NORTHERN CIRCUIT SAFARIS
Lake Manyara National Park:
Nestling at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, less than 130 kilometres from Arusha town, is Lake Manyara National Park, one of the oldest and most popular sanctuaries in East Africa. It is home to a myriad of bird life and the famous tree-climbing lions.
The park offers an impressive diversity of habitats for animals and birds: from the slopes of the rift escarpment and ground water forest to the acacia woodlands, open grassland, and the soda lake itself which occupies 77% of the National Park total area of 330 sq m.
Common animals include baboons, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, elephant, hippos, with over 400 species of birds including water birds and the colourful migratory flamingoes.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area:
A UNESCO protected World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area covering an area of 8292 sq km consists of the Ngorongoro Crater itself, Empakai Crater, Oldupai Gorge, and Ndutu including the short grass plains of the south eastern Serengeti ecosystem.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a pioneering experiment where people (the Maasai), their livestock and wildlife co-exist and share the same protected habitat.
Serengeti National Park::
A World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, Serengeti National Park is undoubtedly one of the best known wildlife sanctuaries in the world, famed for its annual wildebeest migration. Aptly referred to as “endless plains” by the Maasai, Serengeti provides sanctuary to the highest concentration of plains animals in the world. Within its area of 14,763 sq km are more than 4 million large mammals living in total wilderness freedom.
About 35 species of plains animals can be observed including elephants, buffaloes, topi, wildebeest, gazelles, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetahs and over 400 species of birds can be observed in the Serengeti National Park The main game drive areas in the Serengeti are the Seronera Valley, the Western Corridor, Lobo or northern Serengeti, and the south eastern Serengeti plains extending to Ndutu in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Seronera valley in central Serengeti, endowed with permanent surface water, attract a large concentration of wildlife throughout the year. From December to April, south eastern Serengeti plains provide the best opportunities for game viewing as hundreds of thousands of the migratory animals including wildebeest and zebras are concentrated in this part attracted by the short palatable grass.
Between May and July, when drought sets in, Serengeti is the site of one of the most breathtaking events in the animal kingdom - the migration of thousands of wildebeest heading southwest, north or west in search of water and greener pastures in and around the National Park. According to the Serengeti National Park official guide “Lines and columns of wildebeest up to 40 km long have been observed (from the air) heading southwest, north or west as the wildebeest trek to the woodland zone”. The Lobo area in northern Serengeti remains rich in wildlife during the dry months of August to November when most of the game has moved from the grass plains in the south. This is also true of the Western Corridor towards Lake Victoria when the migration usually lingers in the area between June and July.
A large part of the migratory animals move into Maasai Mara in Kenya by September, staying there hardly three months before streaming back into northern Tanzania and the Serengeti plains in November. The Serengeti Migration has been named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park lies 120 km south of Arusha, and offers a wide variety of wildlife in its area of 2,850 sq. km. The Tarangire River, after which the park is named, provides the only permanent water for wildlife in the area. When the Maasai Steppes around the park dry up with the end of the long rains in June, migratory animals return to the Tarangire River, making Tarangire National Park second only to Ngorongoro in the concentration of wildlife. This period stretches between June and October and it is the best season for game viewing in Tarangire. The most common animals found in the park include zebras, wildebeest, lions, leopards, waterbucks, giraffe, elephants, gazelles, impala, gerenuk, lesser kudu and the beautiful Fringe- eared Oryx. You may be lucky to spot the tree-climbing python, for which the park is famous, or the Greater Kudu and the Roan Antelope which are rare species in Northern Tanzania. Over 550 bird species have been recorded in the Park
BALLOON SAFARIS: A popular addition to your stay in the Serengeti or Tarangire National Parks is a balloon safari. Launching at dawn, your balloon rises as the sun rises, floating gently over the savannah and wildlife. The flight takes about an hour, and on landing you will be met with a traditional champagne celebration and served an Out of Africa bush breakfast prepared at the site. Thereafter continue with game drives and day’s planned activities. Book Safaris now