Aimee and I escaped from Dar a few weekends back to a small, historic coastal town about an hour to the north called Bagamoyo. Once a thriving port in the slave trade during the colonial era, where over a million Africans were shipped off for sale in nearby Zanzibar, Bagamoyo has since passed into a long and steady decline, now with only a few thousand residents. While staying at the Traveler's Lodge or one of several other atmospheric resorts in the area, visitors can explore the decrepit but interesting buildings in town and learn more about it's dark past at various landmarks, including the Holy Ghost Mission, which contains perhaps east Africa's oldest church, located a kilometer to the north along the tarmac road. Indeed, Bagamoyo is affectionately known as the Town of Palms, and tens of thousands of long and narrow palms blowing about in the sea breeze create a fine affect as you wander about. Of course, there are good birds to be found in the area too, especially on the lush grounds of the lodge where we stayed, where highlights included the Brown-Breasted Barbet, African Green Pigeon, and Scarlet-Chested Sunbird. On Sunday morning, Aimee and I also drove a few hours north to the Waimi River, which forms the southern border to Sadaani National Park, spotting the uncommon Swallow-Tailed Bee-Eater along the way. The park itself warrants several days of exploration, although it's difficult to access and will require at least four days to make a proper visit from Dar.
Notable birds seen: Water Thick-Knee, African Green Pigeon, Brown-Breasted Barbet, Speckled Mousebird, Scarlet-Chested Sunbird, Bronze Mannikin, Green-Winged Pytilia.