SAFARIS: The Northern Circuit, Tanzania

The Northern Circuit includes some of the most famous and remarkable sights in the world including the annual Wildebeest Migration and the rich natural abundance of the Ngorongoro Crater. In order to ensure that you are able to enjoy your ideal Tanzania safari, early bookings are advised.

The following parks (in alphabetical order) are all considered part of the Northern Circuit:

  • Arusha National Park
  • Lake Manyara National Park
  • Ngorongoro Crater
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Tarangire National Park

Arusha National Park
Highlights:

  • Excellent day tour for people with extra time in Arusha
  • The combination of savannah and forest habitats offers up a unique variety of wildlife
  • Well known for bird lovers - pelicans and flamingoes live here in their numbers
  • Spectacular features and activities:
  • Momella Lake – canoe safaris
  • Mt. Meru- trekking (see Climbing section)
  • Ngurdoto Crater (Little Ngorongoro) – lush swamps

Lake Manyara National Park
Highlights:

  • Compact game viewing along a 50km stretch at the base of the dramatic 600metre tall Rift Valley escarpment;
    blend of rainforest, grassy plains and acacia woodlands
  • Home of the legendary tree-climbing lions
  • Home to pools of hippos
  • Lake Manyara is the perfect location for an introduction to Tanzanian birdlife; more than 400 species have been recorded – newcomers can expect to spot about 100 of these in a single day
  • 11/2 hour drive west of Arusha (126 km / 80 miles)
  • July to October – the dry season is good for large mammal viewing
  • November to June – the rainy season is good for bird watching, waterfalls, canoeing; Lake Manyara hosts thousands of flamingos and a diversity of other migrant and resident birdlife
  • Wildlife to watch for:
    1- Rainforest species – oversized forest hornbills, baboons, blue monkeys, and bushbuck
    2- Grassy plains species – wildebeest, massive buffalos, zebra herds and darkly coloured giraffes
    3-Acacia woodland species – tree climbing lions, elephants, klipspringers, and dik diks
   

Serengeti National Park
Highlights:

  • Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park; also a world heritage site, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson's gazelle join a million wildebeest on the trek for fresh grazing
  • Common species found in the park include lions, cheetahs, numerous zebras, and large herds of giraffes, gazelles, elands, impalas, klipspringers, warthogs and numerous birdlife.
  • The wildebeest, numbering more than a million, are the chief herbivores and the main prey of large carnivores such as lions and hyenas. The annual migration of wildebeest herds across the park is a world famous attraction.
  • The Serengeti – a vast, sparkling, treeless plain – can be visited anytime of the year and you can expect to sight huge numbers of mammals and birdlife.
  • Concentrations in the park are greatest between December and June; concentrations are comparatively low during the dry season, between July and October.

Ngorongoro Crater
Highlights

  • A world famous wildlife viewing area.
  • Reportedly, 25,000 large animals live in the crater – these animals include ungulates (herbivores / prey species) and the highest density of mammalian predators found anywhere in Africa.
  • Ngorongoro crater is approximately 610 meters deep and covers an area of 260 square kilometers.
  • The Crater has variety of vegetation, including grasslands, swamps, forests, salt pans, and a fresh water lake.
  • Animals to be seen here include lions, elephants, buffaloes, black rhino, wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, reedbucks, flamingos and more.
  • The local Maasai tribe shares the crater with wildlife as they graze their cattle.
  • Found within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which is situated between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara National Parks. The area contains interrelated ecosystems including the crater plus vast stretches of plains, bush and woodland. The prominent Olduvai Gorge, where many famous fossils have been unearthed is found around the centre of this area.

Tarangire National Park
Highlights:

  • Tarangire National Park is a home to giant Baobab trees, rolling savanna and acacia woodland; during the dry season (July through October) the shriveled
  • Tarangire River supports a large number of wildlife, wandered hundreds of parched kilometers in search of water.
    Tarangire is famous for its tree climbing python at the southern swamps.
  • The park also has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife which include elephants, large herds of zebras, wildebeests, hartebeests, elands, lesser kudus, gazelles, giraffes, waterbucks, impalas, sporadic leopard or rhino and a variety of birds.
  • You can enjoy guided walking safaris, day trips to Maasai and Barabaig villages, and visit the hundreds of ancient rock paintings in the vicinity of Kolo on the Dodoma Road.
 

 
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