Top National Parks in Tanzania

January 28, 2019
Tailor-made vacations to Lake Manyara
January 28, 2019
Travel Guide to Lake Manyara
January 28, 2019

Here are the top national parks in the Northern and Southern circuit.

Northern Tanzania

  1. Ngorongoro Crater- imagine being in the floor of an extinct volcano and looking at the wildlife it teems with? That’s the Ngorongoro Crater for you. It was formed millions of years ago and within its borders run many animals, including the Big 5. You can also see the endangered black rhino here.
  2. Lake Manyara National Park- this park gets its name from the Manyara Lake and dominates this diminutive but distinctive park. It’s known for its numerous birds and the tree-climbing lions. It hosts the largest number of baboons in the world, and large herds of elephants too.
  3. Serengeti National Park- known for the spectacular Great Migration that takes place here, Serengeti is also a great choice for hot air balloon safaris. The big draw is all the predators spread over the 12,250 square kilometres in the park.
  4. Tarangire National Park- this quiet park is renowned for birding and the elephant migration. This is undoubtedly the hidden gem of the northern circuit and a must-visit.

Southern Tanzania

This circuit is not nearly as popular as its northern cousin but that doesn’t take away from its many charms. The top parks are:

  1. Selous Game Reserve- this World Heritage site is best known for its amazing ecology. Rocky outcrops, plains, grassy woodlands, hot springs, water bodies from lagoons and lakes- it’s all here. The backbone of the park is the Rufiji River and it is here that you can see any number of animals, including antelopes, white colubus monkeys, kudu, hippos and crocodiles. The main animal is wild dogs. They are formidable hunters, but alas are endangered. If you want to see the elephants, choose the dry season and watch these gentle creatures move between Selous and Niassa. Walking safaris, fishing for vandu catfish and tiger fish are some of the things you can do here.
  2. Ruaha National Park- established in 1964, this 20,200 kilometre park is Tanzania’s second biggest national park. It’s named after the river that flows through it. One of its highlights is the ecosystem- open savannah, miombo woodlands, hills, large open plains- you’ll find everything here. Including carnivores- lions, cheetahs, and leopards. If you’re lucky you’ll find the civet. People also visit for the more than 400 species of birds you can spot here.
  3. Mikumi National Park- this park is dominated by the Mkata Floodplain which makes for a marvellous, awe inspiring sight. This is the place to be to spot all the wildlife you want to see.
  4. Saadani National Park- ocean coastline- the uniqueness of Saadani is that it is the only national park with a coastline. This gives you both the mainland species and the marine life. You can hope to see dolphins, green turtles and humpback whales in the ocean in the Park.
  5. Udzungwa Mountains National Park- this World Biodiversity hotspot is famous for its high forests and is ideal for mountain trekking and hiking. Primates abound as do rare creatures like the bushpig and the blue and red duiker.

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