22.9.2019: A Day in the Arusha National Park.

With Charles on a combined tour with the Landrover and a short walk near the Momella Gate.

While Charles goes for the entrance tickets, I have a little stroll around.

In a small park a model of Mount Meru was built, with information plates.

Starting the walk, first taking the footbridge above Ngare Nanjuki River.

After a short detour to the confluence of the Ngare Nanjuki River with a smaller side beck ...

we walk along this side beck entering the large grassland on the foot of Mount Meru.

Here, the grass is wet all the time, due to groundwater soaking the soil. A huge spring horizon.

In the distance we see giraffes.

Our route leads us to a small waterfall of the same beck mentioned, before it flows over the grassland.

Wonderful rock hole beneath the waterfall.

 Short Youtube Video of the waterfall

This in fact are two trees. The first tree has already died and lost its bark, whereas the second one - a ficus species - has wrapped its branches and arial roots around the first one and killed it therefore. The seeds of the fig species were displaced to the crotches of the first tree, germinate and send their sprouts up and aerial roots down. The roots join together to a dense meshwork that finally kills the first treed and grows into the soil to get water. When the first tree is dead, the roots and brfanches of the fig are stable enough to keep standing, even if the first tree is rotted.

This tree is not dead - it just shed itzs leaves during the dry season - something that can be seen frequently here.

Approaching the giraffes.

They are very relaxed and only move if they already can look down on you. However, we are asked not to go too close to avoid disturbing them.

Youtube video

The water of this beck is better and contains less minerals, so the ranger says that animals favour drinking this one over that from the other beck.

My two attendants - the Ranger (left) and Charles, my driver and Guide.

We are now driving up the road into the ´mountain rain forest, crossing the concrete bridge over Ngare Nanjuki River.

Inside the rain forest, at about 2.000 m asl.

Here is a huge fig tree having grown the same way as the one explained above. The ficus is stable enough, the host tree must have been huge and was removed later on ...

 ... to create a tunnel for the trees serving as a tourist  attraction. 

Blooming bushes on a clearing ...


We reach a second, smaller waterfall.

Youtube Video

Blooming plants that I cannot identify.

On the drive back, the clearing  ...

 ... is populated by baboons ...

 ... which also occupy the road in another place.

Passing by the gate once more, we reach deeper regions heading for the Momella lakes. Dozens of buffalos are grazing here.

At the viewpoint to the Momella lakes we take a short rest ...

 ... to raid our lunch packet.

Nice view to the Momella lakes from this point, Kilimandscharo is hidden behind clouds at this time of the day.

Panoramic picture of the Momella lakes. Click here or into the picture for a larger display.

A small pond on the way to ...

 ... the Ngurdoto crater. Only a large grass area can be seen from the view point, no animals.

On the drive back we meet some more baboons, ...

 ... within their favourite area, ...

 ... the branches of a tree. 

Another large grassland ...

 ... with different animals: Zebras, warthogs, buffalos, near the forest in the distance a giraffe.


Near home, between the gate and Momella some more giraffes ...

 ... which will come close to the houses during the night.

Mount Meru in afternoon sunshine.