National Park Safaris
Private animal photo safaris arranged from 1 day to 10 days or more. Here are a few of the most popular places visited
Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks
Dominated by the impressive valley of the Tarangire River, the land is vast and hilly. Following the pattern of migrating animals, there is a spectacular abundance of game around the Tarangire River. You are likely to see many of the “Big Five” (Lion, Elephant, Cape Buffalo and Leopard) as well as many more local animals and many of the 517 bird species in the parks. Flocks of Flamingoes can be seen on the saline Lake Barungi as they migrate from Namibia.
Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ’8th Natural Wonder of the World. It is the world’s largest intact caldera, forming a spectacular bowl of about 395 square miles with sides up to 1968 ft deep. It is inhabited by an estimated 20 – 30,000 wild animals. This high altitude, volcanic landscape is rich with stunning craters and lakes. The crater ﬂoor consists of a few ecological environments including: grassland, swamps, forests and Lake Makat, a central soda lake ﬁlled by the Munge River. Although animals are free to move in and out of this contained environment, the rich volcanic soil, lush forests and spring source lakes on the crater ﬂoor tend to incline both grazers and predators to remain throughout the year. Additionally, local tribes are permitted to maintain their traditional lifestyles within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most likely areas in Tanzania to see the endangered Black Rhino, as a small population is thriving in this idyllic and protected environment.
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is undoubtedly the best-know wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and scientific value, it has the highest concentration of plains game in Africa. It is home to the largest wildlife spectacle on earth – the great migration of 1,000,000 wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras. So strong is the ancient instinct to move that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back.
The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth. The essential features of climate, vegetation and fauna have barely changed in the past million years. Some patterns of life, death, adaptation and migration are as ancient as the plains themselves.
Gombe National Park
Gombe National Park, located on the western border of Tanzania and the Congo, is most famous for Jane Goodall, the resident primatologist who spent many years in its forests studying the behavior of the endangered chimpanzees.
Situated on the wild shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe is an untamed place of lush forests and clear lake views. Gombe’s main attraction is the chimpanzee families that live protected in the park’s boundaries. Guided walks are available to take visitors deep into the forest to observe and sit with the extraordinary primates for an entire morning — an incredible experience and one that is the highlight of many visitors’ trips to Africa.
Besides chimpanzee viewing, many other species of primates live in Gombe’s tropical forests. Vervet and colobus monkeys, baboons, forest pigs and small antelopes inhabit the dense forest, in addition to a wide variety of tropical birdlife.
Rubondo Island National Park
Located on the south-west shores of Lake Victoria, Rubondo Island National Park is actually a collection of islands habitats. The park boasts a rich and diverse variety of butterflies as well as bird sanctuaries, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles.
A visit to Rubondo Island National Park offers you a tranquil lake shore setting. Exploring the islands via boat gives a close and personal view of the bird sanctuaries as well as crocodile island. Be sure to bring your hiking shoes to search for those Chimpanzees!
We stay in the quaint National Park Bandas (cottages) with a clear view of Lake Victoria. An evening campfire complete with roasted marshmallows and s’mores makes for a perfect end to each day.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
An incredible excursion far into south-western Uganda in search of the famed mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP). This park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and is situated along the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift.
Composed of 128 square miles of forest, it is accessible only on foot. Species diversity is a feature of the park. It provides habitat for 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, and many endangered species. Floristically, the park is among the most diverse forests in East Africa, with more than 1,000 flowering plant species, including 163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns.
The park is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, and many birds such as hornbills and turacos. It is most notable for the 400 Bwindi gorillas, half of the world’s population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas.
National Park Enhancements:
Only have time for a short trip to a National Park? Consider incorporating a day safari to Ngorongoro, Arusha, Tarangire or Lake Manyara National Parks or a day hike on Mount Kilimanjaro through the tropical rain forest zone.
Hot air balloon rides.
Looking to elevate your National Park experience? Consider an exhilarating hot air balloon ride. As the early morning mist lifts from the landscape you will gracefully and silently fly over the magnificent wildlife below. Depending upon desirable weather conditions and wind speed, your ride will last between 1 and 2 hours. Balloon safaris are held regularly in the Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks and take off from designated sites where disturbance to animals is kept to a minimum. You will be dropped off at your take-off site and picked up from your landing site. Your balloon safari is followed by a champagne breakfast in the bush, a fitting end to your memorable flight in the wild.
Cycling and Mountain Bicycling.
Want to get physical? A Tanzanian cycling safari has thousands of miles of single-track routes from which to explore. Choose from a variety of diverse terrains within the National Parks of Ngorongoro, Arusha, Tarangire and Mount Kilimanjaro, through the Usambara and Uluguro Mountains and along the white sand beaches of Zanzibar Island. Biking as it should be – off the beaten path and great fun!
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