Tanzania National Parks

Tips To Lookover Before Visiting Tanzania National Parks

TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS

TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS

Tons of tourists come to Tanzania specifically for safaris in national parks. There are 22 national parks in Tanzania, and they are managed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). The national parks cover around 15% of the total land area of Tanzania. The Tanzania National Parks are renowned for their incredible scenic beauty and unparalleled game-viewing.

Tourism is on the rise in the wonderful country of Tanzania and no visit is complete without a Safari In Tanzania. Each of the National Parks in Tanzania offers its own special experiences. They include adventure activities and cultural experiences that will amaze even the most experienced travellers.

This post will reflect on the top 5 National Parks In Tanzania and the various experiences they offer.

Tanzania Safari Guide 2023

TOURS & SAFARIS : Serengeti Wildlife Safari, Serengeti Combined Safari, Serengeti Luxury Safari, Serengeti Lodge Safari

IMPORTANT : Is Serengeti Safe, Serengeti Safari Experience, Serengeti Safari Guide, Best Time To Visit Serengeti, Serengeti Safari

MORE USEFUL TRAVEL TIPS : Best Time To Visit Serengeti, Serengeti Packing List, Serengeti Faq’s, Serengeti Safari Inspiring Stories

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Serengeti National Park – The Glory of Tanzania!

Home to the greatest show on the planet, Serengeti National Park is the foremost glory of Tanzania. And if you’ve dreamt of an African Safari, then you’ve probably dreamt of the Serengeti. Serengeti National Park is in northern Tanzania. And is located entirely in the northeastern area of the Simiyu region and the eastern Mara region.

Area : 14,763 sq. km. (5,700 sq. miles)

Established in : 1951

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in : 1981

Coordinates : 2.3333° S, 34.8333° E

Opening Hours: 6 am to 6 pm (open every day)

Entrance Fees: For Adults: $70. For Children (between the ages of 5 to 15): $20.

The landscape of the Serengeti is famous for its endless grasslands in the southeast. The northern area is composed of mountains and rocky regions. In the western area, you can discover lush forests and rivers. It’s an enormous landscape that’s stunning to experience on a safari.

Best Time to visit Serengeti National Park

The best months to visit Serengeti National Park is in January and February or from June to October. But, it won’t matter which time you visit because the safari experience is perfect year-round.

Wildlife of the Serengeti

Serengeti National Park is teeming with wildlife. And is regarded as one of the greatest wilderness regions in the world. It supports an extensive species of wildlife. They include predators, mammals, birds, the big five, etc.

The Serengeti is renowned for its population of predators. And, while on a Safari In Serengeti, you’ll get the opportunity to witness them. Expect brilliant sightings of cheetahs, lions, leopards, golden and black-backed jackals, spotted, hyenas, African wild dogs, and many more.

The Great Wildebeest Migration is an iconic highlight of Serengeti’s wildlife. It’s the annual movement of millions of wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras from the Masai Mara to the plains of the Serengeti. The Mara River crossings make for spectacular sightings as the herds battle the strong currents and the presence of Nile crocodiles.

There are also more than 500 species of birds in the Serengeti. Including some endemic species like grey-breasted spurfowl, Fischer’s lovebird, rufous-tailed weaver, etc. Other species include secretary birds, African collared doves, southern ground hornbills, and plenty more.

Safari Activities in Serengeti National Park

Endless grasslands, majestic wildlife, the greatest show on the planet, and orange sunsets. All of these things await you on a Safari In Tanzania in one of the best Tanzania National Parks. The following are the top safari activities that you can do in the Serengeti:

  • Game Drives across the vast plains
  • Witness dramatic river crossings in the Great Migration
  • Wonderful rock formations at Moru Kopjes
  • Amazing Hippo Sightings in Retina Pool
  • Sail across the sky on a Hot Air Balloon Safari

Accommodations at the Serengeti

The following are some of our recommendations for accommodations in Serengeti National Park:

Name of the Accommodation

Costs (per person, per night), in USD

Rating

Serengeti Sopa Lodge

From $500 onwards

4 – Star (Mid – Range)

Lemala Nanyunkie Lodge

From $600 onwards

5 – Star (Luxury)

One Nature Nyaruswiga

From $2000 onwards

5 – Star (Luxury)

Most travellers prefer the luxury of the Four Seasons Safari Lodge in Serengeti. The lodge provides game drives and hot-air balloon safaris. The prices start from $1000 onwards.

