Tanzania’s Safari Circuits

When you set out on safari in Tanzania you will realize you have landed in the heartland of Africa. Endless plains, vast blue skies, caravans of elephants, and baby baboons playing in shade of tall grasses: the mystery and beauty of the people and landscape will not cease to amaze. All the imaginings and dreams you envisioned about Africa will become reality as Boma Africa shows you the best of Tanzania.

The Swahili word “safari” literally means to travel, so even before you land in Tanzania, you have begun! From the moment of your arrival, Boma Africa will take care of everything, ensuring your safety, comfort, and amusement! You just have to enjoy the ride while you experience the best of African Safari.

There are four distinct safari circuits in Tanzania: Northern, Southern, Western, and Coastal.

The Northern Circuit is the most frequented by tourists likely because many famous Tanzanian sights such as Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti and Mt. Kilimanjaro are here. Other attractions include Mt. Meru, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Lake Natron, Lake Eyasi, Usambara and Lake Victoria. All the parks, towns, and attractions are close to each other, so one can experience the whole circuit via private car, spending only a few hours enroute in between each one.

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is 328.4 square kilometers, and is located 62 km from the popular tourist town of Arusha. This national park has three impressive geological features: Ngurudoto Crater, Momella Lakes, and Mount Meru. Wildlife is abundant, and if you are lucky you may spot a leopard chilling in the big trees branches of the wild palm!

Special attractions of Arusha National Park include walking safaris, canoeing, and climbing to Socialist Peak, the summit of Mt. Meru. Mt. Meru takes 3-4 days to climb, and is a great acclimatization climb for those heading to Kilimanjaro. See LINK TO->Trekking for more details.

Kilimanjaro National Park

Kilimanjaro National Park has an area of 1668 square km. It is world famous for the scenery of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. Day hikes are possible within the park, as well as 5-10 day climbing excursions to reach its Uhuru peak. Read our LINK TO->Kilimanjaro page for more information.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara is 330 square kilometres, and includes groundwater forest, plains, and the alkaline lake, all of which host a massive variety of wildlife. Primates are common in the jungle- like forest, while hippopotamus bathe in the shallow pools. This park is famous for tree climbing lions, hot springs, and adventures such as canoeing and biking.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire, just 2 hours from Arusha is a convenient starting point for safari, and makes an ideal day trip. Its 2850 square km have a strong resemblance to the Serengeti plains. Famous for herds of elephants hundreds strong, and gigantic baobab trees, Tarangire has a permanent water source which draws animals from far and wide in the dry season. When you see the sausage fruits hanging from their trees, check twice, be sure it’s not a leopard’s tail!

Serengeti National Park

World famous and indescribable, the plains of Serengeti offer the classic picture of African wildlife. Here is where you are likely to see lions on the hunt for zebra, or the colossal migration of a million wildebeest. Serengeti is a designated world heritage site, as one the largest wildlife refuges worldwide, covering 14763 square km.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Though it stretches well beyond the rim, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is known for its stunning caldera. An extinct volcano, the crater floor has permanent water and rich pasture, making an ideal habitat for wildlife. Some of Tanzania’s last black rhinoceros live within the crater, though they can be difficult to spot. This conservation area is also a World Heritage Site, acknowledged for the harmonious relationship between its Maasai habitants and wildlife.

Usambara Forest Reserve

A beautiful forest with rich botanical diversity. This is a trekking destination, and is most ideal for admiring flora and birding.

Mikomazi National Park

A perfect midway point between the Northern and Coastal Circuits, Mikomazi National Park is by-passed by many, but should not be missed. Features of this park are the successful re-introduction of wild dogs and the endemic black rhinoceros. This is the only park in Tanzania that has the massive rhinos within a fenced sanctuary. At 3245 square km, Mikomazi borders Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, and has recently been converted to a National Park rather than a Game Reserve.

Lake Victoria + Mwanza

Mwanza is a major Tanzanian port connecting to Uganda and Kenya via Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water lake. This fishing and agricultural community is the gate-way to the Islands of Lake Victoria, the Western Serengeti , Rubondo National Park, and Sukuma culture.

