by AdminSoa
November 6, 2013

More Than Just a Safari

There is so much more to a Tanzanian vacation than game-driving. Sure, seeing the animals of the Big Five is undoubtedly the motivating factor for many visitors, but there is a wealth of options available to visitors who want something a little different.

Below, you'll find optional activities that can be added to your Tanzanian safari.

For your convenience, these have been divided into parks.

Arusha National Park

arusha national park giraffe

Located roughly an hour and a half's drive from Arusha, Arusha National Park is a popular day trip option for those with a little extra time at the beginning or end of their longer safari.

While the park lacks big drawcards such as big cats and elephants, it offers visitors a number of options outside of the usual game drive.

  • Canoe Safari on the Momella Lakes

Guided canoe safaris on Small Momella Lake  are a popular activity for those wanting to get a little exercise in while on safari.

While canoeing, it is possible to see animals such as giraffes, waterbucks and antelope, as well as a large variety of bird life.

  • Walking Safari

Without predators such as leopards and lions, Arusha National Park is an excellent place for walking safaris.

Guided by a local ranger, visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the park to a picturesque waterfall. Along the way you can expect to see animals such as black and white colobus monkeys, giraffes, baboons, and more.

  • Ngurdoto Museum

Located next to Ngurdoto Crater (sometimes known as Little Ngorongoro), the Ngurdoto Museum houses a collection of examples of the various animals that can be seen within the park.

The museum also showcases the various methods used by poachers to illegally hunt animals.

Lake Manyara National Park

lake manyara

 

manyara national park

Once the filming location for the famous Tarzan movies, verdant Lake Manyara National Park is especially popular with bird watchers.

One of only two places in Africa where visitors can see tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara National Park offers a number of additional activities such as night game drives and cycling safaris.

  • Night Game Drive

Many of Africa's animals, especially its predators, are particularly active after dark. While it is not possible to drive within the park after hours, by driving along the fringes of the park it is possible to spot a variety of animals with the aid of a spotlight.

It is important to note that, as with all activities focused on wild animals, we cannot guarantee that you will see anything while on a night game drive.

  • Cycling Tour

For the adventurous, it is possible to enjoy a guided 2-3 hour cycling tour that takes you down into the Great Rift Valley and to the market town of Mto Wa Mbu.

The ride takes you along the shores of Lake Manyara and through groundwater forest, with the opportunity to see a number of animals along the way.

  • Horse Riding

If you're of a more old-school mindset and want to see Africa as its earliest European explorers might have, it is also possible to take guided horseback safaris in and around Lake Manyara National Park.

Tours can last anywhere from a few hours to multiple days (spanning multiple parks).

  • Canoeing

Lake Manyara is a seasonal lake, meaning that during the dry season it all but disappears. However, when waters are high enough, it is possible to take a guided canoe safari through the park to see its resident hippos, cape buffalo, and water birds.

Tarangire National Park

bird watching

Tanzania's most underrated safari destination, Tarangire National Park is home to the country's largest elephant population and a broad variety of other animals including lions, buffalo, primates, zebras, giraffes, and more.

  • Night Game Drive

Many of Africa's animals, especially its predators, are particularly active after dark. While it is not possible to drive within the park after hours, by driving along the fringes of the park it is possible to spot a variety of animals with the aid of a spotlight.

It is important to note that, as with all activities focused on wild animals, we cannot guarantee that you will see anything while on a night game drive.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

ngorongoro creator

Sometimes called the eighth wonder of the world, the Ngorongoro caldera and the surrounding conservation area is a place of unmatched beauty.

The best place in Tanzania to see the endangered black rhinoceros, the park offers up a variety of activities from wildlife encounters to cultural exchanges to hiking.

  • Oldupai Gorge

Sometimes known as the Cradle of Humanity, the Oldupai Gorge Museum is a testament to the long journey that humanity has made from its humble roots in East Africa to its current state as the dominant species on earth.

This small museum houses a small exhibition of ancient tools and bones as well as a plaster cast of footprints that act as some of the oldest evidence of human habitation.

  • Masai Village visit

The iconic Masai are omnipresent in and around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and a visit to one of their traditional villages is a thrilling cultural excursion.

In addition to a tour of a working Masai village, visitors can also expect demonstrations of traditional dance and the opportunity to purchase authentic, locally made jewellery.

  • Hiking

The craters and mountains around Ngorongoro Conservation Area offer a wealth of hiking opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast.

Hiking routes available nearby include Olmoti Crater, Mount Lemargut, Empakai Crater, and Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano.

