Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 47
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    An East African journey to the Garden of God
    21 January to 16 February 2024

    Safari means journey in Swahili. This is an account of a 3,285 mile (5,286 km) journey from Nairobi, Kenya to the Southern Highlands of Tanzania and back. It is not about driving around looking at animals although we did, of course, see some wildlife. We also didn’t camp as much as usual. As we say, every day, “every day is different”.

    We have been lucky enough over the years to have travelled extensively in Tanzania, but there was one area we hadn’t been to – the Southern Highlands and, more specifically, “the Garden of God” - otherwise known as Kitulo National Park on the Kitulo Plateau.

    Who would not want to visit the Garden of God?

    We arrived in Nairobi on the 13th January and had a lovely week with my family, finding our kit in my brother’s store, buying food, and packing the Land Rover. January is supposed to be the dry season in Kenya, but there was a lot of rain about. The day before we left Nairobi, we had a huge storm and 35mms of rain fell in an hour. Kenya has been blessed with good rains after years of drought. We have rarely seen the whole of East Africa so green and lush.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Map of trip.jpg 
Views:	104 
Size:	296.9 KB 
ID:	714771

  2. The Following 18 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    From Nairobi, Kenya to Arusha, Tanzania
    21 – 23 January

    We set off early on Sunday 21 January and three hours later, we were at Namanga. As always, we stopped at the pleasant Namanga River Lodge for coffee to fortify ourselves. The crossing into Tanzania at the one-stop border was relatively painless and we arrived in Arusha around lunchtime. Tanzanian visas were available at the border.

    As always, there are two urgent things needed to be done on arrival in another country – a supply of cash and a local SIM card. So, we pulled into the old colonial New Arusha Hotel where we drank cold Kilimanjaros and had an excellent club sandwich. I asked the receptionist where we could buy a SIM card on a Sunday, and she phoned a friend. A few minutes later “Mr Hi-Tech Arusha” arrived in his leather jacket, and we sat in the cool and did the business. No grubbing around on pavements for us! We actually bought an excellent Airtel box/dongle for internet access which proved invaluable for the nearly four weeks we were in Tanzania.

    With all that accomplished, we headed to Twiga Lodge near Usa River where we were warmly welcomed by the lovely Erika Shaw. Here, she and Paul have created a little paradise. The lodge is set in beautiful gardens with Mount Meru looming overhead. The campsite is vast with good shade and excellent ablutions. Paul also has a workshop and rents out fully equipped Land Rovers. We set up camp in the shade and had an excellent evening with a campfire.

    The following day we spent in Arusha National Park which we hadn’t been to before. What a gem of a park! The views into Ngurdoto crater were splendid as were the huge forest trees. We did a circuit around the Momella Lakes spotting many birds including flamingoes. Mount Meru (4,562m/14,968 feet) obliged us with fabulous views for the whole day. We did see a fair amount of wildlife despite the lush and luscious vegetation and the sublime forest. We wound our way up and up Mount Meru to the famous fig tree arch. We did not attempt to drive through the arch (having had an incident in a Californian Redwood some years ago)! Here we found a party of trekkers who were on day one of a three-day trek to the top of Mt Meru. We had very jolly chats with their Tanzanian guides. Some of the trekkers were climbing Mt Meru in preparation for the Big One – Kilimanjaro.

    After a fabulous day in the park, we joined Paul and Erika and their lodge guests for a barbecue. We had another excellent night in our tent.

  4. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    The West Usambara Mountains
    23-25 January

    The following day, we set course for Mambo Viewpoint in the West Usambara mountains. We have been to the East Usambaras a few times before, but we hadn’t been to the West Usambaras.

    The road from Usa River to Moshi was busy, but with fine views of the mighty Kilimanjaro. From Moshi, the road south-east goes past the North Pare and the South Pare mountains. These two mountain ranges – along with the West and East Usambaras, and the Taita Hills in Kenya – are part of the Eastern Arc and are known for their high level of biodiversity and endemism. Kilimanjaro is a young upstart in comparison.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Eastern Arc.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	24.8 KB 
ID:	714772

    We stopped for coffee at the Elephant Motel at Same before heading further south-east to Mombo where we turned on to the road to Lushoto. The narrow tarmac road winds up and up the hills to the town of Lushoto, known in pre-First World War German colonial days as Wilhelmstal. Enormous eucalyptus trees lined the narrow winding road with fine views of a waterfall.

    A few miles past Lushoto, the tarmac stopped and the next 60 kms to Mambo Viewpoint took two and a half hours. The tracks wound round and round, and up and down until we got to the village of Mambo. However, the lodge was still some distance away; we must have missed a sign. Some young bodaboda (motorbike taxi) drivers motioned for us to follow them up what was clearly only a bodaboda track, but they were insistent that it was fine. It was not fine! But in diff lock and low ratio, we ground our way up and down and eventually arrived at Mambo Viewpoint Lodge where we were warmly welcomed. This “eco lodge” was, apparently, set up by some Dutch as a means of income for the villagers. Partial catastrophe struck in November 2023 when the kitchen and restaurant caught fire, but the rooms in small chalets were saved. The campsite was not appealing so we took a room.

    Our sundowners sitting overlooking the precipitous drop were very welcome after about eight hours on the road. Simple but good meals were cooked and served in a nearby building. We spent two nights at Mambo Viewpoint and went for a walk in a forest reserve with a bird guide. The West Usambaras are known for excellent hiking (as the Americans say) and we met a young French woman on a five-day trek from Lushoto with a Tanzanian guide. She was staying in the bunkhouse.

    After two nights at Mambo, we headed back to Lushoto where we stopped for coffee at The Lawns hotel. Here we met a Tanzanian Goan family, and we had jolly chats with them about the Goan community in Kenya and Tanzania. We decided to stay nearby at Irente but were unsure as to whether to stay at Irente Cliff Lodge or Irente Farm. Anyway, we decided on Irente Cliff Lodge which is in a fine position overlooking a gorge. In typical Tanzanian fashion, the restaurant and bar area were dark and dismal, but the staff were sweet and very welcoming. However, our room was good with a loo and shower and the most beautiful view from our own balcony into a primeval gorge. They also offer camping, but the campsite wasn’t great with no apparent loos. We walked up to Irente Viewpoint which was accessed through the lodge grounds. Here is a fabulous view down to the plains of the Masai Steppe from the precipitous sheer drop.

