A trip to Tanzania can include everything from safaris and mountain climbing, to the beach and big city excitement. From Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti in the north to the chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in western Tanzania and the beaches of Zanzibar in the east. Buy your journey to Tanzania at Kilroy.
A journey to Tanzania will, for many, begin at the metropolitan city Dar es Salaam - Tanzania's capital and a natural starting point for a tour around the country. Dar es Salaam is a fascinating mixture of African, Arabic and Indian culture. The name, from Arabic, can be translated to something like Port of Peace, but is not exactly an accurate description of the town's character. Dar es Salaam is noisy and hectic, but also offers a compelling insight into African city life.
Visit the giant Kariakoo market, which is Tanzania's largest and jam packed with exotic products and remarkable food. Or go to one of Dar es Salaam's hot nightclubs and dance with locals to thumping East African music. Both north and south of the city, you can quickly come to cozy villages where there are good opportunities to go camping on the beach. Yes, it is highly recommended to familiarize yourself with the city for a few days before you get out to become acquainted with some of Tanzania's great natural experiences.
In northern Tanzania, one finds what many conceive to be as the essence of Africa. Here is a unique opportunity to see the incredibly rich wildlife and experience nature. It is also here one finds Mount Kilimanjaro. The mountain is the continent's highest point and offers amazing opportunities to climb up Kilimanjaro with spectacular scenery with incredible views along the route. Use one week, for example, to climb the mountain. Throughout the climb, you can spend the night in cabins or camp along the route, where you rest until the next day's trek. You can climb Kilimanjaro no matter what your temperament and fitness levels are - there are many different ways to reach the top. It can be a tiring journey, but you should never underestimate the feeling of having reached your goal at the top of Africa.
Northern Tanzania also provides ample opportunities to experience the best of Africa's fascinating wildlife - for example on a safari tour. An alternative to the more visited Serengeti National Park is the smaller Arusha National Park. Arusha covers only 137 square kilometers between Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, and has very mixed flora and fauna, which is quite different from Serengeti National Park due to height differences. The park also has marshes, savannas and forests. In Arusha, some of the highlights include Ngurdoto Crater, Momela Lakes and Mount Meru, which like the park, is an alternative to the more visited Kilimanjaro.
In Arusha Park, there are good opportunities to go on safari tours, where you can experience the abundant wildlife. Safari means journey in Swahili, and that is exactly what it is - a journey where you have the unique opportunity to see wildlife in its natural environment. There are plenty of zebra, buffaloes, elephants, hyenas, giraffes, antelopes, many kinds of monkeys and thousands of birds. You can also be lucky and encounter a leopard. Another safari option is Lake Manyara National Park. This park is teeming with hippos and is also famous for its large population of flamingos. Lake Manyara is also known for its tree-crawling lions, which spend most of their days lying in acacias far above ground level. It is also this park, which formed the background for most of Ernest Hemingway's stories of big game hunting in Africa. One can overnight at a lodge or in a tent camp where the evening can be spent reflecting over the day's experiences, while watching the sun set, near the baobab trees.
Chimpanzees in Gombe If you are traveling to the western part of Tanzania, then the highlight of the trip will be the opportunity to see chimpanzees in the famous Gombe Stream National Park. The park is not far from the border to neighboring Burundi, near Tanganyika Lake, and the only way to get there is by boat. Here you are deep in the African continent.
Many know the story about Jane Goodall, who has researched the behavior of chimps since 1960. Jane Goodall has also given her name to the research center at Gombe, where you can visit the chimps. If you are lucky, you can encounter the female Fifi, who was only three years old when Jane Goodall began her project in 1960. Fifi is the last survivor from the original population, and can often be spotted by visitors.
To see these chimpanzees is a very special experience. Humans and chimpanzees have a 98% common heritage, so here you really get the chance to check out your distant cousin. An untrained eye can see that chimps' behavior in many ways is similar to humans. For example, even among chimpanzees there several different character types and a clear hierarchical division. Besides the world-famous chimpanzee population, it is also possible to see baboons and other various monkeys. At the same time, the park has around 200 different bird species, so you never feel alone in the woods. You should give yourself a few days to try a chimpanzee-trek in Gombe. This is not a zoo trip that guarantees a chimpanzee sighting, but it is a rare opportunity to see chimpanzees in their natural surroundings.
In Gombe, there are good options for accommodation in lodges, camping by the lakeside, or at the permanent campsite.
Near Lake Tanganyika, next to the border of Zambia, are the impressive Kalambo waterfalls. The falls are 235 meters tall thus making them the second highest falls in Africa. You can visit Kalambo in connection with a visit to Katavi National Park, which is one of the least visited due to its remoteness. Here you can often get the more than 4000 square kilometers for yourself, and hence very good opportunities to see the wildlife. Katavi is also a river delta, which makes hippos, elephants and crocodiles the main attractions.
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