New Housemates along Lake Tanganyika

Over the last several weeks I have been the recipient of a variety of new ‘housemates’.  Both desired and not.

First, Rat/mouse made herself at home in the back of the gas stove, and so I acquired a little calico cat from the village to find it.  The cat had no name, and so I decided to call it ‘Maw’, which is ancient Egyptian for ‘cat’.  “Maw!”

However, Maw was not interested in Rat/mouse, because 4 days ago she presented me with her own 3  little ‘rats!  Now, she’s caring for these:

Maw with her 3 little mews

Definitely rat'like....

So I brought Bebe over from the village, whom I have had since about 2003, when he was given to me by a friend to baby-sit – but didn’t want him back.  Now he lives in the village with the goats.  He’s a good mouser, but also very destructive, and already has demolished one window screen.  I think Bebe has done away with Rat/mouse, plan to pull out the stove tomorrow to be sure.

Bebe is a good mouser, though he also likes to sunbathe.

A few nights ago I was reading, and out of the corner of my eye thought I saw Rat/mouse – who appeared ENORMOUS.  In fact, it was a huge toad.  Toads like to live in a house during the day, and go outside at night to forage.

A cane toad that's a bit bigger than the new toad that's 'adopted' us. Source: BBC

I have already 2 small ones (about 2″ long, each) who have decided to camp in the house during the day, and it is also quite ok to have this huge, new toad, who has already made hasty work of some of the cockroaches.

Yes, toads will eat crickets - and cockroaches.

Toads will also try to take care of your snake problems: Cane toad eating a 30cm snake.

As to how toads can themselves be eaten in Africa, see here.

Last week one of the staff presented me with a very large tortueuse, who is living in the yard and coming in the house at night to stay in his box.  Tortouses are pretty intelligent – he already recognizes me, and his water dish and his food dish (not necessarily in that order).  Weighs about 3kg and is about a foot long.

Photo coming…

I have a lovely Belgian Shephard, named Hamdy (after my Rhodesian Ridgeback of the same name who died of a parasitic disease.)  Hamdy was given to me as a pup a few years ago by a Belgian who lives in the Congo and who breeds them.  I wanted to breed him to Brochette, who is a lovely (and far less agressive dog) than Hamdy – both were being kept with the goat herds and so I got Brochette over to where I live a few days ago, but we decided not to bring Hamdy over until I can find another pretty agressive guard dog for the goats.

Brochette, on the right. Bobbi is the other dog - nice, but worthless as a guard dog. She just showed up one day, free hand-outs, etc...

Other uninvited housemates that are more or less around all of the time include geccos (great for catching mosquitos and other insects), roaches (whom toads like to eat), and crickets (ditto).

Sometimes snakes come into the house – most, very poisonous –  but I will do another blog about that, and other local wildlife that we generally try to avoid / keep out of the house.

About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-Central, Living here, Pets, Uncategorized, Wildlife and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to New Housemates along Lake Tanganyika

  1. Pingback: What Happened to the Black Mamba in the Bathroom | DIANABUJA'S BLOG

  2. Pingback: Cat Culture in the Tropics « Dianabuja's Blog

  3. Mariana Kavroulaki says:

    Wonderful post, Diana! It reminds me of summer life in Chania. In our house we have 9 cats who despise rats but they eat cockroaches, 2 dogs – these are very interested in rats- scorpions and shy, not poisonous snakes… small frogs who eat flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects -but also get eaten by snakes- a pair of owls, a few chickens and a guard goose who protect the chickens from weasels.
    The house is 6 km away from the city and near a popular tourist area, but in the middle of an olive grove, which means that we have many invited and uninvited guests.

    …. Can’t wait for the wild life blog. 🙂


    • dianabuja says:

      Thanks, Mariana – Amazing that your cats eat roaches! Geese are great guards. Wild stuff coming soon!


  4. Diana,

    Oh, what a great post! It brought back many memories, the good, the bad, the hilarious, the ugly, and the terrible!

    The worst “infestation” of “uninvited guests” we ever experienced while living in developing countries happened in Honduras. The culprits? Some sewer rats that popped up one evening in the toilet bowl. Getting them out proved to be real challenge.

    The runners-up to that surprise included our brush with a nest of black widows and a group of scorpions, both in our house in Haiti. We owned three dogs there, but they took care of marauding goats …

    Glad to see you posting again,and hope that your vision has returned to normal.



  5. Pingback: New Housemates along Lake Tanganyika |

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