Serengeti Safari Cost (Starts from $70 to $650)

The entry fee for Serengeti national park starts from $70 (plus 18% VAT). In this way:

A 2-Day Serengeti Safari starts from $750 (per person, per day) with budget accommodations. And, $1350 (per person, per day for luxury accommodations).

A 3-Day Serengeti Safari starts from $1250 (per person, per day) with budget lodges and campsites. And, $1650 (per person, per day) for luxury lodges and tented camps.

Tarangire National Park – The Elephant Kingdom of Tanzania!

This park is situated in Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit. And lies between the plains of the Masai Steppe in the southeast and the Great River Valley lakes in the western and northern areas. The lifeline of the park is the permanent Tarangire River. Particularly in the dry season when most of the areas are dry.

  • Area – 2,850 sq. km. (1,100 sq. miles)
  • Established in – 1970
  • Coordinates - 4.0057° S, 35.9788° E
  • Opening Hours – 6.30 am to 6.30 pm (every day)

Tarangire National Park’s primary feature is the Tarangire River. Areas of the park are covered with mixed woodlands and acacia shrubs. Most remarkable are the towering baobab trees. The southern and eastern regions of the park have a big network of marshlands.

We advise that you stay for at least 4 days for a Safari In Tarangire. Especially, in the southern region of the park which offers a more remote and exclusive experience.

Best Time to visit Tarangire National Park

The Dry Season (from June to October) is regarded as the perfect season for game viewing in Tarangire National Park. Several herds gather around the Tarangire River Valley and the marshes.

Season – Wise Breakdown of travelling to Tarangire National Park

Below is a comparison of a Tanzania Safari in Tarangire National Park according to the two seasons.

The Dry Season (High/Peak Season) From June to October

The Wet Season (Rainy/Low Season) From November to May

Several animals migrate to the park from neighbouring areas.

The landscapes are lush and green.

Animals are easier to spot. Because they stay near the lakes and rivers.

You can take advantage of discounted costs.

The Weather is pleasant.

An excellent season for birdwatching (because several migratory birds are present).

There are fewer mosquitoes around.

There are fewer crowds around and you can enjoy a private safari experience.

Some Insights – We advise packing essential warm clothing items if you visit from June to August. Because morning game drives tend to be cold.

  • The average temperatures in the dry season are around 26 Celsius in the daytime. And, around 14 Celsius at night.
  • The average temperatures in the wet season are about 28 Celsius in the daytime. And, about 16 Celsius at night.

Wildlife of Tarangire National Park

The park is renowned for its high concentration of elephants. You can expect to see many animals while on a Safari In Tarangire. They include large herds of wildebeests, zebras, and African Cape Buffaloes. As well as giraffes, dik-dik, impalas, elands, waterbucks, banded mongooses, olive baboons, etc.

There are some predators in Tarangire as well. Like lions, honey badgers, caracals, African Wild dogs, cheetahs, and leopards.

Tarangire National Park is also an awesome Tanzania Destination for birdwatching. There are over 550 bird species in the park. Some examples are long-tailed fiscal, ashy starling, yellow-necked spurfowl, and plenty more.

An eye-opener – There are termite mounds scattered around the landscape of Tarangire. The mounds which are abandoned are home to the unique dwarf mongooses.

Safari Activities in Tarangire National Park

Below are the top 4 activities we recommend for your safari in Tarangire National Park:

  • Game drives in the savannah plains
  • Guided Nature Walks
  • Cultural Tours
  • Birdwatching

Pro Tip – Bring a good pair of binoculars (preferably 8x or 10x) to have the optimal birdwatching adventure.

