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Northern Safari Circuit in Tanzania

The Northern Safari Circuit National Parks in Tanzania include the following attractions:

Tarangire National Park, Arusha National Park,
Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater
and the famous Serengeti National Park.

Northern Circuit Tanzania map
Tanzania physical map

Tarangire National Park:

Tarangire National Park is famous for its elephant migration, birding, vast number of ancient baobab trees and authentic safari atmosphere.

Tarangire National Park has some of the highest concentrations of mammals in Africa. You will likely see Lions, Leopard, Buffalo, Giraffes, Impala, Waterbucks, Elands, Lesser-Kudu and Thomson Gazelles.

There are also many species of birds. Elephants gather here in enormous numbers from June to December.

  • This park has the same attractions as the parks up-north, but is not usually as crowded.
  • It is located just over 100km (62 miles) south of Arusha. The park covers an area of 2600 square km.
  • Tarangire National Park occupies part of the rift valley south of Lake Manyara and has a wide variety of habitats, ranging from mixed savannah and dense vegetation of acacia to low hills and extensive swampland.
  • Dominating its ecosystem is permanent water, both in the southern swamps and along the Tarangire River, which is the biggest source of water for many animals particularly during the dry season.

giraffes at Tarangire Park - Arusha

Arusha National Park:

Arusha National Park is very popular for day trips.

You will likely see African Buffalo, Zebra, Giraffe, Warthogs, Baboons, Elephants, Antelopes, and rare species of Monkeys (black and white Colobus monkeys). You may see Flamingos at the Momela lakes.

This park is sometimes known as "Little Serengeti."

  • Arusha National Park is one of the most spectacular parks in Tanzania. The park is small but varied with spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas.
  • In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River. The peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Ngurdoto Crater in the southeast is made up of grassland. The shallow Momella Lakes in the northeast are known for their wading birds.
  • This park is located about 35 km away from Arusha town.

Blue Monkey

blue monkey - Arusha National Park

Black and White Colobus Monkey

black and white Colobus monkey

Manyara National Park:

Manyara National Park is famous for tree-climbing Lions.

Lions can be spotted during the day resting and spreading out along the branches of the acacia trees.

The park also has large herds of Buffalo and ranges of Antelopes and almost 400 species of birds. Flamingos, Pelicans, African Spoonbills, and Hammerkops can be spotted in large numbers on the shores of the lake.

  • Manyara National Park is located 126 km (80 miles) west of Arusha and is situated under the wall of the Great Rift Valley. (This park can be reached by car in less than two hours.) The park has a total area of 330 square km in which 230 square km is covered by Lake Manyara.
  • Lake Manyara is a habitat for thousands of Flamingos and other aquatic birds.
  • Manyara is also one of the oldest national parks in Tanzania and the first park on the northern Safari route. It is home to giant fig trees, acacia woodlands, mahogany trees and grassy flood plains.

Famous Tree-climbing Lions at Manyara National Park

black and white colobus monkey

Ngorongoro Crater & Conservation Area:

Known for its breathtaking landscape and exciting wildlife viewings, Ngorongoro Crater is often referred to as "Africa's Garden of Eden" and the "Eighth Wonder of the World."

  • Most of Ngorongoro's animals are grazers, such as Wildebeest, Buffalo, Zebra, Gazelles, Eland and Warthogs.
  • Elephant can also be seen in the Crater. There are a few Hippo pools and endangered Black Rhinos.
  • Ngorongo has more big cats than anywhere else in Africa. You will likely see Lions and Cheetah and other predators such as Hyena and Jackal. Leopards can also be found here, but they are secretive and more difficult to spot. This Caldera has about 100 species of birds.
  • Ngorongoro Crater is part of a group of extinct, dormant and active volcanoes associated with the widening of the Great Rift Valley of Africa. It is the world's biggest unbroken crater or caldera, which is approximately up to 19km (12 miles) in diameter and stands at over 2,500m (8200ft).
  • It is home to the Maasai Tribe (the best known of all the people in East Africa). They live with the wildlife in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
  • The vegetation varies from lush greens, highland forests, abundant short grass to desert plants in other areas. It also has many rivers, swamps and bodies of water including Lake Magadi, which sits near the center of the crater.
  • This area is home to one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, Olduvai Gorge, where the remains of the earliest human were found.

African Cape Buffalo

African Cape Buffalo - Ngorongoro Crater

Visitor with Maasai Tribe Members

Maasai tribe -Ngoronogoro Crater

Serengeti National Park:

Serengeti National Park is one of the world's most famous and important wildlife destinations.

Mount Kilimanjaro mapwildebeest crossing
  • Serengeti National Park is a well-known park because of the annual migration of over two million Wildebeest and approximately 200,000 Zebra.
  • It is also famous for its predators: Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, Hyenas and Jackals.
  • You will also see Giraffes, Gazelles, Eland, Impalas, Klipspringers and Warthogs, along with fascinating bird species, such as Vultures and Secretary Birds.
  • Serengeti National Park is situated approximately 320 km northwest of Arusha and covers an area of 14,763 square km (5,700 square miles).
  • It gets its name from the Maasai word "Siringet" meaning endless plain. This park varies from open grass plains in the south, savannah with acacia trees in the center, wooded grassland in the north to extensive woodland and black clay plains to the west.
  • Small rivers, lakes and swamps are scattered throughout. In the southeast rise the great volcanic massifs and craters of the Ngorongoro Highlands.
  • Serengeti National Park is part of the Serengeti ecosystem. The Serengeti is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and one of the Ten Natural Travel Wonders of the World.
wildebeest crossing a riverwildebeests in field

Allan Njamakuya and his team at Serengeti Vacationland Safaris & Kilimanjaro Treks look forward to guiding you and sharing their vast knowledge of the Northern Safari Circuit.

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