Saturday, 10 December 2016

A walk in the park - Arusha National Park

Come for a walk in the Arusha National Park.
The National Park landscape is very different from the Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater. Lush bush, Mt Meru (4566m, 14,980') and small areas of grass land, several alkaline lakes and the swamp-filled Ngurdoto crater.

We set off at 8.00am: my driver/guide, Heff and me, in a safari jeep.
Heff deftly negotiated the Arusha Rush hour and soon we were on the new highway being built to link with Mombasa in Kenya.
Then onto the dirt roads into the national park. The roads were in excellent condition compared with some we have encountered in the other parks.

Take a peek at the fees in the photos below. 

First stop- a walk accompanied by Mwatutu an armed ranger, an armed female ranger, one of five women out of seventy five rangers in the park.
Her training involved a stint in the army (to learn how to use guns) and at a college for training rangers. 
We stopped in a grassland and watched the buffalo and giraffes.
The giraffes were sitting down - safe in this predator free area.
Then in the forest a waterfall to impress...
And to  cast cool spray over us. 

Back to the jeep and off to see the second-most alkaline lake in the world, olive green small Lake Momello. 
Aptly named Lake Natron, also in Tanzania is the main breeding place for flamingos. It has a pH of around 10.5. Dissolved sodium salts contribute to create water that is toxic to most living things. Ash from  ancient volcanoes and mineral springs in the Rift Valley are the source of the alkaline salts. The lesser flamingos feed on the blue green algae and the greater flamingos on copepod larvae.

At 'Larger'  Lake Momello there a ring of pink flamingos  around the shore.
We stop for lunch near the shore.
A squadron of flamingoes takes flight.

On the trails we head up to the Ngurdoto crater rim.
Blue monkeys,
Colobus monkeys.

Some water bucks,
Bush bucks,
Dik diks - the tiniest antelopes.

If you are in Arusha and want a wonderful driver and organiser for trips who charges fair prices then contact
Godwin Sangawe +255754816874  or +255712980334
At the moment I am travelling alone while Dick makes a quick trip home so I have been very grateful for Godwin's excellent service.
He is often around the Coffee Lodge


There have been ongoing discussions about whether our New Zealand national parks should continue to be free. Apart from hut and camping fees there are no charges for tourists or New Zealanders to our National Parks.
Kiwi readers will be interested to see the charges to enter the Arusha National Park.
For one day the fee was $91US including the fee for a short walk and for the vehicle driven by my guide.
An armed ranger accompanied my driver/guide and me on the walk.



As a non East African the fee for entry to the National Park was $45US plus a walking fee $20 + 18%VAT
Plus additional fees for my 'crew' and the vehicle of Tshg 31,270 around $15.50US



Alkaline lake Momello. 


Jasmine perfumed our walk,

Mwatatu my protector on the walk in the national park.
 Ngurdoto crater. 

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