Tanzania is blessed with a variety of wildlife and attractions, from its more popular northern circuit that includes the famous Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater to the quieter and equally spectacular southern circuit of Selous and Ruaha. To the east, the tantalising paradise of Zanzibar boasts wonderful beaches and marine adventures. Combining the parks and attractions of this inspiring country creates an enticing blend of safari, wildlife and beach. The northern circuit highlights can be combined over one week and many will include the annual migration in the Serengeti National Park as well as the abundant wildlife of Ngorogoro Crater & Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara, depending on seasonal game movements. The south’s attractions are generally perceived to be more off-the-beaten track and with fewer vehicles across the plains, adding to the authenticity.
The Ngorongoro Crater in Northern Tanzania, once a gigantic volcano, is the largest intact caldera in the world. Some maintain that before it erupted, it would have been higher than Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Today, long since having collapsed and eroded, it is an extensive highland area with the famous 600 m deep Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point. Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth.
Set among the spectacular, forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains, the Mahale Mountains National Park was originally created to protect the thousands of chimpanzees that inhabit the region. It is renowned for its fantastic sunsets over Lake Tanganyika, which makes it an essential stop for keen photographers and safari enthusiasts. The park’s breathtaking array of habitats include rainforest, grasslands, alpine bamboo and woodlands; where some 50 species of animals have been recorded, predominant among these being representatives from various monkey and ape families, and over 90 unique species of fish swim in the clear waters of the lake.
Gombe Stream National Park features a similar environment to Mahale - a sandy beach backed by the steep slopes and river valleys of vegetated mountains. Despite its size, there is still a good mix of landscapes, with rolling grasslands, evergreen and steep slopes covered in semi-deciduous forest. Bordered by Lake Tanganyika to the west and the high rift escarpment to the east, it has become a small isolated ecosystem and prime chimpanzee habitat. Gombe Stream National Park is legendary for the Kasakela community of wild chimpanzees which were studied by Dr. Jane Goodall for over 50 years, contributing to the drive to combine the preservation of primate wildlife habitats with the development of eco-tourism and the beneficial involvement of indigenous human communities in Tanzania. Set in a fringe of tropical rainforest on the fringes of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania, Gombe is a dream AfricanMecca chimpanzee tour destination pioneered by the works of Dame Goodall, where it is possible to take guided forest treks to watch the chimps both at play and interacting socially.
Locally referred to as The Garden of God, Kitulo and it's amazing floral display lives up to its name being one of the leading nature conservation park in Africa, specializing on orchid holidays with fewer wildlife itineraries. Covering an area of 412km² and rising to 2600m, Kitulo Plateau National Park is nestled between the rugged peaks of Kipengere, Poroto and Livingstone Mountains in Southern Tanzania. The park is known for a vast spectacle of wildflowers, birds, and harmonious grass-eating mammals dominating.
Saadani is where the beach meets the bush. The only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa to boast for an Indian Ocean beachfront, it as well possesses all the attributes that make Tanzania’s tropical coastline and islands very popular with European sun-worshipers. Yet it is also the one place where those idle hours of sunbathing might be interrupted by an elephant strolling past, or a lion coming to drink at the nearby waterhole! Protected as a game reserve since the 1960s, in 2002 it was expanded to cover twice its former area. The reserve suffered greatly from poaching prior to the late 1990s, but in recent years a marked turnaround has been seen, due to a concerted clampdown on poachers, based on integrating adjacent villages into the conservation drive. Today, a surprisingly wide range of grazers and primates are seen on game drives and walks, among them include giraffes, buffaloes, warthogs, common waterbucks, reedbucks, hartebeests, wildebeests, red duikers, greater kudus, elands, sable antelopes, yellow baboons and velvet monkeys.
Visit the only national park on Lake Victoria and the largest “island park in Africa” during your nature travels in northern Tanzania! Established in 1977, Rubondo Island National Park is located in the southwestern region of Lake Victoria - the largest in Africa, second largest lake in the world and the source of the Nile River. The park covers around 456 square kilometers (176 square miles) of land and water area, including 11 small islets, making it Tanzania's only island park. The land mass of the park is primarily covered with dense forest, as well as savannah, open woodland, papyrus swamp and beautiful sandy beaches, and, of course, the beauty of Lake Victoria is ever-present while visiting the park.
Also known as the second Serengeti Plains, the open horizons of this park make wildlife viewing a highlight of any visit. The grounds support impressive herds of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and impala. While legendary giraffe, elephant, and lion sightings are common. The landscape is scattered with the famous baobab trees, black hardwood trees, and grassy plains. And tucked in between three mountains ranges: The Uluguru, Rubeho, and Lumango Mountains ranges. Likewise, it is home to several primate research studies most notably the yellow baboon field study.
Located along the rift escarpment in Western Tanzania, the 4,471 square kilometre Katavi National Park is the third largest in the country. However, its remoteness and inaccessibility leaves it comparably untouched, with just a few hundred visitors per year, compared to over 12,000 in the Serengeti. A land of massive diversity, this untamed and wild area is in the heart of one of the largest and richest wildlife areas in Tanzania. Vegetation varies from miombo woodland, where sable antelope like to hide, to riverine and various types of woodland and shrubland.
Ruaha National Park became Tanzania’s largest national park when it expanded its borders in 2008. Today, it holds 10% of the worlds lion population and Tanzania’s largest elephant population. The park’s landscape is made up of giant mountains that lead into vast grasslands, rocky outcrops, and a network of rivers. The largest of which, the Great Ruaha River, the park is named after. Visitors to the park are captivated by the lands red soil and legendary baobab trees as well as the large population of lions. Often prides of up to 25 lions are seen, sometimes attempting to take down a buffalo. Again, this park is relatively untouched by tourism but because of this, it is one of the best examples of how Africa has been for millenniums.