Here’s a secret tip for you beyond Tanzania’s majestic Kilimanjaro and wild safaris. Last time we asked the locals about other visitors they said that there had been 2 other groups – in the last month. But first things first: there are a couple of decent hotels and restaurants in Morogoro as it is a university town internationally known for its mine-sniffing rats who are deployed to post-war zones. We suggest you stay here to organize a car and a driver or just a guide.
He will take you on a one-and-a-half hours trip around the towering Uluguru mountains to a village named Kinole. There you can buy food. We liked going local and bought water, a coconut and deep-fried dough rolls. Off we went across the little stream and up along the road to a flat “parking lot” almost at the end of a dirt road before it gets steep. It’s here that you will be surrounded by children and where some Swaheli phrases come in handy. Hire one of the little ones to bring you to the waterfall and off you go.
We set off past a couple of houses where young guys were working hard to make bricks from soaked soil. A woman was crushing what looked like rice in a big mortar and food was being cooked outside on open fires. Very basic and peaceful.
All the way to the waterfall are trees, small pineapple fields and cassava. Some trees are used to harvest cinnamon bark while others are propping up pepper plants. Some interesting odors in the air. Some produce Croton seeds we crushed until oil came out. Lots of coconut palms. The local people are basically growing food in the fields and on the trees. Some endemic species are at home here and it’s a great area for bird watching.
The highlight was the waterfall that doesn’t seem to have a normal mode of access as it is literally off the beaten track. Instead we climbed down through the vegetation and ended up at the bottom near a nice pond. It took us about an hour to reach so the trek is not just suitable for kids but also enjoyable. Chilly water and the warm sun complemented each other perfectly.
Expect to spend about 8 hours away from Morogoro but time will not matter anymore once you’ve reached the backside of the Uluguru mountains. You’ll be in another world.
Photo Credits: Dominik Schweizer, Dominik in Tanzania