October 2017

October 25, 2017

Tanzania’s Best Kept Secret – Ruaha National Park

With its seemingly endless list of places to explore and experiences to be had, it’s no secret that Tanzania is a top-notch country for travellers to visit.

From the Serengeti plains to Zanzibar’s beaches, to Mount Kilimanjaro, to the Ngorongoro Crater and beyond, Tanzania is home to many bucket list destinations. However, it’s the lesser known, uncrowded attractions that really make Tanzania such a safari gem. Ruaha National Park is just one example of such an attraction.

Situated right in the heart of Tanzania, covering a unique transition area where the Eastern and Southern species of fauna and flora meet against a dramatic topographical background, Ruaha National Park is one of Tanzania’s best-kept secrets. Covering more than 20,000km², Ruaha is the largest park in the country, however, despite this, it remains largely off the radar for tourists and therefore provides a truly unhurried and uncrowded game viewing experience.

Highlights of Ruaha National Park:
• Diverse range of habitats and landscapes
• Huge variety of wildlife and birds, including large prides of lions, an elephant population numbering over 10 000, and approximately 500 bird species
• There are only a handful of camps within the vast area of the park, ensuring a uncrowded safari experience.
• The park is has been described as a ‘predator’s paradise’ as it is home to a healthy population of lions, leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs and other smaller predators.
• It is also one of the only national parks in Tanzania where both the greater and lesser kudu co-exist.

What to do in Ruaha National Park:
• Go and a game drive and spot the diverse game within the park, including the Big Five.
• Enjoy excellent birdwatching opportunities, especially during the European winter season when the migratory birds are around.
• Sip on a ‘sundowner’ drink while watching the sunset over the horizon.
• Go on a guided walking safari and experience the park up-close and personal. Some camps even offer fly camping for an authentic and wild bush camping experience.

Where to stay in Ruaha National Park:
There are only a few places to stay within the Ruaha National Park. Here are two of our top choices:

Ikuka: https://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/tanzania/ikuka
Set atop the Mwagusi Escarpment, Ikuka Safari Camp is an intimate, secluded camp with expansive, uninterrupted views across the savannah and sprawling Ruaha valley. With just six thatched, open-sided suites, Ikuka is an intimate and luxurious base for travellers looking to explore Tanzania’s remote and wild Ruaha National Park.

Jongomero: https://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/tanzania/jongomero
Situated along the flourishing banks of the seasonal Jongomero Sand River, Jongomero Camp is the only camp that is set right at the bottom of the park. With the nearest camp located 70kms away, Jongomero boasts a truly remote setting. Consisting of eight large and well-appointed tented luxury tents on raised wooden decks, Jongomero is one of our firm favourites.

Find more accommodation options here: https://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/tanzania/ruaha

When to visit Ruaha National Park:
The best game viewing in Ruaha is during the dry season (May to November) when the waterholes and rivers begin to dry up and the wildlife concentrates around remaining water sources. The bush is greener and prettier from January to June, and visiting Ruaha out of season virtually guarantees that you see no other travellers whilst on safari. Birding is best during the December to March (the European winter months).

For more information on Ruaha National Park, or to start planning your safari, get in touch with us!

September 1, 2017

Tanzania Tops the Travel Charts

Although it comes as no surprise to us, Tanzania has once again been voted as the top destination by travellers.

In an in-depth analysis conducted over the past two years, SafariBookings searched for safari tourists and acclaimed experts who have been on African safaris, and invited them to write reviews about their experiences. Over 1000 safari tourists of 53 nationalities, along with 756 experts, including guidebook authors from Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint, participated in the poll. Together, more than 2300 user reviews were compiled and compared.

The result? With an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, ranking above other popular destinations such as Botswana, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa – Tanzania is the best country for a safari in Africa.

Home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the famous Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park, Tanzania’s has a wealth of wonderful attractions on offer. Tim Bewer, a Lonely Planet guide author and one of the experts polled, wrote: “Tanzania is home to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. This alone makes a solid case for declaring it Africa’s best safari country.

Here are 9 factors that make Tanzania such a great destination according to SafariBookings:

1. Superb wildlife viewing in top-class parks. Two are Unesco World Heritage Sites.
2. The annual great migration where over 2.5 million wildebeest and zebra migrate from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
3. Authentic African wilderness with unfenced parks, dirt roads and endless plains.
4. A wide range of budget, mid-range and luxury safari options.
5. Beach holiday extensions on Zanzibar Island, including kite-surfing.
6. Best chimp tracking of Africa in Gombe- and Mahale Mountains National Park.
7. Extend your safari holiday by climbing Africa’s highest mountain; Mount Kilimanjaro.
8. Direct flights from abroad make the northern and southern safari circuits easily accessible.
9. Politically stable and generally safe country.

If Tanzania sounds like your kind of safari destination (after all, why wouldn’t it?), get in touch with us and we’ll help you plan your perfect trip, tailored to your needs, budget and dates of travel.

August 17, 2016

Touring Tanzania on Foot

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“In a country crowned by the tallest free-standing volcano in the world and almost bisected by chains of ancient mountain ranges, hiking takes on a high profile. Stunning scenery and rugged terrain combine with a fascinating cultural backdrop to create several challenging and adventurous routes.” – Lonely Planet

The hustle and bustle of travelling can be exhausting at times. Whisking off from one place to another means that sometimes there is barely enough time to enjoy every experience to the full and that’s a downright shame! The whole point of travelling is to encounter new things and immerse yourself in different experiences. In doing so, you learn about the country’s unique culture and traditions, as well as visiting places completely unique to your own homeland.

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Tanzania has so many exquisite things on offer and we believe that one of the best ways to explore some of this country’s highlights is on foot. Walking allows travellers the time to develop a deeper connection and understanding of their surroundings. It forces you to be completely involved and aware and travellers will often discover and learn about things that they never would have even noticed before.

Here are a few of our favourite places for taking a walk in Tanzania:

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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Famous for being one of Tanzania’s premier wildlife destinations and home to the famous volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers rugged and scenic guided walking opportunities. There are no set routes, which makes for many possibilities, and guests are often treated to thrilling up-close wildlife encounters. Walking is less invasive than driving in game vehicles and therefore provides a more eco-friendly and authentic safari experience.

Stone Town

© Helen Suk

© Helen Suk

Stone Town is the oldest part of Zanzibar and also the cultural heart of the city. As the world’s oldest functioning Swahili city, many of the landmarks in Stone Town have been restored to their former glory. Walking down the narrow streets of the city, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported back in time as you take in the grand old Arabian homes lining the winding alleys.

Lake Victoria

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Bordered by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest freshwater lake and yet is one of the least visited regions of Tanzania. This remote and scenic area is a birdwatcher’s paradise and perfect for nature walks. There are also a few villages in the area which can be visited, including Musoma and Bukoba, which have a quiet waterside charm.

Gombe Stream National Park

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Gombe Stream National Park is the smallest national park in Tanzania. The park is home to many species of primates and mammals but is most famous for its chimpanzee population. Guided walks take visitors into the forest to observe chimps in the wild – a true bucket list activity!

In other words, if you’re planning a trip to Tanzania, make sure to pack a comfy pair of walking shoes. You’ll be needing them a lot!

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