A huge country in East Africa, Tanzania has many claims to fame – Africa’s highest mountain, deepest lake and probably one of the highest numbers of ethnic and tribal groups of people!
Just south of the Equator with Kilimanjaro rising high above the plains of the Great Rift Valley, the Northern parks of Tanzania are home to the most famous of Africa’s wildlife movements, the Wildebeest Migration. Constantly on the move, these millions of animals follow the rains and the sweet grass they feed on round in circles through the Serengeti National Park north to Kenya‘s Masai Mara and back down through Loliondo and the Ngorongoro Crater to start all over again. Surrounded by volcanoes (some still active) the terrain of North Tanzania is dramatic and beautiful. The Maasai people who live here are a proud race and once you get away from the tourist trails and large hotels, you can experience their traditional lifestyles and culture and enjoy time in their company. One of the best places to get an authentic cultural experience and enjoy stunning views of the mountain itself is in West Kilimanjaro, bordering the Amboseli eco-system in Kenya and a great place to get up close to elephants too! Heading away from Arusha towards the Serengeti and on the border with Kenya is Lake Natron – a fascinating volcanic landscape surrounding it with hot springs and bubbling geysers and the still active Ol Donyo Lengai towering above the small village on the lake shore. Being a soda lake this is no good for the people and animals of the valley floor but it is a haven for flamingos who flock here every year to breed away from the other crowded Rift Valley lakes further north. There are a few basic tented camps at Natron and the Ngare Sero Camp out on the plains where shade cloth protects you from the sun. If you are interested in the archeology and geology of the region then Lake Natron is a must do in your African Safari to Tanzania!
Kilimanjaro itself is a popular trekking challenge, with climbers heading for Moshi, the town in the foothills and pushing themselves to the limit up to the top of Uhuru Peak. There are many different routes to choose from depending on your ability, fitness levels and time of year. I’ve arranged plenty of Kili climbs over the years, so ask me about what’s involved in Africa’s toughest challenge!
To the far west in Tanzania lies Lake Tanganyika – Africa’s deepest lake. Home to many endangered fish and surrounded by tropical forest covered mountains, this is an adventure for the experienced Africa addict! Take a trip to Mahale Mountains on the edge of the lake and visit wild Chimpanzees. Another place to see these wonderful animals is north of the lake at Gombe Stream Reserve. This is where Jane Goodall carried out her ground breaking research decades ago and the camp continues research on Chimpanzees and Baboons to this day. South of Mahale towards Ruaha is remote Katavi National Park, visited by very few travellers due to it’s remote location but teeming with huge herds of elephant, buffalo, masses of crocodiles and hippos and plentiful birdlife.
In Southern Tanzania, just a short hop by air from Dar Es Salaam is Selous Game Reserve – home to a huge variety of species including the endangered African Wild Dog. Boat safaris in Selous are popular and a great way to get a different perspective on wildlife, with a river system that never dries up and being home to thousands of hippos, crocodiles and water birds. Try and combine camps here to give yourself a variety of game viewing locations. I recommend Sable Mountain Lodge to the north of the park where you can enjoy stunning views from the hills and visit local villages if you like. You can also travel to Selous from Dar by train which is a cultural adventure (I’ve done it myself several times!) and Sable Mountain Lodge will pick you up from the nearest station. I would also recommend staying at one of the camps on the Rufiji River system or adjoining lakes. The birdlife is prolific here and you see plenty of animals along the waterways coming to drink. Stay at Lake Manze or Selous Impala Camp for authentic tented camps or at Sand Rivers’ Kiba Point for some luxury or experience the Sand Rivers Walking Safaris where you can go off into the bush with a guide for days and camp out under the stars – a real African adventure!
Also in the south is Ruaha National Park, a gorgeous mix of terrain and eco-systems where the wildlife is still truly wild and there are a few small luxury camps. If you like rustic tented style then go for Mdonya Old River Camp and listen to the roar of the lion as he walks past your tent at night! For luxury head to Jongomero, but bear in mind this area of the park is quite isolated so it’s best combined with a few days elsewhere such as Mwagusi Camp. Kigalia Camp is great for oppulant ‘colonial style’ safaris and there are budget camping options available too and the few public campsites.
Other smaller parks and reserves in Tanzania are well worth a visit – Udzungwa Mountains are great for forest walks and birding, trek the many miles of forest trails or to the Sanje Waterfalls and there is now a lovely little camp there at Hondo Hondo. Head to the Usambaras for botany and rural village life and Tarangire National Park for it’s mass elephant migration between August and October. Swala Camp in the south of Tarangire enjoys exclusive game viewing in a quiet part of the park and there are many options around the central north park including Tarangire Safari Lodge with it’s amazing views over the river.
