Tanzania National Parks provide visitors with numerous natural wonders and is a wildlife paradise. The main attractions of Tanzania Safari are national parks, game reserves, uncountable delightful wildlife, and 1,100 bird species with a diverse landscape.
Tanzania is the home of Mount Kilimanjaro, the volcanic and majestic highest peak in Africa. The uniqueness of Kilimanjaro is it is the tallest free-standing summit in the world.
Not only Kilimanjaro the country offers some more great ranges of mountains. Other mountains you can explore are Mt. Ol Doinyo Lengai, Mount Meru, Usambara Mountain Range, and the Udzungwa Mountains in the country. The Best Time To Visit Tanzania is the dry season from June-September.
As a treasure of natural diversity, Tanzania Safari Destinations can be divided into 4 circuits based on famous natural destinations;
- Western Circuit
- Eastern Circuit
- Northern Circuit
- Southern Circuit
The Northern Circuit of the country is truly blessed with various Tanzania National Parks full of untamed game views, especially, great migration. The parks in this region are accessible and close to each other. Northern circuit’s world-famous parks are Serengeti, Tarangire, Arusha, and Lake Manyara national parks. Tanzania National Parks of the north side offer great opportunities for spotting the African Big Five and birding.
While Northern Tanzania Destinations are great for wildlife viewing throughout the year; Western circuits are great for those who are looking for true adventure and a less crowded Tanzania Safari.
In case of beach relaxation for your vacation, Zanzibar Island or Stone city is an exotic destination for relaxation, fun activities, and honeymoon and water sports activities. You shouldn’t miss these amazing Tanzania Safari Parks for any chance in this lifetime.
Serengeti National Park
A Tanzania Safari Tours is not complete without a safari in the most famous safari park in the world: Serengeti National Park. This park hosts the most extensive population of wild animals on earth and has a complex and untouched ecosystem. Serengeti means “endless plains” in the language of the Maasai, a description that the Serengeti completely lives up to. Even the (long) drive towards your accommodation is one continuous safari! The park is usually described as divided into three regions: Serengeti plains, Western corridor and Northern Serengeti. The latter is where we can witness wildebeest and zebra migrating in their millions during the Great Migration, following the ancient rhythm of Africa’s seasons. This is one of the most impressive natural events in the world. No matter which part of the park and in which season you visit, very few people forget their first encounter with the Serengeti.
En-route Game drive
The Serengeti National Park stretches 14763 square km North of Kenya and borders Lake Victoria to the West. On arrival at this one of a kind National Park, you immediately continue with your game drive en route to your accommodation. This is a great warm-up for what is about to come during your time in this part of the vast plains. Most of the national park is open and grassy. Many visitors get most excited about spotting the wild cats there are many lions in the Serengeti and you have a fair chance to see cheetahs, although they are difficult to spot. We recommend actively helping your ranger search the area. Ultimately, when it comes to good sightings, the Serengeti rarely disappoints!
A full day of Game Drive
Early in the morning, you leave your accommodation for a full day safari! This is when Africa can reveal its cool side, so you should wrap up warm for the start of your day. Your guide will bring you as close as possible to the wildlife. Few predators hunt during the heat of the day, so the early morning is the best time to observe the thrill of the chase. It is also a magical time, with the subtle light dappling the landscape, the birds awakening and the sense of a great adventure beginning to unfurl. You visit the heart of the Serengeti, Seronera Valley. This valley is often termed the ‘classic’ Serengeti; short grass plains with all different kinds of wild animals ranging from the impressive lion to the naughty mongoose. These full day safaris are the best way to see the full range of what this magnificent park has to offer.
Safari in Seronera and the Southern Plains
This safari section is seen as the ‘classic’ Serengeti with a large expanse of open grasslands where different animal species ranging from the majestic lion to the panicky ostrich live.
The Serengeti Plain is punctuated by granite and gneiss outcroppings known as kopjes. These outcroppings are the result of volcanic activity and provide a microhabitat for non-plains wildlife. The Simba and Moru kopjes are home to different troops of lions and have inspired the Disney movie “The Lion King “.
