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As many other activities on this journey, our border crossing is also depending on the tide. For between 5 and 7 days a month high tide is to low... To low for the ferry to operate. As we knew and had planned for this we had a new vehicle woth now Davis as our driver/guide waiting on the other side.
So while we embarked on a rather exiting rivercrossing, Mohammed drive the first vehicle inland to the Unity Bridge and a rather long drive back to Dar es Salaam.
We - The dream team on the other hand watched with amazement the boat/raft made to ferry a new pick up across beeing prepared, and made our way to the wooden boat to take us across the first åart of the river.
Thereafter while walking across the sandbanks in the middle of the river heading to the last boat to get to our car, feeling and probably looking as a bunch of refugees sneaking over a border, we saw behind us our friends ferrying the pick up over... Only in Africa!
Safely arrived and greeted by Davis, we did a detour to Msimbati to see the maybe most beautiful beaches of Tanzania, just making it before sunset.
Then our first short drive in the dark to Mikindani and overnight at The Old Boma, a great places with tons of charm and character.
Today we do Mikindani, Lindi and on to Kilwa Masoko for 2 nights.
Sunrise over Mocimboa da Praia - large natural harbour not far from Chai - the little village where Frelimo, the liberation movement which rules the country today was founded.
Our last night in Mozambique was spent in Chez Natalie - a idyllic lodge with bungalows spread on a large property - all with a view over the bay.
That will be the start of the Tanzanian part of our adventure...
Up early morning after a comfortable night at Ibo Island Lodge, a quick guided tour with Raul around Ibo Island seeing the sights and fewling the relaxed atmosphere of Ibo...
Therefrom we embark our Dhow, our lifeline the next 24 hours. Azure Blue ocean and a blue sky - where can be better to be?
After a sandbank visit, hereafter named Pekka Island, with snorkeling and a fantastic Prawns pasta, we sailed for the Dolphins...
Amazing experience, so peaceful to drift over the 20 to 30 Dolphins making (hopefully) a great video to share with you all. Remarkable beyond words!
Therafter a slow sail trip in between the islands, mangroves and shallow waters waiting for the tide to be high enough to bring us to our camp at Quirimbas.
Refreshing drinks, a great dinner and good company, a good night sleep in a tent right on the beach... can't get much better!
Up in the morning, 05.00 to see the superb sunrise before using the high tide to get back to the mainland and a 5 hour drive to Mocimboa da Praia for our last night in Mozambique before crossing the Rovuma back into Tanzania!
Laying a blue cushion writing this, hearing only the sound of the ocean against the wooden hull and the wind i our sail...
The story of Ibo Island will come later but rest assured - it is definitely one of the highlights of our journey!
Now Dolphins, snorkeling, sandbank lunch and a night camping on Quirimbas...
To be continued...
... and it is!
Our chosen spot for the night, Ulala Lodge is about 20 minutes outside the city, a highly recommendable Hideaway with great food, hospitality and same for comfortable accommodation!
Caiperinha by the way is a Brazilian drink - similar to Mojito - exotic...
Nampula - third largest city in Mozambique and the province seat.
A gentle first stop for many, maybe for the first time visiting Africa, with wide and spacious streets and lush surroundings, Nampula offers all you need, and in a slow welcoming way.
The few sights to be seen includes the beautiful Carheral of Nossa Senhora de Fatima, The National Ethnography Museum and the Sunday morning Craft Market.
As a Monday keep most museums in the world closed for us we did the cathedral and went visiting a local railway station planning a alternative and adventurous way of getting here, before picking our fellow travellers on the airport.
Today Ihla de Mozambique is our destination, a 3 km long and 500 m wide intriguing island with all of its culture and history...
Starting the day after a good night sleep in Chez Natalie, a good breakfast - with a view our roadtrip started.
The nature in Northern Mozambique is quite different to what we are used to in Tamzania. More hills and variations, very lush and green these days.
Only with a "village lunch" break consisting of spicy rice and goat stew as a break, we entered Nampula late afternoon after having a few showers in the outskirts of the city.
To be continued...
Sunrise came when crossing Mkapa bridge, over the mighty Rufiji Delta providing water and green, lush fields or rice, maize and other fruits and vegetables.
