Explore some of the remains of German East Africa on this 11-day private lodge safari. The 28-year colonial rule of the Germans has left many traces throughout Tanzania and it is still possible to view the Wilhelmine Period architecture in Lushoto, Pangani and Bagamoyo. Learn more about German history in Africa and its manifestations, but also visit Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Chala, Amani and Saadani for a nature and wildlife experience.
The main focus of this safari is history and contact with the local communities. Active travelers can additionally enjoy nature walks at Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Chala and the Amani Nature Reserve. This safari can be done all year round, however, we don’t recommend visiting the Usambara Mountains and Amani Nature Reserve during the rainy season as the roads tend to be impassable. Also visit Saadani National Park – a park on the Indian Ocean – which is often overlooked.
In the morning, safari briefing and departure to West-Kilimanjaro with your professional guide and a picnic lunch. Remotely situated and far from any major touristic activities, this unique, small area in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro is still untouched and offers an authentic Tanzania experience. Today’s destination is Sinya, a private concession bordering Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Large herds of elephants take advantage of the border-crossing eco-system; they can often be seen as they cross in search of water and food. Enjoy a first game drive in the afternoon with remarkable views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru.
After breakfast depart to Mount Kilimanjaro National Park and enter the park from the west at Londorossi Gate. Once your guide has taken care of the park formalities, continue driving to Shira Barrier at an altitude of 3,300m. Here you will park the car and start your guided nature walk. Packed with picnic lunch and water, you will gently walk across the Shira plateau. If you are a keen-walker you can even hike up to Simba Cave at 3.840m. Enjoy splendid views to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro if it’s a clear and sunny day. Return to your accommodation in the afternoon.
After breakfast continue driving east around Mount Kilimanjaro to Lake Chala – a unique lake and 2-km-wide caldera lying on the Kenyan border. Lake Chala is fed by underground water springs coming from Mount Kilimanjaro. The lake’s color varies from deep blue to turquoise and even green – enjoy an incredible panoramic view in front of the 100m high crater rim at the lush lake forest. Take a walk down to the lake and watch out for butterflies and birds. Lake Chala offers an enchanted nature experience, so take the time to immerse yourself in this peaceful atmosphere.
Get an early start and proceed south to Mombo via the tarmac road with a picnic lunch. Along the way, enjoy nice views onto the mountains in the east and the Masai plains with its many sisal plantations to the west. Mombo is a colorful and vibrant town and from here the road winds up to Lushoto at an altitude of 1400m. Part of the Usambara Mountains, Lushoto, called “Wilhelmsthal” by the Germans, was very popular during the German colonial era. And due to its mild climate, it was a major rest and relaxation resort for many German settlers.
Explore Lushoto Town on foot and learn more about its history. With the arrival of the Germans, large farms and plantations were established and the church used Lushoto as its base for their mission work. Several colonial buildings are still in use including the former district office and the historical post office. The red tiled roofs and the smoking chimneys are remarkable. If you schedule your visit on a Thursday or Sunday, the town tour can be combined with a visit of the local market. Alternatively, you can walk to a nearby waterfall to experience the lush rain forest!
After breakfast depart, with a picnic lunch, to Mombo and drive via Korogowe and Muheza to the Amani Nature Reserve, which is located completely off beaten paths. This exceptional nature reserve is a paradise for bird lovers and botanists and stands out with its significant flora and fauna. Explore the reserve on foot and keep a watchful eye for its many endemic birds and plants. Butterflies, chameleons, frogs and forests birds are easy to spot here, with more than 340 recorded species. There are several walking trails within the nature reserve and some even lead up to splendid waterfalls. In the afternoon continue driving to Pangani.
Spend the day in Pangani Town, rich in historical heritage and located directly at the estuary where the Pangani River flows into the Indian Ocean. Today, this somewhat sleepy fishing village still stands with its Arabic, German and British influences. Take a walk through town and visit the slave market and the Old Port but also view the historic Bismarck-Allee, today Harbour Road, and the old German administrative boma. On the outskirts of Pangani you will find large coconut palms and sisal plantations. Return with the ferry to your accommodation for a leisurely afternoon at the beach.
Take a picturesque drive along the coast to the nearby Saadani National Park, which is the only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa where bush meets beach. Spend the rest of day at your property for acclimatization and relaxation or enjoy a splendid walk along white sandy beaches surrounded by palms as traditional dhows and fisher boats pass by. You could also go for a swim in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. This Tanzanian mainland coast is one of the last major green turtle breeding ground and – between October and November – whales are often seen passing through the Zanzibar Channel.
Spend the day inside Saadani National Park and go out for a classic game drive. Although game viewing here isn’t comparable to the country’s other national parks, you may come across baboons, buffaloes, duikers, elands, elephants, giraffes, hartebeests, kudus, reed-bucks, warthogs, water-bucks, wildebeests and zebras. Lions and other predators tend to hide throughout day but it is one of the only spots in Tanzania where you can see the Roosevelt sable antelopes. Take a boat safari and enter the Wami River from the ocean to watch crocodiles, hippos and riverine birds including fish eagles and kingfishers.
After breakfast proceed to the town of Bagamoyo – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former capital of German East Africa – with a picnic lunch. Bagamoyo played a major role in Tanzania’s history and the local museum provides insights into the era of slavery. Arabs and Germans recognized the potential of this town and used it as nation-wide trading hub. Explore the town on foot and visit the German cemetery, the Old Fort and stroll along Kaiserstraße, today India Street. Other stops on your itinerary should include the German headquarters, the hospital and the post office. A day filled with history! Continue to your accommodation in the afternoon.
In the morning continue to Dar es Salaam with arrival in the early afternoon and drop-off in Dar es Salaam Town or at Dar es Salaam Airport for your onward journey.
-Accommodation pre/post safari in Arusha & Dar es Salaam
-Additional days in Usambara Mountains can be added
-Trip extension to Tanzanian Coast, Mafia & Zanzibar can be arranged