.com)
- What Happened to the Black Mamba in the Bathroom (dianabuja.wordpress.com)