Kirurumu Tented Lodge
Perched high on the edge of Gregory Rift Escarpment overlooking forested plains and Lake Manyara is the tented lodge called Kirurumu. In the distance you can see Mount Losimongori and its volcanic mass. www.kirurumu.com, the setting is striking. The surroundings are very peaceful.
Long ago when Ngorongoro was an active volcano a lava flow edged out along the highlands. Once, Ngorongoro was larger than Kilimanjaro. Today weathered and eroded Kirurumu rests on the end of the rift. Kirurumu is a Bantu word that describes the sound of rushing waters. It was the name of a nearby river that cut through a gorge that flows out into the valley.
Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania doesn’t have the fame of Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater Highlands World Heritage biosphere. Even though it is less intense there are still many animals to be seen and perhaps photographed. Waterfowl and other birdlife dominate the scene but there are elephants, lions, hippos and giraffe that can be observed throughout the 205 square miles of the Park. Email: email@example.com
Nine Giraffes at Lake Manyara National Park
There are only 20 tent lodge sites here surrounded by natural vegetation and built of local materials. Because they did not introduce any exotic species of plants and encouraged the rejuvenation of native plants the results presented are a great display of local flora and fauna.
Flamingos are famous here. Tens of thousands of the pink-hued birds are always on their continuous migration up and down the great rift of Africa. From a distance they appear to turn the 125 square mile lake a shade of pink.
It is here above the thick vegetation and brackish waters of the lake that this serene tent lodge is nestled. Driving several miles down a rut ridden dusty, dirt road, vegetation thickened and though the landscape did not have tall trees the greenery was deep. As the Land Cruiser pulled under a shaded vine awning I was welcomed by a young Massai man dressed in traditional red suka and beaded arm band.“Jambo”, was the greeting. “Karibu”. Welcome.
He presented me with a glass of fresh fruit juice, whisked my bag away and escorted me to the lobby desk to sign in.I was struck by the quiet. A slight breeze and chirping of song birds filled the air. This is the goal at Kirurumu – to be at one with the natural surroundings and provide a rustic comfort to their guests. Tent Lodge secluded in trees
While being taken to my shelter I noticed that many of the plants and trees were signed like at an arboretum, with names like Acacia, Aloes, Lannea and Terminalia. The Lodge offers Ethno-botanical walks throughout their facilities where with a Massai guide you can you can discover the fascinating stories and uses of these plants.
Rustic comfort safari style
The birds are what you notice the most. More than 320 different species have been identified in the surrounding area. The feeling is that of being removed from the outside world especially after exploring the vastness of Ngorongoro’s savannah or the Serengeti plains.
My canvas wall tent was raised on a platform and recessed into the greenery. You could not see another site from my porch. Seclusion is very real here. Paths to each tented lodge are lit by low intensity lamps that give off a nice atmosphere without being harsh. The dim lighting does not interfere with the night flying Palearctic birds and their annual migration route, that channels’ through the region.
Kirurumu has their own water purification system set up. When they planned the site they understood that fresh drinking water is the key to survival. They also provide fresh water to the local village. Not having to boil water is less of a drain on firewood which is limited here. It showed excellent forethought.
That night I made my way down to the deck and bar that overlooks the valley and lake beyond. There wasn’t a light out there, just darkness, the stars and a few candles burning at the bar. There was nothing but miles and miles of empty space. It was when I noticed that I had not seen nor heard an airplane for a few days either.
My thoughts were at a loss of words in trying to describe the starry skies floating in the heavens above. A couple of guests from Australia drank and chatted incessantly. I don’t think they ever noticed the brilliant stars, nor the sweet earthy scented evening air.
I sipped on a glass of South African white wine engulfed in the darkness, drifting in thought from the day’s adventure.
All Photos used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photos, 2009, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photos. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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