From Kilimanjaro International Airport we are heading to Moshi until we reach the exit to Machame. The turn off to the left is also the way to the entrance of Kilimanjaro National Park.
After leaving the tarmac road the way leads us further up the southern slope of Mount Kilimanjaro – finally we see the red soil, which comes to our mind when remembering the pictures of Africa.
Still uphill we are passing canyons with almost vertical slopes which are overgrown with lush vegetation.Smaller cornfields, banana and coffee plantations grown by the farmers for their own use line the route.
On many plateaus you will see small and solid stone houses with corrugated iron roofs. The sometimes 100 years old clay brick houses are not for living anymore, but are used as storage rooms and for provisions.
Below the banana plants flourish a lot of other plants like different kinds of spinach, Chinese cabbage, cabbage and even English potatoes.
The inhabitants of the mountain side know very well how to use the fertile soil and would see it as a waste, to not cultivate the fields. There is enough space and nourishment for the livestock. Cows, goats and chicken are still providing the families with milk, meat, eggs and skins.
Directly before the approach of Semira River Farmhouse Eucalyptus trees with red tree trunks are shooting up and even the leaves seem reddish colored.