A guide to Tanzania , the best destinations, where to stay, when to go and the possible attractions in Tanzania
Introduction to Safaris in Tanzania
Tanzania is one of the East African countries popularly known for the African Safari “Big 5” mammals that most travelers tend to associate with. Like Africa’s big game animals, frequently visited country listed for the past year 2015 on most travelers bucket list (African Development Bank). Most of wildlife safari holidays in Tanzania are organized for the northern tourist circuit because most of the national parks in Tanzania are located in the region including Serengeti, Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro conservation area and Mount Kilimanjaro national parks. The 5,700 sq miles region is located in the northwest of Arusha town.
Northern Tanzania Safaris region is the richest game viewing zone in East Africa containing Tanzania’s most ecologically diverse national parks making the region a top tourist area and most frequently visited for the big game animals. The region features the iconic Wildebeest Migration and Africa’s tallest Mountain range Kilimanjaro. The spreading of savannah plains, reserves teemed with African acacia woodland trees offers an excellent big game viewing opportunity in the bush. The Northern Safari Zone consists of Tanzania’s pinnacle National Parks that include:-
Serengeti National Park, Kilimanjaro Mountain National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park and Arusha National Park where one can enjoy Tanzania adventures on African plains and later retreat on luxurious beaches of Zanzibar on the coast of the Indian Ocean. These are among the factors in deciding to go for the north zone.
Serengeti National Park Tanzania Safari
Serengeti is the largest National Park in Tanzania and most popular for the famous annual migration of millions of Wildebeests and other hoofed mammals which is the most remarkable natural Wildlife event and the primary expose that draws big numbers of Tanzania tourists to the park. This spectacular movement of animals is found no where else in the world as Wildebeests migrate from the Serengeti National park to Maasai- Mara National Park in Kenya in search of greener pastures. The vast treeless savannah grassland plains and woodlands, riverine forests covering about 14,750 sq km is the most scintillating game viewing park in Africa and for its great diversity of big 5 mammals. This safari park was declared a UNESCO world heritage site and recently make known as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
Due to its diversity of ecosystems, the park is a home to the most famous big five mammals that feature in the most travelers bucket list; they include lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and the Black Rhinos. Other globally threatened species of safari animals include African hunting Dog, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, jackals, bat eared fox and other hoofed mammals such as large herds of antelopes, zebras, Thompson’s grant gazelles, the popular wildebeests.
This Tanzanian park is also a birders paradise with 500 species of birds that are mostly sighted along the riverine forests and swampy areas of the park.
The park was established in 1951, located in North West part of Tanzania on the northern Kenyan border where the un fenced plains join the Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya, in the southwest is the Maswa game reserve, and to the west is the Ikonrongo and Grumeti reserves and the Loliondo game control area in the north east, together these reserves combine to form the greater Serengeti ecosystems. The park is further sub divided into 3 sections each with unique landscapes including the western section where the Grumeti River teemed with Nile crocodiles and swampy Savannah
The Serengeti plains dominated” treeless Savannah grasslands are the breeding ground for Wildebeests especially during wet seasons when the grass is green and the granitic rocky hills called “Kopjes become great watching towers for predators.
Game Drive Safari Serengeti Tanzania
Stop at the Serengeti tourist center located in the Seronera area usually open from morning to 05:00 pm in the evening daily for highlights about the park’s history, ecosystems, exhibits and guided walks where you might spot some birds and other Tanzania tour wildlife as you break off to relax at the picnic restrooms, gift shops and coffee shops.
Game drives normally start early in the morning at 06:00 am or at 01:00 pm conducted on 4WD open roofed vehicles or window viewing seats allow you to photography wildlife and scenic views. Get a rare chance to look at the big five mammals such as prides of lions, buffaloes, elephants, leopards and the rare Black rhinos which are rarely sighted due to their nocturnal nature and other mammals include eland, impalas, dik diks, warthogs and Oryx.
Lots birds can also sighted but of course with good binoculars. There are customized photographic vehicles specifically for photographic safari enthusiasts which can be arranged at an additional cost.
