Tanzania offers some of the greatest national parks in the world such as The Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Witness the much-acclaimed migration of the wildebeest – said to be one of the most fascinating and awe inspiring sights! You’ll have front-row seats for this Great Migration, following the herds in your delux safari camp and getting close to the action in a four-wheel-drive vehicle with your own Tanzanian driver and guide.guide. We spend days exploring the expansive Serengeti and an adjacent private nature refuge, looking for gazelle, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and more. Tanzania parks parks are the best place in the Africa to see the ‘big five’, the lion, the leopard, the buffalo, the endangered black rhino and the elephant. There is no greater wildlife experience in the world than Tanzania—a nation that devotes 33% of its land to conservation and boasts the highest concentration of animals anywhere on the planet. Travel with professional photographer Sunny Reynolds who will offer instruction and expertise in a manner and amount that is suitable to the interests of the guests.
Our small group experience exclusive off-the-beaten path opportunities to meet and interact with the local tribesman of the Hadza and Barabaig people. We are warmly welcomed by these semi-nomadic people.experiencing the cultural life of The Hadza Tribe is a highlight of our African Safari. The Hadza are a small tribe of about 1,500 hunter-gatherers living in northwest Tanzania. They speak a click language. Until the 1950s they survived entirely by hunting and gathering. Living in small mobile camps, they had no ‘chiefs’ or formal political organization. Since then life has become increasingly hard as larger pastoralist tribes have encroached on much of their land, destroying much of the wildlife and plants on which the Hadza rely for their livelihoods. We were pleased to learn that the Tanzanian government has formally recognized the Hatza tribe’s land rights by formally granting them land titles.
Most importantly Tanzania is a peaceful, safe and stable country. A democracy since gaining independence 1961, Tanzania is led by a president and national assembly elected by popular vote. Tanzania is referred to as the “Switzerland of Africa,” peacefully sustaining more than 120 different ethnic groups and free of the political upheaval present in some other African countries.
Lake Manyara, The N’Gorongoro Crater, The Serengeti and Tarangire National Park
Lake Manyara stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem. After we visit the Mto wa Mbu village and with its huge craft market, we enter the park. Lake Manyara itself is a shallow alkaline lake with a wide diversity of scenery ranging from thick acacia woodland to open grassy floodplains. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes. The Park is famous for its unique tree climbing lions but we also see elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, and hippos. Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife too. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
The Ngorongoro Crater and surrounding highlands are legendary and are one of Africa’s most beautiful regions! The crater is a conservation area and in 1979 became UNESCO World Heritage Site situated 110 miles west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. Volcanic craters form stunning backdrops to some of the richest grazing grounds in Africa. The Ngorongoro Crater, the worlds largest intact volcanic caldera, is home to the highest density of big game in Africa. Ngorongoro is an exceptional place to interact with the Maasai and is one of the most beautiful natural wildlife sites in the world and the best place in Tanzania to see the big five. A healthy population of black rhino and some of the largest tusker elephants left in Africa today are the prize spots, but the Crater is home to strong populations of lion, leopard and hyena along with good herds of wildebeest, buffalo and zebra. Other game in Ngorongoro includes serval cat, cheetah, jackal, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelle and bat eared foxes along with approximately 400 species of bird such as the extraordinary Kori Buzzard, flamingos, ostriches and many more. The N’Gorongoro Crater has one of the densest wild animal populations in the whole of Africa since animals never leave this vast extinct volcano crater surrounded by its 600m high walls.
The Serengeti is legendary! Here we drive across the plains to the famous Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakeys discovered the bones and footprints of our “hominid” ancestors. The museum relates the history of the discoveries and there are some interesting remains on display. We will hopefully see lions, hyena, leopards,and elephants as well as the herds of grazing animals moving towards the Grumeti River. The Serengeti hosts the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, which is one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. The Maasai had grazed their cattle on the vast grassy plains for millennia and to them it was Siringitu – “the place where the land moves on forever.” Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park is a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th world wide wonder. The Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa. The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park where Golden-maned lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while a high density of cheetahs prowls the southeastern plains. Almost uniquely, all three African jackal species occur here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serval cat. The park is 5,700 sq miles, located 208 miles from Arusha and stretching north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria to the west.
Tarangire National Park is more densely wooded than the other parks, primarily covered in acacia woodland studded with the iconic Baobab Trees. The Tarangire River which attracts a large range of mammals and birds and we may see over 500 elephants in their family groups during the course of the day. The bird life is spectacular ranging from Fish Eagles and Palmnut Vultures, storks, and brightly coloured barbets.The name of the park originates from the Tarangire river that crosses through the park, being the only source of water for wild animals during dry seasons. During the dry season thousands of animals migrate to the Tarangire lies a little distance to the south east of Lake Manyara and covers an area of approximately 1,100 square miles. The landscape and vegetation is incredibly diverse with a mix that is not found anywhere else in the northern safari circuit. The hilly landscape is dotted with vast numbers of Baobab trees, dense bush and high grasses.Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.
