top of page

Optional Activities During a Tanzania Safari

Tanzania Safari
Tanzania Safari

Embarking on a Tanzanian safari is a journey into the heart of Africa's wild wonders, an adventure where every sunrise brings the promise of a new wildlife encounter. While the classic game drives promise thrilling moments with the Big Five and other iconic species. A Tanzania safari conjures images of iconic wildlife sightings: majestic lions basking in the Serengeti sun, graceful giraffes silhouetted against the acacia trees, and the thunderous hooves of a wildebeest migration. While game drives are undoubtedly the heart of a Tanzanian safari experience, there's a plethora of optional activities that can add unique layers of adventure, cultural immersion, and personal reflection to your journey. There's a world of optional activities waiting to be discovered beyond the traditional safari experience.

1. Hot Air Balloon Safari: Soaring Above the Savannah

Imagine yourself gently drifting above the boundless Serengeti plains, the golden sunrise painting the landscape in warm hues as wildlife awakens below. This is the magic of a hot air balloon safari, a quintessential Tanzanian experience that offers a breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime perspective on the East African ecosystem.

Beyond the Jeep: An Unforgettable Aerial Adventure

While game drives in Tanzania are undeniably thrilling, a hot air balloon safari elevates your safari experience to new heights. Forget bumping along dusty roads; instead, you'll float silently on the gentle breeze, enjoying panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see. Witness the vast savannah unfolding beneath you, dotted with herds of grazing zebras and wildebeests, acacia trees silhouetted against the rising sun, and the majestic silhouette of Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance.

Wildlife Spotting from a Heavenly Vantage Point

From your lofty perch, you'll get a privileged view of the Serengeti's diverse wildlife. Spot prides of lions lazing in the golden grass, a lone elephant silhouetted against the acacia trees, or a sinuous leopard stalking its prey amidst the tall grasses. The silence of the balloon allows you to hear the sounds of the savannah in a new way, from the trumpeting of elephants to the chirping of exotic birds.

A Magical Dawn Encounter with Nature

Hot air balloon safaris typically launch at sunrise, offering the perfect opportunity to witness the awakening of the African bush. Watch as the first rays of sunlight bathe the landscape in a golden glow, casting long shadows and creating a truly magical atmosphere. As the day unfolds, you'll enjoy a front-row seat to the drama of the Serengeti, with animals emerging from their overnight slumber and the savannah buzzing with activity.

More Than Just a Ride: A Multi-Sensory Experience

A hot air balloon safari is more than just a sightseeing adventure; it's a multi-sensory experience that engages all your senses. Feel the crisp morning air on your face, smell the earthy fragrances of the savannah, and listen to the symphony of sounds that fills the air. As you drift through the sky, you'll feel a sense of weightlessness and freedom, truly connecting with the vastness and beauty of the African wilderness.

Beyond the Serengeti: Where to Take Flight

While the Serengeti is the most popular destination for hot air balloon safaris, other parks in Tanzania also offer stunning aerial experiences. In the Ngorongoro Crater, you can soar above the rim and witness the diverse wildlife within the crater floor. In Tarangire National Park, you can float over the dramatic baobab trees and spot herds of elephants during the dry season.

A Touch of Luxury in the Bush

Most hot air balloon safari companies offer a luxurious experience, from champagne toasts before takeoff to gourmet breakfasts enjoyed amidst the savanna after landing. These additional touches add to the magic of the experience, making it a truly unforgettable adventure.

Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or a first-time safari enthusiast, a hot air balloon safari in Tanzania is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. So, if you're seeking a unique and breathtaking way to explore the wonders of the East African wilderness, book your balloon ride and prepare to soar above the Serengeti!

Additional Tips:

  • Book your balloon safari in advance, especially during peak season.

  • Dress in warm layers, as it can be chilly at sunrise.

  • Wear comfortable shoes for walking on uneven terrain after landing.

  • Bring a camera with a good zoom lens to capture the amazing views.

  • Be prepared for a bumpy landing.

Tanzania Safari
Tanzania Safari

2. Walking Safaris: A Close Encounter with Nature

For those seeking a more intimate connection with the environment, a walking safari is an excellent option. Guided by experienced rangers, you can explore the intricacies of the flora and fauna, discovering hidden wonders that might be missed from the confines of a safari vehicle.