How much to Pay for a Safari To Serengeti?
Park entrance fees are US $ 25 per visitor for 24 hours and US $ 30 per vehicle. A part from the day time drives, night game drives permit visitors to bump into nocturnal mammals such as bush babies, civets, Aardvarks, leopards, dik diks, bat eared fox, scrub hare, jackals and mongoose. Night drives are only possible with permitted safari lodges and camps that are meant to provide them along the park borders to hear the night roaring sounds of the wilderness and a chance to see predators on the hunt.
In the Serengeti national park ecosystems, wildlife viewing is tremendous with the largest populations of large mammals in Africa, there are over 2,500 lions found no where except in Kenya, the great Wildebeest migration of over 1.5 millions wildebeests mixed with other hoofed mammals such as zebras, giraffes, elephants makes Tanzania tours the best in the whole of Africa. Between December and March, animals migrate passing through the northern section attracts many visitors who gather in grasslands to watch the spectacular wildlife natural events found no where else in the world.
All visitors must have a visa which can be obtained upon arrival in Arusha or Dar Es Salaam cities at a cost of US $ 100, however visa costs ma vary depending on your nationality. Visitors must also be vaccinated against yellow fever and will present verified immunization cards at entry points.
Best time to visit Serengeti National Park Tanzania
The park can be visited all year round but many visitors prefer the drier months than the wetter months. April and may are usually wetter and visitors can enjoy discounted prices in lodges and camps. June to October tends to be hotter and many visitors will flock the central parts to view the great wildebeest migration.
While you anticipate for this mighty safari adventure park, you should include the following in your packaging list, warm clothing, walking shoes, stand by medication kit, huts and sun glasses, cameras, binoculars and other filming equipment.
Getting to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania
Located about 335 km from Arusha town, extending north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria to the west, By Air international airlines land at Kilimanjaro international airport near Arusha town, Internal charter flights connect from Arusha to the Seronera Airstrip near the park at a cost of 135 US dollars per person.
By public transportation, the road from Arusha town enters the Serengeti via Naabi hill Gate. The road takes 6-8 hours for a distance of 325 km passing through iconic tourist features including the rift valley escarpments, Ngorongoro conservation area and the surrounding farmlands and to the east the Olduvai Gorge site gives insights into the history of human evolution footprints dated millions of years ago. Visitors can stop at Seronera and Lobo garage for refueling and other mechanic related facilities. There are camping and luxury safari in Tanzania tented camps that you may wish to stay in during your safari experience in Serengeti but you will be required to get permission from the Tanzanian National Parks Authority (TANAPA).
Wildebeest Migration Safari in Tanzania
In addition to the native mammals of Serengeti, the park hosts over 2 million migrating grazers that include over 1 million wildebeests, about 3,000 zebras and half a million Thompson and Grant gazelles. Visitors will need proper timing of the annual spectacular migration, the best months for viewing over 1.5 million Wildebeests and other hoofed mammals cross the Grumeti River are May and early June. July to August the herds keep on moving in the northeast direction to the Masai Mara game reserve on the Kenyan border. The safari migration heavily depends on the dry and wet seasons of the year, hence as they reach and graze in Kenya during September and December again the wildebeests move back to Tanzania when grass is green and fresh.
Visitors spend most of the time in their safari vehicles with roll down windows and open roofs which allow you to witness the mouth-gaped hungry crocodiles killing some animals as they cross the Grumeti River. Off road driving is not allowed in the park.
Bird Watching Tours in Tanzania
Serengeti has an alluring list of over 518 species of birds. Bird enthusiasts should wake up early to see many of the Eurasian migratory birds from Europe and come to Serengeti during October and April.
Explore the Shores of Lake Victoria, World’s Largest Fresh Water Lake
Morning game drives take visitors through the Serengeti on a full day trip to shores of Lake Victoria just about 20 minute drive from the park’s gate. Tanzania travelers have an opportunity to carry out excursion fishing drills on a traditional canoe as you like the scenic landscapes or be entertained by traditional local dances at the Lukungu African Foundation primary school.
