- ABOUT MOUNT MERU
- LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
- MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK
- MOUNT KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK
- NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA
Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro, is located in Arusha National Park and the fifth highest mountain in Africa standing at 4,566 meters. This active volcano erupted only 100 years ago and parts of the climb along the saddle are very steep but the views of Mount Kilimanjaro 80km to the northeast and of the cliff face from the summit down to Meru Crater are spectacular. It is an exciting mountain to climb. There are numerous animals to see on the lower slopes and vegetation zones change as you ascend. One does not however need technical equipment for the climb.
A guides and rangers are mandatory on every trek because of the significant numbers of wild animals including Buffalo commonly encountered. There is one official route up to the summit and huts along the way offer simple, comfortable beds. Acclimatization is important and while you won't need oxygen, spending at least 4 days on this trek is highly recommended. Also is a great way to acclimatize for Mount Kilimanjaro. You can climb for 3 days 2 nights or 4 days 3 nights.
Bagamoyo located 75 kilometres north of Dar es Salaam, legendary for embarkation port for slaves from the hinterland and later the first German colonial capital. It is a place of considerable significance to world history, both as an entry point for Arab and European missionaries, explorers, and traders in East and Central Africa, and in the history of the infamous slave trade. Fortunately Bagamoyo is now being considered for inclusion as one of the World Heritage sites, to conserve and protect the fascinating Gothic and Afro-Arabic architecture in this coastal settlement steeped in history.
Tourist attractions include the Kaole ruins dating back to the 12th century thought to mark one of the earliest contacts of Islam with Africa; the Old Fort built in 1860 for holding slaves for shipment to Zanzibar; the first Roman Catholic Church in East Africa built around 1868 used as a base to run a camp of about 650 freed slaves; the German colonial administration headquarters, the Boma, in the first capital of German East Africa; the Mission Museum displaying history of Bagamoyo; and the Livingstone Memorial Church among others. Bagamoyo white sand beaches are considered some of the finest on the whole of the East African coast.
Located 125 km west of Arusha town, nestling by the wall of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the oldest and most popular sanctuaries in East Africa. The park has a large variety of habitats, making it possible to support a wealth of wildlife in its small area. The main habitats include the shallow soda lake itself which occupies 77% of the National Park total area of 330 sq. km, the ground water forest, open grassland, acacia woodland and the rift wall.
The most famous spectacle in the park is the tree-climbing lions, which are occasionally seen along branches of acacia trees. Other animals found in the park include buffalo, elephants, leopards, baboons, impala, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, ostrich and hippos. Popularly referred to as an ornithologist’s paradise, Lake Manyara National Park contains over 400 bird species found in most savanna and river habitats in East Africa. Common water birds to be seen here are pelicans, spoonbills, Egyptian geese, hammerkops and the migratory flamingoes, which arrive in hundreds of thousands creating one of Africa’s great natural sights over the soda lake.
Sharing a common border and ecosystem with Selous Game Reserve to the south, Mikumi National Park is only three to four hours drive from city of Dar es Salaam, lying astride the main highway to Zambia, and enroute to the National Parks of Udzungwa Mountains, Ruaha and Kitulo. The main feature of the park is the Mikumi flood plain, along with the mountain ranges that border the park on two sides. Open grasslands dominate in the flood plain, eventually merging with the miombo woodland covering the lower hills.
Mikumi National Park covers an area of 3,230 sq km, and is rich in wildlife including buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, lion, elephant, impala, hippos, baboon, giraffe, warthog, waterbuck and eland which can be viewed throughout the year. Reptiles including crocodile, monitor lizard and python are also resident in the park. Other animals that can be sighted although rare are the Sable Antelope resident in the southern part of the park bordering the Selous, the Greater Kudu, leopard, and the wild dog also known as the African Hunting Dog. More than 400 bird species have been recorded, including European migrants during the rainy season.
Mikumi National Park is one the most popular visitor points sold from our city of Dar es Salaam branch office. Being close to Dar es Salaam on good road, day trips are popular especially for those who have little time to spend an overnight there. But it is recommended to spend at least a night in Mikumi to enjoy a fulfilling game drive in this beautiful park. A number of accommodation facilities are available in Mikumi.
Tanzania is home to the highest mountain in Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro (5895 metres), Located in northern Tanzania, in the Kilimanjaro National Park. Also is the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Despite its height Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most accessible high summits, with most climbers reaching the peak (Uhuru Peak) with proper gear and determination. Also known as “The Roof of Africa” and people travel from all over the world to conquer her.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropical rain forest on the lower slopes, alpine heath, bare alpine desert and finally the wintry summit zone of snow and ice, just 3 degrees south of the Equator. Mount Kilimanjaro has six trekking routes Umbwe, Shira, Lemosho, Rongai, Machame, and the Marangu Route which is the easier one. Depending on which route one wants to take, the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro can take between four to seven nights on the mountain. The most popular routes are Marangu and Machame. On the Marangu Route, accommodation is in alpine huts while on Machame Route it is camping throughout. While expert guides and porters will accompany you on your climb, no technical equipment is required on these routes.
MOUNT KILIMANJARO ROUTES DESCRIPTION
Also known as the “Coca Cola Route” or “Tourist Route” as it is the most popular route on the mountain and also the easiest. The accommodation on the way up and down is provided in mountain huts with all the basic necessities. There are 60 bunk beds each (for 60 people each) at Mandara Hut (2700m) and Kibo Hut (4700m), and 120 bunk beds (for 120 people) at Horombo Hut (3720m) which is also used for descent. Climbers are supplied with mattresses and pillows, but sleeping bags should be brought along. There are communal dining halls, washrooms and toilets. It usually takes 5 days/4nights for the round trip. The trek can also be taken in 6 days/5 nights to add acclimatization with an extra day at Horombo Hut. The supplementary cost for an extra day is indicated separately as an option.
