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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tomorrow: Mazumbai Forest Reserve

Wednesday 29 October.
Thursday and Friday I'll go on a 2 day hike through Mazumbai Forest Reserve.
This forest lies in the north eastern part of the Usambara Mountains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usambara_Mountains). Unlike other forests in the Usambara Mountains it is totally untouched by man. No deforestation, no pollution. Half of it is used for research by an agricultural university. The other half is open for tourism. And that's not mass tourism. I expect to encounter no other tourists on our hike. The forest reserve is sometimes compared with the Galapagos. It contains a lot of endemic species, especially of plants and trees, but also some birds and frogs. A lot of them are not even described scientifically. There's also the Black-and-white Colobus, to appeal to my taste for monkeys - which is in turn another taste for monkeys (especially Black-and-white Colobus) that chimpanzees have. The Mazumbai forest is a montane tropical rainforest. It's dense, with a lot of big trees. Hopefully brilliant :-)

I'll go with Friends of Usambara again. We go with a German couple and the earlier mentioned Spanish guy. We will take private transport to Soni (east of Lushoto), from there walk through the farmlands to the forest for about an hour. Then hike for 3 or 4 hours through the forest. Have lunch in the forest. Walk some more in the forest and spend the night in a guesthouse in the forest. Think it's some old Swiss mission. The next day the Germans leave to Soni to catch the bus to Tanga. Their leaving includes an hours walk through the forest and a walk along the villages and tea plantations on the eastern side - the edge of the eastern and western Usambara - of the forest to Bumbuli. There a car takes them to Soni.
We'll go with another guide for about 4 hours of forest dwelling. Then have lunch and follow the same route as the Germans to Bumbuli. From there the public bus back to Lushoto.

Talking about less traveled roads: this is one. I think it's a yet undiscovered gem. Let's see. Can't do much wrong with tropical rainforests. Love it!

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