Hidden gems of Southern Serengeti

Hidden gems of Southern Serengeti

Many visitors pass through this area, unaware of the hidden gems of Southern Serengeti.  For most guests it is not even on their itinerary, and more often it is merely on their way from Ngorongoro Crater to the middle of Serengeti.

For the regular safaris going to and from Serengeti, visitors call in at the world famous Olduvai Museum for lunch and a comfort break this area is best known for Early Man. The museum was founded by Mary Leakey and includes maps of the original fossil excavation work.  It is worthy of a much longer stop to explore this area.

But there is so much more, there are easily nine very good reasons to spend at least one night in this less visited part of the Conservation Area, we call Hidden Gems of Southern Serengeti.

Oldupai Gorge View from lookout

The southern plains can be visited at any time of the calendar year.  For most visitors, they are regarded to be at their very best when the wildebeest migration return to their calving ground. At this time of year the rains have brought fresh growth, the female wildebeest are calving and predators are abundant in all their gory glory!

The long-established and award-winning Olduvai Camp is the ideal base from which to explore the hidden gems of Southern Serengeti.  There are gentle strolls near to camp, longer hikes to be enjoyed and even visit one of the local villages.  Its fun to pop in to see the Masai neighbours, some of whom are relatives and friends of the team at Olduvai camp.

Olduvai Tented Camp Serengeti

This camp has often been described as magical; the atmosphere; the authentic and natural welcome of the Masai staff and their wonderful hospitality all add to the genuine wilderness feel. The views are spectacular; north out over the Serengeti and 50 to 60 km to the north-east is the active volcano Oldonyo Lengai.

The summit of Oldonyo Lengai can be seen from Olduvai Camp and the distinctive cone-shaped profile from further north. Lengai is revered by the local Maasai tribe’s people and of great interest to the scientific community because of many unique features, including “white lava.” Treks to the summit can be arranged.  Lengai is quite a tough climb in rugged terrain, but worth it for the sun rise over Masai land.

Oldonyo Lengai - The Mountain of God

Oldonyo Lengai – The Mountain of God

For the gentler adventurer wishing to be out of the vehicle and doing a bit of exploration on foot, Mount Makarot is a superb alternative to Lengai.  This is a day trek.  You would spend the night before at a “fly-camp” on the slopes of the mountain, fully serviced by our wonderful Masai camp staff and in the company of your guide.  The next morning you would trek through Maasai villages to the summit of Makarot standing at 3,000 meteres.  You would then descent to Olduvai Camp for “sundowner! The best way to finish the day!

Mount Makarot Serengeti

Mount Makarot

Olduvai Gorge cuts its way across the plains deeper into the earth the closer it gets to the outer slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater and the Highlands. As the vehicle winds downstream along the steep sides of the canyon-like gorge, among the acacia and scrub, there is a chance of sightings of rarer mammals like steinbok and striped hyena, as well as many bird species.

Under the experienced eyes of the driver-guide, short walks and strolls down onto the gorge floor make for a nice break out of the safari 4×4.

Continuing onwards, you reach an open area known as Olbalbal Depression. During the rains it becomes a green swamp pasture, the Migration herds can be seen milling around this area in their thousands.  In drier times, there is a dramatic feel to this area.

Turning north, back along the gorge, towards the ancient Gol Hills, the phenomenon of Shifting Sands come into view.  The sands are formed from volcanic ash.  They have the appearance of a sand dune and are formed when there is a non directional wind and sufficient ash on the ground to create movement.  The ash accumulates around a rock and continues to move creating a dune.  This dune moves continuously and it is said Shifting Sands move approximately 10 metres per annum.  In Masai culture the sands came from the Mountain of God – Oldonyo Lengai.

Shifting Sands Southern Serengeti

Shifting Sands a Hidden Gem of Southern Serengeti

Heading towards the hidden valley of Lemuta is Nasera Rock a huge monolith of 100m.  It, is a superb stop for a picnic lunch and has an ancient atmosphere, and is well off the main track, between Ngorongoro and Serengeti.

Another secret gem, high up in the northern Ngorongoro Highlands is Empakaai Crater.  It is well worth the bumpy track to get to the camp site. Views of the active volcano Oldonyo Lengai and surrounding mountains and forest are breathtaking. The small Crater Lake, called Ol Nairobi by the Maasai, is a short scramble down and up and the magical stillness is only broken by the cries of birds, including flamingo and rarer forest species.

Slightly further afield from Olduvai Camp is Olkarien Gorge.  This would an enjoyable day trip north from Olduvai Camp.  The gorge is a dramatic narrowing valley cut into the rock over the millennia. It is a world-famous nesting area for vultures as well as a water source for the cattle and goats of the local Maasai.

Continuing northwards from Olduvai Camp; there are adventurous and varied days out to enjoy.  Essentially en route to Naabi Gate, the gateway to Serengeti National Park lays two lakes Ndutu and Masek.

Here the landscape changes to acacia forest due to the changes in soil and twisting and turning tracks lead to many marshy areas holding very different mammal and bird species, including Impala and, again in the Migration times, spectacular water crossings watched by the inevitable stalking predators. The soda lakes are fed by small fresher water streams – a vital water source for all.

In closing we offer you 10 of the Best Reasons to visit the “short grass” plains of the Southern Serengeti

Ol Donyo Lengai
Makarot Mountain
Olbalbal Depression
Shifting Sands
Lemuta & Nasera Rock
Empakai Crater
Olkarien Gorge.
Lake Ndutu
Lake Masek

And last but definitely NOT least Olduvai Tented Camp, our favourite hidden gems of Southern Serengeti.

