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Tanzania in a Nutshell

Tanzania in a Nutshell

Tanzania safari 780x300 Tanzania in a Nutshell

Tanzania in a Nutshell
From wilderness safaris to trekking mountains in the southern highlands to snoozing on idyllic beaches, Tanzania tours provide the amateur and the experienced with holidays to remember.
Things to do in Tanzania

Main Attractions and Tourist Regions in Tanzania

Linked to the Masai Mara grasslands of Kenya, the Tanzanian Serengeti is the top spot in Africa for wildlife safaris, seeing African game in their unspoiled habitat and perching among some of the most beautiful and rare animals in the world. This vast park attracts visitors from all over the world and one sight that simply can’t be missed is the annual wildebeest migration, a wildlife seekers heaven.
Just the name Mt Kilimanjaro should be enough to entice any adventure traveler to Tanzania’s National park and to the peak of Africa. Tours to Mt Kilimanjaro offer unrivaled sights from the top of Africa’s highest and most recognized mountain. Due to the dense rain-forest at the bottom of the mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro treks offer an African safari on top of just the splendor of the main climb.

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Tanzanian safaris boast plenty of wild lions. Photo by Anita Ritenour
Ngorongoro Crater is widely considered as one of the most special African experiences. Its untainted landscape and rich wildlife offers arguably the best safari tour in Africa. With amazing animals ranging from Rhinos, elephants, lions and buffaloes plus many, many more, along with being introduced to local Masai Mara tribesmen, this scintillating tour is one reason why Tanzania is an African gem.
Ruaha National park is Tanzania’s second largest and also offers tremendous amounts of game.
Zanzibar Town is in a realm of its own and a whole new reason to visit Tanzania. It is a World Heritage Site for a reason. With its beautifully networked labyrinthine alleys, meandering below picturesque colonial architecture, the old quarter of Stone Town is a walking museum and is warrants an imperative visit on everybody’s list. Sitting quietly a few streets down you will stumble across exotic palm lined beaches and pristine blue waters. An incredible discovery for newcomers to Tanzania tours.

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Tribal Tanzanian boy with eccentric head-wear. Photo by Andreas Roksvaag

 

So What’s Tanzania all about?
Food and Culture of Tanzania
Typically carbohydrate based, the cornmeal porridge called Ugali is a staple dish in the Tanzanian diet. Tanzanian food also boasts many luxurious spicy dishes, particularly around the coastal regions. A welcome addition to fish and rice meals is the common use of coconut milk, providing sensuous flavors.
Tanzanian food also consists of a lot of beans, sorghum, millet and plantain. Groundnuts are an important part of the diet in Tanzania too.
With 128 languages spoken throughout Tanzania and many tribes, it is wonderful to get lost in and absorb the diversity of Tanzanian culture. Enjoy the splendid and meticulous arts and crafts and marvel at the array of glamorous clothing within tribes.
When to go to Tanzania
What time of the year is best to visit Tanzania?
January and February are widely considered as the best months to visit Tanzania due to being the start of the dry season. Similarly, June through to October are just as spectacular to travel to Tanzania. Off months are March-April and November-December.

Natural Wonders Of Tanzania

Natural Wonders Of Tanzania

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On February 11, 2013, the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa were officially declared in Arusha, Tanzania. These wonders of nature were determined by insights from experts from around the world with a key focus on conservationists such as members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Mount kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and tallest free standing mountain in the world. Reaching over 19,000 feet in the air, it is easy to understand why Mount Kilimanjaro is the pinnacle wonder of nature for Africa.
Quick Facts:
  • Tallest mountain in Africa at 19,340 feet (5,895 m)
  • Tallest free standing mountain in the world
  • 7 peaks with Uhuru Peak being the highest
  • Kibo peak features a 1.5 mile wide crater 
  • Greatest view of earth’s surface in one view

Mount Kilimanjaro was officially declared as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa February 11, 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. Votes were cast by experts from around the world who noted the key statistical significance. Mount Kilimanjaro is the pinnacle wonder of nature and is affectionately known as the rooftop of Africa.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the largest stratovolcanoes in the world reaching 19,340 feet (5,895 m) into the air. As the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is also the tallest free standing mountain in the world. Kilimanjaro is a composite volcano that includes layers of lava, tephra, and volcanic ash. The volcano is currently inactive with no known history of eruptions.
Mount Kilimanjaro has seven distinctive peaks with Uhuru Peak accounting for the mountains highest elevation at 19,341 feet (5,895 m). A 1.5 mile wide crater is featured as part of the Kibo portion of the mountain.
The high elevation and proximity to the equator allows visitors to experience a variety of climate types. Kilimanjaro also features a year round snow-topped peak. Although the volcano is isolated, it is part of the line of volcanoes that reach across northern Tanzania. You can visit our Kilimanjaro Resource page for more information and access to resources to experience this natural wonder.

