David Beutel, Tanzania, June 22, 2014

Today we went hiking at Sanje Falls which are located in the Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania. There are numerous falls, the tallest of them being approximately 70 meters high.

Sanje Falls in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania

Sanje Falls in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania

While registering at the office, baboons and red colobus monkeys provided entertainment for all with their playful antics and agile movements.   On the way to the top of the falls, the guide would stop at some trees and talk a little bit about them.  One of them was called the “Communication Tree” as someone would bang on it with a rock when a meeting was taking place thereby causing a loud noise to emanate from the tree.  We also saw the type of tree that corks for champagne bottles come from. At the top of the falls, those who got close to the falls were soaked by the heavy mist that the falls produced.  Lunch was eaten part of the way down the falls on large rocks that gave a breath-taking view of the land, mostly sugar cane fields, below.  The land stretched for miles and miles below us and the view was absolutely beautiful.

Students resting on rock during hike up Sanje Falls in Tanzania

Taking a break during the hike up the Sanje Falls

On the way back down we also stopped at the base of the falls where Nicki, Mike, and Dave jumped into the water to swim for a little bit.  The water was quite cold but like Nicki said “When else are you going to get the chance to swim in an African waterfall?”  A few monkeys were seen along the way but they vegetation prohibited us from getting good looks at them most of the time. The hike was a real good workout as it was a mixture of regular hiking trails and stairs and measured around 6.2 kilometers total. One interesting thing about this hike was the difference in humidity and temperature between the beginning of the hike and the top of the falls.  While we were lower down near the base of the mountain, we were all sweating a lot as it was quite warm and extremely humid.  However, as we got closer to the top of the falls, it cooled down considerably and the humidity mostly disappeared.  It helped make the top of the falls very refreshing as well as beautiful. Unfortunately, by the time we finished the hike, we were all sweating again as we were back in the heat and humidity. I think it’s safe to say that at the end of the hike, we were all worn out and ready to relax. On the way home, about a half hour into the trip, we had to turn around as a credit card was left behind but that just meant more time enjoying the baboons and red colobus monkeys that were still hanging around the office as well as more bouncing around in the back of the truck.