What to see
Enduimeti Wildlife Management Area is magnificent, breathtaking and unspoilt. Ironically, its saviour was being over-shadowed by earlier created parks now crowded by tourists.
It represents some of the most striking, virgin landscapes and wildlife areas in East Africa. Guarded by Kilimanjaro, it offers an authentic look into the culture of Northern Tanzania (away from the tourist traps), fascinating game watching opportunities and geological phenomena’s.
Between the lush foothills of Kitanden and Irikaswa lies an ancient natural corridor frequented by elephant that climb its hidden valleys, gorges and high grasslands into the dense, secret forests of Kilimanjaro. Below, underground channels surface in the woodlands making eerie sounds whilst releasing icy airstreams straight from the glaciers above. Ancient cave drawings portray a lifetime immortalised in earth colours.
In the distance stretches open territory randomly highlighted by giant striped cliff rocks the shade of sunset-orange, wrapped in ancient legends. In the simmering heat of the day Maasai cattle and hordes of wildlife mingle together to drink at the old, water filled Meerschaum mines. Galloping herds of zebra kick up dust, and water birds glide through the calm, blue waters – as giraffe approach like graceful mirages under the heat of the sun.
Canopies of yellow Acacia offer the perfect shade for old bull elephants as ancient as the trees themselves, who love taking midday siestas together. Eyes closed, their stomachs rumble and they sway in unison. During the crisp hours of dawn the matriarchs lead their herds cross the dusty plains towards denser thickets where they stay browsing in the company of other elephants.
Hills rising above the endless plains make superb viewpoints and areas heaped in boulders spewed out when Kilimanjaro erupted thousands of years ago are popular with shy leopard, miniature dikdik antelope, and the tall, beautiful lesser Kudu with its twisted horns.
There are endless hiking opportunities in the highlands of Embolei, and its cluster of valleys and hilltops crowned with grass, the colour of lion mane.
The astonishing deep-water wells and authentic ‘Bomas’ of the Maasai tribe provide superb insight into their culture, and a genuine window into the traditions and way of life of these vibrant people.
Enduimet is an infinite land of tremendous contrasts that ignites immense emotion and wonder to all who visit it.
By Colleen Hogg
March, 2013 – Tanzania