Entries in #wildlife (19)

Tuesday
Apr042017

Patrolling The Bay In Mafia Island Marine  Park

Our day starts with getting up at roughly 05:30. After getting our gear ready (notepad, binoculars, phones) we walk down to Big Blu to meet with a member of the marine park team and the boat captain. Once we have checked the boat is ready to go (fuel, lifejackets etc.) we head out into the bay, usually shortly after 06:00.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar212017

Whale  Sharks

Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), are the largest fish in the sea. They can grow up to a length of 20m and are thought to live up to 100 years. They feed mainly on zooplankton and tiny fish that they filters out the water.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan092017

New Challenges In Tanzania

I had just qualified as a diving instructor in Mexico before coming to Tanzania and the course teaches you all sorts of things about being a professional scuba diver but nothing can prepare you for the extra pressure that comes with it.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct242016

What I Don’t Have

Our Wildlife Conservation Intern Paige sums up the modern conveniences that she doesn't have whilst living on camp but how these are massively outweighed by all of her amazing experiences

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb292016

Turtle Hatching On Juani Island

Juani Island is the biggest Island next to Mafia Island. It's was quite the adventure getting,  taking a boat which took about 45min from Utende. We landed on the west-side of the Island which still faces the the bay so we had to march on foot to the other side of Juani to get to the side which faces the Indian Ocean.

After half an hour of trekking through the dense forest of Juani Island, we reached the beach and the side where the turtles hatched. During our first experience of hatching turtles we saw the shortcut species of Hawksbill turtles. After a short introduction about the turtle population on Mafia-Island, our tour guide and his colleagues started to dig the hatched turtles out of the nest. After orientating they started crawling down the beach which definitely took its time because Hawksbill turtles are rather weak and slow when they hatch.

After about 20 minutes the first ones finally reached the water. Although there was very little swell (if any at all), it was pretty hard for them to reach deeper water because they often got thrown back on the beach by the smallest of ripples. After reaching a depth of half a metre they were able to swim into the ocean. Now we were able to take pictures of them and swim around them. On this day we might have seen around 10 turtles which managed to get into the ocean. Unfortunately the guides dug around 10 more dead eggs out of the nest which did not survive.

On our second trip to Juani Island we landed on a different spot which was quicker to reach with our boat. After a longer walk over Juani we came to a different beach on the east-side were the guides located a nest, this time Green turtles! These were way stronger and quicker than the Hawksbills and this made watching them more interesting as they sped towards the beach. Even though the distance to the ocean might have been the same, the Green turtle hatchlings reached the water in less than 5 minutes.

At first we were afraid that the strong waves hitting the beach might be a big problem for the turtles. Fortunately it wasn’t. The turtles were strong and fast enough to reach deeper water in seconds. Moreover they were really strong and fast swimmers which made it hard to follow them without fins. In about 20 minutes we’ve seen around 30-40 green turtles running down the beach and reaching the sea. All in all it was very interesting to see the difference between the two species. Both trips were very cool but personally I definitely preferred the second one with the Green turtles over the Hawksbills because it was quite fun to watch these tiny little Green turtles running over the beach.

By Vincent Struppler - Research Assistant

Photo's by Von Sebastian - Assistant Research Officer

Find out more about Frontier's volunteering projects in Tanzania.

Check out what volunteers in Tanzania are up to right now!

Tuesday
Feb092016

Goat More Meat? 

I never expected to bring in my 24th birthday on a tropical Island, but yet here I found myself trying to work out how best to celebrate another year survived! The answer which seems obvious now was a beach barbecue. So after a morning trip to Killondoni, the biggest city on the island, to collect essential supplies like a block of ice that just about fits under our feet into the tuk tuk home, myself and the dive officer (Luke Reynolds) embarked on an adventure to Chole island with one objective: to find a goat.

Upon our arrival on the island by ferry from the beach near camp, we were met by our friend Michael who runs a local gift shop and who took us to our first goat farmer. Whilst her goat was fat it was also very small so after some negotiation we realised this wasn’t going to work and went on to find another farmer. This turned into more of an ordeal than initially planned involving several people. We spotted some goats so walked to a workplace nearby then finally to the nearest house in an attempt to find the farmer himself. His goat was perfect and was appropriately sized to feed all 8 of us so a price was agreed for the whole goat 70,000 TSH (£20). We then walked our new purchase to the butcher who had it prepared for us and we were ready to catch the next ferry home in all of about 15 minutes.

After arriving home, the meat was given a quick clean and then put in containers to marinade in piri-piri rub bought from home, all of this including charcoal, a football and speakers were piled into a tuk tuk and driven to a beach near a lodge managed by a friend under an increasingly gloomy looking sky.


After kicking a ball around for 15 minutes we decided given how much meat we had it was cooking time, a pit was dug filled with charcoal and a fire started. Shortly after this the heavens opened we decided to give it fifteen minutes and see if it would blow over. This plan was abandoned after five minutes as all the rain was so heavy it was difficult to see, and we beat a hasty retreat to the nearby lodge (declining the offer of sheltering with the fishermen). Another fire was made under shelter this time and the entire goat was cooked over the course of six hours, by the end there was still a little bit of goat left which no-one could finish! All in all, a birthday to remember and an experience I definitely wouldn’t have had without being on Mafia Island in Tanzania.

By Tom Bruce - Terrestrial Research Officer

Find out more about Frontier's volunteering projects in Tanzania.

Check out what volunteers in Tanzania are up to right now!