Masai Hidden Gems of Southern Serengeti

The Masai neighbours

 

Safari Adventure in Serengeti

Safari Adventure in Serengeti 25 years ago

By Rob Bosma

Back then, it was possible to travel in battered old landrover carrying camping equipment in the back of the vehicle and go on a safari adventure in Serengeti. There were dedicated campsites even then, but the only facility was a flat area. On a safari adventure today you have all the modern luxuries of hot showers, fine dining, bedrooms with king size beds and butlers to cater for your every whim, but not then. It was a golden era of adventure.


Serengeti National Park Sign

The campsites in those days were often hard to find, indicated with an old rickety sign, when you were lucky, but most of the time we found a nice shady spot under an acacia tree, where we put up a tent and nobody was around to mind.

On this particular safari adventure in Serengeti, there were three of us. We had driven from Nairobi, to the Masai Mara, where we spent a few days game viewing and enjoying the peaceful landscapes.

Our safari adventure continued into Serengeti this was when the border between the Mara and Serengeti was open. We found a lovely campsite. There was no sign, but there was a rickety old pole where a sign had once been erected. We could tell this was a designated Serengeti camp site.

Camping in Serengeti

Camping in Serengeti

In a way our stop was an enforced one, as the landrover had decided to start running on two cylinders earlier in the day. I wasn’t too worried, as I always carried a box of spare parts. I had already found out that the high-tension coil had packed up and decided to put in a spare on the following day. So our mechanical stop was not a hardship.

Feeling very pleased with ourselves and congratulating each other on finding such a fantastic spot, we erected the tent and prepared our camp. As the sun began to set we opened our customary cold beer and enjoyed an evening sundowner, with the sights and sounds so typical of game parks like Serengeti.

Impala’s with their ears twitching just a safe distance away from us, a far cry of a hyena in the background and the sun setting beautifully behind the acacia trees. What more could you want on a safari adventure in Serengeti?

Male Impala in Serengeti

Following our dinner and a few more beers our freshly purchased sheepskins, bought at Nairobi market beaconed. We decided to retire for the night. Well fed and watered we dropped off without a care in the world.

In the middle of the night all three of us were woken by a low growling noise. We knew immediately this was the sound of a lion. Slowly the noise got closer and closer, no doubt attracted by the still smelly sheepskins rugs.

In my imagination, I could clearly see the lion entering the tent. I immediately grabbed a panga (an African machete). The only other items we had were a flashlight from one of the cameras and a kitchen knife. which I handed silently to my travelling companions. I heard a sharp intake of breath, nothing more was said.

We kept as quiet and still as possible, every breath we took sounded like a volcano erupting. Adrenalin pumping, we sat in our tent for what felt like a lifetime. We had never been so scared in our lives. We could tell from the sounds just the other side of the canvas of our small three man tent the lion was pretty close.

Male Lion in Serengeti

Our mail lion in Serengeti

 

After what seemed like ages, the sound disappeared, only the faint whisper of the wind could be heard and one by one we relaxed, but decided not to peer out of the tent as a camera flashlight, a kitchen knife and a panga as means of defence didn’t feel appropriate. We relaxed further and eventually fell asleep.

The next morning the sun rose beautifully as it does in Serengeti, the warmth on the canvas tent walls and the dawn chorus lured us from our sheepskin mats and we peered out of the small opening of our tent, there before us were the footprints of what we believed to be the lion. They were pretty big.

Safari adventure in Serengeti male lion

Our Serengeti Cecil

We had a thorough look around to make sure the lions were not in close proximity. They were nowhere to be seen, our adventures of the night before seemed a world away.

When you consider the recent event which has sparked huge global interest, the slaughter of Cecil the male lion in Zimbabwe for nothing more than wanton greed, the very thought of killing any kind of mammal could not have been further from our mind, even while we lay in our little tent, armed with a panga, kitchen knife and flashlight.

Our experience was very different. We were in Serengeti to enjoy the wide open spaces to watch and observe animals and birds in their natural habitat. To shoot with a camera. We were the intruders in this animal kingdom, with our little tent. The lions were not intruding.

In those days in Tanzania, we knew many people who hunted big game. Lords, royalty, presidents they all did it, why we will never understand. It was sadly part of life, in many parts of Africa, the thrill of the kill. There are arguments constantly flying around about trophy hunting helping conservation. It is a controversial subject.

If you feel strongly about this please take a look at this petition http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-the-savage-and-sickening-trophy-and-sport-hunting/

Unlike elephants and other endangered species, lions are not currently listed as threatened or endangered, although moves are afoot by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure they are listed. In the meantime elephants are being slaughtered in their hundreds as the world mourns the death of Cecil the lion.

As we sat enjoying our fresh fruit breakfast, contemplating the day ahead we were aware of our surroundings a feeling of privilege to be in such a beautiful location unspoilt by man. Despite our scare of the previous evening, we decided we would spend a few more days on our tranquil camp site in Serengeti.

A few repairs had to be done to the battered old landy. I had brought a spare coil with me, and we began to do the necessary repair of changing the coil. The task did not take long to complete and the Landrover was running smoothly once again.

In perfect time to enjoy a game drive round the Seronera River. As we drove slowly through the bush, we came upon a pride of lions. It was a spectacular sight. One large male surrounded by his family. Several cubs were playing and the females were lounging in the grass.

We were about 20kms from our campsite and although we were not certain we felt sure this was the same male who had visited our camp in the night. He seemed very docile now, lying under a shady acacia tree. He was huge; no wonder the lion is called the King. Our memories of our Serengeti Cecil will live with us forever.

