Planning to visit Tanzania for your safari tour? You’re probably wondering what the best parks areto include in your itinerary. With 16 national parks, three game reserves, and two marine reserves, there is no shortage of options at your disposal so get ready to cross out a few items on your bucket list. Here’s some of the top parks in Tanzania to consider:
The Serengeti National Park is the oldest and most famous park in Tanzania. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Every year millions of wildebeest, thousands of gazelle and zebra migrate from there to the Masai Mara Reserve. If you’re looking forward to a topnotch wildlife viewing experience, then the Serengeti is definitely the place to visit. You can expect to see major safari animals such as cheetah, leopard, hyena, buffalo, elephant, porcupine jackal and others.
The best time to go depends on what you expect to see at that period. Wildlife viewing is best from June to October. You can experience the amazing wildebeest migration around during this period as well. Predators are very much active in late January or February. The Serengeti also boasts stunning scenery that encompasses grassland plains in the southeast, forests and rivers in the west, and hills and rocks all over the north. You can also sign up for hot air balloon safaris in the park and experience the very best seat in the house - the air.
Right in the Manyara region of Tanzania, the Tarangire National Park offers a safari experience you don't want to miss out on. Its name originates from the Tarangire river which serves as a source of water for wild animals in the area. It has a huge concentration of animals and offers a quiet viewing experience. You should look forward to viewing elephants, wildebeest, cheetahs, zebra, buffalo, gazelle, leopard, eland, dwarf mongoose, Oryx and some of the finest birds.
The best time for you to visit the Tarangire national park is around the peak months, July to October. There are also camping trips and walking safaris within the park. Choose from a variety of lodging options such as Swalla, Oliver's camp, Tarangire Treetops, and Tarangire Sopa among many others.
Lake Manyara National Park is located near the Great Rift valley around the Manyara and Arusha region. The park has such beautiful scenery that you will definitely be busy clicking away on your camera. It is known for its flamingos, soda-ash lake, tree-climbing lions, hippos, antelopes, gazelles, baboons, awesome birdlife and elephants. Although the park lacks a high game concentration, some species such as the unique tree-climbing lions are enough reason for you to safari there.
Lake Manyara got its name from the lake. More than half of the park is occupied by the lake with game concentrated on the land along the shores. The peak season, when visitors get to view breathtaking wildlife, is usually around July to October. You can catch fun in the Lake Manyara Park by going on camp safaris, hiking trips, and mountain biking.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located in the Arusha region of Northern Tanzania. It is home to lush forests, mountains, volcanic craters, grassland plains, savannah woodlands, swampland, lakes, and rivers. The Ngorongoro crater is one of the world's largest unbroken calderas and it hosts the largest ungulate herds in the world such as wildebeests, gazelle, and zebras. Predators like cheetahs, leopards, spotted hyenas and lions can be seen here too.
More than 400 species of birds live in the Ngorongoro conservation area. It is usually very busy all-round the year with excellent game viewing opportunities. You can also interact with the local Maasai tribe and get to know more about their fascinating culture.
You can witness the wonder of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest snow-capped mountain, at the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. The montane forest contains various plant species and primates such as the black and white Columbus monkeys. There are a lot of mountain climbing routes as well as cycling routes. Climbing the Kilimanjaro mountain offers the best experience at peaks such as the Kibo peak and the Shira peak.
Unique wildlife including the vervet monkey, honey badger, bushbaby, elands, elephants, genet cats, and aardvarks can be found at the Shira plateau plains. The park also boasts over 150 bird species and you can have a pretty good bird watching time from November to April when migratory birds are there. The best time to visit the Kilimanjaro National Park is from mid-June to October and also from December to March.
The Arusha National Park is situated around the Moshi and Arusha towns in Tanzania. It's a relatively small park but it hosts diverse wildlife such as zebra, elephants, wildebeests, hippos, and buffalos. It also has the world's largest giraffe population. The Arusha national park is blessed with an open savannah, rainforest, acacia scrubland and alpine conditions on Mountain Meru.
The best time for viewing games is from June to October. Visitors can watch the birds all year round but preferably between November and April. Visitors enjoy walking safaris, canoe safaris, picnicking, game drives and climbing Mt Meru. It's a trip destination that you can fully experience during the day.
There you have it. Now you can make an informed decision on your travel plans for Tanzania and select the parks that best meet your style and needs.
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The Serengeti is the most iconic safari destination in Tanzania and probably the African continent. A true definition of Nature’s perfection spread as far as the eye can see. Here's how you can make the most out of your visit.