5 of the best… wildlife areas in Tanzania
Tanzania is perhaps one of the best countries in Africa when it comes to wildlife viewing opportunities. With the Serengeti plains and its annual mass migrations, night drives in Tarangire National Park, the plentiful wildlife of the Ngorongoro crater and boat safaris in the Selous, Tanzania is an exceptionally beautiful and diverse destination.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is known for having the highest density of elephant herds in Tanzania, tree-climbing lions around Lake Manyara, as well as more than 550 bird species.
Oliver’s Camp, deep in the heart of the Tarangire, has introduced night-vision goggles to enhance their night safari drives. Traditionally, night drives use a spotlight to scan the bush for movement and catch the twinkle of an animal’s eye. However, this new innovation unique to Oliver’s, allows guests to see the nocturnal wildlife going about their business undisturbed and in much better detail.
Ngorongoro crater, on the eastern border of Serengeti National Park, is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and nearly three million years old. The crater forms an exceptionally fertile ‘bowl’ in the middle of rolling highlands. Wildlife in the crater is bountiful and photographic opportunities are excellent.
There are an estimated 25,000 animals living within the crater, the steep sides and permanent water supply mean they have little reason to leave. It is also one of the last areas in Tanzania where you are likely to see the endangered black rhino. A small population is thriving in this picturesque and protected environment, and it remains one of the few areas where they continue to breed in the wild.
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is home to the world’s greatest concentration of plains wildlife and offers superb wildlife viewing across sweeping savanna. Lion prides are commonly seen and leopards can sometimes be found resting in trees along the Seronera river. The valley, at Klein’s Camp in the northern Serengeti, is filled with a jostling throng of zebras and wildebeest twice a year, while resident giraffes and elephants are often spotted moving along the nearby slopes. The Serengeti is perhaps most famous for the annual migration of wildebeest.
Loliondo Concession, Serengeti
Loliondo, ‘bolted on’ to Serengeti National Park, borders the Ngorongoro highlands to the south, Serengeti National Park to the west, and Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya to the north.
It forms an important part of the annual migratory route of millions of wildebeest into the Masai Mara and Amboseli National Park between April and June. What makes Loliondo extra special is that you can go on walking safaris as well as night drives (both of which you cannot do in the Serengeti itself). There is also the cultural interaction with the Masai, who use the area to graze their cattle.
Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest wildlife reserve (slightly larger than Switzerland), as well as being the second largest protected wilderness area in the world. The reserve supports a large population of elephants and buffaloes, large lion prides, wild dogs and more than 440 bird species.
The Rufiji river delta is fantastic for boating safaris; you can see crocodiles shuffle into the water, elephants cross the channels to the lush islands and yellow-billed storks nesting in borassus palms. Wildebeest, zebras, impalas, hartebeest, greater kudus and elands are also common.
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