Welcome to Tanzania, the home of Africa’s natural wonders with three listed world wonders Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro crater. Lets show you the really African wilderness!
Welcome to Tanzania
Welcome to Tanzania – a country full of remarkable features as well as unforgettable natural attractions and home to over 120 tribes with more than 120 different languages. The different landscapes include mountains (including Africa’s highest mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro), forests, endless savannah plains, deep craters and gorges, Miombo woodlands, arid flatlands and white sandy beaches.
Tanzania has also been blessed with a variety of national parks and game reserves which are visited by large numbers of travellers from near and far every year. From elephants to lions and birds – there is something for everyone. With names like the world-famous Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater or the Selous Game Reserve, visitors are spoilt for choice. The annual migration of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles is an experience not to be missed. Furthermore Tanzania is a bird watchers paradise and boasts with over 1000 different species in different locations around the country.
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National park is African Paradise and one of the seven natural wonders of The Africa and World. World heritage site, Man and Biosphere Reserve. Visiting the park will reward you and breathtaking for its unique biodiversity and physical features from plains to rolling hills, valleys and mountains. Serengeti offers several tourism products.
Maasai word “Siringeti” referring to an “Endless Plain”. As you stand on the Southern grass plains, you experience this vastness, and can witness one of the greatest concentrations of plain animals left on earth. The plains were formed 3-4 Million years ago when ash blown from Volcanic mountains of Ngorongoro highlands. The thick layer of ash preserved traces of early man, and established the rich soil which supports the growth of short grasses in Southern plains. From this early beginning, man and wildlife have shared this magical place.
The Park can be accessed by Air and by road through fifteen (15) entry points. By Air the Park is accommodating Seven (7) Airstrips which can be accessed from all Local and International Airports in the country. By road the park can be accessed through eight gates (8) which are Naabi Hill Gate, Ikoma gate, Ndabaka Gate, Kleins Gate, Tabora B, Lamai Gate, Handajega Gate and Ndutu Gate.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area was officially declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979. The area consists of various landscapes and includes dense mountain forests, woodlands, grasslands, lakes and swamps. Some of the most important archeological sites in the world, such as Oldupai Gorge and Laetoli can be found in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Archeologists found evidence showing that the area was occupied by hominids over 3 million years ago and thus claiming that it could be the birthplace of mankind.
And then of course there is the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken, inactive and unfilled caldera in the world. With a diameter of approximately 19 km (12 miles) and its majestic walls that rise just over 610 m (2000 feet), the crater floor covers an area of 260 sq km (100 sq miles). Over 30,000 animals including the rare black rhino call this unique place their home. Today over 40,000 Masais reside in the area making the Ngorongoro Conservation Area one of the only places in Tanzania where human habitation is allowed within a wildlife protected area. The conservation shares a boundary with the Serengeti National Park and one must drive through the conservation in order to get to the Serengeti.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park has a healthy population of creatures both big and small. The park has plenty of resident animals although some tend to migrate depending on the time of year. The most commonly seen animals are elephants, giraffes, impalas, warthogs, zebras, wildebeests, dwarf mongoose and ostriches. Lions can however also be seen, as well as leopards and on some rare occasions even wild dogs have been spotted. Furthermore the park is home to 550 species of birds and the greater and lesser Kudus as well as oryx also roam the park.
Tarangire National park with its baobab crested landscape is scenically one of the most beautiful parks. Baobab trees tower above the savannah and these age old trees play a vital role in the eco system as they act as homes for bees, birds and bats. In addition hereto they provide nourishing fruit and supply animals such elephants with indirect water especially during the drier months.
During the months of June to September the park witnesses a small migration during which thousands of wildebeests and zebras head to the park for better grazing grounds. Elephants and other animals follow suit to gather along the Tarangire River, the only permanent water source in the park. It has been claimed, that up to 2000 elephants reside in the park during these months with some coming as far as from Ambsoseli National Park in Kenya.
Lake Manyara National Park
Upon entering the Lake Manyara National Park visitors are greeted by ground water forest which boasts with ancient mahogany trees, giant fig trees as well as kapok trees. It is a common site to see the crystal clear water seeping directly out of the ground. This area is always lush green and is also home to the olive baboons who proudly call Manyara their home. Troops of up to 150 individuals joyfully playing and foraging around in the forest can be seen.
Elegant bushbucks can be seen grazing almost soundlessly. From time to time the peace of the forest is disrupted by the trumpeting calls of the silvery cheeked hornbills who enjoy perching on top of the giant trees.
