TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
The Tarangire Park covers an area of 2600 sq. km. The Tarangire River crosses the park from north to south and is the source of drinking water for the animals, especially in the dry season from June to November. The savanna is mainly composed of Acacia umbrella trees and huge baobabs. You can spot vast herds of elephants, but also lions, leopards, buffaloes, giraffes, impala, many birds and the tsetse fly!
The Manyara National Park covers an area of 330 sq. km, of which one third is occupied by the lake. It stretches along 65 km from the cliffs of the Rift to the LakeManyara . The dense forest in the north-west of the park is home to baboons, elephants, impalas, zebras and giraffes. Around the lake you will see the famous hippo pool and bird colonies … and if you’re lucky, you can also observe the famed lions in the park who have the habit of climbing the trees.
NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA
The Ngorongoro crater is classified as world heritage. The caldera has an area of 260 km², with 20 km in diameter. The upper part of the crater reaches an altitude of 2300m (it is cold up there!) while the bottom elevation is about 600m. The emergence of sources due to the slope of the caldera and the presence of a lake surrounded by a savanna is what make this crater be a paradise for the animals. The animal density is very high. You will observe more than 50 species of mammals such as ostriches, gazelles, elephants, lions, rhinos …but no giraffes!
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
The Serengeti National Park , world heritage area with a surface of 14 763 km², has a name in Masai language that means “extended plains”. Its enormous grassy plains are the setting for the annual migration of wildebeest, accompanied by zebras and gazelles moving with the rainy season in search of new pastures. The Serengeti is also a real paradise for felines. You will meet here all the animals of the savanna and observe strange geological phenomena such as kopjes.
ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
The Arusha National Park covers an area of 137 km² and is divided into three zones: Mount Meru (4566m) which you can climb within 3 to 4 days or hike in the surroundings in a one-day-trip; the 7 lakes of Momella, a refuge for a variety of species of birds where a lot of different animals come to its various waterways that all have a different chemical composition… and the Ngurdoto Crater, set in the forest and home to buffalos, zebras and antelopes that you can watch in the distance from the crater rim. You will encounter many giraffes in this park and maybe some colobus monkeys.
The Lake Natron is one of the Rift Valley lakes. Its extremely alkaline water attracts flocks of pink flamingos and dwarf flamingos that come to breed in hundreds of thousands. It is situated at the foot of the Oldonyo Lengai volcano.
The Oldonyo Lengai (2751m) volcano is still active. It is venerated by certain ethnic groups, including the Masai who gave it the name “the mountain of the gods.” It is unique in the world because its lava whitens the air. Its ascent is tough and must be done at night because the heat is considerable in the region.
The Lake Victoria has an area of 70 000 km² and is hence the largest lake in Africa and second one in the world by size. It is the site of the legendary source of the Nile . This inland sea with troubled waters and gray shimmering is bordered with rough vegetation and remarkable for its vast expanse. The region is a centre for fishing, but also for cotton, tea and coffee. Mwanza is the most important town on its coast. The islands are hardly accessible and the parks decimated.
Kondoa is a small town located about 160 km from Dodoma on the road to Arusha and accessible from Tarangire. The walls of this granitic region are decorated with cave paintings. The authors of these paintings are not known but show some links with wall art practiced by the tribes of hunters and gatherers of South Africa .
Reaching 5895 m , the peak of the Kilimanjaro is the highest one in Africa . The ascent has no technical difficulties but is though not without risk and can even be difficult due to the altitude and weather conditions. There are two classic routes: the Marangu route (“Coca Cola”) and the Machame route (“Whisky”) and 4 other ones. It is preferable to have 6 to 7 days to adapt best.
The Eastern Arc is a chain of 13 wooded massifs forming the border to Eastern Tanzania . The forests are the oldest and most stable ones in Africa and appear in the classification of the 20 sites with the most precious biodiversity of the planet. The small village of Lushoto at the end of a valley in the Usambara Muntains is the starting point for various hiking tours into the forest or towards the Irente Panoramic Point where you can enjoy a great view over the Masai steppe from 1000 m altitude.
The island Zanzibar is situated about 40 km from the coast and it measures 100 km in length and 35 km in width. The population is in a large majority Muslim. It is a legendary island with the scent of spices, paradise-like beaches of white sand, where the remains of a past splendour dominate, blending Africa and the East.
Its little sister Pemba in the north is less touristic and also worth a detour.
On the Tanzanian coast around 70 km from Dar Es Salaam , Bagamoyo was once the terminus for slave caravans as well as the place of the first Christian mission in Africa . Bagamoyo was also the largest port in Africa in the construction of dhows and the first capital of German East Africa . Shirazi relics dating from the thirteenth century include the oldest mosque in East Africa .
Tanga is the second largest seaport of Tanzania . Its resources come mainly from sisal plantations. North of Tanga are the limestone caves of Amboni and south is the small town of Pangani that enjoyed a certain prosperity in the Shirazi time and has now become a seaside resort.