Tanzania is one of the unique destinations on the African continent that has yet to be discovered by many. It is a land of many wonders harboring an un-paralleled diversity of fauna and flora. Kilimanjaro, the highest permanently snow-capped free standing mountain in Africa, the exotic Islands of Zanzibar, the finest game sanctuaries of Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Ruaha, Selous and the Marine Park of Mafia Island are only but a few of the living examples.
The scenery, topography and very friendly people make Tanzania one of the best places to visit and promise the best wildlife photographic safaris on the continent. Tanzania indeed has it all Tanzania has 14 National Parks, 1 conservation area, 17 game reserves, and several marine parks, a breathtaking coast and Lake Zone and gently undulating highlands that are a hiker’s paradise.
Tanzanian National parks exist for the primary role of conservation of the great wealth for present and future generation. These National Parks include the:
1. Arusha National Park
2. Gombe Stream National Park
3. Katavi National Park
4. Kilimanjaro National Park
5. Kitulo National Park
6. Mahale Mountains National Park
7. Lake Manyara National Park
8. Mikumi National Park
9. Mkomazi National Park
10. Ruaha National Park
11. Rubondo Island National Park
12. Saadani National Park
13. Serengeti National Park
14. Tarangire National Park
15. Udzungwa National Park
All of these form the core of a much larger protected ecosystem that has been set aside to preserve the country’s rich natural heritage, and to provide secure breeding grounds where the diverse fauna and flora available can thrive safe from the ever increasing threat of human encroachment.
Tanzania has dedicated more than 42,000 square kilometers more than one third of its territory- a uniquely high proportion of land to the formal protection of its wildlife as National Parks and Game Reserves despite its growing population pressures.
The existing park system protects a number of internationally recognized bastions of biodiversity and world heritage sites thereby redressing the balance of deforestation, agriculture and urbanization that is threatening Tanzania’s remaining wilderness. In this, Tanzania has successfully resisted the temptation to cash in on the short term gains of mass tourism.
Human activity is closely monitored and all development strictly regulated. Building in the parks is kept unobtrusive and waste disposal is carefully controlled. Park visitors and facilities are widely distributed to prevent harassment of animals and to minimize the human imprint on the environment.
Guardianship of this rich resource is solely reliant on the goodwill of the park’s neighbors- the indigenous tribes of the different parts of Tanzania where the parks are located.
The Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) is working hard to ensure that local communities have a sense of ownership and a vested interest in the future of the parks by sharing the rewards of conservation and delivering tangible benefits. A percentage of park revenues is allotted to assist community development initiatives such as the construction of schools, health dispensaries, water schemes and roads. Villagers are encouraged to develop cultural tourism projects to cultivate their own cultures and supplement their incomes.
Tanzania has set a benchmark of its responsibility- to its citizens, their offspring’s and the world at large- in the conservation and management of a global resource. In this, Tanzania remains committed to low impact, sustainable visitation to protect the environment from irreversible damage while creating a first class ecotourism destination.
By choosing to visit Tanzania either by merely browsing the net or by actually making a trip to our beautiful land, you are supporting a developing country’s extraordinary investment in the future.
Tanzania’s diverse attractions are of course bound by its people, who take justifiable pride in their deeply ingrained national mood of tolerance and peacefulness. Indeed, Tanzania, for all its ethnic diversity, is practically unique in Africa in having navigated a succession of modern political hurdles – the transformation from colonial dependency to independent nation, from socialist state to free-market economy, from mono-partyism to fully-fledged democracy – without ever experiencing sustained civil or ethnic unrest.
Tanzania has also, over the past 20 years, emerged from comparative obscurity to stand as one of Africa’s most dynamic and popular travel destinations: a land whose staggering natural variety is complemented by the innate hospitality of the people who live there.
How to define the Tanzanian experience? Surprisingly easy, really. It can be encapsulated in a single word, one that visitors will hear a dozen times daily, no matter where they travel in Tanzania, or how they go about it: the smiling, heartfelt Swahili greeting of “Karibu!” – Welcome!
