Warm and sweaty after the 3½ hour journey in the tin can that we called our vehicle under the scorching sun, we all headed towards the hut which was providing some shelter as well as a table with benches for sitting.

We all sat down and decided that a beer at this time would be awesome.
We asked the boy for three beers and as we must have looked like thirsty and sweaty Mzungus he looked uncertain at us and pulled up the key to unlock the padlock that was holding the door between us and the liquid stuff.

He brought us three bottles which he put on the table and popped off the capsules.
I took the bottle in my hand only to discover to my disappointment that they were warm.
Ah well.. what could I do?
Grunting of disappointment we all had a sip and relaxed in the shade while the boys in the camp put up our tents underneath two big trees.

Rasta asked us when we wanted to go to the nearby waterfalls for a swim and we all agreed that right now was a very good time to soak up in the water. Rasta said ok and said he would go and get the Masaai guides that were gonna take us to the waterfalls.

waterfalls lake natron tanzania

The valley leading up to the waterfalls

Meanwhile we finished our beers and got our bags and repacked what we would bring with us to the waterfalls.
I was debating with myself if I should bring my DSLR camera with me or not, knowing that we would have to cross the little river on some parts to reach the waterfalls.

I decided to take it so I could get some nice shots of the valley we were gonna walk up through.
I also brought with me my waterproof camera for some shots in the waterfalls.

Rasta showed up with the two guides that was gonna accompany us to the waterfalls and we all set off on foot towards the valley that shoot out in the rock in front of us. We walked along small paths on the side of the valley with the minor river flowing right beside us. The paths were mainly trials for cows that was herded around and we also encountered a few cows being pushed back to the nearby Masaai village, meaning we had to somehow manage to pass each other on the path without falling.

I stepped a side and let my shutter fire off a few pictures of the little Masaai boy with his cows.

waterfalls lake natron tanzania

A boy and his cows

It didn’t take many minutes before we had to cross the river the first time.
I decided to take of my shoes and wade through bare feet.
The cold water was amazingly soothing for my hot and almost cooked feet however the stones were not always as round as you would have hoped for in a river.
The force of the water made you concentrate on stabilizing first and get the right pressure against it before you started wading over to the other side. The water reached halfway up to the knee.

We walked as much as we could on the sides of the river on the few paths that were available but at some places there were simply no sides to walk on as the mountain sides were too vertical. At some places we had to do some small climbs between rocks to get further on. I’m not the smallest guy on earth and I am definitely not acrobatic when I have my DSLR camera in one hand and my shoes in the other but somehow I managed.

waterfalls lake natron tanzania

A shallow crossing

The river had to be crossed several times on our way through the valley. The depth varied from ankle-deep to knee-deep and at the worst point it even reached as high up as the waist. You really had to concentrate each time on the pressure to put against the streaming water not to lose traction and fall over. Something I really didn’t wanna do with my new DSLR camera.

waterfalls lake natron tanzania

A bit deeper crossing

After some half hour walk, climb and wading we reached the goal, the waterfalls.
An amazing and beautiful sight.
Everyone tore their clothes off and started wading out into the pool that was under the waterfall we saw in front of us. As I had my water proof little pocket camera I was the last one in the water and filmed when I saw people disappear into the waterfall understanding that there was something behind it.
It was almost as you usually see in adventure movies with a huge waterfall that has a cave behind the falling water. Only difference was that this waterfall was not so massive that it could hide the fact that there was something behind it. But if you closed your eyes a bit and gazed it kind of looked like it.

We swam, waded, soaked, throwing mud on each other like a couple of 10 year olds for maybe an hour until we decided that it was time to head back to the camp and eat the dinner that was being prepared from the groceries we had brought with us.

waterfalls lake natron tanzania

Just soakin´by the fall

We started the backtrack back to the camp but with the difference now that the stones were much more slippery due to fact that the foot soles were wet. I was second in line to climb down from the big stone into the waist-high water. I put pressure on my left foot against the naked stone behind me to lower myself into the water when I suddenly feel how it slips off and I fall straight down into the river.

I submerge myself for a split second but also everything I am wearing including my new DSLR. One of the Masaai guides who had gone in first was quick to lift up my camera out of the water which was swung around on my back. I feared the worst and quickly took out the battery as well as demounted the lens so that air could start circulating and hopefully manage to dry up and save the camera.

At the same time I realized that nothing was gonna get better, I mean the camera wouldn’t fix itself, if I would get angry so I saved myself the energy and smiled a little towards all the faces looking at me in horror waiting for an explosion. I could only blame myself.

When we had gotten back to the camp we noticed that the two large trees that the boys had put up our tents under were not a pair of loudspeakers. Each tree had hundreds of birds all talking at the same time. And also shitting together meaning the tents beneath had a fair share of birdshit on them. Luckily these were small birds in the sparrow format rather than seagulls.

The boys moved the tents out in the open instead and as the sun had started to set the temperature was dropping rapidly and became more bearable. We hung up our wet clothes and headed off to the hut again to indulge on the dinner that was cooked while we were away and wash it down with some warm beers and water.

waterfalls lake natron tanzania

Evening supper

We stayed up for a while after the dinner and talked. Rasta was telling us stories from all his safaris and what people actually are stupid enough to do. We all laughed as the darkness surrounded us and all light that was there was the pale light from a LED bulb hanging on a cord above us. The light attracted all kind of bugs that started to dance around the light in hope of something greater when I suddenly noticed a huge bug flying in and out and not round and round like the rest.

It finally landed on the table in front of us and raised itself looking at us with its small head comparing to its long and tall body.
It was a praying mantis. The men around the table started playing with it.

We all decided that it was time to go to bed as we were gonna get up at 7 in the morning again to head the last kilometers to Lake natron to see the salt lake and then return back to Arusha. Another day with a long drive back in the sun.

Jake and Me crawled into our tent and  I managed to sleep a few hours even though the tent was a bit small for me.

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