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Altezza Travel Planted 400 Trees in Kilimajaro

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May of 2022 was rich with valuable projects that the Altezza Travel team was able to complete having taken advantage of the rainy season when the number of tourists in Tanzania is the lowest during the year. Among other things, the company sent two “green forces” with a task to restore the forest reserves in the Kilimanjaro region. This article tells about the protection of forests along the river near the Kilimanjaro airport, and the material you are reading now is about the restoration of a forest in the vicinity of the namesake national park.

A view of Mt Kilimanjaro from Machame
A view of Mt Kilimanjaro from Machame

Why do we need a forest at the foot of Kilimanjaro?

On May 23, the experienced gardeners from our Aishi Machame and Altezza Lodge hotels, along with other employees and friends of the company, went to Lyasikika Secondary School, the management of which had asked for help with planting the seedlings. The school is located in a neighboring village which means it is in the so-called buffer zone of the Kilimanjaro National Park, just like the Altezza Travel office.

A large number of villages and active agriculture at the foot of Africa's Roof have had a strong impact on the ecosystem of the park and the entire region. If you look at satellite images, just beyond the dense green ring of forests surrounding the mountain and included in the protected area of the national park, you can see "bald spots" indicating that people are operating there. This is exactly what happened near Lyasikika Secondary School on the bend of the Sere River.

A satellite image
A satellite image

The proximity of the cornfield and the road right next to the river put pressure on the soil, and it slowly subsides. The water of the rushing mountain river, in turn, erodes the bank. It may lead to changes in the shoreline, as well as waterlogging and road collapse. In this "thin" place, it was necessary to restore the balance between nature and humans, which we did with the help of local authorities.

How We Planted the Trees 

Strengthening the riverbank line
Strengthening the riverbank line

By joining forces with the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities, as well as the representatives of the Lyamungo Village authority and the school where the problem occurred, we planted several hundred saplings along the river bed in the bare area.

Planting the trees on a plot along the river
Planting the trees on a plot along the river

The whole process unfolded in several stages. First, we purchased seedlings of various trees because strong plants with a branched root system should grow near the water; in, in the middle, there should be trees that create favorable conditions for more short-growing plants, and by the road - the low trees, including fruit-bearing ones. Then, using spiral drills, we made deep holes at an equal distance from one another in a staggered pattern. The main stage was planting the seedlings, strengthening their rhizomes with earth, and watering. Then the seedlings will need some more care and attention for a while until they become stronger.

Bank strengthening works
Bank strengthening works

KINAPA leaders, including Kilimanjaro National Park's chief caretaker Angela Nyaki and her assistant Charles Mgendo, Lyasikika Secondary School students, local community elders, and, of course, the Altezza Travel team were amicably involved in the most extensive and laborious phase.

Altezza Travel team and the management of the Kilimanjaro National Park
Altezza Travel team and the management of the Kilimanjaro National Park
Students of Lyasikika Secondary School who helped with planting the trees
Students of Lyasikika Secondary School who helped with planting the trees
Angela Nyaki, head warden of the Kilimanjaro National
Angela Nyaki, head warden of the Kilimanjaro National
Alexander Andreychuk, founder of Altezza Travel
Alexander Andreychuk, founder of Altezza Travel
Village elder
Village elder
Word of gratitude upon completion of work. Lyasikika Secondary School yard
Word of gratitude upon completion of work. Lyasikika Secondary School yard

We planted over 400 trees of eight species in total. Now we have to watch them grow and, for the first time, help them get established in their new place by tying up unstable thin trunks, watering, and fertilizing. 

We will continue to follow the life of the planted trees and share photos and satellite images of the new forest area in Machame at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Stay tuned for updates.

Revised on 31 August 2022
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