We left the pride in peace and returned to our camp. That night we fell into a peaceful sleep, but again were woken up during the night, this time by the giggling of hyenas.

Safari adventure in Serengeti giggling hyena

I had no idea that hyenas could pose a bigger threat than the huge male lion, neither did my companions, so we didn’t worry, rolled over and went back to sleep.

When we woke to the Serengeti dawn and emerged from our tent, we were faced with a camp in total shambles. The hyenas had it appeared to us enjoyed an all night party. All our pans, dishes and other utensils were spread across an area of about 50 metres. The wooden spoons had bite marks on them and what little food we had carefully stored at the front of our sleeping tent was all gone. The hyenas must actually have been in our tent, which also was proven by their footprints around the tent and we had never even heard them.

But all’s well that ends well. We salvaged our belongings and decided to break camp and go in search of some new supplies. We still had water, so we carried on with our safari.

We will never forget our safari adventure in Serengeti. Serengeti shall not die

Safari adventure in Serengeti Sunset over acacia tree

Ruaha Safari our adventures

A Ruaha Safari Adventure in Southern Tanzania

Ruaha Safari male impala

Majestic male impala

A few years ago four of us decided to go on a bit of an adventure. We would go on a safari to Ruaha National Park in a Landrover.

As properly prepared adventurers, we had some basic safari equipment with us.  A proper jack, spade, panga, spare wheels, an electrical winch and most importantly drinking water.

Ruaha Safari the long road

The long road on our Ruaha Safari

We were full of excitement and expected to see lots of wildlife on our Ruaha safari. Before we reached our camp, we saw greater kudu, elephant, eland, antelope and lots of lions.

Ruaha Safari lioness

A lioness hiding in the grass on our Ruaha Safari

We drove through beautiful Miombo forest. It was hot as we were driving in the heat of the day, but we had plenty of water with us and we were enjoying the views and catching a glimpse of many animals by the Ruaha River.

Ruaha safari elephants drinking by the river

Elephants on the Ruaha River bank

About 20 km from our camp we crossed a korongo. A korongo is the Swahili word for a large channel which often fills with water in the rains. Just after crossing the korongo we heard a nasty sound, and the Landrover came to a total standstill.

Imagine no shade.  It was midday and we were in the middle of a National Park, with no communication. Just the four of us and plenty of wild animals.

These days with worldwide mobile coverage, our little Ruaha adventure would have been very different.

We got out of the Landrover to check what had happened, and we found that the rear axle of the Landrover was broken in two parts.

What do we do? Walking back to camp was not an option, knowing for sure that within an area of 5 km around us, there were buffalo, lions and elephant.

In those days in Tanzania, you had to find a maarifa

If you can’t do what must be done, you must do what you can

Male Greater Kudu on our Ruaha Safari

Male Greater Kudu which we saw prior to our breakdown

The solution or maarifa became apparent. We would place one man on the lookout for dangerous animals, two men to jack the car up and one man to get to the problem of the rear axle.

The axle was a sorry sight. The left rear section was broken from the differential. After some heavy thinking, the solution came to us.

We went into the miombo forest and we cut a sturdy tree to the length of the rear axle and approximately 30 cm wide.

We then took one of our spare inner tubes and cut this into rubber ribbons. After that it was a matter of splinting the rear axle, tying the tree with the rubber ribbons to the remainder of the axle, from wheel to wheel.

We managed to drag the Landrover out of the korongo with the electrical winch which was fitted to the Landrover, our cunning maarifa worked.

We drove very slowly occasionally having to retie the rubber ribbons and continued with our Ruaha safari eventually reaching camp before night fall.

We were tired yet full of a sense of pride that our maarifa in the bush had worked.  It just goes to show there is life without a mobile phone.

These memories are what make safaris in Tanzania so worthwhile, although the chances of this kind of adventure are not common on a well organised Ruaha safari with Go2Tanzania, Christine assures me it can be arranged if required.

Ruaha Safari Baobab tree

The view from our campsite on our Ruaha Safari

Memories of Tanzania – by Rob Bosma

Our Memories of Tanzania – Why we would go to Tanzania again

We, Rob and Gerdine Bosma, will always have fond memories of Tanzania.  We lived in the country for eleven years during the 1970’s and 1980’s.  We returned for a holiday 1990.  However, Tanzania always finds its way into our blood.

Memories of Tanzania game drive in Ruaha National Park

Game drive in Ruaha National Park our first encounter

The hospitality and the cheerfulness of the Tanzanian people is unrivalled by all other countries we have visited, and we have travelled quite extensively. Our memories of Tanzania will always be top of the list.

Of course in time, things have changed in Tanzania, but the essence was and is there all the time.  Our memories of Tanzania will always be with us.  It is where we met Chris MacDougall for the first time.

She was a teenager then.  Imagine a cheerful, bubbling girl, always positive about everything. Rather seeing opportunities than failure.

Memories of daily life in Tanzania

Daily life along the roadside in Tanzania

In the years we knew her, she advised us on where to explore in Tanzania, which national parks to visit and what exciting safari to plan next.

Through Chris and her extensive network including her parents we met lots of interesting people, like the Fox family, who now own several properties in Ruaha, Selous and Mikumi, not forgetting our old home Mufindi, where the Highland Lodge is now located.

Memories of Kilimanjaro Beer

The best beer in the world our memories of Tanzania

During our years in Tanzania, we also met the famous artist Mike Ghaui, renowned for his wildlife paintings and sculptures.