The Maasai Mara Safari
The semi-nomadic people who live in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya in the great East African rift valley who are distinctively unique with their traditional ways of life such as clothing, customs and dances, Visits may last for one hour and you could purchase handicrafts made by the Maasai tribe as an elder explains to you their traditional customs related to cattle keeping, handicraft making, marriage and education.
Balloon Safari in Serengeti Tanzania
Explore the Serengeti plains and wildlife from above by a bird’s eye view which is thrilling adventure in a lifetime in that fantastic hot air balloon. This safari activity is only available from the Seronera and Grumeti river regions. The balloon safari over the plains of Serengeti start at Sun rise and last for one hour which require passengers to be flexible, fit and above 7 years of age. At 6:30 am up to 09:30 am. As you lay down, you will find breakfast and champagne waiting for you, there after return to your camp for other activities.
Ngorongoro Crater Safari Tanzania
Ngorongoro Conservation Area features one of the largest caldera lakes in the world, the Olduvai Gorge a mystical archeological site containing the believed to be the first human evolution remains on earth. Spanning over 8,300 square kilometers of large expanses of Savannah woodlands and forests, highland plains encompassing parts of the great Eastern arm of the East African rift valley which makes the park an important area for biological conservation as a result in 1979 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The exceptional nature of the park rests in the co-existence of wildlife; livestock and man living together in harmony since its establishment in 1959.
Ngorongoro conservation area has been an area under discussion of widespread archeological research associated with the human evolution and environmental changes with evidence of human foot prints dated about 4 million years at the Olduvai Gorge site. The landscape of the site shows evidence that exposes the transition of man right from the Stone Age to the modern human society.
While on a Tanzania safari to Ngorongoro, experience dense populations of mammals including the critically endangered Black rhinos and African hunting Dog, over 60 lions mostly found along the Ndutu crater area, buffaloes, and large herds of zebras, eland the largest antelope in Africa, and over 350,000 Thompson and grant gazelles. The equatorial rain forests encircling the rim of the Crater Lake are teemed with African leopards, jackals, and hyrax. Cheetahs as well as the reedbucks live in the forests. The area is also popular as a connecting zone for the great wildebeest migration which annually passes through the Tanzania park during December moving north words to the Kenyan Masai Mara reserve. This impressive diversity of mammals is due to the presence of varied ecosystems such as the highland rain forests, semi-arid vegetation, lowland grasslands that most grazers depend on for grazing.
On the lee ward side of the mountain, lots of wildflowers such as the Peacock flowers and species of acacia woodlands dominate the lower slopes such as red thorn and Gum acacia trees which are drought resistant responsible for creating the permanent watersheds in the area.
The several crater lakes in the conservation attract over 500 species of birds making the park an important birding area with the world’s largest bird the Ostrich. Other numerous water birds can be sighted on a safari including the greater and lesser flamingos commonly found on Lake Magadi within the crater and white pelicans. Besides the diversity of wildlife, the park is a home to the unique cultures of Maasai people; responsible visitors can explore the traditional cultural experience of the Maasai living in scenic pastoral communities along the boundaries of the park.
Game Drives & Ngorongoro Tours in Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area lies between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara National Parks therefore many visitors include this area in their prime safari packages to the greater northern tourist circuit. Visitors can stay in the area for two days to fully explore the big five mammals and hike to the top of the volcano for an overnight at the crater rim to enjoy the breathtaking beautiful surrounding highlands and backdrops of the richest grazing fertile volcanic grounds in Africa.
Game drives normally start in the morning or afternoon, visitors can enjoy 6 hours game drives in the park. Along the Lerai forest in the south corner of the park, is a good place to encounter animals such as water bucks, elephants, buffaloes grazing in the thorn scrub grasslands.
Crater Lake Exploration Safari
The main caldera is about 610 meters, with a base area covering 260 square km making it the world’s 6th largest caldera. Formed when the giant volcanic mountain exploded about 3 million years ago creating other two crater lakes attractive for their thundering waterfalls and lush green covered steep ridges. Visitors can also explore an active volcanic lake on the lee ward side of the Ngorongoro highlands Oldonyo Lengai referred to as the mountain of god by the Maasai people which last erupted in 2007. On the base of the mountain is the main breeding ground for flamingos on Lake Natron.
