Tantalizing Tanzania – Born to Be Wild
When you think of wonderful African safari destinations, East Africa usually tops the list. Safari holidays in Tanzania have sold in the millions since inception in 1961, and many Tanzanians have never had any reason to want to try the region’s unique fare. This is in part due to the country’s unique natural makeup, but also because of the ease of traveling accessible from Dar es Salaam, the Mohels’ capital, and across Lake Victoria to Nyakabande, the riverside capital of Tanzania. Those looking for luxury, not comfort, will find much more comfortable in an experience in Dar es Salaam, wherein Photograph More…to the area of Lake Manyara.
Those looking for wildlife with no distractions can make the journey to the Ngorongoro Crater’ to see an impressive Big 5 and do so in peace. The largest volcanic crater in the world and the only place on earth where it is possible to see the full moon rising over it at dawn, yet surrounded by white sand plains. Ngorongoro is both a wildlife sanctuary and a sacred site to both the Maya and more recently the Akhasame culture. At the entrance of the crater walked the honored guests of the crater: a family of elephants, a group of 13 wild birds, and two lemurs.
Because no tourism facility applies to the area, there is plenty of opportunities to experience the locals in their traditional society. One could ride into the hills and see the shoulders and bustles of the riptide, meet the Maasai people and watch them feed on the juices squeezed from durians, or otherwise feed the cattle in the meadows. Move higher and higher on the mountains and watch the sunset deep into the heart of the crater, looking out across the vastness of the crater to see the waves of the Kibo Ocean breaking gently against the white deposit of the crater’s floor.
There are tours of the crater available, but it is difficult to see anything but goggling darkness in the crater bowl at that time of night. You can take simple street lights or lanterns, or more expensive powerful headlamps. At Yocras, the largest tourist complex in the crater, lining the pedestrian path is a row of over three hundred tourist shops, an indoor and outdoor pool, a bowling alley, and even a cinema. The control tower that overlooks the complex serves as half of the hotel lobby and also houses the drawbridge to enter the one box (you can’t get in there but everything else works). Peak prices for the rooms and drinks are between 5,000-6,000 YOP. You can get assistance in organizing transport for the group, up to and including the room pick-up and drop-off and the tour leader will organize all arrangements with the assistance of the hotel staff.
Departure times are between 7 a.m and 9 a.m., with the return to the hotel 20 minutes later. You will be picked up from the airport and driven to the hotel, and the balance of the tour will be paid upfront. One of the neat things about a tour in Yogyakarta is that almost all companies, big and small, will apply for a permit from the Foreign Affairs and Tourism Board, even if your tour will be between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., so you don’t have to worry about missing your pick-up.