After two trips in gorgeous Tanzania, even if I feel that there are much more places that I haven’t seen there, I wanted to have a go at a small post to share my enthusiasm about 5 amazing places out of many others 🤩. Here is my little view of 5 stunning places to see as a must…
1- Serengeti National Park
The king of all National Parks in Tanzania (and clearly on the top 5 worldwide) is the Serengeti. With almost 15 000 km2 (5700 sq miles), the park is world-famous for the largest annual migration of 1.5 million wildebeest and 250 000 zebras. Watching the animals crossing the river is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Do you wonder why the wildebeests look so nervous when crossing?
Well… crocodiles are there … but not for travel photography shooting … Not all manage unfortunately to cross for the benefit of the entire food ladder…
For more positive images 😳, a great way to observe the migration is to take an air balloon ride (NB: This is easier to organize from the Masai Mara National Park n Kenya, just across the border from the Serengeti)
Beyond the great migration observation, that balloon trip above the savannah at sunrise is unforgettable.
To make sure it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, don’t hesitate to get spoiled with a (french) champagne breakfast in the wild after landing …
In the Serengeti, you will have a very high chance to meet the big 5, like the beautiful blue eye buffalo below as a sample out of many …
You’ll meet many lions like the pride resting nearby our breakfast table (they were likely considering us as a potential breakfast as well, with champagne flavored white meat 😂) …
Of course, you’ll see many elephants as well in the amazing yellow savannah … and so much more …
I would like to do a special call for the Rhinos that are unfairly not considered as part of the “big 5”, despite being quite big and factually the most dangerous animals in the parks 😱 …
Ideally, visit the Serengeti during the great migration between June and September At different times, the animals migrating are in different areas, either in the west corridor or the north part crossing between the Serengeti and Masai Mara.
Beyond game safari, you can as well have a chance to visit a Maasai village. Of course, this is set up for tourists, but it is as well funding them to keep their lifestyle (both in Kenya and Tanzania). Some goods and bad I guess on this but worth seeing and understanding better their perspective on life and (so-called) civilization.
2- Ngorongoro National Park
The Ngorongoro Crater is on the list of the 10 natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO world heritage site. With 25 000 wild creatures in the crater, it has the highest density of wildlife and predator-prey interactions per capita on the planet. You can learn more in the Ngorongoro article I did in 2020 Ion that garden of Eden of Africa
This is a small park in comparison to others, so you’ll have an ever higher chance to see many animals (but you’ll not be alone there, especially during touristic peak season- northern hemisphere summer-)
There is a small area of forest in the crater where you’ll see many cute monkeys groups (baboons mostly)
Elephants are as well around (and very, very close) enjoying nice salad lunch …
If you like birds, the crater offers endless opportunities like the very photogenic (even when grumpy 😂) Black-Crowned Crane birds … and hundreds of others.
3- Lake Manyara National Park
That National Park is a protected area in Tanzania’s Arusha and Manyara regions, between Lake Manyara and the great riff. The Park is small with 325 km2 (125 sq mi) including about 230 km2 (89 sq mi) lake surface but is home to beautiful wildlife and nature.
The very dense forest adds to the charm … but makes animals more difficult to see (especially as some of the park roads are often floated). Many beautiful blue monkeys (or diademed monkeys) will observe you -more than the opposite 😳-
There are, as well, large herds of giraffes in the savannah nearby the lake.
As a photographer, I find giraffes photogenic, gracious, fun, and cute…
Of course, due to the long lakefront in the park, you can observe many birds like the cool pelicans below.
While lake Manyara offers a great diversity of wildlife, one day should be enough to visit it (vs other parks on the post that deserve or need more time). Spend more time in the nearby Tarangire and Ngorongoro.
A great way to see the park is to do a bushwalk on the cliffs above (with a guide) for an overview of Lake Manyara and the great sunrise. My Maasai guide was supposed to protect me with a torch in case of a wild animal attack but hopefully, I did not have to verify the efficiency of this 🤨😅!
4- Tarangire National Park
Tarangire is the 6th biggest national park in Tanzania and one of my favorites. It is mostly known for its great elephant herds that you can see everywhere
The park is named after the Tarangire River, which crosses through the park. During the dry season from June to October, the animals and the large elephant herds in particular gather at the dry banks of the lake to search for water, enabling some amazing wildlife spotting and photography.
Tarangire National Park is known as well for its rich birdlife. A paradise for photographers, like as an example out of many, the Starling bird below.
Tarangire is also famous for its amazing giant baobabs. Those trees are amazing!
It is claimed that the close-by park of Lake Manyara is famous for its lions in the trees. We could not see any over there but we were lucky to find a lioness in a tree watching us and the sunset (in that order😉)
Don’t forget to get out early to enjoy one of the amazing sunrises in the savannah…
I can’t decently post a top 5 list of Tanzania without having the amazing island of Zanzibar on the list 😎. I’ll do a dedicated post about Zanzibar Island wonders but, as a teaser, few highlights on why you must go and see that fun place.
Of course, there are as well wildlife to be seen on the island, like the very rare Red Colobus Monkeys in the Jozani forest
You’re more likely however to go to Zanzibar for its world-class pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters …
The main city of stone town has as well a lot of charm with its old town, especially with a beer at sunset from one of the many rooftop bars 😊…
if you like travel photography, you’ll find endless opportunities on that amazing island like the (famous) “the rock” bar and restaurant on Pingwe beach.
More to come on Zanzibar in due course and I hope that little post gives you enough reason to jump in a plane for beautiful Tanzania!
To the risk of being a broken record again, I can’t end that post without a reminder that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. The species extinction rate is accelerating: 1,000,000 species are threatened with extinction. Please have a look at that United Nations sustainable development report if you’re looking for (overwhelming) evidence, So places like Tanzania’s National Parks should be cherished and protected, so that our grandchildren can still see those wonders, outside of a zoo or a video 😢…
Travel there with Sawasdy travel!