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Africa Tales About Animals of African Savannah

Africa Tales About Animals of African Savannah.

Marangu Market Africa Tales About Animals of African Savannah

History shows that before the coming of colonialists in Kilimanjaro, the Chagga were well organised under small chiefdoms ruled by local ruler called Mangi or Wamangi. These chiefs ruled their subject using forces which were blessed by history, culture and traditional believes whereby the African leopard was regarded as spiritual symbol of the ruling class.

It said the pre-colonial traditional way of life in many parts of Tanzania including Kilimanjaro rain forests was a favourite home to big mammals of the savannah including African leopards which wander freely around villages in the whole area.

Different factors contributed to conservation of wild animals including the flourishing of the African leopard inside forest around Mount Kilimanjaro which was enabled by customary laws and traditional beliefs protected these big cats.

In Kilimanjaro those days, the leopards thrived in tropical rainforest which stand from 2,800 to 1,300 meters above the sea level through the Agro forest which today is found between 1,600 to 1,200 meters above the sea to the savannah forest which is on 1,600 to 700 meters above sea level.

It’s also said that due to the public support, during those days leopards of Mount Kilimanjaro were big but not dangerous although it is believed sometime they were able to break into a house to snatch a sheep or goat.

In those days the number of African Leopards grew bigger in the forest around mount Kilimanjaro because rules of pre-colonial Chagga did not allow anyone to hurt the spotted cat because it was regarded as sacred animal of the land.

In those good old days it was common to see a leopard during day time, not only that the big cat was allowed to wander into a house whenever it feels threatened by uncouth people.

From Machame, Rombo, Kibosho and Marangu it is believed that every clan had its own spiritual leopard which is believed to be responsible to protect members of the whole family at night.

Africa Luxurious Safari Lodges

Africa Luxurious Safari Lodges

1. Angama Mara, Kenya

If the epic views from Angama Mara provoke a sense of déjà vu, it might be because you have seen them before on the silver screen. Taking its name from the Swahili for “suspended in mid-air”, the mesmerising vista of the remote Mara Triangle is the same as the one depicted in the 1985 film Out of Africa starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. This new camp, which opened last year on the edge of the Rift Valley Escarpment, is the culmination of the work of safari lodge veterans Nicky and Steve Fitzgerald, who have many years of African hospitality between them. There are two camps of 15 tents created by one of the continent’s finest tent-makers with a contemporary, minimalist chic look that incorporates 33ft-wide, floor-to-ceiling windows. The lodge is also committed to the local community; among other features, there is an in-house artisan workshop where Maasai women create beaded jewellery.

Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya . Doubles from $825 (£570) per person, full-board.

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2. Ruckomechi Camp, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is back on the safari map. Peeping out from the shade of acacia and mahogany trees, right on the banks of the Zambezi river, the 10 rooms of Wilderness Safaris’ Ruckomechi Camp reopen later this month with a new look. It is set in the Mana Pools National Park; this part of the country is known for its large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland, which can be seen on wildlife drives, walks or afternoon boat trips on the river. In July a new, smaller satellite camp, Little Ruckomechi, will open further downstream, with just three tented rooms.

Ruckomechi Camp, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. Doubles from $702 per person, full board.

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3. Makanyi Lodge, South Africa

One of the newest arrivals on South Africa’s safari scene is this seven-suite lodge in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve on the edge of the country’s vast Kruger Park. The Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo – proliferate here and there are game drives as well as bush walks, birdwatching, painting, guided stargazing and photographic safaris. Each of the rooms is designed in rustic yet slick safari style with a main lodge and an infinity pool, which proves the ideal place to lounge after a dusty drive.

ALSO READ  World’s Top 10 Countries That Save The Most (3 Countries from Africa make the top 10)

Makanyi Private Game Lodge, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kruger Park, South Africa. Doubles from R8,000 per person, full board including game drives.  

 
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4. Limalimo Lodge, Ethiopia

The jagged, gasp-worthy peaks of Ethiopia’s Unesco-listed Simien Mountains National Park are one of the country’s natural highlights. So too are the large colonies of Gelada monkey that populate it. Opened in January, the Limalimo Lodge is its newest place to stay, with just 12 guestrooms constructed in the vernacular style using rammed earth, wood and thatch. Guests can spend their days exploring the vastness of the surrounding landscape with its walia ibex, leopards and Ethiopian wolves.

Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park, Debark, North Gondar, Ethiopia. Doubles from $200, full-board.

