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MY MARANGU EXPERIENCE

My Marangu Experience

 

Most people know Marangu as one of the most popular routes to climb The Kilimanjaro. Few know of it as a destination on its own.  Marangu is a town located in the Kilimanjaro region, It is located near the slopes of the Kilimanjaro mountain.
Due to its elevation the weather is usually very cool and the landscape is ever green thanks to the natural water streams coming from the mountain.

I visited Marangu back in September this year, and I must say it was by far one of the most breath taking destinations I have ever visited.  Marangu is home to wondrous water falls, an indescribable land scape, fantastic weather, and good food. The people there are also super friendly. Its not uncommon for people to greet you on the streets.
I made an accommodation booking in Kilimanjaro mountain resort. This Is a popular hotel for Kilimanjaro climbers, and I could see why, its a cozy little lodge surrounded by lush gardens. The lodge also has a pool and a gym. The customer service is also very good and the staff are super friendly. The owner himself made sure we were enjoying our stay.

The pool.

 

My stay was five days. I had different activities planned out, such as visiting the water falls, a nature walk, and also visiting museums and historical attractions like the famous Chagga caves. I also had a really nice tour guide, his name was Msafiri, he made sure I felt welcome and  free to ask any questions during my tour.

 

The ancient Chagga caves
Wild raspberries

 

Marangu is a beautiful destination and if you are going to climb the Kilimanjaro and plan to use the Marangu route then I suggest you squeeze in a couple of days prior or after your climb to just explore this exotic mountain paradise. I felt extremely relaxed during and after my trip. Sometimes all you need is some green to get your mental and emotional energy back. Nature is the best healer and I think all of us can agree on that.
Here are some more photos of Marangu, enjoy!
If you have any question or enquiries about Marangu, the Kilimanjaro climb or any travel or tour related issue, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be pleased to assist you in any way we can.
Your Rafiki blogger here,

Signing out!

KITULO NATIONAL PARK (God’s garden)

Kitulo National Park (God’s garden)

 

Tanzania Is famous for its traditional safari destinations such as the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara and so many other wild based national parks and game reserves. Rarely do people talk about natural gardens when they think of Tanzania. It could be my biased thinking, I don’t know. But lets put my theory to the test. Have you heard of Kitulo? If you have congratulations, and If you haven’t then I guess I stand corrected haha!
Kitulo is a national park located between Mbeya and Njombe region in the Southern western part of Tanzania. It is known by the locals as the ”Bustani ya Mungu” or ” God’s garden” ,this name was given due to its large fields of untouched wild flowers and wondrous eco-systems. What really motivated me to write about this place is its exotic and distinctive features. Kitulo is the only national park in the tropical part of Africa that was established primarily to protect its flora.

So the park was officially introduced in 2002 by the president of Tanzania who was then Benjamin Mkapa. It was intended to introduce a new group of tourists with attractions for exotic flora and fauna species and also bird watchers.

Blue swallow bird, one of the many exotic birds found in Kitulo national park.

 

Denham’s bastard bird, also found in Kitulo national park.

The entire garden has a total of around 350 species of plants which include numerous ground orchids, geophytes and Afro alpine plants.  The park also includes 45 species of endemic orchids.
The park also has varieties of forests such as the living stone forest which is located in the former living stone forest reserve which was added to the national park back in 2005. The forest also has a limited number of mammal species such as the Rungwe dwarf galago, Kipunji, and the Abbotts duiker.

Abbotts duiker is one of the few mammals found in the Kitulo national park.

There is also the Ndimbi forest which is also located in the eastern part of the Kitulo national park, the forest is characterized by its distinctive mountain evergreen landscape of the East African cedar.
The park is a paradise for any bird lover or an exotic plant specie enthusiast, or If you just want a location to relax and take bomb Instagram photos. I highly recommend to visit this exotic park. You will not be disappointed.

Waterfalls in Kitulo national park.

If you have any questions or enquiries please do not hesitate to contact us. we will be more than happy to help.
Your Rafiki blogger here,

Signing out!

 

BAGAMOYO ”Lay down your heart”

 

BAGAMOYO ”Lay down your heart”

Bagamoyo is an old town located 75 km from the north of Dar es salaam. This town has a rich history dating back to the 8th century. It is definitely one of my all time favorite near home destinations, it normally takes me about forty minutes to get there. The word itself Bagamoyo is derived from a Swahili word meaning ” Lay down your heart”. It is believed that the area was given this name because of the slaves and slave traders who stopped in the destination after a long journey from the interior of Tanzania carrying numerous goods and commodities before heading to Zanzibar.


Bagamoyo is famous for its many historical attractions such as the Kaole ruins( will talk more about this in a bit), the mission cross, the old  catholic church, the church museum, the caravan serai, The German fort, and many other.

Catholic church museum

One of the first stops I normally visit when I go to Bagamoyo is the catholic church museum, there you will get a little briefing about Bagamoyo, its culture and history. The museum is in a historical building that was  built in 1876 as a sisters’ house. If you would like to rent a local guide, you will be more likely to get one at the museum. I wont ruin the fun by giving details about what you will see at the museum but the museum hosts records and  artifacts that dates back to the 19th century.

 

The back entrance of the museum

There is also a really cool baobab tree on the backside of the museum where madame de Chevaler a french  nurse volunteering at the dispensary tied her donkey using a steel chain. As the years went by the tree has grown further to swallow the chain, but in 2012 a 34 inch chain was added to the original in order to preserve the tree’s history, you can still see a little bit of the original chain.

The old fort

You cant go to Bagamoyo and not visit the old fort. This is one of the oldest buildings in Bagamoyo town.  I wont bore you so much with the historical facts, but I will briefly describe it. The building had different reincarnations, it was owned by an Arab merchant named Abadallah Suleiman Marhabi in the 1860s, it also acted as a last stop for slave traders and their caravans before boarding to Zanzibar. In 1896 it was taken over by Germans and was used as a Garrison during the war, and it was until 1919 that the building was changed into a prison. Note, this is just a tip of the entire history of this place.

Kaole Ruins

I will not  describe each and every attraction in Bagamoyo, because if I do why then would you want to visit? The next attraction I will thoroughly describe is probably the most important and the oldest of the other two that I talked about. The Kaole ruins are a symbol of the society that once existed in the 7th century. The town grew rapidly by the 13th century as an important trading ground. The Kaole ruins has remnants of two mosques and 30 tombs.
Some parts of the ruins have special rules and customs, such as the mosques where you will not be allowed to step in without taking off your shoes. There is also a well of wonders that is believed to have stayed in use for more than 500 years. Some grave sights have unique beliefs like the valentine grave and that of a prophet little girl. Note that there are different entrance costs for both locals and foreigners.
Kaole is definitely  a must see place if you ever visit Bagamoyo. The ruins really brings the past civilization to life.

Snake Park and Camel rides

Bagamoyo is not just a historical destination. There are some non historical activities you can do. You can visit the snake park where you can view different varieties of African venomous and non venomous snakes (Personal favorite). The best thing I love about this place is that you get to touch a snake if you want to. I personally have never missed the opportunity to do that. I highly suggest you try it, the snake is non venomous and super friendly.

If snakes aren’t  for you, there are camel ride activities that are done outside the snake park as well.

Other notable attractions that I didn’t mention but are still equally interesting are:

The fish market

 

Old German Boma

The Kaole Mamba (crocodile) Ranch

Roman catholic missionaries burial site

 

The caravan Serai

If you have any future plans of visiting this beautiful vintage town or if you need more information about Bagamoyo, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to help.

Your rafiki blogger here,

Signing out!