Serengeti National Park
Magnificent Serengeti NP is Tanzania’s largest National Park with an area of 15,000 km². It is known worldwide for the great wildebeest migration, the largest migration in the world. Every year, millions of wildebeest travel in a circle through the Serengeti ecosystem (consisting of Serengeti NP, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maasai Mara in Kenya and some private game reserves) in search of fertile soil and water. At the beginning of the year, the wonderful southern endless plains of Serengeti NP are teeming with wildebeest from which they migrate in the northern direction. The northern part of Serengeti NP consists of shrub savanna. However, it is not only the migration that makes the Serengeti attractive. In Serengeti NP you will find almost all animals. Mainly you will find lions, elephants, different kinds of gazelles, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, buffalo, cheetahs, hyenas, hippos and many kinds of birds. If you are lucky, you will meet a leopard.
The unique Ngorongoro Crater is part of a larger area called Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The area contains a number of extinct volcanoes, craters and calderas (collapsed craters), of which the Ngorongoro Crater is best known. The crater wall is 600 meters at its highest and the crater floor is at an altitude of 2000 meters and has a diameter of 20 km in length. You can visit the crater by car and it has a high density of wildlife including large tusked elephants, buffalo, zebras, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, wildebeest and large birds such as storks and traps. In the crater you have a good chance of seeing a rhinoceros. This is also the most likely place where we can show you the caracal (African lynx). There is a soda lake, Lake Magadi, and a freshwater spring, Ngoitokitok, and a forest, called Lerai forest.
Arusha National Park
Arusha NP is often overlooked as it is small and a bit out of the way of the other parks. However, a visit to this park is very worthwhile. Although it is small, there is a rainforest, a small savanna, lakes and all with Mount Meru in the background. While there should be leopards, felines are not seen in this park, but many grazers and giraffes can easily be seen up close. In the forest, you will find different types of monkeys, such as blue monkeys and black and white Colobus monkeys. If you are lucky you will suddenly come face to face with a herd of elephants. Another interesting sight are the Momella lakes with a rich bird life.
Manyara National Park
The extraordinary Lake Manyara NP is best known for its lake, which attracts many birds. However, the other parts of the park are also worth checking out. At the top of the wall of the Great Rift Valley, you will find a beautiful view over the park. On the side of the wall, there is a rainforest-like area with many monkeys and you have a good chance of seeing ’tree-climbing lions’ here. Between the forest and the lake, is a savanna with grazing zebras and wildebeest. The lake turns pink in the rainy season, due to the flamingos that reside there. Other interesting places are the hippo pool with a large amount of birds and the hot water springs.
Tarangire National Park
The baobab-studded Tarangire NP is close to Manyara NP and is known for its large populations of elephants. They are often found in the riverbeds of the Tarangire River in search of water. Another feature of this park is the sheer number of large baobabs. In the dry season they resemble upturned trees with the roots in the air, and in the wet season their appearance is completely different with a huge amount of green leaves. Almost all other wild animals can be found here. There is also a chance of finding ’tree-climbing lions’ here. A very beautiful area within Tarangire is the Salilei swamp (Salilei swamp), a huge plain with rolling hills around it.