Africa’s highest mountain, most famous National Park and largest game reserve
all lie within the borders of this vast East African country.Kilimanjaro is the tallest
mountain in Africa and the World’s highest free standing mountain. It supports five
major ecosystems – rainforest, alpine desert, heath, moorland, and glaciers. You may
see elephants, buffalo and eland on the northern slopes and black and white colobus
monkeys, sykes monkeys and tropical Boubou in the forest.
Explore the Tarangire National Park, with it Boabab Trees, elephants and extensive variety of birdlife. Take a game drive to Ngorongoro Highlands and along the Tarangire River and then off to the Serengeti National Park, stopping off to visit a Maasai Village. Tanzania offers the experience to witness the great wildebeest migration, large herds of elephants as well as excellent viewing of the lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino can be seen.
The fifteen parks managed by Tanzania National Parks offer a lot more than game drives to view the spectacular wildlife ! Bird Watching, Boat Trips, Canoeing Safaris, Chimpanzee Tracking, Fishing, Hiking, Hot Air Ballooning, Mountain Biking, Mountain Climbing, Swimming, Snorkelling and Walking Safaris are among just some of the activities available to visitors.
The Serengeti is famed for its annual migration when more than 1,500,000 wildebeest
follow some 200,000 zebra in a 2,000 km round pilgrimage in search of fresh grazing
and water. It is "The greatest wildlife show on earth" !
Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park, also 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: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
Mikumi National Park abuts the northern border of Africa's biggest game reserve - the Selous
– and is transected by the surfaced road between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. It is thus the
most accessible part of a 75,000 square kilometre (47,000 square mile) tract of wilderness
that stretches east almost as far as the Indian Ocean.
The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, the popular centrepiece of Mikumi, draw frequent comparisons to the more famous Serengeti Plains.
Lions survey their grassy kingdom – and the zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo herds that migrate across it – from the flattened tops of termite mounds, or sometimes, during the rains, from perches high in the trees. Giraffes forage in the isolated acacia stands that fringe the Mkata River, islets of shade favoured also by Mikumi's elephants.
Day after day of cloudless skies.
The fierce sun sucks the moisture from the landscape, baking the earth a dusty red, the
withered grass as brittle as straw. The Tarangire River has shrivelled to a shadow of its
wet season self. But it is choked with wildlife. Thirsty nomads have wandered hundreds of
parched kilometres knowing that here, always, there is water.
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.
Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment,
Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest
I had seen in Africa”.
The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.
From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside, blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees, dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.
Isolated, untrammelled and seldom visited, Katavi is a true wilderness, providing the few
intrepid souls who make it there with a thrilling taste of Africa as it must have been a
Tanzania's third largest national park, it lies in the remote southwest of the country, within a truncated arm of the Rift Valley that terminates in the shallow, brooding expanse of Lake Rukwa.
The bulk of Katavi supports a hypnotically featureless cover of tangled brachystegia woodland, home to substantial but elusive populations of the localised eland, sable and roan antelopes. But the main focus for game viewing within the park is the Katuma River and associated floodplains such as the seasonal Lakes Katavi and Chada. During the rainy season, these lush, marshy lakes are a haven for myriad waterbirds, and they also support Tanzania’s densest concentrations of hippo and crocodile.
Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you
see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is
also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from
the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 metres – to an imperious 5,895 metres
Kilimanjaro is one of the world's most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman's Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates.
And their memories.