It lies a little distance to the south east of Lake Manyara and covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers(1,100 square miles.) The landscape and vegetation is incredibly diverse with a mix that is not found anywhere else in the northern safari circuit. The hilly landscape is dotted with vast numbers of Baobab trees, dense bush and high grasses.
Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.
Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, boasts the continent’s highest mountain, the world’s largest game reserve and probably the most famous national park. The country is a priceless treasury of many animal and bird species; from the colorful to the exotic, the rare to the impressive. Savannah grasslands are fringed by lush tropical forests and mighty rivers, while the Great Rift Valley has produced a number of unusual geographical features, from the exceptionally deep Lake Tanganyika to the unique Ngorongoro crater, and ultimately to the heights of Kilimanjaro.
Every year in Tanzania, awe-struck visitors witness animal behavior of a type and on a scale not seen anywhere else in the world. Join them and take time out to explore all the fun that Tanzania offers.
Snow capped and wreathed in veils of clouds, Kilimanjaro rises from the vast open plains. First mentioned by Ptolemeus ( 2nd Century Greek philosopher and geographer), the largest mountain in Africa and highest freestanding mountain in the world, has proved a magnet to climbers, naturalists, travelers and explorers over the centuries.
Serengeti National Park
Covering an area of 14,763 square kilometers, equal in size to Northern Ireland, the world famous Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s oldest park, and one of the world’s last great wildlife refuges. It is contiguous with Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve and stretches as far as Lake Victoria to the West. Its name comes from the Maasai word Siringet, meaning ‘endless plains’. In the early morning and evening light, the Serengeti landscape is stunningly beautiful.
The Serengeti ecosystem supports the greatest remaining concentration of plains game in Africa, including more than three million large mammals. It is the sanctuary of an estimated four million different animals and birds. The animals roam the park freely and in the spectacular migrations, huge herds of wild animals move to other areas of the park in search of greener grazing grounds (requiring over 4,000 tons of grass each day) and water. The annual migration into Kenya (in a continuous search of water and pasture) of more than 1.5 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle is triggered by the rains and usually starts in May, at the end of the wet season. Called the Great Migration, this constitutes the most breathtaking event in the animal kingdom ever known to humans. As the dry season intensifies, the herds drift out towards the west, one group to the north (to Lake Victoria, where there is permanent water), the other northeast heading for the permanent waters of the northern rivers and the Mara. The immigration instinct is so strong that animals die in the rivers as they dive from the banks into the raging waters to be dispatched by crocodiles. The survivors concentrate in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve until the grazing there is exhausted, when they turn south along the eastern and final stage of the migration route.
The world famous Maasai Mara, offers the classic Kenya Safari. From July to September, the Mara provides one of nature’s most dramatic spectacles, the annual migration of more than a million wildebeest and zebras, from the south across the Mara River into the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The reserve is home to cheetahs, lions, antelopes, hippos and crocodiles, among others.
Before the main exodus, the herds are a spectacular sight, massed in huge numbers with the week and crippled at the tail end of the procession, followed by the patient vigilant predators, including lions (the adult males of Serengeti have characteristic black manes), cheetahs, hunting dogs and spotted hyena. Our small group tour is witness to this migration up front and personal!
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
This vast protected area stretches from Lake Natron (the breeding ground for East Africa’s flamingos) in the northeast, to Lake Enyasi in the south, and Lake Manyara to the east. The area of Tanzania includes the still active Ol-Ndoinyo Lengai (meaning “Mountain of God” in Maa, the language of the Masaai) volcano (which last erupted in 1983), Olduvai Gorge and the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken caldera in the world. It has been described as one of the great natural wonders of the world. Eight million years ago, the Ngorongoro Crater was an active volcano but its cone collapsed, forming the. Spectacular as it is, the crater accounts for just a tenth of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
The crater is home to many species of wild game and birds. With the exception of impala and topi (due to fierce competition with the wildebeest) and the giraffe (because there is not much to eat at tree level), almost every species of African plains mammal lives in the crater, including the endangered black rhino, and the densest population of predators in Africa. A strange thing is that the crater elephants are mainly bulls. The bird life, which includes the flamingo, is mainly seasonal.
Views from the rim of the crater are sensational. On the crater floor, grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodland and mountains. You can descend to the floor of the crater in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Only 4WD vehicles are allowed into the crater and game rangers are compulsory for all.
The Maasai are permitted to water their cattle at the permanent lake and can be seen leading their animals in and out of the crater.
Tarangire National Park
The park’s permanent water supply ensures a huge and varied animal population, especially during the dry season when it rivals that of the Serengeti. The animals include large herds of elephants, rhino, buffalo, zebra, lesser and greater kudu, eland, wildebeest, hartebeest, gerenuk, impala and fringe-eared oryx. This attractive park, with its statuesque baobab trees, is the main refuge for wildlife from the surrounding part of the Great Rift Valley during the dry season.
- Prime game viewing months are between August and December.
- It is also an excellent place for birdwatching, especially from October to May.