Moving to Zimbabwe (Part I)

My name is Moses Swanson-Mwamasika, and I am 13-years-old. I grew up in Tanzania, lived in Virginia for 4 years, and recently moved to Zimbabwe. In my first month here, I had the amazing privilege to visit four national parks and two conservancies, including Hwange, Zambezi, Gonarezhou, and the Savé Valley Conservancy. While I only spotted 27 mammal species (31 if I include a previous voyage), I have just made some introductory trips that didn’t give me the chance to really explore at length. But, hey, tomorrow I start the eighth grade so I guess I still have some time. I did add six mammals to my life list. (Under no circumstances should you tell Jon Hall this, but…  I have also added 36 species of the ornithological variety to another secret life list.) I enjoyed starting to seek out bats, rodents, and other small mammals on the trip, spotting such species as the Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat, dwarf mongoose, and the common genet. In my first month in Zimbabwe, though, I had one top goal: to see the African wild dog. Here are some highlights from my experiences for whoever reads this. I welcome any suggestions on mammal watching. Can’t wait for my next adventure.

Moving to Zimbabwe Part 1

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Moses Swanson the XVI


  • Sebastian Kennerknecht

    Fantastic report Moses and nice to meet you! You will show us all how it is done sooner than later. Keep up the great mammal (and bird) watching!

  • Charles Foley

    Thanks for the well written and really informative trip report Moses. Seeing a Greater Cane rat is a great achievement; in fact I’ve yet to see either species of cane rat. Make sure you keep on bugging your dad to take you along on his work trips and keep us all up to date on what you’ve been seeing.

  • Jon Hall

    Thanks Moses. Great report. My very first mammalwatching was in Vic Falls and Hwange so this brings back happy memories. However you saw a lot more than I did and I was 23 years old when I started. So I have to admit I am a bit jealous that you have started so young and so well! Looking forward to the next report ! Jon

  • Moses Swanson the XVI

    Thank you very much to the mammal-watching grandmasters, Jon, Charles, and Sebastian, for responding to my humble trip report. I am truly honored. I love reading your reports (and checking out all the wild cat photos) and hope to learn a lot from you all.

  • Kim Waltman

    Fabulous observations, Moses!!! I learned some things reading your report. You’re a lucky guy who is jumping into the adventure-seeking life your mom and dad have opened up for you. Maybe someday I can visit you in Zim and follow you around when you set out on a mammal watching excursion. I’m very proud of you.

  • Moses Swanson the XVI

    After further research, a 10 minute glance, I didn’t see a dwarf mongoose but a slender mongoose. My mind while I was in the field just thought of the first mongoose in my mind.

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