Activities to do on a Tanzania safari
Activities to do on a Tanzania safari: Tanzania is a safari destination located in East Africa which is popular among tourists interested in engaging in a variety of activities. There are also a number of destinations in Tanzania which are visited by tourists on safari.
Things to do or activities that can be carried out during a safari around Tanzania include the following;
Spotting the big 5
Tanzania is home to a variety of wildlife species which can be seen in national parks and other protected areas such as Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro conservation area, Lake Manyara national park and many others.
The big 5 which include elephants, buffalos, rhinos, lions and leopards are said to be the most difficult wildlife species to hunt on foot. All of the big 5 can be seen in Serengeti national park and also in Ngorongoro conservation area while other destinations in Tanzania may have some and not all of the big 5.
Lions which are part of the big 5 can be seen in many numbers during a safari in Serengeti national park in areas such as Seronera area and also in the remote eastern parts of the national park. Serengeti national park has over 3000 lions which can be spotted in the open plains at the destination.
Seeing the wildebeest migration
The wildebeest migration is one of the natural wonders of Africa and it takes place annually across the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. Over 1.5 million wildebeests and 200,000 zebras can be encountered during the wildebeest migration.
The clockwise movement of these wildebeests takes place between the northern part of Tanzania and the southern part of Kenya where the Masai Mara national reserve is located. The wildebeest migration can be seen at different locations during different months.
Predators such as lions can also be spotted during the wildebeest migration as they wait to prey on the wildebeests. Wildebeests are also preyed on by Nile crocodiles during the river crossings which take place along Grumeti river and the Mara river.
In order to see the wildebeest migration, tourists have to keep in mind the location where the wildebeest herds can be seen before going ahead to book a safari. The calving season during the wildebeest migration is another highlight to look forward to as over 8000 wildebeests are born daily around February and March.
Tanzania not only has wildlife species but also abundant bird species and is an excellent destination for birding. With over 1388 different bird species of Tanzania including both endemic, resident and migratory birds can be seen around different locations in the country such as in Tarangire national park which has over 600 bird species, Serengeti national park, the momella lakes, Lake Natron, the eastern arc mountains, Rubondo island, Selous game reserve, Katavi national park, Lake Manyara national park, Mahale mountains national park, Ngorongoro crater, Ruaha national park among others.
Bird species such as the shoe bill can also be seen during a bird-watching experience around Tanzania. Many flocks of flamingos can also be seen in Tanzania such as along the shores of Lake Natron.
Recommended time of the year for bird watching is from November to April when migrant bird species can also be seen around different destinations of Tanzania.
Hot air balloon safari
Another activity to carry out during a safari in Tanzania is a hot air balloon ride. This activity is carried out in the northern part of Tanzania over the savannah plains and wilderness. This activity starts as early as 5:00 am in the morning.
During the drive to the launch site of the hot air balloons, some of the nocturnal wildlife species can also be spotted. Before the hot air balloon ride, the passengers are briefed about the safety as the balloons are inflated.
The direction the hot air balloon takes depends on the winds as the balloon floats over the plains of Serengeti national park. After the balloon ride, the passengers share breakfast in the Serengeti plains.
Visiting the Ngorongoro crater
The Ngorongoro crater is the world’s largest inactive caldera and is located in the northern part of Tanzania. During a safari on the crater floor, a variety of wildlife species can be spotted such as the big 5.
The destination has beautiful scenery and the Ngorongoro conservation area is also shared by the wildlife species and the Maasai people who graze their livestock like cattle and goats in the savannah plains.
The Ngorongoro crater is also one of the 7 natural wonders of Africa and it was formed as a result of collapse of a volcano over 2 million years ago. The crater is also made up of a soda lake called Lake Magadi as well as grasslands, swamps and a forest.
Interacting with the Maasai tribe
The Maasai are a group of people who live around Tanzania and are known for their unique culture and way of life as well as for practicing nomadism. During a safari around Tanzania, a visit to the Maasai villages is also an activity to look forward to as you get to know more about their culture and way of life.
The Maasai dress in shukas and the way of dressing is different depending on the age, sex and place and they dress in different colors on different occasions. These colors include red, black, blue and these cloths can also have checkered patterns.
Visits to the traditional homesteads of the Maasai are also part of the experience while interacting with the Maasai who welcome visitors with songs and dance and cheerful smiles dressed in their traditional clothing.
Some of the places where tourists can interact with the Maasai during a safari in Tanzania include Mto wa mbu town, Karatu, Arusha as well as around Serengeti national park, Lake Manyara national park, Tarangire national park as well as in Kenya.
Guided nature walks
While on a safari around Tanzania, tourists can also engage in wildlife viewing on foot as in a guided nature walk. This activity is more interactive and gives the tourists a close encounter with the natural surroundings at the destination.
The armed rangers who accompany tourists on these guided nature walks in Tanzania also teach the tourist how to track the wildlife species. During nature walks, tourists are also able to see wildlife species from a safe and close distance.
In Lake Manyara national park, guided nature walks also involve walking along the treetop walkway which is a suspended bridge about 18 meters off the ground. This bridge is found in the forest close to the northern entrance to the national park.
Game drives are among the popular activities which are carried out during a safari around Tanzania. This activity can be carried out at different times of day such as in the morning, afternoon or evening and also during the night.
Some of the popular wildlife viewing destinations of Tanzania where tourists enjoy game drives is the northern tourist circuit which includes Serengeti national park, Lake Manyara national park, Tarangire national park and Ngorongoro conservation area.
Wildlife viewing around Tanzania can be carried out at any time of the year although the best time of the year recommended for game viewing is during the months of June to October which is the dry season.
Another activity which is carried out during a safari in Tanzania is canoeing as tourists enjoy relaxing on the beautiful lakes of Tanzania where wildlife species such as crocodiles, hippos, buffalos, elephants and many others can be seen along the shores of the lakes and in the water.
Use of boats in Tanzania is another mode of transport which is used to get around the country which is made up of different lakes and rivers. This activity can be carried out in destinations such as Selous game reserve, Lake Manyara national park as well as Arusha national park among others.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro which is the highest mountain in Africa is also located in Tanzania and is a popular hiking destination which is visited by tourists. The routes which are used for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro include Marangu route, Machame route, Rongai route, Lemosho route, Umbwe route.
Zanzibar is one of the islands of Tanzania which is located on the Indian Ocean. There are a number of activities which are carried out during a visit to Zanzibar and they include snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, visiting stone town, scuba diving, visiting the beaches among others.
Horse riding is another of the many activities carried out during a safari around Tanzania.