Adventurous Tanzanian travellers often head to the sprawling Serengeti. But Metro wanted to get off the beaten track even more and explored the southern Highlands.
Here’s what we found.
RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
Locals often cite Ruaha as their favourite national park. More than 10,000 square kilometres of beautiful hilly landscape is home to elephants, hyenas, African wild dogs, leopards and the bat-eared fox.
The special thing about Ruaha is the topographic variation — from vast plains, to rocky mountains and placid lakes. And the ever-present baobab trees tower mysterious and aloof above all of these landscapes.
Spending the night in a national park is extremely expensive. You can easily pay a thousand dollars per night. If you get a lodge just outside the park, you save yourself a lot of money and you are still sleeping in the wilderness. If you’re not in the mood to arrange things yourself then contact the friendly staff of Gazelle Safaris for a package-deal.
You can’t return home without having visited the Udzungwa Mountains. This national park was opened in 1992 by Dutch royal Prince Bernhard. He personally walked the trail, which is now known as the Prince Bernhard Waterfall Trail. This walk is, understandably, the shortest route possible, because when Prince Bernhard opened the park at the age of 82, his old legs couldn’t take him to the top of the mountains anymore.
TIRED OF SAFARIS?
Travel further south, towards Lake Nyasa (also known as Lake Malawi). On Matema beach you can perfectly relax in the shade of a tree with a cold bottle of cola, breaking off only for an occasional soothing dip in the lake. Be careful with boat trips though — on the water there’s a risk of serious sunburn. Once you’ve rested enough, it’s time to visit the waterfall in the mountains. Don’t attempt it without a guide, as there is no path and access requires much scrambling over rocks and trees and plants, which can be tough for inexperienced climbers. However, once you reach the waterfall, you’ll see it was definitely worth your trouble. More than 30 metres of water splashes down into a lagoon where you can jump in to cool off from the hike.