Tanzania is a country in East Africa which is rich in beautiful scenery, diverse culture and of course, fascinating wildlife – the type of animals you would only get to see on TV or in zoo’s in the Western world.
When recommending where to visit in Tanzania, I would suggest starting with some of the parks in the Northern part of the country, unless you have previously been to Tanzania and already toured the Northern circuit, in which case I’d suggest visiting some of the Southern parks.
The Best Wildlife Parks in Northern Tanzania
Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Crater is the end result of a volcano collapsing in on itself several millions of years ago. Over time, the crater and its surrounding ‘walls’ have flourished and have become scenically breath taking, as well as a safe place for wildlife to thrive – protected from the dangers of poachers, which can be a problem in other parks. For this exact reason, there is much better chance of seeing a rare black rhino in the Ngorongoro Crater than most other Tanzanian parks.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire is a moderately small park, but fits in allot of big things, such as many of the large African Baobab trees and the biggest population of elephants in Northern Tanzania, with numbers estimated to have reached 2,500! During Tanzania’s dry season, you can spend the majority of your time in the park at the Tarangire River, as you watch wildlife in all its varieties come to rehydrate at the watering hole.
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti is not the most popular wildlife park in the world for no reason, this destination has well and truly earned its title. Its land is split into an amazing mixture of different ecosystems, such as; open grassy plains, swamps, woodlands, riverines and rocky hills. The variety of these ecosystems helps to attract a large variation of different animals.
A unique selling point of the Serengeti is that it is home to the most amazing mass movement of animals on this planet, the ‘great migration’. This mesmerising event sees over 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle make their annual journey from the dryness of the Serengeti to the green, fresh grazing pastures of the Masai Mara in Kenya. If you are lucky enough to see the migration in action, then you may get the chance to witness the mass birthing of several thousand wildebeest calves in February, or the crossing of the Grumeti River in June.
The Best Wildlife Parks in Southern Tanzania
Ruaha National Park
For those wanting to get stuck into a bit of everything, and not wanting to be limited to touring the park in a safari vehicle, you can take a boating safari along the Great Ruaha River to get a bit closer to the animal and bird life which resides in around it. There are said to be over 400 species of bird which inhabit the park, and just as impressively, the population of elephants there is estimated to be over 10,000!
Selous Game Reserve
Selous is the largest wildlife park on this planet, measuring over 50,000 square Kilometres. It is host to many different types of animals, but there is one in particular that sets this park aside from others in Tanzania, the African wild dog. You are more likely to see this endangered canine in Selous than any other park in the world, as one third of the total African wild dog population live there.
Mikumi National Park
Mikumi is actually an extension of the same ecosystem that makes up Selous, however it still has its own unique characteristics. It is said that you are more likely to see a lion climbing a tree in Mikumi than in any other park, it is also a fantastic place to spot eland, which are the largest antelope in the world.
Tom Powell is the Marketing Manager of Tanzania safari experts Ziara Safaris.