Passing historic sites like Kilwa which we will return to, past Lindi which are waiting for a explosive development when Tanzanias natural gas adventure starts, on to Mtwara - the cashew nut central of the south.
A lot of impression - all before lunch which was tasty liver, kidney and heart with stewed cooking bananas.
Thereafter down to the mighty Rovuma river along the border, across with the 4 vehicle ferry at high tide to a very, very different Mozambique. Friendly people with all the time in the world it seems.
A few last hours drive, rough in the beginning then amazing tarmac roads to Mocimboa da Praia, a charming quiet costal town. Sleeping at Chez Natalie a great seaside estate, Calamari dinner and now some good rest before continuing to Nampula tomorrow.
Click on the "pointers" on the map for closer descriptions! Here is our itinerary for you to envy...
Northern Mozambique, after nearly 25 years of isolation, re-established itself as one of southern Africa’s most intriguing and attractive tourist destination. Now with new hotels opening, improvements being made to transport links and with the re-stocking of its reserves and national parks. Before 1975, the country was a favourite retreat for visitors from neighbouring countries. Mozambique is a melting pot of different cultures and traditions. With mosques, churches and forts dating back to the Portuguese and Arab rule from 16th century onwards. No wonder that Mozambique is one of the most exciting cultural destinations on the continent. Our trips through northern Mozambique mean adventure. Adventure since the tourist infrastructure has not yet been fully developed. You will visit the most remote parts of Africa. In addition you will visit Mozambique coast which is a real historic treasure. For those with an adventure spirit and a willingness to be open to and respectful of local custom, this unspoiled region can be one of Mozambique’s most rewarding.
Day 1 (06 June 16) Arrive at Nampula airport. Meet and transfer to Hotel Residential Premavera for overnight. Nampula is the capital city of Nampula Province in Mozambique. It the third largest city in Mozambique after Maputo and Beira. It is home to the Mozambique National Ethnographic Museum, several markets, cathedrals and mosques. It is also the center of business in northern Mozambique. Nampula has a few western style hotels, restaurants and shopping centres. It also has a small international airport connecting to Nairobi in Kenya and Johannesburg in South Africa, and is a transport hub for local transport in Northern Mozambique; however, it is not noted as a tourist destination. Under Portuguese rule this province was named Moçambique but with independence, the name Mozambique was used for the entire country and the province renamed for its capital. After lunch, proceed on hotel inspections.
Day 2 (07 June 16) Drive to Ilha de Mozambique, about 3 hours away. Check in at Hotel Escondindinho for overnight on BB terms. Ilha de Mozambique is one of the World’s Heritage Sites. It is from this tiny island that moderm Mozambique got it’s name. Ilha de Mozambique is a cultural melting pot. African, Arabian and Portuguese. Walk through the small streets and mix with the local people. Fresh sea food is bought directly from the fishermen. Escondindinho is a charming Portuguese Poussada fully renovated with ensuite facilities and a separate good restaurant. After lunch, proceed on hotel inspections: Terraco das Quitandas scheduled at 2h30pm. Contact person Antonio Villa Sands is scheduled at 4pm.
Day 3 (08 June 16) From Ilha de Mozambique to Pemba town, Ulala Lodge, HB This morning, at 07h00, a 7 to 8 hour drive to Pemba town. Lunches in own account. Dinner & overnight at Ulala Lodge, FB The coastal town of Pemba lays claim to some of the finest coral reefs in all of the Southern Africa. Divers and snorkelers enter clear depths and swim among a profusion of exotic fishes. As you might expect, the seafood is rich and plentiful enough to take to your taste buds on holiday of a life time. Ulala is an Eco Lodge located on one of the most beautiful beaches in Mozambique, Murrébué Beach. It is in Pemba (25 minutes from the city centre, 20 minutes from the airport), in the North of Mozambique. It is a small, isolated, exclusive place, with 6 rooms in beautiful and charming bungalows, all with a view on the Indian ocean. Great care has been taken to use local materials (coco leaves, bamboos, teak decks, red sand) in all construction, delicately blended with modern facilities to provide comfort with a unique style. There is a cosy restaurant / bar is on the beach, the chefs will be happy to prepare French Cuisine with a mix of local flair. Wifi, wireless internet, is available at the restaurant.You can roam around with the sea kayaks. Conditions are ideal for kitesurfing from May to October. Ulala is the ideal accomodation for those looking for tranquillity and natural beauty ; the remoteness of the place is an invitation to relaxation. The beauty of the white sandbanks and of the emerald waters shifting with the tides offers a never ending show. The beach is clean and calm. The nearest village is kilometers away. Quick visits to inspect the following properties: Complexo Caracol – 14h30 Kauri Resort – 15h30 Avani Pemba Beach Hotel – 16h30
Day 4 (09 June 16) Morning at leisure. Then at 10h00, depart for Tanganyanga on the north east coast for boat to Ibo Island. It takes about 3h30 . 15h00, boat transfer to Ibo Island during high tide. The transfer is roughly one hour. On arrival in the island, check in at Miti Miwiri Lodge on BB terms. Explore an ancient island where Muslim traders operated in the 15th century, before it became a major slave market and trading post for the Portuguese in the 18th century. Historic buildings, 3 forts and a beautiful old Catholic Church still remains. Ibo provides a chance to interact with the amazing rural people and exchange cultural differences. Traditional silversmiths still operate from the main port, and you are free to wander about this beautiful island and explore. Optional crab and fishing expeditions, mangrove excursions, snorkelling, swimming and historical dhow cruises.
