Tanzania has to be one of the most iconic of all African safari destinations, with the most fertile natural grasslands anywhere on earth. The name Tanzania derives from the blending of Tanganyika and Zanzibar (“Tan ” and “Zan”) and adding the suffix, “ia. It has borders with 8 other east African countries as well as the Indian ocean to the east. World class National Parks support more than four million wild animals of over 400 species and subspecies, and during migration the Serengeti attracts over 1 million Wildebeest in one of the greatest natural spectacles on Earth. With so many different kinds of animals in the country it attracts a great assembly of predators and of course the much sought after ‘Big Five’. Overlooked by the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro and surrounded by half of Lake Victoria these amazing habitats just add even more diversity which results in 1124 species of birds that include 24 endemics, numerous species of reptile and amphibian and an amazing 60,000 different types of insect. The coast of Tanzania and the many small islands including the Zanzibar Archipelago offer even more special and endemic species as well as a huge variety of marine life, ideal for divers. And to top it off the remote and under watched Usambara, Uluguru, Udzungwa and Pare Mountains hold many very rare and localised species.

Hotspots & Wildlife: 

Ngorongoro Conservation area: This UNESCO World Heritage Site protects a unique area that allows wild animals, livestock and man to all coexist. The area known as the Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera which covers 260 square kilometres (100 square miles) and falls from the rim 2,000 feet deep to its floor. There is a seasonal salt lake in the center of the crater fed by several small streams and surrounded by grasslands and dry scrub and  the Lerai Forest. Over 25,000 large mammals exist here including Rhino’s, Wildebeest, Zebra, Lion, Leopard, Serval, Hyena, Elephants, and Cheetah. There are numerous tracks that criss-cross the crater floor allowing great opportunities to seek out these wonderful creatures plus a huge variety of birds. Raptors are well represented and can be found over the open plains or perched in the forest. Ostrich, Grey-crowned Crane, Kori Bustard, wheatears, widowbirds, francolins, longclaws, sparrows and finches are all plentiful and satisfy the most hard core of birdwatchers.

Serengeti National Park: In northern Tanzania lies the oldest and most famous National Park in Tanzania and it covers 14,763 square kilometres (5,700 square miles) of grassland plains, savanna, riverine forest, and woodlands. It is bordered to the north by Kenya, where it is continuous with the Maasai Mara National Reserve of that country. As with the Maasai Mara it is world famous for the migration of over one million Wildebeest and approximately 200,000 Zebras and 300,000 Thomson’s Gazelles. An exceptional number of games accompany these huge numbers creating one of the world’s most incredible wildlife spectacles that sees the full trip an incredible return route of 800 km (500 mi). Buffalo, Elephants, Giraffes, Impala, Lions, Leopards, Cheetah and Hyenas add magic to this natural wonder, and if that’s not overwhelming enough a further 500 species of birds will vie for attention. Wonderful lodges, exceptional guides and countless tour companies help bring ecotourism to the country and bring us closer to nature fulfilling many peoples ultimate dream.

Tarangire National Park: The park’s name originates from the Tarangire River that runs through this rich and varied landscape, and covers around 2,850 square kilometres (1,100 square miles.) Lying between the grasslands of Masai Steppe to the south east and the lakes of the Great Rift Valley this is a superb destination for the wildlife enthusiast. Dominated by huge Baobab trees the park’s habitats consist of Acacia, small woodlands, seasonally flooded grassland and numerous rocky outcrops called (kopjes). The river itself attracts huge numbers of Elephants and Cape Buffalo and being the only source of water for many miles during the dry season June to November it also host a wildlife migration that brings in large numbers of Wildebeests, Gazelles, Zebra and Hartebeest, plus even more Cape Buffalo and Elephants. This influx of animals also attracts many predators such as Lion, Cheetah, Leopard and Hyena. The wildlife in these parks varies enormously from season to season with the dry season proving most popular to visitors. As for the bird species the park has recorded around 550 different kinds, and an interesting difference in this park is the opportunity for night drives offered by some of the lodges, giving a chance to search for some of the more elusive nocturnal species.

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SPECIES of interest

Lodges in Tanzania

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