The largest of the East African countries, Tanzania is considered one of Africa’s show pieces of stability, displaying a unique climate of peace and tranquility. It is well situated geographically bordering Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is an economic hub of East Africa providing natural access and commercial links to eight countries.
Tanzania is often rated as one of the most enchanting wildlife destinations in the world. The game reserves are pure, providing a rewarding nature experience to the visitor. Tanzania also boasts of some of the finest beaches on its 850-kilometer coastline, and around the beautiful islands of Zanzibar and Mafia.
Tanzania is divided into four broad regions based on the physical features of the land. The forested mountains in the northeast (Mt Kilimanjaro – 5895m and Meru – 4575m, Ngorongoro Highlands, Usambara & Pare ranges which form part of the Eastern Arc Mountain Forests extending south to Uluguru and Udzungwa mountains).
The forested southern highlands around Iringa and Mbeya (Poroto mountains, Kipengere Range, Livingstone Mountains). The great central plateau of rich savanna grass and bush at an elevation of about 1200m. The tropical coastline, including the islands of Zanzibar (Unguja & Pemba) and Mafia.
The National language is Kiswahili, but English is widely spoken and is the language of the tourist trade and other international businesses.
Ngorongoro is a Tanzanian must-see. The Ngorongoro Crater, a caldera or collapsed volcano, while only covering 260 km², includes a diverse range of habitats including montane forest, grasslands, acacia forests, a salt-lake and swamps. The diversity of the habitat provides home to an incredibly wide range of birds and animals, including the Big Five, in a concentrated area. Accommodation around the rim of the crater provides spectacular views and easy access to the crater.
Covering a vast area in northwestern Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park is an absolute must-see. With over 70 mammals, including huge populations of lion and other predators and over 500 bird species, this is wildlife viewing paradise. Beyond the incredible Great Migration that moves through the area seasonally, this is an incredibly beautiful park with diverse flora and fauna.
The Serengeti National Park is part of the vast Serengeti ecosystem which covers about 30,000 km² in northern Tanzania. The ecosystem includes a number of other parks, including the Maasai Mara in Kenya,
Although Meru National Park was made famous by Joy Adamson’s “Born Free” books, it remains largely undiscovered and untamed. With its rugged jungle, rivers, swamps and grasslands, game viewing opportunities are excellent. Neglected on safari bucket lists for years, it has been restored to its former glory while evading the hordes of safari visitors.
Meru National Park is unspoiled, untamed and exceptionally beautiful. The equator cuts through the park it and it is crisscrossed by many rivers and streams, making it a lush, tropical paradise.
Tarangire National Park is traversed by the perennial Tarangire River. As the only water source in the dry season from July to October, it attracts scores of animals to the park, transforming it into a veritable wildlife paradise.
Somewhat off the popular northern safari circuit, Tarangire National Park offers visitors an unhurried, uncrowded, game-rich safari experience. With its varied landscapes, interspersed with termite mounds and clusters of magnificent baobabs, Tarangire attracts plentiful game during the dry season, making it an ideal safari destination.
In the heart of Tanzania where the Zambezi miombo woodlands meet the Tanzanian/Kenyan savannahs, lies Ruaha National Park. This vast park, with its few camps, offers visitors an uncrowded glimpse of untouched Africa, with a huge diversity of game, birds and landscapes. It’s an area known for its incredible animal sightings, including large herds of elephant and plenty of predators.
Situated right in the centre of Tanzania, Ruaha National Park covers over 20,000 km² of land. It is a fascinating, game-rich park which includes the Zambian miombo woodlands and the Tanzanian and Kenyan savannahs. This diversity of habitats plays host to an equally diverse range of animals.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that Arusha National Park is small (552 km2). Within its borders, it has a diverse topography and wonderful wildlife. From the rugged peaks of Mount Meru to the marshy depths of the Ngurdoto Crater where warthog wallow, to monkey-filled montane forest and rolling grassy hills on which giraffe and zebra graze, there’s plenty to see here.
While the Arusha National Park doesn’t have the Big Five except for buffalo, it offers visitors spectacular scenery and sightings of a wide range of animals including monkey, giraffe, zebra and the sweetest antelopes on earth, the dik-dik.