~ Tanzania hosts the most amazing natural wonders of the world, a few of these include Mt Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park, the annual Wildebeest - Zebra migration and Zanzibar.

~ Lake Tanganyika, renown for being the deepest lake on the continent, is very unique for its fish species. Wildlife reserves work alongside the national parks help to assist in preserving the country's endemic species. Conservation is forefront in protecting our wildlife and balancing human conflict.

~ Endangered species in Tanzania include the black rhino and wild dog, with the lion population now under threat.

~ Kiswahili and English are the two official languages spoken, however there are over a 100 different languages making for a very diverse country linguistically. Nomadic Masai, the tribespeople are distinctive in their dress and to this day continue old age traditions. A staple diet of ugali and nyama, chips mayai, chai and chapatis are definitely a local must for the adventurous.

WHEN TO TRAVEL

The climate is tropical, hot and humid in coastal areas, with a refreshing coolness in the north west highlands. The central plateau is mainly arid and dry throughout most of the year. Tanzania is a popular destination to visit year round, though the best times are outside of the rainy seasons when wildlife is abundant. As conditions vary across the country it is never easy to define weather ideals for each person.
In coastal areas the Kaskazi northerly winds come in from the north - east during November to March, and the Kuzi southerly winds move along the coast from April to September. The Kaskazi relieves the somewhat humid heat of summer and the Kuzi brings the long rains that generally last from April to early June. Scuba diving and snorkelling is at it's best in the months November to March.

REGION FOCUS

Many awe inspiring highlights of Tanzania are best described, as Masai warriors who light up the night sky with a ceremonial hum of traditional singing and dancing. The migration herds of wildebeest thunder their way through the Serengeti, chasing the rains in search of greener grass. Lake Tanganyika one of Africa's great lakes on the western side of Tanzania, here you will find the remote Mahale Mountains and Katavi National Parks.
First explorers to discover this large rift valley lake were Richard Burton and John Speke in 1858, whilst searching for the source of the Nile. The spice island of Zanzibar locally known as Ungjuja, is well renown for it’s Persian, Arab and Omani ancestry. Stone Town as we know it today is famous for its fascinating range of spices, historic culture and narrow street’s, that have an intriguing resemblance to the century old cities of Oman.

The wonders of the north.

Wildlife, evolution and fascination, are only a few words that describe the northern parts of Tanzania. From migratory wildebeest moving throughout the Serengeti plains to the snow capped peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Walking and Wilderness Tanzania – join Justine on escorted itinerary for 2017. For further information contact us online or call on +61459308888 to find out more.

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Two hours north of Arusha, on the eastern side of Lake Manyara, the 2850 sq kms of national park is a ecosystem covering an area of 20,000 sq kms. Bordering both Kenya and Tanzania down to the Masai Steppe, the acacia woodlands and open grasslands attract wildlife migrations to phosphorous rich areas during the wet season. Tarangire has a low concentration of the mineral needed for young zebra’s, elephants, buffalos and wildebeest to survive. The Simanjiro calving grounds create the perfect environment for this. The Tarangire Elephant project is educating villages about wildlife and to help monitor against poachers.

Magically, as baobabs start to lose their leaves, the end rainy season is finished in mid May. The dry season approaches, the green grass habitat is replaced by a more golden grass where lions and leopards lose their distinct advantage over unsuspecting grazers. Seasonal waterholes will start to dry up, and most wildlife will make its way down to the Tarangire River.

Wildlife in Tarangire consists of herds of elephants, migratory herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala’s, hartebeest and eland over 550 species of birdlife such as kori bustards, african grey and crowned hornbill, lovebirds, black headed and rufus bellied heron, lilac breasted roller, black faced sandgrouse, curlew sandpiper and white faced scope's owl.
Close to Ol Doinyo Lengai crater, the lowest point of the Rift Valley is Lake Natron. Named for its compound that is made up of sodium carbonate, the combination of volcanic ash and the sodium from the lake calcifies any wildlife that should come immersed in its waters. Temperatures can soar up to 60 degrees and a very important habitat for the lesser flamingo, due to the blue-green algae. Endemic to the lake is the Alkaline Tilapias, that thrive in the hot spring inlets.

The lakes ecosystem is a great breeding ground for Lesser Flamingo’s, as conditions are perfect for the cyanobacteria that survive in this harsh environment. Masai herd their cattle over the dry grasslands and the hardy few zebra that remain.

Walking safaris, climbing the slopes of Ol Doinyo Lengai are certainly for the more curious and adventurous.
Between the Ngorongoro highlands and the Serengeti National Park, is Lake Eyasi a soda lake and home to the Hadzabe Tribe. Traditional bushmen, that are among one of the last hunters and gathers of Tanzania. Approximately 300 - 400 of which are still nomadic.

Today they are known to hunt dik-dik, impala and bush pig with a bow and arrrow. Sap from the desert rose shrub is used as poison for hunting purposes. The Hadzabe, have very little possessions and are obligated to share if they have more than what is needed with the rest of the tribe.

