Parks & Game reserves
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
The best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world
Endless plains and stunning savannah
With vast open plains and an abundance of wildlife as far as the eye can see, the Serengeti is a safari maker’s dreamland. As the park is so expansive, it is ideally recommended to spend several days exploring. Serengeti National Park spans across 14,763 square kilometres and is easily the largest and arguably most popular of the Northern Circuit National Parks.
The Serengeti is host to the annual Wildebeest migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Buffalo, elephant, giraffe, lion, hippo and hyena are also frequently sighted throughout the Serengeti.
SERENGETI NORTH MARA RIVER
Serengeti National Park
Northern Serengeti is where the great migration crosses the Mara river
Witness the most amazing wildlife spectacle in Africa at the Mara River. The Mara river is most famous for the legendary wildebeest crossing, a dramatic event, which is featured in countless wildlife documentaries.
One of Tanzania’s best kept secrets is the fact that nearly half of the Mara river is situated in the northern Serengeti versus the Masai Mara’s segment in Kenya.
While there are hordes of vehicles just a few miles upriver in the Masai Mara, the Serengeti side is virtually devoid of tourists. Not only the Mara river is a special part of this part of Serengeti, Bologonja is a lush and idyllic spot hidden away in the remote reaches of the north.
Many varieties of colorful birds can be found here including kingfishers, hoopoes and rollers. Bologonja’s flourishing resources support some unusual antelope species including Mountain reedbuck and Steenbok. The nearby Larelemangi salt lick is a haven for wildlife and large herds of buffalo and elephant are regular visitors.
SERENGETI CENTRAL / SERONERA AREA
Serengeti National Park
Big cat capital
Serengeti’s Seronera area is located in the south-central region of the park and is well known for the large number of big cats; the lion, leopard and cheetah are often spotted here.
However, the elephant, giraffe, hippo, crocodile, buffalo and impala are also well known inhabitants. The area is very popular as it is one of the most likely spots to watch a kill.
The landscape is dotted with ‘’kopjes’’, rocky granite or Gneiss outcrops, over 550 million years old and in high favour by some of the cats as look-out points while hunting.
IKORONGO GAME RESERVE (WMA)
Rivers run wild
Ikorongo Game Reserve is located along the left side of the northern part of Serengeti National Park.
The small reserve was established in 1994 by the Tanzanian government to maintain a safe pass for the great migration. Ikorongo Game Reserve is part of the Serengeti ecosystem, one of the oldest in the world; it protects the largest and most varied concentration of wildlife on the planet.
Ikorongo is rich in flora and fauna species as the reserve has several rivers crisscrossing, and where there is water there is wildlife; elephants, rhino’s, giraffes, buffalos, greater and lesser Kudus, hyenas, baboons, zebras, lions, wild dogs, Grants and Thomson gazelles, topis, warthogs and duikers to name a few.
Easy-going game drives can be made here in low emission 4x4 safari vehicles with open sides to give you the best view on wildlife and the astonishing natural surroundings.
GRUMETI GAME RESERVE (WMA)
Path of the wildebeests
From May to July the wildebeest migration passes through the Grumeti Game Reserve on their way to northern Serengeti so a perfect time to see the migration in action.
During other times of the year this area has amazing wildlife on show, as it is situated on the Serengeti National Park border and has the Grumeti river running alongside.
Here you will have a good chance to spot the Black rhino as this area is home to 11!! of these majestic but endangered creatures.
The world’s largest, inactive, intact and unfilled caldera
Is commonly referred to as the 8th wonder of the world
Nothing can prepare you for the breathtaking beauty that is the Ngorongoro Crater. As you stand at the viewpoint looking out over the crater, clouds hovering around the tip of the rim with the cool mountainous breeze in the air, there is no mistaking the divinity of mother nature.
The Ngorongoro Crater is a world heritage site, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and is commonly referred to as the 8th wonder of the world.
Due to its natural borders, there is an abundance of wildlife throughout the conservation area which is home to the Big Five including the African Black Rhino as well as hyena, zebra and elephants to name a few. The Ngorongoro Crater is an absolute must on any northern circuit itinerary.
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Tree-climbing lions and over 400 species of birds
Large ecological variety in a small area
Lake Manyara National Park, an underestimated gem of the safari parks, offers a large ecological variety in a small area. The alkaline soda of the lake appeals to impressive numbers of birds thriving on its water.
