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Nestled between the Central Serengeti and Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kogatende is a rather small area that puts on quite a show. While it is breathtaking to observe the Great Wildebeest Migration galloping freely across the endless plains, the epic cycle of life demonstrated in Kogatende is usually action-packed and worth a visit. No matter if you are attracted by the greatest movement of wild animals on earth or a chance of spotting the Big Five, a Hot Air Balloon Flight over the Kogatende area is sure to blow your mind.

What's so special about Kogatende?

The Mara River Crossing

Found in the Kogatende region, the Mara River offers one of the most surreal views of the Great Wildebeest Migration. Every year, millions of mammals assemble on the banks of the river waiting to cross to the other side to reach greener pastures and fresh water. However, this part of their journey is often the most perilous as many will undoubtedly fall prey to the deadly Nile crocodiles which live within these borders. Attracted by the size of the wild animals, the huge reptiles of the river are not the only predators lurking ready for the kill. This gathering of mammals near the water source can sometimes be a real feast for lions, hyenas, leopards and more.

Around the months of June to November, countless wild animals gather on the side of the river waiting for the first brave soul to attempt the crossing. It can often take days before the first few wildebeests make the jump into the dangerous waters and some others dare to follow suit. At this stage, it often takes quite a long time for the whole herd of Wildebeests to go through to the other side as they pass in a small trickle at a time. If you are lucky, you might catch the whole horde jumping in almost a single file into the rushing currents of the river as the urgency and the need for food are felt. Here the cycle of life will truly be witnessed as nature will take its expected toll on the herd.

Mara River Crossing

The crossing along the Mara River happens in two different spots at different times during the migration. First, the wildebeest and their entourage travel across the river to reach the Kogatende region on their way up from Grumeti, then a second time as their attempt the long way back to Ndutu for the calving season. A common misconception is that the Mara River marks the boundary between Tanzania and Kenya. The river partially flows through both countries and wildebeests reaching the opposite bank on their way up from Grumeti and the Seronera region are actually still in Kogatende, Tanzania, before moving further into the Maasai Mara.

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The Scenery

The region is also well-known for its beautiful changing landscape. From the shimmering Mara River, the tall acacia trees, indigenous Kopjes scattered around the yellowed grass of the plains to the blooming flora of the Ngorongoro Crater, a safari across the area is a breathtaking experience. Whether you have booked a stay at one of the various luxury lodges in the area, plan a game drive in the bush or take it all in from a safari in the sky with one of our hot air balloons, Kogatende and its neighboring areas simply do not disappoint.

Kogatende Wilderness

Amazing Photography Opportunities

Action packed and absolutely thrilling, of course you want to capture a few pictures of your trip, maybe to keep as memories for the future or to show your family and friends when you get back. A ride over Kogatende is sure to offer you all the best opportunities to make this possible. Kogatende allows you to see and photograph the Great Wildebeest Migration barrelling through the plains on their way north, the impressive but deadly crossing of the Mara River, the picturesque landscape of the Ngorongoro Crater and more. In addition, if you are lucky, you may also get the chance to take pictures of the famous Big Five and the plethora of other wild animals inhabiting the region. While visiting over areas may not have allowed you such a complete experience, Kogatende is a full package.

The Thrill of the Wild

The Kogatende region is the perfect safari win-win offering visitors the best of the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in one go. If you are looking to enjoy the thrill of a real adventure in the wild, booking a luxury tented camp, guided walk or hot air balloon safari with us in the Kogatende area is a great compromise between the excitement of the wild and the luxury and safety provided by experienced operators.

Kogatende Views

Hot Air Balloon safari

To live this experience to the fullest, it is recommended to witness the action packed Mara River crossing from a hot air balloon basket. A balloon safari over the plains and sinuating silver river of Kogatende offers a vantage point unparalleled by any game drive. This bird's eye view gives you the opportunity to take in the full extent of the largest coordinated movement of mammals in the world.

Part of what makes a hot air balloon safari over this region so unique is that it allows you to get closer than ever before to the crossing and its neighbouring plains. While a game drive would need to stop at a distance to avoid disturbing and scaring away the animals with the sound of the engine, a hot air balloon flight gently follows the path of the wind, taking you closer to the animals than ever before while only switching on its burner when ready to sail further up.

A Hot Air Balloon safari is a great way of enjoying the full extent of the Kogatende region, and let's not forget the famous bush breakfast and lunch. Miracle Experience has become well-known for its delightful breakfast and lunch services in the heart of the savannah. After gliding slowly to the ground, the safari trucks will pick you up and take you on a short drive to a pre-established spot in the wild where a fresh meal set-up complemented by chilled champagne or beverage will be waiting for you. In this once in a lifetime moment, you will get the opportunity to share the most memorable parts of your trip with your loved ones and savour the adventure just a while longer.