Safari in Lobo and the Northern Serengeti
The quiet northern part of the Serengeti is characterized by refreshing green hills undulating the Kenyan border. Due to the relatively dense vegetation, this area is more difficult for seeing wildlife but gives you a chance to spot leopards.
Though it is best visited in September and October when large numbers of wildebeests and other ungulates migrate in search of food and water, there is plenty to see throughout the year as most of the elephant population of the Serengeti comes here. At the foot of the Lobo hills lions, leopards, cheetahs, and other felines plus hyenas can be encountered. If you have enough time during your safari, try to visit this area.
The Western Passage
The relatively narrow arm of the Serengeti which stretches from the western part of the Seronera Valley almost to the shore of Lake Victoria is much flatter than the other parts. The vegetation of the Western Passage is characterized by woodland, interspersed with areas of open grassland and dense gray whistling thorn acacia trees.
In this part of the park, the tourist traffic is low despite the good opportunities to see wildlife. Between May and July, the famous migrating animals pass through here, but it also draws others from the east, especially in seasons of heavy rain.
Besides a few small isolated mountain ranges, this area is mainly dominated by two rivers: the Grumeti and the Mbalageti. Crossing the Grumeti River is one of the most dramatic parts of the annual wildebeest migration and provides a feast for the dense population of giant crocodiles that inhabit its waters!
Hot air balloon safari
Float in a hot air balloon over the famous Serengeti National Park with its enchanting scenery. This may be the most beautiful area in the world for a balloon flight. There are no power lines, fences and few roads. Your Balloon Safari adventure starts early morning when you depart your lodge or camp. It is still dark and you may be fortunate to see nocturnal animals on the way to the launch site. When you arrive, you will meet your pilot and witness your balloon being inflated and prepared for launch. The capacity is limited making this experience a special and exclusive one. The balloon safari is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the weather conditions. You will end this excursion in style with a champagne bush breakfast in the middle of the park
This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a unique biosphere which has remained virtually unchanged since the dawn of time. There are very few places in the world where you can find such a large population of wildlife throughout the year. Deep within the crater, enclosed by towering walls, you have a good chance of spotting ‘The Big 5’: lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard. Other wildlife includes serval cats, cheetahs, jackals, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelles, flamingos and bat-eared foxes, as well as approximately 400 species of colourful birds
Ngorongoro crater (260km2) is the most densely populated game area in the world. There are an estimated 25,000 animals on the crater floor including the Big Five: elephant, buffalo, lion, rhino and leopard. The rim of the crater is about 600 meters above the crater floor in the middle of which is a salt lake.
At night herds of zebras and elephants climb to the edge of the crater and in the daytime, the Maasai herd their cows and goats down into the crater allowing them to graze on the green crater floor. When you visit the north of Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater should not be missed!
Running 45 kilometres along the Great Rift Valley between Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti, this gorge is named after the Maasai word for the wild sisal plant. Often referred to as ‘the cradle of humankind’, East Africa is one of the most important anthropological areas in the world. Louis and Mary Leakey began searching for evidence of early humans in the 1950s, and in 1974 the well-preserved skeleton of ‘Lucy’ was discovered and has since retained the fame as the oldest human ever found.
Game drives descend into the Ngorongoro Crater through a lush highland forest, with magnificent birdlife to be spotted among the different tree species. Once on the grassy crater floor, you may discover a large variety of grazing herbivores, as well as the predators that are attracted by this abundant supply of prey. The crater has formed its ecosystem due to its enclosed nature, and is one place where you can certainly tick all the boxes as approximately 30 000 animals live on the crater floor! Depending on the time of year, you may see flocks of pink flamingos around the shores of the shallow Lake Magadi, while the surrounding swamp is inhabited by hippos. The north of the Crater is where the bulk of the resident game resides thanks to the drier, open grasslands. Keep your cameras ready for the spectacles of African nature that often happen suddenly.
