19 May 2010

Meresani Snake Park

From Martin’s Cozy Place (Addis Abba, Ethiopia) to Mayoka Village (Nkhata Bay, Malawi), Kickabout has squatted, camped, invaded, and crashed in places throughout east Africa. Some have been pretty posh (Utengule Coffee Lodge in Mbeya, Tanzania) while others have been less so (Mzoozoozoo in Mzuzu, Malwai). We have yet to meet an unfriendly innkeeper, and for the most part, we’ve made new friends at every stop. One type of place, however, has really earned our respect and future business: the “Drink for Charity” Lodge.

Just outside of Arusha, Tanzania (30km west) you can find Meserani Snake Park. Run by Ma and BJ for the last 18 years, Snake Park is a wild compound composed of campgrounds, a legendary bar, a mechanics’ shop and the best collection of poisonous snakes we’ve ever seen. There’s a $5 entrance fee to see the snakes, birds, crocodiles, and turtles – but the camping is free.

The kitchen is limited, but the bar is fully stocked with beer and liquor. The bar and ‘zoo’ alone is worth a stop, but what puts Snake Park on Kickabout’s “Top Places to Stay” list is its connection to the local Maasai community.

Overland travelers like a good drink. And they know that good drinks are not solitary creatures and enjoy company, especially other good drinks. And the Kickabout crew is nothing if not loyal and well-trained overland travelers. So when we learned that proceeds from Ma’s Bar at Snake Park funded local community projects, we turned our affinity for cold beer into funds for a cultural museum, ladies’ craft market, health clinic, and classroom construction project. Talk about a return on investment!

The Maasai Cultural Museum and Ladies’ Craft Market sits just outside the gates of Snake Park. A local Maasai warrior takes you on a tour of the museum and, for a small fee, on a Maasai walk to learn more about Maasai culture today. (If you fancy a camel ride, they have those too.) Fifteen families own their own shops at the craft market where you can buy wood carvings, jewelry, bowls, fabrics, etc. While the prices are higher than what you can find on the side-of-the-road stalls, the proceeds from this market enable the women to make a decent living and pay for their kids' education.

There is also a medical clinic that treats 800-1000 patients a month. Free of charge. Medicines are purchased by Snake Park via our early afternoon soda, our happy hour cold beers, and our whiskey night cap. Ma’s watering hole also pays for the construction of new water wells. A couple of years ago, BJ led the drilling of a new borehole to alleviate the water needs of nearby Eluai Village. The resulting well produces 4800 liters per hour, enough for Eluai and neighboring Emerete Village. Other projects include building new classrooms to ease the overcrowding in the local primary and secondary schools and hopefully, a home for children orphaned by AIDS.

When we asked Ma about how/why they decided to run their business like this, she said, “When we got here 18 years ago, there was nothing. We just wanted to make a decent living and help out. We don’t want to live like royalty while the neighbors suffer. If a tiny portion of the tourist money goes to making this place a bit better…why would we not do it.”

Cheers to that, Ma. We’ll have one more.

Visit Meserani Snake Park

To contact Meserani Snake Park: mailto:%20snakepark@habari.co.tz

Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

20 comments: on "Meresani Snake Park"

Unknown said...

خدمات شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة

1- خدمات التنظيف الشامل لكافة انواع الخزانات

2- خدمات التعقييم والتطهير الدقيق
افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات
3- خدمات العزل المائى للخزانات

4- كل هذه تنظيف خزانات
تقدم لكم من خلال افضل المواد والادوات المستخدمة

Background Removal said...

Background Removal Services (BRS) is one of the best Clipping path service provider around the world. We offer our global customers: Raster to Vector Services, Photo Restoration Services Prices, Photo Neck Joint Service, Exposure Color Correction Service, Jewelry Photo, Retouching Services, Photo Color Correction Service, Image Mirror Effect Service, Cheap Retouching Services, Deep Etching Service,

Transport company in Medina said...

أفضل شركة نقل في المدينة المنورة والنجارين المبهرين في تفكيك وتركيب الأثاث والمفروشات.

Turbo Steam said...

Turbo Steam is a powerful, yet portable, fabric and clothes steamer for all of your steaming needs. Our Turbo Steam takes only 45 seconds to heat up and to start generating steam and its steam delivery system evenly distributes steam across fabrics to remove even the worst wrinkles.

Transport company in Taif said...

أفضل شركة نقل في الطائف والنجارين في إعمار في تفكيك وتركيب الأثاث

Clipping Path Service Provider said...

In other sense, the clipping path is like creating a path that will remove the bars from the photo. As the name suggests, it clips a path. It points that the path that you not need gets clipped. The ClippingPath Service Provider is able to bring the change in the photos. Applying the Photoshop tool, the provider does the task.

prom dress hut said...

Prom Dress Hut is a prom dresses company. If you are looking for a prom dress, check out our Latest Prom Dress Collection. You can order from Prom Dresses USA, Prom Dresses UK, Prom Dresses Australia, Prom Dresses Canada, and Prom Dresses Germany.

Foot Massager Reviews said...

Read the best Foot Massager Reviews of 2019 Inthe following article, we present the top 8 models available today and revealtheir pros and cons.

Photo Editing Pricing said...

Photo Editing Pricing value on the images editing requirements. The exact price of you use can vary greatly. Depending on the vendor/contractor, the complexity of the image editing volume of images and how quickly you need the edited photos back Forget an idea about Our Pricing you can check our photo editing price list.

Clipping Path Service Provider said...

There is a bunch of Clipping Path Service Provider in the world market. But the difference with us is we have a huge bunch of professional team. Each of our has a minimum 5 year to 12 years experience in this clipping path service provider sector. You can Visit Our Site to see our working quality.

Photo Restoration Services said...

Photo Restoration Services is a complex editing job. So, you have to be confirmed to give your desired photo in the hand of an expert photo editor. Experts do feel the alike you feel about your old photos. We can proudly ensure you that we have a huge team of editing experts! they can easily meet your photo editing demand. Do visit to test our photo restoration service quality.

Resize Image Without Losing Quality said...

Resize Image Without Losing Quality is a unique process to adjust the height and width of an image. We have bunch of experts to make your image resize without losing any quality. The key intention of image resizing is to make it fit any screen. As a result, they look good and smart. The most crucial factor is to satisfy the audience. Do visit to test our quality.

Post a Comment