Tanzania

Tanzania is the biggest of the East African countries and is in central, bordered by Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. There is also coastline on the Indian Ocean. Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa’s deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.

Tanzania has various tourist attractions to offer and contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, which include:

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park in the north is the oldest and most popular national park in Tanzania. It is famous for its annual wildebeests’ and Zebra great migration, during which predators like lions and huge numbers of cheetah, leopard and hyena are anxiously waiting to grab a meal. Serengeti also offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands of elands, Topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle. The Park has four separate sections, each with its own unique features and landscapes: The Southern Plains, Seronera (Central), Western Corridor, and Northern Serengeti.

The most common activities include Game drives for wildlife viewing, Hot air balloon safaris, walking safaris, picnicking, Camping, Lodging, Cultural tourism, visit neighbouring Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano and Lake Natron’s flamingos.

Lion - Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Tent Accomodation - Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Conservation

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area stretches from the crater Highlands up to the Serengeti and the northern shore of Lake Eyasi. Approximately 3 million years ago Ngorongoro erupted, covering the Serengeti with ash, leaving a large crater in the centre of the mountain. The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact caldera in the world, with a diameter of about 18 km and an area of 260 km2. Ngorongoro is the best place in Tanzania to see the big five.  A huge population of black rhino and some of the largest tusker elephants left in Africa today are the prize spots, but the Crater is also home to strong populations of lion, leopard, and hyena along with good herds of wildebeest, buffalo, and zebra.  Other game in the Ngorongoro includes serval cat, cheetah, jackal, Grant’s, and Thompson’s gazelle, flamingo and bat eared foxes along with approximately 400 species of bird.

Activities inside the Ngorongoro Crater itself are limited to game driving only.  There are also picnic spots in the park.  A full range of activities is however on offer in the wider Ngorongoro Conservation Area, including walking, trekking, excursions to Olduvai Gorge and visiting the Masai and other tribes.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is the 6th largest national park in Tanzania and covers approximately 2,600 square miles (6,700 km2). It lies to the south of a large open grass plain in southern Masai land, 70 miles (115 kms) from Arusha town. Tarangire is commonly famous for its abundant birdlife which is the best place for birders. There are also large herds of elephants, and other animals that can be seen include buffalo, giraffe, zebra, elands, warthogs, gernuks and impalas. Huge magnificent baobab trees, the Tarangire River, and volcanic mountain ranges add to the scenic view of this unique national park.

Activities in Tarangire National Park include Guided walking safaris, day trips to Maasai and Barabaig villages, as well as to the hundreds of ancient rock paintings in the vicinity of Kolo on the Dodoma Road.

Elephants - Tanzania

9 Days Kilimanjaro climb

9 Days Great Migration Safari

10 Days Best of Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro - Tanzania

Mountain Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain on earth. Crowned with an everlasting snow-cap, this majestic mountain can be found inside the Kilimanjaro National Park. The mountain Size is 1668 sq. km /641 sq. miles and its one of the seven summits (the highest peaks on each of the seven continents). Mt Kilimanjaro rises 5,895 meters or 19,340 feet above sea level. It is a dormant volcano, and its last eruption was 200 – 300 years ago. Comprised of three cones – Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The highest point is on the Kibo cone and is named Uhuru, which means freedom in Swahili.

Hiking the mountain to the top peak is the most common activity done by both experienced and beginning climbers.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is one of the finest and most interesting parks of Tanzania with many wild animals. The park covers only 330 km2 – small compared to other Tanzanian parks – of which two-third is water. Like most other lakes of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara is a shallow soda lake that is fed by groundwater and depending on the season varies in size. The rest is a thin strip of land located between the lake and the rocks and which can only be reached by a few roads. The park and the lake owe their name to the manyara-scrub, which is used by the Maasai to protect their fields. Lake Manyara’s game includes good numbers of elephant, buffalo, and wildebeest along with plenty of giraffes. Also prolific in number are zebra, waterbuck, warthog, and impala. The birdlife here is exceptionally varied. In the middle of the lake, you’ll often see flocks of pelicans and the pink-shading of distant flamingos, whilst the margins and floodplains feed innumerable herons, egrets, stilts, stalks, spoonbills, and other waders.

