Tanzania is probably best known for wildlife safari – how couldn’t it be when 1/3 of its landmass is dedicated to national parks and reserves where reside the Big 5 and a myriad of other amazing African mammals and birds. The safari circuit is divided into two main circuits: The Northern and Southern Circuits. The Northern Circuit is the most commonly visited and traveled but the Southern Circuit is unique, less crowded and worth a visit. Lastly Western Tanzania is practically untouched and a place to visit if you wish to be away from the typical safari crowds!
The Northern Circuit: The most famous park in the Northern Circuit is Serengeti National Park – Africa’s Best Park for 3 years running. But there are other parks in the Northern Circuit including Tarangire National Park, Manyara National Park, Arusha National Pari and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. With so many parks in one area, you can visit many of these parks in one safari – seeing different landscapes and animals depending upon locaion. Another park that is slightly off the beaten path, Mkomazi National Park, boasts a breeding population of black rhinoceros as well as African wild dogs.
The Southern Circuit: The most noted parks in the southern circuit of Tanzania include Ruaha National Park and Nyerere National Park (formerly known as Selous Game Reserve). Ruaha is known for its magnificent landscapes and the Ruaha river which provides a constant water source in the dry season, causing animals to congregate along its bank. Nyerere is the largest park in Tanzania and boat safari is possible throughout its riverine landscapes as well as traditional driving safaris.
The Western Circuit: Mahale National Park, Gombe Stream National Park and Kitavi National Park are the gems of the western circuit. Here, a top attraction is chimpanzee trekking, as this is where Jane Goodall did her research. These may be the best regions for primate trekking in all of Tanzania. The western circuit borders Lake Tanganika. The western circuit, for the most part, is uncharted and a way to be truly off the beaten path in Tanzania.