    For the last few days, we had been driving through a blizzard of white butterflies. We had to clean out the radiator. There were countless millions of them everywhere and, from our balcony at Irente Cliff Lodge, the gorge was white with butterflies. Later, just before sunset, a strong wind blew clouds up the gorge, and we were enveloped in mist. What a spooky sight.

  6. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    To the coast: Tanga and Pangani
    26-28 January

    After breakfast at Irente Cliff, we went to inspect Irente Farm. This would have been the better option for camping or staying though the view wasn’t as awesome. There were some Kenyans camping and an Austrian family staying in the rooms. The Austrians were travelling around on public transport and home schooling the children: they had taken the “two-day” train ride from Lusaka to Dar which ended up taking four days!

    After that pleasant interlude, we wound our way back down the mountains to Mombo. A few hours later, we arrived in Tanga. Here we were meeting up with my brother and sister-in-law. My brother was down for business but had tagged on a few days over the weekend for a family outing. We have been to Tanga a number of times before. I rather like Tanga – it reminds me of Mombasa sixty years ago. We had sundowners at Tanga Yacht Club and had dinner and spent the night at a nearby restaurant with rooms owned by a Swiss man and his Mozambican wife who are friends of my brother’s. An excellent and jovial dinner with family and friends and a delicious, air-conditioned night. It was very hot down here on the coast.

    The next few days we were doing family things. We stayed on the beach south of Pangani at a lovely little lodge called Emayani. Next door to Emayani is an excellent diving and snorkelling centre and we went out to a beautiful sandbank offshore to snorkel. Here the corals and fish were as good as I have ever seen. We had a fabulous time revisiting this sandbank and reef. Good work, the villagers, preserving this beautiful place.

  8. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  9. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    South down the coast
    29-30 January

    After two nights indulging in the luxury of coastal life, we waved goodbye to the family and headed south to the mayhem of Dar es Salaam. The original plan had been to drive out through Saadani National Park and across the Wami River. However, this route was not passable as there had been torrential rains in the past few weeks. Real El Niño rains.

    So, we had to backtrack – the ferry over the Pangani River, a dirt road up to Muheza where we joined the tarmac back to Segera. At Segera, we turned south on the main road from Arusha to Dar. A few hours from Segera, we turned left for Bagamoyo and from there we approached the mayhem of Dar es Salaam. These were all roads we had driven before.

    Dar es Salaam means “the haven of peace”, but it is anything but peaceful nowadays. However, there have been new roads, bypasses and bridges built and we had been advised to approach Dar from Bagamoyo. It was one of those days that we could have done with air conditioning in our Land Rover. It was a hot, sweaty drive. A short pitstop at a 4x4 garage run by the friendly Ahmed (of Dar and Ludlow, UK) about a hub leaking oil and then it was a complicated navigational exercise by my excellent navigator to guide us over the new Nyerere Bridge to take us south of the city. There were a few tense moments, but my Nairobi (and Cairo!) driving skills came back to the fore and the marriage survived intact!

    After a ten-hour drive, we arrived at a haven of peace. A colleague of my brother’s was lending us his beach house on a citrus farm for the night. It was about 30 kms south of Dar and we fell on to the verandah and got out our cold beers. Bliss!

    The following morning, we set off early. Unfortunately, we couldn’t identify a feasible route to the main Dar-Kilwa-Lindi road and we backtracked north to near Kibada where we turned west and eventually joined the main road south. We whizzed along this, past the road to the entrance to the newly created Nyerere National Park (formerly the Selous Game Reserve), across the Rufiji River, and ever further south until we arrived in Kilwa Masoko in the late afternoon after another 10-hour drive.

    We have been to Kilwa Masoko and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kilwa Kisawani, before. This time, Kilwa was a convenient overnight stop.

    Sadly, most of the hotels in Kilwa Masoko have not survived. It is too remote and off-the-beaten-track. However, we eventually found Kilwa Dreams run by the indomitable Gladys. We did have to engage a bodaboda to get us there as most of the tracks were underwater. Gladys runs a good show. Despite us only arriving in the late afternoon, we were served a memorable and excellent dinner of seafood. Lobster, prawns, calamari, kingfish all beautifully served in a model dhow with watermelon and limes. Pictures to follow. Apparently, there is also camping at Kilwa Dreams (and another nearby establishment), but it was far too hot for camping, and we took a room overlooking the beach. We had a great evening and a good, albeit hot, night.

  10. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  11. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lisbon
    Age
    59
    Posts
    532
    Thanked: 574

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    Nothing like reaching home and having this treat to uplift our spirits after a good (yet exhausting) day's work. Thank you WW.

    Looking forward to know more about the journey to the Garden of God.

    Welcome back!

    AP.
    Last edited by apfac; 2024/02/23 at 12:21 AM.

  12. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to apfac For This Useful Post:


  13. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    Westward Ho!
    31 January to 1 February

    It is a long old way from the coast across to the Southern Highlands. We anticipated that Lindi on the coast to Songea in the Southern Highlands would be a 11-12 hour drive – and we would be coming from further away at Kilwa (or Mikindani). Reluctantly, we decided against spending a night at the lovely Old Boma at Mikindani near Mtwara.

    We decided to take two bites at the cherry: Kilwa Masoko to Masasi, and Masasi to Songea. Masasi Inn is a real African hotel, but we have stayed there before in 2014 when we crossed over from Mozambique. It ticked all the boxes – secure parking for the Land Rover, an air-conditioned room with loo and shower, a bar and food. So, we set off from Kilwa with Masasi as our overnight stop.

    We headed back to the main Dar-Mtwara road and headed south again to Lindi. Lindi had been an important administration centre in both the German and British colonial periods. We have explored Lindi before: a friend’s father had started as a cadet there in the Tanganyika colonial administration in the 1930s. There are some atmospheric ruins of the old boma and other administration buildings and houses, but Lindi now mostly languishes in tropical decrepitude. There was, however, an ATM and numerous petrol stations. We stopped in Lindi to get more cash as we were heading into the hinterlands, had coffee in what I think had been the old club, and refuelled. We arrived in Lindi as the heavens opened, and water poured off the roofs whilst we drank our coffee. In most establishments in Tanzania, coffee consists merely of a sachet of Africaff and a thermos of hot water, but we are used to this.

