Don’t be afraid to avoid the crowds! Tanzania is made up of a host of national parks and game reserves, all spectacular and diverse with something to offer every individual. Thinking carefully in advance of the experience you are looking to have is important - whether the allure lies in a classical backdrop of acacia studded plains; the promise of a big variety and quantity of wildlife; the peaceful stillness of the wilderness; or to feel part of a space where only few have trodden. Tanzania can cater for all and plenty more, but choosing the right path is very important in a land of such variety.
There are less well-known, ‘off the beaten track’ routes which, to some, offer something a little more special. Southern Tanzania is home to the inner circle big names of the Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve. These vast wildernesses are the largest national park and largest game reserve in Africa, respectively. The pros… landscapes specked with spectacular baobabs; home to a great percentage of all of Africa’s wildlife, including 10% of all lions and the largest population of wild dog; a veritable birders paradise; the opportunity to get off the beaten track, literally, with off-roading in the Selous, boating down the Rufiji and Ruaha rivers home to a vast number of hippo and crocodile, sleep outs under the stars and explorations by foot. The cons… working a little harder for sightings, whereas some drives can be full of excitement, others can be relatively quiet where an interest in the smaller sights is needed.
Tanzania’s wild and remote Western circuit should also not be forgotten, the seasoned safari goer will value this as one of the last true wilderness destinations. The Mahale Mountains National Park bordering the world’s longest fresh water lake, Lake Tanganyika, is a place of mystical magic, rainforest fringed beaches, fresh water swimming, crystal clear waters illuminating hippos along the bed of the lake and the showstopper? The flourishing chimpanzee population which draws the lucky few to this remote corner. Another gem for wildlife enthusiasts lies in Katavi National Park, where herds of buffalo over 1,000 strong, large numbers of elephant, crocodiles and pods of hippo can be seen. For an exclusive experience there is no better - Katavi has fewer visitors in a year than the Ngorongoro Crater has in a day, offering a vast expanse to oneself with opportunities for big game walking, fly camping amongst the palm groves and a veritable quantity of wildlife.
If northern Tanzania is the draw card, there is charm to be found away from the migration. The migration is rightfully one of the planets most talked about phenomena, when over one million wildebeest and zebra chase the rains in search of fresh grass across the Serengeti ecosystem. However, without getting too bogged down in this, there are resident wildebeest herds, predators and plentiful game year round to be seen throughout the Serengeti. When the herds are calving in the southern plains, this is a brilliant time to visit the northern plains where the Serengeti can be enjoyed in relative peace and bliss, still offering a world class concentration of wildlife, without the number of vehicles to compete.
And while we are on this notion, when looking for a beach flop at the end of an exhilarating safari, if you are looking to escape the crowds, explore the other islands in Zanzibar’s archipelago such as the relatively deserted Pemba Island. This is old Zanzibar, as it was, without the crowds and resorts. For divers in particular there is no better option, offering over 50 pristine dive spots compared to mainland Zanzibar and the added benefit of being visited by almost nobody else. It must be said sometimes the road less travelled does offer the largest reward.
Looking to discover another side to Tanzania? Get in touch with us by calling 020 7843 3500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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