Travelogue Tanzania 2019

Tanzania, a country almost twice as big as Germany, situated in the east of Africa should be our latest holiday destination. Famous through Kilimanjaro as the highest mountain of Africa, the Ngorongoro highlands with its crater, great lakes at the western border of the country, savannahs and semi-deserts, Baobab trees and typical acacias and an impressive fauna. We were very excited and were not disappointed.

Choosing Dutch KLM as an airline was a good decision, not only because of the free baggage allowance of 12 kg Carry-on luggage. What we hadn't expected, however, was an extremely unfriendly employee in the security department at the Frankfurt Airport (Terminal 2), which unpacked our carefully packed camera equipment piece by piece to send it over the conveyor again. Afterwards, the individual parts were thoroughly examined for drugs (?). The queue of people at our line was getting longer and longer and the people were extremely annoyed. But that bothered the lady at all not, the federal police were called in as well. After about 20 minutes we were allowed to leave the security area and the vacation finally started.

In the evening around 20.00 o'clock we landed at the Kilimanjaro Airport. Thanks to the E-Visa we applied for in advance the entry formalities were quick and the luggage was already ready. Half an hour later we were already sitting in a taxi, the driver brought us to our first accommodation, the African View Lodge near Arusha. After a good hour we arrived there, because of the very heavy rain, which also stopped the next morning, the predicted view of Mount Meru was only to be guessed at.


Our guide Kenneth picked us up around 9.00 a.m. and after a short briefing about the next days we drove to our first destination, Lake Manyara National Park. This is known for its different habitats, from swamps to the shallow soda lake, forests, open grassland, hot springs up to the mountains. The park is famous for its climbing lions, but they rarely show themselves to the visitors, not even to us. Nevertheless there were many things to see: monkeys, baboons, hornbill, Saddle-billed stork, Yellow-billed stork, hippopotamus, bee-eater, stilt-walker, white-tailed eagle, lapwing, Nile goose, water buffalo, zebra, Impalas, spoonbills, cattle, little and great egrets, ibis and flamingos.

After an overnight stay at Karatu Simba Lodge in the Ngorongoro highlands the next morning we drove further along the Serengeti. The busy road especially in the rainy season is in an incredibly bad condition. Especially we had to get used to the rocking.


Tanzania's oldest national park, the Serengeti National Park, offers very varied landscapes on an area of about 15.000 km². The Serengeti is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to the world's largest wild herds of hoofed animals. The Serengeti borders the Masai Mara in Kenya to the north and the Ngorongoro Game Reserve to the south.

On the way to our next overnight stay, the Ang'ata Serengeti Camp, we met the first giraffes, many zebras, Thompson Gazelles, hyenas and a cheetah. The camp is a bit simple, but very tidy, each guest tent has an en-suite bathroom with shower, washbasin and flush toilet. The food tasted wonderful and at night we were able to enjoy the first listening to lions in the immediate vicinity. The location of the camp is very favorable. The next morning we made a longer game drive in the Seronera region. Here we then have seen 2 lionesses in a tree, they had us very well in the view and they weren't sleepy at all. Striped-neck and collared mongoose sunbathed on a termite hill and again we met a Cheetah. Afterwards a quite long journey began in the north to our next destination, the Mara river. On the way there we met a large herd of wildebeests crossing the road in front of us, which is exactly what we wanted to have seen. Impressive were also the many rock formations next to the track, so-called Kopjes.



The road to our next accommodation, the Mara River Post Lodge, got worse and worse, for the last stretch (24 km) it took us about an hour. At some point we made it and the next stage of our round trip began. The Mara River Post Lodge is a modern accommodation directly on the banks of the Mara River with a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding savannah where giraffes, antelopes and elephants cavort. The guest tents are comfortable and furnished in an environmentally friendly way, each one has a veranda with a magnificent view.


The Mara River and its banks are known for spectacular scenes, especially when there are hundreds of thousands of wildebeest between July and November crossing the wide river and risking their lives in search of food. Unfortunately this year the rainy season started several weeks earlier and so did the Great Migration. Therefore we could not observe the river crossing, but still saw a lot of animals in the area.

In the north of the Serengeti we had two very nice days, met the first elephants, observed kingfishers, many hippos, wildebeests and zebras and also a small praying mantis found the way to our tent. A small frog was caught by us early in the morning saved from the swimming pool.


Afterwards we went back to the central serengeti, again to the Ang'ata Serengeti Camp. On the way we saw 2 bateleurs, a predatory eagle, hammer heads, a secretary bird and as a special treat a dwarf falcon with a newly captured snake sitting in a bush. Also the birdlife in Tanzania is really very impressive!

After the game viewing in the Serengeti we drove back through the Ngorongoro Game Reserve towards Ngorongoro crater that we wanted to visit the following day.

Here we stayed at the Ang'ata Ngorongoro Camp, which is located on the edge of the crater at about 2,400 m altitude. After a very cold night in a tent (despite a hot-water bottle in bed) we drove to the crater in about 25 minutes early in the morning, in order to actually be among the first visitors. The Ngorongoro Crater is a so called Caldera (collapsed crater) with a very high animal population: zebras, lions, buffalos, gazelles, wildebeests, waterbucks, antelopes, warthogs, hyenas, jackals and also here many different birds. We also got to see a black rhinoceros, so we had the BIG FIVE in Tanzania (elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, leopard). Since 1979, the Caldera has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



In the afternoon we drove back to Karatu Simba Lodge. From there we reached the Tarangire National Park the next day. This park inspires by a perfect African landscape: acacia trees, majestic baobab trees, from which many are estimated at over 1000 years, hilly forest savannah and sporadic green swamp plains. The river is the lifeline of the dry region and permanently attracts animals. In 2 days we saw many herds of elephants, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, ostriches, lions and their young, impalas, dikdiks and the first hoopoe.

We liked the Tarangire Park very much (despite the felt 1000 Tsetse flies), not least because of the impressive trees, which together with the animal world gave outstanding photo motives.

Our guide Kenneth drove us very carefully through northern Tanzania and told us a lot of interesting things about the country and its residents. We have learned many new things again. Most of the lodges and camps are powered by solar energy and this sometimes leads to restrictions, but this has not really disturbed. W-LAN was offered free of charge everywhere, even in the farthest tent camps, that was really impressive, it doesn't even work at the big airports in Germany.

Tansania - a really beautiful country to visit.