At this time of year a large component of the flying fauna of southern Africa forsake their natal areas and the Austral winter to track the sun, travelling north into the equatorial fringes of the colossal Congo basin.
In the late afternoon of May 3 the grey rain-drenched skies across Arusha opened to allow warm sunlight to reach the soaking earth. I stole away from this infernal computer to climb a nearby hill that reaches southward, like a great green whale back, from Mount Meru almost into the centre of this burgeoning little city. Immediately it was apparent that far more mobile life forms were also responding to the sudden return of the sun. Velvet green, cobalt blue and wine red the so-called White-fronted Bee-eaters, dancing above the uppermost twigs of the tall trees on this shamba hill, were being especially vociferous. Swapping lofty perches with characteristic nasal laughing cries they were ambushing large orange and red butterflies, darter dragonflies and spider-hunting wasps that were passing over the hill in a north-easterly direction.