Tanzania national parks in the north
Tanzania national parks found in the northern part of the country are among the most visited destinations in the country.
These national parks are famous for wildlife safaris in Tanzania and they include Serengeti national park, Lake Manyara national park, Tarangire national park, Ngorongoro conservation area, Arusha national park and also Kilimanjaro national park.
1. Serengeti national park
Serengeti national park is the most popular of the national parks found in northern Tanzania. The national park is home to numerous wildlife species and is also known for its vast savannah plains.
Various parts of Serengeti national park, including the northern Serengeti, where river crossings occur along the Mara River, the central Serengeti region, also known as Seronera, the western Serengeti, and the southern Serengeti, which is famous for the calving season during the wildebeest migration in Tanzania, can all be visited during safaris in Tanzania.
Game drives, hot air balloon safaris, guided nature walks, bird watching, and cultural excursions are among the activities that may be done on safaris around the Serengeti National Park at any time of the year.
When visiting Serengeti National Park, visitors can look forward to the annual movement of more than 2 million wildebeests during the wildebeest migration. Other wildlife species in Serengeti national park include lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, spotted hyenas, elephants, buffalos, rhinos and many others.
Serengeti national park is located about 8 hours from Arusha town and can be accessed by road and by flight. The national park has different airstrips which include Seronera airstrip, Kogatende airstrip, Fort Ikoma airstrip, Kusini airstrip, Lobo airstrip, Kirawira airstrip.
2. Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park is another wildlife destination to visit around northern Tanzania.
The national park is around 120 kilometers from the town of Arusha which is a starting point for many destinations in northern Tanzania; getting to Tarangire national park from Arusha takes about two hours.
Game drives, guided nature walks, hot air balloon safaris, bird watching, and cultural tours are among the safari activities available in Tarangire national park. These activities inside the park can be done after paying park entrance fee for Tarangire national park.
African elephants can be found in vast herds in Tarangire National Park, along with other wildlife species like lions, cheetahs, leopards, buffalo, zebras, giraffes, hippos, and gerenuks. The greatest time to watch the more than 400 bird species found in the national park is from November to April.
3. Lake Manyara national park
Lake Manyara national park is also located in the northern part of Tanzania and is home to the tree climbing lions.
The national park is located about 130 kilometers from Arusha town. Activities done around Lake Manyara national park during safaris include game drives which are carried out in the morning, afternoon and also in the night, guided nature walks, canopy walks along the treetop walkway, cultural tours and also bird watching.
Lake Manyara national park also has diverse habitat and during a safari in this national park you can enjoy views of the Great Rift Valley.
4. Ngorongoro conservation area
The Ngorongoro conservation area also offers amazing wildlife viewing experiences during safaris in northern Tanzania.
You can take part in wildlife viewing excursions near Ngorongoro while also getting to know the locals, such the Maasai who reside in the Ngorongoro conservation area. Around Ngorongoro, a variety of wildlife species can be found, including the big five: elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalos.
Other wildlife species which can be seen during safaris around the Ngorongoro conservation area include cheetahs, hippos, hyenas, wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, cheetahs, antelopes and many others.
When visiting the Ngorongoro conservation area, you can engage in a number of activities, such as game drives around the crater, guided nature walks, hot air balloon safaris, bird watching, and cultural experiences.
The distance from Arusha town to the Ngorongoro conservation area is roughly 4 hours.
5. Arusha national park
Arusha national park is another place to visit in northern Tanzania for an unforgettable wildlife viewing experience.
The national park is the closest to Arusha town and a number of activities are carried out around Arusha national park which include game drives, canoeing, hiking, bird watching as well as cultural tours.
Some of the unique features around the national park include Mount Meru, the Ngurdoto crater, Momella lakes and also the waterfalls, rainforests and streams found in Arusha national park.
Wildlife species of Arusha national park include colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, zebras, giraffes, dik dik, buffalos among others. There are also various bird species found at the destination including flamingos.
6. Kilimanjaro national park
Kilimanjaro national park is another destination to visit during a safari experience in northern Tanzania.
This national park is famous for the highest mountain in Africa which is Mount Kilimanjaro at an altitude of 5895 meters. Hiking is a major activity that brings tourists to this destination when visiting Tanzania.
There are different routes used during hikes in Kilimanjaro national park and they include Lemosho route, Marangu route, Machame route, Rongai route, Umbwe route and also Shira route. It takes about 5 days or more to get to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro which is the Uhuru peak.
From Arusha town, tourists visiting Kilimanjaro national park can fly in to Kilimanjaro international airport or Arusha airport and then drive to Moshi town which is located at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Other activities carried out around Kilimanjaro national park include cultural tours with the local communities in Moshi such as the Chagga people.
Best time to visit northern Tanzania parks
The best time to visit these different national parks in northern Tanzania is during the dry season which is also a time when the wildlife species are easy to see during safaris especially around the water points.
The dry season takes place around June, July, August, September and October as well as from December, January and February. It is also considered a high season for safaris in Tanzania.
However, tourists can visit Tanzania during anytime of the year for safaris.