Tanzania and Zanzibar
For those who wish to extend their safaris to Tanzania the following information will be useful. Depending on how much time you have and your interests we shall make programs to suit your request. Prices will depend on your itinerary.
Arusha National Park
Formerly Ngurdoto Crater National Park until 1967, Arusha National Park covers an area of about 137 km2. It is located near Arusha town between the peaks of Mountains Kilimanjaro and Meru. The park and town derive their name from the Wa-Arusha people who traditionally lived in this area. The Ngurdoto Crater, Momela Lakes, the highland montane forest, and the rugged mount Meru (about 4575 m above the sea level) are the four distinctive features of the park. The Park has a wealth of wildlife including colobus monkeys, velvet monkeys, bushbacks, buffaloes, red forest duikers, hippos, elephants and giraffes. Bird life especially waterfowl is abundant and interesting. The park was commissioned in 1960.
Gombe National Park
Situated 16 km, north of Kigoma town in western Tanzania at 40šS, 29šE, Gombe National park occupies 52 Km2 of land. Commissioned in 1968, Gombe is a narrow strip of a mountainous country bounded to the east by the crest of the rift Valley escarpment and by Lake Tanganyika to the west. The beauty of Gombe National Park is unique; it is a park without roads, where you can walk and experience nature with all your senses. Due to its altitude, the park's vegetation varies from evergreen forests of tall trees to open woodlands and grassland. Common mammals found in the park are forest species mostly primates. These include chimpanzees, baboons, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys and red colobus monkeys. In a sense, the park is indeed an island of wilderness surrounded on three sides by cultivation and on the north by the lake.
Katavi National Park
Covering an area of 2253 km2 Katavi National Park which was gazetted in 1974 is located in Mpanda Districts, Rukwa Region about 40 km south east of Mpanda town. The park is famous for its undisturbed natural face compared to other parks in the country. The main vegetation of the park is Miombo woodland with scattered Acacia trees near Lake Chada, Lake Chada is rich in birdlife and it is one of the areas with high population density of crocodile in the country. Major features of attraction include Lake Katavi with its vast short grass flood plains in the north, palm fringed Lake Chada in the Southeast and Katuma River. Animals found in the park: include zebras, sable and roan antelopes, elands, leopard, elephants, buffalos and lions. Waterfowls also abound.
Kilimanjaro National Park
With an area of 756 km2, Kilimanjaro National Park attained its status in 1973. The park exists to preserve Mount Kilimanjaro's outstanding scenic features and its FLORA and FAUNA. At an altitude of 5895 m above mean sea level, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, the highest freestanding mountain in the world and one of the largest volcanoes ever to burst through the earth's crust.
The base of this immense mountain measures 50 km x 80 km, and the outstanding features include one extinct volcano, SHIRA (3962m) and two dormant volcanoes, MAWENZI (5149 m) and KIBO (5895 m). Besides the peaks and moorland, the park consists of montane forest with relics of old vegetation.
Also, significant numbers of mammals, birds and insects inhabit the area. Mammals include elephants, buffalos, elands, duikers, leopards, baboons, blue monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys. The park is also frequented with colorful birds. The ascent and descent takes 5-6 days. Any normal fit person can climb the mountain with the assistance of guide and porters. The park has 6 hiking access points through the Kilimanjaro Forest reserve, i.e. Marangu, Mweka, Umbwe, Machame, Shira and Rongai. Lodges and Hotels abound near the park. The Park headquarters is situated at Marangu on the forest edge and is accessible by a tarmac road, 48 km from Moshi and about 90 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
Lake Manyara National Park
Located 125 km west of Arusha town, under the wall of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park attained its status in 1960. The park is 330 km2 in size of which Lake Manyara covers 230 km2. It contains a large variety of habitats such as the rift wall, the ground water forest, Acacia woodland, area of open grassland, to mention but a few; thus being able to support large number of species. The most famous spectacle in the park is the tree-climbing lions, which are occasionally seen along branches of Acacia trees. Other animals found in this area include elephants, leopard, impala, hippos as well as millions of birds (pelicans and flamingos).
Lake Manyara National Park has the highest population of elephants per squire km in the country. Places of stay are campsites and bandas within the park.
