Beautiful and wild, the best safari parks in Tanzania are world-renowned for their animal viewing and wildlife experiences. This East African country is within the African Great Lakes Region, with one border made up of the Indian ocean, and eight other countries making up its remaining borders.
The best safari parks in Tanzania include some of the most spectacular features on the continent. The country is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika, as well as the Serengeti that assists in hosting the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra annually. The coastal regions are just as well-known with Zanzibar and Mafia islands destinations in their own right.
Tanzania has 16 national parks, plus a variety of game and forest reserves, including Gombe Stream National Park as the site of Jane Goodall’s ongoing study of chimpanzee behaviour. The wildlife inhabiting the Ngorongoro Crater is almost unique due to the closed-off eco-system as most animals can neither venture in or out of the area.
Wild Safari Guide has narrowed the best safari parks in Tanzania down to these five excellent choices.
Thanks to its outstanding natural influences, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area provides a lush environment for countless flora and fauna. Local attractions within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area include the Ngorongoro Crater, Oldupai Gorge, Ol Doinyo Lengai, Ndutu Lake, and Empakaai Crater.
This world-class destination is home to the Big 5—the rhino, the lion, the leopard, the African elephant, and the Cape Buffalo. Visitors from across the globe head to the Park, between July and October, for the Great Migration—one of the most spectacular natural phenomena to occur in the world. Over 500 bird species call the Conservation Area home—with the highland forest offering an interesting array of birdlife. Among these are the Greater and Lesser flamingoes—definitely adding to the overall experience.
Intrepid travellers can traverse the dense landscape during a walking safari or book a guided game drive. Wildlife spotting is best between June and October when visitors can expect to see the only visible population of black rhinoceros in their natural environment. The crater also has the densest known population of lions.
The Serengeti National Park is not only one of the best safari parks in Tanzania, but also of the whole of Africa. Standing on the Southern grass plains, a traveller will certainly experience this vastness, coupled with witnessing one of the greatest concentrations of plains animals, left on earth.
The Serengeti National Park is famed for its annual wildebeest migration when some 8 million hooves cross the open plains. More than 1,500,000 wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join this trek driven by the need for fresh grazing. Predators follow the migration and sightings of big cats hunting is always particularly exciting for even the most experienced traveller. Spotted hyena, golden and black-backed jackal are never far off either.
From the traditional game drives to walking safaris designed to suit any traveller. Bird watching in Serengeti is incredibly rewarding as the park offers more than 540 birds species, and those wanting a bird’s eye view can experience it by hot air balloon.
Home to the highest mountain on the continent, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is the setting for those wanting to experience the aptly named ‘ Roof of Africa’. Mount Kilimanjaro supports a unique combination of eco-climatic zones that takes you to the equivalent of a trip from the equator to the arctic in a brief tour. As one climbs Kilimanjaro, vegetation and weather changes in response to the changing elevation.
A variety of animals can be found in Mount Kilimanjaro National park. Above the timberline, the Kilimanjaro tree hyrax, the grey duiker, and rodents are frequently encountered. Elephants can be found between the Namwai and Tarakia rivers and sometimes occur at higher elevations.
Activities in the park include climbing to the summit, paragliding, walking safaris and mountain biking.
Selous Game Reserve is the second largest conservation area in Africa at roughly four times the size of the Serengeti. It is one of the best safari parks in Tanzania and has been relatively undisturbed by human impact.
The enormous Selous Game Reserve offers very good wildlife viewing. This includes large herds of elephants and great gatherings of giraffes, as well as buffalo, waterbuck, impala and zebra. Selous is also home to several unusual antelope species such as the majestic sable and puku, a localised wetland special.
With over 440 species recorded, Selous is an excellent birding destination. The most conspicuous birdlife is attracted to the sandbanks, lagoons, islands and channels along the Rufiji River. A variety of game viewing safari activities are available in the park. Several trips are offered by boat, vehicle or on foot. Boat safaris, for example, allow you to move swiftly on the lakes and channels for a closer view of birds and animals like hippos and crocodile.
Gombe Stream National Park is an untamed place of lush forests and clear lake views. The forest vegetation ranges from grassland to woodland to tropical rainforest. Gombe Stream is an untamed place of lush forests and clear lake views and is accessible only by boat. Lake Tanganyika itself is an African Great Lake. It is the second-oldest freshwater lake in the world, the second-largest by volume, and the second-deepest
The main attraction in Gombe Stream National Park is the population of habituated chimpanzees. There are about 100 chimps in the small park. An appointed guide will take the prebooked travellers on foot, along the forest trails to find them. Once found, they can observe for one hour, whether they’re feeding, resting or walking.