4 times the size of the UK lies on the southern hemisphere on the east coast of
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:
NP, north Tanzania, on the foot hills of Mount Meru
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.
NP, north Tanzania, most famous national park of Africa with the Serengeti migration,
the journey of 1.500.000 wildebeest and
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.
Klik voor een beschrijving van de
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.
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
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.
Arusha National Park
Size: 137 sq km (53 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, northeast of Arusha town.
An easy 40-minute drive from Arusha. Approximately 60 km (35 miles) from
Kilimanjaro International Airport.
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
Mount Kilimanjaro National
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
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.
Kilimanjaro National Park
Size: 755 sq km (292 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, near the town of Moshi.
128 km (80 miles) from Arusha.
About one hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro airport.
Clearest and warmest conditions from December to February, but also dry
(and colder) from July-September.
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
Thanks to the Tanzanian National
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”.
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.
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.
Dry season (July-October) for large mammals;
wet season (November-June) for bird watching, the waterfalls and
Thanks to the Tanzanian National
Serengeti National Park
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
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
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.
Drive from Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire or Ngorongoro Crater.
When to go
To follow the wildebeest migration, December-July. To see predators,
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
Tarangire National Park
Day after day of
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tarangire National Park
Size: 2,600 sq km (1,005 sq miles).
Location: 118 km (75 miles) southwest of Arusha.
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
Thanks to the Tanzanian National
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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.
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
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
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
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
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