Tanzania National Parks

Tanzania National Parks: Tanzania is one of the countries in East Africa with plenty of national parks where different birds and animal species can be seen for study purposes such as researches and leisure for the bird lovers, apart from the park having species of birds, diverse number of attractive and beautiful animals and plants also are available which form the ecosystem of a place. Before the year 2019 Tanzania had only 16 national parks which are Serengeti National Park, Ruaha National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Arusha National Park, Gombe National Park, Mahale Mountains National Park, Saadan National Park, Kilimanjaro National Park, Mkomazi National Park, Mikuni National Park, Udzungwa National Park, Katavi National Park, Kitulo National Park, Saanane Island National Park and Nyerere National Park. In the year 2019 other five national parks were gazetted which are Burigi – Chato National Park, Rubondo National Park, Ibanda National Park, Rumanyika National Park, Kigosi National Park and Ugalla River National Park and make a total of 21 national parks in Tanzania.

Tanzania National Parks

Serengeti National Park

The park that every visitor coming to Tanzania never miss due to its unique feature of large movement of the herds of wildebeest together with zebra called wildebeest migration which occur in the different parts of the park depending with the season. Serengeti national park is the park where about all big five animals can be seen during the stay, the park is a best place for camping, game drives, bird watching and balloon safaris. It can be reached through air due to different airstrips like Seronera airstrip, Lamai Airstrip, Ndutu airstrip and Kusini airstrips where flights both chartered and scheduled can land and guests are taken to their respective area.

Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania located in the Southern part of Tanzania which covers the area of 20,226 square kilometers as for Rwanda country. The park has a large number of biggest elephants and all other big four animals like Lions, leopards and buffalos except rhinos. The park is also characterized by high population of lions and Hippos, greater and lesser impala and bird species which enhance the ecosystem of the park.

The park is accessed through air and road, different flights from regions like Arusha, Dar Es Salaam and Mwanza land in Jongomero and Msembe airstrips then clients are picked up by the particular camp from the airstrips to the camp of accommodation such as Asilia camps, Jongomero camps and Cottages for groups and families.

The Ruaha river present in the park makes it the best area for game drives where large groups of animals scattering along the river.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is known for the tree climbing lions and it is located in the northern circuit of Tanzania mainly in Arusha and Manyara region. The park covers the area of 325square km. and has more than 350 species of birds. The park is accessed through road and through air where flights from different regions land to Manyara airstrip.

Different activities like bird watching mainly flamingoes and game drive are conducted. Travelers can be accommodated to the lodges and camps around the park like Escarpment luxury lodge, Manyara Serena Lodge, Lake Manyara Kilimamoja and Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is located in the Northern circuit of Tanzania in Manyara region between the Maasai steppe and it is the 6th largest park in Tanzania covering an area of 2,600sq.Km. The park is popular and famous for its large elephants found along the life-line mainly River Tarangire which flows during the dry season and make high number of animals spend their time along the river for the purpose of feeding on the water available when all areas of the park dry. 

While in Tarangire you have variety of accommodations where one can accommodate be it a camp or lodge like Maramboi and Burunge Tented Lodge. The visit to Tarangire can be a day trip where visitors can also be accommodated in the near town area called Karatu. The ppark is also accessible via roads and air.

Arusha National Park

Arusha national park is the best place for day trip as it covers a small area where goers can participate in all activities like hiking and walking safaris in the slopes of mount Meru while enjoying the fresh air of the park with the closest view of animals and birds, also canoeing can be done due to the presence of Momela lakes where this activity give visitors chance to clearly see the animals.

Gombe National Park

This park is located on the western part of Tanzania along the border of Congo and it is famous for its gorilla trekking as large number of chimpanzees is found here, it is in Kigoma region and was established in 1968 and reserved for the purpose of protecting Chimpanzees. It has about 52square Kilometers, it is characterized by river valley and steep slopes of vegetation mountains like grasslands and evergreen forest.

Mahale Mountains National Park

This park is less the same as Gombe national park as it is a reserve for the last remaining Chimpanzees in Tanzania and it is located in Kigoma region lying on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. It has the steep lush forests and it is home for many chimpanzees and make the park best place for Chimps safaris.

