If you tell someone you’re going to Tanzania, they may give you a confused look. Chances are they don’t know much about the country or the beautiful areas within.
Reading this you might be unsure of what exactly there is to do in Tanzania or if there is a more thrilling vacation you can choose. If you want wildlife, not zoo life and lots of adventure, you’re on the right track.
Tanzania national parks offer something for everyone and every taste. Maybe you’d prefer the desert, picturesque bodies of water or wildlife you just can’t see at home. Don’t worry. Tanzania has more than you can imagine.
We’re going to take you through 10 of Tanzania’s national parks we feel sure you’ll love! Read on for more!
1. Saanane National Park
This park is actually only accessible by boat as it is on an island in the beautiful Lake Victoria. This means you can schedule a fishing trip on your way back!
Saanane National Park is home to many breath-taking animals. Some of the wildlife includes Impala, Pythons, and several species of monkeys including De Brazza, and Velvet.
The Saanane is a perfect place for activities like photography, meditation, hiking, and sportfishing. Boat cruises and picnicking are also popular things to do in this park.
There is availability to arrange your big day in the park if you so desire. Your day doesn’t have to be a wedding. It can be engagement photos, a family reunion day, or even a birthday party. There are plenty of options!
2. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
Mount Kilimanjaro is awe-inspiring, to say the least!
It is the tallest and largest mountain in Africa, standing at over 19,000 feet tall. This giant mountain is also only located about 200 miles from the equator and is home to one of the top national parks in Tanzania.
Of course, if you’d like to, you can make your way to Kilimanjaro’s peak, but if that doesn’t interest you, or time is a factor, there are plenty of other options.
Colobus Monkeys, Malachite sunbirds, Elands, and Elephants are just a few types of wildlife you might see. There have been over 100 species recorded on the mountain. However, if you want to see more of them, stay below the tree-line.
To those of you who are interested in climbing the highest peak in Africa, you have choices! There are several different trails that span over various lengths of time, offer different views, and vary in the level of difficulty.
3. Saadani National Park
The Saadani national park is another unique one because it is the only park that features ocean-front views (read: a beach!) There is a large cultural aspect in addition to the chance to take a safari.
As a history buff, you may enjoy a tour of the Saadani fishing village or even be able to see some of the local ethnic tribes. If you’re still mainly interested in wildlife, this park has that, too.
Buffaloes, giraffes, crocodiles, and wildebeests are relatively common sights, but there are many other animals found in the area to be on the look for. Because there is such a vast ecosystem, the number of types of animals is astonishing.
Of course, if you want to relax and enjoy the beach, that can be worked into your trip too. The weather is warm and gorgeous; the beaches pristine. The Saadani National Park is great for both the excitement and relaxation aspects of your vacation!
4. Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti Plains are one of the better-known attractions in Tanzania. Of course, the wildlife is plentiful and diverse, but this park is also quite picturesque and often featured in magazines and galleries.
If you get the chance to visit during the Great Migration, it is more than a sight to see. Although it may seem like chaos, there is a definite order to the madness.
The Great Migration takes place twice a year and is the longest land migration in the world. Being able to witness this, you should expect to see wildebeests, and then the carefully organized zebra families. Following behind, you will see the apex predators looking for their next meal that inevitably falls too far behind.
There is also the opportunity to see the Big Five as well as take a walking safari or even a hot air balloon ride.
5. Ruaha National Park
Recently this park combined with Usanga Game Reserve. This combination proves to be one of, if not the biggest national parks in Tanzania.
Ruaha is home to one of the largest populations of elephants in the world. However, if you want to see an animal a bit more menacing, head to the river. There, you will see hippos and crocodiles.
Because this park is so massive, large parts of it are unexplored. Visiting outside of high season will only increase your chances of uninterrupted observation. Don’t worry though, you’ll still have plenty of time quality time in the park if you do go during high season.
6. Kitulo National Park
If you are a plant or flower lover, you are truly going to LOVE this park. It boasts 350 species of plants and is the only park in which grass-eating mammals dominate. The locals have adopted the name Bustani ya Mungu, which translates to the Garden of God, or also, God’s Garden.
There aren’t many large species of wildlife in the park, but bird watchers will enjoy keeping an eye on the many types that call the park home. Because of all the beautiful flowers, there are also many types of insects–including butterflies!
7. Mkomazi National Park
We had to include this lesser-known park. Although it is lesser known and not a “star destination,” this Tanzanian park is really neat.
Since it IS lesser-known, when you are able to see the animals, they act natural. These animals still have their intuitive response to humans–whatever that may be–and the park is home to almost all species.
As mentioned, the park is home to almost all species, and that includes the endangered black rhino, as well as the African wild dog.
On top of all this, less-known means less expensive. You can tack on a trip to this park as a part of a bigger adventure or make it the sole purpose of your visit.
8. Tarangire National Park
This park is also somewhat underrated, but it shouldn’t be! It is home to 3 endangered species: the greater kudu, the Ashy Starling, and the fringe-eared oryx.
It also hosts every other well-known and well-loved species including elephants, giraffes, and dik-diks. In fact, it is home to the world’s largest elephant population.
Another item to be sure to check out is the Tarangire Migration. Although it isn’t quite as big as the Serengeti’s, it is just as majestic.
9. Mahale Mountains National Park
Another Tanzania park for water-lovers! This national park is situated on Lake Tanganyika. It has white sugar sand beaches that can rival any major coastline.
This park is a bit more difficult to access, but you can get there by boat, plane, or road. Though expensive, the wildlife and variety of species of primates will be worth it.
You should definitely check out the Mahale chimpanzees. The Mimikire clan has been studied since 1965, has almost 60 members, and is led by a formidable alpha male. They are very relaxed around humans and it is definitely something to see.
10. Gombe Stream National Park
Gombe Stream National Park is one of Tanzania’s smallest parks, but it shouldn’t be discounted for its size! This park is pretty well-known for its chimpanzee families that inhabit the area.
If you take a tour through some of the forests, you will be able to witness these magnificent creatures from a relatively close distance. You will also hear the hollering and yelling these primates make to acknowledge one another.
This sound might be jarring at first, but soon enough you’ll be giggling at their playfulness. After you’re done visiting the chimpanzees, you can take a refreshing dip in the lake to round out your day.
Explore More Tanzania National Parks
There are actually a few other Tanzania National Parks that you might enjoy, as well as game reserves and conservation areas. Tanzania is a stunning country with something for everyone.
As you can see from above, there are places with beaches & lakes, many species of wildlife, shows that nature puts on, and even God’s Garden. When you also take into consideration all of the things you can do while visiting, it’s hard not to jump on the next flight out.
Visiting Tanzania will require proper planning and preparation. Whether you want to hike, camp, climb, or go on a safari, it is imperative you get your details right!
This is where finding a company to help with the details will come in. Your once in a lifetime vacation shouldn’t be cookie cutter and everyone in your party should come back loving their trip.
If you find yourself in need of a few tips, click around. When you’re ready to plan an amazing trip, contact us.