Is covering 137 sq km and lies between the peaks of Mountain Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru and ascends from 1500 meters at Momella to 4566 meters at the summit of Mount Meru. Established in 1960 the park had contained only Ngurdoto Crater and Momella lakes, until 1967 when Mt. Meru was made part of the Park.
The flora and fauna varies with the topography, which ranges from forest to swamp. The best time for visiting is during the dry season from July-March. The best months to climb Mount Meru are June-February (although there are some rains in November). On clear days magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru can be seen from almost any part of the park. The best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are from December-February.
The Park is only 25 kilometers East of Arusha, 58 kilometers from Moshi and 35 kilometers from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). It is the nearest National Park to both Arusha and Kilimanjaro International Airport and is thereby and easy day trip. From the main road between Arusha and Moshi it is about 10 kilometers to reach Ngurdoto Gate.
The Park contains a diverse resident population of herbivores, primates and predators including black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, hippos, leopards, hyenas, waterbucks, warthogs and a wide range of antelope species. No lions in the park although you can see leopards if you are lucky.
If you wish to walk on the Mount Meru (4566 m) sector of the park through a variety of landscapes, plains, forest moorlands, and a lava desert, it is compulsory to be accompanied by an armed game warden because the wild animals. From the summit of Mount Meru you will have an impressive view of the crater and of the eruption cone 3000 meters below.
Arusha National Park is famous for its 400 species of bird life, both migrant and resident such as red sharks, hamerkops, spurwinged gooses, herons, woodpeckers, grey parrots, secretary birds and many more. The Momela Lakes offer plenty of bird watching opportunities.
Is Tanzania’s smallest park (52 sq km) and is home of the world famous chimp reserve. It is located 16 km north of Kigoma on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania.
There are plenty of baboons around, but the focal point of Gombe is the chimps. It’s reconciling their interests with those of tourism that has occupied the founder of the reserve, Jane Good all, for 25 years. Here, in the 1960’s, Good all carried out major research conclusively the unique relationship between man and chimpanzee, as we share 95% of our genes with them (some people may share more than others!) and they have similar hearing
Is a pearl among the national parks in Tanzania, remote and rarely visited? Tanzania third biggest national park lies in the remote southwest of the country, close to Lake Tanganyika, in a remote Rift Valley arm, which ends in the shallow, dark expansion of the Rukwa lake. It has a higher density of mammals than any other Tanzanian National Park. Rivers groan with hippopotamus and crocodiles, and scattered over the plains are great herds of buffalo with up to 1000 animals in one group.
The largest part of Katavi National Park is covered by Miombo Forest, which offers protection to large, but shy groups of eland and sable antelopes. The actual point of attraction for animal observers is however the Katuma River with its washing levels, to which the seasonal lakes Katavi and Chada belong. During the rain time these sumptuous, swampy lakes attract innumerable water birds, and they nourish of Tanzania highest accumulations of hippos and crocodiles.
Katavi is most impressive during dry season, when the lakes and rivers are almost dry. Many animals, including 4000 elephants, then concentrate at the few water holes. But Katavi’s most spectacular animal experience is the hippos. Toward the end of the dry season you might see up to 200 hippos into a deep river pool, rivalry between the male animals.
Katavi is remote, very remote, and reaching the park requires a lot of effort. This alone dissuades most travelers from visiting Katavi. However, take the first step and the park does its bit to ensure that you never have to go home disappointed. Katavi presents untouched wilderness and it is common to run across more predators than humans while you’re here.
Locals refer to the Kitulo Plateau as Bustani ya Mungu – The Garden of God – while botanists have dubbed it the Serengeti of Flowers, host to ‘one of the great floral spectacles of the world’. And Kitulo is indeed a rare botanical marvel, home to a full 350 species of vascular plants, including 45 varieties of terrestrial orchid, which erupt into a riotous wildflower display of breathtaking scale and diversity during the main rainy season of late November to April.
Perched at around 2,600 metres (8,500 ft) between the rugged peaks of the Kipengere, Poroto and Livingstone Mountains, the well-watered volcanic soils of Kitulo support the largest and most important montane grassland community in Tanzania.
One of the most important watersheds for the Great Ruaha River, Kitulo is well known for its floral significance – not only a multitude of orchids, but also the stunning yellow-orange red-hot poker and a variety of aloes, proteas, geraniums, giant lobelias, lilies and aster daisies, of which more than 30 species are endemic to southern Tanzania.
Big game is sparsely represented, though a few hardy mountain reedbuck and eland still roam the open grassland.
Lake Manyara National Park, which encompasses an area of 330 sq.km, of which 200 sq km is lake, was proclaimed a game reserve in 1957 and registered three years later as a National Park. The park is situated between the 600 m high escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyaraand is 130 km from Arusha.