Olduvai Gorge Adventure Safari in Tanzania
The Olduvai Gorge, alluded to hazily by the ancient writings of Mary Leaky, stood as one of the Pale anthropological sites in the world where leaky discovered human fossils dated about 3.6 million years ago. The 30 miles long Gorge located a few km south of the Serengeti Park between Ngorongoro craters in a steep sided ravine, visitors can make a stop over at the gorge and spend 30 minutes in a small museum containing information, artifacts and fossils of earliest remains of humans (homo sapiens). Visitors can break off for lunch at the museum and walk around for the breathtaking views of the surrounding standing on the volcanic shifting sands due to the prevailing winds that sweep across the desert floor. For this adventure you are advised to book a vehicle in advance.
Tarangire National Park Tanzania
Tarangire national park has the greatest concentrations of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystems. Located 118km South West of Arusha city covering an area of about 2850 sq km between the lakes of the great east African rift valley. Tarangire River that dominates the northern part of the park from which the park was named, flows through vast swamps and deep narrow valleys into Lake Burungi in the north western corner.
The permanent Tarangire River features dense vegetation cover along its banks including thick elephants grass, acacia woodlands and patches of riverine forests. in the south of the park there are palm trees, a network of huge flat swamps which flood during the dry seasons and become impassable. This park is drier than Serengeti thus Tarangire River supports the largest concentrations of mammals especially during the dry seasons a reason why wildlife viewing differs with seasons. During the dry months of June to October, large herds of elephants, wildebeests, impalas, eland, buffalos, Thompson’s Gazelle hartebeests, the greater and lesser Kudu congregate for water along the permanent water ravines. Several predators can be spotted on the hunt including lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, and the rare African wild dog. Among the rarely seen is the localized Gerenuk and fringe eared Oryx and few black rhinos.
Bird watching is also popular in the park due to a varied ecosystems, 500 species of birds have been recorded. Bird enthusiasts can spot the large flocks of the fine-looking yellow-collared lovebirds, ashy starlings which are endemic to Tanzania.
The most popular and affordable Tanzania holidays in the park are the day time game drives which extremely occur during the dry months to view large herds of elephants, antelopes and Africa’s deadliest predators like lions, leopards and cheetahs.
Visitors may choose outside the park in camping sites that offer adventurous walking safaris that allow you to explore the park. Night walking safaris in Tanzania can be arranged and offer an opportunity to spot the nocturnal animals like leopards but most exciting is the nigh wilderness sounds.
Wildlife Safari in Tarangire Tanzania
There are 5 routes that lead to most parts of the park that provide the best option for game viewing. The Lemiyon route features the park headquarters and campsites in the northern part of the park. The route offers a chance to explore the charming herds of mammals encountered during the dry season. The lookout tress with hollow sections inside provides a majestic experience of sleeping inside the tree in the heart of the wilderness.
The Gursi and Lamarku routes are found in the southern part passing through large tracts of open grasslands where ostriches can be encountered, the grasslands lead into the swampy areas of the park where hippos can be seen. Several water pools at the extreme southern end attract various birds and fortunate visitors might bump into the cheetahs.
The western lake Barungi route is quite long but important to spot the nocturnal leopards and the endangered Black Rhinos. The route passes through a group of 250 species of scrubs and trees and the beautiful picturesque lakeside views that disappear in rolling hills.
The Kitibong Hill route offers hiking around the kitibong hill dominated by acacia woodlands and flood plains down the hill are best for spotting elephants and buffalos
Best time to visit Tarangire National Park
Form July to October is the time when most of wildlife storms the permanent waters of river Tarangire which are not common during the wet seasons. Thus visitors are advised to travel to the park during the peak season. Several mammals including buffalos, African elephants, zebras, giraffes, many species of antelopes, warthogs can be seen on a safari game drive.
