The fierce colours of Lake Natron melt from burnt oranges to fuchsias and maroons, while once a year a colour clash of magnificent proportions occurs as East Africa’s largest flock of lesser flamingos swarm to the lake to breed. The salmon-pink birds can be seen gingerly picking their way through the soda lake and nesting on ash-coloured mud mounds. Fed by mineral-rich springs and the Ewaso Ng’iro River, the lake is part of the East Rift Valley and lies north of the Ngorongoro Crater.
The lake has great ecological importance as it is the only place in East Africa where the flamingos breed, in a safe environment where the water’s alkaline nature deters much other life from settling in the surrounding area. The lake is largely inhospitable to most life forms, thus providing 2.5 million flamingos protection from greedy predators eyeing their eggs.
Lake Natron is located 135 kilometres north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and a similar distance from the Serengeti National Park. Its convenient location makes the lake an easy add-on to your trip to or from the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater or for those hiking the active volcano, Ol Donyo Lengai. Accommodation is available near the park while hikes up the surrounding slopes offer excellent lake views.
We've taken the liberty to answer everything you may need to know about visiting Lake Natron
There is really no right or wrong time to visit this beautiful country. The best time to go on a Tanzania safari depends entirely on what you want to see and experience: The major national parks like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire deliver superb year-round game viewing, but visitor numbers peak from about June to October when the country is at its driest. This period also coincides with the migration river crossings, however, all the parks offer amazing wildlife sightings at this time as vegetation is less dense. If you are looking for a tropical beach getaway to Tanzania’s coast, Zanzibar and other islands, the best time to visit is between June and March.
Whichever season you chose, our Rhino Africa Travel Experts will ensure you are in the best area to maximise your desired experience.
Tanzania is a country in East Africa located south of the equator, bordering the Indian Ocean and includes the Zanzibar Archipelago. It neighbours several countries, namely Kenya and Uganda in the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, and Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi to the south. Because of its proximity to so many other excellent destinations, our Tanzania tours are packed with adventure.
Superb safaris, coastal escapes, ancient cities, rich culture and remarkable cuisine – Tanzania has it all! Apart from unparalleled wildlife-sightings in world-renowned game reserves such as the Serengeti, Selous, Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro, Arusha, Nyerere National Park and more, Tanzania is delightfully unique in terms of an all-encompassing African experience.
Whether you’re looking to spot the Big Five, witness the Great Migration, climb (or skim) Africa’s highest mountain, visit a Masaai village, scuba dive in Zanzibar, or wander the vibrant streets of Stone Town – our Travel Experts will be able to tailor-make a Tanzania itinerary to suit your preferences.
The best safari in Tanzania depends on what you want to see and do. There are various safari experiences, of which the Great Migration is the most famous. However, the Great Migration is a journey and does not take place in one single setting. Therefore, when and where you go in Tanzania will determine whether you get to see this annual spectacle.
But even when the Great Migration is not passing through Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, you can still enjoy spectacular year-round Big 5 safaris. Destinations like the Ngorongoro Crater are filled to the brim with a wide variety of wildlife for exciting sightings. Furthermore, a Tanzania tour pairs well with a beach getaway in Zanzibar Archipelago, gorilla trekking in Rwanda, or any of Africa’s star destinations. Our Travel Experts can recommend the best time, duration, destinations and experiences personalised to your needs and wants.
All our tours are tailor-made, so the total cost will depend on various factors, including but not limited to the duration of your stay, accommodation options, experiences, travel costs, and more. As a rough guideline, our Tanzania tours generally cost between $350 to $3,500 per person per night sharing and are dependent on service provider availability and seasonality.
Arusha is located in the north of Tanzania and the main entrance for tourists. It has two airports, namely the Kilimanjaro Airport and Arusha Airport. The latter is located about ten minutes from the city centre and is used predominantly for regional (internal) flights. On the other hand, Kilimanjaro Airport is located about one hour away from the city and is used for international flights.
