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Here are a few activities and places of interest which may sometimes be overlooked when planning a northern Tanzania safari. These options can be added to an existing itinerary or as a stand alone safari.
Horse riding safaris near Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru
There are two operators that offer multi-day riding safaris in this area. Makoa Farm is located between Moshi and Arusha and offers game viewing as well as non-game viewing rides of varying lengths for different experience levels. The owners Elisabeth and Laszlo take great care of their guests and their horses. They’re very flexible and can offer private, custom itineraries for parties as small as 2.
The other operator in this area Equestrian Safaris www.safaririding.com is based out of Uto Farm near Mt Meru. They offer 3 different itineraries with small group departures. Aim 4 Africa also organises horse riding safaris around Kilimanjaro and the Great Rift Valley. They also may offer custom itineraries - contact them for more information on group sizes and other requirements.
Hiking & Game Viewing
Even if you do not ride, a visit to this area west of Mt Kilimanjaro is worth considering. This area has beautiful scenery, good game viewing with views of Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru and is free of crowds. Accomodations are on private concessions and reserves and include Ndarakwai Ranch , Kambi ya Tembo and West Kilimanjaro Camp
Lake Natron north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and east of Serengeti National Park is another location that is sometimes overlooked. This is an area of spectacular scenery but not as game viewing oriented as other destinations. Lake Natron is a breeding ground for the lesser flamingo and activities, aside from viewing the flamingo, include hiking to the waterfalls in the Engare Sero Gorge and climbing Oldoinyo Lengai, an active volcano. Accomodation options consist of camping or staying at one of the two tented camps in the area Lake Natron Camp www.ngare-sero-lodge.com/Natron_camp.htm and Lake Natron Tented Camp www.moivaro.com
Visit the Hadzabe and Datoga tribes for an interesting insight into their daily lives and cultures. They also are keen to learn about western culture, so it's an interesting exchange. Walking around the lake is also pleasant - lots of wading birds, away from the general tourist crowds. There are two tented camps here Kisimangeda and Tindiga Tented Camp.
This area is a fabulous place to begin your venture into Tanzania, as it borders the Amboseli in Kenya. Although not a national park, this area has some lovely wildlife and you can have a walking safari with a Maasai warrior guide, learn to track animals, or visit a local Maasai village. Aim 4 Africa organises safaris and walking safaris in Western Kilimanjaro - perfect for a couple of days before visiting Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Also ideal for before or after a trek up Kilimanjaro for a few days of relaxation surrounded by bush and tranquil nature Western Kilimanjaro is the ideal retreat.
Other off-the-beaten-path places to visit are Lushoto (Eastern Arc mountains) and Mkomazi Reserve (they have a sanctuary for black rhino and wilddog - both critically endangered species being reintroduced). There is currently only one tented camp there: Babu's Camp www.babuscamp.com .