Lake Natron

Spending four hours on an uneven and dusty road will bring you to the shores of Lake Natron, the foot of Oldoinyo Lengai, and genuine Maasai-land at the village of Engaresero. Here bird watching on the lake, deep Maasai culture excursions, and climbing the active volcano Lengai are experiences that will endure in your memory for a lifetime.

boma africa safari tanzania kilimanjaro wildlife
Leopard in the grass. Photo by Jarrad Seng. Boma Africa

Praying Mantis in Tanzania

The is the first mantis I have seen in Tanzania… she showed up in the house, on the light switch, no less!

I only had my phone, so the picture isn’t as great as I had hoped, but what a cool little guy!

Mantis are known for their large, strong forearms which they use for trapping, and gripping their prey.  They are ambush predators and large ones can even eat small birds, lizards, frogs, and vertebrates!

The praying mantis get their name from their upright posture, where they stand with their forelegs together, as if praying.

Mantis were thought to have super natural powers in some civilizations.  They are also infamous for the fact that the female will sometimes eat her male partner after mating!

 

boma africa kilimanjaro tanzania ngorongoro safari mountain trek trekking climbing serengeti safari wildlife elephant lion giraffe the big 5 adventure tourism non profit ago praying mantis insect light switch
Praying Mantis in Tanzania by Boma Africa

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis

Photo Gallery- Tanzanian Wildlife Safari

boma africa safari tanzania kilimanjaro
Tarangire Sunrise by Jarrad Seng
b
Mayara Elephant by Andrew Knapp
boma africa kilimanjaro tanzania ngorongoro safari mountain trek trekking climbing serengeti safari wildlife elephant lion giraffe the big 5 adventure tourism non profit NGO gallery safari
Lioness by Andrew Knapp
boma africa ngorongoro tanzania non profit tourism serengeti kilimanjaro safari lion cub christmas travel adventure game drive wildlife crown crane
Crown Cranes by Boma Africa
boma africa ngorongoro tanzania non profit tourism serengeti kilimanjaro safari lion cub christmas travel adventure game drive wildlife sykes monkey
Sykes Monkey by Boma Africa
boma africa kilimanjaro tanzania ngorongoro safari mountain trek trekking climbing serengeti safari wildlife elephant lion giraffe the big 5 adventure tourism non profit ago pumba warthog tarnagire
“Pumba” Warthog. Photo by Andrew Knapp. Boma Africa
boma africa ngorongoro tanzania non profit tourism serengeti kilimanjaro safari lion cub christmas travel adventure game drive wildlife eagle
Eagle takes flight in Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Photo by Andrew Knapp. Boma Africa
boma africa ngorongoro tanzania non profit tourism serengeti kilimanjaro safari lion cub christmas travel adventure game drive wildlife andrew knapp zebra
Zebras in the dust. Photo by Andrew Knapp. Boma Africa
boma africa safari tanzania kilimanjaro wildlife
Leopard in the grass. Photo by Jarrad Seng. Boma Africa
Hyena Ngorongoro boma africa safari tanzania kilimanjaro wildlife
Hyena takes her share. Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Photo by Andrew Knapp. Boma Africa
Dik Dik.boma africa safari tanzania kilimanjaro wildlife tarangire
Dik Dik. Photo by Andrew Knapp. Boma Africa.
boma africa safari tanzania kilimanjaro wildlife
Mama & Baby. Photo by Andrew Knapp. Boma Africa
boma africa safari ngorongoro tanzania africa serengeti wildlife safari kilimanjaro travel tour tourism NGO non profit Acacia Rainbow. Tarangire glacier boma africa safari tanzania kilimanjaro wildlife mountain
Acacia Rainbow. Tarangire National Park. Photo by Andrew Knapp. Boma Africa
boma africa kilimanjaro tanzania ngorongoro safari mountain trek trekking climbing serengeti safari wildlife elephant lion giraffe the big 5 adventure tourism non profit ago zebra lion hunt wildlife safari
Zebra Hunt in the Ngorongoro Crater. Photo by Andrew Knapp Boma Africa.

