Every time I go running up the wall of the rift valley here in Mto wa Mbu I pass the school and the community centre. In addition to the AMAZING view and the great workout , what makes me really happy is that there are children playing on the Sue and Martin Parnell playground! The playground is locally built and is the only public playground around. In addition there are new homes popping up around the area.
It has been 4 years since it was built and it is in need of some TLC. Such a gift for the students at the school, and the children living in the area that have a place to play! Repairs and upgrades that we would love to get done include;
creating a shade area for the hot days/ afternoons
putting sand/ soft ground down
repairing the merry go round that had an arm fall off
replace the wooden slide with a rolling PCV pipe slide
replace the wooden seats in the teeter- totter
install new additions
we already acquired about 20 old tires that we can use to build some cool climbing/ agility structures
WANT TO HELP?
We are accepting donations for playground upgrades!
Leesha and Lau coordinated an incredible experience for me and my friend to work a local hospital in karatu. We worked in the labor and delivery ward and greatly enhanced our skill set as birth doulas. It was the kind of experience that I would never have been able to coordinate on my own. True local insider access. They also kindly coordinated a safari on our last day with their awesome staff Patrick and Ossman. It felt like we were kickin it with good friends all day. Patrick was our driver and we spent a lot of time with him- he is now one of my dear dear friends. I’m so grateful for him and the love he has for his country. I always felt safe and well taken care of! We stayed across the street from Leesha’s at Mama’s house which was comfortable and hospitible with a beautiful family. I couldn’t have imagined a better experience. And I didn’t feel like I tourist which I greatly appreciated! I highly recommend organizing your travels in Tanzania through Boma.
When you set out on safari in Tanzania you will realize you have landed in the heartland of Africa. Endless plains, vast blue skies, caravans of elephants, and baby baboons playing in shade of tall grasses: the mystery and beauty of the people and landscape will not cease to amaze. All the imaginings and dreams you envisioned about Africa will become reality as Boma Africa shows you the best of Tanzania.
The Swahili word “safari” literally means to travel, so even before you land in Tanzania, you have begun! From the moment of your arrival, Boma Africa will take care of everything, ensuring your safety, comfort, and amusement! You just have to enjoy the ride while you experience the best of African Safari.
There are four distinct safari circuits in Tanzania: Northern, Southern, Western, and Coastal.
The Northern Circuit is the most frequented by tourists likely because many famous Tanzanian sights such as Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti and Mt. Kilimanjaro are here. Other attractions include Mt. Meru, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Lake Natron, Lake Eyasi, Usambara and Lake Victoria. All the parks, towns, and attractions are close to each other, so one can experience the whole circuit via private car, spending only a few hours enroute in between each one.
Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is 328.4 square kilometers, and is located 62 km from the popular tourist town of Arusha. This national park has three impressive geological features: Ngurudoto Crater, Momella Lakes, and Mount Meru. Wildlife is abundant, and if you are lucky you may spot a leopard chilling in the big trees branches of the wild palm!
Special attractions of Arusha National Park include walking safaris, canoeing, and climbing to Socialist Peak, the summit of Mt. Meru. Mt. Meru takes 3-4 days to climb, and is a great acclimatization climb for those heading to Kilimanjaro. See LINK TO->Trekking for more details.
Kilimanjaro National Park
Kilimanjaro National Park has an area of 1668 square km. It is world famous for the scenery of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. Day hikes are possible within the park, as well as 5-10 day climbing excursions to reach its Uhuru peak. Read our LINK TO->Kilimanjaro page for more information.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara is 330 square kilometres, and includes groundwater forest, plains, and the alkaline lake, all of which host a massive variety of wildlife. Primates are common in the jungle- like forest, while hippopotamus bathe in the shallow pools. This park is famous for tree climbing lions, hot springs, and adventures such as canoeing and biking.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire, just 2 hours from Arusha is a convenient starting point for safari, and makes an ideal day trip. Its 2850 square km have a strong resemblance to the Serengeti plains. Famous for herds of elephants hundreds strong, and gigantic baobab trees, Tarangire has a permanent water source which draws animals from far and wide in the dry season. When you see the sausage fruits hanging from their trees, check twice, be sure it’s not a leopard’s tail!
Serengeti National Park
World famous and indescribable, the plains of Serengeti offer the classic picture of African wildlife. Here is where you are likely to see lions on the hunt for zebra, or the colossal migration of a million wildebeest. Serengeti is a designated world heritage site, as one the largest wildlife refuges worldwide, covering 14763 square km.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Though it stretches well beyond the rim, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is known for its stunning caldera. An extinct volcano, the crater floor has permanent water and rich pasture, making an ideal habitat for wildlife. Some of Tanzania’s last black rhinoceros live within the crater, though they can be difficult to spot. This conservation area is also a World Heritage Site, acknowledged for the harmonious relationship between its Maasai habitants and wildlife.
