. Outside the boundaries of Tanzania'a National Parks are areas less traveled, but no less spectacular...These destinations make great extensions to your safari itinerery and we have listed a few of our favorites...

. A beautiful little crater that exists in the Ngorongoro Highlands and only a half-day drive from Ngorongoro Crater but seldom visited...This caldera is six kilometres wide with nearly half of its floor is occupied by lake, and its slopes covered by a thick forest...The scenery is spectacular from every point along the rim; from the northern and eastern side you can look out to the dramatic volcano of Oldonyo Lengai, the Great Rift Valley and Lake Natron; from the south and west you can see across the Bulbul depression...Sometimes you can even see the distant snows of Mount Kilimanjaro far to the northeast.

. We enjoy camping on the rim as the view of Lengai and the Rift Valley makes for great photos...Camping and hiking into the crater are done with an armed ranger (armed against buffalo)...The drive here passes through numerous Maasai villages and small herds of gazelle, wildebeest and dark-toned zebra in a setting, we've been told, that resembles the Scottish Highlands.

. On the way to Empakaai is another seldom visited crater called Olmoti...A notch in it's rim creates a spectacular waterfall for the Munge river, which pours through on its way to Ngorongoro Crater...There is a very pleasant hike from the Nainokanoka ranger post through the forest up to the top of the waterfall.

Day 1:
We depart Ngorongoro Crater for Embakaai traveling beyond the woodland that surrounds the rim and into open country composed of grasslands...We'll stop at the small Maasai village of Nainokanoka to meet our park ranger who will accompany us...We will spend time hiking to the rim of Olmoti crater and visiting the waterfall before continung to our camp at Embakaai for overnight.

Day 2:
Today we will hike down to the crater floor and along the shore of the large soda lake which supports several species of birds, including, Egyptian geese, flamingoes and pelicans...After exploring the fringes of the lake we ascend back to our campsite for dinner and overnight...This trek will take 6-7 hours.

Day 3:
After breakfast we will drive back towards Ngorongoro Crater and continue our safari itinerary.

. Red oat grasslands make up much of this enormous semi-arid plain which dominates the interior of northern Tanzania...During the dry season the animals congregate around the Tarangire river in neighboring Tarangire National Park; but when the rains return, many animals flow out of the park onto the steppe where they share the land with the Maasai...It's not unusual to see herds of zebra and wildebeast near the grazing livestock of the Maasai, but what you won't see are safari vehicles...While the migrating herds may move beyond the park's boundary, tourists rarely follow.

. We will visit with the Maasai, spending our nights in a boma, and enjoying the excitement of a game drive after dark...Night game drives are prohibited in the national parks, so the steppe is a place where we can indulge in one of our favorite activites...

. The Usambara Mountains, situated in north eastern Tanzania are covered by dense tropical forests and is the location of the Amani Nature Reserve established in 1997 to protect the biodiversity of the flora and fauna found here...In fact, the environment at Amani contains one of the greatest diversity of animals and plants in the world...Located within the Amani Nature Reserve is the Amani Botanical Gardens, which were established in 1902...Several nature trails have been established here along with campsites which we enjoy visiting.

. When visiting here we also enjoy participating in some of the cultural tourism programs run by the Usambara farmers...These include a Western Usambara mountains tour, Masumbae forest reserve tour, Bangala river tour and visits to Usambara farms...These hikes will provide an opportunity to learn about the local culture while enjoying the incredible beauty of this region. Some hikes include visits to witch doctors, traditional healers and sacred sites...During colonial times the mountains were favoured by the Germans and English because of the moderate climate and many interesting buildings still exist which are also worth visiting.

. Just north of the Usambaras is the Mkomazi Game Reserve which forms a natural extension of Tsavo National Park in Kenya...Part of the reserve has been set aside for breeding programs for wild dogs and rhinos and consists of vast grasslands populated by animals that are adapted to its dry climate, like gazelle, oryx, gerenuk, dik dik and kudu...We can take a walking safari accompanied by an armed park ranger along the southern boundary which borders the Pare Mountains in the east and the Usambara Mountains in the west.

. Lake Eyasi lies in a secluded and seldom visited portion of the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands south of Lake Manyara Park...Living around Lake Eyasi is a tribe called the Hadza who speak a Khosian language which has a click sound as the major feature...We assume they are the direct descendants of the early humans who lived there about 3 million years ago and for more than hundred thousand generations they have lived in small groups without permanent settlements as hunters and gatherers...Unfortunately, pressure from surrounding pastorilist tribes and farmers threaten the continued existence of the Hadzabe and the environment that supports them.