3. Cultural Village Visits: Immerse in Local Traditions

Tanzania is a tapestry of diverse cultures, each with its own vibrant traditions, customs, and ways of life. Stepping beyond the safari jeep and into a local village offers a unique opportunity to witness this rich heritage firsthand and connect with the Tanzanian people on a deeper level. Here are a few cultural village visits to consider:

Maasai Boma in Ngorongoro Crater:

  • Experience: Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of the Maasai, a semi-nomadic warrior tribe known for their intricate beadwork, ochre-painted faces, and fierce warrior traditions. Visit a traditional Maasai boma (enclosure) and learn about their daily lives, witness their intricate dances and songs, and perhaps even try your hand at spear throwing.

  • Highlights: Witnessing a traditional Maasai dance, learning about their beadwork and jewelry making, experiencing their warm hospitality.

Hadzabe Tribe at Lake Eyasi:

  • Experience: Step back in time and encounter the Hadzabe, a hunter-gatherer tribe who have lived in the Lake Eyasi region for millennia. Learn about their traditional hunting techniques, witness their ancient rituals, and gain insight into their harmonious relationship with the land.

  • Highlights: Observing their traditional hunting methods with bows and arrows, learning about their medicinal plant knowledge, experiencing their unique clicking language.

Mto wa Mbu Cultural Village:

  • Experience: Immerse yourself in the vibrant melting pot of cultures at Mto wa Mbu, a village where over 120 different ethnic groups coexist. Witness traditional dances and drumming from various tribes, learn about their handicrafts and weaving techniques, and savor a delicious lunch prepared with local ingredients.

  • Highlights: Experiencing the diverse cultural performances, participating in a cooking class and learning to prepare local dishes, visiting the bustling market and discovering local crafts.

Chagga Village on the slopes of Kilimanjaro:

  • Experience: Journey to the lush slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and visit a traditional Chagga village. Learn about their coffee farming practices, taste their freshly brewed coffee, and witness their intricate wood carving and basket weaving skills.

  • Highlights: Participating in a coffee tasting ceremony, learning about the Chagga's role in coffee cultivation, experiencing their warm hospitality and traditional music.

Ng'iresi Village near Arusha:

  • Experience: Discover the rich heritage of the Waarusha tribe, close relatives of the Maasai, just a short drive from Arusha. Visit their traditional homes, learn about their history and customs, and participate in a traditional beer-making demonstration.

  • Highlights: Visiting a traditional Waarusha homestead, learning about their agricultural practices, enjoying a local meal and experiencing their welcoming spirit.

Tips for a Responsible Cultural Visit:

  • Choose reputable tour operators who prioritize ethical practices and respect local communities. since Travel wise Safari is reputable tour company just reach us.

  • Dress modestly and appropriately for the village setting.

  • Ask permission before taking photographs or videos.

  • Be mindful of local customs and traditions.

  • Support local artisans by purchasing their handicrafts.

By venturing beyond the typical safari itinerary and immersing yourself in a Tanzanian cultural village, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the country's rich heritage, forge meaningful connections with the local people, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Tanzania Safari
Tanzania Safari

4. Night Game Drives: A Glimpse into the Nocturnal World

The African bush transforms as the sun sets, and a night game drive unveils the mysteries of the nocturnal world. Armed with spotlights, you might encounter elusive creatures such as leopards, hyenas, and bushbabies, offering a completely different and captivating safari experience.

5. Chemka Hot Springs,

The Chemka Hot Springs, also known as the Kikuletwa Hot Springs, are a hidden gem in Tanzania, located about 1.5 hours from Arusha and Moshi. They're a great option for a relaxing day trip, with crystal-clear mineral pools, lush jungle surroundings, and activities like swimming, rope swings, and tire tubing.

Here's what you can expect on a typical Chemka Hot Spring day tour:

  • Morning: Pick-up from your hotel in Moshi or Arusha, followed by a scenic drive through the Tanzanian countryside. You'll pass local villages and enjoy views of Mount Kilimanjaro.

  • Arrival at the Hot Springs: After about 1.5 hours, you'll reach the Chemka Hot Springs. Pay the entrance fee and get changed into your swimsuit.

  • Relaxation and Swimming: Spend the day soaking in the hot springs, which are said to have therapeutic properties. There are several pools of varying temperatures, so you can find the perfect one for you. You can also enjoy swimming, rope swings, and tire tubing.

