Walking tours of Historical culture.
Boat trips to Mazime Island and cruising up the river
PO.Box 129 – Pangani-Tanzania
Tour Guide: Emanuel Petro
mob: 255 (0)787 394161 / 077 727519
I didn't like this bustling, noisy city of almost 3 million inhabitants, with the heavy traffic, and all kind of people moving around, sweating in the hot humid weather and treating tourists more as a source of prospective profit than human beings. However it is quite safe to walk around.
Dar is the biggest city in Tanzania , fast expanding because of the busy port and the high concentration of both locals and Asians. It is a very important administrative and trade center of East Africa. Although now the administration has been partly moved to the more central Dodoma.
There is not much to see in the center although there are a few museums, and some colonial buildings.. I walked from the seaport, along the seaside to the fish market, where I spent some time taking photos of the beach and the fishermen coming with their catch or cleaning it on the beach, then crossed the central green area with the presidential residence and relaxed a little in the Botanical Garden.
I abandoned Dar as soon as I got a boat ticket to Zanzibar.
There is a nice beach on the other side, in Kigamboni, where you can cross by local ferry.
Tayodea Travel Agency
"JOIN A TOUR-HELP THE REGION”
I give you all the information about Tayodea because they surely work for a noble goal.
They are part of Cultural Tourism Program, a project that helps the local community by giving half of the money they get to social care for the children in need of the region.
They offer hiking, guiding and tour care to several destinations in the country.
A very nice person, Samuel Mgweno, is running the office very efficiently.
Their vision is to support the youth of their region by creating employment opportunities and providing better education.
They try to achieve this goal by different projects:
--free English courses
--carpentry workshop in Mkunki
--free public library near Soni
--Youth Center for local street guys
They organise one-day hiking to
-- Irente View Point, including visits to the mountain villages and lunch at Irente Farm
--Magamba Rainforest with the lush vegetation, colobus monkeys and colorful butterflies. Lunch at Kiguru Hakwewa Peak
--Mkuzi Waterfalls. Lunch at the waterfalls.
--Historical Lushoto visiting historical buildings, old graves, the local market and walks through the local villages
--a combination of some of the above tours
--a 3-day hiking tour on Western Usambara mountains. A beautiful hike through the villages in the rainforest.
--a 3-day to Mazumbai forest
--And finally you can create your own hiking tour.
All long tours include accommodation, three meals per day, water, forest fees, transport and guiding fees.
All their guides have grown up in the Usambara mountains and have a wide cultural and environmental knowledge.
In cooperation with VIOLET TOURS they organize:
1. 7 days 6 nights to Selous Game Reserve and Ungungu Mountains. You can see buffaloes, lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, impalas, wayerhogs,crocodiles. There are also beautiful waterfalls in the rain forest.
2. Hiking on Mt Meru for 8 days, 7 nights. Mt. Meru is 4566 meters high.
3. 8 days, 7 nights to Tarangire National Park where elephants, wildebeests, giraffes, monkeys, baboons, acacia trees, tree climbing lions, leopards (very rare), birds and pythons can easily be sighted.
The wonderful lake Manyara with pelicans, flamingoes ,flying catchers and cranes.
Serengeti National Park where heartbeests, zebras, buffaloes, elephants, lions, crocodiles and huge ostriches are in abundance.
Ngorongoro where apart from the thousands of wild animals there are many communities of the Massai tribe.
4. Climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro by the Machame route. Kilimanjaro is 5895 meters high.
5. A trip to Zanzibar for 7 days, 6 nights. This includes the Spice Tour, visit to the Coral Cave, the South Coast boat riding, including dolphin sighting and snorkeling.
Prison Island Tour including swimming and snorkeling.
Stone Town Tours.
Jozani Forest Tour.
For prices and more information please contact Samuel Mgweni.
