Tanzania Northern Safaris Circuit
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti is the world famous wildlife sanctuary there still exists the greatest and most spectacular concentration of game animals found anywhere in the world. The park has derived its name from "Maa" (Maasai) language means un-endless plain, Serengeti has vast plain grassland with dotted trees and rocks outcrop.
Covering more than 14,500 square kilometers the park is the largest in Tanzania. Here is where the Great Migration of wildebeests and zebras can be experienced. During the dry season of June through July, these wild animals migrate to the contiguous Masai Mara National Park in Kenya and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area for greens and water using the western and northern corridor.
There are also acacia and savannah woodland, wetland like rivers and lakes and occasional swamp. The vegetation of the park accommodate mammals like Topi, Thomson's and Grants gazelle, coke's hartebeest, Impala, Klipspringer, common waterbuck, African Elephant, Bush Baby. Others are African wild cat, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Spotted hyena, striped hyena, Jackal among the list.
Serengeti to its western corridor is the Grumeti River with numerous crocodiles and other reptiles. During the Great Migration these reptiles obtain abundant food as the wildebeest and zebras cross the river to the Masai Mara. The park is noted to its wealth of birdlife to its wetland. Colorful kingfishers, sunbirds, waterfowl and bee-eaters are among them. More than 300 species are recorded.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro is a huge caldera formed after the collapse of volcano, 250 square kilometers and 23 kilometers wide. The crater has an average depth of 600 meters. Its spectacular setting and abundance of wildlife combine to make it a wonder of the natural world. The crater alone has over 20,000 large animals including some of Tanzania's last remaining black rhino. Animals are free to leave or enter the crater but most of them stay because of the plentiful water and food available on the crater floor throughout the year.
Other mammals include wildebeest, zebra, spotted hyena, hunting dogs, gazelles, jackals and primates like mice and grasshoppers. The open grassland covers most of the crater floor and feeds the herbivores. The crater has abundant yellow barked acacia trees to its Lerai forest making a home to Elephants, baboon, bushbucks, waterbucks and velvet monkey.
The floor has a number of wetland including the Munge River, Lake Makati and Lake Magadi. The Lakes are the attractive point to the numerous flamingos, pelicans, blacksmith Plover, African Cuckoo, Red-eyed Dove and other water birds more than 300 species are recorded. Also the wetland accommodates the large number of hippos and smaller creatures such as frogs and snakes. Within the crater walls there is a high possibility of tourists to sight the "Big Five" that's Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Hippopotamus and Black Rhinoceros.
Oldupai Gorge: The Gorge is found in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where human has been part of the Ngorongoro landscape for millions of years. The findings of Dr. Louis Leakey have scientifically proved that, the earliest man has lived here. The hominid footprints preserved in the volcanic rock dated way back to 3,600,000 years old. Useful information and education can be obtained from the Gorge Museum and on site interpretations.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is located between Ngorongoro crater and Tarangire National Park. Covers an area of 330 squares kilometers the famous spectacles are Lake Manyara itself and easily sighting tree climbing lions. The Mto-wa-Mbu village (Mosquito village) and the East Africa Rift Valley escarpment add the boundaries of the park.
The topography of Manyara is wetland forest with Mahogany and fig trees, the open land, savannah, marshes and acacia woodland. The environment resides the large number of wild animals common zebras, herds of buffaloes and elephants, giraffes, impala, waterbuck, bushbuck, wildebeest, klipspringer, spotted hyena and leopards among the list. Lake Manyara is noted for its wealth of birdlife from the birds of prey to the water birds.
The birds of prey include vulture and ayre's and crowned hawk eagles. Others are flock of flamingoes, pelicans, ostrich, marabou stork, white-backed ducks and goliath heron among others. Also the lake accommodates a large number of hippos mammals into its pool and make one of East Africa park sighting at a closer range. Manyara has also minor and major hotsprings within the park famous known as "Maji Moto" a Swahili word means (Hot water) to the north and some River like Chem chem, Ndala, Bosayo Rivers.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is located south of the plains of Maasai land and east of Lake Manyara, a three-hour drive from Arusha city, rank the fourth-largest national park in Tanzania.
