Tanzania, for many, is quintessential Africa, where myth and elaborately vibrant imagery come to life in front of your eyes, where survival is a constant battle played out daily by predator and prey. The sweeping plains of the Serengeti and the Ngorogoro Crater in the north offer the safari of drama and legend, whilst Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, needs little introduction and looms proudly with brightly snow-capped peaks. The spice island of Zanzibar tantalises with turquoise shades, white shimmering sands and UNESCO heritage, enhancing the kaleidoscopic variety of Tanzania, making it all the more alluring for any African enthusiast, or first-timer.
Home to some of the most breathtaking wildlife viewing and tracking in Africa, if not the world, 25% of Tanzania is protected by national parks which are estimated to support about 20% of Africa's mammal population. The world-renowned Serengeti is extraordinarily vast (5,700 square miles - ten times larger than the Masai Mara) and is widely considered by researchers and travellers alike to be one of the most prime locations to see throngs of wildlife, including the ‘Big Five’ as well as cheetah and crocodile. It also plays host to the famed Wildebeest Migration and its millions of thundering hooves as they cross the savannah, eagerly tracked by hungry predators.
The 20km-wide Ngorongoro Crater forms part of a conservation area and is known to many as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. As the largest intact collapsed caldera on earth, with walls of up to 600 metres, the crater itself is an ecosystem whose floor is filled with virtually every animal species in East Africa, including the predators, giving the wildlife enthusiast an unprecedented up close and personal view of wildlife in action. Further south, the more undeveloped riverine parks of Selous and Ruaha offer more remote brilliance and adventure, with boating or walking safaris operated from intimate and luxurious lodges. Katavi National Park and the Mahale Mountains both offer exciting alternatives, the latter of which is home to habituated chimpanzees.
Ease of Travel
Tanzania is ahead of most African nations with safe routes and excellent quality accommodation from mobile tented camps to luxury lodges. It is also a launch pad to a number of possible primate itineraries in the southern and western circuits and can be easily combined with a Uganda or Rwanda gorilla safari. Many decide to combine a safari in mainland Tanzania with a stay on idyllic Zanzibar to experience the breadth of diversity that this thrilling country has to offer, and to finish off that African wildlife safari with some well earned, relaxing beach time.
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