His telephone number is 255 784657028 email: email@example.com
The famous Irente View Point is on one of the tops of Usambara mountain range. After a relaxing walk starting from Lushoto you reach the picturesque village of Irente. There you pay a minimal fee to the local community and you walk on a small path that leads to Irente View Point. There you can gaze at the enchanting view of the valley below. The hike to Irente is extremely pleasant passing through small clean villages, hid in the lush vegetation all the way. Locals pass by carrying on with their daily life. Children, dressed in the school uniforms run playfully around you. Their cute faces smiling friendly. The views are so beautiful all the way!!
There is a small restaurant halfway, called Irente Farm, selling locally made cheese, bread, jams and other local products.
The journey is about 6,5 kilometers and can be done in about 1 or 1,5 hour. Don't miss it!
For more photos go to Travelogue "Lushoto"
They call Lushoto “The Switzerland of Africa” … Whether you find it appropriate or not, you will probably understand why Lushoto is one of my favourite places in Tanzania, if you happen to be there.
The lush vegetation makes you feel you are in a small corner of paradise. I liked the fresh breeze caressing my face in my enjoyable walks in the beautiful green environment. The stunning views, the friendly villagers, the abundant inexpensive and succulent fruits, the home-made local food, the relaxing sounds of nature, the clear starry night. The children running about free and happy. The huge banana leaves dancing by the wind. The small paths leading to small clean traditional villages scattered on the slopes of the surrounding hills. The great variation of trees and flowers. And last but not least, the superb view from the top of the cliffs at Irente Point View.
Everything makes up a perfect relaxing destination.
The bus from Moshi to Mombo cost me $6 / 5 euros( 3,5 hours) and there I changed to a nice 6-seat taxi which took me safely to Lushoto ( $1.2 / 1 euro) through another mountain village, Soni.
As I didn't want to climb the mountain I decided to visit some of the villages at the foot of Kilimanjaro and get the feeling of the local people, who belong to the ethnic groups of Chagga and Pare. They live peacefully in their fertile, charming land with lush vegetation and beautiful scenery.
I took the public bus to Marangu, paid only 1 dollar and arrived there in 1,5 hours.
I walked around the village for a while and then a local took me to the waterfalls. Then we crossed fields with enormous banana trees and other crops and small shady forests. We picked up wild strawberries and finally after about one hour we arrived at the nearby open market in Mamba village.
Moshi is a clean, pleasant and green town of 200,000 inhabitants at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.
You can use it as a base for climbing Mount “Kili”, as the locals call it. You can easily find guides and tour operators who can organize your expedition just the way you like it.
If you have no intention of climbing the mountain you can just visit the villages at the foot of Kilimanjaro and enjoy the lush vegetation, the friendly villagers and their simple rural life.
We started early on the first day. They took my big bag to keep it in the office and I got on the van where I met my co-travelers. They all welcomed me with a smile, which I later learned was not so genuine. Because they had resented at the idea of having one more passenger in a private tour. This happened because it was difficult to find a group to join and the office had asked them to accept me. However a couple of hours later, after a little talking and laughing we all became a nice company and there was no further annoyance.
We headed to Tarangire National Park. We passed a Maasai village on the way and we could see them all dressed in their unique red and dark purple clothes. We could have stopped to have a close view but nobody in the bus agreed to pay the 80$ they asked for. This applies to all Maasai villages in the parks, too. Anyway we had the chances to see them in other places and talked to them. They usually approach you to sell some hand made – as they say- handicrafts Or to change dollars they get from tourists to local currency.
Tarangire is a small park but the wild life is as interesting as in other parks. Its main feature are the black elephants that are roaming in herds looking for food, taking their bath in small pools of water, feeding their babies, and caressing their sweetheart.....! As it was our first day we were very excited at every sight of wild life and stood up to take a photo of everything that moved...ha
We saw a lot of different kinds of antelopes, like beautiful impalas, small and shy dik-dik, and reedbucks and bushbacks. We saw colorful birds, ostriches, baboons, monkeys, giraffes and lions resting in the shade of the tall african trees.