Where is Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania just south of the border between Tanzania and Kenya. Specifically, it is located at the coordinates of latitude: 3°4′33″S and longitude: 37°21′12″E. Mount Kilimanjaro is found just outside the city of Arusha, Tanzania. Although many people fly into Arusha when visiting Tanzania, there is an international airport near the mountain appropriately named, Kilimanjaro International Airport.


Best way to see and experience Mount Kilimanjaro

The best view of Mount Kilimanjaro comes from approaching the mountain from the northern Kenya side. The majority of pictures seen in magazines and travel guides feature this view. However, the best way to experience Mount Kilimanjaro is through taking a trek up and around the mountain.

The six official trekking routes include Machame, Marangu, Lemosho, Rongai, Shira, and Umbwe. The easiest trek comes from the Rongai route, however this is also the least scenic. Machame is one of the more challenging treks, however it does offer the most attractive and scenic views. No matter which route you take, you will need to plan at least 5 to 7 days for the trek allowing for both travel and more importantly acclimation to the altitude.

Visitors who plan to trek up Mount Kilimanjaro need to evaluate their own physical abilities. It is imperative to understand that even experienced trekkers will fall victim to some level of altitude sickness. The summit of Kilimanjaro is high enough that either high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) or high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) can occur. You should at least expect to experience shortage of breath, headaches and some elements of hypothermia. Taking 7 days versus 5 days creates a better chance for you to acclimate easier and reduce the altitude effects.

Further note: Although the summit of Kilimanjaro can be reached through a walk and is not technically a climb, it is still a strenuous trek. According to the Kilimanjaro National Park, only 41% of trekkers actually reach the peak. Plan, prepare and train if you look to explore Mount Kilimanjaro and experience this wonder of nature to the fullest. Visit our Kilimanjaro Resource page for connection to additional information and services for climbing Kilimanjaro.


Kilimanjaro Wildlife

For all practical purposes, you should plan on experience the trek and the views versus encounters with wildlife. Although in the forested area of the mountain there are reports of baboons, civets, leopards, mongooses, honey badgers and servals, they are rarely seen. You could see blue or colobus monkey as they scamper the trees.
Your best bet is to focus on the trek, views and acclimation to the altitude. You will have a better chance to view wildlife after getting down from the mountain and exploring Ngorongoro Crater or the Serengeti.


Kilimanjaro Climbing and Exploring Resources

If you follow this page, you will find a list of resources that will help you learn more about Mount Kilimanjaro as well as discover resources to help you climb and explore this wonder of nature. These resources are members of Seven Natural Wonders reflecting their commitment to protect the natural wonders of Africa.

Mount Kilimanjaro is neighbors with the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater which are both havens for wildlife. If time permits you should plan on visiting both the crater and the plains of the Serengeti. Ngorongoro Crater can be experienced in a day and this unbroken caldera serves as a wildlife sanctuary with a chance of seeing the Big 5. Learn more through our Kilimanjaro Resources page.

Serengeti migration

Featuring over 1.2 million wildebeest, over 800,000 zebra, and thousand of gazelle, the Serengeti Migration is the largest land migration in the world. The wonder of nature is shared between Tanzania and Kenya and is one of the most spectacular wildlife feats.

Quick Facts:
  • Migration crosses Tanzania and Kenya
  • Spans 18,641.1 square miles (30,000 sq km)
  • Longest and largest over land migration in the world
  • The name Serengeti means “endless plains”

Serengeti Migration

The Serengeti migration is the longest and largest over land migration in the world. The Serengeti plains account for over 18,641 square miles and the migration itself travels 500 miles on the path from Tanzania to the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. Approximately 80% of the Seregeti plains are protected by the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments.
The Serengeti is home to over 70 larger mammals and approximately 500 different types of birds. Probably the most impressive part of the migration is the herds of wildebeests that blanket the plains. The migration will kill off around 250,000 wildebeests each year.


7 Natural Wonders of Africa: Serengeti Migration

The Serengeti Migration was officially declared as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa February 11, 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. Votes were cast by experts from around the world who noted the key statistical significance. The Serengeti Migration is a wonder of nature shared between Tanzania and Kenya. The Serengeti Migration received the most votes along with the most #1 votes making it the most recognized wonder of nature.


