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Tanzania Safaris Overview Before Planing Your Trip

Few places in the world conjure up such rich images as the magnificent peaks, valleys and plains of Northern Tanzania. The highest mountains… the widest lakes… the most abundant and varied wildlife – everything is here. Whether it’s the contented roar of a big cat across the water at dusk, the timid face of an antelope calf seen through the rushes, or thousand flamingos taking flight – the magic of this untamed earthly paradise will leave memories you will never forget.

Northern Circuit: the aweinspring beauty of nature untamed

Arusha where all good things start (and finish)
The fastest developing town in the country, Arusha is the safari capital of Tanzania. Safaris and expeditions for the northern region all arrive and depart from here, with daily connections by air and road from Dar es Salaam, Moshi, Zanzibar, and Mwanza.
In fact, Arusha is the gateway to the most important concentration of attractions in Tanzania, including the Serengeti, Manyara, Tarangire, Arusha and Kilimanjaro National Parks as well as the Ngorongoro Crater.

The endless plan of the Serengeti 

Serengeti is Tanzania’s largest and most famous national park. Covering nearly 15,000 sq km, its vast, treeless plainsare permanent host to tens of thousands of migrating her bivores, constantly on the search for fresh grassland and water. Chief among these is the wildebeest, of which more than a million cross the Serengeti during their annual migration. Your visit there will be the chance to see Africa at its most untamed . Giraffes, Zebras, Gazelles, elands, Impalas and Warthogs all share the plains with their main predators, lions, leopards, cheetah and the scavenging, hyenas. It is also a paradise for bird watchers.

An Island haven on Lake Victoria

But this is only a beginning. At nearly 70,000 sq km, Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa, and the second largest freshwater lake in the world. In its south-western corner is Rubondo island National Park, a heaven for some 400 indigenous spacies of birdlife, including fish eagles, herons, storks, ibis, kingfisher and cormorants. 
Chief amongst its attractions, however, is the chance to observe the normally timid sitatunga antelope, whose amphibious nature finds a welcome home along the island’s shores of grasses and reeds.

Ngorongoro Crater – nature’s grandiose amphitheatre

As for the Ngorongoro conservation Area, central to its 8,000 sq km is the Ngorongoro Crater, a 20 km wide depression teeming with abundant and unique wildlife. This is one of the few areas in Africa where the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, leopards, lion and rhinoceros) can all be seen together. So don’t miss it! Take in too the ancient volcanoes and the olduvai gorge with its fossils (including the 1.75 m year-old Zinjanthrous skull and the 3.5 m year-old Laetoli footprints) as well as the Ndutu and Meseli lakes.

Lake Manyara – an overlooked gem

One of Tanzania’s smallest and most diverse national parks (330 so km), Manyara is a more intimate vie of the African outdoors.  Bordered to the west by the Great Rift Valley and to the east by Lake Manyara, the reserve is host to tree-climbing lions, hippos, elephants and a huge array of birdlife, including tens of thousands of flamingos that make their annual pilgrimage to the alkaline shore of Lake Manyara.

Kilimanjaro – the roof of Africa

Kilimanjaro, the very words is magic. Lying just three degrees south of the Equator, Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) is the highest in Africa and the highest single standing mountain in the world. Your Kilimanjaro visit will be one of your great travel experiences ranging from the cultivated lowlands of Moshi, mistry rainforests, moorland studded with giant lobelias, the rocky and barren lunar landscapes of the upper slopes, and to top it all the permanent snow fields at the Kibo peak.

Other attractions include Mount Meru, oldoinyo Lengai Mountain and the remote, other-worldly Lakes Natron and Eyasi.

Stretching from Kenya to the Southern Highlands, the Eastern Arc Mountains are worn down by the erosion of 100 million years of natural history.  With their rich and varied flora and fauna, they offer our visitors the chance to experience at first-hand the uniquely Tanzanian aspects of Tanzania.

