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Tanzania

Tanzania is country found in the Eastern part of Africa. It shares borders with Burundi, Rwanda, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, and Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoros Islands and the Indian Ocean. The highest point in the country is in Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa). Tanzania is home to some of the oldest inhabited areas on the planet. Fossils have been discovered at Olduvai Gorge dating back to over 2 million years ago. These early humans were then replaced by hunters/gatherers related to the Khoisan in Southern Africa. After this early gatherers and hunters, tribes from West Africa started migrating and settling in the country 2,000 years ago.

NATIONAL PARKS IN TANZANIA

Mahale mountain national park
Mahale Mountain National Park is located on the Eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika (2nd deepest lake in the whole world) in Kigoma region Tanzania. Mahale Mountain National Park was established in 1979 and named after the Mahale Mountains. The park covers an area of 1600 square kilometres.
The Mountains were originally inhabited by the Batongwe and Holoholo people who were later evacuated in 1979 when Mahale Mountains Wildlife Research Centre was established to make way for the park which opened in 1985.

Mahale Mountain National Park is home to the largest habituated chimpanzee population. The park is one of the two chimpanzee protected areas and it protects about 1000 chimpanzees that co-exist with lions.
The Mahale mountains rise up to 2460 metres. It has 6 points with Nkungwe being the highest.
Mahale Mountain National Park can be visited all year round but the best time to see chimps is during the dry season in months of May to October. In this period, chimps are easier to spot especially along the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

Attractions in Mahale Mountain National Park
The main attraction in Mahale are the chimpanzees but also other wildlife species can be seen and these include; Red-colobus monkey, Red-tailed monkey, hippos. Mahale Mountain National Park boasts of more than 350 bird species some of which include; African fish eagle, Giant Kingfisher, Palm-nut Vultures and many more.
Mahale Mountain National Park has dense and green vegetation ranging from miombo woodland, montane grassland, bamboo bushland, fig trees, and mahogany.

Activities in Mahale Mountain National Park

Chimp tracking
The chances of seeing chimpanzees are very high as you take a walk through the park in the designated paths with an experienced guide. An hour is spent watching the chimpanzees play, groom and interact with each other.

Guided forest walk
Take a walk through the forest as you appreciate the flora and fauna from bird species, primates, butterflies and many more others. Get a close encounter and observation of the chimpanzees in their natural habitat.

Sport fishing
This is a leisure activity that can be enjoyed on any of the designated sites on Lake Tanganyika and it requires one to have a fishing permit.
Hiking Nkungwe the highest point on the Mahale Mountains
This provides spectacular views of Lake Tanganyika as you hike to the summit. The best time to hike is during the dry season when the trails are not slippery. Enjoy a camping experience mid-way the hike.

Birding
Mahale National Park is occupied by several bird species that can be spotted as you talk a short walk through the grasslands. Species like Giant Kingfisher and many more.
Some ideal water activities to enjoy during your stay include; Snorkelling and scuba diving. You can also opt to explore the fresh water lake by taking up a boat cruise

How to get to Mahale Mountain National Park
Entry point being Kilimanjaro International Airport or Julius Nyerere International Airport depending on your itinerary.
By air: Use a scheduled flight from Arusha or Dar es Salaam to Mahale Airstrip.
By road: From Arusha to Kigoma then take a boat or plane to Mahale. It may take about 2-3 days using a car and the roads maybe inaccessible especially during the rainy season.
By boat: Take a boat from Kigoma to Mahale using either a speed boat (about 6 hours), a timber boat (about 15 hours).

Arusha national park
Arusha National Park is located in the North East of Arusha region in Tanzania. Arusha National Park is positioned in the West of Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and East of Kilimanjaro National Park. It is situated on 552 square kilometers and it Mount Meru the fourth highest mountain in Africa. Arusha is popularly known as a one-day trip destination and is usually the journey’s end for most tourists from safaris.
Being a small park, the adventure and experience is different from the rest of the national parks. However, a day trip in Arusha National Park offers you a magnificent view of a wide variety of attractions which include;
Giraffes, cape buffalos, zebras, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkey elephants, water bucks, turacos. Lions and leopards can also be viewed occasionally.
Mt. Meru is also another attraction, Momela lakes, Ngurdoto crater, Lake Longil, Ngurdoto Museum, Fig tree arch

During the dry season in the months of June to October, animals are seen wandering near water sources and this is the best time to visit Arusha National Park.

Activities in Arusha National Park
Hiking
This is one of the prominent activities for tourists in Arusha National Park. Along the way tourists get a spectacular view of the park’s wildlife. Streams of rivers can also be encountered and other species of animals and birdlife. Climbing Mount Meru is considered more challenging than the famous Kilimanjaro hike by some tourists.
Canoeing
Canoeing is done on the Momella Lakes a series of seven shallow lakes (Big Momella, Small Momella, Lekandiro, Tulisia, Kusare and El Kekhotoito). All these lakes display different shades of blue and green. The canoeing is achievable on the small Momella Lake and this is an activity that is only found in Arusha National Park in Tanzania. A variety of animals and birds like flamingos, zebras can be witnessed.
Game drives
Arusha National Park can be explored by a drive through the park. This offers tourists the possibility to see animals like elephants, monkeys, Cape buffalo and many others. Many of these animals reside by the Ngurdoto crater and it is therefore a spot for game drives
Forest walks
Forest walks can be done in the foothills of Mt. Meru accompanied by a guide. Stunning photos of birds, animals and the park’s forest vegetation could possibly be captured as these are encountered on the way. A stop over can be made at one of the park’s picnic sites for tourists to enjoy their packed lunch.
How to get to Arusha National Park
Get a direct flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport which is located 29 minutes from Arusha town. A drive from Arusha town to Arusha National Park is 45 minutes. Alternatively, a tourist may use a domestic flight from Kilimanjaro International Airport to connect to Arusha Airport.

