No trip to Tanzania is complete without taking a safari. There are options for 2-day, 3-day, and 4-day excursions that will take you to various national parks in Tanzania.
We decided to book a safari excursion with Kandoo Adventures as an an add-on to our Kilimanjaro trek. The experience included a 2-day private safari to Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.
If you’re headed to Tanzania, I highly recommend getting out of the cities for at least one night to see the incredible, natural landscapes.
Since we were short on time, this safari was the perfect way for us to see the best of Tanzania’s wildlife in just 2 days. We saw four of the ‘Big Five’ – African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, and rhino. (We did not see the African leopard), but we hardly missed it considering the amount of wildlife we encountered!
This trip was my first African safari and I could barely sleep the night before due to my overwhelming excitement. Seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat up close and personal is a once in a lifetime experience.
Here’s my experience on safari with Kandoo Adventures in Tanzania!
Tarangire National Park
Our day started by being picked up by our guide, Felix, at our homestay in Arusha. We anxiously hopped into his Land Cruiser and drove straight to Tarangire National Park.
Along the way, Felix pointed out various Maasai villages and informed us about their way of living. Before we even arrived at the park for a game drive, Felix was already providing a plethora of information on Tanzania – including its government, history, and culture.
Before we knew it, we had arrived at the park and were starting our game drive.
The Tarangire River runs through the park attracting a huge number of elephants, wildebeest, giraffe, and antelope.
The park also boasts over 500 different bird species, the most diverse in Africa, including the Kori Bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the world.
Perhaps my favorite part of our time in Tarangire National Park was watching families of elephants congregate by the river.
It is one of the closest big game parks within a close drive from Arusha, making it the perfect destination for those traveling with limited time.
After an early breakfast, we drove to the fascinating wildlife arena of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a must-see safari destination.
Home to over 25,000 animals, this crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is over 100 square miles and was formed when a massive volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago.
It is now the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world and often referred to as “Africa’s Eden”. Driving through the Ngorongoro Highlands, we arrived at the crater rim for an overlook and some photos, followed by a descent of 2,000 feet onto the crater floor to start our game-drive.
The immediate herds of zebras and wildebeest are only a temporary distraction of the view of this massive distinct volcano.
As you continue on the landscape, the opens up into distinct habitats for a variety of animals including the hippo’s marsh, gazelle’s sprawling grasslands and the lion’s honeymoon hideaway on the banks of a river.
Roads are the only indication of human involvement, leaving the landscape wildly unspoiled, a reminder of the power of nature.
We stayed overnight at the Country Lodge. We were greeted warmly by smiling local staff who led us through the garden path to our tranquil cottage. The hospitality in Tanzania is truly one of a kind.
The lodge is conveniently located between Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, making it a great stopover for our safari excursion. We enjoyed relaxing on our cottage’s front porch and enjoying a local Kilimanjaro beer, which was the perfect end to a day of exciting game drives!
Lastly, the 7-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef, Reggie Bayo, was delicious! His culinary skills coupled with the warm service in the restaurant was truly amazing.
Overall, we would have probably still had a great time with a car full of people, but really enjoyed the extra luxury and freedom of having a private safari experience with a front-seat look the entire time. Going on a safari was a major bucket list item for me and I am happy to say I have successfully checked it off my list!