See Tanzania’s incredible flora and fauna on Foot. Walking in the African Bush with Masaai Warriors as your guides. Spectacular game viewing is combined with hikes around Lake Eyasi and the Ol Moti Crater where you experience cultural encounters amongst the Masaai, Datoga tribe, and nomadic Bushmen.

The walking safari in Ngorongoro Conservation area is becoming very popular. Normally it is preceded with a short safari in 4 x 4 safari Land Rover or Land Cruiser. Many people when they get to East Africa understandably want to see as much as possible and arrive here with killer agendas ahead of them. I would advise restraint with this temptation, which is to do too much in a short time. Safari fatigue can set in all too quickly with visitors reaching the halfway point in a safari and just longing for it all to end.

We would recommend some time spent at Lake Manyara, as you are able to get out onto the lake in a two-man canoe and see the game from this unusual perspective in this usual park. Also bicycles and village walking ‘cultural’ safaris are on offer. Take every chance you can to spend some time out of your safari vehicle. Stretch the legs and see Africa from as many perspectives as you can. There is much to experience and it cannot all be done from sitting on your bottom.

Remember the most enjoyable experiences are not achieved quickly.

The walking safari starts on the cool forested rim of Ngorongoro crater and ends in the dry heat and on the arid shores of Lake Natron – where temperature often exceed 40 c [105 f]. This soda lake is famous for the large numbers of flamingo’s that come here to breed. Indeed the flamingo seems to be the only animal that flourishes in this harsh environment.

The highland walking safaris cover a rage of altitudes [The range rises steeply from the surrounding plains at about 1500 meters to heights of between 2500 and 3500 meters.] it is advisable to wear many layers of clothing, as the temperatures will vary greatly. These safaris are quite energetic and a good level of fitness is required. The Crater Highlands range is roughly oval, measuring about 80 km by 40 km.

The Highlands are volcanic in origin, with the different peaks being created over millions of years by a series of eruptions connected with the formation of the Great Rift Valley. The older volcanoes have been eroded and most have collapsed to form the craters.

Empakaai crater is 600 meters in diameter and 300 meters deep. With much of the base of the crater covered by a deep [80 meter] soda lake. Here there are many birds, antelope, buffalo and blue monkeys, with the thickly forested walls plunging to the crater floor. If you want to climb into the crater and explore, you will be required to be accompanied by an armed guide. The crater is heavily grazed by buffalo – the buffalo are notoriously anti-social and very aggressive. To catch the best Rift Valley views, it is a must to be there at dawn or dusk as the cloud cover can be heavy at other times. The familiar water birds to be spotted here include the black-winged stilt, cape teal and flamingo.

Ol Moti Crater, this can only be reached by foot and an armed ranger must accompany you. The scenery of Ol Moti is beautiful, with islands of forest and a waterfall at the source of the Munge River. Monkeys and buffalo are seen in the area.

The active volcano Ol Donyo Lengai at 2,878m is a popular way to end the walking safari. This volcano erupts every seven years. Here an early morning start essential. The climb is steep on powdery scree; therefore climbing the steep slopes on this very loose footing is neither easy nor enjoyable. The early morning start is to avoid the heat of the sun, as there is no shade on the mountain and together with the heat and lack of water makes this early start, in the pre dawn darkness, essential. This climb would only be recommended for the physically fit and if you have an interest in volcanoes, otherwise relax at the bottom and enjoy a well-earned rest and a cool drink.

Now it is time for a Serengeti Safari; climb back into your safari vehicle and spot the animals in comfort.

About the Author:

All profits from go into the Patmos Community Initiative, which is a Non-Governmental Organization in Northern Tanzania – no. 11778. We are currently building a nursery school in Sokon One – Arusha. We offer and encourage voluntary positions vacations to our charitable projects. Swahili Language courses are availa


Written by: Ian Williamson