Gombe national park
Gombe national park is located in western kigoma region in Tanzania at the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Gombe national park is the smallest park in Tanzania covering an area of 35 square kilometres. The park was established in 1968 and is famously known for its main attraction chimpanzee scientifically chimpanzees share 98% of their gees with human beings
The chimpanzees are well habituated and chimp tracking is only allowed for people from the age of 15 years and above with a professional guide.
Gombe national park has a diversity of tourist attractions aside from the chimpanzees. Other primates within the park include; olive baboons, red colobus, red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys. Animals like leopards, forest pigs, hippopotami, small antelopes can be seen. Gombe national park is also a home for different bird species, plant life (grasslands to woodland and tropical Rainforest.
Apart from the Chimpanzee trekking expedition, here are the other activities in Gombe National park
Guided Nature walks
The highlight of the guided walks through the forests is the close observation of the primates especially the chimpanzees. The chimpanzees are protected within the boundaries of the park and can be easily spotted.
Bird watching
The commonly spotted bird species include; pied kingfisher, palmnut vulture, fishing eagle, trumpeter hornbill. Migratory birds can be seen in the park too mostly when you take a walk through the forests.
Sport fishing
Sport fishing in Gombe National Park is done in designated areas with an experienced guide. This is an exciting activity that should be a must to do when visiting Gombe National Park.
Tourists can also participate in swimming and snorkelling activities on Lake Tanganyika.
How to get to Gombe National Park
The only way to get to Gombe National Park is by boat from Kigoma town.
Tourists can fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha of Julius Nyerere International Airport.
A domestic flight to Kigoma Airport then use a private motorboat to Gombe which takes about less than an hour.

Katavi national park
Katavi National Park is the 3rd largest park in Tanzania. Katavi National park is located in the western Katavi region of Tanzania East of Lake Tanganyika and occupies an area of 4471 square kilometres.
The name Katavi was derived from the Wabende spirit ‘Katabi’ who is said to live in a tamarind tree near the Katavi Lake. Katabi was a renowned hunter and it is believed his spirit occupies the tamarind tree.
The area was initially protected in 1911 under the German occupation but it was later named Rukwa Game Reserve in 1932 under the British occupation. An area of 1823 square kilometres was declared a National Park in 1974 and later extended to 4471 square kilometres in 1977. In 1998, it was formally opened as Katavi National Park.
The best time to visit Katavi National Park is in Dry season from June to October. During this period animals congregate at the water sources like River Katuma displaying perfect photographic views. In the rainy season, a good number of migratory bird species can be spotted in the park.
Katavi National park has a rich and broad diversity of attractions including rivers, lakes like Katuma River, Lake Katavi, Lake Chada and all these act as water sources. The park is also well known for its large herds of cape buffaloes and other animals like zebras, giraffes, elephants, cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, lions, leopards, wildebeest and many others.
Katavi National Park is inhabited by more than 400 bird species and some of these include; Crested barbets, little bee-eaters, Black cuckoo-shrikes, Red-billed Hornbills and many more others. The park is mainly dominated by grasslands, Miombo woodland and scattered acacia trees.

Lake Manyara national park
Lake Manyara National Park is located in the regions of Arusha and Manyara in Tanzania. Lake Manyara National Park is positioned in the Great Rift Valley. The area was utilized for sports hunting before a Game Reserve was established in 1957. In 1960 it was designated as a national park and it covers 325 kilometers. The biggest part of the park is occupied by Lake Manyara.
Lake Manyara National Park can be visited all year round but the best recommended time is June to October in the dry season and November to May in wet season when the vegetation has flourished presenting a beautiful scenery for the tourists.
Attractions in Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park has a wide range of attractions including the occasional tree climbing lions, large herds of elephants, giraffes, leopards, impalas, bushbuck, hippos, warthogs, spotted hyenas, zebras, wildebeests. Primates include; vervet monkeys, blue monkeys.
Lake Manyara is known for thousands of Flamingos but also Lake Manyara National Park has a variety of bird species and these include; Great White Pelican, Yellow- billed stock, Marabou stork, Ayer’s hawk eagle, egrets, Sacred ibis, Saddle-billed stork, stilts herons, spoonbills.
The Great Rift Valley escarpments. They provide a great view for tourists visiting the park.