  • Lunch: A delicious lunch is usually included in the tour, with options like grilled chicken, rice, and vegetables.

  • Afternoon: After lunch, you can relax some more in the hot springs or explore the surrounding jungle. There are a few short hiking trails that lead to scenic viewpoints.

  • Return to Moshi or Arusha: In the late afternoon, you'll be driven back to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

  • The best time to visit the Chemka Hot Springs is during the dry season, from June to October.

  • Wear comfortable shoes for walking on the uneven terrain.

  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.

  • There are changing rooms and toilets available at the hot springs.

  • You can rent towels and lockers for a small fee.

Tanzania Safari
Tanzania Safari

6. Visit Olduvai Gorge: Unveiling Ancient Mysteries

Standing on the rim of Olduvai Gorge, a sense of profound timelessness washes over you. This dramatic ravine, snaking through the Serengeti plains, isn't just a scenic wonder; it's a window into humanity's prehistoric past, a museum carved by nature and excavated by archaeologists. A visit to Olduvai Gorge is a humbling reminder of our origins, an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors and witness the dawn of humankind.

Unraveling the Cradle of Mankind:

Olduvai Gorge's rich fossil deposits and ancient stone tools have earned it the nickname "Cradle of Mankind." From here, renowned archaeologists like Louis and Mary Leakey unearthed groundbreaking discoveries that reshaped our understanding of human evolution. Witness the replica skull of "Nutcracker Man," an early hominin species, and imagine the lives of these ancient beings who roamed the same landscapes millions of years ago.

A Journey Through Time:

Exploring Olduvai Gorge feels like stepping back in time. Walk down the 48km-long ravine, passing layers of volcanic ash and sediment that tell the story of the past 2 million years. Visit the various excavation sites, where archaeologists continue to uncover new clues about our ancestors' lives, tools, and diets. Imagine the buzz of excitement as each discovery illuminates another piece of the human puzzle.

Beyond the Fossils:

While the fossils are undoubtedly the stars of the show, Olduvai Gorge offers more than just archaeological wonders. The dramatic landscape itself is awe-inspiring, with sheer cliffs dropping into the gorge and offering panoramic views of the Serengeti beyond. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, as elephants, lions, and giraffes are not uncommon visitors to the area.

A Museum Under the Open Sky:

Unlike traditional museums, Olduvai Gorge presents its treasures under the vast African sky. The open-air museum at the gorge entrance showcases replicas of important finds, offering you a closer look at the tools and skulls of our ancestors. Learn about the Leakey family's pioneering work and the ongoing research that continues to shed light on our evolution.

A Must for History Buffs and Adventure Seekers:

Whether you're a history buff who's dreamed of walking in the footsteps of early humans or an adventure seeker who thrives on exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, Olduvai Gorge has something for you. It's a place to ponder our origins, marvel at the power of nature, and appreciate the journey that led us from the savanna to the skyscrapers.

Tips for Exploring Olduvai Gorge:

  • Consider joining a guided tour for a deeper understanding of the archaeological discoveries.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking on uneven terrain.

  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses as the sun can be harsh.

  • Photography is permitted, but be mindful of respecting the archaeological sites.

  • Combine your visit with a jeep safari in the Serengeti for a complete Tanzanian experience.

Olduvai Gorge is more than just a tourist destination; it's a pilgrimage to the birthplace of humanity. Visiting this remarkable place will leave you humbled, inspired, and forever changed by the echoes of our ancient past.

Tanzania Safari
Tanzania Safari

7. Mount Kilimanjaro Day Hike Tour.

Standing before Kilimanjaro, Africa's majestic roof, its snow-capped peak piercing the heavens, evokes a thrill unlike any other. While summiting this iconic mountain is a feat reserved for dedicated climbers, even a day hike on its lower slopes offers an unforgettable adventure, accessible to many.

Choose Your Path:

Kilimanjaro boasts several breathtaking trails, each offering unique landscapes and challenges:

  • Marangu Route: The most popular and well-maintained, it winds through lush rainforest and meadows, providing panoramic views.

  • Machame Route: Known for its diverse scenery, it traverses rainforest, volcanic heath, and the Shira Plateau, offering dramatic changes in terrain.