Horse riding holidays, Cycling trips and Walking Safaris are offered in many parts of Tanzania, so just give me a call to talk through your requirements for this fascinating African Safari destination. There are also lots of options for family holidays and school trips and expeditions.
TANZANIAN BEACH HOLIDAYS After all that activity on safari or climbing mountains you’ll be wanting to relax a bit, so head for the Indian Ocean coast and the islands. Zanzibar, the main island and centre of the ‘spice trade’ is the best known and offers a range of hotels from locally run thatched chalets to swanky luxury villas! Being an old trading centre, the island is steeped in history and Stone Town is now a melting pot of culture, a great place to learn traditional Swahili dialect, sample lots of tasty seafood and tour historical sites. There are a number of lovely boutique hotels in Stone Town that have been converted from traditional Zanzibari palaces and important buildings, many having roof top terraces or restaurants. Some of my favourites include The Seyidda, Beyt Al Chai, Swahili House and Hurumzi 236. For wildlife, visit Jozani Forest with it’s endemic Red Colobus Monkeys. Just south of Stone Town is Mbweni Ruins Hotel on a lovely beach with a fabulous jetty and bar deck, one of the best places on the island to watch the sunset, facing west. The hotel is set amongst old ruins as the name suggests and surrounded by botanical gardens. The jetty is the pick up point for Chumbe Island Coral Park a fabulous eco-lodge where you can walk into the water and snorkel right from the beach!
South of Zanzibar is Mafia, my personal favourite – a sleepy back water with some of East Africa’s best diving and snorkelling and lots of tiny islands to explore. Stay at Chole Mjini Lodge in a fabulous tree house for a real adventure! Other great accommodation options here include Ras Mbisi and Pole Pole Lodge. North of Zanzibar is Pemba, differing from Zanzibar and Mafia in that it’s not an island formed from coral, but actually has hills and fields!! Pemba is great for sailing and diving in particular. Fundu Lagoon Lodge on Pemba has a range of hillside, mangrove and beach front villas and cottages, offering rustic luxury to relax and unwind.
All along the ‘Swahili Coast‘ you can find remains of old colonial building, slave ports and Omani ruins. Fishing villages and towns are steeped in history and give a flavour of rural Tanzanian life off the beaten track. Another personal favourite of mine is Saadani National Park. A few hours north of Dar Es Salaam this small park has a huge bio-diversity and a gorgeous lodge right on the beach called Tent With a View. From here you can lie in a hammock and hear elephants wandering through palm trees behind you and wander for miles along wind swept, wild beaches. There are some excellent conservation projects and research being carried out here including elephant relocation, predator protection and turtle preservation. A little further north you come to Pangani, a traditional fishing village with a number of small guest houses and beach bungalows. Head to The Tides for some relaxation in their thatched chalets along the wild beach with a bar right on the sand! There is a marine park just off shore where the lodge will take you for snorkelling and diving and you can wander the local villages or hire bikes too. South of Dar es Salaam is a lush headland of forests and mangroves with long sweeping beaches, perfect for walks and horse riding. Here you will find Ras Kutani, a lovely luxury lodge with a choice of suites and rooms overlooking the bay. Keep heading to the Mozambique border and you will come across more old Omani and Sultani ruins and forts, including a stop over at Mikandani where The Old Boma offers some authentic hospitality.
Affordable Safari to Southern Tanzania, bush and beach plus local culture and conservation. Fabulous rustic comfortable lodges and great people!
Chimpanzee tracking in the wild rainforests of Africa is sure to get your pulse racing! As you strain to look into the tree tops you will hear the pant hoots and thumping of tree buttresses as you get closer …
A two week cycling holiday to Northern Tanzania, including wildlife of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro with some stunning bike rides around the Rift Valley and Masai lands.
Tent with a View Saadani Safari Lodge is an amazing place to stay where bush truly meets beach. African Safari and Indian Ocean all in one place. Conservation and research projects work together with this fabulous lodge in Tanzania.
Mafia Island is a gorgeous archipelago in the Indian Ocean off shore from mainland Tanzania, steeped in history of the trading routes and a real Robinson Cruisoe getaway! Fabulous diving and snorkelling including Whale Shark sightings.
A luxury Northern Tanzania Safari, flying between fabulous lodges and tented camps through Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park – check for special offer prices!
A must do African Safari, witness the largest mammal migration in the world on the plains of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya as around two million herbivores follow their instincts to fresh grazing lands.
The highest peak in Africa, Kilimanjaro is the goal of many a mountain climber and explorer. With over six trekking routes available and an excellent support base in Moshi, you can now hike the Roof of Africa at anytime of the year and get your head above the clouds!
Sleep in a treehouse feeling the sea breeze looking out over the leafy canopy to the ocean beyond …. An authentic castaway experience with romantic rooms built around huge ancient Baobab trees, on a tiny island in the Indian Ocean.