Book ID 814
Extract Date: 2004
Canoeing safari, yet another tourist attraction, has been introduced around one of the world famous lakes located in the Arusha National Park (ANAPA).
Canoeing safari on one of the Momela lakes, known as ‘Small’ Momela, has already taken off and we are satisfied with the initial response from tourists, Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) Director General, Mr. Gerald Bigurube said recently.
This is the second new tourist attraction to be introduced on the park recently. Another one to officially start next January is a walking safari around the world famous Ngurudoto crater.
The idea is to make visitors be able to have chances to observe everything in the natural world and view different animals in their various habitats under one roof.
TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS in conjunction with tour operators and other tourism stakeholders are at the moment promoting the two new products which will add value to the country’s extensive attractions.
The canoeing Safari at "Small” Momella" is being operated by an Arusha-based company, Green Footprints Adventure Limited. Within short period of its launching, already176 tourist have ventured for canoeing into the lake.
The canoeing safari enables visitors to have a closer and natural look at hippos and bird life not easily seen on ordinary game safaris.
In 1995, Arusha National Park hosted only 7,000 visitors with the number shooting up to 28,000 during 2002\3. The number is likely to swell even further as already by July this year 30,000 people have visited the park.
Lying between the peaks of Kilimanjaro and Meru, Arusha National Park is an outstandingly beautiful area with wide range of habitats, form a string of crater lakes where many water birds can be watched through the highland mountain forest to the imposing summit of Mount Meru.
The forest contain a wealth of birds and other animals like the bushbuck easily glimpsed in between ancient cedar trees or the black and white colobus monkeys climbing along their branches.
The interesting geology of the area is reflected in the impressive view of the ash cone and cliff face leading to the summit of Mount Meru.
Those who ascend the summit of the mountain are rewarded with unparalleled views of the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Rift Valleys.
Extract Date: June 2004
Mass deaths of water birds, mainly Lesser Flamingo, Phoeniconias minor, but also few Greater Flamingo, Maccoa duck and Egyptian geese began in mid June 2004.This is the first massive deaths of birds ever recorded in this lake. Clinical signs of the birds showed staggering and uncoordinated movements before death. Deaths occurred on the wet sandy lakeshore out of water. Currently, Lake Manyara hosts an estimated population of over 3 million Flamingos probably as a result of drying off of other neighboring soda lake.
Veterinary Doctors from Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), together with experts from Veterinary Investigation Centre (VIS) and Tropical Pesticide Research Institute (TPRI) joined to investigate the problem.
TAWIRI,VIC, and TPRI took water and dead Lesser Flamingo tissue samples for analysis at their respective laboratories. In addition, TAWIRI sent replicates of the samples to Berlin, Germany.
TPRI analyses tissue, fish and water sample to test for chemical residues. The results indicated trace of Fenvelerate (derivative of summithion, used for cotton pesticide) at insignificant levels.
These findings currently do not support the possibility of pesticide poisoning of the birds. VIC analyses for bacteria infection of bird's organ and water. No pathogenic bacteria were isolated in the samples examined. Results from Berlin Germany have not yet been received.
SUSPECTED CAUSE OF DEATH
Following similar incidences that have occurred over the past decade in Kenya's alkaline lakes, that is Nakuru, Bogoria and Elmentaita and in Tanzania in Lake Natron and Embakai in 2002 a toxin from cynobacteria was found. Deaths were again observed in Lake Embakai in September 2003.
Analysis of Lesser Flamingo carcass samples from Lake Bogoria and Nakuru carried out at both Leibniz Institute of Fresh water Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin, found cynobacteria toxins in dead Lesser Flamingo livers. Two hepatoxins (mocrocystin-LR and RR) and the neurotoxin, anatoxin-a were found at estimated harmful concentrations.
The only sources of these toxins are cynobacteria. Cynobacteria is the main diet of the Lesser Flamingo. Anotoxin-a being neurotoxin, is consistent with opisthotonus observed at post mortem.
Ngurdoto Crater, within the Arusha national Parks (ANAPA) is a thrilling tourist attraction on its on. A caldera of an extinct volcano, Ngurdoto has a ring road that allows fabulous views down into the lush crater interior.
At the moment you can only drive up to the crater rim through the misty forest inhabited by the nimble black and white colobus monkeys that are the mascot of the park, Leopards are the main predator in this area and, strangely, there are no lions apart from the odd visitor.
Driving along the high ridges on the Crater edge provides a stunning view of the forests, glades and animal tracks that abound in this lush habitat.
The good news now is that the crater will be more thrilling to visitors as one would now be able to walk around the rim, half way.
In other words, Tanzania has once again added a new dimension into its already famous tourism industry. It has just introduced a new tourist product a walking safari around the ream of the world famous Ngurdoto Crater - at Arusha National Park.
Indeed, and typically Tanzanian, the tourist Mecca of the world has a further feature in game viewing Safaris and Trekking around the park which also include the Mount Meru.
"We are on the final touches of introducing another added value at the Ngurdoto Crater", says thrilled ANAPA Chief Park Warden, Mr. Erastus Lufungulo.
He said the crater, known as a 'mini Ngorongoro', would start being accessed by walking tourists from July or August this year. Presently visitors can only access the ream half way by driving only.
Mr. Lufunguro said the on going works include clearing the foot paths and placing various guiding signs around the crater, adding that the works are almost complete and, when the walking trips are officially launched, "ANAPA would further be shrouded by its mystery and beauty".
He said another uniqueness of the walking safari around the crater is that even older people would be able to walk around as the area is not steep. There would be several viewing points, staring at Leitong view point and ending at the highest viewing point known as Vikindu.
The three kilometre wide 400 metres deep volcanic caldera Ngurdoto Crater is famous for large herds of buffaloes, black and white colubus and blue monkeys, among dozens other features in Arusha National Park.
TANAPA officials say, the additional attraction at ANAPA would further make the park demonstrate an incredible diversity of environments. In addition to preserving Mt. Meru, an extinct volcano of almost 15,000 feet, (4,566 metres) this park is also home to beautiful mountain lakes and craters.
The park has three distinct habitat zones that contribute to the amazing variety of wildlife in the area. From the lush green swamps surrounded by thick forest in the Ngurdoto Crater, up through the scenic beauty of the Momela Lakes, each a startlingly different hue, through to the chilly alpine like tundra on Mount Meru.
In addition to being an excellent park for birders, Arusha is one of the only places to see the black and white colobus monkey, flamingoes in huge congregations in the Momella lake
The remains of a large volcano, the Ngurdoto Crater is a steep sided bowl of lush swamps and riverine forest, home to elephant, buffalo, baboon, reedbuck, colobus monkeys, leopard and duikers.
Mosses, ferns, lichens and orchids thrive in the damp atmosphere of the Crater, giving way to huge mahogany, olive and date palm trees on the drier crater walls.
Descent into the Crater itself is not allowed, in effect creating a sanctuary within a sanctuary and leaving a large area of the park to the wildlife alone.
The Arusha National Park was 'discovered' by Sir Julius Huxley. Founded in 1960, it is 33,800 acres in size and consists of three spectacular features: the Momella Lakes, Ngurdoto Crater, and Mount Meru.
There is a beautiful mountain forest with unique species of plants and wildlife. The park is famous for its 400 species of bird life, both sedentary and migratory, and the black and white colobus monkeys. It is dominated by Mount Meru, an extinct volcano that rises 14,990 feet.
Tourists also have the opportunity to view a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, weather permitting.