Should you wish to incorporate more than the standard safari components while on holiday in Tanzania, we have selected a few options to consider as add-on excursions. From a Hot Air Balloon Ride over the Serengeti to an afternoon with the chimps in Gombe, nature walks in Ngorongoro Conservation area or a visit with the "click tribes" in Tanzania, Snorkel the coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. Hike through the lush foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, making your way to refreshing waterfalls for an after noon picnic.

Cultural experiences can be included into your itinerary with ease. Visit a school and volunteer your time, donate supplies and deliver them to the schools or orphanages.

Ballooning AfricaExperience the excitement of flying in a Hot Air Balloon over the unique landscape and game in the Serengeti National Park.  A Hot Air Balloon safari over the African wildlife is a “must-do” during your visit to Tanzania. Balloon rides are one of those “bucket list” items that you will remember for many years to come, a very peaceful experience!

The freedom and feeling of drifting through the sky at the mercy of Mother Nature is like no other. A balloon safari with allows you to go where the vehicles cannot, offering an opportunity for a birds eye view of areas where only the wildlife roam.

Where else in the world can you float a few hundred feet above Elephants, Hippos, Lions, Cheetah and so many more unique animals of East Africa!  Serengeti Balloon Safaris offers visitors the option to soar over the African landscape in a Hot Air Balloon in three locations in the Serengeti National Park as well in the private Grumeti Reserves.  Learn more about each location and Serengeti Balloon Safaris.

Central Serengeti • Serengeti Western CorridorSouth Serengeti • Grumeti Reserves 

Upon landing, enjoy a Champagne toast followed by an “Out of Africa” full English Breakfast. This is a fantastic way to finish up your Balloon Safari!

Thinking about a balloon ride with Serengeti Balloon Safaris? Visit their FAQ page.

excursions-olduvai-gorgeOlduvai Gorge - Over the last thirty years or so, it has become increasingly apparent that Africa is probably the "Cradle of Mankind". From Africa they spread out to populate the rest of Earth. Remains of the earliest humans were found in Oldupai Gorge.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) - where people and their early ancestor have co-existed with wildlife for nearly four million years. This World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve encompasses a spectacular mosaic of landscape that includes the breath-taking Ngorongoro Crater and the legendary Serengeti - the annual host of the World's highest concentration and diversity of migratory animals numbering nearly two-million strong. As if this wasn't enough, the NCA also contains two important and internationally-known fossil and archaeological sites: Laetoli and Olduvai Gorge. Both continue to contribute significantly to understanding of humankind's physical, behavioral and technological evolution.

The Olduvai Gorge Museum and Visitors Center offer numerous educational exhibits, including fossils and artifacts of our human ancestors and skeletons of many extinct animals who shared their world. There are also informative lectures, special guided archaeological sites tours, native handcrafts and a well-stocked bookshop. See and learn about our collective human origins when we were once all Africans.

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visit schoolSchool visits - For those looking for a rich cultural experience there is the activity of visiting local schools.

Many of the schools we arrange visits to are part of the Rudisha Foundation Sponsorship Program. The schools are often very short on good desks and chairs. Purchase chairs or desks for the school, help expand a library by buying books or bring your own books to donate.

Sponsor a child and visit their school and meet their teachers.

Travelling with children? This is a great opportunity to teach your children the differences between their own school and schools in other parts of the world.

One of our preferred safari companies also supports local schools where you can give back by volunteering your time and paint the chairs you donated during your visit to the school. You can also visit the local village where the school is located and experience how the locals live.

Speak to Amanda about options to help enrich the life of children in East Africa.

excursions cultural4Visit the way of life of a Maasai - A Nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people inhabiting southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. According to their own oral history, the Maasai originated from the lower Nile valley north of Lake Turkana (Northwest Kenya) and began migrating south around the 15th century, arriving in a long trunk of land stretching from what is now northern Kenya to what is now central Tanzania between the 17th and late 18th century. Maasai are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress.

Traditional Maasai lifestyle centres around their cattle which constitute their primary source of food. The measure of a man's wealth is in terms of cattle and children. A herd of 50 cattle is respectable, and the more children the better. A man who has plenty of one but not the other is considered to be poor.

As a historically nomadic and then semi-nomadic people, the Maasai have traditionally relied on local, readily available materials and indigenous technology to construct their housing. The piercing and stretching of earlobes is common among the Maasai. Various materials have been used to both pierce and stretch the lobes, including thorns for piercing, twigs, bundles of twigs, stones.

