With the Birds on the Swara Plains

Going Places Africa

I thought it was going to be a big sacrifice. We were at the Swara Acacia Lodge, 45 kilometres down the Mombasa Road for what Nature Kenya called the Big Birding Weekend. After a welcome Saturday morning breakfast, we were setting off for the first bird drive across the Swara Plains wildlife conservancy. As we left our banda and walked through the Hop Inn bar, I noticed that the England v New Zealand semi-final of the Rugby World Cup was showing on the TV. I hesitated. I weighed up the possible repercussions. So I followed my wife to the waiting Land Rover.

I’m glad I did. I mean it’s not often you get a chance to go on a trip with five expert birders: Fleur Ng’weno, who has been holding the city’s Wednesday morning bird-walks for the last 48 years, Jez Simms, who is one of the managers at the…

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