You can read more about the many hiking options available with Shadows of Africa here.

  • Crater Rim Hike

For an unparalleled view of the world-famous Ngorongoro caldera, a short hike to the forested rim can be arranged.

Serengeti National Park

lion in the serengeti

Serengeti needs no introduction, and the world's premier safari destination gets by just fine without all of the bells and whistles.

Primarily a game drive destination, many lodges within the park offer additional activities.

  • Hot air balloon and champagne breakfast

While morning and evening game drives offer fantastic game-viewing opportunities for visitors to the Serengeti, taking to the skies for a dawn hot air balloon safari is an unforgettable way to see the park.

After a visually spectacular tour over the savannah, you'll alight in the wilderness for a delicious champagne breakfast.

Kilimanjaro National Park

elephant at kilimanjaro national park

Home to the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro National Park is more than just a destination for those wishing to climb the iconic mountain.

  • Marangu Village Tour

The nearby village of Marangu offers a variety of cultural activities for those wanting to see something beyond the usual tourist attractions.

Organic coffee plantations, banana beer breweries, ancient Chaga caves, and serene waterfalls are all on offer for those visiting this village in the Kilimanjaro foothills.

  • Hiking to First Hut

Not everybody has the time or energy for a 5-7 day hike to Kilimanjaro's summit, but anybody visiting Tanzania has the opportunity to take a hike to the first hut and see what all of the fuss is about.

Your guided walk will show you just a little of what climbers ascending the mountain experience, and also offers a pretty spectacular view of the surrounding land.

  • Africa Amini Life Masai Experience

Part luxury lodge and part cultural experience, the Africa Amini Life Lodge is a Masai run luxury lodge that blends first world luxury with local flavour.

Guests can overnight in a luxurious Masai boma or simply visit for the day, participating in such cultural activities as guided nature walks, spear throwing competitions, bead making, and authentic local cuisine.

Mto Wa Mbu

mto wa mbu culture masai crafts

Located halfway between Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Park, the bustling market community of Mto Wa Mbu is also a fantastic place for visitors to engage in a little cultural exchange.

  • Balaa Hill Climb

Taking between 3 and 6 hours depending on the climbers, this stunning hike takes you to the very edge of the Great Rift Valley for an astonishing view of the valley floor and the surrounding landscape.

  • Masai Boma Visit

The iconic Masai are omnipresent in and around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and a visit to one of their traditional villages is a thrilling cultural excursion.

In addition to a tour of a working Masai village, visitors can also expect demonstrations of traditional dance and the opportunity to purchase authentic, locally made jewellery.

  • Masai Market Tour

Available only on Thursdays or on the 22nd of each month, a visit to an active and bustling Masai market is a truly amazing cultural experience.

Visitors will have the chance to browse the market, marvel at the many people who come to sell their wares, and try some traditional Masai BBQ.

  • Farm Tour

A visit to a local farm offers some insight into the ways in which local farmers are mixing modern farming techniques and traditional practices.

Tours typically take 1-4 hours.

  • Miwaleni Waterfall & Lake Tour

For those fancying a refreshing dip, a hike (or bike ride) out to Miwaleni Waterfall offers a chance to be at one with nature as you soak in the deliciously cool waters beneath the falls.

Along the way to and from the pool, it is possible to see a variety of bird and wildlife.

  • Local Lunch at Mama's

They say you need to eat a culture's food to truly experience that culture, and lunch at a local Mama's house is an exceptional way to sate your appetite and gain some insight into local tastes and traditions.

  • Village Walk

Get an inside look at the homes and exquisite craft of Mto wa Mbu’s many tribes. Visitors will get a chance to meet locals and learn about banana beer, Makonde woodcarvings, and the tribal painting techniques; the village provides a great introduction to everyday life in Africa.

Arusha

arusha culture visit

While many people will pass through Tanzania's safari capital unaware of all it has to offer, the city certainly does offer up a little something for everybody.

  •  Mount Meru

Arusha sits at the foot of Mount Meru, the confident and handsome brother to often shy Kilimanjaro. If climbing Kilimanjaro is your goal, Mount Meru is often recommended as a good training hike – and offers an amazing view of both the city and Kilimanjaro to those who make it to the top.

  • Kibowa Orphanage

If you want to give something back while you’re in Tanzania, we can arrange a visit to a local orphanage with which we’ve partnered. Spend an afternoon speaking with and playing with these local orphans, and make a donation to help make their futures a little brighter.

 

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