Lake Manyara National Park offers unforgettable experiences from the following safari activities
Bird Watching
Lake Manyara National Park is a bird sanctuary with a big number of bird species and this makes it an ideal stop for birders. Besides the large flocks of flamingos, there are several other bird species that can be observed at Lake Manyara. During the dry season migratory bird species are spotted around Lake Manyara

Game drives
Game drives in Manyara National Park are offered in two sessions. Tourists can opt for a Day game drive or a Night game drive.

Day Game Drive
The day game drive can take place very early in the morning or in the afternoon. These present a possibility for tourists to observe a good number of animals and these include; elephants, wildebeest, impala, gazelles, warthog, hyenas, waterbuck, monkeys. Baboons can be sighted in the forests while driving through the park. Countless bird species are also seen on the shores of lake Manyara mostly flamingos, storks, pelicans and many others.

Night Game Drive
Manyara National Park is one of few parks that perform night game drives. Nocturnal animals are the most spotted during night game drives as they come out to look for prey. Animals such as leopards, civet cats, porcupines and genets maybe seen.
There are trails in Manyara National Park that can be used for game drives and these run across the green vegetation and woodlands.

Canoeing/Boat rides
Manyara National Park provides canoeing safaris and these happen on Lake Manyara. This fascinating activity allows tourists to enjoy beauteous sceneries as you paddle along the lake, sights of hippos in water, elephants, giraffes, and buffalos grazing, several species of birds including pelicans, flamingos and storks.

Cultural Visit
The early inhabitants of Lake Manyara National Park were the local Masaai people with unique culture. The cultural visit takes place in a small town known as ‘Mto wa Mto’ named after “river of mosquitoes”. Tourists experience the nomadic way of life of the Masaai people but also take part in some of the activities like the village walk and appreciating the Masaai traditional homes “Manyattas” made out of local materials, traditional dance and traditional song performances. The mesmerizing traditional dress code with colours (red, white, yellow, blue, black and green) of symbolism in the culture. Tourists can also purchase local products sold in the Masaai market.
A tree walk way on Lake Manyara
The walk way is raised in the sky as a suspension bridge with secure netting on both sides. It offers a great view for bird watching.
Cycling in Lake Manyara National Park
The cycling path goes through the rift valley floors in the local villages offering tourists a chance to interact with the local people, bird species can also be spotted on this exploration.

How to get to Manyara National Park
Fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport. It is located about 46km from Arusha. It is also possible to fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dares Salaam and then fly to Arusha Airport. From here a tourist may use a domestic from Arusha to Manyara airstrip or move by road from Arusha a drive that takes about 1 and a half hours.

Mikumi National park
Mikumi National Park is located south of the famous Selous Game Reserve, near Morongoro in Tanzania. Mikumi National Park is known as the 4th largest national park in Tanzania and closest to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city. Mikumi National Park started off as a small Game Reserve which was later established as a National Park in 1964. Mikumi National Park is situated between the mountains of Uluguru and Udzungwa.
The park is also referred to as ‘Little Serengeti’ because the landscape has similarities with that of Serengeti National Park and it covers an area of 3230 square kilometres. Mikumi National Park shares its name with a village that is located far away on its Western border.
Mikumi National Park boasts of a vast diversity of attractions including the Savanah plains, Acacia trees, Baobab, Tamarinds and Palm. Large numbers of different animal species can be seen roaming in the park’s savannah vegetation and these include; elephants, impalas, eland, zebras, greater kudu, wildebeests, buffaloes and sable antelopes. Several bird species can also be spotted such as the Yellow-throated Long claw, Bateleur eagle, Lilac-breasted Roller and many more.
The best time to visit and experience great wildlife sightings in Mikumi National Park is during the dry season in the month of June to October. Vegetation is thinner during this time and animals can easily be sighted as they gather around the fresh water source, Mkata River. This is also a high season with a large number of tourists visiting during this time of the year.
Mikumi National Park is a great destination for a birding experience. Mikumi National Park is inhabited by more than 400 species of birds such as the African fish eagle, Lilac-breasted eagle,
Attractions in Mikumi National park
Bird watching
Bateleur eagle, Yellow-throated Long claw, Saddle-billed stork, Long-tailed fiscal, Cattle egrets, Malachite Kingfisher and more other species that can be spotted in the park, at the hippo pools and at the shores of Mkata River. Migratory birds can be spotted in the park during the rainy season.
Walking safari
Guided short walks can be taken through the park’s designated walking trails as you learn and discover more bird and animal species in the park. Beautiful pictures of the savannah grasslands can be captured along the way.
Game viewing in Mikumi National Park can be done both during the day and at night. During the day, there is a chance to get a glimpse of the tree climbing lions, watch hippos swimming in the hippo pools found northeast of the park’s main gate. The Mkata plains attract large herds of buffaloes and elephants that gather to enjoy the fresh water at the Mkata River. Other splendid animals that can be seen include impala, eland, baboons, and the greater kudu.
A night game drive in Mikumi National Park gives you a unique view point and an opportunity to catch sights of the nocturnal animals like Leopards, Hyenas, lions and other day animals. On your night game drive, you are escorted by an experienced and armed game ranger.

