The elephant and the hyrax

Tembo na pimbi A common request I get during guide training is to explain the relationship between hyrax and elephants. It seems to be one of the go-to facts when guides see a hyrax- to say “that’s the elephant’s closest living relative” or something along those lines. In the past […]

Cheetahs are not true cats! True or False?

Duma sio paka wa kweli! Kweli/Uongo? This is a common question I get asked when I’m conducting guide training. The answer is FALSE. Cheetahs ARE true cats. They are just highly specialized cats. If we take the relative relationships of the cats and filter out the cats that are not […]

The incredible relationship between ants and butterflies.

Uhusiano ajabu kati ya chungu na vipepeo. (Scroll down for Swahili) Insects have evolved some of the most incredible relationships. I’m often surprised that we are not more aware of some of these relationships. One insect- insect relationship that fascinates me is the Lycaenid- Ant relationship. A relationship called myrmecophily- […]

What’s with all this rain?

Mbona mvua zimezidi mwaka huu? (Scroll down for swahili) Let’s break it down and start with the simple water cycle. Water evaporates from the ocean or a lake, it rises, condenses and turns into clouds, gets blown with the wind over the land and then when the conditions are right […]

Birds that produce milk?

Ndege wanatoa maziwa? (Scroll down for swahili) These pieces first appeared on a blog that Dr. Colin Beale wrote on I’ve combined and shortened the two articles and provided the Swahili translation below. Follow Colin Beale on Twitter @tzbirder for current and great information (#BirdsAtTea). You’re never far from […]

Don’t blame bats

Usiwalaumu popo. (Scroll down for Swahili translation) Today is bat appreciation day so let’s take a quick look at why we shouldn’t be blaming bats for coronavirus. Bats do carry a lot of viruses and it is actually really interesting why. This short video gives a brief and easy to […]

The vital role of hippos

Umuhimu wa viboko. (Scroll down for swahili) Hippos are nocturnal grass-eaters (grazers). Because they are most active at night we actually don’t know much about what they do at night. Most of the time they come out of the water at night and follow well-worn paths to grass. They’ll eat […]