I would like to visit Tanzania again one day.

On my list would be Ruaha with its endless water courses and sand rivers, changing scenery and abundant wildlife.

Greater Kudu in Ruaha National Park  Fond Memories

Greater Kudu in Ruaha National Park

I used to fish in the Ruaha for tiger fish, and once had a croc on the end of the line.

The pretty Arusha national park, relatively small, but with an abundance of game,  Selous for its vast open plains.  Tanzania still has so much to offer.

We see pictures on the Go2Tanzania website, and our yearn to return is still alive.

It came as no surprise to us when Chris started her small but perfectly formed Go2Tanzania.  Tanzania is her spiritual home, It is where she still has lots of friends and family.

Whenever we visit her in Yorkshire we are amazed how she, like a spider in its web, has immediate links to all the places where her guests travel, and she seems able to solve any problem that might occur in Tanzania immediately.

She is planning to extend her services to South Africa, and we have seen the pictures of her recent visit there.

So next year Tanzania here we come, and I am now not so sure if we wouldn’t extend the visit to South Africa too.

Next memories The Drakensberg

The next adventure The Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa

Safaris in Africa

Safaris in Africa, when did it begin?

A guest blog from Mr and Mrs Hog  

My love affair with Africa began in Canada.  When I was twelve, I found my parents copy of Osa Johnson’s book I married Adventure, from there I was hooked.

I read it at night under the covers with a torch when I was supposed to be sleeping and I was captivated. The thought that I might someday get myself on a safari in Africa never crossed my mind. Safaris in Africa were places I went to in dreams.

But 55 years later, we met Christine 01524 242018.  it was contagion at first site, her passion for Africa was infectious and my wife, Penny and I touched down at Kilimanjaro Int’l Airport some six weeks later, and so began, for me, the fulfilment of a dream. My feet on African soil.

For 18 days with our trusty guides we roamed through Northern Tanzania. Our very first safari in Africa, beginning at Arusha NP on the slopes of Mt. Meru where we saw our first Giraffe. It was love at first sight for Penny.

Giraffe on safari in Africa feeding in Arusha NP Tanzania

Giraffe browsing in Arusha NP Tanzania

Our safari continued to Lake Manyara with its Elephants and its soda lake.

Elephant Herd-on safari-in Africa- Lake Manyara NP

Elephant Herd in Lake Manyara NP

Olduvai Gorge known by the Masai as Oldupai, where it struck home that we are all African regardless of where we were born.

Olduvai-Gorge-on safari in Africa- Tanzania-Ngorongoro

View of Oldupai Gorge from the visitor Centre

Our safari continued into The stupendous Serengeti with its endless grasslands black with Wildebeest and countless Zebra and Impala.

Wildebeest-Serengeti-Migration

The Wildebeest on the short grass plains of Serengeti

And finally the breathtakingly majestic Ngorongoro Crater where we caught a fleeting glimpse of the critically endangered Black Rhino.

It was over far too soon, it was the trip of a lifetime, and there is much more to tell, many more experiences to relate including the tale of “the Skink in the Sink” and “the Roar that shook the Tent” but we’ll save them for another day when we can raise a glass or two to Africa.

Victoria Falls-Livingstone-Zambia

The smoke that thunders Victoria Falls

We never expected we’d go back to this magical continent, let alone, enjoy another safari in Africa. In 2013, our daughter accepted a job as a coordinator with a small NGO in Zambia and suddenly the dream of a return became a reality.

The Africa Travel Specialist featured highly once again and our trusty Guru, lover of Safaris in Africa, fine wines and travel came to see us and before long we were once again on board an international flight, this time bound for Zambia.

We travelled to lively Livingstone in Southern Zambia, this trip was in the “green” season, where we spent hours spellbound with wonder at the mighty Victoria Falls, the Smoke that Thunders

There were excursions into Botswana and boat trips on the Chobe River getting close up & personal with feeding Elephants and Hippos.

A Safari in Hwange NP in Zimbabwe, one of the most beautiful places on our planet, where the Eagles danced for us over the waterholes, we saw lions on their kill and watched daily life in countless Elephant families.

Baby elephant-Chobe-Zimbabwe

Baby elephant at play

Not content with just one trip, our safari in Africa love affair continued, and we once again decided to embark on an African Odyssey this time in the dry season September, a fantastic contrast in terms of the animals we saw.

We drove to Kafue, down the long dusty road from Lusaka where we spent idle days boating and watching the river life and at night, nestled snugly in our tent while the Lion’s roars shook the canvas walls.

Hippo in Kafue River Zambia

Hippo enjoying the Kafue River in Zambia

A short flight to Mfuwe, in South Luangwa, the home of the Leopard. We watched and wondered at these beautiful cats going about their daily life.

Leopard-South Luangwa-Zambia

A male leopard watching the world go by in South Luangwa

We spied on herds of Buffalo, families of Elephant and prides of Lions, lazing the day away or marching towards water.

Buffalo herd-South Luangwa-Chobe

A large herd of buffalo often seen in South Luangwa and Chobe Parks

Everywhere we went the bird life was fantastic.

Fish Eagles-Chobe River-Botswana

Two fish eagles on the banks of the Chobe River

Now we are back at home, wondering if we can return – We can only hope we will – a safari in Africa gets in your blood.

Luangwa RIver Sunset-South Luangwa-Zambia

Sunset on the banks of the Luangwa River. A safari in Africa at its best

Go if you can, you’ll never regret it and you will fall in love!

Visit Tanzania – The Best Time To Go

Best time to visit Tanzania

I am thinking

 

When is the best time to visit Tanzania?

