Tanzania's top Destinations


NATIONAL PARKS

The Serengeti
The park covers 14,763 sq km of endless rolling plains, which reach up to the Kenyan border and extends almost to Lake Victoria. The park is flourishing with magnificent wildlife, so great for a safari. An estimated 3 million large animals roam the plains. People of the Maasai Tribe called it Siringitu - 'the place where the land moves on forever.' The Serengeti is known as one of the best wildlife sanctuary in the world. 

 

Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park, which encompasses an area of 330 sq.km
, of which 200 sq.km is lake, was proclaimed a game reserve in 1957 and registered three years later as a National Park. The park is situated between the 600 m high escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara and is 130 km from Arusha.



Tarangire National Park
It is the vast number of baobabs that first capture the eye as you enter Tarangire National Park. The gently rolling countryside is dotted with these majestic trees, which seem to dwarf the animals that feed beneath them. 
 

Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is covering 137 sq. kilometres and lies between the peaks of Mountain Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru and ascends from 1500 metres at Momella to 4566 metres at the summit of Mount Meru. Established in 1960 the park had contained Ngurdoto Crater and Momella lakes, until 1967 when Mt. Meru was made part of the Park.
The flora and fauna varies with the topography, which ranges from forest to swamp. The best time for visiting is during the dry season from July-March. The best months to climb Mount Meru are June-February (although there are some rains in November). On clear days magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru can be seen from almost any part of the park. The best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are from December-February.

















Kilimanjaro National Park
Mount Kilimanjaro is the crown of Tanzania. With an altitude of 5,895m (19.340ft), it is the highest peak in Africa, the highest freestanding mountain in the world, and one of the largest volcanoes. The base of the immense mountain has a diameter of about 70 km. On a clear day its impressive formation can be seen from more than 160 km away, and although it is only three degrees below the Equator, the peak is permanently covered with snow and ice. Elephants, leopards, lions and colobus monkeys are among the residents of the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. The encircling rain forests ensure the fertility of the lush, lower lying countryside, where the Chagga cultivate their coffee, maize and bananas.


Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park has recently been combined with the Usanga Game Reserve making the largest National Park in Africa covering over 15,000 sq km. This new park itself is at the heart of a much larger ecosystem covering over 40,000 sq km. The highlights of a trip to Ruaha is watching the huge elephant herds (the greatest concentration in Africa) gathered around the mighty Ruaha River; the lifeblood of the park.


Mikumi National ParkThis relatively small (3230 sq km) National Park lies 300 km west of Dar-es-Salaam and is the closest park to the capital. It is nestled between the Uruguru mountains to the East and the Rift Valley escarpments to the Southwest. Even though this is a small park, there is a border with the Selous Game Reserve, allowing movement of game and therefore Mikumi benefits from the highest game density of the entire conservation area, while still being easily accessible. Mikumi National Park is composed primarily of the Mkata River flood plain, this is surrounded by gently rolling hills covered in miombo woodland


Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Udzungwa Mountain National Park, has a total area of 2,000km². It contains the greatest altitudinal range of forests in East Africa - the eastern escarpment is the only place in East Africa with unbroken forest cover from lowland forest communities at below 250m above sea level, through intermediate types, to mountain communities at over 2,800m. Because of such a wide range in altitude and habitat types, Udzungwa National Park has one of the highest numbers of species endemism worldwide. Udzungwa National Park is located 65 km south of Mikumi National Park. 

 

Rubondo Island
Rubondo Island, in the southwest of Lake Victoria,is Tanzania’s tenth National Park and the only one in Lake Victoria. The 240 square km island provides a unforgettable experience for visitors, including the main island and 11 smaller islets, combining the breathtaking natural beauty of a forest refuge with the relaxing tranquility of sandylake-shore beaches.



Saadani National Park
Saadani National Park was only gazetted in 2003 and is the only park in Tanzania with ocean frontage. The park itself is unique to the rest of east Africa combining a variety of ecosystems including bush, beach and river.Some of the animals do come down to the beach and you can occasionally see some in the surf.



Mahale Mountains National Park
Set deep in the heart of the African interior, inaccessible by road and only 100km (60 miles) south of where Stanley uttered that immortal greeting “Doctor Livingstone, I presume”, is a scene reminiscent of an Indian Ocean island beach idyll.
Silky white coves hem in the azure waters of Lake Tanganyika, overshadowed by a chain of wild, jungle-draped peaks towering almost 2km above the shore: the remote and mysterious Mahale Mountains.
Mahale Mountains is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees: a population of roughly 800 (only 60 individuals forming what is known as "M group"), habituated to human visitors by a Japanese research project founded in the 1960s. Tracking the chimps of Mahale is a magical experience. The guide's eyes pick out last night's nests - shadowy clumps high in a gallery of trees crowding the sky. Scraps of half-eaten fruit and fresh dung become valuable clues, leading deeper into the forest. Butterflies flit in the dappled sunlight. 