This 1.5 to 2 hour activity will be guided by an armed ranger. The rugged and beautiful Ngorongoro Highlands offers one of the finest blends of culture, landscapes and wildlife in Tanzania. The best way to experience the highlands is no doubt on foot. Its diverse landscapes consisting of elevated volcanoes and craters, forests and vast grassy plains offer a remarkable experience for those hiking through this area. Hikers will experience first-hand how the Maasai people, who inhabit these highlands and the wildlife, coexist. This excursion gets you close to nature differently than a safari vehicle and allows you the chance to get an authentic taste of the local culture at the same time.
Uniquely beautiful Lake Eyasi is a seasonal shallow endorheic salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley at the base of the Serengeti Plateau and immediately southwest of the Ngorongoro Crater in the Crater Highlands of Tanzania. Like Lake Natron far to the northeast, Eyasi makes a rewarding detour on a Ngorongoro trip for anyone looking for something remote and different. The lake itself varies considerably in size depending on the rain and supports a mix of water birds including huge breeding-season (June to November) populations of flamingos and pelicans. In the dry season, it’s little more than a parched lake bed, adding to the almost other-worldly ambience of this area.
By visiting the Hazabe tribe you can experience how this tribe has been living in the Lake Eyasi area for more than 10,000 years. Not for the faint-hearted!
Just outside of Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area, close to Lake Eyasi, live the remaining members of the ancient Hadzabe tribe. These proud self-sufficient hunter-gatherers still adhere to their traditional way of life. During this activity, you go hunting early with the Hadzabe men early in the morning and if you catch good prey you can still have a taste of it! This cultural activity will reveal to you how different their ‘simplistic way of life is compared to our own. A local guide will make your visit to the temporary homestead of these nomadic people an engaging experience and act as an interpreter. The Hadzabe will greet you enthusiastically and teach you all about their survival skills, how they live in full harmony with nature, their hunting techniques, food preparation, traditional dance and beadwork, and cultural norms / highly valued traditions. You will leave them with a broadened horizon and reminded of how we should be mindful and protective of our bountiful, yet fragile earth.
Datoga is not as well-known as some of the other pastoral groups in Tanzania such as the Maasai, however, their visibility has increased in recent years. Only about 5% speak Swahili, the national language of Tanzania. You will visit their habitat and experience their culture first hand to complete the ultimate experience at Lake Eyasi. The Datoga are skilled farmers and craftsmen who resemble the Maasai in culture. These people are also blacksmiths. They make weapons such as arrowheads and knives which they trade with the Bushmen but also beautiful bracelets. You can also learn how they melt bras, cooper or aluminium as well as how they grind maize with stones. All these insights guarantee a memorable experience with Datoga.
Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcanic mountain made up of three peaks. At 5,895 metres, it is the highest mountain in Africa, and one of the highest free-standing mountains in the world. It attracts over 20,000 visitors per year to attempt to climb its peaks. Hikes around the base are also possible.
Kilimanjaro Flora and Fauna
Located just 325 km south of the equator, the mountain rises impressively up from agricultural plains with its enigmatic glaciated peak. Though most visitors come for the climb, Kilimanjaro has an enormous biodiversity. Endemic species include the giant groundsels in the bunchgrass tussock grasslands, and other flora adapted to living in alpine plant conditions.
Trekking to the Summit
Because climbing Kilimanjaro does not require any technical skills or special equipment, thousands of trekkers each year are attracted by the challenge of climbing to the top. There are six main trekking routes: Marangu, Machame, Mweka, Rongai, Shira, and Umbwe. Of all the routes, Machame is considered the most scenic, albeit steeper, route. It can be done in six or seven days. The Marangu is relatively easy, but this route tends to be very busy, the ascent and descent routes are the same, and accommodation is in shared huts.
People who wish to trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro are advised to undertake appropriate research and ensure that they are both properly equipped and physically capable. Though the climb is technically not as challenging as the high peaks of the Himalayas or Andes, the high elevation, low temperature, and occasional high winds make this a difficult and dangerous trek. Acclimatisation is essential, and even the most experienced trekkers suffer some degree of altitude sickness. All trekkers will suffer considerable discomfort, typically a shortage of breath, hypothermia, and headaches.
