For most people visiting National Parks is the highlight of Tanzania. If you include Serengeti in your trip, the chance is big that you will see the big five. But as always with nature, nothing is predictable. But there is more to national parks than the big five, there is scenery, birds, trees, monkeys, crocodiles and hippoâ€™s. Be surprised!
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Surprisingly Ngorongoro is not a national park, but a conservation area. The area is named after the famous Ngorongoro Crater, the worldâ€™s largest intact volcanic caldera. You will see the beautiful view from the crater rim, and one of the most dense mammal populations. There is a possibility of encountering buffalo, zebra, bushbuck, elephant and occasional leopard. The crater is the focal point in which you can see numerous zebra, wildebeest and buffalo. From the Ngorongoro you can enter Serengeti National park, en route you can visit Olduvai Gorge, where some of Africaâ€™s most important fossils were found, and the shifting sands. Please watch out for the sometimes aggressive birds at the pick nick place in Ngorongoro!
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti is maybe one of the most amazing and special park of all. With its size of 14.763 square kilometers of plain grassland and big herds of wildebeest itâ€™s one of nature biggest miracles. The park is 335 km from Arusha and to enter you need to cross Ngorongoro Conservation Area. To follow the wildebeest migration, the best time to visit is December to July. To see predators June to October should be best. The park is large, so more time is needed to get a glimpse. Besides that, travel distance is depending on where the herds are. Accommodation tends to be more expensive comparing to the other parks. One of the most famous activities is the air balloon safari, which is famous for both the stunning view and extraordinary high prices. From Serengeti NP it is possible to visit Lake Natron, which is a beautiful lake with flamingoâ€™s, but this lies in a remote area with bad roads.
Arusha National Park
Although Arusha National Park is an easy 40 km drive from Arusha, it doesnâ€™t have many visitors. Itâ€™s neglected by the safari industry, because it offers limited possibilities to see the so-called Big Five. Nevertheless the extraordinary park is definitely worth a visit. The park is very different from the other parks, at it has different habitats like montane rainforest, moist savanna, lakes and alpine moorland. You can also visit Ngurdoto crater, get a glimpse of Mountain Kilimanjaro or do a canoe trip. The park is also known for its rewarding hiking possibilities and climb of Mount Meru. From there you have numerous view points, some pick nick sites and it is a good acclimatization for Kilimanjaro.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is one of the gems of the Northern Parks, although not much visited. Itâ€™s known for the high density of elephants and beautiful scenery with Baobab trees. Many species of birds are recorded in the park. Other animals can of course be seen too. Itâ€™s an easy drive from Arusha or Lake Manyara. In the dry season a sheer number of animals will move to the river in the park, which makes the period June-September extra special.
Lake Manyara National Park
Manyara is known as â€˜the home of tree climbing lionsâ€™. Although you really have to be lucky to become spectator of this, the park has a lot more to offer! The park is stretched along the shore of the lake, which makes it a good opportunity to see water birds, flamingoâ€™s and hippoâ€™s. Besides that there are many species of bird, elephants, zebra, giraffe and wildebeest to be seen. Best time to visit is dry season to see large animals (July-October) and wet season for bird watching and waterfalls (November-June).
Of course visiting National Parks is the backbone of almost every safari. Are you very interested to focus on National Parks, please have a look at our sample itineraries “Comprehensive but affordable” and “Luxurious and relaxing”. Or Contact us to discuss your wishes with us and find out the most up to date prices for your safari.