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Lion photo copyright Ross Warner - www. rosswarner.com

Highlights of the National Parks of Tanzania

Tanzania is the place where dream safaris are made.  The country is politically stable and the people friendly.   Tanzania’s National Parks are Africa’s most diverse and dramatic wildlife areas.  Bellow is a taste of just a few National Parks on offer in this extraordinary land of Tanzania.

Gombe Stream National Park and Mahale Mountain National Park sit side by side in the remote west of Tanzania.  They are found alongside one of the great lakes of Africa – Lake Tanganyika.  They offer a rare opportunity to observe and study the behavior of the Chimpanzee.  This area is difficult to access and the only reliable way to reach these remote parks is to fly to Kigoma town.  From Kikoma there are no roads to the parks so access is by boat along the lake to the Chimpanzee trails which are home to some if the last troops of wild chimpanzee’s in Africa.  

 

Kilimanjaro National Park is in contrast very accessible; and at 5895m Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest point and the world’s highest freestanding mountain. Incredibly, the snow-capped peak is only a few hours away from a tropical coastline.  This incredible trek climbs form the brown dusty plains of Africa through tropical rainforest, then upward onto the ice and snow.   The views from the near artic conditions on the summit of this majestic mountain are the most dramatic in Eastern Africa.

Ngorongoro crater heralded as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ is an awe-inspiring collapsed volcano; enclosed by near sheer walls the crater is breathtaking; as is the steep descent onto the creator floor in your 4x4 Safari Landover.  This small area is a mini Serengeti with a lake, savannah and forest; it is possible to have a six hour safari and see many animals in just a short time.  Ngorongoro crater is truly unique in Africa. 

The Udzungwa Mountains National Park is a park without roads and is Tanzania’s first National Park created primarily to protect flora rather than fauna. This National Park forces you out of your vehicle.  No lodges in this park so to truly explore these mountains involves hard hikes and basic camping.  The remote parts of this park become dangerous and inaccessible throughout the wet season.

The Serengeti home to last Great Migration on our planet. These endless plains, contain valleys, hills and woodland as well as the open grasslands that seem to stretch out forever. Every time of year in the Serengeti offers something different, something special.  

In contrast to the ever popular Serengeti is rarely visited the Katavi National Park in the remote and inaccessible west of Tanzania.  This park has the largest herds of buffalo in Africa and where there are buffalo the lions are not far behind. The usual way to access this park is to fly into the one [luxury tented] lodge in the entire park. It is rumored that when a guest drives up to the park gates the wardens there are shocked and bewildered, so rare are tourists to this park. Here, in this park the only other people you will meet are other guests and the staff at the lodge.  Here you have one million hectares to yourself.   

A huge carpet of ground orchid’s bloom quite unnoticed, every year, in a forgotten corner of Southern Tanzania. This high plateau called the Kitulo Plateau is high above the madding crowd and is covered with a sea of orchids. This National Park of wild flowers in all its glorious color is a delight to anyone who appreciates and loves the orchid in its natural setting.

The Selous Game Reserve embraces 54,000 square kilometers of southwestern Tanzania; it is the largest protected wilderness reserve on the continent, three times larger than the Serengeti.

After the safari there are the rewards of Tanzania’s coast; crystal seas, sun bleached white sands give the Tanzania cost a scintillating appearance. Ancient ruins rest among whispering palms enticing you to explore. This palm fringed coastline looks out over the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Tranquil coral lagoons shelter underwater coral gardens, claiming some of the best diving in the world; Tanzania’s Swahili Coast and the fifty or more Spice Islands of Zanzibar welcome you to explore a diving tropical paradise.

 

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