Day 5 (10 June 16) From Ibo Island proceed to the Sandbank and camping at Matemo. Matemo Island forms part of the pristine Quirimbas Islands and is located northeast of Ibo island, in northern Mozambique, about 100 km from the city of Pemba. It is approximately 24 square kilometres in area, with palm groves and beaches.
It contains five villages, inhabited by native Mozambicans.
Day 6 (11 June 16) From Matemo return boat to Tanganyanga and by car to Mocimboa du Praia for accommodation at Chez Natalie . The drive to Mocimboa is about 6 hours. Chez Natalie Lodge is a French-style lodge and restaurant, set at the main gate of the Quirimbas National Park in the Bay of Mocimboa da Praia. Established 10 years ago in the middle of the bush and overlooking the bay and the mangrove forest, it has charming and comfortable bungalows, the perfect base from where to explore Northern Moçambique. Either you are passing by or looking for a nice accommodation, Chez Natalie is the right place to start discovering the most remote and beautiful destination in East Africa.
Day 7 (12 June 16) From Mocimboa drive to Rovuma River which is the natural border between Mozambique & Tanzania and cross into Tanzania. Then drive to Mtwara and overnight at The Old Boma , FB (Until 2001, the Rovuma River, which is the natural border between Mozambique and Tanzania, was bridged by dugout canoe only. Nowadays, a ferry, capable of taking vehicles as well is operating. Crossing the Rovuma River is just possible at high tide. In case the ferry does not operate, then we make a detour and from Tanganyanga we drive to Mueda Cape Delgado and then to Masasi. The Old Boma Hotel in Southern Tanzania, a national monument, is a 100 year old fort, beautifully restored into a comfortable hotel with up to date facilities, whilst retaining many original features and charm. The Old Boma is located on the side of a hill overlooking the Indian Ocean, providing breathtaking views from dawn to dusk. Hotel facilities include a large swimming pool surrounded by Frangipani and Flame trees. A pool side bar is available, with the Old Courthouse providing shaded seating.
Day 8 (13 June 16) From Mtwara to Kilwa Masoko, Kilwa Pakaya From Mtwara to Kilwa Masoko takes about 4-5 hours by car. Overnight at Kilwa Pakaya. Kilwa Masoko is of interest primarily as a base for visiting the ruins of the 15th century Arab settlement at nearby Kilwa Kisiwani. Otherwise there are pretty few beaches on the outskirts of town. Afternoon free.