More than 400 species have been identified and one of the highlights are the thousands of strolling flamingo’s. From the entrance of the park, the road winds through a groundwater forest area where baboon troops can be seen hanging about on the roadside and in the trees.
On the grassy banks of the lake the wildebeest, giraffe, zebra and the large buffalo can be seen grazing the day away. The mahogany and acacia trees are inhabited by the famous tree-climbing lions, if you’re lucky you might spot them lazing on a tree branch.
Jangwani Corridor is located just between Lake Manyara National Park and the natural wall of the rift valley. It is an area for cattle grazing and a way for wildlife to migrate to the north undisturbed. This corridor extends from the northeast corner of Lake Manyara NP southeast for 10 km to Eslalei Village and continuing for 20km to Manyara Ranch. The width of the corridor ranges from 3.5 to 6 km.
Most of Lake Manyara’s wildlife can be found here as well. The special thing about Jangwani corridor is the fact that it is allows for night game drives. A night game drive is a unique experience, quite different from day game driving.
Visibility is restricted to the reach of the jeep spotlights making for an exciting adventure of ‘spot the wildlife’. Animals are also far more active at night than they are in the daylight so there is ample opportunity to witness a hunt. Wildlife aside, the sounds of nature in the evening cruising under a starlit sky make a night drive in Jangwani well worth the itinerary addition.
Day and night adventure
LAKE NATRON NATIONAL PARK
The main breeding site for 2.5 million lesser flamingos
Shimmering amid the sun-scorched Kenyan border northeast of Ngorongoro Conservation Area, this 58 km-long but just 50cm-deep alkaline lake should be on every adventurer’s itinerary.
The drives from Mto wa Mbu or the northern Serengeti are remote, with a desolate, other-worldly beauty and an incomparable feeling of space and antiquity.
The roads pass through untravelled Maasai land, with small bomas and big mountains often in view in a wild, cauterised landscape. From June to November at the lake itself, around two million flamingos gather – it’s one of East Africa’s most stirring wildlife spectacles.
And close to the southern end of the lake, the views of Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano are splendid.
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Home of the elephants
The highest concentration of wildlife outside Serengeti
Tarangire National Park is a fun and easy park to explore. Wildlife is abundant and exposed due to the park’s more compact and open terrain making it easier to see wildlife both up close and from a distance.
The park is only a short 2 hour drive from Arusha and in close proximity to Lake Manyara. It is is 2850 square kilometres making it the sixth largest park in Tanzania and offering the highest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti. Tarangire is known for its large herds of elephants, which can be viewed at close range.
Other animals likely to be seen throughout Tarangire are; wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, gazelle, rhino, warthog, impala, python, lion, leopard and over 50 species of birds.
Arusha National Park
Home of the black and White colobus Monkey / Home of Mount Meru
Arusha National Park is one of the smaller national parks in the northern circuit, and located at the foot of Mount Meru in Arusha. This beautiful park is mostly known for the rare black and white Colobus monkey that is often seen here. An amazingly gracious animal to see swirling between the trees with its long arms and long black and white fur.
The park consists of mountain areas combined with rainforests and lakes. It is a paradise for bird watchers, since you can find many tropical species here that are rarely seen anywhere else. Examples are the Greater flamingo and the Silvery-cheeked hornbill.
During game drives you might see less wildlife due to the forest, but still the park is definitely worth a visit. Tired of sitting in the car? Canoe safaris and walking safaris are possible here!
SELOUS GAME RESERVE
Off the beaten track
Selous Game Reserve is a little more of a hidden wonder in Tanzania, giving it even greater appeal. It’s one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in Africa, relatively undisturbed by human impact with only a small 8% of the northern region of the park dedicated to photographic tourism.
The reserve is crossed by the second biggest river in Tanzania, the Rufiji river, creating a very dynamic ecosystem. Selous is home to more than 2000 species of plants and over 350 species of birds and reptiles, boasting a wide range of wildlife from the African bush elephants, hippopotamus and lions to Cape buffaloes, Maasai giraffe, & zebra.
The vehicle is a low emission, open four-wheel drive safari jeep, perfectly suited for getting up close and personal with nature and taking unobstructed pictures.