The Eastern Arc  land of plenty from a prehistoric era

Usambaras – natural treasures in the mountains
Cool and green, the Usambaras are a double mountain range that form part of the geologically ancient Eastern Arc chain. While fairly densely populated, their isolation and climatic stability are given them a degree of biodiversity unequalled on the rest of the continent.  Not-to-be-missed attractions include the famous African violet and the wild date palm, or among the endemic fauna, the rare Usambara eagle owl, Kenrick’s straling and the Usambara warbler. The region can be visited in comfort all year round, with July-October being the driest period.

If you’re looking for peace and quiet, however, you’ll appreciate the Amani Nature Reserve, a haven of sub-tropical tranquillty.  Situated in the heart of the Usambaras,  Amani was previously known for its famous botanical gardens, and is today one of the relatively undiscovered jewels of Tanzanian nature.  Start your excursion from Sigi – with a bit of luck you’ll have Amani and its treasures to yourself.

Pare Mountains – northern outpost of traditional culture
Further north are the Pare Mountains, home t the Pare, or Asu ethnic people.  This region is a more isolated section of the Eastern Arc chain and as such, it is of great interest for its rich cultural traditions, which have been largely untouched by the modern world.  Hiking from village to village is the best way to experience the local flavor, and to understand how in a unique way man co-exists with nature in this mountainous terrain.

Roughing it at the Mkomazi Game Reserve

Fro those who have time on their hands, a visit to the out-of-the-way Mkomazi Game Reserve is well worth it. Here, the predominately dry savannah lands form a perfect habitat for the Reserve’s main attraction, the famous black rhino.   Other animals living on the Reserve include giraffes, antelope, oryx, zebras and elephants, as well as numerous species of snakes and a rich variety of birdlife. Be prepared to rough it a bit though as Mkomazi is somewhat off the beated track and tourist facilities are limited.

The bygone glory of Pangani

Over on the cost, Pangani is a small Swahili town close to the beach, and set on the river of; the same name.  originally a dhow port, Pangani’s importance as a center of commerce reached its zenith in the late 19th century, when it was a major export point f slaves and ivory and one of the largest ports on the coast.  Today it’s a quiet place where you can see  relics of that pygone era, as well as visiting the beaches, the Pangani river ad falls, and Maziwe island.

Other attractions of the North-Eastern part include Bagamoyo historically famous as slave and ivory trade centre and currently a dhow building centre; Tanga, Tanzania’s second largest sea port and home of the Amboni caves the Saadani game reserve bordering the magnificent beaches along the Indian ocean and considered one of Tanzania’s new generation of tourist destinations.

From  Dar es Salaam, with its nearly three million people, to the faded colonial outpost of Pangani, the Swahili Coast is Tanzania’s trade and commerce face to the world. with its offshore neighbor, the Zanzibar archipelago, this region has been witness to the rise and fall of successive empires and what they have left behind.

The Swahili cost – bustling sea-port and colonial centres of old

Dar es Salaam – a vibrant hub of activity
The capital of Tanzania is all but name, Dar es Salaam is a busy metropolis of some 2.5 million people.  Despite its size the city retains all the bustle and flavor of a major seaport, with much of the colonial and oriental feel still intact in architecture and in the trading areas.

Originally a small fishing village, Dar es Salaam owes its development to a Sultan of Oman who moved to Zanzibar and its fortuitously located inland harbor.  In fact, its name literally means ‘Haven of Peace’.  Which is what it has provided for shipping and commerce from the era aof the German Colonial Directorship to the present day.

The city centre is a hive of activity, architecturally interesting and with a number of museums well worth the visit – the National Museum, the Village Museum, the Nyerere house at Magomeni, the Botanical Gardens and the Mnazi Mmoja Park.  Don’t miss the lively fish market at Magogoni and the White Father’s Mission House, one of the oldest buildings in the city.

