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Tanzania Game Parks, Tanzania National Parks
Tanzania Game Parks, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Wildlife Sanctuaries. Tanzania is a feast for the senses. Tanzania Game Parks, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Wildlife Sanctuaries offers unparalleled natural beauty, unique wildlife viewing, and rich culture. In Tanzania Game Parks, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Wildlife Sanctuaries, you will Stalk the stalker, watch it pounce upon its prey, see millions of animals crossing a river, live in the wild and discover unusual species while you’re at it. A wildlife safari is one of the biggest charms of any African adventure and Tanzania is perhaps the best country for a journey into the wild. Tanzania’s national parks are designed to suit all kinds of interests, preferences and comfort levels, and you can be rest assured that there is a safari which is perfect for you.
But before you embark on your safari adventure, you need to make one of the biggest decisions – which park to visit and which park to leave out. Serengeti or Ngorongoro feel like the most obvious places to be, but it is equally possible that you have a much better time in one of the lesser-known parks.
The landscape is shaped by extremes. Where mountains, lakes, grasslands, and rainforests are not uncommon to see within the same area. Also safaris in Tanzania are some of the best in the world, with most of them never going without seeing one of the “Big 5” of game animals: lions, leopards, rhinoceros’, elephants, and buffalo. Alongside these wild animals, the Maasai graze their livestock. Making themselves one of the few groups in the world to uphold their traditional, nomadic lifestyles in our modern times.
This National Park is 32km away from Arusha town, which as an area of 137sq kms and was described by Sir Julian Huxley as ” a game amongst parks”. Arusha National Park which is one of the Tanzania Game Parks, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Wildlife Sanctuaries is often overlooked, is in fat a treasure, a rich tapestry of habitats, teeming with animals and birds. It consists of three spectacular features – the Ngurdoto Crater, the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes, and the rocky alpine height of Mount Meru, where the terrain of the peak is as varied as it is interesting. The best time to visit Arusha National Park is during the dry season from July-November, or after the short rains from December-March. The best time to climb Mount Meru is from June-February, and the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro seen from December-February. Mount Meru, is 4566 meters high scaling can be made through a variety of landscapes, plains, forest moorland, and a lava desert, it is compulsory to be accompanied by an armed game warden because if wild animals. The best month to climb Mount Meru is from July-February.
Apart from organizing treks on Mount Kilimanjaro and Kenya, we also plan for mount Meru trek in Arusha. Like Mount Kilimanjaro and Kenya; Mount Meru which forms part of the Tanzania Game Parks, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Wildlife Sanctuaries is a volcanic mountain with the height of 4566m, (14,000 ft) altitude above sea level. It can be conquered with a little bit hardship in three days. A four-day ascent is however achieved with less hardship and this is highly recommended for a hiker who wants to attempt this mountain to the summit. If you plan to conquer the highest point of Africa-Uhuru Peak / Hans Mayer Peak, you may consider Mount Meru in order to shape your body in attaining your goal. The hiking is very exciting as you experience many things on your way up including games such as Giraffes, buffalos, warthogs, Zebras, Monkeys and birds.
Mt. Meru (4,566 m.) is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and a much underrated mountain to climb because of its close proximity to Kilimanjaro. It is a horseshoe-shaped volcanic crater with a spectacularly narrow ridge and superb all round views. The cliffs of the inner wall below the summit are over 1500 m. high, and inside the caldera is a subsidiary peak called the Ash Cone (3,670 m.) that last erupted only 100 years ago. There is an immense variety of tree and plant life, adding considerably to the interest of the trek.
Mt. Meru is part of Arusha National Park, and the lower slopes of the mountain shelter a variety of wildlife. The routes below Miriakamba Hut are more like walking safaris than mountain climbs and our guide is an informed and armed park ranger (in case we get too close to some of the animals!). You are almost certain to see buffaloes, warthogs, monkeys, and a variety of birdlife. Giraffe and elephant are also quite common. Accommodation is the two well maintained wooden huts that have spectacular views of Kilimanjaro rising above the clouds. The climb of Mt. Meru is very much justified on its own merits but is also a great way to get acclimatized for Kilimanjaro. The view of Kilimanjaro from Meru, and that of Meru crater itself, gives plenty of inspiration for another mountain climb!
