About Tanzania including Zanzibar Travel
Arusha: This town in northern Tanzania rests just below Mt. Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley. It is an excellent base to explore Tanzania’s natural attractions – Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro Conservancies: Kilimajaro Conservancies in West Kilimanjaro face the snow-capped peaks of the famous mountain. The semi-arid land of Sinya and Elerai has an abundance of natural riches and is home to some of the largest elephants in East Africa. In addition to large bulls, herds of mothers and calves migrate through the area en route to Amboseli National Park and the Acacia woodlands on the Kenya side of the border in search of water and food. They form one of the healthiest and most balanced elephant populations in Africa. Maasai “bomas” are sparsely scattered in Sinya, with a total population of no more than a couple of few thousand people living in a vast area. They are spectacularly dressed and follow traditional ceremonies. Community conservancies benefit the local communities while providing visitors with activities including game drives, walking safaris escorted by Maasai warriors, and interactions with the local Maasai.
Mt. Kilimanjaro Trekking: The ‘rooftop of Africa,’ Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shirahe. Hiking the famed mountain is the adventure of a lifetime for many. At 5,895 meters/19,340 feet, Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is encircled by Kilimanjaro National Park. Its ecosystems range from lowland forests, to alpine meadows, to barren rock and ice near the top. With planning, nearly everyone from first-timers to seasoned climbers can scale the peak.
Ngorongoro Highlands Conservation Area: The crater is the largest intact caldera in the world. It has been called ‘Africa’s Eden.’ Indeed, most of East Africa’s common species are found here. The descent of about 609 meters/2,000 feet into the crater passes through rainforest and thick vegetation before emerging onto the grassy plains of the crater floor. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is part of the Serengeti ecosystem. It protects black rhinos, hippos, zebra, wildebeest, eland, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelle and a dense lion population.
Northern Tanzania Conservancies: Northern conservancies are home to great herds of elephant. During the dry season, herds of up to 300 elephants can be found along dry river beds, digging for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland flock to the remaining pools. The swamps are home to 550 bird varieties. Tarangire is part of the northern area that includes Ngorongoro and Serengeti. Lake Manyara National Park is on the edge of the Rift Valley, and encompasses forests, bush plains, cliffs and hot springs. The alkaline soda of the lake attracts huge numbers of bird species such as yellow-billed stork, African grey hornbill, blue-naped moosebird and pink flamingo. Hippo, banded mongoose, blue monkey, leopard and lion inhabit the park. It also has the largest groups of baboons found anywhere.
Serengeti Conservancies: The Serengeti ecosystem in northwestern Tanzania extends into southwestern Kenya. The vast plains bear witness to the largest and longest overland migration in the world. Upwards of 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra, and various antelope travel in a great circular migration from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara and back again; traveling over 2,897 kilometers/1,800 miles each year in search of rain-ripened grass. The region comprises several national parks and game reserves that protect some 70 species of large mammals and 500 species of birds. Serengeti National Park is widely regarded as the best wildlife national park in Africa.
Southern Tanzania: The Mahale Mountains are home to some of the Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees, a population of roughly 900. The chimps are habituated to human visitors as a result of a Japanese research project founded in the 1960s. Tracking the chimps of Mahale is a magical experience. As well as the chimps, the forest is home to many other animals, including bushbucks, bushpigs, Angola colobus, red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, and an incredible array of birds and butterflies. Mahale borders Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest, second deepest and least polluted freshwater lake. It harbors an estimated 1,000 fish species. With just six wood and thatch bandas, Greystoke Mahale sits on a pristine, white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise water of Lake Tanganyika, with the forested slopes of the 8,000-foot Mahale Mountains rising behind. Forest walks to mountain waterfalls, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and sailing are some of the activities enjoyed in this enchanted environment where civilization seems very distant.
Zanzibar: Three main islands, Unguja, Pemba and Mafia – along with a multitude of smaller islands make up the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The capital is Zanzibar City on Unguja. The old Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has changed little in more than 200 years. Its labyrinth of narrow streets, bazaars and mosques is fascinating. The grand, old Arab houses are known for intricately carved doors, of which there are some 500 different examples. Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. They have long been known to traders for clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. Zanzibar is also home to the endemic Zanzibar red colobus monkey and the Zanzibar servaline genet. Zanzibar’s more than 24 beaches invite travelers for a relaxing break.
Suggested Tanzania Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Arusha, Tanzania
Arusha is the jumping off point for Tanzania’s icons – Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Day 2: Arusha / Lake Manyara National Park / Ngorongoro Highlands
On the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park encompasses forests, bush plains, cliffs and hot springs.
Day 3: Ngorongoro Crater
This UNESCO World Heritage Site sustains a population of about 25,000 animals, including a large number of lions.
Day 4: Ngorongoro Highlands
Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes expanses of highland plains, scrub bush and forests.
Day 5: Ngorongoro Highlands / Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is famous for its annual migration of more than 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra.
Days 6/7: Serengeti National Park
Tanzania’s oldest national park is home to about 70 species of large mammals and 500 species of birds.
Day 8: Serengeti/Kilimanjaro / Depart
Custom Travel Options
Kilimanjaro Conservancies (3 days)
One of the few areas in Africa where huge elephant bulls, more than 50 years old, can be seen. Activities include walking safaris escorted by Maasai warriors and authentic interactions with local Maasai.
Mt. Kilimanjaro Treks (6-8 days)
The ‘rooftop of Africa,’ Kilimanjaro, at 5,895 meters/19,340 feet, rewards those who climbit with panoramic views of the Rift Valley Mt. Meru and the Maasai Steppe.
Serengeti Conservancies (4 days)
The love of Africa’s landscapes, wildlife and people are at the heart of private conservancies that are on the frontlines of sustainability.
Southern Tanzania (9 days)
The Mahale Mountains are home to some of the Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees, a population of roughly 900.
Northern Tanzania Conservancies (4 days)
The slow safari was developed here to allow time to experience Africa at its most wild, beyond the confines of a vehicle.
Zanzibar (4 days)
The old city of Stone Town, with its winding alleys, bustling bazaars and mosques, has changed little in 200 years.
Land price, per person, double occupancy: From US$750 per person per day