Name ID 702
Matthiessen, Peter The Tree Where Man Was Born
Page Number: 161
Extract Date: 1972
Ngurdoto, like the famous Ngorongoro, is extinct, and both have the graduated bowl known as a caldera, which is formed when the molten core of a volcano subsides into the earth and the steep crater walls fall inward. Ngorongoro was unknown to the outside world until 1892, and not until early in this century did the white man find this smaller caldera to the east of Meru.
Just outside Arusha the delightful crater lake of Duluti offers good fishing and bird watching. More beautiful still, 20 miles away, is the Arusha National Park, a tranquil retreat established in 1960. Within its 46 sq. miles it has three distinct areas: the Mount Meru crater, the Ngurdoto Crater, and the five Momella lakes.
At Arusha we were met by the new Director of National Parks in Tanganyika, John Owen, our guide all the time we were in Tanganyika.
Arusha itself with its cosy individual character, is unlike any other town I have seen in Africa. It was built by the Germans when they owned the province; they also built the road leading out of town, on which we met many Masai marching proudly and arrogantly with an accomplished feline grace.
To begin with, John Owen took us up to the Ngordoto Crater, a very recently created National Park, only an hourís drive from Arusha.
... [after a visit to Lake Manyara]
The Land-Rover lurched and plunged on the broken track, roared its way through torrents whose rush seems to have doubled in noise and intensity. I began to wonder how I should like to spend a night here with a breakdown, in this forest which now assumed a sombre and malevolent power.
We emerged after what seemed like an eternity, and with some relief returned to our perch on the rim; [the brand new Hotel Manyara] to a bath of kipper smelling water, a drink at the smart bar and a tranquil evening by the welcome fire. The young warden, Max Morgan Davies, joined us for dinner. ..
... [at Ngorongoro crater] Mr Phersen the district officer was putting us up.
... [to Seronera] We drove on to the wardenís house. Mrs. Harver received us, and took us straight to the guest-house for a welcome bath.
... In the afternoon, the Chairman of the Tanganyika National Parks, Mr. Hunter, took us up in his small plane and flew us right over the Serengeti Plain.
... [Next stop Dar-es-Salaam.] The pilot of the small charter plane accommodatingly took us right over the splendid grey ash cone of Ol Doinyo Lengai, the Masaiís Mountain of the Gods, a still sub-active volcano, puffing out clouds of sulphuric gases. A minute later we looked down into its neighbour the Embegi volcano, now extinct, its forested crater containing a lake. Clouds of flamingos were whirling like pink snow below us, shimmering against the blue water. The sides were very steep, their ravines thick with ancient forests. Such an intimate view of this farouche lonely giant could never have been achieved in any other way.
Within the 46 square miles of the park, which was known as the Ngurdoto Crater National Park until 1967, are to be found three distinct areas: Ngurdoto Crater, the Momella Lakes and the rugged Meru Mountain. ... this is a park with a difference, as unlike another wildlife area in Africa as it is dissimilar to the National Parks of Europe or America.
Reuter, Henry J. Official Touring Guide to East Africa: 1967 International Travel Year
Page Number: 074
Extract Date: 1967
Having offered this famous trio of Parks, northern Tanzania is by no means done with the tourist. Arusha sits in the shadow of 14,979 ft Mt, Meru, and high up on the mountain is what Sir Julian Huxley has described a "little gem among National Parks." The Ngurdoto Crater National Park is only 20 square miles in area, and has an interesting history.
In the last century, it was a battle ground for rival groups of Masai. Then, in 1907, a German family called Trappe acquired a vast farm on the top of the mountain which, precipitous on one side, is relatively gently sloping on the other and houses a series of lakes in its volcanic depressions.
The Trappe family used the land for ranching for many years. In the 1914-18 war, as Germans they were classified as enemy aliens and the land was confiscated, The whole family moved to South Africa and worked and saved, and later moved back into their old homestead, having purchased back: the 5,000 acres on top of the mountain.
The late elder Mrs. Trappe was a lady of great character. She was the first and only woman to become a professional hunter in East Africa. In 1960 a large part of the Momela estate was made into a game sanctuary. Other members of the family still live in the area.
The Crater National Park is truly a gem. A road has been built to enable the visitor to drive around the lakes, and along the crater rims there are beautiful lockout posts in the forests at which the visitor can picnic and gaze down on the wildlife.
For its area, the Park has more than its share. It is a haunt of large numbers of rhino and hippo; elephant and buffalo frequently cross the trails; giraffe and waterbuck are common and the area is also the haunt of lions, leopards, wild dogs and a host of small game.
Vesey had for some years experimented with an electric fence along the boundaries of the small Ngurdoto National Park (now called Arusha Park).
Jonathan Muhanga had tried one at the boundary of Manyara with Mto-wa-Mbu, but it was David Stevens Babu who got it working.
Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 031
Extract Date: 1972
What a trip a circular tour round Empakaai would be. For this is another of the Big Six which has remained intact, a complete caldera, five miles across, the rim ranging from about 8,200 feet to 10,700 feet. Its floor, at over 7,350 feet, is half covered by a lake two miles across, which is kept filled by small streams coming off the forest-clad inner slopes. As is natural with drainless basins, the lake is brackish: it is about 200 feet deep - this I know as I was the first person to take a boat there and plumb its depths to expose the legend that it was 'bottomless'. ...
There is enough flatland at the bottom to attract cultivators, and it has been a constant fight to keep this gem unsullied for the delectation of future generations. I have always held the view that, like Ngurduto near Arusha, this crater should be preserved inviolate from motor roads, but that unlike Ngurdoto a cabin should be established in the crater which the more adventurous visitors could visit on foot. What a place for youth groups tired of the town environment which will inevitably characterise the lives of many future Tanzanians.
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.