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First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

Portland, Oregon
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First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

Hello everyone, our family is going to Tanzania for 2-3 weeks around Sept 10, 2013 to end of the month. We are two budget travelling Canucks (photographer and teacher) with an easy teen child. Our idea is about 10 days on safari and about one week in a town to hang out, eat local foods and try out our bad Swahili. :-)

We are considering the classic places: Serengeti (2-3 days), Tarangire (for the baobab trees), Ngorongoro, Oldupai, and Lake Manyara.

Our first question is: what destination you add to this classic list? We are not ready to climb, snorkel, bird watch or drive long distances each day. We'd really love your suggestions before we contact possible TOs.

We have read multiple interesting threads, including these. Thank you and Asanteni.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293747-i9226-k646…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g317084-i10289-k64…

We are very excited and can see ourselves returning to TZ even though we have not left yet!!!

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

< eat local foods and try out our bad Swahili. :-) >

Should that not read "eat bad food and try out local Swahili?" LoL.

Your ten days trip will work well for the destinations mentioned, Oldupai is passed on the way between Ngorongoro and Serengeti so not a 'destination' or long drive in itself.

You could add in Arusha NP at the start and canoe on the lakes as a rest from bouncing around in a car getting an African Massage. Arusha is not a bad place to hang around but my preference is for the quieter Mto wa Mbu near Lake Manyara. Less Traffic and bustle, more ambience.

(Betcha DO birdwatch by the time your three weeks is up. So get a Field guide just in case eh?)

london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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2. Re: First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

If you just want to hang out in a town and try local foods, I'd suggest Stone Town (Zanzibar). There are loads of restaurants, the night food market. The town is historically interesting. Plus if you do get bored of the town there are day trips you can do- if you don't fancy water based ones, you can go to Jozani Forest to see monkeys.

Personally, I wouldn't spend a whole week in Stone Town, but then I wouldn't spend a whole week in any town and of the options available I think Stone town has the most to offer.

Mto wa Mbu, null...
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3. Re: First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

Mto wa Mbu is great as Mfuwe has suggested. The area is famed for her over 120 tribes, 30 different types of banana, rice, fruits, vegetables and other kind of crops. Friendly, happy and warm people are here. The area is nested adjacent to Lake Manyara National Park and it is an hour drive to Ngorongoro gate (loduare).

Since Mto wa Mbu is located within the Great rift valley (Gregory rift), it is a home to various types of birds.

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

Mfuwe, you're right. I feel really dumb reading what I said about birdwatching (I have thick glasses that makes binoculars and such no fun). Will read up about your suggestions of "Mto wa Mbu near Lake Manyara."

Stokeygirl, Zanzibar...? Yes, those photos look fabulous but what do you think about the rest of the coast? Could we just jump on a local bus and roam for a few days like we did in Peru...or is that not safe/possible with lodging?

Thanks for the quick responses!

Bristol
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5. Re: First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

Well you've obviously seen my trip reports about our time in Moshi. If you just want to hang out and explore a local town Moshi is a great place to do this. Visit the waterfalls, coffee plantations, local markets (including Memorial), schools, social enterprises, as well as shops, bars and restaurants etc. The owner of the small B&B we stayed at was great at arranging anything any of her guests wanted to do. She was full of good suggestions and often took people personally. If you want any more details please contact me.

melbourne
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6. Re: First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

If you want to hang out for a week either of the above suggestions would be great fun. Stone town probably more to offer than Mto wa Mbu. for the reasons mentioned by stokey girl.

Another would be Babati quite small off the beaten path less tourists and quite close to some interesting places to visit Kolo the cave paintings and then a canoe trip on the lake. You don't have to be like the local fisherman and go close to the hippos and test you luck. But there are experienced guides who will be able to take you for a safe trip.

Babati has a group of bee keepers and other things of interest in the town.

Another would be Lushoto in the highlands plenty of interesting walks and small enough to make it worthwhile.

Apart from Stoen Town I would opt for a place :" off the beaten path" where there are less tourists and hence you will probably have a more worthwhile experience.

Edited: 25 June 2013, 09:09
Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

In making the suggestion I did I was working to OPs guidelines of " budget" and no long distance traveling. I did not think ZNZ fulfilled those. Not knocking ZNZ but perhaps a read of the latest thread on "Post your trip reports here" may be of benefit?