Ask about adding this excursion to your safari itinerary.

excursions shanga5Shanga & Riverhouse - Their philosophy is “Be Kind and Recycle” and they certainly live up to this. Their vision is “to provide safe, supportive employment opportunities for disabled Tanzanians while bringing unique, quality products handmade from recycled materials to our patrons. Shanga is committed to protecting the environment and the livelihoods of disabled peoples in Tanzania by adhering to environmentally sustainable business practices and providing long-term opportunities to its employees”.

If you are looking for add-on activities in Arusha, we recommend a visit to Shanga for the cultural aspect. It’s a great place to enjoy lunch and the beautiful grounds, set next to Burka Coffee Estate; Arusha’s oldest coffee plantation.  The River House Restaurant is located onsite and offers a healthy selection of lunch options in a unique setting.

snakepark3The Snake Park is a wonderful way to spend an hour, or two when visiting the safari town of Arusha. Located on the outskirts of Arusha, the Meserani Snake Park is home to some the most deadly creatures in East Africa. For only fifteen US dollars per person, this experience will be one you will not forget.

Your knowledgeable snake park guide will explain the habits and lifestyles of each snake as you have opportunities to capture great photos while on tour of the park. While the deadly Black and Green Mambas, Spitting Cobras and Pythons are the main attractions, you will also find many other beautiful creatures during your visit.

The Meserani Snake Park also houses several birds, all of which have been rescued from one situation or another. The wild birds are cared for and fully rehabilitated in order to be released back into the wild. Due to certain circumstances some birds remain on site and continue to receive a lifestyle similar to its natural environment. Several other animals are also protected at Meserani Snake park; the Yellow Baboon was rescued and for the mean time lives at the park, they also manage a Nile Crocodile release program and house the highly endanger Slender-Snouted Crocodile.

snakepark crocAfter an opportunity to have your photo taken with a baby crocodile or one of the harmless snakes why not enjoy a light lunch and cold beverage at the Snake Park Bar/restaurant. This bar has become legendary around the world and is pit stop for most backpackers or those looking for a bit of fun and excitement. The most unique items hang from the walls and roof - every piece has a story!

Your tour is not quite finished, continue to the Maasai Cultural Museum - this is included in the cost of your ticket! Guided by a local Maasai you will learn of the way of life, cultures and roles of one of the largest East African tribes, Maasai. Your visit is not complete without browsing the Maasai Crafts Market. Visit 13 traditional Maasai Huts and watch the Maasai women making their beautiful colorful jewellery - a great place to purchase beautiful authentic souvenirs.

Camel rides are also a wonderful way to experience more culture of the Maasai. For a small additional cost take a camel ride towards the Monduli Mountains where you will visit a local Maasai Boma. The ride is about 30 minutes from the gate of the park to the village. While visiting the village you will learn more about their culture and speak with the local Maasai. Please allow 2 hours in total for this excursion.

If camping is on your list of things to do, we are happy to arrange a site for you at the Snake Park Campsite. Fully equipped sites with hot showers and clean washrooms are available for all campers at this oasis in the heart of Maasai Land Tanzania.

excursions sanctuaries birds2

Tanzania (close to Tanga) - Nestled at the base of the central Usambara Mountains, the Amani Nature Reserve is well off the beaten path of the usual safari circuit, but makes a perfect stopover on longer trips and while driving to the Swahili Coast. It’s quiet, tranquil setting offers the perfect opportunity to relax from the rigorous schedule of vehicle-based safaris.

Although the area has been the focus of conservation efforts and botanical research for over a century, the Amani Nature Reserve has only been a protected area since 1997. International efforts to preserve the beauty of the Usambara forests within its boundaries have met with much local success.

Guided nature walks, prohibited in Tanzania’s national parks, are a unique feature of the nature reserve and offer an exciting opportunity to view the flora and fauna of the area up close. For the aspiring African botanist, Amani Nature Reserve’s incredible diversity of plant life - between 600 to 1,000 different species - is sure to attract. The East Usambara Conservation Area Management Programme created and maintains the nature trails, as well as training guides in an effort to encourage village collaboration and conservation efforts. Short or long walks can be arranged, and the guides are very knowledgeable about local species, bird and insect life, and traditional plant uses.

Amani Nature Reserve is a centre for biological diversity. The floristic composition is very diverse and there are 2012 vascular plants species per hector. Thus a large proposition of the endemic species are found within Amani Natural Reserve. The Reserve have been likened to the African equivalent of the Galápagos Islands in terms of their endemism and biodiversity. Therefore it is considered one of the most important forest blocks in Africa.

Approximately 3450 species of vascular plants recorded in the Usambara Mountains, over one quarter are likely to be endemic or near-endemic. In addition to the variety of plants, the mountains host a number of endemic or rare fauna species, including the Usambara eagle owl and a viviparous frog species.

