Safaris in Tanzania have become synonymous to game drives in the wilderness. It is only when you arrive into this majestic and magical landscapes, you will get to experience authentic moments; tête-à-tête with the natives, taste local flavours, explore local markets, walk around fresh farms, visit the Maasai huts and immerse yourself in the true essence of an African culture…
If you are one of the seeking and inquisitive traveller, here are the 10 unmissable, unique things to do in Tanzania for your upcoming African adventure.
Explore the uncut Tanzanite
1,000 times rarer than the diamonds, the Tanzanite is a rich, magnificent and 100 % authentic stone only mined in Tanzania. While on a safari, you don’t only have the opportunity to buy this precious gem. Drive to the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and visit the Mererani mines to explore how the raw stone is converted to a blazing piece. Known to be the most beautiful stone discovered in 2000 years, experts will take you over the mining, cutting and finish process after which you will interact with the local Maasai living in that area.
Dance with the Maasai
If you have loved to admire the Maasai during your safari in Tanzania, you will also get the unique opportunity to meet this authentic tribe and understand their culture. You will be tempted to dance and jump as high as the Maasai. Select tour operators give you the chance to interact with these local tribe, learn about the lifestyle and also become a part of their culture through cultural performances. If you are lucky, you would also be part of the Eunoto Maasai ceremony – a celebration transition of boy into adulthood or simply enjoy Adamu– the jumping dance and admire the most lean and capable bachelor in that group.
Swing above the hot springs
Besides wildlife, the Northern Safari Circuit is brimming with hidden gems that your diver guide will help you spot and indulge in. The Kikuletwa hot springs or locally known as Maji Chem Chem gives you the cool for a dusty game drive, one of the most natural and amusing place to swim in Tanzania. Hidden amid fig trees, this hidden paradise is devoid of crowds where adventurers can sway from the top tree rope swings and dive into the cool waves that form this natural spring from the icy waters of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Enjoy a hot barbeque feast and fresh fruits after your dip.
Walk by and sip farm fresh coffee
If you have tasted some delicious coffee at your camps and lodges, most of the produce comes locally from coffee rich farms around the Kilimanjaro region. You can visit these coffee farms before or after your game drives and learn the entire process from cultivation to sipping the freshly brewed beverage. Enjoy guided tours by a local farmer and enjoy a hot Tanzanian meal prepared by one of the local families. During the tour, you will also be visiting local schools, churches and neighbourhood to get a sense of the local culture.
Float above the wild animals
Want to experience a unique view of the wild? Balloon safaris in north and south Tanzania offer a magnificent experience with an aerial view of the flora, fauna, and the big and small creatures in the wild. You can spot a kaleidoscope of giraffe, herds of elephants by the river and a pack of lion rested on the Kopjes. The civets, jennets and jackals are shy animals and can be spotted easily from the top. Oh and did we forget to tell you? A lavish bush breakfast and champagne awaits you after the successful landing. It’s all about taking the flight of a lifetime.
Walk in the wild
If you are one of those adventurous personalities, seeking to experience the wild from the very close, you would love to consider walking safaris as a part of your itinerary. Enjoy a thrilling experience as you encounter the inhabitants of the bush; tall giraffes, lions, wildebeest, elephants and many other animals. You will be in safe hands of the rangers and learn more about the wilderness as you share a parallel path. Awaken to your senses and enjoy this rush of excitement. Walking safaris are popular in Tarangire and Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the north and Selous and Mikumi National Park in the South. It is ideal to book it in advance through a tour operator.
Immerse in traditional story telling
After an overwhelming safari experience, you will enjoy a relaxing stay at one of the lodges and camps. If you have been carried away by the warm hospitality of the local people, you will have the chance to interact and learn about them. Upon request, you can visit one of the houses of the local tribes or enjoy a story telling session by the bonfire at your camp. The local tradition has been orally transmitted and listening to the tales gives you a closer understanding of the local culture, traditions and lifestyle of the people. Ask for your lodge/ camp to pre-plan a story telling session or simply dive into a chat with one of the locals who will take you through a brilliant past and present.
Cook like a local
Swahili cuisine has been inspired by various cultures and tasting one of the local meals will make you inquisitive of the taste. From delicious chapattis (flat bread) to maharage and ugali ( beans and local cornmeal) to mihogo and viazi tamu (cassava and sweet potatoes) you will love the experiences of food sampling but even more learning how to cook these local specialities. While cooking classes can be booked separately, many lodges and camps are happy to invite you in their local kitchen and cook with their in-house chef. Cook with your spouse, family or friends and indulge in a feast afterwards.
Whether you are in Tanzania to fulfill your bucket list goal of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or intrigued to explore the largest arc Chain Mountains of Usambaras. Tanzania offers a range of hiking excursions that are a treat for the adventurous and the relaxer. As a traveller, you will love to dive into the scenic view combined with natural trails and wide vistas of the surrounding area. Besides the colorful description the mountains, also offer a mind-blowing diversity; explore the birds of Pugu hills, the challenging heights of Mt. Meru, the Vervet monkeys and waterfalls at Udzungwa or the cloudy atmosphere at Lushuto. You have plenty to choose from.
Chasing the waterfalls
Another hidden gems of Tanzania are the waterfalls that are spread wide and far and make for a delightful surprise for hikers visiting the hills and mountains. The Themi waterfalls in Arusha, the Sanje in Udzungwa and the Olmeti falls in Ngorongoro are not only some popular sites to visit but are surrounded by vibrant flora and fauna that make for an enriching experience. Most people enjoy dipping around the pool after an exhilarating hike and enjoy a hot fest and photo sessions after the hike.
Whether you loved one of these excursions or all, we can arrange it all for you as a part of your safari itinerary. Write to us and our safari experts will get back to you with a tailor-made package.