Thus, it can be visited on a day excursion. At the Southern end of the park are hot Sulphur Springs known as Majimoto. Further along the forest the area opens up into woodlands, grassland, swamps and beyond, the soda lake itself.
Nestling at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the park is recognized for its incredible beauty. Wildlife at Lake Manyara is not restricted to bird-life only. Many game animals such as buffalo, elephant, giraffe, impala, hippo and a great variety of smaller animals also inhabit the park.
Lake Manyara is also known for its tree-climbing lions which spend most of the day spread out along the branches of acacia trees six to seven meters above the ground. The park contains the most pachyderms per sq km in Tanzania. As visitors enter the gate, they pass into the lush forest, home to troops of baboons and blue monkeys. Buffalo and hippo lurch in the adjacent Hippo Pool. The vegetation eventually merges into flat topped acacia woodland where, in the heat of the day entire prides of lion can be seen stretched on the branches of these trees – a habit prevalent to Manyara lions.
Think of Lake Manyara as a mini Serengeti. The place is very small in size, and a majority of the area is covered by the lake itself, but it still hosts as many as 11 ecosystems and a vast and varied wildlife. The groundwater forest surroundings at Lake Manyara offer a much-needed break from African savannahs. Tree-climbing lions are the superstars here, but predator sightings are difficult. A close encounter with hundreds of elephants is the next best thing.
Famous for containing some of the last remaining wild chimpanzees in Africa, the Mahale Mountains National Park was gazetted in 1985, covers an area
of 1’613 sq km and is located about 128 km south of Kigoma town on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The western boundary of the park protects an adjacent 1.6 km wide strip of Lake Tanganyika’s waters.
The land in and around Mahale is the traditional homeland of the Watongwe and Waholoholo tribes. Japanese primate researchers began exploring along the shore of Lake Tanganyika, south of Kigoma as early as 1961. In 1965, the researchers established their first camp, ‘Kansyana’, in Mahale and began habituating chimpanzees.
The terrain is mostly rugged and hilly, and is dominated by the Mahale Mountains chain that runs from the northwest to the southeast across the park. The highest peak (Mount Nkungwe) rises to 2 462 m above sea level.
Mahale offers a number of outstanding attractions for visitors, from tracking wild habituated chimpanzees, to mountain climbing, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking and relaxing on deserted, pristine, white, sandy beaches.
This National Park lies 300 km west of Dar-es-Salaam and is the closest park to the capital. Relatively small (3230 sq km) it is nestled between the Uruguru mountains to the East and the Rift Valley escarpments to the Southwest. Even though this is a small park, there is a border with the Selous Game Reserve, allowing movement of game and therefore Mikumi benefits from the highest game density of the entire conservation area, while still being easily accessible. Mikumi National Park is composed primarily of the Mkata River flood plain, this is surrounded by gently rolling hills covered in miombo woodland
Although less spectacular than some of the more illustrious Tanzanian National Parks, Mikumi still offers a good safari experience with typical flora and fauna of East Africa. There is a rich variety of bird species as well as large numbers of giraffes, buffaloes and elephants and close to the waterholes lions, leopards and hippos. Furthermore, you can see zebras, wild dogs, pythons, hartebeest, wildebeest, elephants, impala, warthog, eland and other antelope. Several observation towers enable you to view the park in its entirety.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the crown of Tanzania. With an altitude of 5,895 m (19.340 ft), it is the highest peak in Africa, the highest freestanding mountain in the world and one of the largest volcanoes. The base of the immense mountain has a diameter of about 70 km. On a clear day its impressive formation can be seen from more than 160 km away, and although it is only three degrees below the equator, the peak is permanently covered with snow and ice. Elephants, leopards, lions and colobus monkeys are among the residents of the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. The encircling rain forests ensure the fertility of the lush, lower lying countryside, where the Chagga people cultivate their coffee, maize and bananas.
When to visit
Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed most of the year, although it is inadvisable during the rainy season during April and May, and during the short rains during November. The summit of Kilimanjaro is definitely a challenge, and there are risks involved, but it can be reached by any reasonably fit person who enjoys hiking. Accomplishing reaching the summit will be an experience of a lifetime! The youngest person to make it was seven years old – the oldest seventy-eight!
Towered alongside Mount Kilimanjaro nearly three million years ago as one of the highest peaks in Africa. Forged during the tumultuous birth of the Rift Valley, its volcanic top erupted at the time that ancient man first walked the plains.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) covers some 8,300 sq km. It boasts the finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeological sites in Africa. It is also a pioneering experiment in multiple land use. The concept of multiple land use in conservation perspective is a deviation from a traditional approach of regarding conservation as complete absenteeism of human interference.
