More and more people are leaving their cars behind to walk to their destinations. Walking is in, whether in everyday life, as a sporty variant such as Nordic walking, long-distance hiking or as a hike in nature. So why not go on holiday on foot and explore the beauty of Tanzania on foot?
Walking safaris are not offered in all of Tanzania’s major protected areas. Two outstanding experiences of this kind can be had in Mkomazi National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.
First of all: Yes, it is something completely different not to be in a protective car in the wilderness. You become much more aware of your surroundings, much more aware of being a part of them. But don’t worry: Experienced armed rangers accompany you on the tours, show you how to see who is out there based on tracks and bring you closer to the beauty of the surroundings from a completely new perspective.
The most beautiful place for a walking safari in Mkomazi National Park, which lies in eastern Tanzania between the Usambara and Pare Mountains, is Dindira Dam. A large man-made ‘waterhole’, it provides a place for animals of all kinds to quench their thirst in the dry savannah. From the picnic spot above the dam you start your hike with a wide view over the plains. Then you descend, following the footprints – and legacies – of giraffes and antelopes. Large birds of prey sit in the trees and watch suspiciously who is rumbling so loudly through the bushes. Because let’s not fool ourselves: In contrast to the animals, some of which are much larger, we trample much louder than we say elephants do.
Paradise for birdwatchers
Their tracks in the dried mud of the seasonally varying lake are easy to follow, as are the deep impressions of the buffalo. Zebras graze, giraffes let their eyes roam over the savannah from far above to detect possible threats early. The closer you get to the water, the more birds you can spot. Mkomazi National Park is a true paradise for birdwatchers, more than 400 species have been recorded here. Safari cars pass by, marvelling at the wildlife as well as the group of bipeds getting so close to nature on the walking safari. Back up at the picnic area, there is time once again to let your gaze wander to where you have just been walking yourself. A magnificent experience with a dash of thrill.
An ecosystem at an altitude of over 2000 metres
You can have a completely different hiking experience at the Ngorongoro Crater. Here, there is a choice of several multi-day hiking tours, but also the option to simply walk for a few hours on the rim of the largest inactive volcanic crater in the world. The Crater Rim Walk not only offers insights into the crater itself, but also offers diverse encounters with a partly unique animal and plant world. Birds and wild plants, footprints of large animals or encounters with them yourself, always beautiful views and, of course, views down into the crater that you can’t have from a car – that’s what makes this walk so attractive. The experienced guide, in whose safe company you will be, can tell you a lot about the interaction in this ecosystem at an altitude of over 2,000 metres, share his knowledge of medicinal plants with you and show you how to recognize different animals by their tracks and droppings. A truly unique experience, as there is no other crater like this with such flora and fauna.