4 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Tanzania
Featured destinations: Tanzania
Published 05 December 2016
Round the World Experts' Angel Hristov, just returned from Tanzania, lets us in on a few of its stand-out attractions and tells us why it's one of the world's greatest safari destinations. Check out his four reasons why you need to visit Tanzania below:
Wildebeest Migration, Serengeti image: Angel Hristov
See the Great Wildebeest Migration
Undoubtedly holding one of the bucket list spots on every intrepid wildlife geek’s top 10, as well as being one of the ‘Seven New Wonders of the World’, the great migration of the wildebeest, or gnu as this type of antelope are also known, is a feat to behold. Some two million of these animals spend the year in constant search of green pastures and water, spending around 10 months of the year marching throughout the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and the rest briefly grazing the grasslands in the neighbouring Masai Mara National Park in Kenya before heading back south. I was lucky enough to witness a crossing of the wildebeest over the crocodile infested Mara River near the border with Kenya, and I can vouch that this magical sight of bravery through necessity is spectacular and sobering in equal parts, and a constant reminder of the battles in nature and the circle of life.On safari image: Angel Hristov
For the highly driven enthusiast of the migration I would thoroughly recommend one of the various ‘under canvas’ offerings of accommodation, such as &Beyond’s Serengeti Under Canvas, which are tented camps that ‘migrate’ along with the wildebeest throughout the year to coincide with the movement and give you the best chance of getting front row seats to the spectacle.
Lions lazing under a tree image: Angel Hristov
Witness the Big 5
Continuing with the wildlife theme (a recurring one as far as this blog is concerned), Tanzania offers some of the best opportunities globally to see the ‘Big 5’ African animals, elephant, rhino, buffalo lion and leopard. Traditionally these were the hardest five animals to hunt, but as we move further toward a movement of preservation, these have evolved into the five most difficult animals to spot on safari. I was lucky enough to see a rhino mother with her baby, which was one of the most special moments of our trip, as they are highly endangered in the Serengeti.
Rhino and calf image: Angel Hristov
The elusive Leopard is also one of the more difficult spots (no pun intended). Perhaps what makes safari in Tanzania so special when compared with some of the other places in Africa, is the fact that there are very few game reserves which are fenced, giving the animals almost totally free movement throughout the lands and making spotting the animals feel that extra bit special! Ngorongoro Crater from above image: Angel Hristov
Ngorongoro Crater from above image: Angel Hristov
Gaze across the Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater, a naturally occurring ‘reserve’, consisting of a full ecosystem within what is the world’s largest intact caldera, and often referred to as ‘Africa’s Eden,’ is a mecca for all wildlife enthusiasts and a perfect way to start, or perhaps end a Tanzanian safari. The 13 mile diameter of the caldera, which was once a mountain taller than Kilimanjaro before it imploded in on itself, plays host to a total of roughly 25,000 large animals and is perfect for family safaris and honeymooners, with some impressive luxury lodges dotted around the rim of the crater offering breath taking views of the plains below.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Budget permitting, I can highly recommend &Beyond’s Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, which is the most luxurious as well as the best positioned of the lot, combining unique views with 5* service and gourmet food, not to mention the zebras which seem to infest the camp in the morning grazing on the gardens outside your front door and balcony.
Laze on Zanzibar's beaches
What better way to end a gruelling, game drive-filled safari circuit of some of the most diverse and fascinating of the world’s ecosystems than on one of Zanzibar’s blinding, white sand beaches and their accompanying luxury resorts. This semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of Tanzania offers some incredible (and in all likelihood much deserved!) opportunities to just put your feet up, relax with a cocktail and look out at the ocean, with notable visitors including Bill Gates and Mick Jagger amongst others. Or, perhaps continue your safari under the waves with the option to go scuba diving or even take one of the local spice tours - after all these are referred to as the Spice Islands.