About Tanzania Travel
Mt. Kilimanjaro: The “rooftop of Africa,” Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shirahe. Hiking the famed mountain is the adventure of a lifetime for many who come here. At 5,895 meters/19,340 feet, Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is encircled by Kilimanjaro National Park. Its ecosystems range from lowland forests to alpine meadows to barren rock and ice near the top. With planning, nearly everyone from first-timers to seasoned climbers can scale the peak.
Ngorongoro Highlands Conservation Area: The conservation covers more than 13,209 square kilometers/5,100 square miles. The crater is the largest intact caldera, collapsed volcano, in the world. It has been called ‘Africa’s Eden.’ Indeed, most of East Africa’s common species are found here. The descent of about 609 meters/2,000 feet into the crater passes through rainforest and thick vegetation before emerging onto the grassy plains of the crater floor. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is part of the Serengeti ecosystem. It protects black rhinos, hippos, zebra, wildebeest, eland and lion.
Olduvai Gorge: Between the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti is Olduvai Gorge. In the 1950s, the Leakey family made the first of many discoveries of hominoid remains of a skeleton dating back 1.8 million years. They unearthed three distinct hominoid species and a series of footprints estimated at 3.7 million years old. This is one of the oldest sites of hominoid habitation yet discovered.
Serengeti National Park: The Serengeti ecosystem in northwestern Tanzania extends into southwestern Kenya. The vast plains bear witness to the largest and longest overland migration in the world. Upwards of 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra, and various antelope travel in a great circular migration from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara and back again; traveling over 2,897 kilometers/1,800 miles each year in search of rain-ripened grass. The region comprises several national parks and game reserves that protect some 70 species of large mammals and 500 species of birds. Serengeti National Park is widely regarded as the best wildlife national park in Africa.
Southern Tanzania: Southern Tanzania includes some of the country’s most remote and pristine parks, including Mikumi National Park, rich in birds and big game; Uzungwa Mountain National Park, dubbed the African Galapagos for the range of endemic plants and animals; and Katavi National Park, another scarcely traveled treasure. Selous Game Reserve is one Africa’s largest protected wildlife reserves, covering five percent of Tanzania. Dense wilderness mixed with open plains provide habitat for elephant, which some sources estimate at 65,000, black rhino, cheetah, giraffe, crocodile and hippos. Its remoteness makes this sanctuary untouched – old Africa, far from paved roads and souvenir shops. Boating and hiking safaris are possible here. Mahale Mountains National Park is set deep in the heart of the African interior, inaccessible by road, and is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees: a population of roughly 800. The forest supports many animals including bushbucks, bushpigs and an incredible array of birds and butterflies. It’s also inhabited by nine species of primate. Activities include forest walks, trekking to see chimpanzees, kayaking, swimming, fishing and sailing.
Tarangire National Park & Lake Manyara National Park: The park is home to great herds of elephant. During the dry season, up to 300 individuals can be found along the dry river bed, digging for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland flock to the remaining pools. The swamps support 550 bird varieties. Tarangire is part of the northern circuit that includes Ngorongoro and Serengeti. Lake Manyara National Park, on the edge of the Rift Valley, encompasses forests, bush plains, cliffs and hot springs. The alkaline soda of the lake attracts huge numbers of birds such as yellow-billed stork, African grey hornbill and blue-naped moosebird. In addition to hippo, blue monkey, leopard and lion, it has the largest groups of baboons found anywhere.
Wildlife Conservancies: Private conservancies work to establish a healthy balance between people and nature. They protect critical habitats, including vital wildlife corridors to allow the natural movement of animal populations. They offer opportunities previously unavailable to local communities through employment, education and health care initiatives. Each conservancy tailors its goals and programs according to the needs of its location. One such pioneering conservation effort is the result of cooperation and support from both the African Wildlife Foundation and the Tanzania Land Conservation Trust that is successfully protecting a critical wildlife corridor between Tarangire and Manyara national parks in Northern Tanzania. Guests have access to one of the region’s most prolific game areas, and gain a look at a new approach to conservation using the private conservancy model.
Zanzibar: Three islands, Unguja, Pemba and Mafia, plus smaller islands make up the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The capital is Zanzibar City on Unguja. The old Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has changed little in 200 years. Its labyrinth of narrow streets, bazaars and mosques are fascinating. Old Arab houses are known for intricately carved doors, of which there are some 500 examples. Zanzibar invites travelers for a relaxing break with more than 25 beaches.
Suggested Tanzania Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Arusha, Tanzania
Arusha is the jumping off point for Tanzania’s icons – Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Day 2: Arusha/Lake Manyara National Park/Ngorongoro Highlands
On the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park encompasses forests, bush plains, cliffs and hot springs.
Day 3: Ngorongoro Crater
This UNESCO World Heritage Site sustains a population of about 25,000 animals, including a large number of lions.
Day 4: Ngorongoro Highlands
Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes expanses of highland plains, scrub bush and forests.
Day 5: Ngorongoro Highlands/Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is famous for its annual migration of more than 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra.
Days 6/7: Serengeti National Park
Tanzania’s oldest national park is home to about 70 species of large mammals and 500 species of birds.
Day 8: Serengeti/Kilimanjaro/Depart
Custom Travel Options
Mt. Kilimanjaro Treks (6-8 days)
The ‘rooftop of Africa,’ Kilimanjaro rewards those who climb it with panoramic views of Rift Valley and Maasai Steppe.
Southern Tanzania (9 days)
Southern Tanzania includes some of the country’s most remote and pristine parks, rich in birds and big game.
Tarangire National Park & Lake Manyara National Park (2 days)
Tarangire is known for elephant herds. Lake Manyara has large numbers of baboons.
Wildlife Conservancies (4 days)
The love of Africa’s landscape, wildlife and people are at the heart of private conservancies.
Zanzibar (2 days)
The islands boast more than 25 beaches. The old city of Stone Town has changed little in 200 years.
Land price, per person, double occupancy: Approx. $650 - $1,900 per day.