10 things to know before climbing Kilimanjaro

  1. Choose your route
    • There are 6 routes on Kilimanjaro and the length of climbs ranges from 5 days to 9.  Some include camping at the crater rim, some have huts for sleeping, and some have a higher successful summit rate than others.  Click here to read more about the Kilimanjaro routes.
  2. Choose your outfitter (Boma Africa, obviously!)
    • There are many travel agents that sell the tours to a second hand outfitter “on the ground” in Tanzania or Kenya. It’s worth confirming who will be executing your climb so that you can have all the information on their safety standards and services provided.  www.bomaafrica.com
  3. Training
    • Being in good health and fitness is an asset when attempting to summit Kilimanjaro. Cardiovascular training, along with some climbing/ mountainous hiking can help to prepare you.  To reduce the risk of altitude sickness you can spend some time at higher altitude before your climb. You can do this by doing some hiking at home, or in and around Arusha.  Read more about preparing for your climb here!
  4. Break in  your boots
    • A good pair of boots is a must on Kilimanjaro. They should have good ankle support, water proof, and warm, and of course, be comfortable!  IF you are buying new boots for this epic adventure, make sure you break them in before you come. Nothing is worse than finishing off day 1 with a giant blister!
  5. Practice your day pack
    • Same as above- if you are getting a new day pack, break it in!  Practice putting in all the items you will be carrying for the day to make sure everything fits and you will be comfortable.  Typically you would carry rain gear, 3L of water, your lunch box, sunscreen, a hat, lipsyl, your camera, and extra layers of clothing, that either get peeled off or get put on as the day goes by.  What to expect on the mountain is explained in more detail here.
  6. Think about Medication
    • You may want to discuss with your physician to see if taking medication to help prevent altitude sickness is a good option for you. Also ask about other medications or vaccinations you might need for travel to Tanzania.
  7. Bring an SPF lipsyl
    • Make sure you bring a lipsyl with SPF!
  8. Remember “Pole Pole”- walk slowly!
    • Walking slowly will increase your chances of submitting successfully!  Conserve your energy and give your body time to adjust to changes in altitude.  This will be on the of the first Swahili words you will learn from your guides, Pole, pole- Slowly!
  9. Drink a sip of water every 10 minutes
    • Hydration is important in any physical endeavour, and dehydration can increase the risk of altitude sickness. Taking frequent small sips throughout your climb keeps you well hydrated and fit to climb to Uhuru peak!  To see your packing list, click here.
  10. Turn back if reccommended
    • Your guides are trained to recognize the signs of altitude sickness and fatigue. If they have concerns regarding your health they will recommend beginning to descend. While this can be very disappointing, it’s important to take their advice seriously.  Kilimanjaro is a friendly mountain, climbed by thousands, young and old, from around the world every year, but needs also to be taken seriously as altitude sickness can be a very serious health hazard.  More on safety here.

Questions?  Email us at info@bomaafrica.com

bom

 

Testimonial from Golden, BC

5 WEEKS WITH BOMA AFRICA IN TANZANIA

We were with Boma Africa for five weeks. They picked us up at the Arusha airport when we arrived, and we were taken care of from that point until we were dropped off at the Dar es Salaam airport on our departure. Our trip included safaris in Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ruaha; hiking to Lake Natron, the Empakai Crater and the farmlands around Lushoto; climbing Kilimanjaro; and ending on the beaches of Zanzibar; with many cultural tours in between.
In short, it was fantastic! We really want to congratulate Boma on an excellent product. We were super happy. The organization, logistics, and excellent client care throughout were great. The guides were excellent – professional, knowledgable, and had our safety as their first priority. It all worked out perfectly. Most importantly for us, there was no stress, as everything was so well managed. If we know of anyone planning a trip to Tanzania, we would recommend Boma Africa in a heart beat.

boma africa kilimanjaro tanzania ngorongoro safari mountain trek trekking climbing serengeti safari wildlife elephant lion giraffe the big 5 adventure tourism non profit ngo
Ngorongoro Highlands Trek

Specific feedback on the trip:
The itinerary worked really well for us. It was a good blend of game drives, cultural tours and information, and hiking. It was nicely broken up, and Kilimanjaro was a great interlude mid-trip
Guides: all were excellent. They were all professional and very well informed.
Chefs: amazing what they could do – especially on Kilimanjaro. We were very happy with the quality of food, and how much effort they put into our well being.
Lushoto – really cool place! We could have spent another day here, just to hike around.
Ruaha – super cool, really enjoyed our one night there.
Zanzibar was a really nice way to end the trip.

2017 In a Nutshell

2017 was a great year for Boma Africa!