Rifts and volcanoes shape the landscape of Ngorongoro Crater. A rift is a disturbance in the earth crust, which causes rise or falls of its borders. Rifts also causes lava or melted rock to penetrate to the surface where it hardens. If lava emerges from the same penetration for a long period, it builds up into a volcano.
has recently been combined with the Usanga Game Reserve making the largest National Park in Africa covering over 15,000 sq km. This new park itself is at the heart of a much larger ecosystem covering over 40,000 sq km. The highlights of a trip to Ruaha is watching the huge elephant herds (the greatest concentration in Africa) gathered around the mighty Ruaha River; the lifeblood of the park.
Ruaha National Park is a visually stunning park with an undulating plateau about 900 m with occasional rocky outcrops and mountains reaching heights of 1900 m. Running though the park are “sand rivers” which dry up completely in the dry season and act as roads for the game to move from waterhole to waterhole.
Although the eastern camps get full during the high season, Ruaha does not experience visitor numbers like its more illustrious neighbors in the north of the country. Large sections of the park are unexplored and during much of the year you will have the place to yourself.
We recommend spending a minimum of three days at Ruaha. Ruaha National Park is a good place for seeing lion, buffalo, elephant and with a bit of luck the rare African wild dog. Grant’s gazelles, ostrich and cheetah may be seen on the plains. Lots of crocodiles and also hippos can be watched at the river banks.
The park gazetted in 2003 and is the only park in Tanzania with ocean frontage. The park itself is unique to the rest of east Africa combining a variety of ecosystems including bush, beach and river.Some of the animals do come down to the beach and you can occasionally see some in the surf.
The park has plentifull game including giraffe, hartebeest, waterbuck, wildebeest, buffallo, hippos and crocodiles. It is also possible but harder to see lion, leopard and sable antelope.
Game drives in the park are rewarding as are boating safaris along the Wami River, at the river estuary the salt pans are filled with flamingos and the river is a birder’s paradise.
To the north of the park is a green turtle breeding beach which is currently supported by the lodges in the park. All our guests who visit Saadani find it a special and unique place and is a good alternative to end a safari here rather than on a typical beach holiday.
Saanane Island is a fully fledged National Park since July, 2013, covering an area of 2.18 sq km comprises of three islets and aquatic environment. The islets lie on the southern part of the main Island.
The park made a record of being the first ever National Park to be located within the City and the smallest National Park in both Tanzania and East Africa. The Park is the home of mammals like Impala, Rock Hyrax, Velvet Monkeys and Wild Cats. The presence of “De-brazas Monkey” underscores its potential as the only Park in the country inhabiting the species. Reptiles are also dominant; they include crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Agama Lizards, Pancake and Leopard Tortoises, Snakes particularly Python. The aquatic part of the Park inhabits a variety of fisheries life, mainly Tilapia and Nile Perch
Selous Game Reserve represents the largest uninhabited area in the continent, and this alone makes it worth visiting. The large untouched expanses of land showcase nature at its beautiful best. The reserve also presents the best bush vibe in Tanzania. Selous Game Reserve is one of the two destinations used by elephants for their annual migration, and if watching millions of wildebeests isn’t possible, you can go for the next best thing, watching thousands of elephants at Selous.
Covers 14,763 sq km of endless rolling plains, which reach up to the Kenyan border and extends almost to Lake Victoria. The park is flourishing with magnificent wildlife. An estimated 3 million large animals roam the plains. People of the Maasai Tribe called it Siringitu – ‘the place where the land moves on forever.’ The Serengeti is known as one of the best wildlife sanctuary in the world.
Two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reservates have been established within this area. It’s unique environment has enthused writers, movie makers as well as numerous photographers and scientists. The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth, the main characteristics of climate, flora and fauna have hardly changed in the past million years.
Serengeti is renown for the migration of animals. Every October and November, more than a million wildebeest and about 220,000 zebras travel south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short tropical rains, and then journey west and north after the long rains in April to June. The animals’ ancient instinct to move is so strong that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back. The Wildebeest migrate through a number of parks, reserves and protected areas and through a variety of habitat. We can arrange great migration safari for you!
It is the vast number of baobabs that first capture the eye as you enter Tarangire National Park. The gently rolling countryside is dotted with these majestic trees, which seem to dwarf the animals that feed beneath them.
It is 120 km from Arusha, bordered with Tarangire Wildlife conservation area to the northeast, an area set apart by the government, to cater for the needs of the local people as a grazing ground for their herds.
The park owes its name to Tarangire River, which flows across the area. It is characterized by dense vegetation of acacia and mixed woodland, the area around Tarangire River however, is dominated by huge baobab trees and old doum palm trees to a lesser prominence, as well as black cotton grass. Though it is not as famous as other parks in the north, Tarangire offers the same attractions as other parks in the north. Its unique aspect is the annual animal immigration that takes place during the dry season.