Article by: © 2016 Tanzania Tourist Board

excursions-ol-doinyo-lengaiOl Doinyo Lengai - Meaning “Mountain of God” in Massai language Oldoninyo Lengai is Tanzania’s only active volcano. Located south of Lake Natron in the heart of Maasai Country and the Rift Valley.  Ol Doinyo Lengai is unique among active volcanoes in that it produces natrocarbonatite lava, a unique occurrence of volcanic carbonatite.

The 2007 eruption continued intermittently into 2008. At the end of February it was reported to be gathering strength, with a major outburst taking place on 5 March. Periods of inactivity were followed by eruptions on 8 and 17 April. Eruptive activity continued until late August 2008. A visit to the summit in September 2008 discovered that lava emission had resumed from two vents in the floor of the new crater.  As of July 2013, there is a large active hornito on the western edge of the crater floor.

Climbing Oldoinyo Lengai requires a summit of 2861 meters as is recommended for experienced climbers. Climbing the mountain requires 4-5 hours of moderate exertion to reach the summit. It is recommended to climb the mountain in early morning before the sun warms the day. Upon reaching the summit you will experience the unique landscape of the crater.  A trip to Oldoinyo Lengai can also include other nearby areas of interest such as Lake Natron, a breeding ground for flamingoes.

excursion3 550Hazabe & Datoga Tribes - Though not really a game destination, Lake Eyasi, is a seasonal shallow salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley at the base of the Serengeti Plateau. Located just south of the Serengeti National Park and immediately southwest of the Ngorongoro Crater in the Crater Highlands of Tanzania is a wild, scenically stunning area where you can get a real insight into the way of life of some of Tanzania's fascinating tribes, most notably the Hadzabe and Datoga tribes. Take a journey into the "Gods Must Be Crazy" movie.

Our preferred safari operator, Duma Explorer, is easily able to include this cultural tour into your safari itinerary. We recommend a two day stay to fully experience both tribes.  This is an activity where you will participate in local tourism with activities including but not limited to such as hunting with the Hazabe for their typical meal of “bush meat”, learn their unique click language.

The Hadzabe or Hadza are an ethnic group in north-central Tanzania, living around Lake Eyasi in the central Rift Valley and in the neighbouring Serengeti Plateau. The Hadza number just under 1,000. Some 300–400 Hadza live as hunter-gatherers much as their ancestors have for thousands or even tens of thousands of years; they are the last full-time hunter-gatherers in Africa. The Hadza are not closely genetically related to any other people While traditionally classified with the Khoisan languages, primarily because it has clicks, the Hadza language appears to be an isolate, unrelated to any other. The descendants of Tanzania's aboriginal hunter-gatherer population, they have probably occupied their current territory for several thousand years, with relatively little modification to their basic way of life until the past hundred years.

Visiting the Datoga tribe will complete your cultural experience at Lake Eyasi. The Datoga are skilled farmers and craftsman. You will visit their habitat, and experience their culture first hand. There is little concrete history of the Datoga people. Their migration history has been reconstructed through comparative linguistics and study of oral traditions of the Datoga and their neighbours. Their origins are thought to be in the Southern Sudan or western Ethiopia highlands, probably 3000 years ago. The Datoga themselves blend in with their environment, their dress being the colour of the reddish brown soil. Only on closer inspection will they appear colourful with their reddish, patched leather dresses, bead work, and brass bracelets and necklaces. A prominent decoration is tattooing of circular patterns around the eyes.

Hiking to Mnambe FallsMnambe Falls - A must for adventure lovers who visit Moshi. The 87 meter falls are located in the foot hills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, just a short ride from Moshi. Mnambe Falls are great for climbers and non-climbers, young and old. The path is good but does become quite narrow in certain sections, all that is required is a good pair of walking shoes. From Moshi you will head towards Uru where you being to climb the steep hills. You will be led by a local guide who is very familiar with the area.

As you hike your way up the side of the mountain to Mnambe Falls you will pass by several types of local crops; coffee farms, banana fields. The most magnificent aromas will fill the air as you bass by jasmine, eucalyptus, peach trees, it seems everything is growing here. The hills are home to the Chagga tribe who make a living off of the plentiful crops. You will pass by schools, local pubs and shops along the way, you can even visit a coffee farm and learn how the beans are cultivated and roasted, then enjoy a fresh cup of local Tanzanian coffee.

After an hour and a half hike you will reach the beautiful falls which are a great way to cool down after your climb, the fresh water from the falls are most refreshing and freezing cold. After a relaxing break in the falls or a picnic lunch on the hillside you will make your way back to Moshi town. Please allow for a 5 hour adventure when adding Mnambe Falls to your itinerary.