Friday, November 4, 2011

Moshi Wildlife Park

I've decided to open up my house to the public as a wildlife park.  I reckon I can make more money than I do from my writing by selling all day passes at my gate to tourists keen to see the real Africa.  Forget lions, elephants and buffalo.  Seriously, they are completely over-rated and look the same as they do in the National Geographic.  Rather experience the everyday wildlife found in Moshi houses.
Besides many different species of lizard which grace my garden, the bright turquoise ones with the neon orange heads are my personal fave, scratching in the lush tropical plants might unearth a snake or two.  But the best is the five different species of ant that have taken over my house.  The big sugar ants attack anything sweet.  The big black ants with a ferocious bite use my toilet bowl as their personal watering hole.  If you use the toilet in the middle of the night without turning on the lights, prefering to go in the dark, you are at risk of being bitten on the bum by an angry ant who was there to drink water.  Then there are the tiny ants which appear out of nowhere and descend on any kind of drink or foodstuff within seconds; and the medium sized regular ants who march in single-file along the doorframes of the house.  Just outside the back door are the giant siafu, dinosaur-type ants who attack you en masse if you stand still near them for anything longer than 5 seconds.
In the rainy season we had the flying termites leave piles of discarded wings underneath the outside lights but thankfully their time has passed.  Big fat juicy geckos hide in all the curtains waiting to drop on you when you open or shut the curtains.
At least once a week a giant cockroach makes its appearance before getting taken out by a spurt of DOOM.
But the most exciting thing I can offer at my Moshi Wildlife Park, is the chance to go on the trail of the cleverest rats on the planet.  You can follow their poo, see samples of their diet (half-eaten fridge magnets, soap with bite marks, chewed candles, half-eaten painted egg shells) and try and find their nests.  These rats have super-powers, able to drag the rat trap across the floor, remove the special treat, without setting off the trap.  In broad daylight a chicken carcass mysteriously disappeared and was found later, well-chewed, behind the fridge.  The rats even managed to lick off peanut butter which had been spread lovingly across the trap without setting it off.
The crows in my big tree next to the barbecue create a fuss everytime I light a fire and dive-bomb me while I'm cooking outside.  Seriously, how stupid can they be to build a nest in the branches of a tree above a barbecue!  They should get some brain matter from the rats.
The dogs next door save their howling, barking, yapping, whining, crying for between 11pm and 1am, so unless you want to do a night drive, you might miss out on them.
And this is November, the month I look forward to all year, the month I compete in NaNoWriMo and attempt to write 50 000 words of a novel.  Here's hoping that my wildlife grant me some respite so that I can get to do some writing this weekend!
Have a great weekend, and if you know any rat-catching tricks, please pass them on!
PS. An added attraction might be the askari I am thinking of locking up in a cage after he entered my house while we were there, and stole my Blackberry off the kitchen benchtop.  He was hired as a security guard to protect the house occupants from local criminals, but instead turned into a criminal himself.  Luckily, the askari chief arrived and used psychology to persuade him to give the phone back.


JP Lane said...

Lovely post - an eye-opener for those of us who dream of visiting Africa one day - and at the same time amusing. I've been finding large red ants in my clothes washer for the past few weeks and have thought that was a bit of audacity on their part. After reading this, and imagining those giant siafu ants, think I don't have much to complain about (:

Cindy Vine said...

Those giant siafus are the sizeof your thumb!