A slightly delayed post, and can only put it down to happily being super busy with what has turned out for B2B to be the busiest safari season in history. Seems the world in general has recovered somewhat from the economic crash and travellers, adventure seekers are dusting off their bags, and heading down to East Africa. The safari season has been extreme for use of a better word, safari clients returning from the bush with great stories of wildlife sightings and yet another Leopard viewing (Ingrid – slightly jealous as she still has not seen one – office life for you though)
And YES it finally happened!! – Peter Lindstrom an old hand in East Africa and a fellow safari operator kindly gave up some of his time one weekend before the safari season took us all by storm and we managed to arrange a date to meet up at Esilalei Maasai community. We met briefly on the main road and made a plan to drive up to camp to conduct the survey from there, not less than 50 metres into the arid landscape that presented itself before us – I saw Peters Land Rover come to a halt in my wing mirror and seconds later saw him sprinting off in the direction of a dry water hole. OK !! i did the same heading in the direction that I had seen Peter disappear into. Upon approaching the dry water hole I found him floundering around like a captured animal in a deep walled corridor pulling a bits of rock, which in turn were hit together till that split, this was the result Peter was looking for and he automatically went into a historical encounter into Lake Manyara stretching out towards Tarangire N.P and what he /I were currently standing in would have once been Lake Manyara itself!! Wow – I was hooked on this un-scheduled history lesson and suggested that Peter drive in front for anymore sudden escapes back into the bush. This did happen several times before reaching the camp, and with each stop Peter seemed to be getting more and more information from dropping down into the Korongo (cut valley) and again banging rocks together. Myself, Ingrid and her son Mwene learnt more about The Great Rift valley, Esilalei and rock formations than ever before and the best result was after coming round a corner in the Korongo, Peter stopped!! After examining a stretch of the shale covered dry river bed, breaking a few more rocks along with chunks of solidified volcanic ash he finally gave light to his findings. This or something similar is what you need to find – Peter explained, myself and Ingrid looked up and down this 30 metre straight section of the korongo – finally understanding what Peter was also looking for. Without going into painfully long details about construction our idea all along to bring Water to Esilalei is to trap and capture as much rainwater runoff as we can channelling it into ground water storage tanks that can in turn be fed through Sand dams as a natural filtration system. If we are successful on the pilot scheme a bigger dam of a type will be put in place, as it happens due to the Muslim celebration of Eid falling today we have given all staff a long weekend off and likewise this has created a wee gap in our crazy schedule so we’re off to the Bush again and plan on reckying the whole of the korongo in search of another ideal spot to put in the catchment dam to channel the flood water to the proposed ground water tanks.
To round up, once again Peter if you have subscribed to the Bushupdates a huge ‘Thank You’ for sharing some of that knowledge you have accumulated over the years and secondly to Brad, Stuart and team leader Clare for your efforts in fund raising, all contributions and pledges both from Twin Peaks and from Bush 2 Beach safari clients has been pulled together and is currently hovering around 4.5mil Tanzania shillings – Hongera hongera ( congratulations x 2 ) this amount is purely set aside for the water project and is certainly enough to pull in paid labour to commence the pilot scheme on the stretch of river bed that was discovered back in early July.
More updates coming as to our findings and the moving mases that are once again on the move.