Tanzania is one of the most interesting destinations on the African continent. It has built up an enviable reputation as one of the most wonderful countries to explore while experiencing the joys of an overland safari. It has some of the most breathtaking natural vistas in the world, the game that makes its home in various reserves in Tanzania is incredible (the Serengeti is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World) – and there are cultural experiences that will provide memories that will last a lifetime.
There are a number of different overland safari routes that are available to the modern day explorer. One of the most common overland safari routes is one that leaves the town of Arusha heading for the world famous Serengeti National Park and the extinct volcanic crater of Ngorogoro. En route, many tour operators set aside some time for guests to enjoy one of the other game parks in Tanzania such as Lake Manyara. Many also schedule time to allow visitors to Tanzania to take in the majesty of Mount Kilimanjaro while overnighting at a town like Marangu.
One of the most rewarding excursions, while engaged on an overland safari, is to take the opportunity to explore the wonders of Ngorongoro Crater. This unbroken caldera is one of the few on the planet that is not filled with water – and as a result, has become an Eden for many different game species. The thick, mist-shrouded sides of the caldera hold more wonder than magnificent views of its soaring walls. The profusion of wildlife here is simply breathtaking. As the mists lift and the indigo sky of Africa is revealed, the blazing sun lights up a scene that has not changed in thousands of years. Grazing species such as Zebra and Buffalo and the large shapes of Elephant and Rhino carpet the floor of the crater. Hyena lurk at the edges of herds and lions wait patiently for night to fall. This UNESCO World Heritage Site must be experienced at least once by any nature lover.
Another stop on the overland route is the village of Marangu. This is not going to supply the thrills of an excursion to the Serengeti – but it can provide some views of majestic African scenery and insights into the local culture.
An excursion to the Ndoro Waterfall is well worth the effort. Enlisting the help of a local guide is definitely the way to go. Not only will this make the trip a lot less stressful – but the guide will often be able to accompany visitors on walks around local villages to get a taste of authentic Tanzanian life. The Falls, which cascade 97 meters from the depths of the rainforest are definitely worth the visit. those who wish to cool off can take a dip at the base of the waterfall. there are also some great local restaurants that offer delicious food.
Heading down to the coast one stop that simply must not be ignored is the island of Zanzibar. Grab a local guide and ask to explore the local spice markets. For a more in-depth look at the spice trade and why Zanzibar was at the epicenter of that trade for many years visit a spice farm. Visit the holding cells that were the last stop for many slaves. During the 19th century, around 50,000 slaves were forcibly transported from Zanzibar each year. For a more uplifting and relaxing excursion, book yourself on a sunset cruise off Zanzibar. Local rum and beers flow and as the sun sets the local drummers to supply the beat on the boat. It is an experience that will live on in memory for years.
An overland trip across Tanzania is a delight. The sheer variety of experiences that can be enjoyed will delight those who wish to explore the wonders of nature, delve into ancient cultures and simply revel in the friendliness of the locals who call Tanzania home.