Why we like it
- It is one of the most scenic safari destinations in the whole of Africa.
- It boasts an incredible diversity in flora and fauna all within short driving distances of each other.
- It is home to many of Africa’s most iconic and awe-inspiring attractions.
- The Serengeti hosts incredible walking safaris that few people know about.
- Although popular with the right planning it is possible to escape the crowds of tourists and have a wilderness experience.
The Northern region of Tanzania is Africa’s safari tourism hub. It’s here that safaris were perfected and the experiences on offer remain diverse, outstanding – utterly unforgettable.
With its huge unfenced wilderness areas, Northern Tanzania has enough to keep you busy for many years to come.
It’s here where we find many of the names that send a shiver down the spine of any would-be adventurer; the Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. All spectacular in their own right, each buzzing with international tourism and spectacular attractions.
The Serengeti National Park
The name Serengeti is enough to paint a vivid and striking image in the mind; vast swaths of animals, stunning landscapes, and a sense of Africa as you always imagined it would be.
In reality, the Serengeti manages to eclipse even the most conservative prediction. One of the most famous national parks in the world, known for the famed wildebeest migration that takes place here annually, the Serengeti offers a whole lot more than millions of stampeding animals and the grim, yet strangely alluring river crossings where many journeys come to a shattering conclusion.
The name Serengeti is derived from the Maasai language and means ‘the land of endless plains.’ It is unquestionably one of the most scenic safari destinations in all of Africa, but also one of the most sought after. The enormous park is a critically important open ecosystem as it covers nearly 15,000 km² of protected land and is even surrounded by a greater area of unfenced wildlife reserves.
Tarangire National Park
If you like your elephants, then Tarangire is the paradise national park of your dreams.
With one of the highest density of elephant populations of any park in Tanzania, thought to currently be around 4,000, along with beautiful and varied scenery, with ancient baobabs, and flat-topped acacias, Tarangire has become a popular stop-over on the northern safari circuit.
The dry season is a spectacle to behold as large concentrations of animals, an estimated 250,000 give or take, congregate along the Tarangire River and the permanent swamps in the area. Tanzania’s 6th largest national park covers 2,600 km² and stretches from semi-arid grassland known as the Masai Steppe in the southeast, to the great lakes that dominate the Great Rift Valley in the northwest.
Lake Manyara National Park
This scenic park is home to Tanzania’s tree-climbing lions who can often be found resting in large acacias to escape the heat. However, Manyara is far from simply a lion sanctuary and boasts a spectacular array of habits and other life forms, including thousands of flamingos that sometimes flock to the soda ash lake.
It is also home to one of the highest olive baboon densities of any park in Africa, along with over 350 different bird species and enough elephants to rival even the Tarangire National Park.
The park itself covers 330 km², while Lake Manyara next to it stretches for 230 km², and is a wonderful setting to spend some time on your Tanzanian safari.
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
A name that glistens with adventure and the mystic. Mt Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain, and the roof of Africa is firmly placed high on many travellers’ lists when visiting Tanzania.
The mountain stands at an impressive 5,896 metres above sea level and is a popular climb, not only because of its breathtaking views and scenery but also because of the comfortable pace of ascent which makes it an achievable climb for seasoned mountaineers and first-timers alike.
An estimated 35,000 set out to climb this illustrious beast each year, but only two-thirds make it, thanks to altitude sickness and other health problems. That may not be enticing reading for who-be-climbers, but there are several ways to acclimatise properly when climbing to give yourself the best possible chance of summiting.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Around 2.5 million years ago, a great hulking giant of a volcano let rip with devastating effect. The massive eruption saw the caldera, the cone of the volcano, collapse inwards, creating one of Tanzania’s most popular tourist destinations.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest inactive volcanic caldera. The crater forms a bowl of about 265 km² and is said to have the highest density of wildlife anywhere in Africa. As a result, game-viewing here never disappoints.
The area comes with over 500 recorded bird species, as well as the famed Big Five and the rarely spotted and badly endangered wild hunting dog, along with leopards, jackals, serval cats – basically everything you can possibly imagine.
It is, however, a very popular tourist destination so expect numerous other vehicles in the crater. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is also home to the Ndutu area in the northwest of the park, an incredible location to visit and witness the wildebeest migration during the calving season, thanks to its short, nutrient-rich grass.
But it’s not just about animals in the Ngorongoro Crater. The Olduvai Gorge is widely regarded as one of the most important paleoanthropological sites on the planet and has been invaluable in helping to piece together early human evolution. Homo habilis, most likely the first early human species, lived in the region some 1.9 million years ago – which certainly puts life into perspective, doesn’t it?
As we mentioned earlier, Northern Tanzania has long become the safari nerve centre of Africa and as a result, has developed into a relatively well-oiled machine that provides numerous world-class destinations within short distances of each other.
The Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, are all unmissable – which is why you often don’t need to pick and choose.
We aim to provide an experience that includes all of the above but isn’t frantic like some circuits have become. We believe in quality time and not simply ticking boxes. The Northern Tanzanian Circuit is far too good to simply rush through.
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