Why go to Tanzania
Tanzania is home to the third tallest mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro; the world’s second deepest lake, Tanganyika; the greatest concentration of Lion in the world at Ngorongoro Crater; and the greatest migration of animals on earth found on the open plains of the Serengeti. Over and above all of this, there is also the Spice Island of Zanzibar, with incredible beaches, fascinating history, Arabian architecture and a mecca of other delights from romantic dhows to swimming with dolphins. This is the destination that will include first class game viewing, incredible adventure and pristine beaches to unwind.
Where to go in Tanzania
Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater
Teeming herds of plains game and the greatest concentration of predators on earth. Serengeti means ‘endless plains’ and the unending horizon and sense of limitless space will take your breath away. Ngorongoro is the crater of a collapsed volcano and definitely deserves its reputation as one of the natural wonders of the world. The crater was also designed to be able to accommodate both the Masai communities and the tourists and the villages (Manyattas) and the striking red robed herdsman can be seen all over this captivating landscape. Also home to Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind.
A dormant volcano on the Roof of Africa. One of the few peaks in the world that can be reached without technical gear. Kili has several routes with varying degrees of difficulty, which one can choose from to reach the summit.
Selous Game Reserve
Largest Game Park in Africa and the second largest in the world. Known as a game reserve and not a national park, this allows one to view game from walks and the river on boat cruises. One is also allowed to camp here. Known as one of the most unspoilt of the parks.
Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains National Parks
Made famous by Jane Goodall, the world renowned primatologist. There are no roads in the area, so all your chimpanzee spotting will be done on foot. A relative level of fitness is needed.
Known as the spice island for its export of cloves, it also had a roaring slave trade. The Arabian architecture can be seen all over the island, especially in Stone Town, which was home to Sultans. There are Sandy beaches, pristine forests and incredible coral reefs.
When to go to Tanzania
There are two rainy seasons in Tanzania. The long rains are from late February to March and the short rains stretch from October through to December. Many roads are impassable during the rainy seasons, but the beaches are open all year round and along the coastline the weather can be hot and humid. The highlands of Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro can have temperatures below freezing. Kilimanjaro continuously has a snow capped peak.
For updated weather forecasts across Africa, please visit www.africanweather.net
Tanzania National Parks
ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
The closest national park to Arusha town – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Arusha National Park is a multi-faceted jewel, often overlooked by safarigoers, despite offering the opportunity to explore a beguiling diversity of habitats within a few hours. The entrance gate leads into shadowy montane forest inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys and colourful turacos and trogons – the only place on the northern safari circuit where the acrobatic black-and-white colobus monkey is easily seen. In the midst of the forest stands the spectacular Ngurdoto Crater, whose steep, rocky cliffs enclose a wide marshy floor dotted with herds of buffalo and warthog. Further north, rolling grassy hills enclose the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes, each one a different hue of green or blue. Their shallows sometimes tinged pink with thousands of flamingos, the lakes support a rich selection of resident and migrant waterfowl, and shaggy waterbucks display their large lyre-shaped horns on the watery fringes. Giraffes glide across the grassy hills, between grazing zebra herds, while pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dart into scrubby bush like overgrown hares on spindly legs.
From June to November the greatest concentration of animals can be found in the
Central Serengeti. This valley offers varied landscapes as well as a high density of game
year round. From here you can enjoy a magnificent balloon safari.
The Serengeti hosts the largest concentration of wildlife in the world, and is home to one
of the great wonders of the natural world, the Great Migration. Over a million wildebeest
and some 600,000 zebra move through the eco-system, with lion, leopard, cheetah,
hyena, wild dog and crocodiles making sure only the strongest survive. The sheer
volume of numbers combined with the daily dramas of life and death make this an
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience. Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views. Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobob strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds. The park provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers 8,292 square kilometers. It is one of the three divisions that comprise Ngorongoro District in Arusha Region. NCA was established in 1959 by the NCA Ordinance No 413 of 1959 as a multiple land use area, designated to promote the conservation of natural resources, safeguard the interests of NCA indigenous residents and promote tourism. NCA is a unique protected area in the whole of Africa because conservation of natural resources is integrated with human development. The main feature of the NCA are the Ngorongoro Crater, The Serengeti Plains that support about 2.0 million migratory wildlife species of the Serengeti Mara-ecosystem and the catchment forest; the Northern Highland Forest Reserve (NHFR) known as ‘Entim Olturot’ in Maa language.
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Located slightly off the main safari route, Tarangire National Park is a lovely quiet park in Northern Tanzania that is most famous for its elephant migration, birding and quiet authentic safari atmosphere. With a game viewing area that is roughly ten times the size of nearby Manyara and a concentration of game that is exceptional from July through to October, this seasonal Tanzania safari park is a little gem on the Northern safari circuit, especially if you love elephants! During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But Tarangire’s mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry. The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world.
RUBONDO ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
The largest island national park in the whole of Africa, Rubondo Island is found in Lake
Victoria (the largest lake in Africa!). 80% of the island is covered in thick dense tropical
forest, and it’s become a haven for a variety of wildlife. With bird species numbering
over 200, elephant and giraffe roaming the forests, sitatunga antelope hiding in the
papyrus swamps and crocodile and hippo filling the lake, this island has become a wild
safari destination – with a rather Jurassic Park feel to it.