Usambara Forest Reserve
A beautiful forest with rich botanical diversity. This is a trekking destination, and is most ideal for admiring flora and birding.
Mikomazi National Park
A perfect midway point between the Northern and Coastal Circuits, Mikomazi National Park is by-passed by many, but should not be missed. Features of this park are the successful re-introduction of wild dogs and the endemic black rhinoceros. This is the only park in Tanzania that has the massive rhinos within a fenced sanctuary. At 3245 square km, Mikomazi borders Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, and has recently been converted to a National Park rather than a Game Reserve.
Lake Victoria + Mwanza
Mwanza is a major Tanzanian port connecting to Uganda and Kenya via Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water lake. This fishing and agricultural community is the gate-way to the Islands of Lake Victoria, the Western Serengeti , Rubondo National Park, and Sukuma culture.
Spending four hours on an uneven and dusty road will bring you to the shores of Lake Natron, the foot of Oldoinyo Lengai, and genuine Maasai-land at the village of Engaresero. Here bird watching on the lake, deep Maasai culture excursions, and climbing the active volcano Lengai are experiences that will endure in your memory for a lifetime.
The is the first mantis I have seen in Tanzania… she showed up in the house, on the light switch, no less!
I only had my phone, so the picture isn’t as great as I had hoped, but what a cool little guy!
Mantis are known for their large, strong forearms which they use for trapping, and gripping their prey. They are ambush predators and large ones can even eat small birds, lizards, frogs, and vertebrates!
The praying mantis get their name from their upright posture, where they stand with their forelegs together, as if praying.
Mantis were thought to have super natural powers in some civilizations. They are also infamous for the fact that the female will sometimes eat her male partner after mating!
There are 6 routes on Kilimanjaro and the length of climbs ranges from 5 days to 9. Some include camping at the crater rim, some have huts for sleeping, and some have a higher successful summit rate than others. Click here to read more about the Kilimanjaro routes.
Choose your outfitter (Boma Africa, obviously!)
There are many travel agents that sell the tours to a second hand outfitter “on the ground” in Tanzania or Kenya. It’s worth confirming who will be executing your climb so that you can have all the information on their safety standards and services provided. www.bomaafrica.com
Being in good health and fitness is an asset when attempting to summit Kilimanjaro. Cardiovascular training, along with some climbing/ mountainous hiking can help to prepare you. To reduce the risk of altitude sickness you can spend some time at higher altitude before your climb. You can do this by doing some hiking at home, or in and around Arusha. Read more about preparing for your climb here!
Break in your boots
A good pair of boots is a must on Kilimanjaro. They should have good ankle support, water proof, and warm, and of course, be comfortable! IF you are buying new boots for this epic adventure, make sure you break them in before you come. Nothing is worse than finishing off day 1 with a giant blister!
Practice your day pack
Same as above- if you are getting a new day pack, break it in! Practice putting in all the items you will be carrying for the day to make sure everything fits and you will be comfortable. Typically you would carry rain gear, 3L of water, your lunch box, sunscreen, a hat, lipsyl, your camera, and extra layers of clothing, that either get peeled off or get put on as the day goes by. What to expect on the mountain is explained in more detail here.
Think about Medication
You may want to discuss with your physician to see if taking medication to help prevent altitude sickness is a good option for you. Also ask about other medications or vaccinations you might need for travel to Tanzania.
Bring an SPF lipsyl
Make sure you bring a lipsyl with SPF!
Remember “Pole Pole”- walk slowly!
Walking slowly will increase your chances of submitting successfully! Conserve your energy and give your body time to adjust to changes in altitude. This will be on the of the first Swahili words you will learn from your guides, Pole, pole- Slowly!
Drink a sip of water every 10 minutes
Hydration is important in any physical endeavour, and dehydration can increase the risk of altitude sickness. Taking frequent small sips throughout your climb keeps you well hydrated and fit to climb to Uhuru peak! To see your packing list, click here.
Turn back if reccommended
Your guides are trained to recognize the signs of altitude sickness and fatigue. If they have concerns regarding your health they will recommend beginning to descend. While this can be very disappointing, it’s important to take their advice seriously. Kilimanjaro is a friendly mountain, climbed by thousands, young and old, from around the world every year, but needs also to be taken seriously as altitude sickness can be a very serious health hazard. More on safety here.
Asante Sana Wilson Family for your donation- Katie is excelling at the Mwalimu Anna school thanks to your scholarship.
Katie has been sponsored since pre school (originally by Mr. Jeremy) and has been fortunate to attend the awesome Mwalimu Anna school in Mto wa Mbu village. She loves school, and gets A’s. Her grandpa gets up at 5 every day to get her ready for school. The school bus picks her up at 6 am and drops her off at home at 5 pm. It’s a long day but she thrives. This is an english medium school where most instruction happens in English.