The park originates its name from the River Tarangire that cross the park been derived from "Maa" (Maasai) language who inhabits the area. Covering an area of 2,600 square kilometers it's famous for its tree-climbing Pythons. The topography of Tarangire is open acacia woodland, open bush, swamps, rivers, plains with scattered baobab trees. The trees grow in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid tropical climates.
The park also is famous for the large population of elephants around the baobab trees. Other animals that resides the park include spotted hyena, cheetah, lion, leopard, Maasai giraffe, impala, Grant's gazelle, lesser kudu, African buffalo, eland, bushbuck among others. River Tarangire and surrounding accommodates different species of birdlife more than 300 are recorded they include Maasai ostrich, white pelican, pink-backed pelican, white stork, Marabou, sacred ibis, Egyptian goose and crowned crane few to mention.
Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is only 32 kilometers away from the Arusha city. It consists of three spectacular features, the Momela Lakes, Mount Meru and the Ngurdoto Crater. The park's altitude varies from 1,500 meters to more than 4,500 meters covering an area of 137 square kilometers. Also it is famous for walking Safaris Park escorted by armed rangers for the safety.
On clear days magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro can be seen from almost any part of the park. The vegetation and wildlife varies with the topography which ranges from forest to swamp. The park is famous for its 400 species of birdlife, both migrant and resident, including the pelicans and flamingo reside at the Momela Lakes and Ngurdoto crater.
The birdlife varies from these places provided that they are separated by a narrow peace of land. Animals frequently seen in the park are black and white colobus monkey, baboon, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, leopard, hyena, zebra and a wide range of antelope species.
The reptiles include tortoises, geckos, lizards, monitor lizards, and different kinds of snakes. A more day stay at Arusha National Park allows hiking the little mountain that looks like a pyramid near Momela gate known as Ol'doinyo Landaree and camel safaris can be arranged at the village of Mkuru.
Mkomazi National Park
Situate below the verdant slopes of the spectacular Usambara and Pare Eastern Arc Mountain ranges and overseen by iconic snow – capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi National Park which covers 3,245 sq km (1,240 sq miles) is a virgin breathtaking beauty exhibiting exceptional natural treasures and immense sense of space - adds to the fulfillment of high visitor enjoyment expectations – a much needed bridge between northern circuit and coastal attractions.
A game reserve since 1951, this new National Park takes its name from Pare tribe's word for “scoop of water”, referring to little water. It is a fantastic destination for birdwatchers, with more than 400 avian species recorded, among them dry – country endemics such as the cobalt – chested vulturine guineafowl, other large ground birds such as ostrich, kori bustard, secretary bird, ground hornbill and some migratory species including Eurasian roller.
Mkomazi National Park supports several dry – country specialists species that are rare elsewhere in Tanzania; these include the spectacular fringe – eared oryx, with its long back – sweeping horns, and the handsome spiral – horned lesser kudu. Oddest of all is the gerenuk, a gazelle distinguished by its slender neck, bizarre alien – like head, and habit of standing tall on its hind legs stretch for acacia leaves that other browsers cannot reach.
The park is vital refuge for two highly endangered species, the charismatic black rhino and sociable African wild dog, both of which were successfully reintroduced in the 1990s. Nomadic by nature, wild dog might be seen almost anywhere in the park, but black rhino are restricted to a fenced sanctuary, ensuring their safe keeping for future generations enjoyment and prosperity.
Everyday, thousands of people pass within a few kilometers of Mkomazi on one of Tanzania's busiest highways. These and northern circuit safari – goers are now most welcome to discover the treasures of this wedge of hilly semi – arid savannah – home of large herds of giraffe, eland, hartebeest, zebra, buffalo and elephant.