An Elemental Journey of Flow Through East Africa.
Deep in remote southern East Africa, in Tanzania an age-old elemental journey begins.
Rains are falling over the Kipengere mountain range. Captured by the landscape, they form the head waters of the Great Ruaha River. This water’s subsequent journey, along with its sister rivers- the Kilombero and the Luwegu Rivers which all eventually flow into the Rufiji River- will wind through 1000’s of miles of wilderness and myriad landscapes.
Along its course through mountains, plateau, wetland, gorges and lowlands, it will provide the lifeblood of whole ecosystems!
This water’s flow will feed millions of people and power half a nation. The rivers act as nature’s arteries, bringing the lifeblood that will touch the lives of wild and human inhabitants far beyond its geographical reach!
Ancient majestic Baobab trees have witnessed the stories that have played out along these banks for thousands of years. Stories of great battles between Lion and Buffalo. Stories of sickness and of health. Stories that recount the trials and tribulations of whole dynasties of Elephant lineages. Stories of human populations intrinsically woven into the nature of this wilderness; those whom understood it in a way that we have largely lost, but that we can recapture should we have a will to do so.
Fish eagles soar overhead following the course of the river scanning for its 23+ fish species, whilst seeing some of the largest populations of Nile crocodile and Hippo in Africa.
As the Barabaig people harvest wild honey close to the banks or the Maasai herd their cattle, they may witness a squadron of pelicans in their flight formation or take note of huge colonies of nesting storks, herons and spoonbills in their heronries.
As the Rufiji flows down into the coastal lowlands, harems of Zebra and huge herds of Wildebeest will go down to drink at oxbow lakes. Leopard may be secretly observing some while concealed in the canopy of a nearby mahogany tree.
As this epic flow continues on its course to the Indian Ocean over hundreds of miles, it is picking up organic material and nutrients all the way. Some may be deposited on to wide bends in the river, whilst more will be picked up further downstream, until eventually the fresh water journey comes to an end as the Rufiji spills out into a delta and the Indian Ocean opposite Mafia Island and its nutrients with it. There it will help fertilize the brackish intertidal waters that play host to Mangrove forests of global importance.
Further out, it will give rise to algae blooms for krill to feed on; krill which will, in turn, attract Whale sharks. Magnificent and handsome creatures -the biggest of all fish!- who will cruise through the water in a stately fashion, mouth wide open, filter feeding as they glide over stunning coral reefs flashing with tropical fish. The story does not end here; the water we have followed will evaporate back into the air, captured now by trade winds and so the flow of life continues.
Having taken this river safari with us virtually, we invite you to come and take it with us for real.
We are going in October 2022 on a privately guided trip and you are invited!! Contact me now for details.