Tanzania is the proud preserver of some of Africa’s most spectacular safari destinations. This is the land of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti, the Selous Game Reserve, the Eastern Arc Mountains, Zanzibar and Mafia Island.
Tanzania is raw, stunning, friendly Africa. It is the land of smiles where the phrase ‘karibuni tena’, ‘welcome back soon,’ is always the last phrase you hear. Follow in the footsteps of early man preserved in the Olduvi Gorge.
Tanzania should be more famous, but we kind of like the fact that it’s not. This is the Indian Ocean at its finest: islands, shallows, coral reefs, mangroves and deep ocean teeming with life, all of it close to spellbinding terrestrial attractions. The Mafia Island Marine Park, with its resident whale shark population, shows how community conservation can work; Zanzibar offers great diving in an exotic, historical setting and off the mainland, newly discovered sites offer secret pleasures. Karibu Tanzania – Welcome!
Not only do you get to experience some of Africas most outstanding inhabitants during a safari inland, you will visit Mafia Island Marine Park, with its resident whale shark population and exotic Zanzibar which offers fantastic diving in a historical and breathtaking setting.
DAR ES SALAAM/ MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK/ MAFIA ISLAND/ ZANZIBAR/ DAR ES SALAAM
The anticipation has been growing for weeks, but now your departure has finally arrived. Head to the airport and board your plane. Destination: Tanzania!
Landing at the international airport in Dar es Salaam, you will be met by your guide and driven through the noise and confusion of the city to the calm oasis of the Mediterraneo Hotel on Kawe Beach. Here, next to the Indian Ocean, you can recover from the flight and enjoy the wonderful settings that are now surrounding you.
MEDITERRANEO HOTEL – BREAKFAST
After an early breakfast, you will leave the city, escape the sprawling suburbs, and embark out onto the coastal plain. Rural Tanzania welcomes you. Following the old trade routes, you head west, past the Uluguru Mountains, to Mikumi National Park. Once in the park, you will head for your campsite under the baobab trees. Here the luggage will be unloaded as you head into the park for a late afternoon gamedrive.
It is hard to beat a sunset in Africa and this evening you will enjoy a three-course meal under the stars. Listen to the night come alive and let your guide translate.
MIKUMI NP CAMPSITE – FULL BOARD – 1 GAME DRIVE
Unfortunately, the best time of the day for meeting the residents of the park is early morning, around sunrise. Therefore, you will be woken with coffee before leaving the lodge to watch the African savanna come to life. You can expect to see a host of species, from the mighty elephant to the cantankerous ground hornbill and everything in between. After 2-3 hours, you will return to lodge for a good hearty breakfast and a chance to compare animals seen.
As the morning sun brings the temperature up, most species find a cool place to hide. Around 15:00 you will once more leave the lodge, this time in search of the predators. As the sun starts to fade the safari bell rings, as dusk is the best time for seeing lions in the park. They will have spent most of the day lying around, but now it is their time to feed.
MIKUMI NP CAMPSITE – FULL BOARD – 2 GAME DRIVES
The bush is rarely quiet and this morning it is the bird song that wakes you. As the sun rises, you will go out into the park for an early morning game drive. This gives you the opportunity to visit different areas of the park, or return to yesterday’s favourites. Now, when it is cool, the wildlife is more active; listen to your guide as he explains to you life on the savanna. The buffalo will be wallowing and the elephants browsing in the tree line; it will be difficult to leave.
After the morning game drive, you will return to Dar es Salaam and the domestic airport for your flight to Mafia Island. Forty five minutes in the air will take you to this island, the site of one of the Indian Ocean’s most important marine parks. Look out for the dark silhouette of a whale shark in the clear waters below you. Your home on the island is Shamba Kilole Lodge, the new development of which the people of Mafia are most proud.
SHAMBA KILOLE LODGE – FULL BOARD
You have the next four days to explore as many of Mafia’s dive sites as you can. Whether you enjoy encountering the big pelagic species or prefer a spot of macro photography, the island has something for everyone. The exact sites dived will be dependent upon local conditions and the advice of our guides. Enjoy the stunning drift dive at Kinasi Pass, greeting the charismatic groupers and sharing the waters with great shoals of reef fish. Our guides have dived these waters for the past fifteen years, so make the most of their knowledge.
Whale sharks are on most divers top ten list, and Mafia Island is one of the best places in the world to see them. You will travel back across the island to the west coast where for seven months of the year there is a resident population of these magnificent creatures.
SHAMBA KILOLE LODGE – FULL BOARD – 6 DIVES & 1 WHALE SHARK EXPERIENCE
Time for a change. You will be driven back to the airport for the flight north to Zanzibar, Mafia’s famous sister. Collected at the airport, you will be driven across the island, through Jozani Forest to the glorious stretch of the south east coast. Your base will be the Arabian Nights Hotel in Paje Village. Staying in a purpose built hotel, built in the Swahili style, it is now time to dive Zanzibar! The afternoon is yours to relax and explore the beach – or just crack open a beer or two – diving begins tomorrow.
ARABIAN NIGHTS ANNEX – BREAKFAST
DAY 11 & 12
Zanzibar is a ‘dive n’ vibe’ destination. The diving is great; using the dive centre next to the hotel you will use modern boats to get quickly out to the reef wall for dives that combine coral and big stuff.
You can also look inland adventures such as a visit to Stonetown, a UN World Heritage Site; join the habituated red colobus monkeys in Jozani Forest or take a Big Blu Safari. If you would prefer to rest, then find the shade and settle in for some lazy island life.
ARABIAN NIGHTS ANNEX – BREAKFAST – 4 DIVES
Last night may have been a bit of a party, so take it easy and potter around until the time has come to return to the airport for your flight to Dar es Salaam. Once back in the city, make the short drive to the international airport in time for the long flight home. Tanzania waits patiently for your return. Karibuni tena – Welcome again.
Arrive back home with plenty of stories.
Time: GMT +3
Currency: (TZS) Tanzaniansk Shilling
Language: Swahili, english
Visa: Tourist Visa, bought at the airport on arrival (For Tanzania and Zanzibar)
Health: Please contact your nearest vaccination clinic
Recompression Chamber: In Nairobi
Weather: Tropical climate, two rain seasons (march-may) and (nov-dec) The coolest months countrywide are from June to October and the warmest from December to March.
Electricity: 220-240 Volts (U.S/Canada are 110-120 Volts)