Tanzania offers East Africa’s most dramatic combination of scenery, wildlife and culture.
Tanzania is a land of extremes. Here, you’ll find the “Roof of Africa,” Mount Kilimanjaro; Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria; the world’s oldest human fossils in Olduvai Gorge, and the world’s largest migration in the Serengeti. From glacier covered peaks to tropical coastlines, and tribal warriors to Arab businessmen, this is one destination that has something for everyone. Not only does Tanzania have more national parks than any other country on the continent, but the parks here are the most diverse.
The northern circuit includes the Serengeti National Park in the northern circuit is world renowned, and plays host to the annual wildebeest migration, a spectacle not to be missed. Ngorongoro Crater which is truly one of the most unique places on Earth. It is renowned both for its geological splendor, and for being a natural reserve which is home to some of the densest large mammal populations found anywhere in Africa. Lake Manyara National Park, the small, yet spectacular safari park that sits between the Great Rift Valley’s steep Western escarpment and the Lake Manyara, a shallow alkaline lake. This park adds a highlight to any safari vacation with its resident Hippopotamus and Flamingo populations. Tarangire National Park is an excellent park: with abundant game and very varied bird-life.
The Southern Circuit covers huge areas and offer great game-viewing in remote areas. Some attraction includes Selous Game Reserve which is arguably Africa’s largest game reserve. Selous offers some of best big game safaris in Tanzania. The reserve harbors one of the most significant concentrations of elephant, black rhinoceros, cheetah, giraffe, hippopotamus and crocodile, amongst many other species. It also has an exceptionally high variety of habitats including Miombo woodlands, open grasslands, riverine forests and swamps. In the heart of Tanzania, Ruaha National Park makes a great extension to a Selous safari. It’s well known for its varied dramatic scenery, which includes rolling hills; large open plains; groves of skeletal baobabs and along its southern border, the Great Ruaha River, from which the park gets its name. Mikumi and Udzungwa national parks which are best for the well-traveled enthusiast. Mikumi National Park is small reserve with some lovely scenery and offers a gentle game experience – ideal for a two-night stop and a good base for day-trips to the Udzungwa Mountains. Mikumi shares a border and its game populations with the Selous, so you’ll find plenty here, including elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, impala and buffalo. Part of an ancient group of mountain ranges which stretch across Tanzania and Kenya, known as ‘The Eastern Arc’, the Udzungwa are the most extensive mountain range in Tanzania. They were formed at least 100 million years ago and many endemic species have evolved here, making them something of ‘an African Galapagos’. Local taboos have helped to preserve the wildlife, and now this national park protects almost 20% of the Udzungwa Mountains.
The western circuit has the following to offer; Katavi National Park which is one of Africa’s most remote safari parks, Katavi has excellent game, including prolific buffalo and lion, and an unbeatable feeling of wilderness. Mahale Mountains National Park which is totally different from Tanzania’s safari parks, Mahale is a thickly-forested and mountainous. On one side is the vast Lake Tanganyika, and the odd superb beach; but come because it’s Africa’s best to watch wild chimpanzees at close quarters as it is home to around 1,000 chimpanzees.
Tanzania is definitely one place not to be missed on any African vacation. With its region-specific flora and fauna, this is not only a destination for an exciting adventure, but it’s also a place that will remain in the hearts of any traveler.