Tanzania Safari Destinations
Did you know ‘Tanganyika’ means to sail in the wilderness? Being the largest country in East Africa, Tanzania is mountainous and heavily forested in the northeast. It is partly home to the three great lakes in Africa which are;
- Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, which spreads through the north and west.
- Lake Tanganyika, which is the world’s deepest lake. It’s famous for its unique species of fish.
- Lake Nyasa, which lies to the southwest.
Tanzania is home to Kalambo Falls, the second-highest uninterrupted waterfall in Africa, bordering the southern shores of Lake Tanganyika on the Tanzanian border with Zambia. It is also home to the Menai Bay Conservation Area, the largest marine protected area in Zanzibar. Other conservation areas include;
- The Ngorongoro Crater, which has the largest unflooded and unbroken caldera in the world. The crater’s caldera measures about 20kms across, 600 meters deep and 300 sq km in area.
- Amboni Caves, which are believed to have been formed 150 million years ago among others.
With 16 iconic national parks, plus a variety of game and forest reserves, safari enthusiasts will find themselves spoilt for choice. This is because they can choose whether to marvel at the various wildlife forms up close or jump in for a rejuvenating scenic tour expedition or even immerse themselves in a bird-watching affair with hundreds of various bird species on display. oh, it’s sweet to hear this but it’s sweeter to go there, see and embrace it for yourself.
Tarangire National Park
Located in the Manyara Region, Tarangire National Park is the 6th largest national park in Tanzania. Its name originates from the Tarangire River that crosses the park. The river is primarily the source of fresh water for wild animals in the Tarangire ecosystem during the annual dry season. Tarangire ecosystem is defined by the long-distance migration of wildebeest and zebras. During the dry season, thousands of animals concentrate in Tarangire National Park from the surrounding wet-season dispersal and calving areas. Tarangire covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometres (1,100 square miles). Its landscape is composed of granite ridges, rivers, valleys, and swamps. The existing vegetation is a mixture of Acacia woodland, Commiphora-Combretum woodland, seasonally flooded grassland and Baobab trees.
Things to do – Wildlife Experience, Soar Over Tarangire – Balloon Safari, Poacher’s Hide, Bird Watching and Tarangire Swamp
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a protected area and a World Heritage Site located 180 km west of Arusha in the crater highlands area of Tanzania. The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area. The conservation area is administered by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, an arm of the Tanzanian government. Its boundaries follow the boundary of the Ngorongoro Division of the Arusha Region. According to a government brochure, the construction of luxury tourist hotels in the Conservation Area allows people to access the unparalleled beauty of one of the world’s most unchanged wildlife sanctuaries. The main feature of the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority is the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself 2 – 3 million years ago, is 610 metres deep and its floor covers 260 square kilometres. Estimates of the height of the original volcano range from 4,500 to 5,800 metres high. The elevation of the crater floor is 1,800 metres above sea level. The Crater was voted by the Seven Natural Wonders as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa in Arusha, Tanzania in February 2013. There is more to Ngorongoro than meets the eye.
Things to do – Ngorongoro Crater, Laetoli Footprints, Empakai Crater, Oldupai Gorge, Gol Mountains, Lake Magadi and Shifting Sands
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti’s name is derived from the Maasai language, “Serengit” meaning “Endless Plains”. It is located mainly in Northern Tanzania and extends to South-Western Kenya between 1 and 3 degrees south (latitudes) and between 34 and 36 degrees east (longitudes). It spans approximately 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi). The Kenyan part of the Serengeti is known as Maasai Mara. Serengeti hosts the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, an event that has claimed international recognition, hence its placement as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. Serengeti is also renowned for its large lion populations and therefore it’s one of the best places to observe large prides of the African lion in their natural habitat. The region also plays host to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and several other game reserves. Approximately 70 large mammals and 500 bird species are found in Serengeti. This high diversity is a product of diverse habitats, including riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands, and woodlands. Blue wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, and buffalos are some of the commonly found large mammals in the region.
Things to do – Witness the Greatest Wildebeest Migration, Wings over Serengeti – Balloon Safari, Oldupai Gorge, The Moru Kopjes, Serengeti Visitor Centre and Saronera River Valley
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is a wildlife viewing destination which is Located in the northern part of Tanzania, this national park is 126 kilometers west of Arusha Town. Most famous for the tree climbing lion, this is a superb scenic park set around the lake in the Rift Valley, below a high escarpment. The terrain is diverse, including ground water forest and acacia woodlands. The park is sized 330 square kilometers of which 220 sq kilometers form the lake when the water levels are high in the rainy season. It is also known that about two-thirds of the national park is covered by water which makes Lake Manyara a major attraction. The lake is a shallow alkaline water body that attracts different wildlife and bird species along its shores. Lake Manyara national park is characterized by acacia woodlands, savannah grasslands, a forested area, flood plains and also the rocky escarpment of the rift valley. Tree climbing lions can also be seen during safaris in Lake Manyara national park and they are among the unique attractions at the destination.
Things to do – Wildlife Experience, Bird Watching, The Tree-top Canopy Walk, Visit the red-robbed pastoralists
Arusha National Park
The national park is one of the most fascinating and topographically varied protected areas in Tanzania. Mt. Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4562 metres dominates the park with an almost ideal volcanic cone crowning the spectacular crater. The park is home to Ngurdoto crater – often dubbed little Ngorongoro, with its swamp-brimmed floor and lost-world feel. The park alone boasts the world’s biggest population of giraffes. Common animals include giraffe, cape buffalo, zebra, warthog, the black-and-white colobus monkey, the blue monkey, flamingo, elephant, lion and many other African animals. Leopard populations are present but rarely seen. Birdlife in the forest is prolific with many species more easily seen here than elsewhere on the tourist route. Narina trogon and bar-tailed trogon are both possible highlights for visiting bird lovers.
Things to do – Climbing Mount Meru, Canoeing – Momella Lakes, Meserani Snake Park, Clock Tower, Ngurdoto Crater, Themi Falls Leisure Park