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5. The Highlands, Tanzania

Tanzania’s Unesco World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most spectacular and richest wildlife spotting areas on the continent. Both the Big Five and countless other species live and visit this vast caldera that formed two to three million years ago.To escape the crowds fully, check into Asilia Africa’s newest camp, the appropriately named The Highlands, set on the slope of the Olmoti volcano. When it opens on 5 June – in good time for the spectacular annual wildebeest migration between July and October – it will become the highest of all the camps fringing Ngorongoro. There will be just eight futuristic looking, luxuriously decked-out domed canvas tents. You can be down on the crater floor for dawn safaris, enjoy bush picnics and just revel in the isolated tranquillity of the setting, when the sun begins to set over the African wilderness.

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 The Highlands, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Doubles from $710 per person, full-board

Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa  

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Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa. Parts of Africa are highly volcanic, especially the East African Rift Zone. Ethiopia alone has 50 volcanoes that are still active. However, other countries like South Africa, Tanzania, Cameroon and DRC also have volcanoes.

So how dangerous or deadly are these African volcanoes? Below is the top 10 most dangerous volcanoes in Africa!

10) Dabbahu, Ethiopia

The Dabbahu Volcano is also known as Boina, Boyna, or Moina locally. It is an active volcano in the Afar region in Ethiopia and is part of the Rift Valley volcanic system. An eruption in 2005 created a fissure in the earth with a length of 60km.

Ash of the eruption reached villages up to 40km away. An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 hit three days after the eruption started. In total 11,000 people fled the area due to the eruption and earthquake.

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The eruption created a massive fissure in the earth – Image credit to Anthony Philpotts

9) Marion Island, Prince Edwards Islands, South Africa

Marion Island is the top of a 5000m high shield volcano (similar to Hawaii) that rises 1242m out of the Indian Ocean. The volcano is active and erupted in 1980 and 2004 and is the only active volcano in South Africa. The only inhabitants are a changing crew of approx. 50 scientists who can only escape by boat.

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The Marion Island shield volcano

8) Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania

Ol Doinyo Lengai means “Mountain of God” in the Maasai language. An eruption in 2007 caused a number of earthquakes. The strongest of these had a magnitude of 6.0. Older eruptions caused ash fall as far away as Loliondo which is more than 100km away. The volcano remains highly active with eruptions in 2008, 2010 and 2013.

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Ol Doinyo Lengai erupting in March 2008 – Image credit to Cessna 206

7) Manda Hararo, Ethiopia

The Manda Hararo is a group of volcanoes that first erupted in 2007. There were no warning signs according to the local population. The violent eruption continued for three days while the local people fled the area. In 2009 the volcano erupted again and lava flows were seen up to 5km away from the Volcano. No casualties were reported.

The volcanic field around the two main volcanoes is considered the most active volcanic field in the world.

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The Manda Hararo volcano system – Image credit to Earthweek.com

6) Mount Cameroon

Mount Cameroon is the most active volcano in West Africa. Locally it is also known as Mongo ma Ndemi or Fako. It is one of the largest volcanoes in Africa with a height of 4040m. In 2000 lava flows caused by two eruptions came very close to the town of Buea. In 2012 there was a small eruption, but this time it mostly produced ash that posed no danger in the area. It did however injure two guides that were on the mountain at the time.

With around 500,000 people living or working on the flanks of the volcano a larger eruption would cause catastrophic damage.

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Mount Cameroon – Image credit to Savannawood.com

5) Nyamuragira, Democratic Republic of Congo

This is the most active volcano in Africa. It erupted roughly every two years for decades. However, it has been fairly quiet since 2011 when the last major eruption occurred. In 2014 the volcano became active again creating a lava lake in the caldera (crater) with a depth of 500m.

There are no villages close to the volcano fortunately. However, its lava flows could still be dangerous as the volcano lies only 25km north of Lake Kivu. A large lava flow into the lake could lead to lake overturning. Lake overturning is when a sudden change in the lake brings CO2 and other dangerous gasses to the surface. In 1986 this caused the death of around 1700 people at nearby Lake Nyos.

Lake Kivu is almost 2000 times larger and around 2 million people live around the lake. An event like that at Lake Nyos could have a devastating effect. The chance of this happening is luckily quite low as the CO2 concentrations in the lake are not as high as in Lake Nyos.

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Nyamuragira volcano eruption in 2014 – Image credit to MONUSCO Photos

4) Mount Fogo, Cape Verde

After a few days of increasing seismic activity the eruption of Pico de Fogo started on the 23rd of November, 2014. Local villagers spend the first night outside because of the strong earthquakes. Evacuations started once the eruption got underway. The eruption only stopped after a total of 77 days. By that time two villages were destroyed and over 1500 people had been evacuated. Fortunately there was no loss of life.

The entire island of Fogo is part of the volcano that has a diameter of 25km. A major eruption would give the 37,200 people living on the island little chance to escape.

