Arusha National Park is one of the lesser-known safari destinations in Tanzania. Situated just a short drive from Arusha and Moshi, Arusha National Park is one of Tanzania’s most convenient parks and is a fantastic destination for a day trip. At just over 200 square miles, Arusha National Park has great wildlife densities, and it is home to the world’s largest population of giraffe.
Some people consider this a sister park to Kilimanjaro which is just east of Arusha National Park. It is common for visitors to visit both parks, particularly those who have an affinity for mountains. Although the park is small for national park standards, it is diverse with facets of nature. ↓
There are three unique areas in the park. The Meru Crater is located in the western part of the park and it provides runoff into the Jekukumia River. The summit is located atop the rim of the crater.
The surrounding forest at the base of the mountain is home to varied wildlife and an abundance of birds. There are around 400 species of birds which makes this park a birdwatcher’s paradise.
The entrance gate leads into a shadowy montane forest inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys and colorful turacos and trogons – the only place on the northern safari circuit where the acrobatic black-and-white colobus monkey is easily seen. Other wildlife includes buffalo, bushbuck, elephant, warthog, and zebra. Leopards are also present but very hard to find.
Lake Manyara National Park well known for the tree climbing lions, the soda ash lake that attracts thousands and pink flamingos, and one of Tanzania’s biggest elephant population. Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-meter 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”.
Lake Manyara National Park is located 126 km (78 mi) south west of Arusha and can be reached by car in an hour and a half. The park can also be reached from Babati the capital of Manyara Region. Lake Manyara Airport is nearby.
Manyara 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.
Lake Manyara has also has a lot off elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, impalas, waterbucks, and warthogs, leopards can be found within the scattered forests and escarpment, and also the well known population of lions.
In addition, you will not fail to notice the very large number of baboons in this park which can live in sizeable troops of up to 200 members.
Located slightly off the main safari route, Tarangire National Park is a lovely, quiet park in Northern Tanzania. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses the park. The Tarangire River is the primary source of fresh water for wild animals in the Tarangire Ecosystem during the annual dry season. The Tarangire Ecosystem is defined by the long-distance migration of wildebeest and zebras.
Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest, and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons↓
It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.
The swamps, tinged green year-round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world.
The landscape and vegetation of the park is incredibly diverse, the enormous baobabs and acacias in the hilly areas are interspersed with large swamps, where you can spot tree climbing lions and leopards. A beautiful location in the Tarangire National Park is the Silale swamp. Fed by natural springs, it is an oasis of lush green grass all year round. Many of the animals you see here are covered with mud because they are standing to their waists in the water to reach for the best shoots
The Ngorongoro Crater lies at the center of the fascinating and unusual Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This area has an extraordinary volcanic landscape that is rich and fertile, with stunning craters and lakes. Whereas its high altitude creates a malaria-free micro climate, it extends through the Crater Highlands, in which local tribes are permitted to maintain their traditional lifestyles in as natural an environment as possible.
The Ngorongoro Crater is said to have the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa. As such, it has achieved world renown and attracts a growing number of visitors each year. Even if time is limited this natural but accessibly small caldera ensures a rewarding safari. ↓
The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact caldera in an exceptional geographical position, forming a spectacular bowl of about 265 sq km with sides up to 600m deep. It is the stalking ground of 20 – 30,000 wild animals at any one time.
Ngorongoro Crater is also presently one of the most likely areas in Tanzania to see the endangered Black Rhino, as a small population is thriving in this idyllic and protected environment one of the only areas where they continue to breed in the wild.
Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th worldwide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala, and Grant’s gazelle.
Serengeti National Park was one of the first sites listed as a World Heritage Site when United Nations delegates met in Stockholm …↓
in 1981. Already by the late 1950s, this area had been recognised as a unique ecosystem, providing us with many insights into how the natural world functions and showing us how dynamic ecosystems really are.
Today, most visitors come here with one aim alone: to witness millions of wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and elands on a mass trek to quench their thirst for water and eat fresh grass. During this great cyclical movement, these ungulates move around the ecosystem in a seasonal pattern, defined by rainfall and grass nutrients. These large herds of animals on the move can’t be witnessed anywhere else. Whereas other famous wildlife parks are fenced, the Serengeti is protected, but unfenced. Giving animals enough space to make their return journey, one that they’ve been doing for millions of years.