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Tanzania

National parks
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Summary of our safari programs
Out of Africa
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The Great Migration

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Site update: 28/7/2008

 

Naar Nederlandse versie  

Summary of our safari programs.

 

Tanzania:

4 times the size of the UK lies on the southern hemisphere on the east coast of Africa.

It borders to Kenya in the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia in the south, Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda in the west.

 

Tanzanian National parks:

 

Arusha NP, north Tanzania, on the foot hills of Mount Meru

Mount Kilimanjaro NP, north Tanzania, it's centre is the Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa with an altitude of 5.895 meters.

Lake Manyara NP, north Tanzania, soda lake in de Great Rift valley, the 6.000 km long African trough up to Syria.

Serengeti NP, north Tanzania, most famous national park of Africa with the  Serengeti migration, the journey of 1.500.000 wildebeest and 300.000 zebra's.

Tarangire NP, north Tanzania, looks like Jurasic Park like with huge elephant herds.

Ngorongoro CA, north Tanzania, with the crater, one of the 8 world wonders a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Serengeti NP Ngorongoro CA Tarangire NP Arusha NP Mount Kilimanjaro NP Lake Manyara NP Tanzania map national parks

Klik voor een beschrijving van de parken.

 


Arusha National Park.

The closest national park to Arusha town – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Arusha National Park is a multi-faceted jewel, often overlooked by safarigoers, despite offering the opportunity to explore a beguiling diversity of habitats within a few hours.

The entrance gate leads into shadowy montane forest inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys and colorful turacos and trogons – the only place on the northern safari circuit where the acrobatic black-and-white colobus monkey is easily seen. In the midst of the forest stands the spectacular Ngurdoto Crater, whose steep, rocky cliffs enclose a wide marshy floor dotted with herds of buffalo and warthog.

Further north, rolling grassy hills enclose the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes, each one a different hue of green or blue. Their shallows sometimes tinged pink with thousands of flamingos, the lakes support a rich selection of resident and migrant waterfowl, and shaggy waterbucks display their large lyre-shaped horns on the watery fringes. Giraffes glide across the grassy hills, between grazing zebra herds, while pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dart into scrubby bush like overgrown hares on spindly legs.

Although elephants are uncommon in Arusha National Park, and lions absent altogether, leopards and spotted hyenas may be seen slinking around in the early morning and late afternoon. It is also at dusk and dawn that the veil of cloud on the eastern horizon is most likely to clear, revealing the majestic snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro, only 50km (30 miles) distant.
But it is Kilimanjaro’s unassuming cousin, Mount Meru - the fifth highest in Africa at 4,566 meters (14,990 feet) – that dominates the park’s horizon. Its peaks and eastern foot slopes protected within the national park, Meru offers unparalleled views of its famous neighbor, while also forming a rewarding hiking destination in its own right.

Passing first through wooded savannah where buffalos and giraffes are frequently encountered, the ascent of Meru leads into forests aflame with red-hot pokers and dripping with Spanish moss, before reaching high open heath spiked with giant lobelias. Everlasting flowers cling to the alpine desert, as delicately-hoofed klipspringers mark the hike’s progress. Astride the craggy summit, Kilimanjaro stands unveiled, blushing in the sunrise.

About Arusha National Park
Size: 137 sq km (53 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, northeast of Arusha town.

Getting there
An easy 40-minute drive from Arusha. Approximately 60 km (35 miles) from Kilimanjaro International Airport.

When to go
To climb Mt Meru, June-February although it may rain in November.
Best views of Kilimanjaro December-February.


Thanks to the Tanzanian National Parks Organization

 

Arusha NP Momella lakes

 

Arusha NP gezicht op Kilimanjaro

 

Arusha NP Mount Meru

 

Arusha NP giraffe

 

Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

Kilimanjaro. The name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don't even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, the summit of Africa.

Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 meters – to an imperious 5,895 meters (19,336 feet).

Kilimanjaro is one of the world's most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman's Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates.
And their memories.

But there is so much more to Kili than her summit. The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic.
Even before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated foot slopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.

Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen. Then, finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow – and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.

About Kilimanjaro National Park
Size: 755 sq km (292 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, near the town of Moshi.

Getting there
128 km (80 miles) from Arusha.
About one hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro airport.

When to go
Clearest and warmest conditions from December to February, but also dry (and colder) from July-September.

NOTE:
Climb slowly to increase your acclimatization time and maximize your chances of reaching the summit.
To avoid altitude sickness, allow a minimum of five nights, preferably even more for the climb. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.


Thanks to the Tanzanian National Parks Organization
 

Kilimanjaro

 

Kilimanjaro

 

Kilimanjaro de top

 

Kilimanjaro regenwoud

 

Lake Manyara National Park

Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.

The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.

From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside, blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees, dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.

Contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.

Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favored haunt of Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. Squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, while the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik forages in their shade. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen silhouetted on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park.

Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.

About Lake Manyara National Park
Size: 330 sq km (127 sq miles), of which up to 200 sq km (77 sq miles) is lake when water levels are high.
Location: In northern Tanzania. The entrance gate lies 1.5 hours (126km/80 miles) west of Arusha along a newly surfaced road, close to the ethnically diverse market town of Mto wa Mbu.

When to go
Dry season (July-October) for large mammals;
wet season (November-June) for bird watching, the waterfalls and canoeing.

Thanks to the Tanzanian National Parks Organization

Lake Manyara NP olifant omgeving meer

 

Laken Manyara NP hippo

 

Lake Manyara NP impala's

 

Lake Manyara NP saddlebill ooievaars

 

Serengeti National Park

www.tanapa.com

A million wildebeest... each one driven by the same ancient rhythm, fulfilling its instinctive role in the inescapable cycle of life: a frenzied three-week bout of territorial conquests and mating; survival of the fittest as 40km (25 mile) long columns plunge through crocodile-infested waters on the annual exodus north; replenishing the species in a brief population explosion that produces more than 8,000 calves daily before the 1,000 km (600 mile) pilgrimage begins again.

Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson's gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.

The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park. Golden-maned lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while a high density of cheetahs prowls the southeastern plains. Almost uniquely, all three African jackal species occur here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serval cat.

But there is more to Serengeti than large mammals. Gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes scuffle around the surfaces of the park’s isolated granite koppies. A full 100 varieties of dung beetle have been recorded, as have 500-plus bird species, ranging from the outsized ostrich and bizarre secretary bird of the open grassland, to the black eagles that soar effortlessly above the Lobo Hills.

As enduring as the game-viewing is the liberating sense of space that characterizes the Serengeti Plains, stretching across sun burnt savannah to a shimmering golden horizon at the end of the earth. Yet, after the rains, this golden expanse of grass is transformed into an endless green carpet flecked with wildflowers. And there are also wooded hills and towering termite mounds, rivers lined with fig trees and acacia woodland stained orange by dust.

Popular the Serengeti might be, but it remains so vast that you may be the only human audience when a pride of lions masterminds a siege, focused unswervingly on its next meal.

About Serengeti
Size: 14,763 sq km (5,700 sq miles).
Location: 335km (208 miles) from Arusha, stretching north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria to the west.

Getting there
Drive from Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire or Ngorongoro Crater.

When to go
To follow the wildebeest migration, December-July. To see predators, June-October

NOTE
The route and timing of the wildebeest migration is unpredictable. Allow at least three days to be assured of seeing them on your visit - longer if you want to see the main predators as well.

Thanks to the Tanzanian National Parks Organization

Serengeti NP cheeta's

 

Serengeti NP the king

 

Serengeti NP leeuwin in boom

 

Serengeti NP gnoe's in de morgen

 

Serengeti NP neushoorn

 

Tarangire National Park

Day after day of cloudless skies.

The fierce sun sucks the moisture from the landscape, baking the earth a dusty red, the withered grass as brittle as straw. The Tarangire River has shriveled to a shadow of its wet season self. But it is choked with wildlife. Thirsty nomads have wandered hundreds of parched kilometers knowing that here, always, there is water.

Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It's the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem - a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.

During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km (12,500 sq miles) range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But Tarangire's mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry.

The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world.

On drier ground you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world's largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys.

More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colorful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.

Disused termite mounds are often frequented by colonies of the endearing dwarf mongoose, and pairs of red-and-yellow barbet, which draw attention to themselves by their loud, clockwork-like duet ting.

Tarangire's pythons climb trees, as do its lions and leopards, lounging in the branches where the fruit of the sausage tree disguises the twitch of a tail.

About Tarangire National Park
Size: 2,600 sq km (1,005 sq miles).
Location: 118 km (75 miles) southwest of Arusha.

Getting there
Easy drive from Arusha or Lake Manyara following a surfaced road to within 7km (four miles) of the main entrance gate; can continue on to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.

When to go
Year round but dry season (June - September) for sheer numbers of animals.


Thanks to the Tanzanian National Parks Organization

Tarangire NP welpen

 

Tarangire NP olifanten

 

Tarangire NP het olifanten park!

 

Tarangire NP baobab

 

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

www.Ngorongoro-crater-africa.org

 

Called the eighth wonder of the world and stretching across some 8,300 sq km, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania boasts a blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeology that is unsurpassed in Africa. The volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and to the Maasai.

 

Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world's greatest natural spectacles, its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthrall visitors. It borders the Serengeti National Park to the north and west. A few hours drive to the east takes you to the town of Arusha which nestles at the foot of Mount Meru, within view of Mount Kilimanjaro. Arusha is known as the gateway to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Northern Parks.

 

Maasai pastoralists arrived in the Conservation Area a few hundred years ago. Their strong insistence on their traditional customs and way of life allow them to live in harmony with the wildlife and the environment.
As of today there are approximately 52,000 Maasai living in the NCA with their livestock.
Being herders of cattle, goats and sheep, their semi-nomadic life depends on accessible water supplies.
Their seasonal homes, known as bomas, are scattered throughout the landscape and are rebuilt upon return from the dry or wet season quarters

 

Visitors now see Olduvai Gorge (also known as Oldupai, the Maasai spelling of the name) as a dry, shallow canyon draining wet season run-off from Lakes Ndutu and Masek to the Olbalbal depression.
However, several million years ago the entire area was a vast alkaline lake. The wildly fluctuating waters of this ancient lake formed the definitive sediment layers that have yielded a valuable paleoanthropological and archaeological record. In the seventy years since Louis and Mary Leakey first began searching the area for clues to our distant past, more than sixty hominid remains have been found, belonging to four different hominids, showing the gradual increase in brain size and in the complexity of their stone tools. One of the most famous of these discoveries was made by Mary Leakey and is the well known 'Zinjanthropus'. At Laetoli, hominid footprints are preserved in volcanic rock some 3.6 million years old and represent some of the earliest signs of the small brained, upright-walking Australopithecus afarensis, ever to be found. Imprints are among the fascinating exhibits in the museum at Oldupai. Excavations are on-going and continue to produce splendid specimens of extinct hominids, animals and plants. The museum at Oldupai Gorge provides excellent exhibits, lectures and its location offers great views over the gorge. Walking tours of the area, which is also a birders' paradise, can be arranged.

 

Thanks to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority

 

 

 

 

Ngorongoro krater

 

 

 

Ngorongoro CA Maasai groep

 

 

 

 

Ngorongoro CA Laetoli footprint


 
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