Day 9 (14 June 16) Kilwa Masoko, Kimbilio Lodge. Kimbilio Lodge is located on the Kilwa beach in Masoko Bay, just on the waterfront, in one of the most beautiful and still unspoiled corners of the world. The beach is candid white, and the water is crystal clear. Kilwa is a paradise for diving, yet its location is also ideal for excursions in the inland. Visit Kilwa Kisiwani by boat. The Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani The remains of two great East African ports admired by early European explorers are situated on two small islands near the coast. From the 13th to the 16th century, the merchants of Kilwa dealt in gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian crockery, Persian earthenware and Chinese porcelain; much of the trade in the Indian Ocean thus passéd through their hands. Kilwa Kisiwani, was occupied from the 9th to the 19th century and reached its peak of prosperity in the13th and 14th centuries. In 1331-1332, the great traveler, Ibn Battouta made a stop here and described Kilwa as one of the most beautiful cities of the world. Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara were Swahili trading cities and their prosperity was based on control of Indian Ocean trade with Arabia, India and China, particularly between the 13th and 16th centuries, when gold and ivory from the hinterland was traded for silver, carnelians, perfumes, Persian faience and Chinese porcelain. Kilwa Kisiwani minted its own currency in the 11th to 14th centuries. In the 16th century, the Portuguese established a fort on Kilwa Kisiwani and the decline of the two islands began. The remains of Kilwa Kisiwani cover much of the island with many parts of the city still unexcavated. The substantial standing ruins, built of coral and lime mortar, include the Great Mosque constructed in the 11th century and considerably enlarged in the 13th century, and roofed entirely with domes and vaults, some decorated with embedded Chinese porcelain; the palace Husuni Kubwa built between c1310 and 1333 with its large octagonal bathing pool. The Great Mosque of Kilwa Kisiwani is the oldest standing mosque on the East African coast and, with its sixteen domed and vaulted bays, has a unique plan. Its true great dome dating from the 13th was the largest dome in East Africa until the 19th century.
Day 10 (15 June 16) From Kilwa Masoko to Selous Game Reserve, Selous Wilderness Camp, FB Early this morning, depart for Selous Game Reserve. It takes about 7 hours driving. Lunch boxes in own account. On arrival in Selous, check in at Selous Wilderness Camp. Late afternoon boat on Rufiji River. Dinner & overnight at the camp, FB
Day 11 (16 June 16) Selous Game Reserve, Selous Wilderness Camp, FB Today, you enter Selous Game Reserve for a full day of game drives with picnics. Dinner and overnight at Selous Wilderness Camp, FB Selous Game Reserve Named after the legendary British explorer, Selous Game Reserve ( three times the size of Serengeti N.P. and twice the size of Belgium ), was founded as a Reserve in 1905 by the colonial administration and later expanded to include the traditional elephant migration routes. The Reserve provides shelter for most of Tanzania’s largest elephant population, large herds of buffalo, crocodile, hippo, a variety of 440 species of birds and over 2000 variety of plants. Lions and leopards are also present together with one of the greatest predators of Africa, the African wild dog. The park probably holds the largest concentration of this endangered animal, which hunts, in large packs and with the reputation of being among the most formidable predators. Covering 50,000 km sq, Selous is the true African wilderness that has had missionaries, explorer and hunters from bygone days but has still managed to keep its doors closed to many. Hot volcanic springs, lagoons, the great Rufiji River and the diverse landscape makes Selous Game Reserve is a World Heritage site.
Day 12 (17 June 16) From Selous Game Reserve to Dar Es Salaam, Lighthouse Beach Resort, FB After breakfast, drive to Dar Es Salaam. Takes about 5-6 hours. On arrival in Dar Es Salaam, check in at Lighthouse Beach Resort for overnight on FB terms.
Day 13 (18 June 16) Depart from Dar Es Salaam, transfer to the airport Transfer to Julius Nyerere International Airport.
WOW... HECTIC BUT GREAT!
Will keep you all updated as long as we have some internet connection. STAY TUNED FOR...
Tanzania is one of the African countries which are mostly famous for safari. The high concentration of parks and natural reserves makes this territory perfect to organize excursions and game drives.
Safari paths are usually categorized in different “circuits”, where days required for visits, costs, and the chance of seeing games are different as well. We’ll now help you to understand which one can be more interesting and suitable to you and to your expectations.
The most famous and required by tourists. It includes popular destinations such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. In a few hours driving it is possible to move around the various locations and it’s easy to find animal species, such as lions, elephants, zebras, antelopes, giraffes, wildebeests and many more. This is the area where you can see the Great Migration.
This is the route of hidden treasures. In the Southern Circuit you can find endless parks and reserves (Mikumi, Ruaha, Selous) and the highest concentration of animals – Roan Antelope, Sable Antelope, African Wild Dogs, and a rich and colorful birdlife. You’ll find fewer tourists, smaller and more quiet accommodations. It will take longer to move from a park to another, but the adventure is worthing. If you like trekking, you can stop and climb at Udzungwa Mountains National Park.
