Geological Tours

Tours intended for specialists in the field and all those who are interested in the wonders of geology and mineralogy of the area of the territories of Tanzania. Tanzania is rich in precious gems, not least of which is the exquisite blue Tanzanite that is found nowhere else in the world. Another treasure is the Tanzanian Ruby – a glowing red stone of rare appeal. The tour will be conducted by the Local English-speaking geologists.

Our expert will explain in detail the different geological features that we encounter on the trip. We take you to some of the remotest places or minerals spot using private or local vehicles and discover magical areas with daily hiking. We will also cover the main touristic destinations to offer you a complete view of this active volcanic island. For part of the programs we stay in country hotels with private facilities and for part of the program we stay in tents on camping grounds with shared facilities. 

Volcanoes and Volcanic Features:

ol doinyo lengai

It may be hard to believe that the sleepy, benign mountains that reign over the plains are capable of violent eruption, but Tanzania is home to many volcanoes and volcanic features. The iconic Mount Kilimanjaro is located in northeastern Tanzania and boasts the highest peak on the continent, Kibo, at 5,892 meters. Kilimanjaro actually consists of three concentric volcanoes that formed less than a million years ago as a result of the same seismic activity that is forming the African Rift Valley to the north, where Earth’s crust is slowly pulling apart and magma is rising to the surface.

Ol Doinyo Lengai ("Mountain of God" ), about 80km from Ngorongoro Crater, is also within the conservation area. The volcano has had a series of constant eruptions since the mid-1980s, the most recent of which ended only last year. The reason behind these frequent eruptions is that Ol Doinyo Lengai erupts rare natrocarbonatite lava, rich in sodium and potassium carbonate minerals, which allows lava to erupt at a lower temperature than typical silicic lava. Although Ol Doinyo Lengai is steeper than Kilimanjaro, the climb only takes one day (you typically begin your journey at midnight and reach the summit just before dawn). On this volcano, you can get very close to a recent volcanic eruption and witness its violent effects on the surrounding terrain— and you can even see the bubbling bottom of the caldera!

Craters:

Ngorongoro Crater, in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area west of Kilimanjaro, is the caldera of a now-extinct volcano. Within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are four other calderas, the Olmoti Crater (great for safaris on foot), the Empakaai Crater (the soda lake that covers half the crater floor is home to a wide variety of bird life), and the Ol Donyo Lengai Crater. Each crater is unique and boasts a different set of wildlife or geology, making each one worth a visit.

Gorge:

Olduvai Gorge, in the eastern Serengeti Plains, is not only geologically amazing, but it is paleontologically significant as well. Olduvai, sometimes called the “Cradle of Mankind,” is a 48km long gorge that was once a lake with thick layers of volcanic ash on its shores. About 500,000 years ago, seismic activity diverted a stream that began to cut through the layers of volcanic ash; the incision formed the gorge and revealed seven main ash layers, the oldest of which is 5.3 million years old. The earliest artifacts of human ancestors at Olduvai are around two million years old, but fossil remains of early hominins have been dated to as old as 2.5 million years — and fossilized footprints from ancient hominins, dating back to 3.5 million years ago are on display at the nearby Olduvai Gorge Museum.

Mines:

Located in the Merelani Hills in the Manyara Region of northern Tanzania, 70 km (43 mi) south of Arusha, the Mererani Tanzanite Mines are where the blue Tanzanite was first discovered in 1968, and are still mined both by local and large mine operators today.

In 1949, rubies were discovered in the northeastern region of Longido near the Kenyan border. Today the area is known for its red and green "ruby in zoisite," also called "anyolite."

amboni cave

Caves and Coral Cavern:

The Mangapwani Coral Cavern on the island of Zanzibar is a karst cave, meaning that it formed when underground water dissolved surface limestone. The freshwater pool at the cave’s bottom was probably used as drinking water by Zanzibar’s early inhabitants. Vegetation grew over its main entrance, and the cave was forgotten until it was rediscovered as a source of freshwater for the household of a wealthy Arab landowner who sold slaves. After the slave trade was officially abolished in 1873, the Mangapwani caves were still used as a place to hide slaves before they were shipped abroad, an illicit trade that continued for many years after it was officially abolished. Despite the somewhat sinister purpose of the caves, its geology is truly amazing, making it worth a visit.

Chumbe Island Coral Park has been preserved almost perfectly. At this amazing location, tourists can snorkel or scuba dive through the corals to experience the world of the shallow seas first hand. Out of the water, fossil corals line Chumbe beach, uniting the current and ancient ocean worlds. The various nature trails wind through the park and around intertidal pools in which fish breed and crustaceans and mollusks thrive. Chumbe Island Coral Park is a jewel of a pristine coral reef and one that is readily accessible to tourists. 

The Amboni Caves are the most extensive limestone caves in East Africa. They are located 8 km north of Tanga City in Tanzania off the Tanga-Mombasa road. The caves were formed about 150 million years ago during the Jurassic age. It covers an area of 234 km². According to researchers the area was under water some 20 million years ago. There are altogether ten caves but only one is used for guided tours.

Kuumbi, Machaga and Mwanampambe cave are caves found in the village of Jambiani, Pete and Makunduchi in the southern region of Unguja Island. These caves are archaeological sites that include bones, stone tools, ceramics and many other cultural materials. There are cultural findings dating back to 10,000 BC or before. Caves of Zanzibar do not only contain findings of this neolithic period, but some of them provide findings dating back to about 30,000 years ago