We believe Tanzania is a beautiful country to visit all year round. It is important to make sure you travel at the right time of year in order to make your visit as special as you can.  Your holiday should be full of fun and excitement, as well as exhilarating and restful.

The best way to find the answer to all your questions about visiting Tanzania is to call us.  We dont have a hard sell approach promise.

Call Christine on +44(0)1524 242018.  Email us chris@go2tanzania.co.uk

The weather in Tanzania http://www.lonelyplanet.com/tanzania/weather

To make the most of your exciting holiday escape, it’s important to understand the general weather pattern in Tanzania and how it affects the animal movements.

The short rains in Tanzania usually start at the end of the year, November/December.  This time of year brings sharp down pours, followed by glorious sunshine.

The wettest time of year is April and early May, when you will get long spells or rain but again the sun usually comes out.  For us the best time to visit Tanzania is May and we call this the Green Season.  Less people visit Tanzania at this time of year and, you can drive for miles and not see anybody else.  Game viewing is excellent.  You just need to be prepared for a shower or two.

The long dry season usually falls between June and October.  At this time of year you will experience long dry days, the ground becomes dry and arid and animals congregate around permanent sources of water.

If you can look out of the box there is a lot to be said for travelling during a less popular time, such November or May.

So, when is the best time to visit Tanzania?

We often ask our guests, when is it best for you to travel? And when can you travel?

We dont tell you when you should go to Tanzania, instead we tell you what you can see at the different times of the year.  As an example when is the best time to see the flamingos on Lake Natron, or when can you see the whale sharks off Mafia Island.

Safaris in Tanzania are created by us for you and need to be comfortable for you.  Holiday planning is in many ways the best part, as it becomes full of anticipation and excitement.

If you have already chosen the wildlife area of Tanzania you would like to visit,  we can advise on the best times to go again get  in touch or phone us on +44(0)1524 242018.

Watch this space for the next update on the best time to Go2Tanzania to see the Serengeti Migration.

 

3 Less Well Known Safari Parks of Tanzania You Really Should Visit

Mkomazi

Mkomazi is in the East of Tanzania, in the shadow of the mighty Kilimanjaro and not far from the other much more famous parks in the area: Tarangire and of course the Serengeti. Many people, travelling between safaris, or heading north from Dar es Salaam, come incredibly close to this hidden gem without even realising it. Yet it’s only in recent times that it has been getting the attention that it deserves.

Until the 1980s, Mkomazi was overlooked by tourists and governments alike, being less famous than the other nearby safari parks. However, poaching, hunting and pastoralism threatened the area’s natural ecosystem, to the extent that two very rare animals, the Black Rhinoceros and the African Wild Dog were almost driven to extinction, and disappeared from the area completely.

With intervention from conservationist charities and the Tanzanian government, Mkomazi has been a huge success story in bringing these animals, and the ecosystem of Mkomazi itself, back from the brink. For the opportunity to see some of the true treasures of Africa, the Black Rhinoceros and the African Wild Dog, as well as a unique and important ecosystem, Mkomazi is a safari that simply shouldn’t be passed by.

Mahale

Chimpanzee grooming Uganda

While parks in the East of Tanzania are famous for their grazing animals; antelope and wildebeest, and their predators; lions and hyenas, the safari park of Mahale is known for another type of animal entirely; the chimpanzees. Mahale has the highest population of chimpanzees in Africa, and they are also accustomed to human visitors, making this your best opportunity to see one of Earth’s most famous primates at home in their natural habitat. The larger numbers and friendly attitude of Mahale’s chimps mean that it’s not such a struggle to see them, though depending on the time of year it may take anywhere from an hour or two to an entire day to find them.

Chimpanzees aren’t all that Mahale has to offer either. Another reason many visitors love to spend their time mostly in the east of Tanzania is thanks to the wonderful beaches and pristine waters of the Indian Ocean. Though it’s not on the ocean, Mahale can offer you the same, some might even say a better, experience, with soft, pure white sand and crystal clear waters on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

You’ll have just as much opportunity to relax in Mahale on the gorgeous beaches, the calls of wild birds sounding in the distance and the Mahale Mountains rising up from the horizon behind you. Even better, you can do this all just outside your lodge, if you choose to stay in the famous Greystoke Mahale, situated right on the beach front. Being less well known and smaller than the eastern beach lodges, you’ll almost have the beach to yourself on an evening.

Katavi

The last, and least well known but certainly not least impressive, safari park we want to tell you about is the Katavi National Park unspoiled, untamed and almost untouched, a perfect place for experiencing the isolation and history of a pre-human Africa.

In 2005, the total number of visitors to Katavi was roughly 250, and possibly as many as 700 in 2008. Compared to the number of tourists visiting Tanzania as a whole, which reached over 1 million in 2013 alone, Katavi really is less well known, and far less crowded, despite being Tanzania’s third largest national park, in terms of area covered.

Katavi is home to the Katuma River, which in the wet season also creates a surrounding floodplain, perfect for viewing rare wading birds, hippo and crocodiles. The real treat for Katavi, though, is during the dry season, when the river and floodplains dry up and much of the local wildlife have to come to a much smaller area to find the water they need. This is your chance to see a huge array of animals and some truly amazing displays.

To keep themselves hydrated, entire, massive herds of hippos must come together to share small smaller mudholes, which also leads to aggression between males and frequent outbursts of fighting. Herds of grazing animals must pass by or stay in the area to make sure that they stay watered, and the lions and hyenas know to expect them, so you can also take the opportunity to see predators and prey come together frequently.

