Top Tanzania Safari Destinations
"The loveliest lake I have seen in Africa”- so wrote Ernest Hemingway. Lying beneath the western escarpment of the Rift Valley. Lake Manyara is a shallow freshwater lake in Tanzania covering nearly 89 square miles commanding stunning views of wild forest and grassy floodplains and even the blue volcanic peaks of the Maasai Steppes. The lake boasts a diverse set of landscapes and wildlife. including leopards, hippos, impalas, elephants, wildebeests, buffalo, warthogs, bushbuck, blue monkeys and giraffes.
Not to mention the famous but elusive tree-climbing lions peculiar to the Lake. Bear witness to the awesome giant fig, acacia and ancient mahogany trees flourishing in the groundwater forest. Observe over 300 migratory birds, including thousands of migrating pink flamingos, hornbills, long-crested eagle and grey-headed kingfisher. (It's entirely possible for onrnithologists to be able to observe 100 of these in one day.) Day and night game drives are possible and even canoeing when the water levels are high enough.
Lake Natron is a salt lake located in northern Tanzania, close to the Kenyan border This soda lake has mineral-rich, hot springs and is below three meters (10 feet) deep. It varies in width which changes due to high levels of evaporation, leaving high levels of salt and other minerals. Water temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit).
The alkali salt crust on the surface of the lake is also often colored red or pink. Natron is the only regular breeding area in East Africa for the 2.5 million endangered Lesser Flamingoes- three quarters of the world's Lesser Flamingo population. As salinity increases, so do the number of cyanobacteria, and the lake can support more nests. These flamingoes, the largest flock in East Africa, gather along saline lakes in the region, where they feed on Spirulina (a blue-green algae with red pigments). The lake provides a natural barrier against predators.
Greater Flamingo also breed on the mud flats. The lake seasonally plays host to a large number of birds. For a fuller list, please see here: List of birds at Lake Natron. An endemic species of fish, the alkaline tilapia (Oreochromis alcalicus), thrives in the waters at the edges of the hot spring inlets. Due to its unique biodiversity, Tanzania added Natron's Basin to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance on July 4, 2001. Dangers to the flamingoes lie in a planned soda ash exploitation in the Lake. For more details and how you can help, please see here: Think Pink: how you can help the flamingoes.
Following a butterfly in the lush wilds of Tanganyika some 50 years ago. German entomologistWilhelm Kattwinkel slipped off a rocky ledge and almost killed himself. When he managed to recover himself, he found himself in an anthropologist's dream world: an erosion-created riftwith layer after layer of fossils, bones and ancient artifacts.
The find was named Olduvai Gorge,and archaeologists ever since have been scrambling up and down its sun-baked sides insearch of clues to man's earliest awakening. Olduvai Gorge is commonly referred to as the cradle of mankind and provides a remarkabledocument of ancient life. Olduvai is a steep-sided ravine approximately 30 miles long. Itsmost famous fossil is the 1.8 million year old, ape-like skull- Australopithecus boisei- or "nutcrackerman" due to its large molars, discovered in 1959 by Mary Leakey.This is also where certain kinds of tools- Oldowan- were first discovered. It is now thought thatthe Oldowan toolmaking tradition started about 2.6 million years ago.
Bones from this layerare not of modern humans but primitive hominid forms of Paranthropus boisei and thefirst discovered specimens of Homo habilis. In 1972, humanlike footprints appeared estimatedto be 3.7 million years old at Laetoli, 45 km south of Olduvai, were discovered.Lying 5km off the road to the Serengeti, and founded by Mary Leakey, Olduvai Gorge Museumis dedicated to the appreciation and understanding of the Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli fossilsites. Some of the staff members have been there since the museum opened.There is a saying: "Life began in Africa." Visit the museum to see why.
Offering panoramic vistas, cool climate and pretty villages, the Usambara mountains are known as one of Tanzania's northeastern highlights. Its mountains are divided into two ranges by a 4 km-wide valley. The western Usambaras are the most accessible though paths can become muddy during the rains.
Amani Nature Reserve
Amani is a lush and peaceful spread of montane forest alive with the sound of birds, waterfalls and chirping crickets. There is a labrynth of 1- 2 hour walks along beautiful paths.
A leafy highland town (1200 m) wreathed in a lush, fertile valley wrapped in pine, eucalyptus and banana trees. This is the centre of the Usambaras and is the perfect base for hiking trips. A former German colonial vacation destination.
Hiking and Walks
Lushoto's hills offer many walks past picturesque villages, cornfields and banana plantations. These range from a few hours to several days' duration.. From the fabulous, shorter walk to Irente viewpoint (you can purchase cheese, yoghurt and bread at Irente Farm) looking down to vast plains below- to three and four day hikes from Lushoto to Mtae, or a five day walk to Amani Nature Reserve, we can tailor trips to your specifications or arrange them for you if you like. We offer short one day walks to multiple days' walks.
Simply contact us for more details.