While being in Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, we decided to book 4 day jeep safari through Tanzanian National Parks. We had our own jeep and driver/guide who drove us around, helped us locate animals, tought us about the country, fauna and flora. We stayed at parks lodge as well as camped out in Serengeti National Park.
Serengeti National Park, covering an immense 9,170 square miles (14,763 square kms), is Tanzania’s largest national park and undoubtedly the best known wildlife sanctuary in the world. Over three million large game animals inhabit these rolling grasslands, known as the ‘endless plains’. Here one can witness the unique migration of almost 1.5 million wildebeest undertake a circuit of 600 miles (1,000 kms) in search of new pastures, from the central plains to the permanent water holes at the park corridors. About 35 species of plain animals can be observed including the ‘big five’ – elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards, buffalos – and large herds of wildebeest, gazelle and zebra.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park park covers approximately 2,600 square miles (6,700 square kms), and lies to the south of a large open grass plain in southern Masai land, 70 miles (115 kms) from Arusha. It is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania and is home to Tanzania’s largest population of African elephants. The park is named after the Tarangire River, which is a permanent water source for its inhabitants. The river draws large herds of wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and hartebeests as well as the lions, leopards and other predators who prey upon them.Other animals that can be seen include buffalo, giraffe, elands, warthogs, greater kudu, gernuks and impalas. Huge magnificent baobab trees and volcanic mountain ranges add to the scenic splendor of this unique national park.
Ngorongoro Conversation Area houses one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles – the Ngorongoro Crater, home to almost 30,000 animals. Once an active volcano, Ngorongoro Crater collapsed leaving a caldera 12 miles (20 kms) in diameter. With no breaks at all in its steep walls, this is the largest intact caldera in existence. The bottom of the crater is 165 square miles (265 square kms) and is dotted with watering holes. It shelters an abundance of animals in an area naturally enclosed by the slopes of the volcano. The crater is famous for viewing black rhinos, for which there are very few left. Other animals that can be seen include elephant, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, monkeys, and ever hungry predators including lions and hyenas.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Located in the great rift valley, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a gigantic fracture of the earth crust. Within this beautiful and unique landscape lies alkaline soda lakes, a series of peaks and volcanoes, dense rain forests, vast plains, acheological sites and Masai villages. This protected area is the land of the semi-nomadic Masai, who can be seen grazing their vast herds of cattle. Although the Tanzanian government has tried to encourage the Masai to give up their customs and adapt to modern African life, the proud Masai have resisted. During your visit, it is possible to visit nearby Masai villages, called boma, to observe their traditional dance and to go inside their mud and dung huts.