The Machame Route is known as the "Whiskey Route" and is the second most popular route on the mountain. The trek begins in the south-west area of the mountain. The descent is down Mweka, on the south-east side of the mountain. Because of the ascent in the west and descent down the north, Machame offers great vistas of Mount Kilimanjaro. Additionally, Machame visits stunning places such as Shira Plateau, Barranco, and Lava Tower. Machame is ideal for those who want a more difficult climb, and are confident in their ability to hike over extended periods of time on sometimes steep terrain.
The accommodation on the way up and down is strictly camping (mobile tents) only. The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of 6 days/5nights on the mountain by for more acclimatization can take to 7 days/6nights.
The Rongai Route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, near the Kenyan border. Rongai's ascent profile is very similar to that of Marangu. It is one of Kilimanjaro easier routes. The climb to the top is gradual and steady. However, unlike Marangu, this route has low crowds and passes through remote wilderness areas. It is probably the only route where seeing wildlife in the first few days is possible. Rongai is the best route for people who are looking for a decent quality experience and are perhaps not absolutely confident about their fitness and those who want to enjoy a quieter hike. It is also preferred when climbing during the rainy season because the north side of the mountain receives less precipitation is usually for five night climb.
The Lemosho Route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west and descent is down Mweka in the south-east. Is perhaps the least used initial ascent route on Kilimanjaro, partly because of its remote location and likewise the difficult roads leading to the trailhead. The road to the trailhead is only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles and can be impassable during wet periods. The trailhead is at relatively high elevation and thus we start slow and easy on this route. Though considered a difficult route, the added days on the lower slopes of the mountain make this the best route for altitude acclimatization. Buffalo, Elephant, Black and White Colobas Monkey sightings are possible on the first day trekking through the forest, and the trail is often overgrown from lack of use. Lemosho is considered the most varied and the most beautiful because it begins in the rainforest and many changes of scenery and spectacular hike across the Shira Plateau make this trek truly special. Then combines with the Machame route to share its viewpoints around the southern circuit and has low traffic until it combines with Machame
The route is the longest distance to trek up Kilimanjaro, so fitness certainly plays a role in the enjoyment and success of this trek. The Lemosho route takes 8 days / 7 nights on the mountain. Overall, the distance covered and the intensity of the final few days make this trek a good choice only for the experienced hiker. There are no huts on this route, the accommodation is mountain tents.
The Shira Route is a difficult route that begins in the west, at Shira Gate. What is unique about Shira is that the first section of the trail is not hiked, but rather driven. Therefore, climbers using Shira will miss out on hiking up one of Kilimanjaro ecological zones, the rainforest. An off road vehicle transports climbers to the Shira gate, located at 11,500 feet, where the hike begins to Shira one Campsite. Complications from altitude can occur due to failed acclimatization. The descent is down Mweka in the south-east. Scenically, Shira is beautiful because it crosses the spectacular Shira Plateau, and then combines with the Machame route to share its viewpoints around the southern circuit. Shira has low traffic until it combines with Machame. Shira is ideal for those who are confident in their ability to acclimatize to altitude, and to walk over steeper paths for extended periods.
The Umbwe route, which is based in the south, is a 6-day / 5-night tour and is said to be the most scenic and difficult one offered on Kilimanjaro. The first two days are extremely steep, muddy and generally strenuous making it only suitable for well-trained mountaineers. An acclimatization day is rarely offered on the standard programme, but can be added whereby giving the climber an extra day in the Karanga Valley. The descent is down Mweka, on the south-east side of the mountain.
A UNESCO protected World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is situated some 190 km. west of Arusha, between Lake Manyara and Serengeti National Parks. Covering approximately 8,292 square km, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area consists of the Ngorongoro Crater itself, the Olduvai Gorge and Ndutu, the Empakai crater and the Oldonyo Lengai Mountain.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a pioneering experiment in multi-purpose land use where people (the Maasai), their livestock and wildlife coexist and share the same protected habitat. Wild animals are protected as in the National Parks. The craters of Ngorongoro and Empakai are reserved exclusively for wildlife, while the rest of the Conservation Area is shared by wildlife, people and livestock. The Maasai, the main residents of Ngorongoro, are pastoralists who move widely with their herds of cattle, sheep, goat and donkeys in search of pasture and water. In recent years the Maasai have been encouraged to work on the land and supplement their traditional diet of milk and meat.
The Ngorongoro Crater, which is the central attraction in the area, is the largest Caldera in the world that has its walls intact. The Ngorongoro Crater floor, a sheer drop of 610 metres below the crater rim, has an area of 304 sq. km, with a diameter of 19 km. The sight of the Ngorongoro Crater is simply stunning. “It is impossible to give a fair description of the size and beauty of the Crater, for there is nothing with which one can compare it. It is one of the Wonders of the World…” once wrote Professor Bernhard Grzimek. The crater floor is home to tens of thousands of plains animals, including wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, elands, and a large predator population of lions, hyena and jackal which can all be viewed at close quarters. The rare black rhino can be viewed here, and if you are lucky you can see cheetah and leopard. The rainy season is between November and May. The altitude at the crater rim is about 2286 metres above sea level, and temperatures can get quite chilly in the evening, especially between May to September.
Ndutu is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, in the southeastern plains of the Serengeti ecosystem. The plains around Ndutu are the main holding ground for migratory animals where vast herds congregate and linger for more than four months, from December to April, before they start moving across the Serengeti in search of greener pastures and water. Ndutu area forms an important part of the Serengeti ecosystem, in particular the short grass plains which provide calving grounds for wildebeest and other migratory animals.