- Serengeti national park, sure you know a lot about this park, and what it can offer – the great wildebeest migration. It is one of the Unesco World Heritage.
- Ngorongoro crater, adjacent to Serengeti in the south. Also a world heritage.
- Tarangire National park, well known for its large herds of elephants.
- Manyara National park, with its flamingos. These are migratory, one might not find them at times.
- Arusha national park, with the sight of mountain Meru within the park and the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro.
- Mkomazi national park. This is a fenced park, protecting the black rhino and wild dogs within, among others. The sight of these two – never miss.
- Ruaha national park – large park. Unbeaten paths. Few safari cars, few camps.
- Selous national park (recently renamed Nyerere national park). Wildlife, on land and rivers
- Katavi national park – this is a well protected jewel – for nature lovers. Pristine for photographers, even drones can be arranged, and for those who would really like to escape from this world and be totally absorbed in nature. The only thing to take into consideration is the cost. Few accommodation facilities, higher cost. And the higher cost of getting there.
- Mahale Island. This is located in south east of lake Tanganyika. Chimpanzee reside in this island. They have their own rules and regulations, uninfluenced by the world outside the island.
- Gombe National park: this is another Chimpanzee territory, an island located in the north of Lake Tanganyika.
- The well known Island of Zanzibar, with its white, hot sandy beaches in the north and north east of the island. For those who love white sands, swimming in clear waters, diving, snorkelling, this is a place.
- Mafia Island in another place, with better Scuba diving areas. And of course there are good beaches on the north of Tanzania mainland coast, although not well known.
- Budget camping safaris: This is normally carried out in the northern parks. The accommodation is in the simple tents fixed at the camp sites. The camps site provide running water, seat toilets, and solar light in the kitchen, wash rooms, dining room. All the camping equipment is carried along in the safari car. These include tents, sleeping bags, mattress, all the foods, gas stove, camping table and seats, drinking water. The cook prepares the meals, fixes the tents, pulls them down and folds them, ready for the next destination.
- Lodge Safaris – Low Cost. These are lodges that cost between $65 – $150 per person per night, Full Board.
- Lodge Safari – Standard. These are lodge that cost between $150- $200 per person per night, Full Board.
- Lodge Safari – Upper Standard. These cost between $200 – $400 per person per night, Full Board
- Luxury Safari – $400 – $600 per person per night. Full Board
- Super Luxury – more than $600, all the way up to $1,500 or even more, per person per night, Full Board, all inclusive.
- 1- day trip: Arusha national park or Tarangire national park or Manyara national park or Ngorongoro crater.
- 2- day safaris: The combination of any two in the above list.
- 3- day safari: The combination any three in the above list.
- 4-day safari: All those four. Also, Serengeti, crater and one of the above.
- 5-day safari: Serengeti, crater and any two (Arusha national park, Tarangire or Manyara).
- 6-day safari: Serengeti, Hadzabe, crater and Manyara/Tarangire/Arusha parks
- 7- day safari: Tarangire/Manyara/ crater/ Serengeti and Lake Natron (to see the flamingos etc). This takes a circular route, tour of Mara river included.
- Park entry fee. The park entry fee (also known as conservation fee): Serengeti ($82.6) per person per day (24 hours), Tarangire/ Arusha/Manyara – $59 per person per day etc
- Concession fee. This is paid when a person spends a night in the lodge/permanent tented camp located within the park. Serengeti ($70.8 per person per day)
- Camp fee, this is paid when a person spends a night in a camp site located with the park. Serengeti, Tarangire ($35.4) per person per night
- Crater descend fee ($295) per car,regardless of the number of person in the car.
- Ngorongoro Transit fee – this is a fee paid to Ngorongoro Conservation Area for transiting on the way to Serengeti. ($141.6) per person
- There are other fees/charges applicable in the areas such as Mountain Climbing, Wildlife Management Areas, etc. The fee for children is between $17.7 – 23.6 per child per day)