Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park has incredible volcanic scenery, wonderful views of Mt Kilimanjaro (on clear days), a beautiful rainforest and plenty of wildlife. The main features are Ngurdoto Crater and the Momella Lakes. The Momella Lakes attract a wide variety of birds, particularly flamingos. Guests sometimes enjoy this park just as much as the Serengeti. Its close proximity to Arusha usually means that it gets put first on a Northern Parks itinerary.
Location: 45 minutes driving from Arusha town, Activities: Game Drives, Canoeing, Forest walk, Mt. Meru Climb.
The Park contains a diverse resident population of herbivores, primates and predators including black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, hippos, leopards, hyenas, waterbucks, wart hogs and a wide range of antelope species. No lions in the park although you can see leopards if you are lucky.
Walking and Climbing
If you wish to walk on the Mount Meru (4566 m) sector of the park through a variety of landscapes, plains, forest moorlands, and a lava desert, it is compulsory to be accompanied by an armed game warden because the wild animals. From the summit of Mount Meru you will have an impressive view of the crater and of the eruption cone 3000 metres below .
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park, which encompasses an area of 330 sq.km, of which 200 sq.km is lake, was proclaimed a game reserve in 1957 and registered three years later as a National Park. The park is situated between the 600 m high escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara and is 130 km from Arusha.
Nestling at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the park is recognized for its incredible beauty. Wildlife at Lake Manyara is not restricted to birdlife only. Many game animals such as Buffalo, Elephant, Giraffe, Impala, hippo and a great variety of smaller animals also inhabit the park.
More than 400 species of bird including flamingo, pelican, red billed quelea, storks, sacred ibis, cormorants and Egyptian geese can be sighted in this area. Other species of birds include the African spoonbill, lesser flamingo, white pelican and white faced duck.
Nearly three million years ago Ngorongoro towered alongside Mount Kilimanjaro as one of the highest peaks in Africa. Forged during the tumultuous birth of the Rift Valley, its volcanic top erupted at the time that ancient man first walked the plains.The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) covers some 8,300 square kilometres. It boasts the finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeological sites in Africa.
Today, Ngorongoro's caldera shelters the most beautiful wildlife haven on earth. The rich pasture and permanent water of the Crater floor supports a resident population of some 20,000 to 25,000 mammals. They are not confined by the Crater walls, and can leave freely; they stay because conditions are favourable.
What you can see of birdlife depends greatly on the season of the year, because there are resident birds and migrant birds. You are certain to see many residents, like ostriches, bustards and plovers all year round.
The Ngorongoro Crater Floor
Interpretive game drives through the emerald plains and forests of the crater floor engender guests with a respect for the people and wildlife of this world wonder.
Serengeti National Park
The park covers 14,763 sq km of endless rolling plains, which reach up to the Kenyan border and extends almost to Lake Victoria. The park is flourishing with magnificent wildlife. An estimated 3 million large animals roam the plains. People of the Maasai Tribe called it Siringitu - 'the place where the land moves on forever.' The Serengeti is known as one of the best wildlife sanctuary in the world.
The Serengeti boasts large herds of antelope including Patterson's eland, Klipspringer, Dikdik, Zebra, gazelles, lion, impala, leopard, cheetah, hyena and other larger mammals like the rhino, giraffe, elephant and hippopotamus. Nearly 500 species of birds have been recorded in the park. The Serengeti is an opportunity for one of the best game-viewing in Africa.
Migration in the Serengeti
The wildebeest migration, like a discernible thread, embraces and connects the Serengeti's ecosystem much as it has done for at least two millions years.
Every year, with some seasonally dictated variations in timing and scale, one million wildebeest leave the southern Serengeti's short grass plains in search of the grass and water they need to survive.
Tarangire National Park
This park is known for its elephants. You will see these enormous creatures travel in families and you surely will not miss the extraordinary care they take of their young. The elephants tend to travel in packs and in the same paths as they have taken year after year. When they see your vehicle coming closer they will gather around their young to protect them and lead them on their way.
While Serengeti's animal migration has attained mundane fame, for many tourists, little is known of Tarangire annual migration. The difference with Serengeti however is that, in Serengeti animals migrate away from the park during the dry season (June to October), the opposite happens in Tarangire; animals migrate from Maasai Steppe to the park during the dry season. They migrate to the park in search for water, which is provided by Tarangire River, and predators migrate along in search for preys. During this period the park has the largest concentration of animals than in any park in the northern Tanzania.
June to October is the best time to see large number of wildebeest, elephants, zebras, and hartebeest. Not all animals are migratory though, other animals such as giraffes, Impala, Eland, lesser kudu, waterbuck, gazelle and sometimes rhinos or leopards can be seen throughout the year. More people are attracted by the giant pythons and large herds of elephants. the park is also famous for migrant birds.