The Tanzania National Parks Authority has mandated minimum climb durations for each route. These regulations prohibit climbs of fewer than five days on the Marangu Route and ensure a minimum of six days for the other five sanctioned routes. Some experts say that these minimums are not sufficient to avoid the acute symptoms of altitude sickness. As a general rule, it is far safer (and more enjoyable) to avoid altitude sickness by planning a sensible itinerary that allows for gradual acclimatization to high elevation as one ascends. Tour operators with a high turnover often recommend an optimal climb length of around seven to eight days
Udzungwa Mountains National Park
These mountains rise 300 meters above the Ruaha valley offering beautiful vantage points and fast flowing rivers. The rain falls mainly from March to May and in November and December, The dry season is from June to October with a maximum temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.
Monkeys in Udzungwa
The Mwanihana part of the park is the most visited by tourists drawn to the beautiful Sanje waterfall. It is a steep hike to the top, but the fantastic views over the rainforest make it well worth the effort.
The Iringa red colobus and the Sanje crested mangabey monkeys as well as numerous bird species such as the Rufous winged sunbird, the Udzungwapartridge, red-capped warbler and the dappled mountain forest robin call this park home.
Dar es Salaam
Containing over three million people and the second-largest port in East Africa, Dar es Salaam (aka ‘Dar’) can sometimes overwhelm a traveller with its crowds and disorganisation. However, there is a laid back vibe beneath the vaneer of urban chaos, with a picturesque seaport, a mixture of African, Indian, and Arabic influences and close ties to its Swahili past. There are a handful of sights as well as craft markets, shops and restaurants to visit.
If you are looking for a ‘Zanzibar-esque’ place near Dar es Salaam to relax on the beach, this long, white-sand stretch may be the perfect spot. Several resorts and even camping can be arranged before or after your tour of the inland National Parks. Just contact us for more information.
The drives from MtowaMbu or the northern Serengeti are remote, with a desolate, other-worldly beauty and an incomparable feeling of space and antiquity. On the Kenyan border northeast of Ngorongoro Conservation Area lies Lake Natron. This 58km-long but only 50cm-deep alkaline lake should be on every adventurer’s itinerary. The roads pass through completely authentic and isolated Maasai land, with small bomas (fortified traditional compounds) and with big mountains in view in a wild landscape. From June to November about three million flamingos gather at the lake. This is another one of East Africa’s most stirring wildlife spectacles. Close to the southern end of the lake, the views of OlDoinyoLengai volcano are splendid as well. A real Tanzanian gem highlight!
This stunning waterfall hike to see the NgareSero Waterfalls is accompanied by a Masai guide. This adventurous walk can only be recommended to reasonably fit and agile travellers. The walk to the first waterfall is quite difficult as there is no clear footpath through the gorge and you need to wade across the river several times. Also, expect to do some walking along ledges and clambering over rocks. After viewing the first waterfall the walk continues for another 20 minutes until you reach the second waterfall. Here you will have the opportunity to jump into the natural chilly swimming pool and freshen up!
In the very early morning, before it gets too hot, you depart – accompanied by a Masai guide – for a 3 to 4 hour walk to Lake Natron. The walk goes through NgareSero village where you can see how the local Masai community lives. The Lake Natron area belongs to the Masai and it is very impressive to see them living and working with their cattle in such extreme temperatures and a barren landscape. During the walk, you have magnificent views of the active OldonyoL’Engai volcano and Lake Natron. As to game viewing, you may expect to see species such as Gerenuk, Lesser Kudu and Oryx. Lake Natron is the most important breeding ground for up to two million lesser Flamingos. The breeding season stretches from September to March with a peak from October to December during which time they cover the lake.
MtowaMbu is the busy gateway to Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park in the Great Rift Valley. The village is surrounded by magnificent scenery and situated on the main road which leads to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. The town is fed by the ‘River of Mosquitoes’, a direct translation for the name of the town. However, do not be alarmed as there are not as many mosquitos as the name might imply. Over the years, this diverse place now hosts representatives of all of Tanzania’s 120 tribal groups making it a real melting pot of cultures. MtoWaMbu has evolved into something of a traveller’s centre with plenty of lodges, campsites, hole-in-the-wall eateries, petrol stations, money changers, souvenir stalls and just about anything else that could tempt a passing safari vehicle to stop and indulge. The bustling farming community of MtoWaMbu is home to around 18,000 people. You’ll find authentic cultural interaction, great tours and Lake Manyara National Park on your doorstep.
