Off the Beaten Path: Mfangano Island Camp – birds, otters & monkeys

February 4, 2011  By: Gretchen

From our friends at Governor’s Camps, here is the continued story of Mfangano Island Camp, a little slice of paradise on Lake Victoria.


December highlights included frequent sightings of a transient guest in camp believed to be a ‘Black-Chested Snake Eagle’; which provided fluttering gems of excitement, being seen swooping a few metres above ground level in the Northern side of the camp for a three week period. The resident African Pied Wagtail duo successfully hatched their second chick in 2010 on the 18th of December in their favourite nesting site, our 120 HP boat Atutu. We hope to accommodate them again in the New Year! The small migrant population of Open-Billed Storks’ also migrated to Mfangano in late December. As ever the egg-eating snakes on the island have been taking full advantage of breeding birds and just yesterday a 5ft Green Mamba was seen snaking its way in to a weaver bird colony at an elevated residence of more than seven meters.

Otters & Monkeys:

Native Vervet Monkeys have tripled their numbers in the last year and don’t seem to be stopping there. This is giving the farming community a real headache as they battle to protect their farms from sunrise to sunset during the upcoming growing season. Within Camp approximately 75% of all adult females are carrying young infants. These mothers troop around in a crèche with the month old babies clinging closely to their bellies. Whilst the last batch of 4/5 month old youngsters are now fully independent and foraging on their own and bounding between trees with boundless energy. Surprisingly, a large male monkey in the 30+ strong troop in the northern side of the camp has been seen carrying an infant around in maternal fashion. This is not something we have seen before and we assume the mother has died and the baby is cared for by this relative and suckled by nursing female(s) of the family.

Otters have been seen in abundance over the last few months with all guests being fortunate enough to see these graceful creatures. We were even fortunate enough to witness a loved up couple mating and courting in the shallows on a stretch of heavily bouldered shoreline with a backdrop of steep sloped and unblemished forest on the eastern side of Wakula Village.

Coming up: Community Development at Mfangano Island

Interested in planning a visit to Mfangano Island Camp?