Dar es Salaam also has a number of public buildings of interest, including the State House, the City Hall, the Old German Prison, the Railway Station and the Ocean Road Hospital.  The city is the obvious springboard for visits throughout Tanzania, with road, railway and air links to destinations all over the country, and air and ferry links to the Zanzibar and Mafia archipelagos.  After a couple of days in Dar es Salaam you can relax on the pristine white sands of the city’s north and south coast.

Bagamoyo – remembrance of things past

Heading north out of the city, the first stop is Bagamoyo, a once-busy port whose sleepy air belies its vibrant past (for more details see Cultural Highlights).

Saadani National Park – new, but prospering
Another 70 km up the coast is the Saadani National Park, which is ideal for a day’s excursion from Dar es Salaam.  Although the bark is new, animal stock is good, and is building day by day.  Hippos, crocodiles, Roosevelt Sable antelope, giraffes, elephants and lions are in attendance, although for some Saadani’s endless white beaches are the main attraction.  Try to stay overnight to savour a sunrise over the Indian Ocean that will long remain with you. Out to sea, bottlenose dolphins are often sighted off the southern coast of the park and from mid-October to late November green turtles come ashore at Madete in the north to breed.

Pangani and Tanga – seaports past and present
Close to the beach, Pangani is a small Swahili town set on the river of the same name.  originally a dhow port, Pangani’s importance as a centre of commerce reached its zenith in the late 19th century, when it was another major export point of slaves and ivory, and one of the largest ports on the coast.  Today  you can see relics of that bygone era, as well as visit the beaches, the Pangani river and falls, and Maziwe island.

Tanzania’s second-largest seaport, Tanga is a good stop if  you’re en route to or from the north east.  Places worth a visit are the Ras Kazone peninsula and Jamhuri Park, which overlooks the harbor, and Totem Island, to which fishing boat captains in the harbor will usually take you for a fee.

Mtwara – Mikindani gateway to southern Tanzania
The starting point of Livingstone’s final voyage, Mikindani is a tiny Swahili town on the south-eastern coast, which was once a major port and trading post.  Charming and opicturesque, it offers v visitors stunning vistas, vibrant and colourful markets as well as petty to do in the line o sports and leisure.  Be sure to take a day-sail on a dhow not much different to those used on the old sea routes which is a excellent way to take in the magnificent views from the bay.  Further out, the blue wagers offer sport fishing enthusiasts plenty of opportunity to do battle with pelages, kingfish, barracuda, marlin and tuna,.

Along the cost, divers ad snorkelers can revel in the pristine beauty of the reefs in the Mnazi Bay Marine Reserve, which also offers holidaymakers miles upon miles of magnificent white beaches.

Beyond Mikindani lie a number of interesting spots to visit, among them the Ruvuma River to the south (home to hippos, crocodiles and a wealth of birdlife), and the Lukwila – Lumesule Game Reserve to the south-west, one of the least frequented reserves in Africa and home to lions, leopards, hippos, crocodiles and antelope, to name but a few.

Rhinos and hippos watering at sunset, they yellow baboon a flash of colour in the trees, the heavy thunder of elephants on the march…. Tanzania’s southern circuit is a feast for the senses and one of life’s rare beauties to e treasured. 

The Southern circuit – fabulous wildlife on the capital’s doorstep
Mikumi National Park – teeming with wildlife
Set between the Uluguru mountains to the north and the Lumango mountains to the south-east and within a short flight from Dar es Salaam, Mikumi offers over 3,000 sq km of terrain teeming with wildlife and 300 species of birdlife many of which are Eurasia. Here you can see buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, lions, leopards, sable antelopes, hippos and crocodiles plus a special treat  the Mikumi is also an important centre for the study of primates such as the yellow baboon.  The park is 330 km from Dar es Salaam on the highway to Zambia.

Selous Game Reserve – the size of a country
The largest game reserve in Africa, Selous covers 55,000 sq km of landmass (an area exceeding the size of Switzerland). Apart from its abundant wildlife, Selous also has a rich variety of birdlife and remaining habitat of black rhino.

