Destinations

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park covers Mount Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4566 m, in the Arusha Region of north eastern Tanzania. The park is small but varied with spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas. In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east is grassland. The shallow alkaline Momella Lakes in the north-east have varying algal colours and are known for their wading birds.

Mount Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro, which is just 60 km away and forms a backdrop to views from the park to the east. Arusha National Park lies on a 300-kilometre axis of Africa's most famous national parks, running from Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in the west to Kilimanjaro National Park in the east.

The park is just a few kilometres north east of Arusha, though the main gate is 25 km east of the city. It is also 58 km from Moshi and 35 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).

MOUNT MERU

Mount Meru is a dormant stratovolcano located 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the country of Tanzania. At a height of 4,562.13 metres (14,968 ft) it is visible from Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day, and is the fifth-highest mountain in Africa, dependent on definition.

Mount Meru is located just north of the city of Arusha, in the Arusha Region of Tanzania. It is the second-highest mountain in Tanzania, after Mount Kilimanjaro. The Momella route – which starts at Momella gate, on the eastern side of the mountain – is used to climb Mount Meru.[6]

Much of its bulk was lost about 8,000[citation needed] years ago due to an eastward volcanic blast, similar to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in the U.S. state of Washington. Mount Meru most recently had a minor eruption in 1910. The several small cones and craters seen in the vicinity probably reflect numerous episodes of volcanic activity. Mount Meru's caldera is 2.2 miles (3.5 km) wide.

Mount Meru is the topographic centerpiece of Arusha National Park. Its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding savanna and support a forest that hosts diverse wildlife, including nearly 400 species of birds, and also monkeys and leopards.

Mount Rwenzori

Mountain Rwenzori National Park is located within the “Mountains of the Moon”, as Mount Rwenzori is called. Mountain Rwenzori is situated in Western Uganda in the East African Rift Valley and straddles also to the Democratic Republic of Congo and its conservation area known as Virunga National Park. The mountain is the third highest in Africa rising up more than 16,700 feet above sea level and its highest peaks rise above the clouds and are permanently snow capped. The Rwenzori Mountain ranges are higher compared to the Alps and they have glaciers which are one of the sources of the longest river on earth, the River Nile. Margherita Peak is the highest peak on the ranges making it the 3rd highest peak in Africa together with its twin peak, Mount Stanley, which is within the park. The 4th and 5th highest peaks, Mount Speke and Mount Baker, are also within the park. The mountain ranges were first brought to the worlds notice in CE 150 by Alexandrian geographical researcher and photographer, Pletomy, when he described a stunning mountain which he christened “mountain of the moon.” Later in 1899, English explorer, Henry Morton Stanley, was as spell bound as Pletomy when he beheld the ranges and christened them the “Cloud Mountains.”

The Rwenzori national park, which is the conservation area for the mountain, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers almost 1000 sq. km and strides across the districts of Kabarole, Kasese and Bundibudyo. It includes most of the center and the eastern half of the mountain and is known for its beautiful plant life coupled with waterfalls, glaciers and a lot of other unique mountainous vegetation. The park has glaciers, snowfields, waterfalls and has been portrayed as one of the mainly attractive Alpine areas around the world.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) is in south-western Uganda. The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and is situated along the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift. Composed of 331 square kilometres (128 sq mi) of both montane and lowland forest, it is accessible only on foot. BINP is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-designated World Heritage Site.

Species diversity is a feature of the park. It provides habitat for 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, and many endangered species. Floristically, the park is among the most diverse forests in East Africa, with more than 1,000 flowering plant species, including 163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns. The northern (low elevation) sector has many species of Guineo-Congolian flora, including two endangered species, the brown mahogany and Brazzeia longipedicellata. In particular, the area shares in the high levels of endemisms of the Albertine Rift.

The park is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, and many birds such as hornbills and turacos. It is most notable for the 400 Bwindi gorillas, half of the world's population of the endangered mountain gorillas. 14 habituated mountain gorilla groups are open to tourism in four different sectors of Buhoma, Ruhijja, Rushaga and the Nkuringo all under the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Mombasa, city and chief Port

Mombasa, city and chief port of Kenya, situated on a coralline island in a bay of the Indian Ocean. The island is linked to its mainland municipal territory of 100 square miles (259 square km) by causeway, bridge, and ferry and has an area of 5.5 square miles (14.25 square km).

Before Mombasa became well established as an important port for trade across the Indian Ocean, the general area had long been the site of settlements inhabited by Bantu-speaking peoples who engaged in farming, fishing, and local trading. It was visited in 1331 by the Arab traveler Ibn Baṭṭūṭah and in 1498 by the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama. Because of its strategic position, it was continually fought over, passing among the Arabs, Persians, Portuguese, and Turks until 1840, when the sultan of Zanzibar finally gained control. It came under British administration in 1895 and was the capital of the East Africa Protectorate until 1907. Mombasa became a municipality in 1928 and assumed council status in 1959.

Mombasa has two ports, Mombasa Old Port on the island’s east side and Kilindini Harbour on the west. The old port is now used only by dhows and small craft, bringing trade from Arabia, the Persian Gulf, and India. The old city is strongly Middle Eastern, with narrow streets, high houses with carved ornamental balconies, and mosques and temples. It is the site of Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese (1593–95) and now a museum. There are Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals. A Hindu temple built in 1952 has a gilded dome. Mombasa’s many historical and cultural attractions have made it a popular tourist destination.

Kilindini is a modern deepwater port of numerous berths in a landlocked anchorage. Mombasa serves as the market for the region’s agricultural products (sisal, cotton, sugar, kapok, coconuts, fruits, and vegetables), and it exports many of these as well as the products of northeastern Tanzania and Uganda, with which it is connected by rail. Industries include shipbuilding and repair, metal and cement works, sugar processing, a fertilizer plant, and an oil refinery at Changamwe.

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