Village walk in ‘MtowaMbu’
The bustling farming community of MtoWaMbu is home to around 18,000 people. On this walk, you’ll discover a side of Tanzania that many visitors miss out on. A melting pot of cultures; MtoWaMbu is thought to be one of the only places in Tanzania where there are representatives from all 120 tribes living happily side by side. During your visit, you’ll get a good feel for the social side of the village – the farms and the milling machines, the schools, markets and churches. You’ll likely visit the village banana plantation as well as a youth art project, and a wood workshop where you can watch skilled Makonde tribe members carve intricate figurines, masks and household objects. Maybe you also like visit to a local bar so you can try mbege. This is the traditional banana and millet beer that is brewed and drunk mainly by the Chagga tribe. Of course, you also need to visit the bustling local market. Here you can wander around stalls selling fruit and vegetable stalls, spices and meat. A real treat for the senses! Your guide is from the village so you will have a unique opportunity to see the community through his eyes and ask many questions. The length of the tour is very flexible but generally, lasts around 2–3 hours. After the village walks, you have a delicious local Swahili meal which you (can) prepare together with the highly respected Miss Bibi.
TukTuk village ride
A TukTuk is a light, small and easy to ride vehicle in which up to 3 passengers can sit on a bench seat behind the driver and guide. The sides of the vehicle are open so you can still have a great feeling of being outside and connected with the people and places. The village tour will last around 2 hours and takes you to farms, local houses, schools, milling machines, churches and much more. And who knows which fun encounters you will experience in this lively and colourful environment on this excursion.
If you prefer to see the surrounding countryside with the flexibility of being on two wheels, then a bike tour is highly recommended. Guided by a guide you will cycle through the green surroundings of MtowaMbu during this 2-3 hour excursion. You drive through the village, banana plantations, and rice fields and also stop at the shore of Lake Manyara National Park. This is where flamingos and wildebeest often mingle on the shore.
Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park, the fourth-largest (3,230 km²) in Tanzania, is the most accessible from Dar es Salaam. It hosts many elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, buffalo, impala, warthogs and zebras. There are also sable antelope and kudus that can be found in the hills in the south of the park.
The roads in the park are easily traversed year round.
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha is seen as the best kept secret of Tanzania. Long hilly tracks wind along the Ruaha River with outcrops of baobab, acacia and fig trees creating a breathtaking panorama.
Safari in Ruaha National Park?
Located in central Tanzania 120 km away from the town of Iringa, the park is the second largest (10,300 km²) in the country after the Serengeti. Ruaha was originally settled by the Wahehe people. Armed with spears they fought a 4-year guerrilla war against German occupation in the 19th century.
Hippos, elephants, kudus, and zebras are easily spotted along the river. Cheetahs and wild dogs are a popular sight in the plains area and the bird life is impressive throughout the park with some 440 documented species.
Selous Game Reserve
The largest concentrations of wildlife in southern Tanzania can be found in Selous National Park and indeed this is the largest game reserve in all of Africa. This area has a size of 45,000 km², three times bigger than the Serengeti and as large as Switzerland.
When to visit Selous?
Selous Game Reserve is divided into sections, only some of which are open to tourists. But in those that are, large numbers of elephants, buffalo and wildebeest roam. The reserve is also home to the black rhino, giraffe, zebra, kudu, hartebeests, elk, hippo, lion, leopard, wild dogs, as well as puku and sable antelopes.
The area is very vast resulting in long game drives to cover the diverse habitats of the park. But it is a pleasure to drive around in the early morning with breakfast at hand or in the late afternoon with a cold drink. This is a paradise for African safari enthusiasts!
Visit Selous in the dry season
The best times to visit Selous GR are during the cooler, drier season from June to October, and into November, December and January. Much of the reserve is inaccessible between March and May as a result of strong rains.