Best way to see and experience the Serengeti Migration

The most intimate encounter with with wildlife of the Serengeti and the migration will come from the exploration inside a safari jeep. If you are looking at watching the wildebeest and other animals crossing the river, then you will need to plan on having patience. The animals may graze for hours and days on end before taking the swim across the river. It may mean just sitting in your Land Rover or other safari vehicle and watching.

If you are fortunate to experience the river crossing, keep your eyes peeled to river banks and wildlife swimming because the crocodiles have been waiting and know they are coming. Witnessing a crocodile capture a wildebeest and wrestle their prize home is an exhilarating experience.

The same could be said for following the migrating animals. The lions and other predators know the season and in the hunting mode. Keep your eyes on the stragglers and loners because the predators have their eyes on those too. Witnessing a lion hunting and killing part of the migration is usually more exciting than the crocodiles making their kill. All of this usually requires lots of patience and watching.
Another serene experience is ballooning over the Serengeti. This adventure allows you to recognize the grandeur and size of both the Serengeti itself and the expanse of the migrating wildlife. The balloon will usually land somewhere with a breakfast waiting for you out in the Serengeti. Visit our Serengeti Resources page for more information and resources to help you plan your trip.

Visiting the Serengeti

For those traveling to the Serengeti, you probably have questions about where to stay, what to do, and how to best experience the Serengeti migration. For more information on the Serengeti, the migration, and the tourist resources available to help you experience this natural wonder of Africa, you are invited to visit our Serengeti Resources page.

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. It is often considered the Garden of Eden of Africa or the Cradle of Life. Home to 5 of the Big 7 and many other animals, Ngorongoro Crater serves as an intimate encounter with nature.

Quick Facts:
  • Largest unbroken caldera in the world
  • Also referred to as “Africa’s Garden of Eden”
  • Crater is 12 miles (19 km) across and covers 102 square miles (264 sq km)
  • Rises over 2,000 feet above the caldera floor
  • Home to over 30,000 animals including the rare black rhino

Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest unbroken caldera. Often referred to as “Africa’s Garden of Eden,” the crater is home to over 30,000 animals including elephants, lions, cheetahs, wildebeests, buffaloes, and the rare black rhinos. View Wildlife of Ngorongoro Crater to learn more about the wildlife and View Birds of Ngorongoro Crater to discover some of the many species that are found in the area.
 
 
Ngorongoro Crater was created from a volcano that exploded creating the caldera wilderness haven. The crater is 12 miles (19 km) across and consumes 102 square miles (264 sq km) of wilderness. The rim of the crater rises just over 2,000 feet (610 m) above the caldera floor reaching an elevation of 7,500 feet (2,286 m).
 

7 Natural Wonders of Africa: Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater was officially declared as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa February 11, 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. Votes were cast by experts from around the world. Voters referenced the largest unbroken caldera statistic along with the unique encounter with wildlife as the primary factors drawing their votes. Ngorongoro Crater joined the Serengeti Migration and Mount Kilimanjaro as wonders of nature that call both Africa and Tanzania home.
 

 
Best way to see and experience Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater as the largest unbroken caldera in the world, it serves as a wildlife haven. It is considered one of the best wildlife encounters. The caldera is home to the Big 5, however the leopard tends to be atop the crater and in the jungle along the outside of the crater.
 
 
The best way to experience Ngorongoro Crater is by leveraging the expertise from one of the local guide or safari services. Most of the crater lodges have professional guides as part of the safari and accommodation experience they provide to you. Your vehicles may vary, but you should be in a safari vehicle that has a removable or raisable roof that allows you to stand inside the vehicle and look out over the wildlife. Ideally, there will just be no more than 3 or 4 in the vehicle or you might be squeezing and wrestling for space when it comes to viewing some of the wildlife you might encounter.
 
More than likely, your guide will have secured a packed lunch to take along with you so that you can explore the crater floor the entire day. There is a great watering hole that features a place to stop to take a break and enjoy your lunch. Don’t close your eyes and continue to pay attention because you may encounter more wildlife. Learn more through our Ngorongoro Crater page.

 
Ngorongoro Crater Places to Stay
The Ngorongoro Farm House is a colonial style farm house and actual working coffee plantation. The cottages are nestled in the grounds and gardens of the plantation. Learn more through our Ngorongoro Crater page.
 
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Natural Wonders of Tanzania

Natural Wonders of Tanzania

What are the 7 Natural Wonders of Tanzania ?

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What are the 7 Natural Wonders of Tanzania?
Mount Kilimanjaro Ntl Park  – The Serengeti Ntl Park – Ngorongoro Crater Ntl Park

The above National Parks have officially been declared as part of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. These three are given natural wonders of Tanzania. Tanzania could easily be called the capital of the natural wonders of Africa. The voting has concluded and votes are being tallied. The results will be revealed later this year on the 7 Natural Wonders of Tanzania.

