by Karl-Heinz Straus
Tanzania is one of the great safari destinations in Africa and the attractions found here can be included in any itinerary for those visiting East Africa. Tanzania safari conjours up ideas of game drives and while this is true, visitors can also enjoy climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, bird watching, enjoy water sports and other activities.
With so many attractions to talk about, and for the sake of keeping it short, we are going to look at the major attractions found in Northern Tanzania. The national parks found in this region include Lake Manyara, Tarangire National Park, Serengeti and Mt Kilimanjaro.
1. The Tarangire National Park
The highest numbers of elephant in Tanzania are found in Tarangire National Park. Tarangire is a popular place to stop for those that are gong on safari in the Northern circuit. The park is located a few hrs drive from the town of Arusha and some of the animals found here include gazelles, zebras, elephants and giraffes.
2. Lake Manyara National Park
The park of Lake Manyara is comprised of grasslands, woodlands and swamps. The lake itself is alkaline in nature and is home to thousands of flamingoes as well as different kinds of birds. These bird species include the egrets, storks, ostriches and pelicans. Other bird species include the rare pygmy goose and species of ibis. Baboons are also found in large numbers in this park. Animals found in this park include the lions, warthogs, elephants, wildebeests and hippos
3. Mt Kilimanjaro - Mount Kilimanjaro includes the highest peak in Africa and this has made it a popular tourist destination since its opening in 1977. Kilimanjaro was formed over 1 million years ago by volcanic movement along the Rift Valley. The highest summit is Uhuru Peak on Kibo, which is one of the Seven Summits of the world. The Seven Summits are a list of mountains that are the highest on their continent. Mountain climbing is the major motivation for visiting this park, and getting to the summit of this snow-capped mountain is a great achievement for mountain climbing enthusiasts the world over.
4. Ngorongoro Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area adjoins the Serengeti National Park. The Ngorongoro is part of the Serengeti ecosystem and is contiguous with the southern Serengeti plains. These vast plains extend into the north to the unprotected areas of Loliondo division which are kept open to the wild animals by means of trans-human pastoralism practiced by Maasai
The Ngorongoro Crater is located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and lies between Lake Manyara and the Serengeti at about 80 km west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. Ngorongoro Conservation Area was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and boasts of the largest intact caldera in the world. The bottom of the crater supports many wild animals and for those that are interested in bird watching, game viewing and game safaris will find this place fulfilling. Olduvai Gorge, a, archeological site is also found in this area.
5. The Serengeti
Serengeti National Park borders Kenyas Masai Mara Game Park. Its far-reaching plains of endless grass, tinged with the twisted shadows of acacia trees, have made it the quintessential image of a wild and untarnished Africa. Its large stone kopjes are home to rich ecosystems, and the sheer magnitude and scale of life that the plains support is staggering. Large prides of lions laze easily in the long grasses, plentiful families of elephants feed on acacia bark and trump to each other across the plains, and giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, eland, and the whole range of African wildlife is in awe-inspiring numbers
Serengeti National Park is renowned for the Great Wildebeest Migration when more than a million animals make the seasonal journey to fresh pasture to the north, then the south, after the biannual rains. Apart from the traditional game safaris, hot-air ballooning is a popular activity for visitors in the park.
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