12 Day Safari North East Tanzania Itinerary

So many people have dreamt to be on a safari and I got that chance to do so for 10 days in the beautiful country Tanzania. It was a 12-day wonder with full of excitement, heaps of new things to learn about, getting to know Tanzanian people and their culture, and the most fascinating activity was to be in the wild watching animals running free.

To be honest, if you ever plan to be on a safari to see wild animals, 4 to 5 days are enough to see most of them and to experience the safari without exhaustion. However, if you plan to be in Tanzania for a short period to learn about this country, 12 days ain’t enough. My stay included 17 days and I spent most of the time in Arusha. 12 days of my stay, I was on a safari with Heri Africa Tours and Safari to not only see wild animals but also part of the culture of Tanzania.

Arusha

Duration of stay: 1 day 

To read: First impressions of Tanzania

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Arriving at Kilimanjaro, Heri Africa team picked me up and welcomed me to their lodge. With just a few hours, I was already overwhelmed by how different our cultures are. Spending a day in Arusha to walk around to local markets and visit several quarters of the city, I got great impressions on Tanzania then which were absolutely positive and they made me so excited to explore more from this country.

 

Lake Manyara

Duration of stay: 4 days

To read: Lake Manyara 

                 Mto Wa Mbu

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The next day, we all departed from Arusha to Lake Manyara. It would be about 1 and a half hour drive if you are lucky not to be caught by the ‘police-money’ (a term Tanzanian people use to describe traffic police in Tanzania). Around the area, Manyara National Park is one of popular parks in Tanzania which is known by its great migration of flamingos. The lake itself stands out beautifully that you would be surprised. The lake and its environs is also home to herbivores such as hippos, impalas, elephants, wildebeests, buffalo, warthogs and giraffes

From Manyara, it is easy to reach other places from here. In which, I spent one day to explore a town close by called Mto Wa Mbu and learned about tribes in Tanzania. From Manyara National Park, I also spent a day in Tarangire National Park which is just about 20-30 minutes from Manyara.

 

Ngorongoro Crater

Duration of stay: 1 day

To read: Ngorongoro Crater

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Early morning, we drove further to Ngorongoro Observation Park. From what I had seen so far, Ngorongoro took my breath away. That moment I saw the crater from above, I could not believe my eyes. Til I was in the crater, watching wildebeests running around, elephants crossing roads, the route was like the road to the fantasy world, I had no more words to say. It is certainly my favourite national park I have seen ever.

Serengeti National Park

Duration of stay: 2 days

To read: Serengeti National Park

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Located in Tanzania but runs to western Kenya, Serengeti is about 30,000 sqm and is one of the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world. I got a chance to camp overnight there for 2 nights in the middle of the national park where I saw giraffes walking around when I first opened my eyes.

Mwanza

Duration of stay: 2 days

To see: The Rocky town

After a week on a safari, we headed to one of the biggest towns in Tanzania – Mwanza. It is known by the name the Rock City which it is just like it is known for. The city is absolutely beautiful and what got me love the most was the sunset. Mwanza is also known as a fish town and Lake Victoria is the main attraction there.

Singhidad

Duration of stay: 1 night

It wasn’t a full day stay but what I learnt was more than those 10 days on the road. I stayed in a local house in Singhidad, central Tanzania. I got to see how locals live, their traditions, their living standard… It was a precious experience.

 

On the 12th day, we all went back to Arusha. Even though the trip was speedy but I had seen and learnt so much. From the eastern part of Tanzania, to the north then centre, what I saw was amazing and it was great to get to know another culture.

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First impressions of Tanzania

24 hours in the air stopping by 3 airports, I arrived finally in the land of Tanzania. I was prepared to get the cold from Tanzanian weather but the sun was shining bright and warm when I arrived. I landed in Kilimanjaro Airport and there is nothing like I have seen. Planes parked in the middle of the road and we got off and walked to the lobby. 50$ paid for the visa and I was good to go through the custom. People from Heri Africa Tours were waiting for me outside and welcomed me nicely. We took a drive from the airport to Arusha where I would have a night stay before the safari and I couldn’t help but show my excitement when I saw things around there. Fascinating enough, I could not wait for my adventure the coming 2 weeks in this country.

For sure, I felt welcomed here in this country and people there made me so. There were so many things I had learnt just on the first day of my stay that people have to come to Tanzania to see otherwise all your assumptions are just a myth.

Tanzania is green

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That fact you can see the moment you was hanging on the air of Tanzania. From the airplane, I was amazed by how endlessly green their country looks from above. Of course, I was told that it would look different when it is in dry season. So let say, I was lucky to come when it was at the greenest. Big parts of the country are national parks which I would be joining in a safari tour to see. However, you would find grass, rice fields, trees growing all over.

Tanzania is wild

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Most people come to Tanzania for the safari, to see wild animals. You can call Tanzania wild because of that. But actually, I mean nature made and no touch of modernity. Everything surrounding you is simple with no luxury. Maasai people walk around luring their goats and cows, kids running around their houses giggling with each other…

Tanzanian people are friendly

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Maybe because they see me as a tourist but they are welcoming and warm hearted. They always try to make you feel at home and that what I got from Heri Africa Tours. Right on my first day in Tanzania, I got welcomed with the famous dance from Maasai people. Everyone has his or her smile on the face. At that moment, I felt overwhelmed by how special they made me feel and my heart was warm. I felt great to land my feet on this country.

 

Hospitality and service are over the top

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I have travelled to several countries in different continents, nowhere have I got such great hospitality and service than here in Tanzania. No matter where you are, they will help you as much as in their capabilities. And staying in their accommodation, they make you a home, which will always put a smile on you.

Bumpy roads are common

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Before landing in Tanzania, be prepared for the roads there. They call it ‘The African massage’. Besides their main roads, Tanzanian roads are most of the time very bumpy. Highways can be smooth but ‘til you entering your accommodation, there your bumps are gonna dance on those seats so get ready for the ride.

 

People tell me that Africa is dangerous. People tell me that Tanzanians are full of scams. Let me tell you: people in Tanzania are down to earth, they do not care about luxury and they will always welcome you with open arms. Come to Tanzania and see it yourself!