    Southern Tanzania has a different climatic pattern to northern Tanzania and Kenya. Southern Tanzania’s rainy season is from November to April. We were now firmly in the rainy season and, boy, did we experience some huge storms.

    Refueled and refreshed, through a veil of heavy rain, we bade farewell to the Indian Ocean and headed south-west.

    Around 4.00 pm, we arrived in Masasi. This town is mostly a trucking stop but is in a fertile area of cashew nut plantations. There is, however, a Bishop of Masasi and the late, great Trevor Huddleston was Bishop of Masasi from 1960-1968.

    We decided to investigate another establishment marked on iOverlander. As we inspected the rooms etc, the heavens opened. Although the room was clean and functional, food would have to be brought in from outside by a bodaboda and then eaten in a dismal small room: no verandah and locked in a cage. Thank goodness for my rudimentary Swahili! The storm was so intense that we were trapped in the dismal BR Hotel and the roads were like raging rivers.

    Eventually, the rain abated a wee bit, and we scuttled off to the Land Rover to find Masasi Inn. Through a truly tropical storm, with our windscreen wipers barely making any leeway, we turned in to Masasi Inn. We parked up in the forecourt, which was awash with two feet of water and, no doubt, sewage. What to do? Luckily, we had gumboots with us, and they were just behind the driver’s seat. Hugh, very cleverly, managed to reach round and extract the gumboots and we put them on and got out of the Land Rover and dashed into the bar. We were warmly welcomed although the ladies were frantically brushing storm water from the typical African bar. The roof was also leaking. However, we sat on some dry chairs and had a cold beer. Eventually, the storm abated, and we moved our overnight packs into the room. The room consisted of a double bed with a mosi net, clean sheets, an air-conditioning unit which worked intermittently (as the power was going on and off with the storm), our own loo and shower and even loo paper. Perfectly functional. In our gumboots (we call them “wellies”) and waterproof jackets, we sploshed off to the bar area for more beer and ordered the inevitable chicken and chips. A few men arrived to watch the football on the TV - Simba FC against Tembo FC. Fortunately, the volume was not as high as on our last stay at Masasi Inn when Everton were playing Tottenham Hotspurs. For those interested, the hot favourites and current Tanzanian champions, Simba FC, were in a clear lead before the power went out.

    On our way from Lindi to Masasi, we were intrigued by the number of trucks carrying coal - Ruvuma Coal Ltd trucks and other specialist logistics firms such as Specialist Logistics. We looked this up. There is a coal mine near Songea and, presumably, the coal was being trucked out to the port of Mtwara. We also saw some later in the trip presumably heading for Dar es Salaam via the TANZAM highway. We wondered if our chicken for dinner had been Ruvuma Coal roadkill.

    We had a good night at Masasi Inn and, early the next morning, we headed west. An hour or so later, we passed the road down to the Mozambique border and Unity Bridge. We were now driving on roads we hadn’t driven before. As the mist was lifting, we came to an area of beautiful domed inselbergs like those found in Mozambique and the Tsavo area of Kenya. Caldriver, in his excellent blog, writes a fascinating explanation from a geologist friend.

    On and on we went heading further west on a reasonable road with the altitude increasing as we climbed up into the Southern Highlands. About 60 kms from Songea, we came to a lovely bit of road which had been “funded by the American people”. I’m not sure many people in West Virginia or Oregon (or many other states), will know where Tanzania is, but we were grateful to the American people for this 60 km section, and we zoomed into Songea, the regional capital.

    We pulled into Heritage Cottage Hotel and asked for a room. The rooms were huge with a loo and shower, a kitchen area, a verandah, and even a back door. Despite the thunderclouds gathering overhead, we did some much-needed laundry in our bucket in the shower and hung them up at the backdoor under cover. Fat chance they had to dry as a huge thunderstorm crashed overhead whilst we sat on the verandah of our room watching the rain pelt down. We had a reasonable meal in the restaurant later and even a Konyagi (Tanzanian gin) and tonic. We rather liked the Heritage Cottage Hotel, and we were, certainly, very well looked after. It was a distinct step-up from the Masasi Inn. As we say, every day is different.

  14. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  15. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Age
    60
    Posts
    1,326
    Thanked: 1773

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    Another fantastic trip report from WW, from their intrepid exploration on the roads less traveled. Thank you WW, I'm enjoying every installment, following your route on the map, as most of the places I know nothing about.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog: Our African Ramblings (https://safaribug.wordpress.com/)

  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ortelius For This Useful Post:


  17. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    From Songea to the TANZAM Highway

    2 February

    The road between Songea and Njombe was very attractive, and we wound our way up and down hills through forest reserves and commercial forestry. At one point, we stopped to admire the view to the Livingstone Mountains on the edge of Lake Malawi. It was stunning. We had a few near misses with oncoming trucks on the wrong side of the road as they took the curves with deadly abandon. Along with Ruvuma coal trucks, there were a number of huge trucks carrying timber, but otherwise it was pretty quiet.

    A steady gain in altitude of about 1000 metres brought us to the town of Njombe. I was at school in Nairobi with various girls from the Southern Highlands and one of my friends was from Njombe. Njombe is high on a plateau and large wattle plantations predominate along with large tea estates. We pulled into the Tanganyika Wattle Company’s Kibena Club and parked in the shade. There was no one around, but we had a cold drink out of our Land Rover and stretched our legs.

    I took over the driving. Just on the outskirts of Njombe, we were behind a very slow timber truck and I could see the road clear ahead despite the solid white line. As I pulled out, I realized that there were a number of vehicles in front of it including a tractor. Yikes! So, I put the foot down only to see the police up ahead. We were, of course, pulled over. We wound down the windows and exchanged pleasantries. His English was not good, and I professed to having very poor Swahili. Quite rightly, he said “dangerous overtaking”. Oh my goodness, that sounded like having to go to court. But with our lack of communication, he forgave me, and I promised not to do it again. Grey hair helps in these situations as well as a pleasant and friendly demeanor.