Picnics.
The spectacular landscape offers picnic sites that provide visitors with captivating nature sights as they enjoy their packed lunch and drinks after or during a break on the game drive.
Cultural visit.
A tour around the local communities that are close to the park and engaging in several activities such as traditional dances, traditional food tasting and a visit to the local markets as you interact and learn more about their traditional lifestyle.
Camping
Camping can be done in the Northern part of Mikumi National Park at a public campsite. Feel the different animal sounds like lions roaring as you rest and view the park’s nature. Camping is best done during the dry season in the month of June to October or November.
How to get to the national park.
Fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salam and this will be your point of entry. A drive from Dar es Salam to the park takes about 4 hours. Mikumi National Park is mostly visited on the way to Nyerere or Ruaha parks. Driving from Ruaha National Park to Mikumi national Park takes about 5 hours and is approximately 320km.

Ngorongoro conservation area
Ngorongoro conservation area was initially part of the Serengeti National Park. Found in Arusha northern Tanzania and near the Kenyan border with an area cover of 8,292 square kilometers. In 1959 it was separated from the national park and made a conservation area. The main feature to look out for is the Ngorongoro crater, the world’s largest inactive caldera which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most tourists combine a safari to Serengeti National park with a tour to Ngorongoro conservation area.
Attractions in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a finest place to spot most famous mammals like the big five but also other animals. Several bird species can also be spotted in Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Other attractions and sites to visit include; the Empakaai crater, Lerai Fever Tree Forest, Lake Magadi, a tour of Olduvai Gorge, olmoti crater.
The activities to do on a safari in Ngorongoro.
An interesting fact about the reserve is it allows human habitation where the indigenous Masaai people are allowed to graze at the crater especially during the dry season. Therefore, on the remarkable safari tourists come across the local Masaai people.
Ngorongoro conservation area is a habitant for a variety of wildlife species like the big five and other animals including; warthogs, zebras, cheetahs, gazelles and wildebeest. A wide range of bird life; yellow wagtails, saddle bill storks, flamingos, crowned cranes, white storks can be spotted on a game drive or on a guided nature walk. The best wildlife viewing time recommended is during the dry season from December to March and June to September.
A photographic safari to capture beautiful sights of animals, birds, the Masaai tribesmen and also the irresistible scenic savannah vegetation.
Ngorongoro hosts Olduvai Gorge an archaeological site with a museum that showcases fossils of extinct animals and it is also well known as a discovery site for the first human remains.
Hot air ballooning an adventurous means to tour the crater and other areas within the conservation. It gives a magnificent view of the crater and the migration of the wildebeest.
A visit to the bush men in the remote areas of the park. Unlike some of the Masaai people who have taken up the western ways, the bush men remain ancient and live off hunting and gathering. A visit to their homes allows the visitor to learn and discover their culture and ways of living.
Picnics in the wilderness next to grazing wild game.

How do you get to Ngorongoro Conservation Area?
Fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport. Tourists can then go for a chattered flight from Arusha to Lake Manyara Airstrip in Ngorongoro. The area can also be accessed by road from Arusha which takes about 3 hours.

Mkomazi National park
Mkomazi National Park is located in the Northern part of Tanzania in Tanga region bordered by the famous Tsavo National Park of Kenya hence migration of herds of elephants, Oryx and zebras between these two parks. Mkomazi National park is a merge of 2 previous game reserves, the Umba Game Reserve in the East and the Mkomazi Game reserve in the West. In 1951, it was first established as a game reserve and later in 2006, it was upgraded to a national park. Mkomazi National Park lies on an area of 3234 square kilometers and is overseen by the Mountain Kilimanjaro snowcapped summit.
Mkomazi National Park falls in the Mkomazi-Tsavo ecosystem, the 2nd largest trans-boundary ecosystem in East Africa after the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
The best time to visit Mkomazi National Park for remarkable game viewing and birding experiences is during the dry season in the months of June to October. Animals can also be sighted migrating from Tsavo National Park into Mkomazi. The park can also be visited during the wet season providing beautiful views of the green vegetation and migratory birds.
Attractions in Mkomazi National Park
Mkomazi National Park does not have a wide variety of wildlife but some of the animal species that inhabit the park include the endangered African wild dogs and the Black rhinoceros. Other animals that can be spotted include; common elands, hartebeest, lesser kudu, impalas, dik dik, topi, fringe-eared Oryx. African elephants and zebras can be seen migrating from Tsavo National Park.
Mkomazi National Park is inhabited by more than 450 bird species like Hornbills, Weavers, Guinefowl, Kori bustard, Von der decken hornbill, Martial eagle, Ostrich and some migratory birds like the European roller.
Activities
Game viewing
On a game drive in Mkomazi National Park you will get a chance to view several animals like elephants, impala, dik dik, rhinoceros, topi, lesser kudu and many more. All these can be seen as you take a drive through the trails in the park enjoying the lush vegetation scenery.
Bird watching
Mkomazi National Park is a top destination for birding safaris with more than 450 bird species. Bird species like Martial eagle, Ostrich, Weavers, Kori bustard. These and more can be spotted as you take a walk or a game drive in the park premises.
Walking safari
Explore the park on foot with an experienced ranger and get an up close look at some animals and bird species as you capture eye catching pictures.
Camping
Mkomazi National Park has several campsites that offer a unique and amazing camping experience in the wild that make your stay comfortable and memorable.
Hiking
The best time to hike is in the morning or evening so that you have enough resting time in the evening. Hiking the mountain ranges in Mkomazi National Park is favorable in the dry season when the trails are dry with stunning views of the park as you hike.