A boat safari on the Rufiji river
The Rufiji river runs through the middle from which five lakes formed making up the popular game drive area. You will find the most animals near these water bodies including large pride of lions (up to 20 members in each pride). Because the terrain is flat and open, the lions tend to congregate here in search of prey. Boat safaris down the river or around the lakes are also possible.
Walking safari Selous
Selous game reserve is one of the few places in Tanzania where you can do an exciting walking safari which will bring you up close with Giraffes, gazelles and even Elephants! An armed Ranger is there to protect you and tell you more about the different trails of animals you will find along the way.
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 transition between the urban chaos and pristine mountain hiking trails is very obvious and abrupt when entering Arusha National Park. Visitors are thrilled by the breathtaking landscapes ranging from the Meru Crater in the west, the Ngurdoto Crater in the southeast, to the grasslands and the Momella lakes in the northeast. It also shelters Ngurdoto Crater, often called Little Ngorongoro, with its swamp-filled floor. Animals which can be found in the park, amongst others, are the black & white Colobus monkeys, small predators, giraffes, elephants and buffaloes. The park is excellent as a starting point for your trip to acclimatize after a long international flight. On a clear day and with a bit of luck you can see the majestic Kilimanjaro in the distance.
Arusha National Park is special because it is one of the few parks in Tanzania where you have the opportunity to do a safari on foot. An armed ranger will be waiting for you to accompany you on your exciting walking safari. During this activity, you get the chance to experience the wildlife up close, a different experience than game-viewing by car. Buffalo, waterbuck, giraffe, warthog, zebra, bush-buck and of course the naughty baboons can be seen all year round as well as many different bird species. The walking safari takes 2 to 3 hours during which you cross the Jekukumia River and visit a beautiful waterfall where you can take a refreshing ‘shower’. The shadowy Montane forest is inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys, and many colourful birds and is the only place on the northern safari circuit where the acrobatic black-and-white Colobus monkey is often seen. The guide stops regularly, not merely searching for a game, but telling you about birds, insects, trees, animal droppings, the medicinal use of plants and which animals eat which plants.
Tarangire National Park
This park hosts the biggest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti. It is also the only place in Tanzania where the oryx and gerenuk are regularly spotted. This park is characterized by gigantic Baobab trees, hundreds of elephants (home to approximately 2,500 individuals), the Tarangireriver and many colourful bird species more than 550 different bird species are present). The safaris will take place both around the lifeline, the Tarangire River, and the drier hilly area. During the dry season (July-October) thousands of animals concentrate in Tarangire National Park from the surrounding wet-season dispersal and calving areas. Elephants gathering at the Tarangire River to drink make for a perfect panoramic picture! You can also spot many different animals like leopard, zebra, impala, warthog, eland, buffalo, waterbuck and lion.
Enjoy a peaceful and scenic canoeing safari following the shorelines of small Momella Lake. On this 2- 2.5 hours canoe safari, you can view buffaloes, bushbuck, giraffes, hippos and many water birds living in and close to the water
Game Drives in Tarangire
(June – October)
Tarangire National Park is best known for its many gigantic baobab trees and its large herds of elephants; it is home to approximately 2,500 individuals and large herds are regularly viewed. The best time to visit the park is towards the end of the dry season when animals from the surrounding areas concentrate in large numbers near the Tarangire River as this is the only permanent water source in the area. Although many visitors are anxious about the rainy season, this is also a great time to visit the park because this is when you get to photograph dramatic skies and fabulous sunsets. Besides, rain showers are usually heavy but short. This allows plenty of time to get out and see animals indulging on the green grass. Lions are common in the park, and so are leopards and spotted hyenas in smaller numbers. Wild dogs sometimes pass through as well.
When to visit Tarangire national park?