Hot Air Balloon over Kogatende

Contact us at Miracle Experience and let's plan this adventure of a lifetime together.

Arusha, in Northern Tanzania, is well-known for being Tanzania's green metropolis. Thanks to the comparatively low temperatures and reduced humidity, visitors worldwide are drawn to Arusha for the lush and beautiful landscapes.

In addition, Arusha serves as the primary tourist destination for Tanzania's northern circuit and, dare we say, the entire country.

Most safari excursions depart from Arusha since it serves as the entry point to several national parks, including Kilimanjaro National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, and our own Arusha National Park.

Here are our top 15 suggestions on activities while in Arusha.

1. Miracle Experience (Hot Air balloon Safaris)

Miracle Experience is at the top of our list of attractions in Arusha because it offers a unique experience for Tanzania's world-renowned safaris that visitors from all over the world come to enjoy.

They offer hot air balloon safari rides above various locations, such as the Serengeti National Park, which provide guests with a memorable safari experience with beautiful scenery and uninterrupted views.

You will see a wide variety of wildlife in their natural habitat, including the majestic wildebeest migration, powerful lion pride, and prancing gazelles in their natural habitat.

Miracle Experience Balloon safaris

On a hot air balloon safari, you can truly appreciate the immensity of the stunning bush surroundings. The balloon safari gives you a unique opportunity to capture and share thrilling moments.

Six years in a row, TripAdvisor has given Miracle Experience its top travelers' choice award, which attests to its great experience.

2. Climb Mt. Meru

The Mt. Meru trek is a brilliant pre-climb expedition for those preparing to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a fantastic method to prepare for a climb up Africa's highest peak.

Mt. Meru is the perfect outdoor activity for those with only a few days left on vacation but still wanting to climb mountains. 

View of Mount Meru

 Mt. Meru can be hiked on a day trip, three days, or four days. The trails make for a peaceful trek with breathtaking views of rivers and waterfalls.

3. Momella Lake Canoeing

This great outdoor activity to immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings of Momella Lake is to go canoeing with friends and family.

The Momella Lakes region is located in Arusha National Park's northeastern section, and seven lakes are hidden in the valleys and are bordered by lush hills. The lake becomes alkaline due to the sodium-rich contents and algae growth. As a result, flamingos use these bodies of water all year round for feeding and resting.

Canoeing activities while in Arusha

The best times to go on canoe journeys are in the mornings or the afternoons; they last around three hours. You can anticipate seeing buffalo, bushbuck, giraffes, hippos, and other water birds that live in and around the water on a canoe journey.

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4. Lunch in the Wild

The bush lunch is a unique service that only enhances the overall value of your trip to the bush. It is the ideal option for lunch because traditionally packed lunches are less environmentally friendly as there is more food and packaging waste. Additionally, it prevents customers from feeling rushed to eat their meal so they can enjoy a freshly cooked three-course dinner in the middle of the bush.

Bush Lunch by Miracle Experience Balloon safaris

This adventurous activity allows you to have longer and more relaxed game drives knowing you do not have to rush back for a hot meal. There are various options to choose from the menu to ensure a delicious lunch experience!

5. Safari in Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is only a few kilometers from the center of Arusha, so there's no need to travel far in search of thrilling wildlife.

Our national park is surrounded by all kinds of different animals and plant species, and a whole day can be spent exploring the park.

This park boasts some of the uncommon animals that can mostly be found only in Arusha National Park, such as the colobus monkeys. On a game drive, you can expect to see many zebras, giraffes, elephants, and bushbucks.

Arusha National Park

Be sure to visit the stunning Ngurdoto Crater, whose expansive marshy bottom is populated with herds of buffalo and warthog. It is located in the middle of the forest and is surrounded by towering, rocky cliffs.

6. Tanzanite Experience Museum

Tanzanite Experience boasts the world's only Tanzanite Museum located in Arusha. If you are interested in learning more about the heart of Tanzania, the Tanzanites, this is the place to visit.

Here you can delve into history and take in one of Arusha's top attractions, where you will be taken on a thrilling journey that takes you to the center of this priceless gemstone.

Through an interactive tour of the mine museum, visitors can learn why Tanzanite is so rare and valuable, the difficulties of mining it, the skills required for cutting and polishing, and the tales and myths associated with the gemstone.

Tanzanite Stone in the Tanzanite Museum

Our museum has a shop attached to it and is situated in the busy central town of Arusha. The Tanzanite Experience store sells a magnificent Tanzanite jewelry collection ranging from ready-made jewelry to a variety of loose stones. You can visit various store locations as well.

7. Lake Duluti

Lake Duluti is ideally situated in lush, green woodlands and offers a wide range of activities. You can see Mt. Meru and, on occasion, Mt. Kilimanjaro from this location. There are claims that the lake is about 700 meters deep, although this has never been verified.

