1 Day Arusha to Themi Waterfalls
Themi falls is about 5km in Olgilai village, on the slopes of mount Meru.
The Themi waterfalls are formed at a point where one of the underground tributaries to the Themi river flows into its valley. It is located in the early stages of the Themi river, near its source mount Meru of Arusha – Tanzania. Unlike other waterfalls, this one flows from an underground stream, flowing through layers of bedrock, until it meets the main river valley, falling more than 15 metres.
However, unlike in the early days, water from the falls is now being tapped off by the Arusha Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority – AUWSA for domestic use, as it is considered to be one of the few naturally clean sources of water in the city – uncontaminated by any human activities.
There is a large concrete structure that collects the water before it is funnelled off into a pipe and this is just one of many in the area that carries water without the need for a pump. Amazingly so, there is another one nearby that uses gravity alone to carry water up the side of a large hill – Ol’ Doinyo Sapuk, from higher up in mount Meru.
Hiking to the actual waterfall itself, with the path leading to it is a steep but well prepared one, with steps and wooden rails. It generally can be used throughout the year, with some caution being needed in the rainy seasons.
Swimming or any other activities that contaminate the river are not allowed, mainly because the water is used in many homes downstream and some parts of the city; However, you can still enjoy the beauty of the place, including the waterfalls itself, the celery farms downstream and the clean – crystal clear cold water of the Themi river itself.
The area around the falls is truly quiet, with the exception of a few birds chirping here and there. There are several beautiful photo points that the guide would be more than happy to point out to you. Also remember to tip the guide, who in most cases is a local of the Olgilai village, even if it is a small amount as it is one of the only few ways that they know if they did a good job.
After the waterfalls, you also can have a tour of the Olgilai villages or climb to the top of one of the neighbouring hills Ol’ Doinyo Sapuk, Kivesi and Narengoro, each of which will provide you with an amazing view of Mount Meru and the city of Arusha, along with beautiful photos to take home.
There also is another much larger waterfall about a 30 minutes’ walk from this one that you could visit. One thing to note is that paths in area may be confusing to non-locals, which is one of the reasons why you need a guide.
For accommodation, you can camp at Themi falls leisure park, Food is also available on site.
Any time of the year that is not the rainy season (March to June) is the best time to visit. Although it may be hard to hike in the rain, the park does have the necessary equipment such as rain jackets that you can rent. The roads to the place are well maintained and may still be accessible even in the rainy seasons.