Wild honey is an essential part of the Hadzabe diet and they will generally follow a honeyguide to its wild honey nest. They have a very close relationship with the bird, calling to the hunters then they will whistle back to it. The hunter climbs with a flame to smoke the bees out, before removing the honeycomb. Women spend their day gathering roots, berries and fruit from the baobab, grewia and salvadora trees. Both men and women have autonomy in the tribe and decisions are made equally.

The Lake Eyasi ecosystem is part of the great rift valley and the seasonal soda lake is a migration stop for the lesser flamingos. Enjoy a cultural Hadzabe day, interacting with local bushmen and their traditions.
North enroute to the Ngorongoro Conservation area is Lake Manyara National Park. The park entrance is at the small local town of Mto wa Mbu, meaning Mosquito river in Kiswahili.

The park situated at the base of the rift valley escarpment, is home to migratory pink hued flamingo, pelicans, and over 400 species of birdlife. The contrast in vegetation consists of lush jungle forest to open grassy plains. On the waters edge, plains game are giraffe, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and elephant. Hippos wallow at the edge of the lake in the hippo pool, and noisy ground hornbills will greet you on arrival.

Baboons spend their time hanging out on the road near the park entrance happy to watch the world pass by. Lake Manyara is also known for the famous tree climbing lions, which are often seen in the acacia woodland, just inland of the flood plains.

The park is 330 km square and the soda lake spans up to 200kms, when water levels are high. From the top of the rift valley escarpment, the view is impressive. The lake for stretches for miles and the blanket of pink of flamingo’s covers the landscape.
The Ngorongoro conservation area, a naturally formed and unbroken volcanic caldera. One of the most magnificent areas in Tanzania, covering approximately 8292 square kms.

The area was originally designed to protect the indigenous people of Tanzania, to promote tourism through the integration of human development and natural resources. In the Ngorongoro Conservation area is Oldupai Gorge the archaeological site where early human footprints were first discovered. Man and his ancestors are to have co existed with wildlife for over 3 million years. By continuing the research of wildlife and human conflict, we can only hope to protect and maintain this fragile relationship.

The UNESCO site since 1979, this wildlife wonderland contains over 25,000
larger animals and is home to the endangered rhino. Currently there are only 26 black rhinoceros that inhabit the area. The crater floor supports the annual Serengeti migration as it passes through Ngorongoro, and known to have the densest lion population. There are six lion groups in the crater, one being the Totitok pride which has two male brothers Hook and Ahab. The group was named after the Totitok River and the Munge group after the Munge River. The crater lions are endangered by inbreeding since the endemic outbreak of biting flies in 1962, which wiped out a population of 70 lions.

Abundant wildlife, wildebeest are 7000, zebra’s 4000, eland 3000, grants and thompson's gazelles 3,000. The rim of the crater, vegetation turns more into lush rain forests home to herds of elephants, mountain reedbuck, spotted hyenas, the elusive wild dog and cheetah. There are approximately 380 spotted hyena’s that inhabit the crater floor and live in 8 clans of between 30 - 80 members.
Tanzania's most sort after national park and renown as the "endless plains". Famous hunter Stewart Edward White described it as paradise and to the nomadic Masai it was Siringitu - “the place where the land moves on forever”

One of the oldest ecosystems and spanning over 30,000kms square, it has inspired writers and photographers alike. The late Hugo Van Lawick filmed many documentaries to show this natural phenomenon to the world. Oldupai known for it’s 'cradle of mankind fossil remains' has intrigued archaeologists and historians. Richard Leakey, for his excavations and knowledge of how our ancestors lived over 2 million years ago.

The region extends as far north to the Masai Mara, the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area, Maswa Conservation Reserve and the wildlife management areas of Loliondo, Grumeti and Ikorongo. The UNESO World heritage site Serengeti, is famous for the annual migration with over 1.5 - 2 million wildebeest that move in a clockwise direction throughout the national park. Around 90,000 visitors visit the park every year.

Serengeti Shall never die is an awe-inspiring documentary, filmed by Michael Grzimek who died in a plane crash whilst filming in 1959.

An untouched beauty.

One of the last frontiers in Africa, southern Tanzania is full of unspoilt landscapes, exceptional wildlife viewing with a variety of different experiences. The red soil of Ruaha with its magnificent standing baobab trees, make for a striking contrast on the distant horizon.

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The largest of the national parks in the southern area of Tanzania, this unique wilderness area offers a low key experience. In the sense that you will not find the touristy massive’s of the northern parks here. Ruaha originating from “Ruvaha” a Hehe word meaning “river” and is part of the Muhesi ecosystem. An area covering 45,000km square, Ruaha is well renown for its high density of elephants, endangered wild dog and greater kudu. The distinctive sausage trees are prominently found in Ruaha, kigelia africana are many and you may find yourself looking up to see a elusive leopard lying there above you. Fascinating landscape with stunning sunsets, magical lights and red ochre earth, compliment the long golden grass that appears in June.
Uninhabited by man and covering 55,000km square, the Selous game reserve is one of the largest protected areas in East Africa. Divided into the upper and lower regions by the Rufiji River. Winding its way through the heart of the Selous, it is the life and soul of lakes, lagoons, and channels in the reserve. Wild dog are in their element as they roam the savannah’s and woodland. In the dry season concentrations of wildlife congregate around the river with elephant, hippo, crocodiles and antelopes mainly seen. Riverine forest’s are home to colobus monkey’s and the reserves migratory elephant’s in dry season, that takes place in between Selous and Mozambique’s game reserve.