All this, and you get to visit it in practical isolation, knowing that Katavi is as it has always been. Katavi is our recommendation for a true taste of African wilderness that can be achieved almost nowhere else.

Zanzibar – Snorkeller’s Paradise

Diving-Practice-Zanzibar

The archipelago of Zanzibar, lying off the coast of Tanzania, is a beautiful group of islands with crystal-clear, blue water and sunny, sandy beaches, a great location for any holiday. The snorkelling that the area provides, however, is by far some of the best that you’ll find in the world. There are a number of islands that make great starting points for a day of snorkelling, and here are some that we would recommend.

Tumbatu Island
Tumbatu is the third largest island in the area at 5 miles (8km) long and surrounded by beautiful reef. A permit is required for diving, but there are many diving tour operators on the island who will be able to take you into the water and show you some of the best sights for the location.

Chumbe Island Reef Sanctuary
Chumbe Island is nowadays a conservation park, maintained by Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP) who have kept the area free from outside harm to preserve its natural beauty. This means that the coral reef around the island has been almost untouched for years, making it a beautiful place to try out snorkelling, although it should be noted that diving is not permitted here, and all snorkelling activities must be overseen by CHICOP themselves.

Mnemba Island
Mnemba Island is one of Tanzania’s most famous diving and snorkelling spots, with the possibility to see dolphins, humpback whales, whale sharks, and turtles in the deep water, and an amazing visibility of over 20m. Once again, in order to snorkel here you will need to have permission from the Mnemba Island Lodge who own the island, but if you’re a big fan of snorkelling and diving it might be worth considering making this island your base of operations.

The Wonders of Tanzania

Africa is about as different as you can get from the UK. It is a continent engulfed by some of the world’s largest deserts and rainforests, with a history spanning back to the dawn of man.

African Sunset

Setting sun in Serengeti

Of course, every country in the world has some beauty, some awe-inspiring natural sensation which is prone to leave a person speechless and even overwhelmed by its very existence. This phenomenon is something which The Seven Natural Wonders project aims to celebrate. The 7 wonders project aims to inform and delight people using the seven most wonderful places on each continent. The selection process involved public opinion polls and insights from experts, and the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa were announced earlier this year.

As a continent of huge diversity, with tropical rainforests, deserts and mountains, there are hundreds of natural landmarks and features which could have qualified to be considered an official ‘Wonder’ of Africa, but there could be only seven winners.

Announced in Arusha, Tanzania, on February 23rd 2013, the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa are the Red Sea Reef, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Sahara Desert, the Serengeti Migration, Ngorongoro Crater, the Nile River, and the Okavango Delta. This list features many things which are accredited with being the largest of its kind, truly record breaking embodiments of the wild world. These locations also play host to an abundance of animals, the like of which are not seen anywhere else in the world.

As well as the announcement being held there, three of the seven wonders can be found in Tanzania, we like to think of them as the wonders of Tanzania.

Tanzania is a country of passion and beauty which begins in the flora and fauna, and spreads to the people and places and will leave you planning your next visit on your flight home.

Ngorongoro Crater

The view from the rim of Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater is a 260 sq km caldera with a rim which dominates the skyline at over 600m. A caldera is a landscape created by a volcanic eruption so immense that the mouth and cone of the volcano have collapsed, and Ngorongoro earned its place in Africa’s Seven Wonders in part through being the world’s largest unbroken caldera and in part from the incredible array of wildlife found within. Ngorongoro offers some of the most exciting safari opportunities, and is one of the few places where you have the chance to see each of the traditional ‘big five’ animals (these being the lion, the leopard, the rhino, the buffalo, and the African elephant). There is a great choice of holiday accommodation in Ngorongoro and the crater is ideal if you want wildlife and safari focused holiday.

The second Tanzanian wonder is the jaw-dropping Mt. Kilimanjaro. The ‘rooftop of Africa’, as it’s sometimes known, is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, and is an inactive volcano. There are no known eruptions throughout human history. It also has a year-round snowy peak despite its equatorial location and volcanic nature. Kilimanjaro is an incredibly popular mountain to trek due to its excellent accessibility and incredible views. The altitude of the tallest of the seven peaks, combined with the proximity to the equator allows for some of the most magnificent views of the surrounding African plains imaginable. For more information about climbing Kilimanjaro, or if you just want to experience staying in the shadow of the Roof of Africa, take a look at the Kilimanjaro lodges available here at Go2Tanzania.

Kilimanjaro View from Makoa Farm

Kilimanjaro View from Makoa Farm

Last, but by no means least, is the Serengeti Migration. The perpetual odyssey of over two million large animals (primarily wildebeest, zebra and gazelle) across the ‘Endless Plains’ is a spectacular sight and offers some incredible photographic opportunities. If you have ever wanted to witness a pride of lions on the hunt, or see a crocodile claiming a victim, there is no better chance than as part of the Serengeti Migration. Holidays and safaris in the Serengeti are incredibly popular and there is a great range of lodges and camps to stay at, including the excellent tented camps which follow the migration path with the animals.

The Top 5 Holiday Experiences in Tanzania

Tanzania is regularly selected by holiday experts as one of the top holiday destinations on the planet. It is widely regarded not only as one of the very best holiday destinations in Africa, but also across the globe.

Top 5 Holiday Experiences in Tanzania

To find out what makes Tanzania such a highly regarded holiday destination, we spoke with the experts at Go2Tanzania, the UK’s leading Tanzanian holiday provider:

What makes Tanzania so unique and so highly regarded amongst the international travel community is the incredible diversity which this spectacular East African county has to offer. The range of natural beauty in Tanzania offers unrivalled opportunities to explore and experience a holiday quite unlike any other.

