Tanzania is the most visited country in East Africa and with good reason. It has it all; white sand beaches with powder soft sand, lush forests with over 10 species of primates, enormous mountains, stunning islands....the list is endless. Most importantly, it is a safe destination to visit with family and hasn't had any war since attaining it's Independence from Britain in 1961.
Located in the Africa's Great Lakes region, Tanzania is home to 50 million people who can't wait to welcome you to their inner circles and treat you to unforgettable adventures.
Glorified as the "Land of the Endless Plains" it occupies 947,303 km2 between the shores of Lake Victoria and the shimmering silver-blue strand of the Indian Ocean. Tanzania is the home to the exotic spice isle of Zanzibar and the magnificent snow-capped dome of Mount Kilimanjaro. Standing at an elevation of 5,895 m (19,341 ft) above sea level, it is Africa's highest Mountain and the most visited free standing mountain in the world, attracting over 50,000 tourists annually.
Tanzanian major attractions include the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' one of the largest volcanic craters in the world, sheltering a magical 'land that time forgot' the Ngorongoro Crater. This 3.5 Million year old gem is a microcosm of Africa with a concentration of wildlife and close-range viewing opportunities that is unrivaled.
Unlike most parks where you have to wait for three days to see all the Big 5 animals, at Tanzania's Serengeti National Park you can see them all them in one hour. Covering 14,750 km2 (5,700 sq mi), it is an endless flat plain with short grass that makes it very easy to view wildlife. In their midst are rocks where lions hide while waiting for their prey. In the rainy season, the grass is green. In the dry season, it turns golden brown. Here, the annual wildebeest migration roars to like as over 3 million animals cross over to Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve in search for fresh food/grass.
Unforgettably beautiful, the pristine Beaches off the coast of Tanzania floats the fabulous Spice Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba where the ancient Swahili culture flourishes almost unchanged. Here, you will find silver beaches and clear blue sea. There are spice gardens and sultan's palaces. During a city tour, you can wander through the ancient lanes of stone town with its antique emporium, 'House of Wonders', Dr Livingstone's house, old slave market and Arab Fort.
Best time to visit
The dry season from late June to October is worth a star recommendation for wildlife viewing for parks in the Western and Southern circuits. Parks in the other regions can be visited any time of the year.
If you particularly want to witness the wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park, June and July won't disappoint you. The best time to see wildebeest calving is late January to end of February.
You just have to see and experience this world wonder with your own eyes! Its crater is five times more sensational than it looks on screen. For lack of a befitting description, it is a 30km diameter rock bowl which is about 600m deep, and endowed with volcanic soil. This has facilitated the growth of nutrient filled grass thereby attracting just about every African animal. It is as lush as it was when Africa had just been colonized, with a lake full of pink flamingos. As the sun rises, beautiful clouds hang over the crater making it look as beautiful as a million dollar painting.
It has few trees, just wide open spaces and yes, it is possible to see one end of the crater to another.
Humans have been at this huge treasure trove for 3.5 million years and for good reason, it's beauty is just what you need to tickle your senses. It's view from the crater rim is awe-inspiring to the dot. You will see a rain-forest on the top and a Savannah-like plantation below with the lake full of flamingos,
In short, the drive through Ngorongoro it is nothing short of incredible. As you enter the crater at daybreak, a surreal feeling sweeps over you. You will see buffaloes calving, leopards camouflaging in tall grass, elephants grazing everywhere, The lions look well fed thanks to the diversity of prey to feast on. As the sun get hot, they look lazy and spend more time napping to avoid overheating their bodies. The rhinos and their babies tend to stay distant from the trails. To get clear views of them, carry with a binoculars. Otherwise, all the other animals can be enjoyed as they draw close to the safari car. You will lose count of the number of zebras orderly cross tracks rights in-front of your car. In the natural pools, hippos are visible.
Ngorongoro's advantage over Masai Mara is that its pretty relaxed and peaceful. On the other hand, Masai Mara is too touristy and packed with cars. It doesn't really matter whether you visit in the long rains. Once you enter the base of the Crater, the sun starts to shine and the clouds clear up enabling you have bright view for miles.
A visit to this destination gives you a first hand experience of both paradise and a desert. Why? While the eastern side of the park is much greener and filled with flowers due to the heavy rain it receives. The west is dry and fairly dusty, just like a desert. In the south, you will come across a larger forest area within a large lake. The result of these astonishing contrasts is a beauty than no amount of money can buy.
You can crown your tour of Ngorongoro with a visit to a local Masai village to learn more about their traditional life.
Whether you opt for a game drive or bush walk here, you are guaranteed of meeting over 100 elephants by the time of your departure. It is found in an endearing geographical setting, with a river running through it.
Due to its specialty in Elephants, it has countless herds of African elephants that are very large, beautiful and relatively darker than Asian elephants. Most of them comprise of members of different age brackets ranging from mature one that are over 50 years to calves that are few days old. Their tusks are smaller compared to elephants in the other national parks across East Africa. In the dry season, you will see them digging the ground for water using their trunks, tusks and front feet.