    On and on we went through wattle and tea plantations on a decent road until we came to Makambako and turned left on to the TANZAM highway. We were back on known roads. We had been advised by the botanist guide at Kitulo, Japhari, not to attempt the dirt road from Njombe to Kitulo in the rains. His advice was to go to Makambako and approach Kitulo from the village of Mfumbi. So, we set course for Mfumbi.

    Just outside the village of Mfumbi, up a valley, is a lovely community-run campsite on the edge of a fast-flowing river. There was no mobile phone signal, so we went back to the village to try to find Moses who looks after the campsite. He was away on his shamba, but we left a message with some neighbours that we were going to the campsite, and he arrived later that afternoon. It is variously called River Valley Campsite, but the sign on the road says Mfumbi Campsite. I am not a fan of iOverlander, but it came up trumps this time.

    We set up camp in the cool shade and hung up the wet washing from Songea. Unfortunately, we also discovered that my bed roll had got wet as the roof boxes had leaked in the torrential downpours. But, no worries, we were carrying spare sheets and I made up a bed using Maasai shukas as blankets. A thousand and one uses for a shuka. Later, Moses arrived on a bodaboda and he cleaned out the long drop. We were the only people there and we had a fabulous evening and night with a campfire. It was such a lovely place with wildflowers all around including the glorious Gloriosa superba and flowering Mopani trees. What a great place.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2024/02/23 at 05:17 PM.

  18. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  19. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    Bustani ya Mungu - the Garden of God
    3-5 February

    After an excellent night, we struck camp and set off on the 30 km drive up to the Kitulo Plateau. This narrow, steep, rocky, dirt track climbed up and up with stunning views of valleys and hills as we wound our way up from an altitude of 1094m/3589 feet at Mfumbi to 2130m/6988 feet at the village of Matamba.

    Fortunately, most of the steeper sections were concreted and we did not meet any other vehicles on these. Most guidebooks say the only access to Kitulo National Park is via the Hamsini na Saba pass. This is wrong. Never attempt the Hamsini na Saba pass in the rains: Hamsini na saba means 57, and that is the number of switchbacks on this dirt road. There is also a road from Mbeya. We thought the road from Mfumbi was great – quiet and beautiful with no mud sections and well made.

    Eventually, we popped out onto flatter ground and shambas appeared again. This is obviously a very fertile area, and the farmers were busy planting potatoes which seemed to be the main cash crop along with maize and pyrethrum.

    A few kilometres from the village of Matamba, we pulled into the Kitulo National Park Headquarters. Here we were warmly welcomed with many karibunis. The Tanzanian National Parks have a new computerised system and, even in remote Kitulo, the system worked perfectly, and we paid our park fees, camping fees and vehicle fees. As we drive a Kenyan registered vehicle, we pay East African Community rates for the vehicle. Armed with all the receipts, we wound our way approx 10 kms up another approx 500 metres/1,345 feet to the entrance to the park and, a little further on, the campsite. We were now at an altitude of approx 2600m/8,500 feet and, gosh, it was a different world.

    We had made it to the Garden of God!

    Immediately, flowers were all around us and we set up camp on the flower-bedecked grass. Nearby was an ablution block, a mess banda, and two random shelters and, further away, we could see the roofs of the accommodation bandas. Apparently, the bandas are really just rooms (in Kenya we think of bandas as being self-catering units with cooking facilities).

    We had a lovely afternoon wandering around the immediate area and enjoying the beautiful views of the montane grassland stretching to the blue hills in the distance, and the myriad of flowers under our feet.

    Kitulo National Park was gazetted in 2005 and is the only national park in tropical Africa established primarily to protect the flora. It is also known as the “Serengeti of Flowers”. There are over 350 species of vascular plants and 45 varieties of terrestrial orchids, many of them only found here on the Kitulo Plateau. However, the flowers only bloom during the rainy season from November to April.

    Later, a tour operator arrived from the bandas with a party of four 30-something year olds who all lived and worked in Dar (primarily for their respective embassies). They had flown to Mbeya and had then been driven up to the park. They were staying in the rooms in the bandas but were having their meals in the mess banda near our campsite. The tour operator, Shah Mjanja, had brought food from Mbeya, but had employed two women from the village to cook in the mess banda. I presume the village ladies had brought their own gas stove and jiko (charcoal brazier) as, when they left, there were no cooking facilities in the mess banda.

    Rain was clearly part of the deal, and we reversed the Land Rover into the verandah of our tent, deployed the side panels for the verandah (for the first time since Nambia nearly 10 years ago) and created a snug area for cooking. We donned our gilets and fleeces and had our waterproof jackets and trousers ready and waiting. The rain held off for the evening, but it was cold up here at nearly 9,000 feet. It reminded me of the Aberdares in Kenya.

    At 0200, we were woken by thunder and lightning seemingly directly overhead and the rain lashed down. Multiple strikes of lightning and I was counting like mad. Gosh, one does feel slightly vulnerable camping on a hill in an electrical thunderstorm. Our tent has seen 10 years of rugged use and it is starting to creak at the seams, but apart from a small drip (on to Hugh’s head!), we stayed dry throughout the torrential rain.

    The following morning, we woke to clear-ish skies. We had arranged with the botanist guide, Japhari who was away guiding another party, that he would send one of his colleagues to guide us (“I have trained him, but he is not as good as me.”). At 0900, a lovely man called Jimmy arrived and we set off for a day botanising. This park is not about wildlife, although we did see a Mountain Reedbuck. Apparently, some zebras were moved from Mikumi National Park, but they all died as it is not their natural habitat.

    We had the most fabulous day driving on some barely discernible tracks across the montane grassland and heather. It reminded us of the Scottish Highlands. We stopped often and hopped out of the Land Rover to closely look at numerous species of flowers. We had brought with us from the UK the guide to the “Orchids and Wildflowers of Kitulo Plateau” by Salter and Davenport and we ticked off many of them. It was all quite overwhelming.

