Tanzania attractions

Tanzania, a country with characteristic warmth and happiness is famous for Africa

1. Ngorongoro Safari

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area stretches from the Karatu Highlands to the Serengeti and covers an area of around 8300 sq km. Formed by the same immense geological upheavals as the Great Rift Valley, Ngorongoro was once a mountain as high as Kilimanjaro. About 3 million years ago, it blew up, covering the Serengeti in ash. The crater floor sank leaving the rim to form a natural enclosure 2,285 metres high.

While on a Ngorongoro Safari the most amazing experience is viewing the crater for the first time. As your vehicle slowly ascends through mountain forests you will feel it getting colder and colder. Eventually you reach the rim, and dropping sharply off in front of you is Ngorongoro Crater.

Ngorongoro Crater is the best self-contained safari destination in the world. The world's largest unbroken caldera, it is often referred to as the 'Garden of Eden'. The rich pasture and permanent water of the crater floor shelters a large population of animals. In fact, the crater floor is one of the most densely crowded game areas in the world and is home to about 30,000 animals. The open grassland makes it easy to police, so it is also a stronghold for endangered species like black rhino and cheetah.

2. Serengeti Safari

Go on a Serengeti Safari and experience a soul-stirring feeling of space. Serengeti comes from the Masai word 'Siringit' meaning 'the place where the land runs on forever' and refers to the flat grassy plains which make up about a third of the park. It is these grasslands and savannahs that ensure that the area is jam-packed full of game.

There are animals here at any time of year, but from May to October, the area teems with life, including wildebeest, zebra, impala, warthogs, topi, gazelles and hyena. Lion, leopard, cheetah and caracal can be more easily spotted in the Kopjes, granite inselbergs scattered across the landscape.

The Serengeti is well known for the wildebeest migration, when every year two million animals move clockwise around this 14,763 sq km ecosystem in search of grazing and water. The predators follow the wildebeest and zebra closely and a Serengeti Safari is an ideal opportunity to view lions and other big cats.

Pin pointing and predicting the location of the wildebeest migration is challenging - but with a healthy resident population of animals, safari and game viewing within the Serengeti Game Reserve is great all year round.

3. Lake Manyara Safari

A Lake Manyara Safari is often overlooked. Many people pass Lake Manyara National Park in their rush to the Serengeti. However, we recommend you consider this enchanting and interesting park. Although small, it is one of the prettiest and most game rich parks in the country.

Lake Manyara is a long thin park only about 330 sq km in size. Two thirds of the park consists of water, with the Great Rift Valley Escarpment rising sharply and dramatically along the western side.
Remember to keep looking up while you are in the park. Lake Manyara is well known for its tree climbing lions and there are also plenty of leopards. You'll need some luck to see them though, so don't be disappointed if they elude you.

Lake Manyara is a great safari spot for bird viewing and also has a healthy population of ungulates such as buffalo and wildebeest. Many animals can be seen grazing the new shoots on the floodplain and wallowing in the shallows of the lake, while further out pods of hippos bob.

4. Tarangire Safari

Tarangire is a long, thin park covering 1360 sq km running along the line of the Tarangire River. Although it is relatively small, Tarangire is easy to access and has some of the greatest concentrations of game in Tanzania - second only to the Ngorongoro Crater - and there are not nearly as many tourists.

Go on a Tarangire Safari and experience the unrivalled landscape of open plains dotted with thousands of baobabs. Game viewing in Tarangire is largely affected by the presence of water, and during the dry season many animals congregate here in search of it. As the land dries and the smaller rivers stop flowing, the herds head south towards the permanent water in the Tarangire River and its surrounding swamps.

Although the elephants in this area suffered badly from poaching, they have recovered well. On a Tarangire safari you are virtually guaranteed to see large herds of elephants, including lots of cute babies.

As a holiday destination Tarangire is a lot less busy than other parks in the north of Tanzania. Going on a safari here offers you a chance to savour a real slice of Africa's wilderness and solitude.

5. Kilimanjaro Safari

Go on a Kilimanjaro Safari and visit the world's largest free standing mountain - measuring in at a whopping 5000 metres. Those who have been on safari to Kilimanjaro can really say they have stood on the Roof of Africa!

According to legend, the first person to ascend Kilimanjaro was King Menelik 1, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.The first Europeans to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro were Dr Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller. Today, more than 20,000 people a year attempt the climb, and efforts are being made to stop the erosion on the most popular routes.

There are several ways of conquering this giant, and although no experience is required, the effects of altitude and the cold put anyone's physical and mental stamina to the test. If this all seems a little bit too strenuous for you, one of our safari tours focuses on viewing the mountain from below.

The best months to climb the mountain are January, February and September. July and August are also fine, but somewhat colder

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a great adventure and you

6. Arusha Safari

Arusha: the safari capital of East Africa. The small district of Arusha is the gateway to the great gameparks of the north and is the hub of Tanzania's buoyant safari industry.

Nestling at the foot of Mount Meru, the town of Arusha is the first stop on the northern safari circuit. Bustling and vibrant, the streets are filled with 4X4 game viewing vehicles criss-crossing the pot-holed roads. Masai warriors in full regalia stroll around, mingling with tourists in crisp khaki, fresh off the plane from Europe or the United States.

Arusha National Park is very small, only 137 sq km, but the scenery is stunning, with the lofty peaks of Mount Meru, afromontane forests, craters and the Momela lakes. Only an hour's drive from Arusha, the park is usually forgotten in the rush to reach the Serengeti, but it is certainly worth a visit, especially for bird-lovers - over 570 bird species have been recorded.

Visitors to Arusha National Park can also climb Mount Meru. At 15000 feet, it's the fifth highest mountain in Africa and the ascent to the summit is a tough four day hike. On the way you'll pass herds of buffalo and giraffe and look for colobus monkeys in the trees. At the summit, you can watch the sun rise behind Kilimanjaro.

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