This remarkable and world famous geographic feature is technically a "caldera"- a collapsed volcano.The floor is an area of over 100 square miles which includes a large lake and forms a perfectly preserved and self contained habitat for a huge number and variety of animal species. "The Big Five" and many other animal species can generally be seen here at any time of year. Maasai tribesmen have traditional grazing rights here and they may be seen in their distinctive dress, tending their herds of cattle. The animals are not trapped in the crater, and there is some migratory movement in and out, but because of the protected nature of the habitat and the availability of grazing and water, much of the animal population remains resident year round. This makes Ngorongoro ideal for game viewing. There are several prides of lion, and some of the last surviving rhino to be found in Tanzania. The alkaline soda lake is home to huge flocks of flamingos, a remarkable and unforgettable sight. The whole crater has a quite unique almost magical atmosphere.
Tarangire National Park
Commissioned in 1970 with an area covering approximately 2600 km2, Tarangire National Park is second, only the Ngorongoro Crater, in the concentrations of wildlife to be seen, in the dry season. It lies to the south of large open grass plains of southern Maasai land, 115 km from Arusha along the Arusha-Dodoma road. The features of Tarangire which correlate with the type of animals residing in the area are grassland and flood plains. Tarangire is commonly famous for its tree-climbing pythons, zebras, hartebeests, elephants, buffalos, waterbucks, gazelles, oryx and abundant birdlife.
Ruaha National Park
Gazetted in 1964 with an area of 10,300 km2, Ruaha National Park is the second largest park in Tanzania. Ruaha National Park which lies in the central part of Tanzania just west of Iringa highlands is also the second largest elephant sanctuary in the country, next to Selous Game Reserve. The park derives its name from the Great Ruaha River which flows through the Rift Valley, eastern part of the park. There are about 1650 plant and over 370 birds species recorded. The area also contains a wide variety of animals that includes the Ruaha special: Greater and Lesser kudu, roan and sable antelope. Other game animals found here are herds of elephant and buffalo. The exciting Great Ruaha River features are larger number of hippos and crocodiles. During the dry season the river attracts great number of game; giraffe, warthog and eland. In the plains, ostrich, cheetah and Grant's Gazelle can be seen. The park offers a paradise of the outstanding natural world as it lies within a belt which interface species of Fauna and Flora of southern and northern Africa. Ruaha River Lodge constructed on and around rock kopjes overlooking the Great Ruaha River provides comfortable accommodation and good food. Archeologists have discovered evidence of Stone Age habitation in and around the lodge site.
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park with 14763 km2 is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the world and it is the site of one of the most breathtaking events in the animal kingdom, the migration of thousands of wildebeest. It was accepted by the World Heritage Convention as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve in 1981. The park's name, Serengeti, means "endless plans" and is derived from the Maasai language. It was gazetted in 1951 and it is about 320 km from Arusha town. It lies at an altitude ranging from 910-1820 m. The terrain within the park varies from vast treeless central Serengeti plains and savannah type stretches dotted with Acacia trees, magnificent rock out crops called kopjes, riverine bush, thick scrub to streams, rivers, small swamps and lakes. These features give the park a fascinating variety of scenarios. Serengeti National Park has about 35 species of plain animals, from a hare to the elephant and a wonderful selection of birdlife. Survey estimates indicated an animals population of about 4 million including over 3000 lions, 1,600,000 wildebeest, 500,000 zebras. There are over 400 bird's species.
There are few such evocative names as Zanzibar, the island that is part of Tanzania and lies about 20 miles off the coast near Dar-es-Salaam. Around the coast are some lovely beaches and coral reefs.The capital is Stonetown with its narrow streets and historic Arab- influenced buildings. A newly improved selection of hotels, including the top class Zanzibar Serena Inn in Stonetown, and better transportation links are increasing the popularity of Zanzibar as a destination, particularly for a relaxing beach break after a safari. There direct regular flights from Nairobi. Wonders of Africa Safaris can book clients into several excellent beach hotels including the Mapensi Beach Hotel, Breezes Beach Club, the Karafuu Village and Ras Nungwi on the North Coast. Prices vary according to the quality and facilities of the hotel, room type and season. Beach hotels are generally based on a half board rate, and Stonetown hotels are priced on a bed and breakfast basis.
The Spice Tour, Jozani Forest Tour and the Prison Island Tour will help the visitor learn more about this Island that was once a slave trade center. It should be noted that whilst the low season of April/ May/ June is suitable for safaris, the rain and humidity make it less than ideal for a Zanzibar holiday. Several of the hotels are closed during all or part of this season.