National parks and reserves  

Tanzania has a large variety of game reserves and national parks offering diverse wildlife experiences and spectacular scenery. The reserves and parks are divided into four circuits based on the geographical proximity and topographical variations. All four circuits offer different attractions and have different specialties. The four circuits are:-
 - Northern Circuit
 - Southern Circuit
 - Western Circuit
 - Eastern Circuit (Zanzibar Island)

Northern Circuit
The game reserves and parks in Northern Tanzania are the most famous and attract the largest number of tourists coming to Tanzania. The world famous Seregenti, Ngorongoro, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National park are located in the Northern circuit. Wildlife game viewing especially the big five and Mt. Kilimanjaro climbs are the highlights of the game reserves and parks in this circuit

The parks in the Northern Tanzania are located near each other so it is possible to visit most of them in a short safari trip. Traveling to these parks is idle for tourists who want to visit different parks and view the wildlife in a short period of time.

The parks in the Northern circuit are easily accessible than the other circuits. Travelers have a choice of flying into Arusha or Nairobi (four hours from Arusha) and depart for their safari directly from Arusha.

Serengeti National Park
Serengeti is the largest national park in Tanzania with over 14000 sq. Kilometers. Serengeti meaning “endless plains” in the Maasai language has a diverse eco system ranging from savannah to dense forest. This park is famed for its great wildlife spectacle of the annual wildebeest migration that happens between December and April. The park has over 3000000 large mammals and over 500 species of birds have been recorded in the park. A sign at the park entrance – “the world as it was in the beginning” explains all about the park.

Ngorongoro Crater
Considered to be a natural wonder of the world, Ngorongoro has one of the largest concentrations of animals including the big five – lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard and the endangered black rhino. With 2000ft deep and 12 miles wide, Ngorongoro crater is the world’s largest unbroken caldera. Lush vegetation and Stunning views of the crater leaves a visitor with beautiful vivid memories of the safari.

Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai Gorge is part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and one of the most important archaeological sites. It is famously known as the “Cradle of Mankind”. Dr. Leakey and his wife discovered the remains of Homo hablis - a species of man that became extinct more than 1.75 million years ago. This is also famous for the “footprints” of the early man.

Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa standing at 19340ft and the world highest freestanding mountain. Just south of the Equator rising from the savannah plains, the summit is always enigmatically covered in snow.

Mt. Kilimanjaro is a must for mountaineers, trekkers and adventure lovers both amateurs and professionals. There are three volcanic peaks Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. Kibo is the highest and most famous among climbers. The climb takes you from the savanna plains through the mists of equatorial jungle to reach the snows and breath-taking views from the summit.

Lake Manyara National Park
Set between the Rift Valley escarpment and the magnificent lake Manyara, Manyara Park is a bird watchers paradise (more then 380 species). The Park offers an enormous topographical variety ranging from dense woodland to savanna plains and abundant wildlife including the tree-climbing lions unique in this park only.

Tarangire National Park
Tarangire can justifiably claim to be one of the best places in all Africa to view elephant during the dry season when animals migrate towards the Tarangire River offering superb views. Located in the rift valley the park cover nearly 2600 sq kilometers containing nine different vegetation zones. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded in the park, including green wood hoopoes, green and yellow parrots.

Arusha National Park
This park was made famous by John Wayne’s movie “Hatari”. It consists of the spectacular Momela lakes, Mount Meru and the Ngurdoto Crater. The vegetation and wildlife varies with the topography which ranges from mountain forest to swamps. This park is famous for the gorgeous black and white Colobus monkeys. Arusha National Park is also home to 400 bird species and other animals including buffalos and giraffe.

Southern Circuit
The game reserves and parks in the Southern circuit are located in Southern Tanzania. Although the southern circuit does not attract as many tourists as the northern circuit, the remoteness and vast areas of wilderness offers superb game viewing and a perfect getaway from the crowded North.

Southern Tanzania is famed for exploring the untamed African wild and learning the complex ecosystems and diverse flora and fauna. Unlike the Northern circuit where most travelers come on a short safari and visit a number of national parks, visitors to the southern national parks visit fewer parks but spend more time in each park.

The Southern circuit is comprised of the Selous game reserve, Mikumi, Ruaha and Udzungwa Mountains National parks.

Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game reserve is located in the South Eastern part of Tanzania. Covering over 20,000 square miles of wilderness, it is the largest protected wildlife reserve in Africa. This reserve covers about 5% land of Tanzania and it is bigger than Denmark.

The great Rufiji River Delta brings this park to life. It connects the Ruaha River and the Rufiji rivers and is home to a large and spectacular water and bird life. Hippos and crocodiles sleep lazily along the shores of the river, large herds of elephants (selous has the largest elephant population in the world), zebra and buffalos graze the vast lands and come to drink at the river with lions and the endangered wild dogs following them for an easy meal.