Saadan National Park

Saadan means the beach meet the bush and it is the only park in East Africa with the Indian beachfront. It is the only park where marine studies can be done. The park is located in the center of Bagamoyo (Pangani) where animals like giraffes and Elephants can also be seen. Activities which increase a visit to the park is boat safaris, the marine park where endangered green turtles are preserved and the other amazing thing is the behavior of the turtle where after it gives birth to the young one, the baby returns to the ocean and live there for 50years without returning back to the beach area. Visitors can explore the park by car, boat and on foot due to the mangrove trees available, marine park, white sand beaches and salt flats.

In January and February are the green seasons where young ones are born hence it is the best time to visit the park. During dry season of late June through October is also the best time to visit the park as animals scattering across the park can easily be spotted.

The park is accessible through road or flight. It is a four- hours drive from Dar Es Salaam and twenty to thirty minutes flight from Zanzibar as the park is very close to Zanzibar.

Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA)

The park is famous due to the presence of the second highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest and the first highest peak in Africa known as Mount Kilimanjaro with the height of 5,895meters. The park was established in 1973.  Main activities conducted in the park is hiking until you reach the summit of the mountain which takes about nine to eight days depending on the routes used. Animals which you can come across during hiking are monkeys and baboons. Accommodations used are Huts like the Horombo hut, Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel, Kilimanjaro White House Hotel, Altezza Lodge and Aishi machame. There are about four main gates used to reach the park either for the purpose of climbing the mountain or game viewing which are Mweka gate, Marangu gate, Kibosho gate, Umbwe and Machame routes.

Mkomazi National Park

Mkomazi National Park covers the area of 3,500 square kilometers located in the Northern east of Tanzania along Kenya boarder which form a common migratory ground of animals like elephants and Zebra.  Animals In this park are natural as the park is not that much crowded due to a smaller number of tourists and this make the park having all kind of species where sociable African wild Dog and Charismatic black rhino (endangered species) are found. Mkomazi national park is the cheapest park in the northern circuit comparing to all other parks in this tourism circuit. 

Mikuni National Park

Mikumi national park is situated between the Uluguru mountains and the lumango range. It is a four-hour drive from Dar Es Salaam, it enroute to the national parks of Kitulo, Ruaha and Udzungwa mountains. Unique features of the park are the grasslands, Miombo woodland and the Mikumi flood plain. The park is rich in wildlife species like elephant, buffaloes, Impala, Lion, Zebra, Wildbeest, Baboon, warthogs, Hippos, baboon and Elands which can be spotted throughout the visit to the park despite the time of the yaer. The park is also home to reptiles like crocodiles, python and the monitor lizard.

Rare animals to be seen in the park are Leopards, Wild dog and the greater kudu, Mikumi National Park is also endowed by more than 400 species of birds.

Udzungwa National Park

Udzungwa mountain National park is the one of the largest biodiversity of mountain forest called Eastern arc which is the home of many African violet. It is the rainforest park with many waterfalls like Sanje, the uniqueness of the park is the closed canopy forest. The park is not the best place for game drives but there are trails where hikers can enjoy adventure tours to the peaks of Udzungwa mountains, the park is also the best place for ornithologists (bird lovers) to study varieties of bird’s species in the park.

The park is located South West of Mikumi ,65Kilometers and it is a five -hour drive from Dar Es Salaam 350 Kilometers.

Katavi National Park

The park is characterized by dry season parks with a big pride of lions, it also referred to be the home of the largest buffalos than any other park. Katavi National Park is the most dried park located in the western part of Tanzania.

Kitulo National Park

Kitulo National park is a unique place and protected area for montane grassland as it rises in the peaks of Kipengere, Proto and Livingstone mountains, established in 2005 and it is home of more than 350species of plants. Mostly conducted activities in this park are hiking and photographic due to thrilling and beautiful environment with freshy air.

