An Introduction Guide to the Tanzania Safari

The Northern Game Parks in Tanzania is famous wildlife migration which continues its annual cycle through the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara in Kenya is without doubt one of the most exhilarating natural spectacles on the planet. The awesome beauty of the Ngorongoro caldera literally takes your breath away and there can be no finer view to awake to than from one of the lodges on the crater rim. The wild landscapes of Tarangire with its huge baobab trees contrast with the wide open plains of Serengeti. Lake Manyara offers the rare chance to spot tree climbing lions and a variety of adventure activities from the escarpment overlooking the lake.

Tanzania is becoming increasingly visited and deservedly so, however there is so much more to Tanzania than the Northern Circuit of parks. Most safaris want to incorporate the Great Migration as it is so spectacular and is the world's last surviving great migration. There is a problem that the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Kilimanjaro have become so popular that drastic steps are being taken to divert people elsewhere in Tanzania. The numbers of lodes are restricted with the result that high season in August and September needs to be booked one year in advance to guarantee a safari.Park fees from January 2006 will double for these parks to US$60 per person per day. Normally, when returning by road from the Serengeti, one passes through the Ngorongoro Conservation area in transit to Lake Manyara or even Tarangire for the last night of the safari.

This results in US$120 in park fees for each person in the vehicle for one day, US$60 for the Serengeti and US$60 for the Ngorongoro.Tanzania has so much more to offer. In the remote and almost inaccessible Western Tanzania is the fantastic Katavi National Park. There is one lodge here at the moment and visitors have one million hectares to themselves. This park is wonderful, remote and spectacular.

There are huge herds of buffalo here ? up to three thousand strong and lions prefer to dine on buffalo, so there are lion in abundance. If you really want to feel you are in Africa proper like the early explorers [with the exception of a luxury tented Lodge] then this is your park. See my article Katavi National Park.There is the Selous in the South and this game reserve is huge and remote, although more accessible than Katavi. The game in this park is truly wild as they have not had chance to become habituated to humans and vehicles.

The lodges here are few very good, and offer a game safari along the majestic Rufiji River. From here fly to Mafia Island which offers a secluded Island holiday with fantastic diving and secure white beaches.For the energetic there is the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, this is a park without roads, with pristine rain forests.

This park was created primarily for the protection of Flora rather than fauna. See my article The Lumemo Trail - Hiking in the Rainforests of Africa.There are West and East Usambara Mountains where the worlds favorite flower the African Violet was discovered.

See my article Visiting The West Usambara Mountains of Tanzania and Bird Watching in the East Usambara Mountains of Tanzania. Saadani is where the bush meets the sea, elephants and lions have been spotted on the beach. See my article Saadani - Where the Bush Meets the Sea.The list could go on. Tanzania is so much you could spend a life time exploring this one corner of East Africa.

This country is macaque of mysteries and contradictions. To discover it, to drink in the rich culture and diverse landscapes involves moving around the country, not racing from one location to the next; this results in safari fatigue. Chose wisely and take your time to discover, slowly slowly is the only way to savor and come to know, just a little, the magic that is Tanzania.


For more information about Tanzanian safaris and the National Parks see more on the non profit Tanzania Info Hub at using tourism to change lives.

By: Ian Williamson

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