    For those botanists, here is an example of some of the species we saw:
    Kniphofia goetzei
    Gloriosa superba
    Alcolepis capensis
    Dierama pendulum
    Gladiolus dalenii subsp. Dalenii
    Moraea tanzanica
    Disa stolzii
    Habenaria macrura
    Habenaria praestans
    Satyrium acutirostrum
    Satyrium longicauda
    Satyrium neglectum var brevicalcar
    Alepidia peduncularis
    Aster tansaniensis
    Berkheya echinacea
    Cirsium buchwaldii
    Emilia tenera
    Helichrysum forskahlii
    Helichrysum herbaceum
    Helichrysum nitens
    Senecio purpureus
    Impatiens gomphophylla
    Impatiens rosulate
    Cynoglossum amplifolium
    Wahlenbergia abyssinica
    Commelina kituloensis (an endemic)
    Cephalaria pungens
    Geranium arabicum
    Geranium incanum
    Gunnera perpensa
    Plecanthus schizophyllus
    Lobelia angolensis
    Lobelia mildbraedii
    Oxalis obliquifolia
    Protea humifusa
    Clematopsis uhehensis
    Delphinium leroyi
    Sopubia sp

    We also stopped at two stunning viewpoints overlooking the Livingstone Forest and, in the far distance, the mountains and hills towards Lake Malawi and Mbeya. The Livingstone Forest is in the Kipengere Range and is montane evergreen forest with thickets of bamboo. This forest is where, in 2005, field scientists discovered a new species of primate – the Kipunji.

    After a fabulous morning with, at times, rather testing driving, we got back to camp about 2.00pm just as the heavens opened once again. Thank goodness we weren’t still down in the Numbe Valley on the intrepid track. Another truly tropical storm had us trapped in the mess banda whilst we anxiously watched our tent being battered by rain.

    Eventually, the rain abated, and we found the inside of our tent was dry. Asante sana, Mungu! Later, the rain stopped, and we cooked spaghetti bolognaise in our snug verandah and side panel set-up. We had a good evening and night.

    Although we had intended on spending three nights up at Kitulo, we decided that after the two massive storms, we weren’t going to be able to get to the one thing we hadn’t done in the park – Numbe waterfall. We had achieved all – and more – we had hoped for and seen stunning flowers, landscapes, and views. The roads and tracks off the mountain weren’t going to get any better and the sooner we got down them, the better.

    So, the following morning, reluctantly, we packed up a soggy camp. I had arranged with Japhari that he would guide us and, true to his word, he arrived just as we were packing up camp. We had to give him the bad news that we had decided to “pull stumps” (not that I used that cricketing expression!). Anyway, we had a lovely chat and looked through our wildflower book with the wonderfully enthusiastic Japhari ticking off what we had seen. Japhari assisted the botanists who wrote the book, and he is also assisting in a seedbank project. We paid him for Jimmy’s guiding – we had also tipped the personable Jimmy the day before. Two very nice, personable, and enthusiastic young men.

    Japhari had come up from the village on a bodaboda and we said we would take him back to the village some 10 kms away.

    Just at the steepest, muddiest section not only did an engine warning light come on, but we found the road on a switchback bend blocked by two potato trucks. One of the trucks was completely across the road with the back wheels in a drainage ditch. We parked up on the steep slope leaving the engine running. Eventually, with a lot of digging and moving of sand/murram from a nearby quarry/scrape and massive roaring of the truck engine, the truck slewed completely across the road managed to get partially out of the way. In diff lock and low ratio, Hugh expertly drove the Land Rover down the very steep, very muddy and churned up bend inching past the potato trucks. Worrying about the engine warning light, we kept on going to the village of Matemba. Japhari, very kindly, phoned a mechanic friend, but we feared he wouldn’t understand the electronics of Puma engine Land Rovers.

    We arrived safely at Matamba and Hugh got out our diagnostic toolkit. However, the diagnostic toolkit only tells you some likely places to look – not what the problem actually is. Hugh and the mechanic crawled over the engine. Extraordinarily, the mechanic removing the air filter and, for some equally extraordinary reason, opening the fuel tank, the warning light went off. We paid the mechanic for his time and said farewell to Japhari and the high Kitulo Plateau.

    We set off down the steep, rocky road back to Mfumbi. Just at one of the steepest, most remote sections where there was no mobile reception, the engine warning light came on again. We had no other option than to continue. Very alarmingly, again on a steep upward section, the engine started to lose power. However, Hugh calmly worked through the options and cleverly spotted a slightly loose fuel pipe from the secondary fuel filter. A new Jubilee clip on it solved the problem and we powered on down to Mfumbi and the TANZAM highway although the engine warning light was still on.

    Safely down from the gorgeous Kitulo Plateau after a fabulous visit to this remote and beautiful place we set course for Mufindi.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2024/02/24 at 07:00 PM.

  20. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  21. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    A green and pleasant land
    5-7 February

    Ignoring the engine warning light, we powered north up the TANZAM highway to the village of Nyololo. A few days previously, I had contacted Mufindi Highland Lodge owned by the Fox family to ask if they had a room available for two nights. The efficient Wesso sent us directions on how to get to the lodge from the village of Nyololo and we wound our way through deeply rural Tanzania until we reached the high ground. This part of the Southern Highlands has many large tea estates as well as commercial forestry. About 70 kms from the TANZAM highway, we arrived at a little piece of paradise.

    Geoff and Vicky Fox have lived in this area for 65 years and have farms and run an orphanage, as well as the lovely Mufindi Highland Lodge. The farms supply the lodges the family own in Ruaha, Katavi and Mikumi as well as on the beach north of Dar. This area reminded me of Kericho or Nandi Hills in Kenya.

    We fell into the arms of their lovely staff, were shown the most perfect cabin and dived into a hot bath. The verandah of our cabin overlooked the beautiful gardens, the grass tennis court, the croquet lawn, fields of sheep, cattle and horses with the forested hills beyond. As we say, every day is different. Later, we ambled up to the main lodge for drinks and dinner. Geoff and Vicky are 86 and they joined us for dinner. We had much in common and mutual friends around East Africa. We had a jovial evening with a log fire burning.

    After a blissful night and a hearty breakfast, we took the Land Rover round to the farm’s workshop, but the engine warning light was no longer on. Good news! We had a lovely two-hour walk on the farm: along a mile long jacaranda-lined driveway, down past lakes and dams and through indigenous forest. What a beautiful and productive farm employing so many people. An afternoon siesta was called for after lunch followed by a short walk around the gardens before sundowners and dinner with Geoff and Vicky again.