Mkomazi Rhino sanctuary
Mkomazi is the only park in Africa with the black rhinoceros. While visiting the Rhino sanctuary, you get an opportunity to easily view these large land mammals and also learn more about them.
How to get to Mkomazi National Park?
Fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport situated halfway between Arusha and Moshi. About 30km from Moshi.
Fly into Dar es Salaam and fly to Arusha Airport or Kilimanjaro International Airport.
You can then drive to same 112km south of Moshi. Same is a town near Mkomazi National Park. The park can also be visited en route to Usambara Mountains.

Nyerere National Park
Is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries and national parks that exist in Africa? It is located in Southern Tanzania in the northern part of Selous Game Reserve. Selous was a name of an explorer Fredrick Courtney Selous that was killed in a combat along River Rufiji. Nyerere National Park was named after the first president of Tanzania, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
Nyerere National Park was established in 2019 by Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). The park occupies an area of 30,893 square kilometres inhabited by the great River Rufiji.
Nyerere National Park can be visited all year round but the best time to view animals is during the dry season between July to October when the vegetation is thinner and plenty of animals and birds can be spotted at the shores of River Rufiji since it acts as a fresh water source for wildlife in the park.
Attractions in Nyerere National Park
Nyerere National Park is a home to diverse animal species including; elephants, cape buffaloes, lions, hippos, leopards, wild dogs, zebras, the magnificent sable antelopes, giraffes, hyenas, wildebeest, gazelles and many more.
The park has a record of over 400 bird species like African fish eagle, Malachite Kingfisher, African skimmer, Bohm’s Bee-eater. The park has an abundance of Savannah grasslands and Miombo woodland.
Activities in Nyerere National Park
Game drives
Game viewing in Nyerere National Park is good throughout the year. A game drive can be done in the morning or afternoon enjoying the beautiful scenery as you observe the different animal species wander in the park and around water sources like River Rufiji. Animals like giraffes, zebras, cape buffaloes maybe seen and bird species like African fish eagle.
Walking safaris
Capture amazing pictures of the scenery, bird species and animals as you get an up close encounter with Mother Nature walking through the trails in the park. This is done in the company of an experienced armed game ranger.
Cultural visit
Get an opportunity to link up with the famous indigenous Masaai people who inhabit most of the national parks in Tanzania. While visiting the Masaai community you will gain an insight on their unique customs and way of living as you interact with the local people.
Boating safaris
This is a unique and great activity to do as you visit Nyerere National Park. The boating safari is a great way to explore the park on the river as you spot different animals like hippos swimming, crocodiles and also several other animals can be seen on the shores of River Rufiji as you sail through.
How to get to Nyerere National Park?
By Air: Scheduled flights from Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro or Arusha to one of the airstrips in Nyerere National Park.
By Road: A car drive can be taken from Dar es Salaam to Nyerere National Park with a recommended stopover at Mikumi National Park.

Ruaha national park
Ruaha National Park is located in Tanzania occupying an area of 20226 square kilometres. Ruaha National Park is recognized as the largest national park in Tanzania.
Before it was upgraded to a national park in 1964, Ruaha National Park was gazetted as Saba Game Reserve in 1910 by the Germany and renamed to Rungwa Game Reserve in 1946 by the British colonial authorities.
The name Ruaha was derived from a Hehe word “Ruvaha” that means river. Hehe is a famous tribe that dominated the Ruaha area in Tanganyika.
Ruaha National Park can be visited all year round. During the dry season in the month May to October when the skies are bright and during the wet season in the month of November to April when the vegetation is green with a beautiful view and fewer crowds.
Ruaha River is one of the main features in the park and its acts as a water source for animals in Ruaha National Park mostly during the dry season.

Attractions.
Wildlife. These are the commonly sighted animals in Ruaha National Park; elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffalos, zebra, lion. Leopards and cheetahs can be seen occasionally. Other key wild animals to look out for include; the captivating wild dogs, greater kudu, lesser kudu.
Vegetation
Ruaha National Park incorporates of Miombo woodlands, baobab trees
Bird species
Giant kingfisher, African fish eagle, long crested eagle, Bateleur, spur winged goose, red billed horn-bill.
Rivers including River Ruaha, River Mzambe, River mdonya, River Jongomero, River Mwagusi.
Historical sites that can be visited include; God’s bridge, early trade routes by Arab caravans, Isimila pillars.

Activities in Ruaha National Park
Game viewing
Ruaha National Park has both day game drives and night game drives. Tourists can catch sight of an innumerable number of animals strolling in the park. Leopards, Cheetahs, wild dogs, elephants, lions, zebras, kudus and many more. The game drive is done in different parts of the park with great scenery of the vegetation.
Walking safari
This can be done in the walking trails within the park with a guide. Tourists can view the park’s landscape and animals as they move along and capture pleasant photography.
Bird watching
Ruaha National Park provides an amazing birding experience. The park is a habitant for different bird species and these can be seen as you move in the park. Some of these include; African fish eagle, long crested eagle, Bateleur Giant Kingfisher.
Bush meals can be organised and enjoyed as you explore the landscapes of Ruaha National Park.