Great Lakes Circuit
The track passing by the Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and, further south, Lake Malawi and Lake Nyasa. The national parks in this circuit are actually the only safe opportunity to see chimpanzees in the wild (Gombe Stream) and unique flora (Kitulo). The habitat, in this area, is different and unique. It’s a good idea to visit it after the Northern or the Southern Circuit.
Over 800 km coastline, palm fringed beaches of white sand and the historic towns of Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Kilwa, Lindi, Mikindani and Mtwara. But also the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. Not just a naturalistic route, but also a great chance to meet the traditional Swahili culture, history, art, music and architecture… the perfect end - and great relax - for your holidays!
Many publishers offer guidebooks for Tanzania and Zanzibar and often it is not easy to understand which it’s going to be the right one… so, let’s have a look to the most popular.
Rough Guide for Tanzania & ZanzibarWritten by Jens Finke, the Rough Guide for Tanzania & Zanzibar is a reliable source of information, providing an introduction about the country as well as many useful tips about how to organize a journey. Next to travel suggestions, you will find an introductory section with many general information about Tanzania (cultural customs, food, health service, etc). The guide focuses on giving practical information, reviews about hotels and restaurant for every budget and clear maps - but also a wide frame about wildlife that you can observe during a safari.
Bradt Guide for TanzaniaBradt guidebooks are widely recognized to be the best for travellers in Africa. The deep knowledge of the different countries and the extensive experience “on the road” of their authors are the warranty of the quality of these books. Bradt is a pioneer publisher, tracking unusual destinations with focus on sustainable tourism. A nice and refined layout of the pages and the use of color are also elements that make this guidebooks not just useful but also nice to read.
Lonely Planet for Tanzania & ZanzibarLonely Planet is nowdays the world’s leading travel guide publisher. Their guides are rich of information but also easy to read, suitable even for non-expert travelers. The one about Tanzania offers samples of itinerary, an interesting section about general information (language, local customs, food, health service, etc.), maps and reviews about hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. It is suitable for backpackers as well as all-inclusive tourists.
If you want to see the Great Migration, this is the area to be.
Arusha National ParkThis national park lies about 45km east of Arusha town, the “safari capital” of Tanzania. In this area stands the Mount Meru, Tanzania’s “other mountain” aside Kilimanjaro. Despite its relatively small size, this park has a lot to offer such as Colobus monkeys, flamingos, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, plus a variety of bird and plant species. A visit to this park can be a one-day excursion, part of a Mt Meru hike or a broader safari itinerary that will continue to other national parks.
Lake Manyara NationalPark 60% of this park’s total area is covered by the Lake Manyara, and the remaining 40% is a forest where you can find over 350 species of birds and an array of mammals such as elephants, giraffes, hippos, blue monkeys, impala, lions and leopards. The forest at Lake Manyara is always green due to ground water that finds its way from the Ngorongoro highlands. Due to its close proximity to Arusha, a day visits to this park can be arranged.
Ngorongoro Conservation AreaNgorongoro is a unique place, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. It is part of the broader Serengeti ecosystem, often regarded as the 8th wonder of the world. From stunning landscapes, wildlife concentrations to the “cradle of mankind”, Ngorongoro has everything you might want to see. Its intact caldera is home to the very rare black rhino and the largest concentration of wildlife per square kilometre anywhere in the world. We recommend 2 days at Ngorongoro.
Serengeti National ParkThis is the ultimate park for safari experience, it is every visitors' desire to see the “land of endless plains” as it is known by the nomadic Masaai who are found here. Serengeti is famous for the annual wildebeest migration but also because of the huge number of species living in this area. Due to the distance from Arusha, this park is seldom planned as a visit on very first day of a safari unless flights to Serengeti are planned. Depending on the time of visit, we recommend a minimum of two or more nights.
Tarangire National ParkThe Northern Circuit’s best kept secret, it offers a unique landscape compared to any park in the Northern Circuit. The presence of a permanent source of water makes Tarangire especially good during the dry season (June-Oct, Dec-Feb) as plenty of wild animals migrate here. Tarangire is best known for its baobab trees, large concentrations of big mammals, including leopards and other carnivores. We recommend 2 days in this park.
