A land of grassy plains, Tanzania is home to some of Africa's most famous national parks and the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the Serengeti and various wildlife viewing adventures. The beautiful beaches of Zanzibar are of great value for those who want to take a break and spend some time soaking up the sun, Off Pemba and Mafia islands is a whole other kind of natural sensation. The spectacular Ngorongoro Crater capture most attention. However, Tanzania’s appeal extends far beyond these, with Tarangire, manyara national parks, wild Selous and remote Katavi as different as they are beautiful.
Once the trading centre for the whole of East Africa, it is part of a great coral reef stretching down Africa’s Indian Ocean coast The island of Zanzibar, also called Unguja, is a major holiday destination known for its beautiful beaches. This island has some of the best beaches in the world. The soft white sand and clear shallow water, along with traditional boats, Stone Town located in the heart of Zanzibar and features old Arabian townhouses, narrow alleyways and a busy port. Ideal for lovers of water sports and seafood.
One of the most frequented attractions in Tanzania. At 5,895 metres, it is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, and Africa's highest mountain peak. Mount Kilimanjaro towers over both Kenya and Tanzania, providing superb views over East Africa and can be climbed at any time, although the best period is from late June to October, during the dry season. The slopes of the rainforest are home to buffaloes, leopards, monkeys, elephants and eland. The alpine zone is where bird watchers will find an abundance of birds of prey.
Located in the Ngorongoro conservation, Ngorongoro Crater area is one of Tanzania's most popular wildlife viewing areas. This huge volcanic crater has a permanent supply of water which draws all kinds of animals who stay in this area rather than migrating. There are an estimated 25,000 animals within the crater, including ‘the Big Five’, including lions, elephants, rhinos, Thomson's gazelles, and buffaloes, but wildebeests and zebras account for over half of the animals that call the Ngorongoro Crater home. Bird watching is superb, especially around Lake Migadi, which attracts flocks of flamingoes to the shallows. Visitors come here primarily for viewing large game and bird watching.
Tarangire and Manyara National Parks
Lake Manyara National Park is comprised of forest, woodland, grasslands, and swamps and is host to thousands of flamingos. The Park is home to a large population of elephants, tree-climbing lions and hippos that can be observed at a much closer range than in other parks. This park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons in the world. Wildlife drives, canoeing (when water levels are high enough), mountain bike tours and bird watching are the most popular activities in Lake Manyara National Park.
Tarangire National Park offers exceptional wildlife viewing since it has one of the highest concentrations of migratory wildlife during the dry season- Wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the lagoons. The baobab trees that spot the grassy landscape also attracts visitors. The park is excellent for birdwatching, with more than 300 species recorded in Tarangire. These species include buzzards, vultures, herons, storks, kites, falcons and eagles.
Mahale and Katavi
Katavi National Park offers enormous wilderness by the flood plain, split by the Katuma River and several seasonal lakes. The lakes support enormous groups of hippos, crocodiles and over 400 species of birds. Herds of impala, reedbuck, lions, zebras and giraffes can be seen at the remaining pools and streams during the dry season. An estimated 4,000 elephants and several herds of buffaloes in the thousands also converge on the park when the flood waters retreat.
Mahale Mountains National Park lies on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kigoma Region, Tanzania. Its well-known for its chimpanzees. The chimpanzee population in Mahale Mountains National Park is the largest known and due to its size and remoteness, the chimpanzees flourish. It also the only place where chimpanzees and lions co-exist.
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti is one of the largest conservation areas in Africa, most famous for the great migration of wildebeest. As the largest national park in Tanzania, it attracts thousands of tourists each year. The best months for wildlife viewing are between December and June. The annual migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest takes place in May or early June. This migration is one of the most impressive natural events and the primary draw for many tourists. Large herds of antelope as well as lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, bat eared fox, hunting dog and jackal are also found in Serengeti National Park. Nearly 500 species of bird have been recorded. Visit Odupai Gorge (the cradle of early hominids), the shifting sands of Ol Donyo Lengai and the crocodile-rich Grumeti River.
The Selous and Ruaha
The Selous Game Reserve is the largest game reserve in Africa. Established in 1922, it covers 5% of Tanzania's total area. Selous Game Reserve has large open grassland, woodlands, rivers, hills and plains. The best time to visit is July through October. The Rufiji River bisects the Selous Game Reserve which gives visitors an opportunity to watch the diverse water-based wildlife. A broad range of game can be found including elephants, hippos and rhinos as well as buffalo, antelope, giraffe, warthog, wildebeest, lion, leopard and cheetah. Over 350 recorded bird species.
Ruaha National Park is Tanzania's second largest park with large herds of buffalo, elephant and gazelle. The concentration of elephants is some of the largest in Tanzania. The Great Ruaha River is the main feature of Ruaha National Park providing magnificent wildlife viewing. Birdwatcher's can enjoy over 400 species of birds
Also of interest in the conservation area is the Olduvai Gorge. This important archaeological site has revealed ancient skull and bone fragments that have delivered critical information about early mankind.