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Are you a guide who works in East Africa? Are you training to become a guide or is it something you’re considering? Do you love nature and want to learn more about what makes this place so amazing?

Je, wewe ni kiongozi wa watalii unaefanya kazi Afrika mashariki? Unajifunza kua kiongozi au unaifikiria? Unapenda jambo za asili na kutaka kujifunza sababu gani zinaifanyia mazingira yetu kua ajabu?

Where do birds and mammals get their colors from?

Mammalia na ndege wanapataje rangi yao? When light hits an object, it can either be bent, reflected or absorbed. Something that is black absorbs all the light, and no light is reflected. Something that is white, reflects all the light. Something that is red absorbs all the colors of light except red, which is reflected. […]

How many jackal species do we have in East Africa?

(Scroll down for Swahili version) If you have read my previous article about hyrax-elephant relationships (if you haven’t I’d suggest reading it now) you’ll know that studying DNA gives us a good picture of relationships between animals. It can sometimes give surprise us by telling us that animals that look quite different are actually related, […]

An overview of East African geology in less than 1,000 words.

Muhtasari wa jiolojia ya Africa Mashariki kwa maneno yasiozidi 1,000. (A huge thanks to Prof. Andy Nyblade, Professor and Department Head, Department of Geosciences from Penn State University for reviewing this piece). There are a few important processes and events that we need to understand if we want to interpret geological features in our landscapes. […]

Do giraffe’s make a sound?

Je, twiga anatoa sauti? (Scroll down for Swahili) Most of us have never really heard a giraffe make sound. Maybe we have heard them grunt when fighting or heard a giraffe snort in alarm, but have you ever heard a giraffe make a sound? Giraffe faces don’t have that many expressions, they tend to just […]

Is it better to be a rumminant?

Je, ni vyema kua mnyama-mcheuzi? There is no animal that can digest and get nutrients from plants by themselves because most of the nutrients are tied up as cellulose. Cellulose is a complex and fibrous carbohydrate found in the cell walls of plants. All animals that eat plants have bacteria somewhere in the system that […]

You asked the question: How do plants communicate?

Uliuliza swali: Je, mimea inawasilianaje? If you’ve read this article you’ll already know that plants are not just standing there. In a great book by Daniel Chamowitz called What A Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses, that author discusses the plant senses- sight, smell, touch, and hearing. In the second chapter he discusses […]

The not-so-simple relationship between ants and the whistling thorn…

Uhusiano usiorahisi tunavyofikiria kati ya sisimisi na miti aina ya Mbalimbali (Whistling thorn) (Scroll down for Swahili) If you read my previous post on the mutual relationship between ox-peckers and large mammals, you’ll know that a lot of times these simple relationships are actually more complicated than they seem. A very obvious mutual relationship exists […]

A simple mutualism, not as simple as it sounds…

Uhusiano rahisi wa kutegemezana, sio rahisi inavyo sikika… We love talking about mutualisms in nature. If you’re not familiar with it, a mutualism is a relationship between two species that benefits both species. There are obligate mutualisms where the survival of one or both species is totally dependent on the other- like many figs and […]

Acacias don’t just stand there being eaten.

Migunga haisimami kukubali kuliwa tu. Just because trees can’t move to escape from predation doesn’t mean they’re just standing there letting themselves be attacked. In fact, because plants have been around for so long, they’ve had a lot of time to evolve some very complex defense strategies. One of the iconic species of the savannah […]


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