Top Things to do on a Safari in Tanzania
Top Things to do on a Safari in Tanzania: Tanzania is one of the most visited destinations in Africa due to rich biodiversity ranging from rare wildlife, vegetations types, mountains, hospitable people, rich culture, water bodies among others. Tanzania has a number of national parks such as Serengeti National park, Tarangire national park, Selous national park, Ruaha national park, Arusha national park, Mount Kilimanjaro national park, Mahale national park among others which offer a number of interesting activities that you can engage in so to make your safari in Tanzania memorable.
Top things to do on a safari in Tanzania
Game drives, this is one of the famous activities that is carried out in various national parks in Tanzania such as Serengeti national park, Tarangire national park, Ngorongoro conservation area, Lake Manyara national park, Selous game reserve, Katavi national park, Arusha national park, Ruaha national park among others. Game drives in Tanzania are done in the comfort of a pop up safari vehicle early in the morning or in the afternoon with an experienced driver guide who will help you to spot different wildlife species. there are different animals which can be seen during the game drive such as elephants, buffaloes, tree climbing lions in Lake Manyara national park, leopards, waterbucks, bushbucks, warthogs, gazelle, zebras, giraffes, impala, elands among others, beautiful landscape, plant and tree species, bird species among others. Animals in the national parks can be viewed grazing in the open savannah, woodland plains or drinking water around the water bodies.
Chimpanzee trekking, this is one of the adventurous activities that allows visitors to move into the forest on foot in search of the habituated chimpanzee families and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania is famously carried out in Mahale Mountains national park which is located on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika and known for harboring large populations of chimpanzees and Gombe national park which is the smallest protected area located in western Tanzania. Trekking of the endangered chimpanzees in the national parks starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where after you will be allocated a park guide who is well conversant with trails in the jungle and then start trekking. During chimpanzee trekking you will have great views of different bird species, plant and tree species, some animals like small antelopes, other primates like vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, yellow baboons, red colobus monkeys among others.
Mountain climbing, there are great mountains to climb during the safari in Tanzania such as mount Kilimanjaro which is the most famous and tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Meru which is the second highest mountain and fourth highest in the world located in Arusha national park, Ol Donyo Lengai an active volcano that is situated in the rift valley on the border with Kenya, Usambara mountain and Udzungwa mountain which is found in Udzungwa mountains national park. During hiking you will have spectacular views of different animals, primates, colorful bird species, beautiful scenery, different plant and tree species, views of water bodies, farmlands, Tanzania’s landscape, views of the crater among others which make mountain climbing interesting.
Bird watching, Tanzania is a home of over 1125 bird species including migratory birds, endemic, water birds, near endemic, forest birds among others which make Tanzania one of the best birding destinations. Birding in Tanzania is carried out different national parks including Tarangire, Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Arusha, Ngorongoro conservation area, water bodies like Lake Tanganyika, Rivers, Mountain areas, forests among others. During bird watching bird lovers will be able to spot bird species like flamingos, African jacana, ostrich, kori bustard, saddle billed stork, sacred ibis, crowned eagle, black headed gonolek, grey breasted spurfowl, yellow throated sandgrouse, hildebrandts starling, fischers lovebird, rufous tailed weaver, pink breasted lark, great white pelican, bare faced go away bird, secretary bird, ashy starling, yellow collared sunbird, donaldsonsmiths nightjar, vulturine guinefowl, Egyptian vulture, white naped raven, Jacksons widowbird, augur buzzard, Kenya rufous sparrow, black kite, namaqua dove, hadada ibis, African olive pigeon, black saw wing, red fronted turaco, tawny eagle among others.
Night game drives, this is a fascinating activity that is carried out at night with spot light torches for clear viewing of nocturnal animals. Night game drives in Tanzania are only permitted is selected national parks including Lake Manyara national park, Ruaha national park, Tarangire national park and Mikumi national park. Night game drives are carried out after dinner and you will be accompanied by an armed park ranger who will protect you from any danger and also help you to spot nocturnal animals which are always active at night such as leopards, lions, porcupines, civet cats, genets, spotted hyenas, aardvark, bush babies, mongoose, wild dogs, jackals, honey badgers, wild dogs, serval cats, bat eared fox, view hippos grazing, the stars and other animals like elephants, buffaloes among others resting under the iconic baobab trees.
Canoeing, canoeing is one of the amazing activities in Tanzania that give you an opportunity to explore the water body and get close to different wildlife. This activity is only carried out in three destinations that is Lake Duluti near Arusha city, small Momella Lake in Arusha national park and Lake Manyara in Lake Manyara national park. Canoeing in the mentioned destinations can be done with the help of experienced guides and it’s either carried out in the morning or in the afternoon taking about 2 to 3 hours ride. during canoeing you will have spectacular views of the beautiful scenery, view hippos and crocodiles in water, elephants buffaloes, waterbucks, warthogs, zebras along the water shores, different water species like flamingos, pink backed pelican, cormorants, saddle billed stork, African skimmer, African spoonbills, grey heron, helmeted guinea fowl, grey headed kingfisher, white browned caucal, sacred ibis, bee-eaters, harmmerkop, view fishermen preparing their nets for night fishing, sunrise among others.
Guided nature walk, this is an incredible activity that allows visitors to get out of the comfort of the safari vehicle and explore the natural environment in national parks on foot. Nature walks are carried out in all the national parks in Tanzania and they can either be done in the morning or in the evening with the company of an armed park ranger to protect you from any danger. During the guided nature walks you will get close and personal with habitats of animals, view beautiful scenery, sunset/sunrise plant and tree species, view animals like elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, wildebeest, waterbucks, warthogs among others grazing in the open plains, view colorful bird species flying up in the air, butterflies, listen to sweet sounds of birds singing, enjoy the cool breeze, relax and breath fresh air, take beautiful pictures among others.
Hot air balloon, this is an interesting and exciting that shouldn’t be missed during your tour in Tanzania. Hot air balloon activity is only carried out in two national parks that is Tarangire national park and Serengeti national park. During the hot air balloon safari you will have an aerial view of the park, wildlife around Seronera River, experience the great wildebeest migration in Serengeti national park, view different bird species, tree tops, sunrise , animals like elephants, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes among others grazing in the open plains among others. After the hot air balloon safari visitors will be awarded certificates for participating and a bush breakfast.
Cultural tours, this is one of the exciting activities in Tanzania where you get an opportunity to directly interact with the local people in the communities. there are more than 120 tribes in rural Tanzania and there are popular cultural centers that will be visited during the culture tours such as the Mto wa Mbu that is situated on the foot of the great rift valley bordering Lake Manyara national park, the Maasai Bomas in Ngorongoro conservation area, the Hadzabe and datoga, the Ng’iresi village, the Mulala village located on the southern lower slopes of Mount Meru in Arusha among others. During the cultural tour you will view different kinds of materials used to make arrows, learn how to make fire in the ancient hand-drill method using palms, know more about the monogamy and polygamy practice for the marriage, life in the caves in the rainy season and under trees in the dry season, learn about their way of living, their dress code, learn about cow milking and preparation of local butter, learn about the preparation of local beer, enjoy traditional entertainment inform of music, dance and drama.
When to go on a safari in Tanzania
Tanzania can be visited all year round though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June to October and December to February. During this period there is less rainfall in the national parks therefore access roads will be passable, vegetation will be less and animals will gather around the water bodies to drink water hence giving you an opportunity to clearly view different animals.
Tanzania can also be visited in the wet season during the months of November to May because this is the best period for bird viewing where bird lovers will be able to view colorful and migratory bird species.