Do you want to try the safari experience? Tanzania is the right place! Its large parks, set up to protect marvelous ecosystems, are in fact among the best in all of Africa to closely meet wildlife.
The most famous parks are those of the North, such as the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro crater conservation area.
Other protected areas of great interest are the Lake Manyara National Park, habitat of many flamingos, the Tarangire National Park and Arusha.
For those who want to combine the experience of trekking with the safari, you can add the Kilimanjaro National Park, with several routes for hikers who want to conquer the highest peak in Africa.
Finally, during a holiday in Tanzania, there is also the chance to combine safari and sea, taking an internal flight to the Zanzibar archipelago, one of the most pristine paradises on earth.
Do you want to take a trip to Tanzania but do not know where to start to build an itinerary? Here is a mini guide to its most famous national parks.
The Serengeti National Park, in northern Tanzania, is famous for the annual migration of wildebeests and other wild species, which cross it to look for new pastures. Attending this natural phenomenon during a safari is a truly unforgettable and exciting experience. The Serengeti also hosts all the exponents of the Big Five (elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo).
The Tarangire National Park is also located to the north and is crossed by the Tarangire River. The landscape is green and rich in marshes. Among the animals that you can meet are wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, gazelle, elephants, cheetahs and lions. The vegetation includes umbrella acacia and a very high concentration of baobabs.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located in the north, inside the Ngorongoro caldera in the Serengeti plain. The area around the crater is protected in the Ngorongoro nature reserve. The crater covers a total area of 265 square kilometers: it is the largest unbroken caldera in the world and is inhabited by many animals, including hyenas, buffalos, hippopotamuses, cheetahs and black rhinos. The area is also Unesco Heritage and has been the subject of several fossil finds and remains of primitive civilizations.
The Lake Manyara National Park includes the homonymous Lake Manyara and is a biosphere reserve. Within the park, vegetation includes savannahs and forests, baobabs, acacias and tunnel forests. During a safari at Lake Manyara you can see elephants, lions, hippos, giraffes and especially flamingos.
The Arusha National Park is located in northern Tanzania and makes up the "Northern Safari Circuit", along with the Lake Manyara National Park, the Tarangire National Park, the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Reserve. It is one of the smallest parks in the country, however it houses different types of habitats, from rainforest to savannah. Here are also Mount Meru, several marshes and lakes. The fauna of the Arusha National Park includes flamingos, warthogs, hippos, buffalos and many giraffes.
The Kilimanjaro National Park is one of the most famous and most visited in Tanzania because it is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Unesco heritage since 1987, it is frequented by many hikers who want to try their hand at trekking following the famous routes to get to the top. Mount Kilimanjaro has three craters, Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo, with different types of habitats, fauna and vegetation, as well as several glaciers. The paths that allow you to reach the summit are different: there is the fast and difficult Mweka path, the Umbwe path, especially downhill, the spectacular Machame track and the more touristy Marangu Road, suitable for everyone and passable in about six days.
When to organize a safari in Tanzania? The best time to visit the country is between the months of July and September, those of the long dry season, which is sunny and slightly rainy. The months from December to February can also be considered good, in which there is a short dry season. In the Christmas season and in the month of August there are many tourists.
As for the rainy season, the best months to travel are March, June and October, bearing in mind that short thunderstorms can occur during the day.
Generally a safari in Tanzania, or a safari in Africa in general, can be quite expensive, but if you rely on expert local operators and organizing in advance, prices are not necessarily prohibitive.
The type of accommodation chosen may affect the price: the cost changes considerably between a tented camp and a luxury lodge in the savannah. The costs also vary according to the months: the high season is from December to March and from June to October. In this period the influx of tourists is higher and the cost of services rises.
The visit of the parks also affects the price, as there are more or less high access fees: visiting several parks to make different safaris increases the cost of travel. If you want to add a sea extension to Zanzibar after the safaris, you must also consider the internal flight.
Many people who travel to Tanzania to try safaris want to end their experience with a beach holiday in all inclusive resorts on the beaches of Zanzibar. This is of course an excellent idea: the Zanzibar archipelago is part of Tanzania and is a pristine paradise unique in the world.
The most touristic and equipped island is Unguja, perfect for beach life, snorkeling and diving. Unguja also hosts the capital Zanzibar City, with a historic center that is UNESCO heritage.
For those who want to avoid tourists and immerse themselves in pristine forests or abandon themselves on deserted beaches, you can opt for Pemba or Mafia Island, however, taking into account the fact that services are poorer and the roads are often unpaved.
There are no big animals or predators in Zanzibar, so make sure you satisfy your hunger for safari inland!
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