You can include in your itinerary important parks and reserves – such as Mikumi, Ruaha and Selous. Great game drive, but easy hiking as well.
Selous Game ReserveSelous is one of the largest game reserves in the world, with a unique environment crossed by Rufiji River - so your trip will be richer, with a nice boat safari. This is also one of the few locations where walking safaris are allowed. You will see a variety of herbivores, predators and bird species.
Ruaha National ParkThe second largest national park in Tanzania, bordering with the Ruaha River and its spectacular view points. From July to December wildlife is concentrated along the river banks, so you will easily see herds of elephant, giraffe, lions and kudu… Walking safaris and game drive are possible in this area.
Mikumi National ParkThe park is small but rich in wildlife – buffalo, hippo, baboons, sable antelope, lions, wild dogs, wildebeest, zebra, impala, giraffe, warthogs, and elephants which can easily be viewed all the year round. Reptiles including crocodiles, monitor lizards and pythons are also resident in the park as are over 400 recorded species of birdlife. Perfect for a short & easy safari.
Udzungwa Mountains National ParkThe Udzungwa forest is part of the Eastern Arc, which extends from the Southern Highlands through the Uluguru and Usambara mountains northwards to Pare. Vegetation on these mountains is exceptionally variable, ranging from lowland forests, through montane and to upper montane forests. Five distinct trails cover the forests and mountain peaks and offer different levels of difficulty from beginners to experienced trekkers.
Kitulo PlateauKitulo Plateau hosts one of the greatest floral spectacles of the world. This Park is known for its flora is home to 350 species of vascular plants, including 45 varieties of terrestrial orchid many of which are endemic, which erupt into a riotous wildflower display of breathtaking scale and diversity during the long rains from January through to May. Located in the beautiful Southern Highlands of Tanzania, Kitulo is a botanists’ and hikers’ paradise.
Its remote location is probably the reason why a small number of tourists go there every year, but still Kitulo is important, because it’s the first national park established in Africa with the aim of conserving flora.
It is located in the Southern Highlands of Njombe Region, an area where you can see amazing landscapes of alpine grassland and montane forest… and most of all, that is home of more than 350 species of vascular plants, and among them 45 varieties of terrestrial orchid. A unique environment!
No surprise that locals call this area “Bustani Ya Mungu” (The Garden of God in Swahili language) or even “Serengeti of Flowers”...
Aside the amazing flora, in Kitulo it is also possible to see uncommon animals like chameleon, lizards, butterfly and different species of birds.
You can combine this destination in an itinerary passing by Ruaha and Katavi National Parks. If you are now curious and want to discover this place, contact our safari experts to arrange a trip there!
So, why not to add a short cultural escape to an historical spot to your holidays? Have a look at our list, and if you’re interested contact our experts!
Located in the Great Rift Valley in Arusha Region, this is one of the most famous paleoanthropological sites in East Africa, maybe also because of its position on the way to Ngorongoro and Serengeti. Here have been found many important evidences in the understanding of early human evolution - Mary and Louis Leakey unearthed the first well-dated artifacts and fossils of some of our earliest human ancestors, including Homo habilis, Paranthropus boisei, Homo erectus and finally Homo sapiens.
Let’s move to the west side of Ngorongoro Crater, where hominid footprints are preserved in volcanic rock 3.6 millions years old and represent some of the earliest signs of mankind in the world. The location was excavated by archaeologist Mary Leakey in 1978 and others followed, finding in this area many tracks of the presence and remains of hominids.
Great Rift Valley of northern Tanzania. You can pass by Engaruka, an abandoned system of ruins, that is famous for its irrigation and cultivation structures and it is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the Great Lakes region. Sometime in the 15th century, an iron age farming community, housing several thousand people, developed this complicated system. For an unknown reason Engaruka was abandoned at latest in the mid-18th century.
A small town, located three miles east of Bagamoyo, on the Indian Ocean coast. The Kaole Ruins, dating back to a period between the 13th century and the 16th century, are what remains of an ancient muslim Shirazi settlement: two mosques and 30 tombs. One of the buildings is the most ancient known mosque in East Africa. Tombs are built with coral rag.