Though often ignored in favour of its big sister, Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru is a worthy trekker’s paradise. This massive volcano towers over 3,000 meters above Arusha town, which lies at its foot on its south side. The mountain endured a violent explosion about 200 million years ago. In its wake the explosion left towering cliffs in a gaping U shaped ridge on the eastern side. Today the crater stands in a protected amphitheatre of a sort, thousands of feet below the summit rocks. The craggy top lies at the western most point of the summit ridge and juts boldly into the sky at 4566 mt. (14,979 feet). From the top, one can look out at Kilimanjaro from the highest perch possible…. Perhaps there is no better vantage point to gaze at Africa’s highest mountain, approximately 80 kilometres to the northeast. The trail to the summit follows the northern rim of the natural amphitheatre which forms Meru Crater. The trail skirts the ridgeline, and above the Saddle (between the summit and Little Meru Peak (12,533 ft / 3,820 metres). The route is quite steep, with sections of rock scrambling on one side. At the summit, the cliffs drop almost 1200 meters to the crater floor.
Ngorongoro Crater one of the best Tanzania Game Parks, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Wildlife Sanctuaries is indisputably one of Africa’s true wonders of nature and an extraordinary place of haunting beauty, with its grand majestic mountain ring and lake, pinkly shimmering in the blue grey haze. Ngorongoro covers an area of (264km/102m) and is the largest intact caldera in the world, its enduring charm stems from its overwhelming physical beauty and the abundance of wildlife permanently resident on the crater floor. The beautiful Rosy-breasted Longclaw, waders and flamingo can be seen around the lake, whilst on the crater rim the Abyssinian Nightjar is often seen at dusk.
Between Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park lies Olduvai Gorge. This remote spot has become famous as the archeological site where Dr Mary Leakey, in 1959, discovered Ausralopithecus Boisei, the fossil skull of early man dated 1.75 million years ago. Remains of prehistoric elephant, enormous ostrich and giant-horned sheep have been painstakingly unearthed in the high gorge wall, and there is an excellent small museum, which explains the significance of the geology, fossils and artifacts.
The Serengeti which is (14,500 sq.kms/5,600 sq.m) is undoubtedly the most famous Tanzania Game Parks, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Wildlife sanctuaries in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and the greatest concentration of plain game anywhere. It lies between the shores of Lake Victoria in the East and Kenya’s “Serengeti” – the Maasai Mara, to the northwest. Hills rising out of the seemingly endless plain, riversand small lakes, magnificent rocky outcrops and the occasional swamp all add to the park’s fascination. In addition to the vast herds of wildebeest, Zebra, Thomson’s Gazelle and other plain game, the Serengeti is reknown for its lion and other plain predators, including the wild dog, spotted hyena and jackal. Leopard may often be seen along the Seronera River. The wealth of bird and water fowl. During May and June, or sometimes earlier, Lake Ndutu at the foot of the Ngorongoro highlands is the starting point for one of the great natural wonders nature, the serengeti migration. Nearly two million wildebeest and a quarter of a million Zebra move in winding columns several miles in length towards the Maasai Mara to the north and west.
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
In earlier years, Lake Manyara (318Km/ 123m) was a famous hunting ground, now it is one of Tanzania’s most attractive sanctuaries. Nestling into the steep Rift Valley wall, its shallow alkaline lake is surrounded by ancient baobabs, ground water forest of fig and mahogany and open grassland. Buffalo feed in the forest, zebra and wildebeest wander in small group, whilst elephants and the famous tree climbing lions sprawling indolently overhead, enchant all visitors to this park. Birdlife is prolific, with breeding colonies of pink- bellied pelican, ibis, herons and egrets occurring when conditions are favorable.