The best times to visit Tarangire National Park are from June to October when the weather is dry and the animals are more readily found.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is one of Tanzania’s smaller and most underrated parks. While it may lack the size and variety of other northern-circuit destinations, its vegetation is diverse and very beautiful. There are 11 ecosystems in all, ranging from savannah to marshland to the only evergreen rainforest in Tanzania. In the forest, you can find baboons and other interesting animals whereas by the lake you can find flamingos (outside the rainy season), pelicans and other water birds. Birders love Lake Manyara National Park because the big lake provides opportunities for observing over 300 migratory birds. Among these are the long-crested eagle, the grey-headed kingfisher and other birds which are not found elsewhere in Tanzania. The park supports one of the highest biomass densities of large mammals in the world. The high chance to see elephant families moving through the forest as well as Lake Manyara’s famous population of tree-climbing lions are reason enough to include a visit to this park in the itinerary.
Game Drive in Lake Manyara National Park
Rich in-game and one of Tanzania’s smaller wilderness enclaves, Lake Manyara National Park is a magnificent terrain. Together with your ranger, you are going to explore the diverse habitats of the park. Covering two thirds of the park with liquid depths is the beautiful Lake Manyara giving the park a good reliable water supply all year round. This makes the animals here in prime condition and wildlife viewing becomes very exciting. You will stop for a while on the lakeshore to admire the different bird species and look for pink flamingos. The rest of the Manyara ecosystem consists of mountainside, marshlands, woodlands, grassy areas and hot springs. You will drive mainly through acacia woodlands, grassy floodplains and tall forests in search of wildlife; including the famous tree-climbing lions and large family herds of elephants! Do not forget to particularly pay attention to the stunning and varied scenery of this park during your game drives. When you are lucky you might even spot the famous tree climbing lions!
Night Game Drive in Lake Manyara National Park
A whole new world of animal species (nocturnal) awaits you on a night game drive. It gives you a different perspective of the park and wildlife. Lake Manyara is the ideal location for this activity the many different ecosystems found in the park. The area is a melting pot for all types of animals and plants – with the lake, the rift valley cliffs, ground water forest, the Ngorongoro highlands and the dry Tarangire system all close by. The less seen animals are generally active at night and Lake Manyara National Park is full of them! Porcupines, genets and civet cats are frequent visitors to the forest. Hippos are nocturnal animals and it is highly likely you get to see many of them grazing on the side of the road. You probably already know that it is not a common occurrence to spot elusive and solitary Leopards. However, you should keep your eyes peeled on the night game drive because whenever you find eyes glowing in the dark this could be one of those rare cats! Lion sightings are more common and where lions are mostly sleeping in day time at night they are almost always active.
Walk in Lake Manyara National Park
In the afternoon you enter Lake Manyara National Park. This is a small but very beautiful park offering breathtaking views, excellent game-viewing and an incredible array of birdlife. You have a chance to spot: zebra, baboon, warthog, giraffe, impala, elephant, hippo, wildebeest and the rare tree climbing lions. Enjoy a short stroll on the edge of the Great Rift Valley with beautiful views of Lake Manyara and the National Park below. Learn more about plants, insects, birds and small mammals from a knowledgeable guide.
When to visit Lake Manyara?
This park can be visited year round but the best time to visit is during the dry season of January and February and from late May through October.
The tropical island of Zanzibar is one of a kind and a favourite holiday destination after a safari on the mainland of Tanzania. Zanzibar Island is a jewel in the ocean, surrounded by beaches that rate among the finest in the world. Here you can swim, snorkel or just lounge the hour away, while shoals of luminous fish graze over nearby coral gardens and pods of dolphins frolic offshore. The picturesque capital city Stone town with its impressive buildings and lively markets, the tropical rainforest of Jozani in the centre of the island and course the many wonderful beaches
Visit Stone town
What you cannot miss during your stay on Zanzibar Island is a tour of Stone town. This beautiful city is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site for a reason! What characterizes Stone town? Think of spices on colourful markets, but also an urban sprawl of historic buildings, shops, offices, apartment blocks, crowded slums and middle-class neighbourhoods. In the historic quarter, you can wander for hours through a maze of narrow streets, easily losing yourself in centuries of history. Each twist and turn brings something new – a former palace, a Persian bathhouse, a tumbledown ruin, a coral-stone mansion with carved doors and latticework balconies, or a school full of children chanting verses from the Quran. Your hotel can organize a historic tour/spice tour for you but everything is within walking distance so if you prefer, you could explore on your own.
