National Parks Tanzania
Our Tanzania safaris visit a vibrant and beautiful country with world-class parks. Safaris have been a way of life in Tanzania for decades; the country is blessed with the winning combination of both superb big game and stunning tropical beaches. You can fly from a Tanzania safari camp in the morning to an Indian Ocean beach for an afternoon swim.
Because Tanzania is vast, it helps when planning to think of four broad areas: the famous 'northern circuit'; the wild parks of southern Tanzania; the remote parks in western Tanzania and the beaches of the coast & islands. The three safari areas are very different; but all combine well with trips to the beach! Looking at each in more detail:
Safaris in northern Tanzania
Tanzania's first safari areas were in the north, and this 'northern circuit' remains its most famous safari area. The Ngorongoro Crater and the Rift Valley's Lake Manyara are names to conjure with – whilst the Serengeti's great migration is one of the world's great wildlife spectacles; no wonder it attracts hundreds of thousands of human visitors every year!
Sadly, sometimes the mini-buses out-number the animals here; you can find the side of mass tourism to Africa that we don't like. Hence we've strived to find ways of visiting these areas, whilst avoiding the human hotspots.
The main parks here are:
Tanzania's greatest wildlife showpiece, the Ngorongoro Crater has breath-taking views, phenomenal game and a lot of visitors. Look out for elephants, buffalo and black rhino on the crater floor; the large lion population is far from camera shy. (Read more about the Ngorongoro area
The Serengeti's vast ecosystem covers several different reserves, and includes overwhelming amounts of game. Many areas are very busy; others are harder to reach, but worth the effort for their exclusivity. It is still possible to visit have the migration to yourself – but getting the timing right is a science in itself! (Read more about the Serengeti.
Lake Manyara National Park
This small, yet spectacular park sits between the Great Rift Valley's steep Western escarpment and the Lake Manyara, a shallow alkaline lake. It is easily visited from Arusha by 4WD, and often on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and/or the Serengeti. (Read more about Lake Manyara.
Tarangire National Park
At its best when it's dry, Tarangire is an excellent park: with abundant game and very varied bird-life. The bulk of it is also relatively quiet, with few people reaching the southern regions where you can still find a sense of 'wilderness.' (Read more about Tarangire.
Safaris in southern Tanzania
The parks in southern Tanzania cover huge areas and offer great game-viewing in remote areas, based at small lodges where local safari guides (often real experts) drive you around in open 4WDs. It's an excellent experience, similar to the best safaris in southern Africa. There is no 'migration' here – but the game is excellent, and you will relish the real feeling of wilderness here and complete lack of crowds! The main options are:
Selous Game Reserve
Arguably Africa's largest game reserve, the Selous offers some of Tanzania's best big game safaris with excellent guiding, and it's a relatively short flight from Dar es Salaam, the coast and islands. Selous is perfect for a week's safari! (Read more about the Selous.