30 Dec Parks, Reserves & Conservation Areas
Arusha National Park:
Arusha National Park is Tanzania’s most accessible national park located just 16 miles northeast of Arusha. With diverse wildlife that includes herbivores such as elephants, buffalos, zebra, and even occasional wildebeest, Arusha National Park is the perfect place for a day trip or as the first or last stop on a longer itinerary. Although it measures just 53 square miles, it houses the world’s largest population of giraffes and boasts a broad variety of landscape, ranging from open savannah through acacia scrubland to rainforest and, eventually, to alpine conditions on the higher reaches of Mount Meru. Offering beautiful panoramic views, along with a miniature volcanic crater (Ngurduto Crarer), a river (Jekukumia River), and a string of crater lakes (Momella Lakes), Arusha National Park is a perfect place to go out and stretch your legs – with both walking as well as canoe safaris.
Lake Manvara National Park:
Lake Manvara National Park is one of Tanzania’s most dramatically located African wildlife area consisting of a shallow soda lake that covers 70% of its area. Located between the cliff of Great Rift Valley and Lake Manvara, the park contains a wide variety of habitats, which include lush groundwater forests, a swampy fan delta, acacia woodlands and a small grassy plain. The varied habitat attracts a wide variety of wildlife animals including large herds of buffalo, elephants, giraffes, impalas, monkey, baboons, hippos, as well as millions of pelicans and flamingos. One of the most famous residents of the park are the tree climbing lions sitting on the branches of acacia trees. Lake Manvara National park offers a great variety of wildlife, which can be observed from a very close range.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area:
Located in the Great Rift Valley, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area or the Ngorongoro Crater is the giant wildlife-filled volcanic caldera, where the big five and many other animals roam. Encompassing mountains, lakes, forests and wide-open African plains, the area is also home to Masai villages. Classified as a protected area for the semi-nomadic inhabitants Masai, the area was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1978. During your safari, it is possible to visit nearby Masai villages, called boma, to observe their traditional dance and their culture. The conservation area also houses one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles – the Ngorongoro Crater, an area of 265 sq. kilometres which contains a small soda lake, called Lake Magadi and houses approximately 30000 animals in the eponymous crater. Tanzania is simply not complete without a safari visit to the magnificent and picturesque Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Serengeti National Park:
Covering an immense 9,170 square miles, the Serengeti National Park has probably been the subject of more books, television documentaries, pictures on African Wildlife animals, than any other African Park. Hosting the annual wildebeest migration across its grassy plains, it is Tanzania’s largest national park and undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world.
Here one can witness arguably the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles including the ‘big five’. The Serengeti National Park can be divided into 3 major wildlife animal vegetation areas: The open grasslands in the south-east, open woodlands in the north and a mosaic of grass and woodlands in the west. This is the biggest concentration in the world of Africa’s largest predators.
Tarngire National Park:
Tarngire National Park is a diverse wildlife sanctuary located just southeast of Lake Manyara on the Tarangire River. During the annual dry season (from August to October), the 2600 square kilometre Tarangire National Park attracts one of the highest concentration of wildlife animals in Tanzania. The park is also home to the largest population of African elephants and offers tourists excellent landscape views of beautiful riverine forests, acacia woodlands, ancient African baboba trees and endless rolling hills. There are normally few safari tourists visiting the Tarangire National Park making it even more attractive. The national park is also home to three rare species of animals – the Greater Kudu, the Fringed-eared Oryx, as well as a few Ashy Starlings.