Katavi National Park
Remote and rarely visited, the Katavi national park is a pearl among the national parks in Tanzania. Tanzania third biggest national park lies in the remote southwest of the country, close to Lake Tanganyika, in a remote Rift Valley arm, which ends in the shallow, dark expansion of the Rukwa lake. It has a higher density of mammals than any other Tanzanian National Park. Rivers groan with hippopotamus and crocodiles, and schattered over the plains are great herds of buffaloes, with up to 1000 animals in one group.




Protected and Nature Game Reserves 

Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area
Nearly three million years ago Ngorongoro towered alongside Mount Kilimanjaro as one of the highest peaks in Africa. Forged during the tumultuous birth of the Rift Valley, its volcanic top erupted at the time that ancient man first walked the plains.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) covers some 8,300 square kilometres. It boasts the finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeological sites in Africa. It is also a pioneering experiment in multiple land use. The concept of multiple land use in conservation perspective is a deviation from a traditional approach of regarding conservation as complete absenteeism of human interference.


Selous Game Reserves
At 54.600 Km² the Selous is the largest game reserve in Africa . To put it in perspective, the Selous is larger than Switzerland and half the size of the U.S. state of Ohio.
Until recently, the reserve was only accessible by plane or by train. However, with an improvement to the road network, the area is now accessible to everyone. The concentrations of wildlife in the Selous are understandably huge. The Selous, named after a German explorer and author, boasts Tanzania's largest population of elephant – currently about 10,000 animals – as well as some of Africa’s largest numbers of buffalo, hippos, Nile crocodile and wild dogs. 
 

















Gombe Stream national reserve 
Gombe Stream is Tanzanias smallest park (52 sq km) and is home of the world famous chimp reserve. It is located 16 km north of Kigoma on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania.
There are plenty of baboons around, but the focal point of Gombe are the chimps. It’s reconciling their interests with those of tourism that has occupied the founder of the reserve, Jane Goodall, for 25 years. Here, in the 1960’s, Goodall carried out major research conclusively the unique relationship between man and chimpanzee, as we share 95% of our genes with them (some people may share more than others!) and they have similar hearing, smells and other senses to humans.

There are plenty of baboons around, but the focal point of Gombe are the chimps. It’s reconciling their interests with those of tourism that has occupied the founder of the reserve, Jane Goodall, for 25 years. Here, in the 1960’s, Goodall carried out major research conclusively the unique relationship between man and chimpanzee, as we share 95% of our genes with them (some people may share more than others!) and they have similar hearing, smells and other senses to humans.





Beaches

Zanzibar
Located next to the East coast of Africa, the island of Zanzibar is considered one of the jewels of the Indian Ocean.
In Zanzibar, Nature and History go hand in hand. Visit the historic Stone Town, declared a Wold Heritage site by UNESCO, or sunbath in one of the many paradisaical beaches on the island, discover the local fauna such as the red colobus monkey, dive in crystalline waters, or use the island as a base for safaris in Tanzania's spectacular nature parks. Whatever your option, we are sure that Zanzibar is the ideal place for your holidays.
Zanzibar is an autonomous state within Tanzania and is made up of two main islands, Unguja (or Zanzibar) and Pemba.

Mafia Island
 Mafia Island is a really sleepy backwater, a slice of the old Swahili Coast, where local people go about their traditional way of life relatively undisturbed by the outside world.
It is also the location for the largest marine park in East Africa, which contains not only some of the finest unbleached coral in the Indian Ocean, but which also claims to have whalesharks in residence year round ... something which brings divers in from around the world.
Mafia Island is ideal for active people ... divers, sailors and walkers ... looking for something really different and unusual.


Pemba

 Pemba is a true island with incredibly fertile hilly terrain and spectacular deepwater drop-offs for divers.
Despite its proximity Pemba really is off the beaten track, getting less than 1% of its neighbour's visitor traffic. Those who do venture here are rewarded with an incredibly authentic Swahili Coast experience. Regular flights make getting here relatively easy these days, but the choice of accommodation remains remarkably thin ...


Other Places of Interests


Usambara Mountains
The Usambara Mountain are situated in the northeastern part of Tanzania between Mount Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean Region of Tanga. It has been dubbed the "Galapagos" of the plant world. This incredibly beautiful and lush area is a welcome retreat from Tanzania’s Game Parks and cities. Because of its pleasant climate, the mountains were favored by the Germans and the English during colonial times, as is evidenced by the numerous historic buildings from the past. The mountain region is ideal for hiking as well as some spectacular driving.

