Resonating with hints of the wild and exotic, Tanzania’s destinations such as Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar are reason enough to guarantee an amazing Africa holiday. Within the space of several hours, it’s possible to go from lazing on idyllic beaches to exploring moss-covered ruins of ancient Swahili city-states; from climbing mist-covered slopes in the Southern Highlands to trekking through the barren landscapes around Ol Doinyo Lengai, guided by a spear-carrying Maasai warrior.
Tanzania offers travelers an array of options, set against the backdrop of a cultural mosaic in which over 100 ethnic groups amicably rub shoulders. While most visitors head straight for the famed northern wildlife-watching circuit, followed by time relaxing on Zanzibar’s beaches, Tanzania has much more to offer anyone with the time and inclination to head off the beaten path.
Lake Manyara National Park described by Hemingway in the “Green Hills of Africa”, this once prime hunting ground is today a national park of unsurpassed beauty. Lying on the floor of the Eastern Rift Valley, Lake Manyara spreads out in a shallow depression starkly dominating the scene and standing out against a backdrop of the sheer red cliff of the western escarpment.
Ngorongoro Crater At 18 Kilometers (11 miles) across, the Ngorongoro Crater is the largest perfect caldera in the world. This outstanding wonder is only one of the attractions within a vast and diverse conservation area. High mountain forest extends to the lip of the crater. The swamps, ponds and rivers support an ever present population of water birds.
Serengeti National Park. The name comes from the Maasai ‘Siringet’ which means ‘endless plains’ and the Serengeti is just that! This is one of the World’s last great wildlife sanctuaries. The best time to see heavy concentration of game is between January and February. Life on the Serengeti is a complex cycle,
the defining factor of which is the rain. Though the precise timing varies each year, it usually occurs around May. The columns of herbivores tretch up to forty kilometers long as they make their way up north toward Kenya’s Maasai Mara from where they eventually return some eight an a half months later.
Tarangire National Park. The park derives its name from the Tarangire river which rises in Tanzania’s central highland and snakes its way through the length of this sanctuary. The river lures thousands of plains game to banks of its brackish waters especially during the dry season. At this time the concentration of animals in the park rivals that of the Serengeti.
Mikumi National Park. This is perhaps the most accessible and popular of Tanzania’s national parks. The main feature here is the open grassland of the Mikumi flood plain which is bordered on two sides by mountain ranges. On the southern end one can spot the yellow baboon, impalas, reedbucks and other antelope. Some distance to the north are the Hippo Pools dominated by hippo, as well as a variety of water birds. The area around these pools is open plain where you can see all kinds of game.
Ruaha National Park. It is the second largest of Tanzanian National Parks, it takes its name from the Great Ruaha River that flows along its eastern border. The Ruaha’s miombo woodland on the surface looks like a rather monotonous thicket of verdure but in actuality it is thriving biosphere.
Selous Game Reserve. The vast majority of Tanzania’s elephant herds live in one remote stretch of safari wilderness the selous Game Reserve. Stigler’s Gorge is one of the park’s most striking features. This gaping chasm channels the frothing confluence of the Great Ruaha and Rufiji Rivers. After this bottle neck, the Rufiji swells through the park down to the Indian Ocean forming a series of small lakes that serves as an important source of water for the multitude of the plains game. During the dry season between June and October the river banks explode in a
spectacular flood of the plains animals quenching their thirst all under the opportunistic eye of crocodiles