For birds and reptiles, this location is a haven. Many birds have settled here, and monitor lizards can be seen lazing on the lake's edge. On the edge of the lake, monkeys occasionally swing from the treetops.

Lake Duluti

This activity is ideal for a day of pure enjoyment, fun, and relaxation. Additionally, you can canoe and take a guided hike around the lake. During the trip, you will discover the lake and learn about its fascinating history, a wide range of species, and its ecology and wildlife.

8. The Cultural Heritage Center

The Cultural Heritage Center is a must-have on your itinerary as it is a center devoted to exploring the numerous treasures drawn from African culture.

The center boasts Africa's most extensive art gallery, known for its exquisite exterior design of a drum, shield, and spear, for local artists to display their artwork. The center is also home to the first ever Jane Goodall Museum to showcase her life's work.

Cultural Heritage Center

Here you can do all kinds of shopping from curios, traditional beads, and clothing to all types of jewelry, including Tanzanite. The restaurant and cafes in the center also serve up wholesome meals. The restaurant offers various meals, including African cuisine, as a buffet or a la carte.

9. Maji Moto Hot springs

The Maji Moto (hot water in Swahili) spring or oasis is located outside of the city in the middle of a dry Maasai region.

Due to its exceptional surroundings, which feature clear, warm waters surrounded by magnificent palm and fig trees, the oasis stands out as one of the top attractions.

Maji Moto Hot springs

To get to Maji Moto, you would have to travel for an hour and a half outside Arusha. Here, you can go swimming, enjoy a great picnic, and enjoy the stunning surroundings.

10. National Natural History Museum: Old Boma Museum

If you're curious to discover more about the history of Arusha, this is the place to go. Presently, the museum presents the history, nature, culture, and human evolution of the city, as well as discoveries from the well-known Olduvai Gorge and the Laetoli sites.

One can anticipate learning about human evolution, and Arusha's past as a German colony, and experience an exhibition of images of wildlife and mountains of Arusha over the years. 

Old boma house National Museum

Art enthusiasts can enroll in lessons in painting and drum-making, among other arts and crafts. The museum also has a section dedicated to studying insects, a mini-zoo, a mini-botanical garden, and a snake exhibition.

11. Shanga

Using recycled materials, the company Shanga (Swahili for "Beads") employs people with disabilities to make one-of-a-kind, finely crafted jewelry, glassware, and home goods. 

The proceeds from selling these items go toward expanding the possibilities to hire more individuals with disabilities. They are sold in Tanzania at the Shanga shop and throughout the rest of the world.

Shanga

Shopping here will support a local business while benefiting Arusha's underprivileged community. Over 60 people with disabilities are now proudly employed by Shanga as a result of the company's current exponential growth.

12. Maasai Market

Street shoppers will find paradise at the Maasai Market. Visitors are in for a treat with more than 100 stalls selling everything from regional arts and crafts to trinket jewelry close to the Arusha Clock Tower.

This vibrant market is a must-see and perfect for people who enjoy bargaining. Visit the markets and buy locally made trinkets to bring home to support the local Maasai community.

Arusha Maasai Market

13. Meserani Snake Park

Meserani Snake Park is a must-see if you're seeking a thrilling adventure. The park, which is 25 kilometers from Arusha town, provides a variety of activities and guided tours on some of the world's most rare and poisonous snakes. 

You can hold a real live snake and capture a memorable moment for adventurous guests. The park also has some exotic bird and reptile species, crocodiles, and other wild animals that you can see.

Meserani Snake Park

You can also have a beautiful tour of the Maasai Cultural Museum at the end of your tour with your Maasai guide, where you can dress in authentic Maasai attire and take pictures to preserve your experience.

14. Mount Meru Waterfall

One of the most visited sights in Arusha is Mount Meru. You can hire a knowledgeable guide to accompany you on a trip to Mount Meru's waterfalls, and they will provide background information on the region's wildlife and history.

On your walk to the waterfall, you will encounter a lot of lovely flowers and other plants because the soils on the hills are highly fertile. The guide will discuss the customs of the local community of people that live near Mount Meru.

Mt. Meru Waterfalls

The stunning waterfall is situated on Mount Meru's slopes, and after a 45-minute journey through the mountain's untamed wilderness, you will reach the magical falls. 

15. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is regarded as one of Tanzania's most alluring pastimes. Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi are the three cones that makeup Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano.

With a height of 4,877 meters, it is the highest mountain in Africa. One needs to be in the top physical condition and have the right mindset to deal with the effects of altitude to reach the summit.

Mountain Kilimanjaro

The Moshi or Arusha side of the mountain can be the starting point for the hike. Umbwe, Machame, and Marangu are the routes that are frequently taken. These are the most rated activities while in Arusha.

Get more ideas on what to do in the Arusha Travel Guide.

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