About eleven months from now I’m guiding an exclusive group of veteran African travelers on what I donned the “Last Chance Selous Safari.” Will we be too late?
London’s Daily Telegraph posted, “Kicking up plumes of dust that scatter the grazing wildlife, a relentless flow of bulldozers, water tankers and lorries trundles along the main track across the northwest of the reserve towards Stiegler’s Gorge..”
Yesterday the Tanzania government rejected an appeal by the German Parliament to consider alternatives to the giant Stiegler’s Dam project.
In a very unusual Bundestag debate of so narrow an issue a wide coalition of German parties emphasized the growing evidence that the dam will destroy The Selous, one of Africa’s most pristine wildernesses.
The middle of sub-Saharan Africa, about a million square miles, includes the “sand river” big game wildlife parks. We’ve just finished 16 days exploring these less visited areas, and we had a ball and some incredible successes game viewing.
This entire swath of Africa, roughly from mid-Tanzania south to the Zambezi River, is mostly vast, sandy scrubland that reminds many Americans of the midveld near the “Four Corners” where Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico meet. The big difference with Four Corners and this area is its namesake, the great sand rivers that drain so much of the continent.
Here’s a quick summary of our trip:
We just ended six days in Tanzania’s remote central game parks of The Selous and Ruaha. Zanzibar is not exactly Manhattan, but flying into here from Ruaha was like returning to civilization from a Jurassic Park time warp.
The entire massive area is defined by great sand, catchment rivers that drain nearly 100,000 square miles into the Indian Ocean. We spent almost all our time game viewing in Ruaha along the Ruaha, Mwagusi and smaller rivers. Here in this most remote wilderness the rivers are mostly sand and little flowing. Most of the landscape is dominated by expansive bushland not unlike California’s chaparral country.