The highlights of the highlands.

Dense, remote forests, home to the elusive chimpanzee and the thousands of hippo pods that fill Katavi National Park. Steep forests that meet the waters of Lake Tanganyika, and a Robinson Crusoe enclave that Greystoke Mahale calls home.

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Untamed, untouched, curious are just a few of the thoughts that spring to mind of Katavi and Mahale National Parks. Both parks are situated on the western side of Tanzania and are only accessible by light aircraft or boat. The scenic flight to Katavi and Mahale is with an additional 90 minute dhow journey for your stay at Greystoke Mahale. The impressive sandy beaches on the edge of Greystoke, and turquoise waters of Lake Tanganyika are complimented by a stunning background of the Mahale mountains.

The remote Robinson Crusoe way of life and having the privilege to witness the chimps interaction is fascinating. A variety of wildlife who share the dense rainforest, are bush bucks, bush pigs and other primates like the Angola colobus, red tailed and blue tailed monkeys. An array of birdlife such as the black weaver and African reed warbler, are just a few of the many distinct features.

In contrast to Mahale, Katavi entertains a certain curiosity, it is Tanzania’s less travelled though the third largest national park after Serengeti and Ruaha. It is far cry from the main tourism circuits of the north and feels like a forging frontier into the unknown. The 4500km square area has everything big, large rivers, large lakes, large trees and big mammals. In the late stages of the dry season you will see a number of bewildering hippo’s immersed together in any pool sufficient enough to cover them with water. Lion, buffalo’s, elephant and other predators are drawn to the major rivers in dry season, the Katuma, Kavu and Kapapa.

Green season provides a very different view and is described as a mini Okavango Delta. Flood plains are turned into swampy wetlands by overflowing rivers. All things being big and large in Katavi, the Tamarind tree is of the old world is no exception. Its leaves, fruit and flowers are used as food for both human consumption and elephants. Buffalo are seen in large herds in Katavi and are known to have one of the largest concentrations in Africa.

A beautiful and historic region rich in history, natural beauty, art and culture.

The exotic spice islands off the coast of Tanzania are full of mystique. Influenced by Omani history, the tiny alleyways and paved streets of Stone Town are a fascinating way to lose yourself in local culture. A marine park flanks the island of Mafia, a colourful site for diving enthusiasts.

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Spice islands Zanzibar and Pemba, their colourful history and culture dates back as early to the 1st century AD. The arrival of Islam, Arabian and Persian traders, have helped shape the evolution of Swahili culture.

In the Sultanate Omani’s rule plantations were developed for it’s worldwide famous cloves and spices. The slave trade and was at it’s peak by the 18th century, making "Unjuja" one of the largest slave ports. The German and British abolition in the 19th century, see's a infusion of culture and characteristics that make up this intriguing destination. Stone Town, the historic capital of Zanzibar, showcases colourful bazaars, spices shops, historic museums and is world heritage listed. The northern beaches are a brilliant white, surrounded by coral reefs. In the south the beaches are very different with mangrove wetlands.

Pemba Island has been left relatively untouched and is the Zanzibar of 20 years ago. It’s tranquil, serene location is a haven for travellers who are wanting to get away from it all. Avid dive enthusiasts of marine life, will definitely enjoy exploring the area. Conservation is paramount to help preserve the coral reefs, that have already been decimated by over fishing.
Just off the coastline of southern Tanzania, is the Mafia Archipelago. A marine haven, opposite the mouth of the nutrient filled Rufiji river delta. The islands of Mafia and Chole are known for their remoteness and less travelled routes. Taken over by the Germans in the 1890”s, the island's reputation was a safe port for all ships. Ancient ruins dating back to the eleventh century stand next to the tree lodge of Chole Mjini. In 1995 the Mafia Island marine park was formed to protect coral reefs and to prevent overfishing in the area. The Rufiji river delta and Mafia channel form to make one of the most diverse marine eco systems in the world. An area expanding up to 1500 km square, making it home to the dugong and sea turtle. Out of the seven species found worldwide five of these are off the coast of Tanzania. Green, loggerhead, leatherback, hawksbill and olive ridley. From October to March, enjoy swimming with the whale sharks and visit locally run projects. The whale shark conservation society aim to bring more awareness in order to conserve this magical animal.

Chole’s Mjini's approach to eco responsible tourism is impressive, and is definitely for people looking for a rustic adventure. Getting back to nature where days are spent exploring the local village, diving, snorkelling, swimming with the whale sharks or simply relaxing.

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