More than just beads

For visitors travelling through northern Tanzania, it is common to see beaded products in souvenir shops, on the streets or at hotels. Whether it is arm bands, coasters, lamp shades, necklaces, Christmas ornaments or earrings, the designs are endless and comes in any colour, shape or size. But who creates these colourful products?

By |3rd February 2016| Last updated on 1st December 2021 | Stories|0 Comments

Rock art paintings of Kondoa

Red elongated people, giraffes, eland and hunting scenes. These are just some of the subjects in a little-known UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tanzania. In central Tanzania near the little village of Kolo (250km southwest of Arusha) are the Kondoa Irangi rock paintings.

By |27th January 2016| Last updated on 1st December 2021 | People & Culture, Stories|1 Comment

Lake Chala – a crater in the shadow of Kili

A border runs through it. Lake Chala is located some 55km northeast of Moshi town on the south-eastern flank of Mt Kilimanjaro and on the Kenyan border. In fact, the international boundary between Tanzania and Kenya runs through the middle of the lake!

By |20th January 2016| Last updated on 8th November 2021 | Stories|0 Comments

Amazing Acacias – a clever species of trees

While on safari in Tanzania you will not only see animals, but also trees. Tanzania has hundreds of tree species but today I am highlighting one in particular, the acacia family. East Africa has around 62 species of which six are endemic to Tanzania. Acacias can grow as trees and shrubs, but the most classic acacia trees seen on safari include the umbrella tree, whistling thorn, wait-a-bit acacia and the yellow fever tree.

By |6th January 2016| Last updated on 1st December 2021 | Animals & Plants, Stories|10 Comments

The Tanzanian Christmas tree

In December, a spectacular sight can be seen; trees covered in flame-red flowers. In Tanzania during the month of December certain trees flower. These include the vibrant purple Jacaranda and the flamboyant tree - my favourite.The scientific name is Delonix regia and it belongs to the pea family of Fabaceae. Other common names include the flame tree and the royal poinciana.

By |23rd December 2015| Last updated on 10th March 2017 | Animals & Plants, Stories|0 Comments

Nuts about cashews

Cashews are amongst the one of the most consumed nuts in the world. Eaten as a snack or in cooking, cashew nuts are valued for their eating quality and is high in a variety of vitamins and minerals including magnesium, copper and Vitamin K. It contains about 10% starch and is used in Indian cooking to thicken sauces and soups. For Tanzania smallholder farmers it is an important cash crop and way of making a living.

Shops and Stalls – what’s in a name?

One thing that I have noticed in my time in Tanzania is how well people set up their shops or little stalls. Everything is neatly arranged and presented regardless of how big or small the business is. If you visit a local market, even the vegetables are displayed perfectly. Whether they are selling shoes, clothes, hardware or food, the sellers always take extra care in making sure that their products are nicely presented.

Sodom Apple – a shrub with many uses

This shrub found almost in every part of Tanzania, usually next to roads and overgrazed areas, is labelled as an invasive species. Sodom apple is the common name and its scientific name is Solanum incanum. This shrub belongs to the Solanaceae family which has up to 2000 different species, of which a 100 can be found in tropical Africa.

By |14th October 2015| Last updated on 31st January 2022 | Animals & Plants, Stories|15 Comments

Tanzanian Coffee – from the tree to the cup

Nothing beats the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning, but did you ever take the time to think about how and what it takes to get coffee into your mug?

Ol Donyo Lengai – The Holy Mountain

To the nomadic tribe of the Maasai, there is no other mountain that demands more respect, than Ol Donyo Lengai - 'the mountain of God'. Located on the base of the east African rift valley in northern Tanzania, Lengai (2960m) overlooks the beautiful lake Natron.

By |30th September 2015| Last updated on 1st December 2021 | Stories|1 Comment