Wildlife, beaches, friendly people, fascinating cultures, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Mt Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar Archipelago – Tanzania has all these and more wrapped up in one adventurous, welcoming package.
We started our journey with a one day trip at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. We reached, after one hour hike, the Ndoro waterfall that is the biggest waterfalls in Marangu area. This waterfall is famous not because of the amount of water it plunge into the gorge, but because of the stunning green landscapes to the bottom of the waterfalls.
On the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro live the the Chagga tribe. In their villages, chagga people produce many perishable goods including jam, sugar, maize and beans. However, the main crop that is grown is coffee. In the village we learnt everything about the process from which coffee is grown, to when it is finally poured, steaming hot into the cup. Of course we bought some coffee for us. It was so tasty!
We will also learnt how the Chagga tribe lives, such as their home set-up, the types of food they cook and eat and how they rear their animals.
The northern parks
The Mt. Kilimanjaro is a great attraction, but more than almost any other destination, Tanzania is the land of safaris. Wildebeest stampede across the plains. Hippos jostle for space in muddy waterways. Elephants wander along seasonal migration routes and chimpanzees swing through the treetops.
We started our safari experience in Tarangire National Park. The Park is known for all of its elephants especially! Tarangire is the surprise package on the Northern circuit. Often overshadowed by the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire has huge concentrations of animals in the peak months and a fraction of the visitor numbers of any of the other Northern parks. Maybe, it was our favorite park!
So wonderful seeing these beauties in their natural habitat.
We spent 2 days in the Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti is Africa's most famous, renowned for its incredible concentrations of predators and the Great Serengeti Migration of two million wildebeest.
The Serengeti National Park is one of those very rare places that has a huge reputation, yet still somehow manages to surpass expectations and take your breath away. Surrounded by remarkable tribes such as the Masai and Hadzabe, this wider area is also fascinating from a cultural perspective. In a nutshell, the Serengeti is rightly the most celebrated wildlife reserve in the world; there is absolutely nowhere else to match it. It is outstanding!
Few people forget their first encounter with the Serengeti
The night in the savannah was incredibly beautiful.
We spent our last day in the Ngorongoro Crater, a breathtakingly beautiful setting and the best place in Tanzania to see the Big Five. The drive in and out of the crater is spectacular.
Ngorongoro is one of the largest unbroken calderas in the world that isn’t a lake. Its steep walls soar 400m to 610m and provide the setting for an incredible natural drama, as prey and predators graze and stalk their way around the open grasslands, swamps and acacia woodland on the crater floor. It's such an impressive sight that, other vehicles aside, you'll wonder whether you've descended into a wildlife paradise.
As we were driving around, we’d spotted a few lions in the distance. There were a couple of cars watching them, but the lions were a bit of a distance away so we didn’t stop and continued on towards some buffalos. On the way back, a lot more cars had gathered. Not far from us, two lions are entertaining the visitors by prowling between the vehicles looking for shade. They sit under the cars or, as in our case, lie very close to the side of the vehicle. we were only an arm length away!
For the last night of our safari, we stayed in a camp tent under a billions of stars with many sounds of all kinds of animals.
On the way back to Arusha, we stopped and visited a Maasai village. A village very far away from civilisation and the world.
Such a privilege and an amazing experience learning about the Maasai culture while we were in Tanzania. We were welcomed into their mud homes, listened to their stories and danced with them. Such beautiful people with a rich and different culture! A culture that we can learn from in so many ways, but it also has sides that leaves me so heartbroken. It definitely was a very beautiful, fun, enlightening, and emotional experience for us!
Blue everywhere!! This is what I remember when I'm thinking about Zanzibar.
Zanzibar Island is a jewel in the ocean, surrounded by beaches that rate among the finest in the world. Here you can swim, snorkel or just lounge the hours away, while shoals of luminous fish graze over nearby coral gardens and pods of dolphins frolic offshore.
In popular towns, like Kendwa or Nungwi, the beach touts are relentless. After a while, you start to feel like a sun-bathing ATM. To escape from that, we chose Jambiani.
Jambiani is a sleepy fishing village on the southeast coast of Zanzibar and one of the best places on the island to gain an insight into local life. The village is a sunbaked collection of palm-thatch huts and the sea is an ethereal shade of turquoise, even by Zanzibar standards.
In Jambiani the sea is dotted with fishing boats, named dhow (traditional sailing boat) and you can find on the beach women tend seaweed farms.
We stayed at Uhuru beach is an inexpensive beach lodge in Jambiani Beach with just 12 rooms. It costs $90 for a room with AC and a sea view. It was cute, unpretentious, and directly on the beach – I walked about 20 feet every morning to take a dip in the ocean.
We also did a day trip to Mnemba Island to make some snorkeling and diving. The blue that we saw in Mnemba was totally insane.
If you want the trip you never forget, THIS IS THE ONE!