Destinations

Tanzania Walking Safaris

Why go on a Tanzania walking safari

To many, the best part of going on safari is to experience the land, its sounds and its smells, on foot. It is a great way to experience the smaller things that are easily overlooked in a vehicle. 

The following excerpt is from one of our Tanzania experts and should give you more of a clue as to the pros of enjoying a Tanzania walking safari:

"We were on the trail of fresh elephant, buffalo and zebra dung as well as female waterbuck faeces. We had learnt that the pellets of the waterbuck were from a female as both the pellets and the urine were in close proximity of one another. In amongst the dung, we noticed small white termites. They, we had been told, were eating the unprocessed material, particularly in elephant dung which is known to be highly undigested. The fact that I could tread on the dung only for it to crumble away proves the point that the termites eat away the last remaining nutrients.

We walked past an unbelievable network of termite mounds. In doing so, we learnt that the tall chimney like formations were just the tip of the iceberg. Just one underground termite network could spread as far as 200mtrs. The mounds themselves need to be around 28C otherwise the system will die but during the rains the holes of the mounds are closed.

While walking through the African bush you are bound to come across a carcass of some kind. My experience in Tanzania was no different! We came across young elephant bone remains, and a giraffe corpse and skin. Here, we learnt how elephants gain new teeth; a process that enables the teeth to retract forward from the back of the jaw while the old set become void through old age. We were able to hold the skeleton jaw and the skeleton head. The jaw was very heavy, while the head was very light despite being much bigger than the jaw. The head of the elephant is like a honeycomb, enabling it to weigh less. Elephants also have a Jacobsons Organ (on the upper palate) which helps to determine if species are ready for mating. We also saw the remains of a baby wildebeest, still intact up in a tree, which had been carried by a leopard.

By keeping our eyes transfixed to the ground we even managed to spot two dung beetles rolling a ball of dung with their hind legs. Upon watching, we leant that it is generally the male who will roll the ball, leaving the female to assist. The female would lay her eggs in the dung and wait for them to hatch. However, honey badgers are known to break into the balls and kill them before and/or after they hatch by eating the larvae. The mother dung beetle will then die as the eggs hatch.

Other interesting sightings to note included spotting the egg casing of a preying mantise (hunting insect), a baboon spider’s hole where the end of the hole was lined with silk, and a scorpion’s hole. Further along the walk, a spider hunting wasp flew past us. Its sting will paralyse but not kill a spider. It will then deposit the eggs in spider where the eggs will hatch. The larvae then begin to eat the spider to death.

Upon walking in the Tanzanian bush we past the wonderful smells of wild sage and wild basil. We walked through swathes of burnt land; the whole area had undergone controlled burning in order to grow new shoots to prevent the animals from migrating to the villages. The ground was a sea of black with a fragile blanket of fresh green shoots of grass."

wildlife you may encounter

Here is a list of mammals, primates, wildlife and birds that may be encountered on a typical walking safari in Tanzania

Mammal/Primate/Wildlife

Zebra browsing on the hill
Reedbuck (male)
Common Hartebeest
Waterbuck (female)
Black Backed Jackal – 2 adults and young
Elephant – spotted signs of the elephants climbing up the riverbank, they can climb up steep riverbanks on their knees
Impala
Reedbuck
Giraffe
Black-backed Jackal
Side-striped Jackal

Bird List

Magpie Shrike
Little Bee-eater
Tawny Eagle
Vonder Dicken Hornbill
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove
Black Shouldered Kite
Yellow necked Spurfowl
Kori Bustard
Lilac-breasted Roller
Sand Grouse – as we walk along the riverbank
Little Bee-eater
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Fork-tailed Drongo
Martial Eagle – perched on a tree; can take down an Impala
Woodpecker - as walk through Leopard territory
Yellow and Orange Barbet
White-bellied Go-away Bird
Crested Francolin
Ringed necked Dove
Superb Starling

where is best for walking safaris?

If considering a walking safari yourself, then explore the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park for what you may encounter.

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