Selous’ tangible assets include the Rufiji River, one of Africa’s truly mesmerizing waterways; sand banks lined with outsized crocodiles, palm fringed banks massed with thirty herds of elephants and buffalo, water teeming with grunting hippos and a veritable showcase fro Africa’s rich aquatic avifauna.  On dry land, leopard and cheetah can be spotted, with a good chance of running into wild dogs – 25 percent of the continent’s population is found here.

A key feature of the Selous is the range of activities offered to tourists. Motor boat trips offer a thrilling hippo’s eye perspective on the great river while foot safaris led by armed rangers, routinely involve encounters with the pachydermal kind.  From its source in the highlands, the Rufiji winds some 250 km through the reserve to the delta where it flows into the Indian Ocean.  This delta is home to a multitude of birdlife as well as being both a fresh and sea water marine ecosystem.

Udzungwa Mountains National Park – heart of the “African Galapagos”
One of Tanzania’s newest National Parks, Udzungwa is of particular interest for its 10 or so species of primates, among which are the rare Iringa red colobus and the Sanje crested taxa mangabey as well as the bizarre giant elephant shrew and numerous localized birds.  Like the Usambaras in the north, the Udzungwa’s relative isolation and constant climate over millions of years has given rise to a range of endemic flora and fauna sometimes dubbed the African Galapagos.  It also indicated the paucity of research that took place where until the 1990’s.  despite its varying altitude (200 m – 2,500 m) the forest cover is almost continuous, forming one of the world’s key biodiversity hot spots, and added extra for the adventurous visitor.

Ruaha National Park – elephants galore
I it’s elephants you’re looking for, head for Ruaha. Tanzania’s second-largest National Park, Ruaha is at the centre of an ecosystem that covers 12,950 sq km an is home to the country’s largest elephant population (estimated at some 10,000). It has a mood of its own – a rugged, remote, almost spiritual quality embodied b bulbous silhouettes of ancient baobabs that haunt its semi-arid plains and rocky slopes.  This vast and magnificent plateau, at mainly 900 m – 1,100 m high, is also home to kudus, gazelles, ostriches, cheetahs and roan and sable antelopes – while the banks of the Great Ruaha River to the east provide a perfect habitat for crocodiles, hippos and a wide array of birdlife.

Iringa-gateway to paradise
Perched at 1,6000 m and overlooking the Little Ruaha River, you’ll find Iringa, an attractive upland town that serves as the regional capital, and is the region’s agricultural trading centre.  It is also the picturesque gateway for excursions to Ruaha National Park, Isimila historical site and Kalenga village with chief Mkwawa’s museum.

The smell of freshly-brewed coffee on some outdoor range at dawn – coffee probably from some of he best local crop. Scenic mountains, extensive formlands, colorful market towns…. This is the essence of the border region between the Tanzania hinterland and the southern African countries.

The remote southern highlands – little – known treasures and alien artifacts

Many travelers pass through the Southern Highlands on their way to Zambia or Malawi while few give a second thought to stopping along the way. A pity because this region offers numerous attractions, roads are good, the people friendly and facilities are generally of a high standard.

Lake Nyasa and Matema – where three countries meet
Africa’s third-largest body of water, Lake Nyasa is 550 km long and 75 km wide at is widest point. Its shores border three countries Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Livingstone Mountains, the Tanzanian shores are not short on interest, including Matema and its fabulous beach.

Quiet and attractive, Matema is a small town that caters to visitors wishing to experience an unpretentious local culture.  Tourist Infrastructure is limited, but excursions are available onto the lake or down the coast while the nearby waterfalls and caves are a delight.  You can spend the day engaged in any number of activities, or simply sunbathe on the beach in the year-round worm sunshine.

The Mbozi Meteorite – visitor from outer space

A must for visitors with time for exploration is the Mbozi Meteorite.  Seldom seen by travelers, it was only discovered by outsiders in 1930, despite the fact that it had been known to locals for centuries.  Seemingly its existence had never been reported because of taboos surrounding its origin and purpose. However, there is nothing in local legend to indicate the real origins of the meteorite, which is thought to pre-date the existing culture by probably several thousand years.

