Whether you’re craving the drama of thundering hooves, incomparable birding or starry nights punctuated by the exotic calls of distant animals, there’s no place on earth quite like Tanzania.
When you imagine an African safari, it’s the Tanzanian landscape that rises into view: the wide-open caldera of the Ngorongoro Crater, where enormous herds of zebra and wildebeest browse; herds of elephants in procession among the acacias, baobabs and gently rolling savannah of Tarangire National Park; and of course, the amazing Serengeti.
Some 70 species of large mammals and 500 species of birds live in the Serengeti in a continually shifting, year-round panorama. From the safety and comfort of your camp, listen to the night calls and then rise early to see the drama unfold. Take in the nearly unfathomable scale of these living vistas with expert guides whose knowledge of the region and wildlife enrich every moment’s adventure.
Across the Serengeti’s protected landscape, more than a million and a half wildebeest follow the rains in search of forage in the company of some 200,000 zebra and 400,000 gazelles. Waiting and watching are the lions, cheetahs, hyenas, vultures and crocodiles. This is nature at its most primal—and its most photogenic—an interplay of action and sound, color, texture, grace and breathtaking speed.
For the wildebeest herds, January to March is the calving season, when the grass is fresh and the view is forever. By June the calves are strong enough to begin the great migration and uncountable numbers of animals gather for the fearsome crossing of the Grumeti River. By September they reach Masai Mara Conservation Park, where they stay until November and then begin their return to the Serengeti in a vast flow of life, drawn by instinct and the promise of new grass.
But the Tanzanian experience doesn’t end at the Serengeti. Ngorongoro Crater is the permanent home to more than 20,000 animals—a place both ancient and alive, where you’ll see rare black rhinos foraging at dawn and the indigenous Masaai peoples herding their goats and cattle on the green highlands. Within the crater, the oldest known evidence of human habitation was unearthed by archaeologists at Olduvai Gorge.
At the edge of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is home to vast flocks of pink flamingoes, yellow-billed storks, tree-climbing lions and the world’s largest concentration of baboons. While at Tarangire National Park you can see some of the largest populations of elephant on earth, as well as 300 species of breeding birds. Wildebeest, zebra, elephant, eland and oryx gather year-round at the Tarangire River.
The largest country in eastern Africa, Tanzania is home to some of the continent’s most thrilling experiences for visitors. The great parks and wildlife regions are unmatched for sheer numbers and variety. From aardvark to zorilla from “Big Five” (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo) to hippo, giraffe, crocodile, cheetah, zebra and wildebeest, Tanzania is one of the most rewarding places on earth to visit. This is travel at its most memorable.