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ZIMBABWE – VICTORIA FALLS

Many visitors make trips to Zimbabwe to see the Victoria Falls,  the widest waterfall in the World which is on the border with Zambia. A decade of political and economic turbulence has meant that many do not explore further. However, nearby Hwange National Park  offers some of the most diverse game viewing safari in Africa and is renowned for its huge herds of Elephants.

Other attractions include visiting the 11th-century ruins of Great Zimbabwe, the largest ancient site south of the Sahara. The huge stone structures are built without mortar and were the centre of an important trade route. Trips to the Matobo National Park are popular to see the dramatic landscape of balancing boulder kopjes (hills) and see wildlife such as rhinos.

Lake Kariba is another attraction – the largest man-made lake in the World. Going on houseboat trips is popular, as well as fishing for tiger fish. The region is known for its beautiful sunsets.

Natures Finest

Other conservation areas offer scenic beauty, like the flamingos of Lake Manyara or the towering baobabs of Tarangire. The Selous and Ruaha are less visited, offering off the beaten track safari experiences with incredible boating and walking safaris.

Adventure seekers can challenge themselves by trekking and summiting the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.

The exotic spice island of Zanzibar is where visitors can discover ancient Swahili culture while exploring the ancient alleys of Stone Town. There are beautiful beach resorts for all tastes all along Zanzibar. Visitors can relax under the palm trees after a dip in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

Good to know

Country

Tanzania

Visa requirements

Visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Tanzania. Foreign nationals may apply for a visa online in advance of travel. ... A passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond visa issuance and/or date of entry, and at least one blank visa page, is required. PASSPORT VALIDITY: 6 months

Languages spoken

Swahili

Curency used

US dollars, Tanzanian shilling (TZS)

Area (km2)

• Total 947,303 km2 (365,756 sq mi) • Water (%) 6.4

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the highlights of an East African safari. The crater is the largest intact caldera in the World, which was formed by a huge ancient volcano. This creates a breathtakingly beautiful setting for some of the highest densities of wildlife in Africa. As one of the most renowned natural wonders in Africa, it can get busy with visitors and its not uncommon to have many vehicles on a lion sighting. For this reason, the number of vehicles in the park is limited, and you can only drive in one direction through the park.

The Ngorongoro Crater was formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed around 3 million years ago. Its cone collapsed, creating the caldera which today creates one of the most famous settings for a safari on the planet. Going on safari in the Ngorongoro Crater is the best place in Tanzania to see the Big Five. The crater has a population of Black Rhino and is home to some of Africa’s last Big Tusker Elephants. The crater is also home to good populations of lion, leopard and hyena along with healthy herds of wildebeest, buffalo and zebra. Other wildlife here includes serval cat, cheetah, jackal, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelle and flocks of flamingos.

The Ngorongoro Crater is not the only crater in the region, but it is the largest. The whole area forms a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the diversity and density of wildlife which occurs there. Archaeological research at Laetoli has uncovered the first evidence of bipedalism and finds in the Olduvai Gorge have been instrumental in studying the development of early hominin species, including early man.

Access

The Ngorongoro Crater lies 3.5 hours by road from Arusha. Many travellers fly into either Kilimanjaro International Airport or Arusha Airport and then travel by road to the Ngorongoro Crater. However, many flights land late at night, so travellers often must spend the night in Arusha. The closest local airstrip for scheduled and charter flights into the Ngorongoro region is Lake Manyara Airport which is about a 2-hour drive to the crater.

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