Tanzania Safari Destinations
During your safari you have an opportunity to view the “Big Five”, these animals are the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros.
The Big 5 was a phrase coined by big-game hunters to refer to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. Now you will have a chance to hunt them with your camera!
Below you can find some more information about our most common safari destinations in northern Tanzania.
ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
Arusha National Park; this game reserve, although one of Tanzania’s smallest parks, is one of its most beautiful and topographically varied, with Mount Meru, Ngurdoto Crater and the flamingo swathed Momella Lakes within its boundaries. This often-overlooked park is a perfect introduction to your Tanzanian safari experience. Gaze at the 15,000 foot (4,565m) mighty extinct volcano, Mount Meru with its craggy peak; it is almost as high as Europe’s tallest mountain, the 4,807m high Mont Blanc.
We love to include Arusha National Park as we are able to offer walking safaris in the foothills of Mt Meru for all budgets.
To get as close to nature as possible, a walking safari is not to be missed. Escape the modern world completely and immerse yourself in pure wilderness and get a taste of safari and adventure the way it used to be done “old style”.
A truly educational experience and a sensory overload awaits you as you carefully trek through the bush and get a sense of how our ancestors used to get about, a feeling very few people in this day and age can achieve. On your hike you are accompanied by an armed ranger, just in case you meet an elephant, buffalo or even a leopard.
we loved Arusha National Park and staying at Momella Wildlife Lodge, with Elephants outside our window it felt like some old world paradise!
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Tarangire National park: lies at about 1,100 m above sea level. It is a country of expansive views, in which wide panoramas of wooded savannah stretch in every direction. Its name is derived from the Tarangire River which flows through the park throughout the year. This river is more or less a small stream; its source is in the southern mountains of the park; from there it is winding its way all through the game reserve. In the north it makes a big curve to the west and runs into Lake Burungi.
During a really dry season even the Tarangire River can sink down into the sand and disappear. But it will appear again farther downstream. Even in the driest of years this river does not disappear completely, and it is the Tarangire River that provides the only permanent water for animals in the Maasai-Steppe. At these dry seasons lots of animals gather in large numbers along the river as it is their only water source.
Tarangire National Park is famous for it’s large elephant herds and massive baobab trees.
Literally the moment we entered the park we started having encounters with elephants – very close and very many. The first herd we saw we lost count at over 60 individuals….Amazing experience
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Lake Manyara National Park, really is gorgeous and one of the most enticing parks in Africa. Nestling beautifully at the foot of the western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park can simply be referred to as a paradise for flora as well as fauna (including large wildlife). The whole area is sandwiched between the dramatic 300m high rift valley wall and a soda lake tinted pink with masses of shimmering flamingo.
At only 320sq.km (of which more than two thirds is taken up by the lake), this is not a huge park, but a masterpiece with its diversified habitats and its five distinct vegetation zones: the rift valley wall with rocky outcrops, the ground water forest, the Acacia woodland, the open grassland and the marshland. This whole area is volcanic with Ol Doinyo Lengai (Mountain of God), almost 3,000m high, still active and only about 75km away.
We managed to see the tree climbing lions of Lake Manyara on our trip but it was the pink hue of thousands of flamingos that really sealed our hearts on Manyara
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
The endless plains stretch out in front of you as far as your eye can see. Only grass and grass again, a treeless flat country, which surprisingly hosts an estimated three million animals, many of whom migrate in a seasonal event unrivalled in nature. The Maasai word “Siringet” meaning ‘endless plains’ is the origin of the name of this huge National Park. It truly sums up your emotions when you have your first view of the plains from the slopes of the Olbulbul escarpment, as you drop down from the Ngorongoro Highlands. The feeling of space and huge skies is overwhelming, nothing but plains.
Due to the Seronera River, a permanent water-course in the area, Seronera valley is one of Serengeti’s best wildlife viewing spots, where virtually all resident animals can be seen. The place is justly famous for leopard and lion, both of which you can usually photograph here without any difficulty.
We were not lucky enough to see the herds of the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River but instead saw endless columns grazing or trudging along rather than dramatic TV-style river fordings, it was nonetheless a staggering experience and something I will remember for ever.
NGORONGORO CRATER CONSERVATION AREA
In reaching the Ngorongoro crater rim, you’ll catch the first glimpse of the crater floor, one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries; that is often described as the eighth wonder of the world. This huge bowl is the world’s largest unbroken, un-flooded, volcanic caldera – formed by a giant volcano exploding and collapsing onto itself around 2-3 million years ago. It covers an area of about 250sq.km, is about 20km across and the depth from the crater floor to the rim averages around about 610m on average. It is considered ‘a natural enclosure’ for a wide range of wildlife; due to the steep sides the animals do not migrate and leave the crater – meaning it’s an amazing place to see African wildlife all year round.
The crater is an extraordinary place, almost like an interactive zoo. Most of the animals never leave it and have no fear of humans so it is possible to have very special and up close sightings.
It was not long until we spotted our first lions (well Juma the driver /guide did), they were just lying next to the road, almost posing for great pictures. They completely ignored us although we were only a few meters away; they are used to safari vehicles.