LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Well known for the tree climbing lions, the soda ash lake and its flamingos, Lake Manyara National Park also boasts huge troops of baboons, which are regarded as some of Africa’s largest. What else can you expect from Lake Manyara?Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem.
The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience. Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. 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 water birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers 8,292 square kilometres (3201 square miles). Ngorongoro crater tours are an essential part of any visit to Africa. This UNESCO world heritage site holds a wealth of fascinating areas of interest for historians and the general public. Some of the oldest hominid remains have been found near the crater as well as artefacts dating back to early human evolution. The animal life is abundant and the craters amazing historical footprint extends into the animal kingdom too with fossilised remains having previously been found.
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
With more than 70 large mammals and more than 500 bird species, animal watching is just par for the course when you explore the Serengeti. The Serengeti National Park is located in Tanzania and is over 14 763 square kilometres in size. The park can be divided into three parts, according to their vegetation; the Serengeti Plains, the Western Corridor, and the Northern Serengeti. The Serengeti is a conservation area; people are prohibited from living in the park unless they are part of the park or tourist lodge staff.
The parks huge wildlife population is its greatest claim to fame. Every year, over 1.5 million white-bearded wildebeest and 250 000 zebras migrate from one side of the park to another in search of fresh grazing. The trek takes them three weeks and is a true sight to behold as many predators snatch up prey along the way; a spectacle of predator versus prey. Undoubtedly, this is the best and most exciting game viewing in all of Africa.
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
As the sixth largest national park in Tanzania, it covers an area of approximately 2,600 square kilometres or 1,100 square miles.Tarangire National Park is a scenic region with the Tarangire River at its heart. This provides a year-round water source which is especially valuable in the dry season (July to October) when it attracts wildlife from a wide radius. During these months you can see large populations of game and vast herds of elephants.
Tarangire is home to plentiful game so is a good safari destination all year. The terrain is varied, too, with floodplains, grasslands, hills and giant baobab trees. You’ll be reaching for your camera time and time again. And it’s just a 2-hour drive from Arusha, ideal if you have limited time.
There are few other thrills as great as that experienced when standing on Africa’s highest point, the 5,895m Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s the world’s tallest freestanding mountain and with a bit of training, it’s entirely accessible to anyone. For those with an adventurous spirit and reasonably fit body, we recommend you take on the ultimate challenge by scaling its peaks. To be fair, the ascent is more of a trek than a climb and no technical climbing experience is required. In return for your effort, you will be rewarded with stunning views as you make your way up through lush rainforest, alpine meadow, snow and ice, to the barren lunar landscape at the top.
After the intense excitement of safari, there can be no better place to retreat than one of Tanzania’s beautiful beaches. While the mainland has some lovely isolated spots, the Zanzibar Archipelago delivers the tropical paradise that visitors to the Indian Ocean expect. For impressive diving and snorkelling around the pristine coral reef, head to Pemba or Mafia Island. For those looking for beach life and culture,
Pemba is an island just North of Mainland Zanzibar and is far-removed from the relative hustle bustle of Zanzibar. Because it is lush with plant life, it is also known as the green island. Attractions include ancient forest, archaeological ruins from the earliest Swahili civilizations, a few nice beaches and incredible scuba diving.
Secluded and seductive Mafia is a green wedge of land surrounded by turquoise waters, pristine islets and glinting white sandbanks. It has remained off the beaten path for years, undiscovered by all except deep-sea fishing aficionados and a trickle of visitors.