Tandala shares it’s name with a safari camp in Ruaha which often confuses people – this camp couldn’t be further from Ruaha if it tried – based near Lake Natron which borders Kenya this extraordinary safari camp is one that should be sold very carefully – it is not for the faint hearted. It is steaming hot, with hardly any let up despite the wind during the night. In the green season it gets easier but you must be prepared to have lazy afternoons watching the horizon, rather than game drives or walks. There are the negatives laid out in front of you, but we believe the following points will have your attention swinging back to a luxury safari at Tandala any minute.
Firstly the landscape is truly hauntingly beautiful, nothing can compare to the rugged and raw rocky outcrops, rolling hills, Ol Donyo Lengai (Tanzania’s only active volcano) and vast expanse of remote bush. In fact if you drive there from Arusha you drive on tarmac for an hour before hitting a sandy road through the bush. Secondly the bird life here is out of this world, bee eaters fly delicately from branch to branch, African hoopoe are seen regularly and Verreaux’s Eagle Owl are here in large numbers. You will also be watching these birds alone since there is truly no one else here but you. This luxury safari camp is only an hours drive through the bush to Lake Natron where flocks of ostrich and flamingo adorn the horizon and a truly spectacular little eco-system exists.
There are also species of game here that you wouldn’t see anywhere else including the mystical gerenuk – this is the only place in Tanzania where one can find this amazing long necked relation of the giraffe. You will also see good kudu here which are hard to find in other parts of Tanzania. Walking here is fantastic as dry riverbeds and sandy tracks make for easy progress – the staff here are some of the most welcoming and charming we have met and William our walking guide was to die for, collecting the odd discarded porcupine quill for us and with a smile that could melt any heart.
Tandala Safari Camp is also a fantastic option for those who want true culture – here you can have a truly authentic cultural experience without other tourists and with a section of the Masai still living completely traditionally. This is a humbling and magical experience which many don’t have on a luxury safari but when persuaded can actually be the highlight of the whole safari.
The landscape at Tandala is certainly one that is not comparable to anywhere else in Africa and it just inspires you to want to walk, here the Masai walk far and wide herding their sheep and cows and you will feel the desire to push yourself. We don’t believe anyone can sit in a luxury camp like Tandala and not feel inspired and the need to walk and get out into the bush. What a special place.