Accommodations in Tarangire National Park

The following are the top accommodations around Tarangire National Park that offer top-notch facilities:

Name of the Accommodation

Costs (per person, per night) in USD

Rating

Tarangire Safari Lodge

From $250 onwards

4 – Star (Mid - Range)

Nimali Tarangire

From $800 onwards

5 – Star (Luxury)

Elewana

From $1100 onwards

5 – Star (Luxury)

Acacia Tarangire Luxury Camp is also popular among travellers. It provides an exclusive and private experience. The price of Acacia Camp starts from $260 onwards.

Tarangire Safari Cost (Starts from $50 to $600)

The entrance fee for Tarangire National Park during the high season is $50. And, $45 in the low season (per person). So, including vehicle costs, the average cost of a Tarangire Safari will be:

1-Day Tarangire National Park Safari – From $200 (per person)

2-Day Tarangire National Park Safari – From $400 (per person, per day)

3-Day Tarangire National Park Safari – From $600 (per person, per day)

Ngorongoro Conservation Area – A Biodiversity Conservation Capital!

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located in Tanzania’s northern Crater highlands. It’s part of the Serengeti ecosystem. And is composed of magnificent grasslands, crater highlands, and acacia woodlands. The area is named after the world’s largest intact caldera – the Ngorongoro Crater. It’s also home to the Maasai people. They live in harmony alongside the area’s varied wildlife.

  • Area – 8,292 sq. km. (3,202 square miles)
  • Established in – 1959
  • Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in – 1979
  • Coordinates - 3.2279° S, 35.5075° E
  • Opening Hours – 6 am to 6 pm (every day)

The area also offers a classic big five safari in the backdrop of an ancient volcanic caldera. The area has a range of diverse habitats and they can be explored on a Ngorongoro Safari. The sceneries are amazing and the predator population is abundant. Furthermore, the big five can be seen in the span of a single day.

Best Time to visit Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The wet or rainy season (April and May) is typically considered the best time to visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. However, game viewing is optimal all year round. So, the question of when to go is more about the number of visitors you will have to share the experience with.

Our Suggestion – There are fewer tourists in the low season, so you should consider visiting then if you want a private experience.

Moreover, below is a comparison of visiting the Ngorongoro Conservation Area based on the two seasons:

The Dry Season (High/Peak Season) From June to October

The Wet Season (Rainy/Low Season) From November to May

There’s hardly any rain and the lighting conditions are great for photography.

The sceneries are lush and beautiful.

Wildlife is easier to spot. Mainly because the grass is shorter.

The crows are fewer and you’ll enjoy discounted prices.

There are fewer mosquitoes.

The wildlife viewing in the wet season is still incredible.

An Insight – For a top-notch safari experience, you should consider combining your trip to Ngorongoro with a Serengeti Safari.

Wildlife of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to a remarkable diversity of wildlife. They include herbivores like zebras, cape buffaloes, wildebeests, and Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles. The area alone supports about 25,000 large animals, most of whom live at close quarters in the caldera.

The huge concentration of wildlife makes the crater one of the best places for Tanzania Safaris to see the big five. Ngorongoro also supports the endangered population of black rhinos. And, the elephants in the area are some of the largest in the whole of Africa.

Predators like cheetahs, leopards, lions, hyenas, and African wild dogs can also be seen on a Ngorongoro Safari.

Furthermore, around 500 species of birds have been recorded in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. And 400 of them can be found in the crater itself. Some of the birds that you can spot here include Fischer’s lovebird, Jackson’s widowbird, Hartlaub’s turaco, African rail, and plenty more.

Good to Know – To see flocks of greater and lesser flamingos you should visit Lake Ndutu, Lake Magadi, and the Empakai Crater.

Safari Activities in Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The following are some activities we recommend for travellers on a Ngorongoro Safari:

  • Photographic Safaris
  • Cultural Excursions to visit the Bushmen and the Maasai
  • Crater and Nature Walks
  • Visit the smaller calderas of the Crater Highlands
  • Discover the place of the wild sisal – The Olduvai Gorge

Accommodations in Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Below are a few recommendations for accommodations in Ngorongoro Conservation Area:

Name of the Accommodation

Costs (per person, per night) in USD

Rating

Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp

From $550 onwards

5 – Star (Luxury)

Lion’s Paw Camp

From $550 onwards

4 – Star (Mid-Range)

Asilia Highlands

From $1000 onwards

5 – Star (Luxury)

Elewana The Manor

From $1500 onwards

5 – Star (Luxury)

Note – The above prices are an approximation. And, they’re subject to change. So, make sure to contact our safari experts for the exact costs.

