Tanzania has one of the most fascinating topography marked by endless stretches of wildlife-rich savannah plains, towering mountains, a variety of salty and fresh water lakes as well as other features like waterfalls and rocky landscape. Whereas most tourists will explore the vastness of Tanzania landscape on roadtrips a lot of fascinating experience may be a preserve for aerial views which can best be achieved in a heli safari. In this guide we shall talk about some of the most sought heli flights in Tanzania.
Kilimanjaro & Ngorongoro flight
This one of the scenic heli flights in Tanzania taking you through two of the most outstanding natural formations in Tanzania mt kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro crater. Some of the scenic sites include:
- Kilimanjaro. Soon as you depart from Arusha emerges vistas of the cone shaped mountain shrouded by alluring rainforests. Whizzing round the mountain you are able to identify more details like the misty Marangu cascades hidden in the forest and the mountain climbing routes.
- Lake chala. As you drift further on the north eastern Kilimanjaro emerges a small jade lake in an almost perfect round caldera straddling the Kenya and Tanzania border.
- Karatu slopes and Malanja depression. Entering the Ngorongoro through the south eastern side of the conservation area you will come across the scenic Karatu and Malanja settlements. From here you will also have pleasing views of Lake eyasi further in south.
- Ngorongoro crater. The Ngorongoro crater emerges as the helicopter drift pointing north westly. Here you will enjoy the sights of some of the most iconic big game of Africa and large concentrates of flamingos in a small lagoon.
- Embulbul depression and Mt Loolmalsin. Drifting further north emerges the incredible savannah depression abreast the forested Mt loolmalsin.
- Empakai crater. Overlooking Mt loolmalsin to the north is small perfectly round crater set out amidst lush rainforest and which has a picturesque flamingo jade lake covering almost the entire floor.
Lake Natron Southern Serengeti, Maswa, Lake Eyasi, Lake Manyara flight
This is the perfect flight to follow the unending great wildebeest migration in the southern Serengeti region and some of the most iconic lakes in the northern Tanzania. Additionally, this flight entails great vistas of the great rift valley and some of its volcanoes. Some of these features include:
- Ol Donyo Lengai. The helicopter point westwards as you drift towards lake Natron from Arusha airport. Soon after a perfectly round volcano with a fresh active crater emerges with vistas of a lunar coloured lake on the other end.
- Lake Natron. Lake natron in its characteristic lunar surface is one of the most unique lakes in the great rift valley. Since the helicopter will be hovering low you will be able to sight some flamingos in clustering their breeding sites. Lake Natron is the world’s largest flamingo breeding location accounting for up to 75% of the world total population.
- Incredible southern Serengeti flora, landscape and the calving. Whizzing more westwards emerges the southern plains Serengeti game reserve. Southern Serengeti features some of the most incredible vegetation cover from the unending lush savannah plains to the alluring savannah woodlands. The southern flight also features fascinating vistas of the western Ngorongoro conservation area. Lake Ndutu a small soda lake in the area is a popular bird haven with large concentrates of flamingos occasionally settling in the water surface giving it a fascinating aerial plumage colour. If you are having the ride over the green season you will also enjoy the sweeping view of the dramatic calving season.
- Maswa game reserve. The wildlife-rich maswa plain straddling Serengeti to the north, Ngorongoro conservation area to the east and Lake eyasi enjoy some incredibly alluring aerial views. From the animals grazing in the open plains to
- Lake Eyasi. Further south is the a deep blue lake emerges tucked in a spectacular green vegetation. The lake is one of the flamingo havens in the region and you could be lucky to encounter some.
- Lake Manyara. Drifting back towards Arusha is the spectacular lake set on the edge of the great rift valley with vistas of the densely wooded walls of the great rift valley and sweeping savannah plains surrounding the lake.
Selous game reserve/Morongoro flight
The approximately 45 minutes flight from Arusha takes you through the vastness of the 54000 square kilometres wastelands in the southern Tanzania region and other incredible landscapes in morongoro. This flight enables you access some of the remotest location in the expansive park where only trekkers can access overland. Some of the highlights in this trip include:
- Lake manze, lake Nzerakera, lake siwandu and Lake Mzizima. The first feature you encounter as you enter selous conservation area is the oxbow lakes Lake Nzerankera and Lake Manze in the northern edge of the park. The aerial scenes are quite fascinating with large concentrates of wildlife on the lake basin and incredible sights of the palm forest and miombo woodlands.
- River Rufiji. Following the course of the magical Rufiji river leads to home other edxciting sights of sand banks, smaller lakes, water lagoons and channels. The river basin is breathtaking with varieties of wildlife converging in the ever green vegetation.
- Udzungwa mountain. Having whizzed round the you exit this extensive wilderness from the south western end pointing the scenic Udzungwa mountains with pleasing views of densely forested ridges, misty cascades and rivers. From here the heli heads northwards to Arusha.
- Ruaha, mt Hanang, Rungwa flight
This flights leads to the less explored game parks in the south-central part of Tanzania with an en route flight above the scenic mt Hanang and the salunga swamps. Some of the incredible features in this flight include:
- Mt Hanang. Mt Hanang is the first major feature that emerges as you drift southwards from Arusha rising from katesh town and with vistas view of Lake balangida and the sloping rift valley escapements. The mountain has a very spectacular landscape with a diverse vegetation and rocky terrains.
- Lake Sulunga. Also biha swamps. This is a shallow seasonal lake set in the west of Dodoma city. The lake and its vicinity features alluring aerial landscape with beautiful kopje and dense forest against the vistas of settlements in Dodoma.
- Ruaha. The flight follows the course of the greater ruaha from the northern end of park. Flanked by incredible game scenes, sights of hippos and lush vegetation on the river basin the aerial view is quite pleasing as you descend southward. Stopover in the central region before diverting westwards.
- Rungwa Game reserve. Diverting northwards for Arusha emerges the wildlife-rich Rungwa reserve. With rugged hills and mountains the view of the landscape is breathtaking.
Mahale mountains, lake Tanganyika, Lake Rukwa and Mbeya ranges flight
This flight leads to the southmost parts of Tanzania where not many tourists visit. Featuring endless tropical forest, some of Africa most scenic lakes and breathtaking mountainous the trip is one of its kind. Some of the features in the flight path include:
- Mahale forest. Set on the eastern shorelines of lake Tanganyika is the incredibly beautiful rainforest spread out a range of mountains dropping to the lake shorelines.
- Lake Tanganyika. Drifting from above the ranges emerges a long azure waters lake with incredible pristine coastline.
- Lake Katavi. Angling further southwards is the incredible wildlife-rich Katavi wildernesses seemingly untouched by civilization. The view of the lake at the heart of the park surrounded by sweeping savannah plains is also very stunning.
- Lake Rukwa. Southwards from Lake Katavi is another large and incredibly alluring deep blue water lake.
- Mbeya forest. Then emerges a range of mountains covered by dense forest and undiscovered crater lake on its peak. The ranges extend to Lake Malawi another long deep blue lake with great vistas of the rolling mountains in Malawi across.