Sand Rivers

Stiegler’s Gorge

23 March 2012

Setting off to the Stiegler's gorge by boat early in the morning.

White fronted Bee-eaters

Yellow Baboon

A Crocodile we have to move off the sandbank so we could have breakfast!

Mussa preparing breakfast

Everyone enjoying breakfast

Getting ready to head back to camp

African Golden Weaver building a nest

Another highlight of staying at Sand Rivers is venturing to up the Rufiji River to Stieglers Gorge. The gorge was named after a Swiss explorer who was killed by an elephant there in 1907. The mighty Rufiji River is at some points over a mile wide. It is the biggest river in East Africa. Further upstream from the gorge, the Ruaha River and the Kilombero River rivers meet and from that confluence is born the Rufiji river. It travels east from there to the Indian Ocean, it's great breadth at times forced through a rocky gorge of just just 50m wide.

We set off early in the morning with a packed breakfast to enjoy the cool air and wonderful light. The sandbanks are constantly changing, making it a challenge for the boat guide.

On the way you can expect to see a wide variety of birds and mammals, the highlights would include Leopard, Lions, Pel Fishing Owls and more Hippos and Crocs than you can shake a stick at (not that you would want to).

16kms upsteam from the camp and we are well into the Gorge, the banks rise steeply, evidence of rock slides are everywhere. Often when we find a good spot for breakfast, it's necessary to give a subtle nudge to the basking Crocodiles so that we can enjoy breakfast without company.

After a lovely breakfast, we start to head back, the driver turns off the engine so we can drift downstream and listen to all the bush sounds. All-in-all a wonderful adventure on a remote and beautiful river.

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