Nothing wrong with Moshi which is nice enough or indeed Lushoto if OP can make it up there but did I read abut 'not ready to climb'?

Binoculars have adjustable eyepieces to facilitate spec wearers. (Exits whistling!)

london
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8. Re: First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

They don't say no long distance travelling but that they don't want to "drive long distances each day". Being an island, you can't drive for more than an hour without going round in circles, so I'd say ZNZ meets that criteria perfectly!

Portland, Oregon
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9. Re: First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

Hi, I like the"off the beaten path" theme since our bad Swahili might be more appreciated. :-)

I searched "beaten path" and found:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293747-c3894/Tanzani…

Okay, will read about ZNZ in the trip reports...I wil sheepishly admit that I have not looked into ZNZ much as all those photos make me think of resorts in Cancun...?

I wiill check all the locations you great folks have suggested and learn more about TZ. Thank you!

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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10. Re: First post: where else in TZ besides the classic destination

Personally, I would not call that "off the beaten path". Anywhere along or close to the Northern Circuit is not off the beaten path. There are too many things "set up" for the tourists. And the good news is that once you get away from the Northern Circuit things get very inexpensive.

It is easy to get off the beaten path, but you are going to need to get on a bus to do it. Bus travel is very easy in Tanzania, and the buses go everywhere. A good place to start is going to Babati (which was suggested by NE above). You can see the rock paintings there (there are many, going all the way to the Singida area). Continue South and you can get to Kondoa, stay at the New Planet for about $10 - $15 including breakfast. This is a town with a large Islamic presence, you can get a guide there to take you to the antiquities areas. You could then continue on South to Dodoma, which is the countries Capital. Here you can visit the markets, they used to have a goat market every Saturday where everyone showed up at, including all the Bunge (parliament) members to mix with the people. There's a new university there which is in the process of being constructed (up to 40,000 students) and it would be good just to spend a day there. You can really get close to the people in Dodoma, lots of markets, people are very friendly and they will let you practice your bad KiSwahili on them. I typically stay at the New Cana lodge right on the edge of the main market, cost is $10 including a breakfast. With the construction of the new University there are many new hotels there in the $25 a night range.

From Dodoma you can catch a bus to perhaps Iringa or Morogoro and spend some time in these locations. If you wish you can also get to Dar es Salaam, Tanzanian's largest city (I would avoid unless there was something there you wanted to do). If you stop off at Morogoro you might like to go out to Sokoine University of Agriculture which is Tz place for teaching youngsters the business of agriculture (which is the business of 80% of Tanzanian people). At this university they have a great project where they are teaching rats how to sniff out landmines, which are then taken to places which have been scourged by civil wars, leaving behind all the dangers of these wars. This project is called the Hero Rat project, you can google this, it's a great thing to see how they do this.

You can also begin thinking about getting back to Arusha from here, but I would make a stop at Tanga. Tanga is a very cosmopolitan city with many ex-pats working there. It sits right on the Indian ocean, if you're into resorts you can easily get to Pangani for some beach time. In the Tanga area there are very large sisal plantations in the 3,000 - 5,000 hectare range, some will let you on to see how they grow sisal. A trip up to Amani will get you to high altitudes and tea farms which might be of interest.

You can then continue on towards Arusha, perhaps making a stop off at Same (by the way your bad Swahili should have taught you how to pronounce this, it is not the same as same, break it into the proper syllables). Same is tucked in alongside the Pare mountains and is a place where you can visit with locals.

These are all small bus rides from place to place, and the good thing about riding the bus there is that you get to interact with the people on the bus. And the total cost for the bus rides will be less than $40 total per person. It is very inexpensive to ride buses there. And you get to mingle with the people while you are doing this.

Idiots Abroad did this after a safari, and he really enjoyed it and learned a great deal about the people of Tanzania. You might find his post on here about this. He might be traveling now so isn't available to discuss this.

My main thought is you must get out of the tourist area in order to see the people of Tanzania. In the tourist area, it is like most tourist areas of the world, they stage things for the tourists. You can get a flavor for it in the tourist area, but it is not all that authentic at times. Obviously I don't spend my time in the tourist area, most of my time is spent in the Dodoma region of the country.

Enjoy whatever you do.