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July 4, 2013 / samwilson60

Where’d all the mountains go?

Once out of the Para, we had just an hour or two on the tarmac to reach Lake Chala, a small body of water that straddles the Tanzania-Kenya border, with Mount Kilimanjaro (allegedly) towering above. It sounded the perfect place to camp and, despite the clouds obscuring Kili, it was exciting to be so close to Kenya.

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We had an awesome night on the Tanzania side but slightly hastily decided to leave without circumnavigating the lake, eager as we were to maximise our chances of having the time to climb Mount Meru instead. Unfortunately almost as soon as we’d got from Lake Chala to Arusha (still no sign of Kili or Meru), we were fairly sure we would have been better off staying by the lake. All our enquiries in town confirmed what we had known deep down all along, i.e. that to climb Mount Meru would have blown the budget at the start of the trip, let alone nearly ten months in. We had a surprisingly nice day in Arusha though and an interesting night at the nearby snake park (randomly common in Tanzania). If we hadn’t been joined by half a dozen overland trucks it would have been nigh on perfect. We’re not into caged animals but this place also had the only snake-bite clinic we’ve come across, plus a Maasai museum and the most amazing lizard ever seen. Plus it helped us identify our last wild snake sighting – a (deadly) Green Mamba it turns out!

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The not-so deadly but oh-so adorable ‘lounge lizard’

From the snake park we called some more tour operators and confirmed that we couldn’t afford to visit anything much in northern Tanzania, so we popped back into Arusha for a pick-me-up in the form of wi-fi with cake then ran away into the bush with what money we still had left. It was a massive shame to have come this far north and not even see Kili or Meru but on the other hand at least we don’t know what we’re missing. Despite all our to-ing and fro-ing we never got a glimpse. Our self-pity was short-lived though and we soon reaped the rewards of the budget option.

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One Comment

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  1. Peter Cullen / Jul 5 2013 7:34 am

    A pity I didn’t know where you were going here. My brother’s step-daughter is working in Moishe and I’m sure would love to have seen you.

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