Monday, July 2, 2012

Taita Hills: The eastern most of the Eastern Arc Mountains

Safari ya Baringo took its recent expedition to Taita Taveta County, Coast province of Kenya.Taita Hills is the destination....

 ....Taita Hills is a section of the Eastern Arc, a chain of ancient mountains covered by rain forests which stretches in a curved orientation from Southern Tanzania to Southeastern Kenya.

                                  Map courtesy: Eastern Arc Conservation Endowment Fund

Taita hills are mainly inselbergs, i.e, rock hills isolated after they withstand a long time exposure to erosion- at times through tens of millions of years.

Taita Taveta is a lowland dry savanna lying on the eastern plateau of Kenya. Altitude at these plains ranges from 500- 900 meters above sea level. Taita hills are isolated mountains surrounded by these plains. From the scorching temperatures of the low elevated areas such as Voi, Mwatate, Campi ya Bibi and Tsavo, Taita hills shoots to an amazingly cool 2,200 plus meters.

A bird's view of Rukanga area as seen from Rukinga hill, an example of the lowlands surrounding Taita hills; and below are cloud forests in Wundanyi and Mbololo areas, examples of high altitude and heavily forested areas of Taita Hills.

                                                                      The Weso rock!

                   Above is a thick, moist forest; and below is an illustration of its sun-proof canopy

     Taita hills is a hotspot for biodiversity, and has continually attracted researchers and tourists!

Above is an example of Taita as a research station; and below are examples of unique flora and fauna in the forest

                      Taita hills is also a water tower, a reason for life in the harsh climate below

Above is a water source and a pan in the hills; and below a reservoir, source of domestic water for the communities living adjacent

              Taita too has a culture. The best resting place for elders are some caves found in forest!

Fatigue of a tiresome climb to Taita Hills can be properly erased by few shots of whisky and the breathtaking sunset!... Justice for the body and soul

Photos Courtesy: Chesire Chris & Ken Wambua