Visitors may choose either to stay in or outside the park. There are two camps inside the park with excellent rooms and offer good value for money while the Tarangire treetops camp is found outside the with stunning views of acacia woodlands and baobab trees.
Lake Manyara National Park Tanzania Safari
Lake Manyara is located in northern Tanzania just 126 km west of Arusha town. The 330 sq km park stretches along the scenic and steep rift valley escarpments measuring up to 600 meters high with large expanses of water grounded forests, narrow belts of acacia woodlands straddling across jagged blue volcanic peaks with bubbling hot spring steams adjacent to the lake Manyara scrub from which the park was named. Like other lakes in the rift valley floor, Manyara is one of the salty lakes of which two thirds is under water. The first parts of the park from the entrance gate is between forests and a variety of palm trees with dense forests consisting of mahogany trees characterized by thick undergrowth of wildflowers that are mostly inhabited by monkeys, huge troops of baboons and a variety of colorful butterflies along ground water springs that keep them lush and evergreen.
Between the steep rift valley escarpments and forests is the prime attraction of the park, the famous tree climbing lions with a unique character made perfect by the bent-huge tree branches and stems often at close ranges is a great photographic opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts.
As the dense forested area opens up and the vegetation changes to the grasslands plains mixed with patches of acacia woodlands and African baobab trees providing habitat to big game mammals including abundant numbers of tusker elephants, wildebeest, buffalos, warthogs, , zebras, giraffes and several species of antelopes such as impalas, klipspringers and dik diks which are often hard to encounter but for the keen wildlife lovers the experience for searching them is exciting and worth undertaking.
From the entrance gate is a road leading to the park’s main spots for wildlife viewing which can take 3 to 4 hours on good safari vehicles open roofed for clear views of roadside animals especially grazers. As you approach the narrow great rift valleys with steep escarpments, large mammals are often seen around the huge salt lick deposits according to the seasons; Lake Manyara often contracts and expands. Adjacent to the shores of the lake, are the burning steam hot springs provide spectacular and breathtaking views unique to the park.
Game Drives in Lake Manyara National Park
In the remote southern parts of the park is lake Manyara Tree Lodge where visitors set off for a morning or afternoon game drive with a guide and a safari vehicle to see the famous pride of Tree Climbing Lions relaxing in a acacia trees is an outstanding sight. A day time game drive in the grasslands and woodlands for the attractive large herds of tusker elephants can be encountered in the inland flood plains where animals usually concentrate. Drives long the forests near the park entrance offers a chance to encounter several troops of baboons.
Visitors who choose to stay in camps inside the park can possibly enjoy night drives that have been introduced recently or take short walks, hiking and mountain biking offered at some of the lodges and camps. As the sun sets in the evening hours over the salty lake, large predators and nocturnal species come out of the bushes which are hardly seen during day light. Leopards, aardvarks can be encountered.
Sights along the shores of the lake are flocked with thousands of pink-hued flamingos other numerous water birds such as cormorants, pelicans and storks.
When to Go To Lake Manyara
The park can be visited all year round although the dry spell season is preferred from the beginning of July to October is the best time to encounter large mammals such as tusker elephants and Africa’s large predators including the popular tree climbing lion. Birders will like the wet season November –June best for bird watching, and boat trips on the lake using African traditional canoes. Visitors can stay may choose to stay in or out of the park in a luxury lodge or several camps overlooking the lake.
Bird Watching in Lake Manyara
Species of birds are exceptionally well represented in the park due to the varied habitats than other parks mainly for big game. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded and the lake has the largest flocks of flamingos in Africa, and several water birds including pelicans, spoonbills, stalks, egrets, feeding on the aquatic organisms as you trail by the lakeside spotting sites. The parches of forested woodlands similarly give way fascinating species of birds of prey, keen birders will slowly walk through the evergreen forests to search for Crowned Eagles, Silvery Cheeked Hornbills, species of guinea fowls including the Crested Guinea Fowls.
