The largest of the three East African countries, the United Republic of Tanzania has a total area of 945,087 square kilometers with a population of approximately 59 million people. Famously known for its many tourist attractions, approximately 38 per cent of its land area is set aside in protected areas for conservation. Tanzania boasts some of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, including the world heritage sites of Serengeti national park, the Ngorongoro crater, and Selous game reserve. Alongside these, famous sites such as Mount Kilimanjaro, Tarangire, Lake manyara, Mikumi, Ruaha and Zanzibar Islands have for long crowned the Tanzania a major Touristic destination.
There are many other areas of stunning beauty like the game parks of Katavi, Mahale Mountains, Gombe Stream, Mkomazi, Saadani, Udzungwa Mountains, and Kitulo or the historical sites of Kilwa in southern Tanzania, which are now coming on to the scene but rarely featured in safari itineraries in the past. This is simply because the infrastructure and facilities in those areas were not as developed and Tanzania has many such pristine nature reserves yet to be explored for nature recreation.
Tanzania’s most well-known wildlife attractions are located in the northern part of the country and include the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park.
Serengeti National Park
The most popular park in the country and encompasses the world-famous great migrations of animals. Covering an estimated area of 14,763 square kilometers, equal in size to Northern Ireland, the world famous Serengeti national park is one of the world’s last great wildlife refuges. It is contiguous with Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve and stretches as far as Lake Victoria to the West. Its name comes from the Masai word Siringeti, meaning ‘endless plains’. It is the largest and most famous park in Tanzania, known worldwide for its endless plains, wildebeest-migration, herds of lions and other predators like hyenas, cheetahs and leopards.
The southern area of the Serengeti (Ndutu Area) is famous as the birthing area for the Wildebeests making it the best place to be during the period Mid-January and Mid-February. Up to 500,000 calves are born in February and March each year, with as many as 8,000 wildebeest being born on the same day!
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Home to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area which includes the Ngorongoro Crater, world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera which is often referred to as the 8th wonder of the world. Here at Ngorongoro Crater, you will enjoy breath-taking views of scenery and game. Olduvai Gorge, considered to be the seat of humanity after the discovery of the earliest known specimens of the human genus also lies within the conservation area.
A scenic gem, with a setting extolled be Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. Stretching for 50 km along the base of the 600-meter high Rift Valley Escarpment. A narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favored haunt of Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. Its location makes it a prolific destination too.
Tarangire National Park
Boasts to have some of the highest population density of elephants than anywhere in Tanzania. Its sparse vegetation, strewn with baobab and acacia trees, makes it a beautiful and special location. Before the rains, hides of gazelle, wildebeest, zebra, and giraffes migrate to Tarangire National Park scrub plains where the last grazing lands still remain.
Apart from the great beaches, some of the best highlight here are Old center of Stone Town characterized by buildings executed principally in coralline ragstone and mangrove timber, set in thick lime mortar and then plastered and lime-washed, reflecting a complex fusion of Swahili, Indian, Arab and European influences in building traditions and town planning. A visit here can be complimented with a short Spice Tour.
Nungwi Beach, situated at the north-western tip of the island. It is home to powdery white sand, crystal blue waters, and exotic flora and fauna. Also situated around the equatorial region, it gets warm sunny weather most of the time, perfect for getting your tan on.
Tanzania is a blend of different cultures, emanating from the interaction of the many tribes within its borders. There are more than 120 tribes in Tanzania, boasting a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Kiswahili is the national language spoken by all tribes in Tanzania, and used widely in other eastern and central African countries.