Ngorongoro Safari Cost (From $70 to $600)

The entrance fee for Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the high season is $70. And, $60 in the low season. For example, the average prices for Ngorongoro Crater (including vehicle costs) are:

1-Day Ngorongoro Safari – From $280 (per person)

2-Day Ngorongoro Safari – From $395 (per person, per day)

3-Day Ngorongoro Safari – From $600 (per person, per day)

Lake Manyara National Park – Birdwatching that’ll take your breath away!

This national park is a protected area in the regions of Manyara and Arusha. It’s located between the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara. The location of the park is fairly close to both the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Tarangire National Park. Thus, it makes Lake Manyara National Park a great addition to any safari in the Northern Safari Circuit.

  • Area – 325 sq. km. (125 sq. miles)
  • Established in – 1960
  • Coordinates – 3.4459° S, 35.8093° E
  • Opening Hours – 6.30 am to 6.30 pm

Even though the park is fairly small, it still offers a wonderful safari experience. It also has many distinct ecosystems (like dense forests and open savannah grasslands) and is one of the largest concentrations of mammals in Africa.

Best time to visit Lake Manyara National Park

Game viewing in the park is great all year round. But the optimal months for a Safari In Lake Manyara National Park are from June to October (known as the dry season).

Below is a comparison between the two major seasons of Lake Manyara National Park and their safari experiences:

The Dry Season (High/Peak Season) From June to October

The Wet Season (Low/Rainy Season) From November to May

Animals can be easily seen due to the thinner vegetation.

April and May fall in the low season, so you’ll get to benefit from low rates.

Lots of sun for great photographic safaris and hardly any rain.

The wildlife viewing experience is still awesome in the wet season.

Fewer mosquitoes.

Birdwatching is perfect during the wet season.

Our Opinions – Pack a few warm clothing items if you visit during the dry season. Because it gets cold in the early mornings.

And, March to May marks the peak of the wet season, so pack weather-sealed lenses and a raincoat/poncho. Because you should enjoy your safari to the fullest regardless of the weather.

Wildlife of Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara is home to three big cat species – cheetahs, leopards, and lions. But, it’s most famous for the population of tree-climbing lions. The sight of these predators relaxing high on an acacia tree is certainly unique. So, make sure to look upwards when you’re on a Safari in Lake Manyara National Park.

Besides the lions, the park also has huge herds of elephants and troops of baboons. Skyes’ monkeys, several species of antelopes, zebras, cape buffaloes, and Cape Buffaloes can also be seen. The resident species of giraffes are some of the largest giraffe subspecies. There’s a hippo pond in the park as well. Here, you can admire them relaxing and playing in the mud.

Yet, the major highlight of the park is its spectacular Birdwatching. There are over 400 species of birds in Lake Manyara National Park. The birdlife is so abundant that you can even see hundreds of species in the span of a day.

Safari Activities in Lake Manyara National Park

Finding the right activities that fulfil your interests is essential before a Safari In Tanzania. Because you need to make the most out of your visit. Here are some of the best activities to do in Lake Manyara National Park:

  • Walk on top of the world on the Treetop Walkway!
  • Enjoy a unique night safari!
  • Canoeing in Lake Manyara – Calling all adventure seekers!
  • Get a feel of Tanzania Culture – Visit the Maasai Bombas
  • Get the best Birdwatching experience

Accommodations in Lake Manyara National Park

The following are some accommodations that we recommend for your safari in Lake Manyara National Park:

Name of the Accommodation

Costs (per person, per night) in USD

Rating

Mawemawe Manyara Lodge

From $400 onwards

4 – Star (Mid-Range)

Wayo Africa Green Camp Manyara

From $475 onwards

4 – Star (Mid-Range)

Manyara’s Secret

From $550 onwards

5 – Star (Luxury)

Escarpment Luxury Lodge is a good choice as well. The costs start from $850 onwards.

