Tanzania – a country formed by the uniting of two former African states – Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964 – is most well know for three iconic areas; the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro  Crater, and Mount Kilimanjaro which is the highest peak in Africa. Ready for a little geography lesson? Let’s go!

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All About Tanzania (well, almost!)

The Serengeti region encompasses the Serengeti National Park itself, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa Game Reserve, the Loliondo, Grumeti and Ikorongo Controlled Areas and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

Two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves have been established within the 30,000 km² region. Its unique ecosystem has inspired writers from Ernest Hemingway to Peter Mattheissen, filmmakers like Hugo von Lawick and Alan Root as well as numerous photographers and scientists. The Maasai, who had grazed their cattle on the vast grassy plains for millennia had always thought of the region as Siringitu – “the place where the land moves on forever.”

It is the migration for which Serengeti is perhaps most famous. Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November, and then swirl west and north after the long rains in April, May and June. So strong is the ancient instinct to move that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back.

One of those World Heritage sites is the Ngorongoro Crater which is the world’s largest unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera.  The Crater, which formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed on itself some two to three million years ago, is 610 m (2,001 ft) deep and its floor covers 260 km² (102 square miles). Estimates of the height of the original volcano range from fifteen to nineteen thousand feet (4500 to 5800 meters) high. Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles; its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthrall visitors.

To the east and north of the Ngorongoro Crater, Mt. Kilimanjaro rises 19, 341 feet into the African sky. There are several routes by which to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, namely, Marangu, Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe and Machame. Of all the routes, Machame is by far the most scenic albeit steeper route up the mountain, which can be done in 6 or 7 day. The Rongai is the easiest camping route and the Marangu (known as the coca cola route) is also easy, with accommodations in “A frame” huts. As a result, this route tends to be very busy and ascent and descent routes are the same.”

We have traveled these iconic sites – from Michael climbing Kilimanjaro and traveling with Barbara to the Ngorongoro Crater, the Olduvai Gorge where traces of mankind date back two million years, to the vast Serengeti itself. We know Tanzania and our knowledge, our past safaris, will enhance your experience.