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Mount Fogo – Image credit to Aldo Bien

3) Karthala, Comoros

Mount Karthala (or Karthola) is an active volcano with a height of 2361m above sea level. It is one of two volcanoes that form the Grande Comore Island. With more than 20 eruptions since the 19th century it is considered highly active and dangerous.

After a long quiet period the volcano blasted into action in April 2005. The large lava flows and deadly volcanic gases that were spewed out by the volcano caused the evacuation of 30,000 people. In 2006, 2007 and 2012 the volcano erupted again, but these were much smaller than in 2005.

With over 300,000 people living on the small island a large eruption would cause massive damage and loss of life.

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Mount Karthala is very active – Image credit to Afrotourism.com

2) Nabro, Ethiopia/ Eritrea

On June 12, 2011 the Nabro volcano erupted and spread its lava and ashes over hundreds of kilometers. The eruption caused a series of earthquakes with the strongest reaching a magnitude of 5.7. The ash plume reached a height of 15km and reached a size of 50km by several hundred km. The ash cloud severely disrupted air travel in the region.

Afar, a state in Ethiopia, felt the brunt of the impact. By the time the eruption ended at least 31 people had died and thousands had been evacuated.

The worst part is that this was the first eruption in recorded history. The volcano was considered extinct so very little research was done before 2011. This means that the danger of the volcano is not known.

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Image showing the massive size of the 2011 Nabro Volcano eruption – Image credit to Phil Plait

1) Mount Nyiragonga, Democratic Republic of Congo

Mount Nyiragonga is the most dangerous volcano in Africa. Since 1882 it has erupted at least 34 times and at times remained active for years. The lava from Nyiragonga is very fluid and lava flows can reach speeds of 100km/h when racing down the mountain.

In 1977 an eruption cracked the walls of the crater and the lava lake inside was released in just one hour. The lava reached speeds of up to 60km/h, destroying villages and killing at least 70 people.

In 2002 another massive eruption happened. A large fissure quickly spread from the volcano that reached the nearby city of Goma. Lava flows between 200 and 1000m wide with a depth of 2m streamed through Goma. 400,000 people were evacuated. A combination of noxious gasses, earthquakes and lava flows killed around 147 people. At least 4500 buildings were destroyed (about 15% of Goma) and around 120,000 people were left homeless.

Another danger of this volcano is that carbon dioxide seeps from the ground. When this can’t be spread by the wind (like in buildings) it can cause death by asphyxiation. This has happened to several children very recently.

The most dangerous part of this volcano is that Lake Kivu is very close. In 2002 lava flows reached the lake causing fears that the lake could see a similar event as that at Lake Nyos in 1986. Fortunately this did not happen, but scientists are still monitoring the situation.

The 1986 Lake Nyos disaster killed 1700 people. Lake Kivu is about 2000 times larger and over 2 million people live closeby. A ‘Lake Nyos event’ could cause damage on an unimaginable scale.

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Mount Nyiragonga lava lake – this is the most dangerous volcano in Africa – Image credit to Cai Tjeenk Willink

Maji Moto Hot Springs Tanzania

Maji Moto Hot Springs Tanzania

Maji Moto Hot Springs Tanzania

Maji Moto Hot Springs Maji Moto Hot Springs Tanzania

Maji Moto Hot Springs Tanzania

Maji Moto – Water Hot, literal translation.
Hot Water, English translation
An oasis 2 hours away from Arusha

Maji Moto Hot Springs Tanzania is one of the best and memorable places to swim. The water is actually not hot, it’s a temperature that isn’t too warm or too cold. You could stay in it forever and never feel the need to get out and reheat yourself.

The water holds a beautiful sapphire color and is crystal clear to the bottom. A natural current runs through, and though there are certain parts which can be hard to swim against, the main pool is the easiest place to relax.

It’s truly a blissful spot in the middle of totally unexpected terrain, and for anyone staying in Arusha – We highly recommend a visit.

Arusha Day Trips

Arusha Day Trips

Arriving into Tanzania from anywhere that requires many lines of latitude to be crossed, or several plane changes, an intelligent strategy is to allow a day or two’s leisure in Arusha prior to your climb. The reasons for this are:

  • Around 1 in 7 people have their luggage delayed. Most delayed luggage arrives 24 hours after it’s supposed to
  • Prolonged airline travel tends to dehydrate and tire people. Having a day at leisure allows rehydration / revitalisation
  • A day getting used to Arusha’s elevation (around 1,450m) and the dry air, helps with adaptation to Kilimanjaro
  • Those who do not have time to go on safari after their climb often appreciate the opportunity to see a little of the local (non-alpine) environment and culture

Other than safaris, there are several day-trip options available to be enjoyed from Arusha. We briefly summarise the seven most popular options for Arusha day trips below.