Saanane Island National Park

This is a small park which gives a nature feeling while on the top of the rocks having a clear view of Lake Victoria. The park covers the area of 2.18square kilometers established in 2013. Saanane Island national park nis located in Mwanza region in the island of Lake Victoria.

Nyerere National Park

The national park is the part of Selous game reserve and was established in 2019, it an area of 30,000kilometer square and above. It has high population of prey, predators and wildlife in general. The Rufiji river available where is the habitat for large number of hippos and rhino make the park most attractive to tourists. Waer based activities such as boating safaris, walking safaris and game drives can be enjoyed by visitors visiting Nyerere National Park.

Burigi – Chato National Park

Burigi-Chato National park is surrounded by waters of Lake Burigi and Kagera river. It is situated close to the boarder of Rwanda and Lake Victoria. Attractions in this park are the largest antelopes known as statuesque cape eland. The park has high population of wildlife like antelopes, lions, buffaloes, giraffes and zebra, also bird species like bizarre shoebill stork and fish eagles which make the park the best place to visit.

Rubondo Island National Park

It is located in South-West shore of Lake Victoria and is the largest island where more than 300 bird species normally visit the island.

Activities in the park are cruise where a visitor have a wide chance of see animals around the Island and marine creatures. Rubondo Island Camp is one and only accommodation found in Rubondo Island National Park. It can be accessed using flights and this is enhanced by the presence of Rubondo airstrip.

Ibanda National Park

Ibanda National Park originally known as Ibanda Game Reserve was established in 1974 and desinated as a national park in 2019, with the area of about 200sq.kilometers and it is located in Kagera. The park is accessible through road and air where you can fly to Mwanza and easily get to Kagera or board bus to Bukoba region hence reach the park.

The most common activity at Ibanda national park is hunting, game viewing due to animals like Hippos, Roan Antelopes, Buffalos and leopards.

Rumanyika National Park

It is located In Kagera region in Kyerwa and Karagwe districts, North west of Tanzania close to Lake Victoria zone with 247 square kilometers and it is the best place for photographic tourism due to the presence of scenic and stunning environment. The park has a population of wild animals such as leopards, lions, elephants, giraffes, birds and insects like butterflies. Activities at the park include bird watching, game drive and hunting all these has made Rumanyika Park the best and thrilling park for one to plan a tour at.

Kigosi National Park

Kigosi National Park was a game reserve established in 1983 with the area of 7,000 square kilometers. It is located western Tanzania and extends in different regions and districts like Bukombe, Kahama and Urambo districts, Shinyanga and Tabora regions.

The park is accessible through air and land where one can either use a chartered flight or 4-wheel drive vehicle, the park temperature is 29-degree centigrade, dry season is from May to October and rain starts in February and November.

Activities in the park include Hunting, game viewing and bird watching and this is due to the presence of attractions like wetland ecosystem and flood plain, wild animals and species of birds.

Ugalla River National Park

Ugalla River National Park is located in the West-Central of Tanzania in Tabora region with a slow-moving river of shallow pools, sandbanks swamps and oxbow lakes. Was formally known as Ugalla Game Reserve established in 1965 and was announced as a National park in 2019 with the area of 5000square kilometers.

The park is rich on plant species like woodlands, tall grass savannas and Miombo where animals like buffalo, leopard, lion, elephant, Zebra, giraffes and herds of antelope inhabit. Waterbirds are also available in the swamp such as pygmy, shoebill storks and geese.

During dry season most of the animal’s concentration is at the Ugalla River which make the area a stop for a game drive, the concentration at the river occurs from July to October. The river also has largest crocodiles ever seen in Africa, the park also has large trees which offer fresh air, picnic area and camp sites. Currently accommodation available is camping, mainly private camping and the park is accessible through air and 4wheel drive vehicle.

Mostly and preferred national parks by many tourists are Serengeti National Park, Ruaha National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Arusha National Park, Gombe National Park, Mahale Mountains National Park, Saadan National Park, Kilimanjaro National Park, Mkomazi National Park, Mikuni National Park, Udzungwa National Park, Katavi National Park, Kitulo National Park and Nyerere Mikuni National Park.

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