The meteorite itself is some 3m long and 1m high, and is now elevated on a plinth that denotes its national artifact status.

Mbeya and the mountains
Just this side of the Zambian border is the town of Mbeya.  Formerly a gold rush town, Mbeya is today the region’s commercial and administrative centre. Around the town there’s some good hiking and hill-walking to be had in he verdant Mbeya range.  For a fun day trip, take a dalla dalla to Mbalizi junction, where you’ll find the start of the hiking trail to the Mbeya Peak, at 2,818 m the highest peak in the range.  Also of interest is the remote Lake Rukwa, a real ‘out in the middle of nowhere’ paradise that can only be accessed with a 4WD. Mbeya has a new airport that provides airlinks with Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza and Dodoma towns.

Kitulo Plateau – a botanist’s delight
Situated between the Livingstone and Uporoto ranges, the high Kitulo Plateau is a unique experience of endemic plant life for lovers of nature and botany.  This combined with the  breathtaking scenery of the Livingstone Mountains backdrops has earned it the local name of ‘Bustani ya Mungu,’ which literally means God’s Garden. Soon to be named a National Park, Kitulo is one of the greatest floral spectacles in the world, and a must in any Southern Highlands itinerary.

With no longer the rumble of caravan trains nor the journeys and intensity of European missions, Western Tanzania’s wide-reaching plains and deep lakes have once again become the undisturbed kingdom of the flora and fauna that have reigned there since time began.  Visiting Western Tanzania is a journey to another world.

The western hinterland – remote mountains and historical meeting points
Gombe Stream National Park – the chimpanzee centre

Tanzania’s smallest national park, Gombe Stream is a world centre of study on chimpanzees, and the location of the longest-running wildlife observation programme on the planet.  Started in 1960 by British naturalist Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee study is now in its sixth generation. As an added bonus, Gombe Stream’s small size permits an easy and comprehensive visit, so don’t miss the opportunity to get out walking with every chance of meeting a couple of chimps on your way.

Katavi National Park – the great unkown 
No list of this sort would be complete without a “best kept secret”. And Katavi is precisely that.  Tanzania’s third largest National Park covering 4,500 sq km, remains one of the few viable savannah reserves anywhere on the continent.  You could drive around for days without encountering another tourist. Big five devotees have much to look forward to, lion and elephant sightings match those anywhere; thousand strong herds of buffalo mass on the plains, while leopard are frequent in the woodland.  An unexpected highlight is the ponds of up to 200 hippos that jostle for wallowing space in practically any stretch of water deep enough to wet a knee in.

Ujiji – ancient caravan terminus
On to tiny Ujiji, just south of Kigoma, the region’s capital.  Although few traces of its former glory remain, this town used to be the terminus of East Africa’s most important slave and ivory caravan route, linking Lake Tanganyika across the plains and mountains to Bagamoyo and the Indian Ocean.  As such, it was an important ship-building centre, and a natural way-station for a number of European explorations.  It is also the scene of the famous meeting between Henry Morton Stanley and Dr David Livingstone.

Tabora – trading post of the past
Previously a major trading post on the old caravan, the town of Tabora has also been a mission station as well as hosting several European explorers.  One of its major claims to fame though was as the centre of the infamous slave trader Tippu Tip’s extensive empire.  More recently, Tabora has become a regional centre for education and is where Tanzania’s first President, Julius Nyerere attended school.

Mahale National Park – Lake Tanganyika paradise
This lovely National Park could be described as a tropical beach nirvana.  Scenically, Mahale might have been transplanted from some uninhabited Indian Ocean Island, with its white sandy beaches lapped by the transparent waters of lake Tanganyika (the world’s longest, second deepest and reputedly least polluted fresh water body) and rising to forested peaks 2,000 m above shore.  With an area of 1,600 km Mahale mountain slopes harbor a diverse forest fauna and flora, including readily observed troops of red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys and a population of eight hundred chimpanzees, he subject of Japanese research for four decades.

