A Guide To Wildlife Viewing : If you wondering where to spend your precious time while exploring the untouched wilderness rich in wild creatures, Tanzania is that destination you won’t regret to be there. This mysterious country has dedicated about 38% of its total areas to be protected areas. These areas may be national parks, game reserves, controlled areas and conservation areas.
If you are interested in wildlife adventure safari, Tanzania is home to 17 national parks throughout the country. The choice of your first national parks depends on your favorite because each park offers an unforgettable experience in wildlife viewing.
Serengeti National Park
This is the world’s spectacular Tanzania safari tour destination. It is renowned for hosting the world’s wonderful event, the Great Migration. It is also home to the famous Big Five animals, over 500 bird species and the largest concentration of carnivores. Serengeti is also home to largest population of lions in Africa.
Serengeti National Park is merely 14,763 square kilometers in size and its whole ecosystem stretches from Serengeti in Tanzania to Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. Serengeti is also an oldest ecosystem and in response to that the UNESCO coined it as World Heritage Site in 1971.
Why do people visit Serengeti?
In a nutshell, visiting Serengeti national park will make encounter the Big Five. Big Five animals are lions, African leopard, Cape buffalo, African elephant and the black rhino. You might be asking yourself why is giraffe not listed, is it not a big animal? Well, Big Five is a term used by hunters to describe African wild animals that are difficult to hunt. Giraffes pose no threat to hunters therefore not included in the list of Big Five.
The Great Migration is a non-stopping circular annual migration of over 1.2 million wildebeests, about 250, 000 zebras and 200, 000 gazelles. You can book a Tanzania safari trip for trekking this majestic event.
Other stunning attractions which are magical to observe in the Serengeti include wild animals like warthogs, various species of antelopes, jackals, giraffes, impalas, cheetahs, monkeys; birds like secretary bird, ashy starling, hornbills and ostriches to name a few.
Lake Manyara National Park.
Lake Manyara National park is situated in northern Tanzania at about 70 km from the Tarangire National Park. This masterpiece is famous for hosting the world’s unique species of lions, yes the tree-climbing lions. The park occupies 330 square kilometers with the lake taking up to 230 square kilometers. Lake Manyara National Park is worth a Tanzania safari trip because;
Scenic views of Lake Manyara; With its pink color at distant look, this alkaline lake is famous for its diverse biospheres one of which is the pink flamingos which make it look pink. Canoeing, boat safaris and sport-fishing are some other thrilling activities you can be doing at Lake Manyara National Park.
Tree-climbing lions; these special carnivores are only spotted in Lake Manyara National Park and Queen Elizabeth Park in Uganda. They are usually spotted resting on tree branches of acacia trees.
Colorful birds; Colorful singing birds are usually spotted in the lush forests of this park. Some water-birds are also encountered in the shallow and deep shores of this soda lake. Some of the frequent encountered birds include Grey-crowned crane, Fischer’s sparrow lark, Crowned Plover, turkey, yellow-billed storks, marabou storks, goose and magical pink lesser flamingos.
Tarangire National Park
Located in the northern part, Tarangire is one of the superb Tanzania wildlife viewing park. It is known for being home to the largest population of elephants especially during the dry season and more entertaining is its huge bird population.
Birding; With about more than 500 bird species (around 550 to be exact) Tarangire is merely a park with highest count of bird species. About one third of the Tanzania’s bird population reside the Tarangire National Park. This only makes it a best destination for birders and ornithologists who want to learn more both migratory and resident bird species.
Game drives; Day game drives reward with spectacular views of wild animals like elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, gazelles, warthogs, giraffes, antelopes, elands, impalas, zebras and wildebeests to name a few.
Arusha National Park
Famously known as the home of the Africa’s fifth and Tanzania’s second highest peak, Mount Meru, Arusha National Park hosts the large number of wild animals ranging from lions, leopards, giraffes, jackals, tigers, colobus monkeys, elands, elephants, buffalos, warthogs, gazelles, zebras and wildebeests to keep the list short.
A Guide To Wildlife Viewing : Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains National Parks
In the Western Circuit of Tanzania, resides the two fabulous national parks; Gombe Stream National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park. These two parks are situated in the shores of deepest lake in Africa, Lake Tanganyika. Why should you consider visiting them?
Well, these two parks are homes to large groups of chimpanzees. Dr. Goodall spent years in the Gombe studying this unique species of apes. Apart from chimps, these two parks are occupied by other wild animals like antelopes, impalas and hyenas to name a few.
Other activities you can do at these two parks include swimming, canoeing, boat safaris and sport-fishing.
A Guide To Wildlife Viewing : Kitulo National Park
This one is situated in the Southern Circuit between Njombe and Mbeya regions. It is famous for hosting the largest concentration of flowers and other minor plants and for that, it is usually called the “Serengeti of Flowers”. If you are a fan of trees and flowers, Kitulo is your must-go places.
You will also be able to spot the rare species of Kipunji monkeys that are found in the Mount Livingstone range.
A Guide To Wildlife Viewing : Saadani National Park
Now, am introducing you to the dazzling place, and this one is situated in the Eastern Circuit. Of course, the Saadani National Park a spot where the bush meets the ocean. It is at this park where you can combine wilderness exploration experience with a chill on a clean beach of the blue Indian Ocean. This park also boasts historical significance worth a visit and you will visit the Saadani fishing village.
This spectacular park is about 110 square kilometers in size and it is also home to beautiful wild animals like warthogs, buffaloes, common waterbucks, sable antelopes, velvet monkeys, greater kudus, wildebeests, yellow baboons, hartebeests, reedbucks, elands and red duikers.
A Guide To Wildlife Viewing : Nyerere National Park
Well-known as Selous Game Reserve, Nyerere National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania. Selous Game Reserve ranks as the largest game reserve in Africa covering a total area of about 30,000 square kilometers.
Wildlife; rare black rhino whose encounter is occasional, brindled gnu, antelope, cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos, wildebeests, giraffes, eland, greater kudu, African wild dogs, hyenas, Nyasaland gnu, waterbuck, hartebeest, reedbuck, warthog, buffalo, black rhino, elephant and leopard. However, the views of the black rhino and leopards cannot be guaranteed as in Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
The Rufiji River; This is the largest river in Tanzania. It flows and nourishes the Selous dividing it into two parts; the Northern part dedicated for photographic safaris and the Southern part designed for hunting purposes. This river creates a huge network of tributaries, channels and swamps, which serve as water sources during the dry season. Large herds of buffalos, elephants and antelopes accumulate these water sources giving you chance to enjoy the scene on your safari. The Rufiji is also an excellent place for canoeing and boat safaris, which will make you, view species like the hippos, crocodiles and attractive wading birds.
As a matter of fact, it is impossible to narrate the whole story of Tanzanian National parks in just a single article. The good way of getting high with these spectacular destinations is having a trip to this marvelous country.