Tanzania unwrapped

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An insider’s overview from the experts at Steppes Travel.

Why visit?
A land of grassy plains, rift-formed lakes and pinnacle-like volcanoes, Tanzania’s exciting landscape is carpeted with wildlife to match. The Serengeti — with its iconic migration — and the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater capture most attention. But Tanzania’s appeal extends far beyond these, with baobab-strewn Tarangire, wild Selous and remote Katavi as different as they are beautiful.

Highlights

Mahale and Katavi
This area of Tanzania is wild and exhilarating, from lakes Victoria and Tanganyika to the ‘Jurassic Park’ Rubondo Island. In the south, bordering lake Tanganyika, are the Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains national parks, famous for their chimpanzee populations. Beyond the Mahale Mountains lies the vast Katavi National Park; dry and arid and great for lion spotting.

The Selous and Ruaha
The Selous Game Reserve is vast and home to the Rufiji River, drawing wildlife from a wide area. The more remote and rugged Ruaha National Park is one of very few places where you can spend a day without seeing any other vehicles. Both offer walking safaris, diverse wildlife, and a great selection of bush camps or top-end lodges, all with some of the most knowledgeable guides in East Africa.

Kilimanjaro
At 5,895 metres and the tallest free standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro towers over both Kenya and Tanzania, providing superb views over East Africa. Being a non-technical climb, reaching the peak is achievable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Choose from one of six beautiful routes.

Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is part of the Serengeti ecosystem, adjoining the Serengeti National Park. The region is dominated by the famous Ngorongoro Crater, a volcanic rupture that supports an abundance of wildlife. There are an estimated 25,000 animals within the crater, including ‘the Big Five’, plains game, smaller predators and a renowned flamingo population. Explore the wider conservation area in search of smaller craters, rivers and waterfalls.

Serengeti
The Serengeti is one of the largest conservation areas in Africa, most famous for the great migration of wildebeest, which occupies the Serengeti for most of the year in one of the world’s most impressive wildlife events. Visit Odupai Gorge (the cradle of early hominids), the shifting sands of Ol Donyo Lengai and the crocodile-rich Grumeti River. The Maasai community concessions in the north offer an opportunity to witness how deftly conservation and local communities can work together.

** A £200 travel voucher can be used in conjunction with any new booking with Steppes Travel. Voucher value will be redeemable against final balance of booking. Voucher cannot be used against the deposit paid on confirmation of booking. Total value of vouchers must not exceed 20% of the total booking value. It cannot be used for bookings via agents or private group bookings. This offer is not combinable with any other Steppes offer or voucher.

Tarangire and Manyara National Parks
Characterised by huge baobabs scattered across its skyline and the eponymous river, which runs into vast swamps in the south, Tarangire National Park offers exceptional wildlife viewing, including large herds of elephant and antelope, including dry-country species such as oryx and gerenuk. While Tarangire is dry and dusty, the neighbouring Lake Manyara National Park is lush and green, offering a microcosm of the Tanzanian wildlife experience. The deep forest is home to thousands of birds, monkeys, antelope and tree-climbing lions.

Coast and islands
With over 800km of coastline, most of which is off the tourist trail, there’s a wide variety of attractions to appeal to visitors, from exceptional beaches to slave caves and other historical charms, Dar es Salaam and spectacular islands. Explore the markets and alleys of Zanzibar’s Stone Town, before spending a few days on of the luxurious beach resorts. Escape to one of many remote islands, such as Mnemba or Mafia, with its well protected reef and some of the best snorkelling on the coast. Saadani National Park is Tanzania’s only coastal wildlife reserve, within easy distance of both Zanzibar and Dar Es Salaam.

Zanzibar
Once the trading centre for the whole of East Africa, Zanzibar and its islands are part of a great coral reef stretching down Africa’s Indian Ocean coast. Home to picture perfect, white sand beaches. We favour those on the east and north coasts as well as Mnemba island. Great destination for traditional Swahili atmosphere: wander the alleys of Stone Town. Ideal for lovers of water sports and seafood.

Voice of Experience
Packed tightly together, forming a gently shuffling circle, they rest, waiting. The African sun burns at its zenith— a piercing white-orange in turquoise sky. A trunk sways and an eyelid bats downwards, as they shift beneath the wide branches of a gnarled acacia tree.

Sheltering from this assault of heat and light, the elephants huddle under the scant protection offered by the tree. Dust clings to their grey-brown skin, as the mixture of shade and sunshine dapples their broad backs.

Almost hidden from sight, a smaller trunk swings a rhythm of its own; legs more tottery than the others scrape the flattened grass that has been trodden into dirt. A pair of wide eyes looks out from a forest of legs. This young elephant surveys the world from beneath an umbrella of leathery protection. A caring trunk extends downwards and strokes its low back — reassuring, yet controlling.

Suddenly, I hear thudding footsteps to my left. There is a low, crashing rasp and a series of powerful exhalations. I turn to look at the source of this rumbling commotion. Two young bulls are locked in an aggressive display of testosterone-fuelled jousting. Their tusks crossed, they sway as they slowly tussle.

Bizarrely — at odds with this macho display — an errant trunk flicks slowly outwards, coming to rest in the mouth of the opponent. For a moment they pause together like this, before backing slowly away. The joust is over. I wonder if this is an underhand tactic — the elephant equivalent of foul play.

From ‘Tanzania: Tusks and Trunks in Tarangire’

Advice from the Experts
“The Serengeti offers a migration experience that is hard to beat. The trick to a fabulous Serengeti safari is to know its seasons. If you visit the short grass plains in January you will not have to go anywhere else to see the most wonderful spectacles unfold on a downy green carpet, in stark contrast to the almost non-existent wildlife viewing here in October.” – Jackie Devereux, Steppes Travel Tanzania Expert.

Next Steppes

To learn more about travelling to Tanzania, and to discuss a personalised itinerary, visit www.steppestravel.com, email travelafrica@steppestravel.com or call +44 (0)3332 223177.

** A £200 travel voucher can be used in conjunction with any new booking with Steppes Travel. Voucher value will be redeemable against final balance of booking. Voucher cannot be used against the deposit paid on confirmation of booking. Total value of vouchers must not exceed 20% of the total booking value. It cannot be used for bookings via agents or private group bookings. This offer is not combinable with any other Steppes offer or voucher.

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