Canoeing Safari in Tanzania
Visitors interested in sailing on the salty waters can take a canoe safari for 3 and half hours in a two-man canoe with a guide, life jackets, water packs. You will set off early in the morning at 07:00 am or 02:00 pm in the afternoon depending on your interest. Slowly you will paddle on the waters as you watch elephants, giraffes, buffalos graze and wallow in the shoreline muddy waters. Lots of hippos can also be seen as you approach the deep end of the lake with less or no threat of hippo attacks. As you enjoy the magnificent lakeside sceneries, several species of water birds with flamingos mainly dominating the surface of the shallow waters can be sighted. The lake hosts more than 400 species of birds and your guide will tell you to stop paddling as you keenly watch many species including pelicans, cormorants and storks.
Cultural Safari Tanzania & Local Village Tours
Visitors to Lake Manyara can take advantage to visit the Karatu local villages and markets situated in a cool mountain valley between Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater Lake to get an insight into the African local setting and history of the park around the karatu village. Walks may last for about 2 and a half hours as you learn and meet new people and enjoy the scenic agricultural landscapes. Visitors can visit traditional homes of the Maasai women commonly known as Enkaji which are circular in form and get a chance to participate in traditional food making or purchase the beautiful beaded jewelries with other handicrafts offered for sale.
Mountain Biking Safari
Visitors interested in cycling and desire to explore more terrain other than walking or hiking prefer this activity. From the start your guide will take you to bike logistics that include, mountain bikes, packed snacks gloves, boots and helmets with bottled drinking water. The 3 ½ hours single pathway descend downhill and pass through the rift valley floor through the local villages of Mto Wa Mbu and where you meet and interact with local friendly nomadic tribes with traditional multi-colored beads, hides and skins as you enjoy the sensational and active expedition. Continue to the shores of Lake Manyara full of pink hued flamingos as you wonder the scenic surroundings of the lake. End your adventure riding back to the Manyara tree lodge once you have made your way through the unforgettable mountain cycling trip.
Safaris To Arusha National Park in Tanzania
Arusha national park is one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania covering an area of 137 sq km but the ecologically diverse habitats of three distinctive vegetation zones and numerous lakes that dominate larger parts of the park. The park is one of the legendary northern tourist game viewing areas, closely located near Arusha town just next to the Kenyan border. Although most of the visitors might overlook the park for the popular Serengeti or Kilimanjaro parks, nevertheless the parks varying altitudes and vegetation zones that support a rich variety of wildlife make it such as diverse park to visit.
Despite the small size of the park, it includes a varied range of habitats ranging from volcanic alkaline lakes, open savannah grasslands to the rugged Mount Meru rain forests. Mount Meru is Africa’s 6th highest mountain. Inside the park are the three most visited areas of the park including: – the Momela salty lakes, the Ngurdoto Crater Lake bounded by rain forests and the high altitude, Mount Meru at 4,566 meters above se level surrounded by ragged bare rocks and green forests as a result the varying vegetation supports a variety of wildlife including larger mammals, birds and nocturnal predators.
Many different kinds of mammals can be found in the park especially near the shorelines of the lakes and in the forested Meru Mountain; they include leopards, spotted hyenas, water bucks, reedbucks, small species of antelopes such as duikers can be spotted by walking safaris or by game drive vehicles captivating in several of the beautiful landscape views.
The birds of Tanzania can explore by this park with over 400 species including the seasoned migratory species present during specific months of October and April. The Momela lakes are a good place to see huge concentrations of water birds including flamingos. Species of raptors can be sighted around the forests on mount Meru.
The park offers some of the rewarding mountain climbs and spectacular views of the far reaching Kilimanjaro, as Africa’s 6th highest peak the top features caldera lakes and wildlife encounters can be found on the forested lower slopes on a recommended 4 days hike to the summit.
The Ngurdoto crater and Momela lakes offer a natural sanctuary for large numbers of African mammals, Ngurdoto is a steep sided bowl like depression with boggy swamps that dominate its floor while riverine forests are teemed with animals that live along rivers including species of monkeys, baboons and elephants, buffalos that graze in the extensive grasslands plains west of the park zebras can also be encountered. This crater is a spectacular spot for bird watchers most commonly sighted birds include the hammer kop an African bird of ill omen, species of herons and the spur winged geese can be seen.
