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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Tanzania: Ngorongoro Crater – The magnificence of nature

Just like other day, I woke up early that morning to get ready for a game drive. The sun was hidden by a thick layer of fog covering the view to Ngorongoro from my lodge room’s windows. Too bad, I would never know what it looks like from there. However, it was exciting that I would be in it and see it with my own eyes. ‘What so special about it?’ – I questioned. That destination had come up in several travel sites and all I knew about it was the safari to the crater.

It is said that Ngorongoro is the most expensive National Park. I understood why once I got to one of the view points. On the way, fog covered up the jeep and we could not manage to see the crater from the highest point. The white layer was thick that I barely saw trees around me. But the further down we went, the fog got thinner and the crater was showing up slowly. It was an incredible image that you could not close your mouth when you first see it. Myself could not help but making several videos just to capture Ngorongoro Crater in different dimensions and from different angles. Further away, I saw a group of wildebeests and zebras running on the enormous grass field, elephants were crossing the roads and gaselles were standing in a group enjoying their supper. That was truly a picture of what I had always imagined in my head about the wild – free and wanderlust.

The drive through the crater was wonderful that kept me saying ‘beautiful’ each minute. The grass was green, flowers were growing all over in different colours that made the view in front of me a perfect painting. The water reflected the pink colour to the whole picture that blended a magnificent master piece. And there was a lion lying down on the grass  but she was not tempted by the available food around her or she was sure full enough to be bothered. But how insane was that having all different kinds of wild animals running around in one place and I was a little self in the jeep having my head out of the roof watching them like watching a surreal TV show? Unlike the TV show, I was in it. We kept driving on from one spot to the other. I felt surrounded by the nature that I would wish to be in everyday, and I letted myself go to enjoy that moment.

They say that it looks slightly different in the dry season. Everything would turn grey and sandy. “Then I am happy that I am here during this time. I wouldn’t want to miss this view”. There might be more animals running around but what I had seen was satisfied enough. I didn’t care how many I could see, it was all about seeing the circle of life, the plan that mother of nature has for every single creature.

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Tanzania: The life in Mto Wa Mbu through pictures

It was an eye opened for something that I had never ever known. The whole image of Tanzania is already a big different picture from where I am from and wherever I have been. There in Mto Wa Mbu, that was the first time I got my first lesson about tribes and how they all live. Maybe I could never learn all 120 tribes which are locating in Tanzania but what I know is these tribes have made this country so beautiful and interesting, and they create a great cultural dimension that people are dying to learn about.

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Walking through the town and seeing different tribes, it fascinated me by their culture. Some could be quite strange for me but I admire how they have grown their community to be there in Tanzania. From handcraft, art, labour, each tribe contributes what they do best to this country. In such, Makonde tribe has brought a great talent of making wooden sculptures  that I was amazed to look at. Their skilful hands carve several detailed pieces of art that are well-known worldwide. Each sculpture tells a story of their lives which is to be embraced.

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What I love the most was running around with kids there. I certainly looked like a tourist to them and made them so interested in me but their smiles put a smile on me too. No matter what tribe they have but they are together giving the town’s atmosphere a breeze of freshness and full of love.

 

Tanzania: Lake Manyara National Park – Into the wild

It has been my dream to see wild animals running free. I believe that dream is hidden in each one of you too. Having my eyes on Planet Earth all those years and somehow I wondered it was real. And there I was, standing in the jeep watching out from the roof and being overwhelmed by the surreal surroundings because I was in the middle of the jungle where monkeys, impalas, elephants live and stay friends.

That first time seeing animals not being in zoo’s cages, I felt free myself. Spotting zebras running wild in a big grass field made my heart jump indescribably. Either they got the freedom that they deserve, or I was looking at such a beautiful creature for real instead of in front of the television. It turned me into a little child with sparkling eyes staring at them for the longest time. The clock froze and letted me stand still for that second to look at that surreal picture.

A whole day I spent in Manyara National Park and seeked for as many animals as possible. That excitement came continuously when a species passed by. However, this place does not just have animals. Lake Manyara itself is a beautiful creature of nature that stunned me at the first sight. Looking over the lake from Panorama Campsite, I could only say ‘wow’. The mixture of colours, green, pink, yellow, all blend in to make the picture incredibly magnificent. Getting closer to the lake at Hot Spring Manyara, it was a zoom-in to the reality. That view was non-fictionally real after all.

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Website: www.heriafricatours.com
Email: info@heriafricatours.com

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