Furthermore, there is always a lake nearby for refreshing dip and home to an estimated one thousand colourful cichlid and other fish species.

It was in Ujiji, in this part of Tanzania that the famous historical meeting took place.

“Dr. Livingstone I presume”

And this is how the dialogue went:  the only white men within a thousand miles, they came up to each other and doffed their hats:

Stanley: “Dr Livingstone, I Presume”.
Livingstone:  “Yes”
Stanley: “Doctor, I think God I have been permitted to shake hands with you.”
Livingstone: “I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you.”

Not perhaps the most sparkling of dialogues, but it did give birth to one of the best known lines in the English Language.

From the labyrinthine streets and alleys of Zanzibar’s Stone Town to the laid-back beach culture of Pemba an Mafia, Tanzania’s islands range from the culturally exotic to the simply stunning.  Spice, sails and nature all combine to make Tanzania’s offshore islands a rich and heady mixture of history and culture in a setting of paradise.

Mystery and magic – the lure of he spice islands

Ivory and slaves – Zanzibar’s capital of bygone empires
Previously the court of the sultan of Oman, Zanzibar’s rich and intricate history is in evidence everywhere on the island. Walk around stone Town for an hour or three and you’ll see two millennia of history unfold before your very eyes.  Arthitecturally the mix is incredible with buildings displaying Arabic, Indian, European and African characteristics.  Of particular note are the city’s 500 or so doors, with their intricate carvings, brass spikes and even verses quoted from the Koran.

However, while Zanzibar may begin at Stone Town it doesn’t end there.  Far from it.  Apart from fascinating architecture and relics of a majestic past, Zanzibar also offers music, beaches, historical trips to clove plantations and much more.  Diving and snorkeling enthusiasts will choose from 3 main areas, with Mnemba considered to be the best.  Those seeking privacy will find several less well-known sites on the east cost.

Some 35 km to the sough of Zanzibar Town lies the Jozani Forest, part of the Jozani-Chwaka Conservation Area.  Within the forest are the rare red colobus monkey, as well as several other species of monkey, birds, butterflies and other animals.  Here you can experience the rare pleasure of close observation of the indigenous wildlife, although park staff recommend 3 metres as the limit for approaching monkeys.

Back to Stone Town, a not-to-be-missed evening event is listening to Taarab music in one of the music clubs. Taarab is endemic to the island, and is considered an important cultural unifier among some locals.  Traditionally accompanied by an orchestra of at least twenty-five musicians, Taarab singers recite from memory their poems on love and romance in poignant and subtle verses.

Pemba-the original spice island
Zanzibar’s much-overlooked neighbor, Pemba is as laid back and natural as Zanzibar is upbeat and cosmopolitan.  Hilly and fertile, Pemba was once known to Arab traders as ‘al khuthera’, literally ‘the green island.’  And green it most certainly is. Its agricultural bounty is the island’s economic mainstay – Pemba provides almost 80% of the archipelago’s output in cloves alone.
Apart from cloves, many other attractions are on offer.  For those of a mystic bent (or for the simply curious) the island has long been renowned as a centre for voodoo and traditional healing.  Even today, believers come from all over East Africa seeking cures or learning.

Pemba Channel and it’s shores are a delight for watersports and diving enthusiasts.  Coral reefs, steeply shelving undersea topography and beautiful unspoilt beaches all combine to make a swimming or diving expedition difficult to beat.

Mafia Island – anglers’ paradise

Twenty minutes flight south of Dar es Salaam is Mafia Island. Eulogized by divers, snorkelers and game fishermen alike, the Mafia archipelago is protected by extensive barrier reefs.  It is home to fauna as diverse as anything in East Africa four hundred fish and five turtle species, spread out along fifty genera of coral.  In 1995, the archipelago with an area of 820 sq km embaracing the southern and eastern shores of Mafia island and several atolls was declared Tanzania’s first Marine park.  For those whose experience of African fauna is restricted to terrestrial habitats, it will take perhaps five minutes below the waters off Mafia to experience something akin to epiphany.  Swirling around the base of mushroomed coral outcrops is a veritable kaleidoscope of reef dwellers,  their brilliant, luminous hues reflected in equally colourful common names including: clown fish, butterfly fish, rainbow fish, lion fish.  In deeper waters divers come across larger species: groupers, sharks, tuna, rays while the open sea verging the marine park is renowned for game fish such as marlin, barracuda and sailfish.

