The Northern Parks
Comprises of some of the most iconic and well known parks in Africa including the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Arusha National Park
This is by far the most popular and most accessible safari destination with incredible landscapes and a diverse array of animals to see as well as amazing spectacles such the wildebeest migration.
Safaris to the parks in the north start in Arusha where visitors are usually driven by a specially prepared safari vehicle and guide, however it is also possible to fly in a small aircraft on daily scheduled flights to some of the parks.
Serengeti National Park
This is the most well known of parks and covers 14’763 kms of land bordering Keyna and the Maasai Mara. Famous for it’s vast plains and the huge herds of Wilderbeest on migration between Tanzania and Kenya. The Serengeti is famous for its predators, especially Lions, but keeping them company are Cheetahs, Leopards, Hyenas and Jackals.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
This is one of Africa’s best known wild life viewing destinations and geological phenomenon. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and host an incredible array of wildlife in the crater base and rim creating a huge natural zoo.
The crater is 20kms wide and there is an abundance of animals to see including Lions, Elephants, Thompson Gazelle, wilderbeest, zebras and even a few Black Rhino. Traffic is limited to keep the numbers of vehicles to a sensible level, however despite this sometimes a number of vehicles can converge to see an animal or event such as a ‘kill’. Despite this it is well worth the trip down to the crater floor.
Lake Manyara National Park
Spanning the Rift Valley escarpment Manyara offers beautiful scenery, however it is the most under-rated of the northern parks, often allocated only a short visit on the way to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. The vegetation is diverse ranging from savannah to marshes and acacia woodland, and there is plenty of wildlife with abundant birdlife, the famous ‘tree climbing’ lions, hippos, elephants. To the east is the alkaline Lake Manyara which hosts thousands of flamingoes at certain times of the year.
Tarangire National Park
This is a beautiful park with an abundance of the iconic Baobab tree but often only assigned a day or so on a northern circuit safari. During the dry season between particularlyAugust between August and October it has one of the highest concentrations of animals of any of the parks with large herds of Zebra, Wildebeests, Hartebeests and an abundance of Elephants, for which the park is renowned for. Eland, lesser Kudus, gazelles, water bucks and impalas as well as Leopards can be seen in Tarangire year round. The park is also good for bird lovers with 300 species recorded between October and May.
Lake Eyasi – and Hadzabe Tribe
This area is not a National Park but still well worth a visit for those who want to get off the tourist circuit and have a properly authentic African experience. Lake Eyasi is hot and dry but nevertheless starkly beautiful and home to the Hadzabe tribe who it is believed have lived there for nearly 10,000 years. They are hunter / gatherers and still follow these ancient traditions. Their language is characterised by clicks and may be distant relatives of the San people of Souther Africa.
There are a number of good lodges around Lake Eyasi and it is possible to spend a day out in the bush with the Hadzabe which is a unique experience. Please follow this link to se a short video