The Momela lakes are also found inside the park, there are seven alkaline lakes of which Momela is the biggest consisting of two lakes in one. These lakes are typically mineral founded thus supports species of water weeds including the dominant algae that differently color the surface of the lakes which attracts large flocks of flamingos. Despite the water being salty and not fit for drinking by most animals, still the lakes appear attractive and offer an opportunity to take a boat trip on the Momela lakes.
Game Drives Arusha Tours
From Arusha city visitors will be driven for about 40 minutes in a good vehicle to the park. Every visitor will pay 45 USD dollars for a game drive or 20 US dollars for a walking safari. Your guide shall explain to you the varied species of plants and animals as you admire the scenic landscapes on the way to Ngurdoto crater, a dormant volcano with dense rain forests and an enclosed marsh like swamp between the rift valley cliffs. Large mammals are often seen including elephants, buffalos, forest warthogs that inhabit the forests.
Gamed drives normally last for four hours to explore the using infrequent used routes; your guide shall take you to the wildlife hot spots where most of the animals that shy away from the most traffic routes can be spotted. The secretive Blue Monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, and many colorful birds including Narina Trogon and bar tailed Trogons can be seen.
Continue to awesome sights by the side of beautiful Momela lakes and take in views of mount Meru and the snow capped Kilimanjaro peaks from a distance. Zebras, giraffes and spotted hyenas are often spotted traversing near by the lake.
Safari visitors can explore the typical african bush just on a horse back rather than a safari vehicle. The ride may take 5-7 hours passing through hidden trails with large herds of big five mammals passing by the trails but on a relatively safe distance. The distance covers the savannahs between mount Meru and Kilimanjaro which is unforgettable experience in arusha national park. While on a horse back you will get a chance to fllow the spectacular wildebeest migration .
Mount Meru Climbing
Mount meru is located in the heart of Arusha National Park which offers a four day hiking to the top of the mountain plus enjoying picnic sites and forest walks full of wildlife encounters such as elephants, leopards, buffaloes, baboons on the lower slopes of the mountain. This massive volcanic mountain is at a high altitude of 4,565 meters above sea level. Climbers must be reasonably fit to under take the activity. Through the changing vegetation zones right from the rain forests, the moorlands to the alpine and desert like top of the mountain gives a soothing hiking experience on Tanzanian second tallest mountain range. On top tourists will be mesmerized by the stunning views of the horse-shoe shaped crater lake and the steep ridges offers great photographic opportunity for hikers.
The best time to climb the mountain is between December – February and June when the skies are much clear and you might see the far Kilimanjaro mountain. There are designated huts along the hiking trails where visitors stay for overnights during their massive climbing journey.
Not forgetting the packing hiking gears that will support you throughout the hike including solid hiking boots, warm clothing, walking sticks, binoculars , cameras, good sleeping bag, first aid kit which has things like insect repellents, bandages. Packed food and adequate drinking water is recommended to keep you hydrated.
Canoeing on Momela Lakes
Arusha National Park is one of the few African lakes where game viewing can be done on a canoe safari in Tanzania following the shorelines of the lakes. You will be able to see Buffalo, Bush bucks, Giraffes, and many hippos plus a variety of water birds and other species such as giant kingfishers, cattle egrets and storks.Safaris on canoe usually commence early morning at 07:30 am or in the evening at 16:00 hours and it can last from 2 to 2 ½ hours at a cost of $ 65 per person.
Getting to Arusha National Park
The park can be accessed easily by a 40 minute drive to the north east of Arusha town and approximately 1 hour drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport. Many visitors will visit the park because it is the starting point for all Tanzania tours featuring game viewing going to the northern Tanzania tourist area. Direct international flights fly to Kilimanjaro international Airport can be the easiest since the airport is just 46km from the park or Arusha airport where your tour operators shall pick you up and drive to the park.
All in all, Tanzania remains the best country for wildlife safari tours in Africa, you can combine your Tanzania safari with gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. We encourage you to visit all East Africa on a grand tour.