Kondoa Rock Art Sites
Nine kilometres off the main highway from Kondoa to Arusha, it is possible to visit a series of caves carved into the side of a hill. The caves contain paintings, some of which are believed by the Tanzania Antiquities Department to date back more than 1500 years. The exact number of rock art sites in the Kondoa area is currently uncertain, however estimates are of between 150 and 450 of the decorated rock shelters.
If you have the chance, don’t miss a visit to one of the most fascinating corners of the World, even though well off the beaten tracks. Its water can reach temperatures up to 60 °C and has an alkalinity between pH 9 and pH 10.5. Unlike the major lands of Tanzania, this environment is not suitable for most of the species.
The chemical composition and the geological setting of this place, on the other hand, are the cause of some phenomena that you can see walking nearby the lake.
Most of predators cannot survive there, but this is the reason why other species settled in this area – such as flamingos returning yearly for the breeding season. The hot and salty water doesn’t harm them, but it keeps their enemies away.
The hot and salty water can be home for creatures, such as cyanobacteria that are typical here, and this is the reason why the lake looks red in some areas. Other flora growing in the Lake Natron is Spirulina, an algae which is food for flamingos.
Thousands pink flamingos, corners where the water is red and minerals are the main actors on the scene… landscape and atmosphere are very unusual here, and this is one of the reasons why it is worthing a trip, if you want to be surprised!
But as we wrote several times, the offer of mountainside destinations in Tanzania is much wider, and includes amazing spots and routes which can be enjoyable for a wider target, even if considered well off the beaten tracks.
Have you ever thought, for instance, to relax in an African mountain village instead of at the beach? It’s quite a singular choice, but it makes sense as well: to wake up in a chalet with view on forests and plantations nearby Usambara Mountains is a very nice experience.
We are in the extreme North-East of the Country, the area including Mkomazi National Park and bordering with the famous Tsavo in Kenya. Travelling a little bit to South we are in the West Usambara Mountain Reserve, better known as Lushoto.
Here we can forget for a while Tanzania as we usually figure it out. Savannah plains and white sand beaches leave place to beautiful green mountains, where it is possible to hike and explore both with and without guide.
Easier than Kilimanjaro, more relaxing and suitable for all the family - with nice cultural and traditional plus aside. Among the most popular tracks, there is the walk to Irente viewpoint, where it is possible to stop and share a tasty meal made of homemade bread, local cheese and jam.
Or, eventually, the steeper climb to the Soni waterfall which leads through high-altitude agricultural land and down a precarious rock staircase.
How long to stay in Lushoto? We advise to visit it as a short trip of 2-3 days. This is a good location to see another face of Tanzania and take a break after a long game drive adventure around the famous parks of the Northern Circuit; and maybe, before the seaside fun in the lively Zanzibar.
Destination, Manta Resort. You can’t get wrong! You will be welcome with a refreshing drink, and you will meet a waiter in charge of assisting you during the whole stay. Whether for food, activities or other issues, somebody will be available at the right time, because service is what really makes a difference here. Most of the staff are Pemba residents, carefully selected and trained internally, according to the rules of the resort.
Manta has become famous worldwide because of its special underwater room, a unique luxury accommodation that needs to be booked with large advance for special occasions. But it’s much more than this, and in this article we want to show the “regular” package offered to visitors.
Let’s take now a tour around the facilities. From the bar and restaurant, furnished in traditional “dhow” style, you can access to a sunny terrace and a quiet pool; and from here, to a smaller cocktail bar open in the evening and to the amazing beach.
White sand and that unique blue of the Ocean around Pemba will be your favourite corner in the middle of the nature - not easy to forget, even when you will go back home.
In the end, the rooms: sea view or garden view bungalows, furnished in Zanzibari style and complete with all the comfort, including private terraces or verandas with comfortable couches. Maximum quality for your private time is guaranteed.
Manta Resort is good for every type of person: couples, families with kids, elders, lovers of sport but also for the ones who prefer to enjoy some lazy time. The place is safe and clean, the atmosphere is warm and relaxing. For sure, a good place as temporary retreat or base camp for other explorations around Pemba.
For bookings & enquiries:
Sales & marketing manager:
+255 (0)784 947 444 / +255 (0)713 799 181
CEO - Managing Director:
+255 (0)784 673 715 / +255 (0)713 799 182