A safari is all about being out in the bush, away from civilization for hours on end, tracking, spotting and observing some of the world’s most awe inspiring wildlife and scenery. This in itself is an incredible experience, but the bush can offer a wide range of activities that will bring you that much closer to this beautiful, unspoiled environment.
You do not need to be particularly sporty – all our activities are suitable for anyone who is reasonably fit. They also provide an excellent opportunity for you to explore your surroundings from a different perspective – on foot, on a bicycle, paddling in a canoe or even from a hot-air balloon.
Hot Air Ballooning
Hot air ballooning offers you the unique opportunity of taking in some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife and scenery from the ultimate perspective: a thousand feet above.
Floating up gently as the sun rises, you will travel in whichever direction the wind takes you. In complete silence, other than the occasional sound of the burner, the experience of floating calmly over the vast plains below is indescribable, other than to say you will remember it for the rest of your life. After your flight, you’ll celebrate the event with a traditional champagne breakfast. Hot air ballooning is available either at the Serengeti or Tarangire national park.
Night Game Drives
The bush is a completely different world at night which is what makes night drives so special. Night drives are accompanied by two guides, one sitting on the bonnet of the jeep with a spotlight. At night, animals behave quite differently than during the day. Hippos come out of the water and graze like cattle, cats come out to hunt, and you may even see porcupines or, if you are really lucky, a leopard and many more to see during night.
Guided Walking Tours
Step out of your vehicle and onto African soil – a walk will give you a completely different feel for your surroundings. Whether you are trekking through the forested slopes near Manyara, in the heart of Tarangire National Park or in the Serengeti, this is arguably the best way to truly immerse yourself in the African bush – something that has to be experienced firsthand.
Walking safaris are guided by experienced walking guides together with an armed ranger. Guests learn about nature, wildlife behavior and animal tracks. Although animals are usually spotted, the goal is not to get as close as possible to the wildlife but rather to observe their undisturbed behavior. Walking safaris are limited in the Tanzanian national parks, but are available in Tarangire NP, the Northern Serengeti and in a concession area outside Southern Serengeti. It is very fulfilling to take a break from the vehicle and really get into the bush – on your feet.
Hours of scenic canoeing in Arusha National Park can be had, following the shorelines of Small Momella Lake. This is an excellent way of viewing high densities of wildlife – many animals are attracted to the water to drink and hunt.
You will be able to get up-close to buffalo, giraffes, bushbucks and waterbucks grazing on the shore – all from the security of our stable two-person canoes. As an added bonus, the view of Mount Kilimanjaro is stunning on clear days.
The Great Rift Valley escarpment is a wonderful place for some biking. As many cyclists will tell you, there’s no better way of seeing the world than from a bike .
At a relaxed and easy going pace, your guide will take you on a bike ride that lasts between two to three hours. Firstly, down the Great Rift Valley escarpment, through the village of Mto Wa Mbu, past farmlands and acacia forests all the way to the border of Manyara National Park. This ride is an excellent introduction into daily life in a typical Tanzanian village.
Cultural Tour – Visit a Massai Village
Tanzania is much more than just a safari destination. The local culture and people of this country make for a wonderfully enriching experience.
Go on a 2-3 hour Cultural Village Walk through the village of Mto wa Mbu, where a lot of different tribes co-exist peacefully. You will walk through the village at an easy going pace which allows you to meet and interact with its residents and get a real feel of the heartbeat of an authentic African village. You will visit the school and meet the children, visit the hospital, the village bar, and even residents in their homes.
The Hadzabe are the last tribe of hunter-gatherers left in Tanzania that still live traditionally in small, relatively isolated family units. One of two remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in Tanzania, the Hadzabe speaks a unique click language.
The men hunt with bows and arrows (for bigger game they smear the poison of the desert rose on their arrow shafts) and the women forage daily for fruits and roots. Honey is also an important part of their diet. They are nomadic and move often so they don’t build permanent houses but only shelters out of interwoven twigs and grass as protection from the rain. During the long dry season they prefer to sleep outside where the wind cools them and keeps the mosquitoes at bay.
The Hadzabe are friendly and welcoming. They have no chief and no social hierarchy. Unlike women in other African tribes, Hadza women are equal to the men and they are generally strong willed. They bring home more than 80% of the food, the hunting being mostly a supplement to their diet.
The visit to the Hadzabe is better done at dawn, especially if you wish to follow them on their hunt. They start hunting at day break when they are more likely to find game. When hunting with guests the men won’t go as far as they normally would and focus their efforts on animals that can be cornered up a tree such as squirrels, monkeys, bush- babies and birds. Anything that runs will hear the hunting party way before and look for cover.
The hunt might last as long as four hours, the men walk fast and the terrain is often rocky and peppered with thorn bushes. Make sure you wear strong, closed shoes and clothes that you are not too fond of as they might get ripped. It can be chilly in the early morning during the winter but it will soon get hot, so it is better if you dress in several layers that you can peel off along the way. Make sure you take sunscreen, a hat to cover your head and plenty of water.
Other Interesting Places Worth A Visit
Lake Eyasi is a mildly alkaline lake about 50 km in length. It takes a little over an hour to get there from Ngorongoro Crater, and is mostly visited as a cultural tour to see the Hadzabe and Datoga Tribes. The highlight of a visit to Lake Eyasi is an early morning hunt with the Hadzabe.
Lake Natron is off the beaten track, with attractions including a river walk with two waterfalls, a hike across a soda lake with flamingos, and a trek up Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano. Ol Doinyo Lengai is located in the heart of the Great Rift Valley and has erupted at least a dozen times over the last century. A challenging hike to the top of the “Mountain of God” offers an opportunity to view molten lava. Visitors to Lake Natron can also interact with the local Maasai community.