Leaving Doha at 2:30am in a half-full, very nice and new airplane. Three seats to myself. That is how it always should be! This flight was a strangely satisfying flight from start to end. The luggage and customs hassle at Dar es Salaam airport wasn't a hassle. Everything just flow in a very unusual and smooth way. Got picked up by Andy and went for some breakfast at this very nice coffee place Epi d'or
. A perfect start for a day that contained shopping, meeting people, organizing and permit fixing.
Started off at the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG)
to confirm and decide on fieldwork logistics, borrowing equipment and collecting a map over one of the study site near Pugu Forest Reserve
- Ruvu South Forest Reserve. This is an area that has been subjected to quite extensive illegal logging for charcoal production.
With the very kind help from Theron Morgan-Brown at TFCG a map was produced from satellite images taken one year ago over the region. We were taken aback from the results! The forest is almost completely gone! What to do now? Though the Rondo dwarf galago (Galagoides rondoensis)
residing in the area probably can be found in patches, it will most likely be a very hard place to camp and work at since smoldering charcoal pits will be pretty much everywhere.
Will have to seek a new site? Perhaps. However, new permits are needed if the alternate site discussed at Sadaani National Park, the Zaraninge Forest, is chosen. Permit obtaining - a task not to be taken lightely!