Here are just some of the most popular and awe inspiring types of holiday experience offered by Go2Tanzania.co.uk:

Tanzania Safari Holidays

When most people think of a holiday in Africa their thoughts immediately turn to safaris. Viewing the exotic and spectacular wildlife of Africa draws international tourists from all over the world to Africa, especially to Tanzania.

The “Northern Circuit” in Tanzania offers some of the very best opportunities to experience Africa’s incredible wildlife in Tanzania and Africa as a whole. The Ngorongoro Crater, the lakes of Manyara, The Tarangire and Arusha National Parks, as well as the immense Serengeti plains make up this region of breath taking natural beauty.

Each area is quite diverse from the next, with its own spectacular natural surroundings and wildlife spotting opportunities. The Northern Circuit offers unrivalled opportunities to see some of Africa’s most infamous wildlife in their natural surroundings.

Trekking In Tanzania

At a stark contrast to the vast open plains of the Serengeti, Tanzania also has a range of spectacular mountainous regions which offer some of the most incredible climbing and trekking destinations on the planet.

Probably the most famous of Tanzania’s trekking destinations is Africa’s highest mountain- Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro offers incredible trekking opportunities for both experienced and novice trekkers to experience the majesty of this incredible mountain.

With a variety of routes and camps up to the summit of Kilimanjaro, even this mountain offers a diverse range of possibilities.

Go2Tanzania have experience in organising both trekking and mountaineering experiences across Tanzania, not just to Kilimanjaro. To find out more about the range of destinations on offer speak with one of their advisors today.

Tanzania Beach and Spa Holidays

Tanzania’s geographical location means that as well as incredible natural beauty inland, the shores of this country are also amongst the most beautiful anywhere on the planet.

Tanzania’s beautiful white sandy beaches are lapped by the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean- the world’s warmest ocean.

Tanzania’s coast makes for a phenomenally relaxing holiday, especially if you are staying at one of the regions many spa locations. The luxurious spas allow for pampering and relaxation on an inconceivable scale.

The beauty of this coastal region also makes it a prime location for Honeymoons and Weddings in Tanzania.

Photographic and Birding Safaris in Tanzania

With such diverse and beautiful natural habitats, Tanzania offers the chance to see and photograph some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife.

Whether an ornithologist or keen wildlife enthusiast, Tanzania’s incredibly diverse ecosystems make for some of the finest chances to spot rare and exotic wildlife on the whole planet.

For many people, the concept of trophy hunting lives on in the form of photographic safaris. Rather than hunting the majestic animals for sport, you can get the same thrill of stalking and hunting an animal by tracking it down and photographing it in its natural habitat.

Tanzania offers truly unrivalled birding and photographic safari holidays.

Family Holidays

Tanzania is a fantastic holiday destination for the whole family. With such a wide range of things to see and do, the whole family can experience the wonders of this spectacular country no matter what their age.

With lodges and hotels which specially cater to the needs of children, the facilities and friendly staff are more than capable of accommodating the needs of children and can help to make for a truly once in a lifetime experience no matter what your age.

Tanzania is one of the most diverse and exciting destinations on the planet. The facilities on offer coupled with outstanding natural beauty make for a once in a lifetime holiday experience.

Island and Beach Holiday Destinations in Tanzania

Hideaway-Nungwi-Zanzibar-Dhows-

When most of us think of Africa as a holiday destination we tend to think simply of Safaris and the Savannah. Africa (Tanzania especially) does indeed offer spectacular opportunities for once in a lifetime safari holidays, but we do tend to forget that Tanzania also offers spectacular beach holidays, the likes of which are hard to find anywhere else on the planet.

Resting on the edge of the Indian Ocean, Tanzania is costal Africa at its very best. With white sandy beaches snaking the coastline and hundreds of beautiful desert islands dotted across the Ocean, it truly is one of the most incredible destinations for safari and beach holidays anywhere on the planet.

Here are just a few of Go2Tanzania’s favourite Tanzanian Beach and Island holiday locations:

Mafia

Located in the spectacular Southern Circuit of Tanzania, Mafia Island is ideally suited for visitors looking for a Safari and Beach holiday as it is perfectly located to relax and unwind after a safari around the famous parks and nature reserves of the Southern Circuit.

This relaxed island is home to a wide range of picturesque, secluded beaches and offers privacy and comfort in equal measure.

Mafia island is also home to Tanzania’s first marine national park, where pristine coral reefs, bays and lagoons lie unspoilt ready for exploration.

With fewer than a thousand visitors a year this unspoilt desert island has to be seen to be believed.

Mnemba

Mnemba is a real tropical island paradise. A private tropical island located within the beautiful Mnemba reef it sees no more than 20 guests at a time, leaving the island feeling like your own.

With a wide range of marine environments to explore, the Mnemba island is idyllic for marine exploration yet is just as beautiful from the shore.

Pemba

Pemba island is also largely unspoiled by tourism. The wild and untouched island has traditionally thrived on the trade of cloves, which it continues to do to this day.

The island is much more lush, green and hilly than many of the other islands, making it an ideal destination for a tropical island holiday. It’s the ideal place to relax, unwind and live a lazy beach lifestyle.

Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s coastline offers some of the best beaches in the world. Zanzibar beach holidays are becoming increasingly popular thanks to the spectacular seas and sands the coastline offers.

