The Ultimate Guide to Tanzania's National Parks
By, zaita
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Tanzania is home to some of the most iconic and diverse national parks in Africa. From the vast plains of the Serengeti to the lush landscapes of the Ngorongoro Crater, each park offers unique experiences and breathtaking wildlife encounters. This ultimate guide will help you explore Tanzania’s national parks and make the most of your safari adventure.

Serengeti National Park

the annual Great Migration

Witness the Great Migration The Serengeti National Park is perhaps the most famous of Tanzania’s national parks, renowned for its incredible wildlife and the annual Great Migration. Each year, over 1.5 million wildebeest, along with hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles, journey across the Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara in search of fresh grazing grounds. This awe-inspiring event is a must-see for any safari enthusiast. In addition to the migration, the Serengeti is home to the Big Five: lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, and rhinos, making it a prime destination for wildlife viewing.

Ngorongoro Crater

A World Heritage Site The Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a unique volcanic caldera teeming with wildlife. The crater floor is home to a dense population of animals, including elephants, lions, and the critically endangered black rhino. The lush vegetation and diverse habitats within the crater make it one of the best places for game viewing in Tanzania. Visitors can also learn about the rich history and culture of the Maasai people who inhabit the area.

Tarangire National Park

Elephants and Baobabs Tarangire National Park is known for its large elephant herds and iconic baobab trees. The Tarangire River, which flows through the park, attracts a variety of wildlife, especially during the dry season. Visitors can spot lions, leopards, and a diverse array of bird species. The park’s landscape, with its rolling hills and ancient baobabs, offers a picturesque backdrop for wildlife photography.

Lake Manyara National Park

Bird Watcher’s Paradise Lake Manyara National Park is a haven for bird watchers, boasting over 400 species of birds, including flamingos, pelicans, and cormorants. The park is also famous for its tree-climbing lions, which are a rare and fascinating sight. The alkaline lake, surrounded by lush forests and grassy floodplains, provides a stunning setting for a safari adventure. Visitors can also see hippos, elephants, and giraffes within the park.

Ruaha National Park

Untamed Wilderness Ruaha National Park is Tanzania’s largest national park, offering a truly wild and remote safari experience. The park is home to a significant population of elephants, large prides of lions, and rare species such as the African wild dog. The Great Ruaha River is a lifeline for the park’s wildlife, providing excellent game viewing opportunities. Ruaha’s rugged landscapes, with its rocky escarpments and vast savannahs, create a dramatic setting for an unforgettable safari.

Selous Game Reserve (Nyerere National Park)

Selous Game Reserve

A World Heritage Site The Selous Game Reserve, now known as Nyerere National Park, is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife. The park is famous for its boat safaris on the Rufiji River, where visitors can see hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species. Selous also offers walking safaris and game drives, providing a comprehensive and immersive safari experience.

Mikumi National Park

Close to Dar es Salaam Mikumi National Park is easily accessible from Dar es Salaam, making it a convenient option for a shorter safari. The park is part of the larger Selous ecosystem and shares many of the same wildlife species. Visitors can expect to see elephants, giraffes, zebras, and lions. The Mkata Floodplain is a particularly good area for game viewing, with open grasslands that attract a variety of animals.

Gombe Stream National Park

chimpanzee trekking

Home of the Chimpanzees Gombe Stream National Park is world-famous for its chimpanzee population, studied by Dr. Jane Goodall since the 1960s. This small park on the shores of Lake Tanganyika offers unique opportunities for chimpanzee trekking, where visitors can observe these fascinating primates in their natural habitat. The park’s lush forests and stunning lake views add to the experience, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.


Tanzania’s national parks offer diverse and unforgettable safari experiences. Whether you’re drawn to the iconic Serengeti, the unique Ngorongoro Crater, or the remote wilderness of Ruaha, each park has something special to offer. Plan your visit to Tanzania and explore these incredible natural wonders for yourself.

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