April 22, 2009

Tanzania Day 3: Nkweseko Village

Category: Travels

After a hearty breakfast from Heaven (cliché I know…but that’s the chef’s name!), we did another leisurely hike to visit the native Tanzanians at Nkweseko village. This village is located on the border to Kilimanjaro National Park, also at an altitude of 1800 meters. The inhabitants of this village belong to the Chagga tribe and they have been living on the slopes of the mountain for centuries. We were pretty much mobbed by the school kids of the village who were really excited to see their faces on our digital cameras!

It was an enjoyable half day hike where our Guides enthusiastically imparted Swahili to us as we feasted our eyes and senses on the sheer beauty of nature, with Kilimanjaro glaciers’ peak in sight. Along the way, one of our Guides, Jacob Kyungai, had unexpectedly brought us to his humble home just to chill and meet his family. Jacob is an extremely friendly and simple 50-ish old man. What’s interesting about this guy is that he has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro more than 300 times and is one of the most experienced, respected and trusted guide around. We were also surprised to find out later (much later, towards the end of our trip) that Jacob Kyungai was featured as one of the main characters in an Imax movie called Kilimanjaro- To the Roof of Africa which was produced in 2002. Jacob did not mention any of this to us and indeed, we felt really honoured to have him as our guide. What a guy! What stamina at his age (a heavy smoker too!) and we are almost ashamed that we can’t quite keep up with him.

Before heading back to the cabin for lunch from Heaven (sorry..can’t resist!), Jacob led us to a nearby home just to show us how they brew the local banana beer. Interesting to see it being done rather primitively, although it’s something that we would not attempt to drink!

After lunch, we were all revved up to go look for the rare black and white colobus monkeys at one of the larger valleys on Kilimanjaro which forms the Weruweru River. Unfortunately, there was a downpour in the afternoon and so, no monkeys were to be seen for a good 2 hour! A bummer, that!

However, as we made our way back to the cabin, we were again dumbfounded by the fact that a barbeque was set for us at the campfire outside the cabin. What service! Very unfortunately, though, it started raining again and we had to shift into the cabin. By now, we were horrendously hungry. Thinking it was dinner, we devoured the entire BBQ beef prepared by Chef and were offered snacks thereafter. I happened to ask for any left-over potato chips that were made by Chef (yes! Home-made…not those commercially produced chips. Really, really delicious) which was offered to us during the day walk. I knew we didn’t finish them all, which was why I asked for them and was not aware that Chef would have likely tossed uneaten food away. It wasn’t my plan to trouble Chef and insisted that they forget what I said. But, a few minutes later, we heard of something being deep-fried. 5 minutes later, home-made fried potato chips were served to us! I almost felt guilty, but managed to wipe the plate clean within 10 minutes. We were full by now and little did we know that those BBQ beef/snacks were only appetizers. Our eyes almost popped out of their sockets when JC asked us if we were ready for dinner after whipping up the chips! 3 full main-course of dinner had yet to come! We ate them anyway and went to bed with a super-full stomach!

Scenic hike at the village, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Chagga Tribe Hut, Weruweru River:
The mob of the school kids:
Our guide, Jacob Kyungai at his home, with his 80 YO father, his wife and 5 MO son

The classic tourist look!

The surprise campfire/BBQ set-up back at the cabin:

Posted by:    |    0 Comments


Privacy Preference Center

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?