Highlights include:

  • The Mafuru family moving to Tanzania
  • A handful of great safaris, treks, and Kilimanjaro climbs
  • Providing free education to 20 students at LK Kindergarten
  • Funding to pay the teacher for 6 months of 2018
  • Collection of enough school supplies for the next year at LK Kindergarten
  • Funding to fix the water source at LK Kindergarten
  • Acquired 20 used tires to add play structures to the Sue and Martin Parnell Playground
  • Shipping  40′ sea container FULL of supplies and equipment for Boma la Mama Birth Centre
  • Opening the Mto wa Mbu Community Centre in partnership with The Mto wa Mbu Project

Thank you to George & Jean Terpsma, Ella and Charlotte Jobin, AP Elementary School, Beating Hearts Music, Rotary Club of South Edmonton, Maureen Fath, Emmanuel Foundation, The Mto wa Mbu Project, Lindsay Kimmett Memorial Foundation, Shanualea Vliegenthart, Lucina Midwives, Barbara Campbell, the Birrells, and to the many private donors that filled the shipping container, their suitcases, and our hearts!

What are some goals for 2018, you ask??

  • Obtain funding for operational costs for 2 years in order to open Boma la Mama
  •  Request funds to expand the school
  • Place several skilled volunteers at the school and community centre
  • Add play structures to the Sue and Martin Parnell Playground
  • Resume running water at the Boma sites
  • Register Boma Africa as a Non Profit Company in Canada & implement new organizational structure
  • Invest in marketing to sell more tours & generate more funds for our projects!
  • Establish a “safe gear” program to ensure our Boma Africa porters have warm boots and gear on our climbs

and….check out this amazing hornworm!

boma africa ngorongoro tanzania non profit tourism serengeti kilimanjaro safari lion cub christmas travel adventure game drive wildlife hornworm
Hornworm in Tanzania

Photo Gallery- People & Culture of Tanzania

Join Boma Africa for the Kilimanjaro Marathon- March 4, 2018

The annual Kilimanjaro marathon is coming up in just over 2 months!  Not sure I can train up to a half marathon that quickly, but might sign up as a 21 km run/ walk for myself.

The marathon was founded in 2002 and attracts almost 9000 runners including locals and athletes from around the world. The route heads up the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, passing through forest, plantations, villages, and the town of Moshi.  Winners claim prizes up to 4 million TSH.

Our most memorable Kilimanjaro Marathon was Kili Quest 95.2 in 2013.  Lawrence and Martin Parnell of Canada planned to run the marathon, then attempt to climb Kilimanjaro in just 24h!  It was amazing- they summited Kilimanjaro- but not quite in the 24 hours they had hoped!  This was a successful fundraiser for the organization Right to Play.

The only marathon I’ve ever done was the Kilimanjaro Marathon- and I only did half!  It was hard, but such a fun day!  Everyone is in such high spirits and the locals of the sleepy villages come out to cheer you on or join up with you for a few kilometres.  Many folks from around the world, and from Tanzania are there for a fun day- mixed with elite athletes training for the Olympics!

If you are looking for a race to add to your itinerary and a chance to go on a world class safari, or to climb Kilimanjaro, get in touch!

https://www.kilimanjaromarathon.com

Heri ya Kristmasi from Tanzania!

Wishing everyone a fun filled holiday season from Boma Africa!

Happy to see tourists having lunch and riding bikes in the village today; celebrating this special day in Tanzania!  It’s 34 degrees, the children are drinking Fanta orange and getting dressed in their best!

My first day in Tanzania was Christmas day, 2008!  This was also the day Lawrence and I first met, on Mount Kilimanjaro!  The rest, they say, is history!

boma africa ngorongoro tanzania non profit tourism serengeti kilimanjaro safari lion cub christmas travel adventure game drive wildlife
Christmas Cubs Photo by Andrew Knapp

Canadian Midwives in Tanzania

I am personally volunteering with this program, featured on CTV news, in March to help facilitate emergency skills training sessions for rural midwives!

Boma Africa is also looking into being involved on the Tanzanian side of this project… there was a call for a Tanzanian NGO to support CUSO & TAMA. This would be a new type of project management for Boma Africa, but we are going to apply regardless and are hoping that having a Canadian midwife and a Tanzanian midwife who has been doing this type of outreach work for the last several years on our team will make our application successful!

Click below to watch the short news clip about the Midwives Save Lives program!

CTV NEWS- Canadian Midwives and CUSO in Tanzania

Boma la Mama Boma Africa midwives midwife Canada Tanzania africa volunter NGO non profit