    Dragging ourselves away from this beautiful place, we packed up, had an early breakfast, and said our fond farewells. Our destination was Ruaha National Park.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2024/02/24 at 07:01 PM.

  22. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  23. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    Ruaha National Park
    7-10 February

    We wound our way down from the Mufindi Highland Lodge to Mafinga where we rejoined the TANZAM highway. Three hours from Mufindi, we arrived in Iringa where we stopped for coffee at the lovely NEEMA Crafts shop and café employing disabled Tanzanians. Proper coffee, not sachets. We refuelled and set off on the long dirt road to Ruaha.

    The road was not good. At one point, an unexpectedly deep wallow had the water over the bonnet of the Land Rover. Three hours from Iringa, we arrived at the entrance to the park.

    The Great Ruaha River was a roaring maelstrom. The last time we were in Ruaha was 16 years ago in the dry season. What a difference. The grass was as high as an elephant’s eye, the baobabs were in full leaf, and the bush was thick and green. All that greenery made game spotting difficult, but the scenery is stupendous. It is such a beautiful park with the river, the baobabs, and the rocky hills.

    It was very hot down here. We set up camp in almost the exact same spot where we camped 16 years ago. To quote Karen Blixen “Camping places fix themselves in your mind as if you had spent long periods of your life in them. You will remember a curve of your wagon track in the grass of the plain, like the features of a friend.”

    This was Tembo public campsite (formerly Campsite No 1). There are loos and showers and a food preparation building. We were the only people there for the three nights we spent camping on the edge of the Great Ruaha River. Huge logs and trees were being swept downstream by the fast-flowing river. Was some of that water from the rain that hit us high up on the Kitulo Plateau?

    Many of the game circuits were not accessible due to the recent rain. Normally dry riverbeds were raging streams. On our first full day, we went for an early morning game drive and back to camp to cook a full English breakfast on the campfire. As it was extremely hot by mid-morning, we decided driving around was preferable to sweating it out at camp. We drove to Ruaha River Lodge (owned by the Fox family) and pulled in to have a cold beer. It is a lovely lodge high up looking over a gorge and rapids of the Great Ruaha river.

    Despite the lush greenness, we did see some game. A vast herd of elephant, hippo, jackal, kudu, giraffe, and the usual suspects. We also heard lions in the night and hyaena.

    On our last day, we did early morning and late afternoon game drives and sweated out the heat of the afternoon in camp. It was ferociously hot, so we set up the Land Rover awning for some shade. The tent was too hot for an afternoon siesta, but I found lying on the tiled counter of the food preparation banda was the coolest place!

    TANAPA have plans afoot for the southern parks – Ruaha, Katavi, Mikumi and Nyerere (Selous). With World Bank loans, a huge airport is being built on a hill in Ruaha along with a lodge and “cottages”. We were horrified by the environmental destruction where the bush had been cleared for the airport. We were assured that it is only an airstrip to take Bombadiers, but the runway was very long, and the aprons were vast: it looked like the Space Shuttle could land there. We don’t know what market they are aiming for at the lodge and cottages. Some of the cottages were finished and guests were staying there. However, there was no restaurant or cooking facility, and the guests were being taken down to the canteen at the HQ for their meals. This included driving in the dark, which is, of course, against park rules. We were also told that a tender is out for a new tarmac road from Iringa.

    We are glad we have seen this gem of a park previously in its raw wilderness.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2024/02/25 at 12:19 AM.

  24. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  25. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    The long road home: Iringa and Dodoma
    10-11 February

    We didn’t have to rush as we only had to get to Iringa: however, we struck camp in the cool of the early morning and leisurely packed the Land Rover. We ambled around on a short game drive and went to inspect the other public campsite called Kiboko. Apart from the fact that the direct route to this campsite from the HQ had a very full river crossing and was, therefore, not viable, we did not like this campsite as much as Tembo. It did not have such a good view and, although there was shade from a baobab, it was bushy and not entirely flat. The ablutions and food preparation buildings were newer but hadn’t been cleaned recently. At Tembo, the water bowser came every day, and the loos and showers were cleaned.

    Ruaha is famous for kudu, but we hadn’t seen any. Just after crossing the bridge, we spotted two.

    At the gate, we got the chat from the officer on duty. There are two roads branching off the same road. We had come on the “village route” and were keen to avoid the big wallow by taking the other route. However, the officer on duty advised us to go the village route. No worries with the wallow this time and we bumped and crashed our way back to Iringa.

    In Iringa, we found Mama Iringa’s - an Italian owned and run restaurant with rooms. Concetta has transformed a former convent into a green oasis in the backstreets of Iringa. Roadworks outside meant we had to engage diff lock to drive in. We fell into chairs in the courtyard and ordered cold beers. Luckily, there was a room available. A large, beautifully appointed room with a lovely ensuite bathroom. She is Italian after all, and they do know a thing or two about style.

    We had a reasonably early dinner – delicious homemade pasta washed down with Italian wines. After dinner, we sat in the courtyard sipping our wine whilst the restaurant filled up with Iringa residents of all nationalities, shapes, sizes and hues. It would have been interesting to get the chat from some of them.

    We retired to bed reasonably early and had a good night.

    During the night, the heavens opened again, and it was still pouring with rain in the morning. We had breakfast, paid the very reasonable bill for our stay and dinner, and engaged diff lock to get out onto the road over a slippery wet berm and drainage ditch.

    The road from Iringa to Dodoma is excellent. It winds up over some hills, across the Mtera dam and through endless miles of Africa. As we stopped at the dam to sign in, a truck driver came over to chat. He told me that he was glad to see me as it meant he might get to my great age… I told him I wasn’t that old but didn’t point out that he might not reach a great age with his fat tummy and dangerous occupation. Still, it was a friendly interaction.

    Eventually, we arrived in Dodoma at lunchtime. We have been to Dodoma a number of times before and have always stayed at the old colonial New Dodoma Hotel (formerly the Railway Hotel). This time we thought we would try another establishment that we had read about – The Hut of Cheese and Wine. We were warmly welcomed and had a platter of cheese and bread washed down with cold beers. The room on offer was fine – bed, mosi net, clean sheets, shower, and loo. It was quite tight getting the Land Rover into the compound. Later, we sat in the garden for our sundowners until we heard the rumble of thunder. We retired to a covered area and, sure enough, the heavens opened. Conversation was impossible with the rain beating down on the corrugated iron roof. We opted for burgers and chips and selected a Tanzanian wine.