Your best connection to Tanzania flying worldwide from North and South America, Middle East, Asia, Australia and Europe is KLM. It's also the ideal flight to take if you want to add on a beach getaway in Zanzibar to your East African safari. It's the only long-haul flight that travels directly to the Kilimanjaro Airport to Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Tarangire National Park.
You can book the return flight from Dar es Salaam instead of Kilimanjaro Airport, making it useful as Zanzibar is a 15-minute from Dar es Salaam on a plane. Emirates and Qatar Airlines do fly into Dar es Salaam, as does Swiss Air via Zurich and South African Airways from Johannesburg. Please note that British Airways no longer flies directly to Tanzania.
Yes, unfortunately Tanzania is located in a malaria area. We are not doctors, so please note that you should always speak to your doctor about malaria prevention before travelling. However, on that note, it is entirely possible to have a safe, malaria-free holiday in Africa by using prophylactic drugs.
Tip 1: Repel the mosquitoes
The female mosquito responsible for transmitting malaria is a silent mossy, so you will have to ensure you repel them. They can strike at any time of day but are most active at dusk as well as dawn. Always wear repellent as well as long-sleeved shirts and long trousers in the evenings and mornings. Please note that clothes alone won't protect you, as they can bite through the material. Most of our lodges will have screened windows and doors, air conditioning systems, and mosquito nets to further protect you.
Tip 2: ALWAYS take anti-malaria tablets
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself against malaria is taking Prophylactic tablets. Please note that you have to speak to your doctor before taking these tablets to ensure that you take the right one, as well as the correct dosage when entering the malaria area.
Tip 3: Keep an eye out for symptoms and finish your course of meds
If you start to notice any flu-like symptoms, you must get a malaria test to be safe and catch it early because malaria reacts well to early treatment. Also, don't stop taking your meds until the course is complete!
The official language in Tanzania is KiSwahili. However, English is widely spoken in commercial areas, including the major parks and reserves. The terms Swahili and Kiswahili are used interchangeably, though the term Swahili normally refers to the people while Kiswahili refers to the language. All the guides and transfer drivers can usually speak English and are very helpful. But most of the population speak KiSwahili and very little English. KiSwahili is, for the most part, pronounced like you spell it. Therefore, it can be very helpful and easy to learn a few words to help you communicate during your visit.
Here are some to get you started:
- Jambo – hello
- Karibu – you’re welcome
- Sante – thank you
Ask your guide if he or she has any that you can add to your vocabulary list!
The Tanzanian Shilling is the local currency. However, USD is generally accepted, as long as the print is past 2007. Most places will also give you change in USD if you pay with that currency and the same for Shilling. Your tourism areas will also accept USD. You can use credit cards at most establishments as long as they have telecommunications signal.
Credit cards are also accepted at most properties with telecommunications signal, although it is better to have USD on-hand for leaving tips or shopping at smaller local markets, etc. Many vendors do not accept American Express, so rather travel with your Visa or MasterCard.
Extremely rich in age-old cultures, traditions and religious beliefs, Tanzania is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Tanzanians are known for being friendly and harmonious, with great respect for their fellow man (and woman) and, in particular, their elders.
Religious belief is strong in Tanzania, with Christianity and Islam as the most prominent. Most Muslims are in Zanzibar, but visitors should be aware of the conservative nature of these destinations and behave and dress accordingly. Women should always keep their knees and shoulders covered. T-shirts that cover the shoulders and shorts for women are acceptable (but not too short). Women should wear and carry a wrap to cover legs in the village and towns as revealing clothes can be offensive to locals, especially in Zanzibar and Muslim areas. On the beach and within the confines of beach hotels, normal swimwear (but no nudity) is acceptable.
Many Tanzanians are quite happy with visitors taking their picture. However, always ask permission first. Not only is it universally polite, but some ethnic groups in Tanzania believe that the flash of a camera will steal your soul.