On the east coast, incoming waves break over the coral reefs and sand bars offshore, making it home to amazing marine environments which change with the tides. To the north the sea is much less susceptible to tidal changes, making for smooth white beaches and gentle seas to bathe in.

Go2Tanzania are the UK’s expert Tanzanian holiday providers. Tailor making your holiday to suit your desires the team specialises in producing truly once in a lifetime holidays.

The Top 4 Safari Parks in Tanzania

Tanzania is widely regarded as one of the most amazing destinations for African safari holidays.

Male lion in Ruaha

Male lion in Ruaha

Tanzania’s amazingly diverse wildlife, friendly people and awe inspiring natural environment make for a wildlife adventure quite unlike any other.

Tanzania offers a great number of national parks and conservation areas, each of which offers their own unique natural surroundings, wildlife and facilities to make for an incredible holiday experience.

Here are our Top 4 Safari Destinations in Tanzania

Serengeti

Cheetah Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park is home to what is widely regarded as the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth – the great annual migration of zebra and wildebeest.

The migration sees over 1.4 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle travel over 1,800 miles each year- a truly spectacular sight.

The Serengeti is also home to other amazing wildlife including lions, cheetah, elephants, giraffe, and a great range of exotic birds. This makes a Serengeti Safari one of the very options for wildlife photography holidays and birding holidays inTanzania andAfrica as a whole.

Ngorongoro
The Ngorongoro conservation area in northern Tanzania is home to an incredible variety of wildlife species only found inEast Africa, including the critically endangered black rhino.

Black Rhino Ngorongoro Crater

Black Rhino in Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact caldera and shelters some of the densest population of wildlife in the world.

With so much wildlife to see in such a small area, Ngorongoro safaris are an amazing way to see some ofAfrica’s most incredible wildlife up-close.

Lake Manyara
Lake Manyara boasts opportunities to view some of Africa’s most impressive mammals including lion, leopard, giraffe and elephant; however, the lake is probably most famed for playing host to more than 400 species of birds, making it an amazing destination for photographic safaris and Tanzania birding holidays.

Tarangire

The Tarangire National Park, like Lake Manyara, is a much smaller area than the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro conservation area. As a result visitors often prefer to combine their visits to Tarangire and Manyara with other national parks or as part of Tanzania safari and beach holidays.

In spite of its size Tarangire offers an amazing opportunity to see some of Africa’s most amazing wildlife. Tangire safaris are particularly impressive during the dry season between June and October when the drying river beds play host to an amazing variety of wildlife.

Go2Tanzania at Destinations 2014

Lioness hunt Serengeti

Lioness hunting on the Serengeti Plains

The team here at Go2Tanzanaia is excited to be attending the Destinations holiday and travel show in Manchester and London this January and February. The Destinations show brings together a great range of independent and specialist travel companies together to exhibit their own holiday destinations and share their knowledge of their fabulous countries which they offer a taster of.

Here at Go2Tanzania we’re incredibly excited to be sharing our knowledge and experiences of Tanzania with a whole new set of people, many of whom may not be aware of the wonderful, experiences this diverse and vibrant country has to offer.

What makes the team here at Go2Tanzania so highly regarded in our field is the fact we know about the country first hand- our recommendations come from personal experience, not just what we’ve read in a guidebook, pamphlet or travel brochure as many other company representatives will.

Our personal experiences and the relationships we’ve built in this wonderful country is what makes our offering unique, and what makes our bespoke holidays to Tanzania so much better than you could ever find on the high street. We listen to what our enquiries hope to get out of their Tanzania holiday and use our knowledge, experience and contacts to tailor make a holiday that perfectly suits their needs.

We love “talking Tanzania” with anyone who’ll listen, so the opportunity to speak with a range of interested and interesting people at the Destinations shows is something which really excites us!

The destinations show will be in two parts-

First we will be at Manchester Event City from the 23rd January to the 26th of January 2014 (Stand AF4).

Second we will be in London Earls Court from the 6th February to the 9th of February 2014 (Stand AF24).

Please do come and visit us, we’d love to speak with you in person, but if you can’t make it to either of the events, or would simply like to chat sooner rather than late.

BBC1’s Africa – On Safari 2013

Serian Serengeti North, Tanzania, Mara River Game Drive

Northern Serengeti Mara River Game Drive

BBC1’s Africa – On Safari 2013 is set to boost the idea of a safari in Africa., thanks in no small part to the popularity of the BBC 1 documentary “Africa”.

Narrated by the much loved BBC wildlife expert David Attenborough, the 6 part documentary series shows the spectacularly diverse range of wildlife to be found across the continent of Africa.

Each of the first 5 episodes focuses on a single geographical area of interest- Kalahari, Savannah, Congo, Cape and Sahara – with each episode exploring the diverse natural habitats and wildlife which can be found in each.

Prior to these documentaries many people won’t have been aware of the sheer diversity which Africa offers. When asked to picture a safari in Africa, most people would simply think of a sandy desert plain and the same “big 5” animals- elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, leopard and lion. Attenborough has helped show people just how diverse Africa truly is.

The continent is so much more than great plains like those of the Serengeti, there are the fantastic mountain ranges of Kilimanjaro, thriving wetlands including Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake by area) and, of course, the spectacular coastal and island regions where the land meets the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean.

What’s even more surprising is that all of the spectacular environments listed above can all be found in just one of Africa’s countries- Tanzania.

Tanzania is one of the most diverse and exciting locations on the planet. The sheer drama of the natural environments is awe inspiring in itself, but when coupled with some of the planet’s most amazing species of flora and fauna, any visit to Tanzania is guaranteed to be a truly once in a lifetime experience.