Arusha Town Tour

This is a popular day trip, requiring only some three hours and little or no transport. Those interested to see the main features of Arusha will begin somewhere around the Clock Tower, on foot, with one of our guides and will usually begin walking northwards in an anti-clockwise direction, taking in such sites at the Natural History Museum, various monuments celebrating independence, the local market, and some craft shops. A town tour typically takes some 2-3 hours and covers around 4km.

Tours are completed on foot with one of our guides. The cost is USD 20 per group, regardless of how many people are in the group. However, it is customary for each person to tip the guide, with the amount being purely at the climber’s discretion, but generally being around USD 10 per climber for small groups, and some USD 5 per climber for large groups.

Hot Springs

This is probably the best place to swim. Emanating from within the earth, the geo-thermally warmed water is constantly renewed and is therefore very fresh, clear and clean. It’s a very pleasant place to spend a couple of hours with family, or to relax before or after a climb.

The distance from Arusha to the hot springs is 69km and the journey normally takes around 1 hour 20, so one should allow at least 5 hours for this excursion.

Costs for visiting the hot springs include lunch and transport:

  • USD 189 per person when solo
  • USD 114 per person when 2 subscribe
  • USD 89 per person when 3 subscribe
  • USD 88 per person when 4 subscribe
  • USD 87 per person when 5 subscribe
  • USD 86 per person when 6 subscribe
  • USD 79 per person when 7 subscribe
  • USD 75 per person when 8 subscribe

Meru Waterfall

This is a beautiful little waterfall, with its principal advantage being its proximity to Arusha. The journey from Arusha is just 7km and takes only 15 minutes. Having parked, there is a short walk that involves some steep ground and some clambering, but is quite manageable, even for young children.

Once we reach the waterfall, it is usual to enjoy the environment with a picnic, included in the price. Costs include transport:

  • USD 114 per person when solo
  • USD 74 per person when 2 subscribe
  • USD 60 per person when 3 subscribe
  • USD 59 per person when 4 subscribe
  • USD 58 per person when 5 subscribe
  • USD 57 per person when 6 subscribe
  • USD 54 per person when 7 subscribe
  • USD 52 per person when 8 subscribe

Cave Falls

This option is suitable for those who want to spend more time walking as, following a 30 minute / 13km vehicle transfer to the area, access to the waterfall requires a 2km walk along a river bed. The walk to the falls takes a little under an hour and some 40 minutes to get back to the vehicle, if completing a circuit. Bear in mind that to get back to the car requires a height gain of 60 metres, so while not strenuous, one should be prepared for this.

  • USD 104 per person when solo
  • USD 69 per person when 2 subscribe
  • USD 58 per person when 3 subscribe
  • USD 57 per person when 4 subscribe
  • USD 56 per person when 5 subscribe
  • USD 55 per person when 6 subscribe
  • USD 52 per person when 7 subscribe
  • USD 50 per person when 8 subscribe

Lake Duluti

Two options are possible on this excursion: either one may walk around the lake or canoe across it. Depending on which hotel we start from, the drive is around 15-20 minutes to reach the lake. The walk around the lake covers some 3.5km, however, we normally have a picnic along the way and may stop regularly if we encounter birds, monkeys or monitor lizards.

Costs for the lakeside walk include the government conservation fee walk and are as follows.

  • USD 121 per person when solo
  • USD 91 per person when 2 subscribe
  • USD 81 per person when 3 subscribe
  • USD 80 per person when 4 subscribe
  • USD 79 per person when 5 subscribe
  • USD 78 per person when 6 subscribe
  • USD 76 per person when 7 subscribe
  • USD 74 per person when 8 subscribe

Please note that use of canoes is extra with hire fees being payable direct to the local government office.

Maasai Crater

This is a dramatic topographical feature with steep falls that fall away into a lush green crater. The attraction of this walk is threefold: the exercise, the awesome views, and the opportunity to meet authentic Maasai villagers. If walking around the crater rim, we cover around 4.2km, however, climbers will often want to descend to the crater floor, which may add another 3km or thereabouts. Bear in mind that if descending to the crater floor, the return to the rim requires an ascent of 257 metres, which will normally take somewhere between 30-50 minutes and is quite strenuous, dusty and exposed to direct sunlight with virtually no shade.

The following costs include transport, lunch, local entrance fees and a small gift to Moita village.

  • USD 134 per person when solo
  • USD 89 per person when 2 subscribe
  • USD 74 per person when 3 subscribe
  • USD 73 per person when 4 subscribe
  • USD 72 per person when 5 subscribe
  • USD 71 per person when 6 subscribe
  • USD 67 per person when 7 subscribe
  • USD 65 per person when 8 subscribe
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