Tag Archive for Wantet

Marangu Kinukamori Falls

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After two days of staying in Moshi, I was happy that I was finally going out of the hotel and seeing something new.

I met my young guide, Enock, at the hotel lobby for my day trip to Kinukamori Falls in Marangu. Enock will also be my mountain guide in Mount Kilimanjaro so I thought it would be good opportunity to ask him a few questions about the climb.

From Buffalo Hotel we walked to the bus terminal in Mawenzi Road. The terminal was filled with minibuses going to different routes which leaves once it’s full. It reminded me of the V-hire (van-for-hire) system in the Philippines.

While waiting for the minibus going to Marangu, I got the chance to meet another crew member for the climb. The young gentleman introduced himself (unfortunately I can’t remember his name now) and told me that he is going to be the cook for the team.

After standing for quite some time, Enock asked me to follow him. We walked towards the middle of the terminal where an almost packed minibus was waiting for a few more passengers before leaving. Enock talked to another local in Swahili as he seem to be confirming if the minibus is heading for Marangu. As it was already quite cramped, Enock told me that we take the next minibus.

We were able to get a good seat but the minibus was packed when it left the bus terminal and it was still picking up passengers along the way. It wasn’t a convenient ride but I wasn’t complaining. Taking the public transport is a good way to experience the local life.

It was a cloudy day but the temperature was well over 30C. We passed by lots of fields and I noticed that the soil were mostly red. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro during the journey but I wasn’t successful.

Scenery along the way

Scenery along the way

The journey took over an hour. We decided to have lunch at a local restaurant before starting the hike to Kinukamori Falls. I had chicken with rice and I was quite happy that the food tasted nice.

My guide Enock waiting for our lunch to be served

My guide Enock waiting for our lunch to be served

My guide pointed to me the way going to Marangu gate (one of the ascent/descent routes to/from Mount Kilimanjaro) which he said is still further away from the main road. There were lots of minibuses waiting in the corner of the road. We crossed the street and entered a trail with village houses but as we hiked further the dirt road, there were more greenery to see.

Kinukamori Falls Trail

Kinukamori Falls Trail

We stopped by for a few minutes on a souvenir shop that were selling African arts and crafts. The works were wonderful but they were expensive for my tight budget.

After about 15 minutes of hiking on a relatively easy trail we reached the entrance of Kinukamori Falls. I paid the entrance fee (I forgot the exact amount in TSh but definitely not more than USD5) and a guide accompanied me and Enock going to the falls.

Kinukamori Falls Sign

Kinukamori Falls Sign

The guide led us first to the Hall of Chagga Culture. The entrance wall was painted with the flag and coat of arms of Tanzania on the right while on the left side it was painted with the Chagga symbol.

Hall of Chagga Culture Entrance

Hall of Chagga Culture Entrance

The Chagga people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Tanzania. They live in the southern and eastern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and also in Moshi. They have their own unique language.

Chagga symbol

Chagga symbol

As we walked inside the Hall of Chagga Culture, there were different kinds of statues depicting Chagga culture or history.

The park guide showing me a statue of a Chagga chieftain

The park guide showing me a statue of a Chagga chieftain

After the tour in the Hall of Chagga Culture, we went down the stairs  leading to the foot of Kinakamori Falls.

at the foot of Kinukamori Falls

at the foot of Kinukamori Falls

Kinukamori Falls

Kinukamori Falls

Kinukamori Falls with my mountain guide, Enock

Kinukamori Falls with my mountain guide, Enock

After taking a few photos, we then went up to the top of the waterfalls where a statue of a young Chagga woman and a leopard can be found. Chagga legend says that a Chagga woman became pregnant out of wedlock which is against their culture.  She decided to kill herself by jumping from the top of the waterfalls but after contemplating atop the falls, she changed her mind. However, just as she was turning around to leave the place, a leopard approached her from behind. She had two choices, either jump to her death or get killed by the leopard. She decided to jump from the falls.

Statue of a young Chagga woman on top of Kinukamori Falls

Statue of a young Chagga woman on top of Kinukamori Falls

Statue of a leopard in Kinukamori Falls

Statue of a leopard in Kinukamori Falls

Our tour ended and we walked back to the main road to take a mini-bus back to Moshi.

If you want to get away from Moshi for a short day trip you can consider going to Kinukamori Falls and the Hall of Chagga Culture. The falls are quite interesting to see but don’t expect much about the Hall of Chagga Culture.

 

*This post is part of my Kilimanjaro Diary:
Marangu Kinukamori Falls
En Route to Kilimanjaro
Planning and Preparing for Kilimanjaro
The Road To Kilimanjaro

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Jurong Bird Park

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Jurong Bird Park

Last 28th February, Abby and I went to Jurong Bird Park to take advantage of the 2009 Reasons SMS Passport promo launched by the Singapore Tourism Board.  We were no longer hoping that we can still obtain free tickets to the bird park as we arrived there past 12noon after having our brunch at Swensen’s in Jurong Point. We didn’t want to wake up early just to queue for free tickets on our precious weekend. We were satisfied in just getting a SGD2 discount off the standard ticket price of SGD18 per person. For several months now we have been planning to visit the bird park but never had the chance to do it until last Saturday.

We started our walk with the Penguin Expedition.  I finally got to see King Penguins for real!  I’ve always adored them and I was thrilled to see them alive although they are not in their natural habitat.

Penguins

We headed to Flamingo Lake where a swarm of flamingos were wading in the water.

Flamingo Lake

Jurong Falls, which is located within the African Waterfall Aviary, is the world’s tallest man-made waterfall in an aviary at 30 meters high.

jurongfalls

Inside the African Waterfall Aviary are thousands of birds flying within the aviary which is covered by a net raised 35 meters high. Starlings and turacos can be seen feasting on fruits near the suspension bridge.

Starling

Starlings of different colors can be found inside the aviary and photographers were crowding to capture them.

chimping2

Another attraction inside the bird park is the Dinosaur Descendants where the ostrich, doubled-wattled cassowary, greater and common rheas and emu can be found.

Rhea

One of the exciting attractions inside the bird park is the Lory Loft where park visitors get the chance to feed the colorful lories for SGD3 per cup.

Lory

Red Lories

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