Lake Manyara Safari Cost (Starts from $50 to $620)

The entrance fee for Lake Manyara National Park is $50 (in the high season). And, $45 (in the low season). Thus, by including vehicle costs, the average Lake Manyara Safari Cost will be:

1-Day Lake Manyara National Park Safari – From $200 (per person)

2-Day Lake Manyara National Park Safari – From $450 (per person, per day)

3-Day Lake Manyara National Park Safari – From $620 (per person, per day)

Arusha National Park – Enjoy a Tanzania Safari in the Geneva of Africa!

This park is situated in the northern part of Tanzania. In the northeastern region of the town of Arusha. But don’t get fooled by the fact that Arusha National Park is small. It has a diverse habitat that’s home to some wonderful Tanzania Wildlife. The landscapes are made up of the peaks of Mount Meru, the depths of the Ngurdoto Crater, and the lush rolling grasslands of montane forests.

  • Area – 137 sq. km. (53 sq. miles)
  • Established in – 1960
  • Coordinates – 3.2500° S, 36.7500° E
  • Opening Hours – 6 am to 6 pm.

Even though Arusha National Park doesn’t have as much wildlife compared to other National Parks In Tanzania. It more than makes up for it in terms of breathtaking landscapes, hiking opportunities on Mount Meru, and amazing outdoor activities.

Best Time to visit Arusha National Park

The game-viewing experience in the park is great all year round. But, the best views are in the months from late June to October. The following is a comparison between the dry and wet seasons in the park:

The Dry Season (High/Peak Season) From June to October

The Wet Season (Low/Rainy Season) From November to May

Animals gather around the watering holes, making them easier to witness.

The landscapes are at their most beautiful.

There’s hardly any rain.

Views of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro are wonderful.

Fewer mosquitoes

The game-viewing experience is still amazing in the wet season.

Our Opinions – Pack warm clothes for morning game drives as it can get cold. The Wet Season is a great time to visit for Birdwatching enthusiasts. Because there are several migrant birds present in the park.

Wildlife of Arusha National Park

There’s a rich variety of Tanzania Wildlife in Arusha National Park. And, if you’re on a Safari In Arusha National Park you’ll get to see many animals. They include cape buffaloes, warthogs, zebras, blue monkeys, elephants, bushbucks, black and white colobus monkeys, etc. If you’re patient, you can even get to see some leopards.

Birdlife in the park is amazing. There are several forest species of birds in the park. Like Snake Eagles, flamingos, hornbills, Augur Buzzard, Tawny, bee-eaters, herons, pelicans, waders, ducks, etc.

Safari Activities in Arusha National Park

Below are some of the activities we recommend you do while on a safari in Arusha National Park:

  • Hike the little Kilimanjaro – Mount Meru!
  • Canoe Rides on Lake Momella.
  • Nature Walks in Lake Duluti

Arusha National Park Safari Cost (Starts from $50 to $230)

Arusha National Park has an entrance fee of $50 (during the high season). And, $45 (during the low season). Below is the day-wise average safari cost in Arusha National Park:

1-Day Arusha Safari - $185 (per person)

4-Day Horse-riding Safari in Arusha – $4000 (per person per day)

1-Day Cycling Tour to Arusha National Park – From $230 onwards (per person)

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Tanzania National Park FAQs

The following are some of the frequently asked questions regarding National Parks in Tanzania:

Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara National Park, and Arusha National Park. These are the top 5 national parks we recommend you visit while on a Safari In Tanzania. Each of them offers special safari activities and experiences that you’ll enjoy.

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We do not sell safari adventure, we simply provide fair advice. Get a quote from our recommended local trek operator.

From our clients

Tyler D

Canada

WOW! Such an incredible trip, full of animal sightings. Our experience was overall fantastic from start to finish. African scenic safaris is a GREAT choice to do your safari tour!

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