As you continue, the ground water forest transforms into a flash of greens and yellows signalling the arrival of the acacia forest. Vervet monkeys as well as the noisy red billed hornbills are common residents here. A must stop is the new hippo viewing deck from which visitors can gaze upon these large mammals going about their business. Water birds like blacksmith plovers, little egrets and herons are just a few of the many birds to be seen here. Large herds of wildebeests, zebras and buffaloes like to gather on the open flood plains from where they graze and can keep a look out for approaching predators.
The acacia woodlands deeper in the park are famous for the renowned “tree climbing lions”. These large cats have evolved over generations to add tree climbing to their daily activity.
The lake itself receives its water primarily from the Simba River in the north and the Makuyuni River in the east. However the rift valley also provides a lot of water mainly in the rainy season. The ground water forest also feeds the swamps that eventually flow into the lake.
Arusha National Park
This park is often overlooked by visitors, worried they will not see that much wildlife. However Arusha National Park has such a lot to offer and dazzles with a perfect mix of flora and fauna and diversified landscapes. Passing the “small Serengeti” during a game drive, you are likely to spot peaceful herds of buffaloes, shy bushbucks on the edge of the forest as well as warthogs and zebras. Heading towards the Ngurdoto Crater you will soon find yourself in a lush rainforest – a great place to spot the athletic black and white colobus monkey as well as the elegant mitis monkey. The Ngurdoto Crater is basically a smaller version of the Ngorongoro Crater and has a diameter of about 3 km. With a bit of luck you might even spot buffaloes in the swamps on the crater floor.
Due to the low numbers of predators in the park, walking safaris are permitted. This is a must for anyone wanting to get a closer look at the covered trees and the occasional red hot pokers as well as for those wanting to get up close to wildlife. Most common sightings whilst on a walking safari include buffaloes, warthogs, giraffes and a variety of birds such as the silvery cheeked hornbill, little bee-eater and the occasional long crested eagle. The walk takes visitors to the refreshing Tululusia waterfalls and back to the Momella gate.
On the way towards the Momella Lakes, visitors are in for a treat as common waterbucks and reedbucks love to hang around the lake shore. An array of water birds like cormorants, kingfishers and beautiful flamingos are also often spotted. There are seven alkaline lakes to be seen and each lake has a different salt concentration. Visitors also have the option of going on a canoe trip on the small Momella Lake.
Kilimanjaro National Park
Kilimanjaro National Park is home to the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing mountain in the world. Mount Kilimanjaro is made up of three volcanoes, Shira in the west (4,269 m) Mawenzi in the east (5,280 m) and the youngest volcano Kibo (5,895m). Shira and Mawenzi are extinct and the last major eruption of Kibo was between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago. Today Kibo is dormant but could awaken any day.
The vegetation on the mountain is also very varied and some 2,500 species of plants are found here including the endemic and beautiful red and yellow impatiens kilimanjari as well as the colorful violet viola. The lower regions of the park are dominated by lush green montane forests with almost 140 species of trees. A bit higher up, distinctive giant lobelias grace the moorland zone. Above 4,000 m one finds the moonlike desert, where not much grows and the land is full of rocks and dust. Closer to the summit, hikers will be rewarded with beautiful sights of glaciers and a deep crater.
Out of the approximately 140 mammal species that live in the park, 87 of them are forest species. Animals that roam here include elephants, leopards, buffaloes, varies antelopes including the rare and endangered abbot duiker as well as primates such as the colobus and the mitis monkey. In addition hereto, 24 species of bats and 179 highland bird species have also been spotted in the Kilimanjaro National Park.
But Tanzania is not just about safari but also about the Indian Ocean and its beautiful beaches. To the east of the country lies the Zanzibar Archipelago, a group of islands and islets, that are dominated by the famous spice islands of Zanzibar (Unguja) and Pemba. Mafia Island is further south from Zanzibar and is said to be a hidden gem in the Indian Ocean. Watersport enthusiast can satisfy their every need and kite surfing, diving, deep sea fishing, kayaking and snorkeling are just a few of the activities on offer.
Here are some quick facts about the country:
- Size: 945,203 sq km (364,898 sq miles) four times larger than Great Britain.
- Capital: Dodoma – but chosen purely because it’s in the centre of Tanzania. Dar es Salam is considered the business capital and it is also the largest city with a population of 4 million plus.
- Religions: Christian 35%, Muslim 35% and natural religions 30%. These figures are not confirmed due to the fact that Tanzania’s people pride themselves in living in harmony with each other.
- Climate: Tropical – the days are quite hot with up to 35 degrees with the evenings being rather cooler. In regions like Ngorongoro it can get quite cold at night.