Activities in the park include: Game drives, canoeing when the water levels are sufficiently high, cultural tours to visit the Masai communities, mountain bike tours, and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park.

Buffalo - Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
Leopard - Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park is in central Tanzania, 120 km away from the town of Iringa. It is the second largest (20,000 km²) park in the country after the Serengeti. The park is well known for its unique scenery of large open plains and groves of skeletal baobabs. Along its southern border is the great Ruaha river which is by far the most dominant geographical feature of the national park.

There is a variety of wildlife species in the park which are widespread in the south such as buffalo, zebra, Defassa waterbuck, impala, bushbuck, giraffe, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, greater kudu, and the sable antelope. It is also home to the largest elephant population found in any of Tanzania’s national parks, with some 12,000 elephants migrating through the greater Ruaha ecosystem each year. You can also find predators like lions, cheetah, leopards, spotted hyena among others. Ruaha’s birdlife is extraordinary, with over 580 species sighted in the park. You will find the black-collared lovebird and ashy starlings, and along the rivers expect to find water birds like goliath herons, saddle-billed storks, white-headed plovers, and the white-backed night heron.

Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park is a small reserve west of Morogoro town. Mikumi shares a border and its game populations with the Selous, so you’ll find plenty here, including elephants, giraffe, wildebeest, zebras, warthog, impala, and buffalo. The vast Mkata plain is often a good place to search for lions, whilst the lucky will spot a leopards or even wild dogs. Amongst the larger attractions in the park are the primate species which include the red colobus monkey, the black and white Angola colobus, Blue and Vervet monkeys and yellow baboons are also common. More than 400 species of birds live here, including many regional endemics like the Udzungwa forest partridge, which was new to science in 1991. There are also endemic amphibians, reptiles, and butterflies.

Monkey - Tanzania

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is a small park of 137 km² but has remarkable sights including the fourth highest mountain in Africa: Mount Meru (4566m). The park has breath-taking landscapes ranging from the Meru Crater in the west, the Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east, to the grasslands and the Momella lakes in the north-east. Animals which can be found in the park, amongst others, are the black & white Colobus monkeys, small predators, giraffes, elephants, and buffaloes.

There is a range of activities to do in the park. You can opt for walking safaris which are always accompanied by a ranger and last for a maximum of four hours, you can also go for game drives to explore the park more, taking in some of the lovely views and keeping an eye out for wildlife. Canoeing safari is also common and allows you to explore the Momela Lakes.

Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve is found in southern Tanzania and is the largest game reserve in Africa with the largest concentration of wildlife. Buffalo numbers are estimated at 120,000–150,000, 40,000 hippo and 4,000 lions. The Selous is also home to an estimated 100,000 wildebeest, 35,000 zebra, 25,000 impala and significant herds of giraffe, greater kudu, waterbuck, bushbuck, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and eland, huge populations of crocodile, hippo, spotted hyena and leopard. At the heart of the Game Reserve, Tanzania’s largest river, the Rufiji, forms a complex network of channels, lakes and swamps that create one of the most outstanding ecological systems in East Africa. This river splits the reserve into two different sections: The Northern Selous which covers only around 5% of the reserve’s total area. There is no hunting allowed here, and it is dedicated exclusively to photographic safaris. On the other hand, the Southern Selous which is south of the Rufiji is split up into several ‘hunting blocks’ – each of which typically covers about 1,000km².

Game viewing activities are available in the park. These activities are either by boat, vehicle or on foot. Boat safaris allow you to drift on the lakes and channels, approaching birds and animals closely, including crocodile and hippo. Game drives are reliably rewarding, especially towards the end of the dry season when large mammals concentrate around the five lakes.

Hippos - Tanzania

At Heritage Explorers, we will arrange your African holiday safari to Tanzania according to your interests. Are you interested in following the great migration in the famous Serengeti, wildlife tours, Birding safaris, cultural and community safaris, photography, beach holidays, mountain hiking/mountaineering, or Forest Hikes? Do you prefer a ‘calm’ safari or an adventurous safari? Whatever it is, you will find it here!

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