Hiking safaris and boating safaris are a specialty of Selous and a very popular alternative to the regular vehicle safaris.

Ruaha National Park
The Ruaha River is the main attraction of this park supporting a large variety of animals. Ruaha is the second largest national park after Serengeti with large herds of elephants buffalo, gazelle, crocodiles, hippos and over 400 species of birds. The park is also home to endangered species of wild dogs, greater and lesser kudu and antelopes.

Because of its remote location, Ruaha is largely unexplored. This allows the traveler to enjoy a very private and unique safari. Boating safaris offers a great way of exploring the river and view the wildlife.

Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park is located between the Uluguru Mountains and the Lumango Range, a few hours drive from Dar es salaam – Tanzania’s largest city. Baboons, buffalos, colobus monkeys, giraffes, hartebeests, hippos, zebras and waterbucks can be seen in this park. Mikumi is also a bird watchers paradise with over 300 bird species.

Mikumi is very small compared to Selous and Ruaha but its close proximity to Dar es salaam makes it a popular spot for game viewing and picnics for visitors from the city especially during the weekends.

Udzungwa Mountains National Park
The Udzungwa Mountains National Park is located on the western part of the Selous Game Reserve. Udzungwa Mountain forests are home to some of plants that are not found anywhere else in the world. This park has stunningly beautiful scenery and a variety of primates can be found such as the red colobus monkey, sanje mangbey, vervet monkeys, baboons and sykes monkeys.

There are five different trials through the forests offering varying levels of difficulty for amateurs and professionals. Trekking the mountain allows travelers to enjoy the scenery and view the plant and animal life.

Western Circuit
The game reserves and parks in Western Tanzania are located around Lake Tanganyika and are one of the best places to view the Chimpanzees. Trekking and observing the Chimpanzees from a close up view offer a marvelous and unforgettable experience. The rugged mountains, equatorial forest and the shores of Lake Tanganyika make up a perfect combination for a superb retreat and provide a classic African jungle safari experience.

The parks in the Western Circuit are Mahale Mountains, Gombe Stream National Park and Katavi National Park. Visitors can go on a hiking, boating or fishing excursions besides the vehicle based safaris.

Gombe Stream National Park
Gombe Stream was made famous by famed American primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall for her research on Chimpanzees. She spent years studying these endangered primates and is a leading campaigner to save them from extinction. Located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe stream is a place of lush forest and spectacular views of the lake.

The highlight of the safari is the guided walks that take the visitors deep into the forest to observe the chimpanzees going about their daily lives in their natural habitat. Besides the chimpanzees, there are other primates in this park such as vervet monkeys, colobus monkeys, baboons and a variety of birdlife.

Mahale Mountains National Park
Mahale Mountains rise majestically from the shores of Lake Tanganyika – the longest lake in the world. Mahale is home to the largest population of wild chimpanzees in the world and offers more regular and prolonged sightings than other parks.

The remoteness of this park covered with lush tropical rainforest provides a perfect setting for a chimpanzee viewing safari. With guides, visitors trek through the forest to observe the Chimpanzees within a few feet feeding, grooming and playing in their natural habitat.

The hikes to the chimpanzee habitats are slightly strenuous but any individual in good physical condition will ease through the jungle. This is one of the remotest park and is accessible by small aircraft or boat only.

Katavi National Park
The Katavi National Park is located between Lake Katavi and Lake Chada in the middle of no where. It is one of Africa’s greatest wilderness offering abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery.

The park is so remote that it takes a few extra days to drive from Arusha or Nairobi. Very few tourists visit the park as compared to the Northern or Southern Circuits however this park is one of the best safari destinations for visitors who want to go on a very private safari but enjoy the same wildlife viewing opportunities that other parks offer. It is possible to go through the whole safari without seeing any other tourist or locals in the park. Buffalos, lions, zebras, giraffes and other animals can be viewed in this park especially when they converge to the lakes to drink water especially during the dry season.

Eastern Circuit

Zanzibar is one of the best kept secrets of the Indian Ocean. This exotic spice island of offers a relaxing beach vacation along its palm fringed unspoiled beaches with clear warm turquoise waters. The spectacular coral reefs are excellent for snorkeling, diving and water sports.

Zanzibar is full of history and culture. It is famous for once being the commercial center of ancient East African trade. Besides the spectacular beaches, you can take a tour to the famous stone town, the sultan’s palaces, ancient Islamic ruins, local markets and try exotic fruits and spices.

Customers can take a Zanzibar vacation or combine it with a wildlife safari. Our itineraries are planned in such a way that after a dusty adventure filled safari you can wind down and relax in the warm waters of Zanzibar and enjoy your cool coconut juice and delicious seafood.

See our itineraries...