Beyond elephants, Serengeti is big on Savannah park with beautiful vistas in every direction as far as the eye can see.
It is not as vast as the Serengeti, but it delivers a similar vibe and a huge number of animals:, droves of wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, and giraffes. If its your lucky day, you might even spot cheetahs celebrating a successful hunt. There are lots of different types of trees, including huge baobabs. You will love the changing scenery and see loads of unique different tree species, inclusive of baobabs. From a distance, they look like they were planted upside down with their branches and canopy in the ground, and roots up.
The weird thing about Tarangire is that although it is much drier than Serengeti, it is greener with lots of elephant grass, acacia woodlands, marshland, and forest's with rivers. No wonder, it has more bird species than Ngorongoro and Serengeti combined. The better part of the story is that it is less crowded.
Unlike most parks where you have to wait for three days to see all the Big 5 animals, here you can see them all them in one hour. Covering 14,750 km2 (5,700 sq mi), it is an endless flat plain with short grass that makes it very easy to view wildlife. In their midst are rocks where lions hide while waiting for their prey. In the rainy season, the grass is green. In the dry season, it turns golden brown.
The Park is divided into 3 sections, the most popular being southern/central part (Seronera Valley). The western corridor is highlighted by the Grumeti River, a source of life for forests and dense bush. In the north, you will find, Lobo area next to Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve.
Most nature lovers come to Serengeti for hoping to see enough animals during the great migration but end up seeing millions and so much more. Barely five minutes after driving into the park, you will see lioness teaching her playful cubs how to hunt.
Every possible wild life experience that you can envision is captured here during the migration phases. Roughly 200,000 zebras migrate in an orderly fashion from the northern hills to the southern savannah for the short rains every October and November. Next, they turn towards west and north after the long rains in April, May and June.
At night, you are likely to hear roars of lions around your lodge. In the morning, you might spot leopards sunning themselves in the top most branches of the accacia trees.
During game drives, cheetas and elephants might walked besides your car as they carry on with their quest for green grass and rain. You will never tired of watching the parade of giraffes at every turn, and their young ones in tow. At the Grumeti river, you will be stunned to find crocs laying in the sun while awaiting an opportunistic meal of any any animal that dares to jump into the water to cross. This causes a stretch of thousands of animals to line to the horizon as they gather the courage to cross.
As you drive along the river bank, you will find more bird species than you can count. If you want maximum sighting, the guide will take you to areas with more species.
You will have an amazing time discovering Serengeti. Our car is custom made to for the adventure. In addition to having electrical sockets for powering your gadgets, it can maneuver over rough roads and thus making the adventure hustle free. Through their pop-up roofs, you can comfortably view all the wildlife drama as it unfolds. Our driver is attentive and carefully scans the environment thereby enabling you to view wildlife you would have missed out on. He is fully aware of the routine of the park and knows exactly where and when to find the animals, even in seasons when the migration is over. He will drive you very close to a family of tree climbing lions napping under a towering tree, as opposed to the wet ground.
During this adventure, you will have your packed lunch in the middle of the wilderness.There will be sufficient water on board to keep you rehydrated.
At the muddy pool which is fed by Seronera River, you will find hundreds of hippos spending their days in the water to protect their delicate skin. At first glance, you will think they are submerged rocks. When they start moving, you will start wondering if rocks have legs, that's when it will down on you that they are hippos. During your time here, you will watch hippo behavior-see them raise their head to yawn, roll and stretch their mouths open. They will make loud grunts you might have never heard before. As the evening gets cooler, you might spotted a mother taking her cute young calf out of the pool to feed on the surrounding grass. Not so far from where they are, you will find crocodiles playing or basking in the sun. It is so easy to take their pictures as they are immobile.
Manyara is the closest you will come to a garden of Eden if ever there was one. You will get that special feeling of being in a wildlife documentary as you are driven around amongst so many birds, each with a fascinating character. The park covers 325 km2 (125 sq mi) along the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Among the activities you can do here include morning game drives, canoeing, night game drives, cultural tours, mountain bike tours and abseiling on a historical escarpment.
You will see lots of pink flamingos and then you will find countless elephants grazing in the open and a tree climbing lions napping after eating a wildebeest.
At the lake, you are likely to see a green mamba swimming or alarge monitor lizard. The baboons always stay close to elephants hoping to reap what they harvest.
While at the picnic area, keep an eye on the Blue Monkeys. They have a habit of stealing people's fruits.
Manyara Treetop Walkway
You can wrap your visit here with a canopy walk aboard a suspended bridge that offers a fascinating perspective of wildlife. It has thick netting on the sides and rises from ground level up through the canopy of a beautiful forest--where nature is still untouched.
It is well constructed and safe to be in for long hours. The adventure is manageable even by people who fear heights. It is high enough to make you feel fun but not terrifying thanks to its stability. It is such an exciting experience to be at the same level with monkeys and birds. The adventure is not rushed, thus enabling you see species on your check-list. The network of bridges end on a viewing deck built around trunks of strong trees, 18m off the ground.