We stopped for lunch and went on to visit very interesting points in the heart of African scenery. We slept in a camping site, Panorama, with the most amazing views on the valley below and lake Manyara.
2nd day – On the way to Serengeti we passed through Ngorongoro. It was a long way but really exciting! In Serengeti the driver took us to the most interesting places where we would have a chance to see the most. It was amazing ! Millions of different animals were roaming in separate herds, crossing their routes at a dangerous risk of life and death. Miraculously they don't attack each other , at least during the day, as they protect themselves by the same kind being together and taking care of each other. The big predators usually look for food in the early morning and they stay calm during daytime.
A lot of zebras in their amazing striped costume walked gracefully in twos or more, impalas, topis (another kind of antelopes), gnus, thousands of them, vultures, lions, …..
I was really impressed by the unique shape of the African acacias against the frugal savanna scenery. Very atmospheric!!!
Finally, tired but satisfied we arrived at Seronera Public campsite, in Serengeti, a great misfortune for us, as it didn't have any electricity and no water available at the time, but the delectable candle-lit dinner that our expert chef served us was compensating enough.
3rd day—We went back to Ngorongoro and our exploration of the Serengeti wild life. Giraffes, baboon families with their playful offspring, lions, elephants, hippopotamuses, majestic crowned cranes, other big birds, buffaloes, dik-dik, impalas, wildebeests.
Late in the afternoon we ended up in Simbaa campsite, which is located on high grounds and was bitterly cold and extremely humid at night. But we woke up gazing at a stunning sunrise which made us forget our miserable night.
4th day-- We visited the Ngorongoro crater , a really impressive place where the concentration of wild life is truly unbelievable. Millions of wildebeests, zebras, ostriches, wild boars, hyenas, and a pink lot of flamingos in the lake in the background.…. we followed a pride of lions preying for their “breakfast”. They were lionesses walking in a line with a glorious confidence. They were not the least disturbed by the presence of tourists.
Later we visited the beautiful lake of the crater and went to sleep at Panorama campsite. I relaxed at the small terrace gazing at the stunning views on Manyara lake.
5th day – We visited Lake Manyara with the scenic landscape and the wonderful flamingos. The scenery starts with lush vegetated grounds with baboons, monkeys and the famous tree-climbing lions. Although the guide told us that all lions climb on the trees as long as the trees are strong enough to take their weight... At the plain there were giraffes, wildebeests, buffaloes and zebras, elephants...
Lake Manyara attracts many species of other big birds like cormorants, storks and pelicans.
For more photos view my Travelogue Safari 1
I visited several travel agencies in Arusha before I ended up in Il Maasai Expedition.
I am just giving you the data so that you can come in touch with them and take your own decision. I cannot recommend any of them. In general, agencies cooperate sending their clients to each other in low season because it is very expensive to organise the tour for one or two people. In case you can afford to go on a private tour the prices can go up to $1000-$2000 depending on the type of accommodation you choose.
The 4-day tour in campsites is US$150 a day.
I have heard a lot of complaints about several tour agencies, especially one called “Selina Tours” .
The ones I give below I visited personally and they seemed nice.
Il Maasai Expedition
I chose this agency because the owners seemed responsible and nice.
I was lucky enough to gain one day more because I had paid (600$ for 4 days) but as I was alone I had to join a group starting from Tarangire National Park so they included me in this group, too.
The tour crew, the driver, the guide and the cook, especially him..., were efficient and helpful. The food was very good.
The price is 600US$ for 4 days and 750US$ for 5 days sleeping in Camp sites.
For accommodation in lodges it comes up to about US$1000.
P.O.BOX 13723 – ARUSHA - TANZANIA
TEL: 255 (784) 430477 / 756448054
Jackpot Tours and Safaris Ltd
for budget Tours and safaris, walking safaris, mountain climbing, cultural tours, shuttle and bus bookings, car hire and Zanzibar holidays.