How to get to Ruaha National Park
Fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport then a road drive to Ruaha via Mikumi which takes about 10 hours approximately 320km.
A scheduled chartered flight can also be taken from Dar es Salaam to the park’s airstrip and this is the easiest.

Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park is located in Tanzania in the Manyara region. The name Tarangire originated from Tarangire River which transverses through the park. Tarangire River is a source of fresh water for animals in Tarangire national park especially during the dry season. The park covers an area cover of 2,850 square kilometers and it was established in 1970.
Tarangire national park has diverse attractions and these comprise of wildlife: (zebras, leopard, cheetah, cape buffalo, waterbuck, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, gazelles, eland, olive baboon, lion, African wild dog, Fringe-eared Oryx, honey badger, warthog). The park is an acknowledged habitant for large herds of elephants.
Plant species in the park like acacia woodland, baobab trees, plain swamps
Bird species such as hornbills, brown parrots, hammerkops, kori bustrads, yellow necked spurfowl, bee-eaters, ostrich, helmeted guinea fowl, African grey flycatcher, striped swallows, Northern white-crowned shrike, crested francolin.
Best time to visit Tarangire national park
The tourist destination can best be visited during the dry season when a large number of wildlife are seen at Tarangire river for fresh water and this is in the months of June to October.
Activities
Bird watching
For bird lovers, Tarangire national park would be a great place to spot a good number of bird species. These occupy mostly the savannah plains and the woodlands.
Game viewing
Tourists can catch sight of the animals at Tarangire River as they show up in need of fresh water. Best time to see animals at the river is during the dry season.
Cultural visit to the village of the Maasai
A visit to the Maasai village gives the tourists an opportunity to learn about their unique culture, dressing, and traditional dance. The Maasai are one of the local indigenous tribes that live in Tanzania. The tourists can also purchase handmade local products as souvenirs from the Maasai community.
Nature walks
The travelers can use any of the trails in Tarangire national park for a walk to get an impressive scenic view of the natural environment. Birds and animals can also be sighted closely on these nature walks.

How to get to Tarangire National Park
Fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport 46km from Arusha or Julius Nyerere International Airport. There are charter flights from Arusha to Tarangire. The traveler may also opt to move by road from Arusha to Tarangire which is a two-hour drive approximately.
Udzungwa mountains national park
Udzungwa Mountains National Park is found in Southern Central Tanzania within the Iringa region, with Mikumi being the nearest city to the park. Udzungwa Mountains National Park was formed from 5 forest reserves in 1950’s and formally established in 1992. The park is residence for the Hehe people and the name Udzungwa came from a kihehe word ‘Wandzungwa’ which means people who inhabit the mountain sides of Udzungwa. Udzungwa Mountains National Park is part of the Eastern Arch mountain range and occupies an area of 1990 square kilometres.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park can be visited the whole year but the best time is during the dry season from June to October with satisfying views of the landscape. In March to May, the rains are heavy and the trails maybe slippery but the season brings out different butterfly species that flourish within the park.
Attractions in Udzungwa Mountains National Park
The park is surrounded by tropical rainforests, montane rainforest, Miombo woodland and grassland. These are inhabited by the several animal and bird species that live within the park.
The sanje waterfalls with plunge pools underneath that are good for a swim.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park has a high diversity of endemic species including the Sanje crested Mangaby monkey and the Iringa red colobus monkey that can be spotted in the forest with other primates. Elephants, buffalos, leopard, Abbott’s duicker, African wild dogs and elands also occupy the park. Species of birds here include; Francolin, Malachite Kingfisher, Crowned Eagles, Silver cheeked Hornbill and not forgetting the Udzungwa forest Partridge.

Activities in Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Safari Walking
Take a walk through the lush vegetation and get an opportunity to come close to the wildlife within the park including the bird and animal species. This activity cannot be missed since the park can only be accessed on foot. Go through Mangula village and take a tour in the local market as you interact with the local people.
Hiking
Climb to the top of the popular Sanje waterfalls and get an outstanding view of the mountain and the rainforests. Along the way, you will enjoy taking pictures of the surroundings and at the waterfalls, you find plunge pools underneath the waterfalls where you can take a swim after the long and hectic hike.
Cycling
Cycling in Udzungwa Mountains National Park can be done within the village. You can also participate in activities like rubber plantation as you interact with the local people. You can rent or come with your own bike so as to carry out cycling.
How to get to Udzungwa Mountains National Park?
By road: Drive from Dar es Salaam about 5hours and approximately 350km.

Cultural Attractions in Tanzania

The Swahili Culture: The Swahili culture was born as a result of intermarriages, exchange of ideas and trade with foreigners (Arabs, Greeks, Persians, Romans and Chinese) starting about two thousand years ago. The Swahili culture started in the islands and coastal towns along the Indian Ocean stretching all the way to Kenya. In time, the culture spread to the inner parts of East Africa. The Swahili culture and cuisines takes inspiration from the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Chinese. Kiswahili has grown from a language of trade to become a national language that unites all the people of Tanzania. To experience the authentic Swahili culture, one needs to visit Zanzibar Island. Here you will immediately notice the result of the intermarriages between the local Bantu people and foreigners arriving at the coast. The key features of the original Swahili-speaking people are their lighter skins, business-orientation and Swahili mother tongue.

