Day two at the Saiwa Swamp was also great. I shared the campsite with with two others: Craig and Karin were on a four month tour of Southern and Eastern Africa before heading home to South Africa, where they run www.nelsonsafaris.co.za. These guys had tremendous knowledge of the birdlife and also gave me tips on where to spot the rare De Brazza’s Monkey (Cercopithecus neglectus), which is endemic to the wetlands of central Africa. The early morning mist soon cleared and i explored a new area of the swamp with the hope of spotting some.
It wasn’t long before i found what i was looking for, and spotted a pair foraging in a tree. Interesting facts on De Brazza’s: Both sexes have cheek pouches to carry food, and males have blue balls 🙂
After watching these crazy monkeys for a while, i set out to photograph a few more birds. These guys were flying fast between the grasses, catching small flies. It was tricky to photograph them in flight. I found the best technique was to pre-focus and hope for the best. Managed to get quite a few shots, although i don’t think they’d hold up to a large print.
I took a few more shots of birds as the morning progressed, including this Shikra, or Little-banded Goshawk (Accipiter badius), and returned to camp and hit the road.
Despite environmental challenges from nutrient loading from surrounding agriculture and poaching, Saiwa Swamp is a magical place. I would love to return, and highly recommend making a trip to this infrequently visited destination. You are likely to have the place to yourself, and can camp or stay in a wonderful tree-top cabin.