Lake Eyasi
Tourists hardly know this wild, still nearly unexplored landscape, and you will be particularly impressed of it. Lake Eyasi is a mildly alkaline lake stretching for about 50 km (31 miles) to the southwest. To the northeast, as far as your eyes can see, the horizon is dominated by the impressive Crater Highlands, to the north the plains of the Serengeti.

This area is inhabited by small groups of bushmen - the Hadza and Watindiga. who live in groups hunting with bow and arrows and gathering roots, tubers and wild fruits much as humankind lived in the Stone Age. Over 100 years ago, when the stronger Masai tribes moved into the Ngorongoro and Serengeti, the tribes made the area around Lake Eyasi their home. Another interesting tribe in the area is the Datoga. These are the last remaining tribes of bushmen in East Africa.
 

Lake Natron
One of the most original landscapes in East Africa is the area around the Lake soda: home of the Maasai, which live here still in traditional way and are hardly influenced of the modern culture. It is the home for millions of birds, too, and therefor interesting for bird watching. Because this landscape is so inaccessible, it did not need to be particularly protected: it is under no protection of a national park administration.
But the area offers more attractions including a river walk with two waterfalls, a hike across the soda lake with flamingos, where giraffes and other animals are often seen. A trek up Oldonyio Lengai, an active volcano, is one of the higlights of an adventures Safari: Oldonyio Lengai is located in the heart of the Great Rift Valley and has erupted fifteen times in the past century. A challenging hike to the top of the "Mountain of God" offers an opportunity to view molten lava. From there you have great views of the surrounding landscapes.


Olmoti Crater
Olmoti Craters's floor is shallow and covered with tussocks of grass. Besides the Maasai and their livestock you can sometimes see eland, buffalo and reedbuck. The Munge River origins from the waters from the Crater walls, crosses the caldera and plummets down over cliffs, falling some hundreds of metres into the steep-sided ravine below.
Returning from Olmoti you can see the depression that is formed where the slopes of Olmoti, Empakaai, Lolmalasin and Losirua volcanoes join with the outer rim of Ngorongoro. this shallow, grassy bassin is called the Embulbul depression. Like the similar Malanja depression to the west, it probably collects and provides a sink for a good deal of water that appears lower down at the foot of the mountains.

Empakaai Crater
From the crater rim you have a fantastic view in the craters' green paradise. The caldera is about 6 km wide and nearly half of its floor is covered by a lake. The water in the lake is alkaline and the depth of the lake is about 85m, unusually deep for soda lakes in East Africa. The steep walls of the caldera, clothed in forest, rise in some places to almost 300m above the floor.
The views along the trail downwards are spectacular at every point. All along you can enjoy the changing views of Empakaai itself. In addition, from the northern and eastern side you can look out to the dramatic cone of the still active volcano, Oldoinyo Lengai. If the day is clear, you can look beyond Lengai to the Great Rift Valley and Lake Natron. Sometimes you can even see the distant snows of Kilimanjaro far on the eastern side of the Valley.

Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai Gorge is a canyon carved by water through the southern part of the Serengeti Plain. The gorge is about 50 km long and in some places 90 metres deep. It drains the slopes of the nearby mountains plus the Serengeti Plain. Its chief claim to fame is the rich treasure-trove of human and animal fossils that it has yielded.
History of archaeological work at Olduvai
In 1911, a German entomologist, Professor Kattwinkel, was the first European to enter the gorge. He noticed many fossil bones, identified as an extinct three-toed horse. This inspired Professor Hans Reck to lead an expedition to Olduvai in 1913. he found a hominid skeleton, but further work was halted by World War I. some years later, Louis Leakey saw the Olduvai fossils in Berlin and was convicted that Olduvai must hold valuable clues to human origins. In 1931, Leakey organised an expedition to the Gorge with Reck, and found stone tools within a few hours of arriving at the gorge.
In further excarvations, Leakey and his wife Mary found and described many stone tools and fossil animals, but found no significant hominid ("human-like") fossils until 1959, when Mary Leakey discovered the first skull of "Zinjanthropus". Now renamed Australopithecus boisei, this creature had a massive skull with huge teeth that suggested a diet of coarse vegetable food, and lived 1.75 million years ago.
1976 Mary Leakey discovered a fossil hominid and animal tracks at Laetoli, a site twice as ancient as anything at Olduvai. It is well worth visiting the site where "Zinj" was found, just five minutes' drive from the visitor centre. Ask the guides for the latest discoveries!

Pare Mountains
The Pare Mountains lay southeast of Kilimanjaro rise and are green and fertile. There are three cultural tourism programmes that make it easy to visit these beautiful mountains. Two in the north at Usangi and Kisangara, and another at Mbega in the south. They all offer a range of affordable activities based around guided walks in the mountains and their forests, and encounters with the rural culture of th Pare tribe, who have been living in the mountains for the last six hundred years.


No comments:

Post a Comment