Tanzania Safaris; Away from the Madding Crowd


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Safaris in Tanzania are usually centered around the northern safari circuit and the southern safari circuit. However, the Tanzania Safari is not limited to these areas. Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro in the north of Tanzania and the Selous in the south are breathtaking safari destinations and a magnet for the tourist in ever increasing numbers. In response to this increasing pressure on the environment Tanzania has doubled the park fees for the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro; in order to reduce the ever increasing number of safari tours and thereby save these special places for future generations.

The Selous in the south of Tanzania is huge and has high concentrations of animals, in fact higher concentrations than the Serengeti. The park is huge, lodges are few and the tourist density is as low as the animal density is high; making for an ideal Tanzania safari.

The Udzungwa Mountain National park is a park without roads. A safari destination where the walking is the only way to travel; yes you must leave the comfort of your vehicle and walk; mainly in mountain rain forest. This park was created for the protection of plants rather than animals and is unique in the Tanzania safari circuit. It is better to visit this park in the dry season as paths are slippery and rivers impassable in the wet season.

I would say why go only to the National Parks when on safari in Tanzania? This is not necessary; if you enjoy birds, culture and stunning scenery visit the East and West Usambara Mountains. No park fees, lodges are very reasonably priced and such stunning African mountains to explore. Or the lesser known Southern Pare Mountains, I have visited these lovely mountains twice and not seen another tourist during my entire visit.

Why go to Zanzibar; the flights are expensive and the main island can be stuffed to overflowing with tourists in high season. Pangani town and old Arab town set on the Pangani River is a wonderful alternative. Here the lodges sit on deserted beaches and one visitor said I have arrived in paradise. Snorkeling and now diving are available at Pangani. The lazy Pangani River is great for a sunset cruse, it is a wide river that flows through a old coconut plantation into the Pangani Bay. There is also plans to provide day trips along the coast to Saadani National Park this is a game reserve where the bush meets the sea; where lions have been seen walking along the beach and Elephants frolicking in the serf.

If animals is a high priority then there are seldom visited game parks in the West of Tanzania. They are remote and it may take a little planning with an operator who is willing to try an itinerary that is a little different. To travel to places such at Katavi National Park with herds of buffalo 4,000 strong; and where there are buffalo the lion is not far behind. Also hippopotami in the pools that are to numerous to count. There is only one lodge in this park, just one. This park allows you to experience a little of what the first explorers must have felt; the vastness of Africa.

Rubondo Island National Park is a small island set in the huge Lake Victoria. The eastern shore of Lake Victoria is only a few kilometers from the Serengeti. The best way to get to this island is by charter plane. This island is a real paradise with the Tanzania safari adventure starting as the light aircraft lands on the grass airstrip, sometimes animals will have to be cleared off the runway. The island is striking in its greenness and the whistles of the African Grey parrot echoing in the forest, truly you have landed in an African paradise. There are only two vehicles on the island and one tented camp.

Again for something just a little different on a remote plateau in Southern Tanzania is a huge carpet of ground orchid’s; that bloom quite unnoticed, every year, in a forgotten corner of Tanzania. This area is the beautiful Southern Highlands of Tanzania, where the country borders with Zambia and Malawi. It is forgotten as possibly it is as far away from the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro as you can get and still be in Tanzania. Although it is a pity it goes so unnoticed but maybe the lack of people helps protect this delicate ecosystem. This high place in the clouds is called the Kitulo Plateau National Park.

The site http://www.tanzania-info.co.uk has full details and timetables for Zanzibar Ferries, flights and Buses in Tanzania – and http://www.betheladventure.co.uk has safari information. Use responsible tourism to make a difference to the countries and peoples you visit.


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