P.O.Box12490, Arusha, Tanzania
tel: 255 27 2503272 / mob.: 255 732971636 / mob : 255 754315106 / 755459450/
1st floor, Silk ClubBldg.,nearMetro Pole.
Nature Beauties Safaris
They offer Lodge luxury safaris, camping safaris, mountain treks, walking safaris,
photographic safaris, car hire and reservations.
Tour manager : Yohana Augustino
Seth Benjiamin street, Silk Club Building, 1st floor
P.O.Box 13222 Arusha, Tanzania
tel 255 27 2548224 / 255 754 890429
Bobby Trekking Safaris
Tour operators to all National Parks, Lodges and camping safaris, Mt. Kilimanjaro, beach holidays and walking safaris.P.O.Box 14109, Arusha, Tanzania
mob: 255 744317948 / 748 317861 / 255 744 277286 tel : 2504717 / 2505447
email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Arusha is a fast-growing city and a good base for a safari to famous Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire National Park. The city has a hectic pace but a walk around is quite pleasant. There are spots with a lot of green and nice breezes. The clock Tower is one of the city special features.
Be careful of the locals who approach you offering to help you. Some of them are not as truthful as they look. However I met a very nice young guy who not only took me around to many tour offices until I found one I liked and booked my safari, but he didn't want to take any money!!! I gave him a tip anyway but I was really astonished. Also as soon as I arrived two young boys took me around to three hotels and negotiated for me until I got a very good price at Rich hotel....!
Dodoma is a quiet and dusty city offering almost nothing to the common tourist. However if you happen to be here you can just relax!
Dodoma is the official capital of Tanzania with many ministries and government establishments but the main action is taking place in Dar Es Salam, anyway.
It is located in the center of the country and is connected to every other important destination.
Everything is concentrated in the center so they are in walking distance from your accommodation.
There are banks with ATMs, internet cafes, the local market , and some middle-range hotels.
The main square attracts many local people and university students all day long. It is large and airy but nothing more...
For transfer to your hotel from the station you shouldn't pay more than 3000TSh for the taxi ride, especially if it is day time.
You can call Mr. Ernest who is a very professional taxi driver and speaks English, too. His number is 755766648
Gombe National Park is a small, isolated park, ten miles north of Kigoma. It is protected by Lake Tanganyika and the high wall of the Rift Escarpment ( 2,460 ft tall ). The trails are steep and arduous.
The Kasakela chimpanzee community is the most famous feature of the park.
Entry fee 100$ - children 20$ - guide 10$ - accommodation 20$ - camp fee $20. Filming fee 180$.
The only way to reach Gombe is by charter boat or lake taxi. Lake taxis depart from Kibirizi Monday to Saturday (TSh1000, three to four hours). Faster boats can be organised through Tour Operators or Hotels.
The Chief Park Warden
Gombe National Park
PO.Box 185, Kigoma, Tanzania
tel: 255 28 2804009
The Director General
Tanzania National Park,
P.O.Box 3134, Arusha, Tanzania
tel: 255 27 2503471 fax: 255 27 2508216
You can visit Ujiji from Kigoma either by taxi, or by public transport which costs only a few cents.
I was dropped off at the main road and walked towards the lake. The village houses are scattered along the way and the children came to me curious and playful and escorted me all the way to the lake shore. They were very seriously explaining their situation to me, which is something between a simple lack of education and total starvation. They were very nice and knowledgeable despite living in such a remote corner of the world. On the way, I saw a lot of local people gathered around a natural freshwater pond, some filling their containers with water and others taking their daily bath.
The lakeshore was full of children enjoying happily their swimming or lying playfully on the golden sand. Most of them were naked and tried to hide their cute little chocolate bodies but as I tried to look natural they soon relaxed. Some mothers came to me smiling and greeted me shaking my hand with a great respect , especially when they heard I was a teacher. Some boys made somersaults - double, triple and multiple somersaults, often including twist rotations - trying to impress me with their agility...:)) They were so cute!!!