Olduvai Gorge: The Olduvai Gorge is an archeological site where Dr. Louis Leakey discovered the skull of the “Nutcracker Man” also known as Zinjanthropus in 1959. This particular fossil and many others date back to about 2 million years ago. Because of these discoveries, Oduvai Gorge is now known as the cradle of Mankind. The handy man or “Homo habilis” and the Zinjanthropus can be seen in a small museum at the site. Olduvai Gorge is found along the road leading to the Serengeti National park and Ngorongoro crater.
Visiting the Hadzabe Tribe: Like the Khoisan in Southern Africa, the Hadzabe Bushmen speak a language consisting of clicks. They still live as hunters and gathers along the caves of Lake Eyasi. The Hadzabe first arrived in Tanzania about 10,000 years ago but their numbers have dwindled in recent decades with only about 1000 left. The decline in population is because of climate change, competition for resources with more assertive tribes like the neighboring Datoga tribe and commercial hunting which has left them with little to feed on. What has protected this tribe from total extinction is the isolation and primitive lifestyle.
Visiting this ancient tribe will expose you to their unique way of living and culture. What will you learn from visiting the Hadzabe? You learn how honey, fruits and tubers are collected out in the wild. You also learn how to make bows and poisoned arrows. There is also the traditional dance performances and storytelling from the elders. The Hadzabe will teach you how to smoke meat, make fire using sticks, build huts and track wild animals. You may even be lucky to take part in a marriage ceremony or visit one of their winter caves.

Kilwa: This is one of the historical islands in coastal area. Kilwa was the most powerful and prominent city in the coast of East Africa from between the 12th and 15th century. As a trading Center in the Indian Ocean, Kilwa linked Asia with East Africa’s interior. Arabs and Persians settled in Kilwa as early as the 9th Century. The lasting imprints have made the island a UNESCO World Heritage Site hence one of the best places to learn about the Swahili culture and great architecture left behind.

Mto wa Mbu: Mto wa Mbu is one of Tanzania’s leading cultural sites. It was built on the foot of the East African Rift Valley by the Government of Tanzania in conjunction with SNV. The site lies close to Lake Manyara National Park, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro conservation Area. Mto wa Mbu brings together many of Tanzania’s tribes to showcase their own cultural heritage. The site has grown so much that it is now a small town on its own. No other place brings together tribes from almost every part of the country in the way that Mto wa Mbu does.
The main activities while at the site include climbing the Balala Hill, visiting the local farms, going for a village walk and checking out the local development projects. For those who love art or wish to buy souvenir, this is one place you cannot afford to miss. By the end of your visit, you would have encountered the Chagga people, the Sandawe, the Rangi and the Mbugwe among others.

Visiting the Ng’iresi village. This village is found on the slopes of Mount Meru – 7 kilometers away from the town of Arusha. The Waarusha tribe occupy the village. Though related to the Masai people, the Waarusha have embraced farming as their main activity. While with them, tourists are exposed to their unique culture through listening to stories from the elders, visiting some of the individual homes, visiting the farms and helping prepare the local food. A guided tour of the village can take a whole day ending on the foothills of the mountain. Other interesting activities while with the Waarusha people include climbing the Kivesi and Lekimana hills.

Mulala village: Still in Arusha is Mulala village found 30 kilometers away from Arusha town. This village lies on the southern slopes of Mountain Meru and is also a favorite destination for tourists who are interested in immersing themselves in the beautiful culture of the people of Tanzania. Cultural tours in Mulala are organized by Agape Women’s Group. The women guides will take you around the village to learn about the lifestyle of the Waarusha tribe. Expect to be taken to the local farms where you will learn how to make cheese and bread. A tour can be extended to the Marisha River for a chance to see some of the medicinal plants used to cure common ailments. You can also be taken to Ziwa la Mzungu to spot a large colony of fruit bats. The Lemeka Hill provides jaw-dropping views of Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro hence a perfect spot for taking photos.

Maasai Tribe and their Bomas: The Masai migrated from Kenya to Tanzania around the 15th century. As they arrived into the country, they fought other tribes in order to acquire more pasture for their domestic animals. The Masai stand out from all other tribes in Tanzania because of their pride, intelligence, assertiveness but also friendly nature. They are arguably the most visited indigenous tribes in Africa.
The Masai believe all cattle belong to them regardless of where they are located on earth. They would organize raids to reclaim their cattle from other tribes hence causing great devastation. The government put a top to their raids and claims but have allowed them to live close to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area hence offering tourists an opportunity to visit them.
On a typical Masai Community visit, tourists are able to visit their bomas (homesteads) or manyattas and learn from the elders about their cultural heritage. A visit is incomplete without watching Maasai warriors leaping, dancing and drumming. For the best cultural encounters, you need to visit the Seneto Maasai Boma and Irkeepus in the Ngorongoro area.

