Tanzania is a country I have visited several times during my travels including the important National Parks like the Serengeti and the fantastic Ngorongoro crater. During my last trips, instead, I have chosen to visit some of the lesser famous areas which are, however, not less beautiful. There has been Lake Eyasi, a shallow lake in the Northern part of the country. During certain periods of the year it is home to many aquatic birds like pelicans and flamingos. But there is more to see in the surroundings: near to the lake there are living the Hadzabe, an ancient tribe of hunter-gatherers that still maintained the traditions of their ancesters until today. It is very fascinating to watch them in their daily life though it is sad to know that this way of life is endangered because it is in conflict with the comunities of the nearby farmers and National Parks.
The Tarangire National Park, a lesser famous but very beautiful park where you can find the two giants: the baobabs and the elephants.
In the neighbourhoud of the Tarangire Park I stayed in a very hospital Massai village. I was lucky to be taken to a Massai wedding ceremony and had a lot of fun hiking for several days with a group of young warriors. It were very happy days and I learned a lot about the nature. I was surprised by the wonderful relationship the Massai have with nature and wild animals.
After a long journey by car I reached the very top of the Usambara Mountains, where not only I could enjoy a great scenery but also wonderful trekkings through farmer’s villages and the nearby natural forest famous for its many authochton plants.
The ocean in the Northern part of Tanzania is always beautiful. The peace I find on the beach of Pangani, a colonial town in front of Zanzibar island, has not changed since my last visit 10 years ago!
My journeys took me also to a place called Kilwa – a Unesco World Heritage site but it seems nobody knows about it! Although investments have been made (by the European Union to create touristic itineraries and by many private people, locals and foreigners realizing beautiful lodges) and although there is a beautiful long sandy beach with coconut palms, not to speak about the cultural sites to visit – this place seems to be completely ignored by tourists. Anyway, it was good for me though – I enjoyed the historical sites in complete exclusivity, strolling among the ruins of Kilwa Kisawani, the ancient palace of the Sultans, the tombs, the ruins of the great mosque. There is also the beautiful island of Songo Mnara with its hundreds of palm trees, the peaceful village of fishermen, the mangroves and the abandoned ancient palace.
The Galapagos of Africa – so are the Udzungwa Mountains called because of their rich biodiversity. Strenous but rewarded hiking through thick forests populated by elephants, monkeys, butterflys, birds, snakes and spiders take me to wonderful waterfalls surrounded by multicoloured flowers.
In the Mikumi National Park – which is one of the lesser know Southern Parks (in the moment still a bit sacrificed because of a road that crosses the park right in the middle). Anyway it has wonderful open landscapes and is very rich in animals. It was here where I have seen the newborn baby elephant. I spent hours with that family – it was so tender to observe them…
The Selous is a huge area, only recently National Park (before it was a Game reserve) and it is now the hugest protected area of Tanzania. Though only a smaller part is reachable for now. It is famous for its waterways – the big Rufiji river and some of the lakes, offering home to many birds but also of course lions, buffalo and groups of elephants.