Tanzania has around 14 national parks and more than 10 game reserves occupying more than 45% of the land in Tanzania. Tanzania is the largest country on East African safari and has more vast game parks and than are significantly the largest in east Africa. Besides the large game park area, each of Tanzania national parks is gifted with several herds of wild animals, Big five being the commonest in the Tanzania game parks.
Arusha National Park is a small beautiful Tanzania safari Game park just 29km form Arusha town. The park marks the start to Tanzania wildlife safaris introducing you to most of Tanzania’s wildlife before you proceed on to other Tanzania game parks like Serengeti and Lake Manyara in the neighborhood.
The Serengeti National Park hosts the annual wildebeest migration and is ranked as Tanzania’s most famous national park. It receives more than 50,000 tourists each year, most of them hoping to find the migrant wildebeest herds and others expecting to find large prides of the Serengeti lions that feature in many wildlife documentaries across the world. Game drives are a popular way to experience the vast plains of Serengeti while luxury hot air Serengeti balloon safari are another way to view much of its abundant areas. There are several luxury safari lodges in Serengeti, tented camps and bush camps just in case you want a night in the wild.
The Ngorongoro Crater Game Park is one of the most densely crowded wildlife areas in the world and is home to an estimated 30,000 animals living in an un flooded crater 2566m above sea level. The crater is also a good birding site hosting several flocks of pink flamingoes to Lake Magadi and many other water birds.
The Lake Manyara National Park is from the western escarpment, beyond Arusha town and is famous for its tree climbing lions and water birds that visit the lake-Manyara that occupies a third of the park’s area. June to September and later in January- February is the long dry season that makes the best time to tour Lake Manyara National park, particularly for game viewing while the wet season of October to December is good for birding safaris in the park
Tarangire National Park is another outstanding Tanzania National park named after Tarangire River that crosses and drains its waters through the park’s savannah and woodlands. The outstanding herds of elephants that roam Tarangire Park are its emblem for Tanzania Africa safari. In the dry season, the river is the sole place to find water in the park making a spectacular outpost for several of Tarangire wild animals.
Mount Kilimanjaro National park is found on the slopes of Africa’s tallest free standing mountain-Kilimanjaro. Most of the visitors to this area come with Kilimanjaro mountain climbing intentions other than visiting the park. The park is a charm that Mount Kilimanjaro climbers/hikers can not escape!
Sadaani National park form the Indian Ocean coast can not go without mention. It is part of Africa’s few game parks on the beach coast. This park is engraved in tropical rain forest, mangrove swamp and lush Wamu River delta. The beach is a unique breeding ground for green turtles, Humpack whales (Nyangumi) and dolphins (pompoo) from the nearby ocean waters.
Other Tanzania National parks and reserves receive fewer visitors and are found in the remote south central part of Tanzania. They include Ruaha National park, Udzungwa Mountains, Mkomazi, Mahale Mountains National park , Gombe Stream National Park and Mikumi National park. From northern Tanzania, Rubondo Island National park from Lake Victoria is a charm that is toured by those that can venture last the cold breeze of the lake.
Game Reserves in Tanzania
Mention of Game reserves in Tanzania and Selous Game reserve will be top of the list. Selous in found in south east Tanzania and is actually the most visited Tanzania game reserve compared to others. Sangita game reserve is on the northern safari circuit near Grumeti River and is actually part of the migrant route of animals on the annual wildebeest migrations.
Other small game reserves are found in southern Tanzania include Maswa Game reserve neat Serengeti, Lukwika-Lumesule on the birder with Mozambique, Kigosi game reserve, Moduli mountains game reserve neat Arusha Park and many others. Many of these game reserve share birders with major Tanzania national parks and often facilitated free movement of wild animals in the same area.