  • Lemosho Route: Less crowded and scenically diverse, it meanders through rainforest, Shira Plateau, and the Londorosi Game Reserve, with potential wildlife sightings.

A Day of Wonder:

Your Kilimanjaro day hike will be a symphony of sights, sounds, and sensations:

  • Morning Ascent: Rise with the sun and embark on your chosen trail, breathing in the crisp mountain air and marveling at the unfolding scenery.

  • Rainforest Realm: Immerse yourself in the verdant rainforest, with towering trees draped in vines, the air alive with exotic birdsong.

  • Scenic Vistas: As you ascend, the landscape transforms, revealing breathtaking panoramas of rolling hills, distant plains, and the majestic peak of Kilimanjaro dominating the horizon.

  • Lunch Amidst Beauty: Pause for a well-deserved break, savor a delicious lunch, and soak in the mesmerizing views.

  • Reaching Your Peak: Depending on your chosen trail and pace, you can reach Mandara Hut (2,700m) on Marangu or Machame Route, Shira Plateau (3,600m) on Machame or Lemosho Route, or even glimpse the Shira Pinnacles on Lemosho Route.

  • Descent and Reflection: Descend the same path, appreciating the familiar landscape from a new perspective, and reflecting on the day's exhilarating journey.

A Taste of the Mountain's Majesty:

While a day hike doesn't reach Kilimanjaro's summit, it offers a tantalizing glimpse of its magic:

  • Challenge Yourself: Push your physical limits while enjoying the exhilaration of conquering the mountain's lower slopes.

  • Nature's Embrace: Immerse yourself in the diverse and breathtaking mountain ecosystem, from lush rainforest to windswept plains.

  • Cultural Encounter: Interact with local guides and porters, gaining insights into their lives and traditions.

  • Unforgettable Memories: Create lasting memories of this adventurous day, filled with stunning vistas, personal achievement, and a newfound appreciation for the natural world.

Planning Your Kilimanjaro Day Hike:

Here are some essential tips for your Kilimanjaro day hike:

  • Choose a reputable tour operator: Ensure they prioritize safety, ethical practices, and responsible tourism.

  • Book in advance: Kilimanjaro day hikes are popular, so plan well ahead, especially during peak season.

  • Prepare physically: Train beforehand to build stamina and endurance.

  • Pack appropriately: Layer your clothing, wear sturdy shoes, and bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.

  • Hydrate: Stay hydrated throughout the day with plenty of water.

  • Listen to your body: Take breaks as needed and don't push yourself beyond your limits.

  • Respect the environment: Leave no trace and be mindful of local customs and traditions.

Embrace the Spirit of Adventure:

A Kilimanjaro day hike is more than just a physical challenge; it's a journey of self-discovery, a chance to connect with nature's grandeur, and an experience that will leave you forever changed. So, step onto the trail, breathe in the mountain air, and embark on your Kilimanjaro adventure. The summit may await another day, but the memories and exhilaration of your day hike will remain with you long after you descend.

Tanzania Safari
Tanzania Safari

8. Photography Workshops: Capture the Magic

Enhance your photography skills with a workshop led by professionals who know the ins and outs of capturing the essence of Tanzanian wildlife. Learn the art of composition, lighting, and wildlife photography techniques while documenting your safari adventure.

10. Boat Safaris: A Different Perspective

In Tanzania's national parks, a lesser-explored but captivating experience awaits – the boat safari. Whether in Duluti or other parks with water bodies, this alternative safari offers a unique perspective. Drifting along calm waters provides a serene escape, replacing the traditional land safari with a tranquil encounter. The aquatic safari unveils a world of wonders, from crocodiles basking on riverbanks to hippos grazing lazily, and a vibrant display of birdlife soaring above. Duluti, in particular, stands out as a premier destination, offering the best boat safari experience amidst its pristine waters and lush surroundings. Adding a boat safari to your Tanzanian adventure is an opportunity to slow down, immerse in nature's tranquility, and discover a side of Tanzania often overlooked. Let the gentle current guide you through moments of awe, forging a deeper connection with the natural wonders that make this East African destination extraordinary.

The good thing is that Travel Wise Safari, your trusted tour company in Tanzania, can prepare all these optional activities for you after your safari in Tanzania. Take the initiative to reach out to our team for any information you may need.

Our Safari Packages.