It is fair to state that Lake Duluti Forest Reserve is an embodiment of Nature Therapy.
From the irregular and beautiful forest, to the peaceful and relaxing lake, the experience is indeed worth your while.
While at Lake Duluti Forest Reserve, expect the opportunity to enjoy a nature walk on the 47 acres forestry reserve, canoe ride on the 160 acres lake, refreshments at the club, camping, cycling, among others.
Here are some details to note about this lovely location:
FOREST NATURE WALK
The forest reserve has a relatively easy hiking trail, suitable even for beginner hikers.
Mostly the ground is flat, with the exception of a few sections that require a bit of ascending and descending.
There are various types and sizes of trees in the forest, with some having unique appearances. These include the intertwining trees, where some of my group members goofed around doing the ‘limbo dance’.
Another fact about the trail is that it stretches around Lake Duluti. So basically the nature walk distance is close to the circumference of the lake.
Mountain View points
There is a view point for Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro set on strategic points along the hiking trail in the forest reserve.
The stunning sight of Mt Meru is easier to spot compared to that of Mt Kilimanjaro mostly because it is closer to Lake Duluti distance-wise compared to Mt Kilimanjaro.
The clouds can also hinder the visibility of Mt Kilimanjaro from the view point, as was the case during our visit to this location. We visited Lake Duluti on a sunny and somewhat cloudy afternoon.
NB- There are benches conveniently affixed at the view points. If you so wish, you can choose to rest here a bit while on your nature walk, as you enjoy the attractive natural scenery.
Not only does the reserve serve as a tourist attraction but it also has religious significance.
Some religious groups make it a point from time to time to visit the reserve for prayer and worship purposes. The specific sections where these religious activities take place are located uphill with only the paths leading there being visible from the hiking trail.
Traces Left By Settlers
During the colonial period, settlers did settle in areas around Lake Duluti and they took it upon themselves to make the area better residence.
This explains the soil erosion preventive measures at the scene as well as the water pumping system connected to Lake Duluti, both of which have clearly stood the test of time.
Personally, the canoe ride on Lake Duluti was one of my favourite activities to do at this reserve.
About Lake Duluti- History 101 will tell you that once upon a time, there stood a mountain where Lake Duluti is now located. This mountain was caused to sink and pave way for underground water to rise up to the surface and form Lake Duluti. This was as a direct effect of an earthquake that came about due to a Volcano eruption on Mt Meru. Lake Duluti is thus filled with underground water (and of course rain water), with neither an outlet nor an inlet.
Noting from experience, it is easier to see more birds during the canoe safari than when taking the nature walk in the forest.
This bird ‘sanctuary’/’paradise’ houses approximately 120 different bird species. This number may be higher due to the species that migrate to and from the reserve on different seasons.
Of course, where there are birds you are bound to come across bird nests nearby. Believe it or not, you may find them interesting enough to make a ‘pit stop’.
The largest of the nests in the reserve belong to the hamerkop bird.
The hamerkop nest is usually huge and bulky, with the main materials used to construct it being mud and sticks.
It is said that the hamerkop can build a nest that weighs up to 50 kgs which will normally take it approximately 6 months.
Another easily visible nest is the oval shaped nests clutching onto the reeds on Lake Duluti.
These intricate nests are woven by the beautiful taveta golden weavers. Ain’t they just adorable?
DULUTI FOREST CLUB
Feeling a little thirsty, or hungry during your visit at the reserve? Worry not. At Duluti Forest Club you can quench your thirst and hunger with a variety of drinks and food respectively.
You can access the club either through the entrance on Lake Duluti Road, or through the forest at the end of the nature trail.
COUNTRY : TANZANIA
REGION : ARUSHA
DISTRICT : MERU
ROAD : LAKE DULUTI ROAD
The various charges as at the time of my visit were as follows:
THINGS TO NOTE
It is noteworthy that some sections of the trail may be somewhat slippery, with some areas also having lots of ants due to the presence of ant hills nearby.
Therefore, comfortable closed shoes with a good grip on the sole is preferable when doing the nature walk/hiking.
The canoe safari lasts anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours. If undertaking this during the sunny period, it is advisable to put on some sunscreen to protect your skin from excessive direct sunlight.
As usual, note to use the proper sunscreen for your skin type for better results.
Lake Duluti’s depth is unconfirmed but it is rumored to be very deep. The water is also rather heavily pigmented making it difficult to see under the lake.
For safety purposes, it is thus advisable to keep the provided life jacket on at all times while on the lake.
The green mamba and green snakes snakes live in the forest, though it is highly unlikely to come across them. This is because they keep themselves hidden as they are generally afraid of human beings. They are also poisonous but they tend to reserve their venom hunting prey.
The nile monitor lizards can also be spotted mostly basking on the banks of Lake Duluti.
Although is highly unlikely that these reptiles will harm you, it does not hurt to be aware of their presence, and also being careful not to agitate them in the event you come face to face with them. They are reptiles after all.
If you choose to camp Duluti Camping Site, ensure you carry your own camping gear as none is provided on site.
There are bicycles provided at the reserve. Thus in the event you fancy cycling at the reserve, all you have to do is show up, pay the requisite fee, and you are good to go.
The reserve is open at 8.00 am and closed at 6.00pm everyday.
As at the time of my visit, the reserve had no official email or telephone number. You can however reach the reserve through the admins of its Instagram page (@lake.duluti), as well as the Facebook page (LAKE Duluti Forest Reserve).
Hope this was helpful.
Safe travels trippers.