Tanzania Safari: National Parks and Reserves

The natural attractions in the approximately 122,000 square miles of Tanzania’s national parks and reserves are known all over the world. There are the “Big 5” mammals – Cape buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions and rhinos – which attract nature lovers from all over the world. There is the great annual Migration where millions of ungulates migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya in search of water and green grass.

ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK

This is one of the few parks in Tanzania where, in addition to safaris, canoe trips and camping in the bush, it is also possible to go on walking safaris. Visitors who have a few days can also climb the picturesque Meru Mountain that dominates the park. The famous big cats of Africa are not abundant here, but you will have no difficulty finding other wild animals. Arusha is home to elephants, zebras, ibex, Cape buffalo, baboons, Colobus monkeys, many species of antelope and some of the largest giraffe populations in the world.

GOMBE NATIONAL PARK

Jane Goodall, the first of Louis Leakey’s revolutionary Trio of female primatologists, was inexperienced before sending her to London in 1958 to study primate behavior and anatomy. Based in Tanzania in 1960, she was a pioneer in chimpanzee research on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Eight years after, Gombe Stream National Park was created to protect this 13.5 square mile piece of steep valleys and lush rainforests. Despite its small size, the park offers remarkable biodiversity, which makes it a dream destination for nature lovers.

KILIMANJARO-NATIONAL PARK

Kilimanjaro is known all over the world as the highest mountain in Africa and one of the seven peaks of the seven continents. It rises 5895 meters above sea level and is topped by several glaciers and a small ice field, although it is located only 300 kilometers south of the Equator. First climbed in 1889, it is now a popular hiking destination for international tourists. Compared to many other Seven Summits, reaching the top is potentially achievable for people with reasonable body fitness and inflated bank balances. Just remember to pay attention to your leader’s exhortation to go “Pole Pole”.

LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK

In the park you can observe more than 300 migratory birds, including flamingos, lilac rollers and kingfishers. Another great feature of the park is the wide variety of flora, fauna and landscapes. You will also find the beautiful lake that bears the name of the park, as well as hot springs, floodplains, groundwater forests and bush plains. The park is conveniently located just 126 km (78 miles) southwest of Arusha and very close to Tarangire National Park.

NGORONGORO, NATURE RESERVE

As majestic as it is to see the large herds, there is something very special about seeing lions. Even for the safety of your ranger, nothing loosens the intestines as much as a roaring lion right next to you. It’s a telling reminder that we humans haven’t always been the top of the food chain.The bottom of this impressive ancient volcanic crater measures about 260 square kilometers (100 square miles). There is no accommodation inside the crater and tickets are limited to six hours. Therefore, all trips to the bottom of the crater are day trips offered by nearby Lodges. There is also a Maasaiboma culture outside the crater, but inside the nature reserve, which gives you an insight into the life of these nomadic shepherds.

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