Size: 14,763 sq km (5,700 sq miles).
Location: 335km (208 miles) from Arusha, stretching north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria.
Known for: annual migration, large population of lions & 500+ bird species.
Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th worldwide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park. Golden-maned lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while a high density of cheetahs prowls the southeastern plains. Almost uniquely, all three African jackal species occur here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serval cat. The park is well known for its healthy stock of the the “Big Five“.
NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA
Size: 8,292 sq km (3,202 sq miles).
Location: 154 km (95 miles) northwest of Arusha.
Known for: the Ngorogoro Crater, crater lions, and Massai.
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Size: 2850 sq km (1,096 sq miles).
Location: 118 km (75 miles) southwest of Arusha.
Known for: elephants, large termite mounds & 550+ bird species
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Size: 330 sq km (127 sq miles) with up to 200 sq km (77 sq miles) as lake when water levels are high.
Location: 126km (80 miles) west of Arusha.
Known for: tree-climbing lions, 400 bird species & herds of tusked elephants.