    Dodoma wine used to be known as “possibly the worst wine in the world”, but it has improved. There are now a number of wineries: before there was only Dodoma Wine. I had been keen to try the Dodoma white, but that one wasn’t cold. So, we tried Image. It did the trick!

    We did not have a good night: the mosi net wouldn’t close, there was loud music from a nearby bar, the room was very hot, and the air-conditioning unit was not working very well. We were bombarded by mossies and I sprayed like mad. Eventually, Hugh managed to get the mosi net shut and we had some shut eye.

    The next morning, we had breakfast and paid the bill in cash (it was substantially more expensive than Mama Iringa’s). Everyone was very welcoming and kind and sweet, but if we find ourselves in Dodoma again, we are going back to the tried and tested New Dodoma Hotel.

  26. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  27. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    Tarangire National Park
    12-13 February

    When we left Dodoma, our destination had been to check out Migombani Campsite near Mto wa Mbu above Lake Manyara. We wanted to do part of the post-safari clean before crossing the border back into Kenya and I got in touch with Migombani on WhatsApp. However, the person replying to my messages said we were warmly welcome, but they had a large group of students staying. That sealed it – we would either return to Twiga Lodge near Arusha or forego some cleaning and go and have a last hurrah camping in Tarangire.

    The road from Dodoma to Arusha is an excellent road – I think it might have been a “gift” of the Chinese people. Between Kondoa and Babati, the road winds up beautiful hills through forest reserves and shambas with the 10,000 ft Mt Hanang ahead. Near Kondoa are a number of rock art sites – one day I would like to visit these.

    We stopped in Babati for coffee – sachets and a thermos of hot water. This is a former colonial era European farming area: it is green and fertile and the farmers were busy luxuriating in the bountiful rains. Just before Babati, Hugh was stopped for speeding, but the policewoman said we were like her mother and father, and she would forgive us. As I said, grey hair matters.

    At Babati, we made the decision – we were going to the lovely Tarangire for two nights. A short while later, we pulled into the gate to the national park. After a quick and efficient payment system, shortly thereafter we were selecting our site in the public campsite near the park HQ (Campsite No 1). The accountant at the gate said there was a large party at the newer Campsite No 2, but the location of it did not appeal to us anyway. We had the whole campsite to ourselves when we arrived and we, of course, selected the best piece of Africa in the shade with a nice view. It was very close to where we had camped 16 years previously.

    Later, a British family from the UK arrived. They were on day one of camping in a hired vehicle and they had never been to Africa before. They were full of joy about their adventure. Ordinarily, if someone comes and camps too close to us, I feel rather irritated, but we welcomed them on the other side of the trees to us. Later, we asked them for drinks at our campfire. We think we gave them confidence in camping and, hopefully, weren’t too “know-it-all”. Some elephants were browsing close by, and we warned the daughter that she was going too close to take a photo.

    As soon as we got into camp, we did some laundry and hung it up to dry. The elephant and the knickers makes for an amusing photo.

    We went for a short evening game drive along the river. We spotted a number of vehicles and went to investigate. We asked one of the drivers what they were looking at as we couldn’t see anything. Well, these chaps have the most amazing eyesight. Deep in a Sausage Tree was a leopard: only two short sections of paws were visible and a short section of tail. We would never have spotted it ourselves and, even through binoculars, it was difficult to see. Nevertheless, it was a leopard.

    We spent two excellent nights in Tarangire. This park is another jewel in the crown of the Tanzanian parks. Many safari operators only bring their clients for a day trip, but this beautiful park warrants a longer stay. The only drawback is the tsetse flies.

    Again, the baobabs were in full leaf, the grass was as high as an elephant’s eye, and it was like driving through an elephant’s salad bowl. The Tarangire river was running high, and many of the tracks to the south were impassable. We tried to get along the ridge road to the baobab hollowed out by elephants known as Poachers Hide, but we came to a big, muddy wallow and, not having seen another vehicle for a few hours, we decided not to attempt it and turned around. Back in the more visited areas, we went and had a cold beer at Tarangire Safari Lodge. It is beautifully situated overlooking the river with far-reaching views. There we had a lovely chat with the owner of the lodge who is also the owner of Emayani where we had stayed near Pangani on the coast over three weeks before. From the verandah of the lodge, we could see large herds of elephants, giraffe, and zebra.

    We were back in camp long before sunset, but we worried about the British family. However, they pulled in just before 7.00 pm brimming with excitement. They had seen a pride of lions walking along the road and had them to themselves. We were so pleased for them.

    On our last morning, we packed up camp in the cool, wished the British family all the best for their trip to the Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, tipped the campsite attendants (plus we paid for firewood), and exited the park heading for Twiga Lodge. We were so pleased that we had decided to revisit the lovely Tarangire.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2024/02/25 at 01:16 PM.

  28. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  29. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Age
    58
    Posts
    180
    Thanked: 232

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    Thank you WW, I have so enjoyed reading this..
    Kitulo at last! After how many years of pointing others in that direction and encouraging them to go?
    So glad it lived up to expectation despite what sounds like thunderstorms of biblical proportions!

    Looking forward to your pics
    Blog: Bonnievale to Burton Fleming

    https://bonnievaletoburtonfleming.com/

  30. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Webster For This Useful Post:


  31. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    The journey’s end
    14-16 February

    It was an easy drive on excellent roads back to Arusha. Between Tarangire and Arusha, there were some wonderful views of the Mbulu Highlands, Lake Manyara and the endless plains of the Masai Steppe with a clear Mount Meru ahead. I was thrilled to see there were still open plains grazed on by herds of Maasai cattle along with wildebeest, zebra and other plains game. I had feared it was all fenced to the detriment of wildlife and the traditional Maasai way of life.