The Spice Tour is one of the most popular excursions in Zanzibar. Since the island is also nicknamed Spice Island, you can imagine Zanzibar was one of the world’s leading producers of spices. Spices and herbs were originally introduced to Zanzibar by Portuguese traders in the 16th century, brought from their colonies in South America and India. Think of large production of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon. On the Spice tour, you visit an organic spice farm (Shamba) with a wide variety of plants. Very educative to find out how some seemingly plain looking plants turn out to be lemon grass, vanilla, cardamom, etcetera. While there, you shall see how the spices, herbs and fruits grow and are cultivated and how the crops can be used. You get the chance to not only smell but also taste samples of the spices, herbs and tropical fruits such as clove, lemongrass, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, coconuts, papaya, chilli, black pepper, jackfruit, cardamom, cassava and oranges.
Snorkelling and Scuba diving
The Zanzibar archipelago is surrounded by coral reefs, hidden in the sparkling blue waters of the Indian Ocean, and great places for snorkelling and diving. Tanzania has over 900 miles (1400 kilometres) of coastline bathed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar’s coral reefs vary in quality. While certain spots are accessible from the continent, you will mostly need to go to the reefs off the coast, particularly the archipelago, to find the best snorkelling spots. The protected areas Mnemba Island and Chumbe Island Coral Park, are both paradises for the enjoyment of the most spectacular sea beds. Many lodges in the north and north-east Zanzibar will do many of their dives at Mnemba Island, so it’s not a quiet reef, but here you will see shoals of blue surgeonfish, lionfish, clownfish in their anemones, giant clams, and if you are lucky, turtles and small whitetip reef sharks. As a fanatic of the colourful underwater world, you cannot miss tiny Chumbe Island which, thanks to historical protection, has some of the best coral gardens in the world. The only way to visit this is via Chumbe Island Lodge – and to preserve the reefs, only snorkelling is allowed, guided by one of the lodge team. Very different, but equally very attractive, are the relatively undiscovered reefs of the Menai Bay Conservation Area in southwest Zanzibar. These are fairly untouched as there’s been little development, and currently, there are only a few lodges here.
JozaniChwaka Bay National Park or shorter – Jozani Forest is the only national park in Zanzibar. Even though it is small, only 50 km2 (19 sq mi), it is a beautiful and tranquil place to visit! Jozani forest is a natural pharmacy, an amazing source of natural remedies! Every plant or tree cures something. What is so beautiful about the Jozani forest tour, is that height of the trees and the palms are just outstanding! Jozani is also famous for rare red Colobus monkeys, these are not camera shy! A little harder to spot are the Zanzibar Sykes’ monkey; a very rare monkey species unique to Zanzibar. Along with Red Columbus Monkeys, you can expect to see Bushbabies, 50 different species of butterflies and 40 species of birds. To protect wildlife it is not permitted to walk off the paths without an official guide. A network of various nature trails leads visitors through the forest. The main trail begins at the park entrance and takes about an hour for a stroll. To support community benefits, a knowledgeable resident will be your forest guide. He will lead you through the paths in the forest and mangrove area on the other side of the park. He introduces various plant and tree species and explains their medical benefits as natural remedies
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Having at least four full days on game drives will give you enough time to see an incredible amount of wildlife. Tack on arrival and departure days, and travel to and from the national parks and reserves, and we think the optimal time for your safari experience is 6-7 days.
So in general, Tanzania is more affordable while Kenya has a better travel infrastructure. … Kenya has the larger tourism infrastructure and has more lodges to accommodate globetrotters heading on an African safari, so the cost of a safari in Kenya will likely be less than one in Tanzania.
Tanzania has three safari circuits, and each one of them, in its own right, would make Tanzania a top wildlife destination. The popular Northern circuit with the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater offers one of the best classical safaris in Africa, especially if timed with the annual wildebeest migration.
According to the Weather Channel, the best general months for an African safari are September, October, March or April, when temperatures aren’t so scorching-hot.