Want To Make The Planning For Tanzania Safari In The Northern Circuit Or Southern Circuit?
Tanzania is a vast country; 13th largest in the world. Located in eastern part of Africa, it a famous safari destination accommodating a wealth of wildlife, birdlife, and plant life. It covers an area of 947,303 sq km, and appreciably almost 38% of that is set aside for protected areas to conserve the wildlife that it has. There are a total of 16 national parks in total, and these are divided into four different circuits: northern, southern, eastern, and western.
One of the challenges a traveler’s face is to choose which circuit to visit. To get things into perspective, it should be noted that there’s no particular answer, but rather depends on various other factors. These are:
- What You’re Looking For
- What’s Your Budget
- Timing Of Your Visit
- Duration Of Your Vacation
Here we’ve mentioned two circuits and their national parks in detail so that you choose for yourself.
The northern side of Tanzania, which is referred to as the “Northern Circuit” is blessed with some of the most fascinating national parks present in the country. Not only are most of these parks large in size, they accommodate a diverse range of wildlife. It is a well-established part of the Tanzanian Safari circuit with better tourism infrastructure and accommodation facilities. This part also receives the most number of tourists that come to Tanzania. The parks in the northern circuit include:
- Serengeti National Park
Probably the most famous national park in the African continent, Serengeti, along with Maasai Mara Reserve of Kenya, is the hosting place of the Great Wildebeest Migration which is the biggest terrestrial mammal migration in the world. Serengeti which in local language translates to, “Land That Runs Forever” signifies the vastness of the area. Members of the Big Five of Africa are easily spotted in here at any given day.
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The protected area of Ngorongoro is actually a conservation area and not a national park. The distinction lies in the fact that besides conserving the wildlife, it serves as a grazing land for Maasai people who graze their livestock in these plains. Hence both wildlife and humans co-exist in this place in harmony. Its main attraction is the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area which is the largest intact volcanic crater. Inside the crater, there exist a vast ecosystem of endemic plant and animals. The landscapes and pristine beauty of this area put it even higher than Serengeti in some regards. It is also one of the only places in Tanzania to spot the Big Five.
- Lake Manyara National Park
Located just 126 km from Arusha, Lake Manyara National Park is a visually stunning park with a size of mere 330 sq km. Out of that, 220 sq km is consumed by Lake Manyara which is a huge lake and centerpiece of this park. Situated at the base of River valley escarpment, it is a famous birding place with more than 500 different bird species on offer. Animals like wildebeest, impalas, waterbucks, dik-diks, and tree-climbing lions (for which this park is famous) can also be spotted around the lake.
- Tarangire National Park
The sixth largest national park of Tanzania covering an area of 2,850 sq km, Tarangire National Park is a place of rich vegetation and equally rich wildlife. Blessed with the Tarangire River that flows through it, its vegetation consists of Acacia woodland, swamps, river valleys, ridges, and forests. This makes up for a perfect breeding ground for animals that inhabit the park. Along the river banks, you can spot animals like wildebeest, buffalos, hippos, giraffes, zebras, and waterbucks. But the differentiating factor of this park is the large elephant herds. Sometimes there are more than 40 members in a single herd.
- Arusha National Park
A small but profound national park. Arusha National Park is located in the Arusha Region and encompasses Mount Meru, the smaller sibling of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The landscape of this park is diverse and beautiful with the snow-capped peak of Mount Meru being in the backdrop. Easily reachable from Arusha, it’s an excellent place for a single or half day safari tours if you’re really short on time.
- Kilimanjaro National Park
Covering vast Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world, it is known for housing and conserving the wildlife species that are found in the lower reaches of Kilimanjaro. Mount Kilimanjaro has six climatic zones, out of which the lower reaches are filled with lush green vegetation and surrounded by mountain forest belt. This accommodates many animal species, both common and endemic.
Opposite to northern circuit lies the Southern Circuit. It is a comparatively remote circuit visited by roughly 1% of the tourists that come to Tanzania. In addition to vast plains, savannahs, wetlands, impressive wildlife, and stunning sceneries; seclusion and tranquillity are what the southern circuit offers. That means you can explore the national parks in here endlessly without being bothered by fellow tourists and at times it’ll seem like you’re the only human alive in the park. The national parks in the southern circuit are:
- Selous Game Reserve
This game-rich wilderness which covers an area of 50,000 sq km, making Selous Game Reserve one of the largest faunal reserves in the world, is the only protected area in Tanzania also used for game hunting purposes. Through a number of private concessions, game hunting is regulated and conducted. The northern side of the park is a famous photography spot where you can spot numerous bird species.
- Ruaha National Park
Covering an area of 20,226 sq km, Ruaha National Park is the largest national parks in Tanzania. Add onto that, it’s very less visited by only a handful of tourist population. So expect nothing but a pin-drop peace environment. Game viewing is good to excellent as well.
- Mikumi National Park
Bordering Selous Game Reserve is Mikumi National Park which is the fourth largest national park in the country. The diverse landscape of this place is often compared to that of Serengeti. Hence, if you miss Serengeti because of any reason, you can visit its doppelganger: Mikumi.
- Udzungwa National Park
Among the newly established national parks in Tanzania, Udzungwa National Park is prominent in that it accommodates some of the rare species of plants and animals. And because of its remoteness, it is a perfect ground for them to breed and prosper.
As stated earlier, there’s no best circuit to travel to, but rather depends on some factors. Hence with the above knowledge in mind, you should be able to decide on your touring circuit.
We, at Bujo Tours, believe that every traveler should visit both the well-known and cut-off destinations that Tanzania has. We’ve been providing tours to most of them with client satisfaction being our sole aim. Contact Us today for booking safari trips to the northern or southern circuit and we’ll present to you the best packages you can possibly come across.