    We had miscalculated the amount of malaria pills we needed, and I had been in touch with a pharmacist in Arusha. The most direct route to the chemist was through the city rather than taking the bypass. We crawled along and then we came to a complete logjam. We managed to turn around through a market area and got on to the bypass and, eventually back to the New Arusha Hotel in the centre of Arusha. We pulled in for coffee. It was a relatively easy drive from there to the chemist.

    Then we backtracked on to the bypass and made tracks for Usa River and the lovely Twiga Lodge where we were warmly welcomed back by Erika. We set up camp in the exact same place as we had camped nearly four weeks before: although it was still green, it was considerably drier.

    I had arranged with Erika for us to have dinner in the lodge that night and, the following day, to avail ourselves of her washing machine. We stripped everything out of the Land Rover and did a partial clean. We also had the Land Rover checked out by Paul in the workshop. For the past few days, there had been a clanking sound coming from a shock absorber and the bushes were replaced. Paul and his mechanics also identified that the fan wasn’t great. He said it might get us back to Nairobi, but it could go at any time. We decided to replace it and a new fan was ordered from Land Rover Arusha. At about 2.00 pm, a bodaboda arrived with the new fan: we had been getting anxious.

    With mounds of washing done including our bedding, we were moving into the lodge for our last night, but we needed the Land Rover back in order to pack up camp. The work was finished on the Land Rover around 5.00pm and we packed up and moved to the lodge. There were some people from Kenya camping that night and we all had a few beers together both at the lodge and, just before sunset, at the top of the property where Kilimanjaro was visible as it turned pink. We had a delicious dinner with Erika and Paul. It was a jovial evening as we have much in common.

    The following morning, Mount Meru was pink with the dawn. We had an early breakfast with Erika and set off for the border. Three hours later, we pulled into the border crossing at Namanga. Again, it was relatively painless and took 40 minutes to do both sides. However, the new Kenyan electronic travel authorisation (eTA) caused some irritation. The eTA is sent electronically with a means of storing in an Apple wallet, but the Kenyan immigration official insisted on a printout. Anyway, some enterprising Kenyans have set up a printer in the one-stop border and we forwarded the eTA to them. Not exactly secure that some random person at a border crossing has all our passport details and photos, but what to do? We were also enormously relieved to get back our logbook (registration papers) which one must leave with Kenyan customs when exiting the country. It had been safely secured and logged in and out of a ledger.

    We were very relieved that we had got to Namanga early as, when we left, there were huge queues from the buses and tour operators waiting to get their luggage scanned and into the border controls. We were asked if all our luggage had been scanned, but we told the Customs official that it was not possible to remove all our kit and he came out to inspect the vehicle and we were free to go.

    We pulled into Namanga River Lodge once again to fortify ourselves. We were back in Kenya.

    Three hours later, we were safely back in Nairobi. What an adventure! 3,285 miles driven in just under four weeks.

  32. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  33. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    Here is a link to our GPS tracks.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?m...7961866684&z=5
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2024/02/27 at 06:53 PM.

  34. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  35. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Germany
    Age
    67
    Posts
    192
    Thanked: 63

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    Hallo Wazungu Wawili,
    many thanks for your your much appreciated extended report of the less travelled parts of Tanzania which brought also memories back of our last stay in Africa!
    As our Defender is stored in Lusaka during our absence and we can only afford 2 times travelling a year for 6 weeks, Tanzania was always a destination very far for us and indeed in southern Africa there was also a lot to explore in the radius which was comfortable for us.
    But last year as visa for Malawi were again provided at the borders we took the opportunity to get further north into unknown terrain.
    It was indeed a wonderfull trip though we only managed to visit the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. In the area of Mbeya we camped for some days at a coffe-farm owned since 30 years by a german farmer and his tanzanian wife, a lovely and very helpfull couple.
    Ruaha NP was great. As for our german registered Defender the prices to get into tanzanian NPs are far beyond our comfortable amount we first made a full day drive into the park with a local guide, which was less expensive and worth every single Dollar. But we didn't want to leave wihout showing the park also to our Kagiso and put the money on the table for one day.
    Remembering all these nice experiences we decided to come back to southern Tanzania in September to include also Katavi NP and a little bit lake Tanganjika. Looking already forward!
    Cheers Topi
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	MT237.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	378.8 KB 
ID:	715030  

  36. The Following User Says Thank You to Topi For This Useful Post:


  37. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    Twiga Lodge and Arusha National Park

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3059.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	62.4 KB 
ID:	715034
    Mount Meru from Twiga Lodge, Usa River

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3052.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	96.2 KB 
ID:	715035
    Twiga Lodge

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0376.jpg 
Views:	26 
Size:	137.7 KB 
ID:	715036
    Camping at Twiga Lodge

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3069.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	76.5 KB 
ID:	715037
    Ngurdoto crater, Arusha NP

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0393.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	102.9 KB 
ID:	715038
    Mount Meru, Arusha NP

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3093.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	139.3 KB 
ID:	715033
    Fig Tree Arch

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3082.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	68.8 KB 
ID:	715039
    Flamingoes on Momella lakes, Arusha NP

  38. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  39. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,504
    Thanked: 2404

    Default Re: Tanzania 2024: A Journey to the Garden of God

    West Usambara mountains

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0443.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	58.6 KB 
ID:	715040
    Mambo Viewpoint

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0440.jpg 
Views:	34 
Size:	100.1 KB 
ID:	715041
    Mambo Viewpoint Eco Lodge

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3108.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	114.3 KB 
ID:	715042
    Our room at Mambo Viewpoint Lodge

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3112.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	135.0 KB 
ID:	715043
    Birding in the forest

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0451.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	41.1 KB 
ID:	715044
    Sunset from Mambo Viewpoint over the South Pare mountains

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0465.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	95.1 KB 
ID:	715045

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0472.jpg 
Views:	17 
Size:	114.6 KB 
ID:	715046
    The view from our room at Irente Cliff Lodge

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0478.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	61.1 KB 
ID:	715047
    Irente viewpoint - a sheer drop down

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3136.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	47.7 KB 
ID:	715048
    From Irente viewpoint

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3140.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	47.8 KB 
ID:	715049
    Looking down to the Masai Steppe

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0494.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	87.9 KB 
ID:	715050
    Winding back down the narrow road from Lushoto

  40. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may post attachments
  • You may edit your posts
  •