Wildlife Adventures Around Mto Wa Mbu Village - #showcase-sunday

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions



I wrote this post about 18 months ago when I was pretty new on the platform. I was sharing a lot of my African stories because that summer prior to joining Steemit I had just returned from spending time living in a Maasai village in Tanzania for almost a month.

I went there with a non-profit organization to document the efforts that they were doing over the course of the summer. Living among the Maasai was probably the coolest experience I have ever had in my life and I will cherish the memories that I have from my time there. I am thankful that I have been taking the time to document all of them here on Steemit. I hope that you enjoy this memory from Mto Wa Mbu Village.

Baboons, Monkeys and Cranes oh my


My time in Mto wa Mbu wasn't all spent in the clinic doing service work. I did go out and explore the area occasionally. The village is thriving with wildlife and can sometimes be a nuisance to the clinic and the villagers. Every morning monkeys and baboons run amok and steal food and other items that are left outside. Then right after sunrise they are chased out of the village.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

It is pretty crazy to see all these animals in their natural habitat with no fences or anything and be out in the open next to them. There are baboons just waltzing down the street, monkeys climbing on buildings, trees, wires, just about anything, and then the cranes were up in the trees pooping all over everything turning the green leaves to white and making it snow feathers down on everything.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

First let's talk about monkeys because they are awesome


So if when I was asked in a psychology exam to become a police officer what animal I wanted to be and why, I told them I wanted to be a monkey because they always looked like they were having fun. These monkeys hanging around the village were having a blast.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

This monkey was just chilling up on the wires and saw me with my camera and wanted to say hi. I am telling you, monkey are awesome.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

The monkeys would run all over the place, jumping from tree to tree, climbing around on the wires and every now and then we would hear one slam on the roof of one of the buildings as they jumped down on it to get a closer look at us.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

Hanging with the baboons


First off, I just want to let you all know that it takes a lot to scare me. Those of you that have followed my blog for a while know what I have been through in my life and should understand that I probably don't scare easily. But there is something about being in close proximity to a wild animal that can literally rip you apart that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

I am talking about this bad boy right here. This guy runs the streets in Mto wa Mbu. When I locked eyes with him, I couldn't help but wonder what was going on in his brain. I know they aren't stupid and I was wondering if he was trying to decide if I was a threat or not.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

He was just trying to enjoy some time with his old lady and their baby and here being rude and I was snapping pictures of them.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

It is hard to believe that the little baby baboons will grow up to be such huge beasts with so much strength.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

I wanted to go up and pick the little guy up and rock him back to sleep but I think I would have gotten my face ripped off. Look at his little face. Isn't he a little cutie?

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

OK, I will admit in this picture he does look a little but like an alien and his eyes are way too close together. But at least his mother loves him.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

One morning when I was taking pictures of the baboons, I must have caught the attention of one of the alphas. All the others were running across the road with the loot that they had stolen from the clinic, but this guy stopped and began a staring contest with me. So what did I do? Stared back at him duh, I don't back down from a staring contest.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

I guess he didn't like losing to the king of staring contests, so he decided he wanted to intimidate me by walking straight for me while the others were staying in the back or crossing the street behind him.

I will admit it, this is about the time that I started to get pretty nervous. I didn't know if he was going to be a sore loser because he lost to the king of staring contests, but maybe I should have let him know how good I was at them before I accepted his challenge.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

Instead of showing fear, I just continued to show him why I was the king and stared him down as he approached me. I think he was about 6 feet away when he finally turned and began to cross the street. Another victory for the king.

If he had gotten any closer, he probably would have smelled the load I had dropped in my pants and known how scared I actually was. After this picture, I felt it was a good time to go back and clean myself up and prepare for the day.

Why are there so many birds?


The main road through Mto wa Mbu is a large tourist attraction and I would see safari vehicles stop all the time to let their people take pictures of all of the cranes that inhabit the trees across the street from the clinic.

About a mile or so up the road is the entrance to Lake Manyara, which is one of the top safari destinations in Tanzania.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

Lake Manyara is a shallow lake in the Natron-Manyara-Balangida branch of the East African Rift in Manyara Region in Tanzania. Said by Ernest Hemingway to be the "loveliest lake ... in Africa," it is also the home of a diverse set of landscapes and wildlife.source

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

We weren't able to go in and check out the park because we were there to work, but we did go on a nice hike so I was able to get this picture of it from the road that climbed up the mountainside towards the lookout overlooking the park.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

So the reason that there are so many cranes in this area is because of the huge lake that is nearby. There must have been thousands of these guys flying all over the place and making noise nonstop.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

There faces reminded me of the Skeksis from the Dark Crystal movie from 1982. If you have never seen it, I highly recommend watching this movie. It is one of my all time favorites.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

Even though these things were weird looking and their legs were super nasty because their toes were like long gross looking tree branches that moved, it was still awesome to see them flying around.

In closing


My best friend Scott was so excited for me to go to Africa last summer and he helped me raise funds for my trip, but a few months prior to my departure, he lost his battles with PTSD. During the funeral, it was cold, windy and rainy here in Utah and nowhere near spring, but butterflies came and flew up to my daughter as Scott's casket was being lowered into the ground.

Scott was always one to notice the butterflies and he and my daughter had a special relationship and he was more of an uncle to her than any of our blood relatives. We have associated butterflies with his presence ever since.

Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

Every time I got excited about all the stuff that I was experiencing in Africa and how cool it would be to share everything with Scott when I got home, I was reminded that he was gone. But there were many times after having those thoughts that a butterfly would appear and I always knew that Scott was there with me. If you want to know how awesome Scott was you can read about him here on this post: It's been a year since I last saw you.

I had put together a quick video of some of my favorite pictures of my time in Africa. The song in the video is one that we would listen to every morning as the sun was coming up and we were preparing our breakfast. Every time I hear it, it makes me miss the being there. I loved every second that I was there in Africa and I can't wait to go back and bring my family with me so they can experience it as well.

Thank you for taking the time to check out this post. I really appreciate it. You are awesome!

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Great post! I also went to Manyara a few years back after summiting Kilimanjaro, beautiful spot.
A month with the Masai? How was your jumping game by the time you left? Did you drink any blood?

I would love to do Kilimanjaro one day. I bet that was amazing. My jumping game was nowhere near what their's is. I tried to hang with them though in a few of their celebrations.

Yes I did drink goat's blood. That was quite an experience in itself. I will probably share that post next week for #showcase-sunday. I drank it straight from the goat's neck as I was slaughtering it for a meal.

I drank it straight from the goat's neck as I was slaughtering it for a meal.

Dude, that's metal as fuck.

Not gonna lie, it was pretty nasty.

Oh I can imagine.

Thank you to share your wonderful trip and very nice pictures :)

Thank you. I appreciate it.

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Thank you for the support. You are awesome.

Great pics man

Hey Wes! Man, I love those monkey photos. You get some amazing shots!

Hey Wes! Man, I love
Those monkey photos. You get
Some amazing shots!

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