I had gotten into Dar-es-Salam and the plan was to see the wildlife this side of the African landscape having seen one side at Kenya already. I had tied up with a local tour guide through people I knew at Africa from earlier and as I was now getting to know travelling through the continent, covering countries.
Norman was to be my my guide cum taxi driver and on the first day he arrived two hours late to the hotel. I had been up all night writing and had just slept a few winks. It was frustrating to say the least but I got along with him to the car with my bags. We were headed towards Moshi, the foothills of the Kilimanjaro.
We stopped at a local shop for water and samosas which were as always ever present at Africa and then headed on the road.
It was a nine hour drive through the roads of Tanzania through it’s meadows and mountains all standing tall as my taxi zipped on it’s way.
We sopped at a local farmers market by the road for a look and I got myself an ear of corn, a bhutta as we call it in India, you know roasted and all.
I slept most of the time till we came to a dinner for a food break.
“ I like the way you indians dance.” Norman mentioned waking me up.” Why Man” I queried ” have you grown up watching Bollywood films in Hindi?” Norman looked joyous and said “ yes , yes especially Amitabh Bacchan , Amrish Puri and Mithun Chakarborty , I liked them .” An eclectic selection I thought!
I could guess Norman was my age 40 plus since these actors were of my generation .” Yes these are great actors norman only that Amrish Puri died and Bacchan is still Bacahan .” After a quick smoke we proceeded towards Moshi our destination for the evening. The roads are generally good here except that Vodafone is Vodacom here and Puma is not a shoe but a petrol brand. Our journey was a bit tiring though but we did make it by 6:00 pm local time to my current hotel Qwine.
Internet is slow in this part of the world but is readily accessible. After capturing the country side , we saw the first site of the Kilimanjaro mountain, fully covered with snow it looked majestic with white clouds hovering over the peak of the mountain. This is where Norman and I will proceed next and till then it was Kilimanjaro beer with sausages and fish fingers topped with Vanilla Ice Cream.
Norman was bang on time in the morning , he arrived dot at 9:30 am. I was all ready to go and We took the car right into the Mataruni village, situated at the mouth of the Kilimanjaro Volcano.
The soil here is very fertile and the area is densely green , with banana tress , avocado , lilies and coffee plantations.
We decided to trek though the meandering pathway of the village, till we came to a wooden Machaan bang in front of the gigantic Mataruni Falls.
I took out my trusty Canon camera to capture the opulent greenery of this place. The gurgling of the fall and off course their where a hand full of tourist enjoying a picnic right near the fall.
My zoom lens came in handy to capture the pristine view of nature and mankind jostling together.
After some rest i decided to trek unto the fall and photographed myself as the water sprayed around me.
This was like the scene from the film Gorilla’s in the Mist. This place was not only green but also rich with flowers and fruit trees.
One could spot a chameleon or an owl once in a while.
The trek was around a 5 km in distance so it is very manageable , one doesn’t get too tired.
As the evening approached we went towards a typical Chagga Village. Chagga is a tribe of people who are inhabitants of this area.
My tour guide then explained “ Their are two languages spoken in the area Chagga and Swahili apart from English of course.” These people are expert in coffee manufacturing and planting.
We approached a hut where we were shown how the real Tanzanian coffee is made , just like the missionaries use to make them.
We plucked fresh coffee beads from the threes and then crushed them through a crushing machine , to get rid of it’s skin.
Then the inner seeds are roasted on a earthen pot , a fire is made to support the roasting of the coffee beans .
By the help of wooden staffs the coffee is crushed and ground. The remaining residue powder is then boiled with hot water , to give us fresh coffee made right on the spot.
I must state here that it’s flavour was strong and distinct, like no other coffee that I had tasted , it was better then the stuff I had tasted in Bali or in Srilanka and let me tell you coffee standards are very high in these countries.
But this was very rich and refreshing , I almost got a distinct high after tasting the Tanzanian coffee.
The evening was upon us and Norman and I decided to head towards Arusha another big town two hours from Moshi. A quick bite of samosas and we were on our way. I just couldn’t stop admiring the vistas of the Kilimanjaro peaks that I had managed to capture.
The sky was clear and I had a great view to it’s majestic peaks. Today has been a very fulfilling day for me and we managed to see some real beautiful locations.
To me these places are ideal for Bollywood Film Shooting especially the Mataruni village and waterfall and these sites will go on my “ My Mast Bollywood Locations” tab – which is a new service
Tikku’s Travelthon will be giving targeted at Bollywood Producers and Directors who need special scouting for locations. Also being Tanzania shooting and travel costs will be cheap in this part of the world.