Kigoma is a busy port linking Tanzania to major towns on the lake in Burundi, Congo and Zambia.
It is an open and airy town, with a strong local color and small, simple shops, restaurants and houses. However you can find some luxury hotels such as Lake Tanganyika hotel.
The best way to see Kigoma is to walk around. That's what I did. I walked along the main road towards the lake, passing by some shops and banks and ended up at the train station building, which dominates the small town square, and the busy port. Then I walked through fields and village houses scattered between crops and finally I reached Lake Tanganyika. I had heard for years about this lake, the second largest freshwater lake and the second deepest in the world, so now there I was!
Locals were enjoying their swimming but it was too cold for me ….! I touched it and tasted it to make sure it was...fresh..ha ha..
Its maximum depth is 1470 meters ( 4,820feet) ! And it is divided among four countries , Burundi, Congo, Tanzania and Zambia.
At the border of Rwanda and Tanzania I took the bus to Kigoma thinking that I could reach my destination on the same day. The first bus left me at a small village , Nyakanazi, where locals welcomed me with some bananas! They were very sweet and curious to know who I was....
I had to wait for the next bus, which was actually a dilapidated van..
After a long time on a bumpy road which seemed endless to me the van broke down as it was expected.... The next bus that picked us up, hopefully would take me to my destination , as I thought and my adventure would end.. Anyway, English was not spoken in the bus so I gave up getting any more information...
To my despair the bus stopped at a small village, Kibondo, and I was left speechless in the bus while everybody else were getting off. Some locals helped me find a hotel, cheap and basic as there was no other choice.
Kibondo is a very traditional village on the way to Kigoma. No other tourist was in sight so I was the “honored” guest of the village and an “extraordinary sight” for the villagers who passed by my hotel just to see me, greet me or exchange a few words. They all seemed so friendly and
The hotel ( Pongezi Guest House-$2.5/2 e, for a single/no bath- $3/2.5 euros, for a double) was not only basic but as I was the only woman and the common bathroom was just a hole in the wet floor, it was very uncomfortable. I was praying I wouldn't need to go to the toilet during the night. But it was also difficult during the day...as you had to carry buckets of water to the bathroom, where there was nothing to hang your things and the floor was always wet and not clean looking...
I remember I liked the music coming from a small shop selling CDs among a thousand other things. It was a kind of music that I can describe as a mixture of reggae, African and Argentinian music. Nice!
Despite the inconvenience, the friendly attitude of the local people made me feel at home and left me with a nice memory.
There was also an acrobatic group there at the time, who were touring the country, and were organizing a performance in the large central square, which gave a great excitement to the village spirit.
The next day, after having survived the previous night, I had to wait for more than 2 hours for a bus to Kigoma. Another disaster , as the buses were coming full, the tickets already sold out, and nobody speaking English... I finally found a “bodyguard” who protected me against the aggressive ticket sellers who tried to convince me there was no regular bus and persuade me to buy their tickets in their old, slow and unsafe vans. Finally I found someone who could speak English so he took me to the bus office and asked the ticket seller to find a seat for me and make sure I would be seated when the next bus departed. It was a real fight to get into the bus and sit down. But we made it...Hurray!!
We passed another village, Kisulu, and arrived at Kigoma late in the evening. All the way the passengers were very nice to me , talking and sharing their opinions about how the world is and how it should really be....They even took me to a hotel by taxi and wouldn't take any money!
At the end of the day I felt happy and relaxed despite the difficult journey....
Chumbe Island, Tanzania
Good for: Business
Typical very nice Serena lodge: Good food, included in the price Stunning grounds and views All...more
Typical very nice Serena lodge: Good food, included in the price Stunning grounds and views of...more
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