. The Hadza share this area with another remarkable tribe, the Barabaig or Datoga, also called "Il-man’ati" by the Maasai...The Datoga are easily recognized by the black cloaks their warriors wear, and by the women dressed in goat skins with ritual scars and tattoos around their eyes...Once fierce warriors, they now devote their lives to raising cattle in a region that extends southwest of the Crater Highlands and Lake Eyasi to Mount Hanang and Lake Balangida.

. We enjoy offering our clients insight into the world of these two tribes...Through the simplicity of their needs, matched by their simple belongings, they live a life of natural elegance.

. Referred to as the 'Mountain of God' by the Maasai, Ol Doinyo Lengai is an active volcano just north of the eastern border of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area...The hike to the top is through volcanic dust and ash and is very steep, but an extraordinary experience for those who wish to view the inside of an active volcano...The summit reaches over 9,000 feet and the climb and descent take an entire day...The view from the top includes the Crater Highlands, Lake Natron and a glimpse into Kenya.

. A visit to this area isn't complete without seeing Lake Natron...A soda lake on the border with Kenya, it's seldom visited, but well-remembered for it's pink ribbons of Lesser and Greater flamingoes by those who have made the trip...The area around the lake is inhabited by ostriches, zebra, giraffe and the occasional Thompson gazelle.

Day 1:
We drive to the town of Mto Wa Mbo, than follow the Rift Valley escarpment north to the village of Engare Sero where we will camp.

Day 2:
Today we start early in order to gain as much altitude up the volcano as possible in the cool of the morning...Our hike follows narrow ridges of scree and volcanic dust and ash which run between steep gullies...We’ll set up camp in the south crater, a safe distance from the active north crater...The north crater itself offers a unique opportunity to view an active volcano with recent streams of molten lava, steaming vents and open lava pools...The lava on this mountain has the distinction of being black during the day and a dull orange at night due to its relatively cool temperature.

Day 3:
We trek to the summit this morning and enjoy the sunrise over the Maasai Steppe...From the top our vista will included Mount Meru, the extinct volcano Kerimasi, Lake Natron and even Mount Kilimanjaro...After lunch we will descend the mountain and return to our camp at Engare Sero village by early evening.

Day 4:
Today we’ll visit Lake Natron and the local Maasai who make this area with its harsh environment their home.

Day 5:
After breakfast we will drive back to Mto Wa Mbo and continue our safari itinerary.


. AOE provides three-person tents that are shared by just two people allowing plenty of room for your gear.

The equipment you need to bring is:
  • day pack (used for carrying water, extra clothing, etc.) or
  • back pack (if you prefer to carry your own personal gear)
  • sleeping bag/stuff sack
  • sleeping pad
  • duffel bag w/ lock (for storing extra gear while on trek)
  • large plastic bags (sleeping bag will be bagged for protection from potential rain)

  • cap or hat (for shade)
  • polypro cap (if visiting Ngorongoro Crater Highlands)
  • polypro or wool tops (if visiting Ngorongoro Crater Highlands)
  • rain parka (waterproof nylon or Goretex)
  • leather hiking boots
  • tennis or walking shoes (while in camp)
  • poncho (protection for yourself and your pack)

  • toiletries (enough for your entire trip)
  • sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)
  • flashlight or headlamp
  • towelettes
  • body towel, face towel (for washing up in camp)
  • personal first aid kit
  • insect repellent
  • one one-quart, wide-mouthed plastic bottles
  • water treatment tablets
  • sunglasses

. AOE brings a substantial first aid kit on every trip, but we still recommend that you bring a small personal kit comprised of any medications that you think may need...Below are some suggestions, but obviously your preferences and the advise of your doctor should influence your choices.
  • headache, mild pain (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin)
  • upset stomach (Peptobismal, Maalox, Gelusil M or Mylanta; Donnatal for stomach cramps)
  • colds, allergies (cough drops, Sudafed)
  • diarrhea (Imodium or Lomotil will treat the symptom but not the cause; Ciprofloxacin for bacterial dysentery)
  • cuts, bites (Neosporin, Polysporin)

. AOE provides three meals a day and hot/cold drinks for breakfast and dinner...The meals include soup, pasta, meat dishes, bread and fruit...If you have any special menu requests, please let us know so that we may accomodate you!..We recommend that you bring some of your favorite snacks too.


. While trekking you will be provided with boiled water.