 

Tanzania’s Wonders for Africa

Tanzania is home to 3 of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. 2 of these wonders of nature are solely within Tanzania, where is the 3rd is a shared wonder of nature with Kenya. You can follow one of the links below to learn more about each of these natural wonders.

Mount Kilimanjaro:

The tallest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world.

kilimanjaro 5 Natural Wonders of Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater:

The largest unbroken caldera in the world. Known for its abundance of animals and intimate encounters with wildlife.

ngorongoro crater Natural Wonders of Tanzania

Serengeti Migration:

The largest land migration in the world. This is a shared wonder of nature with the country of Kenya.

wildebeest migrations Natural Wonders of Tanzania

You can learn more about the 7 natural wonders of Africa. These are all worthy to be added to your bucket list or travel wish list.

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African Safari Travel Tips

African Safari Travel Tips

African Safari Travel Tips that you’ll definitely want to take into account before heading out on your next big African safari adventure.

1. Go on as many game drives as you can 
If you want to see a lot of wildlife, your chances increase in numbers. You can’t expect to see all of the ‘Big Five’ on one game drive; that’s like winning the safari lottery. Be patient, take in the amazing scenery, keep an eye out, and eventually you will see a lot of amazing wildlife.
2. Don’t miss out on a night drive

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Most of the major national parks and game reserves give visitors the option to go on a guided night drive. Make sure to do at least one! It’s a unique chance to see nocturnal animals (e.g. lions, leopards and hyenas) being active. 

3. Bring a good camera
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You’re definitely going to want to document the amazing scenery and wildlife you see. To get the best quality photos possible, a DSLR is ideal. However, if you don’t have one already and don’t want to dish out the big bucks before going on a pricey safari, it is possible to get some great photos using a good point-and-shoot with a decent zoom.
4. Get binoculars or a fancy zoom lens
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Most of the animals you’ll see won’t be right next to the safari truck. So if you’ll want to get a good close-up look, you’ll need a pair of binoculars (if you only have a point-and-shoot camera), or a DSLR with a big zoom lens. Of course the latter would be better because then you’ll also get amazing close-up photos, like this one:
5. Wear Earth colors

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Bright colors and patterns can scare away some animals, so it’s a good idea to wear clothing in neutral earth colours, which will help you blend into the natural environment.
6. Resist the urge to yell “Pumbaa!” when you see a warthog
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Not only would this make you look slightly silly, but it would probably also scare away the warthog and any other animals that happened to be nearby. Try to generally be as quiet as possible during a game drive.
7. Don’t flash an angry elephant
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Elephants are a lot scarier than they might seem. These massive animals often hang out on safari routes, get very close to trucks and sometimes get pretty peeved off at tourist paparazzi (especially when there are calves about). You can tell an elephant is angry when it’s fanning out and shaking its ears. Elephants are one of the only animals that can take down a safari truck, so if you want to avoid being charged and trampled, it’s a good idea to stop taking pictures when an angry elephant is close by–this is particularly important on night drives when you’re taking pictures with flash.
8. Bring a head lamp.

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When you’re camping in national parks and reserves while on safari–or really anytime you’re camping or backpacking anywhere–a head torch (otherwise known as a headlamp) is a very handy thing to have on hand. Not only will it light the way to anywhere you need to go after dark, but it’ll also leave your hands free to shuffle through your things to find whatever you’re looking for in your pack or tent, and even allow you to easily read a book in the dark. I never go on a backpacking trip without one! 

Have you been on safari and have some tips of your own? Please share them by leaving a comment below.

African Safari Adventure on Any Budget

African Safari Adventure on Any Budget

Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Tracking Tours Gorilla Watching Congo African Safari Adventure on Any Budget

There is no denying that African Safari Adventure can be a very expensive travel destination.
There are many amazing luxury and comfort tours that can give you an unforgettable, high-class experience. However, you may not know that there are also budget-friendly trips targeted at young travellers looking for an African Safari Adventure on Any Budget.
Sure, your money doesn’t stretch as far as it would in South-East Asia or South America, but it’s worth it for the trip of a lifetime–which you’ll realize the first time you see a majestic elephant from as close as 15 feet away. So, my advice for young, budget travellers is to see Africa by going on an overland trip or joining a group for camping safari adventure.
This involves travelling in a large overlanding truck and staying in national parks through participation camping, which requires putting up your own tent and helping out with food preparation using the truck’s mobile kitchen.
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