The Culture of the Datoga Tribe: The Datoga are a Nilotic tribe living close to the Masai people in northern Tanzania. Along with the Hadzabe, they are one of the last truly primitive tribes in the country. Like the Masai, they rely on cattle keeping but have recently embraced subsistence farming. One of the intriguing things about the Datoga is their dress code. They wear bracelets and collars made of brass or bead. Another outstanding feature of the Datoga are the tattoos surrounding their eyes. The Datoga culture encourages aggression and because of that have not always lived peacefully with their neighbors like the Iraqw or Hadzabe. Despite their reputation as warriors, the Datoga are friendly to tourists. If you pay them a visit, they can share a lot about their life and cultural beliefs. What will you see when you visit the Datoga? Well, you will learn about their way of living including how to prepare cattle fences, build huts, make traditional dresses, make weapons and milk a cow. You will also learn how to make traditional beer, food and herbs to treat common ailments.

Stone Town and Zanzibar Island: A visit to Tanzania is incomplete without exploring the top attraction in Zanzibar Known for its spices, fruits, flowers and fragrances, Zanzibar is one of the most visited islands in the East African coast. A key attraction is Stone town with its ancient structures and Swahili culture. Before Europeans arrived in East Africa, Arabs, Egyptians, Chinese, Assyrians, Sumerians and Phoenicians had already set sail in Zanzibar. The Island later received great European explorers like Speke, Grant, Kraft, Livingstone, Burton and Rebman. The arrival of foreigners in the East African Coast led to intermarriages and hence the birth of the Swahili culture. The impact of these foreign arrivals in Zanzibar also left behind amazing architecture and that is why the old Stone Town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Kondoa Rock Paintings: Found in Kolo and about 260 kilometers from Arusha town, this UNESCO World Heritage site hosts ancient rock paintings. The paintings consist of humans and wild animals like giraffe, eland and elephants. The Kondoa Rock Paintings date back to about 10,000 years ago and are of good quality. Most of the paintings are in dark red color and are attributed to the Bushmen living in the area as hunters/gatherers. These Bushmen used clicking sounds for communication and are ancestors to the Sandawe tribe who currently live in the area. Apart from the Kondoa Rock Paintings, there are also more recent paintings by the Warangi people that date to about 500 years ago. If you are visiting Tarangire, Mount Kilimanjaro or the national parks in the northern circuit, this is one place you should spare time to visit.

The Iraqw Tribe: The Iraqw are a tall Cushitic-speaking tribe who migrated to the country from Mesopotamia. They traveled through Palestine, Egypt, Ethiopia and Kenya before reaching in Tanzania. They had to adapt as they met many challenges along the way. In Tanzania, they had to endure harassment from the Masai and the Datoga before settling in areas around Arusha and Manyara. Because of their unique culture and having to contend with the local tribes living in the area, the Iraqw are very private people. They spend most of their time with their herds. Visiting the Iraqw will expose you to their cultural heritage and ways of life. Though not in its original form as a result of modernization and Christianity, you will still leave fascinated with everything you see.

Bagamoyo: Once an important trading center along the East African coast, Bagamoyo has a dark past. It was once a major slave port. Most of the slaves coming from the interior would first congregate in Bagamoyo before continuing their journey to Asia and other parts of the world. Later on, the German colonialists made it their East African capital from 1886 to 1891. Bagamoyo is also excellent for experiencing the Swahili culture because it was an entry point for foreign traders, explorers, Arabs and missionaries. The key activities while in Bagamoyo are visiting the old slave for, the Mission Museum, the first Roman Catholic Church, Livingstone Memorial Church, the headquarters of German colonial rule and some of the best beaches in the East African coast.

The Sukuma Tribe: The Sukuma are Bantu speaking people who originated from Uganda and settled in the northern part of the country. They are both farmers and cattle keepers and farmers. As the largest ethnic group in the country, the Sukuma can be found in almost every part of the country. Although the Sukuma have embraced western culture and dress code, one can have an amazing cultural experience in their villages. The elders in the villages still practice their traditional beliefs and culture. You can still notice traditional cuttings on their bodies. The traditional dance competitions held between May to September attract tourists who are visiting the country on safari.
On a typical visit to one of the homesteads in the rural areas, you can take part in tending the garden, taking the cows for water/pasture, fetching water in the swamps and cooking their traditional dishes. Ugali is the staple food of the Sukuma and can be consumed with vegetables or chicken/beef on special occasions. Fermented milk and locally made beer is also a popular drink among the Sukuma.

Museums: There are several museums to consider visiting once in Tanzania but the Bujora Sukuma Museum and the National Museum in Dar es Salaam stand out. Bujora Sukuma museum was built in 1954. It lies 18 kilometers away from Mwanza city and most of the exhibits are of the Sukuma tribe. The National Museum in Dar es Salaam is even more interesting because it exposes all that is beautiful about the Tanzanian people and culture. This is where you will also find some of the fossils discovered by Leaky at Olduvai Gorge. For those who wish to learn about the history of slave trade in the East African cost, this one place you ought to visit. By the end of your visit to the National Museum in Dar es Salaams, you will have spotted vintage cars, musical instruments, adornments and beautiful art pieces.

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