Scattered here and there around the country are fascinating reminders of Tanzania’s rich and colourful history. Wherever you are visiting you will find sites and places both stunning and unexpected.

Some of our cultural highlights – well worth the visit

Due to its strategic location, Bagamoyo (68 km north of Dar es Salaam) became a staging point during the ivory and slave trading era.  It is the eight World Heritage site of Tanzania (others being Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National park, Selous Game Reserve, Zanzibar Stone Town, Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara, and the Olduvai Gorge). The name Bagamoyo is said to be derived from the cry of slaves brought here after a long march from the hinterland to await auction and export, and means “bwaga moyo – here I lay down my heart.”  The somber history of this once-great city is evidenced by remnants of the slave trade  shackle rings set in stone pits in which slaves were kept. Efforts are underway to develop its African Duiaspora Heritage Trail product.  Bagamoyo was also the first capital of Tanganyika during German colonial rule until it was shifted to Dar es Salaam in 1892. While in Bagamoyo, visit the Kaole Ruins, the Roman Catholic historical museum and the chapel which housed Dr. Livingstone’s body before it was shipped to Westminster Abbey in London. There is also a palm fringed sand beach with international hotel resorts.

This bustling market town and fishing port on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria makes a welcome stop for those travelling in the area. Its surrounding region of low hills is home to several tribes, including the Taturu, Kuria and Jita.  Make sure to visit the Tembo Beach, especially for the magnificent sunrise as and sunsets over Mara Bay. A short drive will take you to Butiama village, birthplace of Mw. Julius K. Nyerere, first presient of Tanzania and father of the modern nation.

Olduvai Gorge
No visit to northern Tanzania is complete without this 50 km long canyon within the Ngorongoro volcanic area.  In this area hominid fossil remains of up to 3 different species have been found, the oldest being thought to be some 3 million years old.  Guides are available to visit the excavations and there’s an interesting museum on the Serengeti road.  Nearby is the Laetoli footprints being 3.5 million years old.


This town located on Tanzania’s North East coast, it the country’s chief northern seaport and is close to Pemba island, Pangani, Amani Nature Reserve, Amboni caves are seven kilometers from town centre off the main road between Tanga and Horo Horo.  The underground caverns are estimated to extend over 234 km.

Kilwa Ruins
Located on the sough-eastern coast, the Kilwa ruins are considered to be the most historically significant group of Swahuili buildings on the entire eastern seaboard.  Actually covering 3 different sites, Kivinje and Masoko on the coast, and Kisiwani on a nearby island, these ruins are a unique record of various waves of occupation and control over the region.  Dating from the 12th century to the 19th century, they are mostly crumbling and overgrown today, but there are occasional surprises such as the 800 year old octagonal swimming pool in near perfect condition! In their heyday, however, the 3-in-1 Kilwas were so developed as to leave a lasting impression on he Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who established the right to a tribute for the King of Portugal.  Today, Kilwa’s ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Kilo Rock Paintings

At Kolo, 100 km south of Babati, you will find the extensive Kolo Rock Paintings, whose origin is the source of intense academic dispute.  The paintings themselves show generally simplified figures engaged in hunting, or playing musical instruments, or crossing rivers, or animals such as elephants, giraffes and antelope.  Others show unintelligible forms, perhaps early attempts at abstract art.  Little is known about the painters, though theories abound.  Kolo Rock paintings are set within hilly landscape characterised by miombo woodlands that were home to herds of wildlife roaming peacefully within the Rift Valley.


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