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Tarangire National Park is also one of the best Tanzania Game Parks, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Wildlife Sanctuaries which was originally a hunting area, Tarangire lies just 60 km from Arusha, south of Lake Manyara. It takes its name from the river which runs through the Park and which attracts elephant, buffalo, lion and the greater kudu. Tarangire is the only home of the fringe eared oryx in Tanzania. This is a smaller park, particularly attractive because of the lack of tourist vehicles. There is a privately run safari lodge and a new Sopa Lodge.
SELOUS GAME RESERVE
Selous Game Reserve covers over 50,000 square kilometers, it is the largest game reserve in Africa, there are over 51,200 elephants, 109,000 buffalo and big herds of other large and small animals found in Africa, most importantly, some wild dog the Selous is another park with all this hyperbole which is desperately unsold. Selous is one of those places that calls you back, one of Africa’s great parks for sure we also think is one of the most subtle. Selous Game Reserve is the place where people enjoy dosing off to the sound of a fish eagle as much as they do chasing around the bush in search of big game, the winding Rufiji River, sunset over the Beho Beho mountains is what makes Selous a special place, especially when you compare it with the typical race around the Northern Parks of Tanzania.
Unlike most of the other major safari parks of Tanzania, Selous is at low altitude. Being near to the coast, this means that the climate of the area is similar to that prevailing in coastal circuit, which is to say that it is a typical tropical climate, hot and humid all year round. In Selous there are over 789,000 major mammals, 40% of the total in Tanzania and perhaps 9% of the total world Elephant population.
Most of these elephant spend their time in the inaccessible swamps which occupy the majority of the park, but there are usually plenty in the game-viewing areas to the North as well as 2500 – 3500 lion, there are also wildcat, servalcat, caracal and leopard, there are also so many giraffes in some areas, additionally the rivers play host to large populations of hippo and crocodile, as well as an elusive population of dugong down in the Rufiji delta
Selous Game Reserve was first set aside as a wildlife reserve as early as 1905, the park takes its name from renowned hunter and soldier Frederick Courtney Selous. In 1982 the Selous Game Reserve was designated a World Heritage Site. One of the most attractive aspects of the Selous is the incredible diversity of the environments within its ecosystem, miombo woodland (deciduous hardwoodland), open grassland, rocky acacia clad hills, palm woodland, seasonally flooded sand rivers and swamps, lakes and riverine forest. The miombo woodland, second in biodiversity only to the rainforest, contains a plethora of wonderful hardwood tree families such as brachystegia, julbernadia, isoberlina, pterocarpus (bloodwood), dalbergia (blackwood), combretum (leadwood) in fact most of the 2,149 species of trees and plants that are found in the reserve.
It is at its absolute best in the ‘green season’ (December to June); all the trees have new leaves and flowers; all the grasses and shrubs are luscious and in bloom, and consequently almost every flower, animal and bird that it is possible to see in the Selous is there in abundance as such the reserve is ecologically one of the most important habitats in Africa,
The fact that Selous remains a game reserve rather than a national park is one of the main reasons that walking safari is still permitted. This is fantastic news, because to approach animals on foot is a completely different experience than doing it in a vehicle. A lot scarier for one, but very rarely dangerous so long as you do what your guide says at all times. Don’t necessarily expect to see a great variety of large game whilst out on a walk, you usually don’t cover enough ground for that, but enjoy the detail of the flora and fauna, whilst bearing in mind there might be a huge bull elephant around the next corner. The park is pretty seasonal, although as we always say, “there is no bad time to be in the bush.
RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
Ruaha National Park covers an area of 10,300 square kilometers, is the third largest game conservation area after Selous and Serengeti. Located in south central Tanzania, it is a remote a wild place which is way off the routes taken by most visitors to the country receiving a paltry number of visitors each year.
In consequence Ruaha is considered to be one of the great “undiscovered” wilderness areas of East Africa, it is actually at the heart of a much larger ecosystem, which extends across the Rungwa and Kizigo game conservation areas (hunting blocks), which totals an area five times the size, the main feature of the park is the Ruaha river, which rises in the swamps to the south and sweeps north and eastward through the park, turning back south and passing through the Iringa Highlands in deep-cut gorges to reach the Great Rufiji in the region of the Beho Beho mountains in the western Selous, it is the presence of this river which brings life to the broad valleys that make up the main portion of the park, sustaining the wildlife through the dry season, along the northern border of the park runs the Northern Escarpment.
Ruaha is a wonderful place to visit, which if done correctly can offer some superb game-viewing. One interesting little feature down here is the little rope bridge spanning one of the tributaries of the Ruaha, which when in flood cuts off Ruaha River Lodge from the airstrip and was thus installed to make sure that guests could arrive and depart on schedule. It is a pretty precarious affair.
Across the center of the park lies a seemingly endless swathe of featureless dry scrub, made up of combretum and comifora bushes … which you may not have heard of now, but you will get to know pretty well out here. They are remarkable for their red flowers and orange seed pods, which are the largest flying seed pods that we’ve ever seen.
The area immediately around the Jongomeru sand river is a particulary nice section of mature riverine woodland, which presumably plays host to a wide variety of game. Unfortunately everything is so shy down here that it legs it at the first sight of you.One particular highlight in the area is a good hippo pool, with a few dozen chubby chaps and quite a few good sized crocs too.
Centered on 30o – 41oE and 7o – 48oS, the park falls in the Iringa and Morogoro Regions of south-central Tanzania. the park is bordered by the Great Ruaha River to the north and the Mikumi-Ifakara Road to the east. Park Headquarters are located at Mang’ula, 60km from Mikumi.
The area of the park is 1900km2 or 199,000 hectares. The park is easily included as part of a visit to Tanzania’s southern parks such as Mikumi and Ruaha. The park gate is located at headquarters, 60km south of Mikumi village on the Mikumi – Ifakara Road (see map)
Designated areas of the escarpment and rain forest are currently open to visitors for hiking and climbing. Self-contained accommodation is available near the park gate at the Twiga Resort. For those with camping equipment, three campsites have been established inside the park. Very basic supplies and a market are available in Mang’ula village. You should bring other supplies with you.
MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK – Tanzania wildlife sanctuaries
Mikumi National Park is located on the northern border of Africa’s biggest game reserve – the Selous – and is transected by the surfaced road between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. It is thus the most accessible part of a 75,000 square tract of wilderness that stretches east almost as far as the Indian Ocean. The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, the popular centerpiece of Mikumi, draw frequent comparisons to the more famous Serengeti Plains.
Lions survey their grassy kingdom – and the zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo herds that migrate across it – from the flattened tops of termite mounds, or sometimes, during the rains, from perches high in the trees. Giraffes forage in the isolated acacia stands that fringe the Mkata River, islets of shade favoured also by Mikumi’s elephants. Criss-crossed by a good circuit of game-viewing roads, the Mkata Floodplain is perhaps the most reliable place in Tanzania for sightings of the powerful eland, the world’s largest antelope. The equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope haunt the miombo-covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the park’s borders.
More than 400 bird species have been recorded, with such colourful common residents as the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated longclaw and bateleur eagle joined by a host of European migrants during the rainy season. Hippos are the star attraction of the pair of pools situated 5km north of the main entrance gate, supported by an ever-changing cast of waterbirds.
About Mikumi National Park: Size: 3,230 sq km (1,250 sq miles), the fourth-largest park in Tanzania, and part of a much larger ecosystem centred on the uniquely vast Selous Game Reserve. Location: 283 km (175 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, north of Selous, and en route to Ruaha, Udzungwa and (for the intrepid) Katavi.
How to get there
A good surfaced road connects Mikumi to Dar es Salaam via Morogoro, a roughly 4 hour drive. Also road connections to Udzungwa, Ruaha and (dry season only) Selous. Charter flight from Dar es Salaam, Arusha or Selous. Local buses run from Dar to park HQ where game drives can be arranged.
What to do in Tanzania wildlife sanctuaries
Game drives and guided walks. Visit nearby Udzungwa or travel on to Selous or Ruaha. Africa Travel, Tanzania Budget Tours, Tanzania Luxury Trips, Tanzania Air Travel, Mt Kilimanjaro Treks