Hello there! I am still not into the swing of posting regularly but I have a lot of content made.
September 1st 2019
After we had finished climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, you would think we would take a day off to recover, especially as I had injured my knee. But time waits for no man and we were off on a day trip to Materuni Waterfall, the coffee plantation and Chagga caves.
I would wholeheartedly recommend visiting the waterfall, maybe not the day after climbing a mountain but a theme of my time in Tanzania is not giving myself enough down time.
To reach the waterfall, you have to climb down slippery, muddy worn steps. This sounds bad enough but when you add in that my knee at this point was incredibly swollen, it was a hellish descent. I slowly made my way down, not thinking about the trek back up. Side stepping my way to the waterfall.
We easily spent a few hours here and it was very quiet, only a few people were here as I don’t think it’s a huge tourist attraction, so I would recommend visiting.
Materuni Coffee plantation
The next stage of our day tour was visiting the coffee plantation. We were walked through the process of growing and preparing coffee beans to make coffee. We even got to crush some dried beans and assist with roasting them. We were given a few cups of brewed fresh coffee and let me tell you- easily the best coffee I have tasted. It was so good I had to buy a bag to gift to my mum. Having it black it still tasted so sweet and rich.
The people running the coffee plantation were lovely and we had a lot of laughs.
Part of our admission to the coffee plantation included a tour of the Chagga caves. I personally knew very little about the history of the Masai and Chagga in the region but I was told that due to some droughts, Masai moved to the Moshi area which at that time had been historically a Chagga territory. The Chagga had built an intricate cave system to win the fight with the Masai. As part of the tour you get to go through some of the passages that are still open and it was fascinating hearing how it took 54 years to complete the cave system.
Once inside the cave system, you see all the defences that the Chagga had designed to foil the Masai plans. The Masai had set fire to chilli and tobacco leaves near some of the openings to attempt to smoke out the hiding Chaga but there were built in ventilation chimneys that dispersed the smoke. In addition, the caves were designed to have low ceilings and cubby holes of sort in which Chagga warriors could surprise and defend against any Masai who entered.
Eventually the Masai left the region and settled in the Ngorongoro crater/Serengeti region.
If you are in Northern Tanzania, I highly recommend you opt for this day tour as its a brilliant cultural experience, the staff at the coffee plantation and chagga caves are incredibly informative and friendly.
September 2nd 2019
Safari- Ngorongoro Crater
Whilst in Tanzania, it is expected to go on a safari and there are so many options. We had limited budget and time but I knew I wanted to see either the Serengeti or Ngorongoro crater. As we would only be on a day visit, we chose the later and departed Moshi at 4 am. We switched vehicles twice before arriving for 10am at Ngorongoro reservation.
I had been doing some research and saw that the advice is to dress in light colours to avoid Tse Tse flies but it seemed that they weren’t as much of an issue in Ngorongoro crater.
The Ngoronogoro crater is the largest, unbroken, inactive volcano in the world. In our drive down into the crater, we first were driving through mist before we broke out and saw clear blue skies.
Apologies for the blurred picture, its a screenshot of a video I took but I hope it illustrates my point.
Driving around the rim of the crater before descending into the crater.
Within the first hour we had seen elephants, monkeys, wildebeest and a hyena.
All those shiny rocks you see in the lake are the backs of hippopotamuses.
We had lunch by the hippopotamus lake
Our day ended and after we had left the national park, we saw a real life zebra crossing. We are driving on the highway when a group of zebras break out of the bushes and start running across the road. We were all so in awe we didn’t think of pulling out our devices and recording
After this, we saw a giraffe just grazing among the trees on the side of the road.
The people I met and interacted with in Northern Tanzania were amongst the kindest people I had met. And I wish we had spent an extra day, so that we could have went on a day trip to Arusha.
Regardless we got back to our accommodation in Moshi at 10pm and sat down to plan our trip to Zanzibar.
That night we booked our flight for the following day to Zanzibar and our accommodation in Zanzibar.
What I valued so much about this trip as a whole was the level of flexibility we had with regards to our plans, being able to decide the next day as we went and it allowed us to say yes to different opportunities.
Until next time,