Ifakara is a small rural town in the Kilombero district in Morogoro region of south central Tanzania. I spend there a day wandering around this rural market town meeting local people and a few hours floating along the Kilombero River on a traditional dugout canoe. I have to admit it was quite an experience.
Category Archives: Tanzania
With slightly over 3000 square kilometers Mikumi is relatively small National Park. It lies between the Uruguru mountains to the East and the Rift Valley escarpments to the Southwest, around 300 km west of Dar Es Salaam. It is close to the Selous ecosystem and therefor part of it. Although less spectacular regarding flora and fauna the landscape of Mikumi is often compared to that of the Serengeti. There is a rich variety of bird species (around 400) as well as large animals such as giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards and hippos. You can also see zebras, wild dogs, pythons, hartebeests, wildebeests, impalas, warthogs, elands and antelopes. Most of the mentioned animals I was lucky enough to see myself. Now you can have look at the effects of my photographic hunting in the gallery above. During my stay in Mikumi I also visited local Snake Park and had a chance to see some of the most venomous and dangerous snakes of Africa such as spitting cobras as well as black and green mambas. I certainly wouldn’t like to see those in nature.
The Udzungwa Mountains are the highest mountains in the Eastern Arc, mountain range which stretches from Southern Kenya to South Tanzania, known as the “Galapogos of Africa”. The Eastern Arc makes up only 2% of the land area in Tanzania however has around 40% of the plant and animal species living in the country. This is a place of beautiful tropical rainforests and sparkling streams of crystal clear water where only walking is allowed. Udzungwa Mountains National Park is one of Tanzania’s newest National Parks and is often described as a “Primate Park” due to the several species of primate living in it’s forests. Most of them are endemic including the Sanje Crested Mangabey and the Iringa Red Colobus. It is relatively easy to see there black and white Colobus Monkeys, Iringa Red Colobus and Sykes’ Monkeys. There are also more than 400 bird species living in the Park and over 2500 plant species of which 25 percent are endemics. One of the park’s main attractions are Sanje Waterfalls. There are no roads passable by vehicle in Udzungwa Mountains so as all the other trails it is accessible only by foot. A relatively short hike of about 2 hours took me to the third stage of Sanje Falls. Although, informally referred to as the Sanje Waterfall, it is in fact a series of waterfalls that plunge over 300m in three seperate stages. The largest section, with a drop of 170m can be seen from the road below, and it is where I enjoyed spectacular view of the Kilombero Valley. I also took a refreshing bath in one of the pools of the waterfall. Straight after trekking I visited nearby village called Mangula. The effect of this visit as well as of Sanje Falls hiking you can see in the gallery above.
Dar Es Salaam, once called Mzizima which means the healthy town is an old city dating as early as 1857. Mzizima’s history dates back to the time when the Barawa people started to settle and cultivate the area around Mbwa Maji, Magogoni, Mjimwema, Gezaulole and Kibonde Maji Mbagara. The city has seen some major changes from the influences of the Sultanates to the German and British. The name Dar Es Salaam means heaven of peace, a name chosen by Sultan Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar. The city started as a fishing village in the mid 19th cenataury before being turned to a port and trading centre. Despite having lost its status as official capital to Dodoma in 1973 Dar Es Salaam is still commercial capital of the country and it wields immense political and economical power. Although Dar is not at the top of the list of places to see for most visitors to Tanzania it certainly has its charm. Mixture of African, Asian and Muslim influences, picturesque harbour, beaches, chaotic